This is page numbers 171 - 185 of the Hansard for the 13th Assembly, 7th 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 work.

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Supplementary To Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also see, while I mentioned the social areas, I think there are other areas such as employment areas, transition from school to work, and I appreciate the Minister's comment that he would like to seek the Members' input from this side. Could the Minister tell us if he will, as he formulates this particular youth thrust, if he could keep us informed by way of a briefing session with the Members through the Government Operations Committee, for example?

Supplementary To Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 175

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would be happy to commit to a meeting with the committee whenever would be convenient to them, or whenever we have reached the point where we have enough on paper that we could present it to them. Whenever would be convenient to the committee, I would be happy to meet with them. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Question 61-13(7): Youth Assignment Responsibilities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Erasmus.

Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. The last little while we have been hearing in the news, of course, how Royal Oak is going through some very tough times with low gold prices, copper prices, things like that, and is on the brink of bankruptcy. Of course, this affects the Giant Mine here. What I would like to know is if our Premier could expound a little on what this government is doing to keep the mine in operation. Obviously, with approximately 250 to 280 jobs involved, it is a huge concern of the people in Yellowknife. Thank you.

Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Premier.

Return To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the situation with Royal Oak, and specifically the concern for us here in the Northwest Territories is two holdings of Royal Oak, which are the Giant Mine and the Colomac Mine, specifically more the Giant Mine here. There is going to be a decision, I understand, on Friday. The judge that is reviewing this has given until Friday for a decision. I understand that the judge has asked Trilon, the financier, and the noteholders to come to court on Friday with a more detailed restructuring plan for Giant Mine. This is what we understand to be. At the present time, we have to wait and see what we are doing.

What we are doing as a government is, we had a briefing from DIAND on this issue to indicate to us the seriousness of this situation here in regard to Yellowknife. We, as a government, would like to ensure that we protect the economic viability of this mine and we also want to ensure that the environmental issues are adequately dealt with, both in the short term as well as the long term. Our officials have been meeting with the officials of the federal government, the City of Yellowknife, as well as the Northwest Territories Power Corporation over the weekend to monitor developments as they occur. In addition, Minister Kakfwi has been in Ottawa. He had a meeting with the Honourable Jane Stewart, the Minister responsible for Indian and Northern Affairs. At this present time, since we have indication that there will be a decision made by the judge on Friday, we are in a wait and see mode right now. Thank you.

Return To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad to hear that the government has basically indicated that they are trying to keep the mine open and alive and protect the jobs involved, but we also know that, I do not know how much, but there is an awful lot of arsenic under that mine. I am wondering, is there currently a plan to deal with all that arsenic? From what I understand, there could be up to 100 to 150 jobs for 20 years if this government perhaps, and the federal government got together and instituted a plan to neutralize the arsenic and to perhaps sell it as a commodity. Is there a plan to deal with this arsenic? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, at the meeting that the Honourable Mr. Kakfwi had with Minister Jane Stewart, there was an agreement to work jointly with DIAND and the other stakeholders to ensure that the environmental and economic interests are reflected in future decisions. As a result of the meeting yesterday, there is agreement that we have to work together to look at what the future holds for us. Again, I have to say that on Friday when the judge will finally make a decision on what to do with Royal Oak, and subsequently with Giant Mine, we would know at that time what course of action to take.

In the meantime, there is a spirit of co-operation to work together. In regard to the amount of potential environment hazards that are there in the mines with the arsenic, there are studies that indicate there is $250 million worth of work to be done in there. DIAND has indicated that they would like to study it, but we know how DIAND studies things, so we would like to get some action right away ourselves. We do not know what is there. The suggestion of Minister Stewart, which we agree with, is that a meeting of arsenic experts should be held to provide both levels of government and other stakeholders with their advice. There is some movement in that direction.

In regard to the amount of jobs there may be for cleaning up this environmental hazard that is there, our figures are substantially less than what the honourable Member is indicating. He is saying that there might be 150 jobs for 20 years, our figures are substantially less than that. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could the Premier indicate if there is any immediate danger to wildlife and people living in this area from the arsenic that has accumulated there?

Supplementary To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Question 62-13(7): Support For Giant Mine
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 176

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the federal department of DIAND is monitoring the situation and

we take the information that they give us. From the information, there is no immediate danger for the contaminants to leak into the environment as long as they have power provided to the mine and they have the pumps working to keep the ground water out of the shaft where the arsenic is, from what we understand. Even if the court decision on Friday is for Giant to go into receivership, we understand that DIAND's plan of action is to immediately get into a care and maintenance mode, which is that they will keep the power going so that the pumps will keep on pumping the ground water out. As far as a response to the honourable Member, we are told that there is no immediate danger to the environment. Thank you.