This is page numbers 3681 – 3720 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 3rd 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 housing.

Topics

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. Thompson.

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

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and I thank the Minister for that answer. I guess, the MLAs who are affected by this decision, can the Minister make a commitment to keep us updated on this? 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. Minister.

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

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair, absolutely. As soon as we hear more and there are firm commitments, we will share that with the MLAs. 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, Minister. NWT Housing Corporation, total department, $102,876,000. Does committee agree?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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, committee. Does committee agree this concludes our consideration of the NWT Housing Corporation?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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, committee. Thank you to the Minister and the witnesses. Sergeant-at-Arms, you may escort the witnesses from the Chamber. I will call a brief five-minute recess, and we will continue after with the Legislative Assembly. Thank you, committee.

---SHORT RECESS

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

I call committee back to order. Committee, we have agreed to next consider the Legislative Assembly, which begins on page 1 of the main estimates. I will turn to our Speaker for opening comments. Mr. Speaker.

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

March 7th, 2018

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, I am pleased to present the 2018-2019 estimates for the Legislative Assembly.

The Assembly is seeking an operations expenditure appropriation of $20,790,000 for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This is an increase of $1,454,000, approximately a 7.5 per cent increase in funding from our 2017-2018 main estimates.

This budget represents the important work we will undertake during the upcoming fiscal year. The proposed funding will be used to advance strategic initiatives and address forced growth matters. These are:

• Additional staff resources for our statutory offices to meet increasing demands;

• Additional funding for Elections NWT for staff resources and program initiatives as they begin preparations for the 2019 territorial election;

• Legislative Assembly public education and communications initiatives;

• Needed improvements and replacements to the Legislative Assembly building;

• Adjustment of Members' compensation and allowances based on the Consumer Price Index;

• Pension obligations of Members' plans; and

• Contributions to the governance and development of the capital area.

The Legislative Assembly remains committed to supporting the good work of our statutory offices. With new legislation coming into force and better public awareness, the offices of the Human Rights Commission and the Information and Privacy Commissioner are experiencing increasing and more complex caseloads. The Legislative Assembly is keenly aware of the importance of these offices having the resources needed to meet their demands.

With the 2019 general election just over a year and a half away, Elections NWT will be ramping up for operations to ensure that they are prepared for this election period. Effective communications remain a priority as efforts continue, by my staff, to provide the people of the Northwest Territories and visitors with timely information about the important work and the history of the Legislative Assembly.

Also, the upcoming year will mark the first time in many years that the Legislative Assembly will need to contribute to the Members' pension plans in order to ensure that these plans are adequately funded. This budget also proposes a contribution to support our participation in the governance, upkeep, and future development of the capital area. The capital area is home to all orders of government, including the Legislative Assembly, and also includes the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.

The Legislative Assembly remains committed to upholding the priorities of the 18th Assembly and stands by the principles of an accountable and transparent government. This budget represents a responsible and efficient approach to conducting the business and operations of the Legislative Assembly. In closing, Mr. Chair, I want to thank all Members, my colleagues on the board of management, and Assembly staff for their contributions and efforts in working towards these estimates.

Masi, Mr. Chair. That concludes my opening remarks. I look forward to answering any questions Members may have.

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. Speaker. I understand you have witnesses you wish to bring into the Chamber, so I will ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to escort the witnesses into the Chamber, and you may take your seat at the witness table. Mr. Speaker, would you please introduce your witnesses for the record?

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

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Mr. Chair. I have to my left Mr. Darrin Ouellette. He is director of corporate services. To my right is Tim Mercer, the clerk.

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, and welcome to the witnesses. The total of the Legislative Assembly can be found on page 5, but we will defer the total until consideration of the activity detail. There are four activities, the first beginning on page 8, expenditures on behalf of Members. Comments or questions from committee? Mr. Vanthuyne.

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

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Speaker, in your opening comments you referred to adjustments of Members' compensation and allowances based on the Consumer Price Index, and so I am just wondering: how much does the CPI increase in the Members' compensation and allowances actually amount to?