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Yukon Legislative Assembly=

Whitehorse, Yukon

Thursday, November= 22, 2018 — 1:00 p.m.

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Speaker: I will now call the House to order.

We wil= l proceed at this time with prayers.

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Prayers

In recognition of Helen Fitzsimmons’ 40th anniversary with Government of Yukon

Speaker: At this time, I have the distinct pleasure of providing= some congratulatory words to Helen Fitzsimmons, our Director of Administration, Finance and Systems for the Legislative Assembly Office on behalf of the Legislative Assembly. These are words that have been drafted to you in the = form of a congratulatory letter. I see that you have a number of family and frie= nds here today who I will introduce afterwards.

“= ;Dear Helen:

“= ;Re 40 years of dedicated service with the Yukon Government.

“= ;I am delighted to congratulate you on having achieved and surpassed your fortieth anniversary of employment with the Yukon Government, the last sixteen of wh= ich have been with the Legislative Assembly Office.

 “On the topic of your service= in the Legislative Assembly Office, I would like to thank you, on behalf of myself, all Members, past and present, the Clerk and the staff of the Legislative Assembly Office, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, the Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Disclosure Commissioner, the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office, Elections Yukon, a= nd the caucus offices for your extraordinary commitment and dedication. Your indefatigable energy, efforts, and go-the-extra-mile ethos have many times achieved the remarkable and not infrequently, what many would say, the impossible. To hear you say, “Don’t worry, leave it with meR= 21; inspires confidence, conveying the peace-of-mind that the given project wil= l be done, and done well.

“= ;Many moons have passed since that auspicious 26th day of June in 1978, predating Yukon party politics, when you started as a ‘Clerk/Typist 1’ in the Department of Health and Social Services. I am advised it w= as your good friend Jodi  Richardson who encou= raged you to apply for your first job in the Legislative Assembly Office. I can s= ay with a strong degree of confidence that the Legislative Assembly Office owe= s Ms. Richardson a large debt of gratitude. It was a fortuitous day for the Legislative Asse= mbly in June 2002 when you came on board as the Manager of Administration, Finan= ce and Systems. Having excelled in and grown that initial role, in July 2008, = you became Director of Administration, Finance and Systems in the Legislative Assembly Office. Our current Clerk, Mr. Floyd McCormick, says that the best decision his predecessor Patrick Michael ever made was to hire you.

 “A recurring theme over your = work life has been that the initial job responsibilities just aren’t enough for you. A predictable pattern emerged in which your managers, if anyone co= uld be said to “manage” you, recognizing the treasure they had in y= ou, would reclassify your position and promote you. Ms. Richardson observed that you do “the hard work of your average bear”, and when you ultimately moved to another position, a significant operational void was le= ft.

“= ;You are an invaluable part of the Legislative Assembly Office. I am most grateful f= or the contributions you have made, and for those that I know you will undoubt= edly continue to make in the future.”

The Le= gislative Assembly and I thank you so much.

Applause

Daily Routine

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

Introduction of Visitors

Speaker: I w= ill just briefly introduce Helen’s friends and family. If I miss anyone, I apologize. We have her husband, Roger Heikel, h= er parents, Ralph Sr. and Ruth Fitzsimmons, her brother Donnie Fitzsimmon= s, her niece Harmony and her husband Richard Gorczyca, her niece Kayla, as well as friends Rick and Liz Gorcz= yca, Jodi Richardson, Donna Letang and Terri Mc= Leod.

Once a= gain, thank you so much for coming, and thank you, Helen.

Applause

 

Hon. Mr. Silver: I would ask my colleagues in the Legislative Assembly to help = in welcoming to the Legislative Assembly the Chief of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, Chief Kane.

Applause

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Hon. Ms. Frost: I ask everyone in the Legislative Assembly to please help me in welcoming those in attendance today for the National Housing Day tribute. We have Wenda Bradley and her team of support= ers from the FASSY, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon. Welcome. We have V= iola Papequash here as well from the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, and Lisa Spencer is here. Kim Atkins= on, Steve Tapp, Chris Howard, Kim Green and Natasha Rumsey — with folks from the Yukon Housing Corporation, Hannah McDona= ld, Sarah Murray and Kim Corothers. We also = have, I believe, Christopher Tessier here in the Legislative Assembly. Welcome.

Applause

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Mr. Gallina: I would like all members to join me in welcoming a number of important visito= rs to the Assembly today for our tribute to the Northwestel Festival of Trees. Philip Fitzgerald is chair of the Yukon Hospital Foundation and a constitue= nt of Porter Creek Centre. Karen Forward is the president of the Yukon Hospital Foundation. Arjay Hill is a foundation voluntee= r.

Andrew= Anderson is the director at the Yukon Hospital Foundation and director of communicat= ions at Northwestel. Curtis Shaw is here with Northwestel — he is the past chair of the foundation and president of Northwestel; Krista Prochazka is here — she is the past president o= f the foundation and director of government relations at Northwestel. Jason Bilsk= y is here, with the Yukon Hospital Corporation and is the CEO there. Kim Brown w= ith Air North, Yukon’s airline, is here and they are sponsoring the Air N= orth raffle and cookies with Santa. Finally, Marni Delaurie= r is joining us here today. She is a good friend of mine and a constituent of Copperbelt North, and I welcome her and the other folks to the gallery here today.

Applause

 

Ms. Hanson: I would also ask my colleagues to join us in welcoming Kristina Craig from the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, Francis van Kessel from the Yukon Association= for Community Living, and Charlotte Hrenchuk, recen= tly retired after a very long career of contributing to our community, particul= arly with the Yukon Status of Women Council.

Applause

 

Mr. Kent: I would like to welcome a constituent of mine — I believe he is here to join with Helen in her celebrations — Darrell Irwin from Skookum Asph= alt is with Helen Fitzsimmons here today. Thanks Darrell.

Applause

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Ms. White: This is an incredible opportunity because we have members of the HCOS team in the House. I’m not going to get all the names, but I know that Steve Tapp was missed and, of course, we have Chris Howard = and others. It is just fantastic to see you just because of what you’re doing. So thank you for being here on such an important day when we talk ab= out housing.

Applause

 

Speaker: Are= there any further introductions of visitors?

Tributes.

TRIBUTES

In recognition of National Housing Day

Hon. Ms. Frost: Today I rise to give tribute to National Housing Day. It is th= e 20th anniversary of National Housing Day, which was started because of the Big C= ity Mayors’ Caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which identified homelessness as a crisis in this country. The Big City Mayors= 217; Caucus asked for a national housing strategy, and November 22, 2018, marks = the one-year anniversary of the release of the first-ever national housing strategy. This 10-year commitment to housing in Canada has a focus on housi= ng vulnerable Canadians. We know that housing is a key component of healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities, especially for vulnerable individuals.

From t= he point-in-time count, completed over 24 hours on April 17 and 18 this year, = we know that there are at least 195 Yukoners who are experiencing homelessness= in Whitehorse. There are also individuals in our communities who are homeless = or under-housed. Fortunately, there are organizations, businesses and individu= als in our communities who are working hard to give people a roof over their he= ads and addressing this essential service. Our non-profit community works tirelessly to do the good work of their staff as well as all the housing navigators who help our most vulnerable citizens gain and maintain housing.=

One re= markable example is the progress Blood Ties Four Directions is making on their innovative housing project to build tiny homes on a downtown Whitehorse lot= at 6th Avenue and Jarvis Street. I applaud the work that Blood Ties Four Directions does for their clients and, in particular, their housing navigat= or work with their tiny home community, which will secure housing with supports for our vulnerable citizens in Whitehorse.

 I am also pleased at the progress o= f the very first Housing First project being built in Whitehorse, which will see occupancy in the late summer of 2019. The building will provide barrier-free housing to the homeless as quickly as possible. It will offer affordable, permanent housing to those who require ongoing support and care in addition= to a place to a live.

It is = important on this day that we recommit to housing and housing with services work unde= rway through the housing action plan and the Safe at Home plan. Housing affects = all of us. We all want a roof over our heads to shelter us from the weather, a place for privacy and a place to make memories with friends and family. The Yukon is facing housing pressures, and each step we take is important to finding a solution. Many of our local organizations are addressing Yukon’s housing needs — non-profit organizations and the private sector. All levels of government are striving to make homes available to Yukoners to meet their needs wherever they are on the housing continuum.

On thi= s National Housing Day, I am pleased to be working with our many partners to ensure all Yukoners have safe and healthy housing with supports that they can afford.<= /span>

Applause

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Ms. Van Bibber: I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the Yukon Party Offici= al Opposition to pay tribute to National Housing Day. A place to call home is a basic human need for shelter, but since 1998, when homelessness was first recognized as a national disaster, we have been talking about the issue and have declared this day as National Housing Day.

I read= one report done many years ago speaking to a oneR= 09;percent solution — it piqued my interest. A one= 209;percent solution means that all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and municipal — agree to contribute one percent of their budgets to invest and build social housing. Canada is the only G8 country that does not have a housing strategy. We = must insist that this sad fact be changed. It was easy for the federal governmen= t to shift the responsibility to the regional governments; however, it has proven not to be the best solution. Just this month, many meetings are happening to speak to the housing crisis, including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Assembly of First Nations. The CMHC — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation — is holding a first-ever national housing conference in Ottawa yesterday and today.

We wil= l soon see more reports. We already know that the cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. The many issues that befall citizens who are marginaliz= ed due to lifestyle, mental illness or social issues currently dictate their accessibility to adequate, or even below adequate, dwellings. Once housed, there are costs that go with living in a dwelling that can often cause more angst than living on the street. What does a home mean? Is it just a place = to eat or sleep? Is it under a bridge or in a tent? Is it a shelter or a safe = home on a night-by-night basis?

As we = continue to work on helping those less fortunate to find adequate, affordable homes — especially for those with children who live in poverty — I lo= ok forward to seeing what can be done throughout the Yukon to address housing issues and solutions.

As we = come to the Christmas season and we help others in need — whether giving thro= ugh the sock and mitt drive, giving money for gifts and food for families in ne= ed or dropping money into the Salvation Army kettles — remember that each act of kindness does make a difference.

Applause

 

Ms. White: I rise on behalf of the Yukon NDP caucus to acknowledge National Housing Day. Everything begins with housing. Without it, no one can truly live with dign= ity. Food, water and shelter are some of the most fundamental human rights, yet Canada is facing an affordable housing crisis and homelessness crisis. Near= ly 30 years ago, the federal government walked away from the business of making sure that Canadians were housed, and today, after years of waiting, the fed= eral government finally released a national housing strategy — something t= hat experts and advocates had been calling on for decades.

We fun= damentally believe that our national housing strategy should guarantee everyone the ri= ght to safe, adequate and affordable housing, because if you, like us, believe = that housing is a human right, then you understand that everything begins with a= home.

In Yuk= on, we are lucky to have groups like the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, Blood Ties Four Directions and Habitat for Humanity Yukon, = which recognized our local need and have responded with action= .

The point-in-time count from April confirmed what many of us have understood fo= r a long time. Too many of our neighbours, friends, family and loved ones are living shorter, extremely unhealthy and difficult lives; 195 people experie= nced homelessness on that day. The ongoing housing crisis is impacting First Nat= ion people, who continue to be overrepresented in the homeless population in Whitehorse. Our youth are struggling; 17 children under the age of 18 repor= ted as being homeless that night in April.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, when we see a person who is homeless, we need to understand that this is a result of a system gone wrong — not a person gone wrong. Knowing that, how is it possible that in a country as wealthy = as Canada, governments are only just now deciding that we need to face housing= and homelessness head-on? Why isn’t the right to housing in our municipal, territorial and federal laws and legislation where it belongs? It should be= .

The ne= ed for action in Yukon continues to be urgent. We look forward to a day when homelessness is a thing of the past across Canada and especially right here= at home.

Applause

In recognition of the Northwestel Festival of Trees

Mr. Gallina: Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today on behalf of the Yukon Liberal government to recog= nize the 16th annual Northwestel Festival of Trees.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, it’s fitting that this tribute be presented today on the last day of = the Fall Sitting. As I walk through the main administration building and see al= l of the beautiful trees being decorated and prepared for display, I am reminded= of this time of transition as we move into the holiday season and strengthen o= ur focus and attention to our friends, families and those less fortunate than ourselves.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, the Northwestel Festival of Trees launches this evening with the Goldcorp B= AH Humbug cocktail party right here in the main administration building. Over = the last 16 years, Yukoners have come to know that the festival marks the unofficial start of the holiday season. Each year, the trees are auctioned = off to raise money for the Yukon Hospital Foundation, and we witness the true generosity of Yukoners.

Since = 2006, the Northwestel Festival of Trees has raised over $5 million. Last year, t= he festival raised over $500,000. Mr. Speaker, there are significant milestones, and I know that many Yukoners are proud of these accomplishment= s. The Yukon Hospital Foundation uses these funds to purchase important medical equipment to improve access and quality of care in our hospitals. Past contributions have allowed the foundation to purchase a fluoroscopy machine, heart stress testing equipment, a CT scanner, ultrasound machines and the f= irst MRI scanner north of 60.

This h= ighly anticipated event would not be possible without the dedication and commitme= nt of Northwestel, the Yukon Hospital Foundation and local sponsors and volunteers. This year, 17 trees will go up for auction. Each tree has been donated by a local company or organization, and I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the local businesses that donate trees to this worthy cause. Once donated, the trees are decorated by a dedicated team of volunte= ers. Each year, over 20 spectacular Yukon volunteers volunteer their time and th= eir creativity. On behalf of many Yukoners who will view and enjoy your work, I thank you.

I woul= d also like to extend my thanks to the Yukon Hospital Foundation, and in particula= r, Karen Forward and her team, as year after year t= hey do an outstanding job organizing this event. The Yukon Hospital Foundation is currently at the halfway mark of a two-year $1‑million campaign to cr= eate a Yukon medical simulation centre. Together we can help them meet this goal= .

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, I would urge the members of this house and all Yukoners to head out to one = of the festival events. Skookum Asphalt is hosting breakfast with Santa this Saturday here in the administration building. On the 27th, you c= an join Air North for Cookies with Santa. The 30th is the Save-On-F= oods Senior Soirée, and I see that Alan Kaarsem= aker with Save-On-Foods, also a constituent of Porter Creek Centre, is here in t= he gallery, who I neglected to introduce earlier. And finally, the festival en= ds on December 1, with the Alkan Air Grand Ball. I hope everyone is able = to come out to see some of these great events and support the Yukon Hospital Foundation for this worthwhile cause.

Applause

 

Mr. Kent: I rise today on behalf of the Yukon Party and the Yukon New Democratic Party = to pay tribute to the 16th annual Northwestel Festival of Trees. The current campaign goal is to purchase a $1 million medical simulation centre. This festival, of course, is marked on so many social calendars, bu= t we all need to remember the reason that it exists: to help purchase much-needed diagnostic equipment for our Yukon hospitals so we provide the best care ri= ght here in the Yukon.

The si= gnature fundraising event for the Yukon Hospital Foundation actually predates the foundation itself. In 2003, Vanessa Innes and Amanda Leslie, with support f= rom former Yukon Hospital Corporation CEO Ron Brown, began pitching the idea to local businesses, and the initial response was amazing. The Close to Our He= arts campaign was launched and the first Northwestel Festival of Trees Grand Ball took place at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre with former MLA and Commissioner Doug Phillips as the chair of the campaign and CBC’s Dave White as the first auctioneer. That two-year campaign helped purchase heart-monitoring equipment for our hospital and led to the 2005 establishme= nt of the Yukon Hospital Foundation.

Since = then, the festival has moved to the Yukon Convention Centre and the Yukon government = main administration building and has added other fundraisers like this evening’s Goldcorp BAH Humbug, Save-On-Foods Senior Soirée, Air North Cookies with Santa and Skookum Asphalt’s breakfast with Santa, = all of course, culminating with the Alkan Air Grand Ball.

Northw= estel has been the title sponsor for the entire time, contributing over $2 milli= on to the various campaigns. A special thanks is ow= ed to former Northwestel president and CEO Paul Flaherty as well as current CEO Curtis Shaw for their unwavering support.

Other = sponsors that have been there from the start deserve mentioning as well. Alkan Air — from Barry Watson to Hugh Kitchen, to now Wendy Tayler and her team; Pelly Construction and the Byram family; Nuway Crushing and the Adams family; Marsh Lake Tents and Events with, of course,= Ray Chaykowsky and Helen Smith; and the Yukon Convention Centre — the late Barry Bellchambers and now the new owners, Northern Vision Development.

The MR= I machine, CT scanner, digital X-ray and operating room equipment are among the items purchased with these funds over the years. Of course, we also need to thank= the 17 tree sponsors that have come forward this year to make this event so special. I am going to quickly run through them: Northwestel; Alkan Air; Whitehorse Motors; Goldcorp; Air North, Yukon’s airline; Pelly Construction; CIBC; RBC; Angellina’s Toy = and Children’s Boutique; EDI Environmental Services; Yukon retired teache= rs and the Yukon Teachers’ Association; Northern Vision Development; Yuk= on Brewing; Pine Dental; Yukon doctors; Lumel Studios; the Yukon Hospital Foundation board of directors; Tyler Olson from West Coast Auctions; and Co= eur Silvertip. So a big thank you to all of those individuals and businesses who are sponsoring the event.

Some o= f the early volunteers who built this event and who I would I like to mention inc= lude Elaine Smart and Frank Curlew and the “tree-mendous” ladies who helped out: Penny Ferbey, Diane= Loewen and Val Stockdale.

Before= wrapping up, I wanted to share one of my favourite memories from a number of years a= go. It’s a bad-news story turned good. In one of the first years at the convention centre, there was a break-in and a number of gifts were stolen, including a snowmobile. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Yu= kon Yamaha and Jason Adams stepped up right away and provided a replacement, as= did many other businesses in town, to ensure that the fundraiser would happen. =

Also, = Good Samaritans Carson Schiffkorn and Tony Ciprani from Inn on the Lake were driving into town a= fter the news broke of the theft and spotted a snowmobile with a couple of young riders on it. They became suspicious, contacted the RCMP and initiated what I’m sure was a low- to medium-speed chase through Riverdale until the culprits were apprehended.

This u= nfortunate event, of course, led to the hiring of overnight security for future festiv= als. One year, one of the trees had an entire bedroom set as the gift associated with it. Every morning, Amanda and Elaine would go in and have to make the = bed that had obviously become a resting spot for one of the guards. As an aside, the tree and its gifts were purchased by a former member of this House R= 12; no harm done, and it certainly provided some much-needed laughs for all tho= se who worked so hard to pull off this event.

This i= s just one of the stories from this annual fundraiser that has become such an important part of what we do to make sure we deliver quality health care close to hom= e.

We wis= h everyone involved a successful year and thank them for what they are doing to improve the lives of Yukon residents.

Applause

 

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

Tabling Returns and Documents

Hon. Ms. Dendys: Pursuant to section 15.3 of the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues Act, I have for tabling the 20= 17‑18 annual report of the Yukon Advisory Council on Women’s Issues.

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Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to table a response to a question raised by the M= ember for Watson Lake on November 7, 2018. I would also like to table a resp= onse to a question raised by the Member for Watson Lake on November 20, 201= 8.

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Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I have for tabling a letter addressed to the Yukon Legislative Assembly.

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Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I have for tabling a legislative return in response to Written Question No. 30 tabled by the MLA for Lake Laberge on October 31, 2018.

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

Are th= ere any reports of committees?

Petitions.

PETITIONS

Petition No. 3 — re= sponse

Hon. Mr. Streicker= : I rise today in response to Petition No. 3 tabled on No= vember 7, 2018.

Mobile= -homeownership is an important part of the housing spectrum, in particular affordable homeownership. Most mobile homes in the Yukon are located in the largest fi= ve mobile home parks in the greater Whitehorse area, containing upward of 350 mobile homes. We recognize the importance of this housing option in the Yuk= on.

The Residential Landlord and Tenant Act aims to strike a balance between the rights of tenants and the rights of landlor= ds, recognizing our need for mobile homes as an affordable option for Yukoners = and also the sustainability of mobile home parks. The act does recognize mobile homes as a particular and important group. While the act does identify the relationship between a park owner and the owner of a mobile home as a relationship between a landlord and tenant, it deals with this unique situa= tion by setting rules specifically for mobile home tenancy including: requiring = park owners to provide at least 12 months’ notice before ending a tenancy without cause; prohibiting termination of a tenancy to take effect during t= he months of December, January and February; and requiring 18 months’ no= tice to end tenancy for the closure of a mobile home park or a change in use and giving mobile-homeowners the right to contest the notice.

Mobile= home pad tenancies are also subject to the other requirements of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act including: prohibiting rent increases in the first year of a tenancy; limit= ing the frequency of increases to one time per year; requiring three monthsR= 17; notice of a rent increase; providing access to dispute resolution through t= he residential tenancies office; enabling tenants to contest notice to end tenancies; and specific protections for those who receive notice because th= ey have exercised their legal rights.

All Ca= nadian jurisdictions allow landlords to end mobile home tenancies for various reas= ons unrelated to a breach by the tenant. Many jurisdictions have timelines for = this type of notice ranging from one to eight months. Yukon’s without-cause notice provisions for mobile home tenancies — 12 months — is on= e of the longest notice timelines nation-wide. If the mobile park owner wishes to repurpose a mobile home pad, then the notice in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia is 12 months. In the Yukon, it is 12 to 15 months as you can’t ask someone to leave in the winter months. If it is the who= le park being repurposed, then the time is 18 months. In the other territories, this notice is three months.

If we = were to drop the without-cause provision, it would have to be done in the context of revisiting the with-cause provisions to make sure that we maintain the bala= nce of the mobile-homeowners and the mobile park owners.

It is = important that mobile home parks and mobile-homeowners work together to make the tena= ncy relationship work. To that end, the act also includes the tenancy expertise= and dispute resolution resources of the residential tenancies office that are readily accessible outside of the courts and are legally binding on all parties.

I have= asked about the frequency of mobile home eviction unrelated to breach by the tena= nt, and it is my understanding that it is not common. Rent — and rent con= trol — is probably a more pressing concern for mobile-homeowners. We appreciate that mobile-homeowners do not want their rent to increase. Just = over half of other Canadian jurisdictions limit both the amount and the frequenc= y of rent increases. We understand that the general practice in Whitehorse has b= een to increase the pad rent after a number of years. In other jurisdictions wh= ere rent controls are established, landlords often utilize the prescribed maxim= um yearly increase regardless of whether or not they have made improvements to= the property or there have been increases to operating and maintenance costs.

In the= Yukon, many mobile home parks are located on property which has become increasingly scarce and more valuable. Some owners have indicated that should rent contr= ols be instituted or the cost of owning and operating a park become too much to recover, they would be more likely to close their business and/or convert t= he park to another use. In other words, rent control could lead to mobile-homeowners losing their homes — not the solution we want.

We wou= ld like to thank the mobile-homeowners for raising this issue. While we don’t support the specific requests of the petition, we do support the desire to = work on mobile home affordability and security and remain willing to work with y= ou on these important issues.

Petition No. 5 — response

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I rise today to respond to the petition presented by the MLA f= or Lake Laberge on November 20. I would like to thank the member for bringing = the petition forward to the Legislature.

As a g= overnment, we are committed to a people-centred approach that builds healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities throughout the territory. We are committed to impro= ving our transportation infrastructure to serve all citizens. These are the roads that bring us home, to school and to the doctor, and we must ensure they me= et current highway standards. As the Member for Lake Laberge knows, we have sh= ared several letters on this very issue.

At iss= ue is a stretch of highway from kilometre 197.4 to kilometre 200.3 in the Hidden Va= lley area. Residents are concerned that safety improvements made to the highway actually detracted from its safety.

I woul= d like to thank those constituents who signed this petition and realize that this is = an issue of concern for the area. More specifically, residents are concerned a= bout the Couch Road, MacPherson Road and Two Mile Road intersections and access = to the Klondike Highway.

As I h= ave said, Mr. Speaker, road safety is a top priority of this government. Our crews design, build a= nd maintain more than 4,800 kilometres of highway in the territory with the ultimate goal of improving the safety of motorists, wherever they are. In S= eptember 2016, the Transportation Engineering branch repainted traffic lines at the Couch Road and MacPherson Road intersections. This new layout is based on b= est practices and is part of an effort to make intersections throughout the territory more consistent, which improves road safety for all road users.

The de= partment also continues to monitor lighting in the area, and based on traffic volume= s, there is no need for additional lighting at this time. As the area continue= s to grow, the Transportation Engineering branch is looking to design roads for = the future.

In an = effort to make roads safer for all Yukoners, the department does prioritize its work based on safety, traffic and budgetary constraints.

Further improvements would be considered at the Two Mile Road intersection in a fut= ure fiscal year. We appreciate these changes often force drivers who have lived= in the area for years to adjust their driving habits. Fortunately, we know Yukoners are always looking out for each other and are aligned with our eff= orts to protect people who use our roadways every day.

My dep= artment is always looking to hear from residents who live, work and play in the area. Those Yukoners provide valuable insight and help inform the work we do. This government remains focused on making sure travellers get to their destinati= ons safely and efficiently.

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Speaker: Are= there any petitions to be presented?

Petition No. 6

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

“= ;To the Yukon Legislative Assembly:

“= ;The Petition of the undersigned shows:

“= ;THAT the 30 lots in the first phase of Grizzly Valley subdivision are “rural residential”, and the quiet, rural character of the area is important= to many property owners in the neighbourhood;

“= ;THAT the plan to develop 11 lots in the subdivision as ‘rural residential dog-mushing’ is based on public consultation that was done 12 years a= go, and the community has changed significantly since then;

“= ;THAT the potential number of dogs which would be allowed under the current zoning co= uld have a major effect on the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood, and a nega= tive impact on both quality of life and property value of the current ‘rur= al residential’ lots;

“= ;THEREFORE the undersigned ask the Yukon Legislative Assembly to recognize the concern= s of area residents by urging the Yukon government to rezone the 11 dog-mushing = lots as “rural residential” before releasing them for sale.”

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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

Mr. Istchenko: I rise to give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to ensure that the permit hunt authorization = is being audited by an independent body separate from government and that the following considerations are made:

(1) any technical changes that are recommended by the independent audit be implemented in time for the 2019 hunting season; and <= /span>

(2) any regulation changes that arise through the audit be submitted to the Yukon F= ish and Wildlife Management Board through the regular regulation process and be implemented in time for the 2019 hunting season.

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Mr. Cathers: I rise to give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Yukon government to recognize the fact that a majority of the residents of Grizzly Valley subdivision have signed a petition urging the government to change the zoning of 11 lots currently designated “rural residential — dog mushing” and to rezone them as “rural residential” before releasing those lots for sale.

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I also= give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Minister of Highways and Public Works to recognize the ongoing co= ncerns of residents of Grizzly Valley subdivision due to a number of near accident= s at the southern intersection of Ursa Way and the M= ayo Road by taking steps to have a turning lane and a slip lane installed at th= is intersection during the 2019 construction season.

&= nbsp;

Speaker: Are= there any further notices of motions?

Is the= re a statement by a minister?

Introduction of Visitors

Speaker: Just prior to Question Period, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my mother-in-law, Elizabeth Lee, who is visit= ing from beautiful North Vancouver, and my wife, Janet Clarke, who might look a little bit like her mom. Welcome to the Assembly.

Applause

 

Speaker: This then brings us to Question Period.

QUESTION PERIOD

Question re: Public service engagement survey

Mr. Hassard: As we saw from the leaked public service engagement survey, the Premier and the Liberal’s inability to make decisions has given the Premier a failing grade from his own department. Confidence in senior leadership in the Premier’s own department has plummeted from 80 percent in 2016 to 49 percent in 2018. The Liberals, I’m sure, were embarrassed by this and= hid this report from the public until we brought it up in Question Period.

ItR= 17;s this type of reactive governing that is frustrating Yukoners. It’s clear t= hat the Liberals have no plan. They just sit here and then react to the news stories or the coverage, and you can be sure that they always do one of two things — either flip-flop or throw public servants under the bus.

Look a= t the sole-sourced contract from the Liberals to a Northwest Territories firm. The Deputy Premier blamed public servants from a department that isn’t ev= en his, so will the Premier show some leadership and apologize for blaming pub= lic servants for his government’s lack of leadership?

Hon. Mr. Silver: It didn’t happen, for one, and, Mr. Speaker, we had= this question yesterday, so I guess the Yukon Party is now just regurgitating questions. We did deal with this question yesterday. These internal reviews= are exactly such and I will take it on the chin. I will take it as a whole-of-government approach and a change in government. There are lots of changes going on and this is evidence moving forward. I will take it —= ; I will definitely take it, and I will say to the public servants that we will work as hard as we possibly can to make sure that we have a transparent government, that we will do our utmost to turn around the fiscal situation = of this government and that we will make sure that we listen to the public servants.

We wan= t to hear more from the public servants, not less, and that’s why we’re changing ATIPP, that’s why we’re having a more progressive legislative session than we’ve seen in a decade. We’re willing = to work with the public servants if they’re willing to work with us.

Mr. Hassard: Yesterday the Premier said that the reason that the confidence in his leadership has plummeted is because he’s asking public servants to do — and I = will say these in his own words: “… to do more with less — and that is a hard thing to do.”

Ironic= ally, the Premier is correct, because according to the results of the survey, he̵= 7;s asking them to do more work with less leadership. It is backed up with evid= ence that confidence in the Premier’s leadership from his own department h= as plummeted, as I said, from 80 percent to 49 percent. I won’t say that’s a failing grade because I know the report cards have changed, = but I think with the new system, this would be classified as “doesn’= ;t meet expectations”.

We kno= w why this is happening. The Premier and the Liberals just can’t make a decision. Just look at the health care review. They’ve punted any improvements = to our health care system to at least the end of next year. Will the Premier s= how some leadership and fix medical travel today?

Hon. Mr. Silver: There was an awful lot to unpack in that preamble, but again, = we are doing a lot and we are doing a lot with less. We’re trying to reduce = the growth. We know that the Yukon Party built up to spending $1.50 for every $1 earned, and now we’re putting forth lots of progressive legislation — 10 pieces of legislation this session — a whole-of-government approach, more fiscal responsibility and an actual Department of Finance as opposed to a budgetary consideration.

Again,= Mr. Speaker, I said it yesterday and I will say it again today: We are asking for the government — for the officials and for the public servants — to= do more. A whole-of-government approach takes a lot of time and it takes a lot= of effort. It is a lot different from doing things in silos. In that, it is a = lot more work.

I want= to say to the public servants from the bottom of my heart: thank you — thank you very much for helping us in this pursuit — because I believe Yukoners want us to do the best job that we possibly can with their money and we can’t do this without the public servants. I want to thank them. I wi= ll take this and we will hopefully see these numbers increase.

Mr. Hassard: It is clear that this government is suffering from paralysis because of the la= ck of leadership from this Premier. His own department has lost confidence in = his leadership. Again, it is because he can’t make a decision. We are hea= ded into year 3 of this government and they still can’t share a single de= tail on how the carbon tax rebates are going to work.

While = they have been asleep at the wheel on this file, other premiers have literally convin= ced Ottawa to exempt dirty coal plants and offshore oil and gas. Meanwhile, our Premier won’t even commit to getting our trucking industry exempt = 212; or to having home heating fuel exempt for that matter. The Premier just sits here waiting and hoping that someone else is going to answer these questions for him, but Yukoners need a Premier with a backbone, not a wishbone.

Will t= he Premier finally show leadership, tell Yukoners how the carbon tax rebates will actu= ally work? Will it be a cheque or will it be a tax credit?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Paralysis, I wouldn’t say, is how we can characterize th= is session. We have 10 pieces of progressive legislation: The Lobbyists Registration Act; Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act that was clawed back from = the Yukon Party; Equality of Spouses St= atute Law Amendment Act (2018); a new Coroners Act; and a modernization of the Societies Act.

Before= coming in, I took a look at year 2 of Yukon Party 2.0 on the last day of their session: court case, court case, court case. What we have right now is a government that is willing to work with other governments, whether they are First Nation governments, federal governments or municipalities. What we ha= ve is progressive legislation in front of us. What we have is more open govern= ment — not less. We are no longer working in silos; we are working with a whole-of-government approach.

This i= s a lot of work, Mr. Speaker. This is a lot of leadership, and it is hard for the core disciplines of the departments to get used to a new direction from a n= ew government. We will continue to work with the public servants and we will continue to work with Ottawa, regardless of which government is in Ottawa. = We will continue to work with municipalities, regardless of who the mayors are= . We will work with the chiefs and we’ll work with all these governments because Yukoners want a more open and transparent government. They want a leader who will actually work with other governments as opposed to fighting them in court.

Question re: Procurement Advisory Panel recommendations

Mr. Istchenko: The Liberals promised to implement all of the recommendations of the Procurement Advisory Panel by 2018. One of those recommendations was to update the definition of a Yukon business. CBC has reported on documents from the Procurement Business Committee that state the government will not meet the deadline to update the definition of a Yukon business by the end of 2018. Instead, they will just use the old definition and punt the decision down t= he road to March 2019. This inability to deliver and make a decision is obviou= sly one of the defining characteristics of this government.

Can th= e minister confirm that the Liberals will not have an updated definition of a “Y= ukon business” by the end of the year?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I thank the member opposite for the question this afternoon. It’s an important question and one that I was anticipating, to be hon= est with you.

The me= mbers opposite were frightened of leaks, Mr. Speaker. They talked about them often. They talked about how information in the public domain causes confus= ion and sows discord and confusion. The member opposite made these statements on the floor of this Legislature when discussing the draconian rollback of the ATIPP legislation back in 2012.

Today,= Mr. Speaker, he’s relying on information that he heard in the media and is asking = if I am going to confirm that we are not going to meet the deadline. I know I am= not going to confirm that. In fact, I am going to say that we have received inp= ut from our business counsel with a suggested rewording of the definition of a “Yukon business.” I am going to take a look at that definition,= and then Cabinet will make a decision on what the definition of a “Yukon business” is. If this definition that we have received is an improvem= ent on the one that we are currently using, we will adopt it. If not, we are go= ing to look at other improvements to the definition of a “Yukon business” before the end of 2018. Then, Mr. Speaker, we are goin= g to continue to work on this, because procurement improvement is a journey; it = is not a destination. This is something that is going to keep going and we are going to work with our business partners, with the chiefs of the Yukon First Nations and with the citizens of this territory to make sure that —

Speaker: Ord= er.

Mr. Istchenko: Just to quote from the document, at a recent meeting wi= th industry and First Nation development corporations, the Minister of Economic Development said that the First Nation procurement policy would not be sepa= rate from the new general procurement policy. The document further goes on to st= ate that this was new information to the deputy minister of the actual departme= nt in charge of procurement.

Not on= ly is there a problem with a lack of leadership in this government, it looks like there might be another minister in the Liberal Cabinet who is trying to ins= ert himself into other files and lead other departments that aren’t even = his. That is definitely a very interesting development, but I am going to leave = that for now.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, my question is: Will the First Nation procurement policy be announced as pa= rt of the new general procurement policy?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Thank you to the member opposite for that journey and preamble= .

I thin= k that I did get a question at the end. There were a couple of different points, but= I think the question was: Is the First Nation procurement policy part of the general policy? It is.

What t= he members opposite didn’t have was — I think they referred to documents t= hat were widely shared from October 5. What normally happens is that you actual= ly are having constant dialogue with your partners in First Nation development corporations — something that we didn’t see previously. I know = in my experience working with multiple development corporations, there were no meetings with the previous government.

On Oct= ober 19, my colleague the Deputy Minister of Highways and Public Works and I went in= and met with the executive director, the chair of the Yukon First Nation Chambe= r of Commerce, and talked about the process that was in place. I thought it was a very good meeting. I know that my colleague since then has e‑mailed a= nd reached out to almost every First Nation in the Yukon to continue to set meetings up and continue the dialogue.

Althou= gh the members opposite are getting very worked up abou= t it, what we are seeing is real partnership. I can remember back to a meeting th= at I actually had with the individual who was asking me a question on this very topic.

Withou= t getting into what happened, we’ll just say that there was one meeting. I beli= eve the other individual knew what happened. We are going to continue to have g= ood dialogue and continue to work on these particular things.

Question re: Forest fire management

Ms. Hanson: A group of forestry specialists, scientists and concerned Yukoners are raisin= g an alarm about the fire danger for the City of Whitehorse. Dave Loeks, a member of this group, describes Whitehorse &= #8212; and I quote: “… sitting at the edge of a blowtorch…” Anyone not aware of the devastation caused by forest fires need only look to California or closer to home in Fort McMurray or ask the residents of Telegraph Creek, who are just now slowly returning to what= is left of their community three months after wildfires hit. The city, neighbourhood association and homeowners are doing their part to firesmart, but it’s clear that more needs to be= done.

What i= s this government doing to address the real danger posed by wildfire in Whitehorse= and all Yukon communities?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Wildfire is a risk to all of our communities. I thank the memb= er opposite for her question. I happened to attend the city council meeting wh= ere Mr. Loeks gave his presentation. I have actually met with= Mr. Loeks as well, and we have had good discussions about= what we can do and how to be proactive on this file.

Follow= ing that meeting, I sat down with the Mayor of Whitehorse, and we discussed setting = up meetings between his emergency planning folks and ours to review the work t= hat is in place and to talk about how to address the risk. I’ll try to get deeper into this response in further responses, Mr. Speaker.

There = is work that is ongoing, but I don’t want to shy away from the notion that th= ere is a lot of risk to our communities, and it’s important that we addre= ss it.

Ms. Hanson: In 2006, a report was published by FireSmart recommending that more than $2.5&= nbsp;million — in 2006 dollars — be spent firesmarting around Whitehorse. It= was pointed out then that the greatest risk is the wildland-urban interface, wh= ere the wilderness meets our neighbourhoods.

The Ci= ty of Whitehorse is doing their part by spending $700,000 over the next four year= s to carry on their firesmarting program, but the reality is that it’s not enough. More money is needed, and it just so happens that much of the land at risk is the responsibility of the Yukon government= .

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, will the government increase the money that it allocates to fire abatement = in Whitehorse and Yukon communities prior to next year’s budget to allow essential work to be done over the winter?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>We are investing in FireSmart, but I think the point that I wa= nt to make here is that this goes way beyond FireSmart. We need to get much furth= er than FireSmart. Firesmarting is what we do around our homes and along our streets. What we need to be doing is a broader, deeper look at the issue of= the risk of forest fire. I know that it has been exacerbated by climate change.= We have more seasons where we have less rainfall; it goes up and down. We have longer shoulder seasons. We have more wind and we have more lightning strik= es, but we have also have a history where fire has been suppressed, and that has left a legacy of risk.

It nee= ds a deep look. The department is doing that right now. We have been sitting down in these conversations with the federal government around — I’m go= ing to get it wrong, Mr. Speaker — the disaster mitigation fund. Sor= ry — I have the wrong phrase there, Mr. Speaker. But we are looking= at doing a deeper look.

The me= mber asked whether it’s going to happen this winter. That I’m not sure of. I’ll have to turn back to the departmen= t. The work is going to take several years, so I just want to say that we will continue to work together on this project.

Ms. Hanson: Thank you, Mr. Speaker — 2018, 2006 — it is a long time that we = have all been talking about this really serious issue. The deputy fire chief of Whitehorse has called for a committee to be formed with representatives from the Yukon government, First Nation governments and other stakeholders to prepare for catastrophic wildfire and to come up with an actual strategy th= at is shared.

Every = Yukon community, including Whitehorse, needs more support from both territorial a= nd federal governments to make meaningful inroads into fire abatement that will protect communities. There are few citizens who aren’t keenly aware of the risks posed by wildfires in our community.

Can th= e minister clearly describe what proactive steps this government is taking to actually address fire abatement and to minimize the risk of and respond — and respond — to catastrophic wildfire in all Yukon communities?

Hon. Mr. Streicker= : I agree that it is 2018. I agree that we do need to wor= k and do more. I appreciate the question. I think it is spot on.

The wo= rk that the federal government is doing is called the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund. I apologize that I couldn’t remember the name of it before. I have been in meetings with the federal minister, with our directo= r of the Emergency Measures office and with our ADM of Protective Services. We a= re working on this. We agree that we need to do more. There is a significant r= isk here in the territory. We need to look across all of our communities, and we will work in partnership with our municipalities. We will work in partnersh= ip with our volunteer firefighters who work on the interface of this. We will = work with Wildland Fire Management and continue to work with the First Nation development corporations on this issue.

It is = going to take a deep look, and I have instructed that we work on this issue. If you = want a specific thing that we are doing, I have asked that the Joint Task Force North, when they do their exercise this coming year, focus on wildland fire leading to an interface fire with the City of Whitehorse. I know that plann= ing work is underway right now. That is a first step in many steps that have to happen.

Question re: Yukon grant

Ms. White: For some time now, Yukon College has been offering an environmental monitoring certificate. The program prepares students to do a variety of fieldwork for First Nation or other governments, industry, field researchers or environme= ntal service companies. Students have to complete 10 courses over a period of two years. The courses are offered in the form of two-week, intensive modules at camps in various locations across the country. This program is a great opportunity for Yukoners to get trained and develop skills that are in dema= nd in today’s local economy. Yet, because of the unique format of the course, students who enrol in this program can’t access the Yukon gra= nt, and that is despite the heavy tuition fees required that total $12,500.

Does t= he minister believe that it is fair to penalize students in the environmental monitoring certificate program by denying them access to the Yukon grant si= mply because of the format of this program?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I appreciate the question. Thank you to the member oppo= site for the question. This is not something that has been brought to my attenti= on. I will leave it at that. It is not something that has been brought to my attention.

On a n= umber of occasions, the members opposite have brought something like this to my attention, and we have an opportunity to look into it. I have not received = any correspondence about it or any complaints that I am aware of from students = who are trying to access the Yukon grant.

Clearl= y, I need to look into this and I will endeavour to respond to the member opposite’s question. It is a specific one. What I can say about Yukon College is the dedication to Yukon learning, to post-secondary education in= all of its forms throughout the territory — and the Yukon College is grow= ing — is an important factor in post-secondary education and upgrading for Yukon individuals and Yukon students. It does an amazing job, and it is bei= ng recognized nationally and internationally for doing so and will be the first university in the north.

Ms. White: I believe that if the minister had a conversation with her department, she wo= uld realize that this was an issue last year, but I was just told about it this morning.

Yukone= rs who choose a career in environmental monitoring should not be penalized because= of the structure of the courses offered. With tuition fees for this certificate over $12,000, many students can’t afford to enrol in the environmental monitoring certificate offered at Yukon College without financial aid. Not = only do these students not qualify for the Yukon grant, but they also don’t qualify for the student training allowance. This allowance requires student= s to be enrolled in classes for three weeks in a given month. With this program offered in the form of 10 intensive two-week modules, students don’t qualify for the training allowance.

Will t= he minister commit to reviewing eligibility criteria for the Yukon grant and t= he student training allowance to make sure that students enrolled in non-conventional programs, like the environmental monitoring certificate at Yukon College, can access financial aid?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I appreciate the support of my colleague the Minister of Educa= tion, who has also given me an opportunity to work under a one-government approach where we both have dialogue with Yukon College — going to be Yukon university. The work that I do with my officials is mo= re focused on the Centre for Northern Innovation and Mining. One of the things that we have really focused on is ensuring that not only does the centre lo= ok at production, but also reclamation. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in the Yukon at this particular time — hundreds of m= illions of dollars — as we move forward on our projects in Mount Nansen and continue to see Yukon companies win contracts, now in the Faro area. We are always discussing with these companies the opportunity to bring in Yukon students and students, of course, who are taking part in these environmental studies programs.

I know= that I will take it upon myself, in my discussions with the leadership at CNIM = 212; we were with them last year, of course, during Yukon Days, having discussio= ns with the federal government to enhance their capacity to deliver these stro= ng programs and for my work at that institution. Yes, there are some times whe= re we have programs that are delivered through the advanced education model, w= here it is modules versus a curriculum that would be delivered in a certificate diploma model, so that is the criteria that we will have to look at, and I = will work with my colleague to have those discussions.

Ms. White: Although I appreciate the thoughts from the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, this was a very specific question, so I am going to ask again.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, will the Minister of Education commit to reviewing eligibility criteria for= the Yukon grant and student training allowance to make sure that students enrol= led in non-conventional programs, like the environmental monitoring certificate= at Yukon College, can access financial aid?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I think I heard my colleague just say exactly that. Yes, we wi= ll look into the categorization of programming at the college. What is critica= l to us and our government, and I know to Yukon College, is to make sure that individual students have the resources they need to take advantage of the amazing programs at the college and the amazing programs that train individ= uals here in our territory for the purposes of working here and contributing in = our territory.

It is = education in the north, for the north, and all barriers must be addressed with respec= t to resources and the permission for students and access for students to those kinds of programs that are so important to our economy and to our education community.

Question re: Non-government use of government highways camps=

Mr. Hassard: Contractors provide living accommodations for employees through a number of different avenues when working on government projects. This is a cost incurred by the contractor and could be expensive, particularly at this time of the year if= the contractor is running a camp. We do know that currently there is a southern contractor who is housing their employees at a Government of Yukon highways= camp. I am curious if the Minister of Highways and Public Works feels that it is = fair to allow a company to use government highways camps when the tender document does not specify this as an option.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I thank the member opposite for this question, because I know = that there are many people in the community who have concerns about this very is= sue. It is unusual for a highway company to utilize a highways camp as their bas= e of operations — to pay for accommodation there — but it is not unh= eard of. I was briefed on this earlier this week, and it turns out that it comes back to some of the fees and the fee practice in this government that dates back decades to the early 1990s at least, where= companies that want to use a highways camp can pay $45 a night and have access to the camp.

Now, t= hat fee was set in the early 1990s and hasn’t been changed since then. So here we are now, after the Financial Advisory Panel, taking a look at our fee schedule so that we can actually start to address = some of these long-standing problems and prevent this type of unfairness — because it is unfairness. We have said that we want to get out of the busin= ess of doing business, and that is certainly being a subsidized lodging for companies up in remote Yukon places.

So yes= , we are addressing this concern, and I look forward to more questions from the memb= er opposite.

Mr. Hassard: We have heard that the reason that this particular company is using the govern= ment highways camp is because they didn’t like the price of the local hote= l. Does the minister feel that if a contractor doesn’t like the price of= the local hotel, the contractor should then be allowed to live at highways camp= s, even if the tender document doesn’t state that as a possibility?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: That is a simple question, and it is a simple answer I can giv= e. No, I do not think that is fair. I do not think that is right. I really think it’s about time that we start to address the fee schedules in this government to make sure that this type of inequity doesn’t happen in = the territory. We support business; we want to make sure that we support local hotels, of course. To actually have a policy that I was just made aware of = this week — I found out that companies can actually rent our highway lodges and pay $45 a night, a fee that was set back in 1995. That is not acceptabl= e.

As the= Financial Advisory Panel has said, we are going to review our fee schedules and have a look at that and hopefully remove some of these strange inequities that have grown up after years of neglect in this government. That’s what we’re going to do, and we’re going to make sure that this is addressed.

Mr. Hassard: I will remind the Minister of Highways and Public Works that he is in his thi= rd year of government here, so he really needs to stop blaming the others.

The ot= her thing is that this question isn’t about the fee schedule. I’m not say= ing that the government should charge more to make it more equal. I’m ask= ing if it’s fair that they are allowed to do it.

Other = companies that bid on such a project would build into their price a camp for their st= aff, so if the government just allows one southern company to use a highways camp and did not include that as an option in the tender document, it doesn̵= 7;t seem fair to local companies.

Can th= e minister tell us why he is allowing this to happen and why he thinks it’s fair= ?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I don’t understand why the member opposite didn’t = hear my last answer. The fact is that I said that I did not think it was fair. I certainly do not think this is fair. When fee schedules get grossly out of whack, Mr. Speaker, then you can actually rent a highway camp —<= /span>

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Point of order

Speaker: Min= ister of Community Services, on a point of order.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I know my colleague is trying to hear; I’m trying to hea= r. It’s just challenging to hear the response.

Speaker’s ruling

Speaker: I&#= 8217;m having some difficulty hearing the Minister of Highways and Public Works. I= will certainly allow some latitude, but in any event, let’s keep the volume down slightly. I’ll listen to the remainder of the answer now.=

 

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As I have said, I don&#= 8217;t think it’s fair. Really, simple economics dictate that if you can ren= t a space legitimately for $45 a night when there’s a hotel room down the road that charges more than that, you are going to try to get the cheaper a= ccommodation. The fact that government is offering this accommodation — I don’t believe that it is right, Mr. Speaker.

So the department — we are now looking at our policies to make sure that this type of inequity doesn’t happen again, and we’re also looking at the fee schedule to make sure that we start charging enough money that there isn’t this disincentive.

&= nbsp;

Speaker: The= time for Question Period has now elapsed. We will now proceed to Orders of the D= ay.

Orders of the Day

Government Bills

Bill No. 27: Coroners Act — Third Reading=

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 27, standing in the name of the Hon. Ms. M= cPhee.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that Bill No. 27, entitled Coroners Act, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Minister of Justice that Bill No. 27, entitled Coroners Act, be now read a third = time and do pass.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: We have covered significant ground during the debate on this b= ill in the House and I would like to take a few moments to talk about this bill be= fore a final vote. At the risk of concerning the Member for Lake Laberge, I will unfortunately have to repeat myself a bit from the former debate, but I thi= nk that these are important points to raise here on behalf of the House, for the House and on behalf of Yukoners — for th= em as well.

As we = have noted previously, the current coroners’ legislation is outdated in practice= and process and is silent in a number of key topics. In modernizing the Coroners Act, we have made sure th= at out-of-date provisions and language are replaced and much attention has been paid to legislating a number of critical process= es and coroner responsibilities. These changes include notification to, and investigations by, the chief coroner and investigating coroners of an unexpected death. Procedures post-investigation includes as well: criteria determining whether to hold an inquest; request from families for an inques= t to be held; and provisions for the conduct of coroners’ inquests.=

I woul= d like to thank the Coroner’s Service once again for their role in the legislat= ive process and, in particular, the chief coroner. Mr. Speaker, the chief coroner has given many hours to this priority over the years and especially during the spring and summer of this year working with the Department of Justice staff to draft this important legislation. I would also like to tha= nk the individuals and organizations who shared their feedback and comments wi= th the Government of Yukon through the specific and public engagement processe= s.

This i= s, of course, a trying subject matter for many, but especially for those who have come in contact with the Coroner’s Service. We thank them for sharing their comments and experiences so that the Government of Yukon can ensure t= hat compassion, sensitivity and the public interest helped to guide the process= es, actions and responses of Yukon coroners.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, indeed this legislation brings Yukon more in line with other Canadian jurisdictions in a way that the Coroner’s Service and its guiding legislation are administered. It also provides some flexibility to adapt to future change as best practices, processes and technology inevitably will evolve. The statute ensures that: coroners trained in modern investigatory techniques handle the initial investigation into an unexplained death; that senior lawyers or judges are tasked with presiding over inquests; and that = the current contracted forensic pathologists can continue to provide medical analysis into the cause or manner of deaths that occur in the Yukon. The service provided by our partner forensic pathologists is exemplary. I am pleased to have the opportunity to recognize their service to us here today= .

During= the work on Bill No. 27, we researched and considered all possible models for t= he Yukon Coroner’s Service. We are pleased with the input and engagement that has resulted and led us to this updated Coroners Act and its retention of the traditional coroners̵= 7; model, albeit with some made-in-Yukon solutions and provisions, which are h= ere to ensure that the unique interests of our jurisdiction are met.

We hav= e updated the fines for circumvention of the act to be more reflective of those found= in other jurisdictions. We have included provisions to address the collection,= use and disclosure of information where the current Coroners Act is silent. This codifies the existing status quo t= hat ensures that information collected or produced during a coroner’s investigation remains private in most cases, while information pertaining to the administration of the Coroner’s Service will remain publicly available.

With r= espect to some of the questions from the members opposite during the debate of this b= ill, I would like to take a moment to touch on some of those issues. I would also like to thank the New Democratic Party for their thoughtful questions ̵= 2; the Leader of the Third Party for her thoughtful questions — that hel= ped us all delve into the provisions and practical implications of this act.

During= our previous debate, we discussed the expanded duty to report, which sets out t= he instances when a death must be reported to the Yukon Coroner’s Servic= e. Further to the general duty to report unexplained or unexpected deaths, we = have ensured that deaths of individuals who are in custody or that occur while t= hey are required to reside at government facilities trigger a duty to report the death to the Coroner’s Service.

A third provision —

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Point of order

Speaker: The= Member for Lake Laberge on a point of order.

Mr. Cathers: Pursuant to Standing Order 19(c), it seems that the minister’s persisting in needless repetition. She’s re-reading notes that she’s read in = some cases on several days in this House in debate of the bill and seems to be needlessly repeating herself and wasting the time of the Assembly.

Speaker: Are= there any other submissions on that point of order — 19(c)?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Mr. Speaker, this is a third reading speech on a bill that I’ve presented to the House and that we debated at some length —= ; at least one of the parties has debated it with us at some length — and I think I’m entitled to say what I would like to say about this importa= nt piece of legislation. Despite the fact that the member opposite might think it’s somewhat repetitive, I assure you and him that these points are being made for the purposes of third reading of this bill.

Speaker’s ruling

Speaker: My preliminary observations are as follows — and I will return to the Ho= use a few months from now if anything more needs to be said — but I recal= l my discussions with Mr. Clerk with respect to speeches that occur either = in second reading, in Committee of the Whole or in third reading that they are deemed to be separate, distinct and discreet speeches, and that the rules of repetition do not therefore strictly apply. So if I am mistaken in that interpretation in my recollection of the discussions I have had with Mr.&nb= sp;Clerk over the course of the last two years, I will certainly return to the House= for the Spring Sitting.

The Mi= nister of Justice can continue. There is no point of order.

 

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I think it is important, Mr. Speaker, to point out that w= hat I’m actually referring to here in this exact part is the conversation= and questions that we had in Committee of the Whole and I’m recalling tho= se for the individuals, so I haven’t spoken about this before.

We have discussed the expanded duty to report, which I have noted. We have also discussed the general duty to report and we have also noted a third provisi= on that articulates the duty to report all child deaths that ensure that the circumstances around any death of a minor are fully investigated in order to determine the circumstances and whether or not similar, future deaths may be avoided — the critical part of that obligation.

We hea= rd Yukoners loud and clear when they told us that there should be a process for families or other interested persons to request that an inquest take place. Section 43 allows for just that process. Under the circumstances, the Minis= ter of Justice may direct that an inquest take place because it is determined t= o be in the public interest. This might be the case even if the chief coroner had not directed that an inquest take place. There will be a core of certain circumstances and case-specific circumstances that will make that provision appropriate. In the event that the minister does not believe that the public interest would be best served by directing that an inquest be held, that decision is, by virtue of this bill, final — though as we have discus= ses here in the earlier debate, that decision could still be subject to judicial review if the circumstances properly arose.

We hav= e also included provisions that allow for a coroner’s case to be opened or reopened should new evidence arise or be discovered as long as it is substantial and relevant to the investigation of an unexplained or unexpect= ed death. Bill No. 27 also removes the current section 16 regarding inque= sts involving mining accidents and the specifics of that in the favour of an updated provision that we spoke about in this House just yesterday regarding special jury composition. While most requests will use the Yukon’s standard jury selection process, the updated Coroners Act allows for special jury composition to be impanell= ed in cases where persons with specific knowledge of a particular industry or = who are representative of a specific ethic or cultural group could be advantage= ous. Procedures for summoning such a jury are to be articulated in associated regulations.

I woul= d like to note that, again, the discussion we had in this House yesterday with respec= t to that particular point was raised by the Leader of the Third Party in a ques= tion to me during that debate. I think it was an important opportunity for us to have that conversation and to inform Yukoners of those specifics.

As I h= ave previously noted, we will further engage Yukoners and relevant stakeholders= as we begin work on the regulations required to bring this act to life and into force. Once Bill No. 27 receives assent, we will begin immediately on = that work so that the Yukon Coroner’s Service can benefit can benefit from guiding legislation that is clear, modern, progressive and sensitive to our Yukon context. I am very pleased that this legislation will provide the Coroner’s Service with a modern and flexible governing statute that is mindful of the public interest and that allows for the efficient, compassio= nate investigation of unexplained or unexpected deaths here in the Yukon. I urge= all members of this House to support Bill No. 27.

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Mr. Cathers: Unlike the minister, I am not going to waste the House’s time spending a lot of time repeating things that I have previously said regarding this legislation. I have heard all of the minister’s remarks and points previously in the Assembly, as she knows well. It is unfortunate on this last day that we are seeing time in this Assembly being taken up needlessly as she rereads her previous speeches.

I am g= oing to just note very quickly for those who may not be aware of the position that = the Yukon Party Official Opposition has taken regarding this legislation or the reasons why. We have stated from the outset that we agree that modernizatio= n of the Coroners Act is needed. We = did make points early on in this Sitting. We brought forward questions and were concerned by the response regarding the lack of consultation that occurred = with people who, we believe, should have been consulted. Those include a list of health care professionals and other partners that we listed both previously= in the Assembly during debate on this legislation as well as in a motion ̵= 2; wherein, after we became aware of the fact that there had either been no consultation or inadequate consultation with stakeholders, including the Hospital Corporation, Emergency Medical Services — including rural EMS — and the Volunteer Ambulance Services Society, the Yukon Medical Association, the Yukon Registered Nurses Association, community coroners and former chief coroners as well as families who had had interaction previously with the Coroner’s Service. Those were among the list of people and stakeholders that we believe government should have consulted with, or cons= ulted with in more detail than they did.

The RC= MP is another entity that — though the government did consult with them, officials confirmed that they did not actually allow the RCMP to see the legislation, including several sections of the legislation that actually directly affect and change whether an RCMP member or a coroner has the final authority on a scene after a fatality.

Those = are the primary concerns that we had with this legislation. We also presented a constructive suggestion to government that, even if they were hell-bent on = proceeding with this legislation this Sitting, they had adequate time to press the pause button on this bill and do an expedited consultation with the list of stakeholders and individuals with whom we ask= ed them to do more consultation. Unfortunately, the government arrogantly dismissed that suggestion, and the minister — we saw her ivory tower leadership style in full form as she explained that she knew best on this i= ssue and didn’t need to consult with the Yukoners we listed.

With t= hat, Mr. Speaker, I just wish to clarify for Yukoners who understand why we will be voting against this legislation that it is due to this government’s failure = to live up to their platform commitment to Yukoners that they would be heard. = They have reverted instead to a much more dismissive style that might be characterized as “be told”, and it’s no wonder that we are seeing unprecedented leaks to the opposition and to the media coming from within the government from civil servants who are very concerned with the w= ay that this government is managing the affairs of the territory.

With t= hat, Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks.

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Ms. Hanson: I rise to speak at third reading on Bill No. 27, the Coroners Act. The Yukon New Democratic Party will be supporting= the passage of this legislation. We appreciate that it has been 60 years since there has been any substantive change to this legislation. We know from experience that the legislation that exists, prior to this one coming into effect — how difficult it has been for members of civil society to actually have their voices heard. Notwithstanding that there is always room= for improvement in any legislation, the approach that has been set out here and= the willingness of the minister and her officials to spend the time to go throu= gh in great detail the questions that we had and that arose through the course= of the debate were appreciated.

I will= leave it at that, Mr. Speaker. We will be looking forward to the vote.

 

Speaker: Is = there any further debate on third reading of Bill No. 27?

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

Does a= ny other member wish to be heard?

 

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I thank the members opposite for their comments. I thank the M= ember for Lake Laberge for repeating what he said here many times before, despite= his criticism of me — to have done so as well.

I will= ask and urge that all members of this House support this bill. Yukon needs this legislation. Yukoners deserve this legislation. It is progression, it is modern, and it will give the Coroner’s Service the tools it needs. The debate in this House has been thorough, and I appreciate all of the questio= ns and the opportunities to answer them.

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.

Ms. Van Bibber: Disagree.

Mr. Cathers: Disagree.

Ms. McLeod: Disagree.

Mr. Istchenko: Disagree.

Ms. Hanson: Agree.

Ms. White: Agree.

Clerk: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, the results are 12 yea, four nay.

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

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 27 agr= eed to

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Speaker: I d= eclare that Bill No. 27 has passed this House.

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Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and that the Ho= use resolve into Committee of the Whole.

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

Motion agreed to

 

Speaker leaves the Chair

Committee of the Whole

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

The ma= tter before the Committee is Vote 15, Department of Health and Social Services, = 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 22 minutes.

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Recess

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

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

Chair: The matter before the Committee is Vote 15, Department = of Health and Social Services, in Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19.

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Department of Health and Social Services —= continued

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to welcome back to the Chamber the deputy = minister, Stephen Samis and Michele Goshulak, the assistant deputy minister.

Ms. White: I also echo the minister’s welcome back to the officials.

Mr.&nb= sp;Chair, I’ve had a lot of questions in recent days, this week for sure, about= the Integrated Support for Yukon Youth — the ISYY office. I would just li= ke to start there. I would just like to know when the closing date is. I’= ;ll start with that. When is the closing date for ISYY?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Mr. Chair, with respect to the supplementary estim= ates up for discussion and debate today, the department has on the table for req= uest —

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Ms. Frost: Speak louder? I apologize; I’ll speak louder.

So wit= h respect to the supplementary requests for this legislative Sitting, we have a propo= sal before the Legislative Assembly for an appropriated amount. I would be happ= y to speak to those supplementary requests and also I would be happy to answer a= ny other questions that are not relevant to the supplementary requests and the= question asked by the Member for Takhini-Kopper King with respect to ISYY and the closure of ISYY. I have stated previously that the independent supported yo= uth program was implemented as a pilot project and the pilot project was tied around specific deliverables. There was an obligation to assess and review = that and potentially close the doors a year ago. We’ve extended that progr= am to take the necessary time to review and analyze as we look at efficiencies= of services for our youth. As noted yesterday, ISYY is still open and the clos= ure will not occur until we have a comprehensive backup plan for youth currently using services in this facility. We are committed to ensuring that the youth have access to the supports they need during this time. We’re closing= the Integrated Supports for Yukon Youth services and we’re doing that unt= il spring 2019 in order for us to get the work done and seek the feedback from First Nations and organizations, NGOs and youth to develop a more fully integrated, cohesive and collaborative services.

At the= moment, we are working through the comprehensive plan and we do not have a definiti= ve date. What we are working toward is having the plan, with our partners, designed and put together by the end of December. I will not have a definit= ive date until I see that detailed plan in front of me that clearly lays out the protocols and, of course, the continuum of services. I am anticipating that= we won’t see that until somewhere toward the end of December.

In the= meantime, I understand that the department is working quite diligently with their partners to get the initiatives in place. As I stated, we extended the prog= ram; we extended ISYY. We kept the facility open and we did that in consultation with our partners. We will look at some much-needed changes in ensuring that Family and Children’s Services are brought into the discussion in ter= ms of how we better align supports and services. We will endeavour to do the consultation to ensure that we continue to nurture the opportunities for our children to grow into young successful and contributing adults of our socie= ty.

Ms. White: Initially, how many staff worked at the office and how many are currently in the ISYY office?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I’m not certain how many worked there but currently we h= ave two staff there and we do provide alternative support. As noted, ISYY provides services to some 13 youth, but we provide day programs and day supports as well. Services that are provided out of ISYY come out of the Health and Soc= ial Services Family and Children’s Services unit. Each child is assigned a case manager, a social worker who works with them, so the numbers fluctuate= and it really depends on the number of youth that we have accessing the service= s.

Ms. White: Has someone from the department had a conversation with each of those youth abo= ut the plans to close down the office?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Thanks for the question. We ensure that we are meeting the nee= ds of all the vulnerable youth in the best way that we can. We are doing that by engaging with the youth and taking the necessary time. Once the engagement happens — the engagement with the youth, the engagement with the families, the engagement with our supporters in the community, be it the NGO groups, or First Nation groups — we want to ensure that we, of course, listen to the youth and that we bring forward their input. We are planning = the temporary closure and we are doing that in conjunction with our partners, t= he First Nation governments and the youth to refocus and improve the programs.= We started that discussion already. We have had, since last January, ongoing discussions with the youth who are accessing the programs there.

As of = yet, we have not made a formal decision to go ahead and close the doors. We have requested that the media not put any information out until we can get a detailed plan and we have the opportunity to work with the youth and give t= hem the necessary supports that they require. Clearly, that was not respected a= nd the notice went out, despite the efforts to look at giving the youth the ti= me that they require.

We hav= e not made a formal announcement. We are finalizing a plan on how to support the youth during this temporary closure. We don’t want the youth who are vulner= able at this point in their lives to worry about the closure. We want to ensure = that we have services and supports available to every youth, addressing their un= ique circumstances, because every youth who comes to the facility or to Health a= nd Social Services, to Family and Children’s Service= s, have different circumstances and we are trying to best align that. <= /p>

We did= ask that this not be reported because we care about the youth, and we don’t wa= nt them to be concerned until we can confirm a plan is in place and ensure that youth will continue to receive the services and supports during this time. = We are committed to ensuring that the youth have access to the supports that t= hey need, and we will continue to do that as this evolves.

We wan= t to provide youth with as much information as we can about the plan. We want th= em to be a part of the plan, and we want them to engage with us on the plan — ensuring that we provide the supports that they require.

Ms. White: To date — today is November 22 — how many conversations has the department had with youth who access ISYY services about the possible ̵= 2; or temporary — closure, as the language has just been changed?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The department is constantly working with the children = in our care or who access the programs and services. We try to align the service n= eeds of the individual.

With r= espect to how many youth we have spoken to — have we spoken to them about the p= lan? That plan — as I just noted in my previous response — was a plan that is being worked out. We are in the process of doing our engagement and consultation. For some apparent reason, CBC wanted to make note of this and= put it out there in the public. We are still working through the discussions wi= th the youth. We are working with our partners. We are looking to ensure that every youth who is in our care and who accesses the programs are supported, and we will continue to do that.

Ms. White: I would make the suggestion that the youth who attend ISYY are quite intellig= ent. They started to notice when staff numbers started to come down. To know that there are two people remaining there — it was an indication that something was changing.

When t= he minister says that she is engaging in consulting, who is she currently enga= ging and consulting with about ISYY, the future of ISYY or young people at risk?=

Hon. Ms. Frost: We have been working on a supportive program. We are wo= rking on a transition program, and we have done that in consultation with the sta= ff at ISYY. We have worked with Yukon First Nations and NGO groups in the community to look more fully at the integrated support and collaborative programs that are needed in the city that better align with the service nee= ds of the youth that we currently see accessing the programs.

Ms. White: I have been getting phone calls. That is how this start= ed with me. I actually got phone calls from youth whose only connection right = now to government departments and services is through the ISYY office. There are obviously fears about how you have a connection with a social worker, and y= ou have a good connection because you have worked on it, and you are afraid of that going away.

When w= e are having this conversation right now and I ask: Have you consulted with youth? Well, at this point in time, those youth are now going to the Yukon Child a= nd Youth Advocate Office because they are trying to figure out what the next s= teps are. I asked who you are engaging and consulting with, what the plan is and= so on. In Question Period the other day, the minister referenced the Skookum J= im Friendship Centre and mentioned partnerships. There was going to be additio= nal programming at Skookum Jim’s. Maybe the minister can tell me what is going to happen at Skookum Jim that is different now, in reference to the question that she answered yesterday.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I just want to take this moment to acknowledge that we have a = number of partners in the community, and I want to acknowledge their contributions= and the supports they have provided to this government and, of course, to supporting our youth. We are working with the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre= and we are working with other partners in the community to ensure that we provi= de enhanced services and supports to youth.

With r= espect to youth only having contact with the employees at ISYY, that is simply not the case. They have access to their social worker, they have case managers and = they have other avenues in which to engage. Certainly, we are open to ensuring t= hat every one of the children who are accessing the programs is supported.

I woul= d invite the member opposite, if there is information that she has that might lend itself and lend value to this discussion, it would be prudent of us to have= that conversation. It is important for us to ensure that every child is heard, a= nd every child matters. If they have concerns, then we are certainly open to hearing about it, and the department and the staff of Family and Children’s Services and the supportive units are very much there to do just that.

Ms. White: I want to point out again that ISYY is not only just available for youth who are accessing government services, but it is also j= ust for any youth. When the minister tells me that it’s wrong and I have = been told by young people that it’s not, then I guess that is just going to hang there as a question from both sides.

There = has been reference in Question Period to the Costanzo report, but at this point in t= ime, the opposition hasn’t had the ability to see the Costanzo report.

Will t= he minister table or share the Costanzo report with the opposition?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I’m just seeking some clarification around the summary o= f the report that was released quite some time ago. I would be happy to share that report again.

The sp= ecific report itself was not something that we could have released publicly to any= one given that there is specific information in there about clients, and that is clearly not something that we want to do — ensuring that we protect t= he rights and privacy of these individuals. So we want to make sure that we provided some context to the Yukon public and, of course, to members of the opposition. We did that by way of the summary report, and I believe that, in the past, the Minister of Justice gave a summary on that. I would be happy = to share that with the member opposite. I think we did that already, but I wou= ld be happy to bring that back.

Ms. White: We have a copy of the summary of the Costanzo report — the high-level summary of the Costanzo report. The issue with the high-level summary of the Costanzo report is that, when the minister says that they are doing assessments, that they have reports, that they are moving on away from ISYY= and that they have other plans — well, when you can’t see what the assessment was or you can’t see the report and you can’t unders= tand how that decision was made, then that leaves the questions.

To be = perfectly frank, Mr. Chair, when it was initially set up and it was the previous government who said that we were going to do this thing, I had concerns. I = had concerns because friends who work in the youth field said that they were worried and that they weren’t sure if it was going to work. I have to tell you that any concerns that I had have disappeared, because when you ta= lk to the young people who access those services and to the young people who g= o in and get the support that they need, you can understand that being able to w= alk into an office on Main Street that is not in another government building an= d is specifically designed for them — where you can go and you can have a snack or you can have a confidential conversation with someone when you are trying to figure stuff out — is really important. Although I may have been concerned initially, my concern now is the fact that we’re talki= ng about closing it, and we’re talking about reports and we’re tal= king about assessments, but none of that has been shared with the opposition.

I appr= eciate that the minister will give me another copy of the high-level summary from = the Costanzo report, but that doesn’t help me. That doesn’t help me understand the position, especially when I’m having conversations with youth.

There = was a reference in Question Period to Skookum Jim’s and how that was going = to be one of the mechanisms to cover the support, so again I ask: What is the = plan with Skookum Jim’s in relation to the shutting down of ISYY?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I appreciate the question and acknowledge that there are some elements of the ISYY program that worked very well, but there were some elements that didn’t work so well.

With t= he actual report itself — just for the record —= ; the unredacted report was provided to the PIDWA commissio= ner. I believe it was provided for the Child and Youth Advocate Office. We provide= d a summary to protect the interests of the youth, and that is not something th= at I am willing or prepared to share. We are looking at elements of the report t= hat specify that we need to look at issues related to transitioning youth out of care into a facility that will better align with their needs as they age ou= t of the system that we have established right now. We most certainly want to en= sure that the good services provided out of ISYY will continue, and we will do t= hat in partnership with service providers in our community. I stated previously that we do not have the plan finalized. We are working on that, but we are hoping to have that concluded in the coming weeks. We will do that in partnership with the NGOs, First Nations and, of course, the youth. =

Ms. White: In the life of the opposition, when you ATIPP information, you often get redac= ted reports. In some cases, I have had entire multi-page documents come back as black because we have just changed the rules. Fairly recently, they have be= en coming back completely white with a little thing that says why you couldn’t get the information, so I would be happy to have a redacted report that removes the names of individuals. I don’t need to know the names.

The mi= nister just referenced things that didn’t work at ISYY, but we have never be= en told what those were. What didn’t work at the ISYY office?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With respect to the good work at ISYY and the services provide= d to the youth, I wanted to say that there are elements of the program that work really well. We are working with our partners to better align to the current needs of the youth as we look at the supports that they require as they transition out of the system.

ISYY w= as started as a two-year pilot project to conclude in August, and part of that was to = link it to the Yukon mental wellness strategy. That was one of the recommendatio= ns, and we want to ensure that we provide those supports to all of our clients = and ensure that we support them in their communities as well. We know that a lo= t of the youth accessing services come from our Yukon communities, so we are try= ing to look at evaluating ISYY and its evolution — what was its original intent and have we aligned with that? If not, where do we go based on the developments and also the opportunities, I guess, to look at transitioning = our older youth out of the system?

The ol= der youth who access ISYY are the children who are either not in our care facilities — they are in private facilities. They are assigned case managers. Du= ring the temporary closure of ISYY, Health and Social Services support branches = will convene an advisory committee to provide input into the shaping of the futu= re of ISYY, and we have a block of time to do that. We will ensure that we get input from our First Nation partners, our organization representatives and,= of course, the youth who we are currently serving in the organization. We have already heard from some of those youth as we have gone through some recent exercises and evaluations, and we will have input on — basically, how= do we provide supports and services to the population that ISYY was intended to support? What have we done with respect to our model of service delivery and how do we bring that back into our rural Yukon communities? So the structure itself, the location and the operating hours in downtown Whitehorse —= we want to make sure that we provide services in other communities as well, because the input and recommendations to determine the re-visioning of the services will really look at some of these things in terms of the targeted population and then look at what services are provided and what transitioni= ng out of the system looks like. Really, I think that the effort during this r= eset period will allow us to look at actively engaging but also designing an integrated service delivery hub that coordinates a broad range of service n= eeds for the youth.

Ms. White: I appreciate all the words that were just used, but there was no reference to what did not work at ISYY. The minister said that the reason why it was bei= ng closed is because there were elements that did not work. I would like to kn= ow what did not work at ISYY.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Let’s talk about what worked well and then we will talk = about what didn’t work well. It is obviously important to look at some of t= he supports that were there. We had programs that supported the youth one-on-o= ne — and also looked at activities that better met their needs with resp= ect to case management on case files and finding private accommodations, working them through with their supports as they ventured into the community, be it= for employment or education pursuits.

I thin= k, in terms of strengths of the program — we had our staff on-site, and the appointments that were sort of on a drop-in basis are some of the things th= at worked well for the youth. We want to carry those things forward for sure — ensuring that we don’t work 9 to 5. The children sometimes don’t need services from 9 to 5, but perhaps they want to access serv= ices in the evening. Those are some of the important things with respect to the business hours. Having a one-stop shop or a place for youth to go to drop in and have food — those are things that we will continue to do, as mentioned by the member opposite.

Identi= fied challenges included the lack of program availability on Mondays and weekday mornings — there were minimal staffing levels, including temporary shutdowns limiting staff ability to do outreach work and support youth acce= ss services.

As par= t of the evaluation, we looked at clarity of the mandate and also at the gaps and the readiness of the programs to meet the needs of the youth, and that wasnR= 17;t there — as perhaps the needs required for the youth. We want to ensure that we design and deliver an integrated, formalized model for the youth, a= nd we’ll do that as we look at changing the hours to better align — implementing and monitoring the development of the process as well. What we don’t want to do is create another pilot project.

WeR= 17;re going to maximize the supports to the Wann Road project. We will ensure that transition programs to support youth, life ski= lls programs and educational programs, ensuring that the older youth are suppor= ted and we have family support programs, and helping them to be successful in accessing college programs, accessing trades programs — whatever it is they desire in terms of support. Those are some of the things that I think perhaps were not provided to the youth with regard to the evaluation, and we want to ensure that we take the evaluation and the recommendations and move them into a program that better aligns to the older youths’ needs.

Ms. White: I thought a lot of what the minister said there sounded quite positive. It actually reflects exactly what it says online that ISYY can help you with — so accessing housing, obtaining social assistance, getting ID and applying for college. All of those things are things that were mentioned. <= /span>

One of= the things that didn’t work that the minister mentioned was the minimum staffing availability, but isn’t that an organizational problem from = the department? I know that at one point in time there were definitely more than two staff members, and currently there are two staff members. If we’re talking about staffing availability as being an issue, isn’t whatR= 17;s being done to ISYY now part of the problem — which is minimum staffing availability?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I do want to acknowledge that some things didn’t work an= d some things did. We want to ensure that we provide better coordinated and integr= ated services and programs that perhaps were working well out of ISYY — and some that we need to tweak. We want to look at aspects of supports with our partners, and I will continue to highlight that because recommendations and= the feedback from our partners will help us to tool the programs and services a= s we move forward.

Ms. White: So the minister has mentioned an evaluation of ISYY that they are basing this decision on. The minister has mentioned recommendations — and there w= as another word there, but we’ll just go with evaluations and recommendations from partners. Will that be available to the opposition to = see in order to understand why this decision is being made?

Hon. Ms. Frost: We are working with a number of the youth who were working wit= h our partners on youth-related initiatives across the department.

We see= this as an opportunity to bring all of those initiatives together into a comprehens= ive plan and to better understand how the services we provide out of ISYY fit i= nto a continuum of services. We will ensure that we provide the best possible service for our youth. Is it ISYY? Possibly or possibly not, but that will = be determined once we have our discussions with our youth, with our service providers and with the department and look at what was required of ISYY and what was required of this pilot project.

The re= ason the program was extended for the extra time was to give us a little more flexibility to work with our partners rather than shutting the doors when it was intended to conclude. This gives us that time that is required to come = away with a more comprehensive plan with our partners.

Ms. White: This afternoon, the minister also mentioned at various times a “temporary closure”. Can she explain what she means when she says “tempora= ry closure”?

Hon. Ms. Frost: When I say that we are planning a temporary closure of ISYY to= work with our partners and youth to refocus and improve the program, that’s exactly what we’re doing. We are announcing that we are closing ISYY.= We are going to work on re-evaluating the services and programs with our partn= ers. By the spring, we will have a comprehensive plan that we will roll out. Wil= l it be ISYY? It will be an enhanced version of what we have now that better ali= gns with the youth who are transitioning out of the system, focusing then on supports for the youth and providing the services for them. We will ensure that, during this temporary closure, all of the services that they are currently receiving will continue. We will ensure that no youth is really l= eft without any supports. That’s a commitment that we made during this ti= me, and they will very much be a part of that discussion.

Ms. White: There’s a lot of stuff to unpack in there, including how they will be part of that decision. I guess what I am asking is: When will the youth who access ISYY right now — the minister has made reference to 13 individuals, so when will those 13 individuals have conversations with the department so that th= ey can understand what the next steps are?

Hon. Ms. Frost: As I noted earlier, during this closure, we are conveni= ng an advisory committee and shaping the future and a vision of the programs. The youth will be a part of that process. My understanding is that as we were working through this — the question that is asked is: When and how ha= ve we consulted with the youth? The plans for service delivery and enhanced programming are being discussed right now. The youth who were not notified — the youth with case managers — the services and supports that= they are provided with will continue with them.

What I= stated earlier is that we asked the media not to release the information until we = have had the time and a comprehensive plan in place with the youth so that they = are very much a part of the plan going forward. Those are things that we are working out right now.

With r= egard to the mandate of the advisory committee, it is: providing supports to our you= th; looking at service delivery program partners; looking at oversight and guidance; looking at perhaps a new location; and looking at what these young people require operationally. Recommendations and reports that we received through the comprehensive review really came from the youth out of ISYY and from some of the other older youth we provide services to.

We cer= tainly want to make sure that we listen to them as we move forward. Specific to ISYY, we have not had detailed discussions with them, but we have been meeting with = them one-on-one and with their case managers around service delivery and models = that better align with their service needs. Obviously, some really great discuss= ion and recommendations have come forward in the Legislative Assembly through t= he public and through feedback from our partners, and we will make sure we collaborate and take all of that into consideration.

We are= currently working on the plan to close ISYY and we are committed to engaging with the youth on what’s next. That’s an important piece and that’s something we want to ensure — that we don’t leave the youth beh= ind, because my observation is that, historically, we have. The youth were not involved in discussions. We created programs for them. We had 384 youth in care, and now we have 20 in care. We have extended family programs. We̵= 7;re trying to provide services to our rural Yukon communities so the youth who transition into Whitehorse are supported, but what are we providing in the communities to transition the youth back?

The te= mporary closure identifies some of that. What I said earlier is that the two-year p= ilot project, as part of the mental wellness strategy — and that was never considered when we looked at service delivery in rural Yukon communities. Oftentimes we focused all our emphasis on what types of services and progra= ms we can design and build around a Whitehorse-centred model or an urban-centr= ed model and we don’t provide services to rural Yukon communities, particularly indigenous communities that don’t have any services R= 12; or have a lack of services.

WeR= 17;re really taking a comprehensive review and looking at that as we work with our partners. We want to ensure that we’re able to maintain the services = and that we engage with the youth and with our partners to develop the next stage of the plan.

Ms. White: I didn’t realize it was an either/or — I th= ought that when we talked about working with youth, it wasn’t like either in Whitehorse or the communities, or non-indigenous or indigenous. I thought t= hat when we talked about youth, it was a whole thing. I also thought that when = we talked about setting up the mental health hubs, that was one of the reasons= why we were doing it — so we could have reach into communities. So I didn’t realize it was either/or, which it just sounded like there.

The mi= nister again has referenced a comprehensive plan. She has referenced a comprehensi= ve review. The initial idea was that the comprehensive plan will be designed a= nd put together at the end of December. We are going to be talking to young pe= ople who were involved once we get the comprehensive plan in place so they know = what the next steps are. I would suggest at this point in time — with the media attention that has been on the issue this week, I want to know what t= he plan is to make sure that any young person who has been accessing ISYY R= 12; the conversations are happening. Again, Mr. Chair, I will point out th= at it’s not just kids in the care of government who are able to access I= SYY; it’s all young people. Any young person can access ISYY. So how is th= at outreach happening? I will start with that.

Hon. Ms. Frost: For the record and for clarity, what we want to ensure = is that we provide continuous services for the youth who are currently accessi= ng services through ISYY.

The de= velopment of a comprehensive plan will be worked out with the oversight or the manage= ment committee that I just described, with our partners, and that will involve t= he youth. That plan will come in the future. Right now we want to ensure that,= as we look at the evaluation of ISYY, this transfers forward.

When I= speak about the mental wellness hubs and about the services there, it is not either/or. We have to look at this as a whole. I certainly understand that = the member opposite might not like the answer that I am giving, but that is exa= ctly what we are doing. We have an obligation to the youth. We will ensure that = the youth who are in our care are supported. We made that commitment, and we wi= ll continue to make the commitment — that the youth in our care and who = are transitioning out of the system are supported. We have heard consistently t= hat the supports through transition programs are perhaps not always supported by others in the Legislative Assembly, but it is imperative that we look at a different approach when we provide services to youth who are aging out of t= he system. We shape the programs to support them as they advance into the futu= re. Whether it is with supported programs through Health and Social Services, through the mental wellness hubs or through Yukon College, we will ensure t= hat we have a comprehensive and inclusive program that is supportive because we care. We care about youth.

Histor= ically, perhaps, we didn’t have services that they required or needed, and th= at is exactly what we have heard from the results of the = Costanza report and what we have heard from some of the youth who are currently accessing the programs through ISYY. We want to ensure that they are successful, and we will certainly tie that into a comprehensive plan with t= he involvement of the youth.

Ms. White: Again, there was the term “in our care” use= d. The minister used the term “in our care”. My concern is that ISYY is open to all youth, including those who are not in the care of government. Having been a teenager, like everyone in this Chamber, I continue to do work with young people. It takes a long time to build up trust, in general, with= the targeted audience of ISYY. I would suggest that, at this point in time, the trust has been built.

One of= the concerns that I have is that, when we talk about the temporary closure or we talk about continuous service, and we have all of these great words —= I just don’t understand how. I appreciate that the youth in our care — in the care of government — will not lose services. I am concerned about the youth who are not in government care. One of the terms = that the minister used again was “continuous service”. So with the temporary closure, there will be continuous services. I would like to know = how will there be continuous service for people who were accessing ISYY?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to thank the member opposite for her invol= vement with youth. A lot of us spend many years, months and days working with youth coaching and being involved with youth. I know that, as members of our soci= ety, it is imperative that we continue to engage with our youth because they are= our future. We know that. It takes a whole community to raise a child. That is = the teaching of our communities. We most certainly want to acknowledge that whe= n I say “youth in our care”, I don’t specifically mean youth = who are in the government group homes. It’s yo= uth to whom we provide services and supports. We have an obligation to ensure that= the youth who access ISYY, or access any of our programs, are well supported. <= /span>

What I= have said — and I will make that clear again — is that we are not closing ISYY until we have a plan in place. I have not seen the plan yet. That is t= he plan that is being worked out with the youth, with our partners. I would be happy to have that conversation when I see the detailed plan and the depart= ment has the discussions with the youth. At that point, we will ensure that R= 12; what I have committed to and what I will continue to commit to —  the supports that the youth are cur= rently receiving out of the ISYY office are transitioned to some other venue, just= not out of that downtown office. They will still be provided the same supports = and services that they are accustomed to now.

Ms. White: Yesterday, in response to a question during Question Pe= riod, the minister said — and this is just quoting out of the Blues: “= ;Well, we will look at efficient and effective se= rvices for all youth, better supported youth programming. We will continue to work with the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre.” I want to know: When the minister said, “We will continue to work with the Skookum Jim Friends= hip Centre”, what was she referring to? Are we referring to the emergency youth shelter? Are we talking about specific programming? Could the minister just elaborate on what she meant when she said, “We will continue to = work with the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre.

Hon. Ms. Fr= ost: I just want to acknowledge that the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre has been providing supports to youth for many, many years. I’m happy to say th= at their after-hours program continues to provide those supports and services.= I know that because children from my community access the programming. I just want to acknowledge that.

As we look at our partnerships with Skookum Jim Friendship Centre and other entities in the community that provide supports= to youth, those are the NGO groups that we will continue to work with and expa= nd the best model forward. We will ensure that we bring to the discussion the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre and the Boys and Girls Club of Yukon, perhaps= , or other organizations that provide services to youth in this city.=

Ms. White: = ;I too appreciate the work that the = Skookum Jim Friendship Centre does. I was just wondering, in direct reference to the answer that I was given yesterday, what we were talking about. At this poin= t in time, Skookum Jim Friendship Centre runs the emergency youth shelter. =

Does the minister have any numbers as to what the daily or monthly uptake of the beds at the emergency youth shelter is?=

Hon. Ms. Fr= ost: No, I don’t have those number= s in front of me, but I will endeavour to bring those back to the member opposit= e.

Ms. White: I am sure that the Member for Watson Lake would also appreciate that, so a lette= r is fine.

The mi= nister has referenced multiple times how there used to be more than 300 kids in care. I think the number she has used is 324 kids in care. Can she give me a year f= or when there were 300 kids in Yukon in care?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I don’t have that list in front of me, but I would be ha= ppy to provide that to the member opposite. I just can’t find it right now, = but I would be happy to provide that.

Ms. White: I also look forward to that.

I thin= k that there is an important understanding that I would like to bring to the floor right now, which is that there can be children under the responsibility of = government in many different situations. We can talk about them being in foster care. = We can talk about them being in actual government-run group homes, or we can t= alk about kids with extended family. At this point in time — November 22, 2018 — how many extended-family agreements are there in Yukon?=

Hon. Ms. Frost: As we looked at addressing the unique care needs of the childr= en we have come in contact with — through our communities, through the First Nations or through other entities. We have looked at our partnerships and w= hat we have seen historically is that the practice of the past was apprehension — going in and apprehending children. We know that Kwanlin Dün raised some concerns around accessing and apprehension. We also know that, = in our communities, grandparents raise children through the extended-family ca= re program or extended families adopt children through custom adoptions but are never supported.

What w= e have done is that we pulled together with our health commission — the Coun= cil of Yukon First Nations and through our health directors for the community — we looked at a family care supported program. That meant that we wa= nted to look at an extended program for supports and services for all children w= ho are in rural Yukon communities. By doing that, we had to come up with an innovative way of engaging with extended families and identifying caregiving needs and provide them with the same level of supports that we provided fos= ter parents. As of today, I understand that we have somewhere between 75 and 80= of those extended-family care agreements throughout the Yukon.

Ms. White: When the minister says that there are only 20 children in government care — the reason why I am bringing this up is that maybe I wasn’t clear the first time, so I want to be clearer. There are a variety of levels of care = for children, including temporary care or permanent care. Some children are in group homes, some are in receiving homes and some are in foster care. Some children are placed with other family members. So when I asked about the extended family agreements — anywhere between 75 and 80 — those children are still a responsibility of government. They are still under the care of government, and I think that is really important.

Out of= all of levels of care, either temporary or permanent, whether we are speaking about group homes, receiving homes, foster care or children placed with other fam= ily members — we are talking about all of these kids, so let’s say = from birth to 19 years old. In all the aforementioned forms of care, how many ar= e in the care of government?

Hon. Ms. Frost: To the point of how many children we have in extended family c= are programs, we have 75 to 80. In the group homes, we have approximately 20. T= his tends to fluctuate up and down, though not by a lot. In total, we have approximately 100 children in the care program, whether they are foster hom= es, group homes or the extended family program. I absolutely agree that we want= to provide the supports to the children that are under the responsibility of H= ealth and Social Services; however, we work very closely with our First Nation communities and our partners to ensure that we provide the extended family = care program so that we are not imposing, but we are partnering on the services = that all of the children need within that program and that the caregiver is supported as well with the same level of supports that foster parents are currently receiving. Historically, this was not the case. This is something that is brand new to the Yukon.

Ms. White: I thank the minister for the answer. I have actually sent the minister a lett= er asking about this very thing. I don’t think that any child or any caregiver caring for a child should live in poverty. Some of the concern is that sometimes, in order to get picked up, it can be a bit of a process. Sometimes, like the minister mentioned, those care agreements are informal,= so you might go between mom’s house and grandma’s house, but if grandma has you for three weeks out of the month and is not able to collect= funding for that, I have seen the effects. It means that groceries are sparse and t= imes are tough.

The re= ason I was asking about the number of kids in care of government is because when the minister tells us that there are 20 in group homes, that’s one number, but then the number is a lot bigger under the responsibility of government.= I thank the minister for that. I would suggest at this point that the number = is really much closer to 100.

In thi= s last Sitting, for just about two months we have had opposition debates about increasing the rates of medical travel. The answer we got to that was that = it was going to be under the purview of the Health and Social Services review.=

We hav= e had conversations about other things on top of medical travel and we were told that it’s going to fall under the Health and Social Services review. One of the quest= ions I have is: Why isn’t ISYY being reviewed under the Health and Social Services review and why is it a separate process?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I will maybe just say that it is because ISYY was a two-year p= ilot project. We extended it temporarily to allow us some transition time, and s= o we will continue to do that process that was pre-established. As we look at efficiencies in services and programs, we will continue to have a discussio= n. We have had two years in which to evaluate, as noted by the previous government. They designed and put in place ISYY for a purpose and intended = it to close in two years while they transitioned into something else. Well, th= at something else was never considered, and we now know that we need to look at evaluating it unto itself. We will continue down that path with our youth a= nd with our partners.

Ms. White: I thank the minister for the time and the officials as well. I do look forwar= d to getting the information that the minister committed to getting back to us. =

I̵= 7;ll also put out the pitch that reports and evaluations and comprehensive plans that happen in isolation — and by isolation I mean that the opposition doesn’t have an opportunity to see it — it becomes really challenging to not think that something is being hidden. I do appreciate the high-level summaries that don’t tell me anything, but I get that beca= use that’s what media also gets; but I’m not media. I deal with sensitive information all the time. I am able to do ATIPPs. I get redacted information. I’m happy to have a redacted report that still gives me = more information than the high-level summary.

At thi= s point in time, I think I’m going to move on. I look forward to the Yukon Development Corporation and Community Services. I thank the minister for her time.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to thank the member opposite for the really great feedback and great discussion. I would like to thank the staff for their support as well and just will most certainly take under consideration all t= he recommendations and feedback as we evolve and we look at the whole operation and maintenance of our overall Health and Social Services budget, ensuring = that we continue to support all our youth. That’s one of the most important things.

There = is a lot that’s captured in the Health and Social Services portfolio. We talke= d a lot about continuing care, medical travel added pressures, youth and children’s services, transgender policies and right through to ensured health services. As far as radon, we talked a lot about transitioning and closing down Macaulay Lodge. There is so much captured in the budget. We wa= nt to make sure that we don’t lose sight of any of the initiatives and priorities that are brought forward as consideration for this government and for me as a minister.

Lookin= g at the necessary feedback that we get on these engagement sessions that we facilit= ate in the Yukon, be it aging in place or the discussion that we’re going= to have on ISYY, I think those are really important. It’s important that= we listen and that we hear what Yukoners are saying so that services align bet= ter with the needs of the people they are intended for, noting that, of course, health is one of the biggest cost drivers in government and that we have an obligation to ensure that we look at maximizing efficiencies. That’s exactly what we intend to do through these many exercises.

I than= k the members opposite for the questions, and I thank the support staff for being here.

Chair: Is th= ere any further general debate on Health and Social Services?

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

Ms. White: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 15, Department of Health and Social Service= s, cleared or carried, as required.

Unanimous consent re deeming all lines in Vote 15, Department of Health and Social Services, cleared or carried

Chair:̳= 5;Ms. White has, pursu= ant to Standing Order 14.3, requested the unanimous consent of Committee of the Wh= ole to deem all lines in Vote 15, Department of Health and Social Services, cle= ared or carried, as required. Is there unanimous consent?

All Hon.&nb= sp;Members: Agreed.

Chair:̳= 5;Unanimous consent has been granted.

On Operation and Maintenance Expenditu= res

Total Operation and Maintenance Expend= itures in the amount of $3,091,000 agreed to

On Capital Expenditures

Total Capital Expenditures in the amou= nt of $3,828,000 agreed to

Total Expenditures in the amount of $6,919,000 agreed to  

Department of Health and Social Servic= es agreed to

 =

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

Do members wish to take a brief recess= ?

All Hon.&nb= sp;Members: Agreed.

Chair:̳= 5;Committee of the Whole wi= ll recess for 10 minutes.

 

Recess=

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

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

Some Hon. Member: Question of privilege, Mr. Chair.

Question of privilege

Chair: Mr.&n= bsp;Cathers, on a question of privilege.

Mr. Cathers: I rise on a question of privilege pursuant to Standing Order 7 of the Standing Orders. It is with regard to a press release issued by the government under= the Premier’s signature this afternoon, entitled “Key legislation p= asses as fall sitting ends”. I believe that, in issuing that press release,= the Premier has violated the privilege of every other member of the Assembly, a= nd I wish to quote the relevant section that includes listing legislation, inclu= ding pieces of legislation that have yet to receive third and final reading by t= his Assembly. The Premier, by issuing this press release earlier this afternoon, has appeared to violate the privilege of the Assembly and indicated, presumably, an intention to whip the vote on the government side, but I bel= ieve that this is in breach of the standards of the Assembly and has, in fact, i= n my opinion, breached the parliamentary privilege of each and every member other than the Premier himself. So I will table here a copy of this press release, and I’ll ask you to rule on that.

Chair’s statement

Chair: The C= hair has been advised that a question of privilege is not within the authority or the purview of the Chair of Committee of the Whole. The matter will have to be brought forward when the Speaker resumes the Chair. Thank you.

Mr.&nb= sp;Pillai, please.

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Yukon Development Corporation — continued

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Mr. Chair, I would like to welcome back to the Ass= embly the senior advisor and policy analyst for the Yukon Development Corporation= , Mr. Geoff Woodhouse.

Introduction of Visitors

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I would also appreciate it if the Members of the Legisl= ative Assembly took a moment to welcome two individuals to the gallery — two friends of mine — one I have known for awhile, and one is my new friend: Susan and my new friend Freda Walton, who are here today.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Pillai: With that, I will quickly turn it over to the members o= f the opposition to go through any further questions that they may have on the Yu= kon Development Corporation.

Ms. White: I thank the official for coming back. I appreciate the steadfastness of visit= ors in the gallery at this time of day on the last day of the Legislative Sitti= ng. Thank you as well for that.

I thin= k that the Yukon Development Corporation has the capacity to be one of the most exciti= ng departments in the Government of Yukon. I was really lucky to actually have conversations with people who initially set it up — Mr. Alwarid and Piers were instrumental in setting that u= p. One of the reasons why I say that I think it has the capacity to be the most exciting is that energy is really exciting. I am not sure if the minister h= as picked it up or not, but I love energy. I think energy is one of the most exciting things to talk about. But more than that, initially when the corporation was set up, it dealt not just with energy, but it dealt with economic development. YDC used to be a driving force behind, sometimes, may= be ideas that were further along the wacky spectrum and ones that actually wor= ked quite well. My hope is that, in the future, YDC can go from just concentrat= ing on energy and looking at economic development by moving their offices into = the innovation centre. I think the ability to meet people who are really fired = up with great ideas has just increased a million times.

One of= my hopes is that we can see the direction of the Yukon Energy Corporation change wit= h a letter from the minister.

Again,= I thank the minister for his good sportsmanship the last time we were up when I drew attention to the website and its lack of relevance in this day and age. One= of the reasons I brought that up was that so many exciting things happen underneath the Yukon Development Corporation. Even if the ideas don’t work — even when the tests happen and the pilots go out and all that investigation happens — you still learn from those mistakes. Those th= ings should be shared, because another community might look at it and say, “This biomass idea didn’t work here, but maybe it will work wit= h us because we are a little bit different. Our environment is a little bit different. Our trees are a little bit different.”

I than= k the minister, and I look forward to seeing all of those exciting things happeni= ng on the website. I am excited that the Yukon Development Corporation now doesn’t have to work in isolation and they have people around. I am s= ure that coffee breaks are little more exciting than they used to be. I look forward to seeing what the future brings for the Yukon Development Corporat= ion. I think some of the things from the past weren’t bad. Economic development and being an economic driver in the territory was really exciti= ng.

Some o= f the ideas were terrible, Mr. Chair. I admit that they didn’t go very well.= But some of the things that the Yukon Development Corporation tried were really interesting, and there is potential.

With t= hat, I thank the minister and the official for being here. I look forward to the spring conversation about all of the exciting things that will be happening= in the coming budget year. I look forward to going online and seeing a website that grabs my attention and shows me how many exciting things are happening. With that, I just thank the minister and the official for their time.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: In closing, I would just mention that the history of the Yukon Development Corporation is an intriguing and, at times, exciting one.

I real= ly appreciate hearing that focus on the diversification of the business lines = of the Yukon Development Corporation for the member opposite.

I know= that we, within the organization, discuss different concepts and ideas, and moving o= ut of just the ideas of energy is something that I think has been discussed ye= ar after year. I do think that the challenge in government or for Crown corporations, in many ways — of course, we built a culture where fail= ure is not usually accepted, and so, therefore, it makes it difficult. Then when you get into the financial lines of business of the Yukon Development Corporation — where they were holding significant debt instruments previously for a third party — that also becomes difficult when you a= re looking at the risk tolerance that the public has. I will be looking for support from across the aisle as we look at different concepts, and we will hopefully be bringing some new concepts forward over the latter part of the mandate. I will be reaching out to my colleague from Takhini-Kopper King in= the spring, and we can have an opportunity to look at the new space and maybe discuss some of the things that we are undertaking that are quite exciting = when it comes to storage.

I thin= k that I will just finally say that the point is well-taken. We have had some humour around our digital footprint, but the truth is that it is one of our most important communication tools, and that is where people go to understand wh= at we are doing and what we are accomplishing. We are proud of the work that h= as been executed over the last while — some things that are tangible and make real differences. I’m proud of the work that our teams have done= on switching over LEDs in Old Crow, which means that 5,400 litres of diesel don’t have to be flown to Old Crow each year. That is substantial. Ne= xt summer, when we get to a point where the solar project is in place — which we have had a chance to support, both financially and technically, but the work was done by that community. The new chief and, of course, Rosa Brow — key people like that. When you are trying to displace 190,000 litre= s of diesel — those are substantial changes. There are things happening no= w.

I do a= lso respect that the member opposite has touched on storage. We know that stora= ge is kind of the linchpin for us in many ways as we look at some of our renewables. We are going to continue to be able to focus on that and look at different third-party options to access dollars. Hopefully we can, in 2019, talk about some of the tangible concepts we are looking at when it comes to storage.

With t= hat, I will close. I thank the Assembly. I am glad that we had the opportunity to clear up all the questions today on the Yukon Development Corporation concerning the supplementary budget, and I look forward to our Spring Sitti= ng, where we will have more discussions on the work and finances of the organization.

Chair: Is th= ere any further debate on the Yukon Development Corporation?

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

On Opera= tion and Maintenance Expenditures

On Inter= im Electrical Rebate

Interim Electrical Rebate expenditure of $170,000 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 $170,000 agreed to=

On Capit= al Expenditures

Total Ca= pital in the amount of nil agreed to

Total Expenditures in the amount of $170,000 agreed to<= /p>

Yukon Development Corporation agreed to

&= nbsp;

Chair: The n= ext matter before the Committee is Vote 51, Department of Community Services, in = Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19.

Do mem= bers wish to take a brief recess?

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Some Hon. Members: Disagreed.

Chair: We will proceed with the Department of Community Servic= es.

&= nbsp;

Department of Community Services — continued

Chair: Is there any further general debate?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Chair, we would ask for a brief recess so that we can= get our officials in the building.

Mr. Cathers: My understanding of the Standing Orders is that a recess of the Assembly does require unanimous consent and it was not granted in this area due to the sh= ort time remaining in the day and the amount of time already taken with recesse= s.

We are= ready to ask questions and debate this now. I am sure the minister’s officials= can come and assist him as the debate begins.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>In a moment, I will welcome to the Assembly Deputy Minister Pa= ul Moore and Director of Finance Jessica Schultz. I am happy to have them back= to talk about Community Services, and I am happy to respond to questions from = the opposition regarding the supplementary budget.

Mr. Cathers: I am pleased to have the opportunity to return to the debate on Community Services in the remaining time in this Sitting. I am going to ask the minis= ter a couple of questions, first of all, on two slightly different areas. One is pertaining to planned lot development in rural Yukon. Could the minister indicate what steps the government is looking at taking for rural lot development in communities outside of Whitehorse and unincorporated areas in the next year?

I know= that the budget itself is in the development stage, but at this point I would apprec= iate if the minister could indicate what priorities for development are on the government’s radar screen that are either planned to proceed or being seriously considered by Community Services. I know that my colleague the Me= mber for Watson Lake and her constituents in the Town of Watson Lake are very interested in what steps, if any, are being taken in responding to their ne= eds. I would also appreciate a listing of others.

While = the minister and officials look for that information, the other question I would ask in the beginning stages of our short debate this afternoon is: What ste= ps is the government looking at taking as far as the risk of wildland fires, particularly in municipalities? We know that recently a group made a presentation to Whitehorse City Council regarding this matter. I have raised this matter with some of the minister’s colleagues. I believe I have raised it with the minister in the past as well. The question, again, is: W= hat steps are the government taking, in addition to the assets that have been acquired, to look at issues around the reduction of wildfire risk in and ar= ound Yukon municipalities?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I heard two questions there; the first was regarding rural lot development and the second was regarding addressing the risk of wildfires, especially with respect to our communities. If I got either of those wrong,= I will ask the member opposite to clarify when he gets back up.

First = of all, with respect to rural lot development, we have recently done some developme= nt in the member opposite’s riding in Lake Laberge around Grizzly Valley= . We have also done some north of Mayo. Those are recent activities. We have some planned work coming up in the communities of Carmacks, Haines Junction, Tes= lin, Watson Lake and Whitehorse — and I am talking beyond Whistle Bend as well.

I can = answer further questions on that. I will also say that in meeting with municipalit= ies, all of the municipalities have expressed some interest. I think that is an = ongoing dialogue at all times — just one second, Mr. Chair.

If I c= an just take back what I just said — what I was reading was about available inventory. I will have to just check with my officials to find out where th= at dialogue is happening. I have had the dialogue with Watson Lake. I have had= the dialogue with the City of Dawson. I will just confirm with my officials regarding other developments and where they are happening. I was correct wh= en I said that when we go to talk with municipalities, we have conversations with them at all times about whether they have a desire to have lot development = and to work on that with them.

The se= cond question was about specifics regarding wildland fire management. Here are a= few things that I can talk about — I wasn’t sure that I heard the question specifically from the member opposite. I think he asked about R= 12; and I’m responding to — what specifically we are doing right no= w. To make our Yukon communities more resilient and to defend them from uncont= rolled wildfire, the Government of Yukon works on firesmarting every year. Each ye= ar, the Yukon invests close to $1 million to space trees and clean underbr= ush in the forests surrounding our communities. Approximately $300,000 of this = fund is used to firesmart Whitehorse annually. This = is all in an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Wildla= nd Fire Management continues to work with the City of Whitehorse to develop plans a= nd implement forest fuel management initiatives. I mentioned that earlier toda= y in this Legislature in response to a question from the Leader of the Third Par= ty about work that we are doing with the city. I said that I had met with the mayor this week to give a response.

Wildfi= res are typically started by lightning and/or humans. We can’t control the lightning; however, we can reduce the amount of human-caused fires, so it is everyone’s responsibility. I will always ask when I stand up that we = work to make sure that we are extinguishing campfires and only burning brush wit= h a permit, especially when there’s a risk of fire at a certain time of y= ear.

We con= tinue to work with our partners to identify hazards and work on solutions. Vegetation management is an important component to hazard reduction plans. I will also say, as I said earlier in response to the question during Question Period f= rom the Leader of the Third Party, that I have met with the Joint Task Force No= rth folks under Operation Nanook. From my very first meeting that we had with them — they asked me if there were any priorities that we should work on in terms of dealing with emergency respon= se here in the territory, and I said that definitely it was a wildfire that wo= uld impact a community. I know that they have been in preparation for probably a year now on that issue, and I know that they’re doing an exercise = 212; I believe it’s a fire that will start in the area of Kookatsoon Lake and will then move north toward the City of Whitehorse. That has been = in the planning stages so that we can practise coordinating all of our teams around the emergency response, whether that is the local volunteer firefighters, Wildland Fire Management, the Emergency Measures Organization office, search and rescue, the RCMP, et cetera. It’s to coordinate al= l of those groups and to see it as a real exercise to help us to prepare in case= it happens someday.

I̵= 7;ll just turn back now to the earlier question asking about work in our communities = that we see on the horizon. I have work in Dawson City — for example, at t= he north end of town and also some feasibility work on the Slinky mine parcel. Additional future residential and industrial parcels have been identified, = and we’re working with Dawson City to ensure that they are captured as fu= ture development areas in their official community plan. A number of potential a= reas for future urban/country residential/industrial development have been identified in the Carmacks area. The Rural Land Development unit will concl= ude feasibility work this winter and finalize development project schedules.

I know= as well, in talking with the community there — both the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and the Village of Carmacks — that there is an interest = in the Gateway project and the bypass. If or when the bypass road goes in, then there is an opportunity for lot development, and they have flagged that to = us. I have certainly flagged it across to the Minister of Highways and Public Works.

Finall= y, there are a number of parcels for future urban, residential and industrial development that have been identified in the Watson Lake area. Geotechnical= and other work is being completed, and the Rural Land Development unit will finalize development project schedules this fall.

Mr. Cathers: I appreciate the list from the minister, and I’m sure that he may not h= ave some of the information that I’m going to touch on immediately at his fingertips, so I would just ask him, rather than waiting until the Spring Sitting anticipated in March, to do a legislative return if he could commit= to getting back to me afterward with information in a more detailed manner reg= arding anticipated lot development. I know that my colleague, = the Member for Watson Lake, as well as my colleague, the Member for Kluane, are= very interested in knowing what the government is looking at doing in their ridings in response to community interest in land development.

As soo= n as the minister is in a position where he can provide information about what developments are currently being discussed, that would be appreciated by me= and my colleagues so they can share that with their constituents in the spirit = of openness and accountability, but also in recognition of the fact that, if people are considering purchasing a lot — whether in rural Yukon or in Whitehorse — it does require some planning and some effort to have yo= ur finances in a situation where you’re capable of buying a lot and advancing the development of it. With the summer season being short, as ear= ly as government is able to indicate what’s being contemplated, it does = help the private sector and individual citizens do that.

If the= minister could commit to getting back to me with more information about rural land development in a letter between now and the Spring Sitting, that would be m= uch appreciated.

I woul= d also like to note that I do welcome the minister’s indication that Joint T= ask Force North is again looking at doing Operation Nanook activities here, specifically with regard to a potential wildfire situation= . As the minister will know, this isn’t the first time an exercise of that type has occurred. I would note that — while I believe an exercise of that type definitely has value — as the minister will know from his officials, the risk, if a wildfire occurred in the wrong spot in a municipa= lity — and probably most especially in the City of Whitehorse — in t= he wrong conditions and the wrong wind conditions, a wildfire could get out of hand quite quickly.

I̵= 7;m not saying that to be alarmist; I’m simply saying, as the minister knows, that there have been some situations to the south of us — in Telegraph Creek, Fort McMurray and California — that have been very stark and tragic reminders to society as a whole that the boreal forest that we all p= rize so greatly can be a problem if there’s too much fuel load in urban or municipal areas. If a fire occurs during dry conditions, it may quickly out= strip the ability of state governments, provincial governments and territorial governments to actually address it.

I woul= d just encourage the minister to identify this as a priority area for working with= the City of Whitehorse and with municipalities across the territory on realizing that we do need to have some serious — and, in some cases, probably t= ough — conversations about this. This is an area on which I often philosophically disagree with our colleagues in the NDP. I do agree with ma= ny of the points raised by the Leader of the NDP earlier today regarding it, a= nd I would just encourage the minister to make this issue and planning for what steps need to be taken to reduce the risk of wildfire, especially around municipalities — a high priority for work with municipal governments,= as well as First Nation governments and the public.

I̵= 7;m going to move on to another area related to forest firefighting, and just ask two specific questions regarding the government’s capacity to respond. As= the minister knows, both the Whitehorse air tanker base and the Ross River air tanker base are in need of upgrade. Could the minister indicate what the government is looking at doing in those areas and indicate whether this is a priority for moving these projects forward in the near future?

Hon. Mr. Streicker= : First of all, the air-tanker base in Whitehorse is one = that is on our radar screen. I will have to turn back to check with other depart= ment officials regarding the Ross River air tanker base; that is not one that I = know of offhand, but I am happy to find that information.

My und= erstanding of the work that needs to happen at the airport tanker base is that it will= be a project over several years and that it had to be coordinated. Part of this was working with Highways and Public Works and their work around airports, including the work on the Public Ai= rports Act. That was one of those things that we saw and identified as a neces= sary piece, or an important piece, to move forward. We also wanted it coordinated within the capital plan. I agree with the member opposite that it is import= ant that we let the private sector know when these projects will be happening so that they can take as much advantage of the projects as possible.

I don&= #8217;t have any information or announcement today about the timing of it. I do know that it is in the planning stages and that we should expect it in the coming years, but I don’t have a date as of yet. I know that we will be work= ing it into the five-year plan. I will leave it there for the time being and I = will see if there are supplementary questions, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Cathers: I appreciate the answer from the minister and I would just encourage him to m= ake both of those air tanker base projects a priority, because they are both in need of work. I know — having personally toured the Whitehorse air ta= nker base — that facility is quite small and it does not adequately meet t= he needs we have to support planes at this time — it just does the job. I would encourage the minister to look at that. I know he has to seek approval from his Cabinet colleagues as well.

I̵= 7;m going to ask a few more specific questions — which I expect the minister may need to get back to me by letter on a specific date, if he would be so kind= as to do that. After this, I’m also going to provide an opportunity for = the Member for Takhini-Kopper King, who had a question that she wanted to ask before we wrap up debate on this budget, so I will provide her with the opportunity to do so.

If the= minister could provide me, again — I would ask him by letter, if he doesn̵= 7;t have that information immediately at his fingertips — what the total number of projects funded under the rural electrification program this year= was and how many of those projects were for on-grid renewable energy projects t= hat, as the minister may know as his officials will know, was enabled through the changes that were made in the legislation a few years ago in what was then = Bill No. 80.

I woul= d also ask the minister if we could get an update via letter on the rural well program, both in and out of municipalities — how many projects were approved a= nd funded this fiscal year, both in and out of municipalities and broken up by community, if possible.

I am a= lso just going to touch on another area that I raised with minister earlier. I would ideally like to spend quite awhile with the min= ister in debate on this. Unfortunately, our time does not permit it this afternoo= n. I had raised a number of concerns and questions with the minister earlier in Written Question No. 30 regarding Emergency Medical Services.

I do a= ppreciate the information the minister provided. There were a number of questions the minister did not provide the information, citing privacy concerns. Those include the number of paramedics employed as auxiliary on call who have unsuccessfully applied on a full-time position that was given to a non-resi= dent of the Yukon in the past two years — the number of paramedics from Outside with less than one year of job experience post-graduation who were offered full-time positions within the last two years.

I woul= d also note, just as I’m going through this release and trying to speedread = and talk at the same time, since I just received it this afternoon, that there = have been concerns. I understand the limitations on the minister’s ability= to deal with personnel matters or to speak to them on the floor of the Assembl= y, so my primary objective at this point is not to give the minister a rough t= ime about this issue, not even to ask specifically for answers at this point in time, but to flag an important concern to his attention and that of officia= ls. There are concerns that I have heard from within Emergency Medical Services about what seems to be a pattern to some of the long-term non-permanent sta= ff of positions being offered to either more recently hired staff or, in some cases, even to people from outside the territory who have applied on positi= ons.

I also understand that recently in the application for ground supervisor positions — what I have been advised is that all the Yukoners currently working= for EMS who applied for those positions were screened out by a written essay, a= nd that it was the first time there had ever been a requirement for a written essay, and that there was bafflement from staff who applied about what relevance a written essay has in terms of the competencies of a paramedic.<= /span>

I just= want to flag that issue to the minister. I want to again emphasize that I am not tr= ying to make the minister’s life more difficult. I am not even asking for = an answer this afternoon.

I just= want to alert the minister and officials to the fact that I have serious concerns b= ased on what I have been hearing. Rather than the minister even responding to th= em specifically, I would simply encourage him and officials to take those conc= erns seriously, as well as the ones identified earlier, and look at them from the question of what government can do to better support Yukoners who are worki= ng for EMS in moving up into more permanent positions — full-time positi= ons, supervisory positions and other positions — and how they can go about= achieving that so that it has a positive impact on morale. Also, it would provide the opportunity for long-term employment that opens up a whole host of benefits, including the ability to go get a mortgage on a house that is not available really for auxiliary-on-call employees — especially longer term ones.=

With t= hat, Mr. Chair, and just in recognition of the time, I would actually just encourage the minister — unless he has specific information at his fingertips ̵= 2; to allow the opportunity for the Member for Takhini-Kopper King to ask her questions. I would encourage the minister to please take those concerns I h= ave identified seriously as well as getting back at a later date with the information that I requested.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I will try to be brief because I do want to give a chance to t= he Third Party to ask a question as well.

In 201= 7, 68 projects were completed under the rural electrification program, including = 39 solar projects and 41 domestic well water projects that were completed.

I appr= eciate that we all want our public service to move up. We had great comments. They weren’t in the tributes, but today there is someone who has been here= 40 years who we all appreciate. What I want to say is that the Department of Community Services has professional HR and recruitment officials. We work u= nder the Public Service Act. We work= with our unions. We work with the Public Service Commission. I don’t know = of any outstanding issues. I am happy to work to try to help our public service move up through the ranks. I would love to see it. With that, I will sit do= wn, Mr. Chair.

Ms. White: The first thing I would like to do is thank the department for the absolute spe= ed — I was asking questions about elevators that sounded bizarre. They d= id. I appreciate that they sounded bizarre, but on November 5, the Department of Community Services and the building and safety branches issued policy 2018-= 01 that made elevators so much safer in the territory. We now require that peo= ple who work on elevators actually have the skills and qualifications, which was what my question was about when I was asking it before. What we saw were the swiftest motions ever in the department. They heard what I was asking, even though it sounded weird to start with, and they made the change. I just wan= t to congratulate the department and thank them for the fluidity in which they d= id that.

I have= one more pitch for elevators, Mr. Chair. There was an OIC that changed where elevators from a certain date had to have operating telephones. The reason = why an operating telephone is so important for an elevator is that if you get caught in an elevator and you don’t have a cellphone, that’s the way you get out. The problem is that it only started on a certain date and = it didn’t go backwards. My pitch to the department right now is — = the challenge is that you made the change so quickly and you made sure that peo= ple who work on elevators have the qualifications, but my request is that you l= ook at expanding the regulation change that made it that all new elevators inst= alled had to have working telephones and that we make sure that all elevators installed in the territory have working telephones. For example, there is an elevator in the building that serves the Human Rights Commission. It is not visible from the street. It does not have a working telephone. If a person = was to be stuck in that elevator on a Friday night and no one knew they were th= ere, they might not be found until Monday because there is not a working telepho= ne.

My cha= llenge to the department is: Let’s fix that last problem with elevators, and th= en I am almost confident I won’t talk about elevators again.

With t= hat, I want to thank the Department of Community Services for their quick action a= nd their change, because that policy change is huge in the territory. Thank you very much.

Introduction of Visitors

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>First of all, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if we could welcome M= r. Rudy Couture, former Sergeant-at-Arms, to the Legislative Assembly today.=

Applause

 

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>With respect to elevators, I am going to thank the member oppo= site for her suggestion regarding all elevators having telephones. I will just n= ote that the group that deals with elevators — the building inspections office — they aren’t always a very thanked group, but I can tell you from working with them that their whole purpose is to try to ensure tha= t we have safety in this territory. There are many groups that deal with public safety, but theirs is one in particular.

Often = people will say, “Why do I need that? I don’t want to bother with that.” But really, what we are trying to do is ensure that there is a level of safety across the territory. I am also not going to take credit — I have just turned to them and I have asked — but I do think = they deserve credit for pulling things together so quickly. How they explained i= t to me was that this was not a new policy that was developed. What they did was they grabbed existing policy and tried to make it very apparent for users so that they were aware; so I will call it an emphasis or a public communicati= on on an existing set of policies.

Again,= thanks to the member opposite because she raised these questions and drew them into t= he light. It provided an opportunity for the branch to try to clarify things around that.

I̵= 7;m not sure if I finished the thought. While I am on these disjointed thoughts, I = have just a shout-out to Hansard for another Session well done. I thank them because, as political folks, when we get up, we have rambling thoughts and sentences, which don’t always finish, and they certainly help us out.=

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Sorry — just me, Mr. Chair — not other member= s of this Legislature, just me.

What I= meant to say earlier was that I appreciate the suggestion from the Member for Takhin= i-Kopper King regarding operational telephones. We do want to ensure that our elevat= ors are safe. I am going to take her suggestion and I am going to turn it back = to the department and find out what it is that we can do on a go-forward basis= . I appreciate those comments.

I can&= #8217;t recall whether the Official Opposition had other questions that they wanted= to ask — maybe not. I will just take this moment to thank the members of= the Department of Community Services who have appeared here today, while I̵= 7;m on my feet. With that, Mr. Chair, maybe we can get through the line-by-line debate.

Chair: Is th= ere any further general debate on Community Services?

Mr. Cathers: Considering the hour we are at, I think that line-by-line debate would not be the most effective use of the House’s time, considering how short of it we are this afternoon. I do appreciate the information that the Minister of Commun= ity Services has provided. I would also like to thank him and to thank the officials with him, as well as those who are not here in the Assembly, for = the work that they have done on that.

Chair: Order, please.

Termination of Sitting as per Standing Order 76(1)

Chair: The t= ime has reached 5:00 p.m. on this, the 30th day of the 2018 Fall Sitting= .

Standi= ng Order 76(1) states, “On the sitting day that the Assembly has reached the maximum number of sitting days allocated for that Sitting pursuant to Stand= ing Order 75, the Chair of the Committee of the Whole, if the Assembly is in Committee of the Whole at the time, shall interrupt proceedings at 5:00 p.m. and, with respect to each Government Bill before Committee that the Governm= ent House Leader directs to called, shall:

“= ;(a) put the question on any amendment then before the Committee;

“= ;(b) put the question, without debate or amendment, on a mo= tion moved by a Minister that the bill, including all clauses, schedules, title = and preamble, be deemed to be read and carried;

“= ;(c) put the question on a motion moved by a Minister that = the bill be reported to the Assembly; and

“= ;(d) when all bills have been dealt with, recall the Speake= r to the Chair to report on the proceedings of the Committee.”

It is = the duty of the Chair to now conduct the business of Committee of the Whole in the manner directed by Standing Order 76(1). The Chair will now ask the Governm= ent House Leader to indicate which government bills now before Committee of the Whole should be called.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Mr. Chair, the government directs that Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, = 2018‑19, and Bill No. 25, entitled Act = to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018), be called at this time.

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

Chair:̳= 5;The Committee will now de= al with Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19.

The Ch= air will now recognize Mr. Silver, as the sponsor of Bill No. 207, for the purpose of moving a motion pursuant to Standing Order 76(1)(b).

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Chair, I move that all clauses, schedules and the tit= le of Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, be deemed to be read and carried.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Mr. Silver that all clauses, schedules and the title of Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, be deemed to be read and carried. As = no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agr= eed?

Motion agreed to

On Opera= tion and Maintenance Expenditures

Total Op= eration and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $14,716,000 agreed to

On Capit= al Expenditures

Total Ca= pital Expenditures in the amount of $10,794,000 agreed to

Total Expenditures in the amount of $2= 5,510,000 agreed to

Clauses 1 a= nd 2 agreed to

Schedules A= and B agreed to

Title agree= d to

 

Hon. M= r. Silver: Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 207, entitled = Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, without amendment.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Mr. Silver that the Chair report Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriatio= n Act, 2018‑19, without amendment. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I= shall now put the question. Are you agreed?

Motion agreed to

Bill No. 25: Act to Amend the Legis= lative Assembly Act (2018) — continued

Chair: The C= ommittee will now deal with Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018). The Chair will now recognize Ms. McPhee, as the sponsor of Bill No. 25, for the purpose of moving a motion pursuant to Standing Order 76(1)(b).

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Mr. Chair, I move that all clauses and the title o= f Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend = the Legislative Assembly Act (2018), be deemed to be read and carried.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Ms. McPhee that all clauses and the title of Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend the Legislati= ve Assembly Act (2018), be deemed to be read and carried. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agreed?

Motion agreed to

Clauses 1 through 8 agreed to<= /i>

Title agreed to

&= nbsp;

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 25, entit= led Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly = Act (2018), without amendment.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Ms. McPhee that the Chair report Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly = Act (2018), without amendment. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I sh= all now put the question. Are you agreed?

Motion agreed to

&= nbsp;

Chair: As all government bills identified by the Government House Leader have now been decided upon, it is my duty to rise and report to the House.

&= nbsp;

Speaker resumes the Chair

Termination of Sitting as per Standing Order 76(2)

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. Hu= tton: Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, and directed me to report the bill without amendment.

Committee of the Whole has also consid= ered Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend = the Legislative Assembly Act (2018), and directed me to report the bill wit= hout amendment.

Speaker:= 195;You have heard the report= from the Chair of Committee of the Whole.

Are you agreed?

Some Hon.&n= bsp;Members: Agreed.

Speaker:= 195;I declare the report carr= ied.

 

Some Hon.&n= bsp;Member: Question of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

Question of privilege

Speaker: The Member for Lake Laberge, on a question of privilege.

Mr. Ca= thers: I will be very brief in indicating why I believe the question of privilege and a breach of parliamentary privilege by the Premier of every other Member of the Assembly may have occurred. I’m going to just briefly cite, for your reference= , a ruling by the Speaker of the House of Commons earlier this year with regard= to presumptuous language of a bulletin issued by a government agency in which,= in June, Speaker of the House Geoff Regan “ruled the case was a prima facie case of privilege R= 12; serious enough to warrant further study.” I’ll quote briefly fr= om what Speaker Regan said at the time: “The vast majority of the information was presented as though the provisions will definitely be coming into effect or are already the law of the land…”

“Parliament’s authority in scrutinizing and adopting legislative proposals remains unquestionable and should not be taken for granted.” With regard to that ruling, I should note that the parliamentary committee, according to an article by CBC, is currently looking into whether or not that agency should be found in contem= pt of Parliament for the offending bulletin.

Of course, the issue that I raised = 212; which I was directed, when I raised it Committee, to raise it with the Spea= ker — is a press release issued earlier this afternoon by the Yukon government under the Premier’s signature, entitled “Key legisla= tion passes as fall sitting ends”. The press release refers to legislation — including two acts that have not yet passed this Assembly, those be= ing the Act to Amend the Legislative As= sembly Act (2018), which also increases the Premier’s salary. The Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑1= 9, as well, is referenced in the press release, and the press release itself specifically says, “Significant legislation focused on modernization, openness and inclusivity will pass as the fall sitting of the Yukon Legisla= tive Assembly ends today.”

With regard to both the ruling made by Speaker Regan in the House of Commons and the press release issued by the Premier today, which seems to have crossed the same line in presuming a decision that has not yet been made by the Legislative Assembly, it appears= to me that, in addition to it clearly showing a lack of respect for the Assemb= ly, it may be a breach of the parliamentary privilege of every other Member of = the Legislative Assembly by the Premier.

I would ask you to rule on that matter= .

 

Speaker:= 195;Are there any further sub= missions on the question of privilege?

 

Hon. M= s. McPhee: An alleged breach of parliamentary privilege is a very serious matter. The Member for Lake Laber= ge makes a serious accusation here today. I submit to you that the quote ̵= 2; and I haven’t read the full decision, obviously, from Speaker Regan — is not applicable in this situation. It is distinguishable on the b= asis of the facts.

There = are very rare matters of genuine breaches of privilege. I have reviewed the press release that was mentioned by the Member for Lake Laberge. It does not rais= e a question of privilege or even a point of order, for that matter, as nothing= in that document in any way interferes with the members of this House discharg= ing their duties and responsibilities.

&= nbsp;

Speaker: Is = there any further submissions on the question of privilege?

Speaker’s ruling

Speaker:= 195;The Chair is prepared to = rule that the Member for Lake Laberge has raised a question of privilege at the earliest opportunity. However, the Chair is not yet prepared to rule whether there is or is not a prima facie question of privilege in this case. <= /o:p>

Questions of privilege are complicated matters, and the rulings are of great importance to the House. Therefore, t= he Chair will take the question of privilege under advisement and provide a ru= ling when the House next meets.

Termination of sitting as per Standing Order 76(2) — continued

Speaker:= 195;We will now proceed with = third reading of government bills. Standing Order 76(2)(d) states, “On the sitting day that the Assembly has reached the maximum number of sitting days allocated for that Sitting pursuant to Standing Order 75, the Speaker of the Assembly, when recalled to the Chair after the House has been in the Commit= tee of the Whole, shall:

“(d) with respect to each Govern= ment Bill standing on the Order Paper for Third Reading and designated to be cal= led by the Government House Leader,

“(i)= receive a motion for Third Reading and passage of the bill, and

“(ii) put the question, without debate or amendment, on that motion.”

I shall, therefore, ask the Government= House Leader to indicate which government bills now standing on the Order Paper f= or third reading should be called.

 

Hon. M= s. McPhee: Mr. Speaker, the gov= ernment directs that Bill No. 207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, and Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly = Act (2018), be called at this time.

Government Bills

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

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 207, standing in the name of the= Hon Mr. Silver.

Hon. M= r. Silver: I move that Bill No. = ;207, entitled Second Appropriation Act, = 2018‑19, be now read a third time and do pass.

Speaker:= 195;It has been moved by the = Hon. Premier that Bill No. 207, entitled Se= cond Appropriation Act, 2018‑19, be now read a third time and do pass.= As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agreed?

Some Hon.&n= bsp;Members: Division.

Division

Speaker: Division has been called.

 

Bells<= /o:p>

 =

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: Disagree.

Mr. Kent: Disagree.

Ms. Van Bibber: Disagree.

Mr. Cathers: Disagree.

Ms. McLeod: Disagree.

Mr. Istchenko: Disagree.

Ms. Hanson: Disagree.

Ms. White: Disagree.

Clerk: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, the results are 10 yea, eight nay.

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

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 207 ag= reed to

&= nbsp;

Speaker: I d= eclare that Bill No. 207 has passed this House.

Bill No. 25: Act to Amend the Legis= lative Assembly Act (2018) — Third Reading

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 25, standing in the name of the Hon. Ms. M= cPhee.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I move that Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act (2018), be now read a third time and do p= ass.

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Government House Leader that Bill No. 25, entitled Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly = Act (2018), be now read a third= time and do pass. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question to the House. Are you agreed?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker: Div= ision has been called.

&= nbsp;

Bells

&= nbsp;

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: Disagree.

Mr. Kent: Disagree.

Ms. Van Bibber: Disagree.

Mr. Cathers: Disagree.

Ms. McLeod: Disagree.

Mr. Istchenko: Disagree.

Ms. Hanson: Disagree.

Ms. White: Disagree.

Clerk: Mr.&n= bsp;Speaker, the results are 10 yea, eight nay.

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

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 25 agr= eed to

 

Speaker: I d= eclare that Bill No. 25 has passed this House.

We are= now prepared to receive the Commissioner of Yukon, in her capacity as Lieutenant Governor, to grant assent to bills which have passed this House.

&= nbsp;

Commissioner Bernard enters the Chamber accompan= ied by her Aides-de-Camp

Assent to BilLS

Commissione= r:   Please be seated.

 

Speaker: Madam Commissioner, the A= ssembly has, at its present session, passed certain bills to which, in the name and= on behalf of the Assembly, I respectfully request your assent.

Clerk:Act to Amend the Forest Resources Act = and the Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act (2018); Societies Act; Technical Amendments Act (No. 2), 2018; L= obbyists Registration Act; Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act; Second Appropriation Act, 2018‑19; Coroners Act; Act to Am= end the Legislative Assembly Act (2018).

Commissioner: I hereby assent to the bills as enumerated by the Clerk.

On beh= alf of Yukoners, I would like to thank you for all of your work this Sitting. I wo= uld like to invite you to the third annual Commissioner’s Christmas open house on Friday, December 7, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Taylor House. T= here will be homemade food, cocoa, music, and Santa will drop by for a visit. If= you have been good, you can ask him for something for Christmas. As usual, this= is a family friendly event.

I woul= d also like to invite you to my first New Year’s Levee on Tuesday, January 1, 2019. There will be food again — you will see as a theme in our events — youth entertainment and awards ceremonies.

In clo= sing, I would like to share the wise words of Buddy the Elf from the movie Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Thank you; merci.

Applause

 

Commissioner leaves the Chamber

 

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

Before= I adjourn the Fall Sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, I have a few brief comments. First, I would like to thank the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms for his thoughtful Yukon wood tree ornament, which he has created and provided to a= ll members and the Clerks at the Table. Thank you, Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms.

Applause

 

Speaker: Fur= ther, I would like to extend my thanks on behalf of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker= and the Deputy Chair of Committee of the Whole and on behalf of all MLAs to Cle= rk Floyd McCormick, Deputy Clerk Linda Kolody, Clerk of Committees Allison Llo= yd, Director of Administration, Finance and Systems Helen Fitzsimmons, Operatio= ns Manager Brenda McCain-Armour, our administrative assistant Lyndsey Amundson= , as well as Sergeant-at-Arms Karina Watson and Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Harris C= ox, who all provide invaluable support to all MLAs and their staff in order for= all of us to continue to do the important work that we are sent here to do on behalf of all Yukoners.

Applause

 

Speaker: As = well, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the skilled team at Hansard for their timely and accurate service, which somehow magically appears in the B= lues every morning. Thank you very much to Hansard.

Applause

 

Speaker: Finally, and in keeping with Madam Commissioner’s comments, I wish Members of the Legislative Assembly all the best for the holiday season. Safe travels as you recharge your batteries and return to y= our respective ridings to connect with your loved ones, extended family and fri= ends and with your constituents.

Thank = you very much.

As the= House has now reached the maximum number of sitting days permitted for the Fall Sitti= ng and the House has completed consideration of all designated legislation, it= is the duty of the Chair to declare that this House now stands adjourned.

&= nbsp;

The House adjourned at 5:29 p.m.

 

 

 

The following sessional paper was tabled November 22, 2018:

34-2-85

Yukon Advisory Coun= cil on Women’s Issues Annual Report 2017-2018 = (Dendys)

 

The following legislative returns were tabled November 22, 201= 8:

34-2-177

Response to matter outstanding from discussion with Ms. M= cLeod related to the general debate on Vote 15, Department of Health and Social Services, in Bill No. 207, Sec= ond Appropriation Act, 2018‑19 territorial health investment fund (Frost)

 

34-2-178

Response to oral question from Ms. McLeod re: radon testi= ng (Frost)

 

34-2-179

Response to Written Question No. 30 re: Yukon Emergency Medical Services auxiliary-on-call paramedics (Streicker)

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

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