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Yukon Legislative Assembly=

Whitehorse, Yukon

Monday, April 9, 2018 — 1:00 p.m.

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

We wil= l proceed at this time with prayers.

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Prayers

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Speaker: Mem= bers and general public, it is my solemn duty and honour on behalf of the House to s= ay a few words about two tragic events that have happened since we last met.

In remembrance of Joe Linklater

Speaker: As = members are now aware, former Vuntut Gwitchin Chief Joe Linklater passed away sudde= nly last night in Old Crow. Chief Linklater has been a prominent and important leader in the Yukon. He was most recently the executive director for the Vu= ntut Gwitchin First Nation. He served five terms as Chief of Vuntut Gwitchin Fir= st Nation between 1998 and 2015. He was a member of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board and chair of the Gwich̵= 7;in Council International. He, among others, has played an important role in the effort to keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge free of oil exploration.=

A more= fulsome tribute to Chief Linklater will occur at the appropriate time.

In remembrance of Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team

Speaker: Mem= bers are also aware that this past Friday evening, April 6, there was a tragic accid= ent near Tisdale, Saskatchewan when a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos Saskatchewan junior A hockey team was struck by a semi-tractor. The Broncos were travelling to a playoff game in Nipawin. The passengers on the bus included players, coaches and supporters. Fifteen persons have died, includ= ing 10 players ranging in age from 16 to 21, the head coach, an assistant coach, the team’s radio announcer, a young statistician and supporter, and t= he bus driver. Fourteen others were injured.

Our he= arts, prayers and love go out to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, the families a= nd host families of the players, the team supporters, the community of Humbold= t, the Province of Saskatchewan and hockey folks everywhere. What occurred out= side of Tisdale on Friday is the worst nightmare of every parent, every communit= y, every province and territory, every sports team.

Of cou= rse, so many Yukoners have been and are involved in hockey, sending our children bo= th within the territory and Outside for travel for games and tournaments. I kn= ow many members of our House as well as our dedicated support staff from all parties have been involved in Yukon hockey for many years. As we all do, wi= th our own varied and rich Yukon hockey experiences, I have wonderful memories= of travelling to various tournaments in Haines Junction, Teslin, Watson Lake a= nd Dawson, as well as outside the territory on long road trips with our sons.<= /span>

For th= e players, their supporters and their communities, the travel that often comes with be= ing part of a team is an important part of the hockey experience. That experien= ce gives us something in common and unites us with people we have never met ac= ross Canada. This is one reason why we all feel this as a deep, deep tragedy. To families, host families and friends of players Logan Boulet, Adam Herold, Logan Hunter, Jaxon Joseph, Jacob Leicht, = Conner Lukan, Logan Schatz, Evan Thomas, Parker Tobin, Stephen Wack, head coach Da= rcy Haugan, assistant coach Mark Cross, radio announcer T= yler Bieber, bus driver Glen Doerksen, and statistic= ian Brody Hinz — and to the entire community = of Humboldt — we are sending to you our compassion, love and support from Yukon at this most difficult time.

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I woul= d now ask all members and members of the gallery to stand for a moment of silence in honour of Chief Linklater and those killed and injured in Saskatchewan.

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Moment of silence observed=

Daily Routine

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

Tribut= es.

TRIBUTES

In remembrance of Justin = Kolla

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I rise today on behalf of all parties, with a heavy heart, to pay tribute to = the late Justin Kolla — an exceptional Yukone= r who passed away last year in a tragic airplane accident north of Faro.

Justin= was born here in Whitehorse on July 22, 1986, to long-time Yukoners Rob and Michelle= Kolla. He grew up playing many sports, including hock= ey and soccer. At an early age, he picked up his dad’s passion for motocross= and became an active dirt biker. He could often be found on the local track off Robert Service Way, putting in time and honing his well-known skills.

He and= his dad, Rob, used to race dirt bikes in Alaska. This is a story from his good friend who is here with us today. In one memorable time, they were both in the same race, running first and second. They went off a jump, collided and smacked = into each other. They were okay, but no longer in contention to win the race, and they immediately got into an argument, each blaming the other for what had happened. They shared a love for the sport and a competitive drive to push themselves.

Dirt b= iking was just the first of many passions that Justin pursued over the course of his life. After graduating from Porter Creek Secondary School, Justin attended = Red Deer College and later the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, where = he received his electrical engineering technology diploma with honours. Soon after, Justin began working at ATCO Electric, pursuing his new-found intellectual passion, electricity. He became an electrical engineering technologist and diligently worked to expand his credentials, becoming a po= wer systems electrician and a journeyman construction electrician. In 2016, he began pursuing a technology management degree through the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Justin= ’s career path led him to Yukon Energy, where his skill, dedication and work e= thic was instantly recognized and was even unsettling for some of his new colleagues. When told that some of his co-workers felt uneasy on how high he was setting the bar, Justin was surprised and said that he was just doing h= is job. Over the following months, Justin became a core member of the Yukon En= ergy team, earning a high level of respect from all of his colleagues. Within a = few years, Justin was the go-to guy for just about all of YEC's electrical questions and issues.

Justin= ’s impact is reflected in messages adorning a memorable quilt made by staff at Yukon Energy Corporation for his family following his passing. I believe th= at it is here with us today — staff brought the quilt in. The messages on that quilt included comments like: “remarkable”; “an exceptional individual”; “100‑percent kind of guy”; “Justin had a megawatt smile”; and “a remarkable man who lived a one-of-a-kind life”.

ItR= 17;s true — Justin did live a one-of-a-kind life. He never stopped pushing hims= elf, and his love of dangerous sports and adventure developed into a passion for aviation. Justin got his pilot’s licence in 2012 and began exploring = the Yukon and beyond in the air. Being a pilot allowed him to pursue unique experiences that satisfied his drive for ever-greater adventures. Justin pa= ssed away on September 2, 2017, doing what he loved most in the world — fl= ying his airplane across an endless Yukon landscape.

Justin= had an immense impact on many people who knew him through school, sports, work and adventure, and we see that here today. He had a keen sense of humour, a bri= ght smile, and he always helped those he loved and cared for, including his you= nger brother Ryan, whom he loved dearly.

His pa= ssion, dedication, enthusiasm and expertise were inspiring and widely respected. Another message from the quilt made by Yukon Energy staff sums it up well: “We are all better people having known you, Justin. A big hole has be= en left in our hearts with your passing.” Justin Ko= lla was an exceptional Yukoner who will be loved forever.

There = are a tremendous number of supporting people here today. I want to touch on two things. One is that the quilt is there that we touched on. Also, Michelle, = Rob and Ryan have put together a time for people to meet downstairs here, just = in the cafeteria, after the opening of the Assembly today. I am going to do my best — I have asked my colleagues both on this side and across the wa= y to help me if I miss anybody, because there are a lot of people here today. I would just like to recognize some people who are here today.

From Y= ukon Energy, we have Nathan Peterson, Stephanie Whitehead, Guy Morgan, Melanie <= span class=3DSpellE>Pettefer, Cameron Hoyt, Michael Brandt, Jordan Corbei= l, Paul Leslie, Jaeson Henderson, Ramona Toth, Janet Patterson, Darryel Collins, David Johnson, Bob Burrell, Darrell Johnson and Ken Ha= sler.

We als= o have with us today Joey Chretien, who I had an opportunity to speak with today. Thank you, Joe, for being here and sharing your information so we could hav= e an appropriate tribute today. Also with us are Paula Panc= ovich, Mario Poulin, Denise Beattie, Michael Hale, Ste= phanie Matchett, Mike and Jean Nikon, Megan Yakiwchuk, Jenni Matchett, Allison Chretien, Trent Jamieson, Justin Jamieson, Tara Kolla Hale, Nelson Lepine, Karen Lepine, Iain de la Mare, David Laxto= n and Mike Nixon, Anne Marie Peeters, Rick Boyd,= Ed Peake and Alex Hill.

Thank = you for being with us today to celebrate these words for this very important Yukone= r.

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Mr. Hassard: One more person I see here is Michael Mark, so thank you for being here as well.

 

Speaker: Tha= nk you. If there have been any omissions, there could be further introductions of v= isitors at the time provided.

In remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Mr. Istchenko: I rise on behalf of the House to pay tribute to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It = is Canada’s most celebrated military victory and at that point in the war was the single largest territorial advance of any Allied Force. It has been= 101 years since the fateful morning of April 9 — Easter morning — t= hat the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force took part in the bat= tle as a single cohesive formation.

The Ca= nadians rehearsed the attack in the weeks before the battle. Aside from the ground-positioning training, heavy artillery bombardment was brought down on the German forces. This continued until the early hours of April 9, Easter Monday, which saw 1= ,500 Canadians take part in the first wave of the assault. Over the course of fo= ur days, 3,598 Canadians lost their lives and over 10,500 were wounded in the conflict.

The ba= ttle was a monumental event for Canadian history. Canada’s united front and courageous actions not only led to victory at Vimy Ridge, but set the stage= for a global view of Canada as a strong and independent nation. The victory its= elf led to a signature from Canada, separate from that of Britain on the Treaty= of Versailles in 1919, officially ending World War I.

Follow= ing the war, Brigadier General A.E. Ross famously stated: “It was Canada from= the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade… in those few minutes I witnessed t= he birth of a nation.”

In 192= 2, Ottawa chose Hill 145 at Vimy Ridge in France for the site of the national monumen= t to the Canadian lives lost during World War I. A beautiful and immense limesto= ne memorial was built and inscribed with 11,285 names of Canadians who died in France with no known graves.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, I had the opportunity in 1988 to be there on Remembrance Day as a young sol= ider in the Canadian Armed Forces. It is Canadian soil, given to Canada, and we should be proud.

The Vi= my Foundation was formed in 2006. Since then it has worked for the preservation and awareness of April 9 as Vimy Ridge Day in Canada.

I woul= d like to thank those involved with the foundation for their continued dedication to = the legacy of Vimy Ridge. The sacrifices at Vimy and elsewhere are not forgotte= n. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

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Speaker: Any= further introductions of visitors?

Are th= ere any returns or documents for tabling?

Tabling Returns and Documents

Hon. Mr. Streicker: I have for tabling today a legislative return in respon= se to questions posed by the Member for Takhini-Kopper King on March 22, 2018.

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Mr. Kent: I have for tabling an invitation to an event with the Premier and the Deputy Premier in Toronto on Friday, June 16, 2017, organized by Bluesky Strategy Group.

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Speaker: Are= there any reports of committees?

Reports of Committees

Mr. Adel: I have for tabling the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Appointmen= ts to Major Government Boards and Committees, dated April 5, 2018.

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Speaker: Are= there any further committee reports to be presented?

Petiti= ons.

PETITIONS

Petition No. 2

Mr. Istchenko: I have the following petition to put before this House today. The undersigned, some 99 residents in the Champagne and Aishihik traditional territory, ask = the Yukon Legislative Assembly to urge the Minister of Environment to reappoint John Trotter to the Alsek Renewable Resources Council.

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

Are th= ere any bills to be introduced?

Are th= ere any notices of motions?

Notices of Motions

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

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to engage with the Yukon Child Care Board pursuant to their functions set out in Section 4(4) of the Yukon Child Care Act to develop and imp= lement a Yukon early childhood strategy based on the principles of universality, h= igh quality and comprehensiveness, and which includes the following:

(1) pu= blic plans for developing integrated systems of early learning and childcare that meet= the care and early education needs of children, their parents and caregivers;

(2) pu= blic funding delivered directly to early learning and childcare services and systems;

(3) pu= blic management of the expansion of public and not-for-profit early learning and childcare services under public authorities, including integration of exist= ing community services into publicly managed systems; and

THAT, = further, to ensure that the Yukon Child Care Board be mandated and resourced to carry out consultations on these matters with First Nation and municipal governme= nts, parents and caregivers of young children, and early childhood, education and health care professionals.

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I also= give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to review the penalties included in the Lands Act for infractions and cons= ider raising them to:

(1) re= flect the seriousness and actual cost of damage done by infractions; and

(2) ac= t as a real deterrent to ignoring the law.

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

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Canada to:

(1) re= cognize that federal Bill C-71 will negatively impact lawful gun owners in Yukon;

(2) co= mmit to remove all provisions in Bill C-71 that create a new long-gun registry;

(3) me= aningfully consult with all Yukoners before passing any legislation that affects Yukon= gun owners; and

(4) pr= ovide more resources to police to focus gun control efforts on criminals and gangs ins= tead of lawful gun owners.

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

THAT t= his House urges the Yukon Liberal government to oppose Bill C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearm= s, which unfairly targets law-abiding Canadian firearms owners while doing not= hing to address organized crime and provides for the backdoor establishment of a long-gun registry.

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

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to respond to the crisis of plastics in our oceans, our fresh water and our environment by working with industry and municipal and First Nation governments to:

(1) el= iminate the distribution of single-use plastic bags;

(2) el= iminate the use of single-use plastic food and beverage containers including straws, utensils and lids; and

(3) re= duce the amount of plastic packaging throughout the retail industry.

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I also= give notice of the following motion for the production of papers:

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to table a list of government-led renewable energy projects that have been initiated by this government since the last election.

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Speaker: Are= there any further notices of motions?

Is the= re a statement by a minister?

This t= hen brings us to Question Period.

QUESTION PERIOD

Question re: Bluesky Strategy contract

Mr. Hassard: Last week we asked about sole-source contracts to Bluesky Strategy. We got a lot= of deflection out of the Premier but not a lot of answers — this despite= the fact that, according to the federal lobbyist registry, this work is being managed by the Premier’s own chief of staff.

Last w= eek, we asked about two separate contracts totalling close to $55,000 that were giv= en out last year. The Deputy Premier alluded that this money, which is describ= ed as preparation for the Fraser Institute survey, was actually for hosting receptions in Toronto in June and September. However, the Fraser Institute comes out in February of each year, so it would seem that the titles on the contract registry may be misleading.

WeR= 17;re curious if the Premier could confirm if in fact this $55,000 of taxpayers’ mo= ney that the contract registry says was for preparation of the Fraser Institute survey was actually for those two receptions referenced.

Hon. Mr. Silver: A couple of different things are happening with Bluesky. The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, as mentioned, did contract Bluesky Strategy Gr= oup to develop and implement a marketing campaign to promote the expanding mine= ral investment in Yukon.

Also, = within ECO, a transition of new governments commonly involves expenditures associa= ted with training and with guidance on a variety of subjects. This includes consultation costs to provide expertise and advice when meeting the communication needs of an incoming government.

So it wasn’t necessarily just one contract with this particular group. There were a couple. There is not a lot of time in Question Period, but what I wi= ll say is that I will ask my Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources to elabor= ate on the contracts with Bluesky Strategy Group for the purpose of furthering = the mandate to encourage and to expand investment in Yukon and to position Yuko= n as the number one jurisdiction with a four-month marketing campaign targeted at the mining and investment community from June to September 2017. It was rea= lly good work that I imagine the members of the Yukon Party would 100 percent g= et behind when we’re promoting this jurisdiction.

Mr. Hassard: Of course we do support promoting the Yukon; however, I am still curious as to= why the registry says that it was for preparation of the Fraser Institute surve= y. Maybe the Premier could tell us whose decision it was to select Bluesky Strategy Group to receive this sole-source contract.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I thank the opposition for the opportunity to speak to this su= bject.

As ide= ntified by the Leader of the Official Opposition, the timing for the actual results of= the survey to come out is February. Early autumn is usually the time when the Fraser Institute starts to speak to industry leaders. For most people, when= you look at a jurisdictional approach to this, the strategy is to have your discussions between June, at the earliest — even a little bit late, b= ut really trying to ensure that, by September, you have your story out there. =

Of cou= rse, what we wanted to do was to explain that we do have some political stability her= e in the Yukon. We had to touch on the fact that we felt that we were going to h= ave a different approach to land planning and that we wouldn’t see the challenges that happened previously. Of course, what that has done now is t= hat we see the global investment industry has now rated the Yukon higher than it was previously — trying to get back to where we were even a number of years ago, but trying to tell the story of the Yukon.

So the= re were a number of things that happened. It wasn’t just that. We did the development of the Yukon good news story strategy. We did mail-outs to a nu= mber of different analysts. We did have our events. We did the branding of the g= ood news story. We did our website development. There were a number of things t= hat applied. I think it has been good work. I hope the opposition will get behi= nd us on this because it is good work.

Mr. Hassard: It seems to us that there are a lot of people, including locals, who would be = able to organize meetings with mining companies, so we’re left wondering w= hy this lobbying firm received this sole-source contract. In the past, it was actually hard-working departmental officials in Economic Development and Energy, Mines and Resources who would work directly with industry to organi= ze these types of events. They were able to do it without costing taxpayers an extra $55,000 in sole-source contracts.

Today,= we have tabled in the Legislature a copy of an invitation that has the Government of Yukon logo on it, but the e‑mail address asks you to RSVP by e‑= mailing Bluesky Strategy. The invitation is for an event in Toronto on June 16 of l= ast year and its advertising is featuring the Premier and the Deputy Premier. T= his is part of the reason why we find it so interesting that last week, the Pre= mier didn’t seem to know about this contract.

Could = the Premier confirm if he and the Deputy Premier were actually in attendance at this event?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, of course we were. Again, there is lots of g= ood work being done by the Executive Council Office, Intergovernmental Relation= s, Energy, Mines and Resources, Department of Environment — we could go = on and on about all the good work involving the local capacity. Every time we = go out and speak to the seniors, we talk about how the junior companies were really the ones, through lean times, that really promoted the Yukon as a gr= eat place for resource capacity.

Now, w= ith a government that works hand-in-hand with First Nation governments, we might actually get an industry out of here, Mr. Speaker.

So the= members opposite like to confuse the waters as to whether or not this is a contract working with the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change or if t= his is for meetings happening in June. Specifically, what we are talking about = here — of course, we talked about the good news story strategy that came o= ut of this particular type of work with this particular company and the follow= -up — the good news story that took place with Yukon mining and First Nations in attendance in Toronto as well. The list goes on and on. This is the good wo= rk that we are doing here.

I will= say that, when we first started, we thought we might have to do what the previous government did, which was use a lobbyist or hire a group to get us meetings with the federal ministers, but we found a better strategy, Mr. Speake= r. With just a really good rapport with the federal government, we can do those bookings on our own.

Question re: Bluesky Strategy contract

Mr. Kent: The reason that we are asking is that the invitation to the event clearly states that it was on June 16 of last year in Toronto. The Premier just confirmed = for my colleague that he and the Deputy Premier were in attendance. However, wh= en we looked online at the proactive disclosure of ministerial travel, there i= s no indication that the Premier or the Deputy Premier travelled to Toronto for these days.

Perhap= s the Premier could tell us why they did not disclose this travel publicly as they are required to do?

Hon. Mr. Silver: This is a great opportunity to clear the air. We paid our own = way.

Mr. Kent: As we mentioned last week, according to the federal lobbying registry, Bluesky Strategy was registered to lobby on Yukon’s behalf starting on March = 21 of last year. On March 22, 2017, they met with the federal Environment mini= ster on Yukon’s behalf; however, according to Yukon’s contract regis= try, the very first contract awarded to Bluesky was April 1 of last year.=

Much l= ike the Premier and the Deputy Premier’s travel was not publicly disclosed, we are left wondering why the government has not publicly disclosed the contra= ct for Bluesky to lobby on behalf of Yukoners.

Hon. Mr. Silver: Again, we will look into this further for the interest of the members opposite. I will look into this a little further, but I believe what happened was that it was registered by the federal government, but I don’t think we actually were billed for that particular engagement.

So aga= in, saving some money here, we were travelling on our own budget and on our own dime — not caucus money, not Yukon taxpayers’ money — for those particular trips because there were other engagements as well.

I will= get back to the member opposite with this, but what I do believe has transpired in t= hat case is that you have a contract group in Ottawa doing what they are suppos= ed to do, which is registering the lobbying efforts, but again, I believe what happened was that there was no charge to the taxpayers on that particular t= rip.

I hope= I am not proven wrong, but that is what my memory is from this. I will absolutely get back to the member opposite with more details on that particular contract.<= /span>

Mr. Kent: Perhaps the Premier can let us know if Bluesky has done any other work on YukonR= 17;s behalf that they either haven’t charged for or is not currently publi= cly disclosed on Yukon’s contract registry.

Hon. Mr. Silver: I am not sure if there is any work other than what we have alr= eady disclosed. I know that there is a service contract with the Executive Counc= il Office that was rendered in 2017; that was a contract signed in June 2017. There was also a $5,700 contract for media communications and training that= was through the Legislative Assembly Office. The Executive Council Office contr= act was to provide experts and advice to meet the communications needs of an incoming government, as we spoke of.

I beli= eve the two contracts to the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources totalled jus= t over $54,000. It was money well-spent to get us back on track as the number one jurisdiction in Canada and I would even say — boastfully — maybe even the world.

Question re: Liberal Party ethical standards

Ms. Hanson: Yukon has long been known as the wild west of political fundraising. There are no limits on how much one can donate to a political party. Corporations and un= ions can make donations and out-of-territory or even out-of-country donations are permitted.

While = in opposition, the Premier was critical of the $300 Vancouver Harbour fundrais= ing cruise organized by the Yukon Party during an annual mining conference. In debating a bill I tabled in the last Legislature, the Premier said — = and I quote: “… a ban on both union and corporate donations is abso= lutely worth looking into. I think that the concern about money buying influence is real…”

I hope= that we can all agree that a system that literally allows anyone or any corporation= on this planet to give an unlimited amount to a political party needs some ser= ious fixing. When will this government take action to reform Yukon’s weak political financing rules?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I do appreciate the question from the member opposite. As we w= ork through different — there are different initiatives that are moving forward right now. Members’ Services Board, for example, has a commit= ment to certain obligations that may come into this consideration. Of course, I can’t talk about those meetings on the floor of the Legislative Assem= bly, but we will be looking at that process first and foremost.

I stan= d by those words. I know that the NDP and the Yukon government disagree on certain con= siderations when it comes to the way in which political parties do raise their money. I know that the opposition doesn’t believe in contributions outside of Yukon; yet they have accepted nationwide contributions from unions. So ther= e is a good conversation here to be had, whether it be the $35,000 or so that the NDP raises through union contributions or the $40,000 that the Yukon Liberal Party raised through mining companies, this is a good opportunity to have conversations about how we raise our money. We stand behind those words and= we look forward to the good work of Members’ Services Board to be a predecessor to this conversation and working with all political parties in = the Legislative Assembly.

Ms. Hanson: The National Post recently publishe= d a database of political donations in all Canadian jurisdictions as well as an overview of the rules governing them. It stated — and I quote: “Yukon Premier Sandy Silver said his party has not held any out-of-territory fundraising events.” Yet we have received a copy of = an invitation sent by a senior BC mining executive to watch a Vancouver Canucks game in a private suite at Rogers Arena. The invitation reads: “Premi= er Sandy Silver, Leader of the Yukon Liberal Party, and Deputy Premier Ranj Pillai will be present… Tickets are $500 p= er person and you will be issued a tax receipt. Please make cheques payable to= the Yukon Liberal Party...” Did the Premier tell the truth to the National Post?

Hon. Mr. Silver: What I can say is we did have a fundraiser in Vancouver where members of the mining community were there in attendance and it was a polit= ical donation to the Yukon Liberal Party. It was well-attended. The Montreal Canadiens did not win, much to my chagrin, but, again= , what we did in that case was we paid out of Yukon Liberal Party caucus funds to = go down on a separate event — not tag and get in with the Roundup where there are other responsibilities and obligations for government which shoul= dn’t be involved with fundraising. We took time out to do this fundraising and it was a successful event.

As far= as any quotes in the National Post, I = will have to read the full context of the particular article to make any stateme= nts on that.

Ms. Hanson: The Premier can try to deflect the attention all he wants. We have been clear, = as the NDP, that we support banning corporate union out-of-territory donations= and we’re happy to help work with this government to make it happen, but = not just after the next election. It’s easy for the Premier to say he didn’t break the rules when effectively there are no rules. The fact = is that the Premier told the media that the Liberals don’t hold out-of-territory fundraisers, yet they just did that a few months ago. How = is this government any different from the previous government? A $300 cruise in the Vancouver Harbour or a $500 private suite at Rogers Arena — it is= two sides of the same coin.

Will t= he Premier explain why he told the media that his party doesn’t organize out-of-= territory fundraisers and will he tell this House who paid for the private suite at Rogers Arena? Was it the Liberal Party or was it a corporate donation?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I think the big difference between the previous governmentR= 17;s approach to fundraising and our approach is that we didn’t go down at Roundup and use a captive audience to get them to pay for our political par= ty. What we did was we went out and put out invitations to an event that wasn’t coordinated around other opportunities or other meetings and we raised a very successful fundraising show, I guess. We were happy to see the engagement from the mining companies that were there and also other individuals.

Again,= I’m not going to comment as to a national newspaper article. I will have to rea= d it before I comment on it, but, again, we made no bones about it. We were going down there on our own dime and raising money and promoting the Yukon as bei= ng a great place to invest, not only for the economy, but also for the environment’s sake — you go hand in hand with the First Nation governments and let these companies know that no development is made unless= the cooperation is there with those First Nations whose traditional territories= are being affected.

Again, we’re hearing that the NDP says it’s all fine and good to wait until the next election — maybe something similar to when the NDP wai= ted until they raised all their money before they said that they wanted to get = away from union-sponsored fundraising.

Question re: Carbon tax

Ms. White: Last Thursday, opposition members were given a briefing by Yukon government staf= f on the impact of carbon pricing. To get a full picture though, two key elements are missing. The first is how the rebates to Yukon citizens will be distributed. The government has already stated that it is waiting for information from the federal government. The second missing element is what= new incentives this government will introduce to encourage individual Yukoners = to reduce their carbon footprint, the whole purpose of a price on carbon.

What n= ew incentives will this government be putting in place to encourage and reward Yukoners for decreasing their use of fossil fuels and moving to renewable energy sources?

Hon. Mr. Silver: The Minister for Community Services will get up to address par= t of that question, but I would like to start with the premise that this question has been framed around, which is the federal government completing their analysis of the potential impacts of carbon pricing that may have effects in Yukon. That was released last week.

Again,= just a couple of things there, Mr. Speaker — the analysis doesn’t paint the whole picture when it comes to carbon pricing. We released a four-page summary document to provide some background and to fill in some of that missing information around these costs. The federal analysis estimates that carbon pricing will reduce Yukon’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5.5 percent by 2022. Now that is good for the territory as we look to reduce our carbon footprint.

The fe= deral analysis also noted that the Yukon’s economy is not expected to be significantly impacted by the introduction of carbon pricing. The data indicated a potential decrease in Yukon’s GDP as an estimated 0.19 percent by 2022, but this does not take into account the commitment that we have made to Yukoners. All of the revenues collected from this carbon prici= ng will be returned to Yukoners through the rebate. Because carbon pricing wil= l be revenue neutral to Yukoners, it will not directly affect GDP at all. In fac= t, the rebate money will likely contribute to Yukon’s economy.

I will= let the Minister of Community Services answer the specific question after that.

Ms. White: Although I appreciate the answer, it didn’t touch the question. What we really want to know is what this Yukon government will be doing to support Yukoner= s to make changes and what new programs they will be offering.

The go= vernment has also been unclear about exemptions or corporate rebates that are being considered by this government. Blanket industry exemptions undermine carbon pricing by giving certain sectors a pass. Rebates can be much the same and = can amount to the equivalent of an exemption, yet, even in remote locations, renewable energy is often an option.

We kno= w that Northwestel uses solar energy to power some of their most remote towers, an= d we know that in the Northwest Territories, mines, such as the Diavak mine, utilize wind power to meet some of their energy needs. The technology= and the knowhow are out there for industry to use renewable energy. So is this government planning on exemptions for any sector or industry by granting corporate rebates?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Again, I will try to give part of the answer. The challenge he= re is that, when we’re taking about energy, it’s cutting across many departments and there are many programs that we are investing in this year.= For example, I know that the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources is investi= ng in our remote communities to work to help them to get off-grid. I know that= my own department is working on rebates around solar panels. It has been going through the roof — literally and figuratively. So there are lots of programs.

The ma= in investment that we are making is — last year, we invested over $10 million = in energy retrofits. This year, I believe, it is more than $20 million and we’re working to make it $30 million per year. That investment in energy retrofits targets the best location for reducing energy dependency. = That is in heating our homes and our buildings. In this way, by insulating them better and by changing over the furnaces and the old oil tanks, we will red= uce our emissions.

Finall= y, by giving the rebate back to Yukoners and to Yukon businesses — what that does is put money in their pockets for them to take the initiative. That is= the whole point of a rebate. The way in which it works is that our citizens and= our businesses can then take that money and reinvest it in a way to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels.

Ms. White: I thank the minister for mentioning all of those existing programs that I have had the opportunity to talk about for years already.

At the= briefing last week, we were happy to hear from government officials that this govern= ment finally has a clear number for territory-wide greenhouse gas emissions. This government is expecting greenhouse gas emissions to decrease by five percent through carbon pricing, but government officials were clear that carbon pri= cing is just one tool to reduce greenhouse gases.

Does t= he government have an overall greenhouse gas reduction target for reducing our greenhouse gases beyond carbon pricing? If so, what would the target be and= how will they reach it?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I will leave the carbon targets to the Minister of Environment= or the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources to discuss here in this Legisla= ture at some other point.

In the= past, for example, I was invited to be part of a panel that worked on setting targets= for the territory. These are not one-day questions. They are complicated questi= ons. It is great to have targets. It’s important.

Howeve= r, what I will say is that it’s not new to have retrofits. What is new is to ha= ve $20 million of retrofits. That is a big deal. When we look at the sect= ors of where we have energy dependency here in the territory, transportation is= the highest and heat is the second highest. Electricity is not very high at all= .

We are= shifting away from the discussion around the production of electricity to retrofits.= The reason is because that is the place where we can really make a big differen= ce in reducing emissions. By increasing the amount that we’re investing = this year — $20 million — we’re building toward $30 = million a year. It may not be new and it may not be fancy, but it is certainly effective.

Question re: Autism spectrum disorder statistics

Ms. McLeod: Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada, together with the provinces and territories, released autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, prevalence estimates among children aged five to 17 years. According to this report, the prevale= nce of ASD is one in 66 children nationally and only one in 126 in Yukon.

On the= surface, this sounds like a good news story. However, as reported by CKRW this morni= ng, Autism Yukon has pointed out that Yukon’s numbers may be artificially= low due to the way that we track this in the territory. For example, according = to the news story, the wait-list for receiving an assessment in the territory = is nearly two years long, so lots of families go outside of the territory to g= et their assessment. The worry is that this results in Yukon not having a true picture.

Can th= e minister confirm whether or not the government’s tracking excludes those famil= ies who go outside of the territory to receive assessments?

Hon. Ms. Dendys: This is an important question, for sure, that I’m sure m= any Yukoners are concerned about. I will seek the information that the member opposite is requesting here today and I will bring it back in a legislative return.

Ms. McLeod: Having the accurate numbers about the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in th= is territory is essential for many reasons. It helps us to identify trends and= it also helps us to identify needs. This information also helps to develop policies and services to support Canadians with ASD and their families. If Yukon’s statistics are artificially lower, then we may not be taking enough action to address this issue.

Will t= he minister commit to review the methods by which Yukon tracks ASD prevalence = in the territory to ensure that it captures the true reality?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Of course, not this past weekend but the weekend before —= ; over the holiday weekend — it was National Autism Awareness Day and we had= the tribute the week before that. I really appreciated the Member for Takhini-Kopper King’s comments about making it National Autism Accept= ance Day.

We are= , of course, aware that autism and the spectrum of disorders with autism are prevalent here in the territory. I really appreciate the Member for Watson = Lake bringing this issue forward. It is always important to make sure that, when= you are a small jurisdiction, we’re watching how data is collected to make sure that there aren’t differences that may be creating inconsistence= s. It is terribly important to have evidence and to know what we’re deal= ing with.

I said= then and I will say now that we have a wonderful community that provides support aro= und this issue, and I’m sure we can follow up with them to get their noti= on anecdotally about whether or not we are tracking the information well. It i= s important — I will stress that — and we’ll make sure to have that conversation with the Minister of Health and Social Services.

Ms. McLeod: As was mentioned earlier, the wait-list for a child to receive an assessment f= or autism in the Yukon is close to two years. What is the government doing to reduce this wait-list?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I think that the very important topic that has been touched up= on today by the Member for Watson Lake is the fact of assessment and essential= ly being able to determine the challenges that individuals have in the Yukon — not just in a situation that we’re talking about today, but e= ven broader. I know that the people who are working to support education through FASSY — in working with people who have been diagnosed with fetal alc= ohol spectrum disorder — are also in the same position. This is something = that has been going on for decades in the Yukon, where you have the ability to do diagnostics for maybe five or 10 individuals, but the reality is that there= are many, many people — in some cases, potentially in the hundreds. Havin= g a system that can focus on ensuring the most efficient way to diagnose indivi= duals in a series of different areas so that you can ensure that you have the pro= per supports in place and that you have the proper education.

I know= that stuff that my colleague has been looking at is part of the work not just in Whitehorse, but also focuses on our communities — but also the good w= ork that is happening not just with Autism Yukon, but with FASSY and other organizations, to ensure that we have the best possible approach to diagnos= tics across an area of challenges.

 

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

Speaker’s statement

Speaker: I h= ave just a quick reminder to all member. I know that it was likely just an oversight, but, when quoting media sources where other members are involved in certain activities outside of the House, the same rules apply as far as naming any members. When you are reading a media source, it is still going to be “the Member for Riverdale North” or “the Premier” or whomever.

I was = just provided that reminder by Mr. Clerk. If all members could be careful because that is doing indirectly what one cannot do directly. That is just a brief reminder on that topic.

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

Orders of the Day

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

The ma= tter before the Committee is Bill No. 15, entitled Cannabis Control and Regulation Act.

Do mem= bers wish to take a brief recess?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

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

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Recess

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

Bill No. No. 15: Cannabis Control a= nd Regulation Act — continued

Chair:̳= 5;The matter before the Committee is Bill No. 15, entitled = Cannabis Control and Regulation Act.

Is the= re any general debate? The Minister of Justice has 18 minutes and 42 seconds left.

Hon. M= s. McPhee: We were not thinki= ng of how much time was left from the other day when we were here. I would like to welcome back our officials, Patricia Randell and Sandra Markman, and our friend from the Yukon Liquor Corporation, Matt King. He will be sit= ting with the Minister of Community Services and the Minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation today. We will, I understand, move to the Third Pa= rty for their questions and do our best to address all of the questions that th= ey have. I won’t use my 18 minutes; I will stop there so that we can get directly to the questions.

Ms. Wh= ite: Did the Minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation want to start with a statement before I start asking questions? He just shook hi= s head as a no, and so I will get started.

I just= want to thank the officials for being in the Chamber and, again, for the two briefi= ngs that we got. I think at one point in time there were eight different offici= als and they were fantastic. When we asked for the second briefing, it was super helpful. We were able to work through the entire document, which, for anyone who hasn’t had a look, is 80 clauses long and probably just about as = many pages.

Like I= said in my second reading speech, it feels like this is the next biggest thing since prohibition. I appreciate the time that the officials took with us and I’m thankful for the involvement of the ministers today.

There = are a couple different ways that I propose that we can do this. I could ask the questions that I have written in my book, or if we could do a loose, unofficial, line-by-line debate — but we could start at the beginning= and go all the way through. Maybe I will just ask the ministers which way they prefer. I can either ask questions that go all over, or I could start at the beginning and go through. I will just start with that.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>As we said at second reading, we’re totally happy to move through this how the members opposite wish. Sort of following loosely is fi= ne, because we’ll just treat that like questions and answers. I just hope= , as well, that our colleagues from the Third Party are aware that this may be t= he way that it rolls so they are able to be listening in — or the appropriate critic.

Ms. White: The Third Party is present and accounted for. I’m sure everyone will be listening and curious, in which case, I’m going to start off in part 1 under the introductory statements in section 1.

One of= the questions I had initially — for the officials, I am going to be repea= ting a lot of what I have already been told. I actually know the answer to a lot= of these things, but I think it’s important that, on the broader context, when we talk about this out in public, we understand.

I have= always viewed the age of majority as 19 and above in the Yukon and the age of mino= rity as below that.

In Sec= tion 1(b), it talks about protecting young persons. Could the minister explain how the language “young persons” was chosen?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: The terminology chosen for that section, throughout the direct= ory part and then throughout the bill, is consistent with the federal language = or the language from the federal bills and that is why we chose to use that. My recollection is that it is also defined in the definitions section.<= /p>

Ms. White: I appreciate the clarity — then that would be between the Yukon legisla= tion and the federal legislation.

Also i= n that section, it talks about “discouraging access” and the consumpti= on of cannabis, which, to me, speaks to social responsibility. What I want to = know is how the three departments — so between Justice, the soon-to-be cannabis corporation and the Health department — plan on activating or embracing the role of social responsibility and what that looks like toward= the community.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>This is a broad topic and so I will give some general response= s and then I am happy to deal with more specific parts of it afterward.

Broadl= y, from the perspective of Health and Social Services, we want to make sure that th= ey are taking the lead on education around youth, around health and around wellness. That would be the main place where their public education takes place; the main place where Justice’s takes place will be around thin= gs like the Criminal Code and enforcement and RCMP and that sort of area, what is sort of typical for the= m.

The ar= ea where we — the Yukon Liquor Corporation — would be doing public educa= tion and outreach around social responsibility will be the notion of consumption= and awareness around the use of intoxicants to make sure that the public is awa= re about signs and symptoms. For example, we will have training for staff that will be in the private sector and within our own staff that will be similar= to the Be a Responsible Server type of training. There will definitely be over= lap of those pieces and what we are trying to do is have a discussion to make s= ure that we are all aware of the type of social responsibility education that we will be doing and that the messages that come out from the various departme= nts will be mutually reinforcing.

If the= re are more details that are needed, I am happy to get down into it further with t= he member opposite.

Ms. White: I would actually really appreciate the details. Social responsibility around = the Yukon Liquor Corporation has been a concern of the Yukon NDP since I became involved in the Legislative Assembly in 2011. At times at the Yukon Liquor Corporation, it was on the corner of someone’s desk, and at times, it= has played a larger role, but our concern has always been the social responsibi= lity aspect. If the minister could elaborate and go into more detail about how departments are going to do this, that would be fantastic.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>For example, under retail training, we will be — as I mentioned — developing a server training course and we will be lookin= g at things like potency, forms of use, the effects of use, health risks, differentiating between medical and non-medical cannabis to ensure that ret= ail staff are not providing medical advice or information, recognition of intoxication and awareness of the national lower risk cannabis use guidelin= es.

We wil= l work with the chief medical officer of health and the Health and Social Services department to ensure that those pieces of our messaging which overlap with Health are consistent, as I have said.

There = will be a whole campaign which is talking about being over 19 or under 19 and how to identify people who, if they are coming to purchase cannabis or will someday use cannabis — that whole age limit. There are other things that are age-specific because we recognize that consumption — we have informat= ion about how consumption exists and how much it is used — also the diffe= rence between Whitehorse in our capital and the smaller communities. There will be some age-specific education.

Consum= ption is another area where we will be having information — again, this might = be in the stores, but it might also be through Health — which is around = the methodologies of consumption, whether that is smoking or whether that is ingestion or, at some later date, topical. Some of the social responsibility information or the educational information will be around smoking, which has just got to do with the same types of campaigns that have to do with tobacc= o.

There = will be some information put out, for example, through the residential tenancies of= fice around residences and rental situations and how that will be dealt with.

Health= and Social Services will deal with sort of a more front-line public education campaign. This will be alongside other health messages that they provide, so again, back to the types of consumption and the ways in which it works and = how to inform the public about stronger strains of cannabis because, of course,= it’s not one-size-fits-all — with a particular focus on youth — and = also information regarding fetal development during pregnancy.

There = will be a full campaign by Health and Social Services which is focused on youth engagement. It will move out to our communities to just talk to them direct= ly about cannabis. I noted, and the Minister of Health and Social Services also noted, that recently, there was the millennial town hall which was put on by youth, and cannabis was one of the topics that they approached us to have a discussion about.

I thin= k that the youth side of this will generally have the lead from Health and Social Services, but, again, there will be crossover. For example, within the Liqu= or Corporation, we will have a social marketing strategy that encourages learn= ing about cannabis, its effects, service training, consumption and the law and = we will be working with partners out there, for example, in the private sector= and others to try to reduce the illicit market and we’ll be doing some di= rect messaging around that, which is because some of the social harm that we see= is related to that illicit market. It has a sort of knock-on effect and so it = is really a goal to get it out of there. We will do education around that.

Finall= y, Justice will also have a front-line public education campaign and that will be arou= nd the legalities of how they can possess and consume products in the new regi= me — for example, how to transport it in your vehicle, what is safe and = how to not be intoxicated when you’re driving or operating equipment. Tho= se would be the types of things that Justice will work on.

Ms. White: I thank the minister because I got what I asked for, but maybe I didn’t need it quite that deep.

One of= the reasons — when I ask about social responsibility, particularly around youth — is that there are effective ways to give programming. One of = the questions I have is whether or not there will be a specific person who will= do that education. I know that when I was in the briefing and I asked, I was t= old that there was education through the mental wellness program and that there= was already education on substances — that it already exists.

We all= know that youth will receive the message differently depending on who is delivering i= t. Whether it’s for someone who is more viewed as a peer or someone who = is more viewed as the authority, the message will be different to understand. = One of the questions I have is that when we’re talking about social responsibility and the education of youth within the school system, are we looking at someone with specific training, and are we looking more toward a peer-type education or are we looking more toward the teacher or authority figure?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: In answer to the question about speaking to youth — the = place from which they will receive a message is absolutely critical. We have done some early conversations in the high schools here in the territory with = 212; I think I mentioned the other day about having the chief medical officer at= tend schools to speak to students about the effects of cannabis on their mental health, on their health generally and on smoking generally. He has also done those sessions with students and also later with parents and students in the evenings — those kinds of things — but most recently with respe= ct to — that’s one angle. It’s simply the beginning. It̵= 7;s not where we need to go.

We nee= d to be training peer counsellors in schools; we need to make sure there are studen= ts and young people of a certain particular age who can speak to their peers a= nd who, in particular with respect to this topic, have, of course, training — peer counsellors who deal with addictions, the use of alcohol and t= he abuse of alcohol and drugs. When cannabis is legal, it will be an interesti= ng conversation and there will need to be some shifts.

Last F= riday afternoon, I was with a group of grade 12 students at Vanier for over an ho= ur, talking about justice issues in particular, and having a great conversation with them. We did not spend the entire time speaking about cannabis, but it= was a question that they had and it was a great conversation that we had. Heari= ng it from me is one way in which they will have some questions answered, and hearing it from their peers and hearing it from teachers who should be prop= erly trained to deal with this and counsellors in the school is a different situation.

In add= ition to that, I know that BYTE has recently been engaged by the Department of Health and Social Services because they have such a terrific public education elem= ent to their work now for young people. They will continue to be engaged in hel= ping us to answer that question: How do we reach young people? How do we reach y= oung people who we know already — a percentage of them — are very hi= gh users of cannabis here in the territory? The kids at Vanier and the young adults at Vanier on Friday were very concerned to hear some of the stats th= at we have about the use of cannabis by young people here in the territory = 212; our information is that one in three students in grade 9 had admitted on a survey to having tried cannabis — not being regular users but having = at least tried it. That was a stat that was very concerning to them as grade 12 students but maybe wasn’t quite as concerning to them as when they we= re in grade 9. They all remembered having done that survey and were pleased to have been asked a couple of times over a period of years to do that.=

The Yu= kon government is engaged with BYTE through workshops as well as recently at the millennial town hall, which is really just one avenue but, like all complex problems, we need a lot of roads to get there to address the issue. Those a= re the elements of what we have been doing so far to reach young people. I know that the federal government is working on their education as well, and I ha= ve even seen some commercials on television — maybe others here have as = well — and they are aimed at young people and they certainly have engaged youth in determining how to best get that message across.

Ms. White:= 195;It is not that I don’t agree that ministers can be hip — as can be= the chief medical officer of health — but if we are talking about making = an impact, I would suggest that we look toward the peers. BYTE specializes in youth education and youth involvement so I think that is fantastic, but loo= king along those lines — only because, as a teenager, I would have a lot harder time hearing it from my parents than I would from someone who was a couple years older than me or who, in my estimation, had actually lived a b= it of a life, as opposed to my parents, who I’m quite sure were very straight edge.

When m= entioning the federal government and the development of the education, I do think tha= t, for me, one of the most memorable alcohol campaigns is still the one that s= ays, “Under 25, check ID”, and it is with the three senior citizens = with their identification. I think it came out of Nova Scotia. I don’t thi= nk that we have to reinvent the wheel, but I do also think that if, at Vanier, there was shock about those stats of grade 9s, I would suggest that other schools would be less surprised. We have different demographics in different schools and different life experiences.

I thin= k that — although we will be able to access a lot of educational materials f= rom other jurisdictions — having been a teenager in the Yukon and having grown up in the Yukon, those numbers don’t surprise me at all.=

Just t= o be clear, sometimes we have got to play it a little more straight and a little= bit more honest. Maybe if we were in a bigger place where you had full-size mov= ie theatres and malls where you could hang out — because that is not the Yukon reality — I would suggest that young people are trying things a= t a far higher level than adults would like to think that they are. I’ll = just put that out there.

One of= the concerns that I also have around social responsibility is the idea of siting and density. I have raised my concerns before. When I was a teenager, Mr.&n= bsp;Chair, I think at one point in time I was able to count, downtown, between off-sal= es and liquor establishments — I think there were in the 30s. It has come down, because I was going through it the other day and we don’t have the Pioneer Hotel anymore, with Joe’s Free Pour and = the TNT and the Blue Moon Saloon. So although we don’t have as many establishments as we did a couple of decades ago, we still have an awful lo= t of liquor outlets, retail stores and establishments where you can buy liquor.<= /span>

One of= my concerns about cannabis is that we talk about the siting. For example, I wo= uld think that we wouldn’t want to have a cannabis retailer across the st= reet from a school or an emergency shelter, for example. Maybe we wouldn’t want to have it next to another cannabis retailer, or kitty-corner. Siting = is a big issue for me, so if one of the ministers would like to tackle that issu= e, that would be fantastic.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I thank the Member for Takhini-Kopper King for her question.

The ac= t allows for siting and density regulations. I have often referred to the siting as “proximity”, so it is how close it is to other things. That is = one of the places where we can control it. We could also control it through pol= icy; that is possible as well. Finally, I think it’s important to note that this is a shared responsibility with our municipalities. They have the abil= ity to put in place zoning regulations or to ban certain things if they donR= 17;t wish to have them within the municipalities. Of course, we have seen recent= ly the City of Whitehorse choosing to say that cannabis can be allowed in Marw= ell but not in other jurisdictions, so we will respect our municipal orders of government — that this is their question.

I thin= k that we have started to consider these same questions when it comes to alcohol. I h= ope everyone in the Legislature is aware that we have been out there talking to= the public about the Liquor Act and= we have been discussing these various issues. Although I do think there is a r= eal question to be answered, I will also note that there is a range of opinions= and a range of potential realities around it.

I will= just pass across one anecdotal situation that I have. For example, when I was working= as an engineer, I was doing some work in Amsterdam. When you talk about proxim= ity, there was a daycare, then there was a red-light building, then there was a cannabis shop, then there was a church and then there was a bar. It was ama= zing to me — the types of proximity that existed there. I’m not in a= ny way advocating for these things. I’m just trying to say that one of t= he challenges that we have is around a balance between trying to provide acces= s to this — in this case, what will be a new illicit substance, a newly legalized substance — and protecting health, and also trying to displ= ace the illicit side of it.

Also i= n the act before us is that the cannabis board will also have a role under the definitions of relevant considerations. We’re going to be able to tac= kle this in a range of ways, and I think we will get at it in a range of ways. = The first place where I will look is in regulations, and I have also been in contact with municipalities to let them know that it is fully within their jurisdiction to choose to amend their zoning bylaws to change how these thi= ngs are located and dealt with over time.

Ms. White: I appreciate that we just talked about siting and density regulations within regulations and policy, but what I want to know is if government is conside= ring that. You used Amsterdam as an example, but Amsterdam is looking at banning tourists from the cannabis culture. They’re looking at just having it= for citizens because it has become such a problem. That is something that they = are grappling with right now. I appreciate the example, but I would say that it hasn’t all been like sugar and roses over there. It has been trying. =

Is the government considering making some decisions about siting and density within either regulations or policy?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>What I can say is that we put it in there for a reason, becaus= e we are considering it. The regulations are in development and I don’t th= ink we’re ready yet to talk about them, but what we can say is that, from listening to our partners — meaning the communities and municipal governments — density is a question that we need to try to address an= d it might be different in different locations. For example, density in Whitehor= se might be different from density in a small community. In some very small communities, one is going to be plenty.

Defini= tely we are considering it and haven’t landed yet. There are conversations th= at are underway, and I do anticipate that we will try to have a measured appro= ach to what’s happening.

I thin= k I heard the Minister of Justice mention this the other day — this is new territory that we’re moving into. As we move into it, we’re try= ing to be thoughtful and to move with diligence. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to be afraid to move, and it doesn’t mean that we won’t make decisions. It just means that, as we move ahead, we need t= o be watching how this happens and to be ready to adjust to make sure that ̵= 2; in this case, let’s say that density and siting are done in a way tha= t is going to work over time. We want to see it develop and evolve.

Ms. White: I appreciate the answer. It’s not that I’m against the economic development of private retailers or what the future could look like.

My con= cern comes back to social responsibility. For example, when we talk about density and = we talk about population, one of my questions is: Would we look at population bases? I say this in terms of — do we require, in the Town of Carmack= s, multiple retailers? That would be an example. Or Dawson City, where we have= the numbers — obviously, it doubles or even triples in the summertime with the summer population. In the summertime, quite easily, we would be able to support, let’s say, two or three retail locations, but in the wintert= ime, would that be the same — would that make sense?

I know= that when we are talking about the licensing, we’re talking about “up to three years,” but I guess in terms of summer populations and things, = has there been concern about shorter term licences granted, for example, in communities that see high growth in seasons?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>To answer the last question first, I don’t know that we = had considered shorter licences yet, but I mean neither — the language sa= ys “up to three years,” so if a proponent were to propose somethin= g, of course we would consider it. But, what I will say is that under the definitions section within the act, the one that I mentioned just a moment = ago, is “relevant considerations”.

I want= to talk about the licences. When there is a licence that is being proposed somewhere and where it would be situated, then the population of the area is a consideration. This provides the board with the ability to consider populat= ion dynamics, including seasonal variations to those populations, whether there= is a summer influx of tourists, et cetera and distance to other communities. I= t is trying to manage the geography of it. Do I think that density will be considered? Yes, I do. Do we have any place that we have landed? Not yet, because that is coming in the regulations, but I can say this, because I th= ink we have been discussing this very issue in policy through the Liquor Corporation, and now, as we bring forward this act and develop regulations,= I know that those conversations are happening.

There = is always the process, of course, within the licensing procedure where local folks ha= ve every opportunity — Yukoners have every opportunity to raise a concer= n. Some of the concerns that we can hear about is proximity and density. If the public comes forward and states, for example, that they feel there is alrea= dy enough being served with the current licences, then that can be a considera= tion and, at that point, what will happen is that if anyone wishes to hold a hea= ring as a licence comes forward for consideration, then we will have a hearing. Regardless of what does or does not get set out by regulation, there is sti= ll always the opportunity for the public to voice their opinion. That is not in any way to suggest that we are stepping away from this area of consideratio= n. Neither are we considering Amsterdam’s model — let me just make that very clear too. That was just meant to say that there are a number of factors that come to bear here and they are not always apparent to us as we start to move forward.

We wil= l consider density in regulation and we will provide opportunities for the cannabis bo= ard and the public to consider those situations as well.

Ms. White: I warned that if there was going to be any laughter, it was going to come out= in this horrible sound from me. I’m just going to try to keep my humour under control because it’s painful over here.

I do a= ppreciate the minister’s stance on that. Making decisions, especially decisions that might not be popular, is going to be hard, but I really do believe that social responsibility aspect has fallen on the shoulders of government. I do appreciate that, when someone is applying for a licence, there is a three-w= eek opportunity — it says not less than three weeks. I have talked about = this during the briefing. I appreciate that it says not less than three weeks, b= ut I also had concern that it should have a top of the scale on that, but that’s miles away in the books, so I will wait until we get there. I = do appreciate that residents will have an opportunity. It’s just that sometimes I’m concerned that things happen.

There = was a café, for example, that was on Sixth Avenue. It was a coffee shop and had the ability to serve alcohol later in the day. The business sold. The business entirely changed and then it ended up being run almost as a night = club and that was substantially different from what the residents had signed on = for initially. That’s just why I’m airing my caution. Sometimes it’s going to be government making hard decisions and I think that’s kind of part of that responsibility.

Anothe= r thing that was highlighted during the briefing was the importance of co-location = or not having co-location. That would be having a cannabis retailer in a liquor outlet. I had questions around things like, for example, what that would lo= ok like. Could we have a cannabis retailer in the same space in a strip mall t= hat had, for example, a liquor outlet? I had questions as to whether or not one business could run both sides and have a door that connected the two, either for customers or staff, because that’s a concern for me. If we talk a= bout vulnerable populations — so we talk about young people or we talk abo= ut people with addictions — co-location could be quite problematic. I ju= st wanted to know what government was thinking and how they were going to addr= ess the issue of co-location.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>In particular, under section 36 of the act, the sale of the ca= nnabis business will not lead to a licensed transfer so — and, of course, it= was just an example that the Member for Takhini-Kopper King was raising, but un= der this act, that wouldn’t result in the business transferring across. I= was on city council when that issue was arising with the business on Sixth Aven= ue and it was as much about compliance as it was about licensing, but the poin= t is well-made: How do we ensure that over time things remain the same? <= /p>

Of cou= rse, the public can change as well in what their interests are. I think that’s= why we issue these licenses for a period of time and then we review them. Also,= we know that the issue of cannabis is dynamic in that the types of methods of = consumption are changing. Right now, it doesn’t lead to the equivalent of a bar o= r a place where you go because, currently, the method of consumption is general= ly smoking or vaping, which is not allowed — but at some point, maybe th= ose things will start to change and then the question of density may be differe= nt. There might be a question of density around sales and there might be a ques= tion of density which is different around consumption or a place where you would consume cannabis. There might be differences based on one community and the next.

On to = the question of co-location with liquor — and maybe this echoes the member’s comments regarding the challenges of making decisions. Of course, decisions are hard when we have opposing views or a range of views = — not even necessarily opposing, but tangentially different views on a topic. Yes, I agree it is challenging and I think it is our job as a Legislature — not just as a government — to try to put forward the path tha= t we are going to go on and how to adjust over time.

One of= the things that I can talk about is that with cannabis — slightly differe= nt from alcohol, especially as it moves from being an illicit market to now be= ing legalized and having an element of a legal market, but also the black market still being there — we are very sure that we are going to have this control from seed to sale. That means that we will have to have security and that means that there are differences around how alcohol is in our neighbourhoods and how cannabis is sold. We have had a lot of discussions a= bout health and health promotion and how, if you put the two things together = 212; co-locate them — then you are really conflating substance use and it = is very challenging. That is against a dynamic where — in our smallest communities, there may be only one retail area, so how will we create those separations?

Whenev= er we try to tackle these questions we always go back to our original principles. Num= ber one is how do we reduce the illicit market, and number two is how do we pro= tect youth and public health? What we are trying to do at all times is balance t= he legal access to a safe supply and make sure that it is done in a way that considers proximity, considers co-location and considers density. The other thing we are trying to do is alleviate the fears of Yukoners, because there= is a range of views out there that Yukoners have. We want them to see cannabis= as a safe substance through the legal market, so we are also trying not to be = so restrictive about it that we hide it off in the corner. That is not what we= are interested in doing. It comes back to a balance at all times.

It is = about legalizing and providing access, but not promotion. If we legalize without access, we just won’t displace the illicit market. That is the tension — how to balance that — providing access while not providing so much density that it becomes overdone and while making sure that we are addressing the issue of co-location.

Ms. White: I don’t think at any point I was suggesting that it be put off in the corner — especially a dark corner — because that doesn’t = seem safe to me.

The qu= estion about co-location really was about co-location with alcohol. I just want to know — and I appreciate that in some communities, there may be only o= ne small mall feature, for example, but the question still remains: What is government’s expectation around the proximity to liquor?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>What we have done so far and what the act has in front of us i= s the ability to move in one direction or the other and it hasn’t yet said. Again, I want to be careful — I know we have had lots of good conversations. As Ms. Rendell and others have gone around to all the communities, there has been a lot of conversation on this topic. We have had conversations at our tables about it, but it is in the regulations, so that= is where the decision is going to come, and we will do our best to keep everyo= ne informed in the Legislature and the public as well because we want everyone= to know.

WeR= 17;re not there yet, but we made sure that we could put into — I will just give= you a little bit of the story about the synthesis of how this came about. We ma= de sure that we could put into the regulations the ability to say no to co-loc= ation. Then we started to notice from conversations with our smallest communities = that we might need a little bit of a safety valve there, so we said okay to the ability to say no to co-location, with the ability to also adjust it slight= ly for our smallest communities. That was how this came about.

We saw= the concern from a health perspective and are just trying to not conflate canna= bis use and alcohol use, so we said, okay, the evidence showed us that when you= put those two substances together, that can be a problem, so we said, let’= ;s make sure that we have the ability for the development of regulations that would prohibit the co-location of products and substances, including alcoho= l, but also that specific cases can be dealt with by a licensed condition on an individual licence.

Ms. White: Just to mine down into that answer a little bit — when you talk about havi= ng the ability within regulations to address the issue of co-location, does th= at mean that at this point in time, unless it’s a specific jurisdiction = or a specific location with specific issues, that there will not be co-location between cannabis and alcohol?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>No — that doesn’t mean it yet. What I’m tryi= ng to say is that we’ve identified an issue. We provided the opportunity to address it. We’re drafting those regulations as we speak. We will get back to you shortly with them.

The ch= allenge will be that, even though I have a sense where some of the regulations are going, you have to think of it as a package as well. There is still a conversation that is happening. We’re not yet at the stage to discuss= the regulations — it’s just a little premature for us — but I want to acknowledge the concerns that the member opposite is raising. They = have been concerns that we have heard and we will seek to consider them as we develop the regulations.

Ms. White: I know that the regulations aren’t complete because then we would be talking about private retail space as soon as it became legal. I wasn’= ;t going down that path. What I want is the assurance from government that they recognize the problematic issues of co-location — that being with alc= ohol and cannabis. If we are talking about co-location of cannabis in a snack sh= op — absolutely, I 100 percent support it. I don’t support alcohol= and cannabis. I appreciate that in certain jurisdictions, there will have to be exceptions; I understand that.

I want= to know if government, when working toward those regulations, is looking at making = sure there is a restriction between the co-location of liquor and cannabis.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Originally, we even considered putting this directly in the ac= t, and then we hesitated because of the need to provide some flexibility. Are we looking at it? Absolutely. Have we asked for information and evidence on it= ? Absolutely — and we have received that. In fact, we have heard from our chief medical officer that, when you combine the use of cannabis and alcohol together, it isn’t just the sum of those issues; it actually can exacerbate the situation, so it is not good to — effectively, by co-locating them — promote.

This i= s an issue; we are seeking to address it. I wish I could give the member opposit= e a definitive answer, but I want to assure her that it is an important issue a= nd we have been considering it all along.

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for that clarity.

I just= want to put another pitch in about co-location. For me, it is a concern of an application for a licence for a retail location. It is not that someone can’t own multiple businesses; it is just the concern that there coul= d be a cannabis retail location next to an alcohol outlet with a shared wall = 212; a shared wall, a shared passageway, whether it be for staff or customers. I= am just highlighting that it is of concern for me, so I will give the minister= a chance to address that.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: One of the things that is slightly different with this = new act and this — it is not a new substance in any way. We all know that cannabis has existed in our communities for our lives and beyond, but, as it becomes legalized — and, as the member opposite has noted, that is a = sea change. One of the things that is different — and I am saying this for all Yukoners to hear — is that the security around the substance will= be very different from how it is for alcohol. It is not that alcohol is so sla= ck or lax, but it is just that, with the rules that are being led by the feder= al government and that will be upheld by us here, it will be controlled seed to sale.

What t= hat means is that the walls between a building that contains cannabis and whatever is outside of those walls — whether it is the outdoors or another shop, = or who cares — all access in and out of that place needs to be controlle= d. That is the rule that we are seeking to address.

It is = hard to get down into — there are so many variables and so many situations th= at might arise. What we are talking about is that whatever that store is ̵= 2; wherever it is — and is there to be sold, we have to be sure that the substance that is being sold there has come through a controlled side, that= it is very accounted for, and that there are both processes and materials in p= lace to prevent the cannabis from moving through those barriers in an uncontroll= ed way. It is really about making sure that we control it from seed to sale. T= hat is how we will try to deal with it, whether it is a wall between one busine= ss and another or not.

Ms. White:= 195;When I was doing my second reading statement, one of the concerns I had is a fed= eral government issue — but I believe that the territories and the provinc= es both have a responsibility to lobby for that — and that is for the testing of chemicals. The example is that there are a couple of large producers, and they actually self-regulate. They are doing their own testin= g. In some cases, in the medicinal lines, they found that they are using very harmful herbicides and chemicals in the growing process. So I am just going= to flag that, if we are talking about the responsibility of seed to sale, we a= re making sure that what is being sold in the Yukon is the best product with t= he least introduced harmful chemicals, because that will be an issue if we are talking about long-term use.

During= the briefing, I was concerned about paraphernalia. If we are talking about protecting young people or vulnerable populations from exposure, even of cannabis, then I would suggest that gift stores, gas stations or book stores shouldn’t have smoking paraphernalia on display. In section 80 in the regulations, I believe it is — section 80(m) talks about it. It talks about respecting sales of cannabis accessories within the meaning of the cannabis act. I had a question as to whether or not government was looking = at restricting the sale of paraphernalia to licensed cannabis retailers.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I’m going to try to give a little bit of a description a= bout how we will do this tracking from seed to sale and how our role as a territ= ory will dovetail with the federal role. I want to say that I don’t know = any system that is perfect because all systems use people at some point, and we’re all lovely and imperfect, so of course there is some risk. I wi= ll say that, when it comes to how much control I see being put in place to try= to ensure that the product is safe for citizens — for example, I see less control around alcohol, I see less control around tobacco, and I see less control around food. All of those things somehow get ingested or consumed. I agree that it’s important to do this but I just want to say that, relatively speaking, I see lots of productive work happening here. <= /p>

The Yu= kon will contract with a test site for enforcement purposes so we will have a contra= ct. Producers under licence must meet testing standards. I’m afraid I don’t know off the top of my head how often that testing has to happe= n or what sample size is required, but I think that they’re doing it to ma= ke it statistically relevant. The corporation can only purchase from legitimate licensed producers, so there are all these steps to try to make sure. I keep using this phrase “from seed to sale”, and when I meet with the private sector and talk to them about this — they’re on top of = it as well. You are going to need a barcode and you need to track this stuff, = and when you scan it, it’s supposed to tell us all the history of that product — where it has gone, where it has been held, how it got parce= led up — so that we can see it at all times.

With r= espect to accessories, there is this question about paraphernalia. There are differen= ces out there between paraphernalia, which deals with the consumption of cannab= is where it involves smoking or vaping, and the other forms of ingesting or consuming cannabis. Paraphernalia is different, and one of the challenges of cannabis is that it’s both an intoxicant and something that acts like tobacco and smoke. You’re trying to watch both those issues at the sa= me time. The legislation does enable the regulation of cannabis accessories and it’s also possible that the federal government can regulate through i= ts own regulations as well. We’ll watch what’s happening with the federal government as we develop ours, but I also want to say that the priv= ate sector has made several comments on this issue and they make different arguments.

For ex= ample, they will say that what they might want to be able to educate the public on= is how to use cannabis in a responsible fashion, and so their perspective migh= t be that it is an important piece to this — whereas, alcohol and cannabis co-location is a more straightforward piece of evidence for us; the question about paraphernalia is a more nuanced question for us.

I am j= ust sharing with the member opposite. Again, this is a regulation that is comin= g. We have not developed it or finalized it in any way, but it is different fr= om the rest of it.

One la= st thing that I can say that has just been shared with me is that the federal rules around packaging of cannabis are going to be that it is sealed with an exci= se stamp on it in a childproof container. Once it is produced — and hopefully all the right testing has happened and we’re sure what that product is, or sure to the best of our ability — then it is going to = be sealed up in a container the same way that other medicinal drugs are in sea= led containers so you know if it has been tampered with — you will know i= f it has been broken into. We won’t be able to sell it if that container is broken in any way or if the seal on the package is broken. The only person = who is able to break that seal is the purchaser.

We wil= l not be handling or repackaging — I know at the very beginning when we went o= ut to the rest of the country to look at how cannabis was dealt with, we saw s= ome situations that we were not very comfortable with, such as where you have a big, giant amount of cannabis and someone is scooping it out into baggies or something. No, that is not what is going to happen. It will all be sealed at the producer’s side and then it will be received and transported eith= er to us as a retailer or the private sector as a retailer and that is how the pu= blic will receive it.

Ms. White: Just in reference to what I was saying, there is a Globe and Mail article from May 3, 2017, that says: “Bann= ed pesticide found at medical marijuana company.” It’s just mostly that the Yukon has a responsibility for the Yukoners who will be consuming cannabis to be actively engaged in those conversations on a federal level. = This pesticide, for example, is a known carcinogen strictly prohibited for use on plants that are smoked, and it was on cannabis, which can be smoked. That is what I was highlighting about making sure that it is safe. It wasn’t about the packaging or about the repackaging or about the tampering with packaging; it was solely at the grower level.

When I= ’m talking about limiting the exposure of paraphernalia, I’m not —= and I think the minister might be quite fascinated to know that, to the best of= my knowledge, there aren’t vaping regulations in the territory. It depen= ds on the location of where you’re at — people can vape and we can have a different conversation about that.

I̵= 7;m not talking about things like that. I’m talking about glass pipes. I have never seen anyone smoke tobacco in a glass pipe. I’m trying to think = of the terminology that is not very “street”, but I’m thinki= ng about all those products and I’m thinking about the products that I h= ave seen in gas stations and in gift stores and how, to me, that is not going t= o be used for anything except for cannabis. In my mind, it doesn’t talk to= you about smoking. It’s not pipe tobacco that it is being encouraged R= 12; it’s for cannabis. When I talk about limiting the exposure — we’re talking about youth and we’re talking about youth at risk= and as they age and all the rest of it — it would seem to me that there is the ability within the regulations to actually say, “Okay, from this point forward, specific cannabis paraphernalia will only be sold in licensed retailers.”

So tha= t is my pitch. I’m going to put it out there. I would like to not have the conversation with my 10-year-old nephew at the gas station about what that = is, right? I don’t want to say that it’s a planter. Yes, it’s= an opportunity for education, but at 10, I feel like I don’t have to have that conversation, so my pitch is that in the regulations, section 80(m), as was highlighted by me — and now there is a star and it is highlighted — that there is the ability to limit where paraphernalia is sold. I am going to put that on the table, and I will move on.

We hav= e a lot about siting and co-locations. This is another one for me. The conversation= has changed a bit publicly, and that is totally okay. There is no criticism on = my side. I think that if we are talking about once regulations are in place and then government is only looking at e‑commerce and being the distribut= or of cannabis — that is fantastic. I have no qualms about that. The question that I am concerned about is that I want to ensure that government itself is not contracted out — that it is always government that is r= esponsible for distribution. That is, the importation of cannabis into the territory a= nd the redistribution of that to licensed retailers. I just want to know where government stands on being the distributor.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: I will go back to add a couple more pieces of informati= on. Regarding pesticides, let’s say that they do get missed in the testing process and they do somehow make it into a product that makes it into a sto= re, one way or the other. The supply agreements that we have with the licensed producers will have recall provisions. If any pesticide which was — c= an I just say that some pesticides will be used I’m sure in some of the production? I don’t expect all cannabis to be grown organically, but = if it is a banned pesticide — something that is found — then it wi= ll be recalled.

I just= want to say that it is correct that some pesticides are carcinogens. I think to mys= elf that just to try to alleviate the fear that might be out there, it’s = also correct right now that if cannabis is grown illegally, there can be banned pesticides — carcinogens — used on those products and we have no way of knowing — zero. If it is found, how are you going to trace bac= k to find where that cannabis came from? If we had that, then we wouldn’t = have illegal cannabis, which we clearly do.

I thin= k that what we need to talk about are the relative levels of risk that we are tryi= ng to deal with here. We have systems in place with which we will do our best = to identify it through regular testing. If it is found, we will deal with it. = But that doesn’t mean that it will always be perfect. I wish that were the case. I just want to say that, relatively, I believe it will be much better= and that people will have a lot of assurances.

Let me= move on now to the next point in question. I thank the member opposite for putting forward her suggestions and her positions, and also the members of the Offi= cial Opposition. It is great to hear those points. We have written the legislati= on in such a way as to allow for government always having a role as the body t= hat is controlling the substance because it is an intoxicant. It must be govern= ment that purchases the product and has it brought into the territory for retail sale, but we may, for example, contract out a company to deliver it to us.<= /span>

It is = also possible under this legislation that we could subcontract or contract out t= he role of warehousing, for example. That is possible. However, when that gets considered, when you consider those choices — the choice of the wareh= ouse being controlled by us or not — we will always have to have the responsibility to ensure that the product is safe and controlled.

Suppos= ing we were to contract it out and we asked, as the legislation was being develope= d, to provide flexibility for opportunities in the future. However at this sta= ge, our point of view is that we want to ensure again — I’m just go= ing to come back to our two primary goals: (1) we reduce the illicit trade; (2)= we protect the public’s health and safety, with a focus on youth. For us= to control or to have staff deal with the warehouse side of this, we believe w= ill allow us to: (1) ensure greater public health and safety; and (2) result in less opportunity for illicit trade because one of the ways in which illicit trade might come into the system is if someone starts selling product or distributing product that hasn’t come through the controlled system. That’s one of the risks that sit out there and we need to watch for t= hat and be careful about it.

I̵= 7;m trying to be up front with the member opposite to explain that the act provides th= ose possibilities, but that is not our intention.

Ms. White: I’m just going to need a bit of clarity with that last statement. The minister = said that he believed that the safety of warehousing was stronger under governme= nt, but then I’m trying to figure out if he just said that he was looking= to a future of contracting out that warehousing — although he did just s= ay that warehousing was viewed as stronger and safer under government. =

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Thanks for your indulgence. Our intention is to be the distrib= utor and that we will bring the cannabis into the territory. We will ensure that= it gets out to the retail.

At fir= st, as has been noted here again today, the retail will be a government-run store for = the interim, but it is our intention to phase that out as we phase in the priva= te sector.

The ac= t allows for the government to be the controller of that. It is possible for the government to contract out those pieces — for example, warehousing — but that is not our intention. Our intention is to be the group that does the work of warehousing.

Ms. White: I thank the minister for that clarity. I’m just going to put it on the record again that I don’t disagree with the way liquor is brought into the territory by the Yukon Liquor Corporation — the way it’s warehoused, stored and distributed out. I hope it will be the same for cann= abis in that it is never contracted out for warehousing. I understand the compan= ies bringing it in — and I don’t mean that a government employee ne= eds to drive to British Columbia and go to a warehouse to bring back the cannab= is. I mean that once it’s within the territorial borders and once it has = been delivered, I want government to be in charge of that distribution aspect. <= /span>

So I a= ppreciate that we have just talked about how warehousing could happen. It could be contracted out in the future. I’m just going to put my concerns on re= cord that I don’t believe in the privatization of alcohol any more than I believe in the privatization of cannabis. I believe that there is a role an= d a responsibility for government. So my concern is that if different aspects of that get contracted out, the roles and responsibilities of government can soften. I think that we have a role and we do have a responsibility.

I will= move on from there.

The mi= nister talked about recall provisions, which I appreciated. I found it fascinating during the briefing where it was explained to me what could happen to that cannabis when it was recalled. I’m just totally drawing a blank on my vocabulary, Mr. Speaker — it’s not the “destruction”; there is a fancier word than that — but if cannabis meets its use-by date and it hasn’t been sold or if it’= ;s illegal and it’s being recalled or if there’s a problem with it= and it’s being recalled, what will the corporation do with recalled canna= bis?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I’m not sure if I know the appropriate word here, but I = will just refer to it as being safely disposed of.

First,= let me back up for a second. Again, I appreciate the points of view of all Members= of the Legislative Assembly in sharing their differences. I acknowledge that we may have differing points of view.

On the= point raised — for example, I appreciate the intent of what is being passed across from the member opposite about wanting to ensure that government ret= ains the control. However, in practise, the world changes quite a bit. I have se= en pieces of legislation since I’ve landed here that are decades old. In decades, many things change.

For ex= ample, e‑commerce may overtake, in which case, we may not need a warehouse at all. If it got = to the point where it was an on-demand type of system and someone says, “= ;I would like to receive this product”, and they were able to have it delivered in such a way — I don’t know. I am not trying to be a fortune teller. I am saying that, when we developed the legislation, it was with the notion of being flexible to allow us to deal with future developme= nts that may happen in time. I just give that as an example; it is not that we = have an agenda around this topic. It was to prepare ourselves for possibilities.=

When i= t comes to disposing of cannabis for whatever reason — a seal broken or something has been recalled — we are in talks with other jurisdictions to discu= ss best practices. We know that one of the methodologies will be that it is returned to the place of production, especially if there is some problem wi= th that cannabis in particular. There are some jurisdictions that are contract= ing out destruction or the disposal to a third party. I have heard of methodolo= gies of composting, but it has to be very controlled because you can’t just leave the stuff lying around. We don’t have a procedure in place as of yet. It is one of the things that we will be developing, and we will also ensure that, however the product is disposed of, there will be procedures a= nd documentation to show how it was disposed of, because, again, it has to be = part of that overall seed-to-sale system. There needs to be the ability to show anyone — including the regulators — that this is what happened = with that product. It will be carefully controlled.

Ms. White: In a quick look across jurisdictions, the only jurisdiction in Canada that I can find that has privatized the sale of liquor is Alberta, and it talks about = how there are over 400 businesses that bring it in and distribute it out to 2,0= 00 organizations. That is a cautionary tale to me, having been to Alberta, including ridiculous things like Joe’s Discount Liquor Mart. I believe that there is a social responsibility aspect, so I will just leave it there — distribution, government responsibility.

One of= the things that we have talked about a bit is the responsibility for private retailers. I have some questions about what that is going to look like. I d= id the Serving It Right certification in British Columbia to be a bartender, a= nd it put the fear in me, Mr. Chair, of what could happen as soon as some= one left the bar and before they got home to bed — that you would be left liable and responsible. I think it is really important. We have talked about how the Yukon-run retailer will have that training, but what I want to know= is what — I don’t need to know what program, because at this point= in time, it probably hasn’t been decided — kind of training are we expecting for people who will be doing the sales of cannabis.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>Again, just in response to this notion, I want to say that regardless of what the model is — private or public — I agree w= ith the member opposite that social responsibility will always be an obligation that we have. The Alberta model — I don’t want to comment on it= too much because I’m not sure that we’re shooting for one or the ot= her.

Let= 217;s say that we are able to bring in a private retail here in short order as we get regulations in place, and that we phase out government-run private retail. = We must ensure that we maintain social responsibility and that those licensed retail locations are abiding by all the rules that we have brought in place around cannabis — or alcohol, for that matter.

On to = the question about what type of server training there will be or what type of retail training there will be — I did sort of list it off a little bit earlier. I’ll give it again here. It’s going to have information regarding potency and intoxication, forms of use, effective use, health ris= ks, differentiation between medical and non-medical cannabis to ensure that ret= ail staff are not providing medical advice or information, recognition of intoxication and awareness of the national low or lower risk cannabis use guidelines. We will work closely with the chief medical officer and the Department of Health and Social Services. We will also have training about methodologies to ensure that cannabis is sold to individuals 19 years of age and older — so how we check for ID and how individuals ordering canna= bis online for delivery or pickup or purchasing at retail stores are ensured to= be 19 years or older.

Ms. White: Just to make this easier for the ministers, I’m looking in section 3, whic= h is “Dwelling-house”. So subsection 3(3) — “The followi= ng structures and parts of structures are not dwelling-houses…” — but then in (d), it says: “a rental unit, within the meaning = of the Residential Landlord and Tenant= Act, or a room described in paragraph (1)(b), to the extent that a legally-enforceable prohibition or restriction, in writing, on the consumpt= ion, cultivation, propagation or harvesting of cannabis is in effect in relation= to the unit”. That is just (d). I’m going to start with that one. =

So mob= ile homes — mobile homes are viewed under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act as rental units. You are a renter when you own a mobile home unit because you rent the pad of land from a landlord. So I wan= ted to know how subsection 3(d) would affect a mobile-homeowner.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I think the best way to answer it is this way: for the purpose= s of the Residential Landlord and Tenant= Act, there is nothing in that piece of legislation that indicates that there are specific limits on the right of the landlord of a rented pad or the site to prohibit activities by an owner-occupied premises — if I explained it properly. For the purposes of that piece of legislation — the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act — an individual may be considered a tenant because of the pad-rental relationship with respect to the owner of the pad, et cetera, but there is nothing in that piece of legislation that prohibits owner-occupied activiti= es within the home that is owned by an individual.

Ms. White: I thank the minister for that. Just to follow up on that, does that mean that there could not be a clause within a rental agreement that says the consump= tion of cannabis can’t happen on the property?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I am certainly going to make my best attempt to answer this wi= thout giving legal advice here on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. I am not able to do that. The intention is that an owner of a pad may be able to say, for instance, that, with respect to the surroundings of the mobile home, th= ey could restrict activities, whether it is plants in the yard or activities l= ike smoking in the yard. But, in fact, the homeowner owns the mobile home, and activities that take place within that home could not be restricted by the landlord of the pad.

Ms. White: I thank the minister for that answer. I am going to keep that one in my back pocket because I know that, at some point, someone is going to contact me a= bout this issue. I do appreciate the answer and that clarity.

In sub= section 3(3)(e), it says: “… a part of condominium property, to the ext= ent that a bylaw applying to the condominium prohibits or restricts the consumption, cultivation, propagation or harvesting of cannabis”. If = we lived in an apartment building that was a condominium and we shared a hallw= ay and door access to that, I would absolutely understand that there would be a restriction of, for example, smoking tobacco, and therefore the smoking of cannabis, because we share air. Air circulates from one unit through the hallway and gets recirculated in the building. Being the MLA for Takhini-Ko= pper King, I have a condominium owned by individuals who share no common walls. = They do not share common air, and there are individual properties on a piece of land. That would be Condominium Corporation No. 69, which is all trailers. = We could look toward Falcon Ridge where there are individual houses on pieces = of property, although they are condominiums — they pay a condo fee and h= ave a condo board. I want to know what restrictions could be placed on the owne= rs of condominiums in those situations.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: We certainly appreciate that this is a question of interest wi= th respect to the new legislation and the bill that is before this house. The = Cannabis Control and Regulation Act provides that existing legal prohibitions against smoking and tobacco will = also apply to smoking or vaping cannabis in both rental properties and condomini= ums. That makes sense. The Condominium A= ct, 2015, which provides a regulatory framework for the use and management = of condominiums and their common areas — so condominium corporations nee= d to comply with that as well. The Resid= ential Landlord and Tenant Act, as I mentioned a moment ago, provides for the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants with respect to use and man= agement of a residential rental property, so there can be restrictions there.

With s= pecific reference to condominium corporations — and I appreciate that there i= s a difference between apartment style — I will call them — and townhouse style — if I can make that reference. The authority of the condominium corporation or a landlord, in the case of a rental, to apply prohibitions related to the consumption or cultivation of cannabis depends largely on the facts of each case, including the type of property — s= o, townhouse versus apartment style.

A cond= ominium corporation of a condominium consisting of multi-unit buildings may prohibit consumption in individual units, as I think the member opposite has said, or understands. That would be the case for smoking and vaping as well as cultivation because of property use and the shared air systems. This prohibition could occur if the purpose of the prohibition is to prevent dam= age to property, as I have noted, or unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of other tenants. It is not expected that a condominium corporati= on could prohibit consumption through ingestion. This makes common sense, as i= t is unlikely to damage property or have any effect interfering with the use and enjoyment of other individuals in their property or in their condo units. <= /span>

Genera= lly, a landlord may prohibit consumption through smoking and vaping as well as cultivation. That might be a landlord in a rental property, or it could be a condominium situation. If they were entering into a new tenancy agreement — some of this will be based on existing renters and what their prohibitions are, if there are any, in their property and what an owner of a rental property might want to enter into with a new tenancy agreement, or w= ith the consent of the tenant. If I currently live in an apartment building and this becomes legal and my landlord wants to prohibit the use in an apartmen= t, they might come to the individual tenants and ask them to consent to that. = It is not expected — and this is an important piece — that a landl= ord could effectively prohibit consumption through ingestion in any way. It is simply not practically possible. Such a prohibition with respect to ingesti= on would be, of course, very difficult to enforce.

I thin= k the short answer is that if you are not interfering with the enjoyment and use = of a property — interfering with anybody else’s common enjoyment and= use of that property — and your condominium corporation, which has author= ity to make rules for use in your property does so effectively, or does so with= the consent and common will — if I could say that — of the owners, = then they will be able to prohibit, depending on the property use.

Could a condominium corporation — I think this is where we are going with your answer — put in rules that indicate that in a townhouse style you’re prohibited from doing certain things? I think they can do that because of the structure of the joint ownership of the condominium corporat= ion, but enforcing that is maybe another question depending on whether it’s smoking in your yard, because lots of those townhouse-type situations have small yards so it might be that a condominium corporation goes down that ro= ad, but they do have the authority under the Condominium Act, 2015 to restrict certain behaviours or certain activities in the condominium corporation properties.

Chair: Would= members like to take a brief recess?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

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

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Recess

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Chair:̳= 5;The matter before the Com= mittee is Bill No. 15, entitled Canna= bis Control and Regulation Act.

 

Ms. Wh= ite: I think, with the last re= ading, we were able to see the Minister of Justice’s former career, which is= as a lawyer because, although I didn’t have the document in front of me = and I like to consider myself a fairly proficient listener, I was wondering if = she could give me back the answer with less legalese, so that, as I’m listening, I can pick up on what we were talking about.

The question I asked before was about = rules in condominium corporations and, specifically, I was talking about ones that did not share air or walls — so individually standing on lots. She ha= d a document, which sounds really great, but I don’t have the document, s= o I was wondering if she could give me a second go wi= th less legal language.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I pride myself on not using too much legal language so I clear= ly failed at that today.

The sh= ort answer is that condominium corporations have the authority to make rules about what happens in their condominiums, whether they be a condominium situation like= an apartment building where there are shared hallways and lobbies or whether t= hey be condominium situations that are townhouse style. I suppose the one IR= 17;m thinking of at the top of Copper Ridge is actually stand-alone homes.

Despit= e the form of those units, condominium corporations have the authority under the Condominium Act to make rules, byl= aws and/or declarations or other things to affect the owners’ use of those units. They will have the authority — let me just say, there’s nothing in this piece of legislation, the bill that we’re talking abo= ut, that will affect that. Their authority exists under the Condominium Act here in the Yukon Territory and that, at least = at this point, will be in force and effect and they will be able to do that.

I may = have confused things by talking about landlords and tenants — I didn’= ;t mean to — but clearly landlords also have the authority to restrict t= he types of activities in a unit they might be renting to someone, whether it = be a house with a yard, whether it be an apartment, whether it be a mobile home = or something like that. Individuals will need to speak to their landlords and = make sure that they fully understand what is permitted and what is prohibited, should they be a renter of property.

Ms. White: Just before I go on to renters, I’m just going to go back to condominiums. During the briefing, there was, in the plethora of people, there was also another representative from the Department of Justice. I loop back to this issue quite a lot as your officials can tell you because I was trying to wo= rk my way through how this could happen — and I don’t know the language because it was a legal term and I didn’t write it down, but essentially I’m just looking for a correction — because what I = was told is that, if it was a rule that hinged on someone’s freedom or ability to use that space — if it was challenged, it wouldn’t s= tand up. I’m not talking about the condominiums that share space or that s= hare that air space, but I’m talking about those individual buildings and = then the consumption of cannabis through smoking or whatever choice someone has = in those units. There was very specific language — I totally have lost it — but I am just looking for that clarification.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I am going to talk about condominiums first because there is a slightly different situation if we are dealing with rental properties.

With r= espect to the Condominium Act, 2015 ̵= 2; as I have noted the current Condominiu= m Act, 2015 contains provisions that prohibit any activities in any unit that = are likely to damage the property. That might be how a condo corporation might = try to prohibit the use of cannabis or the growing of plants. If the by-product= s of smoking or vaping cannabis — the member opposite has mentioned odour = or dispersing smoke or potentially dispersing THC from one unit to another or into common elements — it is our opinion that an outcome could be that this would reasonably interfere with somebody else’s use or enjoyment of the property and that activity could be prohibited either by a condo corporation setting up rules or by a declaration. When individuals purchase condominium= s, they sign a declaration.

It is a fundamental document with respect to what is permitted use in the property,= but law has evolved such that there has been challenges to some declarations because of — for example, we might have sort of a morals clause where= a condo corporation is trying to unreasonably prohibit activities that might happen in a condominium and those have been challenged in law.

I have= been talking about bylaws because generally that is the way the condo corporatio= ns regulate behaviour of their owners. Bylaws in this situation would be easie= r to change than a declaration. If a condo corporation or owner decided to put i= n a declaration with respect to use of cannabis, that would be very difficult to challenge. It would be easier to challenge the implications of bylaws ̵= 2; or easier to change, if I could say it that way, so individuals might decid= e to get themselves on the condo corporation board and have a change of plan. Examples that have been put into declarations in the past that have been challenged are, for example, no divorced people — those sorts of questions of morality, which are I hope long gone, but certainly have been a challenge in the past. Or maybe they would say something like “no sin= gle people” or something to that effect.

Perhap= s I should emphasize that a declaration is perhaps one option for a condo corporation = to put that information in. Certainly there is sort of a common-sense, reasonableness approach to this. If I am a condo owner, and my condo is stand-alone on its own cement pad or on a basement — a small home of = some kind that doesn’t have shared walls, shared airspace or shared anythi= ng — I think it’s going to be far more difficult, in a reasonable = way, for a condo corporation to restrict any activity there.

The ya= rd perhaps is a different situation in a condo situation because the “dwelling-house” in this piece of legislation is defined to inc= lude the area surrounding that “dwelling-house”. In that same exampl= e, if we are thinking about the condominiums up in Copper Ridge that are small, little houses with little yards attached to each other’s small, little house and little yard, it may be that the condo corporation can and probably reasonably will restrict the use of cannabis in those outdoor spaces because it’s all about interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of the other property owners. That is kind of the measuring stick. That is what the Condominium Act, 2015 says is the measuring stick and that is what condominium owners and condominium boards = of directors and community groups are going to have to wrestle with.

Ms. White: I apologize to the minister because, first, I told her I didn’t want the legalese and then I was, like, but there’s legalese and I don’t know what it is. I appreciate the “unreasonably prohibited use”= and that conversation around that because that makes sense to me.

When w= e were getting the briefing, I underlined multiple times the founding declaration,= so I could understand — for example, in Takhini-Kopper King, there are t= wo condo corporations that are for people aged 55 and older. They’re con= dos for older people. They are not that old — to everyone in the room = 212; they are just older than me.

I have= had friends who rented a unit and they inquired and they said they could rent t= he unit, but if they decided to have children they would have to move because = they wanted it to be an adults-only space, which I understand, but they knew what they were getting into when they got there. They decided to have children a= nd they moved.

If it&= #8217;s in a founding declaration — for example, it’s a community based ar= ound a substance-free area, then you know what lifestyle you’re building i= nto. Some of the concerns when I raised this initially were if you’ve been= in the condo for five years and these have been the rules and then to have them changed. I just thank the minister for the clarity and for that.

From my perspective around renting, I believe that a landlord is able to restrict. I don’t think that you should be allowed to smoke tobacco in a place if= you get told not to smoke tobacco because of what it does to paint and walls and conditions and I believe the same would go for cannabis. If the landlord sa= id they didn’t want you to grow your maximum of four plants in your clos= et, then that would be something that you would have to respect as well. If the minister wants to elaborate on the renting — but I believe that we’re on the same page for renting, which is that the landlord has the ability to restrict that. I just really wanted to clarify mobile homes and condominiums.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: At the risk of causing any of us in here today to laugh — we’re not allowed to laugh because it starts coughing — the question has been brought to me: What about if you’re over 55 and dec= ide to have children? Who knows?

With r= espect to the mobile homes — I’m not sure if I should clarify this again,= but I’m happy to do so. Clearly this is going to be a challenge as the me= mber opposite has said. When it comes forward, someone will ask this question and there will be an opportunity for us to deal with it as departments or as th= is piece of legislation comes and grows and we make determinations about how it’s being interpreted. However, depending on the wording of a prohibition of a tenancy agreement, clearly mobile-homeowners who are rente= rs can be restricted in the same way that the member opposite has noted where a landlord can restrict other types of rental units. But I want to clarify th= at it’s likely that a landlord of a mobile home site can — it̵= 7;s possible that they can prohibit smoking and vaping and cultivation or even = cooking in an owner-occupied mobile home on a site at the beginning of a tenancy if they choose to do so, or during a tenancy, as I have said, with the consent= of the tenant.

I thin= k that outdoor spaces are probably up for interpretation. Quite likely, as the pad owner, they might be able to restrict activities outside that home, but the owner of the mobile home would in fact be permitted to do things that do not interfere with the quiet use and enjoyment of other people’s property nearby. If it were the case that the pad owner tried to restrict activities= of an owner-occupied home, it is certainly questionable whether the landlord of the pad rental could meaningfully enforce such a prohibition. It would be fact-specific, as clearly all of these cases as they come forward will be. We’re trying our very best with a common-sense approach and, of cours= e, we are regulated and required to comply with the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and the Condominium Act, 2015 — they’re already regulating these activities.

Just t= o be clear to those listening — and we certainly have gone back and forth on different parts of this bill and this piece of legislation — there is nothing in this piece of legislation that deals with these specific issues, which is what I was trying to say earlier, which is that there are other pi= eces of legislation that regulate these behaviours on behalf of owners of proper= ty and renters of property.

Ms. White: I thought I was there and then I have gone off the garden path again.<= /p>

I am n= ot talking about someone who is renting a mobile home owned by someone else, because t= hat is a rental unit. If I own the mobile home on a piece of property that I re= nt from another person — my lease is signed, because I just had to sign = on a new lease and it doesn’t have a restriction of the consumption of cannabis within my home — if that mobile park owner brought forward a= new lease the next calendar year and added a clause that said “no consump= tion of cannabis on-site”, what would my rights as a mobile-homeowner be?<= /span>

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I didn’t mean to muddy the waters. The Residential Landlord and Tenant Act regulates the relationship between renters and landlords. In some instances, the landlords of a rental pad have certain rights and responsibilities to owners of a mobile home, but there is nothing in the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act that specifically limits the right of t= he landlord of a rented pad or the site — let me just say the landlord of the site — to prohibit activities in an owner-occupied mobile home on that site.

I am g= oing to stop there.

Ms. White: Eureka, Mr. Chair. There we go. I understand now and I appreciate that.=

At thi= s point, that is it for the questions I have in general. I have a lot of questions a= s we go through; I will be repeating some of it, but I think it is important tha= t we have that conversation as we go through the line-by-line debate as to why t= he language is chosen or what this part means.

I than= k the ministers for their engagement today and, of course, I thank the staff who = are here both in the Assembly and in the Chamber watching. Thank you for the ti= me and the answers.

Mr. Cathers: I would like to begin my questions here this afternoon. I would like to thank= all the officials who have been involved in preparing this legislation and brie= fing us as well as preparing the government’s response to the legalization= of cannabis.

In beg= inning my remarks this afternoon, I want to note for the record and for any Yukoners = who are just tuning into the debate today, that, again, the position that we ha= ve taken as the Official Opposition regarding legalization is that we recognize that this is a topic on which there are strong views, and that there are Yukoners who are strongly in favour and Yukoners who are strongly against i= t. We respect the views of all Yukoners who support it as well as those who do not. We have taken — and will continue to take — the position t= hat since the federal government is proceeding, it is the job of the Yukon government to prepare to responsibly regulate it once it is legalized and to handle it in as responsible a manner as possible.

We are= going to continue to ask questions in the vein where we believe that the government’s current plans to grow government and to expand into the areas of retail and distribution is, in our view, an unnecessary expenditur= e of taxpayers’ funds and, specifically, in the $3‑million line item that is included in this year’s budget. The $2.7 million of that which is allocated for cannabis inventory for the first four months of operation is, in our view, a completely unnecessary expenditure of taxpayers’ funds and is placing those funds at unnecessary risk by getting into this inventory, especially since there are Yukon companies rig= ht now who would quite happily, if given the opportunity to become legally licensed, would themselves take on that responsibility for the costs.

In beg= inning my questions this afternoon, I just want to again set the context and note tha= t we believe that the appropriate model would be for government to allow for the licensing of small businesses in compliance with the act and regulations, a= nd that rather than entering retail, government should instead begin with a mo= del that allows licences to be issued and places some onus on the applicant to demonstrate that they can operate safely. To that end, I would note that an example of where not only is this type of approach used in other areas of t= he Yukon government — as I mentioned during debate on April 5 — I would point as well further to the east, to the Province of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is allowing for the wholesaling and retailing of cannabis that= will be regulated by their Liquor and Gaming Authority, and it allows for the private sector wholesale and retail of cannabis. It also includes a process, according to the documents that the Saskatchewan government has included on= its website, that part of the application process for a retailer includes scree= ning for a demonstrable financial capacity and the ability to track and report inventory movement through the supply chain. That, for the reference of Han= sard and others, is according to the backgrounder set out with the press release issued by the Saskatchewan government earlier this year — I believe it was January 8, 2018.

Consid= ering that, as we have debated the issue of whether government needs to get into = the business of the retail of cannabis and wholesaling, I would appreciate an explanation of the government on this. Considering we have heard from the Minister responsible for Yukon Liquor Corporation a number of times the indication that he believes government has to be responsible for wholesaling because of cannabis being a controlled and an intoxicating substance —= ; it says very clearly on the Saskatchewan government’s webpage and the pr= ess release issued by the government under, I believe, the Minister responsible= for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority — the Hon. Gene Makowsky — that the Saskatchewan government specifically notes that cannabis wholesale and retailing will be conducted = by the private sector and regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

The qu= estion for whichever minister wishes to answer it is: Why is this possible in Saskatchewan, but allegedly not possible here in the Yukon?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I thank the member opposite. Like him, I agree that there is a diversity of views on cannabis across the territory, and we have heard from= a lot of Yukoners. It’s terrific to get to hear so many perspectives. I think, like him, we also are seeking to respect the views of all. Of course= , that doesn’t mean that all views will be able to be upheld with the decisi= ons, but we do respect that there has been such a great range of views.

Introduction of Visitors

Hon. Mr. Streicker: Mr. Chair, before I go further, I should just acknowledge that we have a visitor in the gallery. It is Mr. Jordan Corbeil, who is someone interested in the production of cannabis here in the territory, with Pine Heart Farms.

Applause

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Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I agree also with the member opposite that it is our job to pr= epare, through legislation and regulations, how to handle this in a responsible fashion. I will continue to disagree with him on a couple of points. The fi= rst one is around whether we are going to have inventory here.

I̵= 7;m abiding by the Yukon Act. That is where= this is laid out — that intoxicants will be controlled substances. That is where we start. I appreciate that other provinces may choose to privatize t= he warehousing side of it, et cetera.

I have= n’t looked into their authority and how that sits, and I also don’t know their progress in development. Ours here, as we have said, is that the team — several of whom are here today — has been working extremely diligently on the progress of this. It is a new act, a significant act, and= I know that they have begun work now on regulations and we will work as swift= ly as possible to bring those forward in a timely fashion. However, I don̵= 7;t anticipate having those regulations in place by the time the federal legislation is enacted, which means that we have to take a choice about whe= ther to wait and leave the marketplace vacant for a bricks-and-mortar store, or = to step in and develop that bricks-and-mortar store. I appreciate that the mem= ber opposite believes that we should not develop a bricks-and-mortar store and = that we should just leave that vacant for the time being, but that’s not o= ur opinion and so we have a difference of opinion. That’s all.

I have= said and will say again in this Legislature that, regardless of whether we could have those regulations in place from day one and could have the private sector up and running by day one of the federal enactment of this legislation — that would be terrific, but whether or not it is a private retail or a government retail, we will need to purchase inventory of cannabis, so we ne= ed to buy some cannabis to sell to the citizens of the territory.

The on= ly reason that we are buying a short-term oversupply is because we recognize that, in terms of supply right now, the only cannabis that is available on the marketplace will be cannabis that comes from licensed producers now who are supplying the medical market. Once cannabis is legalized across the country, there will be a significant demand on product at that point, so the supply chain is under pressure. As a result, we have given some direction to the Y= ukon Liquor Corporation to secure supply that will deal with that shortage. This= is just a short-term and interim move. There is no risk to taxpayers’ dollars because that cannabis will be sold at some point. Once the supply is more available in the marketplace, we will drop the overall supply amount d= own and we will save that money back.

I don&= #8217;t believe in any way that we are risking taxpayers’ money. I think this= is simply ensuring that there is inventory once cannabis is legalized to supply the marketplace, which in this case is Yukoners.

This g= oes directly to our two goals: to ensure that we reduce the illicit trade ̵= 2; in fact, our goal is to eliminate it — and that we promote health and safety with a focus on youth. In particular, the supply is really about try= ing to displace the illicit trade. We will ensure that we have a mix of products available for Yukoners. We will ensure that our prices are competitive with= the black market, and we remain committed to support the development of local industry, both in terms of production and in terms of private retail, to en= sure that Yukoners have access to a range of legal product.

As the= Premier has said, we are looking to get out of the business of doing business, and = I am happy to help us get there as quickly as possible.

Mr. Cathers: I appreciate the minister’s answers but I do have to take issue with the fact that the government is claiming, as one of their new talking points, t= hat they want to get out of the business of doing business. If you are actually serious about that commitment — if it is not just a platitude —= a good step for getting out of the business of doing business is to not enter further into the business world by expanding into the retail of cannabis or other areas. I appreciate that we seem to be hearing now from the government — and I would appreciate it if the minister could confirm this — that they intend their entry into the retail market to be temporary and ultimately that government plans to step out of the retail market and allow= the private sector to do this — if the minister could please confirm that point.

A ques= tion that I asked the other day that I didn’t receive an answer to from his colleague — I would I hope I could get an answer about today — = is: If government is committed to only temporarily being in the retail business= and is committed to exiting that market, what is the timeline for when governme= nt expects to have shut down the government retail here in the territory?

I hear= d from the Minister of Justice on April 5 that government was not expecting to be in a position that it would allow private retail until a year, or maybe a year a= nd a bit, from now. What I didn’t get in terms of an answer is: If it̵= 7;s going to be a year or so until the private sector is allowed to enter the retail market and government is only going to temporarily — we hear — be in the retail market, what is the timeline for getting government out of the business of cannabis retail?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I will attempt to describe the steps that we have taken in ord= er to try to ensure that this is an interim measure. I will do my best to help the member opposite and Yukoners understand that this is a commitment that we a= re making. This is serious. The adjectives that are being used from across the= way are not how I would characterize it, so I will just stick to the point that= we are serious about this.

Just l= ast week, the Premier, the Minister of Economic Development, the Minister of Justice = and I met with a potential private sector retailer. That is a meeting with over half of Cabinet. We spent more than an hour — and we started it off w= ith the Minister of Economic Development making a commitment to work with the private sector to support them in developing this industry, this avenue = 212; not with this one retailer in particular, but in general. We talked about t= he timeline. We had a discussion with them. I’m not going to be able to stand up today and say that it’s going to be Tuesday or Wednesday or = give an exact date. What I will do is describe the steps that we are taking in o= rder to ensure that we can move this forward as quickly as possible.

The is= sue around that is — we need two things. We need the regulations and we need the licensing procedures. Once those two things are in place, then we can start= to move with the private sector.

When a= re we going to get the regulations done? Well, I can’t give you a date, but what I can say is that we have already begun work on developing those regulations. We have had great conversation with Yukoners. We have had great conversation with the private sector. We have tried to have a very open-door policy with them and keep them informed about what is going on. We have had= a lot of feedback on regulations and so we are in the development phase now.<= /span>

Concur= rently, we will be developing licensing procedures, although we will need a little bit= of time, once the regulations are finalized, to then finalize the licensing procedures. After that, there is a period of time in which we will open up = to the private sector to apply for licences and have an intake for them to go through the licensing process, which is defined by the act itself, so we can see that timeline.

Let me= just finish off by talking about what the steps are that we are taking in order = to ensure that this is an interim measure on our part.

Number= one, we are looking for short-term options around the retail space that we are seek= ing to provide. We are looking for it in staffing. We are using interim staffing measures so that we’re not establishing staff with the expectation th= at they will continue on indefinitely. As we design the space and work with the private sector to help us design the space, we are looking at more mobile u= nits so that at some point, once we get out of the business of doing business, t= hen we can just possibly put those materials up for sale for a business that mi= ght wish to take it over. There are all sorts of ways in which we have been discussing how we can ensure that this is an interim measure.

I know= that the member opposite is suggesting that we should not enter into that role at all and I appreciate that is his perspective. However, our perspective is that = we want to provide access to Yukoners so that they can purchase cannabis. We h= ave done some investigation to look at the difference between e‑commerce = and brick-and-mortar commerce. Bricks and mortar are still the dominant delivery method for sales across the country. We don’t expect it to be any different here and so, as a result, it’s our belief that if we do not open a store, what we will do is leave the illicit market in place, thrivin= g. We don’t like that. We don’t like the black market. Our goal is going to be to replace the illicit trade as much as possible. I have listed= off our two priorities; it’s one of two. So clearly, our belief is that we want to begin to do that work.

I have= also said here in this Legislature that part of that is to help Yukoners to understand what it is that we are discussing, that there are a lot of unknowns out the= re. Many of the strong views that the member opposite was discussing are coming with concerns from Yukoners and they want to see this managed in a very responsible fashion and they want to understand how it’s going to work within our society, and I think that is one of our jobs as well.

I again appreciate that the members opposite — or at least the Member for Lake Laberge — believe that we should not have a government store once cannabis is legalized; however, it will not be possible to have the private sector in place at that time, so the choice is either we open a government store or we let the black market continue. We choose to open a government s= tore for the interim.

Mr. Cathers: Again, there is another option. This government is simply choosing not to take it. It’s the view of the Official Opposition that the free market beats t= he black market, including when it comes to the area of cannabis retail.

I do a= gain just have to point out to the minister — I know that I’m probably not going to change his mind or that of his colleagues — that the simple = fact is that every time ministers stand up and say that it’s not possible = to move forward with private sector retail now, the reality is that in the Province of Saskatchewan they are doing exactly that. Saskatchewan, just li= ke the Yukon, also has challenges in terms of implementation, but in Saskatche= wan — and again, I will quote their press release on January 8, 2018: “Both wholesaling and retailing of cannabis will be conducted by the private sector and regulated by SLGA.” SLGA is an acronym for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

While = the minister is talking about the challenges of dealing with this, I have to po= int out that, according to the Government of Saskatchewan — on their webs= ite — they are expecting to issue approximately 60 cannabis retail permit= s in up to 40 eligible municipalities at the outset of legalization. The Yukon, = of course, doesn’t even have 40 communities.

What w= e are seeing here is the minister standing repeatedly and telling us that, “Well, we just can’t proceed down this road. You are just asking for more than is possible here.” The reality again is, in pointing to= the fact of exactly what the Province of Saskatchewan is doing and what they are proceeding with, we have given a few examples of how we could do it within = the Yukon structure. The government could, I am sure, receive information and advice from the Province of Saskatchewan.

Ultima= tely, a big part of our reason as the Official Opposition for arguing in favour of private retail and distribution is to save cost to taxpayers — allow = the private sector to take on the risk and the opportunity and have government = do just what government is doing in Saskatchewan, which is taking on the role = and responsibility of regulating the licensing and sale of cannabis — bot= h in the wholesale and retail areas.

We hav= e heard government talking about wanting to ensure access in all communities, except they aren’t actually allowing it in communities. In our view, the government’s plan is actually insulating the black market in rural Yu= kon communities during the year and a bit before private sector retail is allow= ed. They are mandating through legislation that in rural Yukon the black market will effectively be protected from competition with the free market. It is important to note that point — that as long as government does not al= low a bricks-and-mortar retail option in Yukon communities, which we believe th= ey can do simply by allowing companies to be licensed in a manner similar to h= ow licences are issued for the sale of liquor — by government choosing n= ot to go down that road for a year and a bit, the ministers would have us beli= eve that they are taking a precautionary approach. In fact, what they are doing= is unintentionally protecting the black market in rural Yukon during that year where it becomes more difficult to enforce the prohibitions against consump= tion of marijuana and more difficult to determine where someone got their cannab= is from, because during that time period, there is no on-the-ground retail opt= ion being made available because government has chosen to keep the door shut to private sector retail.

As I m= entioned the other day — I am not going to repeat it at length, but I do have = to briefly mention, just in case the Minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation has not had a chance to read all of the Blues from the other day — I do have to point out that there are other examples within Yukon’s regulatory structure that allow for the potential to put the = onus on an applicant to demonstrate they can do something safely. Those include = that when somebody applies for agricultural land, they have to demonstrate during their application through YESAB what their farm development plan will be, w= hich has to include dealing with questions around environmental safety. There is also the ability, when licensing a mine, to place conditions on their licen= ce that begin with putting the onus on the company to demonstrate how they pla= n to do this safely.

It is = important to connect the dots back to Saskatchewan. It should be noted that Saskatche= wan, in terms of licensing their private sector retailers, is screening for financial capacity and the ability to track and report inventory movement through the supply chain, and that applies to both wholesale and retail. Ag= ain, there are examples that I gave of how it could be dealt with through the Yukon’s regulatory structure and Saskatchewan is doing almost exactly what we are arguing for, which is putting the onus on the companies who are applying to get into retail business to demonstrate that they can safely ma= nage the supply and the inventory. If they do so successfully, the Province of Saskatchewan has created the ability to issue that private sector retailer a licence.

I am j= ust going to move on to another couple of specific related issues. I appreciate the Minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation talking about the consultation that makes reference to comments that were supportive of a hyb= rid model, but a very important piece of information that government didn’= ;t include in the consultation was the rather high estimated cost of government getting into the retail and distribution of cannabis. The answer the average citizen would give to the question of: “Do you think that just govern= ment should sell it, or just the private sector, or maybe a combination of both?” is going to change for a lot of people if they are told, ̶= 0;By the way, here is the estimated cost in the amount of taxpayers’ money — millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money — that wil= l be spent on inventory. We haven’t fully costed for the costs of purchasi= ng or leasing retail space and we are going to grow government by adding a bun= ch of employees.” The answer that someone would give once that informati= on is disclosed is very likely to be influenced by that cost to the public pur= se.

I am g= oing to ask the minister — again, what we have heard is the minister making it clear that government plans to exit the retail market once they get into the business of doing business in this area, contrary to their talking points. = What we have also heard from the minister is that government doesn’t actua= lly have a plan on how to do it and when to do it. It is our concern that government temporarily getting into the retail of cannabis is very likely to turn into something well beyond temporary. Once government gets in, it is h= ard to get out.

I am g= oing to leave that point there and again point out to the minister — I am sur= e he is not going to give me a timeline here this afternoon while we’re in debate without a chance to talk it over with his colleagues, but I would ag= ain say to the Minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation and to all= of his Cabinet and to the caucus colleagues: If government is serious about on= ly temporarily getting into the business of retail, then set a timeline for exiting the retail market with realistic steps to pulling government out completely.

Again,= we think entering into retail is completely unnecessary, as has been demonstrated in Saskatchewan, but if government is hell-bent on temporarily entering the re= tail market — if you’re serious about entering it and you’re serious about exiting it — then set a timeline for exiting the retail market.

Mr.&nb= sp;Chair, just looking for the next part in my notes — to that end, I’m g= oing to ask the minister a few specific questions about the Liquor Corporation a= nd getting into cannabis distribution. Can the minister clarify what the total number of new employees will be to get into the retail and distribution of cannabis, including temporary employees and, if those employees are being h= ired on a temporary basis, does that mean that they will not be fully eligible f= or benefits? Secondly, will positions associated with this be located in other government departments than the Liquor Corporation and the ones we have hea= rd in Health and Justice?

What i= s the total estimated cost of the resources being directed from the Liquor Corporation to this? We have heard that the $3‑million line item in t= he budget won’t include the cost of staffing. We don’t have a total number on the cost of staffing from the government yet and we still donR= 17;t have a number from government on how much it is planning to spend on gettin= g into retail because we know that the government issued a tender seeking space for the retail store and cancelled that. The other day — April 5 — = when I asked the Minister of Justice for clarification about that, I didn’t receive any real content in terms of estimated costs of acquiring retail sp= ace, where that retail space might be at this point in time and whether it would= be a purchase or a lease and how much that cost is expected to be since their = plan A in this area was a bit of a washout and didn’t succeed.

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>As always, I will do my best to answer all the points in the questions, but if I miss anything I am happy to get back up.

Where = to start? First of all, I would like to talk about our communities and whether they w= ill have access — yes they will. They will have e‑commerce, for example. There are many items where Yukoners have access to those items in Whitehorse, but do not have access to them in their communities. Of course,= the opportunity is for someone to set up retail for those items, but it doesn’t always happen — for example, vehicles, snowmobiles, appliances, furniture. Generally speaking, Yukoners come to Whitehorse for those items and so that is a question of the economies of scale, not a ques= tion of whether it is permitted or not permitted.

Yukone= rs will have access to a bricks-and-mortar store. The challenge and the difference between Saskatchewan and us — by the way, it’s great that the members opposite are considering Saskatchewan.

That&#= 8217;s terrific. That’s one province. There are nine others. They prefer that model — terrific. That’s great. Interestingly, we have stated t= hat we’re heading toward that model as well. That’s great — at least on the retail side.

I have= just been informed that one of the things that the RFP in Saskatchewan states is that it’s subject to the Saskatchewan bills becoming law and subject to th= em having regulations in place. Well, the member opposite said that we donR= 17;t have a plan for how to get out of selling cannabis — I think we do. I just described it to the members here. Maybe they don’t believe that = it is a robust enough plan, but I can go over it again.

As to = when — well, I haven’t given a date. That is fair. The member opposi= te is correct. What I have said is — I have described the criteria requi= red to enable us to see that transition happen, and I have talked about the eff= ort we are putting toward those criteria. Very specifically, it’s getting= the regulations and the licensing procedures in place. Do we think that will ha= ppen by August or September — by the time the federal law comes into force? No, I don’t think it will be by then. Do I think it will be much long= er after that? No, I don’t think it will be much longer after that. The member is using dates in his words. They’re not mine. They’re n= ot ours as a government. I have not stood up and said that it will be on this = date or another. What I have said is that we are working hard to get those regulations in place. Let me say again that I thank the staff who are worki= ng very hard on those regulations. It’s a lot of work and I think they’re doing a great job. If I could clap, I would.

If the= member opposite wants, I can go over those steps on how we are working with staff.=

One of= the things that the member talked about was what it’s costing Yukoners. I’m going to get to that question in a second but let me first of all just talk about the staffing. I have stood up in this Legislature and I have said that the number of new, full-time, permanent staff would be less than = you can count on one hand. I’m sticking with that. That is in our models = of what we’re looking at around for enforcement, regulation and any additional burden to warehousing — because we’re using an exist= ing warehouse and so there is not much additional staff through that — but when it comes to how we will staff any interim retail store, then we will l= ook first at whether there are any existing employees who want to come across f= or an interim and take on a temporary assignment. In terms of benefits, they w= ould have benefits then, knowing that those are temporary assignments and that t= hey will be phased out. If we do have to hire people, then I guess they would be casual contracts. I’m sure this is all pretty typical and normal by a= ll of the HR policies, and we could always get the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission to try to give a deeper answer on that.

With r= espect to that, the member opposite is talking about what this is going to cost Yukon= ers for us to be involved in the interim. Our estimate right now is that, overa= ll, the costs will be balanced out with the revenues. While we don’t anticipate the Yukon cannabis corporation, or the government store to gener= ate revenue, we don’t anticipate it costing Yukoners either.

There = are so many uncertainties with our modelling around this — for example, how = far we penetrate into the illicit market, et cetera — but what we are planning to do is to price cannabis to be competitive with the black market= . We will have a range of products and the start-up costs that are there will be offset by the sales themselves. More or less, we see this in the initial ye= ar as not costing money. As soon as the private sector is up and running, we w= ill phase out the government retail — happily. I don’t think that t= his going to cost Yukoners anything.

The pl= ace where I think it would cost Yukoners something is if we didn’t get rid of t= he black market. The reason I stand up and say this — and we will contin= ue to go back and forth, I suppose — is that, as soon as regulations are= in place here in the Yukon, we will begin to move to get the private sector in place.

Let me= also note that this is also true for Saskatchewan. As soon as their regulations are in place and as soon as these laws are passed, then they will be moving to the private sector. In that sense, we are on similar paths. I guess, unlike Saskatchewan, I am not able to stand up today and say the date when regulat= ions will be in place. What I am standing up and saying is that I know we are working hard on that and we are in conversation with the private sector. We= are looking forward to them coming into this marketplace. I think this is going= to be good news. I know that there are folks out there who are interested in production. Of course, that is regulated federally, but what we look for is that products are produced and sold here in the Yukon by the private sector, and we are very happy to be encouraging that.

Mr. Cathers:&= #8195;Can the minister elaborate more on the staff numbers? We have heard some numbers from government that have varied. The minister just now indicated that it w= ould a number less than you could count on one hand — I think those were h= is words — but we have heard in the past — with the talk of staff, plus inspectors and people involved in health promotion — the indicat= ion that it was more than that. If the minister could just list the expected positions that are going to be dealing with this and the number, that would= be appreciated.

I am g= oing to note that, when it comes to the plan for government exiting the business of doing business as it relates to cannabis, I would agree with the minister t= hat he has accurately characterized my criticism, which is that I don’t t= hink the government’s plan to exit the retail market is sufficiently detai= led enough to be called a robust plan.

It is = my concern that, in the absence of a more robust and a clear plan to actually exit the retail market, it is a lot easier for government to expand into a new area = than it is for government to pull out of that area. As it relates to retail, the point I would make to the minister is that — as anyone who has spent = much time in the retail sector already knows but government may not — anyt= ime you are in the retail business, there is always some risk. Anytime you purc= hase inventory or product, there are always risks associated with it — it doesn’t sell as fast as you anticipate, there’s product damage, there are various issues. Certainly for government laying out an estimated = $2.7 million, there is a risk that it ends up being more than they anticipate and there i= s a risk that they may have some problems with recovering those costs.

Again,= we will continue to argue that government should be taking an approach more similar= to Saskatchewan and entering into private sector retail right away and allowing the private sector to apply at the outset, rather than leaving the vacuum t= hat government is going to create in rural Yukon, where the black market will be allowed to continue to fester because, realistically, people are going to continue to access product from the black market rather than ordering somet= hing from Whitehorse and waiting for a week or two for their cannabis to arrive = in the mail.

The mi= nister made reference to the Yukon Act and suggested that was the reason that the Yukon government couldn’t take= the same approach as Saskatchewan and had to create a distributor corporation. = In looking at the Yukon Act here &= #8212; certainly from my read of the Yukon= Act in section 18(3), that section in the Yukon Act appears to say the opposite of what the minister is indicating. I’ll quote from that section of the Yukon Act: “The Legislature may make laws relating to the importation of intoxicants into Yukon from any other place in Canada or elsewhere and defi= ning what constitutes an intoxicant for the purposes of those laws.” That section would appear to allow government the ability to go down the same pa= th and use the same model that Saskatchewan is, and allow the private sector t= o be responsible for retail, rather than creating a distributor corporation.

I am g= oing to move on to a few specific questions related to the potential ability for Yu= kon producers to grow cannabis and to sell it to government. Can the minister elaborate on what the government envisions that process looking like? I understand the factor that the licences for that will be issued by the fede= ral government, but since government — at least at this point — is hell-bent on creating a distributor corporation that everyone has to buy through, that distributor corporation will have a large degree of control o= f what products they buy and whether they are sourced inside the Yukon, or externa= lly.

Can th= e minister elaborate on what government foresees the process being for Yukon farmers, market gardeners or other producers in this area to be able to sell cannabis legally to the Yukon government if they have been able to get a licence from the federal government? How does government foresee doing this?

Would = it be through a tendering process, through a standing-offer-agreement type of mod= el, or some other type of structure? Would it perhaps be direct contracts to interested Yukon producers? What type of model is the minister envisioning = in that area? If they are entering into contracts with Yukon producers through= a direct award, a tendering process or an SOA type of process, how long would those contracts be for? Does the minister envision that they would be based= on purchasing a certain volume or that it would be somewhat demand-based throughout the year depending on the amount of product of that type that is sold?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>First of all, I just will say this. This is the second time th= at I have heard the words “hell-bent”. That’s not how I’m characterizing us. I appreciate that the member opposite may believe that, = but I don’t find it to be a respectful way to describe — I’ll just say that.

The nu= mber of staff that we envision — I’m trying to differentiate between st= aff who are permanent in nature and staff who may be temporary contracts. For example, I know that there is a position through Health and Social Services that is doing some of our public education. That, I think, is likely to be a contract and not a new, full-time employee over time. I’m not sure, w= ith the member opposite’s questions — maybe some of the confusion is coming around those differences. I have stated previously here in this Legislature that the number of enforcement folks would be less than what you can count on one hand. Of course, one of our challenges is that it will be = more if we’re able to achieve the penetration of the legal market and disp= lace the illicit market, because the further that goes, then the more we will ne= ed around enforcement, et cetera.

So it&= #8217;s a number that may be slightly variable. That is one of the challenges of sayi= ng that it will be exactly this number. On the side of sales in a store — again, it’s a small handful. It’s again less than what I think = you can count on one hand, but those will not be full-time permanent employees. They will be casual contracts.

I agre= e with the member opposite that there are always risks when it comes to all aspects of retail — whether that’s the private sector or whether that̵= 7;s government — and I agree with him that there are risks in trying to decide what amount of inventory to purchase. Of course, we’re basing = it on the research that was done by Deloitte and the Parliamentary Budget Offi= cer, and by statistics here that we know about use and conservative numbers arou= nd how much we will be able to displace the black market.

Of cou= rse, there is a risk to not purchasing enough. You have risks in either direction, Mr.=  Chair. I will agree with the member opposite. That is why we have taken the approa= ch of trying to use the evidence and research to ensure that we are moving for= ward in a logical and careful fashion.

I than= k the member opposite for looking up the = Yukon Act and noting what is in there. All I am trying to say by this is that= our intention is to control this substance because it is an intoxicant. That can just as easily get to the Saskatchewan model as it can to any other provinc= ial model. In our sense, what we are talking about is not privatizing the warehousing — fine. We have, though, allowed the legislation to be flexible enough to allow that in the future. I don’t think we are tal= king about a lot of warehousing. I have seen the footprint of the space that we = are discussing right now, and it is pretty modest, although things are changing, and so we are trying to allow for the fact that the marketplace may change.= The consumption of cannabis may change. There are things out there where we wan= t to allow for flexibility for this government and future governments. We are committed to make the government retail an interim measure and we are commi= tted to promoting the private sector and supporting the private sector as it com= es into place. We are happy to have them displace us.

I am s= orry. I have missed the question on the producers. I will just wait for the member opposite to remind me when he gets up next.

I want= to talk for a second about 30 grams. These are different intoxicants — cannab= is and alcohol. Mr. Chair, you spoke about this very topic — about = the differences between these two intoxicants and their relationship with us as public. When we say 30 grams, this is not what you need for a weekend ̵= 2; 30 grams. I don’t know exactly how this relates, but 30 grams is not = like a case of beer. It is more like a case of spirits. When we are talking about cannabis and 30 grams, it is not that I have to call up today to get some e= ‑commerce on cannabis and then I have to call up tomorrow because I am out. These are significant quantities, and so I don’t think that our communities out= side of Whitehorse will be at risk from the black market. I am going to give a different perspective on that and I am going to actually work hard with the public to try to help inform them about the legalization of cannabis and tr= y to displace the illicit market.

Rather= than basing that on concerns and fears, I am going to try to base that on ration= al opportunities. I do not wish to promote cannabis, but on the other hand I w= ill try my hardest — we as a government will try our hardest — to displace the illegal market.

The la= st thing that I wanted to try to say — and I apologize if I have missed any of= the questions from the member opposite — is that the distributor corporat= ion is a government corporation; therefore, under the Corporate Governance Act, the distributor corporation is going = to be responsible to the Legislature through a minister. That in no way preven= ts at any point the choice of whether or not to allow for private retail, nor — as I have stated — for private warehousing. However, at this stage, what we are describing is that our intention is to have a government warehouse, which is a quarter of the size of this Legislature floor. It is a small space and it is not going to take a lot of staffing or a lot of administration. The purpose of that is to ensure that the distribution of cannabis is very carefully controlled so that we can ensure that the health= and safety of Yukoners is maintained throughout, but we have left it flexible as things may change in the future.

Mr. Cathers: I would like to start by noting to the minister that when I use the term “hell-bent” to describe the government’s approach, I wasn’t intending to be offensive or to be insulting to the minister, = so I will apologize if he took it that way. I will re-characterize it as characterizing the government’s approach as being unnecessarily commi= tted to a path after we have pointed out in great detail why that path is poorly advised.

It is = an area where we are probably not going to convince the government to change their minds and avoid entering the retail and distribution of cannabis, but what I have been attempting to do on behalf of our caucus is point to specific examples of how it is being done in other jurisdictions — notably in Saskatchewan — that we believe have landed on a better model than a couple of the specific policy choices made by this government, and also out= line some examples of how the Yukon government in somewhat comparable areas of legislation has established the ability that they can put the onus on a licensee to demonstrate that they can do something safely and require them = to follow their own plan in the terms of their licence.

I am s= ure we are not going to get to a point this afternoon where government is going to completely change their minds, but I just wanted to clarify that for the minister. It was not my intention to insult him or any of his colleagues or government in using the term “hell-bent”. It was just the term = that sprang to mind. I will replace that by saying “unnecessarily focused” on a path after we have demonstrated and explained in detail= why that is a little biased.

I am g= oing to ask a couple of questions related to staff. We still haven’t got a cl= ear number on staff versus contracted staff and contracts.

If gov= ernment is not being clear about what the details of the plan are, it is an area where people are now starting to become aware of the high cost of the government’s approach to the regulation of cannabis. Yukoners are ask= ing us what those costs will be and how many new staff are being added, as well= as whether any are being seconded from other government departments to address= the retail and distribution of cannabis. So if the minister could answer the question on the total number as well as whether any existing staff are being seconded, that would be appreciated.

I am g= oing to return to the question that the minister had missed and just ask, as it pertains to potential Yukon producers, farmers and market gardeners who are interested in supplying and legally growing and selling cannabis to governm= ent — since government under the current model that they’re proceed= ing with is planning on all the purchasing and all the wholesaling having to go through their distributor corporation, the intentions of government in term= s of purchasing outside supply versus local supply and how much have a big impac= t on the potential ability for Yukon farmers and market gardeners to enter into = this market. Also, it affects or is very likely to affect their decision to ente= r it at all if they’re entering and not having a clear sense of how solid = the ground is. They are less likely to take the risks and make the investments = than if government gives them a clear sense of what government is planning on do= ing — whether government is planning on purchasing cannabis locally, how = much cannabis the government is prepared to source locally, whether they’re looking at specific criteria around sourcing that cannabis, whether there a= re certain strains that they’re prepared to buy locally and others that = they are not, or whether they will leave some of them up to producers to decide that.

As wel= l, in procuring that, how does government plan to purchase that product from Yukon farmers or market gardeners who are successful in becoming licensed by the federal government to grow and sell cannabis? That includes the question of whether government is looking at buying it on an as-needed approach. Are th= ey looking at a tender for procuring product, a standing offer agreement or di= rect contracts with farmers or market gardeners? How does government plan to rea= ch the point of where a potential Yukon producer would go from the point of be= ing interested in entering this area, knowing what the rules are for applying to the federal government to become a producer, but left with the very importa= nt question of how government will purchase legally produced cannabis? Will it= be a clear and solid agreement? If so, how do you get from the point of talking about it to having that contract in place?

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I thank the member opposite for reiterating that question. I apologize that I didn’t get it last time.

Let me= start with staff. I’m just going to sort of paint a picture and try to desc= ribe this.

For th= e retail store, there will be — these are all temporary, casual contracts. The= se are not FTEs, but we will need a manager. We will need several clerks, depending on the number of hours that we choose. It might be between two to four. Those are flexible numbers, but that is the retail side. Of course, t= he store manager will double up on the clerk side as needed, so it will be pre= tty flexible.

On the inspection side of things and the enforcement side of things, we will need those more as the private sector gets up and running, but we are looking at= one or two to start with. Again, it depends on how many we have. What we can al= so do is work with our liquor inspectors and do some training there. We will u= se resources as we have them available to us. What I am trying to do is paint a picture without saying that it will be exactly this number.

Again,= in terms of the education through Health and Social Services or, for that matter, the work that is done within Justice, which would like to try to get the regulations moving — there may be some temporary contracts there. Aga= in, they are not necessarily new staff in any way, but there is money allocated= .

Let= 217;s talk about supply. In some ways, it is similar to alcohol and in some ways, it is different. The main message that I want to get out there is that we are interested in supporting local supply, so we have been working with them, b= oth from the perspective of economic development, from the perspective of agriculture, from the perspective of this new marketplace and what they mig= ht be able to supply. Interestingly, when we have been talking with them, they have been coming forward with suggestions about ways in which they might en= gage in the marketplace as well. Of course, they have ideas — they are entrepreneurs.

Let me= just also frame that, under the federal language, they would be considered microproducers, given the volume. Of course, they cou= ld become large producers, but the local producers to whom we have talked are = most interested, first and foremost, in our local market. Then, maybe after that, they might see themselves as going out there and competing, but it is hard = to compete when you are far away from your marketplace and when our growing se= ason is very different from the growing seasons of southern BC, southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan and Ontario, et cetera. We see a great opportunity he= re locally, much like we do with our local alcohol production. The challenge, though, is that one of the things that you need to know before we make agreements and work with them is what we are talking about. It is not like = we are giving carte blanche and, here, we will buy whatever you have at whatev= er price — no. That is one of the challenges and that is why we stay eng= aged with them.

Let me= talk about what we are doing right now and how we imagine the transition to incl= ude the local supply. Currently we are developing supply agreements, and we wil= l be sharing publicly in the next week or so the details of those agreements.

We hav= e been in conversation with folks in the private sector who are interested about what= we are thinking of, and those agreements are supply agreements sort of on an annual basis, but they are going to be based, as well, on demand. Again, we hope the demand is high in the sense that we are trying to displace the ill= icit market. There is always going to be room for local producers; we are keen to have them. We will especially look for ways in which we can support it. The ways in which we might support will never be by referring to a producer as local or not, but they will be looked at as micro or not, which is the same= way in which we work with our alcohol producers. It’s the difference betw= een small and large.

We wil= l always respect trade rules and I think it’s fair to say that a licensee R= 12; the private sector — as they come in here, will want a range of produ= cts, which includes local, but is not exclusively local. It might be possible, b= ut I think in the same way that when we go to the liquor store or to a public establishment to purchase some alcohol — buy a drink, we definitely w= ant to see the local product, but we don’t expect that this is the only t= hing there.

I thin= k that those agreements will be sort of standing offer agreements with local licen= sed producers and the quantity will depend on the demand for the product itself= . It is our hope that local producers will get a great share of the marketplace,= but it is ultimately going to be driven by the public and their demand.<= /p>

I just= want to emphasize that we are committed to local industry and being supportive of t= hem in the same way that we are committed to local breweries and manufacturers = or distillers here, as an example. We have established that commitment and I t= hink that we will continue when it comes to cannabis.

I thin= k I got the questions this time, but again if I have missed any, please, by all mea= ns, let me know.

Mr. Cathers: I appreciate the answers from the minister on that and will look forward to seeing the content of these supply agreements that the minister mentioned making available — the draft agreements — very shortly. I will,= of, course look at it at the time and analyze it, but I do appreciate the information he provided in that area.

I just= would ask a couple of other specific questions. Without disclosing names because, as = the minister has probably noted in my own approach — rather than having Y= ukon small businesses or citizens who are interested in this area having their n= ames bandied around too much in the public/political arena at this point in time before they have actually formally engaged in any application process for anything, I would just ask him for numbers — not names.

Can th= e minister indicate how many citizens or companies inside the territory government has heard from that expressed an interest in becoming private retailers? A simi= lar question as it pertains to producers is: How many citizens or businesses ha= ve expressed an interest in getting into production to the best of the minister’s knowledge? I understand that if someone walked into the Agriculture branch, for example, and had a conversation with an employee, t= hat might not officially be a part of the government’s numbers.

I am n= ot trying to set this as a “gotcha” question = for the minister. I am just asking a question of interest to me — and I t= hink to Yukoners interested in this area — about roughly how many companies have expressed an interest in getting into retail and roughly how many have expressed interest in getting into production at this point in time.=

As it = pertains to retail, can the minister advise — since the government’s fir= st plan for a retail location — to use the Member for Kluane’s term — “went up in smoke”, if you’ll excuse the expression, and since it didn’t work out as planned, what is the government planning on doing at this point in time? Where are they looking = for retail locations? Is it still confined just to the Marwell area? What proce= ss are they looking at for acquiring a retail location?

If I u= nderstand correctly, I believe the minister was indicating that wholesaling is going = to be done on-site by the Liquor Corporation, but I think the minister was sti= ll indicating that there would be a separate location for retail.

Then, = last but not least in that area, I would just ask the minister: What training does t= he government envision providing to staff engaged in retail and distribution, = both on the safety of products and their responsibility for managing it? In a related but different field, what training are they being given to help to provide product information to customers who are coming into the retail sto= re and want information about whatever strains of cannabis or cannabis products are available there?

I said= that was the last question for this afternoon, but I am going to add one other quest= ion related to private retailers once that is allowed.

My und= erstanding from what ministers have laid on the record to date is that, while the act provides for the ability to prevent private retailers from selling accessor= ies — such as rolling papers, pipes, et cetera — it seemed that the government was indicating they weren’t necessarily going to prohibit = all of those sales. The question that I would ask — and I know it is a concern for some of the Yukoners who are interested in getting into private sector retail — is: What problem is government trying to solve with t= his potential prohibition? Specifically, if you’re talking about accessor= ies like rolling papers or pipes, what is the perceived problem with allowing a licensed private retailer from selling those accessories on-site along with cannabis products? Quite frankly, I don’t understand the logic behind saying that someone may have to go to a different store to buy papers for t= he cannabis that they have purchased.

What i= s the perceived risk that government is trying to solve with this clause? Is the government planning on using this section of the act to prevent private retailers from selling accessories like rolling papers, pipes, et cetera, o= nce they have opened up the ability for companies to become privately licensed?=

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I will try to give some of the answers as quickly as I can. I’m just looking at the time.

First = of all, the number of folks who we have talked about production: there are a couple= who are seriously working on it and a couple of others who are just in conversa= tion. I will apologize if I have overstepped in speaking earlier in this Legislat= ure about that, but I did note that the folks who I introduced here early have a website up, and so there is public information. I thought they would see it= as positive if I acknowledged this. I respect that the member opposite does not want to name names.

With r= espect to retail, a handful — and again, it gets a little challenging because s= ome of them are really focused and very clear, but some of them are around the = fringes and the edges of this retail market because there are different ways you can get engaged. The member opposite talked about paraphernalia, for example. I’m sure I won’t get the time to deal with all of his questions, but I will, at some later date when we get back here, try to answer them al= l or provide them in a return.

With r= espect to the types of training, I gave a very specific answer earlier to the Member = for Takhini-Kopper King, and I will just reference back to the Blues. It is the= re where I discussed the levels of training that we are looking for with respe= ct to retail sales.

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

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

Motion agreed to

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

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

Motion agreed to

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Speaker resumes the Chair

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

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

Chair’s report

Mr. Hutton: Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 15, entitled Cannabis Control and Regulation Act, and directed me to report progress.

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

Are yo= u agreed?

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker: I d= eclare the report carried.

The ti= me being 5:30 p.m., this House now stands adjourned until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.=

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The House adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

 

 

 

The= following sessional paper was tabled April 9, 2018:

34-2-51

Sta= nding Committee on Appointments to Major Government Boards and Committees Seventh Report (April 5, 2018) (Adel)

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The= following legislative return was tabled April 9, 2018:

34-2-120

Respon= se to matter outstanding from discussion with Ms. White related to general debate on Vote 51, Department of Community Services, in Bill No. 206, = First Appropriation Act 2018‑19 (Streicker)

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