Whitehorse, Yukon

Tuesday, November 3, 1998 - 1:30 p.m.

Speaker: I will now call the House to order. We will proceed at this time with prayers.


Daily Routine

Speaker: We will proceed at this time with the Order Paper.



In remembrance of Clara Tizya

Speaker: I would like to pay tribute to Clara Tizya, another well-respected elder of Old Crow who passed away on August 16. Clara was born on July 13, 1913 at Rampart House.

Her childhood home was the entire north Yukon, as her family traversed the territory between Rampart House, Fort Yukon, Dawson and Old Crow, following the traditional Gwitchin lifestyle.

Although her father was of Scottish descent from the Orkney Islands and her mother of the Ninsyaa and Vuntut Gwitchin, Clara embraced both cultures with a beauty and dignity that was respectful of her heritage.

She married Peter Tizya in 1930 at St. Luke's Anglican Church in Old Crow. Together, they raised 13 children. Her daughter Ethel and Lulu, her daughter-in-law, Charlene and grandchildren Erica, Dana, Page and Shawna are in the gallery today.

During her life, Clara lived in regions in and out of the territory. She was known for her passion for reading, writing and travelling. However, Clara held to the belief that the Gwitchin led a beautiful life and that gave her the strength and courage to face the challenge before her.

Through her energy, wisdom and dignity, Clara's legacy as the Tizya family matriarch is one of friend, caregiver and advisor.

Thank you.

In remembrance of Sara Kay

In remembrance of Johnny Charlie

Speaker: I would also pay tribute to Sara Kay, an elder who passed away in August and Johnny Charlie who died in August. He was a member of Tetlit Gwitch'in but was raised in Old Crow and was also a member of the Porcupine Management Board for many years. Also, I would like to pay tribute to all three members. I would ask all the members to pay that tribute.

Thank you.

In remembrance of Diane Granger

Ms. Duncan: I rise today in tribute to Diane Granger. Many Yukoners will remember Diane although she and her husband, Ron and their son, Brad, had relocated to Creston, British Columbia in 1989. Diane loved politics. She worked tirelessly behind those she supported, offering sound advice, organizing details, doing whatever was required. Unfailingly pleasant and kind to everyone, Diane's perfectly groomed presence was the face of a strong, intelligent woman with integrity.

Some will remember her for her strong guidance as chair of the Water Board, others as an integral member of the Catholic Women's League. I will always remember Diane as a personal friend, and on behalf of the Yukon Liberal Party caucus, I would like to offer my condolences to Ron and to Brad, and our thanks for Diane's service to the people of the Yukon.

In recognition of Women Abuse Prevention Month

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I rise today to ask members of the House to join me in a tribute to recognize November as Women Abuse Prevention Month. Throughout the month, we will be reminded of the violence and abuse that continues to take place within intimate relationships.

On November 13, Voices of Vision, a series of public events on human rights, will be presented across Canada by Vision-TV as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. Topics are related to this year's 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Here in the Yukon, we're co-sponsoring Freedom From Violence: A Basic Human Right. The honourable Judge Mary Ellen Turpell LaFonde will speak on the rights of women at the Council for Yukon First Nations, from 7 to 9 p.m. November 13.

A panel discussion will take place, with the symposium scheduled for the next day, at Yukon College. I encourage people to attend.

Marking this month each year encourages people in the Yukon to take action to eliminate violence against women in our society. Every day women continue to be marginalized by violence, which is one of the most serious obstacles to women's equality.

Many women are violated by those they have loved, respected, and trusted. Many of us know women who have been victims and survivors of violence and have seen the harm it has done. Often they've been relatives, or friends; people we have loved and cared about.

I urge all members to participate this month, and every month, in actions that work toward ending violence against women.

Mrs. Edelman: Women's Assault Prevention Month was first declared in 1996. Women's groups in the Yukon each year celebrate this event in a different way, and this year there's a symposium being held, called Freedom from Violence: A Basic Human Right. I will be attending this event on behalf of the Yukon Liberal caucus.

Yukon women do other things to speak up against violence against women.

Every September there is a march in Whitehorse to take back the night. There are countless workshops offered during the year by the Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre on a variety of women's topics, including violence against women, but the work that we do that is most important to giving us freedom from violence is the work that we do in our own homes.

Yukon women and men are raising a new generation that does not tolerate violence against women. We are setting examples for the next generation. We are trying to teach that freedom from violence truly is a basic human right.

In recognition of National Down's Syndrome Awareness Week

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of National Down's Syndrome Awareness Week.

November 1 to November 7 has been proclaimed by the Government of Canada as a week to inform people about Down's syndrome. To state the obvious, Mr. Speaker, people with Down's syndrome are valued members of our communities and have the same rights we enjoy, and they contribute to our society.

Down's syndrome occurs in one in every 700 births in Canada. It is caused by a chromosome abnormality occurring at conception. A child with Down's syndrome is born mentally challenged. Often there are physical implications as well, and there is no cure.

Although children with Down's syndrome have a lower than average IQ, virtually all are capable of learning and can make progress with education and environmental stimulation.

People with Down's syndrome are usually affectionate, cheerful, friendly and get along with others. There are many community resources available for people with Down's syndrome, such as the monitoring and assistance for newborns and preschoolers by public health staff, support and therapy through organizations such as the Child Development Centre, special programming in school, vocational and independent living support from Social Services, the persons with disabilities unit, the Yukon Association for Community Living and Challenge Vocational Alternatives.

If individuals are interested in more information, the Canadian Down's syndrome has a Web site, and I will be happy to provide the address. I would invite all members to join with us today in recognizing this important week.

Mr. Jenkins: On behalf of the Yukon Party caucus and office of the official opposition, I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize National Down's Syndrome Awareness Week. National Down's Syndrome Awareness Week is to raise public awareness about people with Down's syndrome: that they are valued members of our communities, that they have the same rights as everyone else and that they can and do contribute positively to our society.

Down's syndrome is considered to be the most common occurring genetic disorder around, and affects people of all ages, races and economic levels. While the exact prevention of Down's syndrome is unknown, early intervention services are available to help children to develop to their full potential. Education programs, along with loving homes and appropriate medical care, not to mention positive attitudes, enable people with Down's syndrome to become contributing members of their families and our communities.

Opportunities available to people with Down's syndrome are becoming more widespread as a result of the collaborative efforts of people in our communities. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of people such as parents, professionals and community leaders, acceptance is becoming more evident.

As Yukoners, as parents, as leaders and legislators, it is fitting that we recognize people with Down's syndrome as contributing and valued members of our communities. It is also appropriate that we recognize those people who have helped people with Down's syndrome over the years, to help them break through barriers to achieve the ability to be included and to be treated as equals.

Mrs. Edelman: I rise on behalf of the Yukon Liberal caucus to pay tribute to Down's Syndrome Awareness Week, November 1 to 7. This is a national organization, and the Canadian Down's Syndrome Society represents all Canadians. Now, here in the Yukon, the Yukon Association for Community Living is the group that represents persons with Down's syndrome, as there is no Yukon Down's syndrome society.

The Yukon Liberal caucus would like to ask this Legislature to confirm its commitment to people with Down's syndrome, ensuring that they have all the community support they need and are full participants in the community. The Yukon Liberal caucus would also ask that the Legislature recognize what individuals with Down's syndrome give back to the community, and to thank them for their contribution, realizing that this recognition and commitment is being asked from the federal government and from every other provincial jurisdiction as well.

Speaker: Are there any returns or documents for tabling?

Tabling returns and documents

Hon. Mr. Harding: I have the Yukon Development Corporation annual report for 1997.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: I have for tabling three documents: the 1997-98 Yukon Child Care Board report, the 1997-98 Yukon Hospital Corporation financial statements, and the statement of revenues and expenditures for health care insurance programs, 1997-98.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: I have for tabling the Yukon Geographical Place Names Board annual report.

Mr. Livingston: I have for tabling the consultation draft produced by Canada, Yukon and the Yukon First Nations of the Yukon development assessment act.

Speaker: Are there any reports of committees?

Are there any petitions?


Petition No. 8

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition that has been signed by 100 percent of the affected land owners on the west side of the Six Mile River at Tagish.

Speaker: Are there any bills to be introduced?

Are there any notices of motion?

notices of motion

Mr. Hardy: I give notice of the following motion:

THAT this House recognizes that in 1986, the New Democratic government implemented the policy of equal pay for equal value for Yukon government workers; and

THAT this House urges the federal Liberal government to follow this example and resolve its outstanding pay equity issue.

I also give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that:

(1) many Yukon businesses and consumers depend on satellite post offices for mail delivery; and

(2) Canada Post's decision to reduce the commission it pays satellite post offices for stamp sales could result in the closure of several operations, loss of jobs and reduced postal service; and

THAT this House urges Canada Post to reconsider its decision to reduce the level of commission it pays satellite post offices for stamp sales.

Mr. Livingston: I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that budget cuts by the federal Liberal government have had a negative effect on the health care of Canadians;

THAT this House recognizes that:

(1) the Yukon government has increased spending on health care, including payments to the Whitehorse General Hospital; and

(2) the federal Liberal government has a fiscal dividend generated by cuts to health and social programs; and

THAT this House urges the federal Liberal government to consider restoring health care funding as its highest priority for the distribution of the fiscal dividend.

I give notice of the following motion as well:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that:

(1) Yukon people understand and identify with other northern circumpolar peoples;

(2) access to post-secondary education is integral to our success and development as individuals and as a society;

(3) Yukon people would benefit from the ability to pursue and enhance a post-secondary education by studying in the Yukon and other northern jurisdictions; and

(4) the innovative use of technology for educational purposes should be encouraged; and

THAT this House supports the efforts of the Yukon government to assist in the development of a university of the Arctic and urges the federal government to provide infrastructure to this project.

Mr. McRobb: I give notice of the following motion:

THAT it is the opinion of this House that

(1) The Yukon government is improving rural services through initiatives like extending Internet services, processing driver and marriage licences and health care applications in communities, and implementing the rural services policy; and

(2) The Yukon government is creating rural employment opportunities through initiatives like the community development fund, the fire smart communities initiative, upgrading secondary roads in rural areas and by establishing training trust funds; and

THAT this House urges the Yukon government to continue to identify ways to improve rural services and create employment opportunities in Yukon communities.

Speaker: Are there any statements by ministers?

Ministerial statements

Development assessment process: draft legislation

Mr. Livingston: Mr. Speaker, I rise to advise the House of a major milestone in the process of determining the policies that will govern how the impacts of development proposals will be assessed in the Yukon.

Following extensive discussions with Yukon people, representatives of Canada, the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Yukon government have now completed draft legislation for the development assessment process, or DAP. I have the honour of chairing the Cabinet Commission on DAP, which has represented the Yukon government in these negotiations.

This draft legislation is now out for public consultation. The public and stakeholders have been given more than two months to read and consider the draft DAP act and three sets of regulations that cover timelines, and what potential developments will be subject to the assessment process.

Two teams representing the three parties to the process - Canada, Yukon and the Council of Yukon First Nations - are touring Yukon communities to explain the draft legislation and gather comments.

The DAP commission is also happy to receive comments by phone, mail or e-mail. Our Web site includes the draft legislation and descriptions of the new process. I encourage all Yukon people to review this draft legislation, which is one of the most important components of the Yukon First Nations land claims agreements.

Once the legislation is passed, it will affect what development occurs in the territory, how it is carried out, how communities will benefit from development, and how they will handle the social, economic and environmental effects of development.

The comments and advice offered by Yukon people over the next two months will greatly assist the DAP commission in ensuring the Yukon interests are embodied in a proposed DAP act before it is presented in the federal Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw members' attention to five positive features of the proposed DAP legislation.

First, it contains timelines, timelines for completing the screening process, as well as timelines within the larger review of proposed projects. This is to ensure that assessments are completed in a timely manner. The absence of such timelines in the current Canadian Environmental Assessment Act has frequently been cited as an irritant by potential developers.

The proposed legislation would also allow the Yukon Water Board and other regulatory bodies to ask questions and get the information they need near the beginning of the process. This will help to reduce duplication, while ensuring that a comprehensive assessment takes place.

Third, Mr. Speaker, as DAP is implemented, the various Development Assessment Board and designated office procedures will provide guidelines up front. This will make for a clearer, more predictable process that will benefit proponents and intervenors alike.

The proposed development assessment process also provides greater public accountability by making the assessment process more transparent. For example, if a decision body - one of the three levels of government - varies or rejects a recommendation in an assessment report, it must provide written reasons for doing so.

Finally, the legislation will make impact-benefit agreements between developers, communities and the Yukon government more of a public process than a private process. In this way, all Yukon people can readily see the social, economic and cultural benefits in such agreements.

Mr. Speaker, once the review is completed, we expect to see the draft legislation tabled in Parliament early next year. Yukon people can comment on the current draft now, and will also have an opportunity to comment on the draft tabled in Parliament, by contacting the Yukon Member of Parliament, Louise Hardy, or the ministers of DIAND or Environment Canada.

The Cabinet Commission on the Development Assessment Process will conclude its activities once the period for public review ends, on December 31. In the meantime, it will continue to ensure that Yukon interests are reflected in the proposed legislation that goes forward to Parliament.

Over the next two months, commission staff will also be working with various departments of the Yukon government on the implementation plan.

Once again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to encourage all Yukon people to review this draft legislation, which is an important step forward in the process of encouraging responsible environmental development in our territory.

Ms. Duncan: I would like to express, on behalf of the Liberal Party, our pleasure that DAP legislation has been made available for public discussion. It is an important part of the umbrella final agreement and I'm certain there are many Yukoners looking forward to going through it in great detail. It's an example that the three levels of government can work together.

I do have a concern that the fourth level of government, municipalities in the Yukon, is not mentioned by the commissioner. I have some very real concerns about the draft legislation, as I've had the opportunity to go through some of it.

One question that is not clear to me and to a number of others that I have asked is this: what is the future role of the Yukon Water Board under the DAP legislation?

Another question that is uppermost in a number of Yukoners' minds is about the role the commission is going to play at this point in time. Clearly, the work that was accomplished could have been done by the department, without the expense of having a commissioner. The commissioner has said himself, publicly, that he played a very, very limited role. He didn't attend the core negotiations and is not part of the fall tour of consultations. What was the DAP commissioner's role?

The money that was spent in terms of the commission - would the commissioner provide a report to us or provide information to us in terms of the contracts let and the use of consultants on this particular project?

The commissioner has mentioned producing a written report on how the Yukon government will implement DAP. When? The commissioner has mentioned his limited involvement. Who is going to be writing the report?

I have concerns that the DAP commissioner and the Government Leader should be aware of. Constituents have raised with us that there was a publicly advertised meeting in Carcross for the development assessment process and these individuals showed up in Carcross and were told it was cancelled. No one from the government was there and these people want to know why the meeting was cancelled.

Mr. Livingston: Well, it's not a surprise. We get a bouquet in one hand, but a kind of a slap on the rear in the other, and it's to be expected, I guess. I, too, am pleased that the three orders of government have been able to work together and arrive at what I think is certainly a draft act that reflects what was in chapter 12 of the umbrella final agreement. It goes some ways toward ensuring that Yukon interests are going to be reflected through the whole assessment process.

I'm going to suggest to the member opposite - in fact, I'm going to tell the member opposite - that's she's misconstrued, I think, some remarks that were in a recent newspaper article. I assume that's the one that she's referring to, by describing my role as being a limited role. It's true. Just like I think I can say for most of the ministers of the government, I wasn't in there doing the detailed, technical work that the commission was involved in on a day-to-day and a week-to-week kind of basis. The commission worked with lawyers on getting legal opinions on a variety of matters. The commission, including me, worked with a number of NGOs around the territory to ensure that Yukon interests were going to be reflected in the act.

I want to go back, I guess, to the speaker that we didn't hear from today, the Yukon Party. They weren't here today. I can tell you that they weren't there in 1996. In fact, they were content to simply sign off what the federal government had developed in terms of DAP. I can tell you, because of the work of this commission, we've got a much stronger DAP act today, a DAP act that certainly has strengthened the Yukon government's role as a decision body in a variety of ways. We've ensured that we have one process, instead of a patchwork quilt across the territory. Those are not small matters, Mr. Speaker.

I've had an opportunity to speak to municipalities on more than one occasion, and I have assured them that, while they're not mentioned as decision bodies, they are, after all, created as a result of Yukon government legislation. They're not decision bodies but, certainly, in any project that would be within municipal boundaries, they would be consulted prior to a decision being let.

The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that this doesn't diminish the municipalities' powers one bit. Rather, it provides one additional consultation that they don't currently experience.

In terms of the Water Board, as I indicated in the statement today, the legislation allows for the Water Board and other regulatory bodies to act alongside to have their questions asked up front in the process. Right now, I can tell you what the experience is of mining companies and other companies that come to have projects move through the assessment process and then the permit process, Mr. Speaker. They go through not one, but they go through two processes.

We believe that there is a better way, and that way is to roll some of those important questions up front. It's the experience of other jurisdictions that not having the questions asked up front has confounded assessment processes and made them not work well.

So, Mr. Speaker, the role of the commission has been an important one in ensuring that Yukon interests are heard. We will be involved over the next two months roughly in doing further work on the implementation, how the Yukon government is going to respond to DAP. We have a coordinating role. There is an intergovernmental coordinating role as well as a coordinating role within government to ensure that the Yukon government interfaces with the development assessment body in an effective kind of a manner. We want to see this process work. We want to see it work well. We believe that there is some work that can be done there.

The member raised the one question about the Carcross meeting that did not occur. I can simply tell you that there was a mix-up, apparently, in some of the notices that went out. I've been apprised of that particular problem, and they were informed, in fact, by the people that they met with that afternoon that the Carcross meeting was, in fact, scheduled for another time, that there was not a meeting scheduled for that evening. So there is a future meeting scheduled for Carcross to give any residents of Carcross an additional opportunity.

Certainly I can provide contracts to the member opposite - or the information about the contracts - as per the usual practice in providing that kind of information.

But I would just remind, I guess -

Speaker: Time has expired.

Mr. Livingston: I would just remind all members that we have some timelines in here that we've never seen before. That's going to help the -

Speaker: Order. Time has expired.


Anti-poverty strategy

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Mr. Speaker, I rise to advise the House of our government's policy approach to the problems of poverty in the Yukon, as outlined in the anti-poverty strategy. I did bring some extra copies, presuming that members had their own, but I brought some in case members don't have them.

This strategy is now being reviewed by a number of volunteer community groups that provide social services to members of our society who are subsisting on limited resources, and by individuals with the direct experience of living in poverty.

The plight of Yukon people who face economic hardship, and who daily confront barriers that keep them from participating fully in the social and economic life of the territory is very real. Our government recognizes that, and is taking steps to address these painful realities head-on as part of our commitment to foster safe and healthy communities.

One of the key pillars of our economic strategy is maintaining our spending on health care, education and social services, without raising taxes or imposing medicare premiums. We have invested significantly in initiatives such as the school nutrition programs and the children's drug and optical programs to provide practical support to low-income families.

Mr. Speaker, the need to address poverty head-on is also why we have developed multi-year funding agreements with non-governmental organizations such as Yukon Family Services and Kaushee's Place, and have provided a transient shelter for those who are temporarily homeless.

It is also why we have adopted the highest minimum wage in Canada, made major investments in training, provided CDF money for the Whitehorse community soup kitchen and made major investments to keep energy rates stable and affordable.

The anti-poverty strategy I tabled today is not a finished product, and never will be. It is a rolling document that must be reviewed and revised continually to meet changing realities.

In its current form, it is based on six principles: accessibility, financial stewardship, accountability, economic opportunity, public participation and partnerships. These principles will guide the decisions and actions taken to reduce poverty in the territory.

Two overriding objectives lie at the heart of this strategy. The first is to provide the basic needs for the most vulnerable members of our society. The second is to provide the essential tools to allow people to break the cycle of poverty, so that they can fully participate in the social and economic life of the territory.

At the heart of our commitment to meet these objectives are the following core strategies: ensuring that basic needs for all Yukon people are met; ensuring that everyone has access to health, education and social services; working to reduce the barriers that many people face, so that they participate fully in the social and economic activities of the Yukon community; continuing to support the creation of jobs and economic opportunities, and provide the necessary training and education to encourage people to enter and remain in the workforce; continuing our efforts to improve the overall health of low-income families.

Mr. Speaker, the strategy that is now being considered by the reference group of community volunteers is the result of interdepartmental effort involving Health and Social Services, the departments of Economic Development, Justice and Education, as well as the Bureau of Statistics, the Women's Directorate and the Yukon Housing Corporation. But the Yukon government cannot act alone. We share the responsibility with federal and First Nation governments, as well as non-governmental agencies.

The federal government, for example, has set the goal of reducing child poverty. We support that objective and will continue to work cooperatively with Ottawa to meet that goal. In addition, provincial, territorial and federal governments are working toward redefining the social union that helps define Canada. The Yukon has been an active participant in that process and will continue.

Mr. Speaker, we also recognize that the Yukon government must take an active leadership role in partnership with the community to reduce the level of poverty affecting Yukon families. That is why we've asked this reference group to take on three tasks.

The first is to provide important feedback on the anti-poverty strategy, to consider its overall direction and to identify omissions, gaps or inconsistencies, and to suggest improvements. The second task of the reference group is to identify priority anti-poverty issues that should be addressed, or addressed more effectively by our government.

The Yukon government is doing a considerable amount to help reduce poverty, and we need to know if there are ways we can make our programs and expenditures more effective. With the recommendations of this task force, we hope to announce positive, new anti-poverty initiatives in the new year.

The third task of the reference group is to recommend ways to continue the dialogue with the community, so we have ongoing feedback on priorities, strategy and actions.

I look forward to considering the recommendations of the reference group. In particular, I look forward to its ideas on how we can work in partnership, both to assist people in need and to support their participation in our society.

Mr. Jenkins: On behalf of the Yukon Party caucus and office of the official opposition, I am pleased to respond to the minister's statement on the NDP policy approach to their anti-poverty strategy.

Mr. Speaker, poverty is alive and well in the Yukon today. In a matter of just two short years, this government has managed to destroy the vibrant economy of the Yukon. Social assistance costs alone in the Yukon have risen $1.1 million in the last fiscal period. In Whitehorse, payments for social assistance amount to some $600,000 per month, currently.

Having had the opportunity to review this government's anti-poverty strategy, I must say that this is but yet another flawed political document. The first flaw is that of the government's stated vision. Rather than trying to eliminate barriers for Yukoners to have full participation in the Yukon economy and social life, they're destroying the economy and creating barriers.

It is no secret, Mr. Speaker, that lowering barriers in an already depressed economy where there are few opportunities for people to improve their overall situation will be of virtually minimum benefit. Having everyone share more equally in poverty isn't much of a vision.

Once again, we have a government that has missed the big picture of creating a climate that is conducive to economic growth and that will provide Yukoners with long-term meaningful employment.

Of the six core strategies outlined in this paper supporting the creation of jobs and economic opportunities, it is only item No. 4 on the agenda. When you examine the economic initiatives being proposed, the whole strategy is thrown into question.

Oh yes, we have the community development fund that flows money at the political will of the various leaders of the government of the day. Yes, it's well accepted, but reference is being made to jobs being created by the forestry commission. Then we look at the anti-business local hire commission and that shows that this government is completely out of touch with the economic reality in the Yukon.

While more money is being proposed for tourism, there's no mention at all of what has been, and will probably continue to be, the Yukon's major industry - mining. The one effort here that proves to be meaningful is the continued funding for NGOs. I do applaud the minister; we'll end on a positive statement there.

But, Mr. Speaker, social assistance is no substitute for a job, and this strategy will do absolutely nothing to address the issue of poverty in Yukon.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mrs. Edelman: Under the NDP government, the Yukon economy has gone into the tank. The government's response thus far is one of the thinnest government documents I have ever seen: the so-called anti-poverty strategy.

Mr. Speaker, why did it take two years for the light to come on? Why did it take two years to realize that a poor economy brings increased social problems that must be addressed?

It's bad enough that it took the NDP two years to address the issue. What is worse is that the anti-poverty strategy contains absolutely nothing new.

There's precious little mention of involving the business community. Now, I know that's a concept that's foreign to the NDP, but business creates jobs.

Can the minister, when he gets on his feet, tell us whether this government is serious about reducing poverty, and maybe tell us why the business community was not invited to participate in these recent consultations on the anti-poverty strategy?

Mr. Speaker, one of the shortcomings of this so-called strategy is the next-step section at the end. The last sentence reads, "Based upon the agreed-to ongoing process, the strategy will be adjusted, updated and reported on." My question for the minister is this: after he's adjusted, updated, and reported on, will there be any less poverty in the Yukon?

After speaking to some of my constituents about the government's anti-poverty strategy, their main comments were that the strategy shows a lack of vision, and a lack of imagination. In short, Mr. Speaker, there is nothing new in this document. A year from now, what's going to be different for the poor of this territory?

Yukon First Nations are our economic partners in the territory, yet they are given short shrift in this document, and the list of programs that passes as a strategy doesn't even list Yukon's First Nations programs.

Mr. Speaker, what exactly has this government done to work with Yukon First Nations to address the complex social issue of poverty?

There's very little on the disabled or on seniors, and these groups, Mr. Speaker, are the poorest of all Yukoners.

If there's any difference in the lives of Yukon's poor a year from now because of this document, I'll eat my hat, but I do challenge the minister to do something about poverty in the Yukon and, in the meantime, stop killing trees reprinting this silly, silly document.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Well, the member said she'll eat her hat. I would suggest that we don't have the same access to condiments that the Prime Minister has, so maybe she could get some pepper from him to make it a little more palatable.

I mean, this was quite remarkable for me. I mean, here we are, seeing the converging of the right, unite the right - we don't need a united alternative; we've got it right here. We've got reform and Tories joining together here. This is beautiful.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Take a look. Oh, there's your new leader. Your new leader has ...

Speaker: Order please. Order.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: The Preston Manning of the Yukon ...

Speaker: Order.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Watch it, Pat. He's after your job.

Just a list of programs here the member might be interested in. It goes on for a few pages. You know, it's fascinating. Here we are, in a country where we've got a Prime Minister, we've got a Liberal government that congratulates itself on the wonderful job that it's done, but a recent report by the Centre for Social Justice has indicated that the average CEO salary in this country has increased 15 percent in 1995, 11 percent in 1996, 13 percent last year, for an average of $862,000, with more than a million and a half in stock options. But, at the same time, Canada's richest are making 314 times the average income of the poor.

So anyone who believes that there isn't an income gap in this country is seriously out of whack. We have been working on ways to try and address some of the issues facing families and working to address some of the issues that real people in this territory face in trying to get by.

Last year, the member asked me - the member challenged me - to deal with the NGOs - the people who have the knowledge and an understanding of poverty. So, we went out and we did just that. Is the member suggesting that the people who are contained in this strategy have absolutely nothing to offer? Is she suggesting that groups like the Anti-poverty Coalition have nothing to offer? Is she suggesting that we should, instead, just abandon this? We should simply make up things as we go along and not work with people, not discuss with them and not look at how we are going to work?

I could expect the Reaganomic, Milton Friedman, University of Chicago trickle-down nonsense I get from these guys over here, but good heavens, whatever happened to the word "liberal"? What happened to the word? I'm devastated.

Speaker: This then brings us to Question Period.

Question Period

Question re: Operation and maintenance supplementary budget

Mr. Ostashek: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, that was very entertaining.

Yesterday, in this Legislature, the Government Leader made the comment that the big challenge - the big, titanic struggle - between members opposite and this government was going to be what he characterized as the old Yukon, which promotes a big-spending vision of government. It appears that the Government Leader didn't like that old Yukon. He didn't like it very much at all.

Mr. Speaker, that was the old Yukon, where almost everybody who wanted to work could get a job. That was the old Yukon, where people felt good about themselves and were optimistic about the future of the Yukon.

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Mr. Ostashek: Yes, Mr. Speaker. My question to the Government Leader is this: how does he reconcile his new vision of the Yukon with his supplementary budget, which shows that the operation and maintenance of government has risen by $31 million to the largest O&M budget in the history of the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Well, Mr. Speaker, let me first begin by saying that the big-spending vision and the big-taxing vision was first initiated by the Yukon Party, in fact, when they were introducing a total budget of over $500 million and instituted record tax increases in this territory, the like of which hasn't been seen in modern memory. So, when it comes to big spending and big taxing, I have to listen very carefully to the member opposite, because I know he has more experience than most.

With respect to the big-spending vision, the concern that we've had is that, even in the first week that this Legislature opened up, the Member for Klondike put $70-million worth of requests on the table - in the first week. That level of expectation simply cannot be met.

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: And the problem, Mr. Speaker, is clearly that the government cannot replace the Anvil Range mine, which was operating a couple of years ago. It cannot replace the payroll that was provided to the workers of that mine or the other jobs that were also being supported by that mine, but what we can do is what we described yesterday, which is a constructive way...

Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: ... to improve the economy.

Mr. Ostashek: How short a memory the Government Leader has of the $64-million deficit he left to the new government coming in.

Mr. Speaker, the more than 2,000 Yukoners who have left the territory are from the private sector. These are skilled trades people who the Yukon can ill-afford to lose, because they in fact are responsible for generating revenue, unlike the government, which spends revenue rather than generates it.

My question to the Government Leader is this: can he explain in his vision of this new Yukon how he is going to generate revenue by replacing private sector workers with ...

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Mr. Ostashek: ... a larger government that's reflected in his supplementary budget?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Well, Mr. Speaker, first of all, when the Anvil Range mine closes, workers unfortunately do leave the territory in order to seek work elsewhere. In fact, more workers left in 1993-1994 when the Anvil Range mine closed than have left this year. Yes, and that's in fact the truth.

Now, with respect to the actions that the government can take - I'll tell you first of all what we won't do. We won't promise railroads to Carmacks. We won't promise megaprojects that simply will not happen. We will not dangle cruelly in front of people's faces fantasies that historically just have not happened. What we will do is work with the existing private sector as we are...

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: ... to encourage activity throughout the territory and outside the territory, which will mean jobs for people in this territory - not only jobs in the short term, but jobs in the long term.

Mr. Ostashek: That's the problem with this Government Leader; he calls the booming economy of 1996 a fantasy.

As the Government Leader well knows, NDP governments are infamous for creating large government bureaucracies and this one is no exception. I ask the Government Leader, can he explain why, in his new Yukon, Yukon government employment has increased by 13.3 percent since March 1997 until June 1998 while the rest of the Yukon economy is shrinking? Why is the NDP government growing while the economy and the private sector are shrinking?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Well, Mr. Speaker, firstly it's not true. Secondly, the economy that the member talks about that was the booming economy was largely driven by the Shakwak project, driven by the hospital construction and driven by Anvil Range Mine, none of which the Yukon Party had anything to do with whatsoever. When the Anvil Range Mine was trying to get started, the mine operators were saying that they were concerned that the people in the Yukon, the Government of Yukon, the Yukon Party government was not interested at all in seeing that mine operate. The Yukon Party government had nothing to do with negotiating the Shakwak, nor the renewal of the Shakwak project and didn't have anything to do with the hospital construction project. So, this artificial economy the member describes as the booming economy had nothing to do with the actions of the Yukon Party.

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: What the government can do is work with the existing private sector on taxation, on regulatory review, on trade and investment and on other things to build the economy, step by step, to create one that's reliable and that has a future.

Question re: Whitehorse Airport runway extension

Mr. Jenkins: My question is for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services and it's concerning the extension to the main runway at the Whitehorse International Airport.

Would the minister advise the House if this project is on budget and on schedule, and when will the runway extension be fully operational?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Yes, Mr. Speaker, it would give me pleasure to stand here and speak about what this government is doing to encourage and boost the economy. As the member knows, this is a two-year project and the first year is under our belt, and we're looking forward to completion next year.

Mr. Jenkins: It's my information that the 900-foot extension to the main runway has been completed and that currently there is a NOTAM - that is a notice from Transport Canada restricting the use of the main runway, 13 right, for landing purposes. Only 50 feet of the 900 feet constructed can be used. Is the minister aware of this and what is he prepared to do?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Yes, Mr. Speaker, thank you, I am aware of the project that we're doing at the airport. I'm also very aware of the credibility that it's bringing to the territory in the work, as we achieve to become a world-class destination, and we will get there with the help of the airport being an extended run. On certain issues I will have to get back to the member opposite, but surely to goodness the member opposite is not running down the intent of this government to increase and diversify this economy.

Mr. Jenkins: Mr. Speaker, I'll table the NOTAM confirming my worst fears that the minister hasn't a clue. He's taken the whole summer off on a holiday. He doesn't know what's going on at the airport. What we have is 50 feet of 900 feet that was constructed at a cost of some $3 million. Now, when you can only use 50 feet, that works out to $6,000 a foot.

Now, what other obstructions are there that would impede the full use of the additional 900 feet of this runway extension? Can the minister identify those and point them out for the benefit of this House?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: It's obvious that the member opposite has had very much time on his hands this past summer. Obviously, the member has been able to fear-monger himself and come up with certain paranoia throughout the territory, and continue to spread that paranoia throughout the territory, when they know that this government is working very hard to diversify the economy, to attract new visitors, so that we can continue with the growth that we have achieved so far.

Question re: Yukon employment

Ms. Duncan: I have some questions for the Minister of Economic Development. The Riverview Hotel has recently announced that they will be closing from November 1 to January 31. The reason, and I quote, "The forecast for the economy is in such despair they do not anticipate being able to operate without a loss."

Mr. Speaker, in a similar scenario in 1993, the Klondike Inn announced that they'd be closing for the winter months. At that time, the former leader of the NDP, Mr. Penikett, said the government must take some responsibility.

Yesterday, when asked to take responsibility, the minister blamed everybody: the federal Liberals, the Asian flu, Bre-X. He even accused the opposition of pooh-poohing this issue.

I could laugh and ask who the minister intends to blame next - Barney? - but it's not a laughing matter. Yukoners' jobs are at stake. Will the minister accept responsibility -

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Ms. Duncan: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Will the minister accept responsibility for the Yukon economy, and actually tell Yukoners what the government is doing to create real Yukon jobs?

Hon. Mr. Harding: Of course we accept responsibility. We'd like to have responsibility for mining and forestry, and lands as well, from the federal government, so if the members opposite can help us get devolution, we'd certainly appreciate that.

With regard to the renovations at the hotel the member opposite speaks of, the Government Leader spoke to the owner himself. The owner said that there's lots of hope for the future, they're doing renovations this winter, and that's why they're going to be shut down.

With regard to hotels, the Westmark just announced a $3-million expansion. Why, Mr. Speaker? Probably because of the record tourism year, the runway extension, the prospect that's going to bring for new flights that were announced, and the new tourism strategies.

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the other initiatives on the economy, they are so numerous I don't want to -

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. Harding: - I don't want to bore the member opposite with the truth, but we can start with the rate stabilization fund that we announced to put more money in Yukoners pockets this year; we can talk about access to capital under the new immigrant investment fund that we're developing; we can talk about the tax reform that we have underway or the export trade investment strategy, where businesses have written letters to the papers, telling them about the good effects of the trade missions that we've undertaken, where they've actually gone out and signed contracts, or the record tourism year.

On and on, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: The member's time has expired.

Ms. Duncan: The man-in-motion spins again. I'll provide the minister with a copy of the media release that stated the Riverview Hotel issue.

The minister's boss says the NDP are rebuilding the economy one job at a time. The minister was just spinning on about the numerous initiatives by the government. The man-in-motion has been travelling all over Canada - and indeed the world in the last year - apparently with this one-job-at-a-time goal in mind.

We've seen a big increase in the minister's air miles account. We haven't seen the jobs. Will the minister provide this House, provide members, with a list of -

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Ms. Duncan: - a list of the projects that will employ Yukoners?

Some Hon. Member: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Point of order

Speaker: The hon. Member for Whitehorse West, on a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: On the point of order, the member may have misled the House inadvertently when she referred to air miles. It's well known that no public servants accumulate air miles. That would be a misapprehension, and certainly we wouldn't want to create, in the mind of the public, any sense that's there's a privilege that members get, that the general public doesn't.

Speaker: The Member for Porter Creek South, on the point of order.

Ms. Duncan: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, if the Minister of Government Services would like me to withdraw the reference to air miles, I will certainly do that.

Speaker's ruling

Speaker: There is no point of order.

Hon. Mr. Harding: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let me just say to the member opposite that we're just looking at the labour force statistics from 1993-94, when the Faro mine was shut down. Unemployment hit in 1993. It was 17.2 percent. The labour force was at an extremely low level for both employed people and the size of the workforce.

What we are trying to do - and I don't know if I'm going to be able to convince the members opposite - is say that we want the resource sector and more in this territory. We believe that an economic strategy has to be built on new directions and a new vision. That means opening up new resource areas, like oil and gas - which we are doing - promoting and working with the mining industry toward the development of a mineral strategy - which we're doing. That means dealing with export trade initiatives. Just look at the partners within the business community and with labour that we've developed to work with us, who say constantly to the people of the Yukon that this is a good idea, this is a good initiative, this is going to produce results.

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. Harding: The tax reform policies that we're initiating are the only ones ever done in the history of the Yukon. Mr. Speaker, the Yukon Party were experts at raising taxes. What we're trying to do is change that philosophy for the Government of the Yukon, and try and bring in new approaches that actually encourage, through tax incentives, new jobs, new opportunities, new industries - perhaps in things like telecommunications, and infrastructure advancement in those areas. That's the way to build a newer, stronger, more diversified Yukon. That's what we're going to do.

Ms. Duncan: It doesn't matter how I ask, I cannot seem to get a list of jobs for Yukoners from the minister.

Let me ask this question: the Canadian Federal of Independent Business' most recent newsletter in September says, "In light of the territory's poor economy, we question why the government would even contemplate setting up a hire agency for capital projects. Not only does a hiring agency in the territory not make any fiscal sense, but it also conflicts with the government's stated message that it wants to stimulate the economy." - someone else that says that the NDP government and its policies are not good for business and the Yukon economy.

Is the minister prepared -

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Ms. Duncan: Thank you. Is the minister prepared to take this advice and shelve the hiring agency?

Hon. Mr. Harding: Well, Mr. Speaker, I knew the Liberals here locally took their marching orders from the federal Liberals, but now we find they are also taking their marching orders from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and other outside organizations.

We talk to Yukoners, and Yukoners tell us that the policies that we're initiating are good. Just read the local media. Read the letters to the editor from the business community, who have appreciated and benefited from some of the policies of this government, Mr. Speaker. I've talked to businesses who are having very good years.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate just hit 8.9 percent. It's the best in a couple of years. It's not as low as we'd like to see it, but we believe that we've got to focus on the resource sector and -

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. Harding: We've got to improve the economy in a more diversified fashion.

You know, the words of the former Yukon Party Economic Development minister are very true when he said - and I'll quote - on February 13, 1995: "In truth, resource industries are more affected by world markets than any action that can be taken by our government." That was the hon. Mickey Fisher. He was right, but we have to take responsibility for a new economy as a Legislature and deal with the problems.

Question re: Tagish, Six Mile River land development

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Speaker, I have some questions for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services.

Mr. Speaker, people on the west side of the Six Mile River at Tagish have voiced a lot of concerns, including a petition today, about a proposed land development between their lots on the water and the Tagish Road.

At a very well-attended public meeting in August, residents told the minister's officials that many of the local residents are seasonal users and will not return to live in Tagish until late spring or early summer. In a letter that I just received from the minister, he said he plans to do more consultations later this fall, when most residents are not there.

Is this the respectful consultation that the NDP has promised?

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Mrs. Edelman: To consult when no one is home and then ram the development through anyway?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Obviously, Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has it absolutely wrong. This government makes every endeavour to go out and meet with people. We did have scheduled meetings. As a matter of fact, I had spoken to the constituents this summer over this very issue, but speaking specifically to the consultation process, my department has gone out. My department has made notice, and at one time that we felt people would not be there and could not be there, the department showed up anyway. The department was there, and lo and behold, 35 people showed up. So obviously, there is a good communication process between the folks that we're working with, and there will continue to be.

Mrs. Edelman: I have another question about the new lots at Tagish. There was a public meeting held in Tagish on August 5. At that meeting, the Minister of C&TS told local residents, "Read my lips: this land will not go into a public lottery."

Mr. Speaker, let's skip ahead to September 27, 1998. There's another public meeting in Tagish, and guess what the topic of discussion is? A public lottery to sell the same land that the minister had just said a month previously would not go into a public lottery - read his lips.

When did the minister change his mind, and when did he plan to tell the residents about the change in plans?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Mr. Speaker, read my lips. Mr. Speaker, when I was there, it was raised as a concern to me, and I took the concern very seriously. Obviously, what I had said to the folks at that point in time had been misconstrued. What I said to the folks at that point in time is that we do have land that is in inventory; we have approximately 25 lots out there. Historically, they have not needed to be resurveyed. They hadn't been surveyed; folks were just using them. So we're going out there to look at the reconfiguration, and we're going to continue to do that, because it's from the direction of the Auditor General.

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

So obviously, we're going to continue to do the right thing, and we're going to do it in conjunction with the people of Tagish.

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Speaker, a number of people on the west side of the Six Mile River have applied for lot extensions over the years. Now, I understand the people on the east side of the river are going to be getting their lot extensions soon, because land claims in that area are very close to being settled. When can the people on the west side of the Six Mile River at Tagish expect to have their lot extensions approved?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: We are going to, first and foremost, put to bed the issues on the west side of the river. We're going to work in conjunction with the people of the Tagish area. Some very legitimate issues have been raised, and we feel that they can be dealt with in the final design. We will continue to do so, as we have in the past, to work with the people of Tagish, and we will come to a mutual agreement.

Question re: Whitehorse Airport runway extension

Mr. Jenkins: My question is for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services and it concerns the extension to the main runway at the Whitehorse International Airport. This government has spent $3 million extending the airport. Transport Canada comes along after it's all said and done and says you can only use 50 feet of that extension for landing purposes. Now, has the government not done their homework? Do they not know what's going on? Can the minister please tell the House why only 50 feet of that 900-foot extension can be used for landing purposes?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Obviously, Mr. Speaker, I'm not an engineer, as the member opposite obviously is, and he certainly seems to know how things should work. We work with a department that is going to continue the good work. We are going to ensure that the airport is said and done, as we said it would be. It's going to be a two-year project, and we'll continue to work within that time frame. Any technical knowledge that I do not have with me at this point in time, as per the member's request, I will get that.

Mr. Jenkins: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, but the problem at the Whitehorse Airport is that the power lines along the side of the highway are in the flight path of approaching aircraft, and they're either going to have to be relocated or the airport runway moved over. You have a choice.

Now, what happened? Did the minister and his department not do their homework? Has this not been clearly identified, or are we going to blame it on the senior level of government and their officials? Well, what's the minister... He just doesn't have a clue. The minister of the day has taken the whole summer off. We've gone ahead, we've spent $3 million, our party supported this initiative to extend the runway for the approach of new aircraft and new business for the Yukon, and we can't use it. Now, what's the minister -

Speaker: The member has 30 seconds.

Some Hon. Members: (Inaudible)

Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Oh, Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. Yes, we're going to resolve any issues that might pertain to problems at the airport. It is a two-year project, and we're going to work to have it completed within a two-year time frame.

Mr. Jenkins: Well, is the minister aware that we can't use the airport for its full intended purpose this year, until this matter is dealt with? I will table the official notification from Transport Canada with respect to the restrictions on the Whitehorse Airport.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Obviously, Condor Air and Canada 3000 do not share that concern. Condor Air and Canada 3000 are going to be bringing three flights to the Yukon Territory once a week next year. So, certainly, they have absolute faith in this government that we will continue. Not only do they have faith, but people travelling the highway have faith, because it was a record tourism year.

They will continue, much to the chagrin of the gentleman who used to hold this portfolio. So, yes, Mr. Speaker, we will continue to do the good work. We will take into consideration all the aspects that have to be taken into consideration, and it will be done next year.

Question re: Tagish community

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services.

There are a number of very contentious local planning issues that are up and coming in the Tagish area. Consultations in that area are either not happening or they're not being done well.

The Tagish Planning Advisory Committee is now defunct. That is the group that has acted in the past as the consultation group for local planning issues. Municipal administration and C&TS is the group that helps to expedite elections for these advisory committees.

Can the minister tell this House when an election for the Tagish Planning Advisory Committee will be happening?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot. I can certainly get the information back as to when elections might be planned.

Mrs. Edelman: An example of Tagish residents not having their voices heard is on the status of fire protection for the east side of the Six Mile River. It's my understanding that residents of that area have a very real concern about this issue, not just because of a recent fire-ridden summer, but also because the residential portion of the east side of the Six Mile River is down a very long, winding road that is often impassable in the winter, when chimney fires are most likely to happen.

Now, it's my understanding that residents have approached the Yukon fire marshall's office with a request for some basic, portable firefighting equipment, but have been turned down because of concerns about liability. The risk of wildfire in the Yukon is very real. What is this minister prepared to do to help the people of Tagish with this very valid concern?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Absolutely. All folks have a right. That's why this government was certainly very proactive in putting together programming such as we have. I have ensured that all folks within my constituency, and certainly mayors and councils and chiefs and councils throughout the territory, are aware of the programs, so that we might be able to bring safer communities and fire-safe communities to the Yukon.

Mrs. Edelman: A number of my constituents who own cabins at Tagish were quite mystified when the road to the Taku subdivision was not upgraded under the rural roads program. Mr. Speaker, this road's in really poor condition. Surely C&TS has kept track of how badly that road needed to be fixed up.

Now I know that there was an application under the rural road upgrading program put in by local residents, but another road with only one resident at the end of it was upgraded in this area under the government program instead.

When is the minister prepared to fix the road to the Taku subdivision in Tagish?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: That is absolutely not true. I've been working with the folks in the Taku subdivision to fix up certain portions of the road. The road is not nearly as dismal as the member opposite says, and it can use work. As the MLA, and certainly as the Minister of C&TS, I've taken steps to work with the folks, and I'll continue to take steps to work with the folks.

The member opposite is absolutely correct that it does need some work, and we'll continue to work with the residents to ensure that the work will get done.

Question re: Whitehorse Airport runway extension

Mr. Phillips: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Transportation Services, as well, on the Whitehorse Airport.

I was concerned today when I heard the responses from the minister with respect to this issue. What I'd like to know from the minister is if he was made aware by any of his officials that, although the airport is complete - the tarmac and the concrete is down - that they are unable to use the airport this year for landing purposes until the power lines are moved.

When was this minister made aware of that, or was it just today that he was made aware of that, with the tabling of the NOTAM.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Certainly, the light's coming on over there now, and certainly the light will continue to come on in the airport when it is going to be done, and that is going to be next year, Mr. Speaker. It will be done next year, and then folks will - well, it will be completed. It was planned to be a two-year project and it is a two-year project, and will be completed within two years.

Mr. Phillips: Well, Mr. Speaker, I want a straight answer from the minister. Is the minister telling this House that there was no intention whatsoever for this government, this winter, to use any part of that new construction? My understanding is that there was full intention to use that extension to the runway on the north end this winter, and they can't use it because someone didn't do their homework with respect to the power lines and other obstacles. Can the minister confirm that?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Mr. Speaker, he is absolutely wrong. I think what we have here is a bit of professional jealousy. I think that jealous people across the floor certainly wish that they had gone out and tackled the project in their wisdom. Obviously, there was no wisdom, and there is wisdom on this side of the House because we as a government went out and put down on the table.

We said it was going to be a two-year project, Mr. Speaker, and it will be completed within the two-year time frame.

Mr. Phillips: Mr. Speaker, there is wisdom lacking here, that's for sure, and the wisdom that's lacking is in the planning of the Government of the Yukon in the extension of the runway. We support the extension of the runway, but there is no point in building a longer runway in the territory if you can't land an airplane on it because of restrictions put on you by Transport Canada.

The Government of the Yukon and this minister didn't do their job, Mr. Speaker, to find out that those power lines were in the way. Those power lines could have been moved this fall, this summer, during the construction. Why wasn't that done so we could land aircraft on that particular extension of the runway at this time? Why wasn't that done?

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Mr. Speaker, obviously the member opposite has got it completely wrong. I mean I expect the man in the middle to stand up and repeat the same thing.

Let me first categorically correct that there wasn't all-party support on this, because I do believe that the Member for Klondike did not even stick around for the vote on that budget, so we can say that it went through. That is my recollection.

Let me say, Mr. Speaker, that this is a two-year project, and in two years - well, next year, because we've got one underneath our belt at this point.

Some Hon. Member: Point of order.

Point of order

Speaker: The hon. Member for Riverdale North, on a point of order.

Mr. Phillips: Point of order, Mr. Speaker. I don't think we're allowed to talk about the absence of any member in the House. If we were to do that, we'd be going on and on and on about the members opposite.

Some Hon. Member: Point of order.

Speaker: On the point of order.

Hon. Mr. Harding: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker. The member opposite was not referring to the member's absence from the House. The member opposite - it is a point of order - very cutely, once again, took an attack against the government and used that vehicle to try and make an attack that's outside of the rules. So I think that, clearly, there's no point of order here.

Speaker's statement

Speaker: I will review the Hansard and come back with a ruling. Continue.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: To continue, Mr. Speaker, we can't use the airport runway until all the lighting and the ancillary work is done, and that will be done next year. It is certainly more than just a paving job, when you do an airport, and it takes more than one year to do it in this climate. We've done it in two.

Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed.

Notice of opposition private members' business

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 14.2(3), I would like to identify the items standing in the name of the third party to be called on Wednesday, November 4, 1998. It is Motion No. 132, standing in the name of the Member for Porter Creek South.

Mr. Phillips: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.2(3), I'd like to identify the items standing in the name of the official opposition to be called on Wednesday, November 4. They are Motion No. 131, standing in the name of the Member for Porter Creek North.

Speaker: We will proceed to Orders of the Day.

Orders of the day

Speaker: Government bills.

Government bills

Bill No. 54: Second Reading

Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 54, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Moorcroft.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I move that Bill No. 54, entitled An Act to Amend the Maintenance and Custody Orders Enforcement Act, be now read a second time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 54, entitled An Act to Amend the Maintenance and Custody Orders Enforcement Act, be now read a second time.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I am rising on behalf of those children caught by family breakup who, as a result, may live in poverty.

Our government is committed to addressing the very complex relationship between poverty and social justice. Our action agenda has a strong focus on fostering healthy communities and improving economic and social conditions in order to reduce poverty. Anti-poverty groups report that child poverty has increased and a coordinated response is essential.

The Minister of Health and Social Services spoke earlier today about our government's anti-poverty strategy, which is part of our social justice agenda. We are taking a strong leadership role in revealing the connections between women and children in poverty. There is a striking difference in poverty rates for children in two-parent families, compared to those of single-parent families, who are most often led by women.

Child poverty rates are a reflection of parental poverty. The poverty rates for children of single-parent mothers across Canada are too high.

In our society, people who are more impoverished generally have less access to the justice system. With the recognition of the link between access to justice, and poverty, we need to acknowledge that, when we improve the situation for women, we also improve the situation for children.

Amendments to the maintenance enforcement program and the Family Property and Support Act recognize the experiences of women's and children's lives. Separation and divorce are an inescapable reality of modern life. When the family unit is no longer intact, parents must still provide for the needs of their children. When financial obligations cannot be met voluntarily, then parents obtain agreements or court orders. These documents set out how much one parent must pay the other parent for the cost of raising the children. Parents have a legal obligation to comply with the terms of the agreement or order. When parents fail to pay their child support, it means financial hardship for children.

Canadian governments have had to face this reality of family life. Across the country, governments have been compelled to establish collection services to enforce child support orders so that children will not be disadvantaged.

Maintenance enforcement legislation across Canada has changed to make enforcement more effective and efficient. Our legislation needs to keep pace. It has been amended only once to permit the suspension or non-renewal of the driver's licences of respondents who fail to make maintenance payments.

That was done last year, in amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act. Parents who have the means to pay, but who are unwilling to meet their financial obligations to their children, are the reasons why this legislation is before you today. The amendments will strengthen the enforcement process.

After extensive consultation, the amendments were drafted. We obtained input from maintenance enforcement program clients, both claimants and payers, from many government and non-government service providers, First Nations, and the program staff.

The amendments are also based on the recommendations contained in the Leask Report, which was prepared by a Whitehorse lawyer in 1995. That report surveyed legislation across Canada, and recommended a number of improvements to the act.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the parents, who diligently meet their obligations to their children, and fulfill their responsibilities to the best of their ability. The focus of this legislation is that the best interests of children must be given first priority, when families break up. Changes to the legislation will result in higher collections and increased financial security for children.

The amendments have three objectives. They are, firstly, to streamline and introduce administrative actions to create a more effective means of enforcing and collecting maintenance payments. One such administrative process will be for garnishments. This model will attach broader sources of income, ensuring maintenance for the children is received consistently. Several provinces are using an administrative garnishment model, and report that collections have increased.

Secondly, the amendments will broaden the director's ability to locate and obtain financial information about respondents. Broadening the ability to gather such information will help the courts in financial reviews at default hearings. Confidentiality of the information is ensured.

Thirdly, we're updating our legislation, so that the maintenance enforcement program will operate using legislation comparable to that found elsewhere in Canada. Yukon receives and enforces court orders from other jurisdictions. We want to provide the same collection and enforcement measures that are available elsewhere in the country.

Mr. Speaker, the first amendment changes the name of the act. Child custody is currently a national issue. The Senate committee, and the federal-provincial-territorial Committee on Family Law, are deliberating this.

They are considering appropriate legislation and mechanisms to provide for and ensure the safety and custody of children.

Child custody is separate from the enforcement of maintenance orders. All provinces have changed the titles of their acts to reflect the intent of the legislation, which is maintenance enforcement. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, the Yukon will reflect the intent of our legislation appropriately and change the title to Maintenance Enforcement Act.

The most common enforcement measure applied when collecting maintenance is the garnishment. Presently, the process is cumbersome and time consuming, inhibiting speedy payment for children. Amendments will improve the garnishment process.

How will they do this? Sources of income will be broadened to increase collections. Statutory delays will be eliminated, enabling claimants to receive their money faster. Maintenance for the children will be consistent. Employers will find the process easier. A more streamlined process will increase effectiveness. Maintenance payments for children will be protected from being garnisheed by creditors.

Amendments will be made to the process of issued writs of seizure and sale. The practice for issuing writs of seizure and sale against a respondent's property will be changed to allow for administrative updating of writs.

The maintenance enforcement program's daily operations will also be improved by their increased ability to get a variety of information about respondents from a greater number of income sources. MEP staff will be able to spend more time searching for respondents and income sources, rather than completing time-consuming paperwork. These changes will provide better service to clients by making the collection process more effective.

One of the most frustrating shortcomings of the existing act is the inability to effectively enforce maintenance orders against self-employed respondents. People who are sole owners of corporations have escaped paying maintenance by hiding their income and assets under the cover of their corporations.

Mr. Speaker, the amendments will pierce this corporate veil. Respondents who do not meet their maintenance obligations will cause their corporations to be fully responsible for the debt.

The director of maintenance enforcement can also apply to the court for an order when a corporation is controlled by the respondent and their immediate family. The corporation can become liable for the unpaid arrears. In addition, this bill provides a safeguard to ensure the solvency of corporations.

Mr. Speaker, we all know that credit ratings are important. We have amended the legislation to make lending agencies, banks and loan companies aware of respondents who are in arrears on their child support. The director will register a report of maintenance arrears with a credit reporting agency. If a respondent whose payments are in arrears applies for credit, the reporting agency will advise potential creditors of the arrears. This amendment will encourage respondents to meet their maintenance obligations if they wish to maintain a good credit rating.

The director will also be able to file a statement of maintenance arrears with the personal property security registry. This statement attaches all the personal property of the respondent, the parent who is responsible for paying child support. It would have priority over any security interest registered after the statement is filed in the registry, except for other claims for maintenance and wages due to employees.

The goal of this provision is to encourage people to pay off their maintenance arrears before they apply for credit for new purchases. A prospective lender may find that personal property listed as security against a loan is subject to a claim for unpaid child support and may be unwilling to finance any new purchases for the respondent.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, this legislation is tough. It builds on the tough measures we put in place in the Motor Vehicles Act last year. We must remember who is important here; our children are important. Providing a decent standard of living for our children helps all of us achieve our goal of healthy communities. Ensuring compliance with court orders through tougher maintenance enforcement measures improves the integrity of the court system and builds trust in this government.

Let us all work together, Mr. Speaker, to keep our children out of poverty.

Mr. Phillips: I rise today in support of the amendments that are before us, put forward by the Minister of Justice.

Mr. Speaker, I know from my experience as the justice minister, and in talking to people in maintenance enforcement from across the country, that many of the provisions that we're putting in place here today are in place already in some other jurisdictions, and have been worked on for many years by our Department of Justice. So I'm certainly in support of the initiatives we have before us here today.

I do have some questions, though, about some of the issues that are in these amendments.

Mr. Speaker, one reason I'm particularly pleased with the amendments that are before us here today is that many constituents of mine, and constituents of other members in this House, have come to me from time to time with respect to child support payments, and have been frustrated by the laws that we had in place. For one reason or another - although this was rather new legislation for us in the last few years - we didn't have all the avenues open to us, to try and collect the child support payments when an individual wanted to either hide their income, or try and avoid paying in any way, shape, or form.

So, it was frustrating, but I think that many of the same people that I have spoken to, and suggested that they talk to people in maintenance enforcement, have done so over the years, along with many others in the study that the people in maintenance enforcement have done. It's come to this time when we are now dealing with many of the recommendations that those people made in trying to recover what is rightfully theirs, for their children.

Mr. Speaker, one question I have for the minister about this particular act is that these changes are significant. What I'd like to know from the minister, when she rises to respond, or in Committee of the Whole, whichever she prefers, is this: what kind of a public process is the minister going to use to inform the general public of these significant changes? I think that just the fact that we're making some of these changes now might encourage some people to come forward and make their payments.

I heard time and time again of a mother who had children who was not receiving support payments and was in my office in virtual tears, concerned that her previous husband had just purchased a snow-machine or a new truck, and yet they couldn't get any money from him at all because he was crying poverty, or avoiding it at the very least.

So, I think this legislation will go a long way in trying to solve some of that, but I think we have to let those out there know what the new changes are so that not only will the parents who have the custody of the children be informed, but those who are required to pay maintenance payments are also notified that the changes we have here are fairly significant and have an awful lot of power to recover the appropriate payments.

Mr. Speaker, I do have some questions about section 5 in the act. I pointed them out to the officials this morning, and they were going to get some information for the House. One question that I raised this morning is about section 5. There is an (a) a (b), a (c) and then another (c), so there appears to be some duplication of lettering in the act in that particular clause. What it did is also point out a concern I have.

That section of the act talks about information obtained under subsection 1 or subsection 3 "shall not be disclosed to any person except" - and it talks about the Family Violence Prevention Act - in the enforcement of that. Then it lists: "someone in another jurisdiction doing a similar job" - and I don't have a problem with that; "in accordance to the Access to Information and Privacy Act" - I don't have a problem with that. The next one, though, is to a police officer who needs the information in connection to a criminal investigation, and I raised some questions this morning with the officials, and they were going to get some information back to us with respect to that.

My concern there, Mr. Speaker, is that there may be a police investigation going on for whatever reason on some topic not related at all to maintenance enforcement, and the police, if they couldn't obtain information from access to information or any other means they have, they may try to use this particular section of this act to obtain that information, when in fact the individual in question might very well be not guilty of any charges and there might just be an investigation going on.

I'm just concerned that we're providing another avenue there and I just wonder what the purpose of that is. I think the police have pretty encompassing powers now to investigate anyone and I wonder if giving them this particular power does any more.

The other question I have is on section 6 in this act. This section applies despite the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act or any other act or any rule of the common law, other than the rules of solicitor-client privilege. So really, my concern there is that we brought into this House the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which we said was sort of the be-all and end-all in the protection of individuals' privacy and this act sort of circumvents that and says that this act is paramount to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

My concern again is that I thought that the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was pretty significant when it came to ensuring that an individual's privacy was protected. Maybe we're going a little too far by making this act paramount.

I'd like to hear from the minister where and how the minister feels the public is protected and that private information is protected. The officials this morning basically said that they had some legal advice that said that this act actually afforded more protection to the individual for privacy of information than the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. So, maybe the minister in Committee of the Whole, or when we get to this clause - actually, I'd prefer it before then because I'd like to kind of read it first - could provide us with some information with respect to where this act affords more protection and why that was put in there, because I think the act itself, even without that, is quite an all-encompassing act and allows the government all kinds of access to information.

In fact, I agree with 5(c) where it says, "in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act." So, it is kind of contradictory in a way, I guess, where one clause says it has to be in accordance with it and in the next section down it says "despite the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act."

I would like the minister to clarify that.

We, as I said earlier, certainly support this act that is before us in the House. I know that once it's passed, I'm going to receive a few phone calls from some very irate individuals, from time to time, who feel that we are being a little too strong with our legislation. The bottom line is that if there is a judgment made where maintenance is supposed to be paid for the well-being of the children, then it should be paid, unless there is some other reason why it can't be. If a person can pay, they should pay.

I wouldn't support anyone, anywhere, anyplace at any time who used any method to try and not disclose their ability to pay for their own children's well-being.

The bottom line is that in some cases in the past, as we all know, because people haven't been paying their maintenance payments, some people have been forced to go on welfare. So, the state or the government has had to pay for these fathers - or mothers, maybe, in some cases - who have not come forward with the payments for the maintenance of their own children.

This legislation, as well, brings us in line with other jurisdictions in Canada. In many cases, I wouldn't say it leads the way, but it certainly is fairly near the front with respect to the type of legislation it is. I don't see anything in this legislation that gives me real concern. The bottom line is that those that can pay, should pay and will pay for the upbringing of their own children. I fully support that.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cable: Just for the record, the Liberal caucus does agree with the minister that the legislation needs to be updated. I think efficiency in collection is desirable on two counts. The first and obvious one, of course, is that money that slips out of the system into court proceedings can be put to better use all round, either through the government or through the beneficiaries of the court orders.

Secondly, though, and perhaps more importantly, it will encourage debtors to pay if the system is known to be somewhat foolproof - more foolproof than the present system. There'll be less of an inclination to avoid, and less of an inclination to drag feet, as is often the case with the making of maintenance payments.

We have some questions. There were some issues raised in the briefing. One of the issues mentioned by the member who just spoke a few moments ago on the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, there does appear to be some discrepancy between the provisions that would be in the new act, as amended, section 6(5)(c), that does not seem to accord with subsection (6), and it would be useful to hear from the minister when we get to Committee on that.

We have some questions about administrative orders made by the director. The questions do not bear directly on the verbiage of the act but, for comfort, it would be useful to hear from the minister how her officers intend to weed out spurious, or nuisance, claims on these administrative orders - the maintenance orders, or garnishment orders, or registrations under the Personal Property Security Act, that do not arise out of a court proceeding, but from an administrative order from the director.

I think this is particularly important where the maintenance order, as defined in the act, is based on a provision in a domestic contract, where there has not been a testing of the validity of the claim by the court.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: I thought I would take a moment, if I might, just to add my support to what I consider to be a very important act. Just from my own experience in travelling around the territory and meeting with individuals in communities, one of the things I hear very frequently is the issue of people who cannot collect support for their children and the impact that that puts on their lives, particularly how it deprives their children and their families of some of the necessities and perhaps some of the amenities of life.

The divorce rate in the Yukon is high, and I think we have to be very cognizant of the fact that, in divorces, very often children become the sort of unwitting pawns, and very frequently, they become sort of the tools in a struggle between parents in the case of a divorce or a separation. So, our paramount concern must be the health and safety and well-being of those children, and basically, I believe that parents, even after leaving a marriage, must be held responsible, financially and otherwise, for their children, even if the parent is not living with that child.

I think this act does help protect children from some of the poverty that is a real possibility when one parent becomes the sole provider for the family, and this makes for healthier communities. We know how tough it is for families in Canada to get along with two incomes. In the case of family separation, we know that particularly women become poorer, just statistically, and unfortunately women find themselves often bearing the brunt of child rearing and the economic impact that all those things have on them.

I think any compassionate society has to realize that we are responsible for one another, and when people do find themselves without support, we do try to provide some support through various income-support methods.

But I think that if a parent is able to provide for their child, those parents should be our focus. I think we have to ensure that those who can support their children do so exactly as if the marriage had remained intact. I believe that this government has, once again, consulted Yukon people, as we promised. I think the minister is to be commended for putting together a response to this problem. In her capacity as Minister of Justice, she has consulted with the maintenance enforcement program payers and claimants, non-governmental service providers, First Nations and program staff.

Incidentally, this was one of the things I heard very often from First Nations. This was an issue that was raised sometimes in discussions on social programming. Very frequently, I had women - well, it was always women who raised it with me - raise with me the whole question of how she could get something back from a spouse that she was separated from and who is supposed to be paying support but hasn't paid a cent. When you hear about how women have gone through all these legal machinations to try and actually collect and still can't, it is something that certainly I've become concerned about. I'm glad the minister has responded.

I think the act will allow government to be able to get more sources of income and maintenance payments for children. Self-employed parents who are not providing for their children will now be vulnerable to maintenance enforcement. That's one of the things that I heard very frequently, "Well, he doesn't really have a job" or "he's doing some woodcutting" and that sort of thing, as if that is a sort of protection from having to pay support.

I don't want to portray it too darkly. I think that many children do care for their children, even after divorce, and I think those people are to be commended. I don't think this act is necessarily to address those parents, but we have to recognize that there are some parents who do not support their children. I would just like to support the minister in her efforts to make the communities and families healthier and to protect children.

Thank you.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I would like to thank my colleagues, and members from all parties, who have expressed their support for the amendments to the maintenance enforcement legislation before us today. This legislation does put us in the forefront in Canada. It adopts measures from other jurisdictions, both on the east coast, and the west coast, to ensure that we can provide the best service possible for families who need their child support.

We anticipate having regulations developed by the spring. The amendments to date have been the subject of extensive consultation. A paper was released in the spring and made available to approximately 750 clients of the maintenance enforcement program: lawyers, First Nations, government, and non-government and community groups who are service providers, opposition members, and the general public.

When we have the regulations prepared and the legislation ready to be proclaimed, we will continue with public education to ensure that members of the public are aware of these changes.

In addition, the director of maintenance enforcement makes many attempts to contact a parent who is defaulting on their child support payments before these enforcement measures are taken, so that they will, in fact, be aware of the actions that are going to come about as a result of this new legislation.

Thank you.

Speaker: Are you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.


Speaker: Division has been called.

Mr. Clerk, would you kindly poll the House.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Harding: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Keenan: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Fairclough: Agree.

Mr. McRobb: Agree.

Mr. Fentie: Agree.

Mr. Hardy: Agree.

Mr. Livingston: Agree.

Mr. Ostashek: Agree.

Mr. Phillips: Agree.

Mr. Jenkins: Agree.

Ms. Duncan: Agree.

Mr. Cable: Agree.

Mrs. Edelman: Agree.

Clerk: Mr. Speaker, the results are 16 yea, nil nay.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 54 agreed to

Bill No. 60: Second Reading

Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 60, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Moorcroft.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I move that Bill No. 60, entitled An Act to Amend the Family Property and Support Act, be now read a second time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 60, entitled An Act to Amend the Family Property and Support Act, be now read a second time.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: We all have a great concern for the children of the Yukon. Legislation involving children must promote and protect their best interests. Children depend on adults, including legislators, their parents, grandparents and other family members, to provide for their safety and to be responsible for their physical, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being, and we must be sure that we meet this responsibility.

To meet the best interests of the child, we are bringing forward legislation to create a fair standard of support for children who may live in poverty after families separate.

All children benefit from a strong and stable family but, sadly, we acknowledge that many families cannot make their relationships work. As a result, divorce is a fact of life in our society, as is the separation of spouses and the breakup of common-law relationships. In fact, there are more court orders for the maintenance of children of common-law relationships than there are divorce cases. That shows the need for this legislation, which covers both divorced and separated, married and common-law families with children, under one system.

Too many children are left in difficult financial circumstances that are not of their making. This government is particularly concerned about addressing the needs of children who are living in poverty and children whose lives have been tainted by changes in the economic situation of the family, caused by marital breakdown.

The amendments contained in this bill will help to ensure that our children's needs come first. I would like to provide a short overview of the history of this legislation and its relationship to the changes across the country.

Almost a decade ago, the federal government began to look at deficiencies in the granting of child support awards. They found that awards were often inconsistent, subjective and arbitrary. The amount that is ordered to pay for a child's needs should not depend on which territory or province one lives in, to which court the case was assigned or which party has the better lawyer.

In 1990, the federal government created a task force that addressed the issue of child support when families broke down. The federal/provincial/territorial Committee on Family Law looked at the costs of raising a child, recognizing that both parents have a responsibility to meet the financial needs of children, according to their income, and that a separated family's costs are greater than those of an intact family.

It concluded that a child support formula was the best approach to help parents, lawyers and judges set fair and consistent awards to help ensure that all families living in the same province or territory, making the same income and having the same number of children, pay the same basic amount of child support before adjustments are made to account for regional income tax differences. After five years of research and consultation, the task force created the child support guidelines.

In 1997, the federal Department of Justice amended the Divorce Act and implemented, by regulation, the child support guidelines. It did so as part of a long-term strategy to improve the Canadian child support system. These guidelines have many strengths. Parents in similar circumstances will pay the same level of child support. There will be fewer reasons for parents to argue about what is and what is not an appropriate level of child support. The structured approach of the guidelines also contributes to a reduction of the degree of conflict between parents who separate.

In the Yukon, as many parents know, the process is confusing. There are numerous conflicts and lengthy negotiations over the amount of child support, sometimes leaving children in similar circumstances with differing results. The situation also differs for parents who apply for a divorce under the federal Divorce Act and for those who proceed under territorial law where separations occur in common-law relationships or without divorce. This is because federal laws, Mr. Speaker, only apply to child support ordered in divorce cases, while the Yukon Family Property and Support Act applies to child support in all other cases.

In response, we have brought forward amendments to our family property and support legislation, first during last fall's session. The amendments previously introduced were designed to make our legislation consistent with the child support changes incorporated into the federal legislation. These are being passed throughout Canada. Yukon and Alberta remain the only jurisdictions that have not yet harmonized their child support legislation.

We provided an additional year for my department to work with the legal community on the new set of rules.

I want to thank the members of the public and the bar who responded with their changes and suggestions on the act. We have made some additional amendments in response to this consultation.

There is a pressing need for consistency in child support in the Yukon and across Canada. We are now bringing forward this bill to ensure that child support awards are adequate, consistent and predictable to meet the needs of children.

Mr. Speaker, the primary thrust of these amendments to the Family Property and Support Act is to provide some certainty and consistency in the awarding of child support. It is in the best interests of the child that we are creating a predictable and fair standard of support for children as one way to avoid the situation of any Yukon child living in poverty.

Mr. Speaker, this further reflects our belief about putting the child and their support first. The new amendments give priority to child support. They will ensure that when a court is considering an application for child support and one for spousal support, it must give priority to support for the child.

Mr. Speaker, these amendments include a new definition of "child" for the purposes of child support. This new definition is similar to the definition of "child" in the federal Divorce Act and broadens the child support obligation that currently exists under the territorial law. The definition includes a child under the age of majority and in the care of their parents, as well as a child the age of majority or over who is in their parents' care and unable to attain self-sufficiency, such as children pursuing a post-secondary education, a college diploma or degree.

We provided an additional year for my department to work with the legal community on the new set of rules.

I want to thank the members of the public and the bar who responded with their changes and suggestions on the act. We have made some additional amendments in response to this consultation.

There is a pressing need for consistency in child support in the Yukon and across Canada. We are now bringing forward this bill to ensure that child support awards are adequate, consistent and predictable to meet the needs of children.

Mr. Speaker, the primary thrust of these amendments to the Family Property and Support Act is to provide some certainty and consistency in the awarding of child support. It is in the best interests of the child that we are creating a predictable and fair standard of support for children as one way to avoid the situation of any Yukon child living in poverty.

Mr. Speaker, this further reflects our belief about putting the child and their support first. The new amendments give priority to child support. They will ensure that when a court is considering an application for child support and one for spousal support, it must give priority to support for the child.

Mr. Speaker, these amendments include a new definition of "child" for the purposes of child support. This new definition is similar to the definition of "child" in the federal Divorce Act and broadens the child support obligation that currently exists under the territorial law. The definition includes a child under the age of majority and in the care of their parents, as well as a child the age of majority or over who is in their parents' care and unable to attain self-sufficiency, such as children pursuing a post-secondary education, a college diploma or degree.

To help in reviewing a family's assets, which may be used to assess the amount of child support, we have clarified the date on which family assets will be valued. This amendment will set the valuation date of family at the earliest of the date of separation, the date on which an application to divide assets is filed, or the date on which a separation agreement is signed. It will also allow for some judicial discretion, depending on the circumstances of each case.

Except at the discretion of the court, the three-month limitation period in which a separating common-law spouse must bring an application for spousal support has been eliminated. The class of persons who can bring an order for support, or an order to vary an order for child support, will be expanded to include anyone who has lawful custody of a child, or with whom a child lives, including grandparents, other relatives, or a guardian.

Mr. Speaker, the guidelines themselves will be embodied by regulations pursuant to the territorial legislation. We are providing time before proclamation of the amendments to the Family Property and Support Act to consult further on the wording and make sure they reflect our needs and unique situation.

To conclude, Mr. Speaker, the Act to Amend the Family Property and Support Act enables the Yukon to adopt the federal child support guidelines with some changes that reflect the Yukon situation.

The guidelines will help ensure that all Yukon families are treated in a reasonable and just manner. They will create harmony with the child support regime across Canada, and will help guarantee that our children's financial welfare is protected at a time when they are most vulnerable.

Mr. Phillips: We on this side of the House, in the Yukon Party, support the amendments that are before us here today. Mr. Speaker, I again recall, as a former Justice minister, discussing this issue many, many times at Justice minister meetings across the country, from year to year. I know it was a commitment made by our government to conform to the federal guidelines as soon as possible. I'm pleased today to see that the Government of the Yukon has done that, albeit a year later than most other jurisdictions.

But I understand the need for consultation with some of the local bar, and to clean up the legislation we had. Mr. Speaker, I believe that this is a positive step. Many of us are aware of the wide variations in awards of support that happen from time to time, or the division of assets, where people, for one reason or another, are not treated the same; where it seems that, depending on how good your lawyer was, or the particular day in court, the awards could vary widely.

The guidelines set a base to start from, and put everybody, more or less, in the same area. It goes a long way to somewhat stabilize or at least give some hope to some who are involved in this kind of unfortunate experience of having to go through a family breakup and disposition of assets, as well as obtaining support for the children of the family.

So, we on this side, Mr. Speaker, certainly support it. I know it was an initiative that we were working on in the Department of Justice for some time when we were in government, and I'm glad to see that the minister has brought if forward in the House today.

Mr. Cable: We, in the Liberal caucus, agree with the minister that some consistency and certainty in court rulings is necessary, and justice shouldn't depend on the abilities of a particular lawyer, or the whims of a particular judge.

The guidelines will make for consistent justice for all, and greater certainty, and bring greater respect to our court system. The consistency and certainty afforded by the guidelines may encourage a less litigious approach to child support. It may encourage non-court settlements of child support arguments.

It would be useful to hear from the minister what her intentions are with respect to similar types of guidelines for the splitting up of property assets between spouses.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Once again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring forward my support on this very important piece of legislation. As I said earlier, one of the things that we are often faced with is individuals who do not recognize their responsibilities to their children and are unwilling to accept those responsibilities. I think that anything the minister can do in this regard to support families, to support particularly women who need this kind of help - and it is predominantly women who do need the help - is to be commended.

I spoke earlier about what I have often heard from women, when going around to communities, about their personal dilemmas because of their inability to get support. I think that this will make child support fairer. It will provide equality across the country. It will protect children from the poverty that they sometimes face, and children in similar circumstances will be provided for in a similar manner. So in other words, it really doesn't matter if you are a child in Newfoundland or a child in the Yukon. If your parents are in similar circumstances, they will pay the same level of support upon the breakup of a relationship.

I think that what this will do, as well, is perhaps eliminate some of that animosity between separated or divorced spouses. Perhaps that is a little bit too much to -

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Well, it was an optimistic thought, and perhaps not having had the wealth of experience in that regard -

I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. I just don't have the wealth of experience that my colleague from Riverdale North has. Perhaps he could speak to that.

Perhaps it will, in a better world, eliminate some of that animosity, because parents won't carry the burden of the decision about what amount of child support is fair in the situation.

This reduction of tension between parents will benefit children, I believe, and that tension is one of the greatest difficulties faced by children of divorce. This puts in place a predictable and fair standard of child support, which will help protect children from poverty and will allow for children to have a decent standard across the country.

These amendments will give priority to support for the child, so if there is an application for spousal support, the children will come first, and I think we can all support that.

This new act broadens the definition of "child" to protect children who are older than the age of majority but are unable to be self-sufficient, including those who are pursuing a post-secondary education. Once again, Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that has come to my attention on more than one occasion, because this will allow young people to attain some of the tools of independence. I think what's important about this is that these are the tools - post-secondary education - that will actually help them in future life to protect them from poverty and, hopefully, protect them from, perhaps, similar experiences.

I'd like to support, once again, my colleague, the Minister of Justice. I'd like to thank her for her efforts to provide for children on the dissolution of parental relationships. I support the Act to Amend the Family Property and Support Act, and I'm sure that it will create a better climate among parents in the future.

Speaker: If the member now speaks, she will close debate. Does any other member wish to be heard?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Again, I would like to thank members for their support of this bill, and look forward to the discussions in Committee of the Whole on the various subjects that they've raised.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 60 agreed to


Bill No. 56: Second Reading

Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 56, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Moorcroft.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I move that Bill No. 56, entitled Spousal Tort Immunity Abolition Act, now be read a second time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the hon. Minister of Justice that Bill No. 56, entitled Spousal Tort Immunity Abolition Act, be now read a second time.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Mr. Speaker, this is a piece of legislation that suffers from an incomprehensible title to most people, and so I would like to begin by speaking about what this law will actually do and what we're changing here.

In the Yukon, a husband and a wife can't sue each other to recover damages for their partner's negligence, but that doesn't apply to a stranger. For example, a hitchhiker can sue a negligent driver in a motor vehicle accident, but not a passenger that happened to be married to the driver. Moreover, a husband may suffer civil consequences for damaging his spouse's property, but not for physically harming her.

That's the law here in the Yukon and it goes back to the English laws that were received by this territory over a hundred years ago. The principle is called inter-spousal tort immunity and it infers that the legal existence of the wife merges into that of the husband.

In the past, the husband would acquire all the personal property of his wife when they married. He became entitled to the sole management and income of all land owned by her, along with the power to sell any of this land and retain the proceeds. He was also personally liable for the wrongdoings committed by his wife, both before and during the marriage.

While that situation has long changed, inter-spousal tort immunity is still the law.

It's been argued that it was needed to prevent a number of undesirable effects. For example, it's been argued that its abolition would jeopardize family harmony, but lawsuits can already be brought between parents and minor children.

Spouses can already sue each other for the negligent damage to his or her property, and in a harmonious family where there is insurance coverage, a negligent spouse is only a nominal party to a lawsuit, and not really a personal adversary.

It's also been argued that the abolition of inter-spousal tort immunity would encourage collusion between spouses where there is insurance coverage, especially motor vehicle insurance. While it's possible that this could happen, it's hard to believe that most spouses are not bringing actions against the other spouse on anything but a meritorious claim. Indeed, there's a lot of effort and financial costs to pursuing legal action that acts as a deterrent to false actions.

There is a firm principle that persons injured by the negligence of others should have the opportunity to seek compensation. This principle is too important for it to continue to be subjected to concerns about the possibility of collusive claims against insurers.

Then there's the suggestion that inter-spousal tort immunity prevents the situation where a negligent spouse may indirectly benefit from damages paid to the insured victim spouse, because these damages may later become part of the family funds. Yet most damages are awarded as compensation for loss of wages or earning capacity, or for medical expenses and future care. There is no net monetary gain. On occasion, where additional damages are awarded, such as for pain and suffering, this should not stand in the way of providing true compensation to injured spouses.

The present law of inter-spousal tort immunity places more importance on the protection of property than on the person of the spouse. For example, a husband who renders his spouse a paraplegic as the result of his negligent driving can't be sued by her; but a husband who wrecks his spouse's vehicle in that same motor vehicle accident can be sued for damage to her property.

We need to change the current law, which places more importance on the protection of property than on the person of the spouse. For these reasons, inter-spousal tort immunity has been completely abolished by every province in the country, as well as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and parts of Australia.

In the Yukon, we've already removed a provision in the standard automobile policy that indemnified an insurer for any liability resulting from injury or death to a spouse or dependent while riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by the insured. If this hadn't been done, then spouses and dependents would be exposed to the most likely source of liability - motor vehicle accidents - but wouldn't be able to obtain insurance coverage against this.

The standard policy appears to provide such coverage on its face, but until we actually abolish inter-spousal tort immunity, there is no guarantee in law.

The time has come to do the right thing. The situation in the Yukon remains one in which there is no liability between spouses, not in motor vehicle accidents or in other cases involving assault, battery, defamation, fraudulent misrepresentation or false imprisonment.

Abolition of this principle as it now stands in three statutes would finally free the law from its outdated past. It will bring the Yukon into accord with the common presumption that men and women, married or single, have equal legal rights and equal legal responsibilities. I know, Mr. Speaker, that all members of this House support that principle.

The Spousal Tort Immunity Abolition Act, in abolishing inter-spousal tort immunity, will amend the Married Women's Property Act by removing a section that prohibits a husband and a wife from suing each other. It will amend the Contributory Negligence Act by repealing the section that states that damages payable to a spouse for negligence by the other spouse are not recoverable.

In addition, it will amend the Insurance Act by adding a section that prohibits the inclusion in an insurance contract of any provision that states that the insurer is not liable for injury to a son, daughter or spouse of the injured person.

The Spousal Tort Immunity Abolition Act also addresses another matter. In cases, for example, where a child is involved in a motor vehicle accident, and suffers a minor injury, such as a broken arm, the insurer typically offers the parents an out-of-court settlement. If the parents accept on behalf of their child, then the insurer gets them to sign a release, called a "parental indemnity". Normally, both parties are anxious to settle the matter without the additional expense of going to court, and the parents generally sign the release.

This is usually done without the benefit of any independent legal advice. The insurer then pays out the money, and considers the case closed. Should the child later develop complications resulting from the accident, the child can sue the insurer within two years of reaching the age of 18. If that happens, the insurer will hold out the indemnification, and argue that the parents must pay any award payable to the child.

In this situation, the decision to sue the insurer can cause a great deal of stress for the family, with the result that the child, now an adult, may simply say it's not worth pursuing if it means that my parents must pay any award that I get. On the other hand, it may be worth it, if the child is suffering from serious latent injuries.

A decision to sue the insurer, however, could cause a great deal of financial hardship to the family. This is because the parents may have to spend a large amount of money in legal fees, trying to contest an indemnity that they never had to sign, in the first place.

The practice of requiring a parental indemnity is not equitable. Insurance companies are in the risk-taking business, and they can spread these odds throughout the industry. It's simply unfair for insurers to offload the risk of any future claims solely on to the parents. Parents may be legally unsophisticated, and not seek independent legal advice.

There are court cases that support this view. Courts in Ontario and Alberta have found that parent indemnities are invalid, and unenforceable, because they offend the procedures set up by the judiciary for the protection of children.

Insurers argue that they use parental indemnities mostly in small settlements to effect closure. This makes it unnecessary to seek expensive court approval of the award.

A courtroom is the right forum to get closure in place of seeking an indemnity. If the insurer doesn't want to take this step, then it, and not the parents, should bear the risk that any settlement may later be challenged by the child on reaching the age of majority.

This legislation will ensure that what is in fact local practice becomes enshrined into law. At least five major insurance companies operating in the Yukon do not use parental indemnities in their settlement offers, but at present there is nothing to stop this practice with any certainty unless we bring the prohibition into law.

For this reason, the Spousal Tort Immunity Abolition Act adds a section to the Insurance Act that prohibits the inclusion in an insurance contract of any provision that requires the parent to indemnify an insurer for a later claim brought by the injured child in the policy. The effect of the section is that the insurer and not the parents would pay any award arising from this claim.

Mr. Speaker, the Spousal Tort Immunity Abolition Act speaks to our action agenda to foster healthy communities because it redresses some basic wrongs in society. We can no longer support the status quo in which married passengers can't sue their driver spouses in cases of negligence, where legitimate inter-spousal insurance claims are prevented merely because of conjecture that a married couple might collude to bring a fraudulent claim, and where a spouse can't recover damages in an accident caused by the other spouse because the award might increase family funds and indirectly benefit the wrongdoer. And we can no longer tolerate a situation where property is more important than the individual. Moreover, we must act to prevent a situation where parents can inadvertently sign away their child's legal remedies over a settlement offer that may not cover all of the injuries actually suffered in a motor vehicle accident.

While we balance the needs of the insured with the needs of the insurance industry, we must protect the best interests of injured children. Parents need to be assured that the acceptance of any out-of-court settlement on behalf of their injured child does not come back to haunt them.

I am confident, therefore, that this legislation will help all Yukon people build better lives by providing a way to deal with those adverse situations in which spouses and families may find themselves truly vulnerable.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Phillips: There isn't a lot I can add to what the minister has said. Mr. Speaker, we had a very good briefing this morning with the officials. I'd like to thank the officials for the briefing they did put in front of us and I appreciate the information. We'll be supporting the bill that's before us.

Mr. Cable: I have to say that the law develops in a social milieu of a particular time and when that social milieu and the times change, the law needs to change to reflect those changes, and also to reflect the changes in values. I think most people today would not want the marriage bond to stand in the way of tort actions, such as assault and fraud and liable, because of some view of the marriage relationship that has changed. For that reason and because of the quite thorough briefing we received this morning by the minister's employees, we will be supporting this act.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: I would like to speak on this act just very briefly and I think what I'd like to recognize is that this is something that has been long overdue. I think the situation of tort immunity is really one of those vestiges of an earlier common-law position which saw women in a subservient, almost chattel role and I think the very fact that this tort immunity exists is one of those unfortunate holdovers from an earlier and perhaps, well, very definitely less enlightened age, because I think tort immunity gives credence to the inequity between men and women.

In fact, a man actually became entitled to all the management of income, primarily of land, and any other real property that a woman had, along with the power to dispose of that. I think that the member should be commended on this, because I think, as our friend from Riverside has indicated, we all exist in a social milieu, and in a different time I think laws have to adapt and change.

I think if I want to give support to my colleague, the Minister of Justice, in this, I'd also like to give her support in her capacity as the minister of charge in the Women's Directorate, because I think this does not only advance the question of tort responsibility, I would like to say, but it also advances the case of women by a recognition that this is an element of our common law that has long needed revision.

So I'd like to commend my colleague on that, both from a legal point of view, and also from a social point of view.

Speaker: If the member now speaks, she will close debate. Does any other member wish to be heard?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I want to thank both opposition parties for their ringing endorsement of change to recognize the equality of men and women, married or single, to equal legal rights and responsibilities.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 56 agreed to

Bill No. 48: Second Reading

Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 48, standing in the name of the hon. Mr. McDonald.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: I move that Bill No. 48, entitled An Act to Amend the Fuel Oil Tax Act, be read a second time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Government Leader that Bill No. 48, entitled An Act to Amend the Fuel Oil Tax Act, be now read a second time.

Hon. Mr. McDonald: This minor amendment goes a small way toward improving the fuel tax refunding procedures for those who have paid fuel taxes in the Yukon and are deserving of a refund.

Applications for refunds for fuel oil tax paid, but not in fact owing, must be submitted before August 1 of the next year following the year of purchase of the fuel oil.

The average period among Canadian jurisdictions for such refunds is three years, with some extending to five years. The amendment proposed here will extend our period for refunds to six years. Six years was chosen because we will have no problem verifying claims that far back. Were we to go beyond this period, we would run into verification difficulties due to our record retention schedules. We expect no significant loss to government revenues as a result of this change as the vast majority of claims are made almost immediately.

The issue of time-limited refunds arose as the result of a trucker claiming a refund for a number of prior years. There appeared to be good reasons for the delay on the trucker's part, and we were able to conclusively verify that he had overpaid tax. As a result of this case, we concluded that there was no reason for the very limited time frame currently reflected in the act. Further, it is not now, and it never has been, to my knowledge, the policy of government in the Yukon to keep monies that were paid in error or were overpaid by taxpayers.

I look forward to members' support.

Mr. Ostashek: We don't have much difficulty with this amendment in principle. I do have some concerns that could probably be answered in Committee as to why we're going to six years when other jurisdictions are much shorter. It would seem that we would want some consistency with other jurisdictions in our legislation.

I'll support the bill on second reading. I'm sure that we can get all the questions answered that we need in Committee debate on the bill. As I say, I don't see this as a real major issue that we're going to resist, but we certainly would like more information on it in Committee.

Speaker: If the member now speaks, he will close debate. Does any other member wish to be heard?

Hon. Mr. McDonald: In answer to the member's question of why six years, why not five years or four years or some other national average, the principle that we started to work from was that people who had overpaid their taxes should be refunded. As long as it doesn't cause the Yukon government any needless or extra cost to verify a claim for a refund, we should simply refund it.

That means, therefore, that the limitation is determined by when we put our records to rest in some vault, or destroy them. It was determined that up to six years we still have the active records, so we can access them expeditiously, at no extra cost. Consequently, it was felt that that would be a reasonable time to have as a time limit.

We're talking about very small amounts of money, in any case. The claims that we're talking about are probably in the order of a few thousand dollars, and this obviously is not going to break the back of the government treasury.

The reason for the time limit was not so much the national average, but when we could realistically go back and seek verification of the claim being made.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 48 agreed to

Bill No. 49: Second Reading

Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 49, standing in the name of the hon. Ms. Moorcroft.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I move that Bill No. 49, entitled An Act to Amend the Securities Act, be now read a second time.

Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 49, entitled An Act to Amend the Securities Act, be now read a second time.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: This bill contains amendments to the Securities Act that will simplify administration and bring it into uniformity with other provincial and territorial securities regulators.

Firstly, we will remove the renewal date requirements from statute and place them into regulations. This amendment will provide the flexibility to accommodate a national movement toward harmonized renewal registration requirements for securities brokers and salespeople.

Common registration rules will result in savings in time and additional costs for the Canadian securities industry. It will reduce the red tape and paper burden associated with differing renewal requirements and timelines across Canada.

As well, Mr. Speaker, the Securities Act currently provides for the appointment by the Commissioner in Executive Council of both the registrar of securities and the deputy registrar. Both are members of the public service, and their appointment under the legislation is solely dependent on their employment with the Government of Yukon.

We will simplify this process with a provision to appoint the registrar of securities by the Executive Council member. The act will also be amended to permit the appointment of deputy registrars by the registrar. This is consistent with the appointment process for registrars of other acts administered by the Department of Justice, such as the Business Corporations Act and Personal Property Security Act.

These amendments are in keeping, Mr. Speaker, with our government's commitment to provide efficient administration and service for Yukon residents.

Thank you.

Mr. Ostashek: Mr. Speaker, we will support the bill in principle. We're going to have a few questions on it when we get into Committee. I always have great reservations when bureaucrats want to move things out of legislation into regulations. There's reason it was put into legislation to start with, and there needs to be valid reasons for moving it and putting it into regulations where it can be changed without coming in front of this Legislature. So, I'll be looking at that.

Maybe the minister, in her summation, can tell me if these changes have anything to do with the debate that's going on at the premiers' level about a national security commission, with all provinces and territories going through one clearing house for efficiency. That was a debate that was going on when I was government leader, and I don't know what stage it's at now, but the fact that we're having some changes to our securities at this time - I would just wonder if the minister could bring me up to date if, in fact, that debate is still going on in Canada. Has there been any progress made on it, if it has?

Most jurisdictions were in favour of it, but it seems that we're having great difficulty in coming to an agreement with the federal government as to the costs associated with such a commission. As the member is aware, securities commissions in the provinces are very big bureaucracies and sometimes have conflicting legislation in different areas. If ours is just to bring it in line with other places in Canada, and we feel comfortable that taking it out of legislation and putting it into regulations is not going to cause abuse, then we will support it at third reading also. But we will support it at second reading so we can debate the bill in Committee.

Thank you very much.

Mr. Cable: The Liberal caucus will also be supporting the bill.

I do have a question for the minister, though, which I would hope that she would answer in Committee. She is probably aware that there was a Supreme Court of Canada case a few weeks ago out of Ontario that said that probate fees that had been based on the size of an estate were basically taxes and could not be put into force by way of regulation, and that if in fact the fees are brought in by regulation then they have to reflect the service provided.

What is she and her department doing to ensure that all of the areas that she is responsible for, and in particular the Securities Act, reflect the Supreme Court of Canada decision, whereby the fee paid for the service provided has some relationship to that service?

Speaker: If the member now speaks, she will close debate. Does any other member wish to be heard?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: In response to the comments from members opposite, first of all, I would like to speak to the question about regulations and taking the date requirements for the renewal of registration out of the legislation.

As members have stated, securities regulation is a provincial/territorial matter. The Canadian Securities Administrators organization develops national policies to adopt common rules for the securities industry throughout Canada. By adopting common rules, the securities industry can take advantage of efficiencies in various filings. Because the provisions relating to the renewal of registration of brokers and salespeople vary in Canada, the CSA - the Canadian Securities Administrators - will be adopting a national policy to address the renewal registration process.

The Yukon is one of the few jurisdictions with specific renewal date requirements in legislation rather than in regulation. We are, therefore, amending our legislation to accommodate this particular national policy, and indeed that is the standard elsewhere in the country.

I will comment on some of the other matters that members have raised when we go into Committee debate on the bill.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 49 agreed to

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

Speaker: It has been moved by the Minister of Justice 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

Committee of the Whole

Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order. Is it the members' wish to take a brief recess? Ten minutes.


Chair: I will now call Committee of the Whole to order. We will be dealing with Bill No. 62, An Act to Amend the Child Care Act.

Bill No. 62 - An Act to Amend the Child Care Act - continued

Chair: Is there any further general debate?

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Yesterday, a number of questions arose on certain legal matters. I took the time to check with some folks in Justice on just a couple of points here.

With regard to this amendment, it should be noted, right at the onset, that any inspection or investigation must be "for the enforcement of this act", section 20(2). If an inspection is carried out for any other purpose, it is not authorized.

Also, the place of inspection is limited, as the inspector may only enter the place where the program is offered. Section 20(2)(b) does not give the inspector the power to enter parts of the dwelling house within which the program is being offered that are private.

The inspector is also limited in the time that it can be carried out - when the licence program is actually operating. It would appear reasonable to limit the inspection to a time when the program is being offered and at no other time.

While inspectors under the Liquor Act may only enter licensed premises at reasonable times - section 76(1) - they are not limited to entering these premises only when they are open. When a licensed premises is open, an inspector needs no special entry power to enter it. However, licensed premises are often inspected after they are closed so that the inspector can determine if liquor is being sold contrary to the licence or if some other infraction of the act is taking place.

In this case, it should be noted that virtually every licensed activity may be regulated through spot checks if these checks are properly directed toward enforcement of the activity being regulated. Roadblocks for vehicle equipment checks or impaired driving checks are a case in point.

A person who offers an activity licensed by government can reasonably expect his or her operation to be inspected to ensure that it operates in compliance with the licence.

If, however, a day care operator is not aware of it, we can make that information available to them - as to the limitations.

With regard to the ability of a person to seek redress, which I believe the Member for Riverdale South raised, people who believe that child care inspectors have abused their powers have several redress avenues under Yukon law. A person who believes a public servant has exceeded his or her authority can seek an investigation of the matter by the Yukon's ombudsman. Alternatively, a person can bring a legal action, a suit in civil courts, against the government and a public servant.

As I mentioned earlier in this debate, the Child Care Board can hear appeals of decisions or the failure to make decisions by the director of Family and Children's Services, under the Child Care Act. An order of the Child Care Board is final and binding.

Further on the point of the licensee appealing, a licensee may appeal under section 24, "decision, suspension, revocation, imposition of terms and conditions or orders of the Child Care Board, which has the authority to act under Section 30, to dismiss the appeal, quash the decision, have the order appealed". So this may give the member some security that there is an avenue there for appeal.

Finally, if I can find it here in this morass of legal verbiage, on the question of "reasonable", that was discussed with Justice. The idea of inserting the word "reasonable" was rejected because it is open to wider interpretation than the wording that is used.

For example, a day home operator may think that one inspection per year is reasonable. An inspector may do as many as 10 spot inspections a year.

So, in other words, the question of what is reasonable really comes into question, and there is always an option for the licensee, if they feel that the number of inspections is onerous and that they are not being done with proper reason - as I earlier indicated that it has to be done for the enforcement of the act - the person can always appeal that. So, I hope that gives the members some comfort on that aspect.

I'd be happy to continue on.

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Chair, one of the other issues that we spoke about when last we discussed this bill involved the other issues on the horizon that are being dealt with on a day-to-day basis by people who provide child care within this territory, and in particular is the issue around playgrounds. I was just wondering if the minister has had any more information on that issue and also on issues around the direct operating grant, beyond the fact that the Child Care Board is, I think, for the seventh year in a row, looking at that and making a recommendation on that again, as well as the issue around subsidies.

Those are the three issues that I asked the minister about previously, and I wonder if he can give us a little bit more detail - although not too much detail, but some detail and some idea - about where we are heading in that area.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Regrettably, I don't have my briefing book with me, but I can just sort of give the member a sense of what some of the issues are.

Certainly with the entire question of the direct operating grant, the freeze was put on the direct operating grant just as an attempt to contain costs and, as I indicated earlier, I have had some discussions with the Child Care Board. We have discussed some alternatives with regard to the direct operating grant. We've talked about, for example, training levels and things as being conditions for a direct operating grant, how that would affect people who already have it, et cetera.

I've asked them to consider some options there and hopefully I'll get some feedback.

With regard to the child care subsidy, I can just say that once again, like many things, the child care subsidy or our ability to modify or increase the child care subsidy is largely being hampered by just the growth in volume. If we weren't having to continually sort of increase our child care subsidy because of the number of children coming on and the number of people qualifying for it, we would probably have a bit more discretion in being able to look at changes in that regard, but quite frankly, we've been outstripped by demand and that's the major inhibition there.

I should say that our system is fairly generous. I know that people would like to see it moreso. That was also another challenge that I've given to the Child Care Board with regard to looking at the entire question of child care subsidies. Are they appropriately directed to the people we want most to direct it to? In other words, to those who are most needy.

With regard to some things having to do with backyards and family day homes and things like that, I have sent that on to the department for some further information and some regulations, and I will be happy to pass them on to the member.

Mrs. Edelman: Mr. Chair, on the issue of the subsidy and about the direct operating grant, I swear that this is exactly the same conversation that we had last year, word for word.

I am a little concerned that the Child Care Board will be looking at these recommendations and options that the minister continues to give them, year after year, from now until eternity. What I'm looking for is more of a timeline on when we'll be dealing with those issues.

In the anti-poverty strategy, nothing there talks about increasing the subsidy and that subsidy is one of the greatest barriers to employment and getting people off the welfare rolls.

One of the other issues that we've talked about in the past along this same line was the fact that when the Yukon Party was in power, they dropped the age for having to not go back to work to when your youngest child reached the age of two and the minister has said repeatedly in the House that they were going to be looking at that again.

We have these same conversations every year, over and over and over again, and I'd really like to get to a point where we'd get a resolution on any one of those issues. I'm wondering if the minister can stand up and tell this year's version of when that's going to happen?

Hon. Mr. Sloan: Wasn't it the great Yogi Berra who once said, "It's déjà vu all over again."

The fact is that I'm very cognizant of this, but I'm also very cognizant of some of the limitations of our system, both in terms of being able to add extra capacity - and quite frankly, if the Liberals in Ottawa were going to fork over some of that $6 billion that they stripped from the Canada health and social transfer, we'd certainly have a lot more latitude. I just thought I -

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Sloan: As much as I can get.

So, I would just like to encourage the member because, after all, I'm sure that she stands by the commitment the federal Liberal Party made for the 250,000 child care spaces, so I'm sure that she will go to bat for us on that. I'm very pleased that she has undertaken that, and I will give her a commitment that when I get a favourable response on that from our federal masters, I will pursue many of these other avenues.

But on a less facetious note, I think that some of the things we have to take a look at is the structure of the subsidy system itself. I have concerns about who receives the subsidy, to what degree, and is the subsidy being appropriately targeted at those who most need it. In other words, should we be looking at the higher end of income for people who receive the subsidy or try to increase the subsidy for people on the lower income end? Those are some of the issues that I have raised. I have also raised issues with regard to after-school subsidies and to what age that should be, and so on and so forth.

So, there are some things that I have given to the Child Care Board to take a look at, and I'm hoping that they will come up with some suggestions. As well, I have asked if there are ways in which the direct operating grant can be more effectively applied. Can the direct operating grant be used, for example, to increase standards? I think that's a legitimate question to ask. They obviously have more expertise in the entire field of child care than I, and I've asked them to give me some thoughts on that and also to give me a sense of how these kinds of things would tie in with national trends.

I wish I could be somewhat more definite in my timelines, as no doubt the Hon. Pierre Pettigrew wishes he could be far more definite in his timelines on the quarter million child care spaces.

Mrs. Edelman: Right down to the attack on the federal Liberals, this is exactly the same conversation we had last year. Since then, of course, the Canada health and social transfer has gone up to the Yukon - the only jurisdiction in Canada that actually had an increase in health funding.

We're still harping about some old election promise made by the federal government and not dealing with the issues here at home. I suppose that my comments to the minister are very clear. These are issues that need to be dealt with. They are brought forward as issues every year by the Child Care Association in the Yukon - the direct operating grant and the child care subsidy. Now, this issue around the playgrounds has come up as well. I'm wondering if the minister can look at his issues, deal with them here in the Yukon, and give us some sort of timeline. Are we going to be having this same conversation again next year?

Hopefully, the minister can stand on his feet and say that, by this time next year, those two issues will have been dealt with.

Hon. Mr. Sloan: We will always deal with issues. I can't guarantee that how we will deal with them will always meet with acceptance by the members opposite. I think I have to be fairly blunt and say that when one is asked to add and add and add to programs, at certain points the adding to programs reaches the point where one has to look at what one takes out of programming. I have no desire to take out of programming. I have a desire to try to maintain and try to increase our programming. But, I also have to be very cognizant that there are limited dollars. As a matter of fact, there're $102 million limited dollars in the Health and Social Services budget. When we go back and look at statutory programs, the amount of discretionary money and the amount for new programs really diminishes rather rapidly.

I think we have other demands and other pressures that I want to see addressed as well. There are obviously pressures around issues such as public health, issues around maintenance and expansion of social services programs. There are certainly issues around the needs of seniors that I want to address.

Would we like to do everything? Yes, we'd like to do a tremendous amount more, but we also have to work within our means, and we are attempting to deal with these. We have not, as they have in other jurisdictions, cut holus-bolus from social services payments. We have not slashed benefits to individuals. We have not closed facilities, such as emergency rooms and things of that nature, but we have to be very cognizant of the fact that we are working within a budget. We are trying to provide the best level of service we can.

As I indicated earlier, we're faced with increasing volumes. We're trying to meet those volumes, but it certainly limits very distinctly what we can do.

Chair: Before proceeding, I would like to remind members that we are dealing with a very specific part of the act. It is paragraph 20(2)(b), and to please keep your comments and questions to that particular paragraph.

Mrs. Edelman: I think that when we open legislation, no matter what type of amendment is going to happen, you have to look at the whole idea of keeping up to date with legislation and the way it sits in our society. We talked earlier about how that was appropriate for the maintenance enforcement act. We talked about that with spousal tort. We talk about how that has to be looked at in the way things are today.

The Child Care Act has got many, many facets to it. The minister has a number of different issues that come back every year. He talks about having to make decisions that are difficult. Well, that's one of the parts of being in government; you have to make difficult decisions - not doing more with less, but doing things well, period.

My comments to the minister at this time about the comments that I've heard from people in this field, one of whom was the person that this very clause was written for, are very, very relevant to the Child Care Act and any amendments. If we go in and open up an act, then we should be looking at all sorts of different areas where that act is out of date.

That, Mr. Chair, is the reason that I bring these comments to the Minister of Health and Social Services over and over and over again. So I'm sorry if the minister can't answer my questions, and he gives me the same answer every year, but that seems to be the way it is.

Chair's statement

Chair: Well, for the record, I'd like to inject at this time that if you have comments in that regard, perhaps the appropriate procedure is to raise it on a point of order.

Also, there are other avenues available to you to raise issues outside the confined area of amendments in the act.

It is my information, from the Deputy Clerk of the Assembly that when an act is amended as specifically as this one is, then discussion is limited to that particular area and the entire act is not open for the general debate.

Mr. Jenkins: While I certainly concur with the thoughts from the Member for Riverdale South, and her thoughts with respect to this act - and many other sections need reviewing that haven't been brought forward - we're here to deal specifically with this amendment that is before us.

Our party is prepared to support the amendment. We recognize the background that led to this change; we're fully conversant with the reasons for it.

The powers of the inspector under this act are not dissimilar to the powers of the inspector under the Yukon Liquour Act. The Yukon Liquour Act is quite specific: "An inspector may enter and inspect any licensed premise licensed under the provisions of this act". That's it; open and closed.

It doesn't get into the powers of the inspector to only inspect once or twice a year, or at any reasonable time, or anything whatsoever. Any of these areas that are licensed under this act can be inspected, and I know the Liquour Act is probably one that requires a great deal more inspection than, probably, the day cares do.

While I recognize that the day cares are equally important as to requiring inspection and requiring an ongoing review of the facilities and the services being provided in these licensed facilities, the inspectors are the ones who are empowered. I'm not aware of any major abuse by inspectors under the Liquour Act, which would lead me to conclude that most of the inspectors empowered under these acts are reasonable in their judgment.

Now, occasionally, I'm sure we've all heard of abuses or potential abuses by inspectors, but if we were to limit and restrict their access to inspect the various facilities that they're in power to inspect I think we'd be negligent in our responsibility. Of paramount importance, Mr. Chair, on this issue, is the protection and safety of the children in these homes. That is what we have to look after, and if we were to restrict the powers of the inspectors, I can't see how we can accomplish this aim.

I'm prepared to move into clause-by-clause review, Mr. Chair, at this time.

Chair: Is there further general debate?

On Clause 1

Clause 1 agreed to

On Title

Title agreed to

Hon. Mr. Sloan: I move that Bill No. 62, entitled An Act to Amend the Child Care Act, be reported out of Committee without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Bill No. 62 - An Act to Amend the Maintenance and Custody Orders Enforcement Act

Chair: Committee will now proceed to Bill No. 54, An Act to Amend the Maintenance and Custody Orders Enforcement Act.

I'll ask that we take a brief recess.


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

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: There were some questions in second reading in relation to section 6 of the act. What I would like to do here is offer the explanation, if I can flip to the right page.

Information that is disclosed in the administration of the maintenance enforcement orders is confidential information. Employees are required to keep this information confidential. In section 6, we take into account the existence of new legislation that protects privacy, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, or legislation that requires disclosure above and beyond normal requirements. For example, in section (a) where you see the reference to the Family Violence Prevention Act, the claimant, their lawyer or the police may ask the maintenance enforcement program staff to provide information about the location of a respondent, about the location of their property and its location. This is to ensure that criminal investigations can be supported, or that where there may be a criminal charge for contempt of court if someone is refusing to obey a court order, that the maintenance enforcement program staff can provide that information to the RCMP.

In cases where there may be an emergency intervention order on the Family Violence Prevention Act if the maintenance enforcement staff have information about the location of an individual, they may disclose that information to the RCMP.

Chair: Is there any general debate?

Mr. Cable: I'm not quite sure we understand where the minister is coming from on that. Both the Yukon Party critic and I had some trouble getting our heads around the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act provisions. It appears on the face of it that subsection (6), of what will be section 6, appears to contradict subsection (6). Is the minister saying that our appreciation of that is incorrect?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: It is not the intent of subsection 6 to contradict subsection 5. It is meant to indeed clarify, indeed, that if there was a dispute between what ATIP says and what the maintenance enforcement says, that the rules of the maintenance enforcement program apply.

Mr. Cable: Okay, let me mull that around overnight.

I have some problems working through this bill with respect to appeals, and I was hopeful that the minister would take some advice overnight and fill us in tomorrow - I assume this bill will be up tomorrow - on the appeals by the respondent and, in particular, the appeals against the administrative orders that are made without the benefit of a court hearing. Let me point out particularly the section -

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Mr. Cable: The section 10 that's here presently, I read as giving the respondent some access to deal with a writ of garnishment under section 10(6). Now, unless I have missed something, the respondent - that's the person owing the maintenance payments - only gets the right to appear if there is a dispute filed by the income source - that's the person being garnisheed - and that right is set up in the amending bill on page 16, which would be the new section 10(2). I can't find another place where the respondent can come into court. Maybe I just haven't seen it, and I was wondering if the minister could take some advice on that.

There is also the right of appeal that's set up in the present act under section 21(1). It says that an appeal lies from an order of the Territorial Court under this act to the Supreme Court, and I was wondering what the effect of that is on one of these administrative orders.

I don't think these administrative orders are deemed to be an order of the Territorial Court, so is there an appeal to the Supreme Court from one of the administrative orders? If the minister knows the answer to those questions offhand, maybe she could advise the House.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I'm looking to see the response for that question. I can come back to the member with an answer for that.

Mr. Cable: I also mentioned at second reading, or asked the question, as to what sort of procedures the director will be using in taking evidence for the making of the administrative order. I wonder if the minister could advise us now, or some time later, as to whether it's the practice and the policy of the department to take the evidence under affidavit, or will it simply be collected and an order issued without evidence under oath?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I will have to confirm that with my officials, Mr. Chair. They are presently bringing over information in response to some of the other questions that the members have posed, and I expect them to be here soon.

Mr. Cable: Now, we were briefed in the briefing this morning on the reason for the custody enforcement orders being removed, and the explanation that was given to us, I believe, was that the act is never used for that purpose and that it's desirable that the kidnapping provisions of the Criminal Code be used instead.

I wonder if the minister would confirm for the House and for the record that what their reason is for removing the custody enforcement provisions and whether, in fact, it's the government's position that the Criminal Code should be used instead.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: As I indicated in my second reading speech, it is the case that child custody is a national issue. It is, at the present time, the subject of deliberations on both the part of the federal/provincial/territorial Committee on Family Law, and a Senate Committee on Family Law.

Those groups are considering appropriate legislation and mechanisms to provide for and ensure the safety and custody of children. Child custody is separate from the enforcement of maintenance orders. We want to do what other jurisdictions in Canada have done, and change the title of the legislation to reflect this intent, for the legislation to deal strictly with maintenance enforcement. The new title of the act will become Maintenance Enforcement Act.

Custody matters will be dealt with through both the Criminal Code and other actions as recommended by the senate committee, and the federal/provincial/territorial Committee on Family Law.

Mr. Cable: There will be some questions, drawing from the answers to the questions I raised previously. Hopefully, those can be dealt with tomorrow.

Is the minister of the view that her staff will be here tomorrow, to walk us through some of these provisions?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I believe the staff is in the building. What I would propose that we do is proceed to the clauses of the bill, and when we come to the clauses in questions, if we do not have satisfactory responses for the members opposite, we can stand any clauses aside that still have outstanding questions remaining.

Chair: Is there any further general debate at this time?

Seeing none, does Clause 2 carry?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: On clause 1, I have a further explanatory note for the member opposite who was just raising the question about the custody orders. Custody orders are made according to the provisions of the Divorce Act or the Family Property and Support Act. When the provision of custody and access orders are violated, parents have recourse, both under the Children's Act or the Criminal Code.

Chair: For Committee's information, clause 1, because it deals with the title, will be reserved as the last clause we deal with.

Clause 1 stood over

On Clause 2

Clause 2 agreed to

On Clause 3

Clause 3 agreed to

On Clause 4

Clause 4 agreed to

On Clause 5

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Clause 5 amending subsection 4(1)?

Chair: Yes.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: The existing act gives the director no discretion as to whether or not to enforce a maintenance order unless there was no practicable means of enforcing it. The order may be too vague to enforce or the person identified as the claimant may not reside with the child for whose benefit the maintenance is paid. This clears up those ambiguities.

Clause 5 agreed to

On Clause 6

Mr. Phillips: I think that's the one we were standing aside - clause 6. So, maybe ask the minister to stand that aside until we get more information on that.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Yes, we can stand aside clause 6.

Mr. Phillips: Mr. Chair, I wonder if the minister - I had some problems. I raised this in my second reading speech and I know my colleague for Riverside raised it as well. It seems to be that clause 5(c) and clause 6 are contradictory and I'd just like a clearer explanation, maybe in writing from the minister tomorrow, earlier in the day, so we can have a look at it to satisfy ourselves that the clauses aren't contradictory.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: That is clauses 5(c) and 6 that are within section 6. I will attempt to have something to the members opposite early tomorrow morning so that we can expedite the discussion tomorrow and for now it is stood aside.

Mr. Phillips: A minor issue is the two (c)s that are in that particular bill - there is 5(a),(b), (c) and (c) - and so, I don't know if we need a formal amendment or if we can just change that. That's what I have on my bill that I have before me. Maybe there are other copies that are floating around out there.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Mr. Chair, that is a minor typographical error that can just be corrected without an formal amendment to the bill.

Clause 6 stood over

On Clause 7

Clause 7 agreed to

On Clause 8

Mr. Cable: One of the questions we raised at the briefing was the terminology "jointly and separately." I think the minister's officer was going to take some advice as to whether that should be "jointly and severally." It's mentioned two or three times in the act there.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: "Jointly and separately" uses a 20th century language to express the same meaning as "jointly and severally," which is 18th century language. "Several" in the sense of separate or distinct is no longer in common use, except in legalese, and there is no reason to retain it in the law. "Jointly and separately" means either together or separately. "Severally" is the word that was used previously in legislation. Other bills and other places have adopted the use of the word "separately" as being more current.

Clause 8 agreed to

On Clause 9

Clause 9 agreed to

Chair: Does clause 10 carry?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Clause 10 is the section on garnishment orders. I would like to respond to some of the discussion from the Member for Riverside in relation to garnishment orders.

Garnishment orders are brought into effect when a child support order has been made by a court, but is not being adhered to by the parent. We bring forward a garnishment order to enforce a child support order. If a parent feels that they should not have to pay that child support, they can apply to the courts to vary the amount of the child support. However, we want to bring in mechanisms to ensure that the garnishment orders are effective.

Mr. Cable: Let me feed back what I think the minister just said. If the respondent has a problem with the order, they attack the underlying order, but not the garnishment order. Is that what she's saying?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Yes.

Mr. Cable: With respect to the administrative orders, what is the procedure that will be set up by the minister's staff for the making of those orders? What sort of evidence is it going to be based on, if we're talking about arrears?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: That will be set up under the regulations, Mr. Chair. In determining the procedure to be followed, the maintenance enforcement staff will look at the regulations that are in effect in Nova Scotia and British Columbia governing this, and will devise regulations based on that.

Mr. Cable: Let me just go back a step to let sink in what the minister just said about the underlying maintenance order. You have a maintenance order, which is black and white. It says pay x dollars a month, and then somebody will come into the minister's staff office and say, look, this maintenance order is in arrears. This person owes several months' worth of arrears, and then an administrative order will be issued on that. Is the minister saying you can't attack the assertion that there are arrears; you have to go back and attack the original maintenance order?

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: The maintenance enforcement program staff may issue a garnishment to recover arrears. Yes, that is the case. There are mechanisms in place to ensure that a garnishment does not take 100 percent of someone's salary so that it wouldn't leave a respondent destitute.

Mr. Cable: No, I'm not making that point. Let's say the issue is not the issue of the maintenance order or the amount that can be garnisheed, but whether in fact there are arrears. Are we saying that we can't get before a court under the garnishment, not under the original maintenance, but under the garnishment, to contest the fact that there are arrears?

The amendment appears to give some right to the respondent, but only if the income source files a statement disputing it, as I read it anyway.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: Yes, a respondent can dispute the arrears and can take the matter to court in a default hearing.

Mr. Cable: Okay, we're just about at the point where we report progress. I wonder if tomorrow the minister could walk me through the rights that the respondent has to contest these administrative orders, because it appears on the surface that the only way the respondent gets in the court is if the income source files some dispute. Maybe I'm wrong and I'm not reading all the sections, but I'd like to be satisfied. I'd like to increase the comfort level a bit.

Hon. Ms. Moorcroft: I'll be happy to bring back some further information for the member on that.

I move, Mr. Chair, that you report progress on Bill No. 54.

Motion agreed to

Hon. Mr. Harding: 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. McRobb: Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 62, An Act to Amend the Child Care Act, and directed me to report it without amendment. Further, Committee has considered Bill No. 54, An Act to Amend the Maintenance and Custody Orders Enforcement Act, and directed me to report progress on it.

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

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker: I declare the report carried.

Hon. Mr. Harding: 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 5:25 p.m.

The following Sessional Papers were tabled November 3, 1998:


Yukon Development Corporation/Yukon Energy Corporation 1997 Annual Report (Harding)


Yukon Child Care Board 1997-98 Annual Report (Sloan)


Yukon Hospital Corporation financial statements for the year ended March 31, 1998 (Sloan)


Health care insurance programs: statement of revenue and expenditures, 1997-98 (Sloan)


Yukon Geographical Place Names Board 1996-97 Annual Report (Keenan)


Yukon development assessment act (draft dated October 15, 1998) (Livingston)

The following Document was filed November 3, 1998:


Notice to all airmen (NOTAM) re: extension of runway at Whitehorse Airport (Jenkins)