This is page numbers 171 - 209 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 6th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was report.

Topics

Supplementary To Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of Nwt Infrastructure Program
Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of NWT Infrastructure Program
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

Fred Koe Inuvik

Mahsi, Madam Speaker. My final supplementary is what time frame are we looking at to begin these programs? Specifically, when can communities expect to receive money to begin some of the projects that they've identified?

Supplementary To Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of Nwt Infrastructure Program
Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of NWT Infrastructure Program
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Nerysoo.

Further Return To Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of Nwt Infrastructure Program
Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of NWT Infrastructure Program
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just to indicate to the honourable Member that allocations have been identified based on the same kind of determinations we had with the community works program last year. While this is a two-year initiative, we're still using the same kind of criteria.

What I would suggest to the honourable Member and to the communities is that they have an opportunity now to identify and priorize certain infrastructure needs in their community. They then can develop the proposals based on that. I think it's important that they work together to ensure that the projects we're talking about are of benefit to the community in total, and the results in the long term are going to be in the interests of the community, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal.

Further Return To Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of Nwt Infrastructure Program
Question 87-12(6): Status Of Implementation Of NWT Infrastructure Program
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 6, oral questions. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Lewis.

Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. Last month, the Canadian Association for Independent Business published the results of a survey that it had done on business loans to businesses across the country. There was some alarming information that was reported, the main one being that although small businesses create all the jobs, there have been more loan applications turned down in the past fiscal year than in the year before. Many small businesses have gone under for that reason, they have no access to capital.

I would like to ask the Minister, there's no clear indication of what information was applied from the Northwest Territories, where small businesses are having difficulties in obtaining loans from our chartered banks.

Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Mr. Todd.

Return To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I don't think there's any doubt. I've spoken on a number of occasions in the House about the need to improve access to capital. I know, in terms of the Mortgage Investment Corporation that we talked about last week, that's one means that we're looking at for residential and commercial mortgages. We have the Business Credit Corporation and its new approach to more authority at the regional level and a new approach in terms of the $5,000 grants.

With respect to the chartered banks, I can't specifically say one way or the other whether they've shrunk their exposure when it comes to lending. I know that I can say one thing to the honourable Member, there has been tremendous pressure on the Business Credit Corporation over the last year, and that may be a reflection of the fact that our financial institutions aren't lending to the level and to the degree that we're accustomed to. But I don't have any specific data or research that indicates one way or the other. Thank you.

Return To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Supplementary, Mr. Lewis.

Supplementary To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

For some time, we've identified access to capital as one of the big problems facing our small businesses across the territories. So I would like to ask the Minister, since we can assume that the difficulty continues for our small businesses to get capital and access to loans and so on, what status is the discussion now at with regard to setting up our own credit union system in the Northwest Territories so that there would be small pools of capital to serve our needs?

Supplementary To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 174

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Mr. Todd.

Further Return To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. If I may just go back to the original question, I would say to the honourable Member that I did recently seek an additional $3 million for the Credit Corporation because all the funds we had in the past were taken up. That again, may be an indication of the activity as well as the possibility that the banks are not lending to the same degree as they have in the past.

With respect to the Arctic co-ops credit union initiative that's been going on for heaven knows how many years, we're currently putting forward an application to the EDA secretariat seeking some fiscal support for the ACL's application to seed or bridge-finance the dollars that are required for the establishment of an ACL-sponsored credit union. We're optimistic that the potential for that could be approved some time in November. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Supplementary, Mr. Lewis.

Supplementary To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

This government has gone hot and cold on credit unions over the last 10 years, so I would like to ask the Minister since this seems to be the attitude that has some potential, whether the government in fact has a positive view towards the development of some kind of system so that we would have at least some access for our small businesses to get capital.

Supplementary To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Minister of Economic Development and Tourism.

Further Return To Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Question 88-12(6): Difficulties Of Small Businesses Obtaining Loans
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

John Todd Keewatin Central

Madam Speaker, I would say that the current temperature is very hot; that we're in the process of aggressively pursuing some seed money to assist ACL in the development of its credit union. However, I'm sure the honourable Member knows that they will require significantly more equity than what we're able to provide. But I made a commitment to the board of directors and to the president who has probably sent me more letters than Santa Claus with respect to this issue, that we're going to move quickly to provide him with the fiscal resources necessary to move forward on this credit union. It's an important initiative. Thank you.