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Yukon Legislative Assembly=

Whitehorse, Yukon

Monday, April 16, = 2018 — 1:00 p.m.

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Speaker: I will now call the House to order.

We wil= l proceed at this time with prayers.

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Prayers

Daily Routine

Speaker: We = will proceed with the Order Paper.

Tributes.

TRIBUTES

In recognition of Elijah = Smith Elementary School grade 6 class participation in Meanin= g of Home writing contest

Mr. Gallina: I am pleased to rise on behalf of all members of this Assembly to pay tribute to Robin Fairburn’s grade 6 class from Elijah Smith Elementary School. I will be introducing guests under Introduction of= Visitors; however, in the meantime, I would like to thank the students, teacher and t= heir families for being in the House today.

We are= paying tribute to this class of students to recognize their contributions to a national writing contest that they entered last fall. The contest we are speaking about is the 11th annual Meaning of Home writing contest put on by Genworth Canada, a Canadian residential mortgage insurer. This contest began in 2007 and asks students from across the country in grades 4= to 6 to write about their meaning of home. This writing activity tied into Eli= jah Smith Elementary School’s grade 6 social studies community curriculum, where students learn about being citizens and making a difference in their communities.

Robin = Fairburn describes the poems’ theme as highlighting the differences between the structure of a house and a home. She says — and I quote: “A hom= e is your relationships often inside that structure, sometimes outside that structure. Most homes, I would say all homes, have a dichotomy between joy = and sadness. It’s about being human.”

The me= aning of “home” for my family is one of connection — a physical connection, as we are all still under the same roof, and a spiritual connection, as we support one another in sport, academics and community pursuits.

In pre= paring for this tribute, I visited Robin Fairburn’s grade 6 class and met some of the students. I could see the pride that the students hold for the work that they did for this contest. In fact, the poems are bound in fabric-covered folders and kept in a special basket in the classroom. To enter the contest, each submission included a $10 entry fee, for a total of $170, which was contributed to Habitat for Humanity. At the time, the students were no doubt also inspired by the promise of a class pizza party for entering the contes= t.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, when these students submitted their writing pieces, they couldn’t have known that poems submitted by two of their classmates would make it into the top 10 out of 7,000 entries from across Canada. Those top 10 placements were each awarded a $5,000 grant from Genworth Canada, for a total of $10,000, w= hich was gifted to Habitat for Humanity Yukon.

Habita= t for Humanity is a non-profit organization working toward a world where everyone= has a safe and decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable no-interest mortgages.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, it is my pleasure to recognize the two grade 6 students who placed in the t= op 10 of this national writing contest, Samara Jacob and = Kiawna Leas. I would like to now take a moment to read these poems aloud in the Ho= use.

Home by Kiawna Leas

I am f= rom a medium-sized pink duplex

Squeak= ing doors, wide dirt driveway, two trucks and a large, pine tree.

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I am f= rom family.

Green = and brown eyes like emeralds and crisp bark on the trees.

Light = freckled skin, wavy hair

Dirty = mechanics, and First Nations

From the sweet, loving side of my family and also the chaos-ca= using cousins.

I am a= lso from annoying brothers who don’t act their age And psychotic pets that scratch, bite, and cry.

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I am f= rom the ordinary smell of my kitchen.

Butter= y, popped popcorn,

The sm= ell of fresh, spiced soup, baked, salted chicken,

Sweet,= baked treat.

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I am f= rom countless celebrations and parties.

I am f= rom crying and joy.

From b= irthdays, anniversaries, and potlatches

Having= to suffer through pain,

Sadness, and anger.

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I am f= rom a medium-sized pink duplex.

Squeak= ing doors, wide dirt driveway, two trucks and large, pine tree.

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Home by Samara Jac= ob

I am f= rom a medium sized house

Miniat= ure trees, white and blue paint, shovelled walkway.

In the= Front yard, a hidden rose bush grows under our house.

I am f= rom my family.

Long wavy black hair and an annoying little brother.

I am f= rom eyes as dark as the clear night sky

I am f= rom a bunch of yelling and a little loud dog barking whenever she hears a sound. =

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I am f= rom the smell of cultural food and loud talking at the dinner table.

Burning hot sauce and different sweet deserts.

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I am f= rom happiness and sadness

Laughter and anger, loss and joy.

Scream= ing and slamming doors.

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I am f= rom a medium sized house.

Miniat= ure trees, white and blue paint, shovelled walkway.

In the= front yard a hidden rose bush under our house.

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Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, in closing, I would like to speak to the importance of recognizing youth in this House. In total, 53 students from across Yukon contributed poems to th= is national writing contest — 53 Yukon students who spent time thinking, planning, and then bravely contributing heartfelt sentiments about their pe= rsonal meaning of home to a contest that had the potential to positively impact Yu= kon families and communities through the Habitat for Humanities’ affordab= le housing initiative.

Studen= ts in all of Yukon’s communities are our future leaders, and I am proud to stan= d in this House to recognize and thank these and all Yukon students and teachers= for their community mindfulness and to make reference to a quote that, I believ= e, is fitting for these students. I quote from Dr. Seuss:

Unless= someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothin= g is going to get better. It’s not.

In recognition of 25th annual Yukon Bridge Building Contest

Hon. Mr. Streicker= : I rise today to pay tribute on behalf of all members of= this Legislature to building bridges and breaking them. This past Saturday was t= he 25th annual Yukon Bridge Building Contest. Every spring, students from across the Yukon build bridges out of coffee stir sticks, dental floss= and glue.

They b= ring those bridges in to be load-tested by engineers until they break. One-hundred-plus people, engineers, tech folks, parents, teachers, volunteers, onlookers, and students — screaming students, Mr. Speaker — gathered in t= he Porter Creek Secondary School gym to watch 96 beautifully constructed bridg= es get strength-tested to the point of bending or breaking.

As alw= ays, it was tremendous fun — more fun than you can shake a stick at — in fact, more fun than you can shake tens of thousands of coffee stir sticks a= t. The students press forward as the engineers begin loading up their bridges — some avert their eyes — and then they peek. More weight is ad= ded to the bridges. Dental floss comes under tension and a hush falls over the crowd. The bridges start to creak and groan and deform — sometimes a = glue joint will give under the strain and a tiny puff of pulverized glue will sh= oot up from the bridge like a puff of smoke and then the bridge collapses and t= he students scream and I grab my chest. It is like a surprise that you know is going to happen and still you can’t help but react.

This y= ear, Ghùch Tlâ Sc= hool in Carcross swept the top three spots in a grade 3-5 category with stout, stur= dy bridges. One bridge took over 100 kilos to break. That is more than me.

Young = Mathilda Kaiser’s bridge broke after only 1.9 kilos, but I mention her as she = was awarded the best narrative for the 96 bridges in this year’s competit= ion.

The st= rongest bridge in the grade 6-7 category was made by Kayce Sligo and Emily-Anne Sydney from Teslin.

Tantal= us School in Carmacks took eight of the top 10 spots in the high school category.

Jethro= Sinclair of F.H. Collins came third in this category. I mention Jethro as his bridge= was awarded the best-looking bridge. It was an arched bridge with beautiful det= ail. When he was awarded the prize, he showed us that he had with him a complete schematic that he had drafted on graph paper and I thought to myself, “what an engineer”.

Quinn = Howard won the open category this year and his narrative talked about the inspiration = for his bridge being his grandfather, Al Loewen, wh= o had a bridge in the ALL-CAN category for adults.

As wel= l, I would like to mention young Shale Davis, who came fourth in the open category. Sh= ale could have entered the grade 3-5 category and would have actually taken it home, but he chose to open the open category and came fourth. It was pretty impressive.

Winnin= g the ALL-CAN category was young Anya Bellon and her = dad Michael. Their bridge was the lightest, strongest bridge in the competition= . It didn’t take the most weight to break, but given that it was a much lighter bridge than many, it won overall. They made dental floss cables that were super strong under tension. They were nearly as thick as my pinky. It = was truly a cable. Anya, it turns out, was one of two young students who won the draw to be our engineers of the future. She and Sophie got to break the very first bridge of the day.

On beh= alf of all members of the Legislature, I would like to congratulate all of the competi= tors — young and old. Thanks for letting us break your bridges. Thanks for your commitment to lifelong learning and problem-solving. Thanks for design= ing and building a better world. To Engineers Yukon, parents, teachers and Yukon College and all of the Ministers of Education over the past 25 years, thank= you so much for 25 years of inspiration.

Applause

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Speaker: Int= roduction of visitors.

Introduction of Visitors

Mr. Gallina: We have Robin Fairburn’s grade 6 class with us today, who just returned = from muskrat camp and shared exciting stories with me about their adventures just outside of Beaver Creek. They’re here with us today and I will take a moment to recognize them. I would ask that members join me in welcoming the= m. We have Malaki Alatini, Natal= ey Anderson, Nicholas Balderas, Seqoya Bayne, Diego Chi= ef, Anthony Coad-Lenz, Monica Dawson, Kayoni D= ickson-Camilleri, Kaylee Fortier, Jakob Gate= nsby, Samara Jacob, Kiawna Leas, Emma Menzi, Kayden Smith, Madison Sutherland and Louis Thompson. With us also are: Robin Fairburn, their teacher; their educational assistant, Kristy Knutson; and t= heir principal, Jim Complak.

Welcom= e.

Applause

 

Hon. Mr. Streicker: I would like to welcome three guests to the Legislature= today who have helped out or will be helping out with the bridge building competition: first of all, Ben Malone, who always does our data entry and g= ets the results for us there; Tim Green, who has been going around to all of our schools over many years to talk to the students about engineering principle= s, who gets students excited about the bridge building competition, and who organized I think overall the bridge building competition this year; and Michael Ross from Yukon College and the research centre, who I think is planning to organize the competition for the 26th annual competi= tion — if we could welcome them.

Applause

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Hon. Ms. McPhee: I ask my colleagues to join me in welcoming today to the House= our Officer of the Legislative Assembly, Diane McLeod-McKay, who is the Yukon Ombudsman and Information and Privacy Commissioner and the commissioner in charge of the whistle-blower legislation, for lack of a better term. Welcome and thank you for being here.

Applause

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Speaker: Are= there any further introductions of visitors?

Tabling returns and documents.

Tabling Returns and Documents

Speaker: Und= er tabling of returns and documents, the Chair has for tabling the following annual reports: the 2017 annual report of the Ombudsman, which is tabled pursuant to section 31 of the Ombudsman Act; the 2017 annual report of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, which is tabled pursuant to section 47 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and the 2017 annual report of the Public Interest Disclosu= re Commissioner, which is tabled pursuant to section 43 of the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoi= ng Act.

Finall= y, the Chair also has for tabling the Yukon Human Rights Commission 2016-17 annual= report, which is tabled pursuant to section 18 of the = Human Rights Act.

I woul= d also join the Government House Leader in welcoming Diane McLeod-McKay to the Hou= se today. Thank you for your hard work on these three different departments and commissions.

Applause

 

Hon. Mr. Streicker: <= span lang=3DEN-CA>I have for tabling a legislative return in response to questio= ns during budget debate regarding increases in funding to community libraries.=

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

Are th= ere any reports of committees?

Are th= ere any petitions?

Are th= ere any bills to be introduced?

Are th= ere any notices of motions?

Notices of Motions

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

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to take advantage of the accessibility of the= old library building adjacent to the Legislative Assembly to:

(1) consider relocating government services that would ben= efit from greater accessibility, such as non-insured health benefits and vital statistics; and

(2) determine the adequacy of the space for a government-r= un daycare.

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Speaker: Are= there any further notices of motions?

Is the= re a statement by a minister?

This t= hen brings us to Question Period.

QUESTION PERIOD

Question re: Carbon tax

Mr. Cathers: We’re 30 percent of the way through the Liberal mandate and the Premier still won’t tell Yukoners the full impacts of the carbon tax scheme that the government signed on to. Two weeks ago, he tried to deflect from this by releasing some information to Yukoners. The problem is that the information= , by the government’s own admission, was already about a year out of date, missing lots of detail and flawed.

In the= documents released by government, we learned that this will be a $26‑million an= nual tax on Yukoners, but when asked about this new $26‑million carbon tax last week, the Premier made an interesting claim. He claims that when government rebates the money back, it will actually grow the economy.

Does t= he Premier actually expect Yukoners to believe that he can take $26 million out of the Yukon economy, subtract the cost of administration of bureaucracy, redistribute what is left over to others through a rebate, and somehow grow= the economy?

Hon. Mr. Silver: What I am saying is that carbon pricing is a proven, cost-effe= ctive way to reduce emissions, fosters innovation for low-carbon alternatives, and provides certainty to business as well. It is only one action, of course, t= hat we are taking to address the complex challenges of the changing climate.

We do = support a nationwide price on carbon emissions, which the federal government has announced and which would come into effect on January 1, 2019. The federal government completed a study of what potential impacts carbon pricing may h= ave in the Yukon. It estimated that carbon pricing will reduce the territory’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5.5 percent by 20= 22.

So we = did have a four-pager that went along with the federal government’s review of Yukon-specific carbon pricing. We had some problems with the number, in tha= t a lot of these numbers did not consider the results of a rebate back to Yukon= ers and Yukon businesses. We are, like the Opposition, interested in knowing mo= re from Ottawa. As more information comes in and gets readily available, we wi= ll absolutely make it accessible to Yukoners.

Mr. Cathers: Mr. Speaker, I have to remind the Premier that he works for Yukoners; he doesn’t w= ork for Ottawa. We have heard a non-answer, effectively being told to trust the magic of carbon pricing. The Premier still will not tell us the details. Wh= en he says that Yukoners will get everything back, he fails to mention that not every Yukoner will get their money back, and the government still hasn̵= 7;t told us who will receive rebates and who won’t.

Their = rebate concept seems to be taking money away from one person, subtracting the cost= of bureaucracy and giving what’s left over to another person. Somehow in this redistribution of wealth, the Premier wants Yukoners to believe that it will grow the economy at the same time, but he won’t tell us how. You can’t simply take a dollar away from Peter, give that dollar to Paul = and call it economic growth.

The an= alysis of the impacts of the Premier’s new $26‑million tax scheme suggests that an average home in Old Crow is going to pay an extra $1,275 per year. = Can the Premier tell us how having citizens of Old Crow pay an extra $1,275 per year in taxes is going to do anything but make life more difficult?<= /p>

Hon. Mr. Silver: We do work for the taxpayers of Yukon. Sometimes I wonder if t= he member opposite works for the Government of Saskatchewan. But, at the same time, we believe that there is an awful lot of important information that w= as missed in the federal review that came out, and that is what we are making = sure that Yukoners are aware of. The most important piece of this is a study sho= wing the effect on things like the transportation sector — and also taking= a look at making sure that we have a commitment to Yukoners when those revenu= es received from Canada are returned to Yukoners through those rebates, and th= at Yukoners and Yukon industries are not disadvantaged when compared to indust= ries in other jurisdictions.

We hav= e been very consistent with our information on this. Again, as the Yukon Party tri= es to confuse us as to whose pricing mechanism this is, we are waiting for information from Ottawa. I am not sure who else he expects us to be waiting= for information from, but we have been very clear in making it known to Ottawa through the pan-Canadian framework that the previous government signed on t= o, which in effect does create carbon-pricing mechanisms here, and we support that.

We bel= ieve that this is the most cost-effective method of dealing with man-made climate cha= nge. We believe that industry believes that as well, and the federal government = is committed to making sure that this happens.

With t= his study that came out, we did have problems with the numbers in that it didn’t include the rebate part, but I will save some of that for the last supplementary answer.

Mr. Cathers: During the election, the Premier and the rest of his Cabinet went door to door tel= ling Yukoners not to worry — that they would get everything back from the carbon tax — but we are 30 percent of the way through the Liberal mandate and we still have no details from them on how their supposed rebate= is going to work.

Based = on the little information that they have released, it seems that the Liberal government plans to redistribute the tax to certain people, while leaving others out in the cold. The cost per household of the tax will be highest in Old Crow but, according to their own documents, the tax bill per household = in the rest of the Yukon will be as high $1,110 for some families.

Can th= e Premier tell us how Yukon families who pay an extra $1,110 per year due to the carb= on tax are supposed to be better off as a result of the Liberal carbon tax? How does he expect the economy to grow while the Liberals reach deeper into the pockets of Yukon families?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, it’s really hard to watch the economy = grow when we’re paying for the results of climate change, such as forest f= ires and climatic episodes that have been happening based upon man-made climate change.

The me= mbers opposite like to confuse issues. There are two parts to this cost: indirect costs and direct costs. Yukoners are already feeling the indirect costs. The four hubs from which we get our groceries — Ontario, Quebec, Alberta = and British Columbia — already have a carbon-pricing mechanism in place, = so we’re already paying for those indirect costs when the member opposite quotes these thousands of dollars that he keeps overinflating — I bel= ieve that the first cost that he started with was $800, and now it’s up to over $1,000.

There = also is a direct cost. That direct cost is going to come from when, in January 2019, = this will be a cost at the pumps here, but again the members opposite are refusi= ng to admit, remember or realize — I’m not sure which one it is — that 100 percent of that money is going back to Yukon business= es and Yukon individuals.

We wil= l be reaching out and working with the chamber of commerce with those direct cos= ts — those indirect costs that you are already feeling. So if you are looking to see where people are confused, it is probably because of the narrative that is being spun over here by the Yukon Party.

Question re: YESAA process

Mr. Hassard: I have some questions for the Premier regarding the environmental assessment process.

On Mar= ch 16 of last year, the Premier promised in a press release — and I quote: “… to address industry concerns around timelines and re-assessm= ents through a collaborative framework.”

The Pr= emier told us last year that the federal Bill C-17 needed to be in place first, althou= gh he failed to mention that to industry or in his news release. Mr. Speaker, Bill C-17 was passed last fall, so can the Premier tell us when the collaborative framework will be announced?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the question from the member opposite. Of course, the repeal of the controversial amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and adoption of the YESAA reset MOU have demonstrated a genuine commitment to improve relations and to create opportunities to disc= uss and to make progress on some very long-standing issues here in the Yukon. <= /span>

The Go= vernment of Canada, the Council of Yukon First Nations, the Yukon First Nations and = the Government of Yukon have met to define how the oversight group shall be set= up under the MOU and to build a priority list of topics for the group to consider. T= he parties to the MOU recently met as well with industry groups as we continue this dialogue to discuss the MOU and the oversight group. We are encouraged= by their support. While industry is ready to work with us, they are also aware that it does take some time to address these concerns on the issue of minor amendments and renewals.

First = Nations who are not party to the MOU will also be invited to contribute to the oversight group’s discussions directly as well, and we look forward to continuing that narrative.

We do = reach out — and I want to say thank you to industry for their patience. They kn= ow that this is a problem we had to solve, and they also knew that we had to s= peak government-to-government first before we can move forward. We had a great conversation at Roundup. We will continue that conversation with industry a= nd First Nation chiefs as we move forward.

Mr. Hassard: I am not sure if the Premier noticed, but I asked when = the framework would be in place.

Earlie= r this year, the Government of Canada announced sweeping changes to its environmen= tal assessment processes south of 60. The federal Environment and Climate Change minister was quoted as saying: “The new agency will have set timelines for the review of projects — a maximum of 300 days … so that th= ey can be carried out in a ‘timely manner’.”

Yukon&= #8217;s process requires the YESA board to set timelines for projects in its rules. According to the information on YESAB’s website, it could be as long = as 648 days of board time before a recommendation is sent to a decision body o= n an executive committee screening. All of this is before the Water Board process starts.

Does t= he Premier believe that we should have the same timelines for project assessments in t= he Yukon as they do in other jurisdictions? If so, will he instruct his offici= als to begin working with all parties to address this?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Thank you very much to the opposition for the question.= I appreciate that they do support mining in the Yukon, but again, this meeting with industry took place on April 11. We are having these meetings as quick= ly as we possibly can, knowing full well that we must meet government-to-government to solve an issue that was created by the Yukon Pa= rty when it comes to Bill S-6 turning into Bill C-17.

We kno= w that they want to see the relationship repaired. We know that they want us to be able to move forward but, again, we have been waiting for years for this as well. We waited as the previous government spoke with Ottawa without the Fi= rst Nations being involved, and that is why we are here in this position to beg= in with.

We are= very encouraged by the initial conversations with industry. We haven’t finished with the government-to-government conversations, but we are very pleased that the chiefs are very understanding. We had a fantastic conversa= tion about these issues — about Bill S-6 — with all of the chiefs and industry representatives at Roundup, and we are continuing that good work. =

If the= re are going to be announcements on this, nobody is more willing to tell about tho= se announcements than the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources or this team= or me, because it is very important work and we want to get this right. Someti= mes we get chagrin from the opposition about not enough consultation and then t= oo much consultation. I am not sure where this one lies, but I will assure the members opposite that we are working expeditiously on this file.

Mr. Hassard: It’s interesting that it took 13 months for the government to hold a one-hour meeting.

Canada= has also stated that all projects currently under review south of 60 will be assessed under previous acts and agencies, essentially grandfathering projects that = are already in the process. Bill C-17, however, does not allow for the grandfathering of projects, so even if a project started under the old timelines, it’s now subject to the new timelines.

We rai= sed this in the House as an issue of procedural fairness, but the government failed = to act on it. Given that Canada is allowing grandfathering of projects south of 60, why didn’t the Premier ask for this to be included in the Yukon as well?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I take offence to the preamble= to that question. There is only one group of people who failed on this, and they’re sitting right across from me. What has happened is that this = has set us back years and years in our relationship with our First Nation governments. They can spin and they can turn, but the reality is that we’re cleaning up a mess that was left behind. They know it. We know = it. Everybody in this Legislative Assembly knows it. Industry knows it. That is what we’re cleaning up.

So at = this particular point, we’re not going to take advice from the opposition because we’ve taken our own path when it comes to resource developmen= t. What has happened is that we doubled the numbers last year of money coming = into the Yukon. The projections are to triple the numbers. We have projects movi= ng forward. We’re not spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawsu= its.

So we&= #8217;ll go down the path that we believe is the appropriate path, which takes into consideration respect for both industry and First Nations — not having two separate discussions, which is what led to the problems that we’re talking about today. Does it take a long time to recoup from what had happe= ned? Absolutely, it does.

I woul= d think that they would learn from what was done previously and they would take ano= ther path — but you know what? It’s very clear, as they holler “shame” across the way, that there are two distinct routes on h= ow we’ll see mineral development: the one they used to have, which they’ll keep on, and the way we’re going.

Question re: Lobbying legislation

Ms. Hanson: Yukon is one of the last remaining Canadian jurisdictions without any lobbying legislation. My predecessor, Todd Hardy, repeatedly brought up this issue, = and it has been an honour to carry on his legacy in advocating for greater transparency in the way government is run.

Lobbyi= ng is a legitimate activity but, when it happens in secret, it erodes the public’s trust. Yukoners want to know who has the ear of their govern= ment and, quite frankly, they have the right to know. A lobbyist registry would allow the public to know who is engaging with their government and what mat= ters are being discussed. Will the Premier confirm that Yukon needs lobbying legislation?

Hon. Mr. Silver: I’m a little bit confused by the question in that we have always supported registration for lobbyists in order for citizens to have confidence in government decisions. They need to know who is meeting with w= hom, as far as the public officials, for the purpose of influencing those decisi= ons. So we are committed to making interactions between lobbyists and elected or public officials more transparent. We are reviewing the experience of other jurisdictions to examine the effectiveness of options for Yukon to move forward. There are a couple of different questions that we’re moving forward on right now as far as scale and as far as oversight.

We are absolutely moving forward with this legislation.

Ms. Hanson: It is positive to hear the Premier reassert that because, as he said last week= , we will get a lobbyist registration moving forward here in the Yukon. <= /p>

We hav= e heard the Premier say that his government has already started the work of reviewi= ng the way other jurisdictions approach lobbying, in order to find a way that would work in the Yukon. We know that lobbying legislation is long overdue = in Yukon. It has been raised in this House for nearly a decade and the Conflic= t of Interest Commissioner has repeatedly pointed out the need for more transpar= ency when it comes to lobbying.

Can th= e Premier tell Yukoners when his government will bring forward lobbying legislation?<= /span>

Hon. Mr. Silver: I guess it comes down to when we’re ready to have that legislation move forward. It is not something that you can just say you wan= t, and then make it so. We have pressures for legislation for every session. We’re contemplating trying to get this done as quickly as we possibly= can because, as the member opposite knows, Yukon is one of a small number of jurisdictions in Canada left that does not have the lobbyist registration. = Out of the provinces, only Prince Edward Island and the three territories don’t have that legislation. Prince Edward Island is moving it through right now and is, I believe, awaiting royal assent as we speak here today.<= /span>

Again,= the registry of meetings that could give the public a better idea of who consul= ts and also what non-government organizations are working on and working for, = who in the government is working with these NGOs and when and why the people are working for Outside companies — again, all very legitimate questions = that taxpayers should know and should have the answers to when we are spending taxpayers’ money.

I wish= that I could give the opposition a concrete answer as to the specific date. We’re trying to get it done as soon as we possibly can and I will give credit to the opposition. I know that the NDP, as far as is in my notes, in 2014 put a private member’s bill forward for lobbyist registration, s= o we know that they are interested in it. We are as well. It will be interesting= to see what the opposition thinks.

Ms. Hanson: The Premier is good at saying the right things about lobbying legislation, but = just like electoral reform and political financing, we have yet to see any concr= ete action on the part of this government. But rather than give the Premier a h= ard time on this, I would offer some assistance. As the Premier mentioned, I ta= bled a bill in 2014 that would create a Yukon lobbying registry. The bill was praised by Guy Journeau, one of CanadaR= 17;s top lobbying experts, who said that our bill would be one of the strongest = of its kind in the country. I should also point out that Mr. Journeau is a prominent Conservative figure, so this = issue is clearly not partisan.

I will= be tabling a similar bill at the beginning of the Fall Legislative Sitting. If= the Premier’s research shows that it should be modified, we would be happ= y to work with him to come to a compromise. Is the Premier willing to work with opposition parties over the summer months with a view to passing lobbying legislation this fall?

Hon. Mr. Silver: We’re always willing to work with the opposition members= . It doesn’t matter if it’s lobbying legislation or carbon pricing, or you name it. We’re willing to work = with them for sure.

I gues= s I got a sideways compliment in saying the right words, but again, I would remind the member opposite that there are seven more sessions of the Legislature ̵= 2; the 34th Legislature — left in our mandate. I’m not saying that we want a delay on this — again, we are working as quickl= y as possible, but again, we would be criticized by the opposition if we went forward ham-fistedly with any legislation, so we are making sure that we do= our due diligence internally and that is what we’re doing right now.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Silver: Again, we are reviewing the experiences of other jurisdictions.

The me= mber opposite can ask me more questions, as opposed to talking over me when I am giving her answers. We will continue to do this work because this is the go= od work that we are supposed to be doing in government — to examine the effectiveness of other jurisdictions and to make sure that we have a lobbyi= st registration that works for Yukoners.

Question re: Indigenous women’s equality fund

Ms. White: The Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council, Liard Aboriginal Women’s Soci= ety and the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle sent a letter to the Pre= mier and the Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate expressing t= heir concerns about changes in funding for indigenous women’s organization= s, which I have for tabling.

In the= letter, the councils indicated that decisions have been made without consultation or discussion with their organizations — and I quote: “This is indicative of a colonial, racist approach that has historically characteriz= ed government-Indigenous relationships.” Those are harsh words from organizations doing impactful, grassroots equality and anti-violence work t= hat represent indigenous women.

How is= this government addressing the inadequate core funding provided to these aborigi= nal women’s organizations?

Hon. Ms. Dendys: I thank the member opposite for her question. As Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate, I absolutely honour the work= that our indigenous women’s groups do on behalf of all Yukoners. I honour = all of the women’s groups and equality-seeking groups that do work on beh= alf of all Yukoners.

I am a= ware of the letter. We discussed it with the member opposite during our budget deba= te, and I assured the member opposite that I am absolutely working with the indigenous women’s groups to resolve the issue at hand. I have met wi= th them once. I have another meeting set with them on the 23rd of t= his month. I have reached out to our federal partners to potentially match some= of the funding that we are putting forward.

We have established a new indigenous women’s equality fund that will see $253= ,000 go directly to the three indigenous women’s groups that we have in Yu= kon, and we are working with our federal partners right now to potentially match some of those dollars as a backstop as we work toward the National Inquiry = into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and identify further priori= ties for this territory.

Ms. White: One of the aboriginal women’s organizations is now getting less money than they received last year. In their letter to the minister, they cite the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action — and, in particular, that all levels of government commit to the imp= lementation of the United Nations Declaration o= n the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and specifically calls on all levels of government, in collaboration with aboriginal people, to create adequately funded and accessible programs for aboriginal victims of violence.

Inadeq= uate funding does not allow these organizations to focus on their main goal of reducing violence against aboriginal women. What is this government doing to address this funding shortfall?

Hon. Ms. Dendys: Thank you for the supplementary question. I have just stated t= hat we have established a new indigenous women’s equality fund that will see $253,000 go directly to our three indigenous women’s groups. I am painfully aware that our organizations across the Yukon do work on behalf of all Yukoners with limited resources. We have established a new fund that was long overdue, and we are proud that we are able to provide this funding to = our indigenous women’s groups.

WeR= 17;re continuing to work with our federal partners to leverage some of the money = that we’ve been able to put forward with their partnership. We’ll continue to work with our indigenous women’s groups. As I’ve stated, I met with them once since this matter came to light. I’ll be meeting with them again on the 23rd of this month. We’ll c= ontinue to work with them to find options and ways forward.

I am a= bsolutely committed, as the Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate, to work with our indigenous women’s groups, and all of our women’s groups and equality-seeking groups to find solutions to resource issues that they may have. I assure this House that I’ll continue that good work = on behalf of all Yukoners.

Ms. White: Part of that problem was that this new fund was created without the collaboratio= n of the three groups that I have mentioned. In the letter, the members of the aboriginal women’s organizations go on to request two changes to their agreements with this government. The first is an increase in core funding f= or indigenous women’s organizations, and the second is that any future changes to funding only be done in consultation with the organizations that= the changes will impact.

The ab= original women’s organizations go as far as refusing the Yukon government fund= ing for the upcoming year, saying — and I quote: “… accepting your current funding offer would only have us acquiesci= ng the colonial treatment of Indigenous Women in the Yukon.”

So can= the minister confirm whether or not a funding agreement has been reached for the upcoming year with the Yukon aboriginal women’s organizations?=

Hon. Ms. Dendys: Again, we have established a new indigenous women’s equa= lity fund. What we have done is taken one-time funding that was in place over previous years of $150,000. We have put that into a new indigenous women’s equality fund. We have taken $80,000 from the women’s equality fund. We have added to that. We have increased to meet that shortf= all, which was a discrepancy that we identified as we were establishing this fun= d to bring it up to $253,000, which is now core fundi= ng for these three indigenous women’s groups.

We are continuing to work with our federal partners to look for other funding opti= ons. I’m working very closely with these women’s organizations to resolve the issues. I did have discussions with members from these three organizations as we were reviewing the funding. I stated this — and I will say it again — during the debate on the Women’s Directorate budget: I did not meet with them just prior to establishing this fund, but we’re meeting with them now and I’m confident.

Question re: Children in care

Ms. McLeod: Last week, it was reported that a government whistle-blower was let go as a resu= lt of raising concerns about government-run group homes. Earlier this Sitting,= the Minister of Highways and Public Works told this House that any public serva= nt who had concerns should bring them forward to his or his colleague’s attention.

Just t= o quote the minister, he said: “I want to say it again: Please, if you have concerns, bring them to our attention so that they can be dealt with.”= ;

Can th= e minister tell us what his government will do to protect anyone who actually does come forward? Just to clarify, I’m not asking for the process of coming forward but, after someone has come forward with concerns, what will the government do to protect them?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Again, this is tremendous and I really thank the member opposi= te, the Member for Watson Lake, for the opportunity to talk about it this after= noon again, because there has been a long silence in this government about this legislation that was passed in 2014 with the unanimous consent of this Hous= e, and then utter silence — nothing, no talk at all about it with some exception to the Third Party that was then the Official Opposition — absolutely no talk at all. So I’m talking now and this government is talking now, and we have the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner in the House today and I’m glad she’s here.

The fa= ct is that we have legislation in place to protect people who come forward with significant issues of wrongdoing. They can come forward to their supervisor, they can come forward to their deputy, they can come forward to the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner, and they can say to those people, “I have something I would like to disclose.” As soon as they do that, th= ey will be led through the process, and the legislation itself provides protections for those employees who come forward to actually make sure that there are no reprisals.

Ms. McLeod: We have asked the Minister of Health and Social Services several times to expl= ain whether or not an internal review was conducted as a result of serious allegations of abuse that she became aware of over two months ago. Over the course of the last two weeks, the minister has given us several dozen diffe= rent and often contradictory responses. For example, let me just read three quot= es from the minister, all from March 21. First the minister said: “We ha= ve taken a review of the group homes.” Then the minister said: “We= are looking at doing an internal review.” Finally, she said that we are n= ot doing an internal review of ourselves. That was all on the same day, and it’s becoming clear that the minister does not have a handle on what = is happening in her own department.

On Fri= day, we did learn from the deputy minister that the government is doing an internal review of all complaints over the last three years. Can the minister tell u= s if this internal review was launched before or after she had learned of the specific allegations reported to have come forward in mid-February?<= /p>

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I don’t know what that question was. It sounded like a n= ew question to me but we were talking about public interest disclosure of wrongdoing and so I’m happy to keep talking about that this afternoon= . I don’t think it has had enough conversation in the last little while a= nd I think it deserves a little bit more.

To the= member opposite’s questions about how things are going and how we protect our civil servants, our hardworking professional civil servants, I can tell this House that we have had a lot of outreach from many individuals in light of = the events of the last couple of weeks and we’re seeing people come forwa= rd now with their concerns to us, to our deputies, to our managers — and= it gladdens my heart to see that courage from our public servants to come forw= ard and actually start this discussion in an open and honest way.

These = are early days, Mr. Speaker. Trust is earned; it is not just given. We are worki= ng very hard to try to establish that trust and to make sure that people have = the confidence to come forward and bring their concerns forward to their supervisors, to their deputies, to the Public Interest Disclosure Commissio= ner, and make sure that they concerns are heard. We are talking about — in this case — children in care, but there are several other issues that need to be addressed, and I think that is going to happen soon.

Ms. McLeod: Just to connect the dots for the minister opposite, we are talking about group h= omes in Yukon. We did not get a response to the last question so we still don’t know whether an internal review is happening or if it is not happening. If there is an internal review that the deputy minister spoke ab= out, will it be made public?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would be happy to speak on the issue around the alleg= ations — multiple questions, of course, but specifically around the allegati= ons that were brought forward and the concrete actions that have been taken. We have made it quite clear that, on the actions with respect to an internal review by the government and by the department, we have multiple things happening, as the member opposite knows. We have raised it here in the Legislative Assembly numerous times. We have an external review by the Child and Youth Advocate office. We are also looking at the 2014 Auditor General’s report on group homes. We are looking at the recommendations and assessing that. We are also looking at the incidents and the outcomes. Those things are being analyzed and categorized by theme to ensure that we address some of the systemic concerns that have been brought forward by the numerous reports and the allegations.

Over t= he last six months, we have done a lot to improve — to really look at improvi= ng the services through the transitional support team. We have ensured that al= l of our staff are competent and well trained, and th= at we have addressed fundamental core training for all of the staff. We will cont= inue to case manage as it comes forward, and we encourage everyone to participat= e.

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Speaker: The time for Question Period has elapsed.

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

Orders of the Day

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

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

Motion agreed to

 

Speaker leaves the Chair

Committee of the Whole

Chair (Mr. Hutton): I will now call Committee of the Whole to order.=

Motion re appearance of witnesses

Committee of the Whole Mo= tion No. 4

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I move:

THAT f= rom 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16, 2018, Joanne Fa= irlie, chair of the Yukon Development Corporation Board of Directors, Justin Ferbey, president and chief executive officer of the = Yukon Development Corporation, Lesley Cabott, chair o= f the Yukon Energy Corporation Board of Directors, and Andrew Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Yukon Energy Corporation appear as witnesses before Committee of the Whole to discuss matters relating to the Yukon Development Corporation and Yukon Energy Corporation.

Chair: It is= moved by Mr. Pillai:

THAT f= rom 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16, 2018, Joanne Fa= irlie, chair of the Yukon Development Corporation Board of Directors, Justin Ferbey, president and chief executive officer of the = Yukon Development Corporation, Lesley Cabott, chair o= f the Yukon Energy Corporation Board of Directors, and Andrew Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Yukon Energy Corporation appear as witnesses before Committee of the Whole to discuss matters relating to the Yukon Development Corporation and Yukon Energy Corporation.

Committee of the Whole Motion No. 4 agreed = to

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Chair: The m= atter now before the Committee is general debate on Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, in Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19.

Do mem= bers wish to take a brief recess?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

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

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Recess

 

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

Bill No. 206: First Appropriation A= ct 2018‑19 — continued

Chair: The matter before the Committee is general debate on Vo= te 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, in Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19.

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Yukon Housing Corporation =

Hon. Ms. Frost: As Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporati= on, I rise today to present the 2018‑19 capital and operation and maintenan= ce budgets for the corporation. Before I begin my address, I would like to introduce the officials who will assist me today: Pamela Hine, = president of Yukon Housing Corporation and Luzelle Nagel, manager of finance for Yukon Hous= ing Corporation.

Our go= vernment is fully committed to the ongoing implementation of the Yukon housing action plan for Yukon. This plan is based on a holistic approach to the housing continuum and embraces three fundamental pillars: housing with services, re= ntal accommodations and home ownership.

For th= e next few minutes, I would like to present, through this budget, the Yukon Housing Corporation’s pivotal role in championing the Yukon Housing action pl= an. Housing with services is a distinct foundation pillar, since it integrates support specifically designed to help an individual or family, who are then supported with appropriate housing.

The bu= dget contains $2.7 million in funding so that Yukon Housing Corporation can construct a 16-unit Housing First building to address homelessness in Whitehorse. Utilizing our one-government approach, the Department of Health= and Social Services will be developing service delivery for future tenants of t= his building. Through the Housing First model, our government is addressing a r= eal and serious need within Yukon’s housing continuum. We will be providi= ng housing with services to our most vulnerable population, who are in the greatest need.

When i= t comes to the second pillar of the housing action plan — rental accommodation — the Yukon Housing Corporation operates 869 social and staff housing units in 14 Yukon communities. As such, we have a significant housing portf= olio to maintain, as well as increasing demand for new housing.

In add= ition to its $900,000 budget for renovation and rehabilitation of social housing, the Yukon Housing Corporation will receive approximately $1.4 million in n= ew funding this year to initiate energy-efficiency retrofits. Funding for this= new initiative is cost shared between Canada and Yukon. For those social housing units receiving those energy-efficiency retrofits, there is an anticipated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs. Projects will occur in many Yukon communities, which in turn will provide employment and economic opportunities.

Yukon = Housing Corporation operates 169 staff housing units in 13 Yukon communities. In addition to its $900,000 budget for renovation and rehabilitation of staff housing, this budget contains $523,000 for energy-efficiency retrofits to s= taff housing.

In Car= macks we are moving forward with the construction of two seniors’ duplexes. Th= ese units will be energy efficient and will be fully accessible to enhance opportunities for aging in place. This budget contains $1.2 million for this worthwhile project, enabling seniors to remain in their communities, w= hich is vital to healthy and ongoing community sustainability.

Yukon = Housing Corporation is continuing to re-profile single, detached homes into duplexe= s. This provides the opportunity to upgrade the buildings, while simultaneously increasing our housing portfolio. This budget contains $600,000 for social housing conversions.

Priori= ties will be given to projects that support aging in place within the communities and $600,000 for staff housing unit conversions will support housing for mental health workers in rural Yukon.

Finall= y, this budget contains up to $6 million for additional affordable housing projects to reduce our social housing wait-lists and for third-party propos= als for affordable housing projects.

By inc= luding this funding in Yukon Housing Corporation’s main estimates, it provid= es us with flexibility in addressing affordable housing needs for Yukoners. I expect that throughout the coming fiscal year, announcements will be made regarding the construction of new rental units.

I am v= ery pleased to announce that this budget contains approximately $5 million= of funding for Yukon Housing Corporation asset management improvements as well= as up to $9.9 million for new construction. Successful implementation of = the housing action plan is also dependent on collaboration with partners —= ; in particular, with First Nations, municipal governments and the private secto= r.

A numb= er of programs and associated budgetary allocations are contained within Yukon Housing Corporation’s budget and are designed to maximize our collaboration and partnership opportunities. Our government has allocated $= 1.5 million to the First Nation housing partnership program, which enables First Nation= s to access grant funding for the construction of new units or the repair and upgrade of existing units. During the 2017‑18 fiscal year, both the Kluane First Nation and the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation were approv= ed for funding under our First Nation housing partnership program. We look for= ward to working with other First Nations on project proposals and capital contributions to housing solutions.

Again,= this year, we’re providing Yukon Housing Corporation with $1.45 milli= on so that they may continue to offer the affordable rural rental construction program. This program offers a grant of up to $50,000 per affordable rental unit constructed, to a maximum of $500,000 per project. This program aligns itself well with the municipal matching rental construction grant program, which is available in multiple Yukon communities following the implementati= on of the municipal incentives. The budget for this program is $1 million with respect to both the rental and home ownership pillars of the Yukon hou= sing action plan.

I am p= leased to confirm the implementation of a new program while continuing to offer Yukon= ers access to program funding so that they may purchase or repair their home. T= his new program is called the developer build loan program and is designed to p= rovide interim construction financing to small and medium developers so that they = may construct new modest units for rent or homes for sale. The budget for this = new program is $2 million, which is fully recoverable.

The fi= rst mortgage program will have a budget allocation of $4 million, the down payment assistance program, $500,000 and the homeowner build progr= am, $1.25 million. As such, there is almost $6 million available to potential new renters and homeowners.

In add= ition, we are offering the home repair program, which has a budget of $1.7 milli= on, so that homeowners can afford to make improvements, important repairs and upgrades to their homes. Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited= to structural, electrical, heating, accessibility features and energy efficien= cy. We are working with Yukoners to provide affordable options for critical home repairs and enhancements that allow them to age in place.

In sum= mation, our government supports the attainment of the three pillars in the housing action plan. This budget specifically addresses identified needs contained = in the housing action plan and we are funding programs and services that will support housing with services, rental accommodation and home ownership.

We are= funding programs and services which will support housing with services, rental accommodation and home ownership. I would like to provide members with a mo= re comprehensive line-by-line explanation of the Yukon Housing CorporationR= 17;s expenditures and recoveries.

For 20= 18‑19, the total operation and maintenance expenditure of $19.5 million has b= een allocated to providing housing services to Yukon residents. An additional $= 30.8 million has been allocated for capital outlays to assist Yukoners in meeting their housing needs.

For 20= 18‑19, the total rental revenue and operation and maintenance recoveries are estim= ated to be $12.5 million, including recoveries from third parties and from = the federal government. The capital recoveries are estimated to be $12.9 m= illion. We also have $9.3 million in recoveries from loan programs. Although recoveries from loan programs are recognized in the current fiscal year, the cash flow is only recovered over the life of the loan term or earlier upon discharge.

For 20= 18‑19, the net grant receivable from Yukon territorial government is estimated to = be $15.7 million. With respect to the operation and maintenance expenditu= res in 2018‑19, we have $1.4 million, which has been allocated for t= he Executive branch, which includes the president and vice-president’s offices and support services.

Under = Corporate Services, we have $3.7 million allocated for the Corporate Services division, which consolidates the Finance, Systems and Administrations, Poli= cy and Communications and Human Resources branches. The total includes $655,000 for long-term debt payments.

Under = Tenant Management, we have $8.3 million allocated for the Housing Operations branch, which provides tenant relations services for social and staff housi= ng programs.

Under = Capital Development and Maintenance, we have $5 million allocated for Capital Development and Maintenance, which includes project management services on construction and capital upgrades and maintenance on housing units.<= /p>

Under = Community Partnering and Lending, we have $1.1 million allocated for the Communi= ty Partnering and Lending branch, which provides industry training and awarene= ss, housing partnerships as well as grants and loans and administration service= s.

The si= gnificant change in the operation and maintenance budget with the 2018‑19 total appropriation of $19.5 million is broken down as follows: we have an i= ncreased request of $42,000 for personal costs per the collective agreement, which is $13,000 for computer hardware, which is a transfer from capital; and $100,0= 00 to co-chair and host the federal-provincial-territorial meetings, which is recoverable from the provinces and territories. You will see a decreased am= ount of $100,000 for allowances for concessionary loans used for agreements with groups like Habitat for Humanity, and $92,000 for long-term debts reaching maturity.

Under = capital expenditures, Repair and Upgrade for the 2018‑19 year, we have $1.7&n= bsp;million allocated for the home repair loan program to assist eligible homeowners to= a maximum of $50,000 per repair to existing homes. We have $100,000 allocated= for potential subsidies to home repair loans and $600,000 allocated for forgiva= ble home repair loans.

Under = the home ownership program, we have the home first loans initiative — we have = $4 million which has been allocated for first mortgage loans, which are available to assist eligible Yukon residents to obtain home ownership. The maximum amoun= t of loan — now adjusted annually to market averages and is currently $428,000, with a minimum of 2.5‑percent down payment.

The do= wn payment assistance loan sees $500,000, = which has been allocated for this program which will assist eligible clients with their down payments.

We als= o have the owner build loan — in that budget, we have $1.25 million, which = has been allocated for owner build loans, which are eligible for Yukon resident= s to build or manage construction of their own projects. Additional O&M fund= ing is used to provide education and technical training programs for clients.

Commun= ity Partnering and Lending section — we have a municipal matching rental construction initiative. Under that initiative, we have $1 million, wh= ich has been allocated to the municipal matching rental construction program, a supply-side incentive to increase quality of purpose-built rental housing f= or apartments and secondary suites. We also have a developer build loan program and we see in there $2 million, which has been allocated toward construction financing for eligible Yukon developers building modest rental units or homes.

Invest= ments in affordable housing — we see $4.5 million, which has been allocat= ed for affordable housing programs, which is fully recoverable from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Of this, $1.4 million is for afforda= ble rental housing construction, $1.2 million for the emergency repair program, $1.5 million for First Nation partnership program, and $400,0= 00 for victims of violence program.

We hav= e a rental and secondary suites program — for 2018‑19, we have $525,000 wh= ich has been allocated under Rental and Secondary Suite Loan, which is availabl= e to assist eligible homeowners and private sector owners of rental accommodatio= ns to upgrade and build new rental units.

Northe= rn Housing Trust — we have $490,000 which has been allocated, with $250,000 in Rental Housing Allowances, and $240,000 toward Rural Projects.

We hav= e the Renovation and Rehabilitation Existing Stock &= #8212; we have $900,000 allocated to that for renovations and rehabilitation of social housing.

We hav= e Energy Retrofits which will see $1.4 million; under our Unit Conversions initiatives section, we have $600,000 which will see social housing units — addressing conversion from single-family dwelling to duplexes. We h= ave the section, Investment in Affordable Housing, which I’m sure I will cover with further questions.

Social= housing projects — under capital expenditures and staff housing, we will work toward retrofits and renovations — energy retrofits and conversions — which will see reduced costs in our overall budget, as well as ener= gy efficiencies and more housing units coming online in 2018‑19.<= /p>

We hav= e some prior year initiatives and projects that we will see through to this year — our various IT systems and our internal projects. We have revenues = and recoveries from the federal government. Clearly, we are looking at the fede= ral national housing mandate that we just signed off on. We are entering into negotiations with the federal government. We have various initiatives there that we’re hoping to pursue with respect to direct access to those initiatives that were recently announced and we will see that evolve through our direct bilateral negotiations. We just finished our territorial, federal and provincial meeting and we’re looking at a direct bilateral — initiating that in the very near future.

Invest= ment in affordable housing and third-party recoveries will see some recoveries from CMHC. I have gone through this in detail already, so I’ll not highlig= ht that, but the importance is the northern housing fund for which we have $2.= 4 million which is recovered from Canada in the northern funding agreement. This has = yet to be allocated, but we will see that in the budget.

We have low-carbon economy fund loan programs. We do have some initiatives around assisting seniors with the Housing First program, which is in collaboration with Yukon Housing Corporation and Health and Social Services. We will see = continued support around that collaborative effort. I think that as much as we can cooperate with our partners, we will see advancements in addressing some of= the challenges that we have seen historically in the Yukon around seniors’ homes, the housing industry, affordable housing and social housing — really looking at our partnerships as we move forward — and, of cours= e, we certainly want to look at enhancing our initiatives from previous years = in the municipal matching grant, home repair loans, and our continued investme= nts in affordable housing as well as social housing.

As a n= ote, we do want to look at our tangible assets, but we also want to look at resources — housing stocks that are, I guess, aging out of the system right now — that are 30-plus years old that we need to put resources and funding into to keep the stocks there for a longer period of time. So we are putting efforts there.

I just= would like, before I conclude my presentation, to thank the Housing Corporation B= oard of Directors for their dedicated time and for developing the five-year strategic plan. I know that they put a lot of effort into that and also wou= ld like to really acknowledge the former chair, Nelson Le= pine, for his efforts in guiding us and leading us through this last year with his leadership and, of course, his interest and background in social and afford= able housing.

Ms. Van Bibber: I too would like to welcome the departmental officials to this= House today.

In Que= stion Period, the Premier told us that there was $6.6 million allocated for affordable housing in this budget; however, the budget highlights say there= is only $6 million allocated.

Can th= e minister clarify which of those two numbers is accurate — the $6.6 million mentioned by the Premier or the $6 million mentioned in the budget highlights?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Thanks for the question. For clarity, I would like to just hig= hlight that we have, as noted by the Premier — he did indicate that we had in excess of $40 million allocated in the overall budget. I have highligh= ted some of the key areas around what we are doing through Yukon Housing Corporation — a very specific breakdown of the numbers, but I do want= to say that in our budget for this year in total we have $39.7 million invested in housing and new initiatives in Yukon.

We hav= e the social and affordable housing which is the $6 million that the Member = for Porter Creek North just highlighted. Of that, we also have allocated $2.7 f= or Housing First, which is the affordable housing initiative. We have the new = seniors social housing unit in Carmacks which is $1.2&= nbsp;million and we have the improvements and conversions from single units to duplexes = for $600,000. We’re also looking at converting staff housing from single units to duplexes as well and that’s another $600,000 allocated there= . In the energy retrofit and low-carbon fund under the social housing envelope, = we have $1.81 million. In the energy retrofit low-carbon fund for staff housing, we have $392,000 and then renovate and repair of existing stocks — those are more general repairs there — we have $900,000 alloc= ated to modernize and upgrade, renovate and repair staff housing.

The li= st goes on. We have our home repair loan program which is $1.7 million. We have energy retrofit again for $523,000 and, of course, there is the emergency repair initiative which sees $1.15 million. The municipal matching gra= nt is $1 million. The First Nations housing partnership is $1.5 mill= ion and affordable rental construction is $1.45 million. The total of that budget is just over $23 million, and then we have lot development and partnerships on lot development throughout the Yukon actually for another $= 16.8 million.

Ms. Van Bibber: That was a rundown that you had just given previously, but that’s fine.

Regard= ing the $6 million for affordable housing referenced in the budget highlights, can the minister provide a breakdown of where and how this money is being spent, and also is this all new money and programming that did not exist last year?

Hon. Ms. Frost: To the point, the $6 million is new funding, and the obje= ctive is for the corporation to reach out and seek new leveraging — additio= nal resources — and to find partners in the Yukon as well — through= out the Yukon.

We hav= e extended our investment in the affordable housing agreement with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and, for 2018‑19, they= are providing us with $2.4 million in the northern housing fund. Of course, we’re really working with our local housing partners, developers and = the NGO groups, as well as the private sector, and looking at capital grant incentives to leverage construction financing for more social and affordable housing throughout the Yukon. We know that there is a social housing wait-l= ist in the Yukon and some pressures in some key areas in the Yukon, so we really want to focus our efforts and energy there for quicker access and partnersh= ips for social and affordable housing units. We’re looking to also try to modernize some of the buildings we do have so that we can create more units throughout the Yukon.

Hopefu= lly that answers the question.

In fur= ther supporting affordable housing, we clearly want to look beyond the $6 m= illion and look at what the federal government has on its books. The federal government made an announcement and, through bilateral discussions, we will venture into our negotiations with them to seek and leverage additional resources.

Ms. Van Bibber: In your preamble, Minister, you gave a figure of $16-plus = ;million for lot development. Is this mainly in the Whistle Bend area? Which rural a= reas are also getting lot development in this coming year?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I’m going to go on a little bit about the need to work w= ith Yukon First Nations, given that in some of our communities — like May= o, for example — they have indicated that there are lot shortages. We recognize that there is a great need and we have worked with Yukon First Nations over the course of the last five years on a lease arrangement ̵= 2; land leasing arrangements — under the self-government agreement and g= iven opportunities for them to allow leasing of lands.

We kno= w that, under the self-government agreement, all of the lands acquired by Yukon Fir= st Nations under category A negotiations can never = be sold or leased because it is owned by the government, not by individuals. T= here was a need, and the First Nations are working really diligently to get that process initiated, and that is to look at lease opportunities within their communities. It is really important for us to work with our partners.

The ot= her note that I wanted to make is that the $16 million is allocated for Whistle Bend. There is $1.8 million for rural Yukon lot development. We have n= ot yet identified where that is. That will be defined by where we can find the lots in communities — like Mayo, for example. I know that Watson Lake= has identified shortages as well in terms of identifying readily available lots= to develop for affordable housing and social housing. It is very important tha= t we work with our partners.

Energy= , Mines and Resources is the lead on lot development in conjunction with Community Services on the services associated with those lots. What we attempt to do = is work through a one-government approach with our partners to address how we = can advance easy and quicker access to lot development within rural Yukon, recognizing that some communities are unincorporated, some communities are incorporated, and some communities are solely owned by the First Nations. T= hat means that we see pressures and we need to work with the partners there to identify some of the challenges to try to resolve that. This $1.8 mill= ion will hopefully allow us to do that.

Ms. Van Bibber: When a person is put on a wait-list for social housing, it is possible for their situation to change over the course of time that they ar= e on this wait-list. I understand that the wait-list fluctuates all over the pla= ce. They may move to an entirely different list altogether, depending on their = life situation — whether they have more children, whether they have current adequate housing or are couch surfing. Can the minister outline some exampl= es where the government would consider the movement of a person or a family to= a place higher on the priority list due to various life situations — ot= her than domestic violence?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With respect to the wait-list, I note that we have spoken abou= t this multiple times in the Legislature. We don’t have as many pressures in rural Yukon, but we see a lot of pressures in Whitehorse. We get a lot of o= ur residents coming from our communities to Whitehorse, so we are really worki= ng hard to identify that and to try to put the measures in place.

Part o= f what we have done is work with those who are in imminent need, as identified. If you are in a domestic violence situation, then we try to provide supported hous= ing and supports to get the families to the shelter they need. Really, it is ar= ound the severity of need for social housing. It is assessed by a system that has been there, I understand, for a very long time. I’m noting that it is= not the most efficient or fairest process. I am hearing that consistently, and = so the push this year is really to modernize that and look at getting the feedback, adjusting accordingly and looking at the factors that accompany t= he application.

Our vi= sion is really around the vulnerability of the clients. Right now we’re going= out on the point-in-time count in
Whitehorse to look at homelessness. I’m happy to say that I’m g= oing out this week with my DM and another Cabinet colleague to participate in th= at because it is important to see first-hand. In order to understand and work = on the challenges, you need to be there and participate.

We are= looking at modernizing our legislation, but we also recognize that there is a need = and we want to ensure that we address the needs. When we have clients coming in from rural Yukon who are, I guess, higher on the priority list — in t= hat they have medical disability and need to get into Whitehorse to be near the facilities — then they certainly would find their way to the top of t= he priority list, much like we would find in a domestic violence situation where that w= ould be the priority with Yukon Housing Corporation, of course, and with Health = and Social Services. There are initiatives that have been established through r= ent support and supplements that are there for the families to ensure that we provide them the housing that they need.

I beli= eve the question was also asked: Is housing a human right? Certainly, everyone has a right to affordable housing. Everyone has a right to housing, and we want to make sure we address that, no matter what situation comes before us in Yukon Housing Corporation. We also really need to focus a lot on making sure that= the clients stay in their communities and the shelters, and that the affordabil= ity is addressed in the communities.

Ms. Van Bibber: On that same note, there was a tender released in February for= the evaluation of the social housing program. This tender closed on March 13.

Can th= e minister please confirm the status of this tender and when we can expect a final rep= ort?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With respect to the report that will be concluded in June, it = will, I understand, be a public document that would be shared. The social housing tender is an evaluation that is required under CMHC. It is an initiative th= at they are doing; the proponent hired is doing the assessment, and the summat= ion of that will be made available in June.

Ms. Van Bibber: In December, the Yukon government announced funding in partner= ship with the Government of Canada to four Whitehorse organizations in order to = help victims of violence gain and maintain affordable housing. Can the minister expand on this announcement and, in particular, whether this funding will be provided beyond 2018, whether other organizations are able to apply for sim= ilar funding and whether rural Yukon organizations will be able to access fundin= g in the future?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The funding has been provided through CMHC historically. We ha= ve allocated in this year’s budget the $400,000 that I had mentioned ear= lier for this project. The objective is to ensure that, through our bilateral negotiations, we see that continue on in future years as there definitely i= s a need, but it also is essential that we work with the women’s groups — the three women’s organizations in Yukon — and, of cour= se, the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre and the other organizations to ensure that we provide in-time service and supports that are very much need= ed in the Yukon. This funding will allow for that to happen. I certainly want = to see it continue as well so we will ensure that we take that to future negotiations.

Ms. Van Bibber: I didn’t hear whether the rural Yukon organizations also= would be able to access similar funding.

Hon. Ms. Frost: The funding is an application-based funding initiative,= so if there are new projects or initiatives in the Yukon, they would go through t= he submission process.

Ms. Van Bibber: There is over $1.4 million listed in this year’s bu= dget for energy retrofits on social housing and also another $500,000 for retrof= its on staff housing. Can the minister please provide a breakdown of this amoun= t, where it is going to be spent, and what energy retrofits will be done? Can = the minister also provide further information about future plans for all Yukon housing buildings?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The Yukon Housing Corporation proposed projects for energy retrofits. We have a number of units, and I will provide that for the member opposite: in Carcross, we have two single units; in Carmacks, we have four;= in Dawson City, we have two single units and 16 duplexes; in Destruction Bay, there is one; in Faro, we have four units; in Haines Junction, there are fo= ur; Mayo will see five; in Old Crow, there are two duplexes; in Pelly Crossing, there is one; in Ross River, we will have five; in Teslin, there are two si= ngle and two duplexes; in Watson Lake, there are 10 duplexes; and in Whitehorse, there are 10 duplexes as well as nine triplexes.

I also= have a list of where those units are. I believe the member opposite wanted the lis= t so I can go through in detail where these are located and how much money is be= ing allocated to each one of those units. We have a total for the whole Yukon Housing Corporation project calculation for the energy retrofit initiative = for the total of 79 units. On the question with respect to energy retrofits for social and staff housing, we had $1.81 million. For staff housing, it = was $392,000. With regard to all Yukon Housing Corporation housing units in the future, I think the objective with the five-year strategic plan that the bo= ard of directors just went through is really to look at the long-term sustainability of our units. Also, we know that a lot of our units — = 60 percent, I understand — are over 30 years old, which means that there is not a= lot of life left in them, and we are seeing some major pressures. What we are trying to do is put resources into them to continue to sustain them for a longer period of time. They clearly have not seen the love they needed over= the course of years. We also want to ensure that we put more emphasis on afford= able housing in our communities and in finding our partners. I can, if the member wants to go through the list of where all of these units are located —= ; it is a multi-page list — or we can be okay with what I just provided. I would be happy to provide more information at a face-to-face time if that is the desire of the member.

Ms. Van Bibber: If the minister could just table a return,= that would be fine. Thank you.

The ML= A for Kluane has committed to his riding to continue to advocate for more seniors housing in Haines Junction for Kluane residents. In a legislative return, t= he minister responsible committed to travelling to Haines Junction to listen to residents’ housing concerns and insights to help inform policy and decision-making. There is still no commitment from this government to work = on phase 2 of the Haines Junction seniors housing facility.

Can th= e minister confirm whether she met with residents and what the outcomes of those conversations were? By residents, I am referring to the seniors society and the elders, as well as the front-line workers.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I wanted to acknowledge that clearly there is a need in= all of our rural Yukon communities to address seniors housing. The mandate from this government — and my mandate — is to look at social housing and affordable housing and to look at aging in place= and collaborative health care in rural Yukon. We have allocated resources within the budget to look at a home first initiative. That is to keep our elders — and I have been asked that question: What is an elder?

In the= First Nation community, they refer to the older adults as elders. I will differentiate time to time between an elder and a senior — so one and= the same. The seniors in the community — to keep them= in their homes longer and putting the resources in accessibility. I have highlighted some of that in this budget, and that is not just to look at seniors housing specific to building complexes for seniors; it is really ab= out how we keep the seniors in their homes longer.

With t= he home first initiative funding, in partnership with Health and Social Services, we are also working on the home care front to ensure that we provide continued care for our seniors in rural Yukon communities. We are seeing higher press= ures elsewhere in Yukon so we have recognized that the Bureau of Statistics has given us some data that we are working on, and that is that, by 2030, we wi= ll see 30 percent of our population in excess of 55 years. They did say t= hat, by 2020, something like 20 or 25 percent of our population will be over 60, which means that we have a lot of work to do in a very short time to en= sure that we provide appropriate housing and supports for our seniors in rural Y= ukon communities.

Recogn= izing that, we do keep an in-time list of housing needs in all of our communities= . I have a whole list but, with respect to Kluane and Haines Junction, we have = one senior on a wait-list, which perhaps demonstrates that there is not really a need there. If that one elder is there, we can work with the individual and= see if there are any accommodations that we can make to keep them in their home longer or put some wrap-around supports with the home care initiative.

We als= o want to continue working with Health and Social Services in that regard to ensure t= hat, with whatever we do, we provide really essential supports and services. As = we go ahead and seek our partnerships, we will make sure that this happens.

With r= egard to whether I met with individuals in Haines Junction, I did not meet with spec= ific individuals in Haines Junction. I have met with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. I am going there next weekend — I believe it is on the Saturday of next weekend — and we are opening up the mental wellness = hub there. I will be there earlier in the day and I will make an attempt at that time to meet with the individuals. As the member knows, I have been tied up= for the last two months. During Question Period, the question did come up as to= if I was going to meet with Haines Junction, and I still intend to do that.

Last f= all, I travelled down the highway to Beaver Creek and met with First Nations there= . I met with Kluane First Nation and also with Champagne and Aishihik First Nat= ions and I will continue to host the town-hall type of meetings in these communities.

We hav= e the seniors meeting in June — I believe it’s in June. There is a gathering of all the organizations — I guess the elders’ organizations here in the Yukon — to help us to better streamline and address their core needs and giving us the input that we much desire and ne= ed to help me better address some of the core needs and services. There are mu= ltiple groups in the Yukon and we’ll make sure that the message gets out to = the community and residents of Haines Junction.

Ms. Van Bibber: With respect to the existing social housing buildings, can the minister give a breakdown of the rental payment structure for residents and= /or new residents applying for housing?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The allocation has been there for a long time and it is based = on 25 percent of your gross household income.

Ms. Van Bibber: Can the minister provide, perhaps in the form of a legislative return, the number of people on wait-lists for social and senior housing in each community as well as the number of units available in each?

Furthe= r, can the minister provide how many units are currently vacant in each community, if = any, whether they are awaiting repairs, and when they are scheduled to be filled= ?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would be happy to provide that information, but let me just provide a quick synopsis of where we are. We do have a list as of January 3= 1, 2018, that gives us all of the social housing units we have in the Yukon; a= lso the non-senior units and then those that are currently under repair.=

I am g= oing to pick a few of the communities and, just for the record,= we do keep all of that information and in-time information. In Dawson City,= for example, we have 58 social housing units, four seniors units, plus, of cour= se, we have McDonald Lodge. We have 58 active units we currently have seniors allocated for. That is one example.

In Old= Crow, we have absolutely no social housing or seniors housing. All of the residents = from the community of Old Crow are either in McDonald Lodge or Macaulay Lodge or= one of the other units.

We als= o know that in Pelly Crossing, there are no units, social or affordable accommodat= ion, although responsibilities fall 100 percent on the First Nations, given that they are an unincorporated community. It is essential that we look at balancing these numbers as we look at modernizing our initiatives across the Yukon. Of course, in our larger communities like Watson Lake, we have a tot= al of 46 social housing units and 34 non-social units so senior units — = or sorry, 12 senior units.

We hav= e a total of — we have two on the repair list and none out of service. None of = our units are out of service, with the exception of one in Whitehorse. I can provide more details, but I really just wanted to highlight the fact that s= ome of the imbalance in this list is that some communities don’t have affordable housing or social housing or seniors housing and so that is why = it is essential that we look at rural communities that have needs and that the needs are well-balanced. The conversation that we are going to have with the seniors in June will really help to drive this new initiative and the new policies so that we can ensure that we have transparency and fairness.

The ot= her highlighted note is the same thing in Destruction Bay, where we only have t= wo units and there is nothing there for seniors affordable housing or social housing.

Ms. Van Bibber: The department has allocated $1 million in grant funding = to continue the municipal matching rental construction program. It appears the= re has been a good response and it has been very successful to date. There see= ms to be a need here in Whitehorse, as well as in the communities, for rental = units of any kind. Can the minister confirm how much funding was allocated to this program last year and whether there was any funding that can be rolled into this year’s funding? Further, can the minister confirm that this fund= ing will carry on in future budget years?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I understand from my colleagues here that the $1 million = was — the uptake was taken for all of the resources. What we committed to last year — the funding initiative was coming to an end and this government committed the $1 million to continue to carry it forward. It’s again in the budget for this year. My hope is that it is going to find its way into the budget for future years, given that it’s clearly providing necessary supports to our partners in rural Yukon communities and= a demonstration through the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council Da Daghay Development Corporation initiative and the Klondike Development Organizatio= n.

As wel= l, in the community of Watson Lake, I believe there is a duplex building that went up there and that was through the municipal matching grant — same thing = with Little Salmon Carmacks. We want to continue to enhance that and get that message out to communities that the resource is there and we want to contin= ue to fund and support the projects that come forward.

Ms. Van Bibber: Can the minister provide any statistics on how much money is borrowed through the rental suite/secondary suite loan program? How many li= ving suites have been constructed through homeowners applying for loans through = this particular program?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am not able to find that information at my fingertips with r= espect to rental suites, but I would be happy to come back with that information.<= /span>

Ms. Van Bibber:<= /span> Can the minister provide the number of loans that were offered through the down payment assistance program since it began and whet= her the program has experienced an increase in applications over the years?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Since the beginning of the loan initiative, we have see= n 70 applicants. My understanding is that has decreased significantly — the loans for the down payment assistance program. Over the years, we have seen approximately 70, and that has decreased significantly. My understanding is that due to affordability and accessibility, it has not seen much of an upt= ake in recent years. That will be one of the programs that perhaps will be re-profiled or assessed for efficiency. We are certainly going to look at t= hat. We can assure the member opposite that if we are seeing some resources that could be utilized elsewhere with respect to affordability, then we will certainly look at that.

Ms. Van Bibber:<= /span> In early February of this year, the Official Opposition= sent a letter to the Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation asking if the corporation could look at the possibility of providing radon test kits = to homeowners who are living in subdivisions south of Whitehorse that have tes= ted high levels of radon in those areas and to offer a support program to provi= de funds to those whose levels warrant mitigation.

We hav= e not yet received a response from the minister. Could she confirm whether any steps = have been taken with respect to these requests?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With regard to radon testing kits for subdivisions in rural Yu= kon or rural communities, the Yukon Housing Corporation doesn’t do radon testing. It is done by the private sector. What we do is provide for the education around radon and radon testing and we work with our partners. With the private sector centres, my understanding is that they are out there doi= ng the testing. What we do through the Yukon Housing Corporation is, if there = are high levels of radon detected through the private sector and through the ra= don testing, then the individual homeowner will then be assessed and can direct= ly access the home repair program to do the mitigation.

The qu= estion earlier was around accessibility of resources — how do we prioritize? This is one of the areas that would certainly find its way on to the priori= ty list of initiatives. If we get high levels of radon detected in one of these units or homes, we certainly would like to hear about it and certainly would like to work with the homeowner to look at mitigation measures using the ho= me repair initiative.

Ms. Van Bibber: There have been decreases made to the funding for both the fir= st mortgage loan program and the owner build loan program since the 2016-17 bu= dget year.

Can th= e minister please explain why funding levels have decreased and whether the programs h= ave been fully subscribed over the past two years?

Hon. Ms. Frost: What we have seen in this year’s budget is the fi= rst mortgage homeowner bill converting over to the developer build initiative, = so it is a new initiative, and a rollup of that into this broader envelope to allow a broader scope of access. It is a new initiative. With respect to the past year, we have provided loans to 68 Yukon households. With the recent launch of the new developer loan program, we will see this initiative wrapp= ed up in that. It is not decreasing or doing away with the initiative, but it = is allowing us to look at a broader scope.

Chair: Seein= g the time, Ms. Frost, would you like to move that the Chair report progress= ?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Mr. Chair, I move that you report progress.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by the Hon. Ms. Frost that the Chair report progress.

Motion agreed to

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Chair: Pursu= ant to Committee of the Whole Motion No. 4 adopted earlier today, Committee of the Whole will receive witnesses from the Yukon Development Corporation and= the Yukon Energy Corporation. In order to allow the witnesses to take their pla= ces in the Chamber, the Committee will now recess and reconvene at 3:30 p.m.

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Recess

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

Appearance of witnesses

Chair: Pursuant to Committee of the Whole Motion No. 4 ad= opted on this day, Committee of the Whole will now receive witnesses from the Yuk= on Development Corporation and the Yukon Energy Corporation.

I woul= d ask all members to refer their remarks through the Chair when addressing the witnes= ses, and I would also ask the witnesses to refer their answers through the Chair when they are responding to the members of the Committee.

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Witnesses introduced

Hon. Mr. Pillai: The witnesses appearing before Committee of the Whole today ar= e: Joanne Fairlie, who is the chair of the Yukon Development Corporation Board of Directors; Justin Fer= bey, president and chief executive officer of the Yukon Development Corporation; Lesley Cabott, chair of the Yukon Energy Corpor= ation Board of Directors; and Andrew Hall, president and chief executive officer = of the Yukon Energy Corporation.

I also= would like to take this opportunity to thank, as well, Janet Patterson, who is he= re with us today and has been a key member of the team at Yukon Energy Corpora= tion for a long time. We certainly appreciate everything that she does for the t= eam.

Before= I turn the floor over to our witnesses, I would like to acknowledge the importance= of giving both the Yukon Development Corporation and the Yukon Energy Corporat= ion an opportunity to appear as witnesses before Committee of the Whole to answ= er questions about the corporations. As you know, they appeared here last spri= ng. We believe, as a government, that it is important that corporations appear annually in this House to update the public on their activities. Of course, this has not always been the case in recent years, when the appearances of corporations were sporadic, to say the least.

Electr= icity is fundamentally important to all citizens, business owners, investors and governments. Both corporations work together to ensure that the necessary electrical infrastructure exists and is maintained for the safety and prosperity of all Yukoners. Yukon Development Corporation’s mandate i= s to develop and promote the development of energy systems and the generation, production, transmission and distribution of energy.

While = much of this is done through its subsidiary, Yukon Energy Corporation, Yukon Development Corporation is also looking at new approaches to renewable ener= gy development and funding for innovation. As outlined in my mandate letter, t= he Yukon Development Corporation is also working on establishing a $10‑m= illion fund to support economic diversification and innovation. The corporation wi= ll also be part of a broader government commitment to look at ways to increase= the availability of renewable energy solutions while reducing their reliance on non-renewable sources and reducing energy consumption.

With t= hat, I will conclude my introductory remarks and turn it over to our witnesses for questioning today.

Chair: Would= the witnesses like to make opening remarks?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;It is our pleasure to appear this afternoon representing the Y= ukon Development Corporation. As the sole shareholder of the Yukon Energy Corporation, Yukon Development Corporation is responsible for ensuring that Yukon Energy effectively fulfills its responsibilities while operating with= in, and responding to, government objectives.

We con= tinue to work with our subsidiary on a continuous cycle of improvement with respect = to accountability and corporate governance and with a number of Government of Yukon departmen= ts to ensure that activities align with the Yukon government’s objectives and direction.

As the= minister indicated, this year, we have launched the innovative renewable energy initiative, a $1.5‑million program that will encourage and support the development of renewable energy generation in Yukon communities. In additio= n, we are actively researching alternatives for large-scale, renewable energy generation that will help us grow on an economically and environmentally sustainable energy base.

One op= tion we are exploring is a connection between our grid and that of British Columbia. Changing technology and economies have created an environment where re-examining the interconnection is a prudent course of action. We are also pleased to report that, with the support of Yukon Energy, we will be submit= ting proposals to the government for projects that will support the growth of Yukon’s economy, such as the Stewart-Keno transmission lines project = and the energy supply for Yukon residents and businesses — many of which = are outlined in Yukon Energy’s resource plan.

We wil= l be working closely with the Government of Yukon departments to focus on identifying potential federal funding and developing an application for the= se initiatives.

I than= k you for the opportunity to make my opening remarks. Ms. C= abott will now provide you with an update on Yukon Energy’s activities.

Ms. Cabott: Thank you, Mr.&n= bsp;Chair, for providing an opportunity for Yukon Energy and the Yukon Development Corporation to appear before Committee of the Whole today. This is my first opportunity as chair of the Yukon Energy Corporation to speak with you. It’s a pleasure to do so. I look forward to your questions.

As a b= rief introduction, I would like to outline the key priorities that Yukon Energy’s board and management are focused on. First of all, there is safety. Safety of our workers, our customers and the general public is a nu= mber one priority for us — part of everything we do and every decision we make.

Invest= ments in additional capacity — after a decline in energy requirements in 2014,= we saw a return to strong growth in demand for electricity in 2016 and in 2017= . In particular, we have noticed that peak demand on the coldest days has grown faster than our annual demand. This growth has put Yukon Energy in a positi= on where we face a capacity shortfall under what — in the utility busine= ss — is known as N-1 condition. What that means is that if we were to lo= se our largest hydro generator or transmission line, which in our case is Aishihik, we may not be able to produce enough electricity to meet demand.<= /span>

We are= now seeing that even outside of N-1 conditions, we see capacity challenges. On February 5 of this year, when it was minus 35 degrees, we recorded a record system peak of 93 megawatts.

As you= can see, a key priority for us then is to develop new resources that are able to pro= vide dependable capacity to meet these peaks.

Anothe= r one of our challenges and what we are working on is aging infrastructure. The majo= rity of Yukon Energy’s assets were built in the 1950s= and the 1970s and are approaching the point whe= re major refurbishment or replacement is required.

This i= s not a unique situation. The Conference Board of Canada estimates that utilities across Canada will need to invest more than $350 billion over the next= 20 years to replace aging infrastructure. To address this challenge, Yukon Ene= rgy is updating our asset management practices, implementing industry best prac= tices to ensure that we are managing our assets in an integrated, optimized way s= o as to maximize their economic return.

In ter= ms of capital expenditures, approximately $16 million — or a little ov= er 50 percent of our 2017‑18 capital budget — has been alloca= ted to capital projects that will sustain our existing infrastructure. Examples= of key sustaining capital projects include a multi-year project that we are kicking off to refurbish our ATCO Aishihik-Whitehorse-Carmacks transmission line and a project to replace end-of-life breakers in our substations. The remainder of our capital is directed at developing new sources of capacity = and energy.

I will= stop here now, but Mr. Hall and I welcome your questions.

Mr. Istchenko: I do want to thank the witnesses for being here today, and I want to thank the witnesses and also the boards and those people who volunteer on those board= s. Power is so important to the Yukon, and I think it is k= ey to have a great working relationship.

I also= want to thank Janet. I had the opportunity to travel this summer and I picked up on something interesting when the power was out in Saskatchewan. I went to the website, and things were right there on what was going on. That is the same thing that you see in the Yukon here, and I would encourage constituents — when there is an issue with power, whether it is a bump or something happens, which we have across Canada but also in Yukon — to go to the website and you will find out right away what is going on. I think that is = great and thank you for that.

I will= get right into the questions here today. I had the opportunity to grill the minister — or ask the minister some questions last week. The minister had said= to me that there is going to be some technical stuff and to go ahead and ask t= he witnesses when they are there so I think I will probably follow up on a lot= of that today.

I will= start off — my first question today will be about the IPP. I want to get a quick status report of the IPP and the options that are being ruled out for the I= PP, whether it be LNG, diesel, coal — there ar= e many options out there. I also would like to know the role that YDC will play wh= en the IPP policy is in place — the role it will play in the approval process for projects and stuff like that.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Hopefully this won’t be the trend for the afterno= on. Just to clarify, IPP is led by Energy, Mines and Resources. Both Yukon Ener= gy Corporation and Yukon Development Corporation feed into that conversation as well as ATCO Yukon Electric.

With t= hat being said, just for clarification in the House, we were looking at the fourth quarter — Q4 — of this year, which = has that range between October and December — to have the completion of t= he work that we have committed to — and our department has committed to — on IPP.

I just= want to put that on the record. If there are other things, though — if the Yu= kon Energy Corporation or Yukon Development Corporation fee= l there is something I missed in the IPP conversation that they would like to provide the Member for Kluane, please do.

Certai= nly, that is how we are working right now. From there, we will have a framework that = we can use for our potential projects moving forward that are IPP projects.

Mr. Ferbey: Mr. Chair, at YDC and YEC we are working on an internal = team so we have opportunities to consult and provide policy advice on the IPP po= licy being led by EMR.

Mr. Istchenko: The big question that I had was: Once the IPP policy is in place, what role will YDC play in that when it comes to approval processes for certain projects, = or will they play a role in that?

Mr. Ferbey: Independent power producing will have a number of communities and First Nations looking at community-owned infrastructure on renewable energy. Today, we do have the renewable energy initiative, which is providing planning dollars and eventu= ally capital dollars toward the kind of projects that would likely go under the = IPP. Today, we are just helping First Nations work through due diligence projects that we foresee once the IPP policy is concluded. They would probably enter into negotiations on power purchase agreements to access the program. We wi= ll play a role in helping First Nations and others to put in place energy projects. We are doing that today and likely that will continue on when the policy is in place.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that answer. I am going to swit= ch over to the Haeckel Hill project. I have a couple of questions. What are the economics of it? What is the total lifecycle cost of the project? What is t= he estimated energy production from it? What does it mean for the levelized cost of energy and the levelized cost of capital — if they have some numbers there? I can understand i= f, through my questioning today, they don’t have everything at hand R= 12; but if they could provide it later, that would be great.

Ms. Fairlie: Could we have clarification, Mr. Chair, as to which Haeckel Hill project he is considering — the previous one or the upcoming one?

Mr. Istchenko: The upcoming one — I had quizzed the minister on it, so I am just wonderi= ng about the upcoming one.

Mr. Hall:=  Yukon Energy has had some discussions with the proponen= ts of the Haeckel Hill project, but we are not privy to their economics. We are t= he buyer of the energy — or would be the buyer of the energy if they were successful. What is really important is setting the price, which is an exer= cise that we are working on — Energy, Mines and Resources, YDC and YEC = 212; setting the price that will be set for standing offer program proponents. I= t is up to the proponents themselves to figure out whether they can make money at that price.

In ter= ms of their output, I believe it is in the order of eight gigawatt hours a year, = but I could be updated on that. Their design does change over time.

Mr. Istchenko: Thank you for that answer. Sticking with Haeckel Hill, = I am just wondering if, during the summer — I guess my question would be: = With the total power produced, will we be paying them to sell wind power to the = grid while we are spilling excess water that could have been produced for summer power? I’m just wondering: If we have an excess of power through our hydro generation, will we still be paying for wind in the summertime?

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I just want to add to the conversation what I think is appropr= iate. I appreciate the opportunity that we’ve had with Yukon Energy Corpora= tion, Yukon Development Corporation and Energy, Mines and Resources to have a holistic approach to conversations.

Mr.&nb= sp;Hall’s team and his technical team certainly have been having those discussions, a= nd the question concerning demand in the summer and its bill, and other projec= ts coming on board — i.e. Victoria Gold and how that plays a role —= ; I will leave that to him.

What I= will say is, just for clarity — and I will just reiterate exactly what we touc= hed upon here during budget discussions — part of the challenge with IPP = is that you have to make a commitment to these projects and to bring these renewable projects on board. When you do — and part of the challenge,= and the previous ministers who had this responsibility would understand this &#= 8212; part of the reason, I think, that we didn’t see IPP in place where we need it is because inevitably somebody has a cost to pay. That cost, in some cases, is a ratepayer or a government, because the original policy stated t= hat there were no negative impacts to the ratepayer. That’s why we’= re revisiting the IPP. That is some of the discussion.

For th= e record, I will say that Yukon Development Corporation and Energy, Mines and Resourc= es have also sat down with the proponent but, once again — exactly on the same point as Mr. Hall said — it’s not that we are privy to the economics of their plan, but what we’re trying to do is provide certainty so that they can finance the plan.

I also= will say that before we get into output, I think that it’s a scalable project,= so there is the initial site but I think there is a secondary site that would = also potentially be looked at. That is some of the work that we want to support = them in doing their due diligence on. I will hand it over to Mr. Hall.

Mr. Hall: I will comment on how the IPP policy and the energy that it sorts through = 212; this fit into our plans. I think that it’s important to note that with the Eagle mine being developed and the additional load that it will bring to the grid, the Eagle mine load is the summer load. They actually cut back production for 90 days during the winter. With Victoria Gold being on the g= rid, it will max out our hydro generation capacity during the summer. We may wel= l be physically spilling water but, depending on what our hydro resources look l= ike in any particular year, we may be running Whitehorse hydro, for example, full = out, in which case, there is definitely a need for that IPP-source power during = the summer.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that answer. I know that Yukon Energy conducts safety reviews of its dams in accordance with the standards set by the Canadian Dam Association. As part of this, they hire external consultants every five yea= rs, so I have a couple of questions. I’m wondering if the witnesses could tell us how and when the last review was completed and what were the findin= gs, and when is the next one scheduled?

Mr. Hall:=  If I remember correctly, the last safety review was last year, so we’re beginning a new cycle. What happens, as the member indicated, is we bring in a consultant. They inspect all our control struct= ures — so there are the dam structures that you see. Out of that is genera= ted a prioritized list of tasks we have to complete within a given time frame. = They rank them high, medium and low. Typically, we try to knock off the high-priority projects within the first year. I believe we have done so. Th= en we work on the medium-priority projects through the remaining years between each review.

At thi= s point, we didn’t identify anything of particular concern, but obviously vigilance is necessary as our control structures age.

Mr. Istchenko: Regarding the current rate hearing involving the Yukon Energy Corporation, I’m wondering if the witnesses have had any numbers related to the costs associ= ated with going through this process.

Mr. Hall: I think it’s important to understand how the costs for a GRA are accumulated. Not only does Yukon Energy Corporation have to pay for our consultants and our lawyers, but we also have to pay the costs for the intervenors and the YUB staff. You don’t know those costs until the process — the oral hearing, in particular — is complete. ItR= 17;s really hard to estimate where we are right now as to what those total costs would be. I’m not expecting they will be substantially different from prior costs. That’s about $1 million to go through, but, as I sa= id, until we get that final invoice from the YUB, we just don’t know.

Mr. Istchenko: Can the witnesses provide a status update for the commitment to the study and feasibility of connecting our grid to British Columbia, in order to tap into site C? What I’m basically looking for is the funding being allocated= for the second feasibility study, when it’s going to start and when it wi= ll be completed, the cost and who is going to be paying for it.

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;What we commissioned about three months ago was a tabletop stu= dy from Midgard. The cost was $70,000. We do have a draft report that has been concluded. It’s really looking at the technical feasibility. Further = work would have to be done to get sensitive costing, but it provides — is = it technically feasible? That was the question we asked.

As we = look at that, potentially next steps would be looking more at the business case but, initially, the first study is just showing the technical aspects of it. We haven’t allocated or identified a potential capital build. It’s= too early in the process to start talking about those kinds of contributions. Initially, it’s a tabletop study on the technical feasibility of actu= ally building the physical line.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank them for that answer. Can the witnesses explain a little bit more aro= und the innovative renewable energy initiative? I’m looking for what the initiative is — they have explained a little bit in their opening rem= arks — but who the money has gone to so far, how much is going toward proj= ects that are not — I’m not sure how to word this; maybe I’ll rephrase this. I’m looking to find out who the money has gone to so f= ar and how it has gone. Is it through a government grant or how does the fundi= ng work for that?

Mr. Ferbey: The individual r= enewable energy initiative has been budgeted for $1.5 million. The initiative itself is to be flexible to the needs of smaller First Nation community-dri= ven renewable projects. It is to reduce reliance on non-renewable sources outli= ned in the minister’s mandate letter. We are working with the Yukon government — and potentially federal departments — to identify further resources for the project.

The re= newable project itself has been allocated to a number of communities. With due resp= ect to proponents, we are talking with them on potential announcements, but we = can say that the initiative has been subscribed. There has been a lot of intere= st in it and a number of communities have accessed it. We are looking at things like biomass, solar and wind. Most of them are in the early due diligence of the planning stages. Hopefully, there will be announcements to come when we have a further chance to coordinate this with the proponents who actually applied.

The ac= tual mechanism to transfer the funds is a TPA, and we are looking at the governm= ent putting a portion of the grant money up, and the proponents also putting up some of their capital for these due diligence stages.

Mr. Istchenko: Just a quick follow-up question: Have there been any pr= ojects that have been funded to this date?

Mr. Ferbey: Yes, there have = been a number of projects funded. I believe there are five or six projects that are funded and under transfer payment agreements now.

Mr. Istchenko: With respect to energy storage, electrical energy cannot be stored without the h= elp of some kind of technology. I had asked this question of the minister last week, but I am hoping I can get a little bit more of a detailed answer. I understand that they are currently working on looking at some part of an energy or battery storage project in Yukon and that= the price tag for this is approximately $22 million. I also understand that Yukon Energy Corporation and Yukon Development Corporation have applied for federal funding for this. I am wondering if it is possible to get a bit more detail, like I said, on this energy storage and battery project and also so= me detail on what fund you have applied to from Canada. How much money are you seeking from Canada?

Mr. Hall:=  In the resource plan, we certainly looked at a range of different storage technologies. We looked at pump storage and on-grid batte= ry storage. On-grid battery storage was identified as a resource of interest w= ith the specific utility to meet peak demand. The way it does that is by essent= ially shifting a peak in consumption away to an off-peak period. That is done typically on a daily cycle.

What w= e have moved forward with is an application — and we have not submitted this= yet — and the applications are due in the beginning of May. It is to Natu= ral Resources Canada — NRCan — the clean energy for rural and remote communities fund. What we will likely go forward with is a staged approach where we look to fit the criteria of that fund and implement a first stage, which would be around $16 million to $19 = ;million, and then follow up with a second stage at a later date. The intent is to: (= a) fit with the funding criteria; and (b) to use the opportunity to demonstrate some of the benefits that a battery brings. Not only does it allow you to s= hift your peak around, but it also has some operational benefits for the grid. An example would be helping with the integration of intermittent renewables, w= hich might be forthcoming through the IPP standing offer program.

A batt= ery would also allow for faster restoration following outages. I think of the battery project in south Australia, where that was one of the benefits that the big Tesla battery bought, which was almost instantaneous restoration if some of= the south Australian coal plants go offline.

Finall= y, there’s an operational benefit around what is called “load rejection”. Particularly in the summer, if we lose a large customer l= ike Minto mine, we have an awful problem trying to keep the lights on because we have to drop generation, and a battery you can use to essentially be a dummy load while you restore that customer — so we see a lot of advantages,= but the focus for now is on the federal funding application.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witnesses for that. I just learned something very valuable — thank you for that. I will move on here.

Would = it be possible to get an update on the Stewart-Keno transmission project? The web= site says — and we know — that it is shovel ready and the corporation and the government are talking to Canada about funding, so would the witnes= ses be able to update us on that project? Is this something that the government and the corporations are moving forward with — and the application to the federal government — so can they speak a little bit about that too please?

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;The project is shovel ready. We hav= e been doing significant work since 2015. There are a number of new federal infrastructure funds in the most recent federal budget, including the green infrastructure fund and the rural northern communities<= /span> fund. We have been talking with Infrastructure Canada to see if there is a potential contribution — or what the program authorities are to see i= f we can access it. Those are active conversations and we understand that the project itself — we will be bringing it forward to discuss with the government about the project, so it remains a priority.

Mr. Istchenko: With respect to the Victoria Gold project coming online to grid, are any of the corporations looking at spending or doing anything with respect to expanding generation capacity or covering any of the costs? What is the cost of upgra= des to the existing transmission line — the new transmission lines and substations?

Mr. Hall: Perhaps it is worth clarifying which costs Victoria Gold is bearing associated with their grid connection. They are covering the full cost of their spur line — the line from the connection point to the existing transmission lin= e. They are paying the majority of the costs of the new substation, which will= be located at a place called McQuesten. That is wh= ere the spur line connects. They are paying $1.7 million toward system improvements throughout our grid, and the objective of those improvements i= s to protect us from any outages that might happen at the mine. So if the mine d= rops off, we want to make sure that the grid is stable and doesn’t trip off right back to Whitehorse. We have to do some improvements, but the mine, ag= ain, is on the hook for those. At this point, short of very menial amounts, the = mine is paying for all that work at this time.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that. Can the witness please te= ll me what the new generation capacity is? What is the cost going to be, then, to Victoria Gold?

Mr. Hall:=  At this point, we are not planning to build any new generation capacity. I think we showed in our applications to the Yukon Utilities Board that our existing assets can meet the mine load. What helps — and I went through this earlier — is that theirs is a summer load. They go through a 90-day period where their load — their mining activities drop down to very little, so that fits very well with our genera= tion profile. What it will do is maximize our use of hydro resources during the summer, so we are not planning to make any year 2 investments directly rela= ted to the mine.

In ter= ms of what the mine pays — if the question relates to the rate, it is the standa= rd industrial rate. There is nothing unusual about it. That was the subject of= our YUB application.

Mr. Istchenko: Just looking through my notes — I want to go back quickly to the innovative renewable energy initiative. The witness had mentioned that there were five= or six projects approved. Can I get details on those projects please?

Mr. Ferbey: The projects that have been approved are work and due diligence on biomass — there has been some implementation on biomass,= I believe there is some work on solar, there are a couple on due diligence on wind, and there are four more projects that people are putting together applications for.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that.

I aske= d the minister about the water licence at Aishihik and the expiry date. I got some great answers from the minister. The work that is being done — I just want to commend the witnesses and the corporations for their work with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations on the water licence. The website and = the process for this water licence renewal involved input from a technical advi= sory group and a Champagne and Aishihik First Nations community-based advisory group.

I want= to thank them for the work that they are doing there, but I want to ask a question a= bout the actual Aishihik dam. You will remember that, in January 2017, there was= an ice blockage at the dam and it caused a power outage throughout the Yukon. = I am wondering if the witnesses could elaborate a little bit more on the problem that caused this — if there are any more issues and if there have to = be any contingencies looked at to prevent these types of outages in the future= .

Mr. Hall: That outage was a result of some fairly unusual — we think they were unusu= al — weather conditions. We got quite high wind velocities on the power canal, which is the section of the lake that feeds our powerhouse, and we h= ad a breakup of the ice and a piece of ice got sucked in and got stuck in the intake.

Our th= ought at this time is that is a pretty unusual set of circumstances that contributed= to that event; it is certainly nothing that we have seen in the past. There is nothing really significant that we are doing to address it. It emphasizes, = if anything, that we do need to think about contingency events — such as Aishihik going down — but, frankly, any of our large hydros going down at this point in time would be of con= cern. This really brings our capacity position to the fore and speaks to the need= to do additional planning to bring more capacity online.

Mr. Istchenko: Sticking with dams, is there any possibility of improvements to increase output from= the turbines, or efficiencies at the Whitehorse dam or at the Aishihik dam, just being that there is always new technology coming? I’m wondering if I = can get an update on that.

Mr. Hall: The member is correct that, in our resource plan, we identified a number of potential projects to increase either output or the efficiency of our hydro units. That’s really the low-hanging fruit as a utility — to lo= ok for opportunities to make small incremental improvements at low cost.

This y= ear, we’re moving forward with two pieces of engineering work. One is to increase the output of Whitehorse No. 4 — and that would actually increase capacity, so the megawatt output, which is of great use to us. The second one is to look at efficiency improvements to Whitehorse No. 2. That’s a longer-term opportunity, but we’re going through the initial engineering of that. Together, we plan to spend approximately $750,= 000 on those two exercises.

Lookin= g further into the future in a five-year time frame, we have increases under consideration at Aishihik as well — Aishihik No. 1 and No. 2.<= /p>

Mr. Istchenko: There has been a lot of discussion around federal funding available — the m= inister and I had quite a few conservations — to help get northern communities off their reliance on diesel. Obviously, this goal is to help reduce relian= ce on fossil fuels, and I think this is important as we move forward in the Yu= kon.

Can the witnesses just update me on what YEC or YDC is doing to help reduce the territory’s reliance on diesel fuel, and how some of these federal funding projects would work into this?

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;One of the examples is the renewable program we have. A number= of the applicants are in the communities. One of the things we found that is important is the federal funding potential to leverage other dollars. One of the funds we are looking with great interest at is called the Arctic energy fund. We have been in talks with Infrastructure Canada to understand the program authorities. We understand that this fund will allow communities th= at are off the grid — diesel communities, if you will — to potenti= ally access this.

I unde= rstand the government is under discussions right now with Infrastructure Canada, but we ourselves also have had some discussions to understand what the program authorities are, but most importantly, of course, is what we have been talk= ing about, and that is the potential to have a broader fund. Realizing that die= sel reduction could also happen on the grid, if the federal fund is only focuse= d on the communities off-grid — we are hoping that it’s broader so t= hat, for example, we could participate in some — be it wind projects or ot= her things that are on the grid.

We hav= e actively had discussions on this and we have been doing this for close to a year now= .

Mr. Istchenko: I thank them for that answer. Is it only the government that will be able to access any of these funding pots, or will the corporation actually be able = to go after accessing some of these funding pots?

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;Ultimately, the funds will be the government’s funds. The government will dictate and identify how the dollars will be accessed. Howe= ver, that being said, the $1.5 million for the innovative renewable energy initiative is with the corporation. We have set up a program that allows evaluation at the corporation level and allocation of those government resources directly to your proponents, so it allows decision-making at the corporate level and it allows us to be flexible and responsive to the busin= ess interests of people out there who are working on energy projects.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that. Would the witnesses be able to update us on the life expectancy of the diesel generators that the Yukon Energy Corporation = owns in Whitehorse, Mayo, Dawson and Faro?

Mr. Hall: I don’t have the exact data by engine with me right now, but I will com= ment that, in our resource plan, we did take a very close look at the expected usage, refurbishment and ultimate retirement of our diesel units across the fleet. We did have some retirements out three or four years in Faro — that’s an old Mirrlees unit — but no other expected retirements. I will also point out that there is a Mirrlees here in Whitehorse that will likely be retir= ed when we make the planned investment in the LNG third engine, which was initiated last year and will be completed this year. I don’t have the= age profile by unit with me right now.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that. I just want to go back to the funding pots agai= n. I just want to ask about research when it comes to these funding pots. I think research is an incredibly good thing. I’m just wondering if, through = the corporation, they get a lot of requests for research projects before the fa= ct of an actual project upfront.

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;Two things — one of the federal funds that a lot of our proponents directly access is CanNor dollars, t= he Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. Also, with what we call IREI — Innovative Renewable Energy Initiative — it is a staged appro= ach; it’s phased, so many of the proponents looking at projects today are really in a research stage — early feasibility studies — and so= we will potentially participate in proponents’ projects up into capital builds but a lot of them are right now in early pre-feasibility, which coul= d be characterized as research.

Mr. Istchenko: Would the witnesses be able to provide a breakdown by community of how much power= was consumed per month over the last year? What percentage of this consump= tion was sourced by hydro and what percentage was sourced by — I think the term they use on the website is “thermal”, which is diesel = or LNG?

Mr. Hall:=  I don’t have the breakdown by community, but in t= erms of percentage of renewable generation in 2017, we were at 96.8 pe= rcent.

Mr. Istchenko: Is there a possibility to get a breakdown from the corporation later in a retu= rn?

Mr. Hall: My only point is that some of that data may be — we’re going to ha= ve to check whether we can get it from ATCO and what kind of breakdown they can give us but, yes, we should be able to give you something.

Mr. Istchenko: Thank you for that. How does this consumption compare to consumption over the past five years?

Mr. Hall: Mr. Chair, looking back at the data, I have the last four years, and we have ranged fr= om 98‑percent to 99‑percent renewable. I will point out that part = of the data, in 2017 — and why we ended up burning more thermal in the fourth quarter of 2017 — is that we had low water resources in the Ma= yo watershed. What we saw was a below-average snowpack in the preceding winter, followed by — we believe — lower than typical rainfall through = the summer in Mayo. We had what could be considered a drought condition within = that watershed. It didn’t affect the other two watersheds, but in Mayo, we certainly had very low water levels. One of the functions of our thermal fl= eet is to be used in period of low water — in periods of drought. I think Yukoners forget about that because, fortunately for us, if you look at the profile, we can go 26 years with very good water resources and then three or four years of low water. In Mayo, we seem to be in that low-water condition. That contributed to us running more thermal than we normally would to make = up for the lost water in Mayo.

Mr. Istchenko: Can the witnesses comment a little bit more on snowpack projections in the futu= re and a little bit in the past when it comes to Whitehorse, Aishihik and Mayo= ?

Mr. Hall:Q= 95;Going back a few years now, we have undertaken work with experts from southern Ca= nada on building our forecast models that allow us to look at — for exampl= e, in the Southern Lakes watershed, the future of great glacial melts and how = that contributes to water flow through Whitehorse. We are expanding that work no= w to include the Aishihik and Mayo watersheds. That work is with an institute ou= t of the University of Quebec called INRS. That work is coming to a close and we= are actually getting some training on these new models that allow us to look ou= t a year, based on snowpack and rainfall forecasts, and predict in a more preci= se way what we think the water levels will look like coming into the winter season.

I can = tell you that for the Whitehorse study, which was the first one to be done, the long-term climate modelling that was done — looking out 30 to 50 years into the future — suggested that, if anything, we would see increased water flow through the Whitehorse system. I don’t have any results to report on what the long-term climate forecasting for the other two watershe= ds looks like, but we can certainly make that available once we receive the fi= nal report.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witnesses for that. With respect to the agr= eement in place with Kwanlin Dün First Nation on the LNG plant, how much reve= nue was directed to them based on the agreement — quarterly or this year?=

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;KDFN provided $20.9 million reflected in the 2015 consoli= dated financial statements. The loan is repayable in equal, annual principle paym= ents of $839,360, and the final payment is due in 2040. The interest rate on the loan is a blended rate between the cost of debt and the actual rate of retu= rn earned by Yukon Energy.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that.

Earlie= r, I had talked about the connection to the southern grid in BC, but the government’s election platform also mentioned examining the possibili= ty of joining the Alaska grid. For the corporation, I am just wondering if any work has been done in this respect that the witnesses are aware of. What sort of opportunities exist? Do the witnesses happen t= o have handy any early cost estimates of this?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;There was a study done a few years ago on the cost of building= a line. I don’t remember the exact cost that was mentioned, but it ran = at about $1 million a kilometre — if my memory is correct — because there was fairly rough terrain, and the project would have provided summer energy to Skagway. That was the main outcome of that project.=

Mr. Istchenko: Just to follow up — is there any work being done on this as we go on, or n= ot?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;We’re not conducting any further studies at the present = time. That is not to say that we won’t. At this point, we are looking at th= e BC line, and that is our main focus at this point.

Mr. Istchenko: In the 2016 resource plan of Yukon Energy, refurbishments are listed as one of= the options going forward. They spoke a little earlier about this. There are ma= jor overhauls of existing facilities where many pieces of equipment are reaching end of life. I am just wondering if the witness can update us on all the pl= ans, or any plans, for upgrading or refurbishing Yukon Energy’s assets and= if there are some costs associated with that — or what would the costs b= e? I know it is going to cost money.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I would just like to provide a little bit of clarity to the pr= evious question and then hand over this question to the witnesses.

Concer= ning the potential infrastructure to Skagway, at this particular time, I think it’s appropriate to note that the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, throu= gh their management corporation, is undertaking final stage due diligence on gathering wind data. That wind data would in turn provide the appropriate information to see if they have a potentially feasible project on Montana Mountain. Certainly the independent power production information and rate w= ill also be a valuable part of that discussion and modelling.

I woul= d state that they have publicly stated — at least during the Roundup mining conference in Vancouver — there was a meeting of development corporat= ions, and at that point their CEO did touch upon the fact that one of the opportunities that they see is to potentially work with Yukon government or Yukon Energy Corporation or ATCO to provide infrastructure — or to implement infrastructure — potentially built out from Carcross to Skagway.

I think it’s important to note that we are supportive of the Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation as they endeavour to look at potential projects, both from the standpoint of renewable energy that could feed into the existing g= rid, but also for them to look at new sources.

The me= mbers opposite who have been close to both the Yukon Development Corporation and Yukon Energy Corporation would be aware that there is a project that has be= en interesting, to say the least — Moon Lake. When there is the possibil= ity of infrastructure and partnership, then projects like that may be revisited but, at this point in time, we just want to be supportive of the Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation in their early due diligence.=

Mr. Hall: A question related to what we call our sustaining capital investments — these are investments to maintain, refurbish or replace our aging infrastructure. I’ll first comment that Yukon Energy Corporation has = done quite a bit of work over the last year — and ongoing work over the ne= xt few years — on what’s called asset management. These are the policies and practices that we apply in how we manage our assets, bringing = our practices in line with industry best practice and, for example, moving from= an interval-based approach, where we go into a hydro unit and refurbish it eve= ry 10 years, which has been our past practice, to a more condition- or risk-ba= sed approach, where we go in, we do an inspection and, if it looks good, no nee= d to do a full refurbishment, for example.

Having= said that, if I look at — and our chair mentioned this in her opening rema= rks, that about 50 percent of our capital expenditure this year is related = to sustaining capital. I’ll mention three projects of note. The first is= a multi-year project to upgrade our backbone Aishihik-Whitehorse-Carmacks transmission line, which was built in the 1970s= when the Aishihik facility and the Faro mine were connected. Components of that transmission line infrastructure — namely insulators and cross-arms — have reached end of life and they are being replaced in a multi-year program. Expenditures this year are approximately $6 million.

We are= also doing an overhaul to one of our Mayo A units, wh= ich are again quite old, built in the 1950s. WeR= 17;re hoping to get a few more years out of them. Our resource plan calls for a f= ull replacement of the Mayo A plant, going out in 2022, but we need to do some overhaul work now to get us through to that date. Then we have a program, as our chair mentioned in her opening remarks, to replace breakers throughout = our substation fleet that have reached end of life, and that’s $1.25 = ;million this year.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that — getting down into a little bit more ther= e. It’s great.

In the= past year and a half, has YEC or YDC borrowed any money for energy projects? If so, how much?

Mr. Hall:=  As part of Yukon Energy’s annual financing, we do borrow short-term debt, so we had an extension to our line of credit last y= ear for approximately $11 million. That expanded our line of credit and th= at is the only borrowing that we have done in the last year.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that.

I had a discussion with the minister last week about the energy project in Old Crow= ; I just wanted a little bit of clarification. It was reported in January that = the project was in limbo because money hadn’t flowed in yet through the Y= ukon Development Corporation, but I understand that the money may first have to = come from the federal government and then flow through Yukon Development Corporation. I am wondering if the witnesses could provide an update on this project and if money has flowed through yet and if there is a bit of a time= line on that.

Mr. Ferbey: We understand th= at the project, as we saw and as was announced in the media — that the feder= al government came in with a capital contribution. We also, through the renewa= ble program, were in discussions and continue to be in discussion with Old Crow and, of course, are very supportive of the project and I suspect that, as t= hey go forward, we will participate.

Mr. Istchenko: I want to go back again to the innovative renewable ene= rgy program. I appreciate that the witness provided a bit more detail, but what= I wanted — and I didn’t get out of there — was: How much mo= ney was being spent on these six projects, and who was the recipient of the mon= ey?

Mr. Ferbey: The program itse= lf — what we are doing right now is talking with the number of First Nat= ions that have signed TPAs. Just out of respect, we would like to do announcemen= ts in coordination with the governments — out of respect. The dollar amo= unt that went out — just over $1 million has been signed in transfer payment agreements with various First Nation development corporations.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for elaborating a bit more.

I want= to ask the witnesses if any analysis has been done on how the carbon tax will impa= ct the cost of future Yukon Development Corporation projects.

Mr. Hall: I will make two comments, the first one being that during the resource plan — and this was prior to the announcement of the federal carbon tax backstop — Yukon Energy did incorporate what we called at the time a “special cost of carbon” into the evaluation of various supply options. We used costs of carbon ranging from $60 to $90 per tonne, so quit= e a bit higher than what is contemplated in the current federal carbon tax back= stop — so it was taken into consideration during the planning phase.

Second= ly, we did receive a question during our GRA — information requests about the im= pact of a carbon tax on the interim operations. We did respond to that informati= on request, but in summary, the rate impacts are very minimal. For example, at= a carbon tax of $10 per tonne, 0.13 percent; at a carbon tax of $50 per tonne — which is where, if the federal program continues on through 2= 022, that is where you will get to federally — 0.64 percent in terms = of rate increase, so not a material impact on Yukon Energy’s business.

Mr. Istchenko: We understand that infrastructure projects are going to be more expensive in t= he future, and that’s why I was wondering if it had been looked at. I’m just wondering if there has been any work done on what costs the carbon tax will have on our existing LNG plant, or the existing generators = we use, and how much more we will be paying to operate those.

Mr. Hall: What we focused on was ultimately the impact on ratepayers. Those were the numbe= rs I just went through. I don’t have the contributing numbers that feed in= to that, but the way we approached it was: How are the ratepayers going to be impacted; how are our customers going to be impacted? Through the numbers I just went through, overall impact is expected to be minimal.

Mr. Istchenko: Are either of the corporations looking at anything around the possibility of providing opportunities or incentivizing the use of electric vehicles?

Hon. Mr. Pillai:Mr. Chair, I will hand it over to Ms. Fairlie, in the sense of the discussion concerning the Yukon Development Corporation= . I will just identify the fact that, as stated here in the Legislative Assembly during our conversation concerning the budget, we do have a ministerial wor= king group. The ministerial working group includes the Department of Environment, the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Department of Community Services and the Department of Highways and Public Works, with representati= on from the Yukon Development Corporation. Both the president and the senior analysts sit at that table.

There = will also be an invite to the Yukon Energy Corporation as we move through defining a = new energy policy, so our colleagues have the same access to information and long-term visioning that I have had access to.

What w= e’re looking at is — as the president of the Yukon Development Corporation= has identified, we are in negotiation as a government concerning the Arctic ene= rgy fund. Within the Arctic energy fund, it actually falls under my colleague f= rom Community Services through the green infrastructure fund. That is a sub-fun= d of the green energy fund.

As the= bilateral negotiation is underway, and as was stated by Mr. Ferbey, we will be defining the parameters and terms of reference of those dollars.= We have had one sit-down with a local private sector organization that has an interest, as I stated during the budget deliberation, in potentially buildi= ng the infrastructure — first in Whitehorse, and then potentially outsid= e of Whitehorse, but primarily in Whitehorse — that would, in turn, help us move forward.

Our in= terest is to see if the federal funds that are being allocated to the Yukon would be = able to be diverted or allocated toward the infrastructure build-out. We had this discussion today with some of my colleagues in Cabinet — when you take into consideration the magnitude of use when it comes to transportation and= the magnitude of that in the total portfolio of use of energy, it is certainly something we have to focus on. There have been some people in the community — I think maybe one individual who is here with us today who has been= a trailblazer, looking at some of that technology.

Certai= nly we want to use local companies to potentially work with Yukon Development Corporation, but we’re just trying to see what dollars that are coming into the Yukon can be allocated toward that type of work.

Chair: Did y= ou want to add to that, Ms. Fairlie?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;All I was going to indicate was that we were working around op= tions — looking at potential future review of the issue of electric vehicle= s in Yukon — but we have not completed any work to date.

Mr. Istchenko: Has the corporation developed a First Nation investment framework and/or approv= ed a First Nation investment framework?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;At the current time, we don’t have an investment framewo= rk. We have individual agreements with First Nations that have been developed over time. Each of those has different terms and conditions based on the project that came forward for investment at the time.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that.

So the corporation is not looking at developing an investment framework for First Nations?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;Mr. Chair, we continue to look at the options around an investment framework and what that might look like.

Mr. Istchenko: Thank you for that answer.

When w= as the last protocol agreement and letter of expectation signed, as there does not seem to be a current one right now?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;The last protocol agreement was for the year 2017‑18, I believe, and is just ending about now. We are currently reviewing with the minister the content of a new protocol agreement for the 2018‑19 year= .

Mr. Istchenko: So that wouldn’t be on the website then?

Ms. Fairlie:= 195;Not at the present time. We will put it on the website once it= has been finalized and approved by both the board and the minister.

Mr. Istchenko: I just want to go back to Victoria Gold a little bit. I just wanted to know if the witnesses know how many megawatts the summer load would be from Victoria Gold and what the winter load would be.

Mr. Hall: The mine doesn’t reach full output all in one year. They ramp up over a number of years, but the current forecast is six megawatts. They are actual= ly capped at six megawatts for a winter load and through the power purchase agreement, and the summer load is somewhere around 12-13 megawatts.<= /p>

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the witness for that.

Moving= back to the dam safety review mentioned earlier, does Yukon Energy Corporation have= a bit more information about the findings of the review? For example, did last year’s review identify any work or repairs that need to be completed?=

Mr. Hall: I don’t have any more details on the dam safety review with me right no= w, but I can make that information available in terms of the profile of projec= ts identified.

Mr. Istchenko: My next question for the corporation — I will see= if they are able to answer this or not. Does the Yukon Energy Corporation know= the rate that will be paid per kilowatt to the IPP producers? Will the cost be = paid by the ratepayers or will the government subsidize part of the cost?=

Hon. Mr. Pillai: For the third time in two weeks, I will identify the fa= ct that, once again, Energy, Mines and Resources is the lead on IPP. The IPP r= ate will be identified in Q-4, off 2018. The previous government — now opposition — identified the fact that there could not be a negative i= mpact to the ratepayer. Therefore, we are revisiting the rate to take that into consideration because, as I stated before, someone has to pay. How do we en= sure that the cost is — maybe we get to a price where the cost is more competitive. We would like to see that. We have touche= d upon that with the IREI program. Can we help to offset capital costs? I feel bad because I don’t want our witnesses to be put into a position of havin= g to answer a question that does not fall under their responsibility. I apprecia= te their guidance and their input into this important conversation. Certainly = this is something that people have looked at for a long time to see in place, an= d it is something that we are going to get done this year.

Mr. Istchenko: I thank the minister for that answer. I wasn’t su= re, but I thought the minister might answer that. I just wanted a little bit mo= re clarification.

Going = back to the six-megawatt winter load of Victoria Gold, I am wondering how will this winter load be met? Will it be the third LNG gen= erator and some of the new diesels that YEC had recently rented? What power source will they be using in the winter?

Mr. Hall:=  As I outlined earlier, coming out of the resource plan,= one of the key conclusions was that we needed to make additional investments in capacity. That speaks to this ability to meet winter load.

I will= also point out that the Victoria Gold load was included in our base-case assumpt= ions in the resource plan, so it is not unexpected. It was in our main planning scenario. If anything, the fact that they are now financed — we had already anticipated or hoped for that.

In ter= ms of making investments in additional capacity, the member opposite is correct. = He pointed to the LNG third engine as being part of the puzzle. We are looking= at a number of additional options. For example, one of the key projects we are working on is an expanded energy efficiency — or demand-side manageme= nt — program, which we are hoping to take to the Yukon Utilities Board l= ate this year — if we can — depending on when the next GRA proceedi= ng will be. There are specific demand-side management programs that can target capacity. What you are trying to do is get consumers to reduce their peak consumption in electricity through various incentives. That is part of the puzzle.

We are= also looking at additional investments, as I outlined earlier, in operating or increasing the output of some of our hydro units. Specifically, hydro unit = 4 in Whitehorse — we think we can get at least a few megawatts out of that unit fairly cost effectively, so that’s very interesting to us. We are investigating that and doing the engineering this year= . If it proves to be economic, it will be quite a quick fix that we can imple= ment next year.

In the= longer term, we do need to look at additional capacity investments. In the resource plan, we spoke to a number of potential future investments in thermal generation, but those still need to be fleshed out in terms of which direct= ion and the timing of that work.

Mr. Istchenko: I just have a couple more clarification questions before I turn it over to the Third Party. I’m just wondering about the fourth turbine and some of = the upgrades that we spoke to in Whitehorse here. Do the witnesses know the increase to capacity that we will get from those upgrades?

Mr. Hall: I believe it is a couple of megawatts, but part of the objective of this init= ial bit of engineering that we are doing this year is to confirm what that numb= er is.

Mr. Istchenko: My final question that I will ask today — before I ask it, I do want to thank the witnesses for coming in. It’s good to get them yearly in the spring in the House. Before I turn it over, I want to thank them for their = hard work today.

My fin= al question would be — they had said that they had borrowed $11 mil= lion of an increase in 2017 in a line of credit. I’m just wondering what t= his was for.

Mr. Hall: That was to fund, on a short-term basis, our capital program last year. We spent approximately $11 million on large capital projects last year. I don’t have the breakdown with me, but what comes to mind is that we d= id a 10-year overhaul on the Whitehorse fourth turbine, for example. That’s actually, through that work, where the idea of doing this upgrading came fr= om. That’s what comes to mind. I can provide a more fulsome list of proje= cts.

Ms. White: I thank the witnesses for appearing here today, and I apologize that I’= m so close and that, if I sneeze, you’re going to notice, but I’m working on that.

One of= the things that I notice today on the YEC website — I spend a lot of time looking at government websites, so congratulations on how engaging it is, including the 2016 report. One of the things that I though was really interesting on the Yukon Energy website was the request for proposal for sm= art grid advanced rate structures studies. I was just wondering if YEC could ta= lk a little bit more about that.

Mr. Hall: I have spoken about this a couple of times in prior appearances to this Commi= ttee when asked about smart meters, for example — what is Yukon Energy doi= ng about smart meters? The RFP that you see is a first step. We’re worki= ng collaboratively with ATCO Electric Yukon to look at what a smart meter implementation in the Yukon might look like, because it’s fairly comp= lex in terms of — the meters are not ours. They are ATCO’s, for one= , so Yukon Energy can’t directly influence the installation of smart meter= s in ATCO’s territory. We could do Dawson and Mayo and Mendenhall, but tha= t’s probably less than 10 percent of the meters that are out there, so it needs to be done in collaboration with the other utility. We’re looki= ng at what a smart meter implementation could look like, what the benefits mig= ht be, what kind of business case could be developed for it — if we want= to take that to our regulator for approval — and how it might facilitate= a more sophisticated time-of-use rate-type model, which, again, would provide incentives to customers to shift their peak consumption.

Time-of-use rates is a very interesting topic. It is not without controversy because there are some jurisdictions where it doesn’t appear to work, so we need to be caref= ul and prudent about looking at it, but this is the first step in that journey= .

Ms. White: I attended a workshop in the basement of the church at the end of Main Street that was about smart meters. It was years ago — 2012 or 2013, I think. What I learned through that was that, if we’re talking about reducing demand, we’re talking about management — then that seems like o= ne thing. I appreciate that the witness just talked about time-of-use rates because I look forward to the day when we actually implement that.

It is interesting because, when we talk about battery storage, I was just looking= at Nova Scotia Power, and what they are doing with their users. There is actua= lly the ability in Nova Scotia, through their power company, to install batteri= es. They have time-of-use or time-of-day rates and all the rest of it. When we = look to the long term — we look to storage solutions, we look to management solutions, we look to use solutions — Nova Scotia has some interesting things. I don’t know if the witnesses have any interest in talking ab= out that, or the ability to look that way.

Mr. Hall: At this time, we are focused at looking at a larger grid-scale battery implementation as opposed to a distributed model, which I believe the membe= r is referring to — where you place batteries out in the distribution grid= . At this point, we are focused on the economy of scale and the use of control t= hat would come from a single grid-scale battery.

Ms. White: I do appreciate that answer, but I would think that, if we had enough small batteries installed in, for example, the City of Whitehorse, we could look = at shaving peaks when required.

I was = just looking at the south Australian example of the large-scale battery, which was really exciting. I hadn’t actually really paid attention until you just mentioned it. I know that in the resource plan we’re talking about battery storage in 2020 — what size of battery are we looking at for 2020?

Mr. Hall: I will just go back to the debate about large- versus small-distributed batteries. As a regulated utility, we do need to look at what the most cost-effective solution is. If we went in with a solution that included mul= tiple distributed batteries, we would have to show the regulator that it was chea= per than a single on-grid solution. Our view, based on, admittedly, not much wo= rk, is that you get your economic efficiency by going with a single on-grid battery.

To the= second point or question, we were looking at a 40-megawatt-hour implementation. So= either four megawatts for 10 hours — there are different ways to design that battery, so perhaps it could be eight megawat= ts for five hours, because some of those operational benefits that I spoke abo= ut require the battery to output more than that 40-megawatt notional amount.

We are= also learning how these batteries work, and the technology moves and develops ve= ry quickly, but we are engaging with some vendors and having some early discussions ahead of hearing back on our funding application.

We hav= e a battery expert coming up — Yukon Development Corporation helped suppo= rt the trip from this expert next week — or this week, I believe.=

Ms. White: I do appreciate that. Without getting the minister responsible for EMR on his fe= et, I have hopes of incentivizing things like batteries in homes to help with t= he grid issues.

What w= as the cost of renting the four diesel generators that are able to produce up to t= he 8 megawatts of power that were rented this winter, and did these specific generators get used this winter? Is it expected that Yukon Energy will have= to rent them again and, if so, will it be ongoing or are we looking at solving that problem?

Mr. Hall: The total rental cost was $728,000. We did run-ups on them to make sure that th= ey were available — that was the extent of our use — and until we = get a more permanent solution, we are expecting to have to use the same approach for rentals.

Ms. White: If they didn’t get used this winter, what is the expected cost if they are run?

Mr. Hall: Sorry, Mr. Chair — if she could just repeat.

Ms. White: The coughing and the thought process probably don’t help. What would the = cost be if those diesel generators needed to be operated — if we are looki= ng at a short-term or a longer term basis?

Mr. Hall:Q= 95;The way that the rental deal works with the vendor is that you get a certain nu= mber of hours free per month — free, essentially — where you can run them without any additional fee — other than fuel, which we buy separately, obviously. I believe that is sort of in the area of 20 to 30 ho= urs per month that you get free use, which typically would be sufficient to meet short-term peaks if we needed to. We didn’t incur any of those costs, obviously, this year.

Ms. White: What is the hourly rate if we go over top of that 20 to 30?

Mr. Hall: I don’t have that number with me, but we can certainly pass those numbe= rs on.

Ms. White: I know that the witness just mentioned that the storage expert was on their w= ay up. At this point in time, do we have any idea what the 40-megawatt storage would be? Whether it is four megawatts for 10 hours or what that is —= is there any idea of what that cost might be so far?

Mr. Hall:=  I am just looking for the information. It was in the or= der of $22 million, but again, those costs — battery storage costs R= 12; move around a lot. I think they have come down probably since we did the resource plan and as I mentioned, with the approach to the federal funding,= we are probably looking at an initial implementation of less than 40 megawatt hours to fit within the federal funding envelope, and so that initial implementation will probably be around 16 to 19. I think that is the range I gave earlier this afternoon.

Ms. White: I have talked a lot about it in the House before, but I believe we are kind of hitting that point with the disruption in technology and demand, so knowing that the cost of the storage is coming down makes sense, as is the cost of solar panels.

The 20= 16 resource plan plans for the building of a 20-megawatt diesel capacity in 20= 21. How much does the corporation expect this will cost?

Mr. Hall: I’ll start off by making a general comment about the way the resource plan was structured and what it recommended. It came up with a number of projects of interest. They were projects selected because they minimized the total cost= of the planning period. Any individual project within that list needs to go through its own approval and ultimate permitting process.

Having= said that, the additional 20 megawatts of thermal capacity was around $60 m= illion. That was the number within the total portfolio cost.

Ms. White: Is there any plan in the future with the Energy Corporation or the Development Corporation to invest a similar $60 million, instead of in thermal, in= to renewable energy?

Mr. Hall: I think it’s important to note that the total portfolio cost of new sup= ply projects in that resource plan recommendation was almost $300 million,= so $60 million of the $300 million was thermal. The rest was renewab= le.

Ms. White: However, looking at the timeline, there’s a third natural gas engine, 2019; diesel, 2021. Those are early on in that plan, which is why I was asking ab= out it.

We had= some concerns raised by people in the Southern Lakes this winter about the water level of Marsh Lake. They had concerns that the water was at an all-time low and that the water was just running through the dam. I just wanted to know = if there were any thoughts as to why this was happening, and not only why, but what the difference would be this winter over other winters.

Mr. Hall: I wasn’t aware of those concerns. I’m not quite sure if I’m understanding — was the water level low during the winter?

Ms. White: Not only was the water level low in the winter, but it was the lowest it has ev= er been. So maybe the question should be: Does the corporation measure the lev= els in the Marsh Lake area?

Mr. Hall: We most certainly monitor our reservoir levels, almost on a weekly basis, and = we review it right up to the management team on probably a bi-monthly basis. It’s something we track very clearly. I’m not sure the Marsh La= ke levels were at an historic low. Certainly Mayo was low, but Marsh Lake R= 12; from memory, I don’t have the water level chart in front of me, but I don’t recall it being at anything close to an historic low.

Ms. White: I’ll suggest to the person who brought it to my attention to actually contact the corporation directly.

At thi= s point in time, how much money has been spent on the Southern Lakes enhancement proje= ct?

Mr. Hall: I’m just looking to see if I have the data with me. I’m afraid I don̵= 7;t. I’m going to guess it’s around $7 million to date. =

Ms. White: The last number of meetings I attended — probably the last one was 2016 — there didn’t appear to be buy-in from the communities that we= re being visited. Where does the Southern Lakes enhancement project stand toda= y?

Mr. Hall: I think it’s worth going back and reviewing the full picture here with = the Southern Lakes project. I believe the minister referred to the fact that, i= f we go back to our 2013 GRA — general rate application — the YUB ga= ve us specific instructions to continue work — I’ll quote exactly = from their decision document: “… YEC is to cease work on this projec= t if and when Yukon Energy Corporation concludes that there is no net economic benefit of the project to ratepayers.”

In oth= er words, they instructed us to go back and do more work on it. So if you go back to = the 2014 time frame, that’s what we did. A lot of the work over the last three years has focused on the First Nation — principally the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, but also Kwanlin Dün and Ta’an Kwäch’än — working with CTFN to = secure their agreement to proceed forward to YESAB. We were successful in securing support through a letter from the CTFN land management board in 2017, supporting Yukon Energy Corporation moving forward to YESAB, if or when we = made the decision to do so.

In ter= ms of the science that has been done, we spent a large portion of that $7 million studying a range of different potential impacts on fish and wildlife. The general conclusions from that work were that there were no substantial adve= rse effects from the project in terms of impacts on fish and wildlife. There we= re potential impacts identified in terms of shoreline erosion in certain speci= fic areas of the lake, and in potential groundwater flooding.

The th= ird component of the work involved reaching out to the property owners who were identified as being within those shoreline units, or potentially impacted by groundwater flooding, and working on mitigation strategies. So there were meetings held with groups of property owners to work through different mitigation designs. Most folks will be aware that there are numbers of residents around the lakes already who have done their own mitigation, in t= erms of erosion control.

The id= ea was to work with those specific shoreline unit owners t= o work on mitigation that would be implemented, if and when the project went ahead= .

Obviou= sly, we do appreciate that there is still opposition from certain members of the publi= c to the project. Obviously this needs to be handled in a very sensitive and thoughtful way. This project certainly isn’t a slam-dunk.

It goe= s to show that even what may seem like a simple project, in terms of increasing a sto= rage range on a reservoir, ends up being an extremely difficult and challenging exercise.

At thi= s point, my final comment would be that, when we came out of the resource plan and we looked at our situation, the primary focus was on securing more supply of capacity. This project doesn’t give us more capacity. It gives us more energy, which would be of benefit, but really we need to solve the capacity issue as our first priority. More recently, the project hasn’t receiv= ed the attention or the focus from the Energy Corporation, but we do appreciate that. We don’t want to keep people hanging for too long.

I beli= eve the member opposite asked me the same question the last time I was here, so we = do need to get to a response because, for some people, this is very near and d= ear to their hearts and very important to them.

Ms. White: I don’t think it was only asked the last time; it was asked the time be= fore that and the time before that — going all the way back to 2012. That = was the first time we had the opportunity to ask the Energy Corporation questio= ns.

Unders= tanding that the social licence — I would suggest — hasn’t been g= iven as a blank cheque at this point in time, does the corporation plan on continuing with the Southern Lakes enhancement project, including the fact = that it is listed in the resource plan as being something to be done in 2020?

Mr. Hall: I think I went through earlier that, just because a project is identified as being of interest in the resource plan, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily 100 percent going ahead. I thought I made that point clear, but I will make the point again. The second point is that no decision has b= een made at this time, for various reasons. It is something that our board, fir= st and foremost, needs to consider. We have a new chair wh= o I need to get up to speed with this project, among many, and then, in due course, engage with Yukon Development Corporation and the minister to see overall whether we have a case to move forward.

Ms. White: When I was looking at the next generation hydro plan, it talks about the directi= ve, and it says: “In early 2013, Yukon Government issued the Yukon Hydroelectric Power Planning Directive to Yukon Development Corporation…” That was talking about the planning of a large-sc= ale renewable project. It was under the direction of the government. At this po= int in time, has YDC or YEC been given a directive to look toward developing renewable energy in the territory?

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;The hydroelectric power planning directive was an order-in-cou= ncil that was invoked by the Yukon government. The six potential hydro projects = were previously discussed with First Nations in consultations. A number of First Nations did not express interest in the projects. We have not received anot= her directive or OIC for renewable projects, save the fact that we do have a renewable energy project called the “innovative renewable energy initiative”, but that is a policy, not a directive, and we have implemented that new program.

Ms. White: Excluding refurbishment upgrades of already existing facilities, are there any new renewable energy projects in the resource pla= n? If so, how much is expected to be invested in them?

Mr. Hall: Perhaps I will give an overview of the planning work that we are doing in the area = of renewable energy — specifically this year. If I go through the list, = we spoke about the large grid-scale battery, so the first step there is the application to the NRCan funding program, the s= econd being the upgrading to the existing hydro generators, which the member ment= ioned.

The third, which there were questions on earlier, relates to t= he standing offer program of the independent power production policy. We are very encouraged by the work that is being done; weR= 17;re a member of the team and we’re expecting and hoping that this power w= ill arrive. We were planning by 2022 but, looking at the timing of proponents, = such as Haeckel Hill — if they’re successful, it could be that we get some of the early supply sources from that program earlier than that.

We are= looking to advance the Mayo Lake enhanced storage project, so that’s another storage enhancement that involves increasing the storage range on the Mayo reservoir, and we’re expecting to put an RFP this week for the next p= hase of engineering of that project.

The ne= xt is the demand-side management. That was identified as a critical source of avoided energy and avoided capacity, if you look at it that way. We will shortly be putting out an RFP for the design of a new portfolio of DSM programs. That = will go beyond our current in-charge program and specifically look at programs t= hat might reduce peak consumption. There is a specific class of DSM programs out there that target peak consumption.

As par= t of that, we’re hoping to do a pilot study of residential demand response. It sounds like a technical term, but basically it is piloting strategies to get residents in homes to shift their peak consumption. So we’re applying= to another NRCan fund, the smart grid fund, for fu= nding for that pilot program.

Finall= y, we do have in the cards — the work is early — to look at some small hydro, and there were a couple of potential sites identified in the resource plan. The idea would be to kick off some feasibility work on those. =

Ms. White: So just talking about DSM, those are exciting things when we talk about how we manage what we have better than that, and talking about peak consumption particularly. Many moons ago, there was a hot water tank pilot project done= . I could never find out where it went after that, but when I did go to —= I have been to different energy things — but one of the conversations w= as, you know, if you were able to put things like that on circuit so, hot water — you had the hot water that was in your tank and, after 7:30 a.m., it didn’t go back on until the house was gone at 10:00 a.m., because that’s when everybody had their toasters in. Could the witnesses talk more about what they’re looking for and what they’re hoping for with that project?

Mr. Hall: I’m glad the member brought that up, because she reminded me that part of the p= ilot project that I spoke about — and we’re applying to the NRCan smart grid demonstration and deployment program= for the specifics — part of that will be a residential hot water program,= so doing exactly what the member suggested, putting in technology that will sw= itch off hot water tanks at certain times of day. The idea behind the pilot is to look at the technical feasibility of the communications to that hot water t= ank, and then also what the user experience is like.

Ms. White: That is excellent news.

Anothe= r one of the workshops that I have been to in the last number of years was about ETS — electrical thermal storage. I know= that, at one point in time, one of the condo corporations up in Copper Ridge, when they had to replace their oil tanks — one of the things that the condo corporation was helping to fund was ETS systems to replace the oil monitors= .

Is the= re any thought about looking toward things like ETS systems or heat pumps to go al= ong with that DSM?

Mr. Hall: It is certainly possible that ETS is identified as part of the suite of DSM progr= ams. I think right now we are looking for a consultant to cast the net broadly in terms of capacity-focused DSM and then come back to us with their recommend= ed, most cost-effective suite.

Ms. White: I think that is all really exciting news. I will look forward to signing up to having my hot water tank monitored by a system from faraway.

Chapte= r 5 of the resource plan looks at wind power, and I am just going to quote a section o= f it because I think it is so important for Yukoners to understand. The section speaks of seven sites that are being considered for wind energy — and= I quote: “… all seven sites show an average of three-quarters of = the expected electricity production occurring in the winter months between Octo= ber and April. This generation profile is complementary to the Yukon’s en= ergy needs, which are higher in the winter due to increase in requirements for s= pace heating and lighting.”

At thi= s point in time, if I looked at the resource plan, it talks about wind in 2022. Given = the demand pattern, why is there not a greater focus on wind energy in this con= text and looking at pressing ahead on wind projects sooner than 2022 if that cou= ld be part of what we need to address our winter demand?

Mr. Hall:=  I will make a couple of comments in response. The first= is that we continue with the third year of wind monitoring on Mount Sumanik. We have a Lidar system on Mount Sumanik gathering data.

In ter= ms of how wind was identified within the resource plan, it was in the higher load scenario, I believe, where wind was identified as a resource of interest. It didn’t make the cut in the medium scenario, which means that there wa= s a cheaper portfolio that didn’t include wind because it was an economic optimization that was used.

Possib= ly part of the reason is that we have a capacity shortfall that we have to address, and wind does not provide dependable capacity because you can’t rely on i= t to blow when it is minus 35 out. It is possible that it might blow that day, b= ut it is equally possible that it won’t be blowing, in which case, it is= not what is called dependable. You needed something else to provide that depend= able capacity, and so it means that wind doesn’t always score that highly = when you look at the economics altogether. That is not to say that we don’t continue to study it and we are hopeful that some of the IPP proponents = 212; the successful ones — will bring wind on to the grid.

Ms. White: I’m hopeful that, if we get the battery storage up and going, wind becomes more attractive as the cost of renewable energy comes down. Again, it’s th= at whole disruption.

Talkin= g about microgeneration, does the Energy Corporation track how much electricity is = produced through the microgeneration policy, or only what is being sold back to the = grid by producers?

Mr. Hall: We certainly get information updates from the Energy Solutions Centre, which manages that program, in terms of the number of installations. I believe th= at we did make a forecast of future growth in that segment of the market as pa= rt of the resource plan. But at this time, I believe we’re up to 100 or = 150 — don’t quote me on that number, but I think that is where we a= re. If you look at the net amount that is exported to the grid, relative to our total load, it is still a pretty small fraction, and so it’s not, at = this point, really making a material impact to our business overall. It is achie= ving various policy objectives, no doubt — but in terms of us and our impa= ct on our operations, not so much.

Ms. White: Do we have any numbers for 2017 about how much energy was generated?

Mr. Hall: I don’t have that data. The Energy Solutions Centre, through EMR, could provide that.

Ms. White: I was hoping and I was hopeful — the chance of me getting up in EMR is = less than zero.

Someth= ing that is really interesting that has just happened is that the Alberta government= has launched a new program called PACE, and that stands for property assessed c= lean energy. The concept is to allow people to access programs like the microgeneration policy without the upfront cost. It’s critical, becau= se the investment up front requires at least $10,000, and it can go up to $20,= 000 or $30,000 or even higher, depending on the size of a house or what kind of array you’re looking at installing. Then you’re looking at the investment — it gets costed out over eight, 10 or 12 years, and lots = of people don’t have that money up front.

So I w= as wondering if the Yukon Development Corporation has looked into the feasibil= ity of a similar program in Yukon — because it’s the Yukon Developm= ent Corporation that can do some interesting things — or whether it would= be the Yukon Energy Corporation that would look to something similar.

Mr. Ferbey:Q= 95;As I mentioned, at Yukon Development Corporation, we have shif= ted more toward energy plans that are focused on small communities and First Nations. There are some First Nations who are looking at solar. We haven’t looked at individual solar projects providing, for example, a capital contribution toward the individual. That being said, we are participating on capital costs of First Nations and communities, but not individuals, if that is how the PACE program works.

Ms. White: It does and that is probably a conversation for the Energy Solutions Centre bu= t, like I said, the chances are very slim.

Earlie= r, when you were speaking with the Member for Kluane and there was talk about Victo= ria Gold, there was mention that Victoria Gold was going to cover the cost from= the mine to the existing line, the majority of the costs for the substation at = McQuesten and $1.5 million for upgrades to the g= rid. What will the total cost for Yukon be with that project?

Mr. Hall: In terms of the question, I believe it relates to the total upfront cost ̵= 2; the cost borne by ratepayers. There’s a portion of the substation, for example, that we will pay for because we wanted some long-term functionalit= y in that substation beyond what is required in the short term — that̵= 7;s about $1 million — that’s about it.

The ot= her bit of disclosure that we had during our YUB proceeding was the impact on rates. We showed that the connection of Victoria Gold in certain years — and I think we modelled 2020 to 2025 — was expected to be a modest benefit = to ratepayers.

Ms. White: I’m just going to ask the witnesses’ indulgence as I try to remember how = this works. Does Yukon Energy go into a purchase agreement with, for example, a = new mine? Is there a different cost or cheaper cost of power per kilowatt hour = at the beginning, and then it goes to the full cost at the end? I guess I would start off with: What is the industrial cost per kilowatt hour over resident= ial? What are the two differences there?

The re= ason why I ask the question is that I believe, in the past, there have been things negotiated where a mine that said they were going to be around for 20 years were open for five years, had a cheaper cost of power, and then they shut d= own, so there was no benefit to Yukon. I just want to know the cost of the resid= ential kilowatt hour over the industrial kilowatt hour, and then how agreements are being designed with new mine sites to make sure that, if we give them a deferred cost of power, it doesn’t happen at the beginning of the pro= ject but at the end of the project.

Mr. Hall:=  In terms of the rates the mine pays, as I went through before, it’s the standard industrial rate. There’s no special d= eal for this mine connection. If there ever was one in the past, there’s = no special deal here — no deferred costs. The average rates — I’m just looking at what we submitted to the Yukon Utilities Board. Industrial customers pay various chunks in a rate. They pay what is called = the “demand charge”, which has to do with the peak and how tall the= ir peak is, and then they pay an energy charge. That is all very transparent. =

If you= calculate it out, the full-cost rates were about 13.8 cents per kilowatt hour. As I s= aid, that’s a rate that’s approved by the YUB. Yukon Energy doesn’t have any flexibility in terms of structuring that.

Ms. White: What is the cost for residential kilowatt hours?

Mr. Hall: I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have that number at my fingertips, but it’s not going to be substantially different from that.

Ms. White: At some point in time, I would love that information. I thought it was 16 cent= s; then I thought that when we were buying energy back, we bought it for 21 ce= nts. In my head, it’s 16 cents. I was just looking for that clarification.=

At thi= s point, I’m going to close the notes. What I’m going to ask the Energy = Corporation and the Development Corporation is: What are the highlights of things you w= ant to do in the next, let’s say, year to three years? What are the things you would be most proud of to talk about outside of the territory — so your achievements, your goals?

I can = look at the resource plan and I can look at the website and I can look at previous questions, but that doesn’t necessarily talk about the direction that= you as chairs of both corporations are hoping to go in. I am looking for aspirational statements. We are looking for what is coming online and what = you would be excited to share outside of the territory.

Ms. Fairlie: It is very diffi= cult for us to talk about aspirational because of the fact that we are a Crown corporation. We have to look to the government’s direction and its priorities when carrying out our role. I would say that, from my perspectiv= e, that what I believe is a good direction for the Yukon is captured in much of the government’s current aspirational roles. I would really like to s= ee us develop a grid that is a green grid — as green as possible, but st= ill provides enough energy to power the economy and to provide energy that is required for residents to maintain their homes in comfort.

Ms. Cabott: As a new chair o= f the corporation, I am just beginning to learn the ropes and to work with the management and my board members.

We do = go into a planning session in July, and I look forward to that. I think I will just l= eave it at that right now — maybe next year.

Ms. White: All right, I’m going to flag that — next time you guys come in, I’m going to ask a similar question. The reason why I ask is that, ultimately, it’s the people’s power. It’s a publicly owned corporation. It’s owned by all Yukoners. When I ask that question, I would like to think that, at some point in time, they will be reaching furt= her in trying to achieve — we’ve talked about it a lot in this Hous= e in different ways but, if only planning happens for an election cycle — = and Mr. Hall and I have had conversations about this before, about how important it is to look at long-term planning, including that there was the social cost of car= bon in the energy plan incorporated into it, because there was a responsibility= to look further than just an election cycle.

Althou= gh I appreciate that priorities are being directed from Yukon government, my hope is that we will reach further and look at different things. I thank you for your time today. I look forward to big aspirational statements next year, and I thank= , of course, the officials for being here.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Mr. Chair, on behalf of Committee of the Whole, I would l= ike to thank Joanne Fairlie, chair of Yukon Developmen= t Corporation Board of Directors, Justin Ferbey, president and chief executive officer of the Yukon Development Corporation, Lesley Cabott, chair of the Yukon Energy Corporation Board of Directors, and Andrew Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Yu= kon Energy Corporation, for appearing as witnesses today.

In con= clusion, I hope that we had an opportunity for all of those who had questions to get a more insightful look at the complete conversation that we are having concer= ning energy. I sincerely want to thank all of the witnesses for their help and support throughout the year. I know we only have a couple of individuals who are working at YDC, but I want to thank the staff at Yukon Development Corporation and take this opportunity to thank the employees of the Yukon Energy Corporation who, through freezing rain, cold, snow and everything th= at comes at them, continue to ensure that we are safe and warm in our homes. I want to thank them for all of the work that they do to ensure that we have = an organization that is at the utmost of professionalism.

I woul= d also like to touch upon a couple of things. We do have a guest speaker this week= . I will endeavour for the Member for Takhini-Kopper King to get that informati= on concerning the Energy Solutions Centre. I think it is also important to tha= nk Mr. Hall. Through his work with the Canadian Electricity Association, we will be host= ing in the Yukon — for the first time, I think, in our 127-year history — the Canadian Electricity Association will be here. There will be meetings in both Whitehorse and Carcross in June — around solstice. T= hey are here to look at the good work that has been undertaken by Yukon Develop= ment Corporation and Yukon Energy Corporation. We look forward to hosting and participating in those important meetings.

With t= hat, Mr. Chair, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to bring our witnesses in tod= ay.

Chair: Thank= you, Mr. Pillai. The witnesses are now excused.

Witnesses excused

 

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

 

Speaker resumes the Chair<= /p>

 

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. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i>, and directed me to report progres= s.

Also, = pursuant to Committee of the Whole Motion No. 4, witnesses from the Yukon Development Corporation and the Yukon Energy Corporation appeared before Committee of the Whole from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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

Are yo= u agreed?

Some Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker: I d= eclare the report carried.

&= nbsp;

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

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

Motion agreed to

&= nbsp;

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

&= nbsp;

The House adjourned at 5:28 p.m.

 

 

 

The= following sessional papers were tabled April 16, 2018:

34-2-54

Yukon Ombudsman, Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner = 2017 Annual Report — Working hard for Yukoners<= /i> (Speaker Clarke)

&= nbsp;

34-2-5= 5

Yuk= on Human Rights Commission — A Year in Review — 2016/2017 Annual Report<= /span> and Financial Stat= ements (Speaker Clarke)

&= nbsp;

The= following legislative return was tabled April 16, 2018:

34-2-125

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

&= nbsp;

The= following document was filed April 16, 2018:

34-2-48

Fundin= g for indigenous women’s organizations, letter re (dated March 19, 2018) fr= om Ann Maje Raider, Executive Director, Liard Abor= iginal Women’s Society; Doris Anderson, President, Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council; and Krista Reid, President, Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle, to Hon. Sandy Silver, Premier and Hon. Jean= ie Dendys, Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate (White)

&= nbsp;

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