This is page numbers 431 - 469 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 chairman.

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Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier again. I am following up on questions that were asked by Mrs. Groenewegen and Mr. Ootes. Unlike them, they are looking for long term funds and I think that is important, but I think within the next year we are going to need additional funds to provide proper health care and teacher education in our communities. I am looking for funds in the short term, Mr. Speaker. Sometimes I sit on this side of the House and get very frustrated when Ordinary Members ask questions of the Ministers along the lines of when are you going to put more funds into education, or when are you going to put more funds into the health care, and the Ministers respond there is no more money and then they ask the question, where do you want us to take it from?

Mr. Speaker, I find that very frustrating with the very competent and capable bureaucracy that these Ministers have at their disposal, and they are asking Ordinary Members over on this side of the House, who have limited resources in research staff, to provide those answers. Mr. Speaker, I fully intend to answer the question that is put by some of the Ministers sometimes when they ask where are we going to find the funds?

Mr. Speaker, we all know that there are large amounts of money spent by this government in the area of travel. I am wondering if the Premier would agree with me that the amount that is spent in travel, and I do not anticipate that the Premier would have that type of information available to him, but would he agree with me that there is probably at least $10 million a year spent on travel within the government? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Mr. Premier.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when the honourable Member asked about travel, I take it he meant all travel that is paid for by the government. I am told that medical travel alone is way more than $10 million a year. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Minister for part of that answer, and I appreciate that he may not have the information available. What I was talking about, Mr. Speaker, is travel that takes place by the bureaucracy, by politicians, that amount of money. Would he agree that, that is probably in excess of $10 million a year? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Mr. Premier.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is something I am not very familiar with. I have to consult with my finance Minister, so I will try to get that answer to the Member as soon as I can. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, on the question of travel, I recognize that is extremely important for the government and is extremely important for the bureaucracy that they meet their counterparts, go to conferences, bring back new ideas and different ways of doing things. I think that is very important, and I am not looking at trying to curb that. I personally, and I am sure each one of us have paid full fair tickets on occasion, Mr. Speaker, and this is the type of money that I am trying to propose that the government look at saving. My question to the Premier is, would he consider initiating a policy where travel can only be done on excursion rates? In other words, you have to plan seven days ahead before you would take a trip. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Premier.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I will have to look at this. I think the Members of Cabinet will have to discuss this, and then we will look at it to see whether that is a possibility. I think it is a good idea. I think we may have policies in place already that kind of direct us in regards to new travel policies and so forth. There are policies in place. We will look at those and see what the possibilities are to taking this suggestion of the honourable Member into looking at this policy. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 439

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the Premier, if he has some calculations done on each department in the past years and the amount the budget that was used for travel and the portion that could be saved -- I wonder if the Minister would bring that information back to the House each year, how much travel took place for the last couple of years and how many fares were full fare and how many were excursion, and let us try and get a difference on what this government could save. Will the Premier commit to bringing that

information back to the House? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 440

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Mr. Premier.

Further Return To Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Question 157-13(7): Funds Spent On Travel By The Government
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 440

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. Whenever a request is made for departments to do research into what happened in the last couple of years takes a substantial amount of time. Perhaps that research will be a good research if it eventually saves money, and we will do that. Thank you.