Whitehorse, Yukon

Tuesday, November 30, 1993 - 1:30 p.m.

Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will begin with Prayers.



Speaker: We will proceed with the Order Paper.

Introduction of Visitors.

Are there any Returns or Documents for tabling?


Hon. Mr. Phelps: I have for tabling two legislative returns.

Speaker: Are there any Reports of Committees?


Introduction of Bills.


Bill No. 42: Introduction and First Reading

Hon. Mr. Phelps: I move that Bill No. 42, entitled An Act to Repeal the Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, be now introduced and read a first time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Hon. Minister of Justice that Bill No. 42, entitled An Act to Repeal the Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, be now introduced and read a first time.

Some Hon. Member: Agree.

Some Hon. Member: Disagree.


Speaker: Division has been called.

Mr. Clerk, would you kindly poll the House.

Hon. Mr. Phillips: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Brewster: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Phelps: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Devries: Agree.

Mr. Abel: Agree.

Mr. Millar: Agree.

Mr. Penikett: Disagree.

Mr. McDonald: Disagree.

Ms. Commodore: Disagree.

Ms. Moorcroft: Disagree.

Mr. Harding: Disagree.

Mr. Cable: Agree.

Mrs. Firth: Agree.

Clerk: Mr. Speakers, the results are nine yea, five nay.

Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

Motion for introduction and first reading of Bill No. 42 agreed to

Speaker: Are there any Notices of Motion for the Production of Papers?

Notices of Motion.

Statements by Ministers?


Land Availability and Planning

Hon. Mr. Fisher: When this government took office, a strong commitment was made to resolve several longstanding land and land availability issues. I wish to update this House on the progress that has been achieved toward making land available to all Yukon people.

The subject of land issues can be very broad and detailed, and I wish to be as organized and brief as possible with this information.

My department has been instructed to review the Lands Act and lands regulations, with the intention of bringing proposed improvements to existing legislation before the House in future sessions. Subdivision legislation will be tabled in the House this session. This new act will give the Yukon government the ability to control and plan for the subdivision of rural lands. As well, proposed amendments to the Whitehorse periphery area development regulations will be considered by Cabinet this winter to allow second dwellings as a permitted use on rural-residential parcels in the north Whitehorse periphery area.

In the area of planning, I am pleased to report that agreement has been reached on several planning priorities in Carcross. In addition, the Mount Lorne local area plan is nearing completion. Preliminary planning discussions have taken place with several community groups in the north Whitehorse periphery area.

As well, the Yukon government has offered to work with the Ta’an Kwach’an on subdivision planning for their land in the Lake Laberge area. Activities now taking place with respect to planning, legislation and land development will give the department more flexibility on land matters and this will help to alleviate land problems in the north Whitehorse periphery area.

With respect to an adequate supply of available land, over the past few months there have been several land lotteries and at present there is still a selection of different types of lots available in almost every Yukon community. We consulted with Kwanlin Dun and, through a working committee, reached agreement on Mary Lake, Canyon Crescent, Arkell, and Logan areas. Lots in all these areas have been offered to the public through a number of lotteries held during October and November.

Demand remains high for country- and rural-residential property. We are pursuing several developments over the coming months. Progress will be subject to public consultation and resolution of any land claims issues that may remain. I can tell Members, for example, that the proposed local area plan for Mount Lorne/Carcross Road provides for the development of eight rural- residential and eight agricultural lots per year over five years.

With respect to grazing leases and agricultural parcels, we are moving toward consideration of these types of planned land uses in areas where land claims have been settled or are expected to be settled soon.

As for a timetable, I have stated that subdivision legislation and second-dwellings regulations will be considered this winter. Following approval of subdivision legislation, as I told this Legislature last Thursday, we will consult with local area residents to amend regulations respecting subdivision of rural-residential properties and to discuss potential development opportunities in specific areas where there are no land claims conflicts. We will also be settling development priorities with respect to location, size and number of lots. That will be followed by the phased release of rural-residential land and agricultural land in the Whitehorse West area, in accordance with the agricultural policy.

I want to commend the staff in my department whose efforts have resulted in measurable progress in all these areas. This is a good example of strong commitment and clearly focused efforts working together to meet the land requirements of all Yukon people.

Ms. Moorcroft: Finally the Minister has got the message that we expect him to come forward with some information and plans that indicate the direction this government will take in the future. We know there is a demand for land and that people’s needs must be met. As the Minister says, there are many longstanding land availability issues. Principal among them, of course, is the incomplete land claims process. The government has been less than exemplary in its acknowledgement of First Nations’ interests, for which they have been called to task on economic development and education issues. The Yukon Party government must bargain in good faith for land selections with the 10 First Nations that have not signed their land claims agreements. In particular, the Ta’an and Kwanlin Dun in the Whitehorse area are at the table. The Minister’s release of land must not alienate that process.

The department sent out a questionnaire on second dwellings to the Whitehorse periphery residents. As a result, Cabinet is now considering whether or not to allow second dwellings as a permitted use on rural residential parcels in the north Whitehorse periphery. This is an issue that has polarized residents in the Mount Lorne area. I believe it is also contentious in the north Whitehorse area, as well. Perhaps the Minister would share the results of the questionnaire. I would be interested to see if compromise solutions are proposed, perhaps limiting the size of second dwellings and, on the issue of subdivision, perhaps a minimum parcel size.

I am glad the Minister and his department met with the surveyors association on the subdivision act.

The Mount Lorne local area plan is nearing completion. I would, however, point out to the Minister that this process began well over a year ago. One of the reasons that I believe the plan is good is that the planning committee held neighbourhood meetings in each of the hamlet wards. In this way, concerns of residents in different neighbourhoods were all voiced and an attempt to reach consensus solutions was made. There have also been general meetings for all residents to review the draft Mount Lorne area development plan. The Mount Lorne plan has been a people’s plan, not a government plan. Effective consultation does take time and the Laberge area land planning is being rushed.

In the Laberge area the Minister has identified a planning area for Deep Creek, Shallow Bay, the Mayo Road and the Hot Springs Road. He announced that these area plans would be set up in the House on Thursday, November 25, 1993. The only committee in existence is the Deep Creek planning committee. However, the Minister has indicated that he expects his department to have completed their planning exercises by May of next year and that there is a possibility of land becoming available by next summer. The Minister has also indicated that his department is meeting with the Ta’an Kwach’an. I will be watching in the spring for success in the planning exercises.

Having worked with the department and attended all of the Mount Lorne meetings, I, too, commend the staff in the Minister’s department. I hope the staff will not be criticized if it is impossible to meet the Minister’s time frame, as it seems to be an unrealistic time frame, to me.

People need time to think about things and work through to a consensus. People expect legitimate, unhurried consultation.

The Minister has not resolved the land-pricing policy issue. There are a number of unanswered questions from the committee debate of the Community and Transportation Services supplementary budget.

The Minister stated that he is trying to come to grips with the issue of land costs and he has said that the very first thing is to make sure that the private developer is on the same footing that the Yukon government would be. In other words, they would get the land for nothing.

My concern is that land ownership must be an achievable goal for hard-working people. People’s needs will not be met if they cannot afford to buy land. There is already a huge surplus of urban residential land, and land development priorities must not be to create an even larger surplus of the type of property that is presently the least desirable.

We support the concept of agricultural land being released under the terms of the agricultural policy that was brought in by the previous government. These planned land uses must be, as the Minister said, in areas where land claims are complete.

We will be watching for progress on land planning in the spring, and I will look forward to participating in the Lands Act and lands regulations review.

Finally, I would remind the Minister that they must deal fairly with the First Nations and with the public.

Mr. Cable: Let me say that I am pleased to see that the Minister has recognized, officially and publicly, that there have been longstanding problems with the issue of land development and land sales and, in particular, the problems of inventory and land costs, as was recognized yesterday in the Legislature. These problems affect purchasers, building contractors, building material suppliers, planners and just about everyone else in the territory. I am encouraged by the fact that the Minister has indicated that he will be dealing with them.

The Minister has shown some interest, both yesterday and last week, in an audit on the way land is developed and sold. Let me encourage the Minister to not set it up as an internal review, but, instead, have a neutral third party, such as the Auditor General, who is skilled in operational reviews, come in and assess the way land is developed and costed and whether the full load of the costs are put on the land by the government departments.

The results of this analysis will be very helpful in determining whether land should be developed here most economically by the government or by private enterprise.

Speaker: This then brings us to the Question Period.


Question re: Waste oil

Mr. Penikett: For environmental reasons, the city had announced a decision to close the waste oil pit used by people from all over this territory and I would like to ask the Minister of Community and Transportation Services why the territorial government’s position is that it will assist with only one truckload of waste oil movement from this territory when, according to various reports, there may be as much as 40,000 gallons around between contractors and service operators in this town alone. There are no places to put this waste and, if we wait too long, it will be too cold to move it.

Speaker: Before the Minister of Community and Transportation Services answers that question, in our guidelines for oral Question Period, one of the guidelines is that the question is out of order if a debate is scheduled for that day on the same subject matter. The debate scheduled for this afternoon is on that very line item, waste disposal, so I am afraid we may be getting into an area that debate is scheduled for. However, if both sides are interested in this topic and in discussing it in Question Period, then the Minister may answer the question.

Mr. Penikett: On a point of order, I make mention of the observation from the Minister that, of course, the waste management program that had been discussed was not going to be dealing specifically with this problem, and that is my argument for wanting to pursue the matter in Question Period today.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I do not have any problem discussing it in Question Period. The Member opposite is correct in that there are 17,000 gallons sitting at the city landfill site in tanks and we believe there are approximately 23,000 gallons sitting in various commercial users’ tanks around the city. We had a meeting this morning with city officials and the operator of the landfill site. I had to leave before the meeting was concluded but I believe we will be able to announce a resolution in the next day or so.

Mr. Penikett: As I understand it, a large part of the crisis is that we have service operators who are having to cease operations because there is no waste disposal site; and there is a further crisis resulting from an environmental problem since the landfill site appears to be leaking. In that context, can the Minister explain, given that his leader has suggested that any government should be able to develop regulations in six months or less, why we are taking a year and one-half to develop regulations on this matter?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I have been assured by the department that the regulations will come to me for forwarding to Cabinet early in January. Following Cabinet approval, there is a 60-day consultation process and then it is returned to Cabinet for approval. I believe that we should have regulations in effect by early spring.

Mr. Penikett: Yesterday, the public meeting on this situation was told by the Community and Transportation Services official that the used oil stakeholder group and the committee drafting regulations were no longer in operation - either of them. Can the Minister explain, since those committees are not in operation, why there are no draft regulations out in public yet?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: My understanding was that the committee fulfilled their mandate and that the regulations are now being finalized within the department.

Question re: Waste oil

Mr. Penikett: Yesterday, at the same meeting, an official of the city described, as I mentioned to the Minister yesterday, a situation in which he claimed the territorial government had asked the city to collect this waste oil on an interim basis, because the territorial government was doing away with the special waste facility and, by implication, a related program to deal with contaminated waste oil. Can the Minister say now, briefly, exactly what the territory’s official position is on that question?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: From information that I have received, the Government of Yukon was responsible, as a third partner, for home owner type of waste oil that was collected at the Raven Recycling Centre. I can find no indication in the past, and staff tell me that there has been no indication to the City of the Whitehorse, that the oil collected at the landfill is, or ever has been, a Yukon government responsibility.

Mr. Penikett: Along with the general problem of these oil wastes is the problem of the reported existence in this town of thousands of gallons of PCB-contaminated waste oil, which is, of course, a special waste or a hazardous waste, according to one’s personal definitions.

Exactly what is this government’s policy with respect to the testing, the financing of tests, the collection, storage and shipping of contaminated waste oil that exists in the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The PCBs are quite well known and are in safe storage on the property of the generator. We have made arrangements with the facility at Swan Hills, Alberta to dispose of the PCB-contaminated oil but, until the legislation or regulations are changed in British Columbia, we cannot transport the oil across the British Columbia boundary.

Mr. Penikett: Beyond the PCB-contaminated oil in safe storage, there is a belief that there was other PCB-contaminated oil and indeed if PCB-contaminated oil is mixed with a load of regular oil, the whole load can become contaminated, giving us a very significant environmental problem.

To date, the territorial government seems to be committing only $4,200 toward the shipment of one load of this product. When can we expect a firm plan to deal with the long-term problem of this waste oil and the particularly difficult problem of dealing with the PCB-contaminated oil?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: My understanding is that the PCB-contaminated oil is known and is contained. There is some oil at the Whitehorse landfill; I believe it is about 2,000 gallons that contains a minor amount of PCBs. However, the amount is something like 10 parts per million and the acceptable level is up to 50 parts per million, so this is not considered to be PCB-contamined oil and can be disposed of in a regular facility.

Question re: Curragh’s Faro assets, value of

Mr. Cable: I have a question for the Minister of Economic Development on Curragh.

The Minister provided this House with a marketing plan that the receiver of Curragh’s Faro assets had presented to the courts. The marketing plan sets out a timetable of events. These events include an obtaining of an opinion on the value of the Faro assets from independent engineers. Could the Minister tell the House whether or not approval was received for the obtaining of that opinion?

Hon. Mr. Devries: In the last day or so, I received the document that is the one that would be sent to the various people interested in purchasing the property. They have until December 15 to respond to it. The document has now been approved by the various stakeholders and will be put in a bound form to be sent out to the interested parties, if that is what the Member was asking.

Mr. Cable: No, I was asking whether the Faro assets had been evaluated.

This is a subsequent question: I would like to know if the Minister has an evaluation of those assets?

Hon. Mr. Devries: There were some attachments to that document. I believe they discussed the value placed on some of the assets. I am not certain if that is all the information the Member wants, because I have not reviewed it at great length yet.

Mr. Cable: These figures, of course, are of prime interest to all creditors, particularly the Yukon lien claimants.

I wonder if the Minister would table that information by way of a legislative return. So that the Minister does not think that is a question, the legislative return of November 22, 1993, to the Member for Faro, indicates that the Yukon government plans to continue meeting with the interim receiver, entering into discussions with any prospective buyers. I wonder if the Minister could just pry away the secrecy veil a bit and tell us if he or any of his officials have met with any prospective buyers?

Hon. Mr. Devries: There were several questions there. In respect to meeting with prospective buyers, I and my officials have had meetings with prospective buyers. In regard to tabling the document, my understanding of the first page is that the various companies that get copies of this document have to agree to some level of confidentiality. So, whether I can table it in the House I would have to take under advisement.

Question re: Wolf control program

Mr. Harding: I have a question for the Minister responsible for Renewable Resources. For a year now, we have been asking this government whether or not they were going to adopt the wolf conservation and management plan. The Minister first told us that he would consult with CYI about the plan. This has now taken place and it is ready to go ahead. With the winter wolf kill ready to go ahead for the second year in a row, why is the government taking to long so adopt this plan?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: It is not the wolf kill at all; it is the caribou management recovery plan. This plan has been going on for a year. It is an ongoing process and it will continue to go on as it is.

Mr. Harding: I do not think the wolves care much about the subtleties of the wording. They are getting killed whichever way it is called. Wolf kill may be an emergency tactic for helping improve ungulate numbers but I do not think anybody thinks it is not a socially and economically costly exercise. What are the specific problems with the plan, according to the Yukon Party, and what is the time line for a decision? We have already waited a year.

Hon. Mr. Brewster: The main problem for a great number of people in the Yukon was that it was not done properly. They only had three to four meetings. They did not get around to the people at all. I personally attended three of those meetings and very few people showed up. It was a type of meeting where few people were uncomfortable and did not say what they wanted to say.

Mr. Harding: The Minister has to stop waffling all over the place on this issue. He first said he had to consult with CYI to see what they thought about the plan. That has been done and they have said it can go ahead. I am now asking the government what their particular plan is, when do they think they are going to be able to implement the wolf conservation management plan and what their time line is.

Hon. Mr. Brewster: My instructions are - and I agree with them 100 percent - that we will use it as a guideline and a guideline only. As Members know, it will be opened up again in 1995 and then people can look at it and have a proper hearing about what went on.

Question re: Wolf control program

Mr. Harding: In government, I thought the Minister was supposed to give the instructions on what was to happen in the departments, not vice versa. Is the Minister now unequivocally telling this House that he is not going to adopt the wolf conservation management plan?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: I have said two or three times that we are using it as a guideline. We have followed it right to the letter in the Aishihik caribou and Carcross area, where we are now working with the First Nation to protect the caribou there.

Mr. Harding: I do not know about the Minister’s claim of following it to the letter. Last year, we saw the absolute dismissal of many of the Fish and Wildlife Management Board’s recommendations to that Minister.

Could the Minister tell us, if he is following it to the letter, why he does not formally adopt this wolf conservation management plan so everyone in the Yukon is clear on exactly what is taking place?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: As to the remark made about my not paying attention to the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, there were only two recommendations from that board I did not accept.

Mr. Harding: I seem to be going around and around with the Minister. I would appreciate it if he would answer the question, instead of waffling around it.

There are a lot of people who are prepared to accept the wolf kill as an emergency, but not as an ongoing tool for wildlife management. There are also a lot of people who feel that the wolf conservation management plan is an acceptable way of doing things.

Can the Minister tell us clearly when he will adopt the wolf conservation management plan, if he is using it to the letter, as he says he is?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: I have made it very plain that it will be up for review in 1995. I presume that is when we will have the new one, on which everyone in the Yukon will be consulted, particularly the First Nations, who were not consulted before. We will then have a plan, which will probably be adopted.

Question re: Wolf control program

Mr. Harding: What a bunch of excuses from this Minister. He is flopping all over the place. He first said that the wolf conservation management plan would be subjected to CYI consultation, which was done. He is now saying in 1995. We do not know where this Minister is going.

The Fish and Wildlife Management Board made recommendations about the moose harvest, which were rejected by the Minister. What are the plans for this next hunting season, regarding moose harvest in the area of the wolf kill?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: There is a meeting being held in the area at the present time. When they decide, and come back to me with recommendations, we will look at them.

Mr. Harding: A survey was done in the winter of 1992 regarding the wolf kill program in the Aishihik area and the survey found that the year’s wolf population was reduced by about 40 percent - and that was before the aerial wolf program got underway. Could the Minister tell us how the changes in the number of wolves in the area will affect this year’s wolf kill?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: The wolves will be counted again before the predation control begins.

Mr. Harding: If the number of wolves in the area is not known, how can the government undertake an aerial wolf kill? Will they have anything specific in terms of hard numbers before they start shooting the wolves this year?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: I thought I said that they will be counting the wolves to see exactly how many more should be taken out. We plan to keep approximately 35 in the area.

Question re: Consultation

Ms. Moorcroft: I have a question for the same Minister. The Minister described consultation as having to go around and knock on everyone’s door to ask their opinion. Perhaps the Minister is confusing consultation with an election campaign. Consultation does not happen once every four years, as some of the Members opposite have claimed. I would like to ask the Minister, when he talks to the people in his department about getting the public’s opinion on issues that they are dealing with, just exactly what does he means by consultation?

Hon. Mr. Brewster: It is a simple fact that they go out and talk to the people. Quite frankly, we have met with the First Nations more than that side ever did. We have one committee that does nothing but go around and listen to them and talk with them to try and figure out how we can make things work together.

Ms. Moorcroft: If the Minister is engaging in such a productive dialogue with the First Nations, I will ask why so many of their decisions seem to be unpopular in that quarter? The Minister could perhaps respond to whether he would ask his Cabinet colleagues to do the same consultation that he promotes. The Minister of Education announced his education review and gave the people only one week to respond; is this the kind of thing we can expect from the Minister of Renewable Resources?

Hon. Mr. Phillips: We suggested to people that they return the review questionnaires within a week. We are not going to disqualify those that arrive late. We tried to urge people to fill it out as soon as possible and get it back to us. I think a week is a reasonable time for many people. Others will take longer and I suspect they will drift in all through the month of December. I have been accused by the side opposite of the plan being delayed, and now they are accusing me or hurrying it up - I wish they would make up their mind.

Ms. Moorcroft: I did have a question for the Minister of Renewable Resources. I have made the representation that I think a week is a short period of time for consultation, and the Minister of Education just indicated that his department will accept responses up to the end of December. That was not indicated to the public.

Can the Minister of Renewable Resources tell me if the government’s plans to consult with Yukoners about policy issues such as the forestry transfer will take place in less than a week or whether more than a week would be allowed for that.

Hon. Mr. Brewster: We will do it week by week and take as long as we have to.

Question re: Economic Development Agreement

Mrs. Firth: I have some questions for the Minister responsible for Economic Development, about the consultant’s report on the Economic Development Agreement.

According to the subagreements to the agreement, one of the responsibilities of the management committee is, “to implement a communications strategy to serve the information requirements of the public and to encourage public awareness of the activities”. I would like to ask the Minister why he was not aware of these responsibilities.

Hon. Mr. Devries: This was one of the issues that came up as a result of the consultant’s report. The management committee decides which projects are awarded, and we have embarked on an advertising campaign to try to make the public and the business sectors aware of the programs that are available.

Mrs. Firth: Obviously the Minister was not aware, because it is written in the subagreement of the Economic Development Agreement.

The Minister spent $11,680 of the taxpayers’ money to have a consultant tell his department to do its job. It is part of its job, according to the subagreement. Why did the Minister spend $11,680 for four recommendations when it was part of the department’s job all along?

Hon. Mr. Devries: Again, the uptake on the program was low. Through the consultant’s study, we found that people were not as informed about the program as we expected. They knew about the program and the economic development officers, but perhaps they were not promoting it in the proper manner. We have looked at all that. The uptake has increased substantially in the last while. Obviously, we have learned some very important lessons from this consultant’s report.

Mrs. Firth: It cost us $11,680 for the Minister to learn what his department is supposed to be doing. No wonder he did not want to give this to us; it is an embarrassment.

Three of the recommendations relate directly to the responsibilities in communication in the subagreement. The third recommendation says to follow up on the client leads developed through this study. Can the Minister stand up and tell us what that means?

Hon. Mr. Devries: What seemed to be happening in the past - and again, this is since the money was first given to government several years ago - was that the follow-through was not done properly. These are all things that we have rectified in the last year. The program is working much better now.

It is not necessarily this Minister that was not following things to a T; it could have been the previous Minister. It is just that I feel we have it under control now. That is what this is all about.

Question re: Economic Development Agreement

Mrs. Firth: I want to follow up with the same Minister on the same issue.

On behalf of Yukon taxpayers, I have a great deal of concern about this Minister who does not know what the responsibility of his officials are, does not know how many economic development officers we have in the Yukon, does not know how much money is being spent on economic development officers and who had to pay a consultant almost $12,000 to tell the Minister to tell his officials to do their jobs. I find that to be of great concern.

There are some ads being put in the paper as a result of these recommendations. I call them the “Does it all seem a puzzle to you?” ads. “If you are puzzled...” I would like to ask the Minister how much taxpayers are paying for this new ad campaign to replace the officials doing their job in his department?

Hon. Mr. Devries: Obviously, the Member does not know what she is talking about. One moment she says we are not promoting the product properly. When we attempt to promote the product properly, she has all kinds of problems with that. She cannot have it both ways.

Mrs. Firth: I would suggest to the Minister that he is in no position to stand up and criticize any other Member of this House about their knowledge about anything.

The Minister thinks it is funny. My constituents do not think this is funny at all, and I do not think people in the gallery, who are having money taken out of their pocket by this government every day, think it is funny - nor do the other Canadians who are sending their money here to support us think it is funny.

Speaker: The supplementary question.

Mrs. Firth: The Minister has stood up in this House and told us that the department is now repriorizing the way they do things as a result of these recommendations, and these recommendations are now very successful. I want him to stand here today and tell us specifically how they are doing that and what they are doing.

Hon. Mr. Devries: Basically, all the EDA programs are included in this ad. When I smile or look like I am grinning, it is just a nervous twitch I have on my face, similar to talking out of the side of one’s mouth. I cannot do anything about it; it is something I was born with.

I am willing to agree. There were some problems in the department, and I feel I have resolved many of those problems. It is an ongoing process that all Ministers have to look at. Obviously, the Member does not seem to think that we always have to keep on top of things and try to keep things moving along. That is what we are doing - we are trying to improve the service we deliver to the public, and I commend the department on how things have improved in the past year.

Mrs. Firth: The Minister has not improved anything. I hate to be the one to give him that bad news. The Minister has not improved anything. I would like the Minister to tell us how much this ad campaign is costing us and how much we are spending as a result of those recommendations. I want him to tell us, give us that figure right now this afternoon.

Hon. Mr. Devries: I invite the Member to make an application for a loan, to see if things have improved. That is the only way she would ever know. From the business people I have spoken to, they feel that things have improved substantially in the department, and I will prepare a legislative return on the costs of the ad campaign.

Question re: Business incentive policy

Mr. McDonald: As much as I would like to follow up on that, I have another question for the same Minister.

The Government Services strategic plan commits the government to develop contract regulations that give the Yukon contractors a preference in bidding on government contracts. The Minister has said that he is not going to review the contract regulations because they appear to work fine right now.

Can the Minister tell us who speaks for the government? Is it the Minister, or is it the strategic plan?

Hon. Mr. Devries: As far as reviewing the contract regulations, I do not recall I said they were working fine. Right now, we are embarking on a review of those regulations.

Mr. McDonald: The Minister had said they were not going to be changing the contract regulations. That is a reversal of their position and it is noteworthy.

How does the government plan to give Yukon contractors a preference? Does the Minister feel that is in contravention of the statements made by the Government Leader that they are seeking a removal of interprovincial trade barriers, which also affects this territory?

Hon. Mr. Devries: In the first place, it is my understanding that there is a clause in the agreement being worked out on intergovernmental trade, giving us, under special circumstances, depending on economic conditions and First Nations, some flexibility in giving preference to Yukon contractors.

Presently, we are trying to make contracts of a size so that Yukon contractors have a better opportunity to bid on them. It is not like we have to necessarily give them preference, but we are doing several things to ensure that they are given fair opportunity to bid on these contracts.

Mr. McDonald: I am having a very difficult time understanding where the Minister is coming from. He is saying that the government does not necessarily have to give Yukon contractors a preference, but the Department of Government Services strategic plan says, “develop fair and realistic contract regulations which give Yukon contractors a preference”.

Is there or is there not a preference? What is the government doing?

Hon. Mr. Devries: It is a strategic plan. Down the road, in 1993-94 or 1994-95, if we decide, that could come up. However, presently, we do not feel that Yukon contractors need a preference, because we have seen Yukon contractors get jobs in the Antarctic, we have seen them bid on projects in Belize, and we have seen them bid on various projects around the country.

Obviously, Yukon contractors are in a position where they are being very competitive. By the same token, if, for instance, we start seeing a reversal of that trend, we have given ourselves the option in the strategic plan to show some favouritism toward Yukon contractors.

Question re: Business incentive policy

Mr. McDonald: This is absolutely ridiculous. Given the current economic circumstances we are operating under, given everything the government knows about the contracting community in this territory, the number one priority for Government Services in diversifying the economy is to give Yukon contractors a preference. The Minister now stands up and says that Yukon contractors do not need any preference in bidding on government contracts.

What is going on?

Hon. Mr. Devries: Obviously, the Member is deaf; the strategic plan is a two-year plan for Government Services. If we see a reversal of a trend we have to leave ourselves some options.

If we said that we are not going to give Yukon contractors preference, and one year down the road we see more outside contractors come in, we have to have some flexibility in our program.

We are certainly not going to run over to Winnipeg and Calgary and say “look at the jobs that we have in the Yukon - come on up”, as the previous administration did.

Mr. McDonald: I would ask the Minister to recall that the call for the government to advertise outside of the territory was made by the previous Leader of the Yukon Party, the then Member for Porter Creek East.

The question is, what were the economic circumstances that caused this strategic plan to be developed? The number one priority is not applicable to the current economic circumstances. Are the other priorities applicable to the current economic circumstances or does there have to be a different set of economic circumstances to justify any of the other circumstances? What is the purpose of this strategic plan?

Hon. Mr. Devries: The strategic plan is a direction in which Government Services want to move, with a certain degree of flexibility to address the changing economic needs that could exist within the Yukon in the coming year or two.

Mr. McDonald: What the Minister is saying is that the government department wants enormous flexibility because if circumstances change beyond what we know today, and if the Yukon contractors cannot compete outside, and if the economic activity in territory deteriorates even further, they will then give Yukon contractors a preference. Why would they put that as a number one priority in the strategic plan now? Knowing what they know about Yukon contractors and knowing what they know about the Yukon economy, why would they make us all believe that they are moving in this particular direction? Why would the Minister state now that they are reviewing the contract regulations, after they claimed that they were not reviewing them? What is the Minister’s position on this? Does he have a consistent position?

Hon. Mr. Devries: The Member is only playing games and we all know that. As the Member knows, and I am sure he has been in this department before, there is a contract review committee. There have been a few complaints in the past year. Contract regulations are an ongoing process. They have to be reviewed on a regular basis as new problems arise and economic needs change. Right now, we recognize that there is a high unemployment situation and we are going to do everything that we possibly can under the restricted framework that we have to work in to ensure that Yukon contractors get jobs. If the Members have a problem with that, please say so.

Question re: Business incentive policy

Mr. McDonald: I am having a whole lot of problems with the Minister’s entire approach - not only to strategic planning, but understanding the Yukon economy and understanding the contractor situation in the territory. We were in this Legislature for literally years during which every Member hung on to the commitments of the departmental Minister about whether or not the contract regulations were going to be reviewed. If the Minister said they were going to be reviewed, then everyone wanted to know how. This Minister suggests that they may or may not be reviewed at any time, things are all fluid and everything is flexible. I would like to ask the Minister this: is the government going to give Yukon contractors preference?

Hon. Mr. Devries: Our feeling is that trying to get the contracts to a size Yukon contractors have the ability to bid on is the route we are going in right now. I am not going to say that we are going to give them a 10-percent bid preferential, or anything like that. That is not the intention at this point.

Mr. McDonald: I hope people understand that there is no gamesmanship being played here, at least on this side. Clearly, Yukon contractors care deeply about contract regulations. A lot of workers in this territory absolutely depend on government rules of tendering and when the government says that they are going to give Yukon contractors a preference and the Minister says that if all the economic circumstances change they might, people care about that kind of statement.

The Minister has said that splitting government contracts is something that they are also doing. That is priority number three. I am still on priority number one. Is the government going to give Yukon contractors a preference?

Hon. Mr. Devries: Let us take an example. Say a tender went out and that several parties bid on it, one from outside Yukon and one from inside Yukon, Iand they were very close. It would be a Cabinet decision to accept the second bid over the lowest one. In that sense, there are options of preference.

Mr. McDonald: That is an incredible statement, because number two priority is to reintroduce the principle that the low bidder will be awarded government contracts.

I do not know where to go from here. Under what circumstances will the government give Yukon contractors a preference? What specific rules will they be telling outside contractors that they must play by so that they will know that perhaps, under certain circumstances, low bidder may not be accepted - that there will be Yukon preference?

Hon. Mr. Devries: I knew that question was going to come up. I agree; it is a serious matter. An important thing is the fact that I believe it was 88 percent of all goods and services and all contracts this year within government that went to Yukon contractors. I believe we are on the right track. I know that once in a while when a document like this is put out - this is why we are always very reluctant to do it - somebody always finds a contradiction or something in it.

Basically, we are going to be doing everything possible to ensure that Yukoners work on government jobs within the Yukon, and that is about all I can say.

Speaker: Time for Question Period has now lapsed.

Notice of Opposition Members’ Business

Mr. McDonald: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.2(3), I would like to identify the item the Official Opposition wishes to call on Wednesday, December 1, 1993. It is Motion No. 50, standing in the name of the Leader of the Official Opposition.

Speaker: We will now proceed to Orders of the Day.


Hon. Mr. Phillips: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.

Motion agreed to

Speaker leaves the Chair


Chair: I now call Committee of the Whole to order. Is it the wish of the Members to take a brief recess at this time?

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: We will take a brief recess.


Chair:  I will now call Committee of the Whole to order.

Bill No. 11 - Second Appropriation Act, 1993-94 - continued

Community and Transportation Services - continued

On Hazardous Waste, Storage - continued

Mr. Penikett: I would like to continue the conversation we were having earlier with the Minister about the plans for dealing with the waste oil situation. I understood the Minister to say in Question Period that there will be an announcement coming in a matter of hours - or soon - from the municipality. I would be curious to know whether, among the range of options that are being discussed with the city, if there is a possibility of the municipality reopening their pit, notwithstanding their concern about the continued use of an unlined container and the fear of the city being backed into a role as a regional landfill or dump site against their wishes. Without disclosing confidences that may exist between the city and the Minister, is he willing to elaborate a bit on the range of options he is looking at?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I do not think that the unlined waste oil pit that has been used for a number of years is being considered. As the Member opposite is aware, the pit is not lined and there is a possibility of contamination of water courses. Using that existing pit again is not in the cards.

Mr. Penikett: I thank the Minister for that answer. Given that he conceded earlier that there is probably 40,000 gallons of waste oil in town with no place to go, could the Minister indicate whether he is considering alternate storage facilities, or some additional contribution from the territorial government to the cost of transporting the non-contaminated oil to some other location or at least to the south?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: As I stated in Question Period, there will be a joint announcement between the city and the territorial government. I really do not want to usurp the announcement that will be forthcoming; however, we will be exploring many options.

Mr. Penikett: It is good that the Minister is exploring many options with the city, and I do not want to usurp any announcement that the Minister may want to make, except I would point out to him that there is an old constitutional obligation for a Minister to make an announcement first in the House, when the House is sitting. That is the reason I am asking the question.

I do not want to pre-judge the conclusions of the meetings with the city, but since Community and Transportation Services has, to this point, essentially offered a contribution of $4,200, or money in that order of magnitude, toward the one shipment, since much larger sums would be needed to ship quantities as large as 40,000 gallons. I want to find out if the Minister is open to the possibility of YTG making further contributions, or if he is looking at some kind of municipal private sector solution. I would like to know the range of options, because we are still on this line in the supplementary for the current year.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: There is a need for some sort of a short-term solution to the existing problem. There is a need for probably a mid-term initiative and then a long-term, overall solution.

The options available and the solutions for the three terms are many. We will be exploring all of them in the very near future.

Mr. Penikett: I am sorry to be so persistent, but I must press the Minister on one point, since we are dealing with the current year’s budget.

Is the Minister open to the possibility that the territorial government contribute toward addressing the short-term problem - transportation - additional expenditures or not?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: That was certainly one of the items under discussion this morning. The option is there. I have been, and will be, receptive to the possibility.

Mr. Penikett: In the event that only a proportion of the 40,000 gallons of waste oil that we believe now exists in the city is going to be shipped south before the winter gets much colder, does the territorial government have any alternate storage facilities available to it?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: My understanding is that we do not have any alternate facilities but there are people who do have alternate facilities and we may explore that.

Mr. Penikett: I understand from the Minister’s comment that there is a possibility that the territorial government might, under some circumstances, assist or subsidize someone in the private sector to store this waste for a period. I would be interested to hear more about that. Would the Minister agree that in respect to some of the other private sector options for dealing with this problem in the mid to long term, that almost every one of those serious options requires a regulatory base to give some confidence to the private sector people that there are some standards and rules under which they will be able to operate and that no one operator will be disadvantaged by someone else operating according to a different set of rules?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I do not think there is any question about the need for a set of regulations on the handling, storage and disposal of the used oil.

Mr. Penikett: Is the Minister contemplating in those regulations some rules or a separate set of regulations to deal with the unique problem of contaminated oil wastes in this jurisdiction?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: My understanding is that contaminated oil will be dealt with under special-waste regulations, and the used oil will be dealt with under the waste oil regulations.

Mr. Penikett: At this time, is the Minister prepared to make a definitive statement as to the government’s intentions with respect to both a special-waste facility and a special-waste program?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I am not prepared to make a definitive statement respecting the special-waste facility at this time, but Cabinet will be considering options in the very near future.

Mr. Penikett: When may we expect a decision from the Cabinet on that question? Would the Minister indicate to the Committee something in the nature of the recommendations he will be making to the Cabinet on the question?

IHon. Mr. Fisher: I expect that there will be documentation for my perusal and to take to Cabinet within a month or so. At this time, I am not prepared to make any recommendations, one way or the other.

Mr. Penikett: Might I be so indiscreet as to ask whether the Minister has made up his own mind about the direction he is going to propose?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: When I was first elected to this office, I was under a somewhat mistaken impression about the amount of special waste that has accumulated in the Yukon, as well as the amount that came in and had to be dealt with after it was used, or partially used. I have since found out that there actually has not been an inventory made of what is here. The amount that it was thought could be collected right off the bat in one collection turned out to be about half of what was anticipated.

The first thing that needs to be done is to get a better handle on how much there is. I have some pretty strong opinions on it, but those opinions have been changing somewhat because of the quantity. I do not believe that I know the quantity we are actually dealing with, and I am not sure that anyone does, at this point in time. That is one of the first things we have to determine to a little greater extent than has been determined in the past - exactly the amount of special waste we are dealing with.

Mr. Penikett: The Minister is, of course, teasing us delightfully. Is he willing at all, even though his opinions have been changing, to indicate anything of the colour or flavour of his opinion on this subject before I put the matter to rest?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The Member opposite is much better at this type of debate than I am and he is pushing me into a little bit of a trap here, and I am probably going along quite nicely and probably doing exactly what he wants me to do, which is fair enough. I will learn over time.

I believe that, because technology is changing - for instance, just in the used oil situation, there are many, many ways that used oil can be dealt with and shipping to a refinery in the south may not necessarily be the best form of it. The other thing I am finding out is that a lot of the special wastes we collect and ship south somewhere is ending up in landfills, and I do not know whether we are doing anything for the environment by actually sending them to somebody else and letting them worry about it. There is more and more recycling - not necessarily recycling but reusing - of many, many materials, but we are still on the threshold of the whole special-waste problem and solutions to the problem. That is why my opinions have changed somewhat since I have learned more about it, and I would not want to express those opinions too strongly at this point.

Mr. Penikett: I thank the Minister for his answer. I want to assure him that I have no trap planned. There is no hole in the ground with wire across the trail. This is not a carrot-and-stick situation. All I am really offering is the carrot. I would like to place the Minister in a certain direction, but I have no confidence in my ability to do that. I am going to try anyway, but there is no trap.

Let me ask the Minister this: one of the things I found fascinating about the meeting yesterday with the people who are dealing with this situation - and a number of them, the Minister will recognize, are in a crisis situation because they cannot continue their operations unless they can find a way to dispose of their waste oil products - is that a number of them said that some kind of sensible funding arrangements would have to be made, not just for this temporary problem, but for the long term.

One gentleman who is in the waste-management business proposed some kind of green tax; others said there should be some kind of charge made when certain oil products are sold so that there is enough of a fund to pay for the waste problem we all contribute to. This is something akin to the principle on which the financially viable part of the recycling program works - the pop cans and beer bottles. I do not know if the Minister has thought about that part of the problem very much.

I am wondering if I can make a representation - this is the carrot part - if the Minister might be willing to make the case with his colleagues at the Cabinet table that some of the revenue that comes from the fuel tax increases that were just passed in the last budget might be dedicated, on an ongoing basis, to addressing what is going to become an increasingly serious environmental problem - not just here, but elsewhere. The Minister talked about the problem of sending oil waste to someone else’s landfill. I quite agree that that is an environmentally irresponsible thing to do and does not contribute anything to the global environmental problem. I do believe that if we can address these things at home, we should. If we can reuse and recycle here, all the better.

I understand that the economics of recycling here, with our small community and long-distance transportation, are not as attractive here as they may be elsewhere and are certainly not as good as in southern cities. I remember the early discussions about this, but I know the territorial government is at least burning its own waste oil, or a large part of it, and is using it sensibly. As long as that oil is not contaminated, there may not be a problem of other people availing themselves of that option.

Nonetheless, even if we get the regulations in place and get all private sector options about recycling and reusing, there is inevitably going to be a continuing problem of some waste oil products.

When we talk about the scale of this problem, this may be the only jurisdiction that I know of where, according to one stats report I saw one year, we had almost as many, or about the same number, of licenced motor vehicles as we had people. There cannot be many jurisdictions in the world like that. If you want to get a sense of the scale of problem, it is fairly large for the size of our community.

I would make the case that, rather than doing what people used to do, which is to pour it on the ground, store it away or flush it down the toilet or whatever, that we have a collective responsibility here. To undertake that responsibility is going to have some associated costs. Perhaps we should be making the decision now to dedicate some of the increased revenue from the increased fuel taxes toward the purpose of dealing with oil waste from an activity associated with transportation - fuel oil changes and so forth.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I agree that the problem will be ongoing and that we will have to deal with the disposal of special wastes. I think that the disposal methods will change as time goes on, as they find more uses and better methods. Whether it will become more or less expensive, I am not sure.

There was a question about the disposal of contaminated oils. I think the waste oil disposal problem will be one of the easier ones to find a long-term solution to. There are scrubbers, I suppose they could be called. They clean the oil by taking out the metals, water, anti-freeze and such. Apparently, these things are relatively cheap. There are small refineries that can be actually mounted on a high-boy of some sort that can turn waste oil into about a number two diesel, or a bunker fuel.

I think that the waste oil, in the long term, will be one of our lesser problems. Solvents, household products, body shop and mining products are going to become a bit of a problem.

On the question about whether we should take a percentage of the fuel tax to cover these costs, I believe it is better to have an item in the operation and maintenance budget, because the costs may increase or decrease. If one ties the cost to a percentage of the fuel tax, or something else, there is a tendency to use extra funds on some kind of wonderful activities or inventions; if there is not enough money the job does not get done. I would like to see it as a line item in the operation and maintenance budget, and I think that I can ensure the Member opposite that there will be probably a request in the next operation and maintenance budget for it. I hope that the Members will support me on it.

Mr. Penikett: One of the problems with shipping waste oil south is that some of the plants to which it is destined want assurances that there is no contaminated product contained in the batch that is shipped to them. If the shipment is contaminated it compromises their operation and we could put ourselves at risk by having the receiver refuse the shipment.

Since the Minister has talked about contaminated products, I want to ask the Minister about his thinking about who should be responsible for testing them before they are shipped, who should pay for the testing - if the government chooses not to pay for it - and how the Minister feels this will be managed by the Department of Community and Transportation Services. I understand that federal regulations do not permit the blending of contaminated oil with non-contaminated oil - in other words, the diluting of the contaminated oil product. In other words, you cannot reduce the incidence of PCBs or metal wastes in a batch by mixing it with some clean product.

Could the Minister comment on those three issues?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I am not sure what the federal regulations say about diluting oil - I think there would be an ethical question there. However, I think I mentioned during Question Period that if there are fewer than 50 parts per million it would be accepted as waste oil and it does not contaminate the whole load to a PCB classification.

I am not sure what the federal regulations say on this, but I previously understood that if there are fewer than 50 parts per million, it would be considered as a waste oil product.

If anyone added PCB-contaminated oil to a load of oil to get it out of the territory, I think there would be an ethical question there. I do not know what would happen to that person if he were caught doing it.

The second part of the question was in respect to testing. Right now, for commercial operators, it will be their responsibility. For household stuff that goes to Raven Recycling, I expect there will be a place for government to look after the testing. However, commercial generators will be responsible for their own product.

Mr. Cable: Is it fair to say that most of the waste oil we have been talking about for the past couple of days in the House is crank case engine oil?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Yes, I believe that is the case. It is from regular oil changes for cars. There is also some from Yukon Electrical’s diesel generators, and such. Generally, though, it is crank case oil.

Mr. Cable: Yesterday, when the Minister was being questioned during Question Period, I got the impression that, if the oil is changed in a municipality by a service station operator, it is the municipality’s problem. Is that the Minister’s view, or am I putting words in his mouth?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: That is certainly my view. It has also been discussed at the several meetings that have been held. It has always been considered a municipal responsibility.

Mr. Cable: Is there, in the Minister’s view, any obligation on the part of the municipality to deal with it? This may venture into a legal opinion, and perhaps the Minister has obtained a legal opinion. Does the municipality have to deal with a crank case oil disposal problem?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The Municipal Act is a permissive piece of legislation in most cases. Dealing with garbage of any type, the municipality does not have to do it. It is not a “shall”; it is a “may”. The Member opposite is a legal person so maybe he can take it from there.

Mr. Cable: The point I am leading up to is that, for example, a crank case does not have any place or residence, as a service station does, so the people who come into town, to the City of Whitehorse, for example, to get their oil changed, may not reside here. Is there not, in the Minister’s view, some overriding territorial government obligation to deal with the problem?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Tourists come into Whitehorse in the summertime and dump their garbage. The city and the government have receptacles all over the place for those people to dispose of their garbage. Is the city going to say it is not responsible for tourists’ garbage, and it is not responsible for the oil changes? The people at the service station are taxpayers of the city, so I would not agree with the argument the Member opposite is formulating. I believe the waste oil from an oil change, regardless of where the car comes from - whether New Brunswick, Texas or Carmacks - is the responsibility of the municipality.

Mr. Cable: I take it that, for the municipality to be fair to its taxpayers, it should, in the Minister’s view, from the questions I asked yesterday and the media reports, attempt to collect the cost of waste disposal on a user-fee basis? Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: That is one way they could do it. They could charge a fee for service to the service station or add it into the general tax base or have it strictly commercial - there are many ways for them to collect it.

Mr. Cable: Does the Minister see any role for the territorial government, outside of enacting regulations governing the disposal of waste oil?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I want to be careful as I do not want to usurp information that we are currently working on with the City of Whitehorse. I think there is a short-term problem that needs to be dealt with. I think in the long term, the large generators of the product - and that would include service stations, the electrical company, large trucking firms and mines - have a responsibility and that is where I would like to see it sit.

Mr. Cable: I have one final question. The municipalities - for example, the City of Whitehorse - have attempted to discourage people from outside the municipality dumping garbage, particularly in the tourist disposal units. Let us say that the City of Whitehorse takes the posture, which they are entitled to do, that someone outside the city cannot come in and deposit their waste oil at a service station. How would the Minister see people outside the municipality disposing of their oil - just dumping it on the ground?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The people living outside of a municipality are the responsibility of the Yukon government in this situation. I would expect that we would have a responsibility there. Whether they use facilities that the municipality sets up or something else, we have a responsibility and we will fulfill it one way or the other.

Mr. Cable: I should get a clearer signal from the Minister because I think he has given me two different answers. If the oil is changed within the municipality from a source derived from outside of it, does the Minister recognize that as a territorial government responsibility?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: No, I do not. If I drove into the city, parked outside of the government building and changed the oil in my car, it should be a territorial government responsibility. However, if I bring my car into a garage or a fellow from Texas brings his car into a garage and has his oil changed, it is the service station’s responsibility, because they have sold a product, and they must deal with the waste. Whether it is someone from just outside of town or from a long distance, I do not see the difference, but if the people just outside of the community change their own oil or it is a service station outside the community, then they would have to pay someone to dispose of it. If I were to bring my four litres of oil in, the Yukon government would have to take on some sort of responsibility - which we will do through the Raven Recycling Centre.

Mr. Joe: We are talking about waste clean-up. I want to know who is responsible. Is the YTG responsible for my riding, like Mayo?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I am not sure if I heard the question of the Member opposite. If he was asking if the territorial government would be responsible for the generation of waste in Mayo, then the answer is that I do not believe that it should be because Mayo, although smaller, is a municipality similar to the City of Whitehorse.

Mr. Joe: There is a situation in Mayo that I would like to question the Minister about. There are over 200 barrels of gas, oil and diesel fuel in Mayo that need to be cleaned up. A company from Dawson was given the contract to clean up the area. They did this, but then they took good gas and diesel fuel back to Dawson, which could have been put to use by the people of Mayo. Could the Minister tell us why this happened?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I am not sure if I can answer this completely. My understanding is that the federal government did a major clean-up of many of the old mining camps, airstrips and lakes where there had been exploration camps, and that sort of thing. They contracted with various people around the territory. They hauled several drums of gas, diesel fuel, and so on, out to a central area. It may very well be that one of those areas was Mayo. Is this what we are talking about?

My understanding is that various contractors were to bring this out and dispose of it, in whatever manner they chose. I do not really know the exact situation in Mayo that the Member is referring to, but it sounds like the contractor chose to take the drums to Dawson or some other place.

Mr. Joe: My reason for asking the question is that people in Mayo are desperate for jobs. Mayo should have been given the chance to perform the clean-up in the area. We have people living in Mayo with experience in mine sites - for instance the Bonnet Plume area and Wind River. These people have lived in these areas and are familiar with it.

People complained to me last year about not getting any jobs. Maybe next time the government could at least contact the people in Mayo.

Also, were the people in Mayo asked if they could use this gas?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I empathize with the Member opposite. From my understanding, they were all federal contracts, so we did not have much to do with them. If that type of contract comes up again, we can certainly make representation to use more local people, if that did not happen.

Ms. Moorcroft: I would also like to make it clear to the Minister that we are not trying to push him into a trap. I am asking questions to seek information, and to have the government explain its priorities, to give us the government’s direction on the issues; right now, on the issue of hazardous-waste storage and, in particular, the treatment of waste oil.

We were just posing the question about what the Minister thought should be done with waste oil that was generated outside city limits. I would like to bring to the Minister’s attention that, as he said, a lot of waste oil is generated outside city limits. There are service stations in the Mount Lorne riding; there are property owners with a number of vehicles, who may have a home-based business or a small commercial fleet.

My concern is that a lot of waste oil ends up in the local dumps - the Marsh Lake dump, the Tagish dump, the Carcross Road dump. One of the concerns, outside of the waste that is generated in that area, is that, when the city dump is no longer accepting oil at all, people have to have somewhere to put it. At least one of the service stations in town is now giving the used oil in containers to the customers to take home with them. If that does not go out in the household waste and end up in the municipal landfill, it may end up in one of the dumps that are outside the city limits, or in the dumpsters at the top of the South Access Road or out by the Mayo Road turnoff.

This cannot be neatly separated into a municipal issue and a territorial issue. It is something we have to work on together.

Would the Minister agree that the Government of Yukon should have a commitment to environmental conservation in the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Yes, I think the Yukon government should have a commitment to environmental conservation in the Yukon.

Ms. Moorcroft: Does the Minister also recognize that the Government of Yukon is the trustee of the public trust and is therefore responsible for the protection of the collective interests of the people of the Yukon and the quality of the natural environment?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I do not have any argument with that either.

Ms. Moorcroft: Can the Minister just confirm for me, as we have been discussing this issue in Question Period for the last couple of days and for quite a while in Committee just now, what the expectation is for the content of the waste-oil regulations that will be coming forward, and when they will be coming forward?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I think I did indicate earlier that I hoped to be able to review them and take them to Cabinet early in the new year.

Ms. Moorcroft: Has the waste-oil management committee, which includes industry representatives and I believe representation from the Recycling Society and conservation groups, the municipal government and the Yukon government, arrived at a general list of what they want to see included in those waste-oil regulations?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Yes. My understanding is that the committee has been working on the regulations and that now they are just being more or less being drafted and put into legal language. I think there was one final item that they had to review and it was something to do with biomedical wastes. I believe they are either reviewing it now or have already reviewed it.

Ms. Moorcroft: Is the issue of biomedical waste not already resolved, in that there was a contract let this week for the hospital to have an incinerator for biomedical waste?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: It is the actual regulation that we are dealing with.

Chair: Is it the wish of the Members to take a brief recess at this time?

Some Hon. Member: Agreed.


Ms. Moorcroft: Since the Minister has now indicated that he is about to proclaim regulations under the Environment Act, can we take it from that that he now supports the Environment Act?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I am not at all familiar with all of the details of the Environment Act.

Ms. Moorcroft: Sometimes, when you start out asking what you think will be a simple question that you can get a simple answer to, it opens up a line of debate that might take longer than the Minister would like, so I will just repeat the question. The Minister has indicated that he supports some of the principles that are outlined in the preamble of the Environment Act; he has indicated that they are working on creating regulations pursuant to the Environment Act. Does the Minister support the Environment Act?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: As I have indicated, I am not familiar with all of the sections of the Environment Act, and so I am not going to reply to that part of the question at this time.

Ms. Moorcroft: When the Minister says things like they will “fulfill their responsibility one way or another”, we would like to know what way they will fulfill their responsibilities. When the Minister says that he is not certain whether or not he supports the Environment Act, I will try asking him some more specific questions.

The way of life of the people of the Yukon is founded on an economic, cultural, aesthetic and spiritual relationship with the environment. This relationship is dependent on respect for, and protection of, the resources of the Yukon. Does the Minister believe that we should recognize, respect and protect the resources of the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Naturally, I feel that we should respect the resources of the Yukon.

Ms. Moorcroft: Does the Minister recognize that long-term economic prosperity is dependent upon wise management of the environment?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I do not see where the line of questioning is going. The Member opposite did indicate to me earlier that they are not pushing me into a trap, but they are certainly trying to lead me into some kind of trap. I am not even sure what kind of a trap it is.

I am not the Minister of Renewable Resources, I am not familiar with the act, and it is quite obvious that the Member opposite is trying to lead me into some kind of a trap. I would prefer to talk about special waste, or whatever, but I am not prepared to speak on the Environment Act. I am not familiar with it.

Ms. Moorcroft: I think the Minister is being paranoid. I am not attempting to lead the Minister into a trap in any way. I think that the Minister should be prepared to indicate whether or not he, as Minister, and his Cabinet, as government, support the Environment Act.

The only trap is that the preamble of the Environment Act recognizes that long-term economic prosperity is dependent upon wise management of the environment. If the Minister would like to listen to my question, instead of listening to the Government House Leader, perhaps he could tell me whether or not he agrees with that statement.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I will agree with that statement.

Ms. Moorcroft: I do not have any desire to make this difficult for the Minister. I believe we have a responsibility to wisely manage the environment. I believe that the government has a responsibility to see that hazardous waste is disposed of, reused or recycled wherever possible. I also believe there is a responsibility to have the regulations that we have been discussing for the last couple of days brought forward as soon as possible.

I would like to ask the Minister if he can tell us what will be covered in the regulations they are developing. Is it strictly going to deal with waste oil, or other hazardous waste, as well?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The regulations will deal with all types of special wastes.

Ms. Moorcroft: Could the Minister clarify what the issue is regarding biomedical waste? It is my understanding that the new hospital will have an incinerator. Can the Minister explain the situation there?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: My understanding is that these regulations outline how you will deal with biomedical waste. There may very well be biomedical waste other than in the hospital - for instance, in nursing stations throughout the territory.

Hazardous Waste, storage in the amount of $271,000 agreed to

On Solid Waste

Ms. Moorcroft: Could the Minister define solid waste for me and give an explanation and breakdown of the line item?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Solid waste is considered to be any of the garbage in the dump that would not be classified as special waste. I suppose any other types of garbage would be considered solid waste.

The $70,000 is for the abandoned waste metal clean-up; a revote for waste-metal shredder transport vehicle and costs to operate the shredder, as previously planned. The project will not be undertaken now, as the federal government has not yet purchased the metal-shredding machine. When the variance was created, it was felt the shredder would be in the Yukon but, apparently, it is not at this time.

Solid Waste in the amount of $70,000 agreed to

On Planning and Pre-Engineering

Hon. Mr. Fisher: There is an increase of $20,000 for infrastructure research and development, a revote $15,000 to complete engineering work from 1992-93 and $5,000 for additional research and development work required, and a reduction of $7,000 due to less planning assessment work required.

Ms. Moorcroft: Would it be the planning and the engineering area where the department might develop a rural services policy paper?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Not really likely, unless there was a need for an engineer on a committee. Generally, work would be done under the policy and planning branch.

Mr. Cable: This is just to satisfy my own curiosity. You spoke about engineering being involved in the change. What is pre-engineering?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I thank the Member for the question. I have always had some questions of my own about pre-engineering. Essentially the pre-engineering is the conceptual work done before the detailed design and calculations and all that sort of thing. The pre-engineering is more of a conceptual nature.

Planning and Pre-Engineering in the amount of $13,000 agreed to

On Water and Sewer Mains

Ms. Moorcroft: It is my understanding that the Minister and the department are considering or working on a rural services policy paper. I would like to ask the Minister if that is true and if it would cover the area of water and sewer services to areas around the Yukon.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The rural services policy was started some time ago and was laid to rest for a period of time, but the department is now starting to work on it again.

Essentially, the end result of the rural services policy will be that it will deal with water and sewer; it will deal with fire protection; it will deal with basically all of the municipal type of services but for rural areas and rural communities.

Ms. Moorcroft: I have a specific question about an inadequate system of water and sewer in Carmacks. Apparently, there are too many litres of water going through the system for the capacity of the system. With Freegold Road being improved and with potential mining activity in the Carmacks area, has any attention been given to this?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Because Carmacks is a municipality, the provision of water and/or sewer in the Village of Carmacks is their municipal responsibility. If they need some assistance, our municipal engineering people will assist them - in some cases, on a cost for service basis - but it is essentially their responsibility.

Ms. Moorcroft: Certainly, though, in the current year and in the coming year, the Government of the Yukon is largely funding the municipalities in order for them to deliver those services. I think it is important that we recognize that the decision-making process should include both the municipalities and the territorial government, to have efficient and fair discharge of our environmental responsibilities. One of our environmental responsibilities is adequate sewage treatment.

Could the Minister provide a breakdown of this line item?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Twenty thousand dollars is for sewage system improvements in Destruction Bay. The revote of $20,000 is to complete renovations to the sewage force main and to replace parts in the sewage lift station. There is also some engineering work be done. There is $1,800,000 for sewer main pipe replacement in Dawson City. Work is being done through a capital funding agreement with the city.

Water and Sewer Mains in the amount of $1,820,000 agreed to

On Mosquito Control

Ms. Moorcroft: The mosquito is a small pest, but this is a pesky problem. I have only been an MLA for one year, but I have heard a lot from constituents who are adamantly opposed to any mosquito control, because it involves spraying pesticides into the air. I have heard from constituents who want us to find environmentally safe ways of controlling mosquitoes, and I have also heard, very loudly, from people who want the government to come along and get rid of those mosquitoes in their areas. Can the Minister give me a breakdown of what the reduction was, what areas were sprayed for mosquito control, and what areas were not?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The reduction was for the repair of existing mosquito control equipment, rather than having the equipment replaced. I do not have the details about which areas were sprayed and which were not. I could get that for the Member opposite.

Mr. Cable: Could the Minister indicate what chemical was used to kill the mosquitoes?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The last I had heard it was Abate 2-G, but one of the Members opposite advises me that it was a chemical called Vectobac.

Mr. Cable: Is that a bacterial disease treatment or a chemical?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I believe the Vectobac is a bacteria. If the Member opposite would like, I could provide some more detailed information from our engineering people. My knowledge is very limited on the chemical analysis of this stuff.

Mosquito Control in the amount of an underexpenditure of $7,000 agreed to

On Roads and Streets

On Pre-Engineering Roads and Streets

Ms. Moorcroft: The Minister just provided the House with an explanation that pre-engineering is developing a concept ahead of actually engineering the specifics of it. What has the pre-engineering of roads and streets been?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The reduction was planning and assessment priorities, which have been re-established for the remainder of the year.

Ms. Moorcroft: I did not understand the answer. Can the Minister give me an explanation of what the pre-engineering roads and streets is for? Is it to see the Yukon paved over?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I understand that this particular $30,000 was initially for planning and assessment for the roads and streets in unincorporated communities and there was an underexpenditure.

Pre-Engineering Roads and Streets in the amount of an underexpenditure of $13,000 agreed to

On Roads/Streets Upgrade

Ms. Moorcroft: I would like an explanation of the line item. I would also like to know if it includes the amount for work that was done in the Marsh Lake area for putting signs on streets.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I do not have the information on Marsh Lake, but the increase is $13,000 for a community street upgrade in Old Crow being carried out by transportation maintenance forces. There is $22,000 for Yukon Place secondary access - a commitment made to the City of Whitehorse for engineering work. There is $10,000 for miscellaneous road and street improvements. There is $35,000 for the Miles Canyon bridge to upgrade it.

Road/Streets Upgrade in the amount of $80,000 agreed to

On Prior Years’ Adjustments

Ms. Moorcroft: Could the Minister please explain prior years’ adjustments.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: This was a refund from Yukon Electrical for a payment made on Francis Avenue, phase two, which is a subdivision in Watson Lake.

Prior Years’ Adjustments in the amount of an underexpenditure of $80,000 agreed to

Capital Expenditures in the amount of an underexpenditure of $9,331,000 agreed to

On 9-1-1 immplementation - previously stood over

Chair: Now we go back to 911 implementation, which was stood over yesterday.

Ms. Moorcroft: I do have a question on 911. The Minister referred to an automatic display and when someone phoned in to the 911 number that there was an automatic display of the number that they were calling from at the RCMP office, where the central control for 911 will be located. Does this automatic number display give an address identification?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: It is very similar to some of the phones in the government building. It will flash the number of the phone that is dialing in.

Ms. Moorcroft: I understood that it would flash up the number from which the caller was dialing 911. What I am asking is this: does that technology also give an address identification or does the RCMP have access to a system where they can match the number to an address?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The system that the Member opposite is referring to is called the automatic location identification, and that will not be on the system to start. We understand from Northwestel that it will be two or three years before they have the equipment necessary to provide that type of a system. We will start out with what is called ANI, or automatic number identification, and that is what will flash up on the screen.

Ms. Moorcroft: Is there any other basis of information for the RCMP, or whoever is staffing the 911, to use the number identification to match it up to a location? Does Northwestel have a register that can, by telephone number, indicate the address of the caller?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The telephone company has some kind of a system right now, but we will be reviewing that system. We will have to make sure that, whatever number does come up on the system, we are able to manually match it to a location and a person’s name.

Ms. Moorcroft: Could the Minister come back with some more detailed information, rather than going on at length on this now? I would like to know what system Northwestel presently has for making the link between an automatic number identification and an automatic location identification. I would like to know if that system, as it presently stands, will be provided to the 911 service. I would also like clarification on whether automatic location identification equipment will be used two or three years down the road, or sooner, or maybe never.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: One of the problems that Northwestel has right now with the automatic location identification is that on their own records, essentially for just outside Whitehorse, they will have, for example, my house as “house by game farm”. They have to upgrade their records to actually give an identification of “Fisher’s house by game farm”. There has to be some sort of address system created. That will take them some time.

The City of Whitehorse is not bad because, generally, most places have a street address. It is the outlying areas, and just outside the boundaries, where the problem is.

Ms. Moorcroft: I guess that address system is a problem that affects many of us, besides Northwestel. When using the electoral list to go and visit people, one can find that the same road may have three different names, particularly outside the City of Whitehorse limits. That is my concern with the implementation of the 911 service. People on the Cowley Road might be listed under Cowley Road, or under the CCC Road, and the rural areas, particularly in Mount Lorne and Laberge, may not be able to get as good service from the 911 as the city. I look forward to getting further information from the Minister on what they are doing and what the time frame is for improving the location identification for implementing the 911.

Mrs. Firth: Does the Minister have the information ready he promised to bring me?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I have nearly all of it. There is some minor information left to be included in the package. I could not table it this afternoon. I have some made up in a legislative return. We missed the deadline time to do it. There is a bit more information that we should have tomorrow. I could read this into the record, if the Member wants, but it is fairly long.

Mrs. Firth: I would have appreciated the Minister giving it to me, even a few minutes ago, so I could have read it before we debate the line item. He could have given it to me at the break. I would like to see the information before we move on to another department, so I can ask relevant questions.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I just received it at the break, but if we took a break for 10 minutes, I could provide it to the Member opposite now.

Chair: We will take a brief recess.


Chair: I now call Committee of the Whole to order.

Is there further debate?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I was able to provide some of the information to the Member. The rest will be ready this afternoon, and I could either provide it after adjournment or tomorrow.

Mrs. Firth: As soon as the Minister has it ready and available, I would be interested in having it.

The first question I asked was regarding the overall costs of the user fees. I noticed the government is calling it a tariff; it is a user fee. They estimate it at 50 cents per month per line, and the government has said that the estimated capital cost is $200,000 over a 10-year life of the system. When I do a quick calculation of that, over 10 years, using a subscriber membership of 10,000, I come up with a considerably higher number. Could the Minister indicate to me why it is only $200,000 over a 10-year life of the system?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: That is the information that is still to come from the department.

Mrs. Firth: It is fairly relevant information, because it will identify exactly how much people are going to end up paying for it, and I will give the Minister an example. At a 50 cents per month fee, that would be $6 per year per line. Say, for example, it was being done based on 10,000 lines, that would be $60,000 a year in revenue, times 10 years, so it would be over $600,000.

I do not see why telephone subscribers should be required to pay three times what the capital costs of the system are going to be. That is just an example; it could be much higher than that. The information that we still have not received is fairly relevant to the discussion.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I cannot argue numbers and I do not disagree with the Member about her calculations, but there is depreciation on the system and there is maintenance and repairs on the system, which have to be added into the original capital cost, and there may very well be additional amounts.

Mrs. Firth: I would like a better idea of the Minister’s anticipation of what the costs are going to be. I know that Yukoners have agreed to pay for this system, but I do not think that they have agreed to pay just any amount. I think the government has a responsibility to provide us with that information prior to proceeding.

Perhaps the Minister could answer this question: can he tell us why the government decided that the 911 service could not be funded out of general revenue?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The Yukon government will be paying approximately $120,000 per year for that item, because of the operational costs of the system. The government will have to absorb those costs, and we felt that it was only right and fair that the people who benefit from the system should pay a portion of those costs.

Mrs. Firth: It is interesting to see what is right and fair according to this government. We are talking about an initial capital cost of $200,000. I think the government could have easily accommodated Yukoners.

I have no dispute with the argument that perhaps Yukoners could have paid some ongoing costs, but that is not the case here. The government made the decision that this service was not going to be provided out of government revenues, except for the yearly operation and maintenance costs.

The Minister has not said why, other than he thought it was fair that the government pay for some of the costs.

I have raised issues in this House where I thought it would have been fair for other people not to have received huge sums of money that have been paid by this government.

On what principles does the government base their decision?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: For any service that is provided in a municipality, there is a charge. I believe that charging a portion of the cost of the 911 is consistent with our policy of users, or the people who benefit from the service, paying for a portion of the cost, not necessarily all of it.

The 911 is only applicable to Whitehorse and area residents. There are other communities in the territories that pay approximately the same cost for telephone service, and they would not have the benefit of it. I believe that it is a partnership between the government and users of the system. I do not think that we are inconsistent with other jurisdictions. I understand that this is very similar to what Bell Canada is doing in Ontario, and B.C. and Alberta may follow our lead on this.

The principle behind it is fair, although the Member may disagree with me, and that is her prerogative. Because the people in Whitehorse will get a better service, they will pay slightly more than someone outside of the service area who will not have the benefit of that service.

Mrs. Firth: Could the Minister tell us what the Minister’s policy is regarding the formula he has for determining how much contribution communities have to make for their services? As I understand it, what the Minister is saying is that because this service will only be used by Whitehorse, the Whitehorse people will have to pay for it. When there are services in the other communities that are not used by Whitehorse residents, although they often pay to support those services, how does the government determine who pays, when and how much?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: Water and sewer rates are set for each community. The level of service provided to the community is reflected in the community’s tax rate. A community with a higher level of service will, in most cases, pay a higher tax rate than another community with fewer services. I am not sure if this relates to what we are discussing here, but I believe there is a correlation, wherein when someone receives a service that is essentially funded by the government, they should pay at least a portion of the costs.

Mrs. Firth: If a community wanted to implement the 911 number, would they be charged the same rate that the Whitehorse residents will be charged?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: My understanding is that, in the other Yukon communities, 911 service would not be feasible at all because of the very limited number of lines that are there and, if it were put in for whatever reason, the cost, even using this same formula, would probably be very prohibitive for the customers.

Mrs. Firth: If the Minister wanted to provide fair services to the communities, he would have to look at providing that service to the communities, would he not? In that case, he might call on Whitehorse residents to subsidize that service, as has been done in the past with other services. Is that not the case?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: One of the reasons we went to the standardized numbers was so that fire, ambulance, police and so on were standardized throughout the Yukon. Some of the communities indicated that they were not interested in 911 at this time. I do not know whether an actual survey was done, but I do know that some of the communities have indicated that they are not interested in 911 at this time. The other thing is that I do not believe it is even feasible - because of cost, but also because of addresses and that sort of thing.

Mrs. Firth: It remains to be seen what happens in the future after Whitehorse has had a 911 number for some time. I am almost positive that some community might want a 911 number at some time, just as communities have received other services - recreational facilities and services that Whitehorse had. Other communities feel that they, too, are entitled to those kinds of services and facilities, so that will remain for future debates.

I would like to tell the Minister that I am going to be prepared to proceed on, but I am very interested in the information that is going to be coming forward, and I know this will not be the end of the debate about the 911 number. I will have other opportunities to ask the Minister about the service.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I thank the Member for her offer and we will certainly have the remaining information for the Member, either right after session closes today or first thing tomorrow.

Mr. Joe: I would like to know what benefits my community is going to receive. The Minister just told me that we are not going to get benefits from the 911 service.

I attended a meeting in Mayo and people were blaming each other for an emergency call, saying that, “you should have phoned this guy here, you should have phoned that guy.” Everyone was arguing. I think that some sort of emergency number should be in every community. There are many elders in group homes; if something happens it would be nice to have a number to dial in an emergency.

Again, it is a problem of money. The Minister does not tell us how much the program will cost; thousands of dollars or millions of dollars? What is the cost?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: We are estimating the annual ongoing costs to be somewhere between $112,000 and $120,000, which the government will have to pay.

The initial capital cost is $200,000. Added to this are depreciation, maintenance and repairs to the system, together with a profit for Northwestel; we have not received those numbers yet.

I would like to point out to the Member that the 911 service is still only as good as the people answering the phones. When you dial 911, you will get an operator who will phone the fire number, ambulance or police number - whatever service you are asking for. If someone is supposed to be on fire call during the weekend or during the evening and is not there to answer the call on 911, the service will not help. It is only a very quick way to dial during an emergency. The operators are trained to talk to you but, if the people responding to the emergency are not available, the 911 number will not help.

Ms. Moorcroft: I thought that the Minister had indicated, during discussion this week about the 911 number, that the 911 service would be implemented through the RCMP. Could he clarify that? Will the operators be members of the RCMP?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The operators will be hired by the RCMP. I understand that the board will be located in the RCMP station.

Ms. Moorcroft: Could the Minister provide further information about what qualifications the people hired by the RCMP will have? What will the parameters be for dealing with the issue of confidentiality? It certainly raises a number of concerns if, as the Minister has just stated, it is going to depend on the individual operators of the service, who will be changing.

Hon. Mr. Fisher: The staff will be employees of the RCMP. I understand that the staff qualifications, or protocol, is the same all across Canada.

Mr. McDonald: The Member for Tatchun asked the question on the costs associated with the implementation of the system, not in Whitehorse, but in the rural communities. The Minister provided the costs associated with implementation in Whitehorse. I believe the question is that, if one were to transpose the service into a rural community, such as Mayo, what would the total cost be, and what portion of that cost would have to be borne by local users?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I expect that the capital cost would be the same. I do not have those numbers at all. We would have to set up a 24-hour dispatch, so I would expect that the ongoing operations cost would be around the same amount. The problem is addresses, and that sort of thing. I am not sure if it would be feasible in Mayo or Carmacks, for example.

Mr. McDonald: Everywhere there is a 911 service, there is the problem associated with rural residents and identifying addresses. I would suspect that the problem of determining 911 addresses in the Whitehorse area, because of the huge, in Yukon terms, rural proportion of the population that is in and around Whitehorse, would be much more severe than the problem associated with Mayo, which has only 500 residents.

I would ask the Minister if he would be prepared to go to the committee and ask for some more thorough analysis of the specific numbers, so that, when we go to rural communities and they ask for the service, we can give them a more precise estimate of the costs. It seems excessive to me, on the face of it, that there would be $200,000 per community capital costs for the implementation of the service, particularly as some of that service could be centralized. Would the Minister undertake to come back with some more detailed costs, so we could pass them on to people in the rural communities who may be interested?

Hon. Mr. Fisher: I will be happy to ask the committee if they can provide that information.

Ms. Commodore: Thank you. Mr. Chair, in view of the time, I move that you report progress.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. Phillips: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.

Motion agreed to

Speaker resumes the Chair

Speaker: I will now call the House to order.

May the House have a report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole?

Mr. Abel: The Committee of the Whole considered Bill No. 11, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 1993-94, and directed me to report progress on it.

Speaker: You have heard the report of the Chair of the Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?

Some Hon. Member: Agreed.

Speaker: I declare the report carried.

Hon. Mr. Phillips: I move that the House do now adjourn.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.

Motion agreed to

Speaker: This House now stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The House adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

The following Legislative Returns were tabled November 30, 1993:


Family Violence Prevention Unit: manager’s position currently vacant; job description being revised; waiting period for services (Phelps)

Discussion, Hansard, p. 1434


Sexual abuse working committee: to assess and make recommendations on development of services for sexual offenders of children (Phelps)

Discussion, Hansard, p. 1434