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This is from 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

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Based on some of the Member's statements today, I would gladly answer this question. Hydro generation is definitely the future of the Northwest Territories. It has to be. We have to meet our greenhouse gas emissions, our commitments to the pan-Canadian framework, our international commitments. One of the only ways we are going to be able to do that in the Northwest Territories is through the expansion of hydro projects.

We have renewables coming. We have our bilaterals that we have signed with the federal government to help us move forward; our other energy initiatives under our 2030 plan around windmills; LNG expansion; transmission line expansion; solar expansion. Some of these are costly. We are in remote communities. We are spread over a vast, large territory.

The expansion of the Taltson project will help us displace diesel generation in our territory. It is going to help us bring in revenues that we can use to offset the high cost of living in some of these other communities and do projects that we want to do up there as new technology expands. We will continue to work with the federal government to secure funding to expand the Taltson project.

At the same time, as we have talked in this House lately around the money we are going to use initially, we want to be able to find the potential market, figure out our capital costs, figure out the transmission line routing, and finalize our business case going forward.

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

I don't often agree with the Minister, but in this case, I do. To ensure that we have buy-in from all of our residents, is the Minister going to be consulting with impacted Indigenous nations on the expansion so we don't get it held up in the regulatory process when it needs to move along?

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

I have been asked this question previously in the House by the Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. I have committed that I will be reaching out to all the affected groups that want to partner with us on this project and have discussions around the expansion of the Taltson. We will be wanting to be doing that sooner than later. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you to the Minister for that commitment. I want to know if he is going to reach out to private sector, as well. We have relied on P3 projects for many of our major infrastructure. Many years ago, there was a proposal from ATCO to do this work of connecting the grid north to south. Is the Minister going to reach out to ATCO or to other private sector power provider to make use of their capital to get this project off the ground sooner?

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

As I have said, with this initial funding, we want to find out the potential market, our capital costs, our transmission-line routing, and this stuff, and we finalized our business case. This is a large, transformitive type of project that is going to take a lot of partners to do this, not just us, along with the Aboriginal governments. We are going to need assistance from the private sector, maybe investment from the private sector, to help us accomplish this.

I have had discussions myself, personally, with a lot of individual electrical companies that want to have an opportunity to be able to participate in projects in the Northwest Territories, not just the Taltson but also transmission lines, possibly our community power generation; we are looking at adding in our energy strategy. We are open to talking to anybody how we can move some of these projects forward.

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Has the Minister reached out to our neighbouring provinces, as well, talked to the provincial governments about offsetting their greenhouse gas emissions with a potential hydro expansion here so it is not just us but we can make this a nation-building project? Thank you.

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Yes, we have reached out to Saskatchewan and Alberta. We have had initial discussions with them. They are ongoing to look into the possibility of doing this. As I have said, with the money we have allocated towards the budget going forward here and being able to build our business case, we will continue to have those conversations with them as all provinces and territories look how they are going reduce greenhouse gas emissions across this country. A number of provinces are trying to get off of coal. I think we are in a position where we can help them as long as the business case makes sense. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 349-18(3): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 350-18(3): Land Leases Limiting Housing
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2018

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Lands. Recently, we had a tour of the Deh Cho. The Minister of Lands accompanied me on a tour of the Deh Cho riding, and he heard many concerns. One of the concerns regards land leases. As we all might know, currently, there are negotiations between the Dehcho First Nations, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the federal government. First Nations are certainly entitled to their traditional lands. Of course, governments, their approach is to try to maintain the public interest of all residents of the NWT.

Now, with land leases, the way that I explained it in my language is that it is borrowed land. "Nde Gonttio (ph)," that is what we are living on in most communities. We have to pay government for living on those lands. Such is the predicament that we all live in here, in the NWT, as opposed to outright ownership of lands, where a person could buy a house and put that house on a piece of land.

My question is to the Minister of Lands. Can the Minister outline the barriers for making residential leases available in the Deh Cho? Mahsi.

Question 350-18(3): Land Leases Limiting Housing
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Lands.

Question 350-18(3): Land Leases Limiting Housing
Oral Questions

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Of course, residents can apply for a lease at any time. There is a process which is followed. The department will work with the community to ensure the application is in accordance with development plans. We invite people who are interested in acquiring residential leases to contact the department for information on the application process or for assistance in making their application.

Question 350-18(3): Land Leases Limiting Housing
Oral Questions

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

The process is very clear. Has the Department of Lands received feedback from leaseholders on the fee changes, and what is the Minister doing to address those concerns?

Question 350-18(3): Land Leases Limiting Housing
Oral Questions

Louis Sebert Thebacha

We have received feedback on the increases. I would have to say that the support for the increases was not universal. However, we still do feel they are fair because we wanted to bring the two land regimes, if I can put it that way, into alignment. It is also important to remember, I was surprised to find this, that there were quite a few territorial leases within the community. There were quite a few residential leases on territorial lands in communities. It is particularly important, in my submission, that there be alignment between the two amounts that are paid on leases. Yes, particularly those on territorial lands, there was a significant increase. No, not everybody was happy.

Question 350-18(3): Land Leases Limiting Housing
Oral Questions

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Can the Minister provide an update on whether the land specialist positions have been filled and whether work on equity leases has started?