This is page numbers 4335 - 4360 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 business.

Topics

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4349

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do not have that information right here at my desk, but I can get that exact number for the Member and provide it to him. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4349

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

In my Member's statement, I referred to some of the businesses that are potential businesses in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. I would like to ask if the Minister would direct the Business Development and Investment Corporation to send business development officers into the communities to meet with the community groups in order to flesh out what other possibilities may exist in the community for small business.

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4349

Wally Schumann Hay River South

I can certainly have a look at the staff that we sent into the Sahtu region and work with the Member, and what we can do in his region to send our staff in there to talk about what are possibilities of starting up small businesses and opportunities, as well as, as I mentioned earlier in my statements today, to work around the traditional economy and how the hunters and trappers can access some of the SEED money, as well.

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4350

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

I know that the Minister meant Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, but I would like to ask the Minister a question on the number. Earlier the Minister had indicated that there was not enough money to help everyone. That is why I asked the initial question. My question will be: I anticipate that there is not enough money going into business development in my riding, so I would like to ask the Minister, once he is able to provide the numbers, if the Minister would come back to the House for additional funding to support business development in the small communities?

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4350

Wally Schumann Hay River South

As I have said, this government has spent $17.6 million. The SEED program is $3.8 million. We have Community Futures, which we fund as an additional $825,000. There are a number of programs and suits of needs out there that these people want.

The Member is kind of speculating that he is not getting enough money in his riding. I would have to go back and see what types of applications and what type of dollars have been spent in his region. As I said in this House earlier today, this has to be entrepreneurial-driven. We can't just be throwing money at something and hoping that it sticks. We have to work with the businesspeople in these communities who are future entrepreneurs who want to pursue these types of things, and that is what we are trying to do. The SEED policy is there to help facilitate that, with a number of programs within the Department of ITI, and we will continue to do that. That is the best I can answer the Member's question.

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4350

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

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

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4350

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister if there is any sort of policy that surrounds employment numbers. In my Member's statement, I referred to the dismal employment numbers that we have in the communities that I represent. I would like to ask the Minister, when spending money from the government for business development, if that is taken into consideration. Are employment numbers taken into consideration when spending money for any businesses in any of the communities in the territory? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4350

Wally Schumann Hay River South

That depends on what application, I suspect, you are doing. If you are going through BDIC or Community Futures and you are trying to get a loan to start a company, you have to have a business case to do that. That is relative to, you know, what your business case is going to be and the number of products you're going to be able to sell, and the capital that you have to invest, and the capital that we are going to invest to help support these things. When it comes to supporting the number of people hired in a community, I suspect that, depending on some of our grants and contribution programs that we have, some of those factors are part of the decision-making. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 417-18(3): Supporting Small Business in Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh
Oral Questions

Page 4350

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 418-18(3): Challenges Facing Small Business
Oral Questions

October 18th, 2018

Page 4350

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Earlier today, my colleague from Hay River North spoke a lot about red tape and redundancy that we have within the Government of the Northwest Territories. He referenced the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and how they consistently give us failing grades, or an F. I just want to know: does our government recognize this ongoing and never-ending failing grade, or do we just flat-out reject it? You know, this institute comes and gives us this every year. Or better yet, what are we actually doing to identify our own challenges with regard to red tape and the roadblocks that small businesses face within our government? Do we foresee that we have these challenges and are we doing anything about them? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 418-18(3): Challenges Facing Small Business
Oral Questions

Page 4350

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Question 418-18(3): Challenges Facing Small Business
Oral Questions

Page 4350

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't think I referenced the Federation of the Business thing, but I've met with them. They have their opinion on what's happening in the Northwest Territories. My recollection is they use a very small case of data to give us this grade, but we recognize that, as I've said, I'm a small business owner in the Northwest Territories. The one thing that we did that helped to address this is through our BizPaL program. That is a very good program. Online, you can go on there and it takes you through all the licensing and permitting or whatever you need to do to help, especially brand new entrepreneurs, know exactly what they need to do, from workers' compensation to all these sorts of things. It's clearly laid out in there, and I believe that we are doing the best we can to help address this.

Question 418-18(3): Challenges Facing Small Business
Oral Questions

Page 4351

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

"Best we can" is really kind of vague, to be quite frank. If the Minister could please elaborate a little bit to share with us what "best we can" means. What does that mean as it relates to the silos that seem to be kind of structured between various departments that small businesses have to interact with on a daily basis? You know, the business community sees the Department of ITI as their representative at the territorial level. What is the government actually doing to identify the challenges of red tape, bureaucracy, and redundancy, and what, I'll call it, policies, are they developing to help break that down?

Question 418-18(3): Challenges Facing Small Business
Oral Questions

Page 4351

Wally Schumann Hay River South

This is kind of like our procurement issue. I've never had anyone come and knock on my door complaining about red tape. I'm glad to work with the chair of the standing committee, of SCEDI, and sit down if they have any ideas on how we can rectify red tape within the Government of Northwest Territories. I'm glad to have those discussions.

Question 418-18(3): Challenges Facing Small Business
Oral Questions

Page 4351

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

I'm glad that the Minister brought it up, in fact. Government procurement obviously contributes significantly to the business community in the Northwest Territories. We have raised a number of times concerns around government procurement. The Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment undertook a survey this summer. We are hoping to put forward a report later to table in the House and share with the Minister and his department about the challenges that we found.

I would just like to ask the Minister: can he explain the processes maybe through which his department engages with the business community to seek out and find out how they can improve their procurement processes and policies?