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Yukon Legislative Assembly=

Whitehorse, Yukon

Tuesday, November = 20, 2018 — 1:00 p.m.

 

Speaker: I w= ill now call the House to order. At this time, we will proceed with prayers.=

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Prayers

Daily Routine

Speaker:= 195;Prior to proceeding with = the Order Paper, the Chair will make a statement regarding National Child Day, which is today.

In recognition of National Child Day

Speaker:= 195;On this day 29 years ago,= the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Two years later, in 1991, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights= of the Child — UNCRC — and established November 20 as National Chi= ld Day.

Nation= al Child Day is an annual opportunity for Canada to shine a spotlight on the rights = of the child. Children’s rights are human rights that have special considerations for the developmental needs of young people as well as the responsibilities of adults to provide support, care and dignity for childre= n. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child enshrines 42 rights to health, safety, well-being and education for children that governments must uphold. Canada has a duty to report to the United Nations every five years on how it is safeguarding the= se rights.

In 200= 9, the Yukon Legislative Assembly passed the Child and Youth Advocate Act, and in 2010, the office of the Child and Youth Advocate was opened. The Child and Advocate Office is an independent office= of this Legislative Assembly that supports children and youth in accessing the= ir rights and having their voices heard within government programs and service= s. In eight years of operation, the Yukon Child and Advocate Office has addressed a multitude of individual advocacy issue= s for Yukon children and youth. The office encourages everyone to actively promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and on National Child Day, they acknowledge and celebrate the many efforts of youth participation.

The of= fice has signed on to the GlobalChild project with Dr.&n= bsp;Ziba Vaghri from the Univ= ersity of Victoria. The GlobalChild project is an international project that is conducting focus groups around the world to collect data from youth on how they feel their rights are being upheld by t= heir respective governments. There are 49 focus groups taking place in 39 countr= ies, and nine are taking place in Canada. All of the information that is gathere= d in these focus groups will be brought to Geneva, Switzerland next year. The information gathered will be incorporated into a child rights monitoring to= ol called GlobalChild.

The gr= oup here in Whitehorse is the first group in the world to run such a focus group. The group that participated in the first focus group was the Vanier Catholic Secondary School’s social justice class led by a teacher who I might = know — my spouse, Janet Clarke.

The yo= uth provided their input about: children’s rights to special education; if you have a disability, the right to the best health care; the right to have= all of your basic needs met; and the right to help from the government if you a= re poor.

In add= ition, over the last year, the Child and Advocate Office has worked with the Youth of Today Society on a variety of youth participation projects. Youth of Today Society houses Shākāt Journal: The Change Project, a social enterprise with the goal of creat= ing a safe space for youth to explore ideas and access training, mentorship and support to take action. Led by Youth of Today Society, youth receive hands-= on training in multimedia skills from podcasts and video creation to story wri= ting and social media promotion. By giving youth the tools to tell their stories, they are able to connect, share their culture and break the cycle of hopelessness, unemployment and racism that many youth face.

In the= spirit of reconciliation, Shākāt Journal: The Change Project, comm= only referred to as “Shākāt”, has taken on several large-scale projects this year, including RiverNation: Journey Through<= /span> the Bloodlines and the first-ever Millennial Town Hall and youth forum, which the Premier and others participated in.

Each p= roject brought both indigenous and non-indigenous youth from all over the Yukon together to share, connect and learn from teachers, elders, politicians and each other.

The Ch= ild and Advocate Office has engaged Shākāt Journal to enhance communication = and amplify the voices of young people by recording, celebrating and highlighti= ng their contributions. Shākāt has provided video and technical support for the following Child and Youth Advocate engagement projects: the latest Shā= ;kāt Journal features an article about= the Child and Advocate Office; Shākāt= provided social media support, videography and developed baseball cards for all of t= he youth coaches at the youth rookie league project; and a youth-led reconciliation project funded by the Jays Care Foundation promoting the rig= ht to culture and the right to play. They produced a slide show and two videos from the very successful Jays Care Foundation event this summer.

One of= the Shākāt= youth mentors, Jeremy Linville, a= lso known as Tahltan Havoc, led a songwriting workshop and produced a music video about the Jays Care projects, Yukon Roo= kie League and the field of dreams. The Child and Youth Advocate supported a fo= rmer youth from care, Carrie Davis, to produce a video about the challenges of ageing out of the care of the director of Family and Children’s Servi= ces. Shākā= ;t youth mentors provided videograph= y and technical support. Shākāt is currently working on a project= with the support of the Child and Advocate Office to elicit views of young people about youth homelessness. Shākāt= and the Child and Advocate Office invite all present to join the upcoming homelessness challenge.

At thi= s time, I have the distinct pleasure of introducing a number of people in the gallery involved with both the Child and Advocate Office and Shākāt.

I woul= d like to introduce Lancelot Burton; also Paige Hopkins, Alexander Gatensby, Skyler Isaac, Jeremy Linville and Agni= eszka Pajor.

From t= he staff of the Child and Advocate Office, I would like to introduce: Annette King, Child and Youth Advocate; Deputy Child and Youth Advocate Bengie Clethero; Lynda Silverfox= , the systemic analyst; Jessica Williams, advocacy caseworker; Stephanie Sullivan, bachelor of social work student; and Carrie Jackson, administrative assista= nt.

Thank = you for your attendance at the Yukon Legislative Assembly today, and thank you for = all your work that you do for children and young adults in the Yukon.

Applause

Withdrawal of motions

Speaker: The Chair wishes to inform the House of changes which h= ave been made to the Order Paper. The following motions have been removed from = the Order Paper as the action requested in the motion has been taken in whole o= r in part: Motions No. 347 and 355, standing in the name of the Member for Copperbelt South, and Motion No. 383, standing in the name of the Lead= er of the Official Opposition.

Daily Routine

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

Introduction of Visitors

Speaker: I have a brief introduction to make for the students an= d the teacher of the grade 4/5 class of Hidden Valley School. The Clerk and I had= an opportunity to meet with them prior to the Sitting, and I have advised them that one of my staff will show them to the members’ lounge at 2:00 p.= m. or so, after Question Period. If any MLAs are available to meet with them at that time, I said that I’m sure there are some of our members who wou= ld love to have a chat with them.

We hav= e Wylloh Dinn, Declan Frotten-Rousseau, Sophie Gagne, Parker Gammie, Saige Germain, Olivia Halliday, Lucius Harris, Sabrina Hartland, Ruby Klein, Hailey Loblaw, Brand Lowen, Oliver MacDonald, Ellie Po= nd, Caleb Power, Linnea Roberts, Ronin Teramura, Lu= kas Wright-Labelle, Kevin Greenshields, Huxley Briggs, Kippen Brigg= s and Amoree Briggs — do you think they might be rela= ted? It’s possible; it’s possible. Of course, we also have their teacher, Meghan Adamsky.

Welcom= e to the Legislative Assembly.

Applause

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Speaker: Are= there any further introductions of visitors?

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Hon. Mr. Silver: I know that many of the folks who are in the gallery are going to be introduced through a few different tributes, but I wanted to ge= t up beforehand and welcome Dagmar Christie and Sheamus Christie to the Legislative Assembly from Dawson City.

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Ms. Hanson: I would ask my colleagues to join me in welcoming not only a person who we are going to be paying tribute today, Ernest Chua, but also his family and exte= nded family. It is not very often, Mr. Speaker, that we have family who come all the way from Singapore to be present here today for this very special tribute while visiting Ernest and his family.

I woul= d like us all to welcome here today: Khoon Chua, Ernest&#= 8217;s father; Shirley Chua-Tan, Ernest’s very proud mom; and his family from Singapore: Joseph Tan, his grandfather; Jenny Lim, his grandmother; Raymond Tan, his uncle; Nelson Tan, his uncle; Arial Cheng, his auntie; Vivien Kwok, also an auntie; Jolene Tan, a cousin; Jamiee Tan, a cousin; Jolwell Tan, a cousin; and Xavie= r Tan, a cousin.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I would like us to welcome to the Legislative Assembly today s= ome folks who are here to cheer on Ernest in his tribute, including athletes and supporters: Kenny Atlin, Anna Thompson, Taylor = Pooyatak-Amundson, Stefan Oettli= , Trevor Beemish, Hayley Hal= ushka, Lisa Bachli, Lacey = Ackland, Eliot Kaminecki, Annabelle Brassard, Marilyn Thomas, Helen Slama= and the chair of the Special Olympics board, Tom Gibbs, and the executive direc= tor of Special Olympics Yukon, Serge Michaud.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Pillai: As the Premier had mentioned, we have a number of peopl= e here today who were award winners last night. We are going to be doing a tribute= in a moment, but I would like to recognize a number of people who are visiting today and supporting. From Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd., Sam Wallingham and Ran Li are here with u= s. I will go through the list and then we can give our applause. Our deputy mini= ster from Energy, Mines and Resources, Mr. Stephen Mills, as well as Jennifer Walters and Kathy Sutherland; from our Economic Development department, Tara-Lee Bosma and Michael Durham; = from the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association, Jonas Smith; Carl Schul= ze, who is a long-time prospector and was mentioned by my colleague earlier this week and gave out an award as well last night; well-known prospector and mi= ner Grant Allan; I see Scott Donaldson, as well, the CEO of BMC; of course, also the Christies — family members Dagmar, Sheamus and also Tara, who are here today — sister and daughter, here to rece= ive her award; Kristina Gardiner from Yukon Women in Mining; Anne Turner and Lindsay Wilson. I think I saw Brooke Rudolph as well. They will be here as = we talk about the Kate Carmack Yukon Women in Mini= ng Award.

Speaki= ng of that, I want to touch on the fact that Lancelot Burton, as well as Eil= een Vance-Duchesne, Nina Shetsiruli and Alexan= der GatensbyShakat and their work played a really integral part in a tribute that we did earlier this week, which focused on the fact that there= is a Canadian Mining Hall of Fame award that is coming in January. Heather Bur= rell is a winner as well.

I know= I missed a couple, but I think I pretty much got everybody, but also there is Erin <= span class=3DSpellE>Legault — it is good to see her from my riding = of Porter Creek South.

Applause

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Hon. Ms. Dendys: I would like to ask my colleagues to help welcome Zo&eu= ml; Armstrong and Erin Legault from Ignite Counsell= ing — thank you for being here today.

Applause

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Mr. Hassard: I ask all members to join me in welcoming a couple of p= eople here today. We have Mr. Jamie Schmale. He = is the MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock in Ontario. With him today is his assistant, Mr. Paul Seear. Thank you very = much, gentlemen, for being here.

Applause

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Mr. Gallina: I would like members to join me in welcoming a former colleague, Darlene Doerksen, who is with the Yukon Tourism Education Cou= ncil and has joined us here today — welcome, Darlene.

Applause

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Mr. Istchenko: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know you mentioned his name in the House here toda= y; Lancelot Burton is here — I know him as Lance. We grew up together in Haines Junction and it is great to see a man of his stature who works with youth so much. Growing up in our community, it was important that we had a = lot of guidance for our youth. I know our schoolteachers were happy to see us c= ome to class. I was looking through some pictures and I have a great picture of Lance, Mike Graham and me heading off to Bible camp with brush cuts. That w= ill go cheap if anybody is looking for it.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I just noticed another one of Yukon’s athletes, and I fa= iled to introduce her earlier. I would like us to welcome Aimee Lien.

Applause

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Speaker: Are= there any further introductions of visitors?

Tributes.

TRIBUTES

In recognition of Yukon S= pecial Olympian Ernest Chua

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I am wearing purple today — purple in honour of Team Yuk= on. I have on my purple shirt and a purple tie. I am wearing my purple socks. I am wearing my purple — well, let me just stop there, Mr. Speaker. <= /span>

I am w= earing purple to pay tribute to Ernest Chua on behalf of the Liberals and the Offi= cial Opposition. Ernest has been a member of Special Olympics Yukon since 2011. I first met Ernest in 2015 when he participated in the Marsh Lake Classic Ski= Loppet. I remember meeting Ernest because that was the first year that Special Olympics athletes came to compete in our ski race. =

In 201= 6, Ernest came back. I remember him from that year because he virtually cut his race = time in half from the previous year. Ernest is very athletic — incredibly athletic. He trains and competes in cross-country skiing, in swimming and in golf.

In 201= 6, a few weeks after the Marsh Lake loppet, Ernest compe= ted in cross-country skiing at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. He came away with a gold an= d a silver medal. I am not surprised.

In 201= 7, he again competed in cross-country skiing — this time at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria. Again, Ernest won a silver and a gold medal.

Now le= t’s talk about swimming. In 2014, Ernest was a member of Team Yukon’s swim team and competed at the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver, winning a silver and a bronze.

This s= ummer, Ernest put on his purple team jersey and travelled with Team Yukon to Antigonish, Nova Scotia for the Special Olympics Cana= da Summer Games. There were around 90 Team Yukon supporters — a sea of purple — to cheer on Ernest and Team Yukon. It was hot in Antigonish and hot and muggy in the aquatic centre &#= 8212; and loud and fantastic. We had the privilege to witness Ernest shave two seconds off of his personal best in the 25-metre freestyle heats. We were p= roud to lose our voices cheering when Ernest won the 50-metre freestyle. There w= as a moment where he hesitated on the turn, and our hearts leapt. I will repost = that video, Mr. Speaker. It was so exciting.

Now we= are looking to the future. We are all so excited to announce that Ernest has be= en chosen to represent Canada on the swim team at the 2019 Special Olympics Wo= rld Summer Games to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this coming March — which, I note for his extended family, is about half the distance f= rom travelling to Whitehorse. I know you told him it was 16 hours, so I hope yo= u go to Abu Dhabi and cheer on Ernest.

He is = the first Yukon athlete whom I have met to compete for Team Canada in world summer and winter games. Congratulations Ernest.

I know= from watching Ernest in the pool, I know from sitting next to Aimee Lien’s= mom as Aimee competed in rhythmic gymnastics, I know from being there with Jasm= in Stange — our first Dawson athlete to play natio= nally — and I know from seeing the pride on Gaetan Michaud’s face as he carried the Yukon flag that your spirit and pass= ion and your dedication and sportspersonship inspir= e us all. Thank you, Ernest.

Applause

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Ms. Hanson: Well, Mr. Speaker, how are you going top that? I’m not sure.

On beh= alf of the Yukon New Democratic Party, I am really happy to rise today to also pay tri= bute to an athlete, an Olympian — and a very special Olympian at that R= 12; Ernest Chua.

Ernest= is indeed a very special athlete, but it wasn’t always so. In fact, his mother Shirley told me that when he was about 11 or 12 years old and his siblings = were taking swimming lessons, Ernest actually refused to go into the swimming co= mplex. He would stay in the van, so his family starting putting a stool outside the van for him to sit on, but gradually the stool got closer and closer to the pool. Finally, he was in the water, swimming and enjoying it.

Once i= n, Ernest’s love of sport became apparent. Like his dad, Khoon Chua, Ernest is an athlete who goes at it seriously. We just look at his re= cord — as the member opposite has expressed, Ernest competed at the Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and came home with a silver meda= l in the one-kilometre cross-country skiing and gold in the 500 metres. He was t= hen selected as a member of Team Canada’s cross-country ski team in the 2= 017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, and this past summer, Ernest won gold at the Special Olympics 2018 Canada Summer Games in hot and muggy = Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Now Er= nest has been selected to represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in the United Arab Emirates as part of the swim team. He will be the = only Yukon athlete to represent Canada in Abu Dhabi. He will also become the fir= st Yukon Special Olympian to represent the country in both the world summer and winter games. This is a huge victory for Ernest, his family and the whole Y= ukon community.

In pay= ing tribute to Ernest, it is important to recognize that his efforts are made possible because he does not stand alone; he does so with his community in the Speci= al Olympics family, his friends, the staff at Teegatha= 217;Oh Zheh, the volunteers — so many of them he= re today — the coaches and his family. Together, Yukon has raised a cham= pion — our champion.

Applause

In recognition of Transgender Awareness Week

Hon. Ms. Dendys: I rise today on behalf of the Yukon Liberal government to pay tribute to Transgender Awareness Week. The purpose of this week is to raise visibility of trans and gender non-conforming pe= ople and help raise awareness for some of the unique challenges and issues they face. The focal point of this week is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, w= hich is today, November 20. It started as a way to honour the memory of Rita Hes= ter, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998 in the United States. This day honours all trans people who were lost to transp= hobic violence.

As Gwe= ndolyn Ann Smith, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembranc= e, says — and I quote: “I am no stranger to the need to fight for = our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transg= ender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vit= ally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight = for justice.

Status= of Women Canada states that: “Gender-based vi= olence includes any act of violence or abuse that can result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering.” Transgender people experience a high degree of sexual and physical violence, not to mention the violence done to= their emotional and psychological well-being. Just last week, the local CBC interviewed a person who had come out as trans a= bout a year ago. This person spoke candidly about the difficulty of coming out and particularly the difficulty in coming out in a small community. They spoke about experiencing violence in the streets, about being followed home= and about being nearly attacked in the office. They added that walking alone of= ten feels unsafe.

While = the City of Whitehorse rainbow and trans flag crosswalks = are important symbols of progress and support for the trans community, we must remember that for many trans people, just being outside can still feel extremely unsafe and unwelcoming. Transphobia exists in every corner of our world. Even this past weekend, Mr. Speaker, we heard about a jurisdict= ion in Canada that has chosen to consider the removal of gender identity from t= heir educational curriculum.

Organi= zations such as Queer Yukon and All Genders Yukon lead the struggle for acceptance = and enlightenment within Yukon society. The Yukon government as well is working toward inclusion and equality with our just-launched LGBTQ2S+ public engage= ment that will be taking place over the next few months. We are hoping to learn from the diverse LGBTQ2S+ communities how to bet= ter reflect their needs and priorities in our territory’s laws, policies, programs and services. Our eyes have been opened by our work with the compa= ny QMUNITY, and we are ready to listen, learn and act based on this engagement= .

While = we continue to progress in modernizing our legislation to be LGBTQ2S+ inclusiv= e, there is still much work to be done in modernizing attitudes toward all non-cisgender people. It is work that we can all do together. It is work th= at this government feels strongly about. We want to better serve all LGBTQ2S+ Yukoners and foster a progressive, inclusive and safe community for everyon= e.

They a= re our siblings, they are our children, and they may even be our friends, so how c= an we allow them to live in fear or in danger just because of who they are? We must all work together toward making this territory a just and equal society for all Yukoners.

Applause

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Mr. Istchenko: I rise on behalf of the Yukon Party Official Opposition to recognize Transgen= der Awareness Week, which took place between November 12 and 19 this year, as w= ell as Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed today, November 20.

In the= lead-up to Transgender Day of Remembrance over the last week, transgender awareness= was celebrated, educated and promoted across the country and around the world. = As said earlier, Transgender Day of Remembrance was initiated in response to a= nd in recognition of the murder of Rita Hester in 1998. It has become a symbol= ic day memorializing those who have lost their lives to transphobic violence a= nd to bring awareness to the continuing violence and discrimination against trans people.

Poet G= wen Benaway had this to say in her opinion piece in Maclean’s magazine, October = 25, 2018 — and I quote: “I don’t want to write a defence of o= ur living because it means my humanity is being treated as a matter of debate — and to debate my humanity is to lose access to it. I don’t wa= nt to prove the worth of our lives when the shadow of our deaths looms so close and visibly in the horizon.”

The re= ality is that transgender violence and discrimination still does continue, and it wi= ll not end until society becomes more loving, more accepting as a whole. When = the stigma ends, so does much of the fear that people face on a daily basis. So treat each other well and always stay humble and kind.

Applause

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Ms. White: I rise on behalf of the Yukon NDP to mark today as Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honour, remember and mourn the loss of trans people who have fallen victim to violence — violence based on fear, h= ate and ignorance. Trans people, especially trans pe= ople of colour and sex workers, face a disproportionate amount of violence. So we honour those who we have lost, and we fight to keep their spirit alive.

Today = we remember the 418 victims across the globe who we= re identified and known to have lost their lives in the last year due to transphobia. We would be mistaken if we assumed that we are untouched here = in Canada. Today we remember Alloura Wells and Sisi Thibert. We remember= all of the others, unreported or unknown, who lost their lives to transphobia and discrimination. We remember those who, when it was all too much, took their= own lives.

Today,= with the recent transphobic action of the Ontario government, those of us who wish to stand in solidarity with the trans community will raise the volume of our protesting voices. We celebrate trans men and trans women. We celebrate those who are gender non-conforming, those who are bi-gender and those who are agender. We celebrate the knowledge that you are of different ethnicities and racial backgrounds, that you exist in all shapes and sizes, that your gender presentation is varied, your identities are fluid and your expressions are unique, that your stories and your experiences are uniquely your own, and t= hat you are beautiful and you are perfectly you.

We cel= ebrate your phenomenal strength and your resiliency. We believe that your beauty a= nd your truth deserve to be visible. Within our culture, our local communities= and across the globe, there continues to be an amazing surge in the visibility = of our trans and gender non-conforming community me= mbers. This is overwhelmingly because of the courage of countless transgender men, transgender women and their allies who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to raise awareness, speak out and live authentically as who they are.

Whenev= er any trans or gender non-conforming community member claims visibility, our communities are better for it. Whenever any trans or gender non-conforming community member or their allies speak up in the f= ace of prejudice, that act of courage helps to change our world for the better.= It is our job as allies to listen, to educate those around us and to stand bes= ide, behind or in front of our transgender friends as they need us to. We thank = those in our very own community who continue to push and advocate for what is rig= ht and just, because, Mr. Speaker, trans right= s are human rights. We will stand with you as allies, knowing that you matter and that the world is a better and richer place with you in it.

Applause

In recognition of Yukon Chamber of Mines community award winners

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I rise today on behalf of the Yukon Liberal government, the Yu= kon Party caucus and the New Democratic Party caucus to pay tribute to the many award winners recognized at the Geoscience Forum that is wrapping up today.=

The Leckie Awards recognize excellence in environmental stewardship, outstanding social responsibility and innovation in mining practices. These awards were created as a tribute to the late Robert E. Leckie, who worked as a mining inspector in Mayo from= 1987 until November 1999. The awards given in his honour reflect Mr. Leckie’s dedication to mine site reclamation and acknowledge miners for their exceptional reclamation and restoration effort= s. I had the honour of presenting the Leckie Awards = at the Yukon Geoscience Forum banquet last night.

The Leckie Award for responsible and innovative explorati= on and mining practices went to Dominion Gold Resources Ltd, a company that was deserving of this award because its innovations have reduced emissions and increased efficiencies. This work includes innovations such as a conveying system that moves dirt with one small engine rather than a huge bulldozer a= nd by using an experimental prototype ore-crushing machine. They are truly wor= thy recipients of this award.

The Leckie Award for excellence in environmental stewards= hip in quartz mining went to Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd. Their property straddles the border with Northwest Territories 165 kilometr= es east of Ross River. Selwyn has remediated drill pads and trails and since 2= 016, has seeded more than 400,000 square metres of land. Selwyn removed a significant amount of waste from the site, including barrels that were buri= ed by the previous operator. Selwyn also did soil testing to ensure that the s= oil was not contaminated from their barrels. Selwyn is committed to contracting opportunities for Yukon residents and is also collaborating with First Nati= ons to achieve a culturally integrated workplace. There are some individuals wi= th us today from Selwyn. Thank you.

The Leckie Award for excellence in environmental stewards= hip in placer mining went to Simon and Lillian Hambrook. They have done a commendable job in contouring, seeding and stabilizing the= ir claims along Black Hills Creek, a tributary of the Stewart River. I sincere= ly appreciate their dedication to responsible placer mining and progressive reclamation.

The Yu= kon Chamber of Mines awarded their community award to Archer Cathro. Archer Cathro contributes to the economic stabi= lity of the communities by doing their best to use local services and employ loc= al workers whenever possible. This includes developing and maintaining positive working relationships with First Nations throughout the territory. Archer <= span class=3DSpellE>Cathro is dedicated to responsible exploration and minimizing land disturbances. Their programs have contributed to numerous companies receiving Leckie Awards for excellent environmental stewardship over the years.

Our ne= xt award winner is also part of that team — Heather Burrell — but also J= ulia Lane is here. They are both here. They were there last night to receive the award on behalf of an excellent, excellent company.

In add= ition, the Yukon Chamber of Mines also acknowledged the contributions of one of their members, Heather Burrell. Heather is also a member of the technical liaison committee that advises the Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources on priorities from the industry perspective. In addition, she is an appointed member of the Yukon Minerals Advisory Board and makes recommendations to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources for government actions. Her experti= se and input are valued and appreciated.

As wel= l, the Yukon Prospectors Association — that was presented last night by Carl Schulze — presented their prospector of the year award to Bob Sterlin= g. Bob has been working both in placer and hardrock in Yukon since the 1970s. His hardrock work includes working for United = Keno Hill and managing the JP Ross claims in the Dawson area. Bob worked placer claims in numerous areas, including Sixtymile, Stewart River, McQuesten and others. He discove= red a new placer deposit along the Stewart River and successfully mined it. Bob is well-known and respected by the prospecting community, government geologists and government inspectors.

Finall= y, Mr. Speaker, last night Tara Christie was recognized by Yukon Women in Mining as the 2018 champion. That was the newly named award for Kate Carm= ack. Tara has been involved in consulting for exploration, mining and environmen= tal assessment and government, community and First Nation relations, including working with First Nation development corporations.

Clearl= y, Yukon Women in Mining champions are individuals who have blazed a trail in their field while championing diversity. The work that Yukon Women in Mining organizations does to increase awareness of the opportunities for employmen= t in the field is fantastic. Mr. Speaker, it was mentioned last night that = Tara and her family have been in the industry — probably from age 8. That = is when we talked about her first work — and she and her brother taking = part in their family’s business.

I also= know from past conversations here that she also sat on the PDAC board — the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. She is very well-known throughout the country and is the CEO of Banyan Gold, a junior mining compa= ny here in the Yukon.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, I ask the honourable members of this House to join me in acknowledging the substantial efforts by mining companies, operators and others who go beyond= the normal call of duty to support their sector’s operations in Yukon. Th= ey are ambassadors for the industry.

Applause

 

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

Tabling Returns and Documents

Hon. Ms. Frost: In my capacity as Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation, I have for tabling, pursuant to subsection 23(2) of the Housing Corporation Act, the Yukon= Housing Corporation’s annual report for 2017‑18.

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Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I have for tabling four legislative returns responding = to questions asked by the Official Opposition and the Third Party during gener= al budget debate on November 13, 2018.

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Ms. White: I have for tabling an information sheet for the Integrated Supports for Yukon Yout= h.

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Speaker: Are= there any further documents for tabling?

Are th= ere any reports of committees?

Petitions.

PETITIONS

Petition No. 5

Mr. Cathers: I have for presentation the following petition:

“= ;To the Yukon Legislative Assembly:

“= ;This petition of the undersigned shows:

“= ;THAT repainting of the Hidden Valley area highway line pattern in September 2016 made the Mayo Road less safe at the Couch Road intersections, MacPherson Ro= ad intersection, and 2 Mile Road intersection;

“= ;THAT the old line pattern of 4 lanes of traffic through the Hidden Valley area allow= ed for safer turns on to the highway and for passing slow moving vehicles in a manner that was both safe and legal; and

“= ;THAT vehicles turning on to 2 Mile Road frequently exit the highway at a speed w= hich is unsafe for nearby residents who live beside the road, including children= and pets.

“= ;THEREFORE, the undersigned ask the Yukon Legislative Assembly to urge the Government of Yukon to:

“= ;1. Repaint the highway line pattern to how it was prior to September 2016 R= 12; including 4 lanes at the Couch Road and MacPherson Road intersections;

“= ;2. Construct a proper turning lane at 2 Mile Road to give vehicles turning on = to it more time to slow down; and

“= ;3. Improve lighting at the Mayo Road/MacPherson Road intersection.”

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Speaker: Are= there any other petitions to be presented?

Are th= ere any bills to be introduced?

Are th= ere any notices of motions?

Notices of Motions

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

THAT t= his House urges the Yukon Liberal government to clarify how, having rejected the April 2018 final report of the Yukon Electoral District Boundaries Commission and having defeated Bill 19, Electoral District Boundaries Act, the Government of Yukon intends to fulfill the obligations set out in the Yukon El= ections Act to ensure fair representation of the Yukon electorate and to make proposals to the Legislative Assembly as to the boundaries, number and name= s of electoral districts for the next two Yukon general elections.

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

THAT t= his House thanks the Minister of Health and Social Services for finally listening to = the Official Opposition, media, and Yukon citizens in need of cataract surgery,= and taking action to reduce the wait times for cataract surgery.

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

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to introduce a Trans Day of Remembrance act b= ased on Ontario’s Trans Day of Remembrance Act after consultation with the LGBTQ2S+ community.<= /p>

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I also= give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to recognize the risks posed by forest fires = in Yukon and increase funding and resources to municipalities and all Yukon communities to complete fire-abatement projects and reduce the risk of fore= st fire in every community.

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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: Carbon tax

Mr. Hassard: Let’s go through a few things that are exempt from the carbon tax scheme: dirty c= oal plants in New Brunswick, which produce 2.8 megatons of greenhouse gas emiss= ions — exempt; a family in Mayo who needs to drive to Whitehorse for suppl= ies — not exempt; offshore oil and gas in Newfoundland — exempt; a single mother who needs to drive her children to school — not exempt.=

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, can the Premier explain how giving a free pass to big polluting industries = while punishing Yukon families is, in his words, “being on the right side of history”?

Hon. Mr. Silver: What I will do is keep my commitment to Yukoners to mak= e sure that all the money collected from the federal carbon-pricing mechanism is g= oing to be returned to Yukoners and Yukon businesses. We are showing leadership = on this issue because Yukoners are already experiencing the impacts of climate change.

What I= will continue to commit to do is to advocate on behalf of Yukoners the unique circumstances that were outlined in the pan-Canadian framework.

Mr. Hassard: The fact of the matter is that Yukoners and their families are having this Libe= ral carbon scheme forced onto them. The Liberals have tried to sell it as an environmental policy, but it is becoming very clear that it is nothing more than a taxation policy.

A sing= le dirty coal plant in New Brunswick produces 2.8 megatons of greenhouse gases, as I said. That’s 367 percent more emissions coming from a single dirty co= al plant than from the entire Yukon, yet that dirty coal plant is going to essentially get a free pass from the Liberal carbon tax, while families in = the Yukon are going to pay more.

How ca= n the Premier sit here in this Assembly with a straight face and tell Yukoners th= at this is fair?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I encourage the new government in New Brunswick to make= sure that they work with the federal government when deciding upon their particu= lar region’s best abilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to actually put a price on carbon and to move into a non-fossil-fuel future. <= /span>

We her= e in the Yukon have negotiated with the federal government to ensure that our govern= ment decides how revenue is returned to Yukoners.

Mr. Hassard: As I said, the Liberal carbon tax scheme essentially exempts dirty New Brunswi= ck coal plants and offshore oil and gas. It’s no coincidence that there = is a federal election coming up, and the Trudeau Liberals are desperately trying= to save their Liberal seats in Atlantic Canada, so they are exempting big polluting industries from the carbon tax scheme. Unfortunately, there are 32 ridings in Atlantic Canada, while there is only one here in the Yukon. While big industry in eastern Canada gets a free pass, Yukon families who need to drive to work when it’s 40 below will be forced to pay. It’s now clear that this policy is not about protecting the environment. It’s about protecting the Liberal’s election chances in eastern Canada, and our Premier has refused to stand up for Yukoners.

Will t= he Premier agree to finally stand up for Yukon and fight for an exemption for Yukon families?

Hon. Mr. Silver: What the member opposite fails to tell Yukoners is that we have committed to returning all of the money collected by the federal government= and returning all of that money to Yukoners and Yukon businesses.

Question re: Carbon tax

Mr. Cathers: The Liberal carbon tax scheme is getting exposed now for what it truly is ̵= 2; a wealth redistribution scheme that will punish Yukon families while giving a free pass to big polluting industries out east. One single dirty coal plant= in New Brunswick is going to essentially get a free pass on the carbon tax sch= eme. Meanwhile, the trucking industry in the Yukon, which is essential to bring groceries up the highway, is going to get hit by this massive new tax. We k= now that the Premier refused to stand up for the trucking industry by asking fo= r an exemption, but while he has been asleep at the wheel, other Premiers have literally convinced the federal government to exempt dirty coal plants and offshore oil and gas.

Will t= he Premier now do the right thing and fight for an exemption for the Yukon’s trucking industry so that the cost of groceries for Yukon families doesn’t increase?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Again, what the Yukon Party fails to tell Yukoners is that this government is in charge of making sure that we have exemptions and rebates = that suit the conditions of the north, and that’s exactly what we have done — dollar for dollar rebates for the placer industry and rebates for Yukoners, businesses and Yukon individuals. All of the money collected is g= oing to be going back to Yukoners, including the money collected here from this government. We also are rebating to the municipalities and to the First Nat= ion governments as well.

The me= mbers opposite make it seem like we’re not advocating for Yukoners. The exa= ct opposite is happening.

I also= commend those jurisdictions that already currently have carbon-pricing mechanisms in place, which is what the members opposite are comparing us to. We, of cours= e, don’t, so we are on the federal backstop. We have worked very hard to make sure that we return all of the money collected back into Yukoners̵= 7; pockets.

Mr. Cathers: I have to remind the Premier that it is year 3 of his mandate. We have platitudes from him about rebates, but we have no details.= In fact, a single dirty coal plant in New Brunswick will produce 2.8 megatons = of greenhouse gases per year, and they are getting a free pass from the Liberal carbon tax.

Accord= ing to Environment Yukon, the entire Yukon produces only 0.6 megatons per year, ye= t we are not getting a free pass. We are just getting taxed.

In no = world is it fair for a heavy polluting industry like coal to get an exemption while a Yukon family living paycheque to paycheque is forced to pay more money. By signing onto this wealth redistribution scheme that gives big industrial polluters on the east coast a free pass, the Premier has failed Yukoners. <= /span>

Will t= he Premier tell us that he is at least concerned that these heavy polluters are being = let off the hook for federal electoral reasons while Yukon families are going t= o be punished?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I think the reason that we have low emissions here in the Yuko= n is because the Yukon Party couldn’t get one single mine to production in their last five years of governance. There is always that.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, listen — we are beyond the time to debate the impacts of climate chan= ge. It is time to take action and to show leadership; that is exactly what we a= re doing.

This g= overnment is continuing on from the previous government that signed on to the Vancouv= er Declaration, basically allowing us to move forward on a price on carbon. I = want to thank the Yukon Party for starting us down that road. We continued on wi= th the pan-Canadian framework, and every single day since then, we have been arguing, fighting and making sure that Ottawa sees how important it is for = us to be on the right side of history and how important it is to make sure that our economy is not adversely affected, to make a great unique circumstance = of the north and to return all of that money back to Yukoners and Yukon businesses.

Mr. Cathers: First of all, the Premier can try to spin the Vancouver Declaration all he wants,= but Yukoners know very well that neither Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall nor the former Yukon Premier were supportive of carbon tax. Again, it is the third = year of the Liberal mandate, and we hear platitudes but no details. The carbon t= ax scheme that the Premier signed on to is literally letting big industrial polluters essentially get a free ride. To quote from an October 30 CBC arti= cle, the carbon tax scheme would allow New Brunswick to — and I quote: = 220;… continue releasing most of the greenhouse gases it currently produces at its coal-fi= red generating station in Belledune for free.”= ; But a Yukon family who needs to drive to work in the dead of winter and produce= s a tiny fraction of the emissions that the single dirty coal plant produces wi= ll not get to do this for free. Their cost of living will increase.

Will t= he Premier at least now agree to write to the Prime Minister and tell him that this is= not fair and ask for an exemption for Yukon families from the carbon tax?

Hon. Mr. Silver: As the member opposite compares oranges to apples, we w= ill continue to talk and make things clear for Yukoners. We committed so that t= hese families in the Yukon will be rebated. They will be rebated. They will be rebated.

Question re: Youth support services

Ms. White: According to the government’s website, the office= of Integrated Supports for Yukon Youth — known as ISYY — is made u= p of a team of social workers and support workers to help young people achieve t= heir goals, connect to government services, community resources and offer suppor= t. Staff support vulnerable young people with job searches, weekly workshops a= nd counselling, and once a week, a nurse is on-site to address those health ne= eds. As of today, this office is down to two staff, and we are hearing from youth and service providers in the community that the government is planning to s= hut down ISYY in the next couple of weeks, after the Legislative Assembly is do= ne for the fall.

Is the= government planning to shut down in the Integrated Supports for Yukon Youth office in = the coming weeks?

Hon. Ms. Frost: What we have learned through the Costanzo report was th= at we needed to focus on supports for youth transitioning out of care.

Wann Road and ISYY are both p= art of our plans to better support youth who are at risk and are transitioning out= of care. We need to ensure that we are meeting the needs of vulnerable youth in the best way we can. ISYY is currently open — the closure will not oc= cur until the comprehensive plan to back up our youth supports is currently in place = and the services are in place. We are committed to ensuring that youth have acc= ess to supports they need during the transition time, whether it would be to Wann Road or other supported initiatives. I can say t= hat we are looking as a result from the Costanzo report to realign a comprehensive plan for youth currently using services that are in place and transitioning= to a new strategy going forward.

Ms. White: Transparency has not been this government’s forte. Let me remind this minister that this is the same office where management showed up and closed the office fo= r a number of days under the false pretence of plumbing and heating problems in= the midst of last spring’s Family and Children’s Services crisis. G= iven this government’s habit of removing those who speak up, I want to be clear that the information that we are receiving is coming from community members. They are concerned that young people are being shut off from servi= ces critical to their lives, and these are the very same young people leaving t= he care of this government with no place to go.

What p= rogram evaluation or assessment has this government completed to decide on such a drastic step, and where will these services that youth depend on be offered= if ISYY closes its doors?

Hon. Ms. Frost: For the record, the children who are directly supported by the independent supported services out of Health and Social Services are assign= ed a case manager. Every child is supported through a transition plan during the= ir time in care or whether we transition them into a community-based program in their community — so through the extended care program or through a foster care program — so we are currently ensuring that every youth h= as access to supports that they need during this time.

We are= working on a plan to support youth and we are looking at ensuring that every youth = is provided the service they need as we transition and look at closing ISYY in= the future. We will do that once we have a comprehensive plan in place, and tha= t is a result of the comprehensive report that we shared with Yukoners. In an ef= fort to be transparent, we are looking at the Wann R= oad project and the ISYY project, and we are committed to ensuring that youth h= ave access to the supports they need. Our government is taking a different appr= oach to providing services to youth and we want the youth to have a voice and participate in shaping their future and the future of ISYY. We will be enga= ging with youth who are currently in the program to ensure that they are support= ed as we evolve.

Ms. White: Mr. Speaker, I’m not sure that youth in Yukon would say that they feel supported by this government. We would like this minister to share the report of assessm= ent that says that this service is no longer needed.

In the= last two months, this government has turned down a review of social assistance rates= and has turned down a review of medical travel rates. The reason is that we hav= e a $2‑million Health and Social Services review that is going to look at= all programs and come up with recommendations. Yet, when it comes to ISYY and t= he youth and young adults in our community in the care of this government, it looks like the government is shutting the door on them. Without a plan to provide further support, what kind of double standard is this?

When w= ill this government come clean and explain to the youth and young people of Yukon why their services are being cut? Why is there this double standard?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am happy to say that we are committed to our youth; we are committed to the youth that we provide supports to and we are committed to ensuring that the youth themselves are part of the process.

We are= working with our partners — our First Nation partners — to ensure that = the right services for youth are in place going forward. We have committed to t= hat and we will continue to advocate for that.

Our go= vernment has taken a different approach to providing services to youth. We want yout= h to have a voice. We want them to be a part of the process. They have historica= lly not been part of a process that best aligned with their service needs. We a= re working on a number of youth-related initiatives across the department, and= we will see what this opportunity brings forward — brings together a comprehensive plan — to better understand how ISYY fits into the continuum of services. Keep in mind that ISYY was put in place as a tempora= ry opportunity for supporting youth. That temporary initiative and program was designed to be just that. Now we are looking at what to do with it now that= the funding and the program was to conclude last year. We have extended it anot= her year and we are tying it into the plan that better aligns with the service needs of the children that we have in care, noting that we have reduced the number of children in care from over 300 down to less than 20 children that= we have in our group homes.

Question re: Radon testing

Ms. McLeod: Yesterday we asked the Minister of Health and Social Services if she would provide ra= don testing kits to residents living in Whitehorse Copper, Pine Ridge, Wolf Cre= ek, Spruce Hill and Cowley Creek. For the minister’s reference, these are all subdivisions in Whitehorse. In di= rect response to this question, the minister point-blank said: “We do offer free radon testing and we continue to do that.”

We cal= led Yukon Housing Corporation this morning and guess what: They do not offer free rad= on testing kits for Whitehorse. Not only was the minister incorrect, but it was actually a falsehood, to be quite frank. Will the minister correct the reco= rd and apologize?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am acknowledging that we currently have found pressures with= radon within our city and within Yukon. The Yukon Housing Corporation has worked = very diligently with our partners to address radon. We have taken steps necessary with our own units to address the pressures that we are seeing with the numbers.

I am h= appy to say that the Yukon Housing Corporation and Health and Social Services are partnered with the Yukon Lung Association to participate in the national “Take Action on Radon” campaign, which we are beginning this we= ek. It is something that has been in the works. It has never happened historica= lly. What has happened historically is that the focus has been on ensuring that = the radon testing out of the Yukon Housing Corporation was diverted to the Ener= gy Solutions Centre to provide support. We are expanding those services, and we will continue to do that and ensure that the units that we have within our housing stocks with the Yukon Housing Corporation — be it social hous= ing, seniors housing or our staff housing — are mitigated. We will work wi= th Yukoners as they have access to the radon kits and as they are identified w= ith respect to where they can access those kits.

Question re: Medical travel

Mr. Hassard: On Friday at the Liberal Party fundraising dinner, the Premier gave a speech w= here he said that his government has agreed on increased funding for medical tra= vel. This morning on CBC Radio, we heard the Minister of Health and Social Servi= ces say that the government is not considering increasing the money for the med= ical travel program.

Can th= e Premier tell us if we should believe what he told people at his fundraising dinner = on Friday, or should we believe what the Minister of Health and Social Services told the media yesterday?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I thank the member opposite for the question.

As we = have stated many times in the Legislative Assembly, we are assessing and looking= at a comprehensive health review, and part of that process is to look at the c= ost drivers. We know that for every dollar spent, we spend $3 on health. The continued drivers in the government are predominantly in Health and Social Services, so the objective is really to start looking at what those cost drivers are, ensuring that we better align services and still contain the growth within government. That means that we need to take a comprehensive assessment and look at all of the key cost drivers and areas for improvemen= t, and we do that in coordination with our supports.

We are= trying to address medical travel pressures by bringing services closer to home. We ha= ve done that with our orthopedic surgeon and our pediatrician. We will continu= e to work at addressing that.

As I n= oted earlier, we are putting some more resources into trying to reduce the wait-= list for the cataract surgeries. Thanks to the Yukon Hospital Corporation and Yukoners and Health and Social Services for coming away with a solid plan t= hat will address that. Those are the recommendations that we received from Yuko= ners and the Hospital Corporation, and we will continue to address the pressures= .

Mr. Hassard: I was talking about medical travel, but anyway — to quote from the Premier’s speech: “This fall, we agreed on increased funding for medical travel.” The Premier was more than happy to tell people at his fundraiser that his government agreed to increase funding for medical travel this fall.

Can th= e Premier tell us by how much his government is increasing medical travel?

Hon. Ms. Frost: What we have done is we have incorporated more resources into = our budget to address medical travel. We have taken an additional $200,000 to provide supports to our medical travel. We are also looking at medical trav= el as part of the comprehensive review, and we will address medical travel pressures by bringing services closer to home. We will look at ramping up o= ur remote care and using telehealth as an opportunity to do that by bringing t= he services to remote Yukoners.

With r= espect to medical travel, that will find its way into the comprehensive review as we = look at the key cost drivers and we start looking for improvements. We are happy= to say that it will very much be provided as part of the strategic advice and = the direction that we receive. We want to ensure effective implementation.

Once w= e receive the report back by October, the analysis and recommendations will provide s= ome meaningful considerations. I am happy to say that medical travel is one of those issues that are on the table for discussion.

Mr. Hassard: I am not sure if the minister wasn’t there or if she just didn’t listen to the Premier when he made his speech. In that speech that he deliv= ered on Friday, he said that his government agreed this fall to increase funding= for medical travel.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, again, can the Premier tell us when the increased funding for medical travel that he announced on Friday will come into effect?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Thank you to the Minister responsible for Health and Social Se= rvices for updating the Legislative Assembly on all of the good work that she and = her department are doing.

We had= a great event this weekend. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about better financial oversight for the Yukon territorial government. We talked about better relationships with First Nation governments. We talked about a better relationship with Ottawa. I remember when the Yukon Party was in the govern= ment and the Prime Minister of the time showed up, but I guess his polls weren’t so good, so they just left him at the airport.

We tal= ked about a whole-government approach. We talked about the economy, which is something that I don’t hear a lot about from the Yukon Party. The economy is booming. We have the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. We are talking abo= ut a government that is working on a more open and transparent basis. It was a g= reat speech. If the member opposite wants to join us next year, he can sit at my table.

Question re: Carbon tax

Ms. Van Bibber: Can the Premier tell us if a Yukon business that pays $14,000 = extra as a result of the Liberal carbon tax scheme will get all $14,000 back?

Hon. Mr. Silver: We have talked about the low carbon stakeholder committee work= ing with businesses. We have talked about the rebates that are going back to the individual homes as well. We have some more details to work out. We want to thank the people who have been on the low carbon stakeholder committee, including the Klondike Placer Miners Association, the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon, the Yukon Agricultural Association, Yukon Chamber of Commerce, Yukon Conservation Society, Yukon Contractors Association, the Yu= kon First Nation Chamber of Commerce and the Yukon Wood Products Association. <= /span>

As mem= bers opposite know, there are still some details left to be figured out. In this Legislative Assembly we have talked about the rebates to the placer industr= y. We have talked about the rebates going back and the exemptions from the fed= eral government. Members opposite know that there are still some details to work out. Whenever they do get figured out, I will be the first one to be happy = to share that information with Yukoners.

Ms. Van Bibber: On November 15, the Premier said — and I quote: “&= #8230; we have had the majority of the actual rebates and the exemptions all figured = out and negotiated.”

Given = that the Premier claims that the rebates are “all figured out”, can he t= ell us if municipalities will receive their rebates up front or will they have = to wait until the end of the year? If the Premier can’t or won’t explain that, can he tell us if he is telling the truth when he said that t= he majority of the rebates were all figured out?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I will leave out the part where the member opposite is asking whether or not I am being truthful in the Legislative Assembly. What I will= say is that we are committed to ensuring that all carbon revenues that we recei= ve from Canada are returned to Yukon through rebates and that Yukon industries= are not disadvantaged when compared to industries in other jurisdictions.

We hav= e been over this as well. I think that Yukoners know the contents of the rebates a= nd the exemptions that have been figured out so far. The other details are com= ing. It’s an interesting approach from the Yukon Party to ask so many questions over and over again about the same issue, but we will continue to= say that Yukoners will receive favourable rebates that will make up more than 1= 00 percent that is collected from those individuals, governments and businesse= s, as the Yukon government will be rebating its significant shares to Yukoners= as well.

Ms. Van Bibber: I still didn’t hear an answer.

The Pr= emier told us that 90 percent of the details are known, but he can’t tell us how= the rebates will work. The Premier told us that the majority of the rebates are figured out, but he can’t tell us if a business that pays $14,000 ext= ra as a result of the carbon tax will get $14,000 back. The Premier told us th= at the lion’s share of the information has been shared, but he can’= ;t tell us how municipalities will get their rebates back. But it has been long enough — can he now tell Yukoners how the carbon tax rebate scheme is going to work?

Hon. Mr. Silver: We have been over this in the Legislative Assembly. Again, whe= n new information comes out, we will definitely be sharing it with the members opposite.

I will= again thank Yukoners for their patience. Yukoners know that as the time limits are coming due, we have actively allowed for our carbon-pricing mechanism not to start until six months after the rest of the nation — as far as the backstop goes. Yukoners have been telling me that they appreciate this as w= ell, because it’s not the details that we have to have; it’s the det= ails from the federal government that we’re still waiting on as far as som= e of these mechanisms.

WeR= 17;ve been very up front and very clear with the rebates to date. We’ve been very clear with the placer miners. We’ve been very clear and up front with aviation. We are also clear to the First Nation governments and municipal governments that are going to be receiving rebates as well. We’ve been very clear about the fact that we are not keeping any of the revenues and t= hat all of these revenues are being returned to Yukoners.

Question re: Affordable housing

Ms. White: Last week the government announced funding for housing initiatives that would see 120 new units built over the next 18 months, yet over the watch of this government, the wait-list for social and seniors housing throughout Yukon h= as gone from 105 in 2016 to about 283 today. That’s an increase of nearly 180 applicants. The government’s housing announcement doesn’t e= ven make up for the increase to the Yukon Housing wait-list over these last two years.

What i= s this government’s plan for the hundreds of people in need of affordable housing who will not benefit from this latest announcement?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I’m very happy to say that we are effectively implementi= ng aspects of the housing action plan. We are taking some key initiatives forw= ard through our housing initiative and our partnership built projects. As noted previously, we have put on for allocation to Yukon First Nations, our partn= ers through our municipalities, through our building industry, a collaborative approach to building and addressing the housing shortages in Yukon. =

With t= he $3.6 million, we were able to secure $26 million in project funding that will come online. We will see that initiative come forward again in January, and we w= ill continue to address the challenges that are before us, recognizing that the= re are barriers and that there is no going away from that.

We kno= w that we have pressures on affordable housing, low-income housing. We also have pressures with access — to better aligning services for individuals w= ho are transferring over to Whitehorse from other jurisdictions. We have a boo= ming economy, and we’re seeing pressures. We’re doing the best that = we can to address the pressures — but recognizing that housing and housi= ng shortages are not the responsibility of the Government of Yukon alone. We a= re working with our partners to ensure that we have a commitment and that we h= ave supports to address the pressures.

Ms. White: I disagree with the minister and say that she is indeed responsible for those= on the Yukon Housing Corporation wait-list.

As of = April 2018, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is close to $1,100 a mont= h. In the announcement of this new housing unit, the government stated that the new units that will be built will be available at or below median rent for = the next 20 years. This is certainly an improvement over past government subsid= ies that only required 10 years of affordability — if at all.

But fo= r this provision to be worth the paper that it’s written on, the government = must monitor and enforce these requirements. To put it simply: A tenant moving i= nto one of these units 10 or 15 years down the road can’t be expected to = know that their landlord isn’t allowed to charge more than the median rent= . Mr. Speaker, how exactly will this government set, monitor and enforce the requirement to maintain the rent at or below median rent? What happens if a building is so= ld and a new owner takes over?

Hon. Ms. Frost: We are working with the Public Service Commission when we look= at the policies as they associate with staff housing and social housing. We are working with the Housing Corporation as we advance our policies around appropriate services and supports to Yukoners. We recognize that the wait-l= ist has grown and we appreciate that the pressures are there. We are working to understand why the numbers have increased. We are reaching out to the clien= ts.

We hav= e put more resources into the budget this year to ensure that we have increased our re= nt supplement program by $200,000 to ensure that eligible Yukoners have access= to appropriate housing. We are adding more units to our housing stocks. We will continue to do that. We just opened up four units in Carmacks. We opened up more units in Dawson City. We will continue to work with our municipalities= and our partners.

Also, = as noted, we are expecting to increase — over the next 18 months — the nu= mber of homes and units available to Yukoners. I am happy to say that this is be= ing done in partnership with industry, with the private sector, with our First Nation partners and with the municipalities. I look forward to continued efforts as we look at reducing the wait times and the housing pressures.

Ms. White: Mr. Speaker, from the minister’s answer, it sounds like they have no plan for the hundreds of people who will not benefit from this housing announcement, and they don’t have a plan to make sure that the requirements for affordability are upheld over the 20 years that they have asked for. What’s worse, Mr. Speaker — even at a median rent, these n= ew units will remain out of reach for many Yukoners.

So let= me repeat this: Median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Whitehorse is nearly $1,100 before utilities are factored in. Anyone earning minimum wage at $11.51 an = hour can’t afford this — even less so if they have children. We have= a housing crisis and hundreds of people on the Yukon Housing Corporation wait-list for this very reason. Rent is just too high. Adding more units at= the current median rent just isn’t enough.

How wi= ll this government’s announcement of new units at the median rent help those = who can’t afford the median rent today?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Again, Mr. Speaker, the good news for Yukoners is that we= are, as the Liberal government, taking action to address with our partners the housing pressures across the territory. We will continue to do that and take the good advice from our partners as well as work with our partners to addr= ess the pressures. The emphasis is really on rural Yukon communities and ensuri= ng that we provide the supports there. Recognizing that we have an aging population as well, we will ensure that we provide supports there. <= /p>

Recogn= izing also that, historically, we have not put any resources into the self-governing Y= ukon First Nations’ housing pressure needs — the whole historical co= sts associated — that has never been addressed.

So whe= n we speak about the whole collective process of Yukon and opening up this discussion around accessibility, access and affordability, we will take into considera= tion all of those issues that come to us in collaboration with our partners.

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

Notice of government private members’ business

Hon. M= s. McPhee: In order to provide the H= ouse with more time to deal with government bills, the government private members have not identified any motions standing in their names to be called on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.

 

Speaker: We will now proceed to Orders of the Day. <= /p>

Orders of the Day

Government Bills

Bill No. 20: Societies Act R= 12; Third Reading

Clerk:̳= 5;Third reading, Bill No.&n= bsp;20, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. Streicker.

Hon. M= r. Streicker: I move that Bill No. 20, entitled Societies Act, be now read a third time and do now pass. <= /o:p>

Speaker:= 195;It has been moved by the = Minister of Community Services that Bill No. 20, entitled Societies Act, be now read a third time and do now pass. <= /o:p>

 

Hon. M= r. Streicker: Bill No. 20, the Societies Act, is an act that mode= rnizes the legislation and strives to balance the rights and interests of all stakeholders — including individual societies as legal entities, the people who benefit from the societies’ activities and the people who support societies through donations and sometimes as taxpayers — in trying to provide clarity for all.

Societies are legal entities able to m= ake contracts, perform various functions, hire and fire and sue and be sued. Directors take on responsibility for the activities of societies and, in so= me cases, are personally responsible and liable for the actions of these societies. The qualifications of directors in section 47(1) of the bill are there to ensure that anyone who is entrusted with this responsibility can be held legally responsible for the decisions they are required to make. Somet= imes this means that they as individuals must be able to sue and be sued. This is generally not the case for minors and for those who don’t have the capacity.

I would like to acknowledge that the M= ember for Takhini-Kopper King, through her questions that she raised during Commi= ttee of the Whole, led to a conversation with the Yukon Human Rights Commission.= I had a great conversation with them. They have identified an area to improve= not only this act but also our Business Corporations Act.

We hav= e agreed to work together so that we can ensure that the way in which directors are decided upon — whether there is the capacity to identify those people= to be directors — is done in such a way as to ensure that there is the greatest inclusion possible.

An exa= mple of the liability that may be incurred is found in the Employment Standards Act, which sets out th= at directors are personally liable for unpaid employee wages. Our liste= d qualifications for directors are similar to those for societies created under similar legislation in Canada, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and, as I ha= ve already mentioned, the Yukon’s Business Corporations Act. I look forward to having a conversation with the Human Rights Commission about ensuring that our act, going forward, will be as inclusive as possible.

The dr= aft Societies Act is consistent with t= he Business Corporations Act, which a= lso requires individuals to be of the age of majority before they can be a dire= ctor of a corporation. Just as many people other than pilots contribute to the proper functioning of an airplane, many people other than directors —= for example, members or employees — contribute to the proper functioning = of societies.

The dr= aft legislation does not prevent societies from seeking advice or forming advis= ory panels from individuals with unique or lived experience.

I woul= d like to thank all members of this Legislature for their input on the Societies Act. We look forward to drafting regulations over the next year, and I look forward to having a Societies Act that, albeit longer,= will provide more clarity and more certainty for our societies so that we can support them in the work that they do to contribute to our territory.

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Ms. Van Bibber:<= /span> I will just rise and speak briefly to the Societies Act. The changes to the = Societies Act are overall very goo= d and necessary to modernize and update the structure for the many societies that= we have in the Yukon. The act certainly provides and answers many of the quest= ions that were posed by the various groups and organizations that have to naviga= te the system to register and maintain their society in good standing.<= /p>

Many p= eople have been involved in the many groups throughout the years. We have all heard the stories of the burden of the paperwork and registering that must be done. I appreciate the people who took the time, who contributed their thoughts to = the survey and also the staff for all their hard work in ensuring those thought= s were pondered and implemented.

There = are items addressing issues such as the passing and changing of the bylaws and the is= sue of joining two societies without having to dissolve and then re-register and also bringing the ability to incorporate the use of electronics in this day= and age when everyone is connected in one way or the other. It will decrease the paperwork and allow societies to make use of digital and electronic forms of communication as well as allow participation in having meetings electronica= lly. I would say that is progress.

The new guidelines for conflict of interest were interesting as well. It always surprises me when people don’t seem to understand what conflict of interest is, but this will assist directors and managers with guidelines an= d hopefully avoid those conflicts.

We wil= l be voting in favour of this act as it is presented and wish all the current and future societies and organizations well in their continued good work throug= hout the Yukon. We hope that this, in fact, reduces the time spent in a governme= nt registrar’s office. As time goes on, once the regulations are done, we will know if it is indeed simpler and more streamlined, as promised.=

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Ms. White: Today in speaking to the Societies Act, I would like to thank the government officials who ran through the proposed legislation initially. I would especially like to thank the Human Rights Commission and the Yukon Association for Community Living. When I was tryin= g to understand section 47 the minister mentioned, I reached out to both organiz= ations, trying to understand if it would limit the participation of people with intellectual disabilities. At that point in time, it was a bit of a surpris= e to anyone, because it had not been read in that fashion. I appreciate what the minister says, that there will be changes to strengthen legislation in the coming months and to make sure that we allow people with intellectual disabilities to fully participate in society. I thank the minister for those conversations and that assurance. I thank both the Yukon Association for Community Living and the Human Rights Commission for responding and trying = to help me figure it out, because it was on the fly.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, as you know, I don’t have a law background and I was trying to unders= tand by connecting the different acts. I do appreciate that the minister has gone back to his officials and that there is that assurance of undertaking. Thank you very much to the minister for that and, of course, to his officials. We look forward to seeing those changes that will strengthen the ability for people with intellectual disabilities to fully participate in society.

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

Does a= ny other member wish to be heard on third reading of Bill No. 20?

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Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I would like to thank my colleagues — all colleagues = 212; in this Assembly. I appreciate all of their thoughtful comments. I will just respond a little bit to some of them. First of all, I completely agree that= we would love to see progress on digital and electronic engagement, but also in how the registry itself is eventually housed. I think that will allow Yukon= ers more access, and I agree that the overall goal here is to reduce red tape. I too will be looking to see that we accomplish that, and if not, providing resources and support in order to ensure that. That is definitely one of the goals overall.

As wel= l, thanks to the member of the Third Party for acknowledging the Human Rights Commiss= ion, the Yukon Association for Community Living and also People First — I think it’s worth mentioning, which is another group that we had a conversation with about how to work to as be inclusive of all people as possible, regardless of disabilities. I look forward to the work and I look forward to the vote today.

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Speaker: Are= you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker: Div= ision has been called.

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Bells

 

Speaker: Mr.=  Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Mr. Silver: Agree.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Dendys: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Agree.

Mr. Gallina: Agree.

Mr. Adel: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Agree.

Mr. Hutton: Agree.

Mr. Hassard: Agree.

Mr. Kent: Agree.

Ms. Van Bibber: Agree.

Mr. Cathers: Agree.

Ms. McLeod: Agree.

Ms. Hanson: Agree.

Ms. White: Agree.

Clerk: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, the results are 17 yea, nil nay.

Speaker: The= yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 20 agr= eed to

 

Speaker: I d= eclare that Bill No. 20 has passed this House.

Bill No. 26: Technical Amendments A= ct (No. 2), 2018 — Third Reading

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 26, standing in the name of the Hon. Ms. M= cPhee.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that Bill No. 26, entitled Technical Amendments Act (No. 2), 2018, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 26, entitled Technical Amendments Act (No. 2), 2018= , be now read a third time and do pass.

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Hon. Ms. McPhee: Today I move that the = Technical Amendments Act (No. 2), 2018, proceed at third reading and be read a th= ird time.

I want= to give my thanks to the members of this House for their input, consideration and comments on this bill. Mr. Speaker, I have just a few notes before this bill goes to a final vote. I have mentioned in this House before that, as Minister responsible for the Department of Justice and the government’= ;s Attorney General, I am responsible for ensuring that the legislation that governs Yukoners achieves all standards for equity, fairness and respect for the rule of law.

Part o= f that role entails ensuring that, when needed, we fix specific issues, errors and omissions in legislation. This is something that we encourage all departmen= ts to bring forward when needed. I would like to thank the members of the opposition for their questions and input during debate on this bill.

As mem= bers of the House know, this bill amends two acts and is quite straightforward. The first amendment is to the Human Rig= hts Act. This amendment will add a provision to section 22 that will allow a member of the human rights panel of adjudicators whose term is set to expir= e to remain as a member of the panel to continue to hear a matter that is before= it until a decision has been delivered. This amendment will ensure the smooth operation of the board of adjudication regardless of whether or not an individual’s term is set to expire during the hearing of a matter. I think we can all agree that ensuring the unfettered operation of the board = of adjudication is vital, and this provision will ensure just that.

The se= cond amendment is to the Territorial Cou= rt Act. This amendment will remove an outdated retirement-related provision of the = act that only applied to judges who were appointed prior to the coming into for= ce of that act. As there are no remaining sitting judges who were appointed pr= ior to the coming into force of the act, this provision is moot and can now be repealed. This amendment will also ensure that the age of retirement provis= ions apply to all current and future Territorial Court Judges and that the retirement age of 70 applies to all current and future Territorial Court Judges. This may seem a very small issue, but in fact, there is another sec= tion of the Territorial Court Act th= at could be construed to cause confusion, so the repeal of this section will c= lear that up.

I won&= #8217;t be taking a lot of time here. We have had the opportunity to debate this matte= r in full. I think we can all agree that these amendments are quite straightforw= ard, and I will wrap up by once again thanking all those who worked on this particular bill, the drafters and those bringing forward these matters to t= he Department of Justice, and also I would like to thank the members of this H= ouse for their support of this bill.

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Mr. Cathers: We’ve heard that speech before. We agreed the first time that we heard the speech, the second time, and we still agree the third time, so we’ll be supporting this legislation.

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Ms. Hanson: I just rise to reaffirm that the Yukon New Democratic Party caucus will suppo= rt the Technical Amendments Act (No. 2= ), 2018, as outlined by the minister.

The minister’s opening comments raised some curiosity within me — a= nd the Yukon NDP will remain curious as to how the Minister of Justice will act with respect to ensuring equity fairness and rule of law in light of the rejection or the defeat yesterday by the Yukon Liberal government of Bill No. 19, a bill designed to provide equity and fairness to the Yukon electorate.

That b= eing said, we will support this bill.

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Speaker: Are= you prepared for the question?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker: Div= ision has been called.

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Bells

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Speaker: Mr. Clerk, please poll the House.

Hon. Mr. Silver: Agree.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Dendys: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Agree.

Mr. Gallina: Agree.

Mr. Adel: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Agree.

Mr. Hutton: Agree.

Mr. Hassard: Agree.

Mr. Kent: Agree.

Ms. Van Bibber: Agree.

Mr. Cathers: Agree.

Ms. McLeod: Agree.

Mr. Istchenko: Agree.

Ms. Hanson: Agree.

Ms. White: Agree.

Clerk: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, the results are 18 yea, nil nay.

Speaker: The= yeas have it. I declare the motion carried.

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 26 agr= eed to

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Speaker: I d= eclare that Bill No. 26 has passed this House.

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Hon. Ms. McPhee: Mr. Speaker, I move that the Speaker do now leave the Cha= ir and that the House resolve into Committee of the Whole.

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

Motion agreed to

 

Speaker leaves the Chair

Committee of the Whole

Chair (Mr. Hutton): Committee of the Whole will now come to order.

The ma= tter before the Committee is Vote 52, Department of Environment, in Bill No.&nbs= p;207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19.

Do mem= bers wish to take a brief recess?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: Commi= ttee of the Whole will recess for 15 minutes.

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Recess

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Chair: Committee of the Whole will now come to order.

Bill No. 207: Second Appropriation Act, 2018̴= 9;19 — continued

Chair: The m= atter before the Committee is Vote 52, Department of Environment, in Bill No.&nbs= p;207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, = 2018‑19.

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Department of Environment — continued

Chair:<= /b>Is there any further general debate?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am not sure if the members opposite have any further questions with respect= to the supplementary estimates for Environment, but I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back Deputy Minister Ed van Ran= den — thank you.

Ms. White: I believe the last question I asked the minister before we adjourned the last time was about the wild boar issue. The question that I asked was: How much time had been spent on trying to capture those boars? I believe the minister said it was all in the line of duty for conversation officers, but I am sure that it could probably be broken down and there has been a little bit of ti= me. Can the minister tell me how many person hours were required while dealing = with the wild boar issue?

Hon. Ms. Frost: My understanding is that the very specific numbers associated with how long and how many hours were allocated to this would be very difficult to track beca= use there were a number of conservation officers and staff who were directly involved, off and on, along with their other duties. Recognizing the significant effort to track down the boars and the environmental risks associated, there was a lot of emphasis around capturing and destroying the escaped boars.

Review= ing specific details was not something I understand was readily available or ea= sily accessible, but we can provide some context if necessary, but that will take some time.

Ms. White: I will ask the minister just to make that information available in the future= .

The re= ason why I ask is that I believe that the fine per animal was $400. I’m wondering how fines are set up in that way. We know that there were probably a number= of hours per conservation officer spent trying to look for the boars. There was the risk of environmental damage. There was the risk of what would happen if they bred with other Yukon animals. There are all sorts of risks associated with it. How is the fine of $400 per animal decided upon?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to just acknowledge that the animal contro= l and protection laws and regulations obviously need a bit of upgrading and modernizing. We = know the numbers associated with fines are, in this instance — as we have discussed and Yukoners are discussing as well — sometimes insufficient and perhaps inadequate in terms of the amount of hours and time spent. In t= his particular case, the fines associated with the wild boars escaping is under= the Pounds Act under EMR, but we are working in collaboration with Energy, Mines and Resources when we speak with the farmers and the industry to better align supports and services to ensure that we don’t end up in this situation in the future.

We are= looking at reviewing our animal protection and control legislation and ensuring also that we mitigate the risks associated with having animals like wild boars in the Yukon and ensuring that we have rapid response when situations like this evolve so that we don’t end up spending multiple person hours in tryi= ng to capture the animals that escape. It is something that we are working with EMR on and we will address in the future.

Ms. White: I do appreciate that answer.

The re= ason why I am going to focus on fine amounts for the next little while is that it seem= s to me that if a fine is supposed to be a deterrent, it needs to be of a great enough value to actually be a deterrent. I know that the Yukon Agricultural Association has talked about how each boar, had it gone to market, would ha= ve been this much, but that is to the farmer who had the pen where the boars g= ot out; it’s not to the cost of the environment.

In a n= ews article from September 2018 from CBC, it says: “Celebrity gold miner = pays $3,500 penalty for killing black bear.”

The concern I have with this is that there was a fine for killing one black bea= r, but it turns out that this miner had killed four black bears without report= ing it and that there had been a conversation between conservation and that min= er to say that if there is a bear problem, you need to let us know; if you kil= l a bear, you need to let us know — and it did not happen. If the fine is supposed to be a deterrent, how, for example, is the cost of this fine calculated?

In thi= s CBC article, it says that four black bears were killed in a mining camp — “… a plea deal clears the air for next season…” — and that means for mining next season. It talks about how a patroll= ing conservation officer stopped at the camp and asked if there had been any is= sues with bears over the summer. The miner said no. The officer asked again if a= ny had been killed. The miner said no. Then it says that the Carmacks conserva= tion branch found out about the killings after it received a report about a numb= er of bears being killed at the camp.

I want= to know how the department set on the $3,500 fine.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am just seeking clarification on how the implementation of t= he Wildlife Act is administered in the Yukon and how fines are then determined. My understanding is that the fines associated with killing any animal once it proceeds to the court process — the courts will then administer a range and then determine the set = of fines based on the submissions by the conservation officers. They will base their decision on the evidence presented, and that is determined by the Wildlife Act.

At thi= s moment, I do not know specifically. I do not have the Wildlife Act in front of me, so I am not able to respond.

I do w= ant to say that I understand and appreciate that the fines as we see them tend to fluctuate, and we recognize that we do need to look at the regulations and = look at controlled protection regulations — modernizing and updating. That= is really what we have heard — the concerns that have been brought forwa= rd. For the amount of time spent chasing down the wild boars or investigating a situation associated with a fine, sometime the disparity is there. <= /p>

The po= int is very well taken. We will certainly ensure that we have those discussions as= we have discussions with the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board — = as we go ahead and look at our consultation and engagement — in the futu= re as we review our animal protection and control regulations and then we look= at potential regulation amendments for the Wildlife Act at some point in the future.

Ms. White: The reason why I’m bringing attention to this is because this is a miner = who is featured on a reality TV show. They were facing three charges, each under the Yukon Wildlife Act: allowin= g a bear to become a nuisance, killing a bear without permission and failing to report it and then allowing the pelt to go to waste. According to the act, = each offence carried a fine of up to $100,000 or up to two years in jail, or bot= h.

I just= want to draw attention to it. This person is fairly high profile.

Then w= e have an example of a Norwegian blogger who was fined $1,000 for hunting ptarmigan o= ut of season. Same thing — they had seen a conservation officer, the conservation officer had said that it was out of season and then the blogger goes on to say that they were just there, that it was just that time and th= at they were hungry and it was lunch. There was a picture on their blog of the= m in the Yukon living off the land with the out-of-season ptarmigan. That was $1,000.

I appr= eciate what the minister said about how we may need to look into it. It is just to highlight again, especially in this day and age when we have social media a= nd you see the ridiculousness of, I guess, keeping up with the Joneses, as far= as photos go. I guess my concern is that if the fines aren’t incentive enough not to break the laws, especially wildlife laws in the Yukon —= and the reason I say this is because I truly believe that wildlife is valuable. Whether it is for wildlife viewing or whether it’s just for the fact = of knowing it’s there, I believe it’s valuable. I do look forward = to the time when we talk about possible changes of the fines in the future, so= I just wanted to draw attention to that.

We hav= e talked previously about British Columbia banning the grizzly trophy hunt, and I had questions about whether or not we were going to see an increase of grizzly trophy hunting in the territory. I have asked about whether or not the department has accurate harvest data. The reason I asked about accurate dat= a is that the department has gone from paper records to online records, so I just want to know if we have seen an increase in grizzly trophy hunting since th= e BC ban.

Hon. Ms. Frost: The accurate numbers, or the numbers for this year’s har= vest, will not come out until we get the harvest trend report in the spring.

With r= espect to monitoring that over time, historically I can say that we are looking at releasing the harvest trend report that goes back 25 years, and we are work= ing on getting that out within the next couple of weeks. The department is work= ing really hard to pull that all together. That will really just look at trends over time, and the information contained in that is the information that we collect every year, and so it will bring us up to last year — not this year — and then go forward from there.

As we = move forward every spring, the numbers come out and they are captured, I believe= , in the hunter guide book. Last year’s numbers will be in that book, so we can pull that out and certainly get the numbers for the member opposite.

Of cou= rse, as we go ahead and look at the grizzly bear management plan and the consultation = with all Yukoners, I want to ensure that it’s really a conservation plan t= hat looks at effective management. I know that some major concerns and issues h= ave come forward — that grizzly bears are an important species in Yukon a= nd nationally, and they really have been identified as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada = 212; and partnering with the Fish and Wildlife Management Board to look at draft conservation plans. I certainly appreciate and recognize that the pressures= on grizzly bears is something that we want to monitor and track very closely, = and so I respect the question and will look at ensuring that the numbers for th= is year are reported accordingly.

Ms. White: One of the things that I think is critically important, especially when the government talks about how they are a government that does evidence-based decision-making, is that within the Department of Environment, there is an expectation, for example, that there are species biologists. That’s n= ot just a generalist. That’s not someone who is just a biologist by trad= e. That’s someone with very specific skills, especially toward certain species.

Does t= he department currently have species biologists on staff? If they do, what are= the species specialties?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I’m just getting clarification on the numbers. We have a= moose biologist on staff. We have two positions that are out for recruitment: the ungulate biologist and the carnivore biologist. Those are being supported by other staff in the department — the biologists in the department. We = also have a wolf program technician who has a biology background.

Ms. White: For how long have the ungulate and the carnivore biologist positions been vacan= t?

Hon. Ms. Frost: My understanding is that the positions have only been vacant f= or a short period of time. We do have technicians and biologists on staff who provide coverage for the two vacant positions.

Ms. White: So far there is consultation happening with the conservation plan for grizzly bears. I believe there have been a couple of meetings held. I was wondering= if the minister could tell us what the community response has been so far to t= he conservation plan for grizzly bears.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would say that the process that is evolving right now and the direction of the grizzly bear management plan has been more or less driven = or supported by the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, in partnership w= ith the Department of Environment. The comments received, obviously, are of mix= ed views, and so I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to say specifically the type of comments received until the comprehensive report is compiled and submitted back from the Fish and Wildlife Management Board, as they conclude their consultation and engagement process throughout the Yuko= n.

My und= erstanding is that the engagement is to be concluded in December, and then sometime ea= rly in the new year, we will have the final recommendations out of that. To get to that stage, there really was direct involvement with all Yukon First Nations, the Inuvialuit, renewable resources councils and, of course, conservation organizations — comprehensive public discussions to gather perspectives on grizzly bear management. As you can imagine, because of the diversity of the engagement,= you will get multiple comments back. Online public surveys as well are being conducted — so important information with respect to perceptions R= 12; as well as local traditional knowledge and practices of what management of grizzly bears looks like.

It is = really important for us to keep an open mind and allow the engagement to conclude = and, as well, to look at the results from the “what we heard” docume= nt from the Fish and Wildlife Management Board.

Ms. White: There is one issue — well, there are lots of issu= es focused on the draft plan, to be perfectly honest — but one of the th= ings it talks about is the importance of considering habitat. The other thing th= at I think is important is if Yukon is moving toward land use planning, the Department of Environment has a responsibility to be the voice of the environment. Part of that would be being able to make submissions toward pl= ans, and that would be about habitat for animals. Is there currently a habitat section or department within the Department of Environment that is, for example, recognizing the habitat required for the different species in Yuko= n?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Yes to the question. We do have a habitat team that sup= ports the department on habitat and, of course, looks at the input on some of the areas that were identified with respect to land use planning and co-managem= ent.

Ms. White:= 195;In 2014, when the Yukon Water Strategy= and Action Plan was released, we had a lot of questions about how that was going to be implemented — 2014 was a couple of years ago. I want to k= now how the Yukon Water Strategy and Ac= tion Plan is being implemented within the department — whether there a= re enough resources to be able to do the work that was laid out in that plan.<= /span>

Hon. Ms. Frost: The elements of the strategy and the action plan associ= ated with that — I want to just highlight a couple of areas that the department has been focusing on with respect to implementation. One is the groundwater monitoring program. Groundwater scientists have been hired to provide support in implementing that element of the strategy and also in looking at growing the network around that. We are also looking at a Yukon-= wide wetlands strategy that really is focusing in on some specific areas of pres= sure and concern.

We hav= e noted that the Umbrella Final Agreement defines SMAs — special management areas — and wetland strategies. We ha= ve some in north Yukon. The data with respect to the network and the industry = and the technical expertise, when we start making decisions around water sustainability and water strategies, is really to understand current conditions. That is the science behind the assessments of the groundwater monitoring program and the science around that.

We sta= rt looking at — and a large part about dedicating implementation to water and wa= ter management and water strategy and the action plan. I think it really lays o= ut some principles around the values and concerns that have been brought forwa= rd in the territory, specifically from our discussions with some of the high-pressure areas like the Dawson district land use plan process, for an example, where we see significant pressures and around wetlands. We want to ensure that as we look forward to continued implementation, we continue the monitoring program and the protocols around that because that really will define what we do with effective management.

We are= now full-on in the engagement and discussions around the wetlands strategy. The= n, of course, we are going to hone in on the Indian River wetlands plateau with the Dawson District Renewable Resources Council and, of course, the Dawson district land use plan, as it is starting to reinvigorate itself. So really= we are just looking at some of the cultural significance and looking at the invaluable water filtration systems, the climate, the resiliency of specific areas and then look at habitat as it effects and impacts our birds, water a= nd wildlife.

ItR= 17;s a really great question. We will continue to implement the water strategy from 2014 as we evolve and as the department starts to look at some of the key p= riority areas and specific action items identified.

Ms. White: I appreciate that.

I gues= s there have been concerns vocalized in the past and all throughout, including duri= ng the 2016 election campaign. One of the concerns — one of the vulnerabilities within the department was actually the ability to live up to the spirit of the water strategy, keeping in mind, of course, that the water strategy is very hard to measure. It has lots of inspirational statements, = but it doesn’t say how we as a territory are supposed to reach that. For example, we talk about things like water for nature or water for people. It= can go on in that kind of vein, but it doesn’t get into the nuts and bolt= s of it.

I gues= s the question that I am trying to ask is — keeping in mind, of course, that the minister is never at the briefings. Since 2011, a regular thing that I = say at the briefings is that I can’t wait until the Department of Environ= ment has more money — until I feel like they become more equally funded as other departments within the Yukon government to do the work that they have done. When I ask the question about whether those working on implementing a water strategy have what they require, it’s kind of from that, that t= he Department of Environment has a pretty finite budget. It hasn’t really grown a lot in my time here. So for seven years that I have gone through the budgeting process, it hasn’t really gotten bigger.

I just= want to be sure that the people who were doing that really important work — w= hen we talk about water, I mean there’s a reason why it’s chapter 1= 1 of the final agreements where we talk about water for the future, you know, for seven generations. It’s just to highlight that if the minister was ev= er able to pay special attention and think about places where we can strengthe= n or maybe use her leverage to get the department more money for water — I will put a pitch in for water — you will never get an argument from me about that.

There = was a 2018 employee engagement survey, and I wanted to know if the minister has had a chance to go through that and what her thoughts are about the 2018 employee engagement survey for her department.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to say that I’ve looked back in time. IR= 17;ve looked at all of the engagement surveys when I started as the Minister of Environment, really trying to look at where some of the concerns, pressures= and issues were evolving from and starting to work with the management team aro= und what we can do to address some of the concerns that have come forward. Real= ly, I think it’s the employees that provide us their feedback and their i= nput on what they see and what they observe in their workplace. As we know, we s= pend most of our time at work and it’s important that we have a healthy wo= rk environment.

Most c= ertainly I have looked at it and we are working with our department and addressing whatever we can to ensure a better work environment throughout our public service. We work, with every one of our departments, and I’m really h= appy to say that it is my observation that in the Department of Environment R= 12; I go there once a month and I tour through the department, meeting with peo= ple — generally speaking, people are very happy with their work and happy with their work environment. I look forward to continuing that one-on-one dialogue and getting the great feedback from our employees so as to improve= and address efficiencies throughout the department.

Ms. White: Are there any parts of these reports that are of concern to the minister?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would say not specifically. I think as we look at the whole = of the report, we want to look at what we can do to address and ensure efficiencies throughout the department. To hone in on one specific area, I think, is not something that I want to do. I want to look at the whole department and loo= k at what we can do to ensure that all the employees are valued, that their voic= es are heard, that they participate in a respectful work environment, that they feel engaged and that they continue to evolve as a department.

As we = know, we have limited resources within the department. We have a growing pressure on= the department. We have future land use plans to implement.

We hav= e a land use plan that is going to come at us in the next few months that has been l= ong awaited, since 2011 — it had gone off track. We want to start implementing those things. We want to ensure that the department is well si= tuated and well suited to lend itself to the great work that is required of them i= n the future, whether it be the wetland strategy, the implementation of the water strategy, the implementation of the PEEL or co-management on fish and wildl= ife.

There = is a lot of really great work, so evolving into the future is really something I wan= t to focus on and look at modernization and effective implementation with our partners.

Ms. White: Maybe I will just ask the minister for some clarification then, because it talks about the engagement model driver scores. I believe on the sheet WU is the = work unit and that department — I’m just going to look for clarification. Does that mean corporate or does that mean management?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I don’t have the engagement document in front of = me, but the Public Service Commission, in partnership with the management team,= is looking at engagement strategies. We will continue to ensure that we have a representative from the PSC — and representation as we evolve as a government — as departments shift, change and merge into modernizing = and implementing all of the respective legislation that we have before us. I th= ink it is really imperative that we work with that Public Service Commission. <= /span>

I am n= ot going to, on the floor of the Legislature, have a debate on what the numbers say = or how that reflects this. I want to be able to work effectively with the Publ= ic Service Commission and work through the whole of government on what we can = do to ensure efficiencies across the government and then support the public servants as they come to work every day and they participate in managing the resources that they have been entrusted with.

Ms. White: I think that it is actually a relevant question. Part of the reason I think t= hey are relevant is because if we are talking about the state of the employees within the department, there is a big discrepancy between management and st= aff, I would suggest, by sometimes more than 13 percent. For example, I am inspi= red to give my best, so that would be 72 percent from Environment and only 59 percent from the working end. There are entire questions and sections, for example, around my senior leadership — that is one I would suggest th= at the minister take a good look at, because it does not sound like things wit= hin the department are rosy. It actually sounds like, based on what I can look = at here and based on these numbers — I think that this deserves a deeper look. If we want to make sure that departments can do the best work that th= ey can, we need to make sure that they feel supported. The reason why I’m asking about the engagement survey is just to draw attention to making sure that everybody feels that their work is valued.

With t= hat, Mr. Chair, this is a rabbit hole I could fall down for many, many days, but I will give the floor back to my colleague from Kluane. I look forward to having this conversation at greater length in the spring.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Thanks to the Member for Takhini-Kopper King for the feedback = and comments with respect to the employee engagement survey and the results. I = want to just take this moment to acknowledge the staff of Environment for doing = such an exceptional job. I am very pleased with the work that they are doing, an= d I am very pleased with the leadership.

As wel= l, over the course of the last two years, we have come a long way, and we will cont= inue to evolve as a unit and as a team and start looking to the future at many, = many great successes that we have to be grateful for. A lot of really great work= has happened over the course of the year, and I just want to acknowledge the st= aff for doing such an amazing job. With respect to areas of improvement, there = is always room for improvement and we will continue to work with the staff on improving efficiencies within the department.

Mr. Istchenko: I welcome the staff back here today and that is all I will say — keep t= he staff happy. Welcome to the Legislature, again, here today.

I have= a couple questions, and my colleague touched on some of this. I have a few questions about the grizzly bear conservation and management plan. I am looking at it here — I popped it up on the website and it says: “A Conservati= on Plan for Grizzly Bears.” My question for the minister is: In a statem= ent like that, it seems to suggest that we have a problem with grizzly bears — a lack of grizzly bears — and I am just wondering if the mini= ster can comment on that.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I might venture to ask the member opposite — base= d on his experience and based on his input as a minister responsible for grizzly bear management — when this plan kicked off, there were obviously some concerns brought forward that found their way into the need to go into a consultation process. Really, I think it is important to get that feedback = as well in terms of making sure that we capture all of that in the plan so as = not to miss anything.

Histor= ically, there were obviously some concerns that were brought forward and we are sti= ll seeing that today. We have to co-exist with the wildlife as human beings an= d as harvesters, and that will always be there. So what do we do right now with respect to grizzly bear management, being that grizzly bears are a very important species in the Yukon and nationally and that they have been identified as a special concern in finding their way onto the COSEWIC list?= We want to make sure that we partner in developing a conservation plan that wi= ll guide and inform decisions related to grizzly bears in the Yukon. That is really, I think, the fundamental basis for why this happened and why we are having this conversation in the Yukon.

Mr. Istchenko: If you read through it, it says, “Based on current information, grizzly bears in Yukon are likely stable and secure…” — the word there being “likely”.

Can I = ask the minister where the data is to back up a statement like that? What sort of d= ata do we have on grizzly bears within the Yukon Territory?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I can say that on an annual basis, under the game guide= book or the hunter’s guidebook, there is information from the previous year that identifies the grizzly bears harvested — all of the large carniv= ores or animals that have been harvested in the Yukon. We have the harvest trend report that will come out shortly that identifies harvests from 25 years ago and up to current times. Those are all decisions that have been taken into consideration, as well as being relevant and important as we go to our co-management approach with the Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the discussions we have with renewable resources councils — the Inuvialuit and the game councils — looking at local traditional knowledge and practices when we look at the perspectives from a community lens and tie th= at into the overall management plan, because that will obviously impact and af= fect what we do going forward. Data is very much a part of that, and I am sure t= hat as we evolve in this process, we will continue to have concerns brought for= ward — positive or negative — and all of those things need to be considered as we design a grizzly bear plan.

Mr. Istchenko: I do understand and I do know where I can find the harv= est data, but I am looking for grizzly bear data on surveys for grizzly bears. = What sort of information does the Department of Environment have — numbers — in each jurisdiction within the Yukon on grizzly bears? What work h= as been done to date on surveys?

Quite = often, we see a moose survey going out in the Kluane area — actually, there is = one out for tender right now, and I am not very impressed that it says in there that we are going to be counting tracks. I just don’t see how that is going to fit into counting moose, but anyway, I don’t want to get into that. I am asking the minister what evidence or what data do we have on population sizes within the Yukon? When is the last time there was a comprehensive survey done on grizzly bears in the Yukon?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I will just hit on a point that was made with respect to getting more meaningful data. I think that is very much a part of the plan = and part of the engagement, recognizing that we have the harvest trends reports, which are some tools that we use. The online survey response the working gr= oup is working with is input from Yukoners related to grizzly bears.

A summ= ary of that survey will be made available and will find its way into the management plan. Of course, it is very important that we continue to work with our renewable resources councils, First Nations and the Inuvialuit partners, as= well as our outfitters and hunters to get the meaningful data that will help to guide the grizzly bear management plan into the future.

Mr. Istchenko: So there is zero data on population sizes within the Yu= kon Territory. That is what I was asking the minister for. Are there some numbe= rs?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The question with regard to data and surveys — given the= size of the Yukon and the specific game management zones and the areas that we h= ave to manage — it would obviously be very costly for us to do a Yukon-wi= de survey on any large species. To get specific, we have done a survey and mos= t of the surveys are estimates, right? They are not specific to give us actuals.= So when we look at a comprehensive plan and we look at working with the surveys and the numbers we have, it is not something that we are going to do. In the future, given the size and the nature of the work, if we see a pressure are= a, then management measures would kick in and we would then start looking at t= he specific area. My understanding is that we have recently done that in the Southern Lakes for grizzly bears, so that will be available. If there are p= ressure areas as this plan evolves and as we get the results back, then certainly t= hat would be something that would be taken under advisement and consideration.<= /span>

Mr. Istchenko: Within the plan it says: “Management Goals and Recommended Actions

“= ;The vision of this plan can be achieved through meeting the following seven goa= ls; the intent of each is provided below:

“= ;1. Foster a cultural connection to, and increased respect for, grizzly bears.<= /p>

“= ;2. Take care of the land that grizzly bears require.

“= ;3. Minimize human-grizzly bear conflicts.

“= ;4. Ensure grizzly bear harvest is sustainable and respectful.

“= ;5. Foster respectful grizzly bear viewing.

“= ;6. Improve future decision making by acquiring better knowledge about grizzly bears.

“= ;7. Better understand human dimensions of grizzly bear conservation”

Upcomi= ng meetings in some of the different communities — I think the Alsek Renewable Resources Council is holding one. The first thing that is going to come out of the mouths of the people who attend these meetings — they= are going to ask the question: Can I see the data? How many bears do we have around? Before I can make a decision on whether there is enough habitat for= the grizzly bear — they are not going to be able to make a decision on th= is without actually having some data.

I am w= ondering what the minister’s take is on this. It would be the same thing with = the Porcupine caribou herd. If there was zero data on it — and they do a = lot of work on the numbers and the data on the Porcupine caribou herd — i= t is managed very well. I understand all of the partners that manage it; I understand the councils and their role in it; I understand the government, = and I understand everybody’s role in it. But if there is not very much da= ta when it comes to bears, how can you go to communities and have meetings and discussions unless you are going to tell them we want to hear — becau= se they’re going to ask you for some data confirming whether there’s — with that, what I will add is, after reviewing this — and I just went thro= ugh it again; there are quite a few pages, 56 of them in here — very seld= om does it have any conversation within this conservation plan for grizzly bea= rs where — and my colleague the Member for Takhini-Kopper King brought t= his up: We have bear biologists — and ungulate biologists, moose, caribou, sheep — and they all play a role together in there. There is not a lo= t of conversation that is being had on grizzly bear and predator-prey relationsh= ips and stuff like that when you go through that plan.

I̵= 7;m just wondering if there is money budgeted so that we can capture some data and h= ave some actual numbers so that we can — you know, the people who are mak= ing those decisions on those boards and the local hunters and the First Nations= and indigenous people who are commenting on this plan can actually have some so= lid data — I know that we have a lot of science — but some solid da= ta on numbers within Yukon.

Hon. Ms. Frost: So the objective of any management plan is really to set in pl= ace the principles around engagement and the principles around management, and that’s the whole objective here. We have a draft plan that is being c= onducted and we’re doing the consultation. I’m not here to have a discus= sion around the structure. I think we’ve already talked about that a lot, = but I will go back to what I stated earlier.

We do = not have specific numbers for all specific regions of the Yukon. We have estimates b= ased on science and we do have the numbers that were collected for Southern Lake= s. The plan is really the principle and the guiding document that will address= and define key pressure areas and input in the future that will then drive what= we do in specific areas. Pre-empting and determining that we should do a comprehensive data collection and assessment across the Yukon might be putt= ing our resources where it’s not necessary when we have some other pressu= re areas.

As the= Member for Takhini-Kopper King stated earlier, Environment’s budget hasn’t grown in years. We manage within the resources we have, and we want to ensu= re that we provide the necessary supports for some of the priority areas that = come before us and concerns that might come forward with specific areas as we lo= ok at moose, caribou and grizzly bears. As we collect the data and science rev= eals that there are concerns around habitat or concerns around the numbers decli= ning in a specific game management zone, then certainly the department will take some action.

The in= put on the engagement survey will lend itself to getting some of that information with respect to potential numbers and potential concerns that are coming from the communities. It will all find its way into the plan once it’s submitt= ed and will leave that up to the management committee that is out there right = now doing that great work — the public engagement process and the draft management plan.

Once we implement them, then perhaps we will start looking at collecting specific d= ata. Right now it’s just that the department is not equipped to do that wo= rk.

Mr. Istchenko: Does the minister believe that there should be focus on predator-prey relationsh= ips — the grizzly bear, its environment and the environment it lives in w= ith other animals? Does she believe that would be key in the management of grizzly bears?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I think everything needs to be considered when we talk about co-management, when we talk about discussions on specific areas, be it huma= n conflict or predator relationships. I think those are all things that are considered when we look at the science and the local traditional knowledge around co-management of a specific area and a specific pressure area.

Mr. Istchenko: I want to switch gears here a little bit. I want to tal= k a little bit about the wetlands policy. Can the minister give me a little bit= of an update on when we will see that wetlands policy done?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With respect to the wetlands policy, the Government of = Yukon formed a roundtable with Yukon First Nations, the Inuvialuit, municipal governments, industry and organizations to develop a wetlands policy. The Yukon-wide policy is really not aimed at resolving current challenges with specific areas, but we are looking at a Yukon-wide approach to develop some protocols around wetlands. When we look at a specific area, it will find its way into the specific land use plan process. We have done that very well in north Yukon through the whitefish wetland. We did that through the Nisutlin wildlife sanctuary to protect specific wetlands throughout Yukon and use the tools that are available to us.

We wil= l continue to do that with respect to the traditional areas, but overall, a Yukon-wide policy will be built on a foundation that recognizes wetlands as an importa= nt ecosystem component and will help to inform planning exercises as we go for= ward and look at other regional land use planning processes throughout Yukon.

Our ta= rget is to have that done by late 2019 or early 2020. That’s the target to have = the Yukon-wide strategy compiled and hopefully ready for public release.

Mr. Istchenko: I have been having some conversations over the last few days with placer mine= rs, and most of them are having some issues and patiently waiting for a wetlands policy so that they can actually go back to mining.

I thin= k that they see a huge frustration in how long it takes a process to be done. I can remember watching a video a few years ago of the placer mining industry put= ting a lot of time and effort into trying to come up with a solution — try= ing to say, “We just want to know what reclamation looks like for a placer miner.”

This i= s what we would like to do. We are looking for your input. A lot of the area — = once it is reclaimed by the placer mining industry — is actually better for habitat. You get more animals there and more birds there. The minister just said that it will be completed in 2019-20. I just don’t understand how things can take that long, and I’m wondering why it has been in the w= orks — this government has had it for two years now — and there are still two more years. There has been consultation, and I understand that th= ere is a roundtable that the minister has put together. There was a lot of work done prior to that, so I’m just wondering why it would still take a f= ew more years to finalize this.

Hon. Ms. Frost: It is an interesting comment. I did not see anything in place = when I started as the Minister of Environment. There were no strategies or plans around wetlands policy. There was some specific work done in the Indian Riv= er with the placer miners to look at impacts, effects and cumulative effects of placer mining in a specific area. That was, I think, what triggered some discussions with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.

The di= scussions with the placer miners are well understood, and I understand that they do h= ave concerns. As we look at key pressure areas, there are not a lot of wetlands= in the Yukon. We have some specific areas of the Yukon in relation to placer mining, so we are looking at a Yukon-wide policy aimed at resolving current challenges and specific wetland areas like the Indian River wetlands. We wi= ll inform approaches on project assessments and perform — as we look at specific measures around placer miners in relation to wetlands as we evolve. Hopefully, the objective with this wetlands policy will build the foundation that recognizes wetlands as an important ecosystem and a component that will help inform planning exercises in relation to placer miners or any other industry. But first and foremost, we want to ensure that we have protection= of the pristine ecosystems and ensure that they remain intact, or as much as we can, as we look at sustainable development and what that looks like. This w= ill address that as we look at defining a wetlands policy. The exercise with the Dawson land use plan will hopefully help to provide some clarity around the relationship with the placer industry as well — so really exploring t= he operation of industry in pristine ecosystems, what it looks like and how th= ey coexist in the future. The objective of the overall wetlands policy is real= ly to do that.

We not= ed that there are specific areas that we protected already in Yukon — some of= the key priority areas that the First Nations have come forward with in their traditional area — the wetlands like the Nisutlin wildlife sanctuary = and some of the others in the north, as I have noted. We will continue to work = with our partners and ensure that we address the concerns that they brought forw= ard with respect to undisturbed wetlands and what that looks like in collaborat= ion with industry moving forward.

Mr. Istchenko: I want to go back to a discussion we had earlier — I believe it was on November 14 — with respect to the independent audit on a permit hunt = system. We understand that no one had put in — on the original tender —= and so it had been cancelled. The minister said, “With respect to the question, we are in the process of making the final proceedings with respec= t to the bid process.” Then she went on to say, “Now we are in an invitational process. That closed and we are able to proceed with an announcement. That will happen in the coming days.”

Can th= e minister explain what the invitational process was?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am just trying to go back to get some clarity with respect t= o the invitation that went out. The invitation went out to local companies. There were four, as I understand it, local companies that were extended an invita= tion to participate and that specialize in this type of work. Where we landed wh= en we went back out and went to a direct invitation — we have a local company that has the expertise and is prepared and willing to do the work. = As I understand it, we are still working out the details, and so in the next day= or two, we will have that finalized.

Mr. Istchenko: So it was a direct award to a company.

Then I= had asked the minister to confirm on November 14. I asked, “… confirm that the audit will be complete and changes to the system implemented by the 2019 hunting season?”

The mi= nister then replied, “That is the plan: to have the results completed and, of course, in effect for the next hunting season. That is our target.”

What d= oes the process look like moving on — consultation with resident hunters? I j= ust asked a question earlier about a wetlands policy which has been years in the making, and she said it will be done by the spring. Can she elaborate a lit= tle bit more on how local hunters, local First Nations, resources councils and everybody will be part of this process?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The terms for the implementation will look at any technical ch= anges that result from the independent review and will be placed on the 2019 hunt= ing season, as indicated. Any regulation changes that arise through the PHA rev= iew process will be submitted to the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board a= nd regulation process. Obviously, that’s the structure that we have in place, so any policy changes will be reviewed and be considered for the 2020 season. That will be done, of course — very similar to what we’= ve done with everything else — in consultation and engagement with the bodies that have been established to guide us through that process. We will ensure that this happens.

Chair: Do me= mbers wish to take a brief recess?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: Commi= ttee of the Whole will recess for 10 minutes.

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Recess

&= nbsp;

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

The ma= tter before the Committee is Vote 52, Department of Environment, in Bill No.&nbs= p;207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, = 2018‑19.

Is the= re any further general debate?

Mr. Istchenko:&#= 8195;It had been a direct award. We were talking about the permit h= unt system — the review of it or the independent audit. My next question would be: Where will hunters looking to put in for a permit go to apply for= their permits?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The question, just for clarity — I think it is ju= st modernization — so modernizing the whole permit hunt process and going from written formats to electronic formats. The hunter who wants to access a permit would still go into the office if that is their desire, or they can apply online for their hunting permit.

Mr. Istchenko: How will they find out if they are successful or not?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The notification would be consistent with what we have = done. The hunters would be notified, and the objective is to try to get that out earlier than what we have been accustomed to in the past. Rather than waiti= ng until a month before hunting season or a couple of weeks before hunting sea= son, we want to ensure that we get that out as quickly as we can in the year. The objective of digitizing everything — and the electronic accessibility= is faster for online permitting as well. I think that there are no changes in that, but we do want to get it out earlier in the season.

Mr. Istchenko: What will this independent audit, which is a direct awa= rd, fix?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The review will look for efficiencies in the system now= to ensure that — if there are any discrepancies, we want to identify them early, and that is the objective of the review.

Mr. Istchenko: When you go in and apply for a permit — you would like to get a permit = 212; your application goes somewhere. Will it go to the same place or will it no= w go to a different place to be administered? Or will it go to the same place?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The same system will apply that was in place the last hunting season.

Mr. Istchenko: That concludes the questions that I have. I want to tha= nk the staff from the department who are here today.

Chair: Is th= ere any further general debate on Vote 52?

Seeing= none, we will proceed to line-by-line debate.

On Opera= tion and Maintenance Expenditures

On Corpo= rate Services

Corporate Services in the amount of $963,000 agreed to<= o:p>

On Envir= onmental Sustainability

Environm= ental Sustainability in the amount of $91,000 agreed to=

On Total of Other Operation and Maintenance=

Total of Other Operation and Maintenance in the = amount of nil cleared

Total Op= eration and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $1,054,000 agreed to

On Total= Capital Expenditures

Total Ca= pital Expenditures in the amount of nil agreed to

Total Expenditures in the amount of $1,054,000 agreed to

Departme= nt of Environment agreed to

&nb= sp;

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

Do mem= bers wish to take a brief recess?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: Commi= ttee of the Whole will recess for 10 minutes.

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Recess

 

Chair: Order, please.

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

Is the= re any further general debate? Mr. Pillai has 17 minutes left.

&= nbsp;

Yukon Development Corporation — continued

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I will kindly share with my colleagues that, as much as they m= ay want me to go into 17 minutes of explanation, I won’t do that. I just want to thank my colleagues who are here today again, the president of the Yukon Development Corporation, Mr. Justin Ferbey<= /span>, as well as our senior policy advisor, Mr. Jeff Woodhouse.

Maybe = I will just quickly touch on a question from our last opportunity to speak. There = was a question — the question from the Member for Kluane was: How much mo= ney does the government expect to spend on diesel for electricity generation th= is winter? Then there was a subsequent question, which was: Also including LNG= ?

The an= swer to that question is — first of all, I’m going to give you totals f= or both ATCO — so not the difference in fuel source, but the difference between ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporation — so the tot= al between both organizations in 2017 was $8,868,159. This year our projection= is $11,598,017 — a pretty dramatic increase. When we look at Yukon Energ= y Corporation, which we’re touching on today, we’re looking at an increase from just under $3 million at $2,991,039 to $6,073,804. That is, of course,= for both fuel sources.

If we = then again take it — go back down to the actual sources for 2017‑18 again — I believe it is from our fuel — we’re looking at diesel= . As of 2017 — make sure I read this properly — so diesel as of 2017= was about $1.2 million, and that’s increasing to $2 million and LNG, which was at $1.75 million — and on both sources now moving= to $4 million — so pretty substantial.

This i= ncrease for 2018 is primarily due — which we’ve spoken to — to the low water levels in Mayo Lake. YEC forecasts another increase as well in 20= 19 due to low water levels in Aishihik Lake. The installation of the third nat= ural gas turbine will reduce both the cost and the environmental impact of the increased utilization of thermal resources.

I won&= #8217;t get into debate on clean sources, but there is a cost differential between = our diesel and our LNG. It should be stressed that the increased costs from the= low lake levels are not going to be passed on to ratepayers.

I will= leave it at that. Hopefully that answers one of the lingering questions, and I look forward to more questions from the opposition.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the minister for that, and I do want to welcome the officials here fr= om the Yukon Development Corporation.

I just= have a couple of questions, and they are basically around the Public Accounts. On = page 57 of the Public Accounts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, it says that the government has guaranteed repayment of loans payable by YEC of $10= .473 million, and that is an increase from 2017 when that was zero dollars. What is the current amount owing on YEC’s line of cre= dit and any short-term loans?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: We will endeavour to get accurate numbers. We believe that the= total line is $10 million, but we will endeavour just to get the numbers on = what percentage of that working line of credit has been used over the short run.=

Mr. Istchenko: I will also ask then, while he is doing that, if that amount has gone up or d= own since the end of March.

I have= one more question. It has to do with the Stewart-Keno transmission line upgrades that have been discussed, of course, a number of times since the 2016 election. =

Can th= e minister please update the House on the status of this project and if any money from Canada has been secured to fund it?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: We will endeavour to look at our numbers, but our understandin= g is that the working line of credit has been lower in 2018 than it was in 2017.=

As for= the Stewart-Keno transmission line — just a bit of background — the Yukon government, of course, provided funding to complete the permitting and engineering necessary to upgrade the transmission line between Stewart Cros= sing and Keno City to improve reliability and ensure sufficient transmission. The members opposite would know this. That was work that was done under the previous government, and there were a series of options outlined. Under our= responsibility and our watch, the proposed funding for construction of the project will co= me from private sector lending institutions — as a portion of it —= but we have had very fruitful conversations with the Government of Canada, and = we will be using the green infrastructure fund to build that line. This project will increase the reliability of the electric grid, of course, for local residents and offset significant greenhouse gas emissions that would have b= een incurred if the Eagle Gold mine had to rely solely on fossil-fuel-driven generation for its electricity.

Yukon = government supports, of course, mining in Yukon and is working with Victoria Gold and Yukon Energy to assess options for connecting to the mine, which is now finishing its permitting process. Of course, that work has been done. We are moving through it.

I did = have a good opportunity on Friday to look at the substations that are currently un= der construction. We were there and had representatives from ATCO Electric as w= ell who are taking part in that work, which seems to be proceeding well. It was= a bit of a cold day, but the teams are working well to build that infrastruct= ure. Once again, those funds are 75-cent funds, so there would be a portion R= 12; at least on the specific project that would be coming on the 25-cent dollars from the private sector and then 75-cent dollars from the green infrastruct= ure fund. As the members know — and I think I could be corrected — = but then, of course, there is the overall rebalancing of debt and equity at YEC= . We are happy to be working with the Canada green infrastructure fund on this particular project.

Mr. Istchenko: I do thank the minister for the answer on the Stewart-Keno transmission line. That does highlight a little bit more for us on this side, and I do look forward to those numbers that I had asked for. It will give us a chance to review them when we get them.

That c= oncludes my questions for today. I do want to thank the officials who came into the House today, and I will turn it over to my colleague from the Third Party.<= /span>

Ms. White: It is a pleasure to join the conversation about the Yukon Development Corporat= ion because it is one of my favourite things.

The fi= rst question that I have for the minister is — I would like to know what kinds of exciting things have happened in the Yukon Development Corporation. I’m not looking for the most broad list, but I’m looking for ma= ybe a couple of points where the minister would say that this is a fantastic example of what the Yukon Development Corporation has done in, let’s = say, the last calendar year.

Hon. Mr. Pillai:I’m just going to touch on something concerning the Yukon Development Corporation, because I want to clear up a question that was pos= ed by the Member for Kluane, but it does feed into the question from the Member for Takhini-Kopper King.

First = and foremost — not in priority sequence of what I think is exciting, but = one item that I do believe is exciting — is the change in location and how the Yukon Development Corporation integrates into our community. There was a question posed by the Member for Kluane asking about the office space and t= he decision to have the office for the Yukon Development Corporation move to o= ur hub. The question was about cost and just some of the details. Effective on September 19, 2018, Yukon Development Corporation moved its offices to Yukon’s innovation hub alongside YuKonstruct, (co)space and Yukon College’s Cold Climate Innovation centre.<= /p>

The Yu= kon innovation hub is designed to be a modern dynamic space that promotes a cul= ture of collaboration and entrepreneurship. The hub will support the development= of innovation in business in Yukon to accelerate economic diversification, and= YDC does play a key role in that conversation. The Government of Yukon, of cour= se, is investing $1.9 million in that, but the question was about the rent, and I just wanted to touch on that.

Yukon Development Corporation’s monthly rent will now decrease by approxima= tely $687. Our previous rent was $6,365.63. Our new rent will be $5,966. I just wanted to touch on that. There has been a decrease.

More importantly, this week a great example of that is having individuals approa= ch me who were part of our “HackYG”. T= he facility was jam-packed with entrepreneurs and people really focused on innovation. They were there to take part in, essentially, a solutions-orien= ted weekend to look at challenges that the Yukon government has within its syst= ems and its delivery. There are many talented individuals — some who travelled from other jurisdictions who are specifically CEOs or individual programmers who work in the sector.

During= that period of time, I had at least one individual come up to me who specializes= in renewable energy and has worked in different jurisdictions who said, “= ;I am interested. These are some of the things I can do. I have been involved = in Mount Lorne; I have been involved in other areas. How do I become part of t= hat conversation?”

I thin= k that is a great example of why we did the change that we did, because all I had to = do was point 20 feet down the way to say, “That’s where Yukon Development Corporation is now.” I was lucky enough in the private se= ctor to have a meeting — maybe on one or two occasions — with Yukon Development Corporation in my past work, but most Yukoners had no idea where Yukon Development Corporation was. They knew it was this entity, but it wasn’t a place that had a touch and feel and that interfaced with our= community, and it wasn’t a place where entrepreneurs or people who are intereste= d in energy or people who had projects could go and have those discussions. I th= ink it was a great example of where an individual interested in working in renewable energy can go and find out about our programs and see where there= are opportunities.

I want= to be respectful to the question. It was framed as: Over the calendar year, what = has happened this year concerning the Yukon Development Corporation? I would say that the other pieces that are exciting — the team at Yukon Developme= nt Corporation, in concert with Energy, Mines and Resources as well as ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporation, had to undertake unfinished wo= rk when it came to the independent power production, or IPP, policy. So we did have a mechanism in place to provide opportunities to different entities to sell us clean energy. Of course, we announced in the House that we were tak= ing the LNG portion of that out, so we are really leaving it as a true clean en= ergy mechanism.

I thin= k that work — although it is policy work — I think for some members ac= ross the way who have done lots of policy work, I thi= nk it can be exciting. I think it has been exciting work. There has been a lot of pressure to ensure that we get that completed. As I stated in the House yesterday, there have been ongoing meetings — even active meetings — in the last couple of weeks with the teams from Old Crow as well as from Kluane — I think those are interesting things.

My colleague who is here, Mr. Woodhouse, has had a tremendous amount on his plate and I think it has been exciting. There have been — I think probably all of the companies — and I’m sa= ying this is in a very — I know I had a bit of a dynamic exchange with the member from the Third Party on this topic, but I mean this in a very respec= tful manner. This is the list of people we have been working with. There have be= en ongoing meetings with the Kluane Community Development Corporation, Teslin Tlingit Council and Chu Níikwän Dev= elopment Corporation — ongoing dialogue to try to make sure that we, as IPPs coming in and as we frame out our work on our funding mechanism through the Arctic energy fund, that we have that constant dialogue — in Dawson, = as well, with the North Fork project.

For th= e record, I will touch on some of the dollar amounts. Kluane Development Corporation:= we know that in 2017‑18 there was about $60,000 put aside, but we also h= ad just under $1 million that was in Energy, Mines and Resources that was= in addition to that.

Kluane= wind groundbreaking: we had helped out with some work there that was a great opportunity, which I think is exciting work, where we brought in Chris Henderson, coming here, who does a lot of training. Individuals are trained= at a grassroots level to build and support renewable energy projects. A large proportion of people in the Yukon have been involved — people such as Colin Asselstine, who is, of course, a lead person on the Kluane project, a= nd also our new chief in Vuntut Gwitchin, Chief Tizya-Tra= mm has been part of that — the catalyst 2020. We, of course, helped in supporting that groundbreaking, which happened on National Aboriginal Day. =

I thin= k that was some exciting work — just continuing to let our community know what is happening. I think that this is a valid question, because what we have been= trying to do is ensure that we have a chance to go out and tell the story about wh= at has been happening. That is something where a lot of people who were — rightfully, the Third Party many times has asked me about what we are doing= . I think there is a lot we are doing. We are just trying to make sure that we = are putting tools down sometimes just to tell our story.

Teslin= Tlingit Council: once again, we had $85,000 in the last fiscal year. We were going = to flow more, but there was a federal funding opportunity, so that is helping = them to build the infrastructure for all of their biomass. There is another commitment for $314,000 that is moving this year.

Chu Níikwän’s Kwanlin Dün Haeckel = Hill project received $80,000, which was for some of that early planning as they= get ready to look at the wind power for that project.

For No= rth Fork, which I touched upon, there is $20,000. I think for 2018‑19, we have = even up to $80,000, and that is real work that is being done to make sure that t= hey have the proper planning in place for a microhydro project in Dawson City. I am trying to think what the full — two megawatts approximately — so these are significant projects that are happening.

Vuntut= Gwitchin, of course — the Old Crow solar project in the next fiscal is looking = at $500,000, concluding the work on that. We were there this year to take a lo= ok and understand what that project looks like. Demand-side management, which I think is exciting stuff, maybe not the most — it’s not the big buildout, but it is something we’re helping to fund as well. It’= ;s about a $1.3‑million project and we’re in there for about $35,0= 00.

The Mo= ntana Mountain wind project — we’ve put $125,000 into this. Our YDC t= eam sat down — I’ve been part of some of those meetings as well whe= re we’ve met with the larger companies that are backing them in the sens= e of companies that supply this type of wind expertise and infrastructure, but a= lso we’re doing data collection. There was one year, I believe, of comprehensive wind data, and now we’re making sure we have more. I th= ink the bankable data set is usually two years, but I think people prefer three when we’re looking at financing wind projects. We are also having discussions with them to help them understand what the existing infrastruct= ure looks like from Carcross into Whitehorse, which is a transmission that̵= 7;s owned by ATCO, taking into consideration what full output would look like if that project was built out and then what the implications are of that. Are = we in a position where we’re going to have to look at going to ATCO and looking at an upgrade on the transmission line, or where is that spot to use the existing transmission line to move that energy?

The LE= D project in Old Crow was another, I thought, exciting project that our team was invo= lved with, and which was $45,000 — $5,000 for us, and then we worked with = CanNor — and that offset 5,400 litres of diesel= every year being flown to Old Crow.

In the= Village of Teslin, we’ve done something similar — all LED street lights with Teslin as well — and that was= just under $50,000. The payment has been issued. This is all stuff that’s = been concluded.

Also, = doing our test case on our solar crosswalk program — that RFP closes on Novembe= r 23 and then we will see our pricing. I know we’ve been looking to see if= we have a local distributor so we can make sure that this work is concluded. <= /span>

YDC bi= omass strategy — we’ve also done some work on that. Most of it is in = the 2018‑19 year, but we’re also looking at a holistic approach to biomass, tryin= g to work with my colleagues from Highways and Public Works because, of course, Property Management oversees the buildings where the biomass — where = we would be looking to purchase the heat. Then my colleague from Community Services is having ongoing dialogue there, which I think is exciting as well because it’s taking a look at — I’ve had conversations wi= th members from across the House on this. We know we have a massive fire threa= t. How do we ensure we have a full life-cycle as our multiple departments work together to take into consideration the fact that we have amazing firefight= ers who have a limited season? We have a fire threat. We have an interest in biomass, and it can solve many of our problems when we think about supply chains or reducing our fossil fuel needs. It’s a great opportunity for grassroots economic development in our communities.

We tou= ched on this in our earlier talks, but Midgard Consulting had done work with us and that was really on our grid connection work.

We are= about to do some community engagement, which is going to be going out to communities= to talk about our IREI fund to let them know how you can access it and what the pricing looks like on it. We want to have a comprehensive conversation R= 12; so not just Dawson, Mayo or Haines Junction, but even getting out to Destruction Bay in the summertime, depending on our seasonality of that conversation — so having conversations with other places where there = is a lot of diesel used. Even in Klukshu they are us= ing diesel or going out toward the highway between Teslin and Watson. There are different communities where, in many cases, you still have transmission, bu= t in other places there could be interest, so it’s getting out to places t= hat we normally have not gone to.

I woul= d say to the House that if there is anybody who wants us to go out, whether it is in= the riding of Lake Laberge — or if there are people we should meet with o= ut at Takhini or Braeburn or wherever — we w= ant to have a broad conversation to let people know what some of the things we can= do are. Those are some things that I feel are pretty exciting for us.

 I know that the Member for Takhini-= Kopper King has always asked great questions here to ensure we consider not only a clean future, but also financial prudence. The government is also committed= to ensure the Yukon receives the best value for its investment in energy infrastructure. YDC has been working with industry and financial experts to ensure the regulatory environment best meets the needs of the territory and that YDC and YEC have the financial capacity to continue providing Yukon wi= th safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity.

We hav= e had some more sensitive conversations in the House previously. I will not delve deep= er into it, but I will just say that we have had some financial decisions to m= ake that we discussed here. I think our team has done a great job coming up with ways to manage and to service the debt that we have incurred. We are making sure that in the long term we understand the financial pressures that YEC is encountering, as well as looking at past practices and understanding with Y= DC where we are going.

I may = have missed a few other ones that would be exciting, but I will start with that = list of things from over the last calendar year.

Ms. White: I had to remind myself: I did it to myself. I think the Yukon Development Cor= poration is one of the most exciting things in the territory. Has the minister check= ed out his website? Because what is on the opening page of the website is a pr= ess release from 2014 talking about hydroelectric work plan that was released. = We have gone over 10-plus really exciting things we are talking about in the territory. We are talking about biomass. We are talking about district heat= ing. We are talking about LED lighting. We are talking about solar. These are all really fantastic programs. They are really fantastic ideas, and it is fanta= stic what the Yukon Development Corporation is doing. But, Mr. Chair, on the website, the opening page talks about the hydroelectric work plan that was released in 2014.

What I= am trying to bring to the minister’s attention — understanding that the Y= ukon Development Corporation is a Crown corporation — is that it belongs to Yukoners. We are talking about the excitement about moving into the innovat= ion hub where people — I’m just going to put this out there —= are renting space there as office people, so they design websites and have the expertise to make sure that things are current and exciting, so I might put= the plug in that the Yukon Development Corporation look at some website design.=

I say = this in the terms of how the Yukon Development Corporation should be what people understand when they have a good idea. They should know that the Yukon Development Corporation is working with different organizations and differe= nt levels of government to look at good ideas. But if you go to the website, M= r. Chair, it is bleak. I have talked about the website on multiple occasions, and it = is too bad that the minister forgets because I have even asked him, and I have even said in that same press release that it is still front and centre.

I appr= eciate the more than 10 exciting things that the Yukon Development Corporation is work= ing on because they are exciting. We could even have a photo maybe of some of t= he projects. It would be really great. If we want to talk about how relevant t= he Yukon Development Corporation is and should be in the territory, I think the first gateway is the website and the second is the office. I appreciate that.

I am j= ust going to move on from the website because it has been a bone of contention of mine for a while. All those exciting things the minister talked about — not one single one — there is not a link to a single one on his website f= or the Yukon Development Corporation. There is nothing there. I look forward to the spring, maybe, when I open up the page and we can talk about how exciti= ng and relevant the website is. I am just going to leave that there.

The re= ason for my really open-ended question, which I did kick myself about a little bit, although I am excited to know that exciting things are happening, the websi= te does not reflect that. So it’s A-plus on the work of the Yukon Development Corporation, but F-minus on their website. I am just going to p= ut that there.

With t= he office that is at the Yukon innovation hub — and I appreciate that there is = a $600-a-month saving right now — how many people work within that office for the Yu= kon Development Corporation?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I didn’t know when I was asked that question about excit= ing things that, really, it was about getting to the website. Now I don’t feel as bad about going through my list after getting the F-minus grade.

The Me= mber for Takhini-Kopper King — I am in full agreement. I will not get into the details as we try to walk through our communications strategy, but I think = you have touched on that before with me once, I think. We talked about some of = the imagery and the branding. We will absolutely take your comments under advisement and very serious consideration. Hopefully by the time we get bac= k to have a discussion on this again, we will have increased our grade to a pass= ing grade when it comes to our digital footprint.

As for= the office in the Yukon Development Corporation, there are four staff members w= ho are working in there, plus our president — five in total. Three are in advisory positions and one is in administration, and then our president as well.

Ms. White: I look forward to giving the minister a passing grade for the website. It wil= l be a really exciting day.

How bi= g is the square footage of that office space for the Yukon Development Corporation?<= /span>

Hon. Mr. Pillai: The previous office, for comparison, was 1,600 square feet. Th= is particular office is 1,352 square feet. We also have access to an additional 2,400 square feet of shared space, including boardrooms as well as some of = the common areas that we can use for breakout meetings in that facility.

Ms. White: We have been talking during Question Period — so our neighbours next doo= r, the NWT, are using $40 million of the funding they got through the Arc= tic energy fund for a wind project. The minister at one point in time said, in response to the question during Question Period, that they must be using al= l of their Arctic energy money. One of the questions I have now is: How much does Yukon have access to through the Arctic energy fund? Is there a defined amo= unt, or is it based on projects? I’m just trying to get an idea of what ki= nd of money Yukon has access to through the Arctic energy fund?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: We have touched on this in a couple of iterations or details o= f the Arctic energy fund. The Yukon portion of the Arctic energy fund is $5 = million per year over a 10-year period. I believe the agreement was signed through = our Community Services department. I believe our bilateral agreement has been signed.

There = is a bit of a challenge that we have been working through and we have been looking to see clarity, and that is in the definition of our agreement. I have had some ministerial conversations, minister to minister, at the bilateral level and= we have had a little bit of a pull. Something that we have tried to work throu= gh is that the definition in the federal agreement where it speaks to grid, because the majority of our Yukon communities — except the five that = are outside of it — are what we would call “on-grid”. There h= as been an open dialogue with the federal government to explain that those communities that are part of that grid should still be eligible to look at projects.

When w= e think about the one project we touched on earlier, we are working with Kwanlin Dün and the Chu Nìikwän Develo= pment Corporation to do that project, but we would also — projects like tha= t, whether it be from a storage perspective if we see a good opportunity to in= vest in a battery or for new sources of clean energy, we would like to be able to help on capital. When you are talking to Ottawa, it is always trying to ens= ure that they understand the unique circumstances. Our circumstances are dramatically different from Nunavut, where you’re looking at basically all diesel and now they are trying to help where= there is predominantly diesel.

That&#= 8217;s the first thing I would say. It’s just important to touch on.

The se= cond part of that would be — maybe I was being — to quote my colleague — a little fast and loose when I said they’re using the majorit= y of their money.

I have= n’t seen Minister Schumann and the agreement that he is overseeing on the Arctic energy fund. I’m taking into consideration that the Yukon has been allotted $50 million; I would think that the Northwest Territories wou= ld be somewhere in a similar range — maybe I shouldn’t assume R= 12; and taking into consideration the announcement on the wind project in Inuvi= k, you’re looking at — I think it was — $40 million; so= $30 million of the money would be from the Arctic energy fund, as Minister Champagne announced.

There = were two questions from that. To be very open, I haven’t had — and my colleague has just — I also know that there is maybe a larger portion= of their fund just because of their greater dependence on diesel. I will be speaking to my colleague. To clarify for the Assembly, in the last week it = has been 12- to 14-hour days. I have not had the opportunity to speak to my colleagues in the Northwest Territories, which I will. The other thing I was intrigued about is that, if you’re amortizing — which we are — the fund is being delivered over a period of time. It’s interesting that the press release would not be congruent with the fact tha= t we don’t see front‑loading on the expenditure of the fund. Those a= re two things that are interesting to me, as well as what storage technology t= hey are potentially using within that work.

That l= eaves us to do some research, which we will continue to do. Michael Ross, our resear= ch chair who we work with on the energy side, has been working with all territories across the north as well as some of the key projects here. I wi= ll make sure that, as we conclude some of our work in the Assembly this week, that we are reaching out to him to get a better understanding of all of the aspects of that. Hopefully I have clarified som= e of my remarks that were made on that project earlier in this Sitting. <= /p>

Ms. White: Just looking at the press release from the NWT, it looks actually like $30 = million is coming from the federal government and $10 million is coming from t= he Government of the Northwest Territories.

The re= ason why I was asking about the amount is if we have access to $5 million a year = for 10 years, what year does it start in? Was it the 2018‑19 calendar yea= r? If it is, have we accessed the full $5 million? If I can get a list or= a breakdown of what funding — how much we have asked per project and wh= ich projects they are.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Mr. Chair, the program funding would begin in our = next fiscal year. This will be something in the springtime that we would be discussing. My colleague has just informed me that there is opportunity to frontload in some aspects — we’ll look at the total mechanism. =

So when the member opposite touched upon the fact that the fed= eral government is putting in $30 million — in that press release, wh= en I read through it, it stated that it was the Arctic energy fund. That was the federal $30 million, I believe.

With t= hat aside and without getting into debate on that, I think it’s a great project. That’s why we think those projects are also great projects — su= ch as our wind project that we’re completing and that was started by the previous government, but we broke ground and we’re going to build it = out in Kluane, and we’re going to have a mechanism for ATCO to buy that p= ower. It is the same thing with — next summer, hopefully being into a histo= ric moment where, in Old Crow, we’re there with the new chief of the First Nation, who was also a champion of this — where the diesel generation= is turned off while the solar infrastructure supplies what’s needed in t= hat community.

Ms. White: Just being aware of the time, the question I asked then was: What projects? If we have access to $5 million initially without front‑loading, are t= here projects that are in the hopper for the next fiscal year? We’re at the very end of 2018, which means that planning is happening for 2019. <= /p>

The mi= nister did list off 10 really exciting projects, including biomass in Teslin, LED lighting, solar and wind projects in Carcross on Montana Mountain and wind projects on Haeckel Hill. Are there plans to access the full $5 million for the next fiscal year through the Arctic energy fund?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Yes, absolutely. I would say that there are three categories of projects — just for clarity speaking to this — in the list I we= nt through.

There = would be projects that we identified that have met their capital requirements. They = have the money in place to do the work — for example, some of the biomass. There are projects that I listed off that have absolutely concluded, which = is the transfer of technology from its standard lighting system to LED. Then t= here is the third, which includes projects that we have funded because they had = to do the due diligence to understand if they could get to the point of being — everybody would use the term “shovel-ready”.

The me= mber opposite is absolutely correct. The conversation on the= Chu Níikwän wind project — all the whil= e just ensuring that we can get clarity on the terminology that I touched on before about grid and off-grid, which we feel good about. I think there is a stage 2, phase 2 of renewable energy being looked at in Old Crow, which is a wind, post solar — and also looking at Montana Mountain. I’m not going to prejudge the wind data being reviewed or gathered, but that would = be another project — early stage investment into the micro project in Da= wson City, just to name a few. Of course, when I mentioned that we had put money toward going out into our communities, it’s so they understand as well what the available projects or available funds are. Our goal would be to maximize the expenditure amortized over that period of time.

I will= always say that we are going to make sure that we, as a government and my colleagu= es, all work together to ensure that we have a general understanding of the tot= al government framework of spending, but our anticipation is to make sure, absolutely, that we can get these dollars into the hands of the appropriate individuals who meet the criteria so that we can look at clean energy proje= cts.

I thin= k there are some great individuals in the community, and I know that the member opposite is familiar with some of those individuals who have been giving us= a lot of expert advice when it comes to storage. There have been workshops already. We have invited the other entities — the utilities — to come to those. There are very bright individuals who know that storage is s= uch a big component of the overall solution for the Yukon when you think about = our renewables. We are going to continue to do that.

There = was just a conference that took place in Pasadena, California, and we covered the trav= el for individuals who are part of this, as well as at least one staff member.=

Projec= t costs, moving forward — the ones that we would be looking toward are the Hae= ckel Hill project, and the total project cost is $18 million — and we would be looking to negotiate to see if we could help offset that — a= nd North Forks is a $20,000 spend. Then, of course, we have applied to the fed= eral government for battery technology, and the cost of that is about $19 m= illion. Those are all things that we will continue to get behind.

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

&= nbsp;

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.

Motion agreed to

&= nbsp;

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

Mr. Hutton: Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑1= 9, and directed me to report 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.

&= nbsp;

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.

&= nbsp;

The House adjourned at 5:26 p.m.

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

The following sessional paper was tabled November 20, 2018:

34-2-83

Yukon Housing Corpo= ration Annual Report For the year ended March 31, 2018 (Frost)

 

T= he following legislative returns were tabled November 20, 2018:

34-2= -170

Resp= onse to matter outstanding from discussion with Mr. Hassard related to the general debate on Vote 10, Public Service Commission, in Bill No. 207,= Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19 — senior advisor positions (Mostyn)

 

34-2-171

Response to matter outstand= ing from discussion with Mr. Hassard related to the general debate on Vote= 10, Public Service Commission, in Bill No. 207, Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19 — position vacanc= ies (Mostyn)

 

34-2-172

Response to matter outstand= ing from discussion with Ms. Hanson related to the general debate on Vote = 10, Public Service Commission, in Bill No. 207, Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19 — employee and fa= mily assistance program contract (Mostyn)

 

34-2-173

Response to matter outstand= ing from discussion with Ms. Hanson related to the general debate on Vote = 10, Public Service Commission, in Bill No. 207, Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19 — monitoring non&= #8209;competitive staffing activities (Mostyn)

 

&= nbsp;

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