Speaker: I will now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with prayers.
Speaker: We’ll proceed at this time with the Order Paper.
In remembrance of Roddy Blackjack
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: I rise today on behalf of the House to pay tribute to a well-respected elder, Roddy Blackjack. Roddy was born at Rink Rapids, and grew up at Little Salmon village and in Carmacks. At the young age of 14, he worked as a deckhand aboard the steamboats that travelled from
In 1956, he met his wife, and together they raised six children — three boys and three girls. At this time, he worked with the coal mine in Carmacks and the
In 1960, he was elected Chief of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation, a position that would last over 12 years.
He cared deeply about Yukon First Nation people. In 1973, Roddy was part of a delegation of Yukon First Nation chiefs led by Elijah Smith, who presented Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow, which marked the beginning of the negotiation process for modern-day treaties in
At this time, I would like to ask the Members of the Legislative Assembly to join me in welcoming to the gallery family and friends of Roddy Blackjack: part of the Blackjack family, Russell, Ragene, Greg, Shelby, Leta and Chantelle. Also joining us are John and Andrea Laughlin, Tyrell Vance, Bernice Blattman, Darlene Johnson, and Chief Eric Fairclough. Please join me in welcoming them to the House.
In remembrance of Steven Kormendy
Mr. Silver: I rise on behalf of all MLAs in the Legislative Assembly to pay tribute to Steven Paul Kormendy. My tribute is a combination of a eulogy and also very kind words given to me by Sergeant John Mitchell of the Canadian Rangers.
Steven’s parents were enlisted soldiers in World War I, and after that war ended, they immigrated to
During the Depression, Steven enlisted with the Calgary Highlanders, against his parents’ wishes. For the first month of World War II, he was a guard at
During his service, Corporal Kormendy participated in D-Day landings at
Steve was a highly decorated soldier in the Canadian Forces and received several medals during his tour of duty, including the Canadian Forces Decoration, 12 years service medal, the War Medal, 1939-1945, the 1945-1949 Star, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, the France and Germany Star and the Defence Medal.
Steve was also an honourary member of the Dawson Ranger Patrol, where two of his sons, Darren and Steven, are members and continue to serve. On numerous occasions, we were fortunate enough to have him serve as the guest of honour for the Ranger Patrol inspections and VIP functions. In 2005, declared the Year of the Veteran, to honour those who fought in past wars, the
Steve was formally discharged from service in 1945. He and a friend flipped a coin to decide if they would — heads — go to
Steven first went to Atlin and then moved on to Elsa and Keno. He spent some time mining on the
One of Steve’s most important occasions was always Remembrance Day. He would encourage family members to participate in the ceremony. He would look around to see if the rest of the family, colleagues and community members were in attendance, as he believed that this was part of his life and why he and his comrades fought for freedom. Steve became a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers in 1974 and, in the spring of 2013, he was given the honour of becoming a life member.
Throughout their lives, Steve and Peggy were inseparable — hunting, fishing, trapping, mining and growing their own vegetables. Steve loved to spend time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He enjoyed cooking for his kids and especially the grandchildren. They loved his chicken soup and his dumplings. One of his grandchildren was heard saying, “Grandpa makes the best bologna sandwiches ever.” He never missed a day of cooking for the kids. He was a kind and generous man — he gave fish to those in need without hesitation. He loved to get dressed up and to take Peggy out on the town dancing, and they enjoyed their nights out immensely.
During the last few weeks of his journey, Steve spent time surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren and continued to enjoy his last sips of Royal Red.
Steve will be sadly missed by his wife Peggy, son Peter and wife Margie, son Ed and wife Janice, son Steven and wife Petra, son Frank and wife Darlene, son Darren and wife Austin, daughter Debbie and husband Richard, daughter Dawn and husband Ken and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as his sisters-in-law Shirley and Ann.
Steve is predeceased by his parents John and Elizabeth, brothers Ed, Frank and John, and one sister, as well as his brothers-in-law George, Jackie, John and Richard Semple, and sisters-in-law Katherine McNab and Linda Chudy.
Rest now, old soldier. We will remember you.
I’d like to offer to everybody in the gallery today and the Members of the Legislative Assembly to help me in welcoming Ed Kormendy, son of Steve, with his wife Janice; also Steven Kormendy, grandson, and family members Gina Nagano and Sharon Specht.
In recognition of the Annual Territorial Skills Competition
As evidence of that, this House has passed on private members’ day two unanimous motions on skills training — one introduced by the Member for Klondike and the other introduced by the Member for Pelly-Nisutlin — so again congratulating all members for passing those motions.
The Territorial Skills Competition this Friday will build on that by providing
In past years, and in particular the past year, our
Mr. Denis Gaudin will be competing in mechanical CAD at this year’s worlds in
Mayor Curtis, who all members know has been very involved in Skills Canada, said last night at the reception that Mr. Gaudin stands a very good chance of perhaps coming home with a medal not only for Canada, but also for the Yukon.
Nathan Petersen last year became a back-to-back gold medallist in heavy-duty mechanics. A Riverdale North resident, he achieved something that not many individuals do achieve at the nationals, and that is a near-perfect score. Unfortunately, heavy-duty mechanics is not recognized in the world competition, so Nathan won’t be going to
David Lister, a resident of Riverdale South, was a bronze medallist in
Finally, a former resident of the riding of
Mr. Speaker, I have every expectation that our talented team will continue to make
I would like to extend a big thank you to all our partners in this venture for their tremendous effort in making this competition happen. This event would not take place without the hard work of all the staff at Skills Canada. I would especially like to recognize their Executive Director Megan Freese for her efforts in putting this day together.
The Government of
We have two special guests who have joined us this year for Skills Canada. Please give a special welcome to Igor Shamraychuk and Olga Ivanova , master foreman and construction crew of Shaw Network’s Restaurant Takeover, which is moving on from the previous show that many will recognize, Restaurant Makeover. Igor and Olga will be lending some of their considerable expertise in skilled trades to our competition.
I am very confident that tomorrow’s competition at the Canada Games Centre will provide our youth with an opportunity to showcase their skills and perhaps gain a new awareness of the possibilities that await them with a career in the trades.
I would ask members of the House to join me in wishing all the participants the best of luck tomorrow, but also welcoming special guests to the gallery: Stephanie Churchill, who is Canada’s delegate to World Skills, Megan Freese, the Executive Director of Skills Canada Yukon, and last but not least, Igor and Olga, who have joined us here from Toronto, where I understand spring is a little bit late in coming there too, so we don’t feel so bad. I would ask them to stand and we welcome them.
In recognition of
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the House, I rise today to acknowledge May 14 to 20 as National Road Safety Week.
Every day we are reminded of the consequences of unsafe, distracted or impaired driving. We are reminded by the memory of those who have lost and by those who have suffered due to the poor decisions made by others behind the wheel.
As we approach the Victoria Day long weekend, we know that traffic on our roads and highways will increase. As Yukoners travel around the territory, the number of tourists grows as our summer season approaches. Historically, there is a rise on this weekend in the number and severity of crashes as well as people taking to the roads to enjoy warmer and longer days.
National Road Safety Week highlights the importance of safe, sober and attentive driving for all drivers and passengers. With the increase of traffic on our favourite fishing, camping and recreational sites awaiting us, we need to take time to plan to travel safely. When we are planning ahead, we are better prepared for traffic and road conditions, weather uncertainties, and we are able to reduce distractions while driving. By driving responsibly, we help ensure safer travel on our roadways.
We also note that impaired driving is not just a result of alcohol consumption. Drivers can be legally impaired by fatigue, distraction and drugs as well. In the
To keep our families safe as they travel the
Highways and Public Works helps ensure the safety of young passengers on our roadways with our child carseat safety program. Each year improper use of carseats causes an estimated 390 deaths of children under the age of 14, while another 25,000 are injured. Of course, proper use of any child restraint system can reduce child fatalities by up to 80 percent in the event of a crash.
This summer our child carseat safety program will continue to promote carseat safety at public clinics throughout the territory. Certified child restraint system technicians are available year-round through our program to inspect the installation of the child restraint system in your vehicle. This free program is great for new and seasoned parents looking to make sure that they are using their car seats as effectively as possible.
Not only will parents receive support to ensure their children are safe by having their carseats inspected, the children’s names will be entered into our annual draw for a chance to win one of four $500 RESP contributions to help parents as they start saving for their child’s education.
Lastly, I would like to wish all Yukoners a safe and fun summer. We are blessed to have such a beautiful landscape around us to explore and enjoy during the summer months. The thousands of visitors who come to see what the
Enjoy your summer. Be responsible. Drive safely. Remember that road safety is not merely the result of chance; it’s everyone’s responsibility and it starts with you. Do your part to save lives.
In recognition of Lois Cameron
Speaker: On behalf of all members of the present and past Legislative Assemblies and the current and past staff of the Legislative Assembly Office, I have the privilege today to pay tribute to Lois Cameron, our long-suffering Hansard contractor.
Lois is joined today by her husband Bob. Bob’s brother, Dean, is also here, along with Lois and Bob’s son, Kyle and his partner, Casey, and her ever-faithful Hansard staff.
You’ll bear with me, as I try and go through all the names here: Anne Williams, Deb Wald, Jane Haydock, Betty Redlin,
In the spring of 1975, the court reporting firm Lois worked for in Vancouver gave her an option to go to Whitehorse to record this mysterious thing called Hansard, or go to Yellowknife to participate in the Mackenzie Valley pipeline inquiry. Lois thought this may be her only chance to experience
Lois and her co-workers arrived in
Lois met Bob in 1975 and later married him in 1977 and became a Yukoner for life. I really believe that Bob was the reason she kept coming back, not necessarily the work. The government then hired Lois as a permanent employee to oversee the production of Hansard. With the advent of party politics in 1978, the whole dynamic of the Legislature changed. The Clerk’s office was divided at that time into legislative and administrative branches. Hansard was part of the legislative arm. The then Deputy Clerk, Patrick Michael, became Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, and Linda Adams, who had been the Clerk, became the principal secretary and moved upstairs with the new Government Leader, Chris Pearson.
It wasn’t long after this that Lois convinced the newly appointed Clerk, Patrick Michael, to allow her to work on a contract basis as she wasn’t busy enough intersessionally. I would like to point out that Patrick Michael is here today for this tribute for Lois.
With all the changes within the Legislative precinct, Hansard production also changed and became computerized — the first in
Once the government offices had access to the Internet in the early 2000s, Hansard staff no longer had to make their late-night delivery of the hard copy to the printer. E-mail had finally taken care of that. In 2008 Hansard continued to embrace the digital world and implemented a system that eliminated the necessity for tape recorders altogether. Although Lois was a little frightened by this big change, Lois and her seasoned staff continued to prove that they could do anything.
The Hansard staff continues to produce the fastest Hansard in all of Canada, with transcribers able to leave work about five minutes following the last word spoken — generally my word.
Lois’ 39 years makes her the currently longest serving Hansard recorder in the
Lois has many memories, from 78-day-long sittings to all-night sittings. Some retreaded members will remember some of those. One night in particular, she remembers that then-Member for
Talking with her husband, Bob, just before coming in, and for about the fifteenth change to this tribute, he was telling me that while visiting
Lois has definitely seen a lot of progress and changes over the years. She and her staff have produced 43,000 pages of Hansard, worked with 119 members, including nine different Speakers and eight different Government Leaders/Premiers, but only three Clerks in all that time. Some of the early members have gone on to become commissioners, senators, and another is a Supreme Court judge.
Lois has been heard to say that it has been an interesting and rewarding career. Although often extremely stressful, it allowed her time at home when her sons were small. Lois will be remembered here for her professionalism. Think of the pressure on her to make members sound literate while still maintaining the essence of what they said. Also, not giving in to members who wanted statements deleted that they wish they had never said. I can’t believe we’ve ever had that happen.
Her leadership and mentoring are evidenced by the staff who keep coming back to work with her year after year. There are many members like me, and some others like Floyd and Patrick, who have always appreciated Lois and her staff for sharing the Hansard office snacks.
Lois decided it was time to call it quits when she recently heard the Minister of Highways and Public Works stand in this House and talk about the Shakwak project — one of his grandmother’s favourite subjects back in 1977.
Lois, all the members and staff and all of those before us wish you the very, very best. You take with you not only our greatest respect but also our heart-felt appreciation for all that you have done for us and
In recognition of Sue MacDonald
Clerk: Mr. Speaker and honourable members of the Legislative Assembly, it is my honour today to pay tribute to Sue MacDonald, the Legislative Assembly’s House and Committee Assistant and Website Administrator. Today is the Assembly’s last sitting day before Sue retires on June 7, and she joins us at the Clerk’s table today. Sue was born in
She runs the Legislative Page program and distributes to the Clerks and MLAs many of the documents they use on every sitting day. She also ensures that all the appropriate documents are ready for the Commissioner’s signature when assent is granted to bills so that our work in here actually becomes legally effective.
In other words, she is the master of a thousand details that allow the Assembly to do its work efficiently. Much of this work may go unnoticed or be taken for granted because it is always done with such regularity and precision, but it is greatly appreciated. One could say with only a small amount of exaggeration that most of what she does falls into that catch-all category of “other related duties”. In addition to what I have already mentioned, Sue performs administrative assistant duties for both the Speaker and the Clerk. She is also the primary liaison between the Legislative Assembly Office and the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, ensuring that members get their annual declarations filed on time. Of course, we always want to make sure that the Conflict of Interest Commissioner is pleased.
She has run the registration table and done anything else asked of her when the Assembly has hosted national and international conferences of elected members, legislative auditors and parliamentary clerks.
She has served at the Clerk’s Table when either the Clerk or Deputy Clerk has been unavailable. Members may recall that she served as the Acting Sergeant-at-Arms on April 23 of this year, and some of you — probably more of you — may have noticed her tending bar at the reception for the Yukoners Cancer Care Fund two weeks ago.
As the longest serving employee of the Legislative Assembly Office, Sue is also the holder of a great deal of corporate knowledge and experience, something that I have drawn upon constantly since I was hired as Deputy Clerk in 2001 and perhaps should have drawn on more.
However, describing what Sue has done and continues to do tells us only part of the story. More importantly is how Sue does the myriad of things she does. A Legislative Assembly Office, with a small number of employees and a wide range of responsibilities, can only function if those employees are willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. This is where Sue excels. Her willingness to take on any task that needs doing and put in the required hours and effort to get it done right epitomizes this kind of commitment. For Sue, going above and beyond the call of duty is all in a day’s work.
The Member for Vuntut Gwitchin wanted me to convey a message that Sue’s gentle guidance, kind and friendly demeanour were a heart-send, especially during trying times throughout his term as the MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin. He said, and I quote: “Because Sue looked after me so well, that made my representation of my constituents that much greater.” He also asked me to say a few words in Gwich’in, so my apologies to all speakers of Gwich’in at this point.
Mahsi’ cho, Sue, and [Clerk spoke in Gwich’in. Text unavailable] All the best in your new journey.
Mr. Speaker, as I said at the beginning of this tribute, Sue’s last day with the Legislative Assembly is June 7. Someone will succeed her in her position, but no one can ever replace her. Those of us who work with her will miss her presence around the office, personally and professionally. I know that all members, the Legislative Assembly Office staff, past and present, and Cabinet and caucus staff wish her a long, happy, well-deserved retirement.
Once again, Mr. Speaker, I thank you and all members of the Legislative Assembly for giving me the opportunity to offer this tribute to Sue MacDonald.
Ms. Hanson: Just briefly, on behalf of the Official Opposition, we also wanted — we cannot match the eloquence of the Clerk — to extend our thanks to Sue. In my brief experience, it’s her quiet and principled strength that has kept a legion of us political types really in line, and she has done it with grace. We wish her the best in the next phase of her life and, you know, after retirement there are many options, as we can demonstrate. So, good luck, Sue.
Mr. Silver: On behalf of the Liberal caucus, I would also like to offer our thanks to Sue MacDonald for her many years of service to all Members of the Legislative Assembly. Ms. MacDonald’s assistance over the years has played a critical role in the daily routine of the Legislative Assembly and in the lives of all of the MLAs from all parties. We are grateful to salute you for your hard work and your dedication and the support you have given all of us, as a committed public servant. We wish you luck on your well-deserved retirement and, as you move forward into the next chapter of your life, we wish you much happiness in the years ahead. Enjoy and God bless.
Hon. Mr. Cathers: I am pleased but a bit sad to rise on behalf of the government caucus and thank Sue for her years of service in many capacities, both for me personally as a brand new private member when first elected, and as House Leader, and in a number of capacities over the years. Sue’s assistance has been of great help personally and of course very important to all members. I know I speak on behalf of the entire government caucus in thanking Sue very sincerely for her assistance over the years.
While I’m on my feet, I know your tribute to Lois Cameron was on behalf of all members, but I’d just like to thank Lois sincerely as well on behalf of the government caucus.
In recognition of Jude Layzell
Mr. Silver: This is kind of a heart-wrenching day of retirements and I would just like to also rise and say thank you to another member of the Legislature team who is retiring today and that is Ms. Jude Layzell. I will keep this brief because if I got into how much we relied on Jude over the last few decades, or how much she meant to me on a personal level, Mr. Speaker, I don’t think I’d be able to make it through this tribute without choking up.
Suffice to say that Jude has been an icon for the Yukon Liberal Party. Her allegiance is admirable; her determination is inspiring and above all — and I don’t know how else to say this — above all she’s real. She is, as my father would say, “good people”. Thank you so very much, Jude and thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your indulgence today.
Ms. Hanson: Mr. Speaker, I too, on behalf of the Official Opposition, want to rise and pay tribute to Jude on her last day of work in the Liberal caucus office. There are a lot of reasons for that. Jude is the epitome in many ways of what public service is all about. There are lots of examples of why Jude has become so important to so many people in this building, not just because she is the greeter — everybody walks by and gets that welcome smile.
But from a very personal level, we can recall in our caucus office on the day following Steve Cardiff’s death, people came to work the next morning to find Jude in our office at our reception desk manning our phones. We were in shock and she knew it and she always knew what was the right thing to do and she did it — and she does it, I think.
She also has a great sense of humour, which makes those little stop-ins at that office fun. I’m so pleased to know that she is retiring to enjoy the newest member of her family, her great-granddaughter, Aria, whom I got to meet this week. On behalf of the NDP, we’re going to miss having her right next door to us, and we know that many other people in this building will miss her. We thank her for her many years of service.
Jude has been a friend: I remember growing up right next door to Dave and Jude and my parents were on a camping trip one weekend. My younger brother and I decided that would be a great weekend to have some friends over. Jude and Dave got home from another engagement fairly late and heard some of the music coming from next door and decided, “If we can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” So, they came to our house and joined us at our party. I’m sure it wasn’t them who told my parents about it when they got back on the Sunday. So, as a next door neighbour growing up and now a neighbour down the street from Dave and Jude, I wish them all the best going forward. I stopped in and talked to Jude this morning and mentioned that I am looking forward to seeing her in the neighbourhood and chatting with her across the fence as much as I look forward to stopping in and grabbing one of her hard candies here in the Legislature on the way up to my office.
So thank you so much Jude and enjoy your time with Dave and your family. I’m sure that it will be great. We’re certainly going to miss you here in the Yukon Legislature.
In recognition of Pages
Speaker: On behalf of all members and the Clerks, I’d like to give a tribute and our thanks to our legislative pages, only two of whom we only have here today.
You have conducted yourselves in a very professional manner and you should be proud of that. I have also enjoyed speaking with you at length at different times, getting your impressions on the House and the proceedings here.
Some of the pages have expressed an interest in returning for the fall sitting. For those, we look forward to seeing you again. For those who won’t be returning, we wish you well and hope that your experience here has been a positive one.
One of our long-serving pages, Sruthee, I understand is going to be applying for a page position in
Speaker: Again, on behalf of all members and the Clerks, we wish you well with your upcoming exams and a safe and happy summer. Thank you for your dedication and support during this sitting.
Speaker: Introduction of visitors.
INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS
Hon. Mr. Graham: It gives me great pleasure to introduce a couple of people in the gallery here today, one of whom has been with us throughout this whole session. The Minister of Education and I check every once and awhile to make sure she doesn’t come here just to sleep away the afternoons. I’ve known Davina Harker for a number of years from the college and I just want to let you know, Davina, we appreciate your forbearance being here every day and listening to some of the proceedings that go on here, so thank you very much.
The second is another colleague of mine from previous employment at
Speaker: Are there any returns or documents for tabling?
TABLING RETURNS AND DOCUMENTS
Hon. Ms. Taylor: I have for tabling the annual report for 2012-2013 for the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues.
Speaker: Are there any reports of committees?
Are there any petitions?
Are there any bills to be introduced?
Are there any notices of motion?
NOTICES OF MOTION
Ms. White: I give notice of the following motion:
THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon in its development of
(1) protect all Yukon water from Schedule 2 of the federal metal mining effluent regulations that allows for the designation of freshwater lakes as tailings impoundment areas; and
(2) outright ban bulk water export from any
I give notice of the following motion:
THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to commit to improving the public registry of contaminated sites by:
(1) improving public access to the inventory of all contaminated sites in the
(2) improving recording, documentation and cataloguing of contaminated sites to ensure transparency and public access; and
(3) improving public communications on what the public should do upon the discovery of land contamination, including spills.
THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to amend the Hospital Act so that Yukon’s Financial Administration Act applies to the Yukon Hospital Corporation.
THAT this House urges the Government of Yukon to follow the advice of Thomas Berger and visit the Peel watershed before it makes a final decision on a Peel land use plan.
This brings us to Question Period.
Question re: Peel watershed land use plan
Ms. Hanson: Members of the public are familiar with the Lonely Planet’s message to tourists about the
Now that the Premier and his Cabinet seem to have rediscovered the value of tourism to the economy, especially in light of faltering commodity prices, how is the Yukon Party government going to explain its rejection of the Final Recommended Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan to the European market?
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: As we have said throughout this term in office and in fact throughout the election, as well, we believe that the
Ms. Hanson: Mr. Speaker, during this sitting the Energy, Mines and Resources minister’s spin to justify the Yukon Party’s dismissal of the Peel plan was, “We were elected to represent Yukoners. We were elected by Yukoners. We were not elected to represent the people of Düsseldorf,
Yesterday we heard many words from Yukon Party ministers about the importance of German-speaking
Hon. Mr. Dixon: With the land use planning in the Peel region, one of the goals we have is to protect the
We have suggested and fully agree that there are areas in the Peel watershed region that deserve the highest level of protection available, and we are absolutely prepared to undertake to implement that kind of protection. What we disagree with the NDP about, though, is that we have to have an all-or-nothing approach to these things. We believe that it is possible to manage the footprint of activity in certain areas and ultimately protect some of the key areas, as well.
What we will do is continue with the land use planning process as set out under the Umbrella Final Agreement and come up with a land use plan that we believe works for all Yukoners.
Ms. Hanson: Actions speak louder than words.
All parties in this Legislative Assembly recognize the 40th anniversary of the Umbrella Final Agreement and the breakthrough of colonization to relationships built on equality. All parties were told by First Nation leaders that the relationship is built on deeds, not words, and that they still look forward to the relationship being based on the handshake of equals.
First Nation governments told the Yukon Party government that although they wanted 100-percent protection for the Peel, they believed the compromises contained in the final recommended plan are fair and balanced. The government’s response has been to ignore chapter 11 obligations, dismiss the multi-year consultation process, and dismiss the views of First Nation governments and the voices of thousands of Yukoners who support the final recommended plan.
How can the Premier justify the Yukon Party’s rejection of the Peel plan while saying he respects First Nation governments and the intent of the final agreements?
Hon. Mr. Dixon: Mr. Speaker, in this instance, the member opposite is absolutely wrong. We have absolutely followed the Umbrella Final Agreement. We remain absolutely committed to the Umbrella Final Agreement and the implementation of all of our obligations under the various land claims in this territory. We do it every day when we plan special management areas, habitat protection areas and other aspects of the Umbrella Final Agreement and the specific First Nation land claim agreements.
Mr. Speaker, for her to suggest that we are somehow breaching our obligation is simply inaccurate, and I absolutely disagree with her.
What we will do is to continue to follow the Umbrella Final Agreement. We will continue to consult with our First Nations planning partners as we are required to do by that agreement, and when we conclude that process we’ll ultimately end up with a land use plan that we feel represents the best way forward for the
Question re: Electrical rate increases
Mr. Tredger: Yukoners have been hit in the pocketbook by electrical rate increases and are readying for yet another increase on July 1. Contrary to the facts, the minister says he is not involved in electrical rates. The minister does say consumers should pay the true cost for electricity as he contemplates removing the rate subsidy that saves many Yukoners $26 a month.
What does the minister say to Yukoners who are preparing to take yet another hit in the pocket as rates go higher?
Hon. Mr. Cathers: First of all, what we’re hearing from the NDP again today goes under the same banner we saw last week on the front page of the Yukon News: “NDP Opposition’s Bad Math,” and their reference to the Opposition’s bungling YESAB stats.
This is another situation where the NDP’s assertions do not line up with the facts. Contrary to the member’s assertions, the Yukon Utilities Board, which is a quasi-judicial body, sets the electrical rates. Utilities apply if they wish to receive a rate increase, and the capable board members of the Yukon Utilities Board review their application and determine whether that avocation should be approved, approved in part, adjusted, whether they need additional information, et cetera, et cetera. So the member is quite simply wrong again.
Mr. Tredger: Yukoners who are facing another hit to the pocketbook, who struggle with paying the monthly bills, will take little comfort from the minister’s words. I asked the chair of the Energy Corporation Tuesday about how the general rate application is prepared and how the government establishes its expectation. The chair said that after the corporation does its deliberation, the rate application is taken, quote, “to the ministry for their consideration and notification. The analysis done by the corporation is reviewed by both the Development Corporation board and the ministry as well.”
The minister has said he’s not involved in the process, but it’s clear from the Chair that the minister has many opportunities to advocate for the consumer.
The minister is ultimately responsible for yet another hit. Why has the minister not advocated for consumers?
Hon. Mr. Cathers: Once again, the assertions coming from the NDP are inaccurate. The member would do all members and the public a service if he actually did a little more research on these matters before making these assertions in the House.
I would draw members’ attention to the fact that if you look at the typical annual rise in the consumer price index — the index of the cost of various goods and services — compared to our electrical rates, it is completely unrealistic for members to think that electrical rates will forever remain at the same level and will not, after some period in time, need on the part of both of the utilities that provide service, to potentially have an increase as a result of increased cost of labour, increased cost of fuel and increased cost of goods, services, machinery, et cetera.
We certainly do not welcome an increase in electrical rates, much as with any other portion of a system that people depend on, whether it be food, whether it be housing, whether it be the price of gasoline or home heating fuel. Certainly, we recognize that increases in the costs of those goods and services do affect people’s pocketbooks. The NDP seem to have this imaginary world they live in. We can’t prevent costs from rising in any area, including electrical areas.
What we do is continue to work with the utilities and encourage the boards to focus on reducing costs and reducing the cost of increase over a period of years.
Mr. Tredger: The interim rate subsidy saves Yukoners as much as $26 a month, and the minister has not been clear about whether he will maintain it or get rid of it. The subsidy was brought in to prevent rate shock related to the Faro mine closure and was supported and maintained by all parties when in government, including this minister. Yukoners are now going through another rate shock and need the subsidy more than ever.
Is the minister prepared to state on the record that the subsidy will be maintained?
Hon. Mr. Cathers: As I’ve said a number of times in responding to questions from members, there is a reason that we renamed the subsidy the “interim electrical rebate”. Certainly, a subsidy that distorts the marketplace and subsidizes the costs of services is something that is coming out of taxpayers’ pockets to reduce the cost for ratepayers, but ultimately they are the same people, so we recognize that a significant increase can cause rate shock. That is why we have left the interim electrical rebate in place as long as it has been there, but ultimately the cost of service has to be borne by someone at some point in time.
It is completely unrealistic for members to think that we can freeze the cost of food, the cost of home heating fuel, the cost of electrical rates or, really, the cost of any goods or service.
Labour costs and other increased costs have to be reflected somewhere at some point in time. That is unfortunate, but costs do go up.
Question re: Resource Access Roads Framework
Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Highways and Public Works. In 2012, the minister introduced for public consultation a new Resource Access Roads Framework. It outlines the goals and principles that guide decisions around the development and management of resource access roads in the
The purpose of this framework is to outline processes and provide guidance to regulators, industry and the public. While there was a great deal of hoopla when this consultation was first announced, there has never been any public confirmation that the framework has been adopted as official government policy.
Can the minister confirm that the Resource Access Roads Framework is now an official policy of this government?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: The Resource Access Roads Framework is just what it is — it is a framework. It is not a policy. It’s a set of guidelines for industry, so when industry looks to develop and come to us to talk about roads, they have done their consultation with the communities, with the First Nations, with the local resource councils and other key stakeholders.
This is sort of a bit of a framework to let industry know that if they want to work with the government on capital improvements for some of these roads, they can come and see and work with us as long as they’ve done their homework up front. This doesn’t supersede YESAA or anything else like that. We have $500,000 — and you’ll notice it in the budget. I’m hoping the member opposite does vote for the budget, because a lot of the industry up in
Mr. Silver: Western Copper and Gold is in
Has any determination been made by this government with respect to the contributions to the upgrade of this road, and have any changes been made to the proposed rooting of this road recently?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: There has been no commitment from this government on partnering on that road. The idea behind the Resource Access Roads Framework was exactly what I alluded to earlier about Western Copper contacting the department. We had suggested to them that they talk to the local resource councils, First Nations and the communities that are going to be affected by a project like that, so they can look at the different routes and they hopefully meet the requirements the community wants. So nothing for us — we have a portion of the Freegold mine road that is ours, on which there is existing maintenance, but they’re going to have to be responsible for that section. We work in cooperation with Economic Development, Energy, Mines and Resources and Executive Council Office on such huge projects. That’s where the proponent would come to see the government and have these discussions with us.
Mr. Silver: He didn’t allude to any of the proposed rerouting. I’ll give him a chance to answer that part of the question.
This summer, we have seen two major mining projects go sideways. Brewery Creek appeared to be off the table completely and Victoria Gold is delayed by a year. We also understand the exploration and development expenditures by mining companies will be much lower than last year — NRCan says approximately $112 million, down from $225 million last year, and according to some estimates, it could be as low as $75 million.
There will obviously be economic benefits to Yukoners if Casino mine is built. The $100 million road is bigger than the government’s annual highway construction budget with or without the Shakwak funding. The road would begin at Carmacks and end at the mine. What discussions, if any, has the minister had with Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation or the Selkirk First Nation regarding this potential road project?
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: Certainly this project continues to move forward but, as you’re aware, it is still in the early, early stages of this project. A project such as the Casino project, or any large project in
As we discussed and debated in a motion yesterday, on my tourism and trade mission, I’ll also have a component of that trip to continue to advocate and to promote Yukon as a good, solid investment for people who are looking to invest, as will the Minister of Economic Development through this summer and going forward continue to wave the Yukon flag, to talk about the strong support that this government has for economic development, to talk about the certainty there is by investing in the Yukon with a strong assessment process that we have, the strong permitting and regulatory process, the strong process in terms of inspections, and the fact that we do have great infrastructure. We have roads and we have an all-season port as well.
Ms. Stick: We all know the background story of the
The Yukon Hospital Corporation witnesses insist that in February they took immediate action on an unforeseen project management issue, but evidence shows that red flags were raised a year ago and now subcontractors are going to court over millions of dollars of unpaid work.
How does the minister explain this contradiction and what steps is he taking to ensure that he is better informed about the fiscal management of hospital projects?
Hon. Mr. Graham: It is interesting that the member opposite comes at this question from a number of different angles, but the simple fact remains that in April 2012 a contractor, Nelson Drywall, walked away from the job. There were allegations that labourers and suppliers in both
Had that case by Nelson Drywall against Dowland been proven true for $1,016,000, the money had been paid into the court as a holdback against the contract that the Yukon Hospital Corporation had with Dowland. So the Hospital Corporation was completely covered during that whole transaction.
The simple fact of the matter is the contractor, Nelson Drywall, has never approached the court — or at least to my knowledge has never approached the court — to claim that money.
Speaker: Order. The member’s time has elapsed.
Ms. Stick: I will have a discussion with the minister after and show him some of the evidence I have.
I have repeatedly asked about these overbudget and behind-time hospital projects. How much money is being claimed by subcontractors that is not yet paid? Yesterday, the minister said it was unfortunate I did not ask this question of the president and the CEO of the hospital, but I did and more than once. Neither the minister nor Yukon Hospital Corporation’s officials seem to want to give a direct answer to a straightforward question. We’re talking about millions of precious public health care dollars spent with a lack of accountability.
Mr. Speaker, is this minister prepared to amend the Hospital Act so that the
Hon. Mr. Graham: Mr. Speaker, isn’t this interesting. The member opposite — the NDP — wishes to have the Hospital Corporation come under the same Financial Administration Act and yet it was an NDP government that established the Yukon Hospital Corporation. It was an NDP government that chose to exclude the Hospital Corporation from the Financial Administration Act, so I’m not exactly sure how members opposite justify that action, but I’m here to tell you that it’s unfortunate that any
Unfortunately, what the member opposite still can’t seem to get straight is that we have no way of knowing how many of those subcontractors have worked for Dowland and are still owed money. That’s why we have a bonding agent who has taken over that responsibility; that bonding agent has the responsibility to ensure, first of all, that those claims by subcontractors are accurate and true, and then to make sure that those subcontractors are paid. So this has absolutely — well, I won’t say absolutely nothing to do with government, but this is a process that has been set up over years, and it works. This is the process that we are now in.
Ms. Stick: I will not apologize for the Hospital Act that the NDP brought in, or the fact that we didn’t ask for the Financial Administration Act for that. This is the problem now — it wasn’t in the past: fiscal mismanagement; millions of health care dollars being spent without an accounting.
We cannot get it from the minister; we could not get it from the officials. After all this, a scathing report from the Auditor General, receding timelines, inflated final bills — what’s going on and why can the minister not answer the questions?
Last question: What steps is the minister taking to improve the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s communication of issues with its project management?
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: I’m just going to speak to the transparency that the member opposite is trying to discuss, and certainly this is something that this administration has done since we’ve come to office. Our very first budget was a budget that did a couple of things. We combined the operation and maintenance budget and the capital budget into one document — one document that makes it much easier to understand and much easier to read. We also added a consolidated report as well, which was never done before in this Legislative Assembly where we actually showed the books for those corporations for which this Assembly does not vote for the appropriations. We continue to be up front and transparent with
Question re: Water management
Ms. White: Yukoners have until May 31 to comment on the draft water strategy. Like the energy strategy, the water strategy may be used to justify all manner of activities. A clear priority the government has defined is to “ensure adequate water availability for industry, communities and other users”. In the short and maybe intermediate term, the identified action is to review, improve and expand best management practices. Access to water is to be ensured to industry and industry is to follow best management practices.
The Faro mine operated in compliance with the regulation and the best management practices of the day. The company defaulted and generations of Canadians will continue paying for the cleanup. Yukoners want to understand more about these best management practices and how they are developed and enforced.
Can the minister explain who determines and enforces best management practices and how they will prevent another Faro mine from happening?
Hon. Mr. Cathers: First of all, as I’ve explained before in this House to members, in fact, there are a few things related to the Faro mine — first of all, it was under the federal watch and the federal government did not have as strong a regulatory process as we do. They did not have as much active inspection done by inspectors as we do for projects here today.
They did not take the same security that we take today, which is done based on a technical assessment of how much money government would need if a company went bankrupt and we had to complete full reclamation of the project. The issue with the Faro mine is acid-rock drainage. It is the result of it not being reclaimed when it should have been, but as far as failures under the federal watch, the member should perhaps look to her leader and ask for information about federal mismanagement of the mines file.
Ms. White: I didn’t hear any mention of best management practices.
Long-term goals in the strategy refer to ensuring oversight of all public water systems through current legislation and enforcement programs. Yukoners are not confident that current legislative and enforcement programs are adequate protection. For example, some current federal legislation puts
Can the minister assure Yukoners their water is adequately protected from section 5 of the metal mine effluent regulations under the Fisheries Act?
Hon. Mr. Dixon: I heard the member’s comments about this in her motion earlier and some of her aloof comments here today, and I have to say that I think she’s ignoring a vast amount of legislation and regulation when it comes to mining operations in the territory. When she asks if a particular lake could be used in a particular project, does she not remember that things have to go through a number of processes, including YESAA, which has guaranteed input from First Nations and the public; that we have a Waters Act; that we have a Quartz Mining Act that provides quartz mining licences to projects? There are a number of processes that go into the regulation and oversight on mining projects and for her to ask some random question about a particular project, I think, is a waste of the time of this House. What I would say, though, is that she should do some homework, review the current legislation and regulations, and gain a familiarity of how things work in the
Ms. White: You know what they say about opinions, don’t you? We all agree that our use of water needs to be sustainable, but what does “sustainable” really mean? Given all we don’t know about the interactions between ground and surface waters, all we don’t know about the impact of climate change on permafrost, on precipitation patterns, and the timing and amount of the spring runoff, how can we define what is sustainable? Yukoners are concerned about a potential imbalance in this draft strategy. On one hand, access to water is ensured but, on the other hand, there are no clear and enforceable standards to meet needs of watersheds and all they sustain.
A strategy to ensure sustainable water use should include legally enforceable minimum environmental flows in each watershed system. A strategy to ensure sustainable water use should prohibit bulk water export.
Will the minister ensure that the water strategy defines and allows for the enforcement of sustainable use, and will he direct the bulk water export from
Hon. Mr. Dixon: Mr. Speaker, what this water strategy won’t do is skip over the Water Board or any of the existing processes we have in place to protect water resources in this territory.
What it will do is provide a coordinated approach for governments across this territory to manage our water resources together. We have a number of departments in this government; we have a number of different levels of government in this territory that all have a responsibility with regard to water resources. We want to manage those resources in a coordinated fashion.
We’re not going to boil ourselves down into some fantasy of the Member for Takhini-Kopper King with regard to a specific project she has invented in her head. What we will continue to do is work with our First Nation partners, with our other levels of government, and consult with the public on what they want to see in a water strategy. If she wants to provide her comments in the public consultation, she is entirely free to. But, Mr. Speaker, what we won’t do is follow the advice of the NDP when it comes to managing such an important resource to Yukoners. What we will do is take a coordinated approach and govern in the best interest of Yukoners.
Speaker: The time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed to Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Mr. Cathers: Mr. Speaker, I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Government House Leader that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.
Motion agreed to
Speaker leaves the Chair
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Chair (Ms. McLeod): Order. Committee of the Whole will now come to order. The matter before the Committee is Bill No. 10, First Appropriation Act, 2013-14. We are going to be talking about Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation. Would the members like to take a break?
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Chair: Committee of the Whole will recess for 15 minutes.
Chair: Order please. Committee of the Whole will now come to order.
Bill No. 10: First Appropriation Act, 2013-14 — continued
Chair: The matter before the Committee is Bill No. 10, First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation.
Yukon Housing Corporation — continued
It was with respect to the masonry chimney checklist that the Yukon Housing Corporation has on its website. She asked me a question about whether or not I would take a look at that and consider changing some of the wording in that checklist. I did forward this e-mail from the president of the Yukon Housing Corporation to the Member for Takhini-Kopper King, but I thought it would also be useful to read it into the record.
The e-mail starts with: “Yukon Housing Corporation staff contacted Wood Energy Technology Transfer, or WETT, Inc. in Toronto this morning…” this was sent to me on May 15 — yesterday — “…to confirm the certification standards. It was confirmed that WETT is only certified for solid fuels such as wood, pellets and coal, but due to the nature of solid fuel combustions and the potential for sparks and creosote buildup, the WETT inspection standard for chimneys and especially masonry chimneys is somewhat more critical than the B139 standard an oil burner mechanic would use. Staff has amended the checklist document as attached and will proceed to have the amended checklist document loaded on to our website.”
Again, I did forward the amended checklist to the member opposite as well. So just quickly what the previous wording had said was that a WETT chimney professional is trained on chimneys used for all forms of home heating, including wood, oil and gas — and it was those three words specifically that the member opposite referenced in her questions. The new wording is that a WETT chimney professional is trained on chimneys used for solid fuel, such as wood and pellets, and oil burner mechanic, or OBM, is certified for oil and gas burning appliances and must conform to CSA B139 code.
I just wanted to thank the member for the question and the patience she showed and thank department officials for following up so quickly after our conversations here in the House on Tuesday afternoon.
I know that I’ve been through a number of the aspects of the Yukon Housing Corporation that are very exciting in this budget and relate to the new strategic plan. Again, rather than reiterate all of them, I would just like to take this opportunity once again to thank the chair of the Yukon Housing Corporation Board, Claire Derome, and all of the individuals who serve on the board of directors, as well as the president of the Yukon Housing Corporation and all the officials who work in that corporation.
A tremendous amount of work has been accomplished in the last year and a half and previous to that, of course. During my time is where I would notice most of the work taking place: a total revamping of the five-year strategic plan, the hosting of the northern housing conference here in Whitehorse — and I continue to receive positive feedback from individuals who attended that conference — and of course the launch of the Yukon Housing Corporation action plan. I think that’s a tremendous step in the right direction, on top of all the capital projects and programs that the Housing Corporation has undertaken in the last 12 to 18 months.
With that, perhaps what I could do is just turn the floor back over to the Member for
Ms. White: I’d also like to take this time to acknowledge what the minister has just said about the chimney checklist. This is a great example of how the Opposition and government can work together to make things safer for Yukoners. I asked the question and under the leadership of the minister, it happened almost instantaneously. This is a huge deal. It sounds like very small words, but I am convinced right now that between the minister and the Housing Corporation, they possibly just saved lives. For that, I’m eternally grateful. Thank you for recognizing the small change for the enormity that it is. It’s just really great to be able to say it again here in the House and have that on the record.
So, to the minister, thank you so much. To the Housing Corporation, thank you so much. I look forward to having other successes like that.
We often discuss the $13.5 million left from the federal government for affordable housing and maybe what can be explained, as opposed to it not being spent, is what the requirements are for that to be spent and what kinds of projects would qualify. Are there any expectations or hopes of using that money in the near future?
Hon. Mr. Kent: With respect to the $50 million that the Yukon government received for the northern housing trust, the government of the day recognized the housing needs of First Nation citizens and immediately upon receiving that $50 million transferred $32.5 million to Yukon’s First Nation governments to address their housing needs, leaving us with $17.5 million yet to spend. I’m proud to say this Yukon Party government committed approximately $4 million from the remaining trust fund to construct a new 10-suite, second-stage housing facility in partnership with Kaushee’s Place, and of course members in the House know that work on that project is now underway and I believe nearing completion.
What the Housing Corporation is doing now is actively assessing the housing needs of Yukoners to determine the best use of the remaining $13.5 million in northern housing trust funding. I should also say that when
So again, over 350 social housing units throughout the
When we look at the strategic goals of the corporation, the third goal — and I’ve said it a number of times — is to develop strategic partnerships with Yukon government departments, other governments, NGOs and the private sector in pursuit of collaborative initiatives to enhance the full range of choices along the housing continuum in Yukon. I think that goal flows nicely into our work with the housing action plan, so again, when it comes to the $13.5 million, we’re looking to find programs and/or projects where we can leverage those dollars and stretch those dollars beyond the $13.5 million, building on the substantial investments that the Housing Corporation and the government has made for housing projects and programs throughout the Yukon — over $100 million — and that of course includes the work currently underway on the Options for Independence money that was invested through CMHC’s affordable housing initiative, as well as the planning for Mayo that is now underway, which is the the six-unit seniors facility there and the 34-unit seniors facility on Alexander Street.
The construction tender on that should be ready very shortly to put out to
I can assure members that every time I meet with the chair of the Yukon Housing Corporation Board, we’re looking to find ways to leverage those dollars and stretch those dollars so that we can get the most bang for our buck.
Mr. Tredger: I’d like to begin by thanking the minister and the department for moving ahead with the seniors complex in Mayo. It’s very important to the citizens of Mayo and they’ve been talking about it for quite some time. They are very excited to participate and to see it come to fruition. So I thank them for following through on that.
I just have a couple of quick questions about that. How is the minister planning to involve the community in the planning for the complex — in particular, the Na Cho Nyäk Dun, the Village of Mayo, and especially the seniors and elders who are, with anticipation, looking forward to availing themselves of the residence? How will that complex fit into the continuum of care? When I’m talking to the seniors, they’re concerned about staying in the community as long as possible and having a residence certainly fits into that. They raised issues around food and being able to get meals as people age and maybe lose a partner. Will this accommodate that?
Has there been an assessment of needs around that transportation? The beauty of the particular spot they’re looking at is that it is right in the centre of the community so that seniors will be able to be involved. How can we open that up so it becomes more of a happening place, because they’re also concerned about being valued about being able to continue to contribute to the community and to be able to participate in community activities. They’ve raised a number of things with me and I’m sure they will with him in the planning process. The question: How is that planning process going to involve them?
Hon. Mr. Kent: I know that when I travelled to the community of Mayo with the Premier and the Minister of Health and Social Services as well as senior officials, we had a very good, well-attended lunch with members of not only the First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dun in attendance — the chief and many councillors — but also the mayor and council members. It’s certainly exciting when I’m able to fulfill one of our platform commitments and check things off as far as the mandate letter that I received from the Premier with respect to the Housing Corporation.
Just to give a little bit more information — this budget sees $356,000 earmarked to begin the planning phase for the design of the energy efficient six-unit seniors housing complex and also to perform some preconstruction remediation work on the building site provided by the
With respect to how we’re going to involve the individuals, we did at the time offer a trip to Faro, which also had a six-plex constructed during the past five-year time frame, but it was thought that perhaps it would be better just to go to the community of Mayo and provide some photos and some of the construction drawings and detailed design from the Faro project to see if that is something that would fit the needs of the individuals in Mayo.
Again, with the work that has been undertaken by the Housing Corporation with respect to seniors housing over the past five years in communities like Haines Junction, Faro, Teslin and Watson Lake, as well as here in Whitehorse, this Mayo project is envisioned to provide the same residential comforts and benefits to seniors in that community. It is an independent living facility; it’s not a continuing care facility.
I would suggest that perhaps the Minister of Health and Social Services would be in a better position to answer those continuing care questions. What these projects do is provide rural seniors the option to continue living in their communities where they raised their families and have lived their lives. I know I have spoken about it during my previous two opportunities to speak about the Housing Corporation here, but one of the exciting aspects that has been introduced by the Yukon Housing Corporation Board of Directors, with some guidance and direction by me as minister, is the Accessibility Advisory Committee. This comes after numerous trips to see bathtubs across the territory in many of the seniors residences that were constructed and wanting to set that committee up. It’s a committee that consists of housing, health and disability management specialists who will provide advice on the accessibility features of new projects, which will be incorporated into the design, as well as looking at existing units so we can make adjustments as cost-effectively as possible, but more importantly, adjustments so that people can be comfortable and remain in their own homes for as long as we can make that happen.
That committee has just completed their first major project, which is input into the design of the
Again, I hope that answered most of the member’s questions. We will be sending individuals from the Housing Corporation up to Mayo to meet with the community and go through design aspects and that type of thing. I’m not sure if I mentioned that before, but I just wanted to follow up.
Ms. White: As my last question, in hopes that we can hit other departments this afternoon — Options for Independence has accessed money both through the loan programs through Yukon Housing Corporation and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s affordable housing initiative. My question: Have there been discussions over how that NGO will be paying for those loans? It’s more than $2 million so far — if the minister can explain the conversations with Options for Independence and how those loans will be repaid, that will be all for me on Yukon Housing Corporation.
Chair: Is there any further general debate on Vote 18?
We’re going to proceed, line by line.
Ms. White: Thank you, Madam Chair. Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, cleared or carried, as required.
Unanimous consent re deeming all lines in Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, cleared or carried
Chair: Ms. White has, pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, requested the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, cleared or carried, as required. Are you agreed?
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Chair: Unanimous consent has been granted.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
Total Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $18,302,000 agreed to
On Capital Expenditures
Capital Expenditures in the amount of $20,782,000 agreed to
Total Expenditures in the amount of $39,084,000 agreed to
Yukon Housing Corporation agreed to
Chair: We are going to move on to Vote 11, Women’s Directorate, and Committee of the Whole will recess for 10 minutes while we await officials.
Chair: Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We’re going to begin general debate on Vote 11, the Women’s Directorate.
Hon. Ms. Taylor: Madam Chair, it is my honour to present the Women’s Directorate budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Before presenting the specific details on the budget before us, I am pleased to just take a few minutes to speak to our strategic plan.
When I refer to the Women’s Directorate, I refer to a small but what I would coin as a relatively innovative department that is taking local and national leadership on many issues of importance to all Yukoners that make a significant difference in the lives of girls, boys, women and men.
The work over this next fiscal year strives for responsive and effective equality-promoting policies and programs that enhance
In particular, we are focusing on a number of areas, which include enhancing the housing security of women and girls, working to continue to decrease domestic and sexualized violence against women and girls, enhancing culturally relevant gender-balanced services and programs and strengthening the quality and effectiveness of gender-inclusive analysis throughout the Government of Yukon. Again, these goals respond to the challenges and the opportunities now and in the next number of years.
Specifically I refer to “Women in
Over the next year, the Women’s Directorate will be focusing on a number of strategic initiatives.
Of course, I spoke to enhancing the health and housing security of Yukon women and girls and, specifically, I know that the minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation has spoken to some of those initiatives, but first I would like to just focus on Betty’s Haven — the second stage housing initiative — and is perhaps one of our proudest accomplishments.
The Women’s Directorate, in partnership with the Department of Highways and Public Works, the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society, and Kaushee’s Place, is pleased to confirm that the construction of Betty’s Haven is on time and on budget. Of course, this was something that was celebrated and reiterated at the recent fundraiser at which I know many of the members in this Assembly were present.
The second-stage housing project will provide 10 units of housing for women who are ready to leave the transition house. A total of $4.5 million has been committed to the construction that will provide supportive, secure and affordable transition housing for up to 18 months for women and their children who are fleeing abuse.
We anticipate the move-in to occur this fall — by the end of the year — when the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society will be the new owners and managers of Betty’s Haven.
We’re also very pleased to be able to continue to support the program coordinator for the
The Women’s Directorate will continue to enhance public awareness of the impacts of violence against women through innovative engagement, including direct public education, social marketing and social media. Prevention is a key component; it’s a key mandate of the Women’s Directorate, in terms of reducing the severity and the prevalence of violence against women throughout the territory.
The Women’s Directorate is pleased to be continuing the “Am I the Solution?” campaign, based on its successful implementation and the community response throughout the
Through a number of strong and flexible funding programs, the Women’s Directorate is committed to continuing to flow resources to those community-based responses to violence against women, specifically through the prevention of violence against aboriginal women fund and the women’s equality fund.
The Women’s Directorate is also very pleased to continue to provide support to aboriginal women’s organizations and communities by supporting culturally relevant, gender-based services and programs that are developed by and for aboriginal women. A key highlight, of course, includes the implementation of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Summit 2 — in other words, YAWS 2 — recommendations. As members may recall, the Women’s Directorate and the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues co-hosted the second Yukon Aboriginal Women’s
Approximately 80 aboriginal women attended, along with representation from chiefs and ministers and a number of officials from the
The theme of the summit was “Strong Women, Strong Communities: Restoring Our Balance.” It was an opportunity to engage participants in reflecting upon the work that had been accomplished in previous years, in accordance with the first set of recommendations from YAWS 1 and, of course, looking forward to years out to identifying and setting further priorities for future work on aboriginal women’s issues identified by aboriginal women here in the territory.
The Women’s Directorate is very pleased to have committed to supporting aboriginal women’s organizations to develop three-year, community-based projects to address recommendations from the YAWS 2 summit.
The Women’s Directorate, looking to the year ahead, will also continue to work in partnership with other government departments by integrating and enhancing the capacity to include gender-inclusive analysis into policy development, program and legislative development.
We will continue to do this by enhancing the capacities in the policy and the program, community of practice — again, by integrating this analysis into our programs, one of which being the housing action plan and the early years initiative with the Department of Health and Social Services and Education. Of course, the Women’s Directorate will continue to offer what has become known as its highly acclaimed policy course for government officials, and we’ll continue to provide that additional training at the upcoming policy conference in June, and provide ongoing training developed to address advanced capabilities, as well, into the near future.
Just moving on to some of the budget highlights for this fiscal year, overall we have a decrease of $257,000 from the 2012-13 forecast to this year’s fiscal year mains — the main changes being a decrease of $52,000 in personnel, which includes a decrease for the “Am I the Solution?” marketing program and, in particular, the position associated with that, and the long-term disability premium increases as well. We also have reflected a decrease of $182,000, which again reflects dollars reflected by the victims of crime strategy.
That was in support of the “Am I the Solution?” social marketing campaign, as the three-year funding that came from the victims of crime strategy did come to an end
A branding company was hired to develop a brand and messages for the campaign and very innovative approaches to reach target audiences, those being young families, youth and men. The strategy of the social marketing campaign was not to just speak directly to abusers or the victims, but rather to reach out to all of us — to each of us as individuals and specifically to those who may not feel connected to or affected by the issue of violence against women.
We are pleased to note that the “Am I the Solution?” campaign is continuing with support from the Department of Justice to develop creative strategies to new audiences. This will reflect upon the evaluation on the impact of the actual campaign that has taken place over the last two years.
The budget also reflects a decrease of $15,000, which was held specifically for the national Aboriginal Women’s
There is a decrease of $23,000 in transfer payments, which includes a decrease of $78,000 from the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Summit — that was a northern strategy dollars revote from 2011-12; a decrease of $51,000 for the Aboriginal Women’s Summit as a result of northern strategy funding being made available as the final year of the three-year funding was completed on March 31 of this year with an ongoing increase, as I mentioned earlier, of $150,000 in support of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Summit — YAWS 2 implementation funding.
It also includes a decrease of $44,000 for the family violence and violence against aboriginal women prevention initiatives funding for revotes from 2011-12, and it carried forward from 2012 to 2013.
Madam Chair, recommendations from the first Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Summits were addressed through a number of innovative projects that were developed and implemented by aboriginal women’s organizations and funded by the Women’s Directorate through monies from the northern strategy. This work, as we’re all aware, came to an end this spring.
However, as I mentioned earlier, we have committed to a renewal of dollars — $150,000 of new money for three years to address recommendations from the second Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Summit held last fall, for a total of $450,000 over three years.
There is an overall decrease of just over $2 million in the Women’s Directorate capital budget. This year’s capital budget is comprised of the holdback of the completion of the second-stage housing and also $700,000 for a carry-forward from last fiscal year for the completion of the construction of the second-stage housing initiative with, as I made reference to, the target date completion being by the end of the year. There is also money in the capital budget for the purchase of some additional computers, office equipment and furniture.
With that, I will conclude my remarks and certainly look forward to taking any questions that members opposite may have.
Ms. White: Thanks to the minister for her overview. Thank you to the official for being here today with us this afternoon.
I have very few questions today in regard to the department because the briefing was so thorough. I’m pleased that the “Am I the Solution?” campaign is continuing for another year, and I look forward to the evaluation of that campaign, hoping that it receives as good marks and good grades as I expect it to do so that it can carry forward into the future. I was wondering about the school gender-based education: Is it getting good uptake in the schools are they planning to continue it forward?
The very last question is in the annual report we just got this afternoon about the legal advocate research project. Has that been completed and has the minister signed off on it so that it can be shared and distributed and if so, when, and what did the research find?
Hon. Ms. Taylor: I would like to thank the member opposite for her questions. With respect to “Am I the Solution?” it has been a very creative marketing campaign and is certainly one that the Women’s Directorate has worked on very effectively by way of using social media. It has really reached out. One only has to take a look at the Facebook page and see how many “likes” there are and the number of comments. It is reaching out to a whole different group of individuals who we may not necessarily have reached out to. It continues on. Just recently at the annual Yukon Child Care Association AGM, a book was just launched. It was really targeted to early learners. It’s a fantastic work, because it was illustrated by a local artist and the story itself was promoted by a local author. That’s just another example. That was coupled with posters and the Silhouettes campaign that was launched last fall.
We have also heard in our research and surveys as well that have been conducted as a result of “Am I the Solution?” is the need to really reach out more effectively to men and boys and that is something that we’ll continue to target, but I think that it is coming along very well.
I believe the member opposite was making reference to the public education presentations in our schools — highly sought-after and it’s great to see because the Women’s Directorate has done a great job in reaching out to schools. In turn schools are reaching out to the Women’s Directorate now as well. It’s great to see. Public education, as I mentioned, when it comes to gender stereotypes or identity, sexual orientation, it all talks about the basis of bullying and violence within our population, but obviously students in our public schools are a big audience, they’re a large audience and we’re very proud of the work of the Women’s Directorate in this regard, and obviously the degree of uptake that has been taken as a result of that.
I know that we’ve had over 85 presentations that have been planned and delivered through the Women’s Directorate to schools and school counsellors, administrators, school councils, youth organizations, young offenders,
We’ve also — which I’m pleased to see — had over 27 presentations that have taken place, and that was during a one-year period with after-school programs, which are very highly sought after as well — another target group for the Women’s Directorate to reach out to — and also teen parents and individuals attending the Individual Learning Centre — again, targeting elementary schools and high schools.
I could go on at great length, but yes, it is a highly successful program and is one that we are very proud to continue to support. In terms of the work of the legal advocate, that was one of the key recommendations that came out of Sharing Common Ground.
It’s something that the Women’s Directorate continues to work with the Department of Justice and has been working very closely with Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues as well.
That research is still underway and working with the Department of Justice, as well, will be key because, when it comes to legal advocacy, that generally specifically involves the Department of Justice. They have been a key player in all of this. But, yes, we have not received the final report as of yet; it’s still underway. Certainly YACWI will continue to have a very large role, in terms of looking over the report and making recommendations as well.
Chair: Is there any further general debate on Vote 11?
We’re going line by line.
Ms. White: In efforts to move along today, pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 11, Women’s Directorate, cleared or carried, as required.
Unanimous consent re deeming all lines in Vote 11, Women’s Directorate, cleared or carried
Chair: Ms. White has, pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, requested the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 11, Women’s Directorate, cleared or carried, as required. Are you agreed?
All Hon. Members: Agreed.
Chair: Unanimous consent has been granted.
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
Total Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $1,664,000 agreed to
On Capital Expenditures
Total Capital Expenditures in the amount of $1,203,000 agreed to
Total Expenditures in the amount of $2,867,000 agreed to
Women’s Directorate agreed to
Chair: We are going to move on to Vote 55. A recess of 10 minutes has been requested.
Chair: Order please. Committee of the Whole will now come to order. We are resuming general debate in Vote 55, Highways and Public Works.
Department of Highways and Public Works — continued
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I just want to welcome my officials back and thank the department for their work and I’m open to questions.
Ms. Moorcroft: I had thought the minister might have some information to provide in response to a number of questions that are outstanding that I put on the record both yesterday and earlier in the sitting, when we were debating Highways and Public Works.
Some of the information that I requested I know the department routinely keeps records on. Why couldn’t the minister tell us today in the House what the number of full-time equivalents is for the department and the number of auxiliaries and casuals? Does he have that information?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I don’t have that information here, but I have tasked the department to go through Corporate Services, Information and Communications Technology, Property Management, Supply Services and Transportation division, because they are all broken down, and then tally them up and get back to the member opposite.
Ms. Moorcroft: Thank you. Well then, rather than going over and repeating all of the numerous items that I’ve requested information on, can the minister give me a timeline?
Can he tell me at what point we could expect the government to produce for the Opposition members — all parties — responses to the questions that I’ve asked him that he doesn’t have answers for at the present time?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I will be forwarding the SMS for the airport next week and I’ll commit within two weeks to get all that information to you from the department.
Ms. Moorcroft: I’d like to thank the minister for that response. I will move on to one of the large capital projects that is in this budget. I’m going to have some questions related to the F.H. Collins project. The original estimate prepared in 2009 was at $37 million plus a construction contingency of $3.7 million. We all know that project is now two years behind the original scheduled budget and cash flow estimates, notwithstanding that the Premier and some other candidates were at a ground-breaking ceremony for the new F.H. Collins school in August 2011 just prior to the fall 2011 election and, at that time, were indicating that it would be an opening date of August 2013 and a total budget cost of $52.5 million.
There have been a number of expenditures over the years since a new
I would like to start with asking the minister whether he has a breakdown of the costs that have been spent to date on the F.H. Collins school project. Both the Liberal caucus and the Official Opposition NDP caucus asked this question at the departmental briefing. Can the minister answer it?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I just want to reiterate to this House that this project is being built for taxpayers using taxpayers’ money. The numbers that the member opposite is looking for are in last year’s budget.
That would have been with Education so it would be a question for the Education minister.
Ms. Moorcroft: The minister is just going to have to bear with me for a moment while I look through some of the notes I have in relation to this.
Highways and Public Works does have responsibility for public works, for managing capital projects. It has been a pattern of this government that when critics ask a minister a question, they defer to another minister and then when the critics ask the other minister, they defer back to the minister who deferred the question in the first place. So what I would like to know is what has been learned from the F.H. Collins debacle and what assurances the minister can provide that the project will be planned properly, will come in close to budget and will be built on time?
We have heard a lot of questions out in the community about whether the department considered changes to the design that would have got the quotes closer to one of the estimates from the government — it was at $38.6 million.
I think that there is an opportunity for some lessons learned. I would like to know why the government’s estimates were so out of step with the quotes provided by contractors. Were there amendments to the design tender? When were the estimates prepared? Was it a significant time before they actually went out or were there some other factors that the minister may know of that would have contributed to the estimates not being in keeping with the quotes provided by contractors.
I would also like know whether this minister has considered what the economic impact would be for missing this building season — if they have calculated what job impact that may have had in the community. Also, can the minister advise the House what the new total budget is for the new F.H. Collins project and whether there will be a tender for a main project manager? Does the minister know when the current Alberta-based design will be finalized and when he expects that the tenders will go out from his department?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: After thorough research, this government — the Government of Yukon — decided to move forward with the design from an existing school in
Like I said before, the member opposite asked about work this year, and we are hoping to incorporate some of the civil work that was done into the new design as we move forward with the most fiscally responsible approach to the design and construction. Of course, our highest priority right now is to find the most appropriate and fiscally responsible location for the school on the current F.H. Collins site, and I’m very pleased that one of the great things about this is we’re not going to impact the students that are going to F.H. Collins right now.
They’re not going to be within a construction zone. This will be separate. They’ll be able to continue on. They’ll have their gym. They’ll be able to do the stuff that youth require. I know I spent six months going to F.H. Collins, and I know the Minister of Education spent a lot more time there than I.
Basically, we’re at phase 1 with the cost assessment. We did the research in the selection of a new design. We have a few different phases.
I’m just happy. Our whole budget that came out from our Finance minister — over $1 billion; every department — there is a lot within my department; we have millions of dollars out there for work for Yukoners within all the other departments — Alexander Street, Kaushee’s Place. There is a lot of other stuff I could speak to — a lot of the projects that we’re doing.
I’m not worried there is a lot of impact. I don’t see that much impact on labour and work and jobs for Yukoners. We’re hoping to get out right away with the tender on this and look forward to the beginning of this construction.
Ms. Moorcroft: The minister can use the term “fiscally responsible,” but it is not fiscally responsible to do poor planning, and it’s not fiscally responsible to have a two-year delay.
I would like to ask the minister about the work that has been done in relation to geothermal wells. This is an aspect of the project that has been taken in, pulled out and then put back in again. What work has already been done in relation to geothermal wells? What has it cost and where does that component of the project stand now?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: An interesting project — geothermal. That’s something I researched many years ago. The design for the geothermal is done and of course we’re looking at the potential of including it with this project.
This is something on which we have been working with the City of
Ms. Moorcroft: What is the minister’s position on the use of geothermal for this project? Is he generally in support of it and will he be directing his officials to attempt to put this project together in a way that it can make use of geothermal wells?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I’m in support of any initiative for green energy, whether it’s using more insulation in a building — the design of this school, if you’ve had a chance to look at it, the gym is in the middle, and the classrooms and the flexible space are around it.
That’s a great savings from having a gym on the outside and having to heat those big walls. When it comes to the geothermal — we’d love to have the geothermal in there. Like I alluded to earlier, we’re looking at the design. We have to make sure — geothermal is great. It has been used in many different jurisdictions, but it has to be cost-effective, also. So we’re looking at it. We won’t know until we’ve found the exact location. We’re doing that work right now. It does depend on whether it is truly green. So we want to make sure that we do our homework and that we get it right.
Ms. Moorcroft: I did ask the minister how much has already been spent on geothermal. Can he answer that question?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: In the past years, those numbers were with working with the City of
Ms. Moorcroft: Let me try asking a question again and see if I can get a response from the minister.
I would like the minister to provide a legislative return with a breakdown of all of the expenditures related to the F.H. Collins project. Highways and Public Works does have a central agency role and its Property Management branch does provide services to other departments. When we had a briefing with officials from the Department of Highways and Public Works earlier this spring, we requested a legislative return that provided a full accounting for every nickel that had been spent in relation to the design and the planning of a new F.H. Collins school — the geothermal work, road, water and sewer.
Can the minister please make a commitment that he will ask the department to pull that information together and provide it to us in a legislative return? When we asked the question at the briefing, we were told that we could get the information and that we would get the information.
The minister just said he’s only prepared to speak to this year’s estimates, and I’m asking him if he’s prepared to commit to giving a legislative return on the information related to expenditures for the F.H. Collins project. Following that, I’ll turn the floor over to the Leader of the Third Party, who has some questions that are related to that, before I turn to another subject.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I just wanted to get out that the costs spent on the previous design and the work that was done was approximately $5.5 million. We can get the information to you about all the contracts we have within Highways and Public Works that were tendered.
I also want to get out to the public that the Minister of Education and I tasked our departments to look for options and look to the south for something that had been built and was working in that jurisdiction. We looked all across the prairies.
This design we found in
Mr. Silver: On
Since that announcement, I’ve asked repeatedly for copies of those documents, and the Premier, the Minister of Education and the Minister of Highways and Public Works have all refused to provide them. The government is relying on those documents to make its case that the project had to be cancelled, yet it won’t release those documents. Now I was told by the minister responsible for Highways and Public Works that there is proprietary information on those estimates and that that is the reason for withholding this information.
Madam Chair, information I have received is that at least one of these estimates told the government before it went to tender that the project might be over $38.6 million. I would like to extend one more opportunity to the minister to release these documents. Will he do that? He can black out all of the proprietary information; we just want the totals.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I’m going to reiterate what I’ve said in this House before and what I spoke to the member opposite about. There is commercial confidentiality that needs to be respected. Like I said, there is proprietary information in there — the legal opinion from Justice with the estimates, and there are also budget implications in the future with the new project. I’m not a lawyer, but from the department, that’s something that is not possible or we could find ourselves answering many more questions in court.
Mr. Silver: I think that’s where we differ in our opinions. Let me ask this question instead — what companies provided these estimates? Were either of the companies attached in any way to the company that did the design of the school?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: There were two companies. One was Hanscomb, which worked for Stantec, and one was BTY, which worked for YTG.
Mr. Silver: Will the minister put on the record that the estimates in both these documents were, in fact, less than $38.6 million?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: The minister will not speak to those documents at all.
Mr. Silver: I don’t see what’s proprietary about a statement that was made by the Premier and based upon these numbers. We’re simply asking for a total from those estimates and we’re just wondering. If he can’t comment about that, I understand. I understand where he’s coming from with the proprietary information or the Department of Justice or other concerns. The whole crux of this argument is that those estimates are saying that this project was going to be $38.6 million or less. Will the minister or the Premier — in this case I have the opportunity to talk to the Minister of Highways and Public Works — confirm that both of these estimates did say that the project would come in less than $38.6 million? If he can’t answer that question, I am done asking questions.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: As the Premier said, the answer the member’s going to get is that there was no way we were going to go on with a project that was over 21 percent.
Ms. Moorcroft: Could the minister please explain the last statement he made? Did he say more than 21 percent? More than 21 percent of what? Could he repeat that answer, please?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: March 13, the government decided not to proceed with the previous design bids that were more than 21 percent over the cost estimates.
Ms. Moorcroft: Could the minister tell the House whether there are any strings attached to the free
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I think I alluded to this earlier. There are no strings attached; they were free.
We’re looking for a late summer/early fall tender.
Ms. Moorcroft: Will there be a tender for a main project manager, or how do they anticipate covering the project management on this project?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: We will have professional project management services on this project. It’s very important that we be fiscally responsible and accountable.
Ms. Moorcroft: Can the minister indicate whether they have determined yet whether they will have a project manager from within current staff, whether they will be recruiting an additional project manager or hiring a project manager from outside of government?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: The important thing here is that we are going to use a professional service, whether we use within or whether we contract or we hire, there will be somebody — or a group of people — dedicated to that project to keep this project fiscally responsible and on target for our completion date.
Ms. Moorcroft: Does the minister have any indication or have they done work yet on what costs may be included as a result of modifications that are required for heating and other design components? One of the concerns I would like to hear the minister address is that, as part of the work that was done with the previous building advisory committee, there was a lot of input from staff and students at the school, from First Nations and from school council members. I’m interested in knowing whether the government with its new plans will do any work, having disbanded that committee, in speaking to First Nations who had particular recommendations related to the design and two members of the school community who had particular questions and particular recommendations in relation to the design.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I think I sort of answered it at the beginning. The information from the previous consultation with the council — I know Education is trying to incorporate everything they can into there. There is a lot of flexible space. Like I say again, the design is incredible. I look forward to the project going forward.
Ms. Moorcroft: I’ll come back to the question that I had asked the minister prior to some questions from the Leader of the Third Party. Has the minister made a commitment that he will provide a legislative return with a full accounting of all of the expenditures to date in relation to the F.H. Collins school project?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: The portion that’s within Highways and Public Works I will provide a legislative return for — I mentioned that already — with the contracts. There is going to be some stuff that is within Education.
Ms. Moorcroft: The minister is responsible for the administration of a few acts, and one of his responsibilities is the regulations on the use of government facilities. I’d like to ask the minister whether groups require a permit to be present in a
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: We are still developing the regulations on that, but my colleague just mentioned that, in this building, when there was a function on, they notified ECO — let them know that the group was coming. We’re still working on the regulations on that.
Ms. Moorcroft: Do I understand, then, that the minister has indicated that some groups, as a courtesy, have informed the Executive Council Office in advance of an event? However, there is no requirement for that? Is that what he indicated?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I’m starting to figure this out. If you’re just an organization that’s coming, you don’t need a permit. The events that are in here where maybe you might have a licence to have wine or you might have a caterer catering — that’s where you go to the government facility and talk to them and it comes under some of the regulations.
Ms. Moorcroft: A follow-up question then — does the minister know when the department might conclude the work that he just referred to that’s being done on those regulations?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: The act allows for a regulation to be created, but we haven’t had many issues, so at this point we’re not looking at developing new regulations.
Ms. Moorcroft: The minister has spoken a few times about procurement services. In fact, I almost hesitate to open this line of questioning because he has indicated that he could speak to it forever and we don’t have forever this afternoon.
The minister in his mandate letter from the Premier has a responsibility to review practices and policies for government contracting and procurement to ensure that they meet adequate environmental standards.
The minister has also spoken about changes he has made to procurement services. Can the minister explain the changes to the procurement policy and what they are, why they have been made and how they benefit performance in his department?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I’ll try to keep this as short as possible. It’s something that excites me a little bit when it comes to saving taxpayers’ money. When it comes to procurement, we heard from the Auditor General in 2008. We are constantly being audited. We spoke to this — I think the member opposite asked me this question before. We are modernizing how we do procurement. We’ve dedicated a procurement office. We’re standardizing the forms when you come in to procure something, so whether it’s in Community Services or in Highways and Public Works or Education, if you’re asking for the same thing, it will be the same form. We’re providing more training for government employees’ expertise and consistency. I was going to read, if I had this question, a letter that we sent to our
The centralized support is the big thing. We have already introduced more electronic tools. The big thing is we’re not trying to affect smaller businesses, or business, negatively in any way. We do recognize the contribution of businesses and we’ve learned this. We’ve revised our thresholds. We have a new supplier directory that business can go to and more on-line services. It increases the consistency and fairness and also the transparency to reduce the time and costs for bids.
I guess we’re just trying to build on a strong government procurement foundation and make it easier and focus our efforts on improving our internal processes, especially those that have created challenges for some of our suppliers. We meet with the Yukon Contractors Association, the local chambers of commerce, small businesses and non-profit societies. We’re always meeting, and when we do, procurement is something that we hear, so anything that we can do to help individuals in the
Ms. Moorcroft: Another question related to the Transportation division: How many companies have ore-hauling contracts, and what is the value of the ore-hauling contracts to the
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: Are you talking about bulk haul? Right now there are two types of bulk haul. We have a fuel haul agreement and we have an ore haul agreement. So we have three ore haul bulk agreements right now and we have two bulk haul fuel haulers.
Ms. Moorcroft: I had also asked the minister if he had information related to the value of those contracts. Can he provide details on the three ore haul and the two bulk haul contracts?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: This is based on a penny-per-tonne on the haul price. So it depends on the number of hauls and the number of kilometres. I can get that information back to the member.
How much ore they haul is a penny-per-tonne and the price is per kilometre.
Ms. Moorcroft: When the minister provides an answer to that question, could he include information related to how that covers expenditures for road maintenance? Certainly we’re aware that heavy traffic is harder on the roads than the traffic of members of the public commuting and using the roads. If he could include in his legislative return any information related to what they anticipate the costs are for maintenance of the road for the bulk haul — whether it’s ore or fuel — that would be helpful.
My colleagues have some questions related to constituency matters, and I’m going to turn the floor over to them.
Mr. Barr: Madam Chair, I would like to inquire about the requirements for a helicopter landing pad. Are there licensing fees for that, or what is the criteria? I recently had a call in my constituency that helicopters are landing and taking off right beside households where there are kids playing and there is some livestock.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: That falls under the Canadian Aeronautics Act, and there is no cost, unless you’re in with one of our aerodromes or airports, where we lease space to them and they fly in and out. Then they have a lease on that. If there is an incident that the member has — a safety issue or whatever — please provide that information to me and we can look into it.
Mr. Barr: I thank the minister for his willingness to look into this. I will provide him with some information. I look forward to a quick response.
Mr. Tredger: I just have a few questions related to my constituency. The first one I have brought up in the House several times. It remains an issue. I know the residents of Pelly Crossing, as well as the people around, are very concerned about the airport. I raised it last year and this year, in terms of safety, in that medevacs are unable to land at the Pelly Crossing airport, which often necessitates people being carried by ambulance to Mayo, where they can get a medevac. It’s a serious delay for critical conditions.
I know the minister has said he would look into it, and I’m sure he appreciates the seriousness of it — when people are critically ill, to go on a journey involving three or four different transfers as they move from Pelly Crossing to Stewart Crossing to Mayo to the hospital in Mayo, back to the medevac, where they’re medevaced down to Whitehorse, where they are transferred yet again to another ambulance and taken to the hospital here.
I’m sure he can appreciate the seriousness of that, given the time away from the community for ambulance crews and emergency responder crews, as well as the health and safety of the critically ill patients. Does the minister have an update for me? When can the people of Pelly Crossing expect that to be remedied?
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: As I thought, I did task the department to get that on there. I want to get across that what the member addressed is important. I know what it is like to live in rural
Mr. Tredger: I appreciate that, and I do hope that the minister opposite has a sense of the urgency that the residents of Pelly Crossing find the situation to be. It may not always be unavailable, although I do know that there have been trips in the summer time and no weather conditions where the medevac did not fly in, whether that was because people just assumed they couldn’t fly or other extraneous circumstances.
I’m not sure, but again, I can’t stress the urgency with which the residents and the companies that operate in the area see this.
I’d like to move on to a situation in Carmacks. The highway maintenance yard is in downtown Carmacks. I know that some work has been done on relocating it. For one, it is prime real estate in a community that doesn’t have a lot of prime real estate. It’s also a concern in terms of creating hazardous materials and stuff within and an industry right in the centre of town. It’s between much of the town and the recreation centre and it’s really not an appropriate place for a maintenance yard.
Can the minister tell me at what stage the negotiations are with the town of
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I have had this conversation with the mayor on more than a couple of occasions and we understand the location and the real estate of it. We control the materials that are in there now and we understand where the location is, but it’s also important to understand that that’s not the only grader that we have. We have many other grader stations. I’ve spoken to this before on our risk assessment and our facility stuff, so we’re looking at all our facilities like we always do. It is important to the residents of Carmacks that there is a resolution for this, but it also comes with dollars and this is something that’s on our radar and something that we’re working toward accomplishing.
Mr. Tredger: I appreciate that and I guess one of the big concerns is safety and that it is near the recreation centre and the hockey rink and people are travelling around it and it is the only grader station in Carmacks, so it is important to the residents of Carmacks.
A couple of highway issues that I would like to focus on just for a few minutes. The first one is the bypass road going from Carmacks on to the Freegold road. I attended a session just the other day by Casino. They’re moving ever closer, we hope, to a project that will be developed. I know there is increasing traffic into the Freegold area and down the Freegold road. We may have bought a little bit of time with the slowdown in exploration, but there are still a large number of big trucks going into the area and going to service the various placer mines — the various camps — that are there now, as well as some fairly major projects that are well along in developing.
As the minister is aware, the current road goes right down through a residential section, past a playground. The bypass road has been talked about for many years. At one point there was some study being done on it. I’m wondering if the minister can give us an update and something that would reassure the residents of Carmacks that, before traffic increases too much, something will be done.
I realize these projects take a number of years from start-up to completion. The concern is that each year it seems there’s more traffic. If we wait too long, the traffic creates a real outstanding hazard. Again, I want to stress that this is important to the residents of Carmacks and urge the minister to move sooner rather than later on this.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: Let me be clear, this government never said no to the Carmacks bypass. We do existing work on the Freegold right now for the amount of traffic that’s on there. I’ve been up that road a few times myself, and the last time I went up I did notice the improvements.
We understand, and we work closely with the community and we’ve heard this before — a lot of the meetings — and the Member for
Mr. Tredger: I realize that one needs to be careful in developing infrastructure and ensuring that the need is there. What residents outside of
I’d like to also talk a little bit about the highways and the highway conditions in the area because already we’re seeing a substantial increase in the number of trucks and the truck traffic that is passing over the roads and travelling the roads on a daily basis.
It creates quite a hazard in the wintertime, and I commend the highway crews for the work they do, but they are being very stretched. When you come to a piece of road, like the highway north from Minto around
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: It sounds like the member opposite and I should maybe go see the Environment minister and have a discussion about permafrost — darn environment. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
Anyway, what I want to get across to the member opposite is that one of the things the department does at the beginning of every season — and we just finished doing what we call the “road show”. That’s where the officials go out and travel all the roads and look at and itemize the spots we have. I worked with the Premier this year to increase funding in our budget that I don’t think anybody had picked up on — an extra $2 million for more roadwork. I worked hard with my officials, and the Premier committed to $2 million more, which is going to help with some of the issues that the member opposite spoke to. But we go out on our road show, and we look at every highway that we’re responsible for maintaining, and then we itemize and list where best that money is spent.
Now, getting to the member opposite’s first question — we also monitor volumes on our highways. He might have seen a little rubber thing that goes across the road when you’re driving. That counts traffic. We constantly keep track of traffic volume to see where there are increases and decreases and then that also helps us to make our decisions as to where we spend our money on portions of the highway.
When it comes to permafrost, we’re seeing it this year. This year has been an exceptionally late spring, which we’ll all notice on our highways. I have to commend the crews that are out there right now. There have been a few washouts and some employees working late nights to get the roads open. I’m quite confident that this year we’ll see a little bit more, and if we can work together with our partners and levy for as much money as we can, we can get out there and put that back into our roads and our infrastructure.
Mr. Tredger: I have a few suggestions where we could spend that $2 million.
I realize there’s a lot of stress being put on the roads and that’s one of the prices of growth and industrialization. If we are going to embrace that growth, we must also embrace the infrastructure to ensure the safety of the local residents and people who are travelling on the roads.
I just want to talk a little bit about the Silver Trail. With the winter and the amount of snow this year, as well as the increasing daily traffic coming from the Keno area and the Alexco mining works, it became increasingly apparent that the Silver Trail between Stewart Crossing and Keno City was quite dangerous, especially in snowy areas, so I just want to highlight a couple of areas.
There are a number of spots on the road between Stewart Crossing and Mayo where guardrails would be very important. There is a huge drop-off to the side, and I know a number of people who have come fairly close to going into the ditch in that area because of the snow and stuff. I personally can attest to the importance of guardrails — having moved one slightly this winter and it did save me extensive damage. Guardrails are important. The roads are snowy. When the big trucks go by, they make visibility very difficult, so there are the guardrails there. The other area I would like to highlight for the minister is the area between Mayo and Keno. This is an older road that is very narrow with a lot of winding, sharp corners, and it is being used more and more each year. I know Alexco has a number of trucks that go in and out each day. There are fuel trucks as well. It’s a concern and I know the Minister of Tourism and Culture would attest to the importance of Keno as a tourist resort and certainly would speak on behalf of upgrading that stretch of highway.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I have to thank the member opposite for that. This is good because this is something that working with the department here — reference the Silver Trail — that’s why we do have $500,000 in this year’s budget for some aggregate production, developing, and surfacing of the Silver Trail.
We also have another $500,000 to complete safety improvements, which plays into the member’s question about guardrails. I also know how reliable a guardrail is from many years ago — replacement and repair.
When it does come to guardrails, we have TAC standards for all of our roads. This is something that keeps the standard up. I spoke to that in the House before on that — the replacement and repair of some of the areas where some of the rocks that fall and some subgrade improvements on some of those highways too. It is important.
On some of these gravel roads, it is important with the department that there is budget money for them, for graders, because it’s important to get out there — usually after a rainfall, potholes pop up and stuff like that, so it’s important that we get out there and grade those and keep it safe. Like the member opposite spoke about, it’s for the traffic, tourists and locals.
Mr. Barr: I would like to ask the minister about the
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I think the member alluded to this. We are doing some work on it — some spot upgrades. I am not exactly sure about the portion the member is actually talking about. I am not sure if that’s one of the ones that we have identified for that. But I know that we have identified funds for it and we will be looking at upgrades and doing some work on that road.
If the member has an exact kilometre and/or location, we can take that and get back to the member if that’s one of the areas that we’re on.
Mr. Barr: I believe it’s approximately 0.5 km that needs the reconstruction. I would also like to take the time to thank the minister for the work that is being done in the Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes area. We did do a road trip approximately one year ago now, I believe, and looked at some areas.
I know that there are some other things that are concerning me with safety, specifically the crosswalk that the minister has said he would have put in across from Montana Services and the daycare. I know that with the recent upgrades to the infrastructure of the downtown core in Carcross, there is already an increased number of people coming to Carcross, coming to see and have a coffee.
Now that we’re having the tourist season come upon us, I’ve received more calls from the people at the daycare, concerned that vehicles are not slowing down in this 50-kilometre-an-hour strip. The minister stated on her trip that it comes from 90 kilometres right to 50 kilometres. She also said that there was going to be a 70 kilometre slowdown to the 50. I know the RCMP are concerned. They have been doing spot checks there. I would like to also add that the past
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: To the member opposite’s question — I do thank him for the question because the issue in Carcross — there are issues in just about all small jurisdictions.
I tasked the department to go out, and this is what they’re doing as we speak — looking at areas. There has been a lot of expansion in some of the communities — some new subdivisions, some new roads. So when it comes to streetlights — lighting is all part of this process, as are crosswalks and the 90- 70- and 50-kilometre per hour signs. That’s not only with Carcross. In some of the smaller communities and in my community there is a crosswalk now that the streetlights don’t fit and in the wintertime it is dark and kids are crossing the
Also, the department is working with the communities. You know, they go out to the communities and assess where there could be issues and getting information because we as MLAs don’t always hear it. They don’t complain, and we don’t want to have an accident or an incident.
So this is something that we are working on. I know when the member and I went on our road trip, that was something we talked about. I had mentioned that, and he had mentioned that the previous minister had spoken to that. So I will get back to the member opposite on a bit of a timeline there, once I get a little bit more information.
Mr. Barr: There are a few outstanding issues from that road trip. I want to ask a couple of questions, because I know we’re getting close to the end of the day. If the minister cannot respond verbally, I would really like a written response to maybe clarify some of these things.
First of all, the tourist signs from
I am also thankful that there is going to be brushing on the
That would be it. Thank you.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I want to speak to the sign issue. I know that on either side of Tagish there are appropriate service signs and tabs, but the businesses are looking for signs.
They are eligible for up to two billboard signs within a specified community boundary. As well, the business within the highway frontage is eligible for two frontage signs. For the details, this is where that business has to contact Highways and Public Works and let them know what they have and then they work with them on getting their signs out.
When it comes to
Another thing I wanted to get across before we go is just for all those here, our 511 site is updated on a regular basis, so if anybody has an issue or wants to find out about roads, you can go to the 511 — we’re also on Twitter too, so if you’re heading home and you’re not sure, 511-it.
Ms. Moorcroft: I did have one last question in general debate that I would like to put on the record and see if the minister might have time to answer. It refers to revenues and to page 14-27 in the budget book for Highways and Public Works. Under third party recoveries in the Transportation division, there is a line item for $489,000 for recoverable services. There is another line item for $1,716,000 for airports. I would like the minister, if he has time, to read into the record a breakdown on those funds — who they are recoverable from and what costs they cover.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: The recoverable services of $489,000 are for recovered labour, materials and equipment usage for work performed. That would be snow removal, BST treatment or mechanical repairs within the department in the different areas. Of the $1,716,000: $1,641,000 is for community airports, community aerodrome radio stations — CARS program — that we have; $37,000 is for Whitehorse airport third-party electrical use by Nav Canada operations; $16,000 is for Whitehorse airport industry recovery — that’s electrical cost also; $10,000 is for community airport medevac services provided by CARS; and $2,000 is the Whitehorse airport water and sewer costs for restaurant operations.
Ms. Moorcroft: I would just like to say in closing debate that we are running out of time this afternoon and that I will contact the minister’s office to accept his offer of a technical briefing related to airport safety and airport expenditures, so I do look forward to receiving further information from the meetings with the minister and his officials than we have been able to receive in debate on the department’s budget this week, as it has been before us.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: I thank the member opposite for that. When it comes to airports and the technical briefing, I would encourage any members who don’t have a lot of understanding of how airports operate, there is a lot of technical stuff that goes with that. I do want to get across again that our airports are very safe. Also, I just want to say that I look forward to this summer, getting out with my officials and visiting some of the great teams in Highways and Public Works that put in that extra effort, at extra cost to their personal lives in situations like we have now with a bit of the flooding.
It’s also important to remember that with the Department of Highways and Public Works — I’ve said this before in the House — not a day goes by when a Yukoner isn’t touched by Highways and Public Works.
Chair: Order. You may sit down, Mr. Istchenko.
Termination of sitting as per Standing Order 76(1)
Chair: The time has reached on this, the 32nd day of the 2013 spring sitting.
Standing Order 76(1) states: “On the sitting day that the Assembly has reached the maximum number of sitting days allocated for that Sitting pursuant to Standing Order 75, the Chair of the Committee of the Whole, if the Assembly is in Committee of the Whole at the time, shall interrupt proceedings at 5:00 p.m. and, with respect to each Government Bill before Committee that the Government House Leader directs to be called, shall:
“(a) put the question on any amendment then before the Committee;
“(b) put the question, without debate or amendment, on a motion moved by a Minister that the bill, including all clauses, schedules, title and preamble, be deemed to be read and carried;
“(c) put the question on a motion moved by a Minister that the bill be reported to the Assembly; and
“(d) when all bills have been dealt with, recall the Speaker to the Chair to report on the proceedings of the Committee.”
It is the duty of the Chair to now conduct the business of Committee of the Whole in the manner directed by Standing Order 76(1). The Chair would now ask the Government House Leader to indicate the government bills now before Committee of the Whole, which should be called.
Hon. Mr. Cathers: Madam Chair, the government directs that Bill No. 10, First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, the only government bill remaining in Committee of the Whole, be called at this time.
Bill No. 10: First Appropriation Act, 2013-14 — continued
Chair: The Committee will now deal with Bill No. 10, First Appropriation Act, 2013-14. The Chair will now recognize Mr. Pasloski as the sponsor of Bill No. 10 for the purpose of moving a motion pursuant to Standing Order 76(1)(b).
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: I move that all clauses, schedules and the title of Bill No. 10, entitled First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, be deemed to be read and carried.
Chair: It has been moved by Mr. Pasloski that all clauses, schedules and the title of Bill No. 10, entitled First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, be deemed to be read and carried. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
On Operation and Maintenance Expenditures
Total Operation and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $977,350,000 agreed to
Total Capital Expenditures in the amount of $252,772 agreed to
Total Expenditures in the amount of $1,230,122,000 agreed to
Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to
Schedules A and B agreed to
Title agreed to
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: I move that you report Bill No. 10 without amendment.
Chair: It has been moved by Mr. Pasloski that Bill No. 10, First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, be reported without amendment. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agreed?
Motion agreed to
Chair: As the government bill identified by the Government House Leader has now been decided upon, it is my duty to rise and report to the House.
Speaker resumes the Chair
Termination of sitting as per Standing Order 76(2)
Speaker: I will now call the House to order. May the House have a report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole?
Ms. McLeod: Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 10, First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, and directed me to report it without amendment.
Speaker: You have heard the report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Agreed.
Speaker: I declare the report carried.
Standing Order 76(2)(d) states, “On the sitting day that the Assembly has reached the maximum number of sitting days allocated for that Sitting pursuant to Standing Order 75, the Speaker of the Assembly, when recalled to the Chair after the House has been in Committee of the Whole, shall:
“(d) with respect to each Government Bill standing on the Order Paper for Third Reading and designated to be called by the Government House Leader,
(i) receive a motion for Third Reading and passage of the bill; and
(ii) put the question, without debate or amendment, on that motion.”
I shall, therefore, ask the Government House Leader to indicate whether Bill No. 10, the only government bill now standing at third reading, should be called.
Hon. Mr. Cathers: Mr. Speaker, the government directs that Bill No. 10 be called for third reading at this time.
Bill No. 10: Third
Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 10, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Pasloski.
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: I move that Bill No. 10, entitled First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, be now read a third time and do pass.
Speaker: It has been moved by the Premier that Bill No. 10, entitled First Appropriation Act, 2013-14, be now read a third time and do pass. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agreed?
Some Hon. Members: Division.
Speaker: Division has been called.
Speaker: Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.
Hon. Mr. Pasloski: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Cathers: Agree.
Hon. Ms. Taylor: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Graham: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Nixon: Agree.
Ms. McLeod: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Istchenko: Agree.
Hon. Mr. Dixon: Agree.
Mr. Hassard: Agree.
Ms. Hanson: Disagree.
Ms. Stick: Disagree.
Ms. Moorcroft: Disagree.
Ms. White: Disagree.
Mr. Tredger: Disagree.
Mr. Barr: Disagree.
Mr. Silver: Disagree.
Clerk: The results are 10 yea, 7 nay.
Motion for third reading of Bill No. 10 agreed to
Speaker: I declare the motion carried and that Bill No. 10 has passed this House.
We are now prepared to receive the Commissioner of Yukon, in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor, to grant assent to bills that have passed this House.
Commissioner Phillips enters the Chamber, announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms
ASSENT TO BILLS
Commissioner: Please be seated.
Speaker: Mr. Commissioner, the Assembly has, at its present session, passed certain bills to which, in the name and on behalf of the Assembly, I respectfully request your assent.
Clerk: First Appropriation Act, 2013-14; Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act.
Commissioner: I hereby assent to the bills as enumerated by the Clerk.
This afternoon at I was listening to the legislative proceedings, which I do from time to time, just to remind me what it was like. I listened to your tributes to several people who were leaving the services of the Legislative Assembly.
I want to join with you in saying a few words about Judy Layzell, first of all. I’ve known Judy most of my life, and Judy and I used to meet out in the hallway from time to time when I was a member and wonder what our caucus members were doing in some of the things they were talking about. We just knew each other so well; we were good friends. I never told my caucus members what we talked about at the time, but I can now. It was kind of enjoyable to discuss that with Judy and, of course, I wish Judy and Dave the very best in their retirement. She has provided a great service to not only the Liberal caucus, but the
The second person that I want to recognize today, of course, is Lois Cameron. Now, Lois and I have known each other, again, forever. Lois actually has probably listened to my words more than she has listened to Bob’s. In fact, I know that’s true. We all know that Bob does like to talk, but I’m not sure whether Lois listens to him all the time.
Lois has been a Trojan in the Hansard office for many years. In fact, I heard today when you were talking about Lois that in the old days, they used to correct some of the grammar of the MLAs. Well, I was a member of this Legislature when they corrected the grammar. I was one of those notorious MLAs whose grammar just sucked. I was always happy when Lois would fix all the things that I used to say to make them make sense. In fact, Lois, sometimes I go back into those old Hansards and read them and marvel at the things I used to say so eloquently. I know those were probably your words and not mine, but thank you so much for that.
Thank you for your dedication and good luck fishing on the boat in the future. I know you and Bob very much enjoy that. Thank you for your service in Hansard and to the
The last person, of course, is Sue MacDonald. I had the opportunity to work with Sue from 1993 to 2000, when I retired. The one thing I appreciated about Sue was her professionalism, her manner and her smile and her attitude — I don’t think I have ever seen Sue have a bad day. Some of you might have, but I have never seen Sue have a bad day. I know you will have a well-deserved retirement, Sue. You have done a great service to the Legislative Assembly and the people of the
Now, for my other job as Commissioner, Sue and I have worked together and had a few good laughs over the last two and half years. I’m going to miss you. Again, you’re very professional and my executive assistant, Lindsay, and I pass on our best to you in your future, in your retirement — well-deserved and I hope you enjoy it.
Last, but not least, to the Members of the Legislative Assembly — this is your last day here until the fall. I just want to wish all of you a very safe and enjoyable summer, and hopefully we get a summer this year. Enjoy it and good luck in the summer. Have a great time, and I hope the fish are biting when you’re out there on the lakes. Thank you very much.
Commissioner leaves the Chamber
Speaker: I will now call the House to order.
As the House has reached the maximum number of days permitted for the 2013 spring sitting, as established pursuant to Standing Order 75, and has completed consideration of the designated legislation, it is the duty of the Chair to declare that this House now stands adjourned.
The House adjourned at
The following Sessional Paper was tabled May 16, 2013:
Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues Annual Report (April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013) (Taylor)