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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Return To Question 159-13(7): GNWT Purchasing Power
Question 159-13(7): GNWT Purchasing Power
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 441

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think that is a very excellent point the honourable Member is making in regard to purchasing power. Yes, we do have over $700 million a year in our budget and we do have a lot of say in it. Whenever we travel down south and meet with our counterparts, let us say in Alberta, BC or Ontario, studies show that whenever a dollar is spent in the north in terms of development, let us say the Ekati Mines, the diamond mine when it was built, every dollar that was spent there, 80 cents of it found its way down south, some place in Alberta, Ontario or BC. The southern provinces benefit from whatever happens in the north. I do not think we have advantage of that, and I think we have started to address that whenever we travel and meet with our counterparts down south. We want them to turn their attention North, not only to their northern borders but beyond that, where we are, and say that there are people up here and there are opportunities here and we have to work in partnership with each other. On that, this government had a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Government of Alberta that there would be cooperation and coordination of work up in the North and that sort of arrangement needs to be made.

We have to also look at ourselves here in the Western Territories in terms of how we spend our money. How are we spending our money? I think the Economic Strategy, hopefully, addresses that as well. We are a smaller territory, we have resources, we have x, number of dollars to spend, how can we best utilize it so that we have maximum benefits from what we have up here. I agree with the Member, we certainly are going to take a look at the suggestion that he has made and we hope to address it as we go along, working with Mr. Kakfwi in developing our Economic Strategy. Thank you.

Return To Question 159-13(7): GNWT Purchasing Power
Question 159-13(7): GNWT Purchasing Power
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 441

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Oral questions. Mr. Henry.

Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 441

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It seems that this side of the House is after money savings and I am going to continue along that line, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister responsible for RWED, Mr. Kakfwi. Mr. Speaker, we all know the importance of setting rules and policies and ensuring that those are enforced and my honourable Member for Yellowknife North quizzed the Minister the past couple of days about the fact of and the importance of following rules. A couple of days ago, in answer to questions that I posed, the Minister told me that, in fact, there were some amounts of money that were distributed through the Development Corporation which exceeded the FMB guidelines. I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the Minister could confirm that statement is accurate, that some funds that are distributed through the NWT Development Corporation do exceed the Financial Management Board guidelines? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 441

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

The Minister responsible for Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, Mr. Kakfwi.

Return To Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 442

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I should let Members know that as of this morning there is a total of nine members now on the Board of the NWT Development Corporation. Cabinet is now is full compliance with the requirements of the act.

In regard to proper spending authorities being in place for expenditure of monies, this is one of the responsibilities perhaps that the Auditor General performs where public money is being spent. I believe that the Auditor General has pointed out for a number of years concerns that he has about the operational manner, perhaps, of the NWT Development Corporation. We have tasked the president of the Development Corporation to address those concerns over the last number of years. The Auditor General this year has again raised concerns, so we have decided to do an operational audit and I believe we are moving to have a full comprehensive audit of the Development Corporation so that we can be very specific about whether or not we are operating properly. These are not exact accounting terms or legal terms that I am using but, if we are not complying in the eyes of the Auditor General then I want to move decisively this year to address those concerns and we are moving in that direction. Thank you.

Return To Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 442

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 442

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I believe the Minister did tell this House that the Financial Management Board guidelines were exceeded and what I am looking for, is that statement correct that the Financial Management Board guidelines were exceeded in funds that were distributed through the NWT Development Corporation? If that is so, I would like to know how much it was, who authorized it, and who received the funds? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 442

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Mr. Kakfwi.

Further Return To Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 442

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let me say that, this year, we know that the Development Corporation has a smaller scope of operation, there are fewer subsidiaries to support and fund. The headquarters staff have less work to do. The Arctic Canada Trading Company, I believe, also has less product to move because the entire jurisdiction of Nunavut is now no longer the responsibility of Arctic Canada Trading Company. It follows that we can expect them to downsize at least on a temporary basis. We have concerns from the Auditor General that suggest that we should have some concerns about the size of some of the operations of the subsidiaries.

On the political side, and I have said this to the standing committee, many of our communities in the west do not receive a single dollar from the Development Corporation because there are no subsidiaries, no projects in many of the communities. We now have some projects that are being proposed to us for which we are unable to respond. It follows that some of the subsidiaries that are taking more than the approved allocation of funds by the FMB should be reviewed and the Great Slave Forest Products is one subsidiary that is taking a large amount of funding support from the Development Corporation. It is necessary to address that.

It should be pointed out, I guess, that this is not a subsidiary that is exactly locally owned or controlled, but we have advanced to the people of Fort Resolution a number of suggestions. The difficulty we are having right now is trying to make sure that the financial information we have about the operation of that subsidiary, the financial information that we get is accurate and factual. That is going to take us a little while. We have been unable, as I understand it, to provide the information that the Auditor General has been asking for a number of years now. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Question 160-13(7): Development Corporation Expenditure Guidelines
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 442

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Question period is over, but I will allow Mr. Henry his final supplementary. Do you have a final supplementary? No. Question period is over. Item 7, written questions. Item 8, returns to written questions. Item 9, replies to opening address. Item 10, petitions. Item 11, reports of standing and special committees. Item 12, reports of committees on the review of bills. Item 13, tabling of documents. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Tabled Document 36-13(7): Letter From Hay River Parent Focus Group Regarding Education Issues
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 442

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to table a letter from the Parent Focus Group in Hay River who have written a letter regarding the issues of education. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tabled Document 36-13(7): Letter From Hay River Parent Focus Group Regarding Education Issues
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 442

The Deputy Speaker David Krutko

Tabling of documents. Item 14, notices of motion. Item 15, notices of motion for first reading of bills. Item 16, motions. Item 17, first reading of bills. Item 18, second reading of bills. Item 19, consideration in committee of the whole of bills and other matters. Bill 17, with Mrs. Groenewegen in the chair.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

April 29th, 1999

Page 442

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

I call the committee of the whole to order. We are continuing on from yesterday with the Department of Health and Social Services. Is the committee agreed?

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 442

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 442

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you. Would the Minister like to bring witnesses?