This is page numbers 4361 - 4398 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 going.

Topics

Question 432-18(3): Land Rights for Traditional Cabins
Oral Questions

Page 4377

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I thank the Minister for the non-answer. I mean, I find it really interesting that this is a government decision. They are going to decide who has the rights and who are the squatters on this land. That is their job. They should be getting the information to each community so that the communities can get that out there.

If it is not going to be able to do that, will the Minister provide us with the information that they are providing to these Indigenous government organizations and give it to us so that we can now go to the small communities and do the government's job?

Question 432-18(3): Land Rights for Traditional Cabins
Oral Questions

Page 4377

Louis Sebert Thebacha

As I said previously, Mr. Speaker, there are a large number of Indigenous groups within the Northwest Territories that we have written letters to on September 5th.

Again, I am not certain whether we will be seeking to engage with Aboriginal governments beyond those, but again, yes, we do realize that this is an important issue, and we are hoping that those Aboriginal governments which we are dealing with, of which there is a large number, will spread the news to their various members.

Question 432-18(3): Land Rights for Traditional Cabins
Oral Questions

Page 4377

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Nahendeh.

Question 432-18(3): Land Rights for Traditional Cabins
Oral Questions

Page 4377

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you. The Minister of Hope. Every time I ask him a question, we get this "hope" answer. "I hope something will happen." "I am hoping this." This is the Government of the Northwest Territories, not the Indigenous government, not DFN. This is the Government of the Northwest Territories' responsibility.

The question I asked the Minister was: will he give us the same information that he has given to these Indigenous government organizations so that we can go out there and get that information to them? I am not asking him to say "hope" that those other organizations are going to do it. I am asking, actually "hoping," that they will get me that information so that I can share it with my constituents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 432-18(3): Land Rights for Traditional Cabins
Oral Questions

Page 4377

Louis Sebert Thebacha

This whole issue of unauthorized and potential rights-based occupancy of land in the Northwest Territories is an important issue for this government. Our initial contact, our initial engagement, is with Indigenous governments, and that is where we are at this stage. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 432-18(3): Land Rights for Traditional Cabins
Oral Questions

Page 4377

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4377

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my next set of questions are for the Minister of Lands. My colleague, the honourable Member for Deh Cho, started a line of questioning earlier today with regard to community lands, and I would like to continue along those lines.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to get to the point. If cities and towns are doing long-term planning, they already have these community plans in place. In the case of the City of Yellowknife, it is a ten-year plan; they revive it every five years. In order to do long-term planning, the city has, a number of times, requested to get its hands on all of the land within the municipal boundary.

I am wondering why the government still insists that we would have to piecemeal plots of land to the city on a request-by-request basis rather than just give them the lands within the municipal boundary as a whole, as one greater land application. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4377

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Lands.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4378

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the question. As I say, there is no policy to turn over all Commissioner's land within the municipalities to the municipalities. We need to have applications. As I mentioned when I referred to the regulations earlier, we need to know the purpose for which the land is needed.

We also have lands needs for our government, so we simply can't turn over everything to the municipalities. However, again, upon application, we may turn the land over to them if it fits the criteria. Thank you.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4378

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

The Minister is saying that we require plans. The plans always identify the needs. In the city's case, it is over ten years. They know what their needs are. They have applied for all of those lands in what was called a greater land application, and it has been denied in the past. They have done it up to three times.

They have done all of the process. They have provided the plan. They have provided the applications, and they have been denied. The Government of the Northwest Territories has their own needs. Certainly, they can plan to carve off their needs and then give the rest over to the municipality. Is that not possible?

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4378

Louis Sebert Thebacha

We naturally want to move fairly cautiously in this area. As I said, there is an application that municipalities can make. It may not be that we have finalized all of our needs for the future. There has to be some sense in this, in that we realize that towns, municipalities, and cities do have a need for land.

On application, we have been turning over land to them. We will continue to do so, but there must be a reason for it, and we are not going to turn over all lands within the municipal boundaries to the municipalities for a variety of reasons, including that we don't know our needs for the future.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4378

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

The City is required to establish a plan and let the government know about its long-term plans for land use. It does that. Then it makes the application. Certainly the Government of the Northwest Territories can identify its own needs within the boundary of the City of Yellowknife.

Does the Minister not recognize that by doing this piecemeal approach, that he is falsely inflating the cost of land and not, in fact, allowing the municipality to do good, quality, long-term planning?

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4378

Louis Sebert Thebacha

I mentioned earlier that we don't know our needs. Perhaps it was better phrased to say we don't know all of our needs for the future. Some of them may not be fully mapped out yet. Again, on application, we can turn land over to the municipalities and have been doing so. I expect that procedure to continue. It seems rational and also following what the regulations state in the Commissioner's land regulations. Again, applications can be made. They can be studied. If they are of merit, land can be turned over.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

Page 4378

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 433-18(3): Community Lands Planning
Oral Questions

October 23rd, 2018

Page 4378

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, will the Minister work with the appropriate administrative bodies at the City of Yellowknife to put in a greater land application so that the City of Yellowknife can acquire, while respecting interim land withdrawals and respecting the GNWT's long-term needs, a greater land application to satisfy the city's requirements for long-term planning and land use? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.