This is page numbers 6965 - 7000 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 6th 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 assembly.

Topics

Reflections On The 16th Assembly
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Member for Monfwi, Mr. Lafferty.

Statement To Residents Of Monfwi
Members’ Statements

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. [English translation not provided.]

Statement To Residents Of Monfwi
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. The honourable Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Michael McLeod.

Reflections On The 16th Assembly
Members’ Statements

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s good to see you were saving the best for last.

I considered making a response to the opening address yesterday and I crafted a long list. Then I looked at it and it was all about me. Since I don’t like to brag about myself, I’ll just keep it short.

I did want to say farewell to a number of people who are leaving us today, and best of luck. First of all to yourself, Mr. Speaker. I think we’re the only two left from the people who were elected in the 14th Assembly. I thank you for your time here and

working with you. I want to wish you the best of luck.

Of course our Premier, who has decided not to run again. It’s been a real long eight years that we’ve worked together, especially in our time on Cabinet. We didn’t always see eye to eye, but we’ve managed to resolve issues and move forward.

I also wanted to wish David the best of luck. I think David is one of the few people that can still wear his moosehide jacket after all these years. The rest of us no longer fit them.

Most of us will be travelling home to start our campaigns, to start connecting with our constituents, and get our teams together, and start putting our platforms together if we haven’t already done so.

I wanted to say thank you to my staff over the years. I’ve had a number of constituency assistants. Lately Cynthia’s been working with me and she’s done a very good job and I’ve been very happy with her work. I also have to thank Doug Pon, who’s been with me for the whole term that I was a Minister of the last eight years. He’s always been very loyal and helped me steer out of trouble. Also Rachel, who has been with me in the last while and is doing a very good job; I’m very happy with her work.

I also have to say a special thank you to my family, who has stuck with me for these many years. It was interesting to hear my daughter at a federal candidates forum in Fort Providence who was there representing the youth and asked questions to the candidates. She did an interview with CBC later on and they asked her, they made the point of indicating to her that she seemed fairly familiar with territorial issues and wanted to know when she developed an interest in politics. She answered by saying that she was born into it. I think she was a young baby when I got involved in politics, and today she left for college. I’m very proud of her.

Reflections On The 16th Assembly
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Your time for your Member’s statement has expired.

Reflections On The 16th Assembly
Members’ Statements

August 25th, 2011

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Reflections On The 16th Assembly
Members’ Statements

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

I want to quickly thank my constituents for the support they’ve shown, to all my friends in the communities of the Deh Cho. I will be seeking support for running another term. I will be back in the community starting Friday and be gearing up for the election.

I want to say in closing, best of luck to all my colleagues who are running again and best of luck to all the candidates who are planning to put their names forward.

Reflections On The 16th Assembly
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Item 4, reports of standing and special committees. The honourable Member for Kam Lake, Mr. Ramsay.

Committee Report 8-16(6): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Your Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure is pleased to provide its report on transition matters and commends it to the House.

Introduction

As the 16th Legislative Assembly draws to a close,

the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure continues to monitor several ongoing issues and initiatives with long-term implications. The intent of this report is to make the public and Members of the 17th Assembly aware of

work in progress and highlight areas we believe will require the continued attention of our successor committee in the 17th Assembly.

Background

The Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure includes five Regular Members of the Legislative Assembly. The committee’s role is to consider the following matters with respect to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations; Environment and Natural Resources; Industry, Tourism and Investment; Municipal and Community Affairs; Public Works and Services; Transportation; and the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation:

1. review multi-year business plans and budgets,

bills, boards and agencies, including the Workers’ Compensation Board of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, the Northwest Territories Business Development and Investment Corporation, and the Public Utilities Board;

2. review departmental performance, including that

of boards and agencies; and

3. consider any other matter referred by the

House.

Transition Issues

Legislation and Regulations

A new NWT Wildlife Act was a major 16th Assembly

initiative. After extensive public consultation and deliberation, committee reported the bill as not ready for consideration in the Committee of the Whole. Reasons for this decision are outlined in the committee’s report. Members encourage the 17th Assembly to build upon the work that was done in developing this legislation to bring forward a new Wildlife Act that has the support of the majority of Northerners.

August 2011 amendments to the Territorial Parks Act contain significant regulation-making authority. The committee’s view is that the public consultation and input from Regular Members would be valuable in developing these regulations.

The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission renewed its safety regulations in 2009-10. There was public concern with the short consultation period, given the extent of the new regulations and their implications for northern workplaces.

During public consultations on amendments to the Dog Act, the public expressed the need for broader animal welfare protection legislation. The committee encourages the 17th Legislative

Assembly to consider this initiative.

The federal government has proposed extensive amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. Members encourage the successor committee to discuss this issue with representatives of the northern review boards forum at its earliest convenience.

Mr. Speaker, I’d like to pass the reading of the report now on to the deputy chair of the committee, the MLA for Nunakput, Mr. Jackie Jacobson.

Committee Report 8-16(6): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. The honourable Member for Nunakput, Mr. Jacobson.

Committee Report 8-16(6): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Industry, Tourism and Investment

Arctic Offshore Drilling Review

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources represent the Government of the Northwest Territories as participants in the National Energy Board’s Arctic Offshore Drilling Review. The NEB has scheduled a roundtable meeting in Inuvik for mid-September 2011. It anticipates that phase three of its review, the public report, will be completed by the end of December 2011.

Northern Workforce MOU

ITI has worked extensively to ensure three diamond mines to increase the number of NWT residents working at the mines and develop capacity among local workers. The committee encourages expanding these initiatives to other industrial developments.

Mackenzie Gas Project

In December 2010 the National Energy Board issued a certificate of public necessity and convenience for the Mackenzie Gas Project. In July

2011, Shell announced the sale of its shares in the project. Members have expressed concern about the pipeline readiness and additional costs to the GNWT should the proponents announce a decision to construct in 2013.

Diamond Policy

Industry, Tourism and Investment released its finalized Diamond Policy in 2010. Implementation is a challenge. The committee strongly encourages the reinstatement of the diamond division within Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Exploration and Mining Development

Members suggest that the successor committee monitor the following mining developments:

• Avalon Rare Metals,

• Fortune

Minerals,

• Tamerlane,

• Selwyn

Chihong,

• Prairie

Creek,

• Gah Cho Kue.

The committee received briefings on these developments either from the Minister of ITI or the company itself.

In June 2011 over $500 million in work bids were awarded to oil companies to develop land in the Tulita district. Members suggest that the successor committee monitor these developments:

Prairie Creek

Canadian Zinc Corporation is reaching its final stages of negotiating a socio-economic agreement for its Prairie Creek mine. The SEA is similar to one they negotiated with De Beers and Snap Lake project. ITI has identified the agreement as a transition issue and Members have asked that a briefing be provided to the successor committee.

Energy Priority Investments

The 16th Legislative Assembly has made a $60

million in investment in a range of projects in the areas of energy policy, development, plan and supply, conservation and efficiency, alternative energy, and emerging technologies. This funding expires in 2012-13. Many issues and opportunities remain in this area and the committee strongly recommends the funding be reinstated in the 17th Assembly.

Hydro Strategy

The GNWT has released a draft Hydro Strategy in 2008 that has yet to be finalized. A discussion paper has been distributed to stakeholder groups. The committee believes that many elements of the Hydro Strategy still need development, such as setting realistic targets and creating a vision that includes new projects.

Bluefish Dam Construction

Construction costs for a new dam at Bluefish Lake hydro plant are expected to reach over $37 million with a direct rate of impact at 2.42 cents for customers in the Snare/Yellowknife system. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation provided information on the cost to the committee in the summer of 2011.

Municipal and Community Affairs

Dust Control

Throughout the 16th Legislative Assembly the

committee urged MACA to work with the Department of Transportation and community governments on dust control and main street paving initiatives in small communities. The committee hopes a new program to address this issue will be developed in the 17th Assembly.

Recreational Leasing Policy Framework

This policy framework is a MACA initiative to address problems with squatters in the Yellowknife River watershed and the Inuvik Airport Lake areas. MACA has completed the technical research required for the policy. Recreational leasing is frozen in both areas. The committee’s main concerns with the policy are the need for meaningful consultation with Aboriginal organizations and the delays in the schedule.

Sport and Recreation Funding

Concerns with funding to Sport North and its relationship with the Sport and Recreation Council were brought to the committee’s attention shortly before the dissolution of the 16th Assembly.

Members see an organizational shift taking place, and suggest that MACA undertake a review of the SRC and consider ways to reduce duplication in the programming.

I’d like to hand this back to the chair of the committee of Economic Development, Mr. Ramsay. Thank you.

Committee Report 8-16(6): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Jacobson. The honourable Member for Kam Lake, Mr. Ramsay.

Committee Report 8-16(6): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Environment and Natural Resources

Water Strategy

Over the life of the 16th Assembly ENR invested

heavily in the development of the Northwest Territories Water Strategy. The federal government is not upholding commitments to water stewardship, and suspended water quality monitoring at stations across Canada in August 2011. Transboundary negotiations, water quality monitoring, and cumulative impact monitoring programs remain serious concerns for the committee.

Greenhouse Gas Strategy

Two members of the current committee monitored climate change initiatives as Members of the 16th Assembly’s Joint Committee on Climate Change. A significant portion of the renewed NWT Greenhouse Gas Strategy is tied to energy priority investments. The Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning has identified carbon pricing as a transition issue for the 17th Assembly.

NWT Housing Corporation

The 2008 Auditor General’s report of the NWT Housing Corporation led to significant restructuring within the corporation. In 2010 the public housing rental subsidy was transferred from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment back to the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. Many clients fell into arrears during the period that the subsidy was calculated separately through the Income Support Program. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation has initiated debt repayment plans. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation is currently undertaking the Shelter Policy review which includes evaluations of its housing choices program and public housing rent scale. The 17th Assembly will be asked to

make decisions on the outcome of these evaluations.

Annual Reporting

Both the Business Development and Investment Corporation and the NWT Housing Corporation have fallen behind in their statutory review and reporting requirements.

Conclusion

This concludes the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure Report on Transition Matters. Members respectfully suggest that our successor committee consider requesting updates on the above matters from committee staff and government, and wish them the utmost success in fulfilling their mandate. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Report 8-16(6): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Committee Report 9-16(6): Standing Committee On Government Operations Report On Transition Matters
Reports of Standing and Special Committees

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Standing Committee on Government Operations is pleased to provide its report on transition matters and commends it to the House.

Introduction

Over the course of the 16th Assembly the Standing

Committee on Government Operations has conducted a number of reviews and made a

number of recommendations to government. In many instances the government has agreed with our recommendations and made commitments for which it has not yet fulfilled. The committee is also anticipating government responses to our most recent reports during the August 2011 sitting, which will be the final time that the Assembly meets before dissolution. The intent of this report on transition matters is to make the public, Members of the 17th Assembly, and our successor committee

aware of work in progress.

The Standing Committee on Government Operations’ mandate includes:

• consideration of the multi-year business plans

and budgets, bills, boards, and agencies, and departmental performance of the departments of Executive, Finance, Human Resources, and the Financial Management Board Secretariat;

• to review the official language issues;

• reviewing the reports of the statutory officers of

the Legislative Assembly, including the Languages Commissioner, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Equal Pay Commissioner, and the Human Rights Commission;

• examination of the reports on the annual

financial statements and public accounts of the Government of the Northwest Territories and reports of the Auditor General; and

• consideration of any matter referred by the

House.

Review of the Official Languages Act

On May 28, 2009, the committee provided its Final Report on the Review of the Official Languages Act 2008-2009, entitled Reality Check: Securing a Future for the Official Languages in the Northwest Territories. The report, which was the result of extensive research and public consultation, included 48 recommendations. The government has since provided a response to the committee’s report and released the NWT Aboriginal Languages Plan: A Shared Responsibility, in October 2010. As the plan is intended to unfold over 10 years, many of the actions are in progress and have not yet begun. Further, the committees Reality Check report recommends changes to legislation which the government has not yet brought forward.

I turn continued reading of the report over to my deputy chair, Mr. Robert Hawkins.