This is page numbers 6757 – 6826 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 health.

Topics

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

I’d ask the Minister, then, if the same rigorous and strenuous monitoring and checking of expense claims for the Ministers that Minister Miltenberger has spoken of, if that would also apply to Regular Members, because, as I said, I think the public is very interested in being assured of that and knowing that that is the case.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Our specific involvement comes when MLAs travel with Ministers on trips, usually abroad, and there have been a number of those and there are outstanding claims that we’re still waiting for from an MLA that we hope will get cleared off so that we can end this session and the mandate of the 17th Assembly on a clear note.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

That raises another interesting question. Why would there be a delay in the filing of expense claims when a Member would travel with a Cabinet Minister or the Premier, whether it be to a federal, provincial, territorial or on foreign travel or as a committee member of a committee designated member or a committee chair? Why would there be a delay in the filing of those expense claims?

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

What I can indicate is that we have been pursuing and made repeated requests to in fact have all the necessary travel claims submitted so that we can in fact close the file on the various trips. We have been using the power of persuasion. We don’t have a lot of direct authority over MLAs. They have travelled with us and we’re trying to make sure that we close the books, and we’re going to continue to pursue that and hopefully conclude it.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. Final, short supplementary, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have watched government for a long time and I know that there have been instances in the quite far past now of Ministers that were travelling with Regular Members and that there became a question after the fact about whether the people who were sponsored with taxpayers’ dollars to go to some of these events actually ever did attend them. Do we have any mechanism in place to ensure that when people do travel on government business that they do indeed attend the functions that they are travelling for?

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

We tend to travel on the honour system but there is an implicit understanding that MLAs would be reporting back, because they’re usually there representing a committee that they would be reporting back to the events that they attended, the meetings they attended, and the important affairs that they dealt with and discussed while on those travels. At this point, that’s basically the extent in terms of compliance or reporting back as to exactly what events were attended. The Ministers, of course, have more accountability and are prepared and will disclose all the meetings they’ve had and all the functions they have attended and have their expense claims, I can assure you, scrupulously reviewed by a whole number of folks to make sure that everything is appropriate.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. The Member for Hay River North, Mr. Bouchard.

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday I was speaking of business and some of the issues that I have had with the GNWT over the last four years. My questions today are for the Minister of ITI. I’m dealing with a client for the Business Incentive Policy and getting them BIP’d, and it’s specific to the plow trucks that Transportation continues to buy and we’ve tried to get King Manufacturing BIP’d for that project.

Can the Minister indicate to me why the application for King Manufacturing for plow trucks was denied this year?

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bouchard. Mr. Ramsay.

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is in everyone’s best interest that we see the benefit accrue to northern businesses when we do look at procuring, whether it’s plow trucks or anything else the government buys, that if it can be manufactured here in the Northwest Territories it’s purchased by our government. That’s why we have a manufactured products list. Of the eight items that King Manufacturing has wished for us to put on that list, we have approved six of those items. There are two other items that I know the Members had denied. They’re under review and we want to continue to work with King Manufacturing and the manufacturing community here in the Northwest Territories to ensure that products that can be manufactured here in the Northwest Territories get on that approved list for procurement.

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

October 7th, 2015

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

I understand that’s coming from the Department of ITI. I’m just wondering how the department works with Transportation and Public Works and Services who does the procurement of these assets. I guess I’m having difficulty and with the fact that I’m having to deal with three different departments to deal with one issue on plow trucks.

How can we simplify this process? Can the Minister indicate to me whether Public Works and Services shared services and BIP should be merged together?

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Obviously, with a day and a half left of this sitting and a couple weeks left in the life of this government, that is a decision that the 18th Legislative Assembly would have to take into consideration. I can say that we do continuously discuss these types of items with Public Works and Services. We need to all be on the same page when it comes to advancing manufacturing here in the Northwest Territories and ensuring that the government dollars that are used on procuring products are spent here in the Northwest Territories wherever possible.

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

We’re not being unreasonable here. We know there are several companies that supply trucks to the Northwest Territories. We have no problem with other companies bidding truck versus truck, but we need that work done in the Northwest Territories. Currently, some of the bids that are going forward are 51 percent over a $200,000 project; 51 percent is labour, construction, welding in the Northwest Territories, with the one contractor. With the other contractor, that work is being done in Ontario and in Quebec.

Is the Minister committed to making companies required to do the work in the North?

Question 946-17(5): Business Incentive Policy
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Currently, plow trucks are not included as manufactured products under the northern manufacturing directive. Unlike fuel trucks, there are no major components of plow trucks manufactured in the Northwest Territories. We have gone back to King Manufacturing. We’re waiting to get some more information from them. Again, this has not been denied. It is under review and we’ll have to see where that review takes us and the discussion about where it all falls out will lie with the 18th Legislative Assembly. Thank you.