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Yukon Legislative Assembly=

Whitehorse, Yukon

Monday, November 19, 2018 — 1:00 p.m.=

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Speaker: I w= ill now call the House to order. We will proceed at this time with prayers.<= /p>

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Prayers

Withdrawal of motions

Speaker: The= Chair wishes to inform the House of changes made to the Order Paper. Motion No.&n= bsp;348, Motion No. 357 and Motion No. 372, standing in the name of the Me= mber for Lake Laberge, have been removed from the Order Paper as they are now outdated.

Daily Routine

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

Introduction of Visitors

Hon. Mr. Silver: It gives me great pleasure to be able to introduce not just one but two former premiers in the gallery today. We will go chronologically. We have Piers&nb= sp;McDonald in the audience today and we also have Dennis Fentie. Thank you both for being here.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Pillai: I will do my best to make sure that I identify all of these individuals who a= re here today for a very important tribute. I have asked my colleague the Memb= er for Copperbelt South to help me if I miss anyone, as he will also be doing = the tribute today.

First = of all, I would like to welcome today Elaine Schiman= as well as Katherine Komaromi, who is Greg Komaromi&= #8217;s sister and is here today. Ryan Komaromi is here with his wife Justine Usher= and their two children Treyton and Bowen Komaromi, and Greg’s nieces and nephew Bastien Komaromi, Daisy Komaromi and Katie Komaromi. I know that he couldn’t be with us today, but I = am going to mention Paul Komaromi, who is Greg’s brother. Many of us have had a chance to work with Paul. I know he would have liked to have been here today — as well as Greg and Elaine’s two other sons Bram and Se= an, who are here with us today.

In no = particular order — because you can imagine that I have a sheet of names — = we have: from Energy, Mines and Resources, I know that Jerome McIntyre is here with us today and Colin McDowell, I think; I think that Belinda Potvin and Fiona Solon are going to stop in as well today; Ross McLachlan, John F= ox, John Bailey and Stephen Mills, our deputy minister; Shirley Abercrombie, Je= sse Devost, Carolyn Relf= , Bob Holmes — and I know that Emily Hoefs just= came in as well. Other friends and family include Adele Lac= kowicz and, from our department, Clarke LaPrairie. I k= now that Jon Rudolph in the private sector is here, with whom I had a working relationship, and I see Brian Love next to him. I know Jonas just had stopp= ed in from KPMA — but from working together. Brian MacDonald, ADM as wel= l, and Ron Sumanik, I believe, are here today. Amanda Leslie is here as w= ell as are Dawn Cervo, Judy Gi= ngell, Shaun and Brooke Rudolph, Ken Taylor, Danny Macdonald, Tom Ullyett, Lisa Jarvis and Vanessa Innes as well from Economic Development. John McConnell is here from Victoria Gold.

Robin = Friesen is here, Rosie Sandulak, Will Fellers, Becky Striegler — I hope I pronounced this properly &= #8212; Roger Lockwood from the Yukon Water Board, Rod Jacob from Energy, Mines and Resources, Mr. McDonald and Mr. Fentie, and Colin Beairsto is here as well, and I know = there are probably some more people, so I would ask that if I missed anybody, I w= ill try to make sure I add them during the tribute, but what an amazing attenda= nce here today.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, I would ask that if during the tribute I pick anybody — that I will t= ry to make sure I recognize everybody.

Applause

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Mr. Cathers: I would just like to join the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources in welcoming Elaine Schiman and the rest of Greg&#= 8217;s family to the gallery here today, as well as welcome all of the guests here= for his tribute — and a few I believe the minister missed who are here to= hear the tribute — Gord Steele, Rosie Sandulak and Angus, and I believe that Bernie Adilman was also missed.

I woul= d like to as well welcome Tom Ullyett and all the other s= taff of Yukon government who are here to hear the tribute to Greg today.<= /p>

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Silver: From Finance, Clarke LaPrairie is = here with us as well.

Applause

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Mr. Gallina: Mr. Speaker, I see Anne Kennedy walking into the gallery today, a Porter Creek resident. Welcome Anne. It’s good to see you.

Applause

 

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Could we please welcome Nancy McIntyre here from the ridi= ng of beautiful Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes?

Applause

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Speaker: Are= there any further introductions of visitors?

TRIBUTES

In remembrance of Greg Ko= maromi

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I rise today to pay tribute to Greg Komaromi. The governm= ent side felt it was appropriate to touch on the fact that Mr. Komaromi has given so much to government, but I want to be respectful to the fact that my colleague from Copperbelt South had a deep working relationship with Mr.&nb= sp;Komaromi and can add so much more detail. Just in general, on our side of the bench,= I just want to say first of all that Greg was an absolutely respected leader = in Yukon government and a devoted family man who sadly passed away a year ago.=

Greg w= as a leader in many areas within Energy, Mines and Resources and the Yukon Development Corporation. A great many of us here today and across the north= had the privilege of working with him. Greg truly loved working at Energy, Mines and Resources and was proud of what everyone in the department was able to achieve. He stood up for his convictions and had no issue entering the fray= as required.

His ti= me spent in government was only part of his long and diverse career. Early in his working life, residents in his hometown of Inuvik could hear him on CBC rad= io in the mornings. He continued to work in journalism for a while before movi= ng on to management consulting. In this role, he worked with many business and government clients, establishing many good relationships that provided a st= rong foundation for the leadership roles later in his career.

Greg r= etired from the public service in 2015, but continued to contribute to his communi= ty. He served as acting chair and vice-chair of the Yukon Water Board. He also returned to his management consulting business and was working with Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon at the time of his passing.

People= who knew Greg knew without a doubt that he received his greatest joy from his family= . It was not unusual for his neighbours to hear rock music blasting from his fam= ily garage. Greg was there in full support of his son’s music and sometim= es took part in the action. It was also not uncommon to see the family out boa= ting on a nearby lake, enjoying a fish or two caught for dinner. Greg loved being outdoors camping and spending time on the water, fishing and boating. Greg, with his wife Elaine and their three sons Ryan, Bram and Sean made enjoying life a priority. They spent much time outdoors, and they encouraged their s= ons to work hard and pursue what made them happy. Retirement allowed Greg to de= vote more of his time to being a grandparent, travelling the north in his fifth wheel and enjoying life with his family.

Greg h= as left a legacy with his leadership and dedication in the Yukon government. Througho= ut his career, he maintained a passion for building the north’s economy = and ensuring everyone would benefit. We are all better off because of him. His memory and legacy as a husband, father and grandparent will live on as well. Greg’s devotion to his family is something he wore on his sleeve and remembering him in this way could not be a more fitting way to pay our respects.

I will= just share with the family — the tribute that you did earlier this year, t= he celebration of life, was amazing. I think it just left many of wishing R= 12; after watching it — that we had more time to get to know him. =

I will= leave it at that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Applause

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Mr. Kent: I am honoured to rise today on behalf of the Yukon Party Official Opposition and= the New Democratic Party to pay tribute to Greg Komaromi.

It has= been a little over a year since Greg’s passing; however, in conversations wi= th Elaine, we couldn’t think of a more fitting time to tribute Greg than when Yukon’s mining industry has gathered here for the annual Geoscie= nce Forum.

One th= ing was definitely apparent, and that was that Greg was very much loved and respect= ed and he is truly missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. Greg proudly held a number of positions within the public service. He served under the N= DP, Liberal and Yukon Party governments and truly enjoyed his time working with Cabinet and his colleagues. He served under both the Member for Lake Laberge and I during our time as ministers, and we both enjoyed working with him as= well.

In 200= 9, Greg received the Premier’s award of excellence for his work in helping to re-energize the mining sector in the Yukon. He was a dedicated and loyal employee, working his way through a number of positions in Economic Develop= ment and Energy, Mines and Resources to ultimately serve as Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources and as president of the Yukon Development Corporation.

For th= ose who had the pleasure of working with Greg, they should know that Greg cared dee= ply for his colleagues. He respected them and admired them. He cared for their well-being and strove to ensure that they were supported to the best of his ability. I hope that Greg knew that he too was appreciated and respected be= yond words. The number of work colleagues, current and former MLAs, ministers and former premiers who attended Greg’s service reflects just how much im= pact Greg had on the governments that he worked with.

Greg&#= 8217;s work reached far beyond the duties of his job. He was a true believer that ensuring good jobs for Yukoners and a strong economy were key to the succes= s of individuals, families and communities. He truly understood the need to capitalize on the opportunity to bring a new level of responsive client ser= vice to the resource management world. Greg advocated for such economic developm= ent through a variety of projects, including mineral exploration and developmen= t, new hydro retail development, improved environmental assessment and permitt= ing, forest management and agriculture.

He ded= icated a large part of this life to seeing Yukoners thrive. He was asked to lead or assist with a number of intricate, important and sometimes divisive projects throughout his career. To each of these projects, no matter how difficult, = Greg gave his all, as he knew just how important they were to the Yukon. He was always optimistic that a way could be found through the challenges. =

When h= e finally decided on early retirement from the public service, he did so with a desir= e to travel and make the most of his time with family and friends. It is no easy feat for a man like Greg to simply retire from a position that consumed so = much of his life. Elaine said that the phone calls never really ended, the worri= es never really ceased and the desire to help others never really subsided. I = can attest to this because, even in retirement, Greg continued to send me news releases and announcements from Yukon mining companies. He kept close tabs = on what was happening, and his dedication to the north and to industry continu= ed. Greg was a true leader, and his love for his work showed, even in retiremen= t. Greg continued to serve the territory both as acting chair and vice-chair of the Water Board as well as managing Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, as you can appreciate, so many stories about Greg have come to my attention= in recent weeks. Just this morning, the Member for Takhini-Kopper King shared that, during EMR office fundraisers, Greg could always be counted on to ove= rpay for her mom’s baking.

Former= Deputy Minister Angus Robertson shared that while he and Greg travelled together f= or various meetings across the country, he would never forget the time they we= re attending a national conference in Halifax for EMR in September 2003. It was here where they learned first-hand what a category 2 hurricane felt like as Hurricane Juan pounded through Nova Scotia, leaving the hotel without power= or hot water. He said that it certainly made for a much more casual conference. Greg also often talked of this same conference and said that it was one of = the most productive meetings he had ever attended. He said that there was somet= hing about walking down flights of stairs to a candlelit room and meeting with colleagues from across the country — none of whom had been able to sh= ower — that broke down any and all barriers.

The Me= mber for Lake Laberge fondly remembers Greg’s positive attitude and commitment= to the Yukon, including Greg’s often-repeated statement during his time = as deputy minister that the job was indeed 24/7. Greg meant what he said and w= as quick to pick up the phone to fix a problem, even late at night.

Greg&#= 8217;s commitment to the Yukon touched the lives of people across the territory who may not have even known it, including helping mines to operate when facing challenges and keeping hundreds of Yukoners employed as a result, supporting the agricultural sector and, of course, his role in adding a forestry-themed playground to the research forest, which is much enjoyed and appreciated by families across the City of Whitehorse.

I too = had the opportunity to travel quite a lot with Greg during my time as minister, both across Canada and throughout Alaska. We shared a lot of good times and some great laughs. If there is one thing that I will always remember about Greg,= it is his laugh. He may have been small or short in stature, but his laugh and sense of humour were those of a giant.

I want= to use an excerpt from Greg’s obituary, as there are no words to describe Greg’s retirement dreams more eloquently than those from his family — and I quote: “Greg retired early from public service to focus time on family, and renewing his passion for the RV lifestyle. In typical G= reg fashion, this meant a 27-foot fifth wheel and accompanying giant diesel tru= ck. While he may have been cheated out of further pursuing those dreams, the ti= mes he did spend in the fifth wheel and with his family were the most cherished moments he recalled before his passing.”

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, I would like to express not only our heartfelt best wishes to his family and friends as we celebrate Greg in tribute today, but also our appreciation for having been able to work with such an incredibly dedicated Yukoner and fami= ly man.

Applause

 

Speaker: Are= there any returns or documents for tabling?

Are th= ere any reports of committees?

Are th= ere any petitions?

Are th= ere any bills to be introduced?

Are th= ere any notices of motions?

Notices of Motions

Mr. Hassard:&= #8195;I rise to give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House thank the Premier for recognizing the Yukon Party’s comprehensive pla= n to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without increasi= ng costs on Yukon families and businesses with a carbon tax.

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Ms. Hanson: I rise to give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to demonstrate that it is protecting the righ= ts of public servants to a workplace free from harassment due to perceived or actual political affiliation, consistent with section 9 of the Yukon Public Service Act, policy 3.39 of= the General Administration Manual on c= onflict of interest and policy 3.47 on respectful workplaces.

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Speaker: Are= there any further notices of motions?

Is the= re a statement by a minister?

This t= hen brings us to Question Period.

QUESTION PERIOD

Question re: Radon = testing

Ms. McLeod: Testing conducted in Whitehorse Copper, Pine Ridge, Wolf Creek, Spruce Hill and Cowley Creek found that radon levels were much higher= than Health Canada’s guidelines. Nine and a half months ago, we wrote the Minister of Health and Social Services regarding this specific issue, and we have still not received a response. In the letter, we asked the minister to provide free test kits to all residents in these areas so that they can che= ck to see if their homes are safe. Further, we asked the minister to consider offering a support program for homeowners should mitigation be warranted as= a result of testing.

Can th= e minister commit to providing these test kits and supports to those who need these mitigations?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am pleased to rise today to speak on radon management.

With r= espect to the question on radon testing, what I can say is that we have significant reports and assessments that we have done on radon testing over the course = of time through the Yukon Housing Corporation. We do offer free radon testing = and we continue to do that. In particular, over the course of the year, we have focused our efforts on licensed centres and day homes. We will continue to = work with our partners to address and mitigate radon within the city of Whitehor= se and, of course, within rural Yukon communities.

Ms. McLeod: Can the minister confirm whether there were any daycare facilities or day homes that were tested for radon that require mitigation efforts due to tests that found high levels?

Hon. Ms. Frost: So Health and Social Services, as noted, offered free radon te= sting for licensed centres and day homes over the winter of 2017‑18. All but three centres accepted the offer of radon testing, and the others, with res= pect to the remaining three, were mitigated. We continue to provide the necessary supports to the centres that have tested positive with higher levels of rad= on. So for the record, we have a number of facilities that were tested and we h= ave provided resources to address the radon levels; that is, we provide support= s to the daycare centres and to private homes — those that have been identified as testing high in radon.

Ms. McLeod: I wasn’t quite sure if I heard the minister correctly, so can the minis= ter confirm that the government does have a plan to provide financial help to families, daycares and day homes that require mitigation work from high rad= on levels?

Hon. Ms. Frost: So we are providing notice to daycare centres as to their radon testing results and we are encouraging those facilities to share the results with the parents and to work with the parents. We will continue to support = the daycare centres and, of course, provide information where we can and work w= ith our partners to address radon levels and to look at mitigating measures.

Question re: Government contracting to Outside companies

Ms. Van Bibber: On Thursday, the government announced that they would be fundi= ng the construction of 100 homes for Yukoners over the next 18 months. According to the government’s press release, it appears that 50 percent of these h= omes will be built by one southern company headquartered in Vancouver. These agreements never went out to tender, as the money is being handed out via funding applications. If the funding application criteria allow 50 percent = of the program to be awarded to an Outside company, then I think the Liberals = have designed it wrong.

As you= know, during the election they promised to keep money with local contractors.

Can th= e minister confirm why she designed this program in a way that allowed 50 percent of t= he homes to be awarded to a southern company?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that we are experiencing challenges in the Yukon with respect to housing, as noted. We = are working with our partners and are pleased to say that the Yukon Housing Corporation has taken a creative approach to look at addressing implementat= ion of the housing action plan and the anti-poverty reduction strategies and looking at working with our partners to address the barriers that we have s= een historically. We have created a housing initiative fund that will seek part= nership with Yukoners and those that are interested in looking at building affordab= le housing. We will continue to address the housing shortage needs in the Yuko= n. We will work with the partners who come forward that are prepared to address the challenges that we are confronted with, mainly looking at improvements = in the delivery of affordable housing programs for Yukoners and addressing the shortfalls that we have seen historically.

Ms. Van Bibber: As we mentioned, the government’s press release states t= hat the housing initiative funding announced Thursday will build 100 homes, and= 50 of those homes are being built by a southern company which, according to th= eir website, is based in Vancouver. This comes after the Liberals sole-sourced = $1 million to a Northwest Territories company earlier this year, and they awar= ded the $15 million Carmacks arena to an Ontario company. Can the minister tell= us if there is a requirement for this Vancouver company to at least subcontract locally?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I think we have been fairly clear on the record about — = the member opposite mentioned the Northwest Territories company. I think we han= dled that fairly well when it came to our attention. We actually changed directi= on and have made sure that we get local input into our decisions.

We rem= ember that one of the reasons why Yukon society is so sensitive about this matter is t= hat the previous government went and sole-sourced the F.H. Collins project and = did not change course, and there was the perception that we lost a lot of local benefits through that project. We are doing things differently on this side= . We have put value-driven contracts out. Currently there are 157 value-driven procurements with mandatory clauses to outline what benefits will be seen f= or the north through the procurement process. That is a huge improvement to the way that we do business in this territory. I have heard from many people th= at they are very happy with the work we are doing on the procurement file, and= I am more than happy to talk about that in further questions.

Ms. Van Bibber: The minister’s press release on this announcement says &= #8212; and I quote: “We designed…” the program. Can the minister confirm if the Liberal Cabinet signed off on the design of this program whi= ch allowed 50 percent of the funding agreements for these homes to be built to= go to a southern company?

Hon. Ms. Frost: For the record, let’s be clear that we are speaking abou= t 100 units, and these individuals — partners — came to us with the initiative that we announced. We didn’t go to them and we didn’t hand-pick them. The effort to look at cooperation and our partnerships is really one that we embrace and we look forward to our partnerships.<= /p>

Lookin= g to address the approach to housing and partnership is very broad and comprehen= sive. I am very proud of that and I am proud of the work that the Yukon Housing Corporation is doing. I am proud of the work of our community partners. I am really looking forward to assessing and addressing the affordable adequate housing needs in Yukon, specifically looking at rural Yukon communities.

We wil= l continue to build our partnership with municipalities, First Nations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and others to increase housing optio= ns for our territory. I am very pleased to say that we are partnering with developers to build new rental housing in Whitehorse, Teslin, Dawson City, Carmacks and Watson Lake.

As we = partner with our First Nations, we are looking at initiatives, and we will continue= to work with all partners to address the housing needs of Yukoners.

Question re: Health and Social Services programs and services review

Ms. White: Last week, we revealed government documents showing that the costs of the health review would be over $2 million rather than the $600,000 the minister had t= old Yukoners.

We als= o pointed out that the minister had refused to make the terms of reference for the re= view public. We have since obtained a draft copy of the Yukon Health Review Stee= ring Committee’s terms of reference. The document says that the budget for= the committee — and I quote: “… shall not exceed $500,000.”

The pr= oblem is that the documents we revealed last week pegged the steering committee expe= nses at less than $200,000. Mr. Speaker, we are potentially talking about an extra $300,000, making the whole review’s tab climb up to $2.5 millio= n.

Can th= e minister once and for all tell Yukoners the complete cost — both internal and external — for this review? For the sake of transparency, will she pl= ease table the full terms of reference for this review?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The comprehensive health review — the independent review= of Health and Social Services — will help to ensure delivery of health c= are that is sustainable going forward. What I noted previously in the Legislati= ve Assembly is that the cost we budgeted for, for the review and the expert pa= nel, is $665,000. I have clarified that and that is what we have funded and prov= ided for. That is being covered off by the territorial health initiative funding, which is funded by the federal government.

Ms. White: Again we have heard the cost of the expert panel, but not the internal cost to government. The irony is not lost on Yukoners that a review created to find so-called “efficiencies” will cost over $2 million.

ItR= 17;s also hard to swallow for Yukoners struggling to make ends meet that the governme= nt panelists will receive $1,500 a day for a single day of work. That’s almost $200 per hour, Mr. Speaker. It is certainly not minimum wage. <= /span>

When a= sked point-blank how much the comprehensive health review would cost, the minist= er said $600,000. It wasn’t until evidence was revealed to the public th= at she admitted to an extra $1.5 million in costs. Now that the draft terms of reference of the review’s steering committee show a potential cost increase of more than $300,000, Yukoners deserve transparency.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, will the minister make public the review’s full terms of reference so Yukoners can know with certainty the full cost and scope of this review?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With respect to the member opposite’s perhaps misrepresentation, the actual cost is $665,000. The other costs are estimates. That information that she = is revealing is perhaps information that is not accurate. What we are speaking about is that we have $665,000 allocated for a comprehensive review to cover the expert panel. That includes engagement with Yukoners, engagement correspondence and also for travel for the expert team, as noted. The cost = that the member opposite is referencing is the estimated cost of the Government = of Yukon’s staff wages. To be reflected in true projections going forward and accountability, we need to take those things into consideration. But al= so, please note that there are no additional costs as these individuals are pub= lic servants, and they already provide services to the Government of Yukon. The= se are their jobs, they provide support and they do it on a daily basis, and I’m very happy about the efforts that they put forward and their role= as public servants.

Ms. White:= 195;Yukoners are asking if those estimates of wages are also a cost to Yukoners for this review. The minister has said on a few occasions that this review is not ab= out finding budget cuts, but a closer look at the terms of reference for its steering committee’s action plan raises some serious doubts. The term= s of reference highlight selected sections of the Financial Advisory Panel’= ;s report that talk about contracting out diagnostic work to private firms, privately owned surgical facilities and co-pay arrangements in areas such a= s pharmacare. The document goes on to talk about — and I quote: “… = ;focusing on the factors driving cost”.

In a l= etter to the Premier last week, Seniors Action Yukon expressed concerns that this re= view would lead to — and I quote: “… an end to universal programs, a heavy reliance on user-pay for public services, and a disregard= for social costs and community values.”

Will t= he minister assure Yukoners that this review will not jeopardize universal programs and lead to further privatization of our health care system?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Again, the actual cost is $665,000. The other costs are just estimates of in-kind salary costs. What we did with the tiger team, as note= d, is — the objective is to provide supports, and the estimated costs fr= om the staff time are to ensure that the expert panel has the resources it nee= ds to effectively assess efficiencies of programs and services and to look at = the growth of health — but to keep in line with the fact that we do not w= ant to jeopardize the services and programs to rural Yukon communities. As heal= th grows, we want to ensure that we provide the same level of service and not = grow the cost of government and not grow the cost of health.

Let= 217;s be clear — the staff are already getting paid. This is no extra cost. Th= ey are getting paid on a daily basis to provide support to the department.

Question re: Carbon tax

Ms. Hanson: This government’s approach to addressing climate change has been mostly focused on the federal government’s plan to put a price on carbon. Af= ter this government has granted an exemption or a rebate to pretty much any industry asking for it, it’s hard to see how they will have any significant effect on reducing greenhouse gas in Yukon — this despite= the recommendation of Yukon’s very own Financial Advisory Panel to — and I quote: “Reduce the number of fuel tax exemptions to commercial activities.” The Financial Advisory Panel was clear — tax exemptions are subsidies.

Why is= the Premier ignoring the Financial Advisory Panel by giving more exemptions to a price on carbon to any industry asking for it?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: First of all, I don’t think that we’re igno= ring the advice of the Financial Advisory Panel. In fact, just recently it was o= ne of the members of the Financial Advisory Panel who stood up and said that t= his is the most effective way to reduce emissions.

There = was a report, which the members opposite were briefed on, about the effectiveness= of that program. I will have to look up the number for the members opposite, b= ut it was given to all in this Legislature to talk about the reduction in emissions that were coming very specifically from a price on carbon. It sho= wed it over the first year and it showed it up to the fifth year. It is a very effective program.

In fac= t, one of the things that I think is very important for all of us here in this House = is that we get into the habit of looking at the programs that are proposed and coming up with the cost of reducing emissions as a result and the effective= ness of them.

I will= stand up here and very clearly say that the effectiveness of carbon pricing in reduc= ing emissions has been indicated to all members of this Legislature.

Ms. Hanson: Indeed, the effectiveness of carbon pricing — not rebates on every penny thro= ugh that carbon price.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, dealing with climate change will require more than half measures. It requir= es bold action and leadership now, but the Premier’s track record on cli= mate change speaks for itself. The Liberals broke their promise to invest $30 million a year in energy retrofits, they are pouring millions into diesel a= nd LNG infrastructure, just like their predecessors did, and they are giving subsidies or rebates to their carbon tax to nearly every industry that asks= for it.

It beg= s the question: What’s the point of the carbon price?

At the= same time as the Yukon government sits on the side line, the government in the Northw= est Territories just announced a $40‑million wind power project in Inuvik. This is happening right next door in the north.

When w= ill we see this kind of major investment in renewable energy in the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>So the way in which a carbon price works is that you put a pri= ce signal out there in the marketplace and it has the effect of helping all of= us across all groups seek to reduce emissions.

What d= o you do with the money when you have it? You could put it toward programs. We ran o= n a platform of returning it to Yukoners — Yukon citizens, Yukon business= es and now also municipalities and First Nation governments. That money —= ; it’s your choice, Mr. Speaker. What you can do with that money is use it to reduce your emissions.

The me= mber opposite believes that we should grow government. I do not. I think that on= e of the ways to do this is that you give the price signal back to the private sector or the individual. It is entirely possible.

By the= way, the Arctic energy fund that she’s talking about with NWT — we have money coming to us. We’ve announced that money here. We’re happ= ily invested in that.

We hav= e a pan-Canadian framework on climate change that the previous premier signed up to, and I would like to thank him for signing up to it because it is leadin= g us to solutions on climate change where we are accountable.

Ms. Hanson:&#= 8195;The minister neglected to say that that government did run on spending $30 mill= ion a year on renewable energy and has not delivered.

There = is very little information publicly available about the Arctic energy fund, so I am glad that this minister brought it up. Infrastructure Canada’s website says — and I quote: “The Arctic Energy Fund will provide funding for communities to upgrade existing fossil fuel based energy systems or to supplement or replace these systems with renewable energy options…= 221;

Based = on what the minister just said, it appears that the Northwest Territories has decid= ed to use all of their share of the Arctic energy fund on renewable energy, wh= ich is the right thing to do. Will the minister commit today to do the same and= use all of Yukon’s share of the Arctic energy fund on renewable energy — yes or no?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Yes, that is exactly what we are doing. I will just go through the list of proje= cts that we are actually working on through the Arctic energy fund. We have actually put a policy in place for $1.5 million, and we will have a chance = to discuss that today, because, at this particular time, the definition of “off-grid” — understanding that we have been working with= the federal government because, in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, there= was a clear indication of how money would flow. We do have a grid here, although it’s not connected to the central grid of the country. So there has b= een a back-and-forth on criteria and terms of reference. We built our energy fu= nd to make sure that we could roll the $50 million into it. Of course, there is $500,000 to Vuntut Gwitchin for the largest solar project in pan-northern —

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I will let the Leader of the Third Party continue to talk off mic — what’s new?

There = is: $80,000 for North Fork run-of-the-river hydro, $205,000 for Chu Níikwän Development Corporation for a development project; Carcross/Tagish Montana Mountain wind project; Kluane Development Corporation is actually getting that project built and is looki= ng at IPP; and Village of Teslin conversion on streetlights.

I thin= k that when we answer the questions correctly and we actually put the facts out, t= hat is when the voice and volume goes up from the Third Party across the way, s= o we must be doing something right.

Yukon = Energy — once again, it is just a series of projects that we are funding. Th= ose are the facts, so Yukoners don’t need to listen to the rhetoric from across the way.

Question re: Carbon tax

Mr. Istchenko: According to Finance Canada’s website, despite the Premier’s claims that local aviation companies will be exempt from the carbon tax scheme, they wi= ll still be subject to all reporting and filing requirements of the carbon tax legislation. A quote from Finance Canada’s website is: “Air carriers in the listed territories will continue to be subject to the GGPPA” — Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act — “(e.g., reporting and filing requirements)…” This means that, despite not having to pay the carbon tax, they will still be forced to fill out a bunch of pointless paperwork. This administrative burden will still come at a cost for these companies. Will the Premier agree to ask Ottawa to exempt airlines from this administrative burden as well?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Aviation fuel will be exempted from the carbon levy in Yukon and in the other territories. To some extent, this mitigates the disproportionate impacts predicted in our rural and remote communities. This exemption will apply to= all aviation fuel sold in the Yukon. It is unlikely that the rebates that will = be given to placer miners to pay for carbon price levies — a carbon levy will not be collected on aviation.

Just t= o be clear, the rebate to placers is a rebate, and the carbon levy for the aviat= ion industry is actually an exemption. That exemption — if the members opposite would care to pay attention and listen — is a federal exempt= ion from the federal government. We were happy to work with the other two territories. When we took a look at the pan-Canadian framework on how to ma= ke a special case for the north and we worked on our side of things — the legislative pieces for us for the rebates — this particular exemption= was a federal exemption.

I woul= d urge the member opposite to maybe reach out to their counterparts in the federal government or maybe even write a letter to ask for that as well. I would be happy to talk to the Member for Kluane off-mic to see where he is coming fr= om with this and maybe even see some kind of support, if we can, as far as understanding and helping Yukoners understand the difference between exempt= ions from the federal government and things that we are responsible for here on = the rebate side of things.

Mr. Istchenko: It is about administrative burden on companies. I guess from that answer, we c= an tell that the Premier doesn’t care that there will still be an administrative burden even on companies that are exempt from the tax.

On Oct= ober 26, in Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly, the Premier of Nunavut explained h= ow the carbon tax is unfair for northerners because we have fewer options to reduce our emissions as southerners. We can’t just hop on a subway to= get to work, and all of our food needs to be shipped up north. He is quoted as saying this about the carbon tax: “We know people have a hard time bu= ying fuel for their houses.” He goes on to say: “We are compassionate and we will look at all options to help Nunavummiut when this very unfair t= ax is imposed upon us.”

Does t= he Premier agree with the Premier of Nunavut? Does he agree with him that the carbon t= ax is unfair to northerners and is he also looking at an option to reduce the burden on Yukoners who have to purchase fuel for their homes?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I would continue, as I have in the past, to urge the premiers = of other districts in the north to definitely let Ottawa know the unique circumstances of those different territories. As much as we do share a lot = in common, Mr. Speaker, one thing that we have that Nunavut doesn’t have is roads to all of our communities, except for one. Even though we do = get kind of lumped into one big group in Ottawa sometimes, we have to show them that it is harder to do business in the north, but also that, district to district, we have different considerations. I want to basically say that the other two territories and I have gone to Ottawa and explained the differenc= es between the two.

We bel= ieve that an aviation exemption from the federal government is a good thing and it co= mes from lots of dialogue between the three territories. We are glad that Ottawa has given that exemption. We are hearing from the opposition — I don’t know if they are necessarily in favour of it or not. We have he= ard them comparing it to transportation. We are now hearing that there is too m= uch paperwork on this. I think that in the end, it is good for Yukoners to know that companies that go jurisdiction to jurisdiction never paid a carbon pri= ce before. This particular consideration is for regional travel, travelling fr= om Whitehorse to Dawson and different places inside the region, and it is something that all three territories went to Ottawa united on. I would say this: I am very happy that there are some great opportunities when you can = work together when going to Ottawa and asking for these exemptions.

Mr. Istchenko: That is cold comfort for the residents of Beaver Creek or any of the residents in the riding of Kluane. Home heating fuel in the Northwest Territories is exe= mpt from the Liberal carbon tax scheme. Like I said earlier, on October 26 in t= he Nunavut Legislative Assembly, the Premier of Nunavut announced that the territory is currently negotiating with Ottawa for an exemption for home heating fuel as well.

Will t= he Premier stand up for Yukoners — stand up for those people in Mayo, Ross River= and Beaver Creek — and tell us if he is going to ask for the same exempti= on?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I appreciate the question coming from the member opposite. It = is nice to see that they are finally giving some input as opposed to just havi= ng their head in the sand when it comes to carbon. It is nice to know that the= re are specific things about the exemptions that they like and some things abo= ut the exemptions that they do not like. I think what is fair to people in Bea= ver Creek and other communities in the Yukon is that we worked hard with the ot= her two territories’ premiers to define the unique circumstances of the n= orth together and also the unique difference per jurisdiction as well. In doing = so — dollar for dollar rebates to the placer mining industry. We have committed to giving all the money back to individuals and to businesses. We= are continuing to have that and that will happen.

Also, = the exemption for aviation was, again, a consideration that other jurisdictions= in Canada will not have, but we will because of the work that we did negotiati= ng and having conversations with Ottawa. So we are very pleased that we are at least hearing from the Yukon Party maybe a research part to the carbon deba= te. I look forward to continuing, as the time has come and gone to debate the impacts of climate change. It is time to take action and it is time to show leadership.

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Speaker: The= time for Question Period has now elapsed.

We wil= l now proceed to Orders of the Day.

Orders of the Day

Government Bills

Bill No. 19: Electoral District Boundaries Act — Second Reading

Clerk: Second reading, Bill No. 19, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. S= ilver.

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 19, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Act,= be now read a second time.=

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Hon. Premier that Bill No. 19, entitled Electoral District Boundaries Act,= be now read a second time.=

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Hon. Mr. Silver: I rise today at second reading to discuss the Electoral District Boundaries Act. As I am sure all members recall, the Electoral District Boundaries Commission was established in May 2017 to review the boundaries, number and names of our electoral districts. This was in accord= ance with the Elections Act, which requires a commission to re= view electoral districts after every second general election.

In pre= paring its final report, the commission considered public input as well as a number of factors, including population data, density and future growth and municipal= and First Nation boundaries as well. Its final report was tabled in the House t= his past April. The Elections Act a= lso requires that a bill reflecting the commission’s recommendations be tabled before the end of the next legislative Sitting, and that is the bill that you see before us today, Mr. Speaker.

I do w= ant to take a moment to sincerely thank the members of the Electoral District Boundaries Commission for all of their hard work: Justice Ron Veale, Darre<= span style=3D'display:none;mso-hide:all'>n Parsons, Jonas Smith, Anne Tayler and= Lori McKee. The bill reflects the commission’s recommendations. It proposes to create one new electoral district, bringing the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly from 19 to 20. It would also make substan= tive changes to eight electoral districts and minor adjustments to another four,= and it retains several electoral districts without changes.

As I h= ave mentioned, we are legally obligated to introduce the bill that represents t= he commission’s recommendations. That is clearly stated in the act and we have fulfilled that obligation by introducing Bill No. 19.

This L= egislative Assembly decided many years ago that an independent commission was the right entity to make recommendations on the boundaries for Yukon ridings. On this side of the House, since the beginning when the report was put out in the spring, we have expressed some concerns. When the report was tabled in the spring, the MLA for Porter Creek Centre, for example, said on April 19 R= 12; and I quote: “We have done a preliminary review of the report and find the addition of a 20th riding concerning. This proposal differs significantly from those in the interim report that was represented.

“= ;A change of this scale and consequence will require careful consideration.

“= ;The Liberal caucus MLAs plan to take the summer to speak with Yukoners about the Commission’s proposed changes. This will come back to the legislative assembly for debate and our caucus looks forward to the discussion at that time.”

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, we did exactly that. We have heard concerns mostly on two different issues.= One was a lack of consultation on adding a 20th MLA and, quite simpl= y, the lack of demand for more politicians.

The in= terim report of the commission recommended 19 ridings. That was the interim repor= t. That is what the commission went out and consulted on. Very late in this process, after most of the consultation was completed, the suggestion of a = 20th riding entered the conversation. The final report ended up recommending 20 ridings.

We wer= e not the only ones who had concerns about consultation. The MLA for Lake Laberge wro= te to the Electoral District Boundaries Commission with similar concerns about= a lack of public consultation in March 2018. I look forward to hearing his perspective on this and other issues during second reading this afternoon. = I am also equally interested in the views of other members of this House and hav= ing that debate on this bill.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, the proposal that we are considering today differs significantly from the interim report that was presented to the public. There were no public meeti= ngs held on changes that were introduced very late in the process. A change of = this scale and consequence requires careful consideration and requires an opport= unity for Yukoners to be engaged and to be heard.

Given = the fact that the 20th riding was introduced very late in the game, the v= ast majority of consultation had already occurred without this notion being par= t of that discussion, so that is a concern that I definitely wanted to outline h= ere today, Mr. Speaker.

I have= yet to meet a Yukoner who believes this Chamber needs to add another member at this time, and that speaks to the second point here: the lack of demand for more politicians. I am curious to hear whether the opposition has met with anybo= dy who has requested that we add another member to this Chamber.

Of cou= rse, there have been requests to reorganize how the riding boundaries are aligned. Thi= s is fundamentally different — in my opinion and the opinion of this side = of the House — than adding another MLA. There are currently 19 seats in = the Legislature in Yukon. That represents an estimated 30,000 — to be correct, 30,030 — eligible voters. In other words, this is on average= just under 1,600 eligible voters per riding. The proposed bill would reduce this= to an average of 1,500 eligible voters per riding.

The pr= oposed bill would reduce this to an average of 1,500 eligible voters per riding. F= or comparison, on Prince Edward Island there is an average of 4,400 eligible voters per seat, and in New Brunswick, there is an average of 12,000 voters= per seat.

In the= 2016 territorial election, the number of voters in Yukon ranged quite considerab= ly — of course, Old Crow being the smallest — ranging from Pelly-N= isutlin with 826 eligible voters to one of the bigger ridings, Takhini-Kopper King, with 1,904 eligible voters. On average, there were 1,191 voters in rural ridings in Yukon and 1,417 voters in the urban ridings. We believe, Mr.&nbs= p;Speaker, that this represents an appropriate balance between urban and rural voters.=

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, in their final report, the commission has adopted the Canadian Standards Association established judicial decision as a guideline for the number of voters per riding. This standard allows for a variance of 25 percent above = or below the average electoral district population. They also noted that there were instances where it was necessary to go beyond the plus or minus 25 per= cent guideline. The proposal that we are debating today, in fact, has a majority= of the ridings outside of that variance — 11 of 20 ridings are outside of the 25 percent variance under the new plan.

By com= parison, there are only four of 19 ridings outside of variance in the 2008 report, t= he last time the boundaries were reviewed. In the one before that, in 2002, th= ere were only two that were outside of the variance. This proposal seems to tak= e us in the wrong direction with regard to ridings being outside of that 25 perc= ent variance.

In con= clusion to my opening comments here at second reading, I reiterate my sincere thanks to the members of the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission and to every organization and individual who provided input into their work. Government absolutely relies on such contributions and goodwill from the citizens, and I’m absolutely truly grateful for that input.

I̵= 7;m very interested to hear from the members of the opposition and other members of = the House here this afternoon on the proposed bill. As I mentioned, we have sev= eral concerns, and to be upfront, I thought I would put those concerns in the re= cord with Hansard here at the second reading.

With t= hat being said, I’m looking forward to the debate this afternoon.

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Mr. Hassard: I too would like to thank the commission for all of the work that they did. I certainly appreciate it. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a few meetings throughout the Yukon with the commission. The information that they provided was great. The questions asked by Yukoners throughout the territor= y were very good. The meeting in Faro in particular — the community came together with a presentation. They had a PowerPoint presentation to explain their thoughts and concerns to the commission. The commission was very grateful, listened to their concerns and listened to the concerns of the pe= ople in Ross River, and I appreciated that.

Am I p= ersonally in favour of having a growing government, I guess, by adding a 20th member? It’s not my favourite thing to do, for sure, but at the same time, it is very important that the people of the Yukon get proper representation here in this Assembly. It is important, especially for rural Yukon, to ensure that their voices are heard here in this Assembly.<= /p>

I appr= eciate the work that the commission did, and I appreciate that they listened to Yukone= rs to make this decision. This wasn’t a decision based on what we here in the Assembly think is right or wrong. It was from the words of the people. Personally, I would have to say that I respect what they had to say and I w= ill respect their decision.

My con= stituents in particular — whether in Teslin, Faro or Ross River — were al= l in favour of the changes. That is even more reason for me to stand up here and= say that.

This i= s a free vote from the Yukon Party. I know that there is at least one member of my caucus who doesn’t necessarily agree with what the commission did for= his own personal reasons. I respect that, and I am quite sure that he will stan= d up here today and explain that.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, for myself, like I said, I respect the work that the commission did, and I certainly will be voting in favour of this.

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Ms. Hanson: I also want to join in reiterating the thanks of this Legislative Assembly to Justice Veale, Jonas Smith, Darren Parsons, Dr. Anne Tayler and the fo= rmer Chief Electoral Officer Lori McKee for conducting probably one of the most thorough reviews required under the Elections Act every two election cycles, with respect to reviewing the electoral boundaries.

With a= ll respect, Mr. Speaker, when I listened to the Premier’s comments,= I think he has missed a number of very essential points that the Electoral District Boundaries Commission made in their report — in particular, = when he comes to the conclusion about the gap between the interim and the final report and also some of the constraints that are actually contained in the existing legislation, which he neglected to mention and which the commission does mention — and so I will try to go through some of those in my response to the tabling of this bill.

I thin= k it is really important that we all note that when this commission was established, each of the political parties represented in this Legislative Assembly were asked to provide a nominee to sit on that commission, along with the Chief Justice of the Yukon Supreme Court. It is non-partisan, although they are informed by the political perspectives of where they came from. One of the things I found most interesting as I read through the report, looking at the guiding principles that the commission adopted in addition to agreeing on t= he importance of applying the legislated relevant considerations consistently — and they also agreed with the importance of the need for public outreach and input and the need to maintain a meaningful balance between ur= ban and rural electoral districts.

They a= lso agreed to operate by consensus, Mr. Speaker, so we’re not talking about= a one-sided or skewed approach to developing the recommendations that have co= me before us reflected in the legislation in Bill No. 19. When the commis= sion agreed to those principles regarding public outreach and input, I doubt they realized how significant that would prove to be.

You kn= ow, Mr. Speaker, this commission received 63 presentations from individuals and groups in communities across the territory, with a total of 42 separate submissions, versus four and 11 in the previous commission in 2007-08. It is a significa= nt difference, because when you read the report and look at the efforts made by this commission to do outreach, to have a social media presence, to ensure = that the public was aware of these electoral boundaries things — it is not= the most engaging or sexy kind of topic, if you think about it, Mr. Speaker — electoral boundaries. They are boundaries — who looks at that= ? People in the Yukon were sufficiently interested in this — ensuring that they had some voice about how their voice would be reflected in this Legislative Assembly — that they did participate. I think that needs to be taken = into consideration.

I thin= k it is important to note that the final report is the sum of the commission’s deliberations over the previous 10 months — they did a lot of work in that 10-month period — and that the members arrived at each proposal,= as I said, through consensus. I think it is important to note that, while some= of the interim report proposals remain the same, others were modified — = as the Premier has noted — and revised based on public input received throughout the consultation process. I think it is to the credit of the com= mission that they not only consulted extensively with the Yukon public, but also th= at they listened and were prepared to make changes to the interim recommendati= ons based on the data received and analyzed by the commissioners. As the commis= sion notes: “During the public hearings, the Commission heard compelling testimony that there was a need to create one additional electoral district= , to address effective representation for electors in 3 particular electoral districts.” Those were the districts of Pelly-Nisutlin, Carmacks-Faro-Ross River and Mayo-Pelly, and then Mount Lorne/Southern Lake= s, and the Porter Creek electoral districts — that being Pelly-Nisutlin, Porter Creek and Mount Lorne/Southern Lakes.

The co= mmission is to be commended for their diligence and for their willingness to accept = that their initial assessment, conducted at a distance from the on-the-ground li= ved reality of people who live in various regions of our territory with respect= to effective and representative representation in this Legislative Assembly — I think they are to be respected — more than respected. They = came to this conclusion that the representation could and should be improved.

I thin= k we also have to note the fact that they held public meetings in the 10 communities = that requested hearings.

They p= ut out a call, and keep in mind that they had a very, very tight time frame to get t= hese public hearings done once they had done the initial assessments and had all= the additional meetings. If you read through the kind of consultations that wen= t on prior to going out in terms of getting the baseline data, this is like going from zero to 60 in a very short period of time. So in addition to those 10 communities that had requested them, they held meetings in two additional communities that would be affected by redistribution. I think that speaks volumes to their commitment to reflecting Yukoners’ voices in this fi= nal report.

They m= ade those major recommendations for the redistribution of Pelly-Nisutlin, Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes and then the redistribution within some of the areas f= or Porter Creek and then the redistribution of electoral districts within the = City of Whitehorse by realigning — I think there are five — electoral districts, as I read it, within the city, along with minor changes as outli= ned in the report.

I think it’s important to note, as the commission reported, that the review of electoral districts is designed to ensure that electors have effective representation in electoral districts, reflecting changes in communities ac= ross the territory. The review is conducted independent of government — absolutely important that we keep that in mind. This is not about one caucu= s or another caucus’s view of this. It’s independent. It’s abo= ut reflecting what Yukon citizens need in terms of ensuring accurate representation in here — representative of the nature of our whole territory. It’s not whether we like it. This is the voice of Yukoners speaking through this non-partisan commission who operated on consensus.

In my = reading of the reports prepared by the commission, particularly the final report of Ap= ril 19, 2018, it’s clear that the commission took its mandate seriously, = that they conducted a detailed and thorough analysis, that they were mindful of = the relevant considerations as required under the sections 4(15) and 4(17) of t= he act and, further, that they were mindful of judicial decisions relating to = the redistribution of electoral boundaries in jurisdictions from across the cou= ntry and the principles that arise from them.

Some o= f those principles spoke to the importance — when they looked at those princi= ples in addition to the judicial decisions, they looked at the deliberations and reports of previous commissions going back as far as 1991, including existi= ng electoral district maps and the report on previous general elections in Yuk= on. They looked at the projections of population growth throughout the Yukon fr= om a variety of sources, including the City of Whitehorse and the Yukon Bureau of Statistics. They looked at areas of future development, including residenti= al and commercial development, proposed development by First Nation governments and mining industry developments and demographic and economic trends in all communities.

The pr= eparation of the final report, as I mentioned, looked at these deliberations from 199= 1, and it’s important, I think, to consider that, in doing so, the observations, they said, of the past commissions were a valuable resource in spite of the considerable change in growth — and their considerations, they say, are still relevant today.

I want= to quote one particular observation made by the 1991 Electoral District Boundaries Commission and referenced in subsequent commissions. This had to do with the whole issue of getting to the issue of representation. They said — an= d I quote: “… articulates the special circumstances in Yukon t= hat still exist today:

“= ;The entire region outside Whitehorse is sparsely populated, and… no other Canadian city dominates its province or territory to the extent that Whitehorse dominates the Yukon. The disproportionate representation of rural areas in the existing legislature was explicitly intended to offset this feature of population distribution.”

I will= pause there, Mr. Speaker. You cannot simply do a total population and divide= it by the number of seats that exist in this House and come up with something = that is going to be equitable. We’re not talking about a simple math sums exercise here, Mr. Speaker.

Going = back to the quote here: “Given relatively less developed municipal organizati= on in much of rural Yukon, MLAs from those areas contend with a broader range = of responsibilities toward their constituents than is common elsewhere in Canada.”

They w= ent on to say that “The Commission carefully considered challenges noted in the past…” and they also then commented extensively, if you read the report, on the challenges, in particular for the riding of Pelly-Nisutlin, = an area on which they focused a fair amount of attention.

As the= Premier noted, in their review of judicial decisions, they reviewed in particular t= hree reference cases. I think it’s important that in trying to pull this report together and trying to ensure that we have a fair representation for= all Yukon voters, that they noted in particular the Saskatchewan reference case when Justice McLachlin said, “The purpose= of the right to vote enshrined in s. 3 of the Charter is not equality of voting power per= se but the right to ‘effective representation.’”

What t= hey’re saying there, Mr. Speaker, is that section 3 “… does = not guarantee the equality of voting power.”

Moreov= er, “… equality of voting power is not the only factor that affects effective representation…” and “Relative parity of voting power is a prime condition of effective representation.”

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, you see that reflected when they get into the determination of the electoral quotient toward the end of their final report.

Again,= the judicial decisions, as I had mentioned earlier, provided some of the guidan= ce for establishing the approach that they took.

I think particularly impressive was the substantial work done by the commission with respect to projected population growth and areas for future development, especially that they did with the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, the City of Whitehorse and Energy, Mines and Resources, along with local community knowledge regarding growth, for example, of Whistle Bend or anticipated economic growth with projects currently under development, such as Eagle Go= ld, to augment the statistical information.

I think that’s really important, because what we’re seeing demonstrated= in this report is that the commission wasn’t doing an ivory tower exerci= se. They were going out and talking to Yukon citizens where they live and heari= ng what they know on the ground about what is actually going to happen. One of= the challenges they faced — and you’ll see that reflected — w= hy we have one riding in Porter Creek that’s really tiny in terms of population, because when the last report was done in 2007-08, the commission believed the projections that were provided to them then that McIntyre D was going to go ahead. Well, guess what: It didn’t. So they were very careful, and you will see it referenced back and forth, back and forth R= 12; how many times they went back to the City of Whitehorse, how many times they talked to the Bureau of Statistics and how many times they talked to EMR to confirm and cross reference those projections and then to corroborate it in= the community. To me, that speaks volumes, Mr. Speaker, to the credibility= of the report and the recommendations made by the Electoral District Boundaries Commission.

So in = addition to the raw kinds of statistics, the demographic and economic trends that th= ey looked at included — and I’ll reference what they said in their report on page 22: “(1) infill development in Whitehorse and surround= ing areas; (2) addition of rental units to existing residences in response to incentives offered to Whitehorse homeowners; (3) acquisition and devel= opment of privately owned land parcels; (4) potential replacement of single family residences with multi-family residences; (5) subdivision of agricultural parcels; (6) addition of residences on properties outside of Whitehorse; (7) the conversion of seasonal homes to year-round use; and (7) First Nations governments’ planned residential development of settlement land parcels.” Mr. Speaker, nobody can say that this is not a comprehensive assessment of the growth potential.

Then t= hey moved into developing a quotient average for the electoral population.

I think it’s important to note that developing that quotient or that calculat= ion to get the resulting average of electoral district populations with a plus = or minus variation of 25 percent is based on a number of 1,525 and is with tak= ing Old Crow out. We will recall that every Electoral District Boundaries Commission including this one says that, at some point, that conversation is going to have to happen. We will talk about that when I get to the very end= of my commentary here when I reflect what the commission says.

They d= id say that there is a greater variance in the reference to the quotient — t= he 1,525 — with a greater variance being warranted where electoral distr= icts are geographically large and sparsely populated to provide electors with effective representation. As I said earlier, their basic conclusion was that the process of redistribution is not a simple mathematical exercise.

When t= hey made the proposed changes to make it 20 electoral districts — and I am goi= ng to quote here because I think it’s important. I quote: “While t= he Commission initially felt very strongly that 19 electoral districts achieved the goal of effective representation, and proposed maintaining that number = in the Interim Report, information received during the consultation process demonstrated to the Commission that an additional electoral district was justified, and indeed necessary.”

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, this is a commission representing us all who went out, talked to the public, did their research, came back having listened and made its recommendations. Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually listened to them?

So the= y made the recommendations, and I would recommend that the Members of the Legislative Assembly actually read page 27 of the report, which actually outlines why t= hose sparsely populated regions and districts of our territory need to be taken = into consideration.

I thin= k that the public outreach was a success, but what is missing in the simple discussion= of the Electoral District Boundaries A= ct revisions is that the commission also pointed out that the Elections Act does require — there is no comment in the minister’s comments at the outset here — changes to the Elections Act if we are actually g= oing to ask commissions to do this job properly. One of the criticisms that I he= ard from the member opposite is that there is too little time between the inter= im and the final. That is because the legislation requires it so we could chan= ge the legislation to tweak that so you could do another consultation on that “what we heard”, but we didn’t allow it. I am not saying = that the government didn’t allow it; the act doesn’t allow it.

What w= e have here, Mr. Speaker, are recommendations based on what the legislation provides for. I have to say that I am incredibly impressed with the work th= at was done by the Electoral District Boundaries Commission, and we think that= the outreach that was done — it was great to see some assumptions that pe= ople made based on one set of information and, when you take it out and get that opportunity to have the more in-depth conversations and you actually listen= to people, then you see real change, and I thank the commission for it.=

 

Mr. Gallina:&= #8195;I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to the second reading of Bill No. 19, entitled Electoral Dis= trict Boundaries Act. I would first like to thank the members of the Electoral District Boundaries Commission for their hard work: Justice Ron Veale, Darr= en Parsons, Lori McKee, Anne Tayler and Jonas Smith.

In Nov= ember 2017, the commission produced an 81-page interim report that outlined their mandate, their membership, considerations in the decision-making process, existing electoral districts and proposed electoral districts. The interim report saw 19 electoral districts proposed, which is what currently exists.=

The ch= anges being proposed in this interim report were primarily changes to the boundary lines of several electoral districts. My riding of Porter Creek Centre was = one of the areas affected by proposed urban electoral districts being examined = by the Electoral District Boundaries Commission. In the interim report, the primary consideration was population increase occurring in the Whistle Bend community. Future population is one of several considerations on which electoral district boundary proposals are based, with other relevant considerations being population density, demographic data, list of electors, geographical characteristics of electoral districts, travel patterns, communication issues and public input. This interim proposal would eliminate the Electoral District of Porter Creek Centre and see Whistle Bend become i= ts own district, but only capturing Whistle Bend in its current phase, with a projected electoral population of 2,140 electors proposed in 2026. Currentl= y, my riding encompasses all of Whistle Bend — current and future phases — as well as the east side of Porter Creek, beginning at Tamarack Dri= ve, stretching northwest to the intersection of Beech and Sycamore streets.

In Apr= il of this year, the commission produced their final report. The final report assesses= the interim report, reflects the commission’s deliberations and provides a detailed breakdown of the commission’s final recommendations.<= /p>

The fi= nal report continues with a Whistle Bend riding but now includes current and all proje= cted phases, which would result in a projected electoral population of 2,634 in = 2026 — a 25 percent increase over what was proposed in the interim report = with 2,140 proposed electors in 2026. Mr. Speaker, this is significant and,= as the final report stated, the projection of 2,634 electors in 2026 is — and I quote from the report — “… above the acceptable variance.” To provide clarity around this quote, the commission did s= tate that they took more of a cautious view of the timelines for the predicted growth than was estimated in the projections provided. They also went on to= say that if the actual growth meets or exceeds projected growth, this electoral district would need to be revisited by the next commission.

I rais= e this point because this is a dramatic change within the proposed riding from one report — the interim — to the next — the final report. I believe that if Yukoners affected by this dramatic change would have known = the intent of the commission, to increase the projected electoral population by= 25 percent from the interim to final reports, they would have been much more engaged and would have provided more input to the commission.

Additi= onally, another recommendation of the final report was that of a 20th ri= ding being created. When the final report was tabled this spring, I stated that = we had completed a preliminary review of the report and found the addition of = a 20th riding to be concerning. At the time, I committed that Liberal caucus MLAs planned to take the summer to speak with Yukoners about the commission̵= 7;s proposed changes. Since I made that statement in the spring, my colleagues = and I have spent a lot of time engaging with constituents and hearing their inp= ut and concerns on this file. Through this engagement, there were two main concerns identified: a lack of consultation, specifically between the inter= im and final reports, and a lack of demand for more politicians. These are concerns that I value and, quite frankly, that I agree with my constituents= on, as I have begun to point out in addressing the differences in proposed chan= ges for the proposed riding of Whistle Bend.

During= the phase of the interim report, the commission recommended 19 ridings. That is what = was consulted on and the benchmark in which engagement was taking place —= 19 total ridings and only current phases of Whistle Bend, not all phases of Whistle Bend becoming a separate riding. The idea of a 20th ridi= ng was brought forward very late in the process after the public had already p= articipated in meetings and communicated their views. I agree with the Leader of the Th= ird Party that more engagement has taken place with this commission than previo= us commissions, and that is a positive step. The point that I am making is abo= ut the lack of engagement between the interim and final reports.

Once t= he 20th riding was proposed, the vast majority of consultative efforts had already taken place. We can’t label that sufficient consultation or engagemen= t, and we know that there has been much discussion about the value of consulta= tion from all members of this Assembly.

Lastly= , Mr. Speaker, what I have heard from constituents and in discussions with my colleagues is that we simply don’t have the demand or the population at this time to justify the addition of another politician in the territory. This is what we were hearing. I am certainly not hearing from my constituents that they want another politician, and I ask with curiosity of my colleague whether the opposition has heard from anyone who has requested that we add another MLA = to this Chamber.

In clo= sing, I conclude that there are significant differences between the interim and fin= al reports, differences that dramatically impact constituents in Porter Creek Centre and all Yukoners in the territory with the proposed addition of a 20= th riding. Furthermore, there were little to no options for Yukoners to commen= t on or engage with the commission on these significant changes, as found in the final report.

I woul= d like to again extend my sincere thank you to the members of the Electoral District Boundaries Commission and to those Yukoners who took the time to provide in= put during the consultation phases. I look forward to hearing other views during today’s debate on this proposed bill, and I want to thank the Elector= al District Boundaries Commission for all their work in preparing the final report, which is the basis of the bill before us today.

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Mr. Kent:Q= 95;I would like to echo comments by colleagues on both sides of the House with respect to thanking the commission. I think they did an incredible job enga= ging Yukoners on this important issue, and they all deserve our heartfelt thanks= for the work that they accomplished in a relatively short period of time in com= ing up with the interim report and then, of course, the final report.

I had = the opportunity to attend one meeting. The Minister of Community Services was a= lso at that meeting at Mount Lorne. Obviously, there were some concerns from the people there about the interim report and what it looked like as far as splitting up their riding as it exists. The member mentioned — and I = will just paraphrase since I don’t have an exact quote and it is something that I feel as well — that on these types of votes, we need to vote t= he wishes of our constituents rather than the wishes of a party or for personal reasons. That is why I am pleased that in our conversations and with the support of the leader, we have decided that we will be allowing a free vote= , as opinions differ from riding to riding, whether you are in the City of Whitehorse or, of course, rural Yukon. I certainly respect those members fr= om rural Yukon and the differences that they see, not only in representing the= ir ridings with smaller populations over broad distances, but the unique and different perspectives that they bring to the Legislature. Again, I think y= ou are not going to find a one-size-fits-all on this legislation with what the report is reflecting. That is why I am pleased that we have been given the opportunity to have a free vote on this particular piece of legislation.

For my= part, Copperbelt South is affected by the interim and the final reports. The residents who are outside of the City of Whitehorse would no longer be in t= he riding of Copperbelt South. I did reach out to them on a number of occasions through newsletters, a constituency meeting, social media and as many ways = as I could just to get their feedback.

The fe= edback was very limited both on the interim report and on the final report; therefore,= I made my choice to support this act today because I deferred to the commissi= on and the work that they did. Obviously, they put in a lot more time talking = to Yukoners across the territory, so that is where I will defer to. Of course, like members opposite and like my colleague from Pelly-Nisutlin said, we wo= uld have preferred not to see another politician. I think the previous two repo= rts that were done — in each one of them — there was an additional politician added in the one that occurred in, I believe, 2001 or 2002 and t= hen in the subsequent one. Both increased the number of ridings. We started out with 17, went to 18 and now we’re at 19, and now this one is contemplating a 20th riding, so there has been a tendency for th= ese commissions to add additional ridings. Again, I think a lot of that is base= d on protecting representation, particularly of rural Yukoners. As the Leader of= the Third Party mentioned, if it was straight representation by population, a significant number of the ridings would be within the City of Whitehorse or= in the communities that surround the City of Whitehorse.

I̵= 7;m not going to get into some of the numbers that have been talked about here toda= y, but I do want to reiterate the point that was brought forward by the Leader= of the Third Party with respect to how once the final report was tabled, there= was no additional consultation on it. Again, what the Member for Whitehorse Cen= tre mentioned is that the act didn’t allow for that. If this isn’t a free vote and if for some reason this report gets rejected here today, I th= ink there are a couple of things that we as legislators need to commit to doing before the next election in order to address a couple of critical concerns.= The one thing we can do is to take a look at the act to add time so that consultation can be conducted on the final report once it’s tabled be= fore the report is due. That would certainly, I think, address some of the conce= rns that we have heard here today.

I thin= k the other thing that we need to do, if this report is not adopted here today, is work to make sure that there is another boundary review after the next election, because if we wait for two election cycles, neighbourhoods like Whistle Bend will be well over the average, and again, concerns from Ross R= iver and Faro will continue to go unaddressed, so I think it is important that a= ll parties find some way to work together to make sure that the legislation is changed so that if a report is rejected, there will be another review after= the election, rather than waiting for two elections. Hopefully we can find a wa= y to do that, and again, address the additional consultation concerns.

With t= hat, Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting this bill, and again, we hope that a free vote is give= n to all members so that they can vote the opinions of their constituents on this important matter.

 

Mr. Cathers: In rising to speak to this legislation, I would like to thank the Leader of the Official Opposition and all of caucus for agreeing to this being free vote = on this bill. As will come as no surprise to this House, there were a number of concerns that I had — as did many of my constituents — with the process by which the commission reached the final report. I would like to t= hank the commission and note that while I will be making a number of comments on behalf of constituents who criticize the process, I am assuming that the commission did their level best within what they saw was the obligations pl= aced on them by the act to operate and do public consultation in an appropriate matter. That being said, there were significant changes that came forward in the final report that were not consulted on by the commission, with roughly= 350 people in my riding of Lake Laberge who would have been affected by them. It would also have a significant change to the reflective power of their vote = if this legislation is to proceed and pass. On matters such as that, I believe that it is especially important to provide citizens with the opportunity to= be directly consulted and have their views considered.

I woul= d echo the comments made by Member for Copperbelt South in noting that if this legisla= tion and the final report are rejected by this Assembly, the government should w= ork with all parties in the Assembly to attempt to reach consensus on changes to the legislation that would speed up the next review of the electoral bounda= ries so that it does not wait another two election cycles. I would also state my strong personal view that the act should be changed to provide for and, in fact, clearly require additional consultation with the public if the commis= sion comes forward with major changes that were not included in the interim repo= rt, simply so that those potentially affected electors could have the opportuni= ty to have their views on how their vote and the process by which they cast it= and the area in which they cast it would be affected. They deserve the opportun= ity to have their views heard and considered.

I woul= d note that with regard to the proposed changes that came forward, those changes w= ere first brought to public light in comments made by the commission at a public meeting held at Porter Creek Secondary School on February 12, 2018. I did s= peak to it at that time when the member of the commission brought it forward, an= d I expressed concerns. I subsequently wrote to the commission as well as conducting outreach to my constituents through a number of means, including social media and e‑mail. I would note as well that because of the importance of this matter and the fact that the commission was not advertis= ing it publicly, I also personally paid for the costs of advertising that on so= cial media simply to get that out to affected people in the Lake Laberge area — I should say potentially affected people in the area.

I also= want to emphasize my strong view that in future consultation processes, it should n= ever be left to the MLA for an area to inform constituents of a potentially affe= cted change. I believe the commission themselves should be clearly enabled by the legislation and required by the legislation to do that outreach with people when they are affected.

In the= interest of time this afternoon, I am going to try to be relatively brief in my rema= rks, but I do want to put a few things on the record just so that the information stands for historical purposes and for anyone who may have questions.

After = I had been advised that the Electoral District Boundaries Commission was considering changes that would significantly affect the 350 people in the Hidden Valley= and MacPherson area, among the outreach I did was a post on Facebook, which I w= ill just read into the record so that people are aware of it — and I quot= e: “The Electoral Boundaries Commission has indicated they are currently considering moving Hidden Valley and MacPherson out of Lake Laberge to the riding of Porter Creek North. There has been no public consultation or advertising about this potential change, which would directly affect over 3= 50 people. It would put residents of Hidden Valley and MacPherson in an electo= ral district with about 2,000 eligible voters, while people living across the r= iver on the Hot Springs Road would be in a district with 1,150 eligible voters. = This area has been part of the Lake Laberge electoral district for over 25 years, and moving people into a district with a larger population would reduce the influence of individual votes. Whether you share my view that this change shouldn’t proceed or have a different view, I encourage you to write = the commission if you have an opinion about it. The deadline for public comment= is March 10, 2018. I expressed my view to the commission that people have a ri= ght to be consulted on a change that would affect over 350 voters, including providing an opportunity for people to attend a public meeting to comment on the proposal. No public meeting for our area has been scheduled.”

Then I= concluded the post with the e‑mail address and the mail-in information for the boundaries commission.

As I n= oted in my introductory remarks, my criticisms of the process are not intended to be t= aken as a criticism of the commission — I assume that they fulfilled their obligations under the legislation and interpreted it the way that they assu= med they should — but simply to emphasize my view that change does need t= o be made in the future to ensure that this type of situation doesn’t happ= en again.

I woul= d also note that I should acknowledge that the written submissions from the territ= ory — largely in the case of my riding, prompted by the advertising that I had done on social media and that information being shared by other members= of the public — as I believe I may have mentioned it, but I wish to reiterate, there were no members of the public from the Lake Laberge area attending the February 12 public meeting of the commission, which is probab= ly due to the fact that when the interim report had come out, people had been advised that no change was contemplated for the Lake Laberge electoral district.

In 42 = written submissions that were received by the commission as shown by the website, o= ver half of those submissions — 23 by my count — came from people i= n the Lake Laberge area. Again, most of the feedback in writing from across the territory was, in fact, from people in Lake Laberge expressing their views about the proposed change. I should note as well that some did support the change, but the majority were not in favour of that change.

I also= want to quote briefly from the letter that I wrote to the Electoral District Bounda= ries Commission on March 9, 2018. I will as well, just for the public record, ta= ble a copy of it today. Of course, that letter is already public record on the Electoral District Boundaries website, but the Legislative Assembly’s files, I think it’s fair to say, proceed in a more durable and easily publicly available manner, so I will also table it in the Assembly this aft= ernoon.

Again,= I will just quote briefly from my letter to the chair of the commission: “In follow up to my comments at the public meeting held at Porter Creek Seconda= ry School on February 12, 2018, I would like to again state my firm belief tha= t my constituents in Hidden Valley and MacPherson have a right to be consulted on any proposed change to electoral boundaries, especially a change which would see their individual votes have less power.

“= ;Residents of that area have been in the Lake Laberge electoral district for over 25 years, and those following media reports have been informed repeatedly over= the course of the commission's work that no changes were being proposed which w= ould affect them. With over 350 people in Hidden Valley and MacPherson directly affected by the possible change, good public process and meaningful consultation requires that they be informed of the possible change by the commission, and have an opportunity to provide their views on it in person = as well as in writing.

“= ;I understand the change currently being contemplated would move Hidden Valley= and MacPherson out of Lake Laberge to the riding of Porter Creek North. It would put residents of Hidden Valley and MacPherson in an electoral district with about 2,000 eligible voters, while people living across the river on the Hot Springs Road would be in a district with 1,150 eligible voters.

“= ;The 2008 Electoral Boundaries Commission states this in its Final Report: ‘Canadian common law generally allows for a deviation of plus or minu= s 25 percent as the “‘Canadian standard’”.’ The 20= 08 report also includes this excerpt, which raises a point related to the population imbalance which would result from it: ‘On the other hand, = the law dictates that we can only recommend exceeding the standard deviation of= plus or minus 25% from the electoral quotient when there is strong justification= for doing so.’

“= ;People living in the Lake Laberge area, including residents of Hidden Valley and MacPherson, tend to be very engaged in public consultations. Public meetings are usually quite well-attended. I can confidently predict that attendance = at a properly advertised public meeting in Lake Laberge to discuss this proposed change would be much higher than the turnout at the commission's public mee= ting at Porter Creek Secondary School — and that unlike that meeting, quit= e a few people other than current and past politicians would attend.

“= ;On the evening of the commission's meeting at Porter Creek Secondary School, there= was a public meeting at the Hootalinqua Fire Hall regarding the new civic addressing system. While I was not in attendance due to the commission's meeting conflicting with it, by way of comparison, I would note that over 60 people attended the previous public meeting about civic addressing hosted by the Department of Community Services in late 2017.”

I will= end my quotes from the letter at this point but will note that I did refer to, as well, feedback that I had heard at my public meeting on March 7, 2018. I ur= ged the Commission to hold a public meeting. I also noted — and I will ag= ain briefly quote from the letter: “As you are aware, the Returning Offic= er for Lake Laberge has also written to you to express opposition to this poss= ible change.”

With t= hat, Mr. Speaker, I will draw my comments to a close just in recognition of the time this afternoon. I do want to note, as the Member for Copperbelt South noted, a preference for not seeing the number of MLAs growing. I would note that I’ve heard limited feedback on that point from constituents, although that feedback that I have heard also was not supportive of a growth of the number of MLAs, but I would note that, by far, the majority of the feedback that I’ve heard from constituents, including a constituent as recentl= y as Friday contacting me to ask what the status of this proposed change was = 212; this continues to be a topic of concern not only for people who commented during the electoral boundaries process, but people who became aware of it after the commission had concluded its report, since even my post on social= media gave just over a week for people to respond.

There = are a number of people who did miss commenting on this and became aware of the proposal after the fact. I do want to acknowledge that there were some peop= le who were in favour of the proposed change; however, the majority were again= st the change.

With t= hat, Mr. Speaker, I would just wrap up my remarks and note that it should be obvious from my statements on this that I will not be supporting this legislation.

&= nbsp;

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Like others in this Legislature — like everyone so far t= oday, I would like to begin by thanking the Electoral District Boundaries Commiss= ion. Their work is not an easy job. I appreciate the work that they did, and I t= hink it was definitely independent and non-partisan. I appreciated that from the= m. I appreciated their principles. I appreciate that they had tight timelines. <= /span>

I thin= k that they were thorough. I agree with the Leader of the Third Party except with = one concern that we have heard, but I am going to frame it here as well today. =

I have= listened to the debate so far today, and I appreciate that everyone is trying to bri= ng forward their perspective by effectively representing their constituents, by looking at the effectiveness of this Legislature and by respecting the work= of the commission.

I want= to begin by just noting that in June 2017, the Electoral District Boundaries Commiss= ion began their work, and they submitted their report to us in April of this ye= ar. They released their interim report at the end of November and then began to talk to Yukoners about the proposed draft electoral district boundaries. Th= ey have a responsibility to submit that interim report, and they also have a responsibility to hear from Yukoners on what is being proposed. What isn’t built into the legislation is a chance for Yukoners to comment = if there are changes that come at the last — and that is the concern tha= t we all seem to be trying to tackle here in this House today.

When t= hey began their public hearings, it was in February of this year, and they began with Teslin, Marsh Lake, Carcross, Tagish, Mount Lorne and Whitehorse. I thank t= hem for visiting all of the communities in beautiful Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes= . It was great that they made it to all four of the communities within my riding= . Their last round of public meetings in March was with Pelly Crossing, Mayo, Carma= cks, Faro, Ross River and Watson Lake. As per the electoral district boundaries report — and I am now referencing the final report, Mr. Speaker — they state that it was sometime during this last round that they significantly changed their proposal to the electoral district boundaries. I will come back to this in a moment. I am going to try to present several perspectives.

For th= eir work, as I said, the commission relied on principles that I thought were excellent — two that I am going to note here today: One was the importance of outreach, and the second was effective rural representation to ensure that = the voice of our communities is heard in our Legislature.

I woul= d argue that the commission was trying to tackle two significant issues: the first being the projected growth of Whitehorse and, in particular, in Whistle Ben= d; and the second being the challenge of the riding of Pelly-Nisutlin. Pelly-Nisutlin has the communities of Teslin, Faro and Ross River. We all k= now how separated Teslin is from Faro and Ross River in road distance.

As pas= t mayor of Faro Jack Bowers put it — and I quote: “Mr. Hassard’s visits to the remote areas including = our community require driving in adverse conditions that can take several hours. This means, and understandably so, that we do not have the pleasure of his company as often as we would like. Having our MLA living in or near our community would make it possible for Faroites to enjoy the privilege of their company more often, as most Yukon riding resid= ents do. While our MLA does visit our communities as —”

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Point of order

Speaker: Mem= ber for Lake Laberge, on a point of order.

Mr. Cathers: The Minister of Community Services just referred to a member by name, and altho= ugh he was quoting a letter, it is my understanding that it is still not in ord= er to directly refer to a member by name.

Speaker: Did= he just refer to him by name? I heard it a few minutes ago.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Speaker’s ruling

Speaker: Yes= , I heard that a few minutes ago, and I guess it resurfaced.

If the= Minister of Community Services could please refer to the MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin or t= he Leader of the Official Opposition, that would be appreciated.

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Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Apologies — I just didnR= 17;t understand that within quotes — I will certainly do so.

I will= continue with the quote: “While our MLA does visit our communities as often as= he is able, it must be taxing on his time away from his own family and communi= ty as well. This letter in no way is meant to reflect negatively on…R= 21; — the Leader of the Official Opposition’s — “…= ; efforts to represent us but focuses on the geographical and cultural barriers separating our communities.”

I have= heard similar concerns from the citizens of Ross River, wishing that their MLA was able to be in their community more often. It is a challenge; it is a diffic= ulty of our geography.

One im= portant point that I would like to make about a position that the commission took is with respect to the size of our Legislature.

Now I = quote again from their report: “Very early in the Commission’s deliberations, members unanimously agreed that the current level of representation was appropriate, with 19 representatives in the Legislative Assembly. As a result, it was agreed that every effort be made to keep the number of electoral districts at 19, in recognition of the financial impact= s of increasing the number of electoral districts, particularly given Yukon̵= 7;s small population, multiple levels of government, and relatively high level = of representation.”

I am g= oing to address this bill in three ways: first, as Minister of Community Services, = then as the representative of the citizens of beautiful Mount Lorne-Southern Lak= es and finally as a member of this Legislative Assembly.

I want= to note some contradictions that exist within the report itself — for example, between the Village of Mayo and the Village of Faro and discrepancy in the letters that they put forward and the timing of those letters — as the Member for Lake Laberge has noted his concerns regarding supports within his own party having different perspectives, and comments in the report differ = from what I heard at the meetings and in written submissions, and the principle = of engagement by the commission and then not being able to provide the opportu= nity for Yukoners to weigh in on an important question like, “Should we gr= ow the government?”

First,= as Minister of Community Services, I heard support regarding the need to adjust the riding boundaries to reflect the growth in Whistle Bend. On the other h= and, the response to separating Pelly-Nisutlin was mixed. Faro and Teslin were in support of the proposal, including the Teslin Tlingit Council and the Villa= ge of Teslin. The Village of Mayo wrote expressing their support for the split= of Pelly-Nisutlin but not for the creation of an additional riding, agreeing to — quote: “… Electoral Boundaries Commissions proposal for the new electoral district of Mayo-Carmacks-Faro.” The Village of Mayo also supported the desire to keep the Northern Tutchone language toget= her in one riding. On the other hand, Na Cho Nyäk Dun wrote about the importance of the language group, but did not agree with the split of Pelly= -Nisutlin, nor with the addition of a new riding — quote: “We feel Faro sh= ould not be included in the Mayo/Tutchun riding as t= his would diminish our voice in our communities.”

From s= peaking with the MLA for Mayo-Tatchun, I understand that the Village of Carmacks was supportive of creating the new riding, as they feel there is a connection between Faro, Ross River and Carmacks. On the other hand, Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation chief and council do not support the creation of the proposed new riding, as they feel that it is important to maintain the unit= y of the three Northern Tutchone First Nations. Citizens of Pelly and the Selkirk First Nation members support the existing boundaries for Mayo-Tatchun remai= ning as they currently are. Marsh Lake, Mount Lorne, Carcross and Tagish were all opposed. The Carcross/Tagish First Nation Chief Kh&agr= ave; Shâde Héni Carvill wrote to the commission — and I quote a= gain: “Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN) would like to remain in the Southern Lakes District. It is not in C/TFN’s best interest to be mov= ed away from the areas addressed in our Final Agreement, including the reality that almost the entire west side of Marsh Lake is C/TFN land…” = As I said, there is very mixed support for the notion of splitting Pelly-Nisutli= n from the communities.

The on= ly explicit written support for the notion of adding a riding was from the Tow= n of Faro — the municipality that will be turning 50 next year, by the way= , so we look forward to that in 2019. Faro was very clearly in support of adding= a riding, but that was as much as I saw of clear support for an additional riding.

The re= port talks about — and I will return to that in a moment, but let me move on for= a moment and speak as the MLA for beautiful Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes. Almos= t to a person, everyone I spoke to preferred a riding that kept the Southern Lak= es loop intact. Here is a quote from the co-chair of the Marsh Lake Local Advi= sory Council: “Residents in this community have voiced a number of reasons= why our current riding should not be changed. Some of these are: similar lifest= yles throughout the Southern Lakes Communities: the rural life style throughout = the area: water issues: advisory councils who work together to meet the needs of their respective residents which is further strengthened by having a voting= sea on the Association of Yukon Communities Board who sits at the pleasure of t= he South Klondike, Tagish, Mount Lorne, and Marsh Lake Advisory Councils. These four advisory areas face many of the same problems and work together on the= se problems and share information.”

By the= way, Mr. Speaker, I am pulling the quotes from the written submissions to the commission itse= lf.

From t= he chair of the Tagish Local Advisory Council: “… we respectfully a= sk that you consider keeping the communities of the Southern Lakes together as= one electoral district.”

From a= past local advisory council chair: “What I have come to believe over the p= ast 12 years is that the Southern Lakes has a distinct identity which is growing and becoming stronger. It is based on common needs, common problems and com= mon interests which are shared across the four communities and the C/TFN. You h= ave heard this theme in your community meetings so I do not need to repeat the details. The common interests are reinforced by the fact that the boundarie= s of the four LAC’s are now continuous, encompassing the entire Southern L= akes Loop. Any person living along this corridor can now have representation at = an LAC.

“= ;Part of the reason this identity has been growing is that we can speak with a single voice through our MLA. Splitting our riding would not change who we are or = who we wish to become but I think it would detract from our ability to move for= ward on common issues.”

From t= he meetings I attended — two of the four in my own riding — and the reports I got back from the other meetings, Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes citi= zens were clear that they were tired of seeing this riding changed every two elections and felt it was correct now. What had happened is that as the past several Electoral District Boundary Commissions have met, increasing the si= ze of the Legislature by one each time, they have also changed the riding of M= ount Lorne-Southern Lakes, dividing and redividing i= t each time.

Lastly= , I would like to speak as a member of this Legislature. When I talk to constituents,= I explain that, despite their concerns, it may be that the commission would l= and with the recommendation to split Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes in half in orde= r to support fixes for Pelly-Nisutlin. The Yukon’s geography is a challeng= e, and there is no easy way to split this big, beautiful territory into ridings that will please everyone. What I was not expecting, and what I remain most deeply concerned about, is proposing something fundamentally different from= what was proposed by the Electoral District Boundaries Commission at the last mi= nute in the process. This would go directly against the first principle of the Electoral District Boundaries Commission to: “... give all Yukon= ers an opportunity to be included in the decision-making process.”=

I note= that the Leader of the Third Party talked about this not being a criticism of the commission. I would like to echo that. It is not a criticism of the commiss= ion; it is the system that we have in front of us. My criticism is that, if there was a consideration for adding a boundary, they needed to alert Yukoners so that there was a chance for Yukoners to speak up.

Let me= use another last-minute change to illustrate the point that I am trying to make. The final report of the bill before us also proposes to remove Hidden Valley from the riding of Lake Laberge — a change that, as I note, was not in the draft, as the Member for Lake Laberge has noted.

Here I= am quoting from the submission made by the Member for Lake Laberge to the commission: “In follow up to my comments at the public meeting held at Porter Creek Secondary School on February 12, 2018, I would like to again s= tate my firm belief that my constituents in Hidden Valley and MacPherson have a right to be consulted on any proposed change to electoral boundaries, especially a change which would see their individual votes have less power.”

Later = he states: “… several people were upset about the lack of public consultation. People also felt that the commission should have taken steps = to inform them that changes not included in the interim report were now being contemplated, and did not understand why the commission did not notify the public of this possible change in its advertisements…”

Here&#= 8217;s another response to the same issue from the Lake Laberge returning officer: “I admit to being confused by the fact that the Interim Report of the YEDB Commission, Nov 2017, states that, Lake Laberge, is listed as, NO chan= ge is proposed to the existing electoral district of Lake Laberge, the populat= ion growth is well within the acceptable range. And I felt no need to respond, I was floored to hear about the changes proposed, removal of Hidden Valley and MacPherson, and had limited time to respond.”

She go= es on to say: “It is impossible to give input, on proposed changes, that are n= ot in the Interim Report.”

That i= s the nugget for me, Mr. Speaker. As pointed out by the commission itself, t= he really big change proposed is the size of the Legislature — the numbe= r of MLAs we elect. They noted that. This change that they’re discussing w= as at least alerted to the public through the member opposite and through a meeting on February 12, I believe, so there was an opportunity.

I look= ed back through all of the written submissions. The final meetings took place on Ma= rch 9 and 10. By March 9, there were 34 written submissions to the commission, = and by March 10, there were 42 written submissions. None of them talked about t= he size of this Legislature because no one knew. When I say that the job of the commission was thorough, I believe it was thorough within what they had available to them, but what they did not do was take the opportunity to ale= rt Yukoners that this was a possibility.

That v= ery issue was raised in a conversation in Tagish. It was mused about at one of the pu= blic meetings that I happened to attend. We were talking about the importance of rural representation. What if there were two ridings that would get to represent Southern Lakes? Someone from the commission — I’m not sure who it was — said, “Well, what if we added an additional riding?” My response to that at that very time was: How can we possib= ly do that, because we will have no opportunity to alert Yukoners to that situation? There will be no opportunity for them to have a say.

I am t= orn, Mr. Speaker. I do want to see additional support or representation in our rural ridings.= I appreciate that. However, I think it is critical that we provide an opportu= nity for Yukoners to engage on these issues. I have stood in this House to talk about the Dental Profession Act, the Societies Act, National Aboriginal Day Act and Designated Materials Regulations, and on every one of those, I have heard from mem= bers in this Legislature about how important it is that we get engagement with Yukoners so that they have a chance to participate in the dialogue that is here. Today, we are faced with the situation where this significant change = does not have an ability for Yukoners to have a say, and it is my impression tha= t if this had been alerted to Yukoners, there would have been much more interest across all ridings, not just across the ridings that we have heard from so = far.

&= nbsp;

Ms. McLeod:&#= 8195;I am pleased to speak briefly to Bill No. 19 in second reading today. As= we all know, this bill is being presented as a result of a mandated review of = the Electoral District Boundaries Act review.

Watson= Lake was thoroughly engaged on this topic. I am very proud of my community and the people who came out to speak to the commission when they came to Watson Lak= e in March. I and quite a number of my constituents appreciated the opportunity = to meet with the Electoral District Boundaries Commission. The people showed t= heir appreciation by addressing the commission with an overwhelming opinion that they were not satisfied with the draft report, which would have altered the boundaries of the Watson Lake riding to a great degree. The people of the Watson Lake riding were less concerned about adding another MLA and more concerned about the balance of representation in the Yukon. Obviously, for rural Yukon, rural representation is an important matter.

The pe= ople spoke, the commission listened, and I thank them for that. I appreciate that they listened to rural Yukon when we spoke about the need for effective representation. I agree that the process of the electoral boundaries review= may need some alteration. Certainly, it would have been desirable for the commission to have the time and mandate to re-engage with Yukoners in a sec= ond round of community meetings before presenting their report to government. <= /span>

Today = I will be standing with my constituents in the riding of Watson Lake in full support = of Bill No. 19, which will see the boundaries of the Watson Lake riding remain= as they are.

&= nbsp;

Speaker: Is = there any further debate on Bill No. 19?

If the= member now speaks, he will close debate.

Does a= ny other member wish to be heard?

&= nbsp;

Hon. Mr. Silver: I want to thank my colleagues for the conversation today, for = the debate and for all of their input. I also want to again thank the members of the Electoral District Boundaries Commission for their hard work. I believe that this has been stated by everybody who spoke today.

I reit= erate that the bill does reflect the commission’s recommendations. It proposes to create one new electoral district, bringing the total number of seats in th= is Legislative Assembly from 19 to 20.

It wou= ld also make substantive changes to eight electoral districts and minor adjustments= to another four. It retains several electoral districts without any change.

In pre= paring and discussing this, a question that has been raised is whether or not the government or this Legislature could change the recommendations in the repo= rt. I think the real question would be: Would you want to cherry-pick recommendations? And the answer is absolutely no. So that does leave two options: either accepting the report or rejecting it outright. I can only imagine the reaction if the government were to change some boundaries and n= ot others. We are not going to go down that road. The role of this House, thou= gh, is to make decisions on recommendations as a whole.

When t= he report was tabled this spring, the MLA for Porter Creek Centre said — and I = am going to quote: “We have done a preliminary review of the report and = find the addition of a 20th riding concerning. This proposal differs significantly from those in the interim report that was presented.” T= he Member for Porter Creek Centre did outline some of those concerns today. The Member for Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes outlined concerns as well that he had heard in his riding.

WeR= 17;ve heard concerns that I will summarize as follows: a lack of consultation on a particular part; a reduction of the number of people per riding; additional costs as a result of an additional 20th MLA; and, quite simply, = the lack of demand for more politicians.

The in= terim report of the commission recommends 19 ridings, and that’s what the commission went out and consulted on. Very late in the process, after most = of the consultation was completed, the suggestion of a 20th riding entered into the conversation. Then the final report came up with a recommendation of 20 ridings.

Anybod= y who is following the comprehensive consultation knows that the commission adapted = the Canadian standards, established judicial decision — to a standard that allows for a variance of 25 percent above or below the average electoral district population.

In acc= epting the 20th riding, the commission rejects the acceptable variance of 25 plus or minus in 11 of those 20 proposed ridings. To see such a recommendat= ion so late in the game — one that flies against — I would ask the Leader of the Third Party to keep her comments to when she’s standing= . We sat here and listened to her comments; it’s my turn to talk; I’m going to talk and she owes it to herself to listen.

To see= a recommendation so late in the game — one that flies against their own parameters so that other communities would not be as likely to even think of this option, were it on the table, as the commission went through Carmacks, Pelly and other communities — you can see that we believe, on this si= de of the Legislative Assembly, that this is a serious issue, and the context = of consultation, as we heard from many members on the floor of the Legislature= today, this is a concern. We did hear that there was a comprehensive consultation.= I completely agree — except when it comes to the consideration of a 20<= sup>th riding.

We hav= e heard from the Member for Lake Laberge — and I want to thank him for his comments today. They do echo a letter that he wrote in the boundaries commission, March 2018. He did quote extensively from that particular docum= ent. We heard a continuation of the quotes from him — from the Member for Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes — about the March 7, 2018, public consulta= tion meeting. I am just going to continue on with the quote where the Member for Mount Lorne-Southern Lakes stopped. The quote does continue to say — = and I quote: “Several people have posted comments expressing a lack of confidence that their views will matter to the commission, and indicating l= ack of faith in the process.

“= ;I encourage you to not proceed with any proposal unless you have held public consultation with people living in the affected riding, in order to ensure public confidence in the Electoral Boundaries Commission process.”

Again,= that is a quote from the Member for Lake Laberge.

The pr= oposals that we are considering today differ significantly from the interim report = that was presented to the public. In the case of Lake Laberge, a section of the riding would be moved to a new riding of Whitehorse North. The MLA for Lake Laberge made the case that his constituents deserve to be consulted on this change. In his view, they were not adequately consulted. There was no public meeting held on changes that were introduced very late in the process. A ch= ange of this scale and consequence requires careful consideration and requires an opportunity for Yukoners to engage and be heard. Given the fact that the 20= th riding was introduced very late in the game, the vast majority of consultat= ion had already occurred without this notion being part of that discussion. Aga= in, we believe that this is a problem.

I want= to acknowledge a bit of feedback on the cost of adding a new MLA as well. It is worth mentioning that I have yet to meet a Yukoner who believes that this Chamber needs, at this point, another member. That speaks to the third point raised earlier today, and that is the lack of demand for more politicians. = We do not think that Yukoners want more politicians at this time in the Legislature. I am curious if the opposition has met anybody who has said th= at they want to see more members in this Chamber at this time. I do agree that= as we move forward and the population continues to grow, we do have to be mind= ful of that at that time.

In the= ir final report, the commission has adopted the Canadian standards, and I touched on this a bit, but it is worth reiterating. It adapted the Canadian standards established by common law as a guideline for the number of voters in each riding, and this standard does allow for a variance of 25 percent above or below the average electoral district population. They also noted that there were instances where it was necessary to go beyond the plus or minus 25 per= cent guideline and the fact that the proposal we are debating has a majority of ridings outside of that variance. Eleven of 20 ridings are outside of the 25 percent variance under this new plan. Part of the reason for the high numbe= r is the decision to create another riding in rural Yukon. By comparison, there = were only four of 19 ridings outside that variance in the 2008 report — the last time boundaries were reviewed. This proposal will take us in the wrong direction with regard to ridings being outside of that 25 percent variance.=

That s= ummarizes the concerns that we have with the bill before us. I appreciate all of the comments from everybody in the Legislative Assembly who got up and spoke to= day. I want to thank the Chamber for listening to all of the points of view toda= y.

 

Speaker: Are= you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker:= 195;Division has been called.=

 

Bells =

 =

Speaker:= 195;Mr. Clerk, please po= ll the House.

Hon. M= r. Silver: Disagree.

Hon. M= s. McPhee: Disagree.

Hon. M= r. Pillai: Disagree.

Hon. M= s. Dendys: Disagree.

Hon. M= s. Frost: Disagree.

Mr. Ga= llina: Disagree.

Mr. Ad= el: Disagree.

Hon. M= r. Mostyn: Disagree.

Hon. M= r. Streicker: Disagree.

Mr. Hu= tton: Disagree.

Mr. Ha= ssard: Agree. =

Mr. Ke= nt: Agree. =

Ms. Va= n Bibber: Agree. =

Mr. Ca= thers: Disagree.

Ms. McLeod: Agree.

Mr. Istchenko: Agree.

Ms. Hanson: Agree.

Ms. White: Agree.

Clerk: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, the results are seven yea, 11 nay.

Speaker: The= nays have it. I declare the motion defeated.

Motion for second reading of Bill No. 19 negatived

&= nbsp;

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the Ho= use 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 (Mr.&= nbsp;Hutton): The matter now before the committee is Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Committee will resume debate on clause 82.

Do members wish to take a brief recess= ?

All Hon.&nb= sp;Members: Agreed.=

Chair:̳= 5;Committee of the Whole wi= ll recess for 15 minutes.

 

Recess=

 =

Chair: Commi= ttee of the Whole will now come to order.

Bill No. 24: Access to Information = and Protection of Privacy Act — continued

Chair: The m= atter now before the Committee is Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

On Clause 82 — continued=

Chair: Is th= ere any further debate on clause 82? Mr. Mostyn has four minutes and nine seco= nds.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I have no intention of taking up another four minutes of this House’s t= ime on clause 82.

I do w= ant to welcome my officials Jeff Sunstrum and Teri&nbs= p;Cherkewich with us this afternoon. They have been wit= h us throughout the debate and their work on this bill has been extraordinary. I wanted to greet and welcome them to the House today.

With t= hat, I will just sit down and conclude my remarks.

Clause 82 agreed to

On Clause 83

Clause 83 agreed to

On Clause 84

Clause 84 agreed to

On Clause 85

Clause 85 agreed to

On Clause 86

Ms. Hanson: I would appreciate it if the minister could comment on clause 86. It says: “For the purpose of the consistent administration of, and compliance = by public bodies with, this Act, the access and privacy officer may establish rules in a protocol.”

I would appreciate if the minister could reflect on the decision to use protocols versus embedding the (a) to (e)(ii), (a) to (j) and then all the rest of it that goes with section 86 with respect to the broad scope of use of protoco= ls. This is an area where the Information and Privacy Commissioner had expressed some concerns, so I would appreciate an explanation — a clarification= of why the commissioner’s concerns were — how they’re being addressed in this section.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I thank the member opposite for this continuing debate and bri= nging some clarity to this important piece of legislation this afternoon. =

The is= sue relates to the access and privacy officer’s ability to make administrative rules through protocols that will apply to public bodies. The access and privacy officer will work with public bodies on a consistent bas= is. They will know how government operates and they will be able to make rules = to bind public bodies for the purpose of proper administration of the act.

The ac= cess and privacy officer must consult with the commissioner before issuing any such protocol, and the access and privacy officer’s powers under the act strictly relate to administrative issues to support public bodies with implementing the act. The ability for the access and privacy officer to iss= ue protocols is a supportive mechanism intended to assist public bodies to administer the act in a consistent and efficient manner.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Oh, I’m sorry. Let me try that again. Sorry about that. = How is that? Is that better?

The ac= cess and privacy officer is going to work with public bodies on a consistent basis. = As I said earlier, we want to make sure that the protocols are going to be a supportive mechanism that assists the public bodies to administer the act i= n a consistent and efficient manner. They will establish standard rules for pub= lic bodies to follow, thereby increasing consistency of practice across governm= ent on privacy and access matters. A protocol, for example, may set out types of forms that public bodies must use for the purpose of conducting a privacy impact assessment or reporting privacy breaches. As I said earlier, under section 86(4), every protocol made by the access and privacy officer must go before the Information and Privacy Commissioner before being adopted. There= are checks and balances to make sure that these rules meet the exacting standar= ds of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Ms. Hanson: The reason I am asking this question, Mr. Chair, is that it may establish rules in a protocol, but the breadth of what is being allowed to be covered= by a protocol — because it is clear in this section that these are not regulations, the regulations are separate and distinct. Why would we not be having regulations to determine specifying criteria for determining whether= a change — in terms of how a privacy impact assessment must be conducted — whether a change to that is a significant change or specifying a ty= pe of action considered to be a significant change — why wouldn’t = you put that in regulations versus a protocol, respecting the manner in which a public body makes information — following public information — available to the public? There are a number of items — 1 and 2, I have enumerated there.

I am j= ust wondering why the differentiation — and if the minister could differentiate between the scope of matters that would be contained in regulation versus a protocol?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: What we are talking about with these protocols are rules of be= st practice. We are talking about administrative rules to help public bodies consistently administer the Access = to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. They are not intended to be rules of general application or regulations. They are supposed to be rules = of best practice. We need flexibility, so rather than making them all come bef= ore Cabinet as a regulation to change them, these are rules that can be set by = the access and privacy officer and then vetted by the Information and Privacy Commissioner. Then once they are accepted, they will go into the access to information registry and be very open and available for everybody to review= on a regular basis.

There = is a transparency piece here that has also been addressed through this approach.= We are talking administrative principles — things to make it easier for = the Government of Yukon or any public body to administer the ATIPP act. We won’t have to go through an onerous regulation change or drafting of regulations to make these changes, but any change that is proposed, any of these protocols to help with the administration of the act are going to be brought before the Information and Privacy Commissioner: here is our sugges= ted new protocol — and the access and privacy officer will have a conversation with the Information and Privacy Commissioner before they are brought into being.

Once t= hey are, they will go in the registry. So there is a transparency piece; there is an accountability piece. These aren’t going to just be drafted by one individual and become part of the administration of the act. They will actu= ally be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commission, which is the check a= nd the balance. That is the approach, and it won’t be as onerous a proce= ss as getting regulations drafted. It is about administration, not rules of general application.

Ms. Hanson: Two questions on that then — the Privacy Commissioner will review them. D= oes the Privacy Commissioner have override? Where do I see that the Privacy Commissioner will be provided a copy of the protocols before — maybe I’m missing it in that section, but is it a courtesy tabling with the Privacy Commissioner or is it actually seeking input and direction?<= /p>

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: No, Mr. Chair — 86(4) stipulates that not later tha= n 15 business days before the access and privacy officer deposits a protocol into the access to information registry, they must provide a copy of it to the commissioner for review and recommendations, if any. This provision requires the access and privacy officer to provide the proposed protocol to the commissioner for comment 15 business days before being deposited. That is t= he requirement under the legislation to do that.

Ms. Hanson:&#= 8195;I thank the minister for the clarification of that section. For review and recommendations, if any, my question had been at the outset: Could that recommendation override what was proposed in the protocol that was submitte= d by the government officer doing this?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: The short answer to that question is no; there is no veto handed to the Informa= tion and Privacy Commissioner over protocols. It is a recommendation — a consultative process — so if a protocol was proposed and the recommen= dations were not followed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, we would hope that those recommendations would not be followed for good reason. The Information and Privacy Commissioner does have her many avenues to address = any shortcomings in a recommendation not being followed through her office in annual reports and the public. The Information and Privacy Commissioner = 212; the other thing that could happen is that a complaint could arise through a recommendation, and that complaint process could be explored by the Informa= tion and Privacy Commissioner. The complaint provisions within the act also prov= ide another avenue whereby protocols could be challenged and investigated by the Information and Privacy Commissioner as well. There are several avenues for that to be explored should the hypothetical example of a recommendation from the Information and Privacy Commissioner not be adopted. So the process is there, the recommendations are made and the review process is built into the whole protocol process.

Ms. Hanson: Does the minister believe or see where there could be some confusion as to duplication of regulations and protocols?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Subsection 86(3) of the legislation makes very clear that a pr= otocol is not a regulation and the access and privacy officer is an administrative position, not a lawmaking position. The law is very clear that a protocol is not a regulation and the access and privacy officer, being an administrative position, has no lawmaking capabilities.

Ms. Hanson: Then I would ask the minister to look at section 125 and if he or his officials could clarify it for me, because I look at a number of the subject matter t= hat is contained and what could be covered in a protocol and I see similar subj= ect matter contained in regulations. I guess the question is still on the floor= as to whether or not there is the potential for confusion about protocols vers= us regulations, and one is at the whim of officers charged under this act to p= ut those in place, and the other one requires the development of regulations a= nd orders-in-council. I’m looking for clarification because I see some duplication here, at least in the descriptors of each of those subclauses — 86 versus 125.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: There is no duplication or intended duplication between the protocols and the regulations. The regulations are law; the protocols are administration.

Perhap= s the best way to illustrate this is that the protocols state what form an applicant w= ill use to make a privacy impact assessment. The regulation will state that you must do a privacy impact assessment.

We are= talking about the architectural drawings for a house in a regulation. The actual to= ol you use to build the house is the hammer contained in the protocol. The for= ms — the administrative tools that will be used to administer the legislation will be laid out in the protocol in consultation with the Information and Privacy Commissioner. Those tools will be consistent across government. They will be driven by the regulations. The regulations stipula= ted are law and they are identified as such within the legislation. The protocols a= re merely administrative tools that are going to be developed by the access and privacy officer in consultation with the Information and Privacy Commission= er.

Ms. Hanson: Actually, clause 86(1)(b) speaks to forms, but 86(1)(a) says that “… = ;the access and privacy officer may establish rules in a protocol (a) respecting= the scope or description of a program or activity of a public body or a service provided by the program or activity.”

That l= ooks an awful lot like some of the subject matter in the regulations.

“= ;… (c) for determining whether a privacy impact assessment must be conducted under paragraph 11(1)(e), including…” the criteria and the type of ac= tion — then blah, blah, blah — and “(d) specifying criteria…” Those aren’t forms; those are actually substan= tive matters that have a scope that is beyond a form that you fill out. It’= ;s descriptive. I’m unclear as to why I keep getting an answer about “forms”.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I want to thank the member opposite for her incisive questions= and the thoughtfulness in which she’s framing this debate this afternoon.= I do appreciate it. It is bringing some clarity to this piece of legislation.=

With a= protocol in the example that she’s talking about — again, it’s an administrative function, so it’s an interpretive function. How does t= he civil service interpret programs and activities? For example, the APO will = be able to write protocols that help define and lend some clarity to the regul= ations and the legislation itself. Protocols are administrative tools. They’= re not regulations, and if there is any confusion between if something like th= at were to happen, which we haven’t seen — we’re talking hypotheticals here — the regulation, being the law, trumps any administrative protocol that is in place.

Protoc= ols are not laws and an APO is not a lawmaker. Regulations are made by Cabinet and = they trump any protocol. Protocols are really going to be administrative tools t= hat help bring clarity and consistency to the way the civil service or a public body administers the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Clause 86 agreed to.

On Clause 87

Ms. White: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the= Whole to deem clauses 87 through 124 of Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, read and agreed to.

Unanimous consent re deeming clauses 87 through 124 read and agreed to

Chair:̳= 5;Ms. White has, pursu= ant to Standing Order 14.3, requested the unanimous consent of Committee of the Wh= ole to deem clauses 87 through 124 of Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, read and agreed to.

Is the= re unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: Unani= mous consent has been granted.

Clauses 87 through 124 deemed read and agreed to=

On Clause 125

Ms. Ha= nson: Clause 125 deals with reg= ulations, and it’s one of the ones we’ve just been referring to in contra= st to the scope of 86. Clause 125 outlines numerous pages of regulations that = are anticipated to be required to be made.

The question I have for the minister i= s: What is his target for completion of the regulations that are enumerated and set out in clause 125? When would we anticipate seeing those being put into place?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: In opening up the discussion that I just had with my officials, I suggested ne= xt week, and they laughed. Yes, I would love to have them done next week, but = of course, that is not at all reasonable or practical.

We hav= e said from the beginning that we would like to have the regulations in place with= in a year. With the legislative drafting capacity of the government, we believe = that to be possible. The complicating factor will be the consultation process wi= th all of the statutory bodies and determining how and when each one of those bodies will be added and brought under the umbrella of the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and how. There will be some consultation process needed with statutory bodies to facilitate their adoption of this new piece of legislat= ion, their adherence to it and how and when, but we expect, and have said from t= he outset, that we are looking to have that process done within a year — recognizing that those consultations can be tricky, but that is our goal.

Clause 125 agreed to

On Clause 126

Ms. Hanson:&#= 8195;Clause 126 deals with: (1) “For the purpose of the definition ‘reputab= le public source’ in section 1…” — which is the defini= tion section — the minister may, by order, specify as a source, “a reputable public source” — and then it goes on to talk in secti= on 126(5) about: “Before making an order under this section…” — and one anticipates that there could be, over the life of the legislation, a number of orders identifying what is a “reputable sour= ce”.

Could = the minister give an example of what is a “reputable source”? The definition says that the regulation is going to tell you what a “repu= table source” is. You get to the regulation and it says that he may, by ord= er, specify a source as a reputable source. If he is going to, by regulation, specify that something is a reputable source — is it Fox News? Is it = the Fraser Institute? I’m curious.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: The central principle of this section of the act is to give so= ciety the flexibility to have input into what they consider to be a reliable sour= ce, and it gives us the flexibility to consult the citizens of the territory ab= out that. For example, the public registry — is it the Societies Act, a professional list that is available online, the land titles registry — all of those things, all those registries, are potential subjects for review over what is an acceptable source. Of course,= Fox News, Rex Murphy and maybe others — but the concept is to allow the public to feed into determining, in today’s context, exactly what they consider to be reputable and having that conversation and having that feedb= ack and transparency. Once that source is considered reputable, it allows government — public bodies — to start pulling information from = that source, because it has been determined publicly as reputable, to make decisions. So it actually helps to facilitate the provision of information = and also the protection of people’s privacy. Those are really the guiding principles under which this provision was added to the end.

Ms. Hanson: While I am pleased to hear the minister agreeing with me that the two sources tha= t I cited would not be considered, in his mind at least, reputable public sourc= es, I am curious, though. I am reflecting back on the comments made by the priv= acy commissioner with respect to concerns expressed about the public sources — particularly as we look at the implications of the Internet and how that becomes delimited and whether or not that is intended to be captured in the scope of this definition. She talked about the fact that we have little= or no understanding or control over the use of information on Internet sources across the globe that could be affecting or impacting each and every one of= the people in this Legislative Assembly.

I am c= urious about what this particular section is intended to talk about. We were used to loo= king at sources when we talk about financial, scientific or technical informatio= n in document form in our old standard, static form in books or articles, but how are things that are more ephemeral and out there captured in this definitio= n of “reputable sources”, or are they?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Again, I thank the member opposite for the question — it promotes a really good discussion about the ins and outs of this legislation and where we are headed. At the moment, the reputable source list — t= hat bucket — is empty — nothing. There’s nothing in it. There= are no authorized reputable sources in the vehicle — it is an empty vesse= l. As we move forward, we will start to populate that list as necessary, but we will have to consult with the public to see what they consider to be a reputable source.

The me= mber opposite and I may agree about Fox News and various CBC personalities. I don’t know — if put to the public, that may become a very reput= able source for the government. Some more aged information may die, but as far as the Access to Information and Prote= ction of Privacy Act is concerned, at the moment, and the reputable source li= st is currently empty; there are no reputable sources identified on that list,= and before that list is populated, we would have to consult and determine what = the public thought a reputable source would be.

Ms. Hanson: I appreciate the fact that the minister is saying there are no identified reputable sources and the bucket is empty. Section 86(5) says that, “Before making an order under this section…” — basically to find out if the source is reputable — “…&nbs= p;the minister must, for a period of not less than 60 days, conduct a public consultation…”

My que= stion is: How administratively burdensome is this anticipated as being? How often does the minister anticipate that section 86(5) — 126(5), sorry — wi= ll be triggered, and is it the intention of the minister to wait until the buc= ket is half full and go out with a bunch of potential reputable sources or go o= ut in a serial — reputable source, 60 days, reputable source, 60 days? I’m trying to get a sense of how the minister envisions this being operationalized.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: This is really an “as necessary” clause, providing= some added flexibility to the act to actually bring these sources of information within the government’s purview and making sure that there is some discussion before we actually start pulling information from these sources = for the purpose of governing our citizens.

There = is 60 days’ worth of consultation here. It’s not a simple process. We don’t envision this being something that’s used that often, and when it is, it is going to take some doing to get it through. But when it’s done, the public will have had their say and said yes, we do bel= ieve that this source of information is legitimate for us to have our government= use through its HR decisions and those types of decisions. That means, though, = that until it is agreed to, it won’t be used. So it’s really a tool = that will be used to safeguard and bring further clarity about what sources of information the government is using to make decisions about its citizens. <= /span>

Clause 126 agreed to

On Clause 127

Ms. Hanson:&#= 8195;Could the minister clarify? Clause 127(1) says: “The minister responsible f= or this Act must, at least once every six years after the day on which this section comes into force, undertake a review of the Act and every provision= in any other Act that states that it prevails over this Act.” Then it has another year before a future minister is going to be tabling a report. My question is: Is that date or time frame from assent? Is it six years from 2= 018, or is it six years from whenever the regulations are completed?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: It is one year from the date on which the regulations come into force, because= the regulations are necessary to bring this act into play.

Ms. Hanson: I am just curious as to why it is six years and not five? I mean, we are push= ing it out now seven, eight years before a report on this legislation will come back to this Legislative Assembly. It is six years from whenever the regulations are completed, and then there is another year after that before= a report must be tabled in the Legislative Assembly. I am just curious as to = why six and not five, which seems to be the norm with other legislation in this Legislative Assembly.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: The terms that we are using in this act are one of the very few things we borro= wed from the existing piece of legislation. It could have been five; it could h= ave been six. I think six years from the time we actually start using the act w= ith the regulation provides a goodly amount of time to assess the act, but that= is the outer edge of this thing. I think the act is quite clear that you could= do it any time up to six years — it doesn’t have to be six years. = It just forces the act to be reviewed every six years and then, of course, to = come back with a report up to one year after that. The timelines are there ̵= 2; six, five — we can have a difference of opinion on that. I think six = is fine, as far as I am concerned.

Clause 127 agreed to

On Clause 128

Ms. White: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem 128 through 148 and the title of Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, read and agreed to.

Unanimous consent re deeming all remaining clauses and the title of Bill No. 24 = read and agreed to

Chair: Ms. White has, pursuant to Standing order 14.3, requested the un= animous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all remaining clauses and the tit= le of Bill No. 24, entitled Acces= s to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, read and agreed to.

Is the= re unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: Unani= mous consent has been granted.

Clauses 128 through 148 and Title deemed read and agreed to

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Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 24, entit= led Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, without amendment.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Mr. Mostyn that the Chair report Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, without amendment.

Motion agreed to

Bill No. 207: Second Appropriation = Act, 2018‑19 — continued

Chair:̳= 5;The matter now before the Committee is Vote 22, Yukon Development Corporation, in Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, = 2018‑19.

Do members wish to take a brief recess= ?

All Hon.&nb= sp;Members: Agreed.=

Chair:̳= 5;Committee of the Whole wi= ll recess for 15 minutes.

 

Recess=

 =

Chair: Commi= ttee of the Whole will now come to order.

Bill No. 207: Second Appropriation = Act, 2018‑19 — continued

Chair: The m= atter before the Committee is Vote 22, Yukon Development Corporation, in Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19.

Is the= re any general debate?

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Yukon Development Corporation<= /b>

Hon. Mr. Pillai: First, I would just like to welcome our officials from the Yuk= on Development Corporation to the Chamber today. With us is the President of t= he Yukon Development Corporation, Mr. Justin Ferbey= , as well as our senior policy analyst and advisor, Mr. Jeff Woodhouse, who will be assisting us today as we take questions on our supplementary budget= .

There = is only a brief amendment in our budget, so I will just quickly speak to that, and th= en we can entertain questions from the Official Opposition and the Third Party concerning these changes and maybe some other potentially broad questions t= hat they may want to table today to delve into some of the activities of the Yu= kon Development Corporation.

The Yu= kon Development Corporation requested a budget increase of $170,000 for the int= erim electrical rebate, Mr. Chair. This program, of course, provides each residential electrical customer with a rebate of up to $26.61 each month on their electricity bill. The program is available Yukon-wide and open to both ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporation. The intent of this progra= m is to help reduce electricity costs for residential customers, helping to buil= d healthy, vibrant and sustainable Yukon communities.

The bu= dget increase is in response to the growing electricity demand and an increase in Yukon’s population. As well, continued support of this program demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Yukon to maintaining competitive costs for energy across the territory.

The Yu= kon Development Corporation administers the Interim Electrical Rebate using fun= ds provided by the Government of Yukon through an annual agreement. The Yukon Development Corporation pays ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporati= on based on actual customer invoicing. Program costs are highly dependent on weather and daylight, with the majority of rebates being paid over the wint= er months. Program costs in excess of $3.5 million are the responsibility of t= he Yukon Development Corporation. In addition to the interim electrical rebate, the Yukon Development Corporation is playing an active role in ensuring that Yukon residents and businesses have sufficient access to reliable, affordab= le and sustainable energy.

The Yu= kon Development Corporation continues to administer the Innovative Renewable En= ergy Initiative. This $1.5‑million fund supports the development of both private and public sector renewable energy generation projects across the territory, including wind, solar, biomass and small-scale hydro generation. This initiative will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels while helping communities develop capac= ity in emerging technologies that can provide both economic and environmental benefits. Together the interim electrical rebate and the Innovative Renewab= le Energy Initiative provide a solid foundation for the sustainable growth of = all Yukon communities, contributing to the creation of economic opportunities a= nd promoting environmental stewardship while helping to ensure a bright future= for the territory.

With t= hat, Mr. Chair, I will open it up to questions from my colleagues.

Mr. Istchenko: I also want to welcome the officials from the Yukon Development Corporation to the House today. I have just a few questions — looking to get a few updates. I know we had an opportunity to have a discussion in the spring. <= /span>

I had = asked for a confirmation of the status of independent power production, and the minis= ter spoke about the government’s commitment to Yukoners to understand rev= enue sources and what the magnitude of the situation was. Can the minister expan= d on his findings and confirm the current status of the independent power produc= tion policy?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: We are still on pace to complete the IPP power purchase work b= y the end of this calendar year. That is what our team is committed to. Even over= the last number of weeks, we have endeavoured to ensure that we have a great understanding of some of the existing projects that are off the key grid. I= had a good opportunity to speak with individuals from the member opposite’= ;s riding just yesterday to get a reflection upon their experience from meetin= gs that took place last week in Vancouver where we had our specialists —= our team from Energy, Mines and Resources — who are working directly with= the consultants who are representing the Kluane First Nation to ensure that we = are on the appropriate track as we look at fine tuning the last of the language= and the process to have a mechanism in place to look at purchasing power from t= hese independent sources.

Once a= gain, I feel comfortable, going into the new year, that we’ll have those tool= s in place. We’re just at this point undergoing review of our regulatory framework. There, of course, have been regular meetings with ATCO as well as Yukon Energy Corporation, EMR and Yukon Development Corporation. I would li= ke to thank Mr. Woodhouse. I know he has been key in these discussions. <= /span>

I also= must state to the member opposite that there was a question posed today in the H= ouse about the Arctic energy fund, which is a federal agreement. It’s a bilateral agreement between the federal government and the Yukon Territory. There was some information shared over the last week concerning a wind proj= ect in Inuvik. There was an announcement concerning some of the funding that has gone toward that wind project — a very substantial amount. I commend = my colleague Minister Schumann, as well as the teams behind that project in Inuvik. It’s a significant displacement of fossil fuels in that particular project, and I will be continuing to reach out to see what we can learn about that project.

I know= that our officials will be in conversation just as they start to build that. It̵= 7;s significant because at the same time, of course, there are similar projects being contemplated. We touched on it earlier today in Question Period. The = Chu Níikwän Development Corporation, which represents Kwanlin Dün First Nation, is contemplating some wind infrastructure on Haeckel Hill that would be a replacement of the current w= ork that’s there and sort of using some of the same area to do their work= .

I will= go back to the Arctic energy fund. The Arctic energy fund is a key element of supporting the renewable energy projects, taking into consideration the cap= ital expenditure — cap ex — that it takes to build these projects, a= nd all the while ensuring that we have an opportunity to build projects and th= at the rates at which we purchase electricity from our proponents are appropri= ate. We think that we can hit a place where we can have clean energy but still t= ake into consideration the appropriate impact to ratepayers.

I hope= that answers the member opposite, but I will expand if I’ve missed anythin= g.

Mr. Istchenko: Regarding the proposal for the Southern Lakes enhancement for energy, is the governme= nt pursuing this proposal?

Introduction of Visitors

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Before I speak to the Southern Lakes and Mayo enhancement, I w= ould like to take the opportunity to have us welcome to the gallery today Paul a= nd Jill MacDonald and their three amazing boys, Oliver, Owen and Harrison, who= are here today to visit us from the beautiful riding of Lake Laberge. The boys wanted to come in today to see democracy in action. Welcome.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Pillai: Concerning the Southern Lakes enhancement, these enhancement projects — and I wi= ll speak to both of them, but we can key in on the enhancement projects such as the Southern Lakes enhanced storage concept and, of course, the Mayo Lake enhancement projects. They are in many ways a cost-effective way of reducing Yukon’s need for thermal generation during the winter.

We hav= e had an extremely challenging conversation when it comes to the Southern Lakes enhancement. There have been significant dollars spent to date. The Member = for Takhini-Kopper King has on occasion checked in to see where we are at on th= is project. The challenge that we have is that there has been work done, but t= he mitigation and the potential cost of mitigation to local residents are significant. There has been some work done on some studies through the Yukon Energy Corporation, but I would add that previous ministers with a similar responsibility — whether in conversations that occurred around Aishih= ik, conversations that occurred in the Mayo district — will remember that= , in many cases, there have been activities undertaken by the Yukon Energy Corpo= ration or its predecessor where infrastructure has been put into place, and it has been extremely difficult in those cases to define what has been natural imp= act or what has been impact based on the work that has been done in these districts.

There = has been work completed in the Southern Lakes that has contemplated what changes wit= hin water levels would affect — and particularly residents along this shoreline= and how they would be affected. It still has led to serious concern from the individuals who live in the Southern Lakes area. I have, on occasion, had individuals, with hydrologists in tow, who have come in to speak with me ab= out their concerns and the data that has been gathered.

I woul= d reflect on the fact that during the previous rate hearings, the Yukon Energy Corporation had taken the costs associated with that particular project = 212; what we would call “take them back to rate”, essentially meaning that those costs were to be booked — which would close the chapter on that particular project and activity.

At that particular time during the rate hearing, the Yukon Utilities Board requested that the Yukon Energy Corporation take that project back to study and to consult on. My prerogative at this point is that there have been some reque= sts by the Energy Corporation to speak to residents concerning whether or not t= heir prerogative has changed. As minister, I have not heard anybody’s prerogative change. There has also been a series of conversations in the Southern Lakes concerning the residents of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation — who have been in some conversations.

 Just to check back to my notes, Yuk= on Energy has engaged extensively, of course, with the lakeshore residents and= the local First Nations on this potential project. The Carcross/Tagish First Na= tion has reviewed YEC's technical studies. There has been some comfort shown. I think that the responsibility was downloaded to the Carcross/Tagish Develop= ment Corporation to be the key lead for the nation. There was a showing of suppo= rt from the corporation, but still to this date, what we have said at the tabl= e in the role at YDC is to please ensure that the conversations that happen with= the residents come back with a more favourable response to ensuring this work — and making sure that people understand that this isn’t really about an actual increase to water levels, but that it will, of course, hold water levels at their current maximum level for longer. That is really what= it is about.

I thin= k that work contemplated through the Energy Corporation on the research to define — or at least either come to a place where the project can be closed = off when it goes to rates so that, if the decision is made that we have done a thorough enough investigation so that the Yukon Utilities Board does not se= nd it back again to the Energy Corporation — if there was, through that research, some other indication from residents, which I have to say —= and I’ll state in the Assembly today — that I don’t see and I have not heard that at all — we have only heard resistance to this particular project. I hope that gives a better indication. I know it still leaves it a bit in the air, but at this time we are just trying to make sur= e we have as much data as possible before we bring it back to the Yukon Utilities Board to close.

Mr. Istchenko: How much money does the government expect to spend on diesel fuel for electrici= ty generation this winter?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: To give an accurate number to the Assembly, I think it would b= e best if we request the projected cost for diesel for this year and bring it back= in a legislative return to the Assembly.

Mr. Istchenko: Then I would ask to also put in — I was looking to find out how much we wo= uld also spend on LNG.

With r= espect to transmission infrastructure in the Yukon, the minister has confirmed a numb= er of times the government’s intention to connect the Yukon to the BC gr= id, so can the minister provide the House with the current cost estimates for t= his project?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: From the work that has been done to date, which is extremely h= igh level, the projected of a grid connection would be $1.7 billion. That is the cost of a grid connection. This is something, of course, that is being contemplated. All three territories are now having these conversations. My colleague in Northwest Territories, Minister Schumann, has been at the tabl= e at energy and mines ministers meetings as well as at other infrastructure meetings. Of course, Northwest Territories is also contemplating this ̵= 2; not to the same extent in cost. In the Northwest Territories, it is approximately, I think, about an $800,000 cost and there is a different prerogative. It is sort of the previous prerogative of here in the Yukon wh= ere it was the concept of building new infrastructure, which, of course, is very significant and additional — over and above the $800 million — = and that is to increase hydro and then potentially sell into the Saskatchewan a= rea. As well, there have been conversations that have been contemplated in Nunav= ut.

Just t= o add some background, we are fortunate that Yukon residents and businesses currently = have reliable access to clean, renewable and affordable electricity, but we do n= eed to ensure that we are able to meet future needs as well. The site C dam has= the potential to reduce diesel and natural gas consumption related to electrici= ty generation and can provide clean energy to help drive economic growth in Yu= kon. As well, integrating with the larger grid in the south may provide opportunities for future development in renewable energy in Yukon, and as w= ell, we would have access to much larger markets.

Mr.&nb= sp;Chair, what I would share with the House today on this particular topic is that we= did some early work, and we have put together a proposal that we would submit to the federal government to a specific fund. We are just sort of working on dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s on that. We think that thi= s is important work. I urge the Assembly, when we discuss this, to take into consideration that this does not become a political football. I think that = what we are hearing from mines ministers across the country, of all political backgrounds — whether I’m sitting next to Minister Rickford from Ontario, who was the former federal min= ister, or my colleagues from Saskatchewan or others — is that our country ne= eds to have a long-term view when it comes to infrastructure. The committees on growth this year have suggested that — and it has also been tabled at= the agricultural ministers panel on growth — the country needs to commit = to a 50-year planning cycle when it comes to infrastructure that goes beyond provincial and territorial political mandates so that our country can be competitive, whether it be on agriculture or on the resource sector. We contemplate sort of a longer term view.

At YDC= there is no mysticism to the fact that a project of that extent is a very significant conversation, taking into consideration how the Energy Corporation balances= the debt-to-equity ratio. We are talking about a significant financial conversa= tion when you look at a project like this — significant debt — to the point, actually, the members opposite would know that, based on even the de= bt allowance to the Government of Yukon, at this time you wouldn’t be in= a situation where you could even look at a capital expenditure such as this.<= /span>

We do = believe that it is something that needs to be looked at. There are a lot of activit= ies happening in northern British Columbia — key leaders in the resource sector who have projects in that area — individuals who have worked h= ere — leaders such as Rob McLeod, part of the Underworld project that led= to some significant work here. He would come and discuss the fact that we do n= eed to talk about how we could work with British Columbia. I have talked to the Member of Parliament from northern BC, Mr. Cullen, to discuss this as = well — so really moving across party lines to have discussions.

If we = are successful in our submissions to review and contemplate these opportunities — even taking into consideration some of our first steps, ensuring th= at we could even potentially supply electricity to Watson Lake and the area between Whitehorse and Watson Lake, understanding that we would probably ha= ve to look at upgrades to our existing lines into Teslin and understanding that there is some activity as well in that area.

Those = are the things that we are taking into consideration. We will see if the federal government feels that our long-term vision warrants the investment at this point. We want to make sure that work that we undertake — if we are successful in leveraging third-party funds — that work, of course, ca= n be something that, with minor adjustments, can be taken into consideration as valuable data as we move forward.

With t= hat being said, to date we have spent approximately $150,000 on this work. Really, at= this point, we are going to look to leverage money from a third party, if we can= .

I will= just say in closing, once again, we understand that this is a longer term view. We h= ave early and pressing needs now, as we see water levels where they are and tha= t, of course, is why we have rental agreements in place to back up our infrastructure under their N-1 scenario, which is taking into consideration what would happen if your most significant piece of infrastructure on your = grid went down for a period of time — how would you back that up? We will continue to look at wind, solar, potential thermal, as well as smaller scale hydro in the mid-term to get us to where we need to go.

Mr. Istchenko: How much does the minister intend to ask Canada to contribute to this? Does he intend to ask anyone else to contribute to this relatively large project?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: We are looking at approximately — our request at this ti= me would be $2.3 million. In our conversations with Infrastructure Canada and other leaders — understanding that the infrastructure bank is bringing private sector players to the table to work with governments, I think that = we would be in a position to leverage from different financial institutions th= at would be interested in this. My direction to our officials is not to go down that road, because I feel that once you enter into a relationship with a financial institution or private sector entity that is looking for a longer term relationship, you have to be very certain at that time that this is the route that you are planning to undertake.

I thin= k at this time we are still doing due diligence. Part of the work we have to do, when= you look at other big infrastructure projects in this country, you have to contemplate the fact that you need to ensure that your partnerships are in place. That is the work that we think is important. To even contemplate something like this, there needs to be a dialogue with communities, municipalities and First Nation governments all along the potential route to see what their expectation is. Through that, there is the potential for, ye= s, private sector investment and also for First Nation governments to look at this.

WeR= 17;ve also had a tremendous amount of interest from companies that do this type of wor= k.

Mr.&nb= sp;Chair, seeing the time, I move that you report progress.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Mr. Pillai that the Chair report progress.

Motion agreed to

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Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that the Speaker do now resume the Chair.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Ms. McPhee that the Speaker do now resume the Chair. <= /p>

Motion agreed to

 

Speaker resumes the Chair

 

Speaker: I w= ill now call the House to order.

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

Chair’s report

Chair: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 24, entitled Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and directed me to report the bill without amendment.

Commit= tee of the Whole has also considered Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, and directed me to rep= ort progress.

Speaker: You= have heard the report from the Chair of Committee of the Whole.

Are yo= u agreed?

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker: I d= eclare the report carried.

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Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that the House do now adjourn.

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Government House Leader that the House do now adjourn.<= /p>

Motion agreed to

 

Speaker: Thi= s House now stands adjourned until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

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The House adjourned at 5:23 p.m.

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The following document was filed November 19, = 2018:

34-2-60

Consultation on proposed change to electoral boundaries, lette= r re (dated March 9, 2018) from Brad Cathers, Member for Lake Laberge, to Justice Ron Veale, Chair, Electoral District Boundaries Commission (Cathers)=

 

The following written questions were tabled November 19, 2018:=

Written Question No. 32

Re: Land withdrawals and staking bans (Kent)

 

Written Question No. 33

Re: Economic contribution of tourism in Yukon (Van Bibber= )

&= nbsp;

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