This is page numbers 6259 – 6290 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 work.

Topics

Question 834-17(5): Improving Financial Accountability
Oral Questions

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am encouraged to hear that we are improving.

With that, can the Minister indicate what work is underway in the Finance department right now that will ensure the GNWT receives a better grade next year when C.D. Howe does its work, especially in the area of transparent financial reporting? Thank you.

HON. MICHAEL MILTENBERGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We’re already in the process of planning for the capital plan for next year as well as the initial business planning process. So we are going to be looking at the format. We’ll see if there are any things that come out right away that could be done in the short term, mid-term, long term. We don’t want to run holus-bolus here. We have to understand what’s in the report, the detail, and we have to look at other jurisdictions, check the landscape, not try to reinvent the wheel. So, we will take careful, measured steps as we continue to provide a very, very well-run financial system for the people of the Northwest Territories. Thank you.

Question 834-17(5): Improving Financial Accountability
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

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

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will have some questions for the Minister of ITI, as well, about the morel mushroom industry and the gold rush, or the mushroom rush that we have going on.

My question that I have: Is the department and other departments in the GNWT, is there some sort of joint task force that’s discussing the issues that are coming from this? I would see maybe RCMP, ENR, ITI, MACA, Lands being all issues to deal with this issue. Is there a joint task force? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bouchard. Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know the department continues to work with our partners at ENR, at MACA, through the Department of Justice with the RCMP and other departments as we continue to try to get as much out of this morel opportunity as we possibly can. We can’t do this alone. There’s a number of agencies and other departments that are involved. Thank you.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Yes, I do see a couple things that ITI does, and maybe we can get more information on this this season. I know the department does some parks surveys. Are we doing surveys maybe of pickers, whether they’re local or southern? Are we getting some sort of

information of how many Northerners are actually going out and doing picking? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Judging by the success of the workshops that we’ve put on with 1,200 residents taking part, we’re going to see a much greater number of local people in the Northwest Territories participating in the harvest this coming summer. You know, good ideas. I heard a good idea from Mrs. Groenewegen, another good idea with the surveys from Mr. Bouchard. We’re just moving into this. I think ideas like that, we can hopefully take those and incorporate them in our planning.

As far as whether or not we are planning a survey, I’d have to go back and see if the department has any plans to survey pickers on whether they’re local or they’re coming from the South, and I will get that information back to the Member. That is something that we will take into consideration. Thank you.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

I think the Department of ITI also does exit surveys of tourists and I would see these as being… Maybe look at them as well as tourists coming into the North.

Is there a way that we could do a survey of them, even maybe, like Mrs. Groenewegen mentioned, a registration, a voluntary registration that, you know, I’ve come to the Northwest Territories to do picking? You know, I’m expected to be in the Kakisa area, that type of stuff. Maybe a registration and an exit survey of those people who are here for morel mushrooms. Thank you.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

That could work if it was done at the entry to the Northwest Territories south of Fort Liard and also the 60th parallel. Most of the

pickers that would come to the Northwest Territories from the South would, of course, come by vehicle, so we probably could get a good indication on numbers with a survey at those two locations. Some may come by plane. As far as surveying local pickers, that shouldn’t be too difficult to do either. So, again, it’s a fair idea and a good idea, and we will take that into consideration. Thank you.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Bouchard.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know some of these people are from different jurisdictions, but obviously they’re coming to the Northwest Territories. We know that we’re in a drought situation. They may want to live in the Northwest Territories permanently, so we should probably promote that as well.

I know already in the process that we’re seeing pressure under our ITI facilities, our parks facilities. Is there a plan for the Department of ITI to look at how they’re going to use those facilities? I know there are people who are not actually staying in

those facilities but using the showers and washrooms in those types of facilities. What are we doing to deal with that type of pressure? Thanks, Mr. Speaker.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Where there’s access to a campground with facilities, contractors can charge a fee to use the facilities in the campground. I think that’s up to the contractor. The services are there. People need to pay for those services. Pickers who are in the area can utilize those services, and the contractor is going to be making more revenue as a result of that. Thank you.

Question 835-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvest
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Hawkins.

Question 836-17(5): Communications Policies Regarding Road Closures
Oral Questions

May 29th, 2015

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member’s statement today I talked about how necessary good and vital communications are. Rather than stressing and saying this is sort of a bad situation of how communication didn’t work, I actually would rather look at it as here we have a fantastic opportunity to do things well and to certainly build on the lessons we learned from last summer.

We have many vital industries out there such as the folks who carry and stock groceries on our shelves day to day. That’s not just all of them, that’s just one area. There are many other areas.

I would like to ask the Minister of Transportation, what can he do to ensure that his communication folks will start to work in tandem with folks like the grocery industry and allow them to identify other areas that are absolutely vital, critical in this particular case, of keeping our shelves stocked with good food and priority items that are necessary?

The last point I’m saying, there may even be medical issues such as industries that need timely delivery of medical goods, et cetera, that need to be included in this list. There’s a huge opportunity.

What can the Minister do to start to sort this out so that they’re on a priority call list? Thank you.

Question 836-17(5): Communications Policies Regarding Road Closures
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Hawkins. Minister of Transportation, Mr. Beaulieu.