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This is from the 18th Assembly, 2nd 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 mandate.

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Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I do look forward to the deliberations here on finalizing the mandate or the revised mandate for our second half term. In looking back and as mentioned by my colleague from the Deh Cho, we all contribute towards the mandate here originally with a wide range of diverse knowledge and expertise to contribute towards the mandate. I think right when the developments of the mandate were taken place there, it was realized by most of us that we probably wouldn’t achieve all of them but we’re going to certainly try.

As mentioned several times, it’s essential and prudent management to review the mandate with additional amendments so that we move forward. I think we can all agree that the past term there were certainly a lot of changes, globally and territorially and nationally. Now our direction moving forward should reflect and accommodate those changes. Reviewing the mandate is essential in capturing the opportunities that are presented to us with the environmental economic changes. I’ll leave it at that. I look forward to finalizing the mandate. Thank you.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Mr. McNeely. Next, Mr. Beaulieu.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I’m looking forward to the revised mandate as well. I know that the mandate document is a very, very big document. Sometimes, you kind of tend to look at the mandate and have a lot of difficulty really prioritizing the mandate. There is a lot of and it’s a huge document. The larger the mandate gets, the priority the each of the items get.

For me, I look at the mandate and I apply certain things that I’ve come here to do. I come to the assembly and then I always said and I feel that any mandate items that provide employment to our citizens and in across the territory is a good mandate item. There are items that can be measured by looking at the improvement and the employment numbers across the territory. I’ll look at the mandate items and I look at how it applies to the wellness of the community or wellness of the GNWT. I look at the mandate and decide whether or not or that if the correction facilities are beginning to empty out because people are well and whether or not the hospitals are beginning to empty out because people are well. Are there items in the mandate that address that issue? I look at the mandate and I apply education to it. Are the people getting more educated? Are people graduating at a higher rate? Are people preparing for jobs by getting training and so on? I look at the mandate and say to myself, “Is it taking care of the seniors?” The seniors are our most respected people and are we allowing the seniors to age in places a big mandate item? An important mandate item that I speak about often in the House and I think that the mandate items I do that and are important.

I look at how they support families in the GNWT. Does this mandate at the end of the day provide proper supports for people suffering from addictions? Does the mandate provide good health to the citizens of the Northwest Territories and good housing? Does this mandate address the cost of living? Does this mandate address early childhood development? How much of this mandate is targeted towards probably the greatest investment that any government can make and that is in early childhood development starting with pre-natal healthy families.

I know that the mandate has junior kindergarten in there. We’ve asked for daycare programs. Any of those types of things that are there to address early childhood development that will support the families that will move forward. We start to see the results by higher graduation rates. We have people in our small communities that are graduating at a rate only slightly above 50 per cent. We know statistically that once you graduate, even from grade 12, it opens the door for higher education. It also does one important thing. It gives you an 80 per cent chance of getting a job. Otherwise, you have less than 50 per cent chance of getting a job. I know that that’s an important aspect and once people are educated and they’re working and they get away from the addictions and so far, I look at this mandate to say, “Well, are those things being achieved by this mandate?” It’ll be interesting that at the end of our term when we evaluate the mandate to see if those aspects were covered and have things improved as a result of this mandate and the work of our government and the work of our members in this assembly having proved the situation for the people of the Northwest Territories.

For me, that’s what the whole idea of a mandate is. I look forward to help revising the mandate and then measuring the mandate to see if it’s done what it has achieved and what it’s intended to do. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Next, Mr. Nakimayak.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I don’t really have much to add. All I can say is that it makes good sense to line our future with our current environment. Our colleagues on both sides are strategizing their priorities. I think that’s what we need to focus on as we’re all each independent MLAs. We need to focus on the priorities in our region and capitalize on government to government relationships between the territorial government and Indigenous governments as well as the federal government. I think, in this day and age, the leadership is evolving. We need to work together to move forward to ensure that housing and health remain at the top, as well as jobs for our territory, and as well as looking at the economy.

What is happening around this world, and what are the demands for the metals and the diamonds and other resources that we have in the territory? I think we need to look at the big picture and work with that, eventually coming to work together on some of the projects that are reasonable, some that are viable in each region, as well as training and opportunities for Indigenous groups. I think we need to ensure that, for Indigenous groups, self-determination in each region is a possibility so that we can move forward together. Otherwise, if we move forward separately, we are not going to really go far. It seems that we need to tighten up a little bit here and make that connection to work together. I think that is how we are going to achieve most of this mandate.

That is all I have to say, Mr. Chair.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Mr. Nakimayak. Any further comments on these documents? Ms. Green.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I have no further comments on this. Could you advise how we are going to review this document? Is it going to be page-by-page or in another way? Thank you.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

There are no further general comments. We can consider any motions that there may be on the floor. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

October 4th, 2017

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. If we could turn to page 11, I will introduce my first motion. I move that Tabled Document 419-18(2), Proposed Mandate of the Government of the Northwest Territories, 2016-2019 (Revised), be amended on page 11 by adding the following words: "supporting the development and growth of post-secondary institutions and programs available in the NWT; researching the feasibility of creating a Northern centre of excellence to promote and support research, innovation, and use of traditional Indigenous knowledge, and foster partnerships with universities, governments, and other organizations." Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Ms. Green. There is a motion on the floor. The motion has been distributed and is in order. To the motion. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, this represents an expansion of this area to acknowledge that the knowledge economy is an important growth area for the NWT in terms of employment and that we would like to see those opportunities developed by introducing this amendment. Thank you.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Ms. Green. Next, Mr. Testart.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We had a vigorous round of discussion around this issue of a knowledge economy, and we, all the honourable Members, felt that this was an effective way to start addressing some of these issues.

The rule of thumb, I guess, in the world has been that manufacturing and industry follows low-cost labour, and we are seeing that trend reverse. The knowledge economies are becoming the driver of production in the world, and actually, highly-skilled workers are slowly returning manufacturing back to countries that are developing knowledge economies.

Canada is well-positioned to make use of that. The federal government has recognized this and is investing millions of dollars in developing knowledge economy and moving Canada away from its traditional bread-and-butter economic drivers being the resource industry. I have spoken about this in this Chamber before, and the City of Calgary is a perfect example of a local economy built on the strength of resource development that has diversified using its knowledge clusters, the university, centres for excellence and innovation, and now 40 per cent of its workforce is employed in the creative industry.

What does that mean for the North? We have other challenges. We have a significantly smaller population. We have limited access to post-secondary institutions and other centres of innovation and excellence. We have to start a plan to develop those so that we do not get outpaced when southern Canada starts shifting towards this as well. There is always going to be a place for the resource economy and resource development in the Northwest Territories. We need it to fuel these other innovations, but if we fail to diversify towards a knowledge economy, we are missing the boat on where the direction of this country and the entire world is heading. We cannot be left out by this.

That means a complete rethinking of our labour market. It means investing in information and computer technology jobs and opportunities to grow them, and it means building a plan that will develop centres for excellence, identifying knowledge clusters, and developing those resources so that we can make use of where the knowledge economy is growing and how it works.

There is a lot of work to be done on this. It can be a complicated and often confusing issue. This motion puts in our mandate the foundation for building a knowledge economy plan that will grow over time so that we keep pace with these developments that are happening all over the world and in Canada. It will also better position us to access those federal funds that are flowing from Ottawa to support the growth of this industry. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Mr. Testart. To the motion. Mr. O'Reilly.

Committee Motion 113-18(2): Tabled Document 419-18(2): Proposed Mandate Of The Government Of The Northwest Territories, 2016-2019, Addition Of Text Regarding The Knowledge Economy, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Mr. Chair. I will keep this very short. This is one of the changes that I do support, and I am well on record in this House as supporting post-secondary education here in the Northwest Territories and how we do not have a university. There are no universities north of 60 degrees, no universities in northern Canada, and I have talked about how a community like Akureyri in Iceland, 19,000 people, has a university, and there are Canadian students there studying circumpolar matters because they cannot do it in Canada. I am well on record supporting the development of a knowledge economy and the need for a post-secondary education strategy for the Northwest Territories. Thank, Mr. Chair.