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Yukon Legislative Assembly=

Whitehorse, Yukon

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 — 1:00 p.m.

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

We wil= l proceed at this time with prayers.

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Prayers

In remembrance of those killed and injured in Toronto van attack

Speaker: Pri= or to proceeding with the Order Paper, the Chair will, on behalf of the House, express our condolences regarding the 10 people killed and 15 persons injur= ed in Toronto yesterday by a person driving a van down the sidewalk on Yonge Street.

It is = difficult to imagine how a normal spring day in a peaceful part of the city can so suddenly, without any apparent reason, transform itself into a scene of horrific tragedy for the dead, the injured and their grieving families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

The Ch= air would also like to acknowledge the presence of mind, skill and courage of metro Toronto police constable Ken Lam who calmly, skillfully and professionally de-escalated the confrontation and was ultimately able to end this horrible incident without the use of deadly force. This restraint in such a tense circumstance is a model for all.

Also, = the Chair would like to acknowledge the extraordinary skill and dedication of all eme= rgency personnel who provided tireless support and assistance to all victims in wh= at were, no doubt, unimaginably challenging circumstances.

At thi= s time, I would ask all present to rise for a moment of silence to honour the deceased and injured persons in Toronto.

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Moment of silence observed

Daily Routine

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

Introd= uction of visitors.

Introduction of Visitors

Hon. M= r. Silver: I would ask all of my col= leagues in the Legislative Assembly to help me in welcoming to the Legislative Assembly, Grand Chief Peter Johnston.

Applause

 

Hon. M= s. Frost: I would like all M= embers of the Legislative Assembly to also join me in welcoming Amy Ryder, ch= air of the Yukon Child Care Board, Maggie Powter, a board member and Sophie Partridge, administrative assistant.

Applause

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Mr. Kent:Q= 95;My wife, Amanda Leslie, has joined us here today to take in the last day ̵= 2; or a portion of the last day of the Spring Sitting.

Applause

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Speaker: She= ’s welcome to stay for the whole afternoon if she wishes.

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Hon. Mr. Silver: I would also like to welcome today into the gallery Devon Bail= ey who is here supporting his better half.

Applause

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Speaker: Any= further introductions of visitors?

That b= rings us then to tributes.

TRIBUTES

In recognition of the 25<= sup>th anniversary of the Umbrella Final Agreement and the final agreements of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Teslin Tlingit Council, First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dun and t= he Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Hon. Mr. Silver: It’s my pleasure to rise today on behalf of the Yukon Li= beral Party government to recognize the 25th anniversary of the Umbrella Final Agreement and the f= inal agreements of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Teslin Tlingit Coun= cil, First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dun and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. =

The Umbrella Final Agreement and the f= irst four final agreements were all signed on May 29, 1993, after decades of hard work by many, many visionary leaders and community members. The leaders at = the time who signed these historic agreements on behalf of their governments we= re Tom Siddon as the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, John Ostashek as the Yukon Government Leader, Judy Gingell as the Cha= ir of the Council of Yukon Indians, Paul Birckel as t= he Chief of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Dave Keenan as the Chief= of the Teslin Tlingit Council, Robert Hagar as the Chief of the First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dun, and Robert Bruce Jr. as the Chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.

I woul= d like to thank these leaders, their negotiators and officials, and, of course, the elders and community members who were involved in the development of these agreements. It took whole communities and the visionary leadership and hard work of many to bring these agreements forward. In February, we celebrated = the 45th anniversary of Toge= ther Today for Our Children Tomorrow, the document that paved the way for the signing of the Umbrella Final Agree= ment and the first four final agreements 20 years later.

The pa= th to reaching these agreements was long and there were many challenges along the way. First Nations then — as today — remain steadfast advocates= for the needs of their communities and I applaud the strength, the perseverance= and the determination of all those who were involved. The signing of these agreements represents a new shared path for our governments and citizens. T= hese agreements are now the foundation of a more modern and fair approach to governance in Yukon.

The ag= reements put self-governance powers back into the hands of the First Nation governme= nts who are best able to meet the needs of their communities. These agreements = are an incredibly important aspect of reconciliation, shared nation building and strengthened government-to-government relationships. These agreements creat= e a relationship between our governments, and like any relationship, it takes h= ard work to nurture and to sustain them. There will continue to be challenges, = but we are committed to working through these challenges together.

One of= the key commitments of this government is to work in collaboration with First Natio= ns to advocate and to advance implementation and realize the spirit and the in= tent of the final and self-governing agreements.

I beli= eve that we are making progress toward this goal and that Yukoners in all communities are beginning to feel the benefits of collaboration.

Over t= he past 16 months or so that I have been Premier, I have seen the evidence all around = me that collaboration between Yukon government and First Nation governments is growing stronger and stronger. The revitalization of the quarterly Yukon Fo= rum has allowed us to build a solid foundation for our intergovernmental relationships, identify our shared priorities and begin making progress on those priorities. We are working together on our joint priority action plan= and have an agreement to hold four Yukon Forums again this year. At the Yukon Forum, we will be discussing our progress on a number of important files, M= r. Speaker.

Throug= h the Yukon Forum, we are re-examining the long-standing issues through new eyes = and seeking initiative, innovation and collaborative solutions. I look forward = to continuing to work with First Nations to implement these agreements and fur= ther bringing forth that vision of Toget= her Today for Our Children Tomorrow.

I enco= urage Yukoners to learn more about the Um= brella Final Agreement and the final and self-governing agreements. They were agreements that were signed for all Yukoners. Take a look at the “Map= ping the Way” Facebook page in the month of May, for example, as they will= be celebrating and sharing posts related to the anniversaries of these agreeme= nts.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, Judy Gingell said it very eloquently at her rec= ent talk at Yukon College. She said — and I quote: “We all own these agreements. These agreements belong to the people of the Yukon, so each and every one of us in this room has a duty to bring these agreements forward. These agreements are about partnership, building a relationship. We all live here so we want to make it what is best for the people of the Yukon.”=

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, thank you again to all of the individuals who helped to negotiate these agr= eements and to those who are working on implementing them today. Mahsicho.

Applause

 

Ms. Van Bibber: I rise on behalf of the Yukon Party Official Opposition to rec= ognize and pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Umbrella Final Agreement.

As set= tlers moved west across Canada, building railroads and giving land to landed immigrants, Indian reserves were being established to take care of the “Indian problem” and to place them away from farms and settleme= nts that were predominantly European. However, the area known as Rupert’s Land, from which Yukon was carved during the gold rush, was still wild and = far away, thought of as not having much value. Things moved too quickly as the stampeders came north, or I’m sure that there would have been reserve= s as seen Outside. Therefore, we also had no treaties signed in Yukon.

Our pe= ople were welcoming and did not fully understand the impacts of the influx of these people. They packed supplies for them, they helped to build boats and shared their clothing and their survival skills. They shared their food and showed them the routes.

Many d= ecades later, when visionary leaders like Elijah Smith said that we must be includ= ed and share in the bounty of our territory, it was groundbreaking and innovat= ive. The negotiations that followed the publication of Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow <= /span>took place throughout the 1970s an= d 1980s. Th= ese negotiations ultimately led to the = Umbrella Final Agreement, or the UFA, being signed in 1993, providing a model or= a framework on which self-government agreements with each First Nation would = be based.

The fi= rst four Yukon First Nations to negotiate self-government agreements were the First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dun, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and Teslin Tlingit Council — each of the four initial agreements with the Government of Canada, Government of Yukon and t= he Council for Yukon Indians.

In tha= t historic publication presented to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, there was a list of preliminary economic development proposals received by the Yukon Native Brotherhood in January 1973 from bands and band members. Note the following ideas from their citizens that I found interesting to highlight: ideas from= the Old Crow band — a greenhouse and an airplane charter service; from the Mayo band — a coffee shop centre and home construction training groun= d; from the Teslin band — arts and crafts retail store and a senior citi= zens home; from the Champagne and Aishihik band — arts and crafts retail s= tore and to fix up the old buildings at Klukshu. We = have come a long way from the days where we were led by Indian and Northern Affa= irs.

It mus= t be spoken of and told to generations to come that we are the lead in settled l= and claims across Canada, as 11 of our 14 are self-governing and are making huge strides in capacity and nation-building.

We too= thank all who championed the enormous changes and who gave years of time and energy to the cause of bettering the lives of Yukon First Nations and Yukoners: the chiefs and councils, the elders, the negotiators, the panels and the people themselves who spent years trying to understand the implications and nuance= s of how their lives could, or would, change.

As we = move forward, we will continue to share these stories of the growth as well as t= he old ways. One cannot stop change, so, therefore, we must embrace all that we learn, and just imagine — one can be the change for one’s natio= n.

Mahsicho.

Applause

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Ms. Hanson: On behalf of the Yukon New Democratic Party, it is an honour to join in paying tribute to the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Umbrella Final Agreement and the f= irst four final and self-government agreements.

You kn= ow, what a difference a quarter of a century makes. Twenty-five years ago, at this tim= e, there were frenetic, behind-the-scenes activities going on in meeting rooms across the Yukon and in Ottawa as officials from the four First Nations, CYI and the federal and territorial governments worked together to pull together the final details of the many documents that comprised the four First Nation final and self-government agreements and the Umbrella Final Agreement.

Along = with each First Nation final agreement and self-government agreement, there were ream= s of maps representing the Yukon land retained as various categories of settleme= nt land; there were implementation plans for the UFA for each of the First Nat= ion final and self-government agreements and more — all in triplicate = 212; thousands of pages of complex legal detail.

My not= es from the days leading up to the signing ceremony remind me of the exhaustive eff= orts by legal counsel, mappers, negotiators and officials at all levels of government working to finally pull it all together. Finally, on May 29, 1993 — which dawned as a brisk, sunny day filled with expectation — = the big tent that was erected on the CYI grounds with dignitaries who included,= as the Premier has noted: the federal minister of the day, Tom Siddon; Judy Gingell, chair of the Council of Yukon First Nations; the late John Ostashek, Yukon government leader; Chief Robert Bruce, Jr., from the Vuntut Gwitchin; the l= ate Chief Robert Hagar, representing the First Nation of Na Cho Nyäk Dun; Chief Keenan, Chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council; and Paul Birckel, Chief of the Champagne and Aishihik First Na= tions.

Along = with members of the original group of First Nation leaders who had accompanied Elijah Smith to Ottawa in February 1973, elders, members of the Yukon First Nations, communities from across the Yukon and a large crowd of people from= the general public were piped to the grounds, accompanied by members of the RCM= P in full ceremonial dress. The sense of excitement — of anticipation R= 12; was palpable. On a personal note, I was excited to have been given the privilege of signing as a witness to the federal minister on the Champagne = and Aishihik First Nations self-government agreement.

Twenty= -two years after the initial tabling of the historic Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow, after numerous setbacks in negotiation= s, the failed ratification of the 1984 agreement and after subsequent changes = to federal policy that included recognition and negotiation for the first time= in Canada of self-government as an integral part of a land claim agreement, Yu= kon First Nations’ patience was being rewarded. Yukon First Nations had b= een clear in Together Today for Our Chi= ldren Tomorrow that, as they said, “We want to take part in the develop= ment of Yukon and Canada, not stop it, but we can only participate as Indians. We will not sell our heritage for a quick buck or a temporary job.

“= ;With a just settlement of our claims we feel we can participate as equals, and the= n we will be able to live together as neighbours.”

Only a= quarter of a century after the signing of the first four agreements, it is amazing = to me to realize that today Yukoners take for granted the significant role Yuk= on First Nation development corporations have played in shaping and growing our economy. Just think of the impact of the decision by Vuntut Gwitchin Development Corporation to seize an opportunity to invest in Air North, whi= ch, along with the Yukon government of the day’s creation of a small busi= ness investment tax credit, allowed other Yukon citizens to invest in what has b= ecome one of Canada’s most beloved and successful airlines. Members of this House know that this is just one of the many investments made by Yukon First Nation development corporations in Yukon.

Hundre= ds of Yukon jobs and millions in revenues are generated annually by First Nation-owned businesses, which brings to mind the words of Sam Johnson, who= was one of the original 18 delegates with Elijah Smith, who was also — as= I have noted before — the former Chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council an= d — I’ve noted — the first aboriginal Speaker of a Legislative Asse= mbly in the Commonwealth. Sam said — and I quote: “We want the rest = of Yukon to know that we didn’t trigger land claims so that we could take over. The real thing was that we wanted to become involved so that our young people, both native and non-native, can all work together…”

Dave J= oe, a member of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and one of the Yukon Fir= st Nation legal architects and negotiators described the result of the Umbrella Final Agreement as a “partnership”. It is an attempt, he said, to rationalize how we share lawmaking in Yukon. He went on to say that we can celebrate these agreements that were premised upon partnerships and our common understandin= g to do good for all people.

Tim Koepke, who served for many years as chief federal negotiator, has said that the Umbre= lla Final Agreement and the final agreements should not be viewed, as we ha= ve heard in some places, as a template land-and-cash real estate deal. The Umbrella Final Agreement reads, fr= om the first “whereas” clause in the preamble and through to the end, about shedding the past relationships with governments and focusing on buil= ding enduring relationships for future success and shared prosperity.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, after almost 20 years of immersion in the Yukon negotiation process, my perspective is coloured by the people, the citizens of Canada and Yukon and First Nations, that we collectively were charged with the responsibility for negotiating the Umbrella Final Agre= ement and the final and self-government agreements, and with the realization that= we must focus on what the agreements they negotiated on our collective behalf intended.

The fa= ct is that these negotiations were never easy. There were moments of despair and utter joy. The issues were complex and occasionally profound. As another negotiat= or put it, the signed agreements crystallized a moment in Yukon’s history when Yukon First Nation and non-First Nation citizens joined in a shared vi= sion of a future of Yukon where the institutions of public government would be o= pen and inclusive and would incorporate Yukon First Nation interests and participation directly in governing the territory.

As we = celebrate the achievements of so many in communities across Yukon in the difficult ye= ars leading up to the signing 25 years ago this May, we also remember the many who are = no longer with us: First Nation elders, chiefs, ordinary community members, negotiators for First Nations, Yukon and Canada, who all worked to help cre= ate a new future for Yukon, a future that, as Dr. Robert Joseph put it, is grou= nded in reconciliation — reconciliation that includes anyone with an open heart and an open mind who is willing to look to the future in a new way.

The ev= ents of 25 years ago this May 29 provide us a way to belong to this time and place together. Our future and the well-being of all of our children rest with the kind of relationships we build today.

Applause

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

Tabling Returns and Documents

Hon. Mr. Pillai: I have for tabling a response to Written Question No. 23 regar= ding land withdrawals and staking bans within Yukon from the Member for Copperbe= lt South.

I also= have for tabling responses to the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources budget d= ebate questions related to rural land development, Millhaven= Bay, the Faro mine and class 1 notification from March 20.

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Hon. Ms. Frost: I have for tabling a response to questions raised by the Membe= r for Takhini-Kopper King on April 19.

I also= have for tabling four Yukon Child and Family Services Act annual reports from 2010 to 2013, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

I also= have for tabling the Yukon Child Care Board annual report for 2016 to 2018, and this= is tabled pursuant to section 4(11) of the Child Care Act.

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Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I have for tabling a legislative return responding to a reques= t for information during the Public Service Commission budget discussion.<= /p>

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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?

Introduction of Bills

Bill No. 300: Act to Amend the Taxp= ayer Protection Act — Introduction and First Reading=

Mr. Cathers:&= #8195;I move that a bill entitled Act to Am= end the Taxpayer Protection Act be now introduced and read a first time.

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Member for Lake Laberge that a bill entitled Act to Amend the Taxpayer Protection Act be now introduced and = read a first time.

Motion for introduction and first reading of Bill No. 300 agreed to

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Speaker: Are= there any further 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 consult with the Yukon Ombudsman regarding legislative changes necessary to bring the Ombudsman Act in line with best practices elsewhere in Canada, specifically to authorize the Ombudsman to initiate independent investigations.

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I also= give notice of the following motion:

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to follow up on the unanimous consent of the Legislative Assembly to take concrete action on electoral reform by the end= of 2018 by immediately appointing a non-partisan commission on electoral refor= m to:

(1) en= gage with Yukoners;

(2) co= nsider fixed election dates; and

(3) co= nsider other proposed changes to Yukon’s electoral system.

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

THAT t= his House urges the Government of Yukon to do a review of highway maintenance practic= es, including:

(1) re= viewing the resources for each maintenance camp to ensure that they are adequate, including financial resources and necessary training and equipment;<= /p>

(2) re= viewing and improving maintenance coverage times, including overnight maintenance, = to ensure the roads are safe for truck drivers and other travellers;

(3) en= suring public safety on the highways for emergency vehicles, school buses, long-ha= ul vehicles, tourists and the general public;

(4) se= eking input from front-line employees who maintain our highways; and

(5) en= suring that there are suitable and sufficient resources to adequately address issu= es including ice and snow, changing weather patterns, sightline visibility, permafrost issues, water adjacent to the road, traffic volumes, and BST and pavement degradation.

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

THAT t= his House urges the Minister of Highways and Public Works to improve the safety and functionality of Takhini River Road by:

(1) im= mediately taking steps to deal with the current flooding problem, including the fount= ain of water that has started gushing through the road on April 23, 2018; and

(2) in= vesting in engineering and design work aimed at doing a major upgrade to the roadbed, = road service and ditches.

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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: Childr= en in care

Ms. McLeod: Last week, it was revealed that a whistle-blower who raised concerns with the treatment of children in government-run group homes was fired as a result of this. However, the minister claims that the government supports whistle-blowers.

Can th= e minister explain how firing a whistle-blower for raising concerns about the treatmen= t of children is showing them support?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: The members opposite should know by now that I am not prepared= in any way to comment on personnel matters on the floor of this Legislative Assembly. I admire the courage of civil servants and citizens who come forw= ard with complaints about this government. I encourage them to continue to do s= o. There is whistle-blower legislation in place. It was passed in 2014 in this House. That legislation has the support of this Cabinet and this caucus. We encourage our civil servants — our hard-working professional civil servants — if they have any concerns about gross negligence or proble= ms within the civil service that involve children in care or any number of oth= er issues, to please come forward to your supervisor, to your deputy or to the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner and announce that you are making a complaint under that act, and you will be protected from reprisal. <= /p>

Ms. McLeod: Now the minister seems to be playing some sort of game of Orwellian double-spea= k. You can’t say that you support whistle-blowers and then stand by while people are pulled aside as part of a witch hunt to find out who the whistle-blowers are so they can be punished.

Will t= he minister 100 percent commit that no more whistle-blowers will be fired? Simple, Mr. Speaker — yes or no?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I really do appreciate the attention that this issue has been = given on the floor of the Legislature over the last couple of weeks. This is an i= ssue that has been ignored by previous governments for years. This is an issue t= hat we take very seriously, and we are trying to change a culture of fear within the civil service that has existed for many, many, many years.

I have= every confidence in the human resource professionals in this government, and I’m committed to changing that legacy of fear, which I spoke of earli= er, in the civil service. I have expressed that to this House. I have expressed this to the media on numerous occasions, and I have expressed this to the Y= ukon Employees’ Union.

For ye= ars, the Yukon has had a Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act. It has not been actively promoted. That is now changing.

I once= again commend the employees who have the courage of their convictions to step for= ward and make applications under this piece of legislation. If they do so in the= way that I laid out earlier, they will be protected from reprisal within this government.

Question re: Affordable housing

Ms. Van Bibber: The budget details $6 million for affordable housing. Last week, I asked the minister to provide a breakdown of how this money will be spent. The minister did provide a list of a number of projects; however, th= ey added up to $8.2 million. That is a $2.2‑million gap from what t= he budget estimate is.

Who is= correct — the minister or the budget? Is there $6 million for affordable housing or is there $8.2 million?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would like to thank the member opposite for the question with respect to affordable housing and social housing. Looking at the targets in Yukon, we have done amazing work this year, and I would like to look at the accomplishments from Yukon Housing Corporation from December 2016 to Februa= ry 2018.

Suppor= ted housing action plan — the Housing Corporation provided $180,000 for t= he Anti-Poverty Coalition to hire a navigator. We supported cooperation with t= he housing action plan. We worked with Kwanlin Dün. We have also worked w= ith Habitat for Humanity.

We hav= e done significant work over this period of time. The $6 million allocated in= the budget, as indicated — we will provide more details, I’m sure. Today, we are investing $6 million in social and affordable housing.

As not= ed by the Premier in his budget statements, we are spending $40 million to suppo= rt Yukoners in accessing better resources to provide opportunities to build affordable housing in Yukon and to build a better Yukon for all Yukoners to ensure that we address some, or most, of the housing shortages in the Yukon= . We provided some clarity around the budget and certainly more than $6 mil= lion in the budget to address that.

Ms. Van Bibber: I don’t think that was a very impeccable answer. This bu= dget is very clear. It says that there is $6 million for affordable housing. However, the minister told us in Committee that there was $8.2 million. That is a pretty big difference.

Can th= e minister explain why she wasn’t aware of what was in her department’s own budget?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I’m fully aware of what is in my budget. I will state again that we have resour= ced a significant amount of money for Yukoners for affordable housing.

We hav= e also put in our budget this year $2 million for a partnership-held initiative, = and that is to allow individuals in rural Yukon to access resources for afforda= ble housing — social housing, Mr. Speaker.

Plus w= e have the $40 million that the Premier had mentioned, and we also have affordable housing extended beyond the $6 million, which includes $2.7 milli= on to build Yukon Housing’s first Housing First residence.

We hav= e $2 million launched for the developer build initiative, $1.19 million to conduct energy retrofits, and another $1.2 million to fund homeowners who are facing critical home repair needs. We are also spending $1.2 million to convert social housing. The list goes on, Mr. Speaker.

I coul= d keep going on the list, and the member opposite notes the difference between the= $6 million — $2 million. We set $6 million for social and affordable housing. We have significantly more than that in the budget, which I’m very pleased about, and we will continue to advance our partnership with Yu= kon.

Question re: Children in care

Ms. White:= 195;We heard from the minister that the number of children and youth in care has b= een reduced to about 20 and this, on the surface, looks like it’s good ne= ws. There are currently six government-run youth group homes and one privately = run home that have 34 beds combined, yet the government is planning for a new transitional group home at a cost of over $1.7 million. This new group home will have a capacity of 10 beds, but no explanation as to who it will serve.

Why is= this government spending $1.7 million on an undefined transitional group ho= me with a newly created management position leading the project when it says i= ts priority is to reduce the number of children and youth in care?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would be happy to provide a little more clarity on the Wann Road project. As the member would know, we provi= ded much detail in the Legislative Assembly and much media coverage on the 22 <= span class=3DSpellE>Wann Road project.

The in= itiative around the project was to provide transitional support services for youth w= ho were aging out of the system. We have two group homes downtown that are abo= ut to be demolished and incorporated into one facility. So it is a very good cost-saving effort. As well, we are streamlining services for youth who are aging out of the system, which has not historically happened, so better supports to youth as they become independent by creating a new group home t= hat is specialized in transitional support for those youth.

Ms. White: I would suggest that there isn’t support for youth transitioning out of group homes, but I’ll get to that next. While the number of children = in group homes is going down, more children are being placed with family membe= rs throughout the Yukon. Some of those families are receiving financial support from the department to cover the cost of having children in their homes and others are not.

We kno= w there are many families who have taken on young family members, but are living in poverty. They are not being provided the supports they require; they do not have access to funds to cover the basic cost of living; they do not have ac= cess to social workers or other professionals who could provide supports, such as parenting skills or family counselling. These families are being left in di= re circumstances while trying to provide the best for their young family membe= rs.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, when is this department going to review kinship care and support all famili= es who are struggling to provide a stable home for their young family members?=

Hon. Ms. Frost: Let’s just look at what the department has done this year — significant wor= k. Historically, we have not seen kinship care. We had over 200 youth in our c= are. As of a few days ago, we had that reduced down to less than 20. How did that happen? It was by expanding our policies to allow the children to remain wi= th their grandparents. Where did that stem from? That directive came from the communities. They wanted to have the supports in their communities.<= /p>

As wel= l, we wanted to ensure that we opened up the wellness hubs as quickly as we could= to provide those supports in the community where the families can access direct programming and supports to keep the families whole and together in the communities. Recognizing that this is a new initiative, I am most certainly open to feedback so we can make it a better program. It is fairly new. We h= ave just started this process. That has not happened historically, so I’m very pleased with the efforts of this government and the good work of the department.

I appl= aud them for that. I applaud them for ensuring that we work with the families and wo= rk with the First Nations, ensuring that we have social supports in all of our communities.

Ms. White: Unfortunately, there are families across the territory living in poverty as they care for family members, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

So we = have seven reviews in eight years of group homes and the care they provide to our chil= dren and youth and we have another one underway. We have reports of youth being locked out of group homes in winter. We have whistle-blowers identifying a myriad of concerns — most unwilling to go to their supervisor for fea= r of retaliation. We have a whistle-blower who was fired and is now taking the government to court. We have the story of an individual transitioning out of care being told that the emergency youth shelter might be their best option= for housing and we have families trying to care for and provide a home with no support from government. I could go on, but we’re all aware of the problems — yet the only major announcement to date is a new $1.7̴= 9;million group home.

How is= building a new youth group home going to solve all the problems identified within Fa= mily and Children’s Services?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I would venture to say that the statement just made is absolut= ely not correct. We have done a lot of great work in Yukon. In fact, we’ve supported the centre downtown to continue — which, by the way, was se= t to close this year — two years we’ve supported that to continue on= .

WeR= 17;re working with the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre to continue the supports the= re. We are working with our communities. We have integrated child support and counselling support in every one of our communities. We have a social worke= r in every one of our communities and we are working with the families to ensure they have supports.

Yes, w= e do appreciate and recognize that families are having a difficult time and they have historically. We are working to ensure that families that are challeng= ed — that have some major financial challenges in the communities —= ; we have asked them to come forward and raise their concerns. We are not here to make life difficult. We’re here to make life better and that’s exactly what we care about. We care about the families, we care about the children and that is correct. We do care about what happens with the famili= es in the Yukon and we will ensure that we do a better job than the former government.

Question re: Airport infrastructure

Mr. Hassard: Last fall, the Minister of Highways and Public Works informed this House that the regulations for the Public Airports= Act were more important that the act itself. Now, the Engage Yukon website stat= es — and I will quote: “The Public Airports Act was passed in November 2017. The second phase of engagement about regulations will open in 2018 and dates and event locations will be posted here once they are known.”

As the= minister should know from his botched consultation on the act itself, this industry = is particularly busy in the summer so this probably isn’t an ideal time = for consultation. We are now four months into 2018 and the Liberals appear to be dragging their feet on these regulations. Will the minister begin consultat= ion and tell us who will be consulted and how they will be consulted?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: This afternoon at 12:15 p.m., I met with the Northern Air Tran= sport Association.

There = were about 168 delegates there and I laid out our plans for airports in this territory: the fact that we are investing more than $30 million this year in our airport infrastructure — airport infrastructure has been sorely ignor= ed for many, many years; the fact that we are buying new snow clearing equipme= nt because the stuff that we have inherited is almost ready to break down; the fact that we are investing in a new boarding ramp at the Whitehorse International Airport because the one we have is decrepit and not working properly; and the fact we are investing in our baggage handling equipment at the Whitehorse International Airport because the stuff that we have got the= re now is on the verge of collapse. Mr. Speaker, we are making these strategic investments — and more besides — because we care about the aviation industry.

When I= spoke to them this afternoon — 168 delegates at the convention centre — = and told them these things, I was met with thunderous applause and no questions= . I am more than happy to talk about this issue all afternoon. It was a great event. I was very happy to meet with them and speak, hear their concerns and actually relay our plans for the future of our airports in making them safer and bigger economic engines for the territory.

Mr. Hassard: The minister didn’t even try to answer that question, but I guess I should expect a say-nothing answer from the minister when we are not even sure if = he knows the difference between the Nares River bridge and the Whitehorse airp= ort.

I will= try this again and maybe the minister will actually listen and maybe he will even tr= y to answer the question: When will consultation begin on the airport regulation= s, who will be consulted on those regulations and how will they be consulted?<= /span>

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: We are investing more than $30 million in our airports th= is year. We are actually spending more than $2 million starting the pavin= g of the Dawson City Airport runway; we are spending $7 million on a new airports maintenance facility up in Dawson City so their equipment is kept = out of the elements and our people have a warm place to work through the winter — that is something that has been long lacking and is now going to be provided. We are doing millions of dollars’ worth of work at the Whitehorse International Airport to put in new lighting and make sure the runways are maintained to a proper standard, and we are maintaining our rur= al airports as well.

We are= taking all of the reports — the Dawson functional plan, the 2040 report, the airports study that we did — and we are compiling that right now, pul= ling the best information. Thank you to the member opposite — the Leader of the Official Opposition — who has taken the time to look at our great engagement website, which is a new initiative that we put out here so that people know what is going on. I am glad he has taken the time to educate himself on this and uses it. I think it is a great service as well.<= /p>

The fa= ct is that we are going to be going out this summer to talk to the aviation industry so that we can start to get leases in place, leases that we haven’t been able to issue in four years because of the botch job of the members opposit= e. We are doing the good work of this government and we are going to fix the aviation industry and make it better.

Question re: Alsek Renewable Resources Council appointment

Mr. Istchenko: Yesterday, the minister responded to a petition I tabled in the Legislature. The funda= mental question asked was for Mr. Trotter to be reappointed to the Alsek Renewable Resources Council. It was signed by 99 people in just a few days. Unfortunately, just as the minister answers questions in the House, she didn’t actually respond to the petition. The minister chose not to reappoint him, despite there being no other applications at the time and st= rong community support for him to be reappointed.

I will= ask again: Why did the minister not reappoint Mr. Trotter to the Alsek Renewable Resources Council?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I believe I answered that question yesterday, and the response= to the petition stands. We will follow the process as defined under the self-government agreement.

Mr. Istchenko: Those from my community who reviewed the Blues yesterday are very disappointed. We understand the process, we know how it works, and so do the 99 people who signed the petition.

Again,= my question is: Why did the minister not reappoint Mr. Trotter?

Hon. Ms. Frost: We will follow the process. I will leave it at that.

Question re: Firearm legislation — letter opposing Bill C-71<= /span>

Mr. Cathers:&= #8195;Yukoners are concerned by the federal Liberal government’s new firearms legislation, Bill C-71, which targets law-abiding gun owners and provides f= or what is effectively a backdoor long-gun registry. Bill C-71 does absolutely nothing to address the primary sources of gun violence. It adds red tape for law-abiding gun owners and will waste RCMP time with needless paperwork.

In the= same week that the federal government tabled the legislation, the Minister of Justice told this House that she was unaware it was coming. She has confirmed that there was zero consultation with the Yukon government. The Member for Kluane and I both tabled motions opposing Bill C-71, and yesterday, we gave the Premier a letter to the Prime Minister and MP Bagnell, signed by the Leader= of the Official Opposition, with a space for the Premier to sign.

Will t= he Premier join us in standing up for Yukoners by signing this letter opposing Bill C-= 71?

Hon. Mr. Silver: The letter that I was presented by the member opposite speaks = to consultation, and we agree that more consultation should happen with Yukone= rs when it comes to any amendment or any bill from Ottawa, and specifically wi= th Bill C-71 as well.

Mr.&nb= sp;Speaker, we all heard in the news members of the public coming out, first with thumbs up, and then afterward, coming out with more questions. Whenever we see mem= bers of the public coming out with more questions, we agree that we do need to s= ee more consultation. We know that members of the opposition also spoke to the= NDP about adding their name to this as well.

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Hon. Mr. Silver: No? I guess they didn’t, according to the Third Party.

I woul= d like to see the Third Party’s signature on that letter as well. We’re looking at the wording right now, for sure. This does mirror a letter that = we spoke of on April 10 in caucus that the Attorney General is penning toward Minister Goodale’s office as well.=

WeR= 17;re looking at the wording of this letter and we have interest in working with = the opposition on this issue.

Mr. Cathers:&= #8195;I’m pleased that we at least got a “maybe” from the Premier on this= .

Most Y= ukoners were opposed to the federal long-gun registry when it was in place. This Assembly has twice unanimously supported motions opposing a long-gun regist= ry — the first by the former MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin, and the second one= I proposed.

Bill C= -71 misses the target completely on dealing with gun violence. It targets law-abiding = gun owners and provides effectively for a backdoor long-gun registry. This is an issue that’s important to Yukoners. Many hunt to feed their families = and to pass on cultural traditions to their children. Target shooting is also important to people who own a handgun or other restricted weapons, and these owners are already very heavily regulated. Adding more red tape for law-abi= ding gun owners will do nothing to address the real sources of gun violence.

Will t= he Premier agree to work with us on the wording of the letter and also go further in agreeing to firmly oppose Bill C-71 in its current form — any legisla= tion by the federal government that creates a long-gun registry or backdoor long= -gun registry?

Hon. Mr. Silver: With backhanded compliments like that, it is sometimes hard to= work with the members opposite.

Again,= I am a gun owner. We have many hunters on this side of the Legislative Assembly ve= ry concerned with federal legislation — absolutely. The member opposite = is correct. There have been two other motions in this House.

What w= e’re working with here, just to get the people of Yukon caught up on it — = our Attorney General — the content of her letter to Ralph Goodale is very similar about consultation. We want to make sure that Yukoners are consulted with this particular type of legislation.

What w= e are doing here in Yukon — we have a federal bill that is talking about federal legislation that is focused in on safety. Here in the Yukon, our budget has money for community safety, including historical case units for the RCMP investigation of unsolved homicides. We’re focusing here in the Legislative Assembly — the Yukon Liberal government — to commit= to continue to work with the RCMP and with community partners to ensure safety= in the territory.

We are= also continuing to partner with communities and stakeholders to improve mental health and mental wellness supports right across the territory.

That i= s the good work that we are doing here in the Yukon. We have been looking at the wordi= ng of the letter for all parties to sign on to send to Ottawa, which is great = work following up from what our Attorney General has already committed to with h= er commitment here to more consultation on Bill C-71.

Question re: Coroners Act review

Ms. Hanson: The CBC obtained a copy of December’s minutes of a Liberal Cabinet commit= tee on legislative planning. It talks about this government’s plans for legislation. We are happy to see that the government is expecting lobbying legislation to come up this fall, as we have already offered to work with t= he government over the summer to table a bill to that effect. We look forward = to an invitation from the government to participate.

My que= stions today have to do with other priorities highlighted in the document. An upda= te to the Coroners Act is schedule= d for this fall. We know the Minister of Justice agrees that it is more than over= due.

Having= decided to introduce a new Coroners Act= this fall, can the minister now confirm that the government has decided to propo= se a medical model for the coroner’s office?

Hon. Mr. Silver: Some responses to the preamble to that question — members opposite should = be able to appreciate why we would not speculate on future legislation based o= n a leaked document from an anonymous source. Really, the members opposite and their colleagues — when we rely on hearsay and rumour, we have questi= ons with that.

Past q= uestions on carbon pricing have also bordered on that as well — so now, a simi= lar approach with the preamble to the question.

I am n= ot going to make any speculations because speculation causes uncertainty. What I can= say is that we do have a full calendar of proposed legislation, and the public service team is working incredibly hard to bring these pieces forward. Any = good government maps out a plan for legislative changes. We are not going to speculate on leaked documents.

I will= turn it over to my colleague, the Attorney General, to speak specifically of any updates that she may have from her department.

Ms. Hanson: With respect, the minister has already indicated that she acknowledges that the Yukon Coroners Act is out of st= ep with current practice in other Canadian jurisdictions.

In the= current act, a coroner’s inquest is only mandatory if a death occurs of a prisoner in the custody of the RCMP. That is very narrow when compared to o= ther provinces and territories. It is not in keeping with other jurisdictions wh= ere inquests are mandatory if a person dies in custody, if a child in care dies= or if a person dies on the job. These are only a few examples from across the country of mandatory coroners’ inquests.

Will a= ny upcoming Coroners Act amendments expand the number of circumstances in which a mandatory coroner’s inq= uest takes place?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: I very much appreciate the question from the member opposite. The Department = of Justice is conducting a thorough review of the existing act and associated regulations. I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone. The goal her= e is to draft an updated Coroners Act for the Yukon and have it tabled in the fall, so I guess that sometimes leaked documents might be correct — I don’t know what that was.=

Here i= n the Fall Sitting of the Legislative Assembly, the engagement with stakeholders ̵= 2; such as the RCMP, Yukon First Nations, the medical and legal communities, a= nd, of course, the chief coroner, community coroners and the general public = 212; is planned and will occur. It will have to be very soon, and the matter is currently a top priority for the work of the department. The existing Coroners Act, of course, as agreed previously in this House and by many others, is currently outdated. Best practices have exceeded the technological and process advancements in the a= rea of coroners’ work, and our legislation must reflect that.

Ms. Hanson:&#= 8195;I thank the minister for her positive response. I am asking these questions in terms of being able to get a sense of the scope. It is interesting that, in= our current act, there is a whole section dedicated to what would happen if a d= eath occurred at a mine site. It is clear who should be notified, who should be = on a jury, et cetera. The act is silent on other job site fatalities.

Nowher= e in the Yukon Coroners Act do we provid= e for families, communities or the public to ask the chief coroner for a public inquest. In other jurisdictions across Canada this is an integral piece of their legislation. We know that families are often left with little informa= tion and many unanswered questions.

Will t= he minister commit, in doing her consultations, to ensuring that the question about families, public or community requests for corners’ inquests be respected and included in consultation on the new Coroners Act?

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Yes, that is as plain as I can put it. It is absolutely one of the elements being looked at — in fact, all elements of how an appropriate coroner’= ;s service can operate for the benefit of Yukoners is in the scope of this rev= iew.

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

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

Orders of the Day

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

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

Motion agreed to

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Speaker leaves the Chair

Committee of the Whole

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

The ma= tter before the Committee is continuing general debate in Vote 3, Department of Education, 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 10 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 m= atter before the Committee is continuing general debate in Vote 3, Department of Education, in Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19.

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Department of Education — continued

Speaker: Ms.=  McPhee, you have 17 minutes and 10 seconds, if you need it.

 

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I don’t anticipate needing that.

I woul= d like to welcome back Cyndy Dekuyss= cher, the assistant deputy minister of Operations in the Department of Education.= I would also like to take this opportunity to indicate that I have spoken with the other House Leaders this morning, who happen to also be the critics for Education, and appreciate that they will be speaking here today with respec= t to our intention to move this matter forward.

I woul= d also like to thank all the members of the Legislative Assembly, not only the cri= tics who get to stand and ask the questions, but those who feed questions and is= sues that they would like to have addressed to their colleagues, and thank them = for their thoughtful questions.

I appr= eciate that, yesterday, there was one question with respect to the Department of Education for which I have not had an opportunity to prepare a legislative return, and I will commit to providing the information about counselling and the other question asked by the Member for Takhini-Kopper King in letter fo= rm over the next number of weeks — and any additional questions she has I will be happy to also answer in that format, as we won’t be sitting in the near future.

That&#= 8217;s what I have to say today. I appreciate very much the department’s in-depth work on the budget for the Department of Education, for their briefings to me and to our staff and to the members of the opposition, and their continued work to make sure that this information is in a digestible format and in a format that I think allows us to answer questions well here= .

Ms. White:= 195;Just for the one last time, I welcome the ADM to the Chamber, as this will be the last time she will be visiting us. The next time we see her, she will be outside and, hopefully, she will have a tan from gardening and doing fun things.

I echo= the minister’s sentiment. The House Leaders had a conversation earlier to= day and agreed that both the Member for Copperbelt South and I would be submitt= ing written questions. Some of those from my side are going to revolve around t= he number of apprentices, the supports of apprentices and the number of apprentices in government. The minister doesn’t need to write this do= wn; it will come in a letter.

I want= ed to know if there has been any training around the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, especially when dealing with the rollout of health curriculum for younger students, making sure that we are sensitive to our t= rans students and then clarification on a couple other questions I had. <= /p>

I than= k the minister for the engagement and the assistant deputy minister for her suppo= rt. I especially want to thank teachers and educational staff because they all helped us to get where we are. I will be sending that in a letter and I look forward to that return.

Mr. Kent: Again, as was mentioned, I still do have a number of outstanding questions about t= his vote, but I will be sending a letter to the minister to talk about them. Mo= st are centred on advanced education and the annual report that the minister tabled yesterday, as well as strategic planning for the department and R= 12; I know it goes back to 2009 — the Auditor General’s report that= was done for the department and if there are any outstanding items that were mentioned in that Auditor General’s report back then.

I too = would like to thank the ADM for all of her work in support of the current minister and past ministers as well, and wish her well in her retirement.

I think we’re prepared to move into line-by-line debate.

Chair: Is th= ere any further debate on Vote 3, Department of Education?

Seeing= none, we will proceed to line-by-line debate, starting at page 8-6 of the estimates book.

Mr. Kent: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 3, Department of Education, cleared or carr= ied, as required.

Unanimous consent re deeming all lines in Vote 3, Department of Education, cleared or carried

Chair: Mr.&n= bsp;Kent has, pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, requested the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 3, Department of Education, cleared and carried, as required.

Is una= nimous consent granted?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Chair: Unani= mous consent has been granted.

On Opera= tion and Maintenance Expenditures

Total Op= eration and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $182,864,000 agreed to

On Capit= al Expenditures

Total Ca= pital Expenditures in the amount of $9,922,000 agreed to

Total Expenditures in the amount of $192,786,000 agreed to<= /b>

Departme= nt of Education agreed to

&nb= sp;

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

Commit= tee of the Whole will recess for five minutes.

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Recess

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Chair: &nbs= p;  I will now call Committee of the Whole to order.

The ma= tter before the Committee is Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, in Bill No.&nbs= p;206, entitled First Appropriation Act 20= 18‑19.

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Yukon Housing Corporation — continued

Chair: Is th= ere any further general debate?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With me here, I have finance director Luz= elle Nagel from Yukon Housing Corporation and Mary Cameron, the ADM of Corporate Services. Welcome to the Legislative Assembly.

I woul= d like to begin by just taking this moment to thank the officials and also to thank t= he Yukon Housing Corporation for the great work that they are doing to advance= the housing pressures and housing issues in Yukon. I think there is a lot of re= ally great work happening this fiscal year with advance partnerships and looking= at addressing implementation of some significant policies and procedures going forward to advance the housing continuum in the Yukon.

I know= I have about 20 minutes left, or 19 minutes or so, so I am just going to highlight — and try not to use a lot of the time talking — I will give the member opposite sufficient time, so I will try to cut it down and just highlight some of the initiatives that we are working on.

Of cou= rse, I had mentioned before that we are fully committed to the ongoing implementation = of the housing action plan for Yukon. That is to look at the housing continuum, and that embraces three fundamental pillars: housing with services, rental accommodation and home ownership.

We als= o would like to talk a little bit about the distinct pillars — since it integrates and supports specifically designed programs to help individuals = and families and to provide supports with appropriate housing.

The bu= dget contains $2.7 million in funding for Yukon Housing Corporation to construct the Housing First building initiative in downtown Whitehorse. We = are continuing to take a one-government approach and are working with Health and Social Services, as well as Community Services, on energy efficiencies and energy builds, and looking at providing service delivery for future tenants using the Housing First model. Recognizing that there are real and serious needs for the housing continuum across the Yukon, we are advancing our supp= orts to rural Yukon and we are also looking at the most vulnerable populations w= ho are obviously in the greatest need.

When i= t comes to the second pillar of the housing action plan with respect to rental accommodation, we are looking at upgrading our 868 social and staff housing units across the Yukon. That means that there are resources put into the bu= dget for renovation and rehabilitation to keep the housing units up to the natio= nal standards, or bring them up to the national standards.

We hav= e units that are in excess of 30 years old, so some resources are being put into th= at this year to the tune of $1.4 million to initiate energy retrofits. Projects in rural Yukon with respect to energy efficiencies will obviously cross over with Community Services and Energy, Mines and Resources as well = as Yukon Housing Corporation.

We are proceeding with the seniors complex in Carmacks. The question was asked of = us if these units will be energy efficient. That is the objective — to l= ook at fully enhancing the construction to ensure that it meets the highest sta= ndard possible.

We hav= e also put in this budget $1.2 million to enable seniors to remain in their communities and to provide Housing First initiatives. That is to keep the seniors in their homes — and continuing to also look at re-profiling = some of our single-family homes in our communities to duplexes. That means provi= ding a bit of upgrading to some of the buildings, increasing our housing portfol= io. We also have $600,000 for social housing conversions, which support aging in place in our communities.

The qu= estion with respect to $6 million in addition to all of the other resources f= or affordable housing projects — that is in an effort to reduce the soci= al housing wait-list and working on affordable housing projects.

The ma= in estimates provide flexibility in addressing affordable housing needs in the Yukon. I am really pleased to announce that we are looking at improvements across the spectrum of housing needs in Yukon. We have $5 million thro= ugh asset management improvements. We are looking at successful implementation = of the housing action plan to ensure that we find collaboration and collaborat= ive models in our communities and seek partnerships. In particular, we are work= ing with First Nations, the First Nation development corporations, municipal governments with the municipal matching grant, as well as the private secto= r.

There = are a number of programs within the Yukon Housing Corporation’s budget that= are designed to maximize our collaboration and partnership opportunities. We ha= ve allocated $1.5 million to the First Nation housing partnership program. That is to be accessed through a grant process — construction of new units, repairs or upgrades. In 2017‑18, we have worked with the Kluane First Nation, Little Salmon Carmacks and others through housing initiatives= . We are anticipating seeking further partnerships as we move into 2018‑19= .

We als= o have $1.45 million through the Housing Corporation for the affordable rural rental construction program. With respect to the new developer-build loan program, we have allocated $2 million to that initiative, and that is = to provide interim construction financing to small and medium developers so th= at they can construct modest rental units. The anticipation is that up to eight units will be covered.

We als= o have the first mortgage loan program, which will see a budget of $4 million, and that is consistent from previous years. The down payment assistance loan program is set at $500,000 and the owner-build loan program is $1.25 m= illion. There is almost $6 million available to new renters and homeowners. In addition to that, we offer the home repair program, which has a budget of $= 1.7 million.

The su= mmation is making sure that we attain the pillars identified for us through the housing action plan through our partnership with Yukoners. The budget specifically addresses the programs and services to support housing with services, rental accommodation and home ownership.

I am g= oing to give a quick summary on the budgets because we have already gone through th= at previously, so I will just quickly skim over that. We have, in total, an operation and maintenance expenditure of $19.5 million which has been allocated in this year’s budget, and an additional $30.8 million= for capital outlays to assi= st Yukoners in their housing needs. We also have total revenue in operation and maintenance recoveries of $12.5 million. With the operation and mainte= nance expenditures in 2018‑19 of $1.4 million under executive and corporate services, we have $3.7 million allocated for Corporate Servi= ces division, and obviously that covers Finance, Systems and Administration, Po= licy and Communications, and Human Resources. Under tenant management, we have $= 8.3 million for Housing Operations branch, and $5 million allocated to Capital Development.

As not= ed, there is not a lot of change from previous years. There is a reallocation of the budget that looks at our partnership programming and lending programming. We have $1 million allocated for community partnering in our lending bran= ch. We see an increased fund of $42,000 in this particular budget for personnel costs for the collective agreement, $13,000 for computer hardware, and $100= ,000 to co-chair federal-provincial-territorial meetings — and that is cost-recoverable.

We have decreased funds of $100,000 from concessionary loans for Habitat for Humani= ty, and there is $92,000 for long-term debt reaching maturity.

In the= budget, we have repairs and upgrades for the home repair loans programming of $1.7&= nbsp;million, and that is the $50,000 allocated for repairs to existing homes. There is $100,000 that has been allocated for a partial subsidy for home repairs, and $600,000 has been allocated for forgivable home repair loans.

With r= egard to home ownership through the first mortgage program, we still have $4 mi= llion in the budget, which we have seen historically.

For th= e down payment assistance loan, we have $500,000 allocated for down payments to as= sist eligible clients with their down payment on their homes.

I̵= 7;m just going to quickly skim over the community partnership in lending component of the budget. It’s a municipal matching grant that remains consistent w= hich was set to expire last year, but we are continuing to support that in years= to come. That’s going forward in partnership with municipalities in the Yukon. It’s an incentive to increase the quality of supported rental housing units or apartments in rural Yukon.

We are continuing with the developer build loan, which is a new initiative, and we= are also investing in affordable housing with $4.5 million, which has been allocated. I noted earlier that, for rental and secondary suite loans for 2= 018‑19, we have $525,000 allocated. There is the northern housing trust, which has = been allocated for housing projects. There is $250,000 for rental housing allowa= nce. This is a time-limited subsidy for low- to moderate-income families to match the demand to vacancies in the private market.

We als= o have $240,000 in that budget for rural projects. There are significant resources= put aside for renovation and rehabilitation of existing stock and retrofits for energy purposes. There is $900,000 for the renovation of existing social ho= using units and $1.4 million, which is recoverable from Canada, on the low-carbon economy fund. I noted earlier that we are doing some conversions from single-family units to duplexes, and there is $600,000 in the budget f= or that project.

We als= o have $3.9 million allocated for affordable housing, which is recoverable fr= om CMHC. For a social housing project, there is $6 million, which has been allocated for additional affordable housing and third-party proposals. Then there is $2.4 million, which is recoverable from CHMC.

For the renovation retrofit under staff housing, we have put some resources there, = as indicated. The majority of our units are very old — in excess of 30 y= ears old, in fact — so we have $900,000 allocated for existing stock ̵= 2; that’s for renovation and rehabilitation of our staff housing units. = Then we have $523,000 allocated for energy retrofits as well, and that’s a= ll recoverable from the Government of Canada’s low-carbon economy fund.<= /span>

I̵= 7;m just going to keep moving on here. A lot of this is cost recovery from Canada. M= aybe we’ll talk a little bit about the changes with respect to housing investments and developments in the Yukon. We’re clearly taking a rights-based approach to housing, which means making availability and affor= dability of housing a priority. I’m really pleased to confirm that we have been making progress on solutions across the housing spectrum, from homelessness= to affordable rental to home ownership for seniors. Our priority is for housing for the vulnerable populations and our ability to work with Yukoners on agi= ng in place, supporting First Nations in partnership, relationship building and capacity building within the communities.

Is the= work done? I would say no. We have a lot of work to do to address housing gaps a= nd needs and we have been asked what we are doing to address the social housing wait-list. Well, the wait-list is really driven by changes in our demograph= ics, our growing economy and improved supports for clients. We’re taking action to increase availability of affordable housing. We know that our agi= ng population is increasing and so, therefore, we need to look at enhanced programming and supports, and we’re doing that in partnership with He= alth and Social Services with the Housing First initiative, keeping our older ad= ults in their homes and in our communities longer and ensuring that we provide collaborative health care models as well.

We hav= e spent significant resources this year to shift our housing supports. We did that through the Salvation Army Centre of Hope with the transition beds. We have= our Safe at Home plan to end homelessness and, of course, the support in develo= ping the by-name lists for homelessness and supporting the point-in-time count. I’m happy to say I did participate in the point-in-time count last evening and worked with a number of my colleagues in downtown Whitehorse. <= /span>

WeR= 17;re also supporting and committed to the Challenge Disability Resource Group, which focuses on mixed affordable accommodations and supported living units. That= is done in collaboration again with Health and Social Services as a lot of the clients fall under that program area.

Victim= s of violence partnership funds were provided also to NGO groups so we will cont= inue to work with that group of NGOs. I think we worked really well this year wi= th respect to municipal matching grant construction projects and programming in supporting that going forward and that leads us to our partnership with the Klondike Development Organization and the Da Daghay Development Corporation and the 360° Design Build. We also worked with Chief Isaac Inc. development corporation and we are hoping that we can see = some more successes as we go forward with projects like that.

Our di= rect investment in new units this year will seek more partnerships in our communities and look at some of the key priorities that I have identified a= nd some of the areas where we’re seeing the most pressure economically, = as well as some of the affordable housing pressures and wait-lists — Daw= son City being one — in Mayo and Watson Lake, so we’re trying to lo= ok at rural Yukon and putting supports around those communities.

We are anticipating that our affordable housing program will make approximately 29= new units available outside Whitehorse this fiscal year and we know that the support with some of the other initiatives will obviously increase the numb= er of affordable housing units across the Yukon, and the developer build progr= am will result in in approximately eight new units.

With o= ur municipal matching grant construction, we have the million dollars set aside and the hope is that we will identify some new units there as well — approximately 35. We also have the developer build loan program for building up to seven rental or secondary suites in the Yukon.

Let me= just go back a bit here — the emergency repair program as well — we anticipate repairs of 20 —

Chair: Order, please.

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for the really thorough recap of what was said on April = 16 because I just found it in Hansard and although some of the sections were changed around, it was very close to the 20-minute introduction. I apprecia= te that, so it has just refuelled my fire.

Does t= he minister regularly meet with the President of the Housing Corporation?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Yes, on a weekly basis.

Ms. White: How often does the minister meet with the board of the Housing Corporation?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I have met with the Housing board, I would say, approximately = five times this year and we have another meeting coming up shortly. I worked qui= te closely with them during the transition and now we have a new chair who we = will continue to meet with.

Ms. White: In one section, at about 2:29 p.m. this afternoon — I’m never goin= g to get it because I don’t have the ability to write like Hansard does — the minister was talking about seniors and elders and their being a= ble to stay in communities — and then she used the term “Housing First”. So I just want to clarify that we have the definition of “Housing First” because when the minister talked about communit= ies, she used the term “Housing First” — so, if I can just get= a quick definition of “Housing First”.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Let me clarify that when I speak about — maybe I misspok= e. When I’m speaking about the “home first” initiative with = the seniors and the older adults in rural Yukon, that is the program that provi= des supports to the seniors to remain in their homes longer — those who h= ave mobility challenges. We have that initiative in the budget to allow for tha= t.

Specif= ically, we have resources assigned to a Housing First initiative and that is affordable housing for those who are hard to house and that is the allocation for the complex down on, I believe, Fifth and Strickland.

Ms. White: I appreciate that clarification. Just to remind the minister that Housing Fir= st has a very clearly defined definition. It is not something that we can use = to define other things. Housing First is about low-barrier access to housing. = It doesn’t really talk about affordability — it just talks about t= he right of housing.

When t= he minister just referenced the home first program, what part does Yukon Housing have t= o do with that, since it is under Health and Social Services, as best as I can t= ell? What part does Yukon Housing have to do with the home first program?=

Hon. Ms. Frost: For clarification, as we proceed with projects, we clearly loo= k at a whole-of-government approach. Health and Social Services really doesn’= ;t have resources within its budget. It really needs to work with the Housing Corporation to ensure that the homeowner — who in this case would be = an older adult or a senior, as defined, or in our rural Yukon communities, an elder — to remain in their home longer.

We wou= ld work with the Housing Corporation to ensure that the older person remains in the= ir home longer, which means we would access the build program or the retrofit funding that’s allocated under the Yukon Housing Corporation. There a= re various sources we can access. We tend to work with the older person to keep them at home longer. That is referred to as an initiative to provide opportunities for the elder to remain in their home longer — so a home first initiative.

Ms. White:= 195;I appreciate that it’s for the retrofitting and renovating of homes to = make them more accessible. I have actually helped quite a few people access prog= rams through the Yukon Housing Corporation to make those changes and I will ask = more questions about home first when we get to the Health and Social Services debate.

An iss= ue that was front and centre earlier in this Sitting involved the Closeleigh Manor elevator. Mr. Chair, I may not have spoken a lot about Closeleigh Mano= r in your time in this Assembly but, since my time in this Assembly, I have talk= ed a lot about Closeleigh Manor. I have talked about concerns around air quality; now we can talk about concerns around carpeting that is becoming a tripping hazard for seniors. We can talk about elevators that go down; we can talk a= bout the challenges of seniors having to go up and down three stories of stairs = to get outside. We could talk about icy walkways at back access doors when the elevator doesn’t work. We can go on and on and on. I’ll start w= ith the elevator at Closeleigh Manor.

If I c= ould get an update on what has been done, what will be done in the future, how we’re going to be sure it doesn’t go out for anything that woul= d be unacceptable, and I would suggest that unacceptable is when we’re pay= ing — actually, I’ll ask how much we pay for security to be there.<= /span>

What i= s the Closeleigh Manor elevator plan?

Hon. Ms. Frost: My understanding is that, right now, the elevators are all operational. I want= ed to just make note that we, as the Housing Corporation and through numerous departments, have elevators in our facilities. We all have different contra= cts. Clearly, with the Housing Corporation, we have a separate contract with a f= irm to provide the supports, and we have committed to working with Highways and Public Works to ensure that we are doing things in a more timely, efficient= and cost-effective manner rather than having separate contracts within different departments or within the corporation. We will continue to work with Highwa= ys and Public Works to ensure that we don’t have long delays with the elevators — we have challenges — and the servicing of the elevators. We will continue to work with Highways and Public Works on that,= but at the moment I understand that all of the elevators are operational.

Ms. White:= 195;That’s a relief. For how many days was the elevator out at Closeleigh Manor this l= ast time? For how many days was it not functioning?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I can’t answer that question right now, but I would be happy to provide= the information back to the member opposite.

Ms. White:= 195;I also want to know how many security staff are on-site in a 24-hour period.<= /span>

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am just conferring with my staff here. My understanding is that when the elevator is down, there is always a security officer on-site. Generally speaking, for all of the units there is a security firm that provides suppo= rts and, if necessary, the security firm is called when required to come in and address a concern within one of the units. When the elevators are down, it = is my understanding is that there is always someone on staff.

Ms. White:= 195;Just to confirm, there is one security person — one body from the security company — on-site for a 24-hour period.

Hon. Ms. Frost: That is my understanding.

Ms. White: What does that cost a day?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With respect to the question, it is $75 per hour, and the security officer is on-site during the time that the elevator is down. We would have to go back= and do the calculation to actually give the final number on how much it cost for that period of time. There is an overall blanket contract for security for = all of the facilities. Specifically on this issue, and when they are on-site, i= t is $75 per hour.

Ms. White:= 195;No one is going to accuse me of being a mathlete, but if it is 24 hours a day, does that mean it is $1,800 per day for the security staff to be on-site wh= en the elevator is down?

Hon. Ms. Frost: That is correct.

Ms. White: A housing representative in the media said that the elevator was first down f= rom December 13 to January 4, and I asked the minister for confirmation of how = long the elevator was out this last time. Would she confirm that the elevator was out between December 13 and January 4?

Hon. Ms. Frost: I understand that the information from the member opposite is correct.=

Ms. White:= 195;I am testing my math skills out here right now. I am just doing the rough calculations here, Mr. Chair, because, like I said, math is not my str= ong suit. If the elevator was out between December 13 and January 4, according = to my rough calculations, we are looking at a bill of $7,200 or so to have security on-site. Can I get confirmation from the minister?

Some Hon. Member: (Inaudible)

Ms. White:= 195;I am just going to apologize to anyone who has just done that math because that = was really, really wrong and I appreciate that you are smiling at me over there= .

An ele= vator being out for 22 days at $1,800 per day is actually closer to $40,000. I am just looking for a confirmation from the minister that, for between Decembe= r 13 and January 4, we are looking at approximately $39,600 for security.=

Hon. Ms. Frost: I am just conferring again. My understanding is that we have an overall contr= act and the department would have to go back and verify whether or not this is correct. My understanding is that it may be covered under a blanket contract for that period of time. I will certainly verify and bring that number back= to the member opposite. I can provide that in writing as well.

Ms. White: I would appreciate that, because today is the last day of the House — n= ot that anybody here is counting, especially not me.

During= the briefing, one of the questions I asked the officials — having spent q= uite a bit of time in that building — I asked if they were looking at installing chairlifts in the stairwells — if it was possible. That wouldn’t be for regular use. One would hope that the elevator would be functioning but, if the elevator wasn’t functioning and even if it was under one stairwell — because, at this point in time, I believe there= are two stairwells — there could be a chairlift. Has the corporation look= ed at installing a chairlift in a Closeleigh Manor stairwell?

Hon. Ms. Frost: That’s a really great question because I know we have had some challenges around access and accessibility, so it’s something that the department is looking into with respect to the chairlifts and access, especially for those who have mobility issues.

Ms. White:= 195;At this point in time, my experience with seniors buildings is that, when elevators go down, it’s not just a hindrance — it can actually = make life stop. It’s one thing to have a security person to help you carry= up groceries, but they don’t give piggyback rides — and I don̵= 7;t think they should, either — but I also don’t think someone shou= ld be homebound because they can’t get off the third floor.

There = have been problems in the past with 600 College Drive, with Closeleigh Manor and with other buildings. It’s just something to maybe consider — if we’re able to put that into the capital plans and look at chairlifts being installed in stairwells of seniors buildings. Then, at least if somet= hing happens, people can get down the stairs.

Anothe= r concern that has been highlighted at Closeleigh Manor — understanding, of cou= rse, that the building is not new and it has the original carpet in some of those units. Carpet is not just an issue with Closeleigh Manor; it’s also an issue in units at 600 College Drive. Is there consideration within the corporation of doing carpet removal? Typically it’s Marmoleum that gets installed because it’s for high wear, but is the corporation looking at doing carpet removal in units where residents are asking for it = to be removed for safety concerns?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The inspections that are done on the units on an annual basis = will work with the tenants. As noted in our submission, we have $900,000 set asi= de for building retrofits. We would certainly look at this as a key priority a= rea, given some health concerns and, as has been indicated, if there are concerns raised by our tenants, we would want to address them.

Ms. White: I know that one case of a carpet issue at 600 College Drive gets raised every time that there’s an inspection because it’s a tripping hazard = for a person with a disability. I have been doing this job since 2011, and the first time I was told about it was in 2012, and here we are in 2018 and they still have carpet. How does the department prioritize that — I wouldn’t call it an upgrade, because I think most of us would prefer = to have carpet — renovation for safety purposes? How does the corporation prioritize those requests?

Hon. Ms. Frost: With regard to a facility when we’re looking at renovati= ons, it would be done through the annual inspections process, but through capital assets management plan. That would be deemed based on a priority list, but I also noted that, when we’re dealing with clients who have health issu= es or mobility issues and the priority comes forward from Health and Social Services through a transition support model, this is something that we̵= 7;re also taking into consideration in terms of areas of highest priority.

Ms. White: What happens if a senior — or any client, really, in any Yukon Housing building — isn’t a client of Health and Social Services, but the issue is one around safety, because — like I have said — there = are tripping hazards. There is a perfect example right now that I’m sure people are familiar with where the wheelchair won’t roll on the carpe= t. Those are very real issues that people are dealing with. In one case, there= is health support, and in one case, there isn’t — but how then doe= s it get prioritized within the corporation?

Hon. Ms. Frost: That is a great point. We do have some clients who are not act= ually clients of Health and Social Services, but we have — through Yukon Housing Corporation — the tenant relations officers, and they work in conjunction with the capital management team. It is important to note that health and safety is a key priority. I do believe there are issues that have come forward historically and that seems to be some of the units that I have identified that are very old — 30-some years old — and are in m= ajor need of an upgrade. This year, we put significant resources in the budget to allow for that to happen, and I’m hoping that we can address some of = the points that the member opposite is raising when it comes to health and safe= ty of our facilities and ensuring that all the clients’ needs are being taken into consideration.

Ms. White: One of the things that I have talked about a lot over time — and both of = the officials in the Chamber are going to be familiar with it — is the different requirements between a senior and another client of Yukon Housing. Part of that being — and I’m sure that everyone here has had a conversation with an older person — is that it just takes a bit longer sometimes to get to the point. Sometimes it is brutally honest and it is ri= ght to the point, but sometimes it takes a bit longer.

I want= to know if there has been any more talk — well, actually, I have been the only one talking about it, so it is probably just me talking about it — ab= out having a tenant relations officer who is specific to seniors’ issues. Part of that would be that a senior would be able to call one specific pers= on. Their interactions would always be with the same person or a person filling= in that position, but not to multiple people, so that there would be continuit= y of service. Is there any talk about having a tenant relations officer specific= to seniors?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The tenant relations officers within Yukon Housing Corporation are given specif= ic training on various demographic groups and individuals and how to interact appropriately with those groups of individuals. I understand that there are= no plans at this time to have one specific tenant relations officer designated= for seniors; however, I would like to note that we have a new housing navigator= in Whitehorse. The direction was advanced a year and a half ago, and the Housi= ng Corporation met with the Yukon Council on Aging. They indicated at that point in time t= hat they didn’t need a housing navigator specifically for seniors, that t= hey would use the existing staff but, if in the future that need arises, we wou= ld certainly take that under consideration and ensure that the seniors are giv= en the supports that they need to advocate for them and to raise their concern= s to the Housing Corporation.

Ms. White: Is the minister referring to the housing navigator with the Anti-Poverty Coali= tion? My understanding is that the housing navigator works outside of the Yukon Housing Corporation. It is more of a facilitation position between members = of the public who are either trying to fill out applications for Yukon Housing Corporation — for example, which is why I would consider that the num= bers have increased so much — and having meetings with private market landlords, et cetera. But a housing navigator is not someone within the department or the Housing Corporation who deals specifically with seniors’ issues. I would suggest that they are not the same. <= /p>

Having= the seniors group saying that they didn’t need their own housing navigato= r, I would suggest, is different from seniors saying that they would like to tal= k to one specific person when they call the Housing Corporation. I will just give the minister some time in case she has any thoughts about that issue.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Again, I am just seeking clarity. The original intent of going= out to the seniors group was to look outside the scope of this initiative throu= gh the Anti-Poverty Coalition. My understanding was that it had come up in the Legislative Assembly and the direction was to proceed with having a navigat= or specifically for seniors, and that broadened out the scope to look at a nav= igator specifically through this process, as I described earlier and as the member opposite highlighted, through the Anti-Poverty Coalition, but the original objective was to provide the specific support for the seniors to help them = to look at clearly providing senior tenant relation supports — and that’s my understanding from the staff.

Ms. White:= 195;My understanding is a bit different, having met with the seniors group who was originally approached about being a housing navigator, and their concern was that they didn’t have the resources to be a navigator for outside the seniors community — that they did not have those skills and capabilit= ies. That was the conversation that I had with the executive director at the tim= e, who has since moved on, but I appreciate the minister’s answer.

Just b= efore I move on to the next question, I do want to take a minute to acknowledge the important work that has been done by housing navigators in the community. We have them through Anti-Poverty Coalition, Blood Ties Four Directions, Skook= um Jim’s — and I believe there is a fourth, but the minister can f= ill in the fourth. When people have talked about the increase in the numbers on= the social housing wait-list, it hasn’t been with the acknowledgement tha= t, for the first time in the history of Yukon Housing Corporation, there has b= een outside help to fill out applications.

My rel= ationship with housing applications is quite intimate. I have helped senior couples f= rom outside of the City of Whitehorse fill out applications, and it has taken a full eight-hour day. It involves sending them to where they have had their taxes done; it involves banking appointments; it sometimes involves vet appointments; and it involves all of these things.

The ho= using navigators — what they have done is they have given people the opportunity to be able to have assistance while filling out those applicati= ons. Yes, the numbers have increased on the social housing wait-list, but I would suggest that is a far more representative number than what it was before, because in order to be accepted on the social housing wait-list, you had to have a completed application form and, based on my own personal experience — although they have been simplified a bit — they are still challenging.

I want= to make sure that we acknowledge the good work done by the housing navigators. In t= hat same breath, the housing navigator through the Anti-Poverty Coalition is the blanket or umbrella of the housing navigators. They will take issues forwar= d to the Housing Corporation and I do appreciate that is being done. That is important that they have that ability to have those conversations. So it’s just a compliment for the Housing Corporation that this has in my mind really helped people in the community, so acknowledgement that it is g= oing really well.

I will= give the minister the opportunity to remind me what the fourth organization is and, = just again, I want to thank them for making the housing navigator positions available and then of course, for the one that they fund through the Anti-Poverty Coalition having the ability to have conversations directly with the Housing Corporation.

Hon. Ms. Frost: The fourth organization is BYTE and I agree that the new housi= ng navigator is — the objective is to remove the barriers and provide support and easy access to affordable housing. I think that going out last evening for the point-in-time count really brought me to a new perspective = on needs and addressing some of the major challenges with respect to access and the process of applying and trying to navigate a complex system without support.

I appr= eciate that insight and also take under advisement and note the possibility of fur= ther supports for seniors as they navigate the system, recognizing that we have = an aging demographic and we know through Yukon Bureau of Statistics that our a= ging population is as such that by 2030 we will see something like 30 perce= nt of our population over the age of 60. We certainly need to be geared up to address the social housing needs in rural Yukon communities as well as mobi= lity and home first initiatives, as well as certainly wanting to make sure that = we provide further partnerships with the private sector.

Ms. White:= 195;Again, my experience with the Housing Corporation has been one that has definitely evolved over time, including when a friend of mine passed within housing and then I got to see it in an entirely differe= nt way. I have gone in for applications and I have gone in for support and I h= ave gone in for prior — the accessibility grant and things like that. I h= ave seen the front-end staff. That is just a really hard position and I just wa= nt to acknowledge that the people within the Housing Corporation work really h= ard. They deal with a lot of stuff — I don’t think they see people on their best days often. They have people who come in who are stressed and anxious and all sorts of things, so just the acknowledgement that the front-line staff of the Yukon Housing Corporation — and the in-back s= taff and all the staff — I appreciate the work that they do.

One of= the questions I have is: Have the tenant relations positions changed at all? Has the model changed or is it similar to what it was previously?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The title of the tenant relations officer has been changed to = social housing coordinator, and the objective there is for the coordinators to hav= e a broader scope of training to allow them to deal with vulnerable citizens, including victims of violence and dealing with some pretty complex tenant relation issues, as well as to work hand-in-hand with Health and Social Services in trying to build the supports around the clients and supporting = more initiatives around the by name list, then looking at working closer with He= alth and Social Services.

My und= erstanding is the position of the tenant relations officer hasn’t evolved significantly, but is providing broader supports to more of a social front.=

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for that answer. I also just hope that those social hous= ing coordinators are getting the support they need. I know that when I worked in kitchens and got frustrated, I could always go to the walk-in freezer to let out some of that frustration, but when you’re on the front counter dealing with people in high-stress situations, yelling is not viewed as positive. I just hope they have the supports there that they need to be abl= e to deal with some of that frustration.

I have= asked previously — and I know that the minister, when she was up on April 1= 6, mentioned how many units were currently out of rotation for Yukon Housing Corporation, but if she could just remind me of what that number is.=

Hon. Ms. Frost: Based on the list from January 31, we have one social housing = unit out of commission and then we have 14 staff housing.

Ms. White: That number is significantly lower than it has been in the past, so congratulati= ons to the department for that.

I just= wanted to know what the service standard was for the Housing Corporation as owner and landlord. What turnaround times are in place to do any necessary maintenanc= e, painting or repairs to a unit to get it back online for occupancy?

First = of all, I would put it under the terms — so the building hasn’t been destroyed and someone has lived in it. There is a difference between someone living in a unit and someone really living in a unit. So I am looking for t= he lesser — the regular maintenance that would be required. What is the turnaround time for that to be back online?

Hon. Ms. Frost: So the turnaround time, I think, really depends on the severit= y of the damage to the unit. The objective of the Housing Corporation is to try = not to leave it beyond 30 days, but to try to have it done within that time fra= me, but it depends also on the contractors. We know that we bring in the contractors to do the work for us. If there are some minor retrofits that a= re required, then staff are able to do that, but for the most part, it is independent contractors coming in to do the work. It really depends on the severity of the damage, but the goal is to not drag it out for long periods= of time, given the housing pressures we are seeing right now.

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for the answer. That makes sense.

At thi= s point in time, is a lot of the work being contracted out or are there people within = the Housing Corporation who do it? I say this in terms of some lovely folks who= are in, for example, 600 College Drive, and they will be doing ongoing repairs = and, to be perfectly honest, they know most residents on a first-name basis beca= use they are around, getting those things done.

Is som= e of it contracted out? Is most of it contracted out? Is it all contracted out?

Hon. Ms. Frost: We have three skilled staff members who provide the supports to address the is= sues around damage or retrofits on the houses to a certain extent. But for the m= ost part, major damage or major retrofits that require specialized support, we would contract out. Those three staff are situated in Whitehorse and they provide supports for the units in Whitehorse. For our communities in rural Yukon, those retrofits are contracted out. In Whitehorse, we have three full-time staff who address the current turnaround time, which really depen= ds on how quickly they can get that done.

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for that answer. Since the Assembly sat, we have heard t= he minister talk about facilitating the moving between Yukon Housing Corporati= on units. If a resident is in one and would like to move to a different unit — if it about mobility or if it is about preference of location or th= ose kinds of things — can the minister tell me more about the policy arou= nd moving between Yukon Housing Corporation units?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The facilitation between the units is done through the tenant relations officer= . It really depends on a variety of needs, whether it is mobility — moving from a third floor to a first floor, for example. The department does its utmost to ensure that the supports are there. We have a number of units, so= we attempt to provide the supports that are needed in a timely manner, and tha= t is done through the tenant relations officer.

Ms. White: Just to confirm, if a client within Yukon Housing was to make a request to move = from one unit to a different unit, would that be heard by a tenant relations off= icer and entertained as a possible thing?

Hon. Ms. Frost: That’s correct.

Ms. White:= 195;I have written multiple letters in support of multiple seniors looking at relocation between buildings for different reasons — for reasons of safety and security, not liking being downtown, concerns about noise or background noise levels. There are different reasons. In the lease agreemen= t, it actually says that the Housing Corporation can request that a tenant mov= es and that a tenant has the ability to ask to move within it. One of the conc= erns that I have around this is — this is just an excerpt from an e‑= mail that was sent to a tenant who asked for relocation. This is coming from the official from Yukon Housing Corporation. It says, and I am just quoting, “As it was explained to you when we were at the apartment for inspect= ions on November 2, we have a wait-list for seniors and unit 201 will not be utilized for relocation, it will be allocated to someone in need of housing.”

This i= s an example, and that is probably not the most strongly worded section that I pulled out of it. I was always trying to figure out how that would work = 212; how one person moving to an empty unit would hinder someone else’s ability to move into the newly vacated unit.

If the= minister can explain to me why someone would be told that they would not be consider= ed for relocation, even within the same building, because it could take away f= rom someone else’s ability to move into the building.

Hon. Ms. Frost: The point that was raised with regard to the application ̵= 2; it really depends on the applicant. If there is a new request coming in, the priority would be given if there is a medical need for the individual to ac= cess a unit — that would clearly bump up on the priority list — or if they have pets, and that means they would then be on the ground floor. Certainly, we would take into consideration applications as the needs arise= and as the priorities come forward. So, considering all the requests and given = the limited number of units we have, transitioning and moving people around sometimes is very complicated. I appreciate the feedback, and it’s so= mething that we would clearly take under consideration as we advance our policies within Yukon Housing Corporation — as well as looking at the retrofits and the renovations that we have addressed to ensure that we have more mobi= lity access for those who might have some health or safety needs. All of the feedback is really great, and I appreciate that and so does the staff. We really want to ensure that we provide supports in a timely fashion and not provide barriers but take down the barriers.

Ms. White: I will just happily resend the letters about relocations to the minister in h= opes that maybe we can help people find places where they would be happier to li= ve.

I have= a question around how many people in communities are currently on wait-lists = to access housing within the City of Whitehorse, specifically seniors and specifically for medical issues.

Hon. Ms. Frost: We don’t have that number for you at this moment but I would be happy to provide that. We do have the list of seniors on the wait-list, but not spec= ifically individuals wanting to relocate to Whitehorse.

Ms. White: The very specific reason why I ask that question is around one individual family that currently resides in Carmacks. Half of that unit is at Whitehorse Gene= ral Hospital, and I’m relieved to say that it’s not wintertime anym= ore, so the driving back and forth can happen, but it has been a tough winter. I know that they are on the priority list. I absolutely know that the Housing Corporation is working hard at trying to relocate 50 percent of that u= nit into town, and I do appreciate it. There are challenges. I totally understa= nd that there are challenges within people’s requests — whether th= ey have pets, whether they don’t have pets, their space allocation and a= ll of that. I do understand.

Asking= about medical relocations — the folks I am speaking about weren’t from Carmacks and they didn’t have any relationship with Carmacks, but they required housing, so that was a unit that was offered to them. Do those off= ers happen to other people who are on the wait-list? If they are in desperate n= eed of housing, will they be offered housing in one of the communities?<= /p>

Hon. Ms. Frost: My understanding is that the option is available. One example = is an older adult who moved from Mayo to Teslin because that was the option that = was available to the individual at the time. The option is there. It’s working with the support of Yukon Housing Corporation and the staff there to align them with their needs, wherever that may be, and to give them that option.

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for that answer. Sometimes it’s a workable solutio= n, but it won’t always be. It’s nice to know that, if someone is really desperate, that is a question they can ask.

I want= ed to know what the vacation policy was within Yukon Housing Corporation units and how that is shared with tenants.

Hon. Ms. Frost: With the specific policy around vacation or the tenant leaving the territory, I don’t have that information in front of me. I would be happy to provi= de that, but my understanding is that the individual clearly needs to notify t= he Housing Corporation when they are leaving the territory for a period of tim= e to ensure that the unit is monitored. We clearly don’t want to run into = any challenges, but there is certainly a limit on how long they can be away. I = will provide that back because I don’t have that in front of me right now.=

Ms. White:= 195;I could understand a limit when we talk about things, for example, like six months less a day when we’re talking about health coverage, and it wo= uld be weird to have someone within a Yukon Housing unit be gone for that long — out of the territory — but I would suggest that there have be= en some experiences where tenants have always called the Housing Corporation w= hen going on vacation. Recently, one of my seniors called to say they were goin= g on vacation, and they were told that they had to submit it in writing. That had not been the experience, and they have been in housing since 2007. Then they were told that they would be gone for two days longer than they were allowe= d to be gone.

It see= ms that, if we are talking about people using their housing units as home and that t= his is the place where they live — and my hope is that this is the place where they live as long as possible — putting restrictions on vacation — I mean, obviously taking into account that six months is too long. It’s trying to find that balance. I just wanted to know if the policy= had changed and whether it has to be in writing or verbal, because the experien= ce previously had been that verbal was enough. When this tenant called, they w= ere told that it had to be submitted in writing. That was a bit of a challenge = and a surprise for someone in their 80s. If it has changed, how has that been communicated to all tenants within Yukon Housing apartments?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The general practice of notification is given in writing. With respect to the individual who perhaps had been in the unit for a long perio= d of time and had a different relationship with the tenant relations officer, th= at would be, I think, a little different. That is my understanding. It really depends on the relationship but, in general practice, there is a policy in effect that requires submissions to be in writing, given the pressure right= now on social housing and affordable housing.

We cer= tainly don’t want individuals to go away on extended vacation breaks and lea= ve their units vacant or empty. That is my understanding with respect to restrictions on vacation — but also in writing, or whether it’s accepted through verbal submissions. In some circumstances, I understand th= at the staff who have been there for a long time and have the relationships ha= ve provided some leverage and some leeway in their relationship with the senio= rs in the seniors units.

Ms. White: I think my point was just made as to why it would be so fantastic to have a specific person to deal with seniors, but I digress.

On Apr= il 3, 2018, the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission talked abo= ut a new approach to staff housing. I think if we were to talk about a new appro= ach to staff housing, that would have to involve the Minister responsible for t= he Yukon Housing Corporation. I just wanted to know if the minister could tell= me more about what the new approach to staff housing might be and how it affec= ts the Housing Corporation.

Hon. Ms. Frost: The social and affordable housing rent-geared-to-income, as we= ll as staff housing — the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission and I are mandated by the Cabinet Committee on Priorities and Planning to look at affordable and social housing versus staff housing. Historically, there have been disparities with respect to how housing is allocated in the Yukon, and we are looking at policies around how housing is subsidized across the territory.

With s= ocial housing, we know that it’s 25 percent geared-to-income, which is inconsistent, in my view, with the policies. You have staff housing on one = side of a duplex and then social housing, rent-geared-to-income — and we’re hearing this back from Yukoners. That’s what we’re looking at. An example is a tenant in a social housing unit in Dawson City going to work in the mine and making a lot of money, or more money, during = the period of time from spring to fall. Then you look at how much they’re required through this rent-geared-to-income, and then, on the other side of= the unit, you have subsidized housing for staff.

That&#= 8217;s what we’re looking at. I think originally the objective through the policy was to provide recruitment and retention, so how do we keep the staf= f in the communities? It’s clearly time to look at modernizing and updating the policies, ensuring that we address some of the concerns and questions t= hat are brought forward.

That&#= 8217;s what we’re doing — going back out to look at the policies around staff and social housing. The mandate is for me and the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission to have a review of that.

Ms. White:= 195;I can only imagine what job a mine worker would have if they would still qual= ify for social housing — given the fact that I worked in mines. I would t= ake that as an example used, but I would really hope that we weren’t putt= ing people working in mines, even for three months of the year — that wou= ld put that number out of whack, based on my own personal experience.

Would = the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission and the Minister of Health and Social Services — I have been afforded an opportunity that= I don’t often get, which is a conversation around medicinal cannabis and the importance of allowing it to be consumed within Yukon Housing Corporati= on units. I would never suggest that a person not be able to take any of their prescribed medications within their housing unit.

I star= ted asking these questions a long time ago, when I had two different ministers —= one for Health and Social Services and one for Yukon Housing Corporation — and I do talk to the officials every time I get briefed about medicinal cannabis and the ability to consume it within Yukon Housing Corporation uni= ts.

I want= ed to know if the minister had any thoughts. One of the suggestions that I made previo= usly is that, if the medicinal cannabis was in smoking form, prescribed users be supplied with a small vapourizer unit from Health and Social Services so th= at the smoke doesn’t affect their neighbours or affect their units ̵= 2; if the minister has any thoughts about medicinal cannabis use within Yukon Housing Corporation units?

Hon. Ms. Frost: Currently, the non-smoking policy would apply, deferring to the staff in terms of what processes they follow now. They would also defer to the residential tenanci= es office of Community Services; however, I know that we have had some intense discussions around location and where cannabis can be used, and we have tak= en some approaches with our continuing care facilities.

It is = certainly something that the Housing Corporation would look at in the future as we implement the regulations around cannabis.

Ms. White:= 195;It is really important to note that I am not talking about recreational cannab= is; I am talking about medicinal cannabis, which is prescribed by a doctor. The reason why I am highlighting the difference is I don’t actually think that people should smoke within Yukon Housing Corporation units. I don̵= 7;t disagree with that statement.

Howeve= r, if a patient had intense pain and they were using cannabis for pain relief and t= hey found that other forms didn’t help them, and what worked was the inhalation of the smoke, one way to limit the exposure of other people is through the use of a tool like a vapourizer. I am not talking about recreational use; I am very much talking about medicinal use. We are talking about prescribed medication from a doctor to a patient for whatever reason.=

One of= the reasons why I ask this question is, as a person who spends time in building= s, I have been trying to figure out the best way to slip a pamphlet of informati= on underneath the door when there is already so much shame associated with sen= iors and cannabis. The last thing I want to do is shame someone, because that wo= uld not be the intention. It would be to try to facilitate and make it easier f= or them and make it easier for their neighbours.

We are= talking about medicinal cannabis. More often than not, it is used for pain relief; = it is prescribed by medical doctors so it is a prescription — no differe= nt from heart medication or blood pressure medication or insulin. It is a medicine.

The re= ason why I am asking is that I would think that, once it becomes legal — and I am not talking about a free-for-all. I fundamentally believe recreational cann= abis should be out of Yukon government facilities and in the designated smoking areas, not within housing units, but I am talking about a very specific = 212; that would be medicinal, prescribed by a doctor. One reason why I talk about vaporizers is, having had conversations with people within the field, vaporizers are one way to limit the smell — the odour — for oth= ers and also facilitate it because, if it’s minus 30, I’m not going= to tell someone with multiple sclerosis in a wheelchair that they need to wheel outside to the designated smoking area to consume a prescribed medication, = and I don’t think that anyone here in the Chamber would suggest that, so I’m asking about medicinal cannabis and not recreational.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I understood the question and I understood the point about the medicinal use of cannabis — my point being that we would look at exis= ting policies and governing through that process, and would take that under advisement, with the cooperation and collaboration with the physician around medicinal use. We would like to also suggest that we would look at that pol= icy as we advance the legalization of cannabis in the Yukon and look at bringing that back to the Housing Corporation and work with the board around the policies and the direction that we’re going.

I cert= ainly see that as a possibility in the future, when we have someone who is, as descri= bed by the member, in a situation where there is intense pain and there is a requirement for the medicinal use of cannabis. We certainly don’t wan= t to eliminate that from the equation, but we want to ensure that, as we work wi= th the physician and work with the Housing Corporation, the policies are align= ed with our overall objective to proceed with legalization of cannabis across = the board, but residential use as well and impacts and effects on other clients= . So we have to make some adjustment for sure but would certainly take that under advisement.

Ms. White: I’m just going to put out there that medicinal cannabis is already legal in Can= ada. We’re not talking about recreational. I’m talking about medicin= al. There are citizens in Yukon with medicinal prescriptions. There are citizen= s in Yukon who live in Yukon Housing with medicinal cannabis prescriptions prescribed by a doctor. This affects people today and not people long in the future, and it’s a difference between recreational use and medicinal = use. I am just going to move on.

When d= oes the Minister responsible for Yukon Housing expect that the ground will be broken for Housing First and when is the estimated completion date for the Housing First project?

Hon. Ms. Frost: To the point that was made previously, clearly understanding t= hat the medicinal use of cannabis is not allowed in our facilities at the moment because we follow the non-smoking policy rule, as defined. As legalization proceeds and the policies change, I would note that we would certainly take that under advisement, because that is really an essential requirement for = the individual, as prescribed by the physician.

With r= egard to the next question on the Housing First project, the design has been complet= ed and is underway, and my understanding is we are prepared to go out on a req= uest for proposal on the project. That is taking effect very shortly and, by late fall, the anticipation is that the facility will be completed.

Ms. White: I look forward to the day that facility opens.

On the= website, it talks about rent supplement programs or rent-geared-to-income. With rent-geared-to-income, you are qualified as a social housing client and you= go into social housing and there you are.

One of= things I wanted to know — and I put it into the motion that talked about looki= ng at the expansion of the rent supplement program — part of that being = that, if you can help people to stay in the private market, then there would be f= ewer people on the list. At this point, I want to know how many people are in th= at rent supplement program and what the amount is in the budget for that this year.

Hon. Ms. Frost: I wanted to note that, last year, the rent supplement — in total, we had — both are separate, so the social housing agreement was — we h= ave two separate allocated amounts: one was for $413,556 and the other was $309,000. The other was with the Da Daghay Development Corporation for just over $55,000. That is total units into what was 82 last year and the budget — the rent supplement this year ̵= 2; is $1.408 million, and that is inclusive of the Da Daghay project.

Ms. White: Can the minister tell me what budget line items those are? Does it include the rental housing allowance and others? Is it trying to patch together the amo= unt to get us up to $1.4 million? I would appreciate her direction.=

Hon. Ms. Frost: Under tenant management under operation and maintenance, we have $8,292,000 and, = out of that, we have extracted the rent supplement program of $1.408 milli= on, and that includes the $437,000 for the Da Daghay<= /span> project.

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

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

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

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Recess

 

Chair: I wil= l now call Committee of the Whole to order.

The ma= tter before the Committee is Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, in Bill No.&nbs= p;206, entitled First Appropriation Act 20= 18‑19.

Ms. White: Prior to that break, we were just talking about the rent supplement program, and = the minister said that it was at $1.4 million with 82 units that are subsidized. Can the minister tell me more about the rental housing allowanc= es, which is $250,000 under the capital of Community Partnering and Lending?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The $250,000 is found under the northern housing trust and it = is rental housing allowance. The $250,000 is a time-limited subsidy to low- to moderate-income families to match the demand for vacancies and private mark= et.

Ms. White: Knowing that it has the title of “northern housing trust”, how many more years will that exist for, or is this the final year?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The northern housing trust is set to expire this year. We are working through our bilateral negotiations with Canada on the Canada housing benefit program, which has allocated in the budget for 2020 $2 billion. The program is designed for national rent supplements. So that has been identified on a national level and we will now enter into bilateral discussions.

Our pr= iority is certainly to ensure that we don’t stop this very essential support that’s there and that we tie it into ongoing supports in the future. = We would certainly like to make sure that we highlight that in our bilateral negotiations with the federal government.

Ms. White: On the same page, 20-10 — if you’re in the plastic-bound budget, it’s under the heading Community Partnering and Lending. Under invest= ment in affordable housing, it has Affordable Rental Construction Programs for $= 1.45 million. Can the minister tell me more about what the money will allow for? <= /p>

Hon. Ms. Frost: I don’t have the specific details here, but what we do h= ave is that the $1.45‑million contribution to increase the supply of afforda= ble housing through partnerships with industry — the project currently we= nt out on a call for affordable housing. There is an initiative there with Chi= ef Isaac Inc. and then the 360° project= . I will come back in writing to the member opposite with more details on what = else was considered under that funding envelope.

Ms. White: Does that work out as grants — gifted money — or is it in loans?

Hon. Ms. Frost: It is a capital grant through a transfer payment agreement.

Ms. White:= 195;The reason why I ask if it is a loan or a grant is that we have things like the home repair loan program, which is low-interest loans to homeowners who are looking at doing renovations or repairs to their homes. I have talked about= it a lot. When I first accessed it in 2012, it was at $35,000. I talked about = how if you really wanted people to do energy retrofits to their homes and they = were invested in the home and the projects, it needed to be expanded. It has sin= ce gone up to $50,000. I can tell you that I accessed it again, and that is ho= w I put in my new heating system.

The po= int is that it is a loan, and I am going to continue to pay into it. The governmen= t is not going to lose out on it, and there are lots of people like me. When I s= ee things like the affordable rental construction program and understand that = it is a grant, then I have questions about that. For example, regarding the un= its that are being created with this money, is there an agreement with governme= nt that they will be kept as rental housing? When we talk about affordable, affordable according to CMHC is 30 percent of what someone earns. Do we have an agreement signed that says that it will be kept as affordable rental units? Or is the money gifted to someone making those developments without = any strings attached?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The contribution agreement under the investment in affordable housing follows the CMHC requirements and follows the 10-year criteria for = 90 to 95 percent of the medium-market rental rate. There are reporting re= quirements on that for 10 years.

Ms. White: Some of the best landlords I know in town view rental housing as a 25-year investment so they build rental construction. There are a couple of them who have actually built quite a bit of rental housing in the City of Whitehorse, but they look at it as a long-term investment. Knowing there is no guarantee after 10 years, I asked the minister what guarantee there is that, after 10 years, they won’t be privatized and, for example, condo-ized and sold to private individuals?

Hon. Ms. Frost: The funding envelope with the investment in affordable housing — the 10-year grant — once it’s discharged, then we don’t really have any recourse, but the new federal initiative is certainly something we would take under advisement, going long term and loo= king at the policies around that. So I hear the concern and it’s something= we would consider as we go ahead and negotiate future funding envelopes with t= he federal government.

Ms. White:= 195;I thank the minister for that. I don’t have issues with the concept of subsidizing rental housing, but I do have an issue with the idea of subsidi= zing rental housing in the short term, knowing that it could be sold off for a profit 10 years down the line. It seems to me that if we’re talking a= bout increasing available housing, especially for the rental market, we would wa= nt to make sure that was safe and that was secure.

ItR= 17;s just in stark contrast to the rental and secondary suite loan, which has an enve= lope of $525,000, and that would be for individual homeowners looking to expand = on their properties, but I would suggest they would be looking at having that additional housing within their own property for an extended period of time, not just for 10 years.

The re= ason I highlight the difference between a grant and a loan is just the idea that w= hen you lend the money out, it comes back and it can be recirculated. My concern always with subsidizing the construction of rental housing is that if we don’t have future agreements in place it means that, post-10 years, t= hey can be condo-ized. We have seen affordable hous= ing in the territory that used to be rentals changed into condos. An example is — we could talk about the Sternwheeler in Riverdale and how that happened. It went from rental housing to being condos.

With t= hat, I will leave it for today. I thank the officials who came in because initiall= y we were told that Yukon Housing Corporation wouldn’t happen today, so I’m grateful that you’re here — very much so. Again the questions and criticisms I have are for the direction of government and nev= er for the department itself. I appreciate the work that is done within the department. I appreciate the programs that I have accessed myself. I apprec= iate the work that they do, as I have been there supporting other people through= it. If anyone wants a tour of the most fantastic wheelchair ramp, we were able = to access that money through the accessibility grant money and it has been a l= ife changer for that person.

With t= hat, I thank the minister.

Chair: Is th= ere any further general debate on Vote 18?

Ms. Van Bibber: I just have one further question, Mr. Chair, before you l= et the officials go. Thank you; I know you were anxious.

The qu= estion is: Why would an application for affordable housing — say, the social hou= sing program subsidy — fail to meet program requirements? What would be so= me of the reasons that an applicant would be rejected?

Hon. Ms. Frost: For the social aspect on that, it would be based on the househ= old income level. On the affordable housing program, perhaps one of the requirements for success is a true business model or a business model that could be supported and that would ensure that the project is successful, so that would be one of the barriers — if they’re not able to meet that criteria.

Chair: Is th= ere any further general debate on Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation?

Seeing= none, we will proceed to line-by-line debate starting at page 20-7.

Ms. White: Pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, I request the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, cleared or carried, as required.

Unanimous consent re deeming all lines in Vote 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, cleared= or carried

Chair: The M= ember for Takhini-Kopper King, pursuant to Standing Order 14.3, has requested the unanimous consent of Committee of the Whole to deem all lines in Vote = 18, Yukon Housing Corporation, cleared or carried, as required.

Is the= re unanimous consent?

All Hon. Members: Agreed.

Speaker: Una= nimous consent has been granted.

On Opera= tion and Maintenance Expenditures

Total Op= eration and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $19,478,000 agreed to

On Capit= al Expenditures

Total Ca= pital Expenditures in the amount of $30,829,000 agreed to

Total Expenditures in the amount of $50,307,000 agreed to

Yukon Ho= using Corporation agreed to

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Chair: The m= atter now before the Committee is continuing general debate on Vote 55, Departmen= t of Highways and Public Works, 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 five minutes.

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Recess

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

The ma= tter before the Committee is continuing general debate on Vote 55, Department of Highways and Public Works, in Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19.

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Department of Highways and Public Works — = continued

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Apparently, I have 18 minutes, and there is so much good work = that I would love to talk about here in the Department of Highways and Public Work= s. However, we have been waiting for weeks to get back in here. I know the mem= bers opposite have questions that they would like answered. I am more than happy= to provide that forum to them, so I will sit down and let the members opposite= ask some questions at this very late hour on the last day of the Sitting.

Ms. Hanson:&#= 8195;Over the course of the last few years, in conversations with folks in Old Crow, = I am sure the government — and I know they have, because the Minister of Community Services indicated that they had discussed with the community in = Old Crow — and the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in particular — the need for planning and having confirmed plans for an Old Crow winter road. We all know that the last road was in March 2014, and it was the first in 10 y= ears at that time. I can recall being in the community and there were 50 trucklo= ads of goods that were brought up. At that time, the Vuntut Gwitchin and the Yu= kon government split the $1.4‑million cost. In addition, the First Nation used that road to bring in approximately $5 million worth of construct= ion materials and other supplies over the period of, I think, three weeks that = the road was in place.

Can th= e minister tell us if there are plans for an Old Crow winter road? As I recall, in ter= ms of being able, as a government, to — and I’m sure in collaborat= ion with the Yukon government — be able to maximize the benefit of a wint= er road — the preferred plan is to — and keeping in mind that we recognize that there are climatic conditions that may make it difficult and= you have to take those into consideration — have a confirmed planning cyc= le for every three years for an Old Crow winter road. When will that commence? Because we’re already into four years, almost five years. It will be = five years, if it happens next year, since the last one was in place. How much is anticipated being spent for an Old Crow winter road? Is it an ongoing commitment? Is it cost-shared with the First Nation government?

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Just the other day, I was talking to my colleague, the MLA for Old Crow, about t= he winter road to her community. We have had some conversations over the past = year about this.

It is = true that it is a cost-shared arrangement that we have had with the Vuntut Gwitchin F= irst Nation. The last time we provided funding, it was $750,000 toward that road. The development corporation worked with a contractor to build the road. Highways and Public Works had very little role in that execution. We knew t= hat it was going on but, as far as design work and implementation, it was really left up to the development corporation and the contractor working together = as they put in half of the funding.

There = are projects going forward in Old Crow. There are plans for a health centre and other things, and the Minister of Health and Social Services and I are work= ing together to coordinate how we’re going to get goods and services into= Old Crow.

At the= moment, the First Nation is considering a winter road to the community. From where I’m sitting, as Minister of Highways and Public Works, Old Crow is a community that we have responsibilities to as well. I think that, going forward, we have to plan these projects so we get the most goods into it wi= th the least amount of money and fuss. We have to work with the Vuntut Gwitchi= n to make sure that they are getting service to their community like any other. = They deserve to be served by Highways and Public Works and have access to get so= me of the needed building supplies and equipment into their community. I’= ;m working with my colleague to make sure that we plan and execute these winter roads in a way that is both economically viable and fair to the community.<= /span>

Ms. Hanson: I thank the minister — I think that is encouraging. What I was asking t= he minister for was a commitment that this would be a planned approach. What we have heard from the government is that they take a planned approach to these things. They make long-term capital plans. They make long-term plans on a number of matters — that is what I have heard, and so I am looking for evidence of that.

If we&= #8217;re talking about a government-to-government relationship between the Yukon government, as the minister just aptly described his work and responsibilit= ies as Minister for Highways and Public Works vis-à-vis the Vuntut Gwitc= hin First Nation, the community of Old Crow — the only access to it ̵= 2; I mean I remember the days, Mr. Speaker, when we flew things in by Herc. We’re not doing that anymore. I don’= ;t think there are that many available to the Government of Yukon to do that — at least at a reasonable cost, bringing them in from Russia. Actual= ly, they have used those in the past too.

But th= at is less viable than planning with another level of government on a regularized sche= dule so that both governments can make reasonable planning forecasts and budgeti= ng to be able to achieve objectives. If the Vuntut Gwitchin government and the Government of Yukon have plans that we have heard — for example, buil= ding a joint nursing station or other joint government-funded operations — then you would think you would want to collaborate on ensuring that those supplies can be brought up there.

Also, = at the same time, I’m sure that the First Nation is looking for opportunitie= s to further economic development in the community and accessing that road ̵= 2; that limited time frame — to bring up necessary supplies for their long-term or their cyclical forecasting.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: In my earlier answer, I was talking about the coordination, collaboration and work that I’m undertaking with my colleague, the Minister of Health and Social Services, who happens to be the MLA for Old C= row.

On the= issue of planning, in our five-year capital plan, we have laid out a health centre f= or Old Crow in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 budget cycles. That gives us a target w= ith which to start to coordinate and plan the execution of an ice road and the delivery of goods to Old Crow. We are trying to be more methodical about th= is. We are trying to put some more rigour into this.

The fi= ve-year capital plan that we have tabled this session does identify a health centre= for Old Crow, which is one of the major projects planned for that community. I = am sure, in our conversations with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation — th= eir development corporation — there will be other things that they will w= ant to coordinate and plan, and I am more than happy to accommodate that. The five-year capital plan that we did table for the first time in this House d= oes provide some of the guidance for these things going forward.

Ms. Hanson: I thank the minister for that answer. We will look forward in the next budget= to some more declarative information with respect to the Old Crow ice road. I realize with a budget of $255 million that some questions can seem rat= her minor to the minister, but I will ask them. There are three that I will ask, given the time.

One is= a question that I have asked in prior years — and it is a matter of hig= hway safety and safety of travellers — and that is the repeated request fo= r a light at Stewart Crossing — a highway light or street light. We have = seen robberies that have occurred over the last year. I don’t know how many times this party has requested of the previous government and this governme= nt last year the simple act of putting in a highway light standard there to provide that safety feature for travellers and for the business there.

The se= cond question is the question that we have asked previously. Again, it may seem = minor, but it is important in terms of safety. That is the battery backup with res= pect to fire alarms in public buildings that Highways and Public Works is responsible for. In the past, the battery-operated fire lights in all government buildings have failed. We tried to ascertain exactly what the government has done to ensure that those are there and that there is some fail-safe method.

The la= st one is that, in previous sessions of this Legislative Assembly, we had brought for= ward concerns about the Takhini River bridge. We brought them forward initially after being contacted by truck drivers over safety concerns about the appro= ach to that bridge. We all know that there was a very serious accident there a number of years ago, but the approach hasn’t changed and the safety concerns remain.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: I do appreciate the time, and the members opposite are bringing forward several questions at once, and I understand why. I will do my best = to answer questions in a timely fashion so that we can get through as many as = we can.

There = were three questions in that last one. Light standards at Stewart Crossing — I h= ave spoken to my officials and they are prepared to look again at Stewart and s= ee what the lighting requirements are up there. Lighting is an issue, I have learned, in virtually every single community in the territory, in terms of flashing lights and crosswalk lights and the rest of it, but Stewart Crossi= ng is one that we will add to the list and go up and have a look and see what = the lighting requirements are and what the cost is and whether we can actually accommodate that request.

The ba= ttery backup — so schools — École = Émilie Tremblay had a code repair and repairs = have been going on in that school. We’re doing reviews of all of our prope= rty and we now have a schedule and a methodical approach to this that we have p= ut into place to make sure that our buildings are looked at and maintained on a schedule. You can imagine — the government has, I believe, more than = a $1 billion worth of property. We haven’t been able to systematically go through that. The systems are now being put in place so we can now move through it methodically and make sure that things are up to speed. That work is in progress. I can’t promise to the member opposite that work will be do= ne by the end of the year, but we will be going through these things and making the needed upgrades in a methodical — and we will do the triage neces= sary to do them in a methodical fashion and get any problems dealt with on these critical — fire alarms are critical, and we will get that work done.<= /span>

Takhin= i River bridge: we have actually taken a look at the load limits for larger trucks.= We are now restricting loads — we’re restricting trucks carrying l= arge loads from travelling across those bridges — like the Takhini River bridge — between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to t= ry to eliminate and reduce the conflict at the peak hours of traffic on those bridges. We have taken that step this year and we are going to see how that goes.

As far= as assessing the approach to the Takhini River bridge, the department officials have loo= ked at it and it is within the acceptable parameters but, of course, there are = many in the community who think otherwise, and we have taken the step right now = to restrict those large trucks to those hours to try to eliminate the conflict= on those approaches and those narrow bridges.

Ms. Hanson: I can just hear the former MLA from Mayo-Tatchun cheering and I am sure the current MLA from Mayo-Tatchun would cheer to think that — and I would urge the minister and his officials not to go out between now and September= to do that site visit to determine the need for a light. Perhaps we would best wait until it is dark.

I have= one last question. I did say the other ones were — but I have noted in the past and again, in this year’s Public Accounts, Highways and Public Works shares the honours with Community Services for year over year having increa= sed environmental liabilities. As the minister responsible, I understand you are not necessarily going to clean it up; you are going to say to the Minister = of Environment to clean it up, but as the minister responsible, what is the minister doing to ensure that year over year new highway work camps —= new Highways and Public Works sites — are not significantly increasing the environmental liability of this government, emanating from work being done under the guise of this department? I may be incorrect, but I think it is around $11 million this past year that is attributed to Highways and P= ublic Works.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Late last fall, I travelled up to Old Crow with my colleague, = the MLA for Old Crow. While touring that community, I was treated to the amount= of environmental damage, pollution and spilled oil left in that community. They were monitoring sites throughout the town. I can’t remember how many sites exactly, but there were an awful lot them, including the grader stati= on up there.

This i= s a tale told throughout the territory. We see it at Carmacks, where we are about to start the construction of a new grader station in that community this summe= r. That new grader station will be built to a standard that mitigates some of = the pollution that we have seen over the last 30 or 40 years on sites where we = have a grader station. That tale is told again and again. It’s told in Whitehorse; it’s told in Carmacks; it’s told in Teslin and, I w= ould hasten to add, Watson Lake. Across the territory, wherever we put our highw= ay camps, there has been a legacy of pollution that we have inherited. We used= our sites as dumping grounds and we are going to have to deal with that every t= ime we go in to fix a site, like we are doing at F.H. Collins right now — mitigating those sites and working together with Environment and Education = at the F.H. Collins site, trying to remediate that spill and others. It is expensive and difficult to assess. It takes time, it slows things down and it’s very expensive.

We are= doing that. Your point was about what we are doing to mitigate it in the future. = We have an environmental coordinator working with the department now trying to coordinate with Environment on assessments and problems we are seeing. We a= re much more aware of these things, because the cost of cleaning up — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If we are clean from the beginning and if we make sure our sites are maintained and if we do this wi= th a little thoughtfulness, then the downstream or future costs —

Chair: Order, please.

Termination of Sitting as per Standing Order 76(1)

Chair: The time has reach= ed 5:00 p.m. on this, the 30th Sitting day of the 2018 Spring Sitting.

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

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

“(b) put the question, without d= ebate or amendment, on a motion moved by a Minister that the bill, including all clauses, schedules, title and preamble, be deemed to be read and carried; <= o:p>

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

“(d) when all bills have been de= alt with, recall the Speaker to the Chair to report on the proceedings of the Committee.”

It is the duty of the Chair to now con= duct the business of Committee of the Whole in the manner directed by Standing O= rder 76(1). The Chair will now ask the Government House Leader to indicate which government bills now before Committee of the Whole should be called. <= /o:p>

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Mr. Chair, the government directs that Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 20= 18‑19, the only government bill before Committee of the Whole, be called at this t= ime.

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

Chair: The C= ommittee will now deal with Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19.

The Ch= air will now recognize Mr. Silver, as the sponsor of Bill No. 206, for the purpose of moving a motion pursuant to Standing Order 76(1)(b).

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Chair, I move that all clauses, schedules and the tit= le of Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19, be deemed to be read and carried.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Mr. Silver that all clauses, schedules and the title of Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19, be deemed to be read and carried. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put the question. Are you agr= eed?

Some Hon. Members: Count.

Count

Chair:̳= 5;A count has been called.<= o:p>

 

Bells

 

Chair:̳= 5;All those in favour pleas= e rise.

Members ris= e

Chair: All t= hose opposed please rise.

Members rise

Chair: The r= esults are nine yea, eight nay.

Motion agreed to

On Opera= tion and Maintenance Expenditures

Total Op= eration and Maintenance Expenditures in the amount of $1,191,905,000 agreed to=

On Capit= al Expenditures

Total Ca= pital Expenditures in the amount of $280,143,000 agreed to<= /b>

Total Expenditures in the amount of $1,472,048,000 agreed to

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to<= /p>

Schedules A and B agreed to

Title agreed to

&= nbsp;

Hon. Mr. Silver: Mr. Chair, I move that you report Bill No. 206, entitled = First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i>, without amendment.

Chair: It ha= s been moved by Mr. Silver that the Chair report Bill No. 206, entitled = First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i>, without amendment. As no debate or amendment is permitted, I shall now put = the question. Are you agreed?

Motion agreed to

&= nbsp;

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

&= nbsp;

Speaker resumes the Chair

Termination of Sitting as per Standing Order 76(2)

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

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

Chair’s report

Mr. Hutton: Mr. Speaker, Committee of the Whole has considered Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i>, and directed me to report the bill without amendment.

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.

Standi= ng Order 76(2)(d) states, “On the sitting day that the Assembly has reached the maximum number of sitting days allocated for that Sitting pursuant to Stand= ing Order 75, the Speaker of the Assembly, when recalled to the Chair after the House has been in the Committee of the Whole, shall:

“= ;(d) with respect to each Government Bill standing on the Order Paper for Third Readi= ng and designated to be called by the Government House Leader;

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

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

I shal= l, therefore, ask the Government House Leader to indicate which government bil= ls now standing on the Order Paper for Third Reading should be called.<= /p>

&= nbsp;

Hon. Ms. McPhee: The government directs that Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i> — the only government bill standing on the Order Paper for third read= ing — be called for third reading at this time.

Government Bills

Bill No. 206: First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i> — Third Reading

Clerk: Third reading, Bill No. 206, standing in the name of the Hon. Mr. = Silver.

Hon. Mr. Silver: I move that Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19, be now read a third time= and do pass.

Speaker: It = has been moved by the Hon. Premier that Bill No. 206, entitled First Appropriation Act 2018‑19<= /i>, be now read a third time and do pass. As no debate or amendment is permitte= d, I shall now put the question to the House. Are you agreed?

Some Hon. Members: Division.

Division

Speaker: Div= ision has been called.

&= nbsp;

Bells

&= nbsp;

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

Hon. Mr. Silver: Agree.

Hon. Ms. McPhee: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Pillai: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Dendys: Agree.

Hon. Ms. Frost: Agree.

Mr. Gallina: Agree.

Mr. Adel: Agree.

Hon. Mr. Mostyn: Agree.

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

Mr. Hutton: Agree.

Mr. Hassard: Disagree.

Mr. Kent: Disagree.

Ms. Van Bibber: Disagree.

Mr. Cathers: Disagree.

Ms. McLeod: Disagree.

Mr. Istchenko: Disagree.

Ms. Hanson: Disagree.

Ms. White: Disagree.

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

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

Motion for third reading of Bill No. 206 ag= reed to

&= nbsp;

Speaker: I d= eclare that Bill No. 206 has passed this House.

Applause

&= nbsp;

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

&= nbsp;

Commissioner Bernard enters the Chamber announce= d by the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms

Assent to Bills

Commissioner:̳= 5;Please be seated.

&= nbsp;

Speaker: Mad= am Commissioner, the Assembly has, at its present session, passed certain bill= s to which, in the name and on behalf of the Assembly, I respectfully request yo= ur assent.

Clerk:Cannabis Control and Regulation Act; Technical Amendments Act, 2018; Gender Diversity and Related Amendmen= ts Act; First Appropriation Act 2018‑= 19.

Commissioner:̳= 5;I hereby assent to the bills as enumerated by the Clerk.

I woul= d like to thank each member of this Legislative Assembly for the hard work that you h= ave put in this session. It is my hope that over the spring and summer, you are able to enjoy some fine weather and spend some quality time with your famil= ies. In the eternal words of Semisonic’s Closing Time: “You don’= ;t have to go home but you can’t stay here.”

Have a= nice break.

Applause

 

Commissioner leaves the Chamber

&= nbsp;

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

Before= I adjourn the Spring Sitting of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, I would like to exten= d my thanks, on behalf of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chair of Committee of the Whole and on behalf of all MLAs to Clerk Floyd McCormick, Deputy Clerk Linda Kolody, Acting Clerk of Committees Sarah Edwards, Direct= or of Administration, Finance and Systems Helen Fitzsimmons, Operations Manager Brenda McCain-Armour, our administrative assistant Lyndsey Amundson, all of= the Yukon Legislative Assembly Office staff, as well as Sergeant-at-Arms Karina Watson and Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Harris Cox, who all provide invaluable support to all MLAs and their staff in order for all of us to continue to do the important work that we are sent here to do on behalf of all Yukoners.

As wel= l, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the skilled team at Hansard for their timely and accurate service, which somehow magically — and for our purposes, accurately — appears in the Blues every morning.

Thank = you very much.

I woul= d also note at this time that Sarah Edwards, our Acting Clerk of Committees, will = be pursuing an exciting new opportunity at the Yukon Hospital Corporation and = we wish her all the best. I would like to personally thank her for her hard wo= rk and much-appreciated support over the past 16 months of my time at the Yukon Legislative Assembly Office.

Applause

&= nbsp;

Speaker: Fin= ally, and in keeping with Madam Commissioner’s comments, I wish Members of = the Legislative Assembly all the best for the spring and summer. Safe travels as you recharge your batteries and return to your respective ridings to connect with your loved ones, extended family and friends, and with your constituen= ts.

Thank = you very much.

Now, y= ou want the collective hall pass to be able to leave.

As the= House has now reached the maximum number of Sitting days permitted for the Spring Sit= ting and the House has completed consideration of all designated legislation, it= is the duty of the Chair to declare that this House now stands adjourned.

&= nbsp;

The House adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

The= following sessional paper was tabled April 24, 2018:

34-2-62

Yuk= on Child Care Board Annual Report — April 1, 2016-March 31, 2018 (Frost)

&= nbsp;

The= following legislative returns were tabled April 24, 2018:

34-2-134

Respon= se to Written Question No. 23 re: land withdrawals and staking bans within Yukon (Pillai)

&= nbsp;

34-2-1= 35

Respon= se to matter outstanding from discussion with Mr. Kent, related to general debate on Vote 53, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, in Bill No.&n= bsp;206, First Appropriation Act 2018‑19 (Pillai)

&= nbsp;

34-2-1= 36

Respon= se to oral question from Ms. White re: bear management (Frost)

&= nbsp;

34-2-1= 37

Respon= se to matter outstanding from discussion with Mr. Hassard, related to general debate on Vote 10, Public Service Commission, in Bill No. 206, First Appropriation Act 2018‑19 (Mostyn)

&= nbsp;

The following documents were filed April 24, 201= 8:

34-2-53

Yuk= on Child and Family Services Act 2010-2013 Annual Report — A New Direction in Child Welfare (Frost)

&= nbsp;

34-2-5= 4

Yuk= on Family and Children’s Services 2013/14 Annual Report (Frost)

&= nbsp;

34-2-5= 5

Yuk= on Family and Children’s Services — Child and Family Services Act<= /i> — 2014/15 Annual Report = (Frost)

&= nbsp;

34-2-5= 6

Yuk= on Family and Children’s Services 2015/16 Annual Report (Frost)

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

&= nbsp;

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