1992 Legislative Session: 1st Session, 35th Parliament
FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 1992
Volume 4, No. 22
[ Page 2799 ]
The House met at 10:04 a.m.
D. Schreck: In the gallery today are two of the finest people I've ever met -- Jim and Doreen Bartley, formerly of North Vancouver and currently living on the Sunshine Coast. Would the House please join me in welcoming them.
D. Streifel: Visiting in the galleries this day are 30 students from Windebank Elementary School in Mission, in the constituency that I represent. They're accompanied by their teacher Mr. McGowan. I bid the House make them welcome.
ACT (No. 2), 1992
Hon. R. Blencoe presented a message from His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill intituled Municipal Amendment Act (No. 2), 1992.
Hon. R. Blencoe: This legislation contains a number of provisions relating to the concerns of local governments in British Columbia.
The first provision will eliminate uncertainty caused by a recent Supreme Court decision concerning abstentions from voting for reasons such as conflict of interest at meetings of local government councils and their committees.
A second provision establishes a new scheme under which municipalities are authorized to protect trees deemed valuable to the community. This tree legislation addresses the concerns of municipalities and the public, who have been pressing for action as growth pressure in urban areas heightens the impact of tree removal on heritage, aesthetics, views and the environment.
A third provision of this legislation will enable local governments to establish a new system of controls over fire and security alarms through the issuing of permits. In general, this will provide for the more efficient use of the resources of local police and fire departments by significantly reducing the number of false alarms.
All three aspects of this legislation received the full support of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
I move the bill be introduced and read a first time now.
Bill 77 introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
AMENDMENT ACT, 1992
Hon. C. Gabelmann presented a message from His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill intituled Legal Profession Amendment Act, 1992.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: Hon. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce Bill 75. The Legal Profession Amendment Act establishes the authority of the Law Society to govern and regulate the activities of lawyers practising in the province and to protect the public interest in the administration of justice. In order to carry out these functions, the Law Society has the power to inquire into the credentials of those wishing to become members of the Law Society and the competence of those who are members. The Law Society also has the power to discipline its members.
The purpose of the Legal Profession Amendment Act is primarily to improve the structure and organization of the committees dealing with credentials and the competence and discipline of members of the Law Society. The amendments improve the regulatory capacity of the Law Society as well as make a number of minor amendments.
I move the bill be introduced and read a first time now.
Bill 75 introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
FOREST AMENDMENT ACT (No. 2), 1992
On behalf of the Minister of Forests, Hon. C. Gabelmann presented a message from His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill intituled Forest Amendment Act (No. 2), 1992.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: Hon. Speaker, Bill 78 amends the Forest Act to provide the Ministry of Forests with the necessary administrative powers to deal with forest management issues arising from the establishment of study areas under the protected areas strategy. The bill enables cabinet to specify study areas for the protected areas strategy. This enables the Ministry of Forests to temporarily reduce allowable annual cuts and to suspend or modify road and harvesting authorities where necessary in these areas.
In the event that all or part of a study area is not designated as protected area, this bill will enable the Ministry of Forests to return temporary reductions in the allowable annual cut to the affected tenure-holder. This power is not available under the current Forest Act. These provisions will be used only on a case-by-case basis for those study areas which government is convinced cannot be accommodated by any other means. The bill will ensure that good forest management can continue to be practised in the forests of British Columbia.
I move the bill be introduced and read a first time now.
Bill 78 introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
D. Mitchell: Hon. Speaker, I'd like to ask for leave to make a motion of substitution on one of our select standing committees.
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D. Mitchell: I move that the name of Ms. Lynn Stephens, MLA, be substituted for that of Mr. Dan Jarvis, MLA, and that the name of Mr. Ken Jones, MLA, be substituted for that of Mr. Robert Chisholm, MLA, as members of the Select Standing Committee on Forests, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
Motion approved. Private Members' Statements
CANADIAN PRIDE IN FALKLAND
S. O'Neill: Hon. Speaker, we're approaching a very important holiday soon: Canada Day. For most people across the province and across the country this will be a day to be enjoyed with family -- a brief respite from work, perhaps a day at the beach, a barbecue or a picnic. But I wonder how many people will stop to think just how important a day this is. We will be enjoying not just Canada Day, but this July 1 we will be celebrating a century and a quarter of Confederation. That's really quite an accomplishment when you think about it.
In the last 125 years this vast land, with its diverse population, has managed to hang together without revolution or collapse -- a population that has no common race, language or, indeed, beliefs. In spite of that, Canadians are a tranquil and somewhat humble people. We're not taken to jingoism or boastfulness. Because of this trait, we sometimes take for granted the great blessings that we have -- blessings that were recently recognized by the United Nations when Canada was proclaimed to be the best country in the world in which to live. We take for granted those blessings, and we've become very self-critical. We look at Canada, and we no longer see that the glass is way more than half-full.
As a sharp contrast, I can tell you that my constituency of Shuswap is exactly 13,381 square kilometres. That is 3,000 square kilometres larger than Lebanon. Even without this shocking juxtaposition, I can guarantee this House that I am grateful to be representing a peaceful area in a country free of the imminent prospect of war. Yet within that 13,381 square kilometres of Shuswap people have started to stand and say that they are proud of Canada. It all started in a small place called Falkland. Falkland is hardly the first place one would think of if one wanted to launch a national campaign. In fact, anybody in the field of public relations would probably laugh aloud at such a prospect. After all, Falkland, B.C. is but a speck on the map on Highway 97 between Vernon and Kamloops. At last count, I think it boasted 527 souls. It's unincorporated, so it doesn't even have a mayor.
Most of the people log or ranch for a living, yet this tiny community broke into the news on April 1 of last year when they enthusiastically turned out to celebrate being Canadian. Fran Nikon, a local Falklander, had an idea one day while sitting around the kitchen table with a group of friends and talking about the need for a little patriotism. They noted that the only place where you could see a Canadian flag flying in Falkland was at the Petro-Canada station. Fran Nikon was propelled to start a campaign that she called "I Care about Canada." The idea was to get everybody in town to fly a Canadian flag; then on April 1 they would all celebrate their own Canada Day and issue the challenge to other places to join them: just fly the flag and be proud of being a Canadian. As you would probably suspect, she was met with a bit of initial skepticism. After she spent about $2,000 of her own money and designed the "I Care" logo, people started to join the campaign -- and the idea worked. April 1 came and Falklanders flew their flags; they wore their "I Care" T-shirts and even sang an official song. They issued their challenge to some of the neighbouring communities: Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Enderby, Vernon, Kelowna, even Dawson Creek and Victoria.
Surprisingly enough, the first people to take up the challenge were Americans. Garland, Utah, Falkland's sister city, heard about the "I Care" campaign, and they wanted to express their pride at having Canada for a neighbour. Some of the residents started getting results; Governor Norman Bangerter proclaimed July 1, 1991, as Canada Day in Utah, and had the flag raised in an official ceremony at the state capitol in Salt Lake City. More than 226 other rural towns all over Utah flew the Maple Leaf as well.
So what is Falkland going to do this year for an encore? Well, they've built a billboard-size flag -- perhaps the biggest in Canada. It's made of corrugated sheet metal, and it's attached to eight telephone poles. This, like all Falkland's Canada pride celebrations, did not cost a single penny of taxpayers' money. As a matter of fact, the Falkland community association and the chamber of commerce rejected a federal invitation to get a grant from the $50 million of federal funds sent out to aid celebrations for Canada's 125th birthday. Falklanders are known for being very independent souls.
What I think we can learn from Falkland is a lesson about attitude. We don't have to be chauvinistic. I think Falkland is asking us to look honestly at ourselves as a country; to look at what we do well and how we could improve. True, we still have the homeless, the poor, racism, crime and inequality, but do we have them in the same measure as other countries? Most importantly, are we working as hard as we can, as individuals, as organizations and as government, to eradicate these injustices?
I'm proud to say, Madam Speaker, that in this House we're doing our best to be open and honest and fair. I'd like to cite several examples in the areas of pay equity, the establishment of the Ministry of Women's Equality, the school lunch program, a fairer human rights code, and even a fair settlement with aboriginal peoples. The question we should all ask ourselves this Canada Day is: are we treating each other as we would like to be treated ourselves? If we can answer yes, then we're doing well as British Columbians, as Canadians and as human beings.
C. Serwa: It's a pleasure to rise and respond to the member for Shuswap and her statement regarding
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Falkland and their noble effort to raise the awareness of the value of this magnificent country that we live in. Falkland never has been simply a speck on the map. Falkland is a community with a very proud and distinguished history. Falkland continues to amaze me, with its ability to handle somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people when they have the annual Falkland Stampede. For a small community, they have a great big heart. That's certainly evident in their celebrations with respect to Canada Day. Falkland has provided a strong commitment and a great deal of leadership, not only to small communities but, as the member said, to very large communities.
The flag of Canada is a symbol that we should all be very proud of. The flag of Canada is respected all over the world.
While this nation was founded on Christian principles, the fact remains that we are a very pluralistic society. We have people, races and religions from all countries in the world. In spite of some sensitivity on our part, we live in harmony in comparison to many other jurisdictions in the world, whether it's Europe or some of the Asian countries. We're a shining example of the world's truly first international country. I think that the spirit, loyalty and commitment of the people of Falkland -- a very small community with a big heart -- is certainly to be recognized, applauded and commended. It's precisely the type of spirit that is required throughout all of Canada at this particular time.
At the current time we're in a constitutional crisis. We're all aware of that. We forget all of the things that really bind us together and have bound us together for the past 125 years. Canada has been and still is a leader, and if we handle it right, will continue to provide a form of leadership. It's an example of a country very rich in resources and in the quality of individuals. It is certainly a splendid place of opportunity not only for the people of Canada, but certainly for students that come from other jurisdictions to study here in our wonderful country. It is a shining example of people working together to make Canada even better than it is at the present time.
If we each pick up our area of responsibility, as the people of Falkland have picked up their responsibility, I'm confident that the constitutional issues that are confronting us at the moment as a nation will be successfully met, and that we will continue to work together in unity and harmony as a great nation. I think each one of us in this Legislative Assembly is also committed to work as tirelessly as we may to continue to improve the nature of not only British Columbia, but -- as our commitment to Canada as Canadians -- this great nation of Canada. I believe that we can pass on this nation and this province undiminished in any way, and greater, better and more beautiful for the generations that will follow us.
S. O'Neill: I was pleased to hear the member for Kamloops West....
Some Hon. Members: Okanagan West.
S. O'Neill: Okanagan West. I was so intent on getting the east and the west right that I must apologize for getting the wrong town.
He and I travelled together with the all-party constitutional committee, and I'm sure he will recall that a ten-year-old girl appeared before us at the committee. Her brief was an invitation to a birthday party, Canada's 125th birthday party, and I found it very moving. In fact, I almost had the feeling that perhaps we should only let those under 19 vote on the referendum, because most of the young people that we talked to were so enthusiastic about Canada.
I hope that we as legislators and, indeed, Canadians, don't let our country flounder and fall apart during these negotiations over the constitution. We are so immensely fortunate. It would be a shame to let it all go to waste, especially on something like a Senate.
TODAY AND TOMORROW
D. Symons: I must say that many of the comments that I plan on making probably would not apply to a small community like Falkland, because I think its residents have some great advantage over those of us who come from the rather large urban centres, where what I'm about to say applies more.
Last Saturday I attended the fortieth reunion of my high school graduation class. I'm sure that most of you could not imagine that I could have graduated 40 years ago, but the secret is out: I did.
As one gets older, I believe, there's a tendency to compare the old days with the present and to possibly wonder where things will be in future. When I write letters of congratulation to people celebrating their eightieth or ninetieth birthdays, I marvel at the fantastic changes that have occurred in technology and society that they've witnessed throughout their lifetime. What changes will the next 50 or 100 years bring? We can only imagine.
As a high school teacher and as a parent, I've attended close to 35 high-school graduation ceremonies, as well as a half-dozen university convocations since my own graduation. God willing, I hope to attend a few more with my grandchildren -- although, thankfully, that is still a number of years away.
At my reunion, I was struck by the number of similarities between those of us who graduated in '52. Most came from two-parent families. Most waited eight to ten years after graduation before getting married, and most are still on their first marriage. Three children seem to be the norm, and those children are now turning us into grandparents. Most -- at least of those who turned up at the reunion -- appeared to have carved out for themselves a rather comfortable position in society.
[M. Lord in the chair.]
I remember my graduation well. The valedictorian and the guest speaker gave us words of encouragement: the world is your oyster, and it's up to you. Such phrases were common to many of the graduations I've
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attended over the years. Grads are told that the world is full of opportunities, and with a bit of effort you can be a success. Unfortunately, I've found that success was never too well defined, but the implication often was that it was measured with dollar signs. I find that rather troublesome. None of my class doubted that we would find a job or that we could raise the funds if we had the ability and gain entrance to university. We didn't doubt that we would someday get married and have a home or our own in which to raise a family. These were givens and understood to be attainable by all. Reality probably tempered some dreams: the job may not have been quite what was envisioned; they may not have become presidents of companies; the pay may have been less than expected, but it was reasonable and one could afford a home and a marriage.
Unfortunately, hon. Speaker, I do not believe that the same rosy picture of the future is envisioned by today's grads. More recently, students appear to look forward to graduation more for the social functions rather than the future that is opening to them. Most still have ambitions, but they don't appear to be as confident as we were that they will be able to achieve those ambitions. They are aware of friends, neighbours, relatives and even immediate family who are unemployed, often unemployed through no fault of their own. Too often those unemployed are well-qualified university graduates, technicians, mechanics or office personnel. Unemployed friends of my children include an engineer who's only had temporary jobs in the eight years since his graduation from university, and a teacher who likewise has not found a permanent position in four years. They are terribly discouraged. What a waste of our human resources!
Today's students are told they need a post-secondary education in today's world, but if they try to enter a university, they find the grade point average has yet again been raised to limit enrolment and they are ineligible. Spaces are limited in colleges and trade schools, and there are long waiting-lists. Those lucky enough to gain admission frequently find they cannot get all the courses they require, and are therefore forced to take a partial program or to take fill-in courses to complete a load.
I find difficulty with a society that extols the value of education and at the same time fails to provide adequate opportunities to gain that education. Some may never reach their potential, through no fault of their own.
There are other differences that I see between my generation and those of today. Many are now coming from broken homes, from blended or mended families, from single-parent families and from families that have become dependent on social assistance. There is less supervision and guidance and more peer pressure. All too often there is more contact with the TV than there is with their parents. For too many families nowadays, it is the exception rather than the rule where the family regularly sits down together to eat a meal and socialize.
What proportion of today's 20-year-olds with high house prices, low-paying jobs and uncertain employment can feel assured, even with both partners working, that they will eventually own a home?
Hon. Speaker, today's graduates face a far more hostile world than I and my classmates did. Besides the problems I have outlined, they also face the prospects of global warming and environmental degradation which our generation has bequeathed to them. We have not been good stewards, and the Rio conference on the environment shows how reluctant we are to change our ways. Therein lies the problem and the solution, for it is we, not they, who must change. It is we, individually and collectively, who must set the example. Not by words, but by our deeds.
E. Barnes: It is with great pleasure that I respond on behalf of the government to the member for Richmond Centre, who I feel has just made an excellent statement on the tragic situation that we as a society have to face with respect to our youth. I thought quite a while about what tack you might use in putting this issue before us. I wasn't sure just how to prepare myself, but after listening to you speak, all I can say, first of all, is amen. I think you have capsulized the seriousness of the situation.
It's unfortunate that we have to look in the mirror every now and then and face facts. The fact is that much of what we do in society today is, as you say, a result of our own actions. We look to our youth, talk in rhetorical terms about how valuable they are as a resource, when you and I and everyone in this chamber know that they are products of ourselves. We were once youths, and they can be only as good as the role models around them in the environment in which they must exist. There is a fair amount of cynicism out there in terms of exploitation and apprehension.
People are not sure where they are going, they don't know where they come from and they don't know what pride really is or why they should have it. I think that was exemplified in the remarks of the member for Shuswap, who talked about Falkland's pride in Canada, and how we feel about each other as a people.
This is a serious problem, and I feel that finding the solution is as much the responsibility of the young people as it is of the adults -- if not more so. I would have to underscore the comments by the member who suggested that we should allow those who are 19 and under to vote when we have a referendum on how this country will go in the future.
I don't mean to be facetious, but I'm saying that we as parents were products of a system, a society, customs and behaviour before us, and all we're doing is trying to survive in a society. But are we really understanding the problems? Will it really make that much difference if we have more government programs without a change in attitude, a new set of values or a way of reviewing our modus operandi, so to speak, in term of where we are really going? What are the values?
You look in the papers and read about how trusted institutions like the clergy, the educational institutions, the professionals and the physicians -- people who we have relied upon to set good examples for us -- are exploiting our children. How did this happen? Who can you trust anymore? Youngsters are not unaware of
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what is happening; they're just wondering if it is really as bad as it looks.
I'm amazed at how many things remain the same as they were when I was a youngster, in terms of youngsters getting into gangs and visiting violence upon society and themselves, the rate of suicide, the lack of self-confidence and the indifference to the suffering of others. These are symptoms, to me, of a problem with the basis upon which we have built our society. This isn't to cast stones. This is to look in the mirror and ask: "What are you doing about it? What am I doing about it? How much are we prepared to pay to change things personally?" I suspect not enough, but I suspect that debates like we're having now are getting close to the essence of what we're talking about. We can't defer our responsibilities to other agencies and to other people. We're going to have to do it ourselves.
In other words, parents have to break that cycle of negativism, exploitation, indifference, not caring and selfishness. We have to find some way to overcome our own anger and frustrations, because I believe most parents have gone through some pretty tough times. They have ups and downs every day trying to survive. At the same time they have youngsters who are relying on them for a stable environment, for consistency and for hope. It's asking a lot, but that's the problem. We see it every day: broken homes and the kind of exploitation and abuse that's going on. In the headlines in the paper today, a woman goes to her doctor because she's got a drug problem. The doctor uses her for his own sexual inadequacies.
Hon. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to express a few comments. I support the member's statement.
K. Jones: I ask leave to make an introduction.
K. Jones: Visiting with us today is a group from East Kensington school in Surrey, my riding. Approximately seven grade 7 students, their teacher Ms. Singbeil and several parents will be in the gallery this morning. Would the House please join me in making them welcome.
D. Symons: I appreciate the remarks of the member opposite. I am just envious that you word my feelings so well. I appreciate that very much.
I've been very fortunate as a parent, because my three kids -- at least, I feel -- turned out quite well. I've noticed that when a child goes wrong, the parents often ask themselves: "Where did I go wrong?" Often there is such a multitude of factors that the parents are really wrongly blaming themselves.
However, over the years as a society we have gone wrong. Society seems to have put self first. It's too often "me" rather than "we." This is often why marriages fail. There is less of a feeling of community within the family, the neighbourhood and society at large. That's where I think these communities have an advantage over us in the larger cities. We favour deinstitutionalization of mental patients, but we don't want a group home next door to our house -- put it in somebody else's back yard. Those messages are not missed by our kids.
While we in this House may pass legislation that looks after society's civil rights and material needs, we must also address emotional needs. There is a need to engender a feeling of community. Our young people need to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of being needed. They should not feel captive to some economic machine, where they are some sort of cog that will be put aside if it's deemed that they're not needed. They need a feeling of self-worth, which the member opposite mentioned.
What about the future? I feel a little bit like the Ghost of Christmas yet to Come, from Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol, who told Scrooge that unless things changed, the future looked pretty dismal. The answer does not lie in teaching our young children. Rather, it lies in us. We need to get our priorities straight as parents, as workers, as corporations and as legislatures. We need changes that will be wrought by example, not by words. Parents need to set aside quality time for family with the TV set off. Workers and employers must take into account the needs of the community and not just those interpreted by themselves.
I guess what I'm referring to here is responsibility. Too often I hear people expounding about their rights but seldom about their responsibilities.
MINERS' MEMORIAL DAY
H. Lali: It is with pleasure that I make my first member's statement on the topic of Miners' Memorial Day. I would like to commence by quoting from the Princeton and district Miners' Memorial Day program:
"On May 9, 1992, just before dawn, a thunderous methane explosion roared through Westray's Plymouth, Nova Scotia, underground workings, killing 26 miners. For six long, agonizing days Canada watched and waited, clinging to the hope that some might be found alive. The nation's hearts were one with the families whose fathers, husbands, sons, brothers and uncles would not be coming home. This year Miners' Memorial Day is dedicated to the Westray miners who died, those who risked their lives in search of their brothers, to their families and to the people of Plymouth, Nova Scotia. May the memory of their tragedy make us more vigilant so others may live."
Before I delve into Miners' Memorial Day any further, I would like to talk briefly about the history of mining and miners, and their impact upon British Columbia. It is interesting to note that entrepreneurs and mining companies, with their capital and technology, and miners, with their skill, blood, sweat and tears, joined together to open up the vast wilderness of British Columbia to modern civilization.
British Columbia's mining industry was born in the coalfields of Vancouver Island. However, it was the gold rush that had the biggest impact on the mining industry. The first gold rush in British Columbia started in 1858 in the lower Fraser Valley. In April of that year 500 miners came to B.C., double that number in May, more than 7,000 in June and another 7,000 in July. Most of those miners came by ship to Victoria, but another
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8,000 arrived by land. The vast majority of those miners came from California.
The arrival of 30,000 miners in 1858 to the lower reaches of the Fraser River created quite an impact. Since the first arrival of Europeans, only a few hundred fur traders had ever penetrated this area. Within a few months 1,500 gold seekers had made their way into the interior by way of the Fraser River, while another 1,500 travelled north via the Harrison Trail. Miners had reached the Cariboo by 1860. The gold rushes moved on to the Stikine and Peace Rivers, and late in 1863 to the Kootenays. In 1865 there was another find at the big bend of the Columbia River. Lillooet, which is in the northern part of my riding of Yale-Lillooet, was at one time the largest settlement north of San Francisco, with over 35,000 inhabitants during the height of the gold rush.
In British Columbia we have a long history of mining accidents, which have killed many British Columbia miners. This year the terrible methane explosion at the Westray mine in Nova Scotia claimed 26 lives. Just recently at the Greenhills mine a worker was killed in a rock slide. Another example of a mining disaster was the death of 45 workers in 1930 at the mine in Coalmont, which is in my riding. The coal-mines of Cumberland had the notoriety of being among the most dangerous mines in Canada, killing 295 miners over the years.
Mining is among the most hazardous occupations in Canada. Between 1988 and 1991, 299 workers in mining died. There were 193 deaths in forestry and 61 in fishing and trapping. In B.C. between 1986 and 1990 a lower proportion of miners filed claims for wage loss because of work-related accidents than did workers in forestry, manufacturing or construction. Although fewer claims were made, the injuries were as severe in mining as in forestry, judging by the average number of lost days.
The appalling conditions in the mines of B.C. in the early years impelled miners to organize. Organizing unions could often be a hazardous activity for workers. Mill organizer and labour martyr "Ginger" Goodwin was shot and killed in Cumberland on July 27, 1918, for the crime of trying to improve the conditions of his fellow mineworkers. The conditions in the Cumberland mines at that time were deadly for hundreds of miners. Black lung, explosions and deadly vapours were common in the mines. Goodwin was one of the most effective labour leaders in British Columbia, and ultimately gave his life for his cause. Another of British Columbia's great leaders was Arthur "Slim" Evans. Among his many labour activities, Evans led the workers during the Princeton coal-mine strike in 1933. For his part in the strike, Evans was sentenced to 18 months in prison. His crime was organizing and fighting for rights for workers which we take for granted today.
Some of the unions fighting for the miners' safety at various times were the Western Federation of Miners, the One Big Union, the United Mine Workers, the United Steelworkers of America, the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, and the Canadian Association of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers.
Workers' Memorial Day started in Sudbury, Ontario, to commemorate the lives of four miners killed in a rock burst on June 20, 1984. Workers' Memorial Day honours all workers who have lost their lives on the job and highlights the continuing need for vigilance by working people to ensure safe and healthy workplaces today and in the future.
The first Miners' Memorial Day in B.C. took place on June 21, 1986, at Cumberland. It was organized by the Cumberland and District Historical Society with help from many groups -- in particular, CAIMAW, now represented by the Canadian Automobile Workers' Union. Last year the CAW Local 3022 workers from Similco Mines in Princeton commemorated their first Miners' Memorial Day. The second annual Miners' Memorial Day in Princeton will be held this Saturday, June 20. The local miners hope that others in the area and community groups will join in successive years. The graveside ceremony at the Princeton cemetery will be held at the cairn for the 45 local miners killed in 1930 at nearby Coalmont, B.C., followed by other events: a supper in the evening and a golf tournament the following day. All proceeds from this year's events will be forwarded to the families of the Westray miners who were killed in the explosion.
D. Jarvis: Again the title did not give me much forewarning as to what the speaker had in mind. I can appreciate his comments about the miners who have been lost over the years and more recently in Nova Scotia. But April 28 being the national day of mourning for miners across this country, I was somewhat hesitant as to what he had in mind. My first thought was that he was talking about election day, October 17, which, in a facetious way, could be considered somewhat of a mourning day for the miners in this province. That is in view of where our resource industry has gone over the past years -- especially this last year, anyway, or the last eight months.
Mining in this province has been affected considerably. Cassiar was closed down, hundreds of people lost their jobs, and their families were interrupted -- although in the next little while we hope that that is going to be rectified, with a couple of hundred of them going back to work. Although it is not definite, we all hope it does occur.
C. Evans: Start over, hon. member. This is in poor taste.
D. Jarvis: Yes, that is quite right -- it is in poor taste. Nevertheless, I feel it is a necessary thing to say what has happened to the miners in the southeast section of this province, where the coal mines all are. They're all either out on strike or locked out, and the whole area is in dire straits as to what is going to continue in the future. There is very little future expected for them. We have had closures of mines throughout this province in the last little while: Johnny Mountain, Granisle, Afton and Premier gold. Bell mine has closed down. There are many more that will close down imminently, such as Equity.
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However, it's not all due to government policies -- we can appreciate that. As we all know, when mines are opened their life spans vary, and they eventually close down. However, in the past there were always new mines to take the place of the old ones. When one mine closed, another one opened up. Now there's no place for miners in this province to go. Since this party took office last October, not one new mine has opened in this province, and it appears that there will be no new mines opening in the near future.
We have lost our competitive edge in this country, ostensibly due to regressive taxes put on by the government. This has been particularly damaging to the mining business in this province. The general consensus is that this province is not a healthy place in which to invest. Some would say it is world markets that affect investments and exploration. However this is wrong, as evidenced by the millions of dollars that have left this province and gone elsewhere.
We have an added factor in the sense that there is no development in this province whatsoever, and that is, as I said, due to the excessive and offensive use by this government of reviews, commissions, studies, orders-in-council -- and legislation -- which have served no other purpose than to restrict mining.
So I conclude, after having travelled to portions of this province, looked at mines and talked to different people, that, categorically, the state of the miners in this province.... They do have a different date as to what has happened in this province, and October 17 was a bad date for them.
A. Warnke: In response to the hon. member who has raised this memorial day for miners, I think we in this country have to always keep in mind the dedication of the mining community and what those who serve in the mines have done for the building of this country. Indeed, it is interesting to note the welfare of the miners as well, not only in terms of the unions -- indeed, a very good and elaborate history of some of the unions that have contributed to the mining community.... But I'm also reflecting on the advice of Mackenzie King when he advised John D. Rockefeller Jr. what contribution he could make, and indeed it was a positive contribution to the mining community as well. There are different ways of serving the welfare of the miners.
H. Lali: I was initially going to start my finishing remarks by thanking the members opposite for their contribution towards commemorating Miners' Memorial Day, but I'm not, because the hon. member for North Vancouver-Seymour just went off on a different tangent with his implication that I didn't give him any advance notice. He had ample notice. It was up to him to talk to me about what I was going to talk about, and if he didn't do that, then that would display his lack of knowledge on the subject as well. I think his comments were in poor taste, and he showed a lack of class, a lack of knowledge about the union movement within the mining industry. I think it's a real shame, and I think he should apologize to the miners, because we're here to commemorate Miners' Memorial Day, to commemorate the deaths of all the people who have died in mining activities.
Before I go any further, in all fairness I would like to say a few words about the value of mining in British Columbia's economy. The mining sector contributes $2.5 billion to our export revenue every year. Mining in primary metals contributes 4.9 percent of the provincial gross domestic product. As British Columbia's second-largest resource industry, mining is the mainstay of many communities in B.C. The B.C. mining industry in 1990 provided a total of $110 million in direct tax payments to the provincial government. On top of this was another $39 million in property taxes. Total industry spending in 1990 amounted to $3.7 billion. There were over 14,000 workers employed directly in the B.C. mining industry in 1990, and another 14,000 employed indirectly.
Almost every community in my riding of Yale-Lillooet, such as Princeton, Coalmont, Tulameen, Merritt, Lower Nicola, Logan Lake, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Lillooet, Bralorne, Gold Bridge, Hope, Boston Bar and Yale, has been or continues to be affected by the mining industry. One of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world, Highland Valley Copper, has won the trophy for the safest mine employing over one million shifts per year, for three years running. Safety is an important concern at the mine, one in which both the union, the United Steelworkers Local 7619, and the supervisory staff share responsibility with great success. I am sure that the members of this assembly will note with pleasure that the safest mine is in my riding.
[The Speaker in the chair.]
Hon. Speaker, tomorrow I will be speaking at the miners' memorial dinner in Princeton. British Columbia's mining industry has been well established for over 100 years in the Princeton area. The mines of Princeton and district were among the most dangerous in Canada, killing many miners over decades. The purpose of Miners' Memorial Day on June 20 is to renew the commitment to strive for safe and healthy workplaces for all workers, to pay tribute to the miners killed in the mines of Princeton and in workplaces throughout B.C., to pay tribute to the 26 miners killed at the Westray coal mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia, and to commemorate the life and contributions of Arthur "Slim" Evans, union organizer.
The Speaker: I regret, hon. member, that your time has expired.
H. Lali: We must never forget those brave souls who paid the price with their lives, and those who followed them and organized and fought the relentless struggle to gain what should have been their inherent right: the right to safe working conditions.
A. Cowie: With the establishment earlier this year of the Commission on Resources and Environment, commonly known as CORE, under the able direction of
[ Page 2806 ]
Stephen Owen, the province is divided for study purposes into 12 regional areas. Maybe this is an opportune time to review the regional urban structure of the province in the context of these 12 regions, rather than the 28 regional districts we have at the present time.
Some historical perspective, hon. Speaker. Our local urban government structure began in 1892 with the passing of the municipal clauses act which created new municipalities similar to Britain and Ontario but without the county system. Urban areas were either cities with a mayor and council or rural districts with a reeve and council. In the 1920s village municipalities were created. The vast majority of the province remained unorganized, with the province directly responsible for the provision of services under a centralized system.
In 1966 only some 3,000 square miles out of 266,000 square miles -- about 1 percent of the province -- were within organized municipalities. One-sixth of the population lived in rural areas and paid taxes without some form of local representation. People moved out of the municipalities to avoid taxes, but they still demanded services. Many municipalities faced problems in providing services, and they suffered from sprawl and poor land use. In the more densely populated areas such as greater Vancouver, a number of special-purpose agencies, such as the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District in 1914 and Greater Vancouver Water District in 1926, had been established to administer services for several municipalities.
In 1968 the province passed enabling legislation that created 28 regional districts to administer certain functions over wide areas. Purposely, I believe, the specific objectives of this provincial reform were not made clear. Planning was certainly one of the main functions, and it took considerable pressure off administration in Victoria. Each regional district is governed by a board of directors comprised of representatives, not directly elected, from incorporated municipalities and of elected directors from the unorganized territories.
One of the first planning assignments I had after graduating from planning school was to direct a regional plan study in the Cariboo in 1971. It was one of the first provincewide regional plans to be undertaken, and it served as a model for many of us planners during that time. This was the beginning of public participation at the regional level, with endless meetings in restaurants and in small village halls in places such as Horsefly and Anahim Lake. It was a meaningful exercise and a lot of fun for me and my team. After two years of exhaustive work, the plan was approved by the board and Victoria without any objections. Such smooth flowing doesn't always happen these days. The basic parameters of the Cariboo regional plan -- indeed most plans -- haven't changed that much, but our society has become very much more complex. Generally, regional government now includes ambulance service, pest control, recreation, park facilities, hospitals, refuge disposal, sewers, water and more. In greater Victoria and Vancouver, transit is an important function. The lines of authority with the provincial ministries are often grey. There are considerable questions today about representation.
For example, the mayor of the town of Comox -- with a population of 10,000 people -- recently questioned why Comox should have only one vote, while a small centre in the same area with 250 people also had one vote. In the Okanagan Valley, the question frequently arises as to why there is a need for three separate regional districts where one could ably administer the whole area. How often have we heard that we should have only one regional district for the lower mainland? Do we really need 18 municipalities of various sizes and three electoral districts in the Greater Vancouver Regional District? Would six or seven municipalities be more rational and more economic to administer?
There are hundreds of such questions. As one travels through the province, it would appear that the creators of regional districts left the situation fluid, with the feeling that regional districts would be a transitional system leading to a strong regional government system in which municipalities would be amalgamated.
The Greater Vancouver Regional District is pushing for greater clarification. It is taking the initiative with many programs such as the livable regional concept. This Saturday, June 20, it is having a public conference on regional government, which deals with ensuring accessibility, responsibility, affordability and accountability of regional government. Greater Victoria and Central Okanagan are asking the same questions. I predict other growth areas will soon show initiative.
The provincial government has and continues to show little indication of what the future holds. The regional district has proven to be a flexible structure. The function of land use designation was taken away in 1983, because it apparently conflicted with provincial central authority and objectives. Planning is now back, but with reduced authority. Except for the adoption of official regional plans, the provincial government has generally left the board of directors of each district to decide on its own responsibilities, which to take on and which not to. Individual members can opt in and out of any particular servicing arrangement. In this way, the services of larger resource-based regional districts have evolved quite differently from the more urban ones, such as the greater Vancouver and greater Victoria areas.
The regional district form of government continues to evolve. There is no reason why several regional districts could not amalgamate under the present system. This may, in turn, encourage smaller municipalities to amalgamate for greater efficiency. In the Greater Vancouver Regional District there are several obvious candidates, including the North Shore communities of West Vancouver, North Vancouver and North Vancouver district.
The Speaker: I regret, hon. member, your time has expired.
M. Farnworth: It's unfortunate that we only have five minutes to respond, because I'm quite sure my hon. colleague and I could get into a debate on this for
[ Page 2807 ]
at least a couple of hours. So I only want to focus on one particular area, an area of considerable importance to my neck of the woods, and that's the word he used: amalgamation. I'm quite sure that, had he not run out of time, he would have mentioned Belcarra, Anmore, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam.
I think there's a fundamental philosophical difference between my colleague and me on this issue. He argues democracy and efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. Well, I'd like to remind him that democracy is not always about efficiency. It's an expression and an ideal that people come first. Local government is a reflection of the communities and the values that those communities hold. The present arrangement of municipalities is very much a reflection of the historical and social development of the last 100 years. Just because a community is small does not mean that it is inefficient, or does not have value, or does not have worth.
I find it interesting that it's always those -- and it's a very non-partisan issue -- who represent larger areas who always feel that smaller areas really don't know what's best for them. Time after time after time in amalgamation studies it's the bigger municipality, that bigger level of government, that takes a Big Brother or Big Sister approach and says: "If only you'd come in with us, life would be so much better."
One only has to look at some of the amalgamation results that have taken place over the last little while. Matsqui and Abbotsford. Big Matsqui and little Abbotsford. Matsqui wanted to amalgamate; Abbotsford did not. Under present statute in British Columbia, you need 50 percent plus one of both communities to bring about an amalgamation. I think that's a fair approach. I think amalgamation should be decided by the people in those communities, not by imperial dictate from on high, which is the approach the hon. member would take. Local government exists for local communities. It does not exist to make life easier for bureaucrats, technocrats, plutocrats or autocrats. It exists to ensure that communities can preserve and promote those values that are important to them.
I'd like to give the member a few examples of some really positive initiatives that would never have taken place under what he advocates. Falkland, British Columbia, for example -- a small community coming together and deciding that they want to do something that says something about Canada. It came from a small community. It didn't come out of a large, amalgamated, amorphous area where the elected officials are remote and removed from the public. Port Coquitlam, 20 years ago, the second women's centre in British Columbia -- because it was deemed to be an issue of importance in our community. It didn't happen to our larger neighbours to the west. It happened in Port Coquitlam. A pesticide-free policy on our fields and our parks and our schools happened in my community. It didn't happen in the neighbouring communities, because it was deemed to be of value in our community, and it was what the local people in my community wanted. They didn't want it in the neighbouring community, where efficiency is always to be strived for, because it was felt to be a little too expensive. The bureaucrats, the planners, the technocrats and the autocrats didn't like it, because it was new and different.
Change can quite often come through those small political units. Quite frankly, I love the small municipalities, because I think they have things about them that the big ones can never quite have. I feel very strongly on this issue. It has been an opportunity that I wish we could debate further.
A. Cowie: I want to thank the member for expressing that he has an open mind for change. If we argued this for a couple of hours, we wouldn't be that far apart, as a matter of fact. I have a few other examples, but I will use only one. Another worthwhile example would be that the two Coquitlams and Port Moody would make a very good amalgamation.
As an alternative to amalgamation, one could look at a metropolitan form of government, such as they have in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton. There has been considerable concern by local councils there that that form of government does not address the smaller communities adequately. I think we would agree on that. The metropolitan system would, in my opinion, not work in the lower mainland or Victoria area, in spite of its apparent efficiency and success elsewhere. The greatest disadvantage cited is that it would be a fourth level of government and lead to more taxation and bureaucrats, as the hon. member mentioned. There is a general consensus that we are already overgoverned. The taxpayer wants less government, not more.
Of importance to this Legislature, the province could consider a change to representation on regional district boards, especially if the number of regional boards is substantially reduced to reflect provincial interests and boundaries as well as local interests. It would be advantageous for members of the Legislature to be appointed. It would give the backbenchers on the other side something to do -- government backbenchers, in particular. However, it might overburden the Premier and the cabinet minister and perhaps put a little extra burden on us, the opposition. I think we could handle it.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs should consider initiating a regional governments review. That's really what we're talking about at this time. The issue hasn't been reviewed for a long time. We should look at form-follows-function. We have to find out what the purposes of these governing areas are and then set up a system. I personally don't have the answer, but I think we should explore it. I'm sure the hon. member would enjoy that. I'm sure we would be much closer than might be apparent at this time. The timing is very important. If we act promptly in doing the work, we could dovetail with the Commission on Resources and Environment.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: By leave, hon. Speaker, I call committee on Bill 68, Guaranteed Available Income for Need Amendment Act, 1992.
[ Page 2808 ]
GUARANTEED AVAILABLE INCOME FOR
NEED AMENDMENT ACT, 1992
The House in committee on Bill 68; E. Barnes in the chair.
On section 1.
V. Anderson: As we indicated in second reading, we are generally in favour of the presentation that has been given to us and of the bill that stands before us. As we go through it, we would like to take the opportunity to get some clarification of the implications of the changes that are being made, not only for our own purposes but also to help those listening outside the House understand it. This bill is of critical interest and importance to many people.
Taking section 1 in this bill to begin, they have opened up opportunities of a very significant nature for people to get support and help in a variety of ways in the area of care services: day care, homemaker and similar services. We will be interested to know what the scope or definitions or regulations or descriptions of these services may be. If you take them as such, they can be very broad, and I am sure people coming from a variety of backgrounds and needs will be putting great pressure on the staff within the offices to interpret the meanings of these particular care services that are needed.
The second example is opening up training opportunities, occupational retraining, rehabilitation and even other employment services for the mentally or physically handicapped or people having unusual difficulties in obtaining employment. This will not only be important in the first application when these people come forward asking for assistance and help, but also when the ministry or the worker has to say: "Sorry, we don't have the funds," or "You don't fit into this category." When they go to appeal in the appeal process, which this has fortunately opened for them, those who have sat on the appeal tribunal enough will need the guidelines and the direction of what this expanded opening implies, because there will be a great many opportunities and privileges to be considered. Could the minister give us some indication as to the boundaries and the extent of these two sections and their implications? This would be very helpful.
Hon. J. Smallwood: First of all, I'll give you the expanded definition. There are two general categories: day care, homemakers and similar services -- community services -- as well as occupational training, retraining, rehabilitation and other employment initiatives.
I think it's important that you understand the parameters. What we're doing is accessing an appeal process for those services. That appeal process will still be governed by the regulations and policies of the ministries, as have the appeal processes or the tribunal process for the previous GAIN restrictions.
You raise the issue of the restricted ability for us to deliver the budgetary abilities. Those budgetary limitations will always exist and, for the most part, will restrict our ability to meet each and every need. The opening up of the tribunal process to these services, then, gives clients the opportunity to actually have a second look at the denial. Whether or not they qualify will still be directed by the regulations and policies that are in place.
V. Anderson: You mentioned in the response that by placing these new items into the appeal process, they would be guided by the guidelines which were in that act already. I expect that, because these have been placed into the process, there needs to be some new guidelines, or at least some new interpretations of the guidelines that are already there. Speaking from past experience in the appeal process, we discovered again and again that the interpretation of what was written in the act and given in the appeal process was often quite different from the interpretation that the social workers in the field had been given and were bound by.
In our briefing they indicated that when a person appealed to the administrator, 40 percent of the appeals, on average, were successful and 60 percent were unsuccessful; but when you went to the appeal process, it was the reverse: 60 percent were successful and 40 percent unsuccessful, in large part because those reading the act objectively from the outside were having a different understanding of what the act said than those who were reading it by the guidelines that they had been given in the past from the system.
As I have understood the minister, coming in with a fresh new look, many of the interpretations and assumptions will also be different. So I would think those two figures would begin to average out, or to adjust, and possibly because of new guidelines that would come because of these changes. Without the guidelines, I think the changes will be inadequate, or at least very troublesome.
Hon. J. Smallwood: First of all, I think there needs to be a recognition that by opening up this process we've also doubled our budget in a couple different areas, so there will be additional opportunities for people to access the programs. As for the need to train staff and encourage an opportunity to understand the opening up of this tribunal process, we have that training program underway.
The member identifies the difference between decisions that are made before tribunal and after tribunal. I think that that's a recognition of the fact that the system is set up in such a way as to enable our staff to make decisions based on people's circumstances. The opportunity and the enhancement of a tribunal process is one that recognizes the ability to have a second look, the ability for a broader opportunity and a broader input into the decision that is being made. We're encouraging that.
We're not purporting that by any one change we will change the system overnight. This is just one further tool that we are hoping to provide to both our ministry staff and our clients in meeting their needs.
V. Anderson: One final comment or area of questioning on this section. In opening up the tribu-
[ Page 2809 ]
nal.... We commend that very highly, because not only does it meet the needs of clients, but I've discovered that it is also an area of feedback to the ministry itself. People look at a situation from a variety of points of view. The tribunal people come and take a second or a third look and feed back the implications of that to the ministry. When this comes into effect, will there be a pamphlet or statement readily available fairly quickly so that people will understand the real significance of the tribunal, how it may be used most effectively, and so that it may complement the process as smoothly as possible? There are many people waiting very anxiously for this new look, if you like, and its implications.
Hon. J. Smallwood: The member realizes full well that there are other sections in this bill that will look at the bigger picture and will provide an opportunity for a more comprehensive review.
The point the member makes about making additional information available around judicial reviews and other reviews is something that we will be looking at in the near future. We're looking at opening the system up and accessing information at every opportunity. The member indicates a need to provide information to drive policy. We're also very aware that the system has been ad hoc for too long. We need to look at the comprehensive package and understand more fully what impact certain changes have on the total system.
While I recognize the need to look at where the pressure points are in the tribunal process and in the judicial review, I would caution the member against using that as a driver in the process.
Section 1 approved.
On section 2.
C. Serwa: Well, well, well. Exactly what we needed: another advisory council. I can't believe this. There must be thousands and thousands of applications from hard-core socialists throughout the province, so we have to create another advisory council. We fire ICBC directors, we fire B.C. Rail directors, we fire all sorts of directors throughout the province not because they're doing a poor job, not because they lack commitment or competence, but to make room for hard-core socialists who want to move up, to nuzzle up to the public trough, at public expense, and swill to their heart's content. I'm appalled that the Minister of Social Services would come to this Legislature with a recommendation that another advisory council is required.
Perhaps the minister could advise me just what this advisory council will do that the ministry staff are unable to do.
Hon. J. Smallwood: Quite frankly, I can't believe my luck. I didn't even ask the member to do it this time.
This council is going to enable us as a ministry to share the problem. It's going to enable us to open up the debate in this province for the province to clearly understand the issues around poverty, for us to have a very public debate about the social service safety net in this province, about income assistance reform and about the need to bring income assistance reform into the nineties. The commitment we are making by bringing in this legislated council recognizes that the solutions will not be found in this ministry alone. We need to ensure that we have a table that is comprehensive and that has all of the partners in the problem at it. And they will have the commitment of this ministry to provide information, so that the partners are informed participants in that process.
It's very clear to us when we're talking about income assistance reform that the tools at our disposal are not as effective and efficient as they can be, that they are not as targeted to the problem as they can be and that the system as a whole that we have inherited, rather than truly moving people to independence, traps them. What we are looking for in this province is reform that enables people and that builds on the strength of the human resources that we have in this province. We believe very strongly that this public table will encourage and support that debate so that this province can move forward in an informed fashion.
C. Serwa: The goal of moving people to independence is indeed a noble goal and is certainly shared by all of us in the Legislature and I think by all citizens of British Columbia. I think we have a responsibility to help people to help themselves. But in aspiring to achieve the goal, we have to use more than words; we have to actually utilize deeds.
Perhaps the minister could inform me as to how she proposes to choose or select this advisory panel. Will it be from that great huge volume of names of hard-core socialists who are virtually bursting the Premier's office complex, or will it be representation from the broad section of the community of British Columbia, so that rather than having one narrow perspective, we have a broad view representing British Columbians truthfully?
Hon. J. Smallwood: I'm going to take the member's inquiry as a serious one rather than political posturing and give him a serious answer. When I made the commitment to ensure that all of the partners are at the table, I take that very seriously. We will ensure that we have representation not only regionally but reflecting the social structure of this province. We will ensure that we have representation from the business community, because business is a partner when we're talking about income support and independence. We will ensure that we have representation not only from the multicultural and aboriginal communities, as I said, but also from labour, the education community, churches and other groups that have a background in working with and showing a commitment to people who have borne the brunt of barriers that are in place because of the previous administration's shortsighted and rather mean-spirited policies in the past.
The member can be assured that the process of choosing the representatives of the council will be one of consultation. Through the summer we will put out
[ Page 2810 ]
letters of invitation to representative groups. We will ask them to send us their recommendations for their delegated person to the council, and once we have that list of delegates we will then choose the number to be included on the council. Then the council, in consultation with this government, will design its work plan. I think it is important, as we move forward in dealing with this rather large task that we will be asking the council to share with us, that we design that work plan in a very supportive fashion, so that they themselves feel that they are true partners with this government in the task at hand.
C. Serwa: I appreciate the minister's remarks. If there is going to be any opportunity of succeeding in assisting people towards independence, it will be on the basis of representation that is truly representative of the broad cross-section of the people in the province. You specifically mentioned native people. I applaud native people being on your council. I hope that the minister is cognizant of the percentage of native people in the province of British Columbia and chooses a broad spectrum of representation, so that business is not only lip-service or a token -- someone who has touched business in some small way -- but representative of all the activities of the community. They may be active in the chamber of commerce or in business, or they may be individuals in the community.
I hope, too, that individuals of different political persuasions are involved, so that there are different perspectives there. I have to say that I admire the discipline in your party, but that type of discipline tends to restrict the field of vision. The advisory council certainly could be enhanced without the blinders and that restricted field of vision, if the minister is convinced that the council will be an asset and if the minister is hopeful that the council will be successful.
Has the minister determined an operational budget for this council? Has that budget been taken into consideration in the presentation of the estimates that have been recently concluded?
Hon. L. Boone: I couldn't help but rise in this debate, given the comments from the member of the third party over there. I think this minister ought to be commended for opening up this process, for giving people a say in how the GAIN Act is actually administered, in what is taking place and in some of the changes there. For so long the people of this province have been left out of the process, have been left out of any decision-making and have been virtual captives of the right-wing sector that have run this province for so long. To give people an opportunity to speak and an opportunity to have a say in what takes place in this province is something that should be admired and not scoffed at by the member over there.
I can't help but rise when you talk about narrowed vision. We most certainly have had no narrower vision in this province than we had in the last five years and in the past. There's been no vision other than that of the far right of this province, without anybody who aspired to anything in the middle or what have you....
C. Serwa: Point of order. I suggest that the minister of defence has strayed off the advisory council and is speaking about other matters. Perhaps the minister of defence could speak of the advisory council.
The Chair: Hon. member, the point of order is dubious, in light of your opening comments a few moments ago.
Hon. L. Boone: Hon. Chair, I'm not going to extend this debate, but I really do believe very strongly that this minister ought to be given credit for opening up this process; that she ought to be given the due credit for bringing people -- the average people in this province, a broad cross-section of this province -- to make decisions about GAIN. That's something that should be applauded by everybody in this House.
Hon. J. Smallwood: You asked a question around the budget for the council. Because of the process this year of actually setting the council up and having the council meet, we've done two things. First, we've budgeted an amount within this year's budget. We will not be coming forward to ask for an additional increase. We recognize that while the council will only be sitting half of a year, that will impact the draw on the resources put aside for the council. However, because we have yet to identify the work plan for the council -- and we will be doing that with them -- we are unable to put an actual dollar tag on it. Not only will the counsil be supported by ministry staff in providing information and resources, but the only true draw on the budget requirements will have to do with per diems. That will be directed by the number of meetings that the council actually has in those months leading up to year-end.
C. Serwa: Perhaps the minister has, if they haven't given thought to the global budget, which really surprises me.... It's a cat in the bag, I suppose. I always remember the remarks of the member for Parksville-Qualicum, who said that if we're going to be perfectly honest with the people, we're going to have to tell them that we're going to increase taxes. I suppose this is an example of it. Perhaps the minister could indicate what the proposed per diem paid to a member of a council will be. I note, and that's fair enough, that you will pay travel expenses and out-of-pocket expenses. What is the proposed per diem for members of council?
Hon. J. Smallwood: I'm finding it very difficult to continue to treat this particular member's questions seriously. If you are telling us that there is a problem with opening up the system to ensure that we have full partnership in the discussions around such an important issue to the people of this province, then let me tell you that I make no apologies. In fact, I'm very proud of this initiative.
In addition to that, I want to speak a bit about what has happened in the past with this ministry and, in particular, with the previous administration. Part of what has happened with the way people in this province have been treated has to do with the previous administration's lack of foresight: the shutting down of
[ Page 2811 ]
a system, ensuring that this ministry owns the problem and keeps it quiet. Well, let me tell you that we have no intention of keeping the problem quiet any longer. We fully intend to put a voice and a face on poverty in this province. This council will enable that public discussion so that people in this province no longer see issues of poverty as the sole property of the Ministry of Social Services to be kept behind closed doors, in closets, and quiet. Those days are behind us. Very clearly, this will be an opportunity to do that.
Your question around per diems. The per diems for this council will be in line with the policies brought down by Treasury Board. I think you're well aware of what those policies are, and they influence all boards in this province.
B. Copping: I ask leave to make an introduction.
B. Copping: I am pleased to introduce a longtime friend, Verna Hooper, who is over in Victoria staying with me for a few days. Would the House please make her welcome.
C. Serwa: I think the minister should take my remarks with a great deal of seriousness. The flip-flops of that particular minister were such that during the estimates she really applauded the work of Social Services under the previous administration. There are statements in Hansard, and we will look them up for your information. But if the minister will answer my question.... It is indeed a most serious matter, and it was treated as a most serious matter by the former administration. Perhaps the minister will specifically state what the chair -- and the vice-chair, perhaps -- of the advisory council and the ordinary member of the council will be receiving. I would like to know, and I'm confident that the people of the province would like to know as well.
Hon. J. Smallwood: First of all, I want the member to know that I am offended by his earlier comments that I applauded the work of the previous minister. I have come very close to actually asking for an apology in the House on the public record, because quite clearly I have prided myself in being a strong critic of the previous government's policies in social services.
The Chair: Order, hon. members.
Hon. J. Smallwood: I don't have the information in front of me. The per diems that are currently Treasury Board policy are $175 for members and $250 for the chair per day. But I will check that out and confirm with the member as to the accuracy of those numbers. I might remind the member that the Treasury Board policy for boards and commissions was established by his government and that this government has not changed that policy to date.
C. Serwa: I think that's fair enough, but we didn't have an industry for the creation of advisory councils. What the minister has fundamentally said here, and stated with the figures, is that a member on the advisory board will make more in two days than a person on GAIN for the whole month. That's virtually what transpires here, so it's not really a shining example of a government that purports to care. We have a great deal of difficulty with this. I am also surprised that this hasn't been taken into consideration, unless this is one of the rush of new initiatives in order to satisfy the demand for those positions by your members out in the field.
Hon. L. Boone: Point of order. I find that remark offensive. I think you are impugning the motive of the minister in bringing forth this committee, and I would ask the member to retract that.
The Chair: Hon. member, there is a difference on your comments. Would you please withdraw.
C. Serwa: Hon. Chair, it certainly was not my intention to impugn the minister, but it's certainly of considerable interest to me to make a determination of the requirement for the advisory council and the pay schedule.
The Chair: The point of order was that the member withdraw a remark that was considered offensive. Did you withdraw, hon. member?
C. Serwa: I did withdraw, hon. Chair.
I would ask the minister just once more for the reason that this wasn't included in her estimates, and why a global budget for the operation of the advisory council was not attended to at that time.
Hon. J. Smallwood: I'm sorry the member didn't understand my earlier comments. This has been budgeted; it was included in the estimates process. We will not be requiring additional funds for the advisory council. I've shared with you to the best of my ability the per diem rate. The overall budget this year for the advisory council will have to do with the work plan that the advisory council puts in place, the number of meetings they will need, and should they decide to travel, additional travel expenses. As that work plan is developed with the advisory council, we will be able to more clearly articulate the costs for this year.
As I said earlier, while we have projected an amount and protected that within the budget, the work plan will dictate the amount of money that is spent. If I can speak a little more to that work plan, because we are asking the council primarily to help the province move into the nineties with an income security reform, we fully expect that the amount of work undertaken at the start will be more substantial and will take more time than will be necessary for the council in years to come.
[ Page 2812 ]
While the initial task will be to bring forward a piece of legislation, we will continue with the advisory council in place to aid the government in the work after the implementation of the new legislation.
D. Schreck: Hon. Speaker, it's unusual in this House to have what amounts to a major philosophical debate break out in third reading on a clause of a bill like this, but it is valuable to us in illustrating lessons not learned and a major difference between the parties here. I commend the minister for establishing this extremely modest advisory council as a way of opening to the public a window on participation and advice to the social service system. Hon. Chair, it has been 15 years since any attempt has been made in this province to open up the social service system and allow community input in a window of participation and or advice. It was the former Premier, as Minister of Human Resources in 1977, who indicated the attitude of the now third party by abolishing community involvement, advice and participation in income assistance and social services. I would think that, over the last 15 years, some lesson would have been learned about the importance....
J. Weisgerber: Point of order. Clearly the member, as he started his remarks, recognized that they were inappropriate in committee stage. Questions by the third party have been technical questions about this specific section of the bill and the appointment of members to the council. If we want to extend this debate into a second reading debate, so be it.
The Chair: Thank you, hon. leader of the third party. With the greatest of respect, the comments on both sides of the House on section 2 have been somewhat outside the parameters of the section. However, I believe the member is consistent with that flow, and I'm going to permit him to continue.
D. Schreck: Thank you, hon. Chair, and I thank the leader of the third party for the point of order, because it makes precisely my point. My point is that in this technical clause, the minister is opening a window on the social service system for community involvement, participation and advice. I would have hoped that over the last 15 years the third party would have appreciated the importance of this rather minor window of opportunity and participation, but we see that this has not occurred. We see that no change has occurred. I hope that over the next three or four years a lesson will be learned, and we will not see the third party repeating 15 years of past mistakes.
V. Anderson: As I sit here and listen, it reminds me of the great debate that happened between these two parties just before the election. It reminds me of what we heard from these two parties over the last many years, arguing back and forth with each other.
I would now like to move us back to the question under discussion. But as we move back, I would like to welcome the deputy minister here and thank him for the briefing that he gave us and the co-operation we've had in working to a common understanding of this bill. As I mentioned when the deputy was not here, we did appreciate the briefing, and I would like to acknowledge that at this point.
On this same section, the minister mentioned the breadth of the consultations that need to be taken throughout the province. Would she indicate how this advisory council will be able to work not only with her ministry but with the other ministries? As has already been indicated in section 1, the questions that are being dealt with here in employment, health care and many other facets are interministerial concerns that have to be dealt with not just by one ministry but by all the ministries working together. I would ask if this council will be able to work with an interministerial committee in order to really get at the questions and the recommended solutions. Without that, I am sure they will not be able to function as they should.
Hon. J. Smallwood: Let me start by talking to you a little bit about the work that I am involved in with my cabinet colleagues. We have had opportunities to meet with Advanced Education around their employment and training boards. We've had an opportunity to meet with the Minister of Economic Development around community economic initiatives. Those are examples of some of the interministerial work that is being done around opportunities for people receiving income assistance. We will continue that work, and not only at a government level. We will encourage and support that work through the work of the council.
It's very clear when we are talking about opening up the process to involve the community that we will also ensure that there are community structures in place to carry out the work. If the work is being done in isolation from communities, the partners in the communities will never be able to implement the direction that the council defines. Rather than prejudging the structures and the work plan of the council. Those discussions will happen in the initial days of the council meeting and exploring ways that government can support their vision and this government's mutual vision of moving forward on these important issues. I don't purport to define the structure for them. I am making the commitment to be at the table on behalf of this government, as a facilitator, and to bring our resources to the task that we all will share.
F. Garden: I ask leave to make an introduction.
F. Garden: In the gallery today are two constituents from my riding. They're from Miocene, which is on the road to Likely and Horsefly after you leave 150 Mile House. They are Tom and Barry Redel. I would ask the House to make them welcome.
V. Anderson: Recognizing, as the minister has already done, the breadth of the interaction that needs to take place and the overall support that needs to come from the government and the Legislature, would she be prepared to -- as we develop new policy -- refer the
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topic of the development of the new income assistance program to a legislative committee, so that not just the government but the total Legislature might be able to work on it together? Is she willing to really open up the total process, so that all the representatives of the Legislature may be involved in it?
Hon. J. Smallwood: I have been involved with a number of discussions around work for legislative committees and in particular the committee you sit on, Mr. Member. There are a number of significant issues that we need to wrestle with. The decision as to the work and direction for the legislative committee this year has not been finalized. I'm confident that we will be able to use the legislative committee as a very useful tool in bringing this House together and dealing with a number of significant issues. I can't indicate to the member at this point whether the issues covered in this legislative review will be part of it.
V. Anderson: I have one more question on this section. In looking at new methods of receiving and enabling the people in the province to work together on the issue, does your ministry plan to use many of the new communication techniques that are available? I'm thinking of telephone conferences and closed-circuit television opportunities, which are now available throughout the province, so that people do not always have to travel, have day care or all of the other needs. They can work in groups in their own community. Groups in each community can be together and interact with each other in a way that is far more effective and is cost-effective at the same time. It is more instantaneous and involves more people.
Hon. J. Smallwood: I welcome the member's suggestions, and I will encourage that kind of input when we sit down with the council. We are very aware and concerned about financial resources and opportunities to include as many people as possible in the discussions the council will be involved with.
I would only say to the member that in working with people -- and that is what we do here -- I find the technology you're referring to very alienating. I would encourage opportunities for people to actually sit down across the table from each other and have that debate. The vehicle that the member referred to for community forums -- abilities for people to get together in communities -- I think will be very important in this process. The commitment we had made to a regional structure for the council will provide opportunities where council delegates from regions and different interest groups can go back to their representative bodies and be supported in the discussions they bring to the table.
V. Anderson: That leads me to ask one other question. In my activities in the local community -- and I agree with our discussion earlier about the importance of local communities -- one of the realities that has come across lately is the proliferation of local community forums. There's the Healthy Communities, the Round Table and all of the commissions that are going about doing this.
The local communities are beginning to feel that there are so many individual separate community forums being sponsored by the government that they're getting in the way of each other. In asking if there is a relationship between one forum and the other and in trying to follow that up myself, when I phoned to the Healthy Communities people, they didn't know anything about the round table groups going on. When I phoned the Round Table people, they didn't know anything about the Healthy Communities projects going on. So I hope there will be an interaction among the different forums that are going on. We don't need another forum, but we need some relationship among the forums or, at the very least, an acknowledgement that the different government departments that are developing these forums are interrelating so that the people in the community aren't getting the idea that the bureaucrats in Victoria have no idea what's going on in the community and aren't really there to listen but are there just to keep busy.
Hon. J. Smallwood: I'll be very brief, because I don't know that it speaks particularly to this section. The government is aware of the issues that you've identified. We're hopeful that in the months ahead we will be able to bring forward a proposal to address that. I would only say that the structure that you have outlined is a structure that we inherited. We find it very clumsy. We don't find that it actually facilitates community initiative, and we will be looking to develop a structure that rather than going out and asking communities for their input actually supports communities in identifying their own initiatives in directing us. It's rather a different way of looking at things.
Sections 2 and 3 approved.
On section 4.
J. Weisgerber: I'm interested in the options that recipients have on maintenance order enforcements. From what I can gather, it would seem that a recipient who has a maintenance order that's not being fulfilled now has an option, or will have under this act, of looking for ways other than turning the enforcement order over to the ministry. What I'm curious about is whether or not the recipient is obligated to make an attempt to enforce the maintenance order.
Hon. J. Smallwood: There are a number of options that an income assistance recipient can access: legal aid, their own lawyers, or they may choose not to seek to have the order or pursue the order. The member needs to realize that all we are doing in removing the compulsory nature is respecting individuals' rights as full citizens to make decisions based on their reality. The fact is that this particular provision treats people who are poor, who are relying on income assistance, as second-class citizens and asks them to give up their rights. What we hope to be able to do is continue the program, and we fully anticipate that many of our
[ Page 2814 ]
clients will continue to be involved with the program, because we believe it is a good one. In the work ahead of us, we hope to improve the access even further. The ministry will continue to support its clients in seeking and amending their court orders as well as to enforce them. There are a number of options. The only change here is the compulsory nature of its involvement.
J. Weisgerber: I'm curious about the kind of circumstance that the minister would see when an income recipient has an enforcement order that the spouse is capable of fulfilling and when the Crown would not want to see itself reimbursed. I think maintenance orders are ignored far too often by people who are capable of maintaining their responsibilities to their families, although they may well be separated or divorced. I'm curious that the minister appears to feel that it's simply a matter of personal choice whether those maintenance orders should be enforced or not.
Hon. J. Smallwood: Let me first share some statistics with you about single parents on income assistance. They are our most motivated group of clients. They participate in programs in a higher percentage than any other client group we have. Over 50 percent of all single parents take advantage of employment opportunities. So to say that this group of clients will not be motivated to seek additional support or to have the court orders enforced does not bear the light of day.
In addition to that, the member needs to recognize that even with this enforcement provision that has been in place in the last while, a number of single parents have come to the ministry and outlined situations in their relationship with their ex-spouse, where the ministry has supported them in not going after the court order. I can think of a number of situations where they have left violent homes, where there are situations of the ex-spouse being abusive either to the partner or to their children. The decision not to encourage that ongoing relationship is the correct one for that family. What we are doing by bringing about this change is that we're saying to families that they understand their circumstances better. They don't have to further demean themselves.
What I'd like to do is share with the member some of the experiences I have had with people coming for income assistance -- not only for families where there has been family breakdown, but single parents who never in their wildest dreams expected to have to come to government for income support. That process of actually walking through a government office door to say, "I can't support my kids; I've got to come for help," is in and of itself such a defacing process. To put a further burden on that woman and to say: "You have now given up your rights as a citizen. To access income assistance, explain to us the very personal situation of your family breakdown, of your relationship with your ex-spouse, and justify why you shouldn't give up your rights as a citizen to make that decision on your own."
What we are hopefully trying to do with number of changes, including this one, is to say that to the best of our ability as a system we will ensure that personal self-dignity is intact to the best possible extent. We recognize that it's going to take a lot to get back on their feet, back participating as full citizens in the workforce. We recognize that the longer people are on income assistance, the harder it is for them to get off. This change, while it continues to support single parents in the decisions that they have to make, recognizes that we will not further demean them by having them explain a decision that they may have made in the best interests of themselves and their children.
D. Streifel: I ask permission to make an introduction.
D. Streifel: I have in the galleries this morning the class I introduced earlier in the day, which I introduced in error. It is here now. It's very important for me that constituents of mine, especially the students, come and visit us and observe the proceedings in this gallery. I appreciate the hon. members giving me the opportunity to introduce the class from Windebank Elementary School and their teachers. I beg the members to make them welcome.
J. Weisgerber: Just to pursue this issue a bit further, it seems to me that maintenance orders are something that are granted in a situation where the people have already gone to the courts and explained their situation, so I would assume that the maintenance orders have at least been considered in the family situations. If there were good reasons why there shouldn't be a maintenance order, that decision would have been made at some other level.
I am curious, and I recognize that there are difficult circumstances. I am quite honestly not opposed to the notion that the ministry shouldn't automatically enforce or have the right to enforce. I'm not arguing that that's incorrect; I'm seeking some clarification. Are there circumstances whereby the ministry could request the right to seek enforcement of a maintenance order if, in the opinion of those people who are involved and who know the circumstances, there appears to be every good reason why the spouse should maintain his responsibility, and the recipient is unwilling to pursue that? Does the ministry have any options, or, with the introduction of this act, will there be no opportunity for the ministry to pursue enforcement?
Hon. J. Smallwood: As I outlined to the member, we will continue supporting single parents and all of our clients with all of our programs. The family maintenance program that is a component of this ministry is only part of the program. The actual enforcement part of the program is with the AG. As I am sure the member is well aware, the AG is reviewing that program, and this ministry is a part of that review.
It is our full intention to continue to support clients who wish to be part of the program. I am sure the member is aware that there is a tremendous backlog currently with the program. Some 13,000 clients are on
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that list waiting for service for the program that was brought in by your government. We do not foresee any effect on revenue to the government by this change; quite the opposite. We anticipate that of the people who go through the program, the vast majority will be motivated and anxious to have the court orders enforced. It will provide an opportunity for our staff to work with very motivated, targeted clients, and the impact of this particular change will do nothing short of empower our staff in the workload that they have and empower our clients to make choices and decisions that affect their lives.
I want to point out to the member the irony that exists in this ministry. Our programs for independence, the GAIN component of this ministry.... The types of policies that were brought in by your government over the past number of years have done exactly the opposite of what you purported to do, Mr. Member. Programs to independence indicate independence. They indicate choice. They indicate the responsibility of making decisions for oneself and being held accountable for those decisions. If the member had the privilege of having a teenager that they were hoping would reach independence and move out of the home, he will recognize that the way you help to support a child to independence is by providing choices, supporting that child in making those choices and helping them through that process. This policy is only one of the many policies in place in this ministry that deny choice and actually give responsibility to the ministry rather than holding full citizens responsible for their choices and decisions.
As the mother of two children, I can't envision any situation where a mother would decide not to access every avenue of additional money to support her children. The logic fails me entirely. If an individual should decide not to access or pursue that court order, I have all confidence that in the majority of cases they are deciding in an informed fashion. A bureaucracy, whether it's the courts or this ministry, would not in any instance necessarily know better. We aren't talking about making decisions for children; we're talking about adults who are responsible for supporting children in every facet of their lives.
V. Anderson: I affirm the direction in which this section is moving, as we have done before. In light of the discussion that's just concluded, and after the briefing with the staff, I'm assuming -- and would just put it on record, because this is the assumption in affirming this section that goes along with it -- that there will be a re-examination, as has been promised, of the whole family maintenance program and the family court system through the Attorney General's department, both of which have not been acting and operating as they should. Many of the complications within the social service are the ones that have been carried over even, as the minister indicated, into this program, which has made it difficult for them to undertake the program -- not because of their own mandates, but because of the mandates carried out in the other parts of the government. That combined approach is extremely important. On the understanding that it is happening -- and the Attorney General is nodding to me that it is happening -- I just want to put that on record as well.
The other final comment is on the implication being that as this goes forward, in the past many people going to Social Services have felt that it was Big Brother and Big Sister telling them what to do. I appreciate the change in trying to change that attitude, and make consultation services rather than advice services available to people. That's a different process: we're in consultation, you can come, you can ask your own questions, you go away and you make your own decisions. If we were to set up a consultation program that is available to people, maybe in another office, just to show that it's in a different place and they come of their own free will, that information is available that they can take away, and nobody's going to be looking down their nose or marking their chit or their financial cheque or anything because of what they ask or say, this could be very helpful for them to make the decisions that are outlined here. We support this, and hope it will go forward as quickly as possible.
Sections 4 to 13 inclusive approved.
Hon. J. Smallwood: I move the committee rise and report the bill complete without amendment.
The House resumed; E. Barnes in the chair.
Bill 68, Guaranteed Available Income for Need Amendment Act, 1992, reported complete without amendment, read a third time and passed.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: I call committee on Bill 57.
PERSONAL PROPERTY SECURITY
AMENDMENT ACT, 1992
The House in committee on Bill 57; M. Lord in the chair.
Sections 1 to 19 inclusive approved.
On section 20.
Hon. L. Boone: I move the amendment standing in my name on the order paper.
[SECTION 20, by deleting "Section 77(j) is amended" and substituting: "Section 76(1)(j) is amended".]
Section 20 as amended approved.
Section 21 approved.
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Hon. L. Boone: I move the committee rise and report the bill complete with amendment.
The House resumed; E. Barnes in the chair.
Bill 57, Personal Property Security Amendment Act, 1992, reported complete with amendment.
Deputy Speaker: When shall the bill be read a third time?
Hon. C. Gabelmann: With leave now.
Bill 57, Personal Property Security Amendment Act, 1992, read a third time and passed.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: I call second reading of Bill 67.
ARCHITECTS AMENDMENT ACT, 1992
Hon. C. Gabelmann: The purpose of the amendments is to provide legislative authority for architects to practise in a corporate form and, secondly, to require that architects and architectural firms obtain certificates of practise before being authorized to practise architecture.
There are two more pages, but that's the main summary.
J. Weisgerber: I don't have any difficulty with the act. I'm sure that it has been developed with the Architectural Institute, and as such, I will not be particularly concerned about any of the sections. I think it does -- at least I hope it will -- provide an opportunity for me to raise a concern of mine, though, in that it particularly affects the area that I represent -- that is, the relationship between architects and structural engineers. There are some very good arguments made, at least in the area that I represent, for encouraging architects to use engineers who are resident in the communities in which projects are being undertaken. I'm thinking particularly of public projects: schools, hospitals and other facilities.
As the practice exists now, architects are awarded a contract, and they decide who the engineers are going to be. In those same small communities, often the architect and the resident structural soils engineer are competitors in other smaller projects, so there is a reluctance by the architect to engage a competitor to work in a consulting engineer capacity.
The communities and the Crown lose as a result of that conflict. Often the only people who are aware of unique soil conditions, particularly, are the one or two resident engineers. I would like to see this administration develop in some way a process whereby we would encourage or require agencies and the Crown to instruct architects to use those people in the community who have the skills to provide advice on buildings.
In the northeast, for example, clay soils and frost problems present some unique problems with buildings. Foundations shift, crack and break. What we do time after time -- and I've been in the position of being in government and trying to modify this process -- is bring in engineers at considerable expense to the project to do the structural and soils engineering design work, and then find, two or three years down the road, that the building suffers serious problems because of the unique soil conditions, particularly, and climatic conditions in the community.
I am taking a bit of licence, but it's one of the opportunities that I have to bring an issue forward that I think is not a partisan one. It's a genuine issue that adversely affects public agencies, so I'd like to put it on the record and hope that the architects, the administrators in public areas -- hospitals, schools, etc. -- think about this and decide whether or not we couldn't amend the way we do business to better serve the taxpayers and the people who use those facilities.
Thank you for giving me a bit of licence on this topic, Mr. Chair.
D. Mitchell: It's good that the House should give the leader of the third party the leeway today to make those comments on this bill, which amends the Architects Act. I think it's important to read into the record my interpretation of this bill. It does three important things. The bill gives legislative recognition of corporate architectural practices. The bill also grants the Architectural Institute of British Columbia expanded power to make bylaws and establish conditions for the registration of architectural firms. Thirdly, it allows the Architectural Institute to discipline architectural firms. Those are the three main changes to the act that are affected by this bill.
I know that the Architectural Institute has been working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology for some two years in order to have these changes made to the act. The institute particularly wanted the changes made to facilitate making the holding of liability insurance mandatory by architects and architectural firms. The institute has no problem with this bill. The institute supports it, I support it and I believe that the House should support it.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: I move second reading.
Bill 67, Architects Amendment Act, 1992, read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole House for consideration forthwith.
ARCHITECTS AMENDMENT ACT, 1992
The House in committee on Bill 67; M. Lord in the chair.
Section 1 approved.
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On section 2.
C. Serwa: I note in section 2 that approval of the name of the firm appears to be required. Perhaps the minister can indicate to me, if the firm is a registered firm, why the institute is required to approve the name of the architectural firm.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: I don't know the answer to that question. I will undertake to have the minister responsible for the legislation communicate in writing to the member with the answer.
Sections 2 to 20 inclusive approved.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: I move the committee rise and report the bill complete without amendment.
The House resumed; E. Barnes in the chair.
Bill 67, Architects Amendment Act, 1992, reported complete without amendment, read a third time and passed.
Hon. C. Gabelmann: I move the House at its rising do stand adjourned until 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Hon. C. Gabelmann moved adjournment of the House.
The House adjourned at 12:34 p.m.
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