This is page numbers 3161 - 3198 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.

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Question 81-18(3): Process For Disconnecting Service
Oral Questions

Louis Sebert Thebacha

As mentioned earlier, the Power Corporation follows section 16.3 of their terms and conditions, and if I might just refer to that, that states:

"Where accounts are not paid by customer before the expiration of a notice given to the customer pursuant to this section, the corporation may forthwith disconnect the customer from service and may refuse to reconnect the customer for service until the accounts in arrears, a security deposit payable under section 5.7 and 5.8, and a reconnection fee as set out in schedule C are fully paid. As an alternative to disconnection during winter months, the corporation may, at its sole discretion, acting reasonably, install a device to limit the electricity available to the customer."

So if a customer account is not paid within seven days of the due date, the corporation may give a 48‑hour notice, and if the customer fails to respond, either by making a required payment or entering into an agreed‑upon payment arrangement, which is often done, the account will be disconnected. As I mentioned, the policy does allow for a device in the winter months to limit the electricity available. So that is the Power Corporation's policy in dealing with this matter.

Question 81-18(3): Process For Disconnecting Service
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

February 12th, 2018

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, earlier today I talked about the legalization of cannabis and, in particular, I had a focus with regard to the NWT taking advantage of economic development opportunities and diversifying our economy. My questions today are for the Minister of Finance with regard to the government's plan to create a regime for management of cannabis. I'd like to start by asking the Minister: what economic opportunities to the NWT does the Minister envision for the legalization of cannabis? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Finance.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, because it is early days, the plan is for the Liquor Commission to assume the responsibility for the importation and sale of cannabis across the Northwest Territories with liquor stores that currently operate under contract to the Liquor Commission. That being said, the Liquor Commission would also consider licensing private cannabis‑only stores, once the market is stable with reliable supply chains. That might be where the Member's questions are, where the product is coming from. As part of the “way forward” document that was released in 2017, I believe, we had spoken there about the growing and distribution of marijuana, but that is the federal government. They will be looking after the licensing and the approval for those who want to grow cannabis. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you to the Minister for the reply. I mean, it's good to hear that the Minister envisions that there is going to be some future where there is opportunity for potential retail sales. I do recognize that the growing of cannabis will still be under federal legislation. I guess the question then is: we know that it is going to be sold through liquor stores in the meantime, but has the government or will the government, in fact, reconsider this, given the input received from entrepreneurs wanting to get into this business? Can we right now start to give consideration to local opportunities, northern opportunities for retail of cannabis?

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I take the Member's point, but the approach is to start cautiously. I mean, this is a new activity, and as I said in my previous reply, there is an opportunity, once we get through this, to have the Liquor Commission looking at licensing retailers for the sale of cannabis.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Again, yes, I appreciate that it seems like there is going to be some opportunity, but it seems to be in the distant future, and we are trying to narrow it down then, I guess. If it is not going to be immediately right now while we are legalizing cannabis, then can the Minister maybe outline when it might be that we can give consideration to this?

The fear here, as I noted in my Member's statement, is that we are going to lose this opportunity. If we wait too long, then the opportunity will be lost, and folks will just find ways in which to acquire their cannabis. Can the Minister please outline for us when this government plans on allowing the public to take advantage of economic opportunities to retail cannabis?

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I did point out that you will be able to purchase cannabis legally from liquor stores that are currently under contract with the Liquor Commission, and I did say that we will have a look at the possibility of going out to private retailers. I did not have a timeline on that, and I am not going to give a timeline, but again, because this is completely new right across the country, we want to make sure that we are in a position that we are able to do it right.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I know it is going to sound like I am repeating myself, and I am probably going to get a repetitive answer, but there are other jurisdictions around the country that are already doing this. This is not something that we have to reinvent. Our neighbour, our sister territory Nunavut, is giving consideration as we speak to the privatization aspect of cannabis retail. Will the Minister at least reach out to his colleagues in Nunavut and ask them by what means they are giving consideration to privatizing the sales of cannabis and report back to us? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I did not close the door on the possibility of going out to private retailers, which a lot of these liquor stores in the Northwest Territories are, private retailers, but I did not close that door. I did say we will give some consideration as to a specific timeline. I do not have that, but I can assure the Member that we will be giving some consideration, and to answer his question, yes, we will reach out to our counterparts in Nunavut to see what their approach has been. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 82-18(3): Economic Opportunities Arising From Legalization Of Cannabis
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 83-18(3): Carbon Pricing
Oral Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I'd like to start with something really simple: can the Minister of Finance tell the public whether our government actually believes in climate change and that carbon pricing is an essential tool to address this threat? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 83-18(3): Carbon Pricing
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The Member is asking for the Minister's opinion. Can he reiterate the question?