This is page numbers 5221 – 5256 of the Hansard for the 17th Assembly, 5th 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 development.

Topics

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Thank you. The departments have developed occupational health and safety committees in the various departments and headquarters and also in some of the regions in the departments that are the main contracting departments, such as Public Works and Transportation. However, I don’t have the information on how many safety officers, which are titled safety officers and are employed as safety officers, but rather people that work in the departments and scheduled as occupational health and safety officers and work with the committees. Thank you.

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you. I can provide that to the Minister if he’d like. The Minister, on October 27th , indicated that contractors that work with the

GNWT have a safety program when on site, yet we do not have a contractor management system to support this. In fact, when I asked around, it appears that the main contractor questionnaire we most often use refers that if one is in good standing with WSCC. To be honest, this really only means that you don’t owe any money to the WSCC.

So again, can the Minister inform the House, is being in good standing with WSCC the default safety requirement to work for the GNWT under contract? Thank you

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Thank you. Having paid WSCC premiums is one of the mandatory things that contractors have to have. My understanding, from and discussing this with the departments that

are doing a lot of contracting with industry, is that they have to have a safety plan when they bid on jobs. I’m not sure that the safety plans are filed with anyone except with the department and the departments questioning whether or not the contractor has a safety plan in place when they contract with us. Thank you.

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Dolynny.

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My last question for the Minister should be a very easy and simple one.

Can the Minister produce and table a copy of the GNWT Safety Manual? Thank you.

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Thank you. The GNWT employs lots of contractors. Many contractors, even to people who do our janitorial services and so on. We have, like the Member indicates, 5,000 employees doing various types of work. We have people that do nursing, 24/7 operations such as correctional facilities. I’m not sure that one safety plan could ever encompass all of the GNWT, so I don’t think I can actually table a safety plan for the GNWT per say. Thank you.

Question 529-17(5): WSCC Safe Advantage Program
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. The Member for Weledeh, Mr. Bromley.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

November 5th, 2014

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Lands today in follow-up on an earlier set of questions about financial security. We last talked about surety bonds being a promise to pay, a form of security, and I asked the Minister if he would agree that that’s not acceptable. He said we will ensure that we have security that’s, as the Member said, something other than a promise to pay.

Now, surety bonds, the point of discussion, Wikipedia defines surety bonds as a promise to pay. Is the Minister still sticking with this or is the media right that in fact we are taking security bonds for the Ekati Mine, $170 million of liabilities and accepting something less than irrevocable letter of credit? Thank you.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Minister of Lands, Mr. McLeod.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A security bond is an instrument that is typically issued by an insurance company to pay one party a specified amount if another party fails to meet their obligations. So under the Waters Act, that is a sufficient instrument to use.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob Bromley Weledeh

The Minister sounds like he’s changing direction here, and I would ask him to do some research in this area and provide to committee exactly what is going on here, without

any input from committee, I might add, other than what we’ve had in the House, and obviously, that doesn’t seem to be holding any water.

I’ve heard officials from the Minister’s department and division that deals with securities indicating that the promise to pay will be accepted, so maybe I could just get a commitment from the Minister to start with, that he will come to committee with this before any final decisions and talk to us about what is acceptable and why we are not demanding, as in all the other ones on the list, the tabled document, an irrevocable letter of credit as the bankable instrument standard we want to meet.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

The boards usually set the securities that are required, the amount. We negotiate with the proponent as to the instrument that we are going to use. A surety bond is an insurance bond that’s carried by major multinational insurance companies, which is an acceptable form under the Waters Act. I can update or I can give committee a bit of a briefing on the direction that we’re going so they can have some assurance that we are protecting, as we said we’re going to, the opportunities for cleanup and so we need to make sure that we’re protected, and I stand by that.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thanks to the Minister for that. I also heard the department’s official saying that they have to balance protection from environmental liabilities with a supportive economic development as some sort of justification, I suppose, for accepting a lesser form of security. I think the Minister is well aware that that approach by the federal government has resulted in $8 billion in liabilities that the taxpayers of Canada will be paying, mostly from northern mining companies that have failed to clean up their messes. These are real things that we are talking about.

Is it the purpose of the Department of Lands to support the balance in favour of economic development, as the federal government has done to the tune of $8 billion in liabilities to the taxpayer, or is it to protect our land for everybody?

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I can’t speak for what the federal government does. That’s their decision to make. However, we are now responsible for decision-making in the Northwest Territories and, of course, we want to protect the environment. That goes without saying. I mean, anybody in here can realize that. But what we want to do is, we want to have some sustainable economic development so our people can actually go work, get a job. But I can assure the Member, and again, it goes without saying, that of course we want to protect the environment and we do what we have to, to do that.

Question 530-17(5): Financial Securities Instruments
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Bromley.