This Hansard has not been finalized - this is the "Blues" in Parliamentary speak, or unedited transcript in regular speak.

This Hansard is the unedited transcript and will be replaced by the final copy soon (generally within 5 business days). In the meantime, direct quotes should not be used, when the final is published it will seamlessly replace this unedited copy and any existing links should still work.

This is from the 18th Assembly, 3rd 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

Tabled Document 34-18(3): Yellowknife Airport Five-Year Business Plan 2017-2018 To 2021-2022
Tabling of Documents

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Tabling of documents. The Honourable Premier.

Tabled Document 35-18(3): Follow-Up Letter For Oral Question 770-18(2): Mental Health And Homecare Funding
Tabling of Documents

October 20th, 2017

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the follow document entitled "Follow-Up Letter for Oral Question 770-18(2): Mental Health and Homecare Funding." Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tabled Document 35-18(3): Follow-Up Letter For Oral Question 770-18(2): Mental Health And Homecare Funding
Tabling of Documents

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Tabling of documents.

Tabled Document 38-18(3): Summary Of Members' Absences For The Period September 19 To October 18, 2017
Tabling of Documents

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Pursuant to Section 23 of the Official Languages Act, I wish to table the "Office of the Northwest Territories Languages Commissioner Annual Report 2016-2017." Again, I wish to draw your attention to Members present in the gallery, Language Commissioner, Ms. Shannon Gullberg. Thanks for being with us.

Colleagues, pursuant to Section 40.23(2) of the Public Service Act, I wish to table the "Annual Report of the Equal Pay Commissioner of the Northwest Territories for the Period July 1, 2016 to June 14, 2017."

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, I wish to table the "Summary of Members' Absences for the Period September 19 to October 18, 2017." Masi. Item 15, notices of motion. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Motion 8-13(3): Expression Of Gratitude To Deputy Clerk Douglas Schauerte For Dedicated And Exemplary Service
Notices of Motion

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, I will move the following motion:

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the Honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, that this Legislative Assembly expresses its sincere gratitude to Mr. Douglas Schauerte for his dedicated and exemplary service to the House;

AND FURTHER, that this Legislative Assembly designate Douglas Schauerte as an honorary officer of this Legislative Assembly with an entry to the Chamber and a seat at the table.

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, I will be seeking unanimous consent to deal with this motion today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Motion 8-13(3): Expression Of Gratitude To Deputy Clerk Douglas Schauerte For Dedicated And Exemplary Service
Notices of Motion

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Item 16, notices of motion for first reading of bills. Item 17, motions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion "Apology and Compensation to the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating to Damages from the Giant Mine."

WHEREAS the Yellowknife Dene First Nation abused and occupied the lands and waters around Yellowknife Bay for thousands of years and continue to do so;

AND WHEREAS the workings of Giant Mine were located in their territory without compensation or permission from the Yellowknife Dene First Nation;

WHEREAS the operation of Giant Mine contaminated the lands and waters surrounding the water to the extent that some traditional activities including hunting, fishing, and gathering by the Yellowknife Dene First Nation had been harmed and potentially will never again be possible;

AND WHEREAS the massive stockpiles of arsenic created by the Giant Mine threatened to cause a major environmental catastrophe that could prevent Yellowknife Dene First Nations' usage of its traditional lands and water;

AND WHEREAS the treaty entitlement and lands right agreement has yet to be completed with Yellowknife Dene First Nation and that the impact and damages created by Giant Mine are an extraordinary and exceptional nature;

AND WHEREAS on July 1, 2017, the Prime Minister of Canada publicly stated that indigenous peoples of this country have faced oppression for centuries and as a society, we must acknowledge and apologize for past wrongs and chart a plan forward for the next 150 years;

AND WHEREAS the Giant Mine oversight board in its 2017 establishment report recommended that in the interest of reconciliation, the decisions and actions of past governments are acknowledged and that an apology is made for the impacts of these decisions and actions have had on the Yellowknife Dene First nation.

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable for Frame Lake that the Legislative Assembly calls upon the government of Canada to make a formal public apology for the damage done by Giant Mine, and more specifically to the Yellowknife Dene First Nation

AND FURTHER that the Assembly call upon the government of Canada to enter into negotiations with the Yellowknife Dene First Nation to provide compensation for these damages and loss.

AND FURTHERMOR that the Premier of the Northwest Territories convey this motion without delay to the Prime Minister of Canada with a letter requesting a reply.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to request a recorded vote.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. There is a motion in order. To the motion. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A short addition to this: to speak to the motion, we have known that the issue of the arsenic at Giant Mine and all of the other contamination damage around the area has caused problems for many years. For the Yellowknife First Nation, I know that the elders had spoken previously about when they were fishing right in the bay. I remember when the N'Dilo was a smaller community at the time. Right in the front, the elders would fish right in the bay back there until they started to see lesions and other types of problems with the fish and so on.

Now that they're saying there is some contamination in all the birds and all the fish in the area, and I think we all know that the vaults of arsenic that are underground, frozen underground around the Giant Mine property has potential for great catastrophe, if there should be anything going wrong in there. So we felt that there was a time for the federal government to discuss their responsibilities with what occurred at Giant Mine. When the mine was first created, it was done without a thorough consultation with the people from Yellowknives Dene First Nation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the motion. Member for Frame Lake.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I've been at a lot of meetings about Giant Mine over the last 30 years, and certainly whenever I've been at meetings where there have been elders for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, they've raised this issue of an apology and compensation. They've been waiting a long time for that to happen, and unfortunately some of them are no longer with us.

How do you explain to somebody who used to be able to go to the lake and take water out of it that they actually now have to pay to get safe water delivered to their house? So why is this motion before us today? I think the Giant Mine Oversight Board erased this issue in their first report, and I asked the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in this House whether our government had a position on this, and he said, "Well, not really. We haven't thought about it very much."

This motion, I think, is an expression of our collective will, moving forward, and to get this on the federal radar. An apology and compensation is important. It's very significant, an unfinished piece of business, and this needs to be done in the spirit of reconciliation. There's nothing in legislation that would prevent another Giant Mine from happening. There are a lot of lessons that we still need to learn, and we need to implement those lessons through our post-devolution legislation.

This issue will continue to give the mining industry a black eye, but there are progressive people in the mining industry. They recognize that, and they want this issue dealt with, as well. That's what this motion is about, is helping put this issue on to the federal radar and getting this issue dealt with properly and the way that it should be. I look forward to the support of all Members of this House. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the motion. Member for Kam Lake.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand in support of this motion and I'd like to commend the honourable Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh for bringing this forward. A reconciliation is more than words. It requires real action from governments; not just ours, but governments across Canada and, of course, the federal government. We've seen a lot of movement towards repairing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the country.

It's a long road ahead. It may take hundreds of years to get us to a place where we have healed the wounds of colonization, and restored the balance in this country. For this motion in particular, it speaks to something that's very near and dear to the hearts of Yellowknives Dene First People, their traditional territory that has been severely impacted by the Giant Mine facility.

Yes, it is a historical incident, but it has forever changed the history of the Northwest Territories. If we're going to speak to reconciliation, if we're going to talk about building strong partnerships with Indigenous nations of the Northwest Territories, we have to do more than just make Members' statements on it. We have to put it into practice with formal motions like these that call on specific actions, and I encourage all Members, all honourable Members of this House, to stand up in support when the vote is called. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 5-18(3): Apology And Compensation To The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Relating To Damages From The Giant Mine
Motions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the motion. The Member has requested a recorded vote. All those in favour, please stand.

Recorded Vote
Motions

Deputy Clerk Of The House (Mr. Schauerte)

Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Member for Nahendeh. Member for Frame Lake. Member for Yellowknife Centre. Member for Nunakput. Member for Inuvik Boot Lake. Member for Range Lake. Member for Yellowknife South. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Member for Hay River South. Member for Thebacha. Member for Hay River North. Member for Mackenzie Delta. Member for Yellowknife North. Member for Kam Lake.