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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 program.

Topics

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

March 10th, 2017

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations. In my statement, I made reference to the UN Rapporteur visiting the Deh Cho and, shortly after that, there was a measure that all parties agreed to the appointment of Peter Russell, and he helped bridge the mediation and facilitation of a dialogue that became part of the Common Ground Principles, in terms of trying to bridge the log jam that existed then. The Common Ground Principles, which the GNWT was part of, identifies the fundamentals that the parties understand, that the ownership jurisdiction and sovereignty of the Dehcho First Nations process, as an essential tenet of the Deh Cho process. My question to the Minister is: why do most First Nations lands and resources negotiations take so long, and how could this government help speed up the process? Mahsi.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The Honourable Premier.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My understanding is it goes back to the signing treaties. At the time treaties were signed, there was the oral version and the written version, and, from what I understand, the oral version is interpreted differently than the written version by a number of Aboriginal governments. That is possibly one of the reasons for the long time.

I think one of the benefits of ministerial special representatives is we ask them to outline and find out what some of the reasons for the delays, what are the challenges, what are the road blocks. I think, in my view, some of them have been mandates, and I think that we need to take a new approach to negotiating so that we do not wait until somebody blinks before we make progress. So I am hopeful and optimistic that the report of the ministerial special representatives will allow us to find a way to move forward on these long-standing claims, some of them that have been negotiating for over 25 years. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

I think I saw the Minister wink, so there is a possibility. It's encouraging. Treaties as far back as the Royal Proclamation of 1763 were bilateral in nature between the First Nations and the Crown. Will the GNWT accept the lead role of Canada in the negotiations of lands and resources?

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

That is something that the federal government has indicated that, with devolution, we should be at the table, and that we have programs and services, and we have responsibilities as a public Government of the Northwest Territories.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

For people that follow First Nations history and the evolution of land claims and negotiations of lands and resources, the incident at Ipperwash opened up everybody's eyes that these long-standing lands and resource negotiations have been far too long and that there has to be an agreement that is just and fair for First Nations in terms of having a role in the Canadian society. The MSR report is complete. What are the possibilities that the Minister is considering and different approaches to help speed up negotiations?

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Our expectation is that the MSRs will identify a number of options that would allow us to take different approaches and approaches that will allow us to move forward. I look forward to having the opportunity to review those recommendations and to also discuss it with the federal minister and, also, as we determine the path forward, with the appropriate parties and governments.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Moving forward, can the Minister inform this House as to what he thinks could be accomplished by May 2017? Mahsi.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

May 2017, that is two months away. I expect that by then we should have the ministerial special reports, we should have identified a path forward with the Government of Canada, and I think that we will be able to engage our colleagues on the Cabinet committee and the joint committee and hopefully find a way to work with the Aboriginal governments on the negotiations.

Question 733-18(2): Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 734-18(2): Family Violence Survey
Oral Questions

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions today are for the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. I have spoken a couple of times now about the need to update the family violence survey. It was last done 10 years ago. In the June session, the Minister said that she thought the survey was a valuable tool and she would advocate for funds to do a new one. How is that going? Thank you.

Question 734-18(2): Family Violence Survey
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

Question 734-18(2): Family Violence Survey
Oral Questions

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The conversation of an attitudinal survey is actually interesting, and I would like to kind of address that. I would like to start with stating that I am quite offended by the Member's statement, when she stated that it is clear that Members do not agree that family violence is insulting. Because Members do not have a desire to continue to punish individuals who have served their time after committing domestic violence but rather focus on healing, because we want to preserve rights in place, does not mean that Members do not understand or care about family violence in the Northwest Territories. If the Member meant that we do not agree on punishment versus healing, then, of course, the Member is certainly correct. The attitudinal survey, we did discuss it. We looked into it. We talked about it within different departments. We have made the decision that, with the state of the economy right now, with the way we are going right now, spending a hundred thousand dollars on a survey is probably not the best use of the money. I am taking the stance that I would rather focus that money on prevention and healing at this time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 734-18(2): Family Violence Survey
Oral Questions

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I didn't realize that responses to questions were also a rebuttal time, but that is good to know. What I have asked the Minister for and she said she can't afford is a commitment to redoing the family violence survey. She said that it was a valuable tool, and she said she would advocate for funds to redo it.

How about just taking half the Cabinet to Vancouver? That would free up $100,000, which is what the family violence survey cost last time. How about taking $100,000 out of the infrastructure budget? There are a number of ways that a hundred thousand dollars can be found very readily by this government. I have seen it done, so how about finding that money?