This is page numbers 4621 - 4676 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 communities.

Topics

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4629

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate the Member's concern, and I appreciate his statement. This is a concern that we've been working on and trying to address. We have been working with the NWT Association of Communities to the Member's question. At the beginning of the 18th Legislative Assembly, the funding gap was approximately $39 million; 15 in operations and maintenance, and water and waste combined; and an additional of about $23 million in capital. For the current fiscal year, the funding gap is about 4.5 in O and M, and 4.8 in water and waste, including new costs identified for solid waste management. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4629

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I appreciate the answer from the Minister, and I appreciate the department's work with the NWT's Association of Municipalities. Can the Minister advise what the department has done to close the gap over the last three years?

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4629

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

We have seen some increments in the capital funding since about 2014. MACA has been successful, though, in reducing the gap in operations and maintenance funding and environmental service funding by almost about 50 percent.

On the capital side of things, we have seen a significant funding investment through the federal infrastructure programs that has helped us mitigate the gap over the short period of time. We are running some of those projects out to the municipalities over the next year.

One initiative that MACA has started and implemented is an asset management strategy, and we are working with all the communities to develop that and look at ways we can maximize the useful life of their public infrastructure, and not increase the pressure on capital funding moving forward so we can actually stretch our dollar in working with our municipal governments.

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4629

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I greatly appreciate the Minister's answer to that, and I'm very excited about the department working on their asset management, getting a longer life out of our facilities, and making sure they work better. I applaud the department for doing that. Has the department done any calculations or projections to determine the cumulative shortfall of the funding gap since 2016, and what is the amount of funding gap right now?

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4629

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

To date, the department has not done any analysis on the cumulative shortfall. MACA continues to move forward on an ongoing basis to improve the ways that we do fund communities. As I mentioned, since 2014 we have seen a slight increase in the amount of funding that we do get. We do have to work within a GNWT fiscal framework, but we continue to look at ways we can try to lobby for more funds. Working with the federal government is one way that we've done it. Looking at some of their programs to help us offset some of the costs in our municipal governments, and we'll continue to work with our partners, in particular the NWT Association of Communities, to find ways that we can look at closing this gap, or at least making an impact on that.

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4629

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Nahendeh.

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4630

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you very much for the Minister for providing that information. I understand the fiscal realities of the Northwest Territories, and I understand that, but we're talking about our municipal government. I would hope that the government would start looking at trying to close that gap even quicker. Will the Minister commit to tabling the department's strategy to fulfill the mandate commitment of 4.55 at the next sitting of this Assembly in February? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4630

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

I appreciate the Member does recognize our fiscal situation here within the GNWT, and as we go through our operations budgets as well as our capital budgets, we have to compete against things such as schools, health centres, roads, other types of infrastructure. Then you have to look at all the program services that we provide to residents of the Northwest Territories. We are working diligently with the NWT Association of Communities as well as our municipal government and our leaders across the Northwest Territories to address the concern that the Member has brought forward. It is, as all Members know it is, a tough way to make decisions in this House sometimes, but I will make a commitment that I will table the strategy in the winter session and make sure that we do share it with our stakeholders so that everyone is aware of the strategy that we are looking at moving forward to address the concern that the Member has brought up. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 482-18(3): Municipal Funding Gap
Oral Questions

Page 4630

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 483-18(3): Union of Northern Workers and Government of the Northwest Territories Negotiations
Oral Questions

October 31st, 2018

Page 4630

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm hoping to ask the Minister of Finance some questions around the collective bargaining to put some fears at rest in the community. The looming threat of strike is something nobody wants to hear. Other honourable colleagues have raised this issue, and we know that the mediation has ceased. When does the Minister anticipate the release of the mediator's report? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 483-18(3): Union of Northern Workers and Government of the Northwest Territories Negotiations
Oral Questions

Page 4630

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister of Finance.

Question 483-18(3): Union of Northern Workers and Government of the Northwest Territories Negotiations
Oral Questions

Page 4630

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we are soon in the process of talking with UNW, and the doors are always open for further talks. I will say no more than that. Take the question as notice. Thank you.

Question 483-18(3): Union of Northern Workers and Government of the Northwest Territories Negotiations
Oral Questions

Page 4630

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

The question has been taken as notice. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 484-18(3): Tourism Regulation
Oral Questions

Page 4630

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment; and my apologies, well, I can't.

Question 484-18(3): Tourism Regulation
Oral Questions

Page 4630

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Well, you can still raise your question. The Premier is here.