This is page numbers 357 - 395 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 highway.

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Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

April 27th, 1999

Page 368

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to again address some questions to the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development on the matter of the NWT Development Corporation. The auditor general, Mr. Speaker, prepared a report for March, 1996, which was issued in the summer of 1997 and made available to us that fall. In that report, the auditor general, in the early part of his review of the Development Corporation, made reference to a number of areas. The first one was, it said "set specific measurable objectives for each business or corporate activity as part of the overall mandate". My question for the Minister is, were measurable objectives prepared by the board and the president of the Development Corporation for the marketing operations in the south? Thank you.

Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, Mr. Kakfwi.

Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Following the concerns by the auditor general in his report that was given to us as a government, there were procedures set out for approving the business plans of each of the subsidiaries. We asked that each subsidiary develop a business plan which would include all the financial information including projected revenues and expenses, that these plans would then be reviewed and evaluated by the subsidiary managers and the business advisors within the NWT Development Corporation. The business plans would then go and be reviewed and approved by the corporation president and given then to the board of directors for their consideration and approval. It would then also go to the Minister and the Financial Management Board. We also set out that the Minister should submit a list of the recommended contribution agreements for each subsidiary to the Financial Management Board for approval. Those were the processes used in considering the measurable objectives that were asked for by the auditor general.

For the marketing operations down south, one of the major indicators of success, we thought, was the amount of sales generated and if those exceeded the cost of operations, that would tell us whether we are making a profit or not. I am not sure if Members are aware, but we did set up these outlets so that there were weekly and monthly figures coming out, so that the president could monitor very closely the performance of each of these outlets down to the point of tracking the sales. The fact is, all these outlets, even with subsidies, were losing money generously. That led to the decision by the executive of the Arctic Canada Trading Company to begin shutting down those outlets and for Arctic Canada Trading to look at other ways to market and sell our products. Thank you.

Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you. Mr. Speaker, my question related to whether objectives were prepared. I am wondering if the Minister could tell us, did the board and the officials meet that objective on a consistent basis from the time the auditor general's report was prepared? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Kakfwi.

Further Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I am not able to answer the Member comprehensively. As I said earlier today, in February the Financial Management Board met, and it was decided, at that time, to allow me to do an operational audit of the Development Corporation because of the concerns that were expressed by the auditor general and the concerns that were raised within the government as well about the operations of the Development Corporation, particularly in regard to our ability to respond to the concerns raised by the auditor general over the last few years. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister Mentioned that the investment exceeded the expectations and the return of the southern operations. Could he clarify that for us please?

Supplementary To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Kakfwi.

Further Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 368

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I am able to tell Members that none of the outlets were making money, that we ventured out into the private world, private business, and our outlets were losing money in a big way. Due to an extreme shortage of money we needed to shore up our operations and to do it as quickly as possible, but there are other projects and there are communities that are asking the Development Corporation to look at different initiatives and projects that require additional funds that we are unable to respond to at this time. Therefore, it is necessary, as Members know, to make sure that where public dollars are being spent, that they are being managed and being spent in the most prudent and wise way possible. Again, the operational audit is being conducted on the Development Corporation and all these questions will be

addressed in an orderly way. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 369

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 369

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Could the Minister tell me if any northerners were employed on a day-to-day basis in the southern outlets?

Supplementary To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 369

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Kakfwi.

Further Return To Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Question 139-13(7): Auditor General's Report On Development Corporation Operations
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 369

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not privy to the information about who were hired and what qualifications were used, what criteria, but I understand these were all people who lived in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria who worked in these places. Thank you.