This is page numbers 4571 - 4620 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 yellowknife.

Topics

Acknowledgement 16-18(3): Fort Liard Residents Amand Bertrand, 85, and Frank Loman, 90
Acknowledgements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Acknowledgements. Colleagues, at this point in time I call for a short break. Masi.

---SHORT RECESS

Acknowledgement 16-18(3): Fort Liard Residents Amand Bertrand, 85, and Frank Loman, 90
Acknowledgements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Members, we left off on acknowledgements. Item 8, oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know it seems like an eternity ago, but it was just earlier today that I had a Member's statement about increasing high-speed Internet accessibility in the Northwest Territories. I have some questions to that for the Minister of Infrastructure.

Recently there was a federal, provincial, and territorial gathering of Ministers for Innovation and Economic Development, and out of this came an agreement to make broadband a priority and to develop a long-term strategy to improve access to high-speed Internet services for all Canadians.

Now, I understand the Minister was in Calgary last week, but this conference took place in Vancouver. Was the Minister there, and are we a party to this announcement? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, this was an FPT in Vancouver. That is where I was last week with Minister Bains and all of my colleagues from across the country, and yes, we discussed the exact topic that the Member brought up. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

That is good to hear. I spoke earlier, we need to start investing in this infrastructure for a variety of reasons; economic, social, and so on. I would like to know: will the Minister fully commit to engaging in this strategy so that the North's voice is heard, and so that when this national strategy comes out, the territory is well-represented, and we can begin moving ahead with connecting all of our residents?

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

I can tell this House that we are fully committed to all of our FPT tables, and we are fully engaged with all the topics that are brought up at these tables. I can provide the Member with updates as we move along on this important file.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

I look forward to him providing updates, and if he needs, I can also provide advice. I also spoke about the CRTC Broadband Fund, $750 million to narrow the gap between Internet access in rural and urban communities. What are we doing, what is this government doing, to prepare our submissions? They will start looking at submissions in 2019. What are we doing do get ready for that?

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

This is a new broadband fund that will provide $750 million across Canada for the first five years to support projects to build or upgrade infrastructure to provide fixed or mobile wireless broadband Internet service to unserviced Canadians. This new program is still in development, and the CRTC has noted that resources for applicants will be made available in the coming months, including application guide, application forms, and maps, and it is expected to have this funding start to roll out in 2019.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It sounds like pretty soon they are going to start getting the criteria and start developing their applications, and I encourage the Minister to come to committee for some ideas on how we would like to see that application roll out.

I would also like to ask: all across North America now, communities are installing their own fibre optic infrastructure so that they can own the infrastructure and sell access to the Internet. It is being done where it doesn't make sense for a company, economically, to invest that type of money, yet it turns out that it is often a money-generating proposal for communities.

Will the Minister commit to working with MACA, working with the municipalities, when he is making the submission so that we can get all of our communities connected? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

I can fully commit to doing that, plus I also fully commit to working with any individual entrepreneur that wants to look at doing this.

At the same time, I want to talk about what Northwestel has already done lately. They have recently gone to the same department I said, got an application together, and did the Connect to Innovate fund. They got some money out of that. They are working on that right now, and that funding is going to be actually to help build a fibre optic backbone to the community of Jean Marie, which is what they are working on. They are also working to extend satellite connections in the following nine remote communities, beginning in April 2019; Colville, Gameti, Lutselk'e, Paulatuk, Sachs, Trout, Ulukhaktok, Wekweeti, and Old Crow.

We will work with everybody who wants to take this opportunity to build connected communities. I think this is very important for us, as we all know that the previous government invested in the fibre optic line, which we had the opportunity to open. We spent $90 million on that. This is going to help bring communities together and bring them access out to the world and businesses and, also, broaden our knowledge economy in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 471-18(3): High-Speed Internet Accessibility
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Question 472-18(3): Implementation of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the Inuvialuit Final Agreement
Oral Questions

October 30th, 2018

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Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in follow-up to my Member's statement, I have a few questions for the Premier.

Can the Premier start by giving us a brief update on his government's work to fulfill its commitment to advance, finalize, and implement land resources and self-government agreements, particularly with the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the Inuvialuit Final Agreement? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 472-18(3): Implementation of the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement and the Inuvialuit Final Agreement
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The Honourable Premier.