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

Page 177

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Krutko.

Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

April 13th, 1999

Page 177

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Transportation. It is in regard to a priority of this government, which is to ensure that transportation programs and services are delivered in a manner that maximizes local and territorial training, employment and business opportunities.

Mr. Speaker, I have a concern, especially coming from a small riding where a lot of contracts are going to companies in the larger centres, yet we have a high unemployment rate in a lot of our small communities where we are looking at 80, in some cases 85 percent unemployment. A lot of these contracts are being let go, yet the people in the communities are still having problems getting work, especially when these opportunities come about. Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister is, what is the Minister and his department doing to ensure that there are maximum employment opportunities to local communities when they do offer contracts and services for those particular communities or surrounding those particular communities?

Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Steen.

Return To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as the Member knows, this government has policies, such as the Business Incentive Policy, which offers opportunities for employment in small communities through the large contractors. Also, there is opportunity for firms from the small communities to request negotiated contracts with the government. If the government receives such a request they would consider it, and it would probably take a preference to public tender. Again, it would depend on the negotiated contract being approved by Cabinet.

However, the point here is that there are opportunities or the intent is to allow for opportunities for local employment by larger contractors, and also to share the contract work with the smaller firms in the communities. I believe that is the intent of the Business Incentive Policy. The government does have a process in place which monitors the larger contractors to assure that some of these benefits do pass on to the small communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The intention is great, but I think we have to put it into practice. There are several contracts that have gone out in my riding in the last couple of weeks in which a majority of those contracts have gone to Inuvik firms, but maximum potential for employment seems to be the operators who come in from Inuvik to do those jobs. Yet, there are a lot of unemployed people in the communities who have class one driver's licences and are not able to get a job. I would like to ask the Minister, what is your department doing to ensure and monitor these contracts to ensure the maximum potential for employment in small communities is there? What are you doing?

Supplementary To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Steen.

Further Return To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Member is aware that I am very new to this department and I would, at this time, rather than give the Member a wrong answer, I will commit to take the question to the department and get a clear response from the department as to exactly how they intend to monitor the contractors to ensure the northern benefits are available to the community. In particular, the communities where the work is being done, but I must again emphasize the Business Incentive Policy does require monitoring and it is not only the Department of Transportation that does the monitoring, it is RWED as well that monitors the benefits from the Business Incentive Policy. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to also ask the Minister if he can possibly publish a list of all the jobs that have been created from these contracts in local communities so that we can see exactly how this policy is adhered to, and also that it is benefiting local communities?

Supplementary To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Steen.

Further Return To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 177

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, again I am going to have to get back to the Member as to how exactly the department has been monitoring in the past the benefits to the small communities. We could possibly do, the department could do an internal survey as to how many contracts we have actually been going public with versus negotiated contracts and get the numbers in that particular area, and see which ones would in fact show a benefit to that particular community or the communities in the region. Again, I am going to have to get back to the Member with that information.

Further Return To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 178

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 178

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I do not ask this question just in regard to my region because I believe the economy of the north, especially in the smaller communities, and the riding I represent, depend on this work for employment for the residents of the small communities. I think this is the only real opportunity we have, especially in the Mackenzie Delta region, for employment, is the transportation contracts that we do receive.

I would just like to stress, I think it is important this government monitors to see the social benefits that also come from these contracts to the communities, and I think that it is important that we use 100 percent local employment, also consideration of sub-contractors in a lot of our small communities, and also the labour force that is in our communities where we have high unemployment rates. I think this government should consider posting this information so people can see the benefits that flow from these public contracts.

Supplementary To Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Question 63-13(7): Awarding Of Transportation Contracts
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 178

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Steen.