This is page numbers 2575 – 2598 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 going.

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Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The Honourable Premier.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There have been over 100 wells drilled in the Beaufort Sea and we have not had a blow-out like they have had in the Gulf of Mexico. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Well, I appreciate that we've been safe so far, but these problems persist. This is the reason why a ban was put in place by Canada. I'd just like to take a minute to quote from debates in Hansard of February 2, 2013, when the Premier said:

"The Government of the Northwest Territories is focused on managing the business of the territory. It has to be our primary objective not telling the Government of Canada how it should do its business. Further, we aren't the federal opposition. We're governing our own right and we need to concentrate on managing our own affairs. We will continue to work with the federal government and raise issues that matter to Northerners."

So why has the Premier now taken a different approach to this, which seems not to respect the jurisdiction of Canada; and instead of working with Canada to find a solution to the challenges related to offshore drilling, we've condemned them in a political forum. Can the Premier answer that, why his approach has changed and his relationship with Canada on this issue?

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

The Member is quite quick to put words into my mouth, but I'll set the record straight. We were a bit opposed to the process and approach that the Government of Canada took to impose a permanent moratorium and ban on oil and gas drilling in the Beaufort Sea. That's what we're opposed to. We have wanted a system that would be safe and protect the environment. We believe in balance, development, and to permanently ban oil and gas drilling without input from people most affected without any economic development strategy in place to offset the jobs that would be lost, to leave trillions of dollars' worth of oil and gas in the ground, I think is abandoning the responsibility. Also, we negotiated in good faith the Devolution Agreement with the Government of Canada. Part of that Devolution Agreement was that we would negotiate the coal management of the Beaufort Sea and the offshore and also how resource revenues would be dealt with. That's what we're concerned about.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

I appreciate that explanation from the Premier. There's a clause in that Devolution Agreement that allows us to take disputes through that process. Is the Premier going to use the Devolution Agreement to bring Canada to task on this issue? I should point out that it's not a permanent ban. It's a five-year ban that can be revisited, so is the Premier going to wait for five years until we can revisit that decision or are we going to access the Devolution Agreement to start these negotiations early and as he's clearly stated, he's a strong believer in this economic opportunity. Are we going to make it happen through the Devolution Agreement?

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

I'm a strong believer that, if we pontificate on something, we should make sure we get the facts right. In this case, it is a permanent ban and the Prime Minister has written to me to confirm that and, as well, he has stated that they would review the need for a moratorium every five years. I've also written to him expressing my concern about the fact that we have had no responses to our request to get on with a negotiation of offshore management. He wrote back and indicated that he has put together a reviewed team led by Minister Carr and Minister Bennett in which they will be undertaking a one-year consultation process with existing offshore oil and gas rights holders to seek views on their interest. This process will engage key partners including rights holders, territorial governments, and land claim agreement holders. These consultations will be an opportunity to discuss a number of issues that you have raised including home management and resource revenue arrangements in the Beaufort Sea. We believe that those are legal commitments and that we should get on with it and it's not something that we should tie on to some other process where we can just raise it.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It sounds like the Premier is starting to understand what it's like to be a Regular Member. Often, we raise concerns that are put to study or put to an internal working group when we're not at the tables, so perhaps this will inform his relationship when we're working with the government to find out how to make good decisions for people. My last question, Mr. Speaker, we've cut $5 million out of our public service capacity to address oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories. With what little is left, is that being used to address these issues and to develop an appropriate response to offshore drilling? Thank you.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, there's an old saying about shutting the barn door after the cows have left the barn. We have no oil and gas development production going on in the Northwest Territories as of this date. If you look around the territory, there's not one drop of oil being produced. A large part of this is the oil and gas moratorium in the Beaufort where everything is shut down and, since then, there's been no other oil and gas development. People have lost confidence in their ability. If the federal government can wipe away trillions of dollars of oil and gas in one swipe, then how do you expect industry to invest millions of dollars to develop? As a government, if there is no activity what do you want these people to do? If there is nothing going on, do you want them to sit there? That is why we have taken the approach that we are going to get ready, we are going to develop an oil and gas strategy, and when oil and gas industry comes back, if it comes back, we will be ready to go. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 811-18(2): Offshore Drilling Policies
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Sahtu.

Question 812-18(2): Results Of The NWT Housing Corporation Engagement Survey
Oral Questions

June 2nd, 2017

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I mentioned in my Member's statement, my question is to the Minister of Housing. My first question: will the Voices on Housing survey be shared with the community leaders to a public forum? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 812-18(2): Results Of The NWT Housing Corporation Engagement Survey
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation.

Question 812-18(2): Results Of The NWT Housing Corporation Engagement Survey
Oral Questions

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I had previously made a commitment and I have made that commitment at every meeting that I have made, bilateral meetings, individual meetings with Aboriginal governments, municipal governments. I have committed to sharing the Voices on Housing report to Aboriginal and municipal governments, and I will do that, but it will not probably be in a public forum. The reason is because I need to get them out timely and we have 33 communities all with municipal governments and Aboriginal governments. There are huge lists, and if I was to do them all individually it would take me many, many months. So, no, I will be distributing the information via letter. We are in the process of doing that now, and it is not that I would not like to it publically. It is that we need to be timely in the distribution. Thank you. Mr. Speaker.

Question 812-18(2): Results Of The NWT Housing Corporation Engagement Survey
Oral Questions

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Will the Minister commit to a regional Sahtu forum to engage in the delivery of the survey?

Question 812-18(2): Results Of The NWT Housing Corporation Engagement Survey
Oral Questions

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Again, as I stated in the previous question, I have already made commitments to the Aboriginal municipal governments to get them out in a timely basis. It was tabled the other day, and so we are working on getting it out immediately. However, I have not done the Sahtu tour yet, and there was a commitment made by our Premier to get Ministers out into all the communities. So I would be more than willing to do a tour of the Sahtu to be able to take any input that the communities may have in any of the portfolios that I carry, including the Voices on Housing document.