This is page numbers 2329 - 2354 of the Hansard for 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 program.

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Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Several other organizations, including the Saskatchewan government, are aware of what is happening obviously because they're going to be the main customer. What would be the issue with engaging Aboriginal governments now rather than later?

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

We've been down this road before. Previously we spent $13 million in the hopes of finding a customer. That project did not materialize and we do not intend to go forward without a customer or without an indication of federal support.

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

That project that moved forward previously was Deze; that had Aboriginal partners. Aboriginal people were instrumental in moving it forward and supporting it so that the diamond industry could become a customer. Because of the life of the diamond mines we were unable to make a deal, this is a little different scenario. If they were involved in Deze, are we just living off the consultation from back then or are we planning on engaging Aboriginal governments sooner than later?

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

The Taltson River has 18 megawatts of installed hydro capacity but has 200 megawatts of hydro potential which could be developed over the next decade. The Taltson Hydro Expansion combined with a southern transmission link, could provide a green energy corridor that would stabilize power costs in the North, displace coal generation in the South and remove economic barriers to remote resource development. The first phase, if we go down that route, would leverage past work to build a 60-megawatt hydro expansion within five years that would double the Northwest Territories hydro capacity and eliminate 360,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

The Government of the Northwest Territories has engaged the Saskatchewan government and SaskPower to explore the costs and market conditions for a project linked with their jurisdiction. Alberta is also an area of interest. Our government has signed on to the Pan-Canadian Climate Framework. We have identified this as a priority with the Government of Canada. We have no indication whether they are committed to that. We are hopeful that we have a positive signal from the federal budget that will be out on March 22nd, and we have been criticized for advancing the House in projects. Until we have customers and until we have an indication of federal support, we do not think we have a project. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the mid-1960s, the Taltson Hydro Project was brought in without consultation at all with Aboriginal organizations. This is an expansion that is going to increase the size of that at least threefold. The first time it was done without consultation, I asked a previous Minister before: what would happen if the Talston project started today? He said there would be an EA. During an EA process, there is consultation, usually consultation with the people who are affected. What would be wrong with consulting the Aboriginal people now? Is it because they are in the way, or what is the issue that we can’t consult with them now? Thank you.

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all, we do not want to raise false expectations. We do not want to suggest that there is a project, when there is no project. Like I said, I can reassure the Member that as soon as we get an indication of federal support, and as soon as we have a power customer, we will be very pleased to consult. We have a duty to consult, which is a legal requirement.

Question 730-18(2): Consultations On The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

March 10th, 2017

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Can the Minister tell us why there was no consultation with the standing committee on the extension of the Work Credit Program for another two years? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The extension was a procedural one. We have moved forward with that. It was based on recommendations from the Mine Advisory Board, consultation with the Chamber of Mines, and numerous companies that are involved in the mineral industry, and it is consistent with our mandate. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks to the Minister for that. How we learned about it has become a pattern through news releases, but the news release boasts about the 2015-17 implementation period for the Work Credit Program, how it is going to save exploration companies $725,000. That is money that should have been spent in the Northwest Territories to generate more activity. Why would the Minister extend this program that saves companies money that should have been spent in the Northwest Territories, to the benefit of our citizens?

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

The rationale for the extension is, in fact, the overall state of the financing and exploration sector remains the same. As we all know, the market conditions are tight, and we are trying to attract new mining people to the Northwest Territories to spend their money. We still need to overcome the perception of the Northwest Territories being a difficult place to do business, and this is one of the avenues that we see that can attract investments.

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

There is a potential for a conflict of interest when the Mineral Industry Advisory Board provides advice to the Minister generally, and in this specific case of the Work Credit Program, what is the Minister prepared to do to deal with this issue of potential for a conflict of interest and to improve transparency around the recommendations he gets from this board?

Question 731-18(2): Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Actually, I have met with the Mineral Advisory Board and one of the first things I had done is I have actually put a pause and disbanded the board for now. I have met with them since then, but not as a board but as individuals, moving forward and getting their advice. I will continue to have a look at how this board operates and how it suits the Mineral Development Strategy of the Northwest Territories moving forward.