Transcript of meeting #1 for Midterm Review Committee in the 18th Assembly. (The original version is on the Legislative Assembly's site.) The winning word was work.

The winning word was work.

On the agenda

MLAs speaking

Ms. Green’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

The Honourable Premier.

Ms. Green’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. The government has been operating on an as and when basis with regards to committees. We do have interactions with the city at different departmental levels. Yellowknife MLAs meet regularly with city council before session.

I think it’s come to a point where a more significant interaction is required. Just recently, we had received a letter from the mayor and council outlining a whole host of areas in which the city is operating where it appears to be territorial issues as the Member indicates. We’re very prepared to sit down with the city as a Cabinet and the appropriate Ministers because we take responsibility for those areas that are the responsibility of the Government of the Northwest Territories. We don’t shirk our responsibilities, so we would be prepared to meet with them. If we can set up a process to work together, to improve and make most of these difficult issues to improve, we would be quite prepared to do that. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Ms. Green’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Questions to the Premier. Next on my list, I have Member Nakimayak.

Mr. Nakimayak’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, I’d like to commend the Premier on his earlier comment about leaving a legacy. Coming from an Indigenous background, I know that for Inuit and for other Indigenous groups remain who we are, we must continue to harvest and co-manage our lands and resources whether it would be living resources or mineral resources of any type. I think all of our actions then and even now and moving forward are very important to the people in the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Chair, there are seven regional Indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories that have their own rights, responsibilities, and priorities in addition to the Government of the Northwest Territories. Since the devolution of lands and resources in 2014, some of those roles and responsibilities have changed. The GNWT has now a bigger role to play in managing lands and resources in the Northwest Territories. At the same time, settled land claims mean that Indigenous governments like the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation are major land owners in the territory and have their own authority to decide how their lands in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region are managed and developed.

Mr. Chair, I’d like to ask the Premier to talk about how this government works in partnership with Indigenous governments to benefit all residents of the Northwest Territories while respecting the rights and wishes of Indigenous people and governments. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Nakimayak’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The Honourable Premier.

Mr. Nakimayak’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We operate with Aboriginal governments in a number of areas. As predicated on the respect, recognition, and responsibility policy that we’ve developed for our dealings with Aboriginal governments, we have signed intergovernmental MOUs with almost all of the Aboriginal governments where it’s a formalized process where we agree to meet on a regular basis to discuss areas of most importance to Aboriginal governments.

We also have established an intergovernmental council where we meet with the Aboriginal governments that own land, major land holders in the Northwest Territories where we have agreed to manage the lands in the Northwest Territories for which each government has responsibilities on a collaborative basis. It’s a process that started with the advent of devolution. Our government has been the chair. We have a process where we work together and we’re looking at moving the chairmanship around among the different participating governments. I think that it’ll provide some consistency and some collaboration and understanding of what everyone’s doing in the areas of land management. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Nakimayak’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Questions to the Premier. Next on my list, I have Member Nadli.

Mr. Nadli’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We’ve just experienced a very beautiful summer and time has passed and fall is here. Naturally, change is inevitable. My question is to the Premier. What advice can he give to new members of the executive council? Mahsi.

Mr. Nadli’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

The Honourable Premier.

Mr. Nadli’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you, Mr. Chair. That’s a very interesting question. I think we had several new members of executive council. I guess the most important one is to read all your material, expect to work very long hours, and to put in the time to learn your portfolios. It is very important to establish networks and to surround yourself with the brightest, smartest people that you can find to help you achieve the objectives of the government in your areas of responsibility. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Nadli’s Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Questions to the Premier. Member Testart.

Mr. Testart's Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. As honourable Members of this House know, I'm a big fan of process, of transparency, and of accountability. The Premier has had a very respectable career, and I applaud him for it. He's been here for three terms, two of those terms as Premier and all of them on Cabinet, as he said earlier.

After all of that experience, especially working very closely within the machinery of government, I'd like to echo a question my colleague Mr. Vanthuyne asked of the Cabinet, which is: what challenges exist within consensus, and how can we improve it? I know we've done a lot of work in this Assembly, but from the Premier's own perspective: what works best, what doesn't work, and how can we fix it? In particular, I'd also like to ask my question of: would he commit to having an open Territorial Leadership Committee vote rather than a secret ballot vote? It seems to be the direction this Cabinet is taking on leadership matters. Thank you.

Mr. Testart's Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The Honourable Premier.

Mr. Testart's Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. For the most part with consensus government, I think we're able to achieve some significant objectives. My colleague in Yukon wonders how we can get anything done, especially when he looks at our budget process. They have a majority government. They do up their budget, they slap it down on the table when session starts, and 28 days later, whatever the level of debate is, they pass the budget. He said he can only remember one instance where there was one change made in the budget, as opposed to our process, where there are significant fingerprints on the budget. I think that some areas that we're constantly working to improve on are communication and working with committees on decision-making, and I think that we need to continue to work in that regard.

With regards to the TLC and the vote, I think that's a discussion that should be had. I think if you're looking at that, you might as well throw out whether we should move to a party system or not as well. We might as well look at all of those issues. I think of the Boundaries Commission. I'm not sure when that - I think it's every second government. For all of those things, if that's what the Members want, then we can have that discussion. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Testart's Question
Members’ Questions for the Premier

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Questions for the Premier. Member O'Reilly.