Monday, June 21, 1993


The House met at 8 p.m






(Concurrent Sections)




Mr. Deputy Chairperson (Marcel Laurendeau):  Good evening.  Will the Committee of Supply please come to order.  This evening, this section of the Committee of Supply meeting in Room 255 will resume consideration of the Estimates of Education and Training. When the committee last sat, it had been considering item 4.(h)(1)(a) on page 40 of the Estimates book.

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I would like to begin by asking some questions on the Workforce 2000 program. What I would like to get from the minister is the list of consultants who have been working on the program.  Would she have access to such a list?  Could she give me more information about the consultants?

* (2005)

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we do not have a list of the consultants that were used.  They were available when the employers who engaged them submitted an invoice, but we have not kept a listing that would be available of exactly who those people are on an ongoing basis because they are engaged by the employer.

      I can say to the member though that a great deal of the training is delivered by the public sector as well.  That would be through our community colleges as one vehicle.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, would the minister endeavour to compile a list for me of the consultants and the amount of contracts in dollars that each one has partaken in?  My understanding is that we are talking about a small number of consultants here.  A consultant who has been involved in this program has told me that he personally has put together a couple of these and sold them to the employer, sold the idea to them, and has really taken the thing under his wing and carried it.  So I think it should not be that difficult for the minister to provide us with a list of the consultants who are actively involved in this program and their list of their clients.  You know who they are.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I would like to tell the member that this is a huge job he is asking for.  There have been over 900 contracts.  Within those 900 contracts several are clustered, in terms of several participants.  There may have been 15 participants for instance within one particular contract.  It will require going back through the invoices.  It will, in fact, be a very major piece of work which the staff will be required to do.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I guess I would also be interested in knowing the type of training and the results of the training that some of these people have been involved in here.  I recall the former member for Rossmere and many others in this House over the years have made some observations about the role of industry, trade and commerce and the role of government subsidies to businesses in general.  I know there are a lot of businesses out there who do believe in a level playing field and do not believe that you should be subsidizing one at the expense of another.

      I do not know if the members in the Conservative caucus here really understand what this government is doing and whether in fact they would agree with a lot of these monies that are being spent here.  Essentially, at a time of restraint, a time of huge burgeoning government deficits, the government is handing out money here to companies which are, by and large, solvent companies, companies that are making money and have been around a long time.  I would question the validity in the concept of giving money to some of these companies.

* (2010)

      Having said that, I am interested in knowing the type of training and the results of the training that several of these companies have been embarked on.  For example, Dairy Queen is one of the companies that received a grant.  I do not expect the minister to be able to tell me all of this information right at the moment, but I would be interested in knowing on what basis Dairy Queen qualifies for a taxpayers' subsidy here for training‑‑Stapon 1st realty; Robin's Donuts; Air Manitoba; Arthur Andersen, a very large accounting firm as the minister knows; Bachman and Associates, a very successful real estate firm in town; and several other real estate firms; several insurance firms; several legal firms, for example, Wilder Wilder and Langtry, not a firm that I have ever thought had any financial difficulties.

      I want to say that if a firm plans to train staff and so on, most firms that I know are only too willing to train the staff and embark on those programs.  Wilson Furniture, Zipper Courier received fairly large grants.  So I would like to know a little bit more about these grants.

      Now there is one in particular, and I know the members are waiting for me to ask about this one so maybe we should get this one out of the road first.  Elmwood Motors has received a grant. Once again I would be interested in knowing if the minister could determine for me at this moment what the nature of the grant was and whether it was successful in doing what it was designed to do.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the member seems to have some difficulty with the idea of Workforce 2000 and with the concept which is a human resource training concept, and which also is in a partnership.

      I can tell the member today, as I have told the House in the past, that when I attended the labour market ministers' meeting in January, the federal minister and all provincial ministers recognized that government alone cannot provide all of the training.  There needs to be a sharing and a partnership with the private sector to bring forward some training programs which will assist, No. 1, the employees of that particular firm or business or industry or labour group, so that those people will have improved skills, and with those improved skills be able to maintain their position within that particular organization. That improvement also provides an amount of mobility on behalf of people who are working in those firms or business or industries or labour groups.

      In addition, it allows for the business, industry or labour group who is the employer to also maintain a competitiveness, so that it will have employees working at a skill level in which they are competitive with others across the province or across Canada.  So this sharing was certainly an area in which all provinces across Canada showed a recognition and an interest, and Manitoba has moved in that area.

      Manitoba has moved, through the Workforce 2000 program, to enter into a sharing of the cost of training with employers to the benefit of the people working in the business, industry or labour area as well as to the firms, so that there is a competitiveness.  I can say to the member that we recognize that Manitoba's economic prosperity depends largely on the ability of our business and our industry and labour to compete successfully in the rapidly changing marketplace of the 1990s.

* (2015)

      The member has asked a specific question around Elmwood Motors in addition to a number of others where he has wondered about the training.  I wonder, I guess I would question him to say:  Does he have any problem with those people who would work at an establishment such as a Dairy Queen or Robin's Donuts?  Do those people not deserve the kind of training that would be available?  Is there some reason that those individuals should be denied the opportunity to have a training program in which there is a cost‑sharing?

      In terms of Elmwood Motors, Elmwood Motors participated in a 14‑business training project to undertake 112 hours of automotive electronics training for one employee.  The project was approved and the contribution from the employer was $1,500.  So Elmwood was a participant in a training contract; it was one of 14.  The Elmwood Motors employee left the employment with Elmwood Motors after the first session.  As a consequence, Workforce 2000 provided $375 of a total $500 incurred by the employer for one session.  The reimbursement was at a 75 percent cost‑share between the employer and Workforce 2000.  The employee attended approximately 32 hours of training and then left the employment of Elmwood Motors.  The employee continued, that the training was valuable and that he would be continuing on at his own expense.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, could the minister indicate to me the nature of the training that the person received and also endeavour to release the contract to us, since this company is no longer in existence evidently?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The type of training was in the automotive trades, and it focused on computerized fuel injection.  I would say to the member that the release of the contract is‑‑I believe the contract is a document which was for our internal use, but if the member has a question about it, I will try and answer that.

Mr. Maloway:  I have another question on another one of the participants in the program.  About $3,200 was given to Stress Management Group.  Could you tell me what the Stress Management Group is and the nature of their grant and what they did with it?  We probably need it around here.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the Stress Management Group was part of a contract which took place in the year 1991‑92. Therefore, I do not have available exactly the details of that particular contract.

Mr. Maloway:  Could the minister then perhaps take this as notice and get back to me at a later point, within reason, of course, with this information as to what the nature of the contract was with this group?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I will do that.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the minister talked about the criteria for the program, and I noticed that another group that got a fair amount of money was the pro‑life group, got $8,700. Now I thought this was primarily businesses that were supposed to be eligible for this.  What is the pro‑life group?

* (2020)

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that we did not fund the pro‑life group; in fact we funded The Prolific Group, and that was a contract, again, in 1991‑92.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I noticed some financial corporations got grants, Midland Walwyn for one, $10,000, and these are, as people know, fairly large securities firms, and I believe there were a couple of other securities firms that received the maximum.  I believe the maximum was $10,000 under this program.  Once again, I have never thought of Midland Walwyn as requiring subsidies from the taxpayers for anything, for that matter, but I am just wondering what the nature of their grant was and what the results of it have been so far.

Mrs. Vodrey:  This contract was for computerized marketing.  It was for a very specialized type of marketing.  It was also done for another similar type of company, and for that company it did result in increased job creation.  I am not able to comment this evening on the increased job creation from this particular firm at this time.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Could I have just a little bit of order.  It is getting a little loud here, and I cannot even hear the honourable member for Elmwood or the minister.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in instances where the minister does not have the information tonight, perhaps she could endeavour to get back to me at a later point, within reason, on this for information.

      Now I do not intend to go through my complete list here tonight because it would take me all night, but suffice to say that there are a lot of well‑known companies, well‑heeled companies, on this list that could well take care of their own training needs.  I do want to ask one last question of the minister.  I note that Keystone Ford is on here for a $10,000 grant.  I know that particular firm is one of the Minister of Finance's favourite companies around town, and he seemed to speak quite highly of them.  So I would like to ask the minister what the 20 trainees at Keystone were doing over the past while with this grant?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, this was to provide training in professional selling skills to 20 existing employees.  A total of 160 training hours was delivered in five separate four‑training‑days.

      The member has asked me to repeat it, and I will.  This was to provide training in professional selling skills to 20 existing employees.  A total of 160 training hours was delivered in five separate four‑day training modules.  That was the basis of the training.

* (2025)

Mr. Maloway:  So I think what the minister is telling me here is that the taxpayers spent $10,000 to train car salesmen on how to sell cars.  Is that what you are telling me?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the member seeks to minimize the work that is being done by some individuals in that particular kind of industry.  I would tell him that I do not think he should be minimizing the work that Manitobans do.  It may not be the work that he chooses to do.  The work involves marketing, and it involves leasing.

      I can say to the member that perhaps he would like to look back on what his government did in the automotive dealerships.  I point to wage assistance for Frontier Toyota, two positions; I point to Pioneer AMC Jeep Renault, one position; McNaught Pontiac Buick Cadillac, three positions; Prairie Honda, Portage, one position; Kings Park Plymouth Chrysler, one position; Hyundai Import Centre, one position; Carter Toyota, two positions; Birchwood Acura, two positions; Edmondson Chev‑Olds, one position; Precision Toyota, one position; Steinbach Dodge Chrysler, one position.

      It seems that when his party was in power, they thought that the automotive dealerships were important, and now, when funded through Workforce 2000, the valuable work of Manitobans, the member has problems with that.

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, could the minister tell me who the consultant was on this Keystone Ford contract?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The trainer, the consultant, was Comack and Associates.

Mr. Maloway:  I once again recognize that there are other questioners here, and there is a lot of territory to get through tonight.  I would not want to disappoint them.

      But I wanted to say that, and what I said in the beginning, and I happen to agree with the former member for Rossmere, that I think businesses should be operating on a fairly level playing field.  It is unfair to give one or two grants in certain areas at the expense of others in the field.  I think that if you surveyed business, and the Chamber of Commerce has surveyed the people and, I think, the businesses by and large, a lot of these businesses would be embarrassed to be taking this money and would recognize that on the one hand they meet in conclave and they talk about how the government should restrain itself and cut its deficit.  On the other hand, they are taking money that could be better used, as the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) would tell you, to reduce the deficit or to be given to more needy people in society such as those students who have had their social assistance cut back and other disadvantaged people.  So I would say that some of these companies were probably embarrassed to even be on this list.

      The minister read out a list of people that evidently got contracts or got subsidies of type under the previous government, and I did not say I particularly supported that either at the time.  Nevertheless, I was not in the majority.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, again, I can just say to the member that there is a criteria.  The proposals are reviewed under a criteria, and the criteria does provide training for Manitobans.  The member may not like the kind of work that they are doing.  He may not think that it is worthy of assistance, but for those people who are employed in those positions and to whom this training provides an enhancement in their skill level, then that is the basis of the human resource training that is offered through Workforce 2000.

      I just would like to maybe read into the record a couple of statements that have been made.  Workforce 2000 is the first government training program that we can use.  At last the government has provided us with something that fits our needs as a small business.  That was Sanderson Tractor in Portage la Prairie.  We certainly have others which have come to Workforce 2000 supporting the kind of training that has been offered.  We may get into some of those additional ones.

      I also just have one other.  I do have one that has just come from the Carpenters and Joiners of America, and this is another, not the one I tabled.  This just arrived on June 16, where the Carpenters and Joiners of America say:  I want to thank you for your support and assistance to the carpentry trade improvement trust fund's most comprehensive training package ever delivered. The response by the membership was enthusiastic and evidenced by the participation rate.  To date more than 120 student spaces were used, which translates into approximately 8,000 hours of upgrading provided to the membership.

* (2030)

Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  I just wanted to ask, the increase in this area is about the only area that has increased in this whole area of Youth Programs, Workforce 2000.  Can the minister indicate how many positions were paid for as a result of this $5 million appropriation‑‑or subsidized?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, is the member asking how many Manitobans have been trained, which I have put on the record already?  It is over 54,000.  Is the member asking about staffing in the department?  I would ask him if he could clarify his question.

Mr. Plohman:  No, I was just asking how many were subsidized in training this past year as compared to the year before.  You mention the 54,000, what was the figure the year before?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, in 1992‑93, in terms of small and medium business training incentives, the numbers are 3,240 and that is compared to 1991‑92 at 2,832.  In the payroll tax refund, in '92‑93 the number is 28,455; and in 1991‑92, 12,827.

      In the industry‑wide, 1,870, that is in '92‑93; '91‑92, 2,014.

Mr. Plohman:  When the minister is using the figure 54,000, she is comparing it to what figure, if she was giving a comparable figure?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, that is the total cumulative figure since the program began in 1991 to date.

Mr. Plohman:  So it is not 54,000 this past year; it is 54,000 over two years.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, it is a cumulative figure of Manitobans trained under the Workforce 2000 program.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, the minister might have made herself more clear when she uses that figure, because it is misleading to say that that is how many are being trained.  It sounds like an annual training, and I just point out to the minister is would be‑‑


Point of Order


Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  I would ask the honourable member to choose his words very carefully.  The word "misleading" does fall under the unparliamentary list, and I would ask him to choose his words carefully, so we do not end up in any unnecessary points of order at this time.

Mr. Plohman:  I think we have had the only point of order we are going to get, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Thank you.

* * *

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 4.(h)(1)(a) Salaries.

Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I wonder, just on Workforce 2000, as part of the government's overall training strategy, if the minister could tell us whether there is any co‑ordination between what is occurring with Workforce 2000 and the training that is being done under the training credits that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has offered to business.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, we administer that payroll tax refund for training.  We attest to the nature of the training through the Minister of Finance to allow him then to provide that credit.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, so if you attest for it, then can you produce a list of the kinds of training, the amount of training that has been delivered under that tax credit program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, in the year 1992‑93, the total applications were 1,415.  In that year, 64 percent of those applications were in the technological area.  They involved upgrading and retraining re:  new processes and new technology, areas such as quality assurance, programmable automation, blueprint reading.

      In the Human Resources area, 23 percent of the applications were in the Human Resources area and they involved areas such as stress management, presentation skills, motivation goal setting, negotiation skills and communications; and 13 percent of the applications were in the area of basic education, continuous learning, literacy, numeracy, problem solving, critical thinking and learning to learn.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am interested in that 13 percent doing basic education, literacy and numeracy.  These are businesses that are claiming credit under the tax credit program for training and are doing basic education and literacy training?  Can you give me a sense of who is doing that and what the circumstances are that would lead to that?

* (2040)

Mrs. Vodrey:  This particular area encourages larger firms to enter into a type of generic training.  It is to improve the skill level of their workforce.  It is not targeted at the particular work that they do as a company.  The skills are then transferable skills in the workplace.

Mr. Alcock:  The minister had indicated there were 1,415 persons trained under this?

Mrs. Vodrey:  That was the total number of applications.  It involved approximately 214 companies, and the number of employees trained estimated in 1992 was 28,455.

Mr. Alcock:  The total dollar value claimed?

Mrs. Vodrey:  It is estimated in 1992, for those over 28,000 employees, the total value of the training was $7,457,600.  That however is not the value of the payroll refund, that is the value of the training.

Mr. Alcock:  What then would be the value claimed?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The companies then apply to have that refund and they are in process.  The deadline for those applications is June 30, '93.  However, we know that one year ago in the fiscal year, the amount was about $1.5 million, and we could estimate that the value might be about $3 million at the end of '92, but I stress that is an estimation since we do not have all the applications processed.

Mr. Alcock:  For the sake of time or to save some time perhaps, am I correct in saying the process then is‑‑if a company has a training program or training which they wish to offer, they sketch out what it is that they wish to do, they present it to the department and the department then says, yes, this falls under the general parameters of this and then they offer it, or do they offer some training and then come to you for an attestation that it is within the parameters of the program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the process can occur either way.  Sometimes the training has occurred and then there is the information received in a proposal regarding the criteria, and at other times the training has not yet occurred and a proposal is received.

Mr. Alcock:  Is any attempt made to differentiate between training which may be part of the ongoing orientation and in‑house training programs for companies and something that may be new and an add‑on?  Or at the time that this credit was announced, is it simply possible for a company to take existing training programs and now claim a credit for them?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I think the member's question focused on basic orientation, and I can tell him that we do not fund basic orientation under either the payroll refund or under the small to medium training incentives.

Mr. Alcock:  So then can a company come forward and request grants under Workforce 2000 to do some training at the same time also to flesh out the nature of the program and support some of the training from its own resources and claim a credit so that two things provide, perhaps, a larger base of training in that particular organization that might be represented by either credit or the Workforce 2000 grant?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Chair, I am having a little trouble hearing the member.  If he could just repeat the question slightly louder, that would be helpful.  Thank you.

Mr. Alcock:  Is my mike on?

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Just get a little closer to it.

Mr. Alcock:  It might be difficult.

Mr. Plohman:  Move it closer.  You do not have to move yourself closer.

Mr. Alcock:  Thank you, John, I appreciate the advice on this.

      The question is this:  If you are offering a training program of some sort and you are able to apply for Workforce 2000, are you also able to claim a portion of the training that you are offering then under the tax credit program?

(Mr. Jack Reimer, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)

* (2050)

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chair, under the Payroll Tax Refund eligible activities, what a company wished to do would have to meet the criteria of the Payroll Tax Refund parts of Workforce 2000.  It would involve activities such as innovation, adaptation and participation, they being the key, and training activities must focus on broadly based transferable and portable skills that apply to a wide variety of employment situations within both the company and the provincial workforce.  Eligible training and skill development activities may include upgrading, may include entry‑level and also retraining activities.

      The basic skills training should enable an employee to function more effectively and to lay down the foundation for continuous learning and adaptation.  We have spoken tonight about some of the basic education literacy, numeracy and communication skills as well as the problem solving, critical thinking, the analytical thinking.

      In the area of technical and technological skills, it includes entry‑level training, skills upgrading and retraining that will allow employees to develop new skills and to remain in their current field.  Programmable factory automation, quality assurance, blueprint reading, as I have mentioned, basic and personal computer operations may be areas where companies would like to apply.

      Then in the human relations and general skills training, it would look to foster individual group and organizational effectiveness, and I think I mentioned a little bit earlier some of the areas that would fall under the criteria, such as enhanced presentation skills, career planning, motivation, goal setting.

Mr. Alcock:  I am just trying to clarify parts of this in my own mind with the minister.  So you can claim a credit for that kind of training, and I want to talk a little bit more about basic education in a minute, but my central question is:  Can you also claim support under the Workforce 2000 for delivering some of that training?

      I am not looking for a scandal here, double counting or anything like that.  I am just asking a question.  Can you enhance your training program by having some portion of it delivered in the Workforce 2000 and some portion of it claimed on the tax credit program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chair, I think the important point to make here is that you cannot count twice, and the eligibility requirements would be established.  Now, for a larger firm, they might have some of the eligibility covered under the PTR or the payroll refund.  They might also have a portion under the direct training, but for the small and medium businesses, it would be under the training incentives.  They do not qualify for the payroll reduction refund, and the ceiling amount is $10,000.

Mr. Alcock:  On this question of basic education, literacy, numeracy and communication skills, I believe at one time those were reading, writing and arithmetic, were they not?

      When is it that a company would offer that internally as opposed to accessing that sort of training in the adult ed system?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The basic skills training that I have spoken about this evening involves literacy and numeracy skills, yes, but it also has involved communication skills, problem‑solving skills, critical and analytic thinking and learning how to learn, because those have been seen as essential in improving the productivity. In terms of the literacy, it may also have a focus of the workplace, literacy being job specific.

Mr. Alcock:  I am not being the least bit critical about this. In fact, I think it is interesting to note that companies are having the same kind of concern about their employees that you see in general education and taking the time to provide additional literacy and numeracy skills.  My question is how would it occur that a company would take this on as an in‑house program rather than accessing‑‑I mean, we offer adult ed programs, literacy and numeracy.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chair, the kinds of programs that the member has referenced are separate from the workplace, and this particular kind of workplace training is an integrated type of programming.  It is integrated literacy with the person's work skills, and it is then a method of providing a full complement of skills in a program and at one site where the individual is at the moment.

Mr. Alcock:  I can understand a company undertaking work to help people learn additional skills that relate to a special process or a special activity within the context of the company, but is it that companies have found it difficult to access basic education from the community programs?

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, again, this is training that is more specific to the workplace, and one of the things that we have been speaking about in answering questions and in talking more generally is the development of a training culture and the development of a partnership.  This is one way in which that partnership and the training culture is a very concrete example of that particular kind of culture.

Mr. Alcock:  I suppose, although in lots of circumstances you have organizations wishing to take on the training when the training may be better delivered and more efficiently accessed from systems that are expert in providing the training.  It just seems‑‑I have an understanding that if a company has again something specific or unique to their processes, in‑house training may be the only route to go to access that kind of training.

      The idea of an organizational culture that supports lifelong learning, there certainly is a value in that, but it just struck me as odd that they would go outside of the existing system to provide basic literacy and numeracy.  Had there been complaints about the current adult ed system or the resources that are available in the system, or is there some reason why they do not feel that they could work together with that system in order to access basic education?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that, no, it is not a result of complaints around the other system.  It has more to do, again, with the development of the training culture and the sharing that has been spoken about and the partnership in terms of the development of a training culture.

Mr. Alcock:  I will just end then on this section, but I must say I am impressed with that answer, frankly.

* (2100)

Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  I had a few questions about the section of Workforce 2000 which gives small grants to small‑ or medium‑sized business.  I wonder if the minister could tell us how many of those grants enabled or were for the purpose of adding staff?  How many new jobs were created by this program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I can tell the member that since the program's inception in May 1991, there have been, under the training incentives component for the small to medium businesses, new positions for 184 trainees.  That is new jobs.

Ms. Friesen:  Are those full time or part time, and could the minister tell us the conditions of those jobs, whether they lasted beyond the training period or whether they have to last a certain number of months beyond the training period?  One of my concerns, for example, is that employers may be using this program to screen potential employees.

Mrs. Vodrey:  At the time of an interview and a follow‑up, which was April 1993, that showed that 81 percent of the new employees were still employed within that place of employment.  To answer the member as well, they were full‑time positions.

Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Deputy Chair, on the information the minister originally sent us, Tuxedo Taxi was still involved.  I just want to check that the number she is giving me of 184 new jobs did not include the Tuxedo Taxi jobs.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Absolutely not.

 Ms. Friesen:  How much of the training under this program‑‑again, the grants to small‑ and medium‑sized businesses‑‑is done on work time?

 Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, it is estimated approximately 85 percent.

 Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister tell us how that was arrived at, how that estimate is arrived at?

 Mrs. Vodrey:  That information is based on the department's knowledge and also review of the files.

 Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Deputy Chair, then why is it an estimate?  If it is based on files and based on the department's knowledge, why is it not precise?

 Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, we do not have all of the files here with us this evening, but we believe that estimation is really very close to accurate.  If we are looking at a range, it might be 84.5 or 85 percent.  We believe it is fairly accurate, but I have made sure to say it was an estimation because we do not have all files here before us.

 Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister explain how people are selected within businesses for the training?  This is a question I asked in Question Period; the minister said she would look at it in Estimates.

 Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the decision is made by the employer.  It is based on the employer's own internal needs, and occasionally training consultants may help a business industry or labour group determine or assess what their needs may be, but again the decision is an internal one.

 Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Deputy Chair, and when the application is made for Workforce 2000 money, is there already the indication made in the proposal of who is to be trained in the sense of labour, management or technological specialty within the area, and does that form part of the criteria of the department in accepting or rejecting the application?

 Mrs. Vodrey:  On the applications there is a proposal.  Within that proposal it says who would be trained, the nature of the training, how this training meets the program criteria.  It is all identified within the proposal, and we would know who would be trained.  As I said, there is a set of criteria that must be met in the larger way in terms of the application being accepted.

 Ms. Friesen:  So it does then form part of a department's acceptance of a particular application.  When the minister evaluates those applications, does she look at the proportion of people who are not being trained?  The reason I ask this question is for exactly the reasons that I asked it in Question Period was that one of the criticisms of these types of programs is that they do not provide equality of access for people in the labour force, and that it is exactly up to the employer‑‑I see now it is also essentially part of the government's criteria for acceptance of the programs‑‑that the employer can pick and choose.

      The employee can pick and choose, one hopes, on the basis of ability to benefit from the training program of the appropriateness of the training for a particular business, but the employer when you come right down to the bottom of it is picking and choosing who is getting the training with public money.  That is a concern, and I am interested to know that it is part of the government's criterion so that every program which has been accepted, I assume, has been judged on that basis.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Let me just reference for the member what the government criteria is for the training incentives to small and medium businesses so there is no confusion in the member's mind about which criteria is which.

      In terms of the government's criteria, we are looking for the introduction of new technologies, equipment and also for processes.  We are also looking at high‑demand skill‑shortage occupations and high‑demand skills.  These are identified, and we spoke about this when we were looking at the labour market, in one way through the high‑demand occupations in Manitoba, that report that is produced by Manitoba Education and Training. Proposals which fall within the priority areas of training are assessed by a review committee with respect to the following requirements:  The demonstrated need for training; skill training which increases business productivity; sound training plans with definite training objectives; and training which is related to the long‑term human resource strategy.

      So when a proposal is received by Workforce 2000, we try to look at it in the context of the company's whole human resource plan and their whole plan in all areas of skill development.

* (2110)

Ms. Friesen:  How does the minister assure herself that there has been equality of access to training programs, and that there is equality of access, for example, for women, for visible minorities, for handicapped people, for people who might otherwise have been excluded from training, that the training is equally accessible to labour as it is to management?  We have public money in here, large proportions of public money, and the minister seems quite prepared for the employer only, and to confirm the employer only, as the selector of people who can be trained.  That seems to me a misuse of public money.

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am sure the member would not have wanted to have been viewed in any way as unfair in terms of the question which she asked, or unparliamentary in terms of the question that she asked.  So I know that we are having a look at that.

      I would say that under wage assistance, under that training area, the member asked how can we attempt to make sure that some of the priority groups, she mentioned women, would also be included.  I can tell her that we subsidized the wage‑assisted training at 40 percent for the priority groups as opposed to 30 percent for other groups.

Ms. Friesen:  I am interested to hear that application, but can she tell me how that has been applied?  Have employers in fact taken up those opportunities that the minister is offering?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, I am informed that the employer groups have taken up the assistance for the priority groups.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister tell us what proportion of the people trained then have fallen into those priority groups?

Mrs. Vodrey:  We will have to get that information.  I will provide it as soon as possible.

Ms. Friesen:  One last question on evaluation.  I understood in an earlier exchange with the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) that the minister spoke of evaluation as being composed of a questionnaire that is carried out by the trainer which is then put in the files of the government.

      I think I heard her say this evening that there is also a follow‑up telephone call or interview.  Is there anything else that is done in the form of evaluation?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Just before I answer that, the member had asked in a previous question just a concern about labour also being involved in the sectoral planning initiatives.  I have some information that says of the 36 agreements or initiatives in the 1992‑93 year, 22 projects have employer and employee representation, which I thought may answer part of the question that the member asked.

      In terms of the monitoring process for Workforce 2000, a monitoring process has been established whereby training consultants are expected to follow up with employers by phone or in person.  Depending upon the nature of the project, to confirm whether the employer/employee goals and expectations have been met, a form is completed, and it is placed in the project file.

      All wage‑assisted projects are monitored every 10 weeks.  In the training assistance for large businesses, the Payroll Tax Refund, the Manitoba Finance procedures provide for an audit of all Payroll Tax Refund applications over $20,000 and a random sample audit of those under $20,000.

      In the industry‑wide human resource planning, each project has an evaluation component built into the overall project description.  At the conclusion of each project, Workforce 2000 business and industry and other government partners contribute co‑operatively to the development of a final assessment report.

      Program management have identified the manner of monitoring training as an area of program delivery that requires review and revision.  It is anticipated that the formative review will be undertaken and will generate recommendations as to how to more effectively monitor program‑training activity.

Ms. Friesen:  Of the 22 that had employer‑employee participation, how many of those were in the grants to small‑ and medium‑sized businesses?

Mrs. Vodrey:  These were in the industry‑wide sectoral area.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  4.(h) Workforce 2000 and Youth Programs (1) Workforce 2000 (a) Salaries $980,700‑‑pass; (b) Other Expenditures $4,072,500‑‑pass.

      (2) Stevenson Aviation Centre (a) Salaries $296,300‑‑pass.

      (b) Other Expenditures $288,500‑‑

Ms. Friesen:  Under Stevenson Aviation, as I understand it, 129 people graduated last year.

      Could the minister tell us what the graduation or completion rates are going to be this year, and what is the change in the number of people in the program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, for Stevenson graduates in 1990‑91, the number was 126; in '91‑92, it was 62; and in '92‑93, it was 59.

      For the statistics '90‑91, it used to include also the graduates of the Transport Driver Training Program, and that was in fact double counting.  So the numbers are now reduced to more accurately reflect the graduates.

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Ms. Friesen:  What is the anticipated rate this coming year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, we anticipate in this year, '92‑93, that there will be 28 graduates.  That is because those graduates are in a short course.  In the nondestructive testing there will be no graduates in the aircraft maintenance area because that has just moved from a three‑year to a four‑year course.  So those graduates will be next year's graduates.

(Mrs. Shirley Render, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)

Ms. Friesen:  Is it possible for the minister to say what that number will be a year from now?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Acting Deputy Chair, we anticipate the number will be 23.

Ms. Friesen:  There is a reduction in this line and I wonder if the minister could tell us where the impact is going to be felt. Some of it is in Capital, I notice.  I would think that would have some significance for a program like this.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Acting Deputy Chair, in the Capital area there was a decrease of $1,000.  We do not predict that $1,000 decrease will have any significant bearing on the program at all.  We have recently decentralized, as the member knows. Sometimes as well, I can tell her, that industry will provide some capital, sometimes in the form of new tools.

Ms. Friesen:  In terms of employment of people from these courses, has the minister made any consideration of the changes in the airline industry that appear to be happening around us and what are the implications of that for employment in this industry?

Mrs. Vodrey:  There has been somewhat of a downturn in this particular area, and it has resulted in fewer apprentices. However, I can tell her that we are the only apprenticeship program in Canada and, therefore, people who come for this training are generally in employ.

       The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mrs. Render):  Line 4.(h)(2)(b) Other Expenditures $288,500‑‑pass.

      4.(h)(3) Youth Programs (a) Salaries $802,200.

Ms. Friesen:  Can I ask the minister about CareerStart, first of all?  I understand some of the CareerStart programs have been quite late in coming to the Employment Centres.  At least that has been the case in Winnipeg.  Has that been the case on a province‑wide basis, and could the minister explain what is behind that?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, there was a delay in the announcement of CareerStart, but I am informed that at the moment we are operating at a full level, and we are exactly at the point where we had predicted we would be at this time.

Ms. Friesen:  As I understood it, the CareerStart programs were only made available to students last week in the Winnipeg area. Perhaps the minister could give us an indication from her department when they did become available, how many weeks they are compared to last year, and perhaps some reasons for what students perceive as a delay.

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Mrs. Vodrey:  The Manitoba CareerStart was announced by newspaper advertisements April 3, 1993.  The program has been operating since May 3.  There was some delay in getting out letters to the employers, but all employers were phoned to make sure that the process was kept up to speed.

Ms. Friesen:  So at this point, mid‑June, has all the money for that program been disseminated or allocated?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that all of the CareerStart money has been allocated.  The deadline for the CareerFocus was last Friday, and those final approvals are being completed.

Ms. Friesen:  Is there a proportion of this money which is reserved for jobs for high school students?

Mrs. Vodrey:  CareerFocus funds may apply to high school students, but that funding is not targeted specifically to high school students.

Ms. Friesen:  Is there money within any of the other youth programs which is targeted towards the provision of jobs for high school students?  I do not just mean job agencies, but jobs.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Acting Deputy Chair, as I said, there are not positions which are specifically targeted to high school students; however, a number of high school students do in fact obtain positions through CareerStart and also through the Manitoba Job Centres.  I can tell the member that in the summary of 1992 positions approved, under CareerFocus, of 218 positions, 122 positions went to high school students.

Ms. Friesen:  I am not sure I am getting the difference between CareerStart and CareerFocus.  The reason I am asking is the minister has just given me a number of, what is it, 350 positions, essentially, in CareerFocus last year and CareerStart is shown as having approximately 3,500.  Is one a section of the other?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Acting Deputy Chair, CareerFocus is a section of the CareerStart, and the 218 students that I spoke about are in the CareerFocus section of the CareerStart program.  The CareerFocus is, as I said, a special component of CareerStart, which provides students with career‑related work experiences that are directly linked to their studies, which may lead to academic accreditation by the educational institution that they are attending.

Ms. Friesen:  How many positions were filled all together last year under CareerStart including CareerFocus?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Acting Deputy Chair, in the CareerStart program including CareerFocus, there were 3,134 youth employed. Of those youth, 1,175 of those young people were high school students.

Ms. Friesen:  Has there been a change in the payments offered for CareerStart and CareerFocus students this year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Acting Deputy Chair, there has been no change this year.

Ms. Friesen:  What is the payment this year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  It is a wage assistance of $2 per hour.

Ms. Friesen:  This is the one that was cut from $4 an hour or more two years ago, or three years ago now?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Two years ago, the amount was $2.50 for all employers, and this year it has remained the same as last year at $2.

Ms. Friesen:  The Manitoba Youth Job Centres, which are run throughout the province‑‑there have been newspaper reports of their difficulties in finding jobs this summer.  Has the minister got any information that would tend to counteract or give us another version of that?

Mrs. Vodrey:  It is a little bit too early to tell the exact success or numbers of the placement through the Manitoba Job Centres as it is not quite the end of June yet.  However, I understand and am informed that on visits to the centre, some centres are up in terms of their placements and some centres are somewhat down.  But we are expecting to place approximately the same number of students this year through the Manitoba Job Centres as we did last year.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mrs. Render):  Item 4.(h)(3)(a) Salaries $802,200‑‑pass; (b) Other Expenditures $403,300‑‑pass; (c) Grants $2,567,400‑‑pass.

      4.(h)(4) Partners with Youth (a) Grant Assistance $1,400,000‑‑pass; (b) Less:  Recoverable from Rural Economic Development Initiatives.

       * (2140)

Ms. Friesen:  On the Partners with Youth program, the appropriation remains the same in this case, but I am sure the minister knows that youth employment has not substantially decreased in Manitoba.  I wonder again, partly Partners with Youth but partly the other programs that do deal with youth, what kind of policy changes the minister anticipates to deal with youth and employment and particularly the ability of students to begin to meet some of their loans for further education?

Mrs. Vodrey:  In the area of Partners with Youth, there were recommendations which were received at the end of last year. They were implemented in order to expand sponsor accessibility to Partners with Youth in 1993.  The Infrastructure category, which seemed to lead to some confusion last year by virtue of its name Infrastructure, has been renamed Business Community Development. By renaming this, it is anticipated that applicants will be encouraged to initiate any type of project that will enable them to develop or to expand their parameters of operation.

      Secondly, a Marketing component was added.  Under this category, sponsors are encouraged to initiate projects which will help them market products, services or community features.

      Thirdly, a Young Entrepreneurs component is being introduced to encourage young people 18 to 24 to start their own businesses.  Under Young Entrepreneurs, applicants are required to submit a detailed business plan to a board comprised of program staff and private‑sector business persons.  Approved applicants would be eligible to receive a $2,000 grant to help defray business start‑up costs.

Ms. Friesen:  Is there a list available of groups who received the grants last year‑‑not now, but at a later date?

Mrs. Vodrey:  We can certainly assemble that list, but just to provide some assistance this evening, I can give the member some examples:  City of Winnipeg, the project was to design and establish interpretive nature trails in Assiniboine Forest; the Town of Dauphin, the project was enhancing the physical appearance of the downtown business area; the Sustainable Fuel System Limited, the developing of a manufacturing plan to pelletize waste wood fibres; the Alonsa Conservation District in Alonsa, the project was to clear trails, construct picnic and parking facilities and to erect interpretive signs; the Rural Municipality of Coldwell in Lundar, to construct a garage to house emergency vehicles.  That is an example, but we will put together the list.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mrs. Render):  Item 4.(h)(4)(b) Less:  Recoverable from Rural Economic Development Initiatives $500,000‑‑pass.

      4.(j) Apprenticeship (1) Salaries $936,600.

Ms. Friesen:  Can the minister tell us if she is having any discussions with the federal government, if there are any plans within the government of Manitoba to expand apprenticeship programs in terms of the range of trades in apprenticeships, and particularly to expand the Red Seal program in existing areas?

Mrs. Vodrey:  When I attended the meeting of labour market ministers in January, which was the first time that group of ministers had met, I understand, in four years, one of the areas of discussion was the area of apprenticeship.  There certainly was a presentation and discussion on that area to look at Red Seal and also the potential expansion of the Red Seal programs. In terms of the current status, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship has developed an action plan for accelerating the process for establishing, updating interprovincial common standards in apprenticeship training and certification.

      Both the federal and the provincial and territorial governments have indicated a strong desire to establish only one interprovincial standard for each trade or occupation, and the expansion of the interprovincial standards would provide for a better trained and more competitive Canadian workforce.  It would also allow for greater interprovincial workforce mobility and make more effective and efficient use of the available resources.

      This committee has an action plan of three activity levels: short‑term objectives, medium‑term objectives and long‑term objectives.  At the moment, there are 40 designated interprovincial Red Seal trades, of which Manitoba participates in 32.  Manitoba currently has an additional 12 trades designated for provincial status only.

Ms. Friesen:  This is a section of the department which has been recently transferred from Labour.  It is my understanding that at the time it was transferred, there was no consultation with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, or with any representation of labour at all, not even, I understand, at the annual meeting of the cabinet and the Manitoba Federation of Labour.  Could the minister explain why that happened?  It has been a long‑standing concern of labour that apprenticeship be connected to labour and that it be dealt with by people who have an understanding of the shop floor and of the labour movement.  So my concerns are for that transition, for the method of transition, and for the implications for the current programs.

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the transfer of Apprenticeship into the Department of Education and Training, and particularly now into the Advanced Education and Skills Training Division, was seen as an important one.  The in‑school training and administrative components of Apprenticeship will be housed in one division now and in one department of government.  Previously, there was a separation within the Apprenticeship, where one part did develop the curriculum and another part delivered the curriculum.  There was somewhat of a disjointed approach.

      Now we are looking for a much more integrated approach, and we also are interested in the co‑operative education program, working closely with Apprenticeship in delivering and implementing pilot projects for high school apprenticeship.  That now can be accomplished within one department.

      The Apprenticeship Branch brings to Education and Training a strong connection with industry and with labour leaders who are involved in the Trades Advisory Committees.  This connection will be important in further developing the partnerships and the co‑operation between the province and the private sector.  Also, institutional training programs and Apprenticeship and Training Branch have an opportunity for the sort of crossing over of ideas that can improve the quality of training in all of the programs. So that was some of the reasoning behind the move.

      In terms of the move itself into Education and Training, we have certainly maintained the Trades Advisory Committees.  I have already met with the chair and a representative of the Apprenticeship and the Trades Qualification Board, and at that time, we had a discussion of some of the questions that they had regarding the move.  We certainly looked to meet again and made that commitment at that meeting to make sure that this transition is not only a smooth transition, but also a very beneficial transition, beneficial to the people within the programs and beneficial also across the province.  We believe it will be beneficial to all of Education and Training, as well as Apprenticeship, to have this all housed in one department.

      I can also say that the deputy minister informs me that he and the department have had a meeting with the Canadian Federation of Labour, so we are, during the process of this transition, making a strong effort to meet with all of the people involved to look at any concerns they might have and to attempt to address them as quickly as possible.

Ms. Friesen:  I am interested in the formal processes and procedures the minister will be establishing for the connections with labour and with the trade union movement.

      The minister said that she has met with the Canadian Federation of Labour, which I believe represents a small proportion of labour in Manitoba.  When does she intend to meet formally with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, and could she give us a sense of what kind of regular connections will be made with labour?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, certainly, we will make an effort to meet with the Manitoba Federation of Labour at the earliest opportunity.  I know that they would inform the member that I have already had meetings with them, certainly regarding the area of education reform as well.  So we have begun a process, through the broader issue of education, of communication.

      I know the Manitoba Federation of Labour also has a representative on the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Board, and I have said to the member that I have already had a first meeting with their chairperson and representative whom the board chose to have attend that meeting.  At that time, I also made the offer that we would meet again, that I would attend a meeting and that we would make every effort between us to make sure that the communication certainly flows as quickly as possible and as smoothly as possible.

      In addition, I spoke about the Trades Advisory Committees, and on those Trades Advisory Committees, the Manitoba Federation of Labour and the Canadian Federation of Labour both have representatives on those committees.  So that is another way that I look to make sure there is a commitment.

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Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  4.(j) Apprenticeship (1) Salaries $936,600‑‑pass.

      (2) Other Expenditures $235,800‑‑

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, just a couple of quick questions to the minister.

      How does the Apprenticeship/Training relate to the other kinds of training that are going on in the department, specifically, the 2000 and the tax‑credit training and the like?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The Apprenticeship and Training Branch is virtually a training institution with one exception.  The in‑school training is conducted by other institutions, in some cases, the community colleges, primarily the community colleges.  In many ways, the branch activities very closely resemble the activities of other branches formally housed in what was our post‑secondary area:  initiatives such as the colleges, the private vocational schools, New Careers, Stevenson Aviation Technical Training Centre.

      Yet Apprenticeship and Training also has a common thread with Workforce 2000.  Both programs have a very close contact with industry in developing and conducting their training programs. Essentially, both programs concentrate on workplace‑based programming and training.  The training is driven by employer demand.  Both programs also have a network of regional officials.

Mr. Alcock:  Is there any attempt to sort out or‑‑you say it is employer demand‑‑to direct a program one way or the other should it be appropriate for Apprenticeship or for Workforce 2000 or for the tax credit program.  Is there any sorting done on that?

Mrs. Vodrey:  May I just clarify with the member?  Sorting, is that on behalf of the participants to direct the participants toward a particular program, or employers?

Mr. Alcock:  I understood that one of the reasons for moving Apprenticeship and Training into this division was to have better co‑ordination, a better overall strategy.  Now, if it is employer driven‑‑that is what I believe the minister said in her last response‑‑presumably employers come forward to the branch and say, well, we are interested in starting this; we feel we have a demand for that or whatever.  What form of co‑ordination takes place between the various training possibilities for an employer?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The area of apprenticeship has only been with the Department of Education and Training for a short time, but again one of the reasons for the move has been to look at that particular linkage.  I did mention that linkage between programs such as Workforce 2000 and Apprenticeship can be forged to further their common objectives regarding the workplace‑based training.

      I also spoke about the co‑operative education component of the Department of Education and Training, and we would expect that this area would also work co‑operatively and very closely with Apprenticeship in developing and implementing pilot projects for high school apprenticeship as well.

      I would also like to point out the issue of complementarity which I have been speaking about in a relation to a number of issues, that programs work with many of the same industry representatives and same associations.  They are often active on the same industry committees.  Accordingly, now there is a significant opportunity for the programs to collaborate and to co‑operate in approach to sectoral human resource planning.

Mr. Alcock:  Does a relationship exist on the federal side between the apprenticeship training that is done within the province and similar educational programs that are offered on the federal side?

Mrs. Vodrey:  There is a link between the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship and EIC or Employment and Immigration Canada.  With that link there is then a common occupational analysis and also the ability to develop a common core curriculum base or a core base.

Mr. Alcock:  Has there been any indication from the federal government that they might be willing to move more of that towards provincial control?

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  The hour being after ten o'clock, what is the will of the committee?  Carry on?  Okay, we will carry on.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Apprenticeship is a provincial responsibility, and the agreements for apprenticeship are interprovincial as opposed to federal.  But the federal government does fund the provincial training through direct purchase.

Mr. Alcock:  Was there not a discussion though‑‑in fact, it came up as one of the discussions under the Charlottetown Accord proposal, that the federal government would withdraw from some areas of jurisdiction.  Was this area not one of them?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The discussions which came up under the Charlottetown Accord focused on the issue of training in the broad sense.  Some of the areas that were discussed were, for instance, the Employment and Immigration centres and UIC training, but nothing has been decided and there has not been any further specific concrete discussion at this point.

Mr. Alcock:  Are there discussions going on at all between the federal and provincial government or working committees established by looking at areas that might be transferred?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, in terms of the apprenticeship area, at a recent meeting of deputy ministers responsible for the labour market, the issue of apprenticeship was discussed, and there was, I understand, certainly a strong will amongst the provinces that that remain within provincial control.

      In the area of devolution of other skills training responsibilities which the federal government may now accept, at the formal meeting that we had as ministers in January, the federal minister said at that time that he was not looking to devolution; however, individual provinces may be approaching the minister to look at what may be of benefit to their provinces. Perhaps the federal minister then will want to have a specific discussion with those provinces.  But I have not on behalf of Manitoba held any further specific discussions with the federal minister on the issue of devolution.  So at this time there is nothing further to report.

       Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I have some questions relating to the largest employer in my community, CN Rail.  They have a program ongoing for training apprentices over the years, which of course is being nearly phased out at this point in time.

* (2210)

      There is also some concern within the community.  I raised these concerns with the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) when he was responsible for Apprenticeship and Training a couple of years back, with respect to tradespeople within the railway itself in my community, in the shops, that are finding themselves in a position where there is a possibility of being laid off or have been laid off and have not, through the workplace, acquired the necessary skills allowing them to be portable to other jobs.  In other words, they do not have the certificate to allow them to go out and seek alternate employment when they find themselves laid off.  I asked the Minister of Labour when he was responsible for this department to begin a program of providing that skills training for these employees.

      Does the Minister of Education now‑‑has her department undertaken any program in consultation with CN Rail and the affected employees and their union representatives to provide for those skills upgrading programs for these employees so they can have that portable skills certificate?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am informed that CNR has some internal apprenticeships which are not designated apprenticeships.  I am wondering if these are the ones that the member is speaking about.  They are in‑house, and there has not been, to our knowledge, certainly recently, an approach by CN to look at having these designated or any other kind of approach on behalf of these particular employees.

Mr. Reid:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I could be wrong in this, but it was my understanding, at least, that CN itself, as a company, was reluctant to provide the employees with the necessary skills to allow them to receive the full trade certification, because it would allow these employees then to most likely, should they choose, leave the service of the company.

      The part here is that the apprenticeship program within the company, the in‑house apprenticeship program, does provide a level of skills for these employees, allowing them to meet the needs of the company, but did not allow them to meet the needs of the Apprenticeship Branch that would provide the certification for full trade status.  In other words, I had initiated these discussions after the employees had contacted myself.  I had initiated the discussions with the Apprenticeship Branch, Skills Training branch, to allow for some initiative to be taken to provide the extra training required so these employees could acquire the skills and receive the certificate that would allow them to have those portable skills.  To the best of my knowledge, that has not taken place.

      Is the department initiating a program like that to provide the employees with the necessary skills training to allow them to be portable?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I understand that the member may have made that approach approximately two years ago. I can only speak for now Apprenticeship being housed in the Department of Education and Training, and it was moved over for the reasons which I have given tonight.  I can tell the member, we have had no approach while the Apprenticeship is now being housed in the Department of Education and Training.

      The benefits of being housed in the Department of Education and Training is, as I have said all along, through the Advanced Education and Skills Training division, we now have a full range of programming and training opportunities, and perhaps those would be of assistance to some of those individuals.  But, to this point, we have had no approach by CN.

Mr. Reid:  I am not sure if the minister is aware of this, but CN is continuing to lay off employees, so a program like this is very important, in fact, vitally important to a lot of these employees considering the numbers of people who are going to be affected by layoff and have been affected by layoff.

      Is it possible for the minister to consult with her colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) to find out what steps the Department of Labour had taken with respect to the program that I thought was in good hands at the time two years ago and obviously did not go anywhere under the Minister of Labour's direction?  Is it possible for this Minister of Education to consult with the Minister of Labour to find out why not and possibly have her department, the Department of Education, undertake to initiate this program to provide those skills for these employees?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the member speaks of the downsizing at CN.  I would just remind him that the downsizing labour adjustment is still the responsibility of the Labour Adjustment unit through the Minister of Labour.  However, we can have a look and see what the status was and why such a discussion was discontinued.  If the member is saying tonight that this is an important area, then it would perhaps be important to see if CN is interested in another approach.

Mr. Reid:  I will reiterate again for the Minister of Education. The Canadian National Railway, CN Rail, from the best of my knowledge from what I have understood, is not interested in a program such as this, because it would allow their employees the opportunity to move freely out of the company service.  They have a captive workforce right now, because those employees do not have that skill level to allow them to be portable to other jobs.  So for her to think that she is going to go back to the CN Rail and think that she is going to receive the blessing of the company, I think is the wrong approach to take.

      The key here is to talk with the employees' groups or the representatives themselves to find out if they can initiate this program since the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) obviously did not follow through on this, and provide some start‑up or some initiative to move in that direction to provide these skills training for these employees.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, again, the member tries to put words in my mouth.  What I said was, we have had no approach.  We have had no approach from CN.  We have had no approach by the groups that the member is also speaking about then.

      In terms of what happened in the discussions of my colleague the Minister of Labour, the member makes an accusation of the Minister of Labour.  I would say to the member, maybe we should find out exactly where the discussions broke down.  I would say right now, he does not know that they broke down with the Minister of Labour by any means.

Mr. Reid:  This is a serious matter for the employees of CN Rail in my community who are finding themselves in a position of being laid off.  I, in all seriousness say to the Minister of Education I hope that her department staff and/or herself will follow through with a program of this nature to provide that skills level training, to consult with the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) to find out why this program did not go anywhere.

      The most recent discussions I had with the representatives of the employees was a few weeks ago.  I asked them what was taking place with this program and they thought it was stalled in the Department of Labour.  Now it has not moved anywhere since then, so I ask the minister in all seriousness, to consult with the Minister of Labour to find out why this program has not moved forward and hopefully put this program into effect to provide the skills for these employees.

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, as I said earlier, we do not know the reason that the discussions have been stalled, if in fact they have been stalled, or exactly what the Minister of Labour may be doing through his own Labour Adjustment unit on behalf of these particular employees.

      So I am sure when the member met with these employee groups, he was able to inform them about the change and that the Apprenticeship Branch is now housed within the Department of Education.  I am sure that he would have informed them and brought them up to date on that particular area.

      As I said, we have not had any approach from the employee groups either to this point.  I certainly recognize the seriousness of any downsizing which would occur within any area of Manitoba, and certainly we take it very seriously within the Department of Education and Training.

Mr. Reid:  It is a little difficult, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, through you to the minister, for the employees of the CN plant to be aware that they have to raise the concerns again to the Minister of Education when they most likely did not know that the Minister of Education is now responsible for a program that was originally under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik).

      So it is very difficult for these employees to know that they have to make representation again to the government on this.  I believe they are getting the quick shuffle here.  Will the minister, if I undertake to arrange with the employees and their representatives, agree to sit down at a meeting with the representatives so that we can work out some solution to these concerns?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, though this information came out in a news release, I am sure that the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid) did his job as an MLA and provided that information to these groups.  I do not know if he did or not, but I presume that he would have wanted to do his work as an MLA.  If the member has a request, then my department will certainly look at it, and we will look at the status and where things stopped.

Mr. Reid:  Well, I can assure the minister that right after the 1990 election I started working on this issue, and I had meetings with the department staff, and I think, if I understand correctly, Marilyn Kenny was one of the people in on the meeting.  There were other department staff, senior staff from the Apprenticeship Branch that were in the meeting as well, along with representatives of the various union organizations and myself.

      I thought there was some progress going to be made on this, and nothing moved forward.  What I am asking for now is a commitment by the minister that if I arrange for the representatives of these employees to come to another meeting, to obviously once again raise the issue to the government of the day, will the minister be willing to sit down at such a meeting and participate in a meeting like this so that she can hear the concerns of these employees themselves and their representatives about her department providing the necessary skills training for these employees?  Will the minister commit to sitting in at this meeting?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, as I replied in my last answer to the member, if he would like to make a contact with the Department of Education and Training, I will see that staff is available for a meeting.

Mr. Reid:  I take it by that answer then that the minister herself is not interested in attending such a meeting and it is only her staff then.

Mrs. Vodrey:  The member's unparliamentary discussion in terms of attributing a motive‑‑I understand that the member wants to have this meeting take place and he would like it to take place as soon as possible.  What I am endeavouring to do is to say that if the quickest way to have that meeting take place, at least at a beginning level, I am more than happy to have the staff of the Department of Education and Training take part in that meeting. If the member wishes to wait until it is able to be fit into my schedule, he may be asking for some delay.  He has made a point this evening that this is important, and I have accepted the fact that he sees this as important, and I have said tonight, twice now, three times on the record, that I am willing to make the arrangements for my department to meet and to look at exactly where this issue stands.

Mr. Reid:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I do not wish to belabour this point, and this will be my last question.

      The key here is, and in all seriousness to the minister, since the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) did not follow through on a commitment, my concern here is that these employees, if they do not have the minister's ear, will once again get the shuffle by the department and that they will not have the opportunity to have their concerns addressed.  I am afraid here that if the minister is not aware of it and some action is not taken, the department could give the shuffle again to these employees and their concerns.  That is my concern here, and I want to make sure that the minister is aware of this since her colleague the Minister of Labour did not follow through on his commitment.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, I will say again to the member that I really take a great deal of concern about his attributing motives.  He does not know himself what happened.  He does not know where the talks and discussions stalled.  He does not know what is in fact going on, and he continues to make accusations out loud and on the record, and it seems like really irresponsible statements being made by the member, who has already attempted to attribute motives and act in a way that is really most unparliamentary.

       Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Mr. Deputy Chair, I just would like to comment on the remarks made by the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid).  When he approached me three years ago, we arranged a meeting with a senior assistant deputy minister, and the head of the union involved.  We were to try to see what could be done, if anything could be done at all, and that process there did not work out.  It did not work out for reasons that could not be overcome.

      I just say to the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid), he has such wonderful comments to put on the record, but you know something, Mr. Deputy Chair, in all the years he has supposedly had concern about this matter, I have made the invitation to him to meet with the assistant deputy minister, if he was really concerned about his constituents, to pursue the matter, and he never has.  All the member for Transcona likes to do is talk about it.  When it comes time to doing work on behalf of his constituents to see if the matter could be dealt with, the member for Transcona is nowhere to be found.

      His record is proven in the case of Workers Compensation as well.  I have made the offer to the member many times to meet with the chair of the board to discuss some specific matters with him, and he never does.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  I would like to remind the honourable members that we are dealing with 4.(j)(2) Other Expenditures, which happens to fall under the Department of Education and Training.

Mr. Reid:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am sorry that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) takes offence to the comments that I made here, but I would have thought that after three years there would have been some progress on this, and I did meet with his director, I believe he said, of Apprenticeship and Training Branch.

      I had meetings with the union representatives at those meetings on at least two occasions.  I had phone calls with the department staff.  I do not know how much more work I as the MLA have to do when it is the minister responsible for the department.  That is why I am asking this Minister of Education‑‑

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.


Point of Order


Hon. Linda McIntosh (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I believe we are here to do Estimates on Education, and I wonder if you could call the members to order and get back to Estimates on Education.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  The honourable minister did not have a point of order, but we are dealing this time with 4.(j)(2) Other Expenditures, under the Apprenticeship program.

* * *

Mr. Reid:  Despite the comments that are made here between the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) and myself, in all seriousness I say, on behalf of the employees of the CN operations in Transcona, that I hope the Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey) will take my comments that I have put to her here this evening seriously; that she and/or her staff will agree to meet with myself and the employee representatives to work out a solution to these concerns; and that we can do it in the very near future.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 4.(j)(2) Other Expenditures $235,800‑‑pass.

      Item 4.(k) Canada‑Manitoba Winnipeg Core Area Renewed Agreement‑‑Employment and Training (1) Grants‑‑zero; (2) Less Recoverable from Urban Affairs‑‑zero.

      Resolution 16.4:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $49,831,500 for Education and Training (Advanced Education and Skills Training), for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March 1994‑‑pass.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Could we have a five‑minute break to bring in new staff?

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  We will take a five‑minute recess to get the staff changed around.


The committee recessed at 10:30 p.m.

After Recess

The committee resumed at 10:42 p.m.


Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  The committee will come to order.  We are now dealing with item 5. Support to Schools (a) Schools Finance (1) Salaries $731,400.

Mr. Plohman:  When we had discussed under Policy this area related to Schools Finance, I had asked the minister for a number of pieces of information that is standard to be provided to the critics when discussing the public schools.  I had asked the minister at that time if she could provide us with a copy of a breakdown of the Schools Grants line.  I realize we are dealing with Schools Finance, and I believe we can go through this line by line, but I wanted to know whether the minister was prepared to provide the information, the breakdown that we had asked for the previous occasion.  I understand that it is over a month ago, during the beginning of the Estimates process.  If the minister has that, I would appreciate it, so we have an opportunity to review it briefly prior to getting to that line in the Estimates.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, I have the information which the member has asked for.  It is more detailed information than is usually provided, but I have it for him, FRAME Report, the 1991‑92 financials, the FRAME Report, 1992‑93 budgets, and the funding of schools for the school year 1993‑94.  The member also asked for a comparison of government share, and I have that information to table also.

Mr. Plohman:  Has the minister provided in the funding of schools '93‑94 an outline of any changes in provisions for financing for the '93‑94 year?  In other words, any change in the financing structure, not just in the dollars but in the rules governing those dollars.

Mrs. Vodrey:  If the member would turn in the funding of schools '93‑94 to page 4 under the highlights, those changes have been outlined for him.  Also, I would say that a great deal of these changes, I would like to point out, come from the recommendations of the advisory committee on ed funding.

Mr. Plohman:  Do the‑‑I am just wondering whether I will go through that line by line.  I want to ask a question about one of the‑‑first of all, I have a number of regulations here that have just been released as of June 2, '93, a regulation in Order‑in‑Council Nos. 451, 450 and 449.  Are these the regulations for the Schools Finance program that was brought in two years ago?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, that area of regulations falls into 16.5(b) under Schools Administration, and what we were asking the member is:  Would he be going line by line or would he be looking to do this as a block of issues?  The difficulty is to make sure that we have the staff available to assist in providing the most comprehensive answers.

Mr. Plohman:  What the minister is saying is that she would like to go line by line in this area so that the proper staff can be at the table.

      Perhaps she can explain the difference in the responsibility between (a) and (d), because there might be some overlap.  If we pass (a) now, when I get to (d), some of the questions I might be asking might fall under (a), and I do not want the minister saying at that time, well, we have passed (a) already so we cannot discuss that.  It seems to me that (a) deals more with the policy behind the actual grant that is indicated in (d).

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, (a) deals with the branch operations; (d) may be the area in which the member will have wider‑ranging questions and we will certainly try and deal with all of his questions at (d).

Mr. Plohman:  Did the minister provide the committee with the information on the independent schools as well in this information that she has provided today?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The funding to independent schools is listed on the bottom third of the sheet which I gave him, Comparison of Government Share.

Mr. Plohman:  But the minister has not given a breakdown of that.  Do you have a breakdown as well for us on a school‑by‑school basis?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, I do have a breakdown which I am prepared to table now on the Private Schools, Instruction & Services support for '93‑94.

Mr. Plohman:  I am glad to see the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) is here again.  Welcome.

      The minister has outlined so it will go line by line, Schools Finance at this point, preparation of policy papers, draft legislation regulations and financial analysis related to the funding of public and independent schools.  I had asked the minister about these regulations that I had numbered before me here and listed and the minister said that falls under the second line, and yet says that the preparation of regulations is done by this section.

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, in terms of the regulations that the member is speaking to, I know he would like to discuss those in relation to funding.  Those regulations as they relate to the funding would best be discussed under 16.5.(d).

Mr. Plohman:  That if fine, except I just want to ask whether these regulations, without getting into too much detail at this time, whether they apply to the Schools Finance Program that was introduced in the '92‑93 year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Could the member give me the numbers of the regulations he is referring to?

Mr. Plohman:  Does the minister want the Orders‑in‑Council?  That is what I listed earlier, Orders‑in‑Council 449, 450 and 451.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, in looking at these regulations, these apply to 16.5.(d), the support to the schools in terms of how the funding to public schools is worked through the formula.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, I think we have to be a little bit flexible at the beginning here, and then we can go into more detail later.  I have a colleague here who wants to ask some questions about a school division in his constituency, and I am not going to pass those lines through before he can ask his questions, if I have a choice.  Otherwise, he has to come back later on, so I hope we can accommodate that.

      The second thing is I was just reading from the minister's outline in the Supplementary Estimates where, under Schools Finance which is (a), it deals with the preparation of regulations, so I assume this branch prepared those regulations. If they prepared them, then they should be the ones to provide some answers on them.  I am asking some questions about that at this particular time.

      I want to know if this particular regulation is prepared to give force to the new Schools Finance Program which the minister keeps referring me to in (d).  That is where the grants are manifested, but I am talking about the preparation behind the regulations.  Now, were these regulations prepared for the Schools Finance Program to give force to that program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the policy development of the regulation falls under 16.5.(d).  In 16.5.(a), the regulation only restates in legal terms the information that is presented in the funding book.

Mr. Plohman:  So the minister is saying that these are the regulations that give effect to the new funding model that was introduced.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, the funding model introduced for the school year '92‑93.

Mr. Plohman:  Can the minister tell me why they are now only being introduced, when it is well into the '93‑94 fiscal year? We have regulations here that just came out, June 2, '93, and I note that they are all retroactive to January 1, 1992.  Is the minister saying she went through the whole previous year without legal authority for the implementation of that new funding formula and model?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in the previous year, all school divisions received a funding booklet.  In that funding booklet, it described to them the application of the new funding formula.

      The regulations simply confirm the information that school divisions have been using from the funding booklet, but these regulations now put into legal language the information that school divisions have had and have been applying.

      In translating the concepts into legal language, it has been a very complex matter and has taken some time.  It has involved the Department of Justice, and that has now been completed, but the actual information contained in the regulations has been available to school divisions beginning in the school year '92‑93.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, I thank the minister for that clarification, but it really was not what I was asking.  I knew that school divisions obviously had something communicated to them in the previous year when this Schools Finance Program was brought in, but it is much more than legal language which the minister found very difficult to put down in words here.  As she said, it was very difficult and took a lot of time.  I can see the regulation is very complex, very long, and, obviously, there was a lot of work put into it.

      But that is not the point.  The fact is it does more than provide legal language.  It provides legal force.  It makes it legal.

      Does the minister agree with that?

      Without the regulations, the actions that she undertook are not in fact legal.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, under The Public Schools Act, the minister has the legal authority to enact regulations, and The Regulations Act allows for two years for retroactivity. So this certainly falls into that time frame, well within the time frame.

Mr. Plohman:  So the minister is saying that for the previous year there were no regulations in place, and so no legal force, and she is now legalizing what was undertaken last year.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I just would like to correct that it is not The Public Schools Act, but rather The Education Administration Act which allows for the minister to make those regulations, and which, in mentioning The Regulations Act, allows for the two years of retroactivity.

      In The Education Administration Act, I point to section 4(3)‑‑I am not sure if the member needs me to read it.  It says: "Notwithstanding The Regulations Act, a regulation made under this Act or The Public Schools Act respecting grants or support payable or to be provided may be made effective retroactively; . . . ."  Then it provides for the two‑year time period. Regulations are, I am informed, always approximately one year subsequent to the release of a funding book.

Mr. Plohman:  The minister said that there were, in the yellow book, some changes to the Schools Finance Program this year.  She pointed out that there were several changes that were listed on page 4.

      Did any of those affect the actual language of the regulation for this year, because this regulation is now applying to two years?  It is applying to the previous year plus this year.  Yet it seems that the department has actually made changes during the second year.  Do these regulations apply to the previous year or to this year or to both?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, last year in the Estimates we provided this yellow funding booklet to the critic at that time.  As I said, regulations follow approximately one year subsequent.  So we have now provided the regulations in line with the yellow book on the ed funding formula which was released last year.

      We have made changes this year which are noted now in the yellow book regarding funding for the school year '93‑94.  The regulations regarding those changes will be brought forward then next year.  As I have said to the member, the regulations are usually approximately one year subsequent.

Mr. Plohman:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the minister is saying that she is bringing in regulations in June that were, in some instances, for an obsolete program, regulations to legalize something that no longer exists.  For example, a lower divisor was used for the calculation of full‑time equivalent instructional units in small rural high schools and sparsely populated school divisions.  When the regulations are drawn up dealing with small high schools and the full‑time equivalent is set out, that no longer applies to this year, so we have a regulation here that is already obsolete.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, again this particular process, as I have said, requires the conceptualization and the ability to speak about the funding formula and in a way that school divisions are able to apply it.  Then the concepts are translated into legal terminology.  This is complex, as the member himself has said, and that is why there is usually a time lag from the actual‑‑from the time that the information is put out to school divisions till the time of the legal regulations. But, as the member said, we are looking to cover what occurred last year, and now we will be making regulations to incorporate any changes which occurred this year.

      I would remind the member that he might like to speak to his colleague the former Minister of Education, the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie).  It was the same process, the same time frame existed when that member's party was in government.

Mr. Plohman:  I thank the minister for that clarification, and we will perhaps have another chance to discuss that at some point.

      Right now I wanted to ask the minister if she had any policy papers on ed finance, any additional information on legislation. I notice that was also part of the functions of the finance section of this department.  Could the minister share with us any information on the latest on policy information dealing with finance?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the highlights or the changes that have been incorporated are already within this particular document.  I can tell the member that I said from the beginning this funding formula was active and dynamic, and the committee on ed finance met this morning, as a matter of fact, to look at any changes for the following year.

Mr. Plohman:  Could the minister provide or indicate to me where in this information I could find the impact of the 2 percent across‑the‑board cut this year on each division?  Will I find that in the FRAME Report as to the percentage increase or decrease for each division as a result of the across‑the‑board 2 percent cut?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the effect of any reductions would be found and discussed in 16.5 (d).

(Mr. Jack Penner, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)

Mr. Plohman:  We can discuss it at that time.  I am asking the minister if she can provide a listing of that.  We may very well get to that tonight, so I would like to get that information now.  That is why I am asking for it.  The 2 percent cut on each division, how that has impacted on each division and the tax increase, the local levy increase that each school division has applied this year.  I understand that some have increased by 15 percent, for example, Kelsey, because they could exceed the cap, and I would also like to know which school divisions were allowed to exceed the cap.

      So we would have the impact of the 2 percent, how it manifested itself in each division, the local levy increase or decrease or whatever it might have been, and which divisions were allowed to exceed the cap.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Again, that information would be covered under 16.5(d) where we will have a chance to look at what the support to school divisions is and also what the effect of the 2 percent cap is.

Mr. Plohman:  Yes, that is where I am going to ask questions about it.  I just want the information now, and I am asking the minister if she can provide it, if she has a listing of this in a handy form, either in a booklet or just on a sheet, so we have that for discussion when we get to (d) in this section.

Mrs. Vodrey:  I do not have that information available at this moment, but I will see the member gets it as quickly as possible.

Mr. Plohman:  Could the minister indicate when she can have that?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As quickly as possible.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, first of all, we are not asking for any really difficult information here.  It is how the 2 percent reduction has manifested itself division by division.  Is that not standard information you would have from the budgets each of the school divisions have submitted months ago?  Has that not been compiled on one sheet?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I understand what the member is asking for, and I have said I will provide him with the information as soon as possible.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, I need something better than that.  It is not too helpful to talk about as soon as possible, because the minister has used that term quite often in these Estimates on previous occasions.

      She was going to have an announcement on boundary review as soon as possible.  She was going to provide more information on Francophone division as soon as possible.  What is it?  What does that mean?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Again, I am endeavouring to get the information for the member, and I will get it as soon as possible.

Mr. Plohman:  Does that mean tonight?

Mrs. Vodrey:  If it is possible, it will be tonight.  If it is not possible for this evening, it will then be tomorrow at the start of the sitting.

Mr. Plohman:  The minister says, possible.  Since she does not have a printer here to make up the forms, would that indicate she believes that she may have these copies in the form that would be convenient to distribute?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I have taken note of the member's request.  Staff is working on it as we are speaking, and I will attempt to give it to the member as soon as possible.

Mr. Plohman:  So the minister is saying they are trying to get it in a form that can be distributed this evening yet.  Is that what the minister is indicating?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I have said that I will distribute it as soon as possible.  If I can arrange to have it available by the end of this evening, I will provide it at the end of this evening. Otherwise, I will provide it at the beginning of the sitting tomorrow.

Mr. Plohman:  I do not have to repeat what information we want again?  Can the minister tell me what she is getting ready for us?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Delighted.  The member has asked for a list by school division of the impact of any changes on schools' funding, and also the impact of the 2 percent.  Perhaps he would like to tell me now, is that exactly what he has requested or is there anything further?

Mr. Plohman:  I am surprised the minister missed a couple of portions of it if I have been so repetitive here as they would like to claim.  What about the cap, those divisions that were allowed to exceed the cap of 2 percent of the special requirement this year as provided for in Bill 16.  Will that be part of that information as well?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As the member checks Hansard, he will see that I did include that in what I said I would provide for him.

Mr. Plohman:  Just now you did not.  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, also does the minister have a compilation of the professional development days proposed for elimination in each division?  Would she have that available?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I have some information for the member on the public sector reduced workweek.  It is not by division.  I will remind the member, according to the bill, that divisions do report that information to the Minister of Labour.  I do have some information.  It is as of June 3, 1993; all divisions have not reported yet; and I understand at least one division may be making an adjustment to what has been originally reported.  I am prepared to table this information so far.

Mr. Plohman:  I thank the minister very much for that information.  I appreciate having a copy of it.

      Would the minister also have a breakout of the number of staff reduced in each division, teachers and support staff?

Mrs. Vodrey:  No, we would not have that information.  They are not required to report that.

Mr. Plohman:  In their budget decisions, would not the school divisions provide that?  For example, in the Kelsey School Division budget, which I have a copy of, which they presented to the minister, they went through a number of areas and gave a lot of detail.  I assume every school division does that on how they are arriving at their final budget.  They go through much detail in how they come to an eight staff reduction in instructional staff at least.  Is that not a standard format for all school divisions?  Do they just do this as they would like, or is there a standard format for them to submit their budgets?

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

Mrs. Vodrey:  The school divisions do not provide individual lists of who they will be employing, and how they will be employing those people.

      They send us, instead, a number of people employed.  We can look at the number of people employed comparatively, to then see if there is any reduction.  But what may look like a reduction now may, in fact, by the time of the fall, not be a reduction.

Mr. Plohman:  The minister gave us a copy of the Public Sector Reduced Work Week listing, and she prefaced that by saying the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) keeps these statistics and so on, but she did table it.  This is not by division.

      Has the minister been able to detect any pattern in those divisions with high mill rates, in the higher mill rates section of the overall comparison with all divisions in the province, that those with higher local mill rates tend to be requiring more days being taken?  Is there any pattern like that, that the minister's staff have noticed, or have been able to detect?

Mrs. Vodrey:  From the information we have at the moment, there does not appear to be a pattern.

Mr. Plohman:  One of the things before we start moving forward here:  Could the minister provide us with an updated break out of the FRAME information for '93‑94, to the extent that it is available?

      I know that these final complete reports are perhaps a little delayed in coming out; for example, we have the '92‑93 report. To what extent does the minister have the '93‑94 information that would compare to the '92‑93?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that we only received the last budget last week, so we are not able to provide that comparison at this time.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, you already have all of the information.  It is a matter of compiling it, and it is all done in an automated way, would it not be, through the computer system?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I understand that the FRAME budget will not be out or available for about a month.  If the member has some very specific information, we could try and get that information for him, but, in total, we would not have the budgets for a month.

Mr. Plohman:  I can see on the various divisions, comparison division by division, that would be the case since they have been coming in.

      Could the minister provide us with a breakdown or breakout of the financial support to public and private schools based on program; in other words, the same format that is used in the FRAME information:  regular program, exceptional program, vocational program, community education and services, school division administration, instructional and pupil support services, student transportation services, operations and maintenance and fiscal services, a breakout of the information.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, what the member is asking for is, again, a lot of the detailed work which would go into the FRAME Report.  As I have explained to him, we would not be able to have that much detailed information for him in the range of areas that he is asking.  It is basically what will be required within the whole report and that report will take approximately a month before it is compiled.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, I just want to take issue with that a bit with the minister.  I can understand, based on information that has come from school divisions in terms of comparisons, but we are talking about the grants that the minister developed in February when she made the funding announcement.  We are not breaking this down by school divisions.  I am talking about overall for the province, regular program, vocational, exceptional and so on, the amount of dollars that the province is spending in each of those areas as compared to the previous year, not by division.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am sorry.  I thought the member was asking division by division.  We can provide him with some macrofigures, but it will not be until we sit again, probably tomorrow or Thursday.

Mr. Plohman:  Can I get that for the private schools as well?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, yes, but when I did table the information he asked for, for independent schools by institution, I believe he will find a lot of the information that he would already like on that sheet.

Mr. Plohman:  This is one kind of information, but again I did not change the nature of my question when I was talking about private schools versus public schools.  It was the global information for each of those categories.  The minister has provided a listing of the total grants for each of the schools, but what I wanted was the same breakout of information by category, by program, for the private schools just as for the public schools, but not private school by private school, overall.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we will make every effort to get that to the member as soon as possible.  We will try to get it to him tomorrow.  We are not able to do that because of the lateness of the hour tonight and the need to be back into Estimates tomorrow, then we will have it for him by Thursday.

Mr. Plohman:  I would like to have this long passed by Thursday, for the minister's information.  So, if she can get that tomorrow, it would be very helpful for the process here.

      Perhaps we can, at this point, move through‑‑

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  5.(a) Schools Finance (1) Salaries $731,400‑‑pass.

Mr. Plohman:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, with the understanding that, if we get through the lines to Schools Grants tonight, when we have the information, there be no limitations placed on the questions about that information, because we are not under Schools Finance.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I understand.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  5.(a)(2) Other Expenditures $482,900‑‑pass.

      5.(b) Schools Administration (1) Salaries $874,200‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $394,200.  Shall the item pass?

Mr. Plohman:  I notice the reference to the responsibility for the policy on French Language Services.  Can the minister give us any update on the activities of the French language governance process that is ongoing at the present time?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am informed that in this particular area the responsibility is to look at which documents, for instance, curricular documents, would be put out in both languages or would be put out in single languages.

      The area which deals with Francophone governance falls under the area of BEF, which we looked at some time ago.  However, I can tell the member that the community meetings are continuing in the area of Francophone governance.  I spoke with Monsieur Monnin today, and the committee is being extremely busy.  They recognize that there is a great deal of information to be provided to the communities, and they are working very hard as a group.

      Monsieur Monnin told me this morning that he expects to have all of the information for registration, considering the July 1 holiday.  When that occurs, he will be giving up to, I understand, about July 6 for all the registrations to have been forwarded to him.  Then he will be looking at the registration.

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Mr. Plohman:  So the minister is saying, then, that all registrations will have been completed by July 6.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, yes.  As I had said in the past, we were looking for that to be completed by June 30, but recognizing the mail with the 1st of July falling in the middle of the week or on a Thursday, Monsieur Monnin had suggested that we make sure that all registrations are in.  So he will be giving until, I understand, approximately July 6.

Mr. Plohman:  Am I to understand there have been some changes with that commission requested by the Francophone community?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I remind the member that we have covered this area, but I am happy to provide him with updated information here.

      One of the questions that had been put forward or of the issues that had been put forward in the beginning was that there be a matter of confidentiality around the registration, and some of the communities had been concerned about a wide number of people having knowledge about whether or not they wished to register their child.  So they had asked for the registration to be seen only by Monsieur Monnin, and that was agreed.

      But then, during the process of the implementation, Monsieur Monnin said that there had been some discussion from the communities.  They were concerned to have then only a single person to view the registration.  So we have made an approach to Elections Manitoba that they would act as impartial scrutineers, and I know that the member's party has agreed and has signed a letter to allow that to happen.  The Liberal Party has also agreed to that.  Elections Manitoba working for the Legislature had to have the support of all three parties.  In doing so, I spoke to Monsieur Monnin this morning to let him know the status and that is the way we will be looking.

Mr. Plohman:  Just briefly, could the minister perhaps undertake to provide a listing of any legislative initiatives under the acts that she is responsible for at the present time at some time in the future, or tomorrow's sitting, if possible?

      One other thing under this section.  I just wanted to ask the minister if she could provide as well a listing of all of the boards and commissions that might be under her responsibility here and the membership of those boards and commissions at the present time.  A handout in that regard would be satisfactory if we want to move on.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I have the information.  I just need to get it copied, so I will hand it out tomorrow at the beginning of the session.

Mr. Plohman:  Thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  5.(b) Schools Administration (2) Other Expenditures $394,200‑‑pass.

      Item 5.(c) Schools Information System (1) Salaries $383,400.

Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, could the minister tell us what exactly will be expected at the end of this year?  I understand that this part of the Schools Information System is to deal with the schools rather than with the students.  So what would we be looking for at the end of the year here?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this project is on schedule to provide Phase I functionality in September 1993.  Phase I of the EIS will correct information on school divisions, schools, courses and subjects throughout Manitoba.  This information will be integrated into existing departmental systems to ensure a consistent basis for decision making and program analysis.

      In September 1993, the department will provide the minister with a status report on the progress of Phase I and will request authority to proceed with Phase II.  Phase II, detailed functional requirements, is planned to be completed in December of 1993, and Phase II will provide information and analysis on student demographic information in K to 12 throughout Manitoba. A committee comprised of superintendents, secretary‑treasurers and principals has been formed to provide advice to the department on the implementation of EIS and to act as a communication vehicle to the field.  The committee is formally named the School Administrative Data Working Group.

Ms. Friesen:  I am not sure I got those dates.  Phase II is September '93 to December '93?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Phase I will be completed in September 1993, and then from September to December they will be looking at the detailed requirements required for Phase II, and those requirements are to be submitted to the minister by December '93.

Ms. Friesen:  Then, from December to the end of the fiscal year, does the minister anticipate that that data will begin to be collected?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Again, we would have to look at what the detailed requirements were when they were submitted in December 1993.  If there were no revisions or changes in that, then we would expect to receive the first data September 1994, but again it would be contingent upon the submission.

Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, are we looking at a 12‑year program here?  That is, are we going to begin by collecting material at the Grade 1 level and then adding to it, or is it the intention to look at the system overall?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  We are not looking at a linear compilation of information; instead, we are looking to compile it more holistically, and we would expect to be completed within a 24‑month period.

Ms. Friesen:  Will reserve schools be included in this, and will private schools be included?

Mrs. Vodrey:  This will not include band schools, and it will not include independent schools.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 5.(c)(1) Salaries $383,400‑‑pass; 5.(c)(2) Other Expenditures $657,000‑‑pass.

      5.(d) Schools Grants:  (1) Operating Grants $573,684,700.

Mr. Reid:  You had me worried there for a minute, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.  Big numbers seem to pass very quickly in the Estimates process and we spend a lot of time on the smaller amounts, at least that has been my experience.

      I would like to ask the minister a few questions about just general policy or requirements of the Department of Education of school boards and divisions.  Can the minister give me an indication on whether or not school divisions must keep a reserve pool of funds available for contingencies or emergencies, and what that percentage might be?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, there is no requirement by the Department of Education and Training.

Mr. Reid:  It was my understanding then, and the minister can correct me if I am wrong, would that only be something that might be advised by the auditors of school division funds?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that a number of auditors do inform their school divisions or request their school divisions to keep a surplus.

Mr. Reid:  Can the minister give me an indication of what might be an advisable amount that the minister's department might be aware of that should be kept as a reserve fund?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, we have not provided advice on that matter to school divisions.

Mr. Reid:  Does the minister's department keep information or have information relating to the reserve funds of the individual school boards or divisions in the province?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, we do have that information, and it has already been provided to the committee.

Mr. Reid:  Maybe the minister can refresh my memory then.  I was not here to hear that portion of it.  Can she give me an indication of what the reserve fund might be for Transcona‑Springfield School Division No. 12?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, what we released were percentages, and we did not release actual amounts relating to the school division's actual dollars in that fund.

Mr. Reid:  Is it possible for the minister to provide a specific percentage, if she has that information available please, by division?

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  The honourable minister, was that to be tabled?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, yes, I will table another copy for the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid), and as he will see, it is not attached to a single division.  We did not look at breaching the confidentiality of those individual divisions. What I have provided is a range of percentages that school divisions have kept as a surplus or reserve fund.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  I would just like to clarify one thing with the minister.  This paper had been tabled at one previous meeting?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, yes, it was tabled for the members.


Point of Order


Mr. Plohman:  On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.  The member was not asking for the same paper to be tabled again.  I told him about it, what he was asking for was a specific percentage for Transcona and the minister did not have to retable an old document on that basis.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  The honourable member did not have a point of order.  The paper was not tabled.  She was only giving information to the member.

* * *

Mr. Reid:  Through you, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, to the minister, this is a long list of percentages on a single sheet of paper that means absolutely nothing to me because there are no division numbers beside it.  So the range goes from 66 percent down to zero with the provincial average at 6.4 percent.  So how this relates to my individual school division is beyond me.  I am not sure, the minister says she cannot release the information even on a percentage basis for the school division.  I do not understand why not.  Maybe she can provide some explanation.  Why is it not public information?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, we discussed this approximately a month ago on the issue of confidentiality and how school divisions individually manage their affairs.  The information that I understand had been released to the media was not information that was compiled by the department nor released by the department.

      There was some information released and I understand‑‑there is some speculation about who actually released that information, but school divisions, again, operated by trustees, would be the ones who would be able to release to the member, particularly in his own school division.  If he wished to know the amount of the surplus retained by his division, then he should approach the school trustees.

      In terms of the paper, I provided the information for the member so he would have the same information as other members. It was just an effort to provide him with the information so that it might be helpful.

Mr. Reid:  Does the Department of Education, the minister's department, keep that statistical information?  Is it provided by the different divisions to the department?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, we do not publish that information.  We do put forward the information that is contained in the FRAME budget.  We receive a variety of information from the school divisions and we do keep some of that information confidential as the school divisions would appreciate and wish us to do.

* (2350)

Mr. Reid:  I do not mean to belabour the point, but if as a member of the public I can go and sit in at the school board meetings in my community and my school board releases that information, as I understand, for the public consumption, it is my understanding that all of the divisions in the province have the same opportunity to do that with the members of the public. If so, this is all on the public record already, so I do not see why the minister says that this is confidential information.  I do not understand, if the school boards are releasing it, why it is not compiled by the department and why it cannot be released as one document here.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the information is the school board's to release.  It is their information, and the member, as he said, may go and approach his own school division and have the figure released by his school division, but we would not be releasing information for all divisions, nor would we be releasing the information for Transcona‑Springfield.

Mr. Reid:  Well I am not sure how the public is better served by not releasing the information that has already been released.  I just thought it would be much simpler to have it compiled by the department and available in one document that would be available here for members of the Legislature to view and do a comparison of the different divisions throughout the province.  I will not belabour that point.  Others may want to ask further questions on that.

      I would like to move to a different question relating to my own school division.  Some letters were sent to the minister at the beginning of this month relating to a particular school in my community, and that is Margaret Underhill School.  I assume that the minister is aware of this correspondence to her, and I hope that staff has brought it to her attention.  Can the minister give me some indication on what would constitute school closure? In this sense, it is my understanding that students from one school are being relocated to another school.  Now, does this constitute a school closure in the truer sense?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As I have said, when this issue has been discussed, in our opinion, this is not a school closure.  The school will still be operating.  As the member knows, there has been a statement of claim filed.  This matter will go before the courts, and so those people named in the statement of claim will be preparing their statement of defence.  With that statement of defence, then that will go before the court.  Therefore, it would really be very inappropriate of me to speak further regarding the information that may be within the statement of defence.

Mr. Reid:  I know that has been used before when there have been other questions that have been asked for matters that could go before the courts.  It is my understanding that the minister was asked a question by the correspondence, several pieces of correspondence, before this matter had gone before the courts, and that the minister had, to the best of my understanding, not replied to the correspondence that is dated the 3rd of June and the 8th of June, it is my understanding, before this matter was presented to the courts.  Has the minister responded to this correspondence?  If so, what indication has she given the parents of the community that have children attending Margaret Underhill School?


Point of Order


Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  I would like to remind all members that under Beauchesne 505:  "Members are expected to refrain from discussing matters that are before the courts or tribunals which are courts of record."

      I am not sure whether the matter that the member has brought forward at this time is, but from what I have heard of the discussion, it is before the courts, so I would ask that we choose the line of questioning very carefully.

* * *

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) speaks about process, and he may know that the whole matter of procedural law is equally as important as the matter of substantive law.  They are both studied separately.  Therefore, the whole process and the substantive issue are both equally important.

      I do not have before me any of the correspondence that the member is referring to, but we certainly have attempted to deal with the situation as possible.  However, I would say that at the moment, as has been said before, this has been a decision by trustees.  Now there is a statement of claim before the courts, and we have been named in that statement of claim.  So we will be looking to provide a statement of defence.

Mr. Plohman:  I am not trying to put the minister on the spot here.  I did not know that the department was named as part of that action.  What I was trying to find out is whether or not the minister had responded to these parents that have written to her letters that were dated prior to that action being taken, and whether or not she had intended to take any action on her department.  Or is the minister going to wait until the court process has concluded and followed its normal course before she intends to respond to the parents?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the member has said that he did not realize that the Department of Education and Training and I as minister have been named in the statement of claim.  That is true.  We will be required to file a statement of defence, and that is what we will be doing.

Mr. Reid:  It is unfortunate that it has to proceed to this point, that something could have been done to resolve it.  It was my understanding that the minister's department was given a fixed period of time to respond within, and that her department did not respond within that period of time before the statement of claim was filed in the courts.  At least that is my understanding of it, and then the minister can correct me if I am wrong on that. That is, I suspect‑‑although I do not know for sure‑‑that maybe that is one of the reasons why the minister's department was named in this statement of claim.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, I hesitate to really make any further comment.  I can tell the member that there was an extremely short period of time, it was less than a 24‑hour period in which we were required to provide an answer.  So now that we have been named in the statement of claim, we really have to look at following the procedural law.

Mr. Reid:  Okay, I thank the minister for that.  I will not press her any further on it at this time since it is before the courts, and I understand her reluctance to comment further since the department is named in it.

      In conclusion, my comments on this that when the matter is resolved the minister will respond to the parents' concerns on this matter.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, again, I as minister and we as a department make every effort to work with Manitobans regarding the issues that they bring forward, so we will look to continue to be working on any number of matters that are brought forward, and we will look at the resolution of this court matter when that is resolved as well.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  (d)(1) Shall the item pass?

Mr. Plohman:  Until we receive the information on the impact of the budget decisions by this government and this minister on all school divisions for this year, which hopefully will be, as the minister has indicated, next day, I wanted to just ask a couple of questions about a specific situation.

      The Kelsey School Division has provided a copy of their budget and have indicated that the reduction they received this year was 7 percent in revenue instead of the 2 percent which is the overall average.  This resulted in them having to make a large number of significant decisions and cuts in their programming and in their services.

      Since the minister is going to have a breakdown of this, I do not have to ask about how many divisions have been impacted in a similar way, because we will probably have an opportunity to do that next time, but I wanted to just ask about a couple of the impacts here and see what the minister's viewpoints are on this.

      One that they mention is a lunchroom fee for each student. In this particular case, 800 eligible students are going to have to pay $8 per month per child, payable in advance, who want their students to stay for lunch at the school.  I find this rather a preposterous additional charge.  I understand why they have had to do it, in order to try and make ends meet along with all the other decisions, but it is just another user fee that parents are having to pay.  When you take eight times 10 months, it is $80, and if you have two or three children, you are starting to deal with another significant cost.

      I want to know from the minister what her view of these kinds of fees are.  Does she see education moving in this direction further, that we are going to see, and that it is quite satisfactory to see, these kinds of additional user fees, or does the minister feel that this should be limited to the extent possible by proper funding from the province?

* (0000)

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, again, we are always concerned about providing the necessary funding for school divisions within, certainly, the amount of money available and with expecting efficiencies that Manitobans have also been asking to have considered.

      This year, there has been, yes, an overall reduction of 2 percent in the global funding, and then school divisions would be presenting what their‑‑according to the formula, how they would receive funding.  Some divisions would have a declining enrollment, and divisions would have a number of factors which may affect how much of that funding available those particular divisions receive.  All divisions were asked to look at efficiencies as well.  They were asked to look at administrative efficiencies, and they were asked to look very carefully at how they spent the money within their divisions.  Then some divisions made some decisions based on how they were able to reduce their administrative function, for instance.

      Again, a great deal would depend on the kinds of decisions that divisions made internally as to whether or not they then wished to have requirements attached to other kinds of services, such as lunchroom services.  So we would have to look at what each school division accomplished within the funding formula and with the amount of money available, and where exactly they were also able to find internally the efficiencies.

Mr. Plohman:  Yes, so the minister is saying that these kinds of user fees are something that are just a necessary result of the squeeze that the school divisions find themselves in this year. Is that correct?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I was saying that school divisions were looking internally at their own efficiencies relating to how they run their divisions administratively, how they are dealing with salaries and other matters, and then divisions, depending upon, in some cases, their will to look at those particular areas, they would then look to see if they needed to make any other adjustments, such as the one the member has described.  But again, that adjustment would be, I suppose, a step following whether or not divisions had been able to find other efficiencies, whether there was a will to find other efficiencies within their school division.

Mr. Plohman:  Does the minister have any policy on the extent to which these kinds of user fees are applied?

Mrs. Vodrey:  These are decisions that individual school boards would be making.  Individual elected trustees would be looking at what they wished to do, in this case as, obviously, the trustees of the Kelsey School Division have decided.

Mr. Plohman:  The minister has no concern about user fees in this regard?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Again, I have expressed concern and interest to all school divisions that they not affect the well‑being of students, that they protect the integrity of the classroom, and in order for them to do that, I have asked that they look to administrative efficiencies and that they have looked at all ways available to them to control the actual costs while maintaining that integrity.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, I just mentioned this because it seemed to me that a cost of $160 per year for two children, added to all of the other costs that a person, say, on social assistance would be faced with would find this very difficult.  I am asking this in light of the impact that this would have on very low‑income families as to how they will be able to cope with this and whether their children will in fact be able to have these services, or whether this is going to prevent certain families from indeed accessing these services.  That is the context with which I asked the question of the minister and her own views on this kind of thing in terms of its impact on low‑income families.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, the member though has used a specific school division.  He has used Kelsey School Division.  I would like to just point out to him that through the adjustments in the ed funding formula, Kelsey School Division received almost $90,000 more through the Northern Allowances in '93‑94.  Though they were a school division who is in the second year of the phase‑in, that would account for some of the changes in their funding.  But in recognition of the needs of some school divisions, we did adjust the funding formula on the recommendation of the ed finance advisory committee, and it certainly worked to benefit Kelsey School Division.  So if as a result of that additional $90,000, Kelsey School Division determined that it would also apply some other kinds of fees, that was strictly the decision of the trustees of Kelsey School Division.

      Other matters for the member to consider when he looks at the funding for Kelsey is that their enrollment did decline, that they did limit the amount of their taxation.  They did not increase to the total amount, and that the mill rate in Kelsey School Division is below the provincial average.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, the information I had was that they used $125,000 from the reserve, which left only $75,000 in the reserve, which is very small for a division of a $10‑million budget, and they increased their special levy by 15 percent, not 2 percent.  Now maybe this changed from the time they submitted this particular document.  I was not going to get into those figures until we had the overall figures by division tomorrow, but since the minister mentions this, it seems to me that they have gone much higher than a 2 percent cap.  They were allowed, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, to exceed the cap because of the phase‑in.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, some of the information that the member is putting on the record about Kelsey School Division does not really jibe with the information that we have with Kelsey School Division, particularly in the area of the use of the surplus.

* (0010)

Mr. Plohman:  It is possible that they have reconsidered maybe when there were some adjustments made later on by the department.  This is one of the original documents dated the 24th of March of '93.  So things might have changed since then, and that is why I am asking the minister about it.

      We expect that we get the most up‑to‑date and accurate information from the minister and her staff in Estimates, not necessarily from documents that we have been sent various times throughout the year.

      One other question about the reserve, though, does the minister have a minimum reserve percentage that is required for school divisions? (interjection) Did you ask that?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Deputy Chair, yes, that question was asked, and, no, the department does not have a minimum percentage or a recommended percentage of reserve.

Mr. Plohman:  It would mean that they could go to zero; of course, I do not think that would be wise management for any school division.  So it seems to me that, at least in practice, whether it is a policy or whatever, it certainly would be something that the minister and staff would want to support in school divisions, that there would be some kind of reserve that is in place to deal with emergency situations.  Does the minister agree with that?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Our policy is that there not be a deficit, and then beyond that school divisions will look at managing their money and their affairs according to their division.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  The hour being after twelve o'clock, what is the will of the committee?

An Honourable Member:  Committee rise.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Committee rise.




* (2000)

Madam Chairperson (Louise Dacquay):  Order, please.  Will the Committee of Supply please come to order.  This section of the Committee of Supply is dealing with the Estimates of the Department of Health.  We are on item 3. Continuing Care Programs, page 79 of the Estimates manual.

      Would the minister's staff please enter the Chamber.

      Item 3.(a) Administration (1) Salaries $344,800.  Shall the item pass?

* (2005)

Ms. Avis Gray (Crescentwood):  Madam Chairperson, when we left off at five o'clock we left off with a question.  I can repeat the question if the minister wants.

      The minister has given us the projected number of hours per month of direct service workers who will be providing service for '93‑94.  What I am attempting to find out is, with the, as he puts it, $4 million extra in the Home Care Assistance budget, and it may not be in this line of Direct Service Workers, if he could sort of let us know where that money is.  Is it in the line of Direct Service Workers because of projected increases in some areas such as HCA?  On the other hand, we see decreases in the HSW classification.

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  That is in essence where the shifts are taking place.

Ms. Gray:  Can the Minister of Health tell us, with the increase in hours per month of home care attendants from the 202,975 of '92‑93 to a projected 225,756 for '93‑94, what will the increase in cost be of that projection?

Mr. Orchard:  I suppose we can provide that information, but there are a couple of things I want to caution my honourable friend about.  I think we are trying to attempt some kind of a process where this $63 million is not enough or is not real or whatever.  I do not know where we are coming from.

      The concept that I am trying to indicate to my honourable friend is, in all areas of the department, we made difficult decisions wherein we removed budget, hospitals, Children's Dental Health Program, in all of those areas we reduced the budget.  In this area, we changed the way we provided certain services by adding in there contributions from the user in some areas, et cetera.  Instead of removing those dollars from the budget, they are put back in to purchase a higher level of services so that the Continuing Care budget in total is going to go up not down, despite budgetary reductions.

      We are projecting that is the level of activity.  If the demand does not justify and warrant that expenditure, it will not be expended.  If the demand is more, then we have some problems coming up.  The best we can do each year is to give projections to the best of our ability, and that is what I have attempted to provide to my honourable friend tonight.

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister clarify, is the budget in the Home Care Assistance increasing some $1 million or $4 million?

Mr. Orchard:  If my honourable friend goes to page 57, my honourable friend will see a $1 million increase.  If my honourable friend understands the explanation of comparable expenditures for comparable program last year to this year, with the change in decision this year, we removed some $4 million in expenditures on an annualized basis with the changes we made.  We did not extract that from the budget and have a net decrease of minus $3 million.  We reinvested those dollars to come up with the $4 million in annualizations of reductions for the program changes plus additional resource to the program.

      In other words, we are not going to be expending resource we spent last year on the free provision completely for ostomists of ostomy supplies.  We are not going to be providing free supplies and equipment under $50.  We are not going to be providing free of charge housekeeping services and meal preparations for sole‑requirement candidates.  Rather than reducing the budget by those decisions, we increased the budget by the net effect of removing them to buy, what I attempt to call for lack of a more understandable term, more medical needs in the community, so the program is increasing in terms of the amount of medical care components that we can provide.

Ms. Gray:  Under the Home Care Assistance detail then, under Supplies and Services, Estimates of Expenditure, $13,996,700, does that line include what was once a provision of all of the Home Care Equipment?

Mr. Orchard:  No, that is not.

* (2010)

Ms. Gray:  What exactly is the Supplies and Services?  Where in this budget does the Home Care Equipment line fall under?

Mr. Orchard:  21.3(b)(2) is the answer to the last question.  The answer to the first question is VON, Community Therapy Services and FOKUS groups.

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister tell us, out of 21.3(b)(2), what the actual increase is in that line for this year, given that you know you are going to be receiving revenue, and you are not going to be expending the same amount as last year because of your change in policy for Home Care Equipment?

Mr. Orchard:  There is a reduction in the Supplies and Services line, but there is a modest increase in the capital line by roughly $175,000, and there is a Short Term Emergency Program provision of $610,000.

Ms. Gray:  In the Home Care Assistance detail, where the minister has indicated that when you look at the figures presented there is about a one‑million‑dollar increase year over budgeted year over budgeted year.  That would be a provincial number.  Were there any under or over expenditures, variations, within the regions?

Mr. Orchard:  At the time of print, the projected cash‑flow expenditure was over the budget, and it represented at the time that we developed the Estimates, the $62,000, $81,000, as I have indicated, and that was over our projected budget at the time that we developed the Estimates timetable.  I do not know whether we have a regional sensitivity of that.

Madam Chairperson:  1.(a) Administration (1) Salaries.

Ms. Gray:  With the increase of $1 million in the Home Care Assistance budget, as the minister has indicated, and I will use the figure $1 million as opposed to $4 million, I am assuming that the minister is fairly pleased that he was not only able to maintain the Home Care base budget, but to see a bit of an increase.  Would that be a fair assumption on my part?

Mr. Orchard:  I think that one might reasonably conclude as posed.

Ms. Gray:  I am just wondering why in the 1993 budget, the written budget that was presented in the House, that it states: "In the Department of Health, we were able to maintain the Home Care base budget . . . ."

      Then it goes on to talk about conversion of personal care homes, et cetera.  Why in that budget statement would it not have talked about an increase?  I cannot imagine the minister, if being able to give an increase in a particular line, would not take every opportunity to let Manitobans know about that.

Mr. Orchard:  They did not accept my phraseology on the Home Care Program for preparation of the budget speech, which would have touted its success.

Ms. Gray:  So the minister is saying that in the 1993 Manitoba budget and the information that Manitobans were given at that time that in fact the statement that the department was "able to maintain the Home Care base budget," although that is true, actually what he is saying is there is an increase, so this is not quite accurate in terms of the budget.  Is that correct?

Mr. Orchard: There was a famous politician once in Ottawa who said, what is a million?  I think he went on to greater fame.  I shall not profess to ever emulate that kind of phraseology.

* (2015)

      But, in essence, if one looks year over year, print to print, you see the bottom‑line figure going up from $67,894,700 last year to $68,325,700.  Now, that is a variety of‑‑there is a variety.  The short‑term emergency program at 609 is lottery funded, at 609, hence, although it will be expended in terms of commitment towards the Continuing Care Program.

      The accurate reflection of tax‑dollar commitment is from 67.9, rounded figures, to 68.3, which is roughly a $400,000 increase year over year.  A major component of that is, however, the Home Care Assistance program which is up by a million dollars.  But in terms of the total program, I think the statement in the budget is accurate and, I think, was a statement that even in these difficult times we have maintained this program although we are facing decreases in a number of other program areas across government, including in this ministry.

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Madam Chairperson, I cannot see how the government can help but maintain the levels in the Home Care Program, considering the major cutbacks to institutional programs and the commitment in the minister's reform plan of last May that programs will be put in place and maintained in order to ensure that service is provided to those who require it in the community, in order to undertake the requirements of health care with respect to not only the government's commitment but our need for health care in general and its evolution.

      The minister indicated he is still involved in terms of negotiations with the VONs with respect to the VON service.  We have been given the figures which indicate there is still a significant role for the VONs to play in the home care system. Can the minister outline if there are any changes proposed with respect to the kind of care offered by VONs in the future in the home care system?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, I want to take my honourable friend back to my opening remarks.  I want to take him, because my honourable friend, I think, is attempting to make the case that every time a service or a bed closure occurs in an acute care hospital, there has to be an alternate service created somewhere in the system to replace the service deliveries in the hospital.

      I want to refer my honourable friend to a direct quote from the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation and the study that I released and my honourable friend has which was entitled An Assessment of How Efficiently Manitoba's Major Hospitals Discharge Their Patients, commonly known as the Efficiency Study, from January of this year.  Here is the quote. "We estimate that a significant proportion of the days currently invested in treating acute care patients could be eliminated without decreasing access to hospital care."

* (2020)

      The second quote that I want to give from the same report to my honourable friend begins as such:  "The hospital system appears to have the capacity to handle more patients or to absorb a sizeable number of bed closures without rationing access to hospital care.  The hospitals and the government have tended to assume that every bed closed should be replaced by another type of service, possibly less intense and less expensive, but nevertheless a replacement.  These data suggest that at least some of the bed closures could be accommodated simply through more effective treatment of patients in available beds."

      It is fair to say that as we speak, the system is doing exactly as that January report indicated it could do.  The retirement from service of a number of beds at our two teaching hospitals was accompanied by a number of bed openings at Concordia and additional beds at Municipal and additional beds at Deer Lodge.  In addition to that, there is no question, and I am informed that if one were to redo the data‑‑and we can get into this during the hospital debate when we have staff here‑‑but apparently the length‑of‑stay statistics on those programs continue to improve, which indicates the need for fewer acute care beds in service.

      I think that is the process that we have discussed on a number of occasions in Question Period and Estimates, with the most recent announcement of closures of surgical beds at St. Boniface Hospital later on this fall.  That is done through a better and more effective administration of the surgical program in that facility.  It does not mean that with every bed there had to be a replacement service somewhere in the system.

      I think my honourable friend has to get that into his mind and peel away the philosophical and rhetorical approach, because I am not attempting to put any political connotation behind the report done by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation.  They have no political agenda.  They only have a science agenda to try and determine what policy, what change directions are achievable and with what sort of expectations as to what happens in the system as you shift the system.  Their conclusion, and it is an accurate conclusion, is happening across the length and breadth of Canada.

      I will give my honourable friend an example, and apparently this is not unique, but it is an example out of Ontario where I think a year and a half ago they went through very significant bed closures in Toronto, I guess they call it metropolitan Toronto.  In anticipation of that, they provided additional funding to the home care program equivalent in Ontario.  To their dismay, they did not access that program with this reduction in beds.

      It is still, I guess, a bit of a quandary as to why that did not happen, but I suggest there is some intelligence why this did not happen in Toronto based on the analysis that the Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation did in Manitoba.  Those circumstances in Manitoba that the Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation concluded, as I just quoted to my honourable friend, have application right across Canada.  That is where the system is moving.  That is where the system will continue to move, and we are going to see a significantly downsized acute care hospital system in Canada two and three years from now, significantly downsized.

      I mean one only has to look toward Saskatchewan, and I will have to dig it up when we get into the debate in hospitals.  They are analyzing their system‑wide needs on acute care beds, and they conclude that it is significantly below where they are now. I do not say that politically, to say that Saskatchewan is doing something wrong because they are an NDP government.  That is not the case.

      Saskatchewan is realistically attempting to tailor their budget and their financial commitments to meet health care needs in Saskatchewan, just the same as we are in Manitoba.  In Saskatchewan that meant that 52 acute care hospitals outside of the two major centres of Regina and Saskatoon will not receive funding as acute care hospitals at the end of this fiscal year. What has not emerged completely‑‑although I have some recent correspondence from Saskatchewan in terms of what will replace those acute care hospitals and the budget and what services will be provided in those respective communities.  They, no doubt, are working in that regard.  There is a shift, and each time that you can shift and retire from service through more effective utilization of that bed, an acute care bed, and all the costs associated with maintaining that acute care bed, you have dollars to do any number of things, including reinvestment, if it is appropriate to reinvest those dollars in other parts of the health care system, or to level, as we have done this year, the demand on the taxpayers of the health care budget, which has been growing double digit or better for the last 20 years.

* (2025)

      Again, I point out to my honourable friend that in few provinces are there dissimilar budgeting exercises going on.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, at some of the meetings of the minister's reform group that I attended, two images come to mind that have been presented for the future of home care.  One is the role of the LPN.  I know there was a previous discussion with respect to this, but the role of the LPN is presented as a possibility for some future direction or involvement in home care that may not be existing today.  That is certainly the impression I got.  The second that I get is the role of Ten Ten Sinclair, with respect to continuing care home care.

      I am wondering if the minister might comment about both of those issues, that is the role of the LPN and the role of Ten Ten Sinclair.

Mr. Orchard:  Well, I think I would be repeating a lot of things that I said this afternoon in terms of the LPN issue.  My honourable friend will know from the statistics that I provided this afternoon that we are anticipating a constant role for the LPN within this budgetary year as near as we can project.

      Certainly, we see the future opportunity expanding in terms of LPN services.  It is not in dissimilar service delivery areas that they are currently involved in, in the community‑based care.

      Secondly, there is the issue of long‑term care staffing.  As we indicated this afternoon, I believe it was Central Park Lodge that reconfigured their staffing pattern which saw some fairly substantial downsizing of the R.N. complement and hiring of LPNs.  That has not been the case in a number of acute care institutions, however, St. Boniface being the most recent one, but in the Personal Care Home division, I think there is opportunity there.  That opportunity will be exercised later this calendar year as the 240 beds in the two facilities in the northeast quadrant of the city of Winnipeg come into service and accept residents into their respective institutions.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, my second question was with respect to Ten Ten Sinclair.  Now, I recognize the kind of facility Ten Ten is, but I have seen it demonstrated on the overhead charts that are shown as an example of where continuing care and/or community care can evolve towards.  I am wondering what the minister or the ministry's plans are with respect to Ten Ten and how it will perform its function in the future.

* (2030)

Mr. Orchard:  I think, maybe, my honourable friend might be aware that I think it was last year that we had some increased service purchase within Ten Ten Sinclair and the FOKUS cluster housing.

Mr. Chomiak:  Yes, I am aware of that.  Can the minister tell me what the plans are with respect to the future in terms of Ten Ten Sinclair?

Mr. Orchard:  I would not anticipate their opportunity to be a provider of service to the ministry to change.

Mr. Chomiak:  I will pursue this a little further under the appropriate appropriation in terms of costing.

      Respite care is an area that I continually hear concerns raised about, and I had asked the minister earlier in the afternoon about respite care.  The minister said that, as I understand it, it was confined to a service provided by the hospitals, but I do get the impression that, given the demands that are going to be placed on people in the community, respite care will require more of an infusion of assistance than at present.

      One of the reasons I can state that is it was also a consideration that was raised at least at one of the reform meetings that I attended that some thought should or could be given toward looking at respite care.

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, I do not know whether my honourable friend heard as he alleges that one of the reform meetings indicated we were going to facilitate respite care in our hospitals.  If he heard that, that would have been an inappropriate state of direction.  I believe my honourable friend might have heard, however, that we are pursuing increased opportunities in respite care in our Personal Care Home program, which I indicated earlier this afternoon that I would be prepared to discuss when we have reached that line and I have staff here.

Mr. Chomiak:  Let me ask about the issue then of family relief and providing assistance to family members who obviously provide service and fill a gap for home care service:  Is there any expansion or any extension being contemplated with respect to expanding family relief programs as offered by Home Care?  Can the minister give me any indication of the present statistical breakdown of the amount of family relief service that is offered by Home Care?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, that is in essence what respite care is, and that is in essence the area of program that we are seeking increased opportunities with.  As I indicated to my honourable friend, I will provide the areas of increased opportunity as soon as I can have that information available, and probably we can deal with it if my honourable friend wishes at the Personal Care Home line.

Mr. Chomiak:  I am reading from a document entitled Policy Guidelines, Continuing Care, Province of Manitoba.  It is undated, but there is a statement that I wish the minister to comment on, and that is whether or not this has changed.  The statement is:  Needs to be met by home care consists of those services which can be provided to fill the gap between what the person needs and what services can be performed by the individual and family members can themselves perform.

      Is that particular statement still a working philosophy of the Continuing Care branch?

Mr. Orchard:  Yes, Madam Chair.

Mr. Chomiak:  Is there any statistical breakdown of waiting lists with respect to obtaining home care, by region or otherwise?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, I do not think there is such a thing as a waiting list in the Home Care Program.  There is in the Personal Care Home program.  Needs are assessed and are provided according to assessed needs within the regional budgets.  As such, there is not a waiting list; there may be a temporary delay until we can arrange the appropriate service providers in their availability to someone who has been assessed as in need of continuing care.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, is this a problem in the ministry, and is there a concern or any kind of an effort presently underway in order to reduce those periods of time, temporary delays, while individuals wait to receive home care?

Mr. Orchard:  That has always been an issue that we attempt to achieve the quickest placement of service possible, and it is one of constant review and focused opportunity for improvement.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister tell us what is the time period for people to wait for their individual situation to be referred by Home Care, particularly in the city?  I know there was a concern a number of years ago that the delay in case co‑ordinators being able to go out and do assessments seemed to be quite a bit longer than what was occurring in the rural areas.  I am wondering if there has been a change in that.

Mr. Orchard:  I am informed that the assessment time frame from the time it is asked for until it arrives can be from a couple of days upwards of several weeks, but more often towards the lower end of that time frame.  Three weeks is an outside time that it may take to get an assessment.

Ms. Gray:  I know we asked the minister and he said he would provide the information‑‑he may just not have it available this evening‑‑was he able to find out the average caseload for case co‑ordinators?

Mr. Orchard:  We will attempt to have that tomorrow.

Madam Chairperson:  3.(a) Administration (1) Salaries $344,800‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $139,700‑‑pass.

      3.(b) Home Care (1) Salaries $1,173,200‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $3,303,100‑‑pass; (3) Home Care Assistance $63,187,500‑‑pass; (4) External Agencies $1,271,500‑‑pass; (5) Less:  Recoverable from Other Appropriations $609,600‑‑pass.

      3.(c) Long Term Care (1) Salaries.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, I am wondering if the minister can provide us with some details with respect to the fee increases that are presently being brought into effect at the long‑term care facilities, at the personal care homes, and if the minister can outline for us what the threshold levels are with respect to the per diems

Mr. Orchard:  As discussed earlier in the Estimates, and as well on a number of occasions during Question Period, I will give my honourable friend the general principles behind the change in per diem contribution that we are asking in this budget cycle.  I will give my honourable friend the commitment that as soon as we have the details, they will be shared with my honourable friend, because I doubt we will be out of Estimates before that happens. We can revert back and have a debate around them because I am always cognizant of advice that I might receive on the issue.

* (2040)

      We based the decision to put an increased contribution on the per diem from $26.50 as it currently stands to a maximum of $46 per day with a couple of underpinning principles, first of all, that the individual who is the panelled resident in a personal care home has the ability to pay, and the second principle that we put behind that budgetary decision is that should the individual who is a panelled resident have a spouse living independently in the community, we would not insist on the additional contributions above $26.50 to a maximum of $46 per day if those contributions would compromise the spouse who is living independently to do just that, to live independently.

      I will tell my honourable friend where the discussion is at. We have had a lot of discussion back and forth within the ministry and within government to try and find that reasonable level of income for the independent living spouse.  For an individual who has no partner living independently in the community, no spouse living independently in the community, the issue has been relatively straightforward, I would say.  It is based on income, and naturally there is a gradient by which incremental per diems are charged if the income falls within an increasing income bracket that the individual may fall in.  For the individual circumstance with no spouse in the community, it is relatively straightforward.

      I think my honourable friend would understand that there are circumstances that can vary the amount of income that one should remain with to maintain independent living, a circumstance, whether it be in a house or an apartment, and those two living areas can make a difference.  I mean, a house can be more expensive than an apartment, and we are very much trying to establish a level which is appropriate given the variability of what we anticipate to be variability of living circumstances of spouses in the community and certainly varying circumstances, I think my honourable friend can appreciate of, say, the city of Winnipeg circumstances versus the circumstances of someone who may live in one of our smaller rural communities.

      I mean, clearly, you know, an individual who may live in a small community such as Darlingford or Miami, where I live, often a very comfortable, modest home has virtually no property taxes, for instance.  The property tax would be $500 or $600.  That would not be the case for that same individual living independently with the same modest accommodations in the city of Winnipeg.  The combined tax bill would be quite a bit higher, and we have to try and craft a guideline which is fair, given those variable circumstances.  That process we expect we will conclude in the very near future and provide the communication to the personal care home administrators who will administer the income testing for the increased per diems.

      As a process to safeguard the introduction of the new fees, we are anticipating the set‑up of an appeal mechanism, and the appeal mechanism that we are contemplating is to the Manitoba Health Board, where we have a number of individuals with pretty substantial backgrounds professionally and certainly with a good sense and feeling of what the intent of these new charges are so that they can make a fair assessment on an appeal basis of someone who believes that we have not met the basic criteria of meeting ability to pay and of making sure that where, in the case of an independent living spouse in the community, we have not compromised that ability to live independently.  So we know probably in the first little while that there will be, as people get accustomed to the new system, there may well be a number of appeals.

      I will tell my honourable friend that I have had a number of individuals either phone my home or ask me in public, at public meetings, what does this mean?  I will tell my honourable friend where most of the concerns come from.  They are not concerns of sons or daughters necessarily whose mother or father has lost their partner through an earlier death and are living in a personal care home.  They are not as concerned about the process.  The concern is coming from spouses who are living independently in the community, and they make the very important case that they are barely making ends meet, et cetera, and is often the case.  I can understand that.  The automatic assumption is that it is going up $46.  I mean, that is sort of in the communication.

      You cannot help how a given program change is carried, even though I have been careful to explain that.  With all due respect, I think my honourable friends in questioning have been careful in trying to not say that everybody is going to pay $46. But that is the message that has tended to get out.

      When I explain that it is only on ability to pay and not compromising the independent living status, there is a great deal of relief around that.  They are willing to do their fair share by and large.  When they have expressed concerns and want to know what is happening, when they understand the general principles that I have outlined here tonight, they are comfortable with that.

      If they can afford to pay a little more, they are prepared to.  But they were not prepared, and I can understand that, to see their independent living be compromised by a per diem that would have required them to not be able to maintain their independent residence.

* (2050)

      That aside, I want to indicate to my honourable friend that this is another one of those issues, and I have indicated this to him in previous questions, where we attempted to find out what were the cost recoveries, what were the per diem charges as you went province by province across Canada.  There is a significant amount of variability.

      I think at $26.50, we were certainly at the bottom end of the scale across Canada.  Interestingly enough, and I do not completely understand Atlantic Canada's approach, but in Atlantic Canada the charges could be upwards of $120 per day, or $118 sticks in my mind, were the figures we had as of three or four months ago, or six months ago when we were doing the budget preparations.

      Ontario had a maximum for the provision of single‑room personal care home of $46.  So we chose to tailor our maximum to where Ontario was currently.  Other provinces to the west, some were close to, all of them were, no, I should not say all of them, but it appears as if every province is considering increasing the per diems on this program, and I believe all of them are trying to do it on the basis of an ability to pay, so that they can relieve the pressure on the general tax base for providing these services.

      Let me also indicate to my honourable friend that we understand that there are circumstances where some individuals are not going to be overly enthralled with paying an extra per diem cost, et cetera.  But in today's day and age with the financial pressures that government faces, this was one area of policy change in terms of the per diems that I felt quite justified in recommending to Treasury Board as one of the options this year.

      The alternatives were that we had to find, within the budgetary goals that we had to attempt to adhere to in Health care, those resources elsewhere.  They may well have had to come out of the hospital budget, if we did not access increased per diems here, or we might not have been able to increase the Continuing Care budget to the extent we did.  We might have had to extract those savings that we talked about over the last couple, three hours.  We might have had to make more difficult decisions like the Children's Dental Health Program.

      When we advanced the principle of ability to pay for someone whose entire care with the exception of some amenities are covered‑‑shelter, laundry, pharmaceuticals, meals, personal care, nursing care, medical care are all provided to residents of personal care homes‑‑I did not think it inappropriate in this day and age to ask those residents of personal care homes of those needs being met by the taxpayers if they had the ability to pay. Say they had Canada Pension Plan or say they had other private pension plans from their private career‑‑to ask for a portion of those to be contributed towards the care.

      Our care costs in personal care homes are growing because of a couple of factors‑‑heavier care requirements of residents.  I think one can understand that as you view the average age of admission going up to I think above 85 now, the care requirements are quite substantial.  Where we have capital costs, of course, where we have renewed personal care homes, those add to the cost of the program.

      I did not think that it was an unfair principle to advance in these times of financial constraint that those with ability to pay ought to contribute more towards the cost of their care, not the entire cost, but more towards the cost of their care so that we did not have to either borrow against the future with an increased deficit or find other areas of reduction within the health care program to curtail in some other areas the department service delivery capability or, more importantly, to have to go to every taxpayer in Manitoba, some of whom clearly do not have the ability to pay more taxes, and ask them to contribute towards the cost of care where some individuals, clearly, had the additional financial capacity to contribute beyond $26.50 and possibly as high as $46 per day for personal care home needs being met.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister outline for us how much revenue will be generated by these increased costs?

Mr. Orchard:  We do not know what this will mean to the personal care home budgets, and we do not know because we have never approached the issue on ability to pay before.  We made an estimate, and the estimate that we made was that it would amount to $6 million of increased per diems, anything above $26.50 to the maximum of $46.  However, we will not know whether that estimate is accurate until after the administrators of the personal care homes have gone through their assessment of their residents in care.

      We arrived at the $6 million by trying to do a census Canada extrapolation of the number of individuals who are receiving Canada Pension Plan at different age gradients and tried to sensitize those as best we could to the age gradient in our personal care homes.  That does not necessarily mean that we have a consistent estimate there.  Well, one simply does not know‑‑and I think my honourable friend can appreciate that‑‑that you do not know what sort of incomes that residents have until you start asking for the means testing on the ability to pay, but the best estimate we could come up with in terms of advancing the option was some $6 million.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, what will be happening to this‑‑if the figure is $6 million or I appreciate that it is a guesstimate‑‑$6 million increased revenue to the department be earmarked for?

Mr. Orchard:  Let me explain the current process so my honourable friend understands what will happen personal care home by personal care home.

      Currently, right now, every resident of a personal care home pays $26.50 per day.  That is based on minimum income figures of Old Age security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and leaving the resident with a monthly disposable income for personal amenities.  That $26.50 the ministry does not see.  It remains with the personal care homes and after their global budgets are established based on the level of care and other factors used to determine their budgets, the $26.50 per day per resident is deducted from their global budget.  The province never sees those dollars.

      The same circumstance will occur with the assessment of the increased per diems on ability to pay.  After the original assessment, whatever the additional revenues from the per diems are will be deducted from the global payment of each individual personal care home.  In that way, it will be reflected in the long‑term care budget as providing probably more capacity in long‑term care, more personal care home capacity, with relatively stable and possibly decreasing taxpayer resources.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, I do understand how the system works, but I thank the minister for that explanation in any event.

      The result therefore, the minister is stating that if the figure, and we will use for the sake of the argument the figure of $6 million, presumably $6 million less globally will be provided; $6 million less globally provided centrally from provincial treasury to personal care homes.  The minister is saying that that $6 million will be used to increase other programs or other services or other capacity of long‑term care?

Mr. Orchard:  Let us go to 21.7(f) Personal Care Home program. It would appear as if we are anticipating our $6 million revenue to make‑‑we were anticipating a level program of expenditure in our Personal Care Home area and the $6 million anticipated revenue from additional charges is reducing the demand on the taxpayers to support the Personal Care Home program.

* (2100)

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, the minister correctly stated that this ability to pay is a significant departure from past practice with respect to establishing the rates that residents pay at personal care homes.

      I appreciate the minister indicated earlier that he would be providing details of this breakdown at some point in the near future, but I am wondering if the minister has at this point any idea of the threshold levels at which‑‑I presume the minimum will still maintain itself at the threshold level of Old Age Pension, Guaranteed Income Supplement and provincial supplement plus the goods and services tax rebate.

      Can the minister give us an idea of what the thresholds will be roughly with respect to the maximum?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, that is exactly the exercise we are going through now, and hopefully we have those figures determined, and hopefully we are still in the Estimates of Health so I can share them with my honourable friend and receive the wisdom of his comments.

Mr. Chomiak:  Can the minister indicate whether or not in the reform document that the minister tabled last May there was any mention of the fact that as part of the minister's health reform, residents at personal care homes would now be charged based on their ability to pay?

Mr. Orchard:  No, Madam Chairperson, that was not stated in the reform document for the very reason that the budgetary circumstances, and I can go through it again with my honourable friend if he wishes, the budgetary circumstances that faced this province changed and changed very significantly from May 14, 1992, until today.

      Part of that change was an in‑year reduction in federal support of funding of $120 million.  That was built into the base of this year's budget preparation plus, and I believe my memory serves me correctly that after the reductions of transfer, based on the Ontario economy being softer than what the federal government had anticipated in‑‑let us go back to roughly January 1 of 1992, when we prepared last year's budget in the year in which we tabled the Health Reform document.  Subsequent to that, the census calculation removed another, I believe, $70 million from this year's funding.  In ensuing years we are going to have to gradually pay back the overpayment from the last several years.

      In one year alone, base‑line funding, federal government transfer payments‑‑and I am not blaming the federal government, the same thing would have happened probably with a Liberal government or any other kind of government you might have in Ottawa‑‑they were providing $200 million less resource to Manitoba to carry out a series of programs, not the least of which is Health.  When we were faced with that kind of very serious financial straitjacket circumstances, we had to really start exploring areas that we had not contemplated as early as six or seven months prior.

      In terms of the personal care home charges, no.  I tell my honourable friend that in January to May of 1992, when we were diligently working on the preparation of the Health Reform document, there was no contemplation of increase in the per diems in personal care homes.  That was a circumstance that we advanced given significantly changed financial circumstances.

      I simply say to my honourable friend, I have not heard yet‑‑but, of course, there is lots of time in Estimates yet‑‑whether my honourable friend believes that this is an inappropriate thing to do.  I know my honourable friend is seeking information.  I am providing my honourable friend with as much information as possible.

      I would hope that my honourable friend, during the course of these Estimates, would take the time to indicate whether the party he represents is in agreement or disagreement with this change.  If in agreement, fine, I accept that.  I would look forward to any suggestions my honourable friend might have.  I am very genuine here, because in past times the member for The Maples has provided suggestions which were most helpful when we had been changing programs.

      If my honourable friend finds some difficulties, I am willing to explore those difficulties with him when we are able to provide the full details of at what income levels the maximum is accessible, et cetera, and what the gradient of income is for the increased per diems.

      If my honourable friend is not able to state that he is in favour of the extra per diems and indeed indicates that he is opposed to them, I would like to know what my honourable friend might suggest, in terms of $6 million of year‑in and year‑out expenditures, to suggest where we get them from to support this program.

      Secondly, to indicate whether, should they ever become government‑‑which I think is a reasonable statement for my honourable friend to make‑‑they would reverse the program of contribution on an ability to pay and go back to the standard format of everyone paying the same rate, because this is the time in Estimates that one can make those kinds of statements of approach.  I would be appreciative of my honourable friend if he was able to do that.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, I have asked this question several times during Question Period.  I am wondering if the minister could outline for me how those personal care home administrators, who will be required to determine income levels based on the ability to pay in order to implement these changes, will determine the income levels without access to income tax forms of these residents which is a new and radical departure with respect to determining rate and rate increases?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, that is again exactly the process that we are determining right now.  I understand the sensitivity that some have expressed around their income tax. There may be very reasonable ways in which we can approach this that satisfies those sensitivities.  I am ever hopeful that we are able to craft those approaches in collaboration with the Treasury Board and Ministry of Finance.

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister tell us what the waiting list is currently for admission or people on the waiting list who have been panelled for personal care homes and just basically the provincial breakdown, community versus people awaiting institutionalization who are in the hospital?

Mr. Orchard:  This is not what I had this afternoon, but I will tell you what the projection is.

      Here I have average monthly number of people on the personal care home waiting list is projected to be 1,431 for next fiscal year.  But I just had some information just a minute ago in terms of the December 31, 1992, breakdown, rural and urban.  There were 1,350‑‑

Ms. Gray:  Do you have the community and institutions?

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Mr. Orchard:  Yes, I have that as well.

      Yes, here we are.  Now, this is March 31, 1992, so it is one year old or a little better than one year old.  We had a total of 1,360 people waiting for placement as of March 31, 1992, and of those‑‑oh, I have to do some quick adding.  Okay, I will give them to you by level.

      For Level I there were 24 in the community, 27 in hospital, so roughly a 50‑50 split.  For Level II, there were 437 in the community, 405 in the hospital; and, for Levels III and IV, it was 255 in community, 212 in the hospital.

      So all told in hospital you would have 640, roughly, awaiting placement of the 1,360.  I can give my honourable friend rural versus urban breakdowns if that would be helpful.

Ms. Gray:  Sure.

Mr. Orchard:  You really want that? (interjection)

      In rural regions‑‑this is combined community and hospital‑‑there are 557 on the waiting lists, and in Winnipeg it is 803.

      Now, I will tell you what.  We will try and get the March 31, 1993, figures for you because all I have given you here is what our projection is:  1,431 as an average monthly number of people on the personal home care waiting list.  We will try to get that refined for you so that we have March 31, 1993, figures, the same to what I have given you now.

Ms. Gray:  Thank you, Madam Chairperson, only if those statistics are readily available.  If it requires a lot of work, then I do not require them.  I do not want staff to have to take time to do it.

Mr. Orchard:  I appreciate that, but I think we are probably going to be able to acquire those fairly easily for tomorrow.

Madam Chairperson:  Item 3.(c) Long Term Care (1) Salaries $716,300‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $112,600‑‑pass;

      3.(d) Gerontology‑‑

Mr. Orchard:  I am always very quick to deliver on answers when my honourable friend the member for Crescentwood (Ms. Gray) asks.

      Level I, these are for March 31, 1993, and I will give my honourable friend the same things.  Level I for the province in total:  21 in the community, 10 in hospital; Level II, 401 in the community, 277 in hospital.  In Levels III and IV, we have 133 in the community and 296 in hospital, for a total of 1,138 on the waiting list for personal care home placement as of March 31, 1993.  So in rough figures it would be somewhere around 585 in hospital, so roughly 50 percent in hospital.

      Now I will give my honourable friend the total figures for rural Manitoba, hospital and community.  It is 485; and for Winnipeg Region, it is 653.  So, if a person did a rural‑urban breakdown, I think it has remained fairly consistent in terms of ratio.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, the Supplementary Estimates outline that there will be "increased emphasis on use of multi‑purpose senior centres."  I am wondering if the minister might give a description of the multipurpose senior centres and what the plan is for their increased use.

       Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, that is our senior centres that are funded as part of the community‑based programming, in parallel with the Support Services for Seniors.  We are always working with the centres throughout Winnipeg, Brandon and areas of rural Manitoba to provide a funding locus‑‑or locale, I guess is the word to use‑‑so that we can develop some fairly sophisticated senior centres with a multitude of opportunity represented in those centres to the seniors in the local communities.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister table a list of support services available to seniors?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, while staff is finding that, in terms of the senior centre funding, I would like to indicate that we do provide grant funding to a number of multipurpose senior centres in Winnipeg and in Brandon, as well as the rural communities of Portage la Prairie, Winkler, Selkirk and Dauphin.

      Basically, the provincial funding is in support of salary and ongoing operating and approved program costs.  The funding source is the Support Services for Seniors program, and Manitoba Health's grant will cover about one‑third of the centre's budget, with the other one‑third coming from local community support, in other words, a partnership funding arrangement with generally the local municipality within which the centre is located.  Then, of course, the centre is responsible for the balance of the budget through their own fundraising activities.

      My honourable friend's question on the Support Services for Seniors was what again?

Mr. Chomiak:  If the member could table with us a list of those services that are available for seniors.

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Mr. Orchard:  In terms of services to seniors, in the well elderly category, there are a series of supportive services:  Age and Opportunity Centre Inc. with a $452,900 budget; Brandon's Civic Senior Centre Inc. with a $50,200 budget; the Gordon Howard Seniors Centre Inc. with a budget of $33,600; the Herman Prior Senior Services Centre with a budget of $36,000; the Gwen Sector Creative Living Centre Inc. with a budget of $32,500; Winkler and District Multi‑Purpose Senior Centre, $25,600; the YMHA Jewish Community Centre of Winnipeg Inc. with a budget of $16,200; and the Dauphin Multi‑Purpose Senior Centre with a budget of $19,700.

      I will indicate to my honourable friend that all of those budgetary provisions on those multi‑purpose senior centres have been reduced by the 2 percent grant to agency reduction that we have consistently applied across the ministry so that every granted agency is in general receiving 2 percent less funding.

      In terms of Support Services to Seniors, the frail elderly, we have quite a substantive number of organizations that are funded:  Ashdale Holdings Inc. out of Ashdale are receiving level funding from $11,900; the Gimli Seniors Resource Council is receiving increased funding, $234,500, an increase of some $11,100 year over year; the Bethel Mennonite Care Services Inc. is receiving level funding at $29,300; the Manitoba Housing Authority, Brandon, $19,800, and that is an increase of 5.9.

      I want to tell my honourable friend that where there are areas where there is modest increase, it is because of additional program support at each of these centres.  In terms of the Support Services for Seniors, there is a growth pattern in with initial funding of sometimes even a part‑time volunteer co‑ordinator moving in another year to full time and then from time to time adding some other program activities; hence, the reason why some groups, Support Services for Seniors groups, are receiving increased funding this year over last.

      Shangri‑la Inc. at St. Malo is receiving a $13,000 increase to bring their total budget grant to $24,900.  The Community Help Centre Inc. in Roblin is receiving a $6,400 increase to increase their budget to $34,900.  The Dauphin and District Community Resource Council, which is in addition to the Dauphin Multi‑Purpose Senior Centre, their funding is level this year at $33,300.  The Ethelbert Support Services To Seniors is level at $1,500, as is the Fisher Branch Medical Facilities Inc. at $11,100.  Foxwarren Leisure Centre Inc. is receiving funding level with last year of $23,400.  Foyer Vincent Inc. of Winnipeg is receiving a slight reduction in funding of $100, now receiving $9,500.  Gabler Manor (phonetic) Inc. at Teulon is receiving $100 less with the grant budget this year of $11,500.  The Gladstone Area Senior Support Program Inc. is receiving level funding of $26,400.  The Gordon Howard Seniors Centre Inc., Selkirk, is receiving level funding at $74,200.  The Gretna Prairie Senior Centre is receiving reduced funding of $300, down to $6,600 this year.  The Hamiota Seniors Council Incorporated is receiving level funding of $10,800.  Hebrew Sick Benefit Association seniors group is level funding at $6,900.  The Home Assistance in Neepawa District Incorporated is receiving $100 less in grant support this year with a total budget commitment of $32,300.

      The seniors Home Help Project in Winnipeg will receive $4,800 more to bring their budget up to $41,800 this year.  The Inwood Manor Incorporated is receiving $100 less at $11,500 commitment this year.  The Deaf Centre Manitoba will receive level funding at $19,900.  The Broadway Seniors Support Project will receive level funding at $20,000.

      Living Independence for Elders Incorporated, Ashern‑Moosehorn, will receive level funding at $25,100.  The LGD of Piney Community Resource Council Incorporated will receive one of the larger increases in budget, an increase of $26,900, to bring their total budget to $48,200.  The MacGregor‑Austin Seniors Support Program will receive a $10,900 increase in their grant to make it now $35,500.

      The McCreary Support Services to Seniors will receive $300 less in grant support for a total $6,600 this year.  The Moosehorn Handicraft Centre will receive level funding at $9,900.  Morden Services for Seniors will be increased by $4,500 to a total budget of $41,500.  The North Winnipeg Co‑operative Community will receive level funding of $29,900.

      The Oakbank‑Springfield Kinsmen Senior Complex Incorporated will receive $2,200 increased funding to bring their total budget to $56,800.  The Oak Park Lodge Incorporated in Woodlands will receive level funding at $13,400.  The Parkissimo Lodge at Miniota will receive $100 less funding this year at $11,500.

      The Plumas Senior Citizens will receive $100 less at $9,200. (interjection) In general, I will tell you what.  Rather than read this I will just highlight some of the‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Why do you not table it?

Mr. Orchard:  Well, I want to read it into the record.  It does not get into the record if it is tabled.

      Riverton and District Friendship Centre Incorporated is receiving a $13,000 increase to bring their budget up to $24,300.  That is one of the major increases in Riverton.

      Manitoba Housing Authority Incorporated Meals, $11,000 increase to bring their total budget up to $129,000.  There is another major increase of Senior Services of Banner County/Russell Concerned Citizens, an increase of $11,000 to $26,500, and a $13,000 increase to Ste. Rose and District Resource Council bringing their total grant commitment to $26,000.

      I will give my honourable friend some new Support Services for Seniors groups.  Camperville Senior Citizens group is a new Support Services for Seniors funded group, was $6,600 in commitment this year.  The Carman Community Seniors Resource Centre will be newly funded this year at $19,600.  The Club Simon Devon, and I am not sure where that is, will receive new funding this year at $6,600.

      The Community Support Services for Hadashville is a new program at $13,000 this year.  The Hodgson Housing Authority will receive new funding in the level of $11,000 this year.  The Killarney Congregate Meals for Seniors will receive $6,600 in new funding to kick their program off this year.

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      The Lakeside Lions at Matlock will receive $6,600 to establish a new program.  The Lakeside Senior Services Centre, Victoria Beach, will receive $6,600 in new funding this year to start their program.  The Morris area Senior Services will receive $13,000 to establish their program for the first time. People Helping People of McCreary will receive $13,000 in start‑up funding.  The Rupertsland Respite Care will receive $17,100 in funding to start their program.  The Rural Municipality of Morris, Lowe Farm Friendship Centre will receive $6,600 in new funding to start their program.  St. Michael's Villa‑‑that is in Transcona, I am informed‑‑will receive $6,600 to establish a program there and Support Services for Seniors. The Senior Services of the Municipality of Roblin, Cartwright the community, will receive $7,700 in start‑up funding for their program.  The Weston‑Brooklands Community Resource Council, Brooklands Residence Association, will receive $13,000 to establish their new program.  The Winnipeg House Friendship and Meals will receive $6,600 this year as well.

      We have additional funding of some $300,000 to accommodate in year some additional.  We are always not certain as to the advance stage that some groups get to, so there is a $300,000 fund in addition.

      I think my honourable friend can see that this is a fairly significant increase in Support Services for Seniors with some 26 new organizations in this year.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, of that extensive list, can the minister tell us which of those services within the city of Winnipeg would be specifically new services that would provide a home maintenance type of service for individuals who may not now be eligible for the Home Care Program?

Mr. Orchard:  When my honourable friend posed the question about a given region of the city, my staff indicated that, for instance, the Bethel Mennonite Care Services Inc. was a service deliverer under Support Services for Seniors funding that would provide some tenant support services.  Broadway Seniors support project is likewise able to do the same, as are Villa Cabrini Inc. and the Manitoba Eastern Star Chalet, which are providing some Support Services for Seniors operations.

      Now, if my honourable friend wants more details in terms of the type of service that at a minimum those four would provide, we would have to seek further information within the department.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, while the examples of services the minister mentioned, such as the Bethel Mennonite service and services at Villa Cabrini‑‑are those services in‑house? (interjection) I will repeat it later.  No problem.

      The services that the minister mentioned such as the Bethel Mennonite service, service at Villa Cabrini, are those services in‑house, or are they doing outreach services for anyone in the community within a certain geographical area?  Does the minister know if those services have geography attached to them, or can anyone who requires the service phone and ask for it?

Mr. Orchard:  I think my honourable friend can appreciate there is a fair degree of variability, but some of them have a circular area of service delivery of up to 12 blocks, for instance.

Ms. Gray:  One of the groups that was mentioned as receiving funding was the Russell Concerned Citizens.  What service do they provide?  What do they do?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, if my honourable friend would permit we will provide that information, say, tomorrow?

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister tell us what exactly‑‑under the Expected Results it talks about reducing rates of home care utilization for persons aged 80 and over, and also reducing utilization of personal care home beds as measured, et cetera. Can the minister tell us, has the department been able to track those Expected Results, and are we actually making progress in that area?

Mr. Orchard:  You know, I would like to be able to say without equivocation that, yes, these are providing support, but unfortunately our method of tracking is not‑‑appreciate we cannot do an individual track.  So what one has to rely on is a couple of things that I think my honourable friend would find quite relevant to the question.

      We have maintained consistency and access to the Continuing Care Program.  In other words, the assessment for need has remained consistent.  It has not been increased, decreased.  It has been a consistent approach that we have used for Home Care Assistance.

      Also, I think it is fair to say that over the past number of years the criteria for panelling have by and large remained fairly consistent.  Maybe it would be fair to say that as more sophistication in community supports through home care meant that an individual would be provided with support services through home care in the community for a longer period of time.  But basically I think it is fair to say that the medical and cognitive requirements for placement in a personal care home has remained fairly constant.  I will put it to you this way, there has not been a major digression of the policy and the application of criteria and guidelines.

      Let me sort of share from 1984, which is almost a 10‑year period of time.  Now these are point‑in‑time inspections, so they can vary up and down, but as of March 31 and each of the years, starting with 1984, here has been the number of panelled people, panelled and waiting for personal care home placement.

      It was, as of March 31, 1984, 1,690.  The next year in '85, it was 1,670.  In 1986, it was 1,510.  In 1987, it was 1,336.  In 1988, it was 1,185.  It crept up for the next four years to 1,234 for calender year 1989, March 31.  In 1990, it was down slightly to 1,223, back up slightly to 1,333 for 1991, and in 1992, 1,360.  Then the actual for March 31, 1993, was down to 1,138.

      Taking aside the two years of '91 and '92, where there was a little bit of an increase, I think the consistent trend line has been down in terms of the number of people at March 31 panelled for personal care home placement.

      The second thing I would like to draw my honourable friend's attention to is the relative consistency year over year, because I think we have had the 24,000 individual figure before us for at least three years or maybe four years in terms of Continuing Care Program, in terms of clients served.

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      Now, we know that we are providing more services to those individuals.  I mean, that is shown every year in terms of our increased budgetary commitment, and units of service have been increased.  We know that fewer of the Level I and Level II people are being panelled for personal care home placement.

      I can only conclude that with a consistency in the number of people in the Home Care Program, the Support Services for Seniors program is providing that support outside of the formal programs of continuing care or personal care home placement.

      It is only from sort of a several‑year, large‑statistic, if you will, tracking that I can indicate to my honourable friend that I have confidence that for instance, the Support Services for Seniors program is quite possibly one of our better investments in terms of supported programming, very economic to the taxpayer and very effective in maintaining independent living with, in some cases, the additional support of the Continuing Care Program for individuals who may access other aspects of Support Services for Seniors programming.

      But I think the combination of Support Services for Seniors, along with the Continuing Care Program, have very substantially impacted‑‑well, not very substantially, I cannot quantify that‑‑but have had an impact on the requirement for and the placement in personal care homes.

Ms. Gray:  Has the average age of persons first utilizing the Home Care Program, in other words when they enter the Home Care Program, increased at all over the last number of years‑‑increased or decreased?  It should not decrease.

Mr. Orchard:  We do not have the ability to provide that information because of the system of information gathering.  It is manual, and we simply do not have an easy way of developing that in comparison to having that sort of age statistic in the Personal Care Home Program. (interjection) We have it in Personal Care but we do not have it in Home Care because of the way we maintain our client information records.  So I am unable to provide that information, but it would be a valuable component should we develop the system to provide that information.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, does the minister or his staff‑‑and I note this is not statistical‑‑have anecdotal or basically a sense as to if that average age of people utilizing home care, when they first utilized home care, if that age has increased?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, not that we do not want to deal with the issue, but we are rather reluctant to give an average on that, because for instance we are, with the Continuing Care Programs, supporting more younger individuals in the community.

      We do not have an easy sense of giving, let us say, a senior population age profile into whether it is increasing or decreasing.  Staff is erring on the side of caution and not giving a speculation on that.

Madam Chairperson:  3.(d) Gerontology (1) Salaries $252,100‑‑pass.

      3.(d)(2) Other Expenditures $102,600.

Mr. Orchard:  One piece of information on the senior services of Banner County, Russell Concerned Citizens, that is a community resource council, the funding is $26,500, an increase of $11,000 year over year.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, do they actually then develop services in the community and surrounding area of Russell?  Do they develop services?

Mr. Orchard:  That is correct.

Madam Chairperson:  3.(d) Gerontology (2) Other Expenditures $102,600‑‑pass; (3) External Agencies $2,824,500‑‑pass.

      Resolution 21.3:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $72,818,300 for Health, Continuing Care Programs, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1994‑‑pass.

      4. Provincial Mental Health Services (a) Administration.

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, I wonder if I might seek advice from my honourable friend the critic.

      Would my honourable friend trust me to provide as much information as I can tonight without calling the ADM, and any questions that you might have that we do not have the detail for here that we provide that kind of information tomorrow when Estimates resumes and take the questions as notice this evening? I make the proposal to my honourable friend the critic of the official opposition.

      At quarter to ten or thereabouts‑‑I would expect we are going close to midnight tonight.  Is that sort of the agreement? (interjection) Yes.

      What I am wondering is whether at this hour of the evening I would get my ADM down here in the next three‑quarters of an hour or whether the committee would be content with my answering as many questions as I can with staff that I have here and have my ADM present tomorrow for any detail that you may wish and if there were questions that I did not have detail on, provide that tomorrow?  Would that suit, rather than bringing an ADM in at this hour of the evening? (interjection) Yes, in Mental Health.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, in response to the minister's suggestion, and with all due respect to the minister who I know basically answers a lot of the questions without the assistance of staff, but does the minister have a briefing book and have details on some of the committees that have been formed in regard to the mental health reform and update on some of that information because that would be some of the nature of the questions that I would be asking?

Mr. Orchard:  Let us call a three‑minute recess, Madam Chair, if we could.

Madam Chairperson:  Is that the will of the committee?

Some Honourable Members:  Agreed.

Madam Chairperson:  This committee will recess and reconvene at 9:55.


The committee recessed at 9:50 p.m.

After Recess

The committee resumed at 10:10 p.m.


Madam Chairperson:  Order, please.  The Committee of Supply dealing with the Estimates for the Department of Health, please reconvene.  We are on item 4. Provincial Mental Health Services (a) Administration (1) Salaries.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, I am wondering if the minister could provide us with a brief update as to the progress of the reform in Mental Health, particularly in the city of Winnipeg or in Winnipeg Region?  Is that a reasonable question?

Mr. Orchard:  I know that probably somewhere in here, if I go through all of my material, I could pull out the announcement that was made about two months ago announcing the phasing out of acute psychiatric beds at Misericordia Hospital, St. Boniface General Hospital and Grace Hospital.  Those beds are to be phased out between now‑‑and if my memory serves me correctly, in Winnipeg Region‑‑and I think the 1st of September.

      A number of initiatives were commenced in the community.  All of them represented quite significant expansions in terms of community‑based support, whether it be the Crisis Stabilization Unit expansion at Salvation Army on Henry Avenue, or the new Crisis Stabilization Unit funded at Sara Riel, or whether it be the Mobile Crisis Team where we, by increasing the resources, increased the number of hours of operation, et cetera, through some fairly significant increase to our self‑help groups who are going to be, have been and will continue to be an integral part of our reform.

      Now, I think my honourable friend will want to know the status of the beds at the three hospitals, to know whether they are in service or when they are going to be withdrawn from service, and I will be able to provide that information to my honourable friend upon the arrival of my assistant deputy minister.  But if my memory serves me correctly, all of those will be retired from service by approximately the 1st of September.  A significant amount, and I am hazarding a guess, probably 85 percent of our community‑based services are already in place.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, perhaps this is going back a bit. The expansion or the opening of the new facility at the Health Sciences Centre, can the minister just give us an update if, in fact, all of the intended beds are in full operation?

Mr. Orchard:  I do not believe they are, but again, if we could bank that question and then get that information when Mr. Toews arrives.

Ms. Gray:  I am having a little difficulty in phrasing the questions because a number of the questions I have are of a technical nature.  Can the minister tell us in regard to the four‑year plan to reduce the beds at the Brandon Mental Health Centre, does part of that planning have a component of worker adjustment and retraining, and in fact is that also a component of the downsizing of Misericordia, Grace, et cetera?

Mr. Orchard:  Let me deal with Brandon Mental Health Centre first.  Yes, that is a separate committee structured specifically to assist in those areas involving identification of redeployment opportunities first from the institutional setting of care giving to the community; secondly, to identify opportunities for redeployment for instance to other areas of the ministry and to other departments within government; and thirdly, to identify appropriate retraining opportunities that may be required as the Brandon Mental Health Centre is retired from service.

      We announced the intent to downsize and phase out the Brandon Mental Health Centre approximately a year ago, and it was subsequent to that that we began the discussions around the labour‑adjustment strategies involving the union administration and Manitoba Health and the Civil Service Commission.

      Now, in terms of the Winnipeg scenario with the three hospitals involved with some downsizing of program at Grace and St. Boniface and the elimination of the inpatient psychiatric service at Misericordia, any opportunity for labour adjustment is provided through the Labour Adjustment Committee that we discussed some time ago in conjunction with the other acute care sector labour adjustment strategies.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, does the minister have an organizational chart, actually, for the whole department, but specifically, as well, for this particular division?

Mr. Orchard:  We will provide that for my honourable friend tomorrow.

Ms. Gray:  If we could possibly go back to the‑‑just to clarify about the number of beds in Health Sciences Centre, if in fact they are in full operation.

Mr. Orchard:  Eighty‑nine of the 113‑bed complement are currently in service.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister tell us when the remaining beds plan‑‑if the plan is for them to come on stream and possible target date?

Mr. Orchard:  We do not have target dates right now and are leaving those beds, similar, I think it is fair to say, to the Children's Hospital beds where, since Children's Hospital opened in about, well, I guess it was '85, a number of beds were never commissioned for service.

      Now we are leaving the, I think it is, 24 beds at psych health without commissioning them at the present time.  I think it is fair to say that as the whole shift in reform in the Winnipeg mental health system takes place, there may be identified opportunities in that public discussion to provide appropriate services with that capacity at psych health building.

      But we are not, at the present time, moving ahead with commissioning of those beds until we have a little more insight and a little clearer direction in terms of the overall plan for the Winnipeg Region per se.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, is there a possibility that all of those beds might not be opened at all, that the total 113 might not be opened?

Mr. Orchard:  I hesitate to get into speculation, but I suppose one could say that is a possibility.  However, I would envision that there will be an opportunity as the Winnipeg system, as I say, moves and adjusts to more community‑based services and the possibility of potential further consolidations.  We are going through the exercise of, if you will, centres of excellence in a number of areas of program delivery.

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      It may well be that the wisdom of advice and long‑term planning in our mental health system in Winnipeg would lead to the commissioning of those beds and replacing acute care beds in other institutions and have a consolidation of care.  That may well be a possibility.

      We have attempted in our planning exercise in mental health, and we have been criticized for this, rightfully or wrongfully, of maintaining a degree of flexibility in the planning process so that we can accommodate the workable ideas that may come from our regional councils and our provincial advisory council as well, as greater knowledge is gained from experience with shifting the system.  So we have, if you will, deliberately not commissioned those beds at the psych health building.  They can be a valuable resource in waiting as the system comes to grips with the next, say, phase of changes.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, the minister referred to the expansion of replacement services in the community, such as Mobile Crisis stabilization beds, et cetera.  He mentioned that he thought, from his memory, that there is about an 80 percent completion of those expanded services.  I am wondering if he could detail for us again what the changes or increases are in those services.

      Certainly, I think all of them were in existence before, but he is, I am assuming, referring to an expansion, and if he could just give us a bit more information as to what that expansion involves.

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, the six additional crisis stabilization unit beds at the Salvation Army, Henry Avenue are in service now.  The eight‑bed Sara Riel Crisis Stabilization Unit will be available July 5.  The Mobile Crisis Team is staffed and up and running and has expanded with the changes announced in late March.  The Winnipeg Intensive Case Management program, which is new, is now in operation.  The safe house that was proposed is scheduled for service this fall.  The CMHA Winnipeg Independent Living Program is scheduled for July 1.

      I think the additional funding for the self‑help groups has flowed.  I believe they have undertaken an increased level of activity as a result of that.

      We are probably 85 to 90 percent along on most of the initiatives that were announced in either establishment of new resource and program in the community or a building of existing resource.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, could the minister just give a bit more detail on what this proposed safe house is?  Is there a particular organization that is going to be developing that particular service?

Mr. Orchard:  The fall opening is anticipated because there are some discussions left to be concluded amongst a support group which are mainly the self‑help organizations who are sponsoring the safe‑house concept.  I think my honourable friend could appreciate that we have maybe some governance issues when you have several self‑help groups involved that have yet to be resolved.

      I think in general terms everyone agrees maybe on conceptually how a safe house can provide a needed community‑based service.  That is being, I think, probably‑‑I am looking for the right word‑‑with words put to paper in terms of the role and the service‑delivery guideline and mission of the safe house.  It has not been as yet completed.  That is why I indicated earlier on that we expect that to be completed, say, this fall.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, could the minister tell us, with the Mobile Crisis unit, that program, what has been the increase in the number of SYs associated with that program?  Have the criteria of that program changed?

Mr. Orchard:  The guiding policies of the Mobile Crisis Team are essentially the same as they were when it existed as a unit staffed with three SYs.  That staffing complement has been increased to 11, and the hours of operation have been four in the afternoon until two in the morning.  With the increased staffing we now provide five days a week, 16 hours a day service.  That is during the weekdays.  Then on the weekends we are able to offer Saturday‑Sunday 24‑hour service, with the increased staffing complement.

Ms. Gray:  Can any individual access the Mobile Crisis staff? Who has access to these individuals if you feel you are in a crisis and need the services of a mental health worker?

Mr. Orchard:  The hospitals and emergency are aware of the service contact arrangements, as are the City of Winnipeg Police.  In terms of the general public, it is not a 1‑800 number, it is a specific number, two numbers, and if my honourable friend wants them, we can provide them, that are available for the general public to call and access the Mobile Crisis Team service.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, since this expanded service has been there with the increased number of staff providing service over more hours, can the minister tell us what type of workload has evolved from this?  Are the staff busy or what is the intake like?

Mr. Orchard:  We will provide the most current information we have on the level of service activity, and I believe we can make that time sensitive to the 16‑hour shifts versus the weekend 24 hour.

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister tell us what the analysis was that was used in terms of looking at the types of services that should be in the community, given that a number of hospital beds would be closing down?  I know it is an imprecise science, but I guess my question is, how was it arrived at?  Let us take Mobile Crisis service as an example for the sake of discussion.  How was it arrived at that this was a particular type of service that it was felt that there would be needed more of, i.e., a need for the increase, and how did you arrive at 11 SYs?

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Mr. Orchard:  Basically, to provide the kind of expanded hours that we thought appropriate, in terms of 16 hours instead of eight roughly five days a week, and then of course, 24‑hour service coverage, as to why the Mobile Crisis Team with three staff complement was a successful new community service.

      Our experience in other jurisdictions where we have had an opportunity to discuss some of their service provisions, they found that for aspects of a service delivery, the Mobile Crisis Team was an effective addition to the community service delivery components.  We have some sense of confidence that it is appropriate in Manitoba and in Winnipeg as well.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, could the minister explain for us a little bit more about the Intensive Case Management program?

Mr. Orchard:  The Intensive Case Management concept, generally, but not exclusively, utilizes registered psychiatric nursing and social workers.  Each individual has a caseload of from 15 to 20 individuals and attempts to provide early interventive and supportive services to those individuals so that their care is managed more effectively and they do not end up, if I can be so blunt as to say, in the revolving‑door syndrome with the institutions.  Again, I think it is fair to say that this was not the first time this has ever been tried.  Other jurisdictions have used this method of client support in the community and found it to be effective.  I think it was the conclusion of the advisory council that this would be an appropriate addition to the array of community‑based services.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister tell us what is different about what he just described and what mental health workers normally do in the day‑to‑day activities?

Mr. Orchard:  Well, I think as the name would suggest, Intensive Case Management, lower caseload and probably some of our more chronic and more acute service needs individuals are part of this Intensive Case Management group.

Ms. Gray:  Who makes the decision as to which individuals are referred to these staff who provide this Intensive Case Management?  How is that determined?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, in terms of developing the type of individual who would become part of the caseload of one of the individuals in the Intensive Case Management, they are current recipients of service.  They tend to be, as I indicated earlier, individuals with higher needs, more chronic needs, certainly individuals who have periodically been admitted to some of our inpatient facilities.

      In consultation with the staffing of regions, the divisional staff as well as psychiatrists and other professionals who provide services, the initial caseload was selected from the overall or the entire group of individuals who are on the various caseload lists of mental health and community mental health workers.  They tend to be those individuals who have a greater requirement of services and also tend to be the type of individual that was more frequently hospitalized because of their chronic condition and its periodic acuity, the objective being that if we can provide for those individuals with better management day to day, week by week through a lowered caseload by the professionals who are our Intensive Case managers, maybe, if I can put it in direct terms, that hour of service every couple of days might forestall a more serious crisis which would require in the past a pattern of institutionalization.

      We think that there is probably a pretty significant opportunity for reduced readmission with these individuals by having the Intensive Case Management model at work.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, how many SYs are there devoted to the Intensive Case Management program, and what is the average caseload?

Mr. Orchard:  There is a total staff complement of 10, but one is a support staff, so there are nine individuals.  The caseload range is 15‑20 for the nine individuals.

Ms. Gray:  Does the minister happen to know of an average or the frequency of contact that these mental health workers are spending with these clients?  Is there any average or pattern?

Mr. Orchard:  We will be able to provide, I think, a little better sense of that a couple of months down the road, because appreciate this is only several weeks old in terms of its implementation.  So we cannot give my honourable friend a definitive experience rate today.

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister tell us, has there been an evaluation component built into, well, not just this program but the other programs, and who is providing, or who is actually doing the evaluation?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, the evaluation aspect of the effectiveness of these changes is certainly part of the process, to assure that we are achieving what we believe we can achieve. There will be pre‑ and post‑survey of the individuals involved in the program.

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      One of the components which I think has not necessarily been part of any of our analysis on effectiveness of program changes is a client satisfaction survey to see whether they find the new management style, the new approach to service delivery, whether they deem it to be a better service, that they have been able to manage their lives in a more stable fashion or not?  Of course, there will be the overall analysis of admission to acute care inpatient facilities, utilization of the crisis stabilization units and whether there is any moderation of access to them and those types of statistical analysis as to whether we are having an effect.

      We expect and certainly hope, and I think it is the expectation of those who have been advocates of the Intensive Case Management that we will see a reduction in both admissions and inpatient days, where there perchance are admissions, and certainly at a lowered utilization of the institutional side of the mental health service delivery system.

      If that is achievable, then clearly we will have been successful in meeting at least one of our goals in terms of an active replacement of a better service for those individuals.  As I say, part of the follow‑up survey is an experience attitude survey of the individual for them to indicate whether this is a better approach than what they have had available to them in the past.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, I thank the minister for those answers.  For individuals who are probably well known to the Misericordia psychiatric centre, possibly the Grace psychiatric centre, is there individual planning that is going on for a number of these individuals to ensure that they hopefully will not need some type of inpatient service that will no longer be available at those respective hospitals or that the chances of their having to use the hospital system would be reduced?

Mr. Orchard:  Yes, Madam Chair, that is entirely part of the process with the hopeful result that we will not see the necessity of, for instance, the inpatient service delivery.  That is done through a number of the community‑based service provision venues, whether it be Crisis Stabilization Unit, Mobile Crisis Team or the Case Management.

      I think my honourable friend could understand that a, how would I put it, regularized group who normally accessed Misericordia would be able to plan as best possible their community resource needs so that, without the inpatient capacity at Misericordia, we provide a suitable supportive environment in the community.

      Let us not forget that, should they require some inpatient service, there is now an additional option in terms of the Crisis Stabilization Unit from the fact that the Salvation Army one is expanded in its physical capacity and the Sara Riel is a new unit, as well as remaining inpatient capacity at Grace, Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface, Victoria and Seven Oaks, so that there is still the opportunity for, if need arises, that inpatient admission as well.

Ms. Gray:  How many individuals are being planned for in this way?

Mr. Orchard:  Two components to that question, two components of answer.  First of all, the current inpatient census for cared‑for in alternate settings and alternate supportive fashions at St. Boniface by the mid to end of May‑‑May 23, I believe, was the last inpatient day in the 24 beds there‑‑currently, the gradual reduction at Misericordia, we are down to eight of the 21, 13 have already been discharged with supports in the community.  The other eight, we expect to have alternate arrangements achieved by the end of this month.  In the Grace, 20 beds are expected to have a similar process of replacement services completed by the end of August, the 1st of September, as I indicated earlier. That is for the current inpatient client group.

      As well, the other individuals, who from time to time may well have been admitted to those facilities, similar service provisions are available within the community that we hope will provide their care needs in large part in the community without the need for inpatient admissions.

      I do say that should inpatient admission be required, that the remaining hospitals do have maintaining capacity in that regard.

Ms. Gray:  Of those individuals that the minister has referred to, are there very many of those individuals who would be considered elderly or particularly who may be in need of home care service?  Is the minister aware?

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Mr. Orchard:  There were some on the longer‑term care requirement assessment who have been accommodated in some of our longer‑term care facilities.  That is not dissimilar in Winnipeg to the exercise, of course, that is ongoing in Brandon Mental Health Centre, where individuals who are long term in their residency of Brandon Mental Health Centre have been found appropriate placement in some of our personal care homes in rural Manitoba.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, the minister has oftentimes referred to bridge funding when he speaks of mental health reform, and I am wondering if the minister could tell us what is the amount of bridge funding that is being made available in this budget year specifically for mental health reform.

Mr. Orchard:  In terms of the Winnipeg Region, $1.1 million, $1.2 million of bridge funding, some of which was made available prior to March 31 with the announcement of the Winnipeg reforms.  That allowed the individual sponsor groups to commence development of their services in advance of the retirement of some of the beds from service.

      In terms of the Brandon region, Westman, west Central and Parkland, we have available some $2 million in terms of bridge funding there to establish the community‑based array of programs prior to the phasing down, year one, three or four, of the Brandon Mental Health Centre.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, in regard to the Moditon Clinic (phonetic) services the department provides and that have been provided out of the hospitals, has there been any rationalization of those services or amalgamation of those services?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, I am advised that there is not any expected major change in the current clinic service provision. It has been reviewed and, by and large, will be maintained in the current configuration of service delivery.

Ms. Gray:  In regard to the Moditon Clinic (phonetic) that is currently‑‑or my understanding is that it still occurs at 189 Evanson.  Can the minister tell us why that particular service happens to be at 189 as opposed to being out in some of the district offices, suburbs, given that over, my understanding is, half the people who utilize that service are not from the inner city?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, that service has been part of 189 Evanson ever since I have been minister, because I can recall, doing the departmental tour that was one of the areas I went to. As a matter of fact, I met with some of the staff that were providing services there.

      Now, I cannot offer to my honourable friend any specific reason, but I would be interested in knowing if my honourable friend believes there is maybe a better way to deliver that service.  I would be pleased to hear advice in that regard.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, I suppose one of the concerns about that particular service at 189 is that it always seemed like a ghettoization of services in that particular area.  When you look at the statistics, interestingly enough, there were over 50 percent of individuals who utilized that clinic who actually did not live in the inner city; they lived in other parts of the city.  At one point, there was discussion about actually having a mobile clinic where in fact we utilized existing offices where we have staff and actually took the clinic out to the clients.  That is why I asked the question.

      I wondered, as well, if the region was going to be picking up services that were offered from Moditon (phonetic) by Misericordia, or will Misericordia still maintain that type of service?

Mr. Orchard:  In terms of the Misericordia component, that will remain as part of the outpatient service component of the Misericordia Hospital.  I know that was an original concern when the announcement, I guess, was first made in terms of the retirement from service of their psychiatric beds there, and that caused some concern.

      I know I had a meeting at my office of individuals who had that very expressed concern, because they were utilizing Misericordia's outpatient services and were greatly concerned that they would not be there, of course, the concern being that these individuals had been served well.  That was not the intention and is indeed not what is happening with Misericordia.

      In terms of 189 Evanson, I am intrigued with my honourable friend's discussion and suggestions.  I will not make the commitment to my honourable friend to take it up in the immediate future, but post completion of the session, I certainly will further discuss with staff of the Mental Health Division my honourable friend's comments.

Ms. Gray:  Can the minister tell us, are there any plans to look at the services of the Moditon Clinic (phonetic) at Misericordia?

      I can appreciate that I am sure that service is valuable to the clients, but one would think that with an outpatient service there as well as the service that the government is providing that you might see some efficiencies or even improvements in quality of service if you looked at some type of amalgamation. Is that going to be looked at all at some point in time?

Mr. Orchard:  Yes, it is fair to say that that is part of a review process on the clinics themselves.  Certainly, I will say, at risk of opening a can of worms, which it might well do, if my honourable friend makes that suggestion in the belief that it would make better use, I am open to that suggestion because that is exactly the kind of process we have attempted to engage in, in terms of arriving at a shift in services in our mental health system.  We have explored any number of ideas and suggestions, and some of them we have been able to accept basically as suggested.  Others we can accept, you know, with modification, partially.

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      I simply say to my honourable friend I cannot give an answer in terms of whether there is an opportunity for the kind of more effective relationship by combining, say, 189 services with Misericordia services, but I am not adverse, again, to having that sort of discussion and asking those types of questions.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, I wonder if the minister could take me through‑‑because our mental health services have been generally based on an institutional model‑‑a situation where someone would appear, say, in the emergency ward at present at Misericordia Hospital in a crisis situation.  The way I now understand it, if the person was in an acute crisis situation and would not be admitted, there would be an option for that person to be admitted, if that was the determination of the staff presumably there, to some other institution, how that route would go; or alternatively, what action the caregivers in the primary facility, what activities they would engage in, in terms of channelling that person to the right source and stabilizing that individual.

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, dealing with the Misericordia circumstance specifically, the Misericordia in the emergency department has recently the services of a registered psychiatric nurse there to undertake assessments of an individual presenting in the circumstances my honourable friend outlined.  Depending on the individual's circumstance and assessed need, any number of options could be triggered, including the Mobile Crisis Team, to help the individual stabilize and return to their home environment.

      If that was not appropriate and some alternate inpatient need was assessed, then either of the Crisis Stabilization Units could be utilized at Salvation Army or Sara Riel then, of course, with the more severe circumstance, a recommendation for admission to one of the inpatient units at the other community and/or tertiary care hospitals, that assessment would be undertaken, as I say, in the Misericordia circumstance, by staff with the assistance of the services of a registered psychiatric nurse.

      I do not know whether that answers my honourable friend's question, but we have one of the components that we want to have as soon as possible, but it is also part of the acute care bed restructuring in discussions that are going on as a central bed registry for psychiatric beds.  Now, we have an informal arrangement involving the heads of psychiatry at the two teaching and the three community hospitals so that we have an informal bed registry for that latter circumstance where an admission to one of the five hospitals is deemed to be the most appropriate course of action.  So unless my honourable friend has more questions of more detail, I will let my answer rest.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, there is an informal arrangement now in terms of the bed registry.  I assume that we are moving towards a formalized bed registry arrangement that will be co‑ordinated amongst the community hospitals, the two teaching hospitals, presumably the Sara Riel and Salvation Army, they would provide it.  Can the minister give us some idea as to when that central registry would be in place, in terms of determining?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chair, I wish I could give my honourable friend that kind of definite time line, but it is part of the acute sector bed registry.  Appreciate that going back a year and a half ago or two years ago on the acute care side, with the quick response team investigation on the young fellow from the Interlake with the broken leg, one of the recommendations there was to implement a bed registry system on the acute care side.

      There is, although there are different programs, acute psychiatric versus general surgical medical beds, that the principle of the registry remains consistent so that we would want to have the formal registry advanced at the same time the registry for other acute beds is in place for the Urban Hospital group.

      But that is why I indicate to my honourable friend that in the interim, because we do not have a comfortable expectation on time line that I can share with my honourable friend in terms of the formalized central bed registry, that is why we have in place in collaboration with the heads of psychiatry an informal registry that is working now and no doubt will be the platform or the basis from which we are able to become part of a central bed registry for the acute care system, including psychiatric beds, with some integrity of experience based on the current informal arrangement.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, just returning to my original example, if an individual showed up, again we will use Seven Oaks as another example, under acute difficulty, the same scenario would follow through from Seven Oaks in terms of‑‑effectively we are talking about triaging a person, are we not?  Is that not what would happen?  Are those systems all in place?  I just am not entirely clear how that would work.

Mr. Orchard:  The Misericordia example was a better one, because they do not have within their facility the inpatient capacity, or they will not have as of the end of this month, so their management system is somewhat different than, for instance, Seven Oaks, or for that matter, Grace or Victoria.

      But the hoped for common approach to people presenting an emergency will be as described for Misericordia at the other hospitals, even though they do have inpatient capacity, because one of the hoped for goals of the central bed registry is to assure ourselves that those beds are utilized for the most acutely ill individuals.

      I am not pointing fingers or anything, but there is a tendency, when you have individual institutions with individual practitioners, to make sure your catchment area is served first and foremost and there is even, I think, from time to time maybe a little protection of capacity, if you will.  That really, I think if one thinks about it, is not an appropriate management practice in today's environment, and that is why we are attempting to bring some fairly reasonable criteria of need around the system, so that those with the greatest need will, if required, be placed in the acute care beds as they are available.

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      There is a twofold agenda here.  I mean, let us face it, as of the 1st of September there will be 65 fewer beds in the system.  Now, certainly we anticipate and we believe that the array of community‑supportive services will, in fact, provide the replacement services and forestall or forgo the need for inpatient admissions.  But we are realistic.  We know that is not going to be the case.  There is going to be need from time to time, individual by individual, for inpatient placement.

      What we want to try to assure over the next number of months is that those individuals most in need access that capacity, and that may mean differing admission patterns in the existing hospitals that maintain their acute care capacity so that people that they would maybe, as a practice a year ago, say, admit as a matter of practice pattern, now would consider those individuals to be more appropriately served in a different fashion with a community‑based service such as the Mobile Crisis Team, such as referral to caseworkers, such as possibly a referral to Sara Riel or Salvation Army.

      It is a changing practice environment that we are encouraging and fostering so that, you know, the example, as I said earlier, at Misericordia, is fairly straightforward because they do not have the capacity to admit, but I would suspect there would be, as we move on the reform process, some consistency of that process in Misericordia applied to other parts of the system as well, the only exception being that if it was Seven Oaks versus Misericordia today or 1st of July and acute admission was necessary, it could be achieved at Seven Oaks versus a move to, say, Health Sciences Centre or the Misericordia.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, clearly the minister understands the necessity of the co‑ordinated or the utilization of almost a basic triage system around all the facilities, because clearly one major concern, and I will raise the question, is people getting lost in the system and particularly those who are used to the institutional‑based care and the process ending up not getting the help that they need.  To that end, I just wonder if the minister has any comments in terms of the tracking, for lack of a better word, and the co‑ordination of services so that people do not get lost in the system, particularly during the changeover phase.

Mr. Orchard:  My honourable friend's question is appropriate, and the way we are attempting to manage and mitigate against the lost‑in‑the‑shuffle concern is through a fairly sizable committee, co‑chaired by the chief provincial psychiatrist and executive director of the Mental Health Division, Dr. Hugh Andrew and John Ross.  The other members of the committee are a nominee from Sara Riel, a nominee from Salvation Army, in terms of the Crisis Stabilization Unit, representative from the two teaching and three community hospitals, as well as five individuals representing consumers.

      The review is one that attempts to assure that individuals who have been used to a service provision in a given hospital setting where that service is downsized or curtailed, such as it is in Misericordia, that there is a reasoned process for providing alternate service provision to those individuals.  This committee, co‑chaired by Mr. Ross and Dr. Andrew, is currently functioning to assure that.

      I think my honourable friend, I would have to indicate to him, that we are not going to be perfect in the process over the start‑up months, but certainly, in anticipation of some of those concerns, I think we have attempted very diligently to put the planning and implementation mechanisms in place so that, if we have those circumstances, we have a forum in which we can deal with them and try to resolve them so they do not reoccur.

Mr. Chomiak:  One area that I admit to not completely understanding is the Mobile Crisis Team operation.  I do not understand; if an individual is suffering a crisis at home, will the team come out to that individual's home in order to provide assistance, firstly?  Secondly, will the team come to a hospital or an institution to assist the staff there that are involved? What are the parameters and the flexibility?  Perhaps the minister can just give me a general outline of how it functions.

Mr. Orchard:  In both circumstances, if called upon, the Mobile Crisis Team can provide that kind of service directly in the individual's home, can be called upon at, say, an emergency at the hospital by either the emergency staff or, say, City of Winnipeg Police in terms of maybe their involvement with the individual.  Another type of circumstance which would flow from the second, where it is an emergency presentation, would be the Mobile Crisis Team accompanying the individual to their residence and getting them settled back in with the support and make sure that they can manage in their own living environment.  Both those circumstances are an appropriate part of the Mobile Crisis Team's responsibilities.

Mr. Chomiak:  Would it be safe to assume that an individual who is in crisis or encountering difficulty would have access 24 hours a day to (a) the emergency wards of the various hospitals, (b) the Crisis Stabilization Units and (c) the Mobile Crisis Teams?

Mr. Orchard:  Yes in all cases, with the exception of the Mobile Crisis Team five days during the week where there is only 16 hours of service, but the Crisis Stabilization Units are 24‑hour access and so are the emergencies, but the Mobile Crisis Team is only 24 hours on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

Mr. Chomiak:  I do not wish to duplicate questions that were previously asked, but when we talked about case managers‑‑these are the assertive case managers, I assume‑‑are they in place and functioning now, and how many individuals are they dealing with?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, in response earlier, there are 10 individuals assigned here, nine of whom are intensive case managers, and one is a support staff.  All nine are in place. Some are still completing training for their responsibilities, but a number are already in place.

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      Their caseloads are anticipated to be 15 to 20 and, as discussed earlier on this evening, will tend to be the higher‑needs individuals and the more chronic individuals and individuals who tend to more commonly have a pattern of readmission to our acute care facilities.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, are the home outreach people in operation now?  Is there a home outreach program?

Mr. Orchard:  I think maybe what my honourable friend is asking about is the Mobile Crisis Team, which would undertake that type of service provision as part of their service delivery responsibilities.

Mr. Chomiak:  I am just looking at a sheet put out by the department that describes some of the various services that are offered in the community crisis stabilization:  Mobile Crisis Team, assertive case managers, day hospital, day treatment, home outreach, which has, quote, trained nonprofessionals and professionals who provide intervention in the home.

Mr. Orchard:  I am sorry for the misunderstanding around that. There are two areas of opportunity here.  There are some funding provisions to both the Salvation Army and to our intensive or assertive case managers whereby they can retain the services of paraprofessionals who after stabilizing the individual in the home could stay for an extended period of time to provide the kind of support that may be deemed needed by either the Salvation Army in their assessment at the Crisis Stabilization Unit or by our intensive or assertive case managers.

      I think my honourable friend can appreciate, the paraprofessional will not necessarily have all of the skills that the assertive case manager would have, but the assertive case manager has used their substantial skills to‑‑how would I put it in more understandable terms?‑‑complete 75 percent of the stabilization process leaving a paraprofessional to complete the balance, if that is a fair analogy.  I know it will be highly suspect by any professional that might read these comments in the debate but that is in essence the concept.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, is the minister aware whether or not any of these actual home outreach processes are actually functioning at present, or are they on the books as it were?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, in the case specifically to those individuals, that is in the process of development and will be in addition to the assertive case management, as that program gets more up to speed.

      As I indicated earlier, of the nine individuals some have completed their training process and are assuming their responsibilities, others are still in training.  That is part of the growth of that program, that we have not yet got a great deal of experience and will have in the near future.

Mr. Chomiak:  I take it the proposals for the safe house are not in operation.  Can the minister give us a guideline as to when that might happen, where or what the developments are in terms of ongoing discussions, and what the parameters might be on the safe house?

Mr. Orchard:  As I indicated earlier to the member for Crescentwood, the self‑help groups are collaborating around the safe‑house concept.  We expect that this fall they will have completed their arrangements for implementation of the safe‑house concept.  There are some issues around governance with a number of self‑help groups involved, and those will be resolved.

      I think there is a fair degree of agreement around the concepts of how and what the safe house should do, but it is the governance issues and the finalization of the, if you will, protocols of operation that are being developed.  We expect to have that completed this fall and the safe house in operation this fall.

Mr. Chomiak:  The entire question of housing is obviously of a good deal of importance in this area and could probably take us off on many, many tangents with respect to all sorts of areas of mental health or people's ability to function in the community.

      Suffice to say, the question that I am asking is, are there any special initiatives in terms of assisting or improving the situation with respect to people who are in some difficulty and their housing environments?

Mr. Orchard:  Under the co‑ordination of CMHC Winnipeg there are some 115 housing units that will be co‑ordinated by their efforts, and 20 housing units in collaboration with Winnipeg Housing Authority will be in addition to that.  The time line would be later this year.  July 1 for the first 115 individuals and then the other 20 by fall, say, September.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, I am very pleased to hear that. Are these new additional housing opportunities being provided for individuals?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, not all of them.  Some of them are existing housing opportunities that are being co‑ordinated. It was part of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Winnipeg Region, and it is some existing resource supplemented by additional units that are coming from Winnipeg Housing Authority.  So in total, an opportunity for additional living arrangements for 40 individuals.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, the minister and the former member for The Maples and myself‑‑I am not certain if it was passed on to the member for Crescentwood (Ms. Gray)‑‑received a document June 11 from the Canadian Mental Health Association for our use in Estimates, to assist them and to assist us in determining the base‑line data, et cetera.

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      I am wondering how we can go about providing this information in the matrix for the Canadian Mental Health Association because it strikes me as extremely valid and useful.  I wonder how we can best obtain this information without necessarily burning up committee hours.

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, I just asked my assistant deputy minister if my office had forwarded that over.  If it has gone over, it has not gone over to his attention.  So I will have to follow up on that tomorrow and find out the status of how we have dealt with it within the office, because I am 99 percent sure that we have received it in my office.

Mr. Chomiak:  I thank the minister, and perhaps we can deal with it next time or deal with the methodology of how we can approach the Canadian Mental Health Association in putting this useful information together.

      The question of prevention obviously comes to mind in this particular area.  I wonder what initiatives have been undertaken or will be undertaken in a preventative sense by the department this year?

Mr. Orchard:  Let me deal with it in a couple of areas and then my honourable friend can pose additional questions.  I think the overriding principle behind the shift from institution to community is to attempt as best possible to provide an earlier intervention, an earlier support of an individual requiring support through a mental health crisis.  That earlier provision of service to me is our most sensible approach in terms of prevention.

      I have often used the example that, and this may be an extreme example, but I think it illustrates where we are trying to move.  The system up until very recently would have had a hypothetical individual living independently and experiencing a deteriorating mental health circumstance to the point where the only response to provide service was a presentation at an emergency ward and probably an admission, involuntary or voluntary, to an acute psychiatric bed.  That had been a probably often‑used response.

      Today, that same individual, if the individual was part of a case managed study or the Mobile Crisis Team, but particularly in terms of the assertive case manager and their home support network that is to be in place midsummer and ongoing, instead of having our resources dedicated to stabilizing the individual after a crisis by having anywhere from several days to several weeks of inpatient services with, I think it would be fair to say, at least the opportunity for 24‑hour care, whether there was 24‑hour care is probably unlikely and to replace that with several hours per week of assistance so that the individual did not reach a crisis circumstance.  The analogy that I can make as closely as anything is, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as our grandmothers always told us.  That is in essence the shift we are trying to make.  That is No. 1 in terms of a prevention philosophy.

      Secondly, I believe that one of our most valuable resources in terms of a changing mental health system are our self‑help groups.  Our self‑help groups are composed primarily of individuals who have had direct personal or family experience or close friend experience in terms of varying mental health challenges and problems.  I think in terms of prevention the self‑help group can be as assistive and as helpful to‑‑let us deal with the issue of schizophrenia, for instance.  I think the self‑help group‑‑I get the new name not right and I do not want to be‑‑at any rate, the schizophrenia self‑help group.  I apologize for not having the name on the tip of my tongue at this late hour.  I believe that their knowledge and the parents who have experienced a child going through schizophrenia can provide other parents newly experiencing that difficulty at home with a family member with probably the recognizing signs and the support and how to manage and probably provides as much in terms of education, hence prevention, as probably any other part of the system can do.

      So from that standpoint, I offer my honourable friend those two:  the one as a general approach to the shift that we are trying to undertake in the system, and the second what I perceive to be the very valuable opportunity of self‑help groups in terms of providing a very significant component of support and advice and care and education to not only consumers and their immediate families, but also to the general public at large, because a number of the self‑help groups undertake speaking engagements and meeting formats and presentations to a wide variety of audiences including from time to time our high schools throughout Manitoba.  So they create an awareness of mental health.

      I guess if I can put it as simply as possible, I think probably the self‑help groups work very diligently in terms of‑‑I have the poster up in my office‑‑the stop‑the‑stigma aspect by making more and more people aware of the circumstances so they can be not frightened by, but supportive of, the individual who is suffering from a mental illness.  So if I can start the discussion with that answer, my honourable friend might have more questions.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, one of the experiences that I have noted is that many of those self‑help groups and many of those involved in the field providing that kind of service have grown up around the institution, specifically the community hospitals.  I am wondering what inducements are there for those institutions and those groups to continue.

      Let me give an example.  With the psychiatric beds being closed at Misericordia, will all of the various community activities being undertaken by that institution be allowed to continue?  When I say be allowed, quite clearly they have to be recognized in terms of the financial contributions, et cetera, to be able to continue given the shortages and the demands on the hospital budgets.  Has recognition been given to those kinds of resources that are available in the community?  Will recognition be given to those kinds of resources in the community to provide assistance in a preventative sense and in an ongoing sense?

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Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, as near as I can attempt to answer my honourable friend's question, yes, with the Misericordia specifically, their venue of outpatient services will remain as a component of their service delivery to the community on an outpatient basis.  Certainly a part of that would be helping individuals manage better to prevent crisis better, et cetera.

Mr. Chomiak:  Does the minister recognize the significance of pastoral care, et cetera, in this kind of role and activity and the significance of that in terms of the various institutions and otherwise?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, the role of the church, whether it be within institutions or at large, in terms of service to the community is an important component of helping individuals cope with mental illness personally or within the family.  It is not narrowed only to the institutional side but a larger, I think, responsibility and significant obligation that the church community has assumed for a number of years.  It is fair to say that they probably have been leading most others in terms of recognition of community support for individuals suffering from mental illness.

Mr. Chomiak:  Madam Chairperson, I have assumed most of our discussion has centred upon adult services for adult patients.  I am wondering what initiatives have been undertaken in terms of assistance to children and children's mental health?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, there are a number of initiatives specific to adolescent services.  Let me try to deal with it basically region by region.

      In the urban service area of Winnipeg, adolescent services working group has completed their report.  They have had their recommendations, I believe, accepted by the provincial advisory council.

      We are now engaged in working through the details of implementation, governance and the utilization of some additional resource capacity for adolescent program in the city of Winnipeg.  As I understand it, although I have not seen the final working group report, but it is indicated to me this evening that one of the significant recommendations is a more focused co‑ordination of existing resources.

      I think that is an appropriate recommendation because I have oftentimes said in other areas, and mental health is no different, that probably if we were to sum total our services and co‑ordinate them in a more appropriate fashion, we would probably resource services adequately if we had the ability to co‑ordinate them effectively.

      I think that is recognized by the working group, and that is one of the initiatives that will be part of, not only additional resources that are part of the change there, but a better co‑ordination of existing resources, so that maybe we can make them more effective and in essence more largely available and helpful.

      In terms of the Westman Region, year two of the reform in Westman Region involves, I believe it is eight beds of adolescent inpatient capacity for the Brandon region.  That would be the first inpatient service availability in Brandon and Westman Region.

      In association with that will be the availability not only of the inpatient capabilities but also outpatient services, again in a substantially enhanced capacity for Brandon and Westman Region.  It is an area that has not been particularly well resourced in the past.

      Similar propositions are being advanced by Norman and Thompson Regions, and although we have not received approval for either of those reform plans, we expect to in the near future. But a component of each, of Norman and Thompson, is an adolescent component so that we have those kinds of service delivery opportunities in the northern regions of the province as well.

Ms. Gray:  Just following up on a number of the questions that the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) asked.  The minister referred to these paraprofessionals that were part of this home outreach program.  Could the minister tell us how these paraprofessionals are trained, and are they hired on casual payroll, or what is their status?

Mr. Orchard:  For instance, in terms of the Salvation Army, because the Salvation Army is managing the intensive case management, the Mobile Crisis Team‑‑but the Salvation Army, in co‑ordinating the services, the Mobile Crisis Team from time to time will need to have an individual called in to help someone.

      That individual will be, I am anticipating and speculating, someone employed casually and not necessarily regular or full time, because, I am sure my honourable friend could appreciate, it is not sort of a steady requirement, if that is the way to put it.

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      There could be any number of professional disciplines involved, including for instance psychiatric nurses or social workers.  Their training opportunities will be undertaken to the degree necessary depending on their existing trained skills development to provide after‑care support, if that is the way to work it, the way to phrase it, after the Mobile Crisis Team has provided‑‑let us pick a number and say 75 or 80 percent of the professional input to the individual client‑‑and the second group of individuals, as paraprofessionals, would provide an extended period of time of support in‑home.

Ms. Gray:  Where will this pool of professionals or paraprofessional individuals come from or be recruited from, and who will be providing training, or will they need any type of specialized training?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, in this case, the Salvation Army will be responsible for the maintenance of the pool.  I guess a similar analogy that one could make would be the staff pool which is utilized in terms of the Continuing Care Program, sort of a similar roster of availability, and Salvation Army in collaboration with the Mental Health Division would be responsible for providing the appropriate training.

      Again, I have to say that depending on the training and the skills set that the individual might have, that training component can vary.  If you have a registered psychiatric nurse, appreciate that they have a fair degree of trained experience in this regard now.  If they were the individual who was perchance on the roster, to be on call for circumstances like this, they would be able to manage quite nicely, because in some circumstances would be taking over from service provision by one of their trained confreres, for instance.

Ms. Gray:  The minister also was speaking about the Mobile Crisis Team and talked about how part of their responsibility could be that they could be asked to be consultants or resource people at an emergency at a hospital.  I understand, or I recognize the fact that the expansion of the Mobile Crisis Team is new, so probably statistics are not available.  Given the original program where there were three or so SYs and that there are statistics available, because of the new computerized statistical gathering in mental health, does the minister have a sense of, even with the initial program before its expansion, what percentage of the staff time was spent in doing some type of work or intervention at a hospital as opposed to at a residence or somewhere out in the community?

Mr. Orchard:  We do not have past experience with the team composed of three individuals, because in their more confined focus of service delivery they were not providing services at emergency, for instance, in hospitals, as the expanded Mobile Crisis Team will be.  So we do not have a before and after comparison I can give to my honourable friend.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, so really the focus of the Mobile Crisis Team, that program has changed then and it has expanded in terms of the role of the staff and the role they play in the continuum of mental health services.

Mr. Orchard:  I think that is a fair assessment, because in going from three to 11, we have been able to increase the hours of service and the opportunity of focused service provision including emergency assistance.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, does the Mobile Crisis staff, I am assuming, have direct access then to the crisis stabilization beds at Sara Riel and at Salvation Army?  That would be my first question.  Also, do they have access during the weekends and evenings to psychiatrists, should they need to bring in a psychiatrist to consult with or provide medication?

Mr. Orchard:  That is correct, Madam Chairperson.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, the minister also, in response to the member for Kildonan, spoke about the report of the child and adolescent services subcommittee and that the report has been approved by the provincial council or provincial advisory council.  The minister referred to co‑ordination of services as being one of the issues that was presented in that report.

      Can the minister indicate to us some of the other recommendations or issues that came out in that report in regard to the child and adolescent services for Winnipeg?

Mr. Orchard:  Well, there was also some recommendation of expanded services.  If I can indicate to my honourable friend that I am a little bit ill at ease in terms of discussing some of the potential details, other than to comment that the process has recognized the need for (a) co‑ordination and (b) for some additional services, and we are in the process of planning the actualization of those recommendations and will be able to, I think, make announcements mid to late summer as to how we are able to accept the recommendations and put them into action in the system.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, is there a particular amount of money that is in this budget, '93‑94, that has specifically been designated for child and adolescent services, or new monies?

Mr. Orchard:  Yes, there is some financial resource available, if and when the recommendations are accepted and we have a better sense of the dollar commitments required.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister tell us what that potential amount of money is?  I am not suggesting that it would all be used, but is there a specific amount or top limit that would be potentially available for development of services?

Mr. Orchard:  My honourable friend is playing an intriguing game of poker, and she is making me give away the farm.

      There is an annualized commitment of a half million dollars that we believe up to could be used.  Appreciate that with the march of time certainly that commitment will not be expended this year, because we are likely not to have more than, oh, say, four to six months of experience.  That is the ballpark, in terms of estimated financial commitment, that could be focused with appropriate service provision recommendations going through the clearance processes.

Ms. Gray:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister tell us which group of community mental health staff are currently now housed at the new Health Sciences Centre building‑‑new psychiatric centre building?

Mr. Orchard:  Madam Chairperson, I am informed that we have between eight and 10 individuals working out of the region serving that general catchment area of the city who are based out of the psych health building, community mental health workers.

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Madam Chairperson:  As previously agreed, the hour being 12 p.m., committee rise.

      Call in the Speaker.




Madam Deputy Speaker (Louise Dacquay):  The hour being after 10 p.m., this House is adjourned and stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).