This is page numbers 4521 - 4570 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 work.

Topics

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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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

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you. Next, we have department as a whole. The Department of Finance, total capital estimates, $1,630,000. 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

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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

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you. Does committee agree that we have concluded the Department of Finance?

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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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

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you. Thank you, Minister. Sergeant-at-Arms, please escort the witness from the Chamber. Thank you, committee. Do you agree we have concluded consideration of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020? 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

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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

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you. Mr. Beaulieu.

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

October 29th, 2018

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Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chair, I move that consideration of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, be now concluded and that Tabled Document 215-18(3) be reported as ready for further consideration in the formal session through the form of an appropriation bill. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 4554

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Committee, there is a motion in order. To the motion.

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 4554

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions?

---Carried

Thank you, committee. The tabled document is now concluded. We will now turn to Bill 24. Does committee agree? Committee will now take a five-minute break just to reorganized. Thank you.

---SHORT RECESS

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

I call Committee of the Whole back to order. Committee, we have agreed to consider Bill 24, An Act to Amend the Elections and Plebiscites Act. I will now ask the Member responsible for the bill to introduce it. Mr. O'Reilly.

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. As chair of the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures, I am pleased to present Bill 24, An Act to Amend the Elections and Plebiscites Act.

Bill 24 is the result of the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures review of three reports submitted by the Chief Electoral Officer in the life of the 18th Assembly. The first, entitled "Modernizing Election Administration in the Northwest Territories," was tabled by the Speaker on May 31, 2016, and reports on the conduct of the general election. The second report is a white paper on the independence and accountability of election administration in the Northwest Territories commissioned by the Chief Electoral Officer and tabled in the Legislative Assembly on February 28, 2017. The third report provides four supplementary recommendations on the administration of the 2015 general election. It was tabled on June 1, 2017. Together, these reports contain 107 recommendations for changes related to election administration, including legislative amendments.

The Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures is responsible for reviewing these reports and for making recommendations to the Legislative Assembly. Because the Chief Electoral Officer's two reports and white paper are closely related, the committee carried out a coordinated and comprehensive review of all three documents, involving in-depth examination of each recommendation, and extensive public and stakeholder consultation. The standing committee notified former candidates, interested stakeholders, and the media prior to holding public hearings with the Chief Electoral Officer in Yellowknife on September 9, 2016, and June 12, 2017. Public submissions were received from two individuals, and additional submissions were sought from stakeholders and from the public via the standing committee's website after the white paper was tabled.

At the conclusion of this consultation and review process, the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures released its report on the review of the Chief Electoral Officer's three reports on October 17, 2017. The standing committee report was debated in Committee of the Whole on October 19, 2017, and this Assembly adopted each of the standing committee's 15 recommendations. Since that time, the law clerk and legislative drafters have been working to translate these recommendations for improvements to the Elections and Plebiscites Act into the amendments found in Bill 24.

The amendments were also reviewed and discussed by caucus by all MLAs earlier this month, where some additional minor changes were made. The overriding purpose of these amendments is to increase the opportunity for members of the public to participate in the democratic process in the Northwest Territories and to improve administration of elections. These amendments also allow for modernization of our electoral system. The most important changes include:

  • fixing the election date to the first Tuesday in October;
  • setting rules for third-party advertising;
  • allowing greater flexibility and financial reporting by candidates;
  • allowing absentee voters to vote electronically;
  • clarifying the mandate of Elections NWT, including working with youth in schools;
  • increasing penalties under the act;
  • expanding the scope of annual reports by the chief electoral officer; and
  • improving powers of investigation and enforcement.

Bill 24 recognizes the strength of our existing system, and builds on this strength to ensure our electoral process is modern, inclusive, and more accessible to all voters in the Northwest Territories. That concludes my opening remarks, Mr. Chair, and I'm prepared for any questions that Members may have. Thank you.

Committee Motion 78-18(3): Concurrence of Tabled Document 215-18(3), Capital Estimates, 2019-2020, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly. Would you like to bring witnesses into the Chamber?