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.

Topics

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, colleagues. Lastly, in challenging times, the road will sometimes be bumpy, Mr. Speaker. Solutions can be found if we apply our assets, human or otherwise. I look forward to the road ahead as we continue to deliver on the mandate commitments to best serve our residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today we conclude our winter session. With it we conclude our 2017-18 budget.

I know that some of my colleagues here and some residents we serve may view our work as incomplete.

Not all needs were met.

Not all needs can be met.

Together we achieved the budget that will bring services to Northerners, especially Northerners in critical need, like our elders, our youth, our people with housing needs, and our people living below the poverty line.

We are also seeing some important investment in major highway infrastructure projects.

Although I would like to see this kind of spending brought to the Sahtu region, I am still glad to see the new projects that have come forward.

That is because, as MLAs, we work hard to move the NWT forward together, to serve the best interests of our people.

Remember, each day in the House, we are all reminded that we are here to work for the benefit of all our people. Those aren't just words.

So, Mr. Speaker, although session may be coming to a close, our work will not stop. Members will go back to their respective ridings and connect with their people and hear their questions and concerns. Committees will keep working on the legislation and progress before them. That includes review of the government's public account in April, so stay tuned. I know that the departments will keep on working, too. After all, the government is still facing a big backlog of work on federal acts and regulations that were mirrored in devolution.

Our growth as a territory depends on the work, Mr. Speaker, and successful economic development depends on what that work can do, such as -- Mr. Speaker I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, colleagues. Such as:

● Clarify regulatory and permitting processes;

● Give certainty around land access;

● Engage with all stakeholders; and

● Strengthen us against the ups and downs of national and global markets.

We need that work. We need to collaborate and strategize. Why? Because, at the end of the day, we are very vulnerable to those ups and downs. When it comes to what we produce, whether it is diamonds, oil and gas, fish, timber, or tourism services, our products are only as valuable as consumers' desire to purchase them.

To weather these storms, we will need to work together, like we did for this budget. It will be difficult and have challenges on differences, but we have already proven that we can work together. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Passing Of Virginia Lafferty
Members' Statements

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marci cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I will do my statement in loving memory of Virginia Lafferty. Mr. Speaker, today I wish to send my condolences out to the family of Virginia Lafferty. Everybody called her Virginie.

Mr. Speaker, Virginie was born on February 13, 1935, on the Hay River Reserve and passed away on January 4, 2017. Virginie married Louis Mickey Lafferty in Fort Resolution and lived there for the rest of her life.

Mickey and Virginie adopted their first son, Edward Overvold, and then went on to have Cecile, Doug, Louis, Lloyd, Ralph, Michael, Linda, and Mary Olive. They also raised many of their grandchildren.

Mr. Speaker, Virginie was a very kind person. When I was a very young boy, my family relocated from Rocher River to Fort Resolution. As a boy I was a regular visitor to all the households that were from Rocher River and relocated to Fort Resolution.

Mickey and Virginie's house was the first Fort Resolution household I began to visit regularly. Virginie was always very kind to me and my brother. My brother was also with me visiting the Laffertys. All of the other children would be visiting, and she would be kind to all of us.

Later on in life, Virginie began to lose her hearing and her memory they say; although when I would walk into the house, her son Doug, who was caring for her would say, "Mom, you have a visitor. Do you know who it is?" She would take a quick look at me and say, "Yeah. That is Tom." She would never forgot me, even though she was old and in her last days and was not well.

Virginie will be missed by all her family around the Hay River Reserve, her family in Fort Resolution, and her children and her grandchildren. It was very difficult for the grandchildren, one of whom is my son, to see their grandmother and their mother sick. She passed away, but she is in a better place. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Passing Of Virginia Lafferty
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family as well. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Beauty Mark Salon Recycling Program
Members' Statements

March 10th, 2017

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Into today's society, we have become more conscious about recycling our waste material. However, in saying this we should be doing more.

In Fort Simpson, Troy Bellefontaine, owner of the business Beauty Mark, has taken this idea one step further. Mr. Bellefontaine has partnered with Green Circle Salons to make his business a more sustainable venture, but more importantly it has helped him divert a majority of the business waste away from Fort Simpson Landfill.

Mr. Speaker, Beauty Mark is the first salon in the Northwest Territories to sign on. He says, "We are a small salon, but if other salons in the Northwest Territories follow what we're doing, this would help the environment."

Beauty Mark and other salons that use the service offered by Green Circle, they sort leftover hair, foils, cotton, and other materials into separate bins. These bins separate out the hair from the metals, color tubes, aerosols, paper, plastic, and other containers for excess or unused bleach and hair colors.

In speaking with Mr. Bellefontaine, he figures that he will be able to divert up to 95 per cent of the waste from his business. To take this one step further, he takes this waste down to a facility in Edmonton, instead of having them send a truck up to pick up the waste.

Mr. Speaker, according to the Dehcho Drum article, the hair clippings are repurposed; one of the products being created was a broom that absorbs oil from oil spills. Metals are shredded down and processed through an incinerator to remove chemicals, allowing the clean aluminum underneath to be used in creating other items, such as bicycle frames. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Mr. Bellefontaine for continuing with what we were taught in school, "Recycle, Reduce and Reuse," and taking it one step further. I would encourage all of us, to follow his example and make the territories and Canada a better place to live by recycling everything we can. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Beauty Mark Salon Recycling Program
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to congratulate all Members of this House for being strong voices of their people over what has been a long and often, as other honourable Members have pointed out, arduous session, but the debate in this House and differences of opinion ultimately make us a stronger Assembly and a better government for the people of the Northwest Territories.

We've seen a great deal of success in the passing of the budget that was a compromise between two viewpoints and, again, is a stronger budget because of it. We have new funding for homecare, for mental health support for youth, to address the homelessness crisis in downtown Yellowknife, to support our industry through new subsidies for fishing and the mining industry, and, of course, through sticking together, Regular Members were able to demonstrate a very strong united front and articulate the concerns of their constituents in a cohesive way.

The level of public engagement, I've never seen it before in my life, Mr. Speaker, and I think that level of public interaction is exactly what we were elected to do: to provide a more transparent and accountable Assembly, and the benefits of raising those issues out in public came back into the House and ultimately made for a better Assembly.

We still have a lot of work to do, Mr. Speaker. We still have to come to a conclusion on carbon taxes; we still need to settle land rights agreements and land use plans. We still have to determine how to make best use of post-secondary opportunities in the North with a new strategic plan for Aurora College. I'm thankful that the biggest issues that faced us, the two programs at Aurora College and, of course, junior kindergarten, have been addressed and now we are working collectively to make better programs out of both of those.

I am disappointed that Bill 7 is moving forward and we will see a new increase to our cost of living; however, we have some other great bills that we are working on over the summer and by the next Assembly we will be able to address many issues that are outstanding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Budget Session Reflections
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Members' Statements

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in 1998, when I was the Grand Chief of the Dehcho First Nations, UN Rapporteur, Miguel Alfonso Martinez of the University of Cuba, visited the Deh Cho and the Hay River Reserve as a representative of the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, which was a sub-commission of the UN Commission on Human Rights. The purpose of this visit was for the Rapporteur to take a look at Canada's treatment of its Indigenous peoples and gather evidence on the status of the Dehcho First Nations' self-government proposal, the Deh Cho Process.

Mr. Martinez was preparing a report on "Treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between nations and their Indigenous populations." His work later informed the development of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

During the visit, the Rapporteur heard testimony from many esteemed elders, such as Ted Landry of Fort Providence, who is regarded as a Dene political historian, the late Daniel Sonfrere, Paul Wright, Leo Norwegian, Joa Boots, and Gabe and Mary Cazon, to name a few. They spoke of the negotiations of Treaties 8 and 11, which they understood to be peace and friendship treaties. They also spoke of the promises made by a colonial Government of Canada. Today, most of those elders have passed on and those promises remain unfulfilled.

Fast forward. Last year in June, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories announced the appointment of Anne Marie Doyle as a ministerial special representative for negotiations with the Dehcho First Nations. Ms. Doyle has produced a report to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Minister Carolyn Bennett and Premier McLeod that is expected to address issues such as land quantum, land access, and regulatory structures on the claimed territory.

Mr. Speaker, I believe UN DRIP paved the way for the work of the ministerial special representative by signifying that countries need to pursue participatory approaches in their interactions with Indigenous peoples that require meaningful consultations and the building of partnerships. It is hoped by all parties that this highly anticipated report of the MSR will find a way to get negotiations back on track and resolve outstanding land, resource and governance issues. I hope both Ministers will be willing to adjust their negotiating mandates if the report's findings point in that direction. The Deh Cho Process has been long and involved; it is time to bring it to a successful conclusion. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Deh Cho Process Negotiations
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Members' Statements

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. On March 8th our government issued the media release "GNWT Extends Key Mineral Exploration Support Program." The release describes the extension of the Work Credit Program, which sets the value of exploration work required to keep mineral claims in good standing. Claim holders are now credited $1.50 for every eligible dollar spent. The release says the program originally "arose from recommendations made by the Ministry Industry Advisory Board."

I fully recognize that mining is important here, so we want to protect the integrity of our decision-making on this section. This move to extend the program was made with no consultation with standing committee; part of a troubling pattern by Cabinet. This is not consistent with our process conventions, which state:

Except under extraordinary circumstances Members of the Legislative Assembly should be made aware of and have opportunity to discuss significant announcements, changes, consultations or initiatives before they are released to the public or introduced in the Legislative Assembly.

During the 17th Assembly, standing committee expressed concern about the non-inclusive nature of the board that recommended this measure and the potential for regulatory capture and potential conflicts of interests when mining company representatives give advice to the Minister responsible for Mining.

Several of the board members are from firms that hold active mineral claims in the Northwest Territories. There is a potential for those firms to directly benefit from any cutting costs of keeping their mineral claims in good standing, rather than having some lapse and open up for others.

The terms of reference of the board state that part of its objectives is reducing constraints "including regulatory constraints." The problem here is that the people advising the Minister are giving advice that may place them in a conflict of interest on occasion. There does not appear to be any requirement for disclosure of financial interests, and the board's recommendations are not made public. In fact, the terms of reference say that all communications are confidential except by mutual consent of the Minister and the board.

It's a far cry from the model of a similar board in the Yukon, which was established by regulation under their Economic Development Act, with publicly posted terms of reference and annual reports containing summaries of recommendations published since 2003. I will have questions for the Minister of Mining later today. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Extension Of Mining Work Credit Program
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Hay River North.