This is page numbers 81 - 106 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 1st 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 27-19(1): Recreational Land Leases
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 96

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Minister. Member for Thebacha.

Question 27-19(1): Recreational Land Leases
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

The turnaround for inquiries to any Minister by MLAs is five days. Why did it take the Minister and his department 17 days to give me a response, which was the same response given in the 18th Assembly by the former Minister of Lands, which you questioned when you were a Regular MLA?

Question 27-19(1): Recreational Land Leases
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Just a reminder, please direct your comments through myself as Speaker. Thank you. Minister.

Question 27-19(1): Recreational Land Leases
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker, if I recall, we had the opportunity to meet, at which time I arranged a time to discuss your concerns immediately. I believe that we had a productive discussion, and I have followed up on the matters that you raised. I realize that my responses may not be the ones that you would like to hear at this time, but I can assure you that I will continue to work on this matter with my officials. We do have further work that needs to be done to ensure that we have a modern approach to land management in the NWT, including around fees. I have mentioned a big part of this is getting the Public Lands Act into force, though the work has to be done on regulations. I look forward to work with you and the community and other MLAs as we work on this process. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Question 27-19(1): Recreational Land Leases
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you. Minister, I am over here, just so you know. It was brought to my attention. Please direct your comments to me. I know everybody is a little nervous today. It is okay to look at the person you are talking to every once in a while. Just a reminder. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 28-19(1): Cellphone Coverage Outside of Municipalities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. My Member's statement was on extending the cellphone range outside of the municipalities. It was appropriate that the MACA Minister updated us on the 911 service to the Northwest Territories. My reference to the Minister of Ho-Ho-Ho, it is appropriate that the Minister is wearing a Christmas-themed sweater. Also, the fact that with the housing questions, she did answer "yes" a couple of times. I believe that the Minister is on a roll.

The cellphone range service is a concern to our communities. I think it goes right across the whole territory, too, because we are only allowed the service within the municipality. The range is not very far there. We have lots of highway travel. We have from Providence to Yellowknife and Hay River to Fort Smith, and both of those have a large bison population that traverse the highway system. We have had accidents on those highways many times. Also, too, to cover the Dempster Highway, which is a long, forlorn highway that comes up from the Yukon, if people are stuck or get into accidents or anything, they will have some way to communicate with someone along the highway.

And I believe 911 service, you had a partner. I don't know if it was Northwestel. You had a partner, anyways, who delivered the program. I believe the NWT would be pleased with the increased range. My question to the Minister is: does the department have an initiative in the works to see if that cellphone service range is extended beyond municipal boundaries? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 28-19(1): Cellphone Coverage Outside of Municipalities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Good Member's statement. Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Question 28-19(1): Cellphone Coverage Outside of Municipalities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you to the Member for his comments. The program is quite new, and we have just established and implemented it. It went live this year. As a part of the implementation of the Northwest Territories 911 service, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs will continue to work in partnership with the GNWT departments to explore opportunities for future expansion of cellular services along the territorial highways. The GNWT has highlighted increased cellular service along the major roads and highways as a priority to the CRTC. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 28-19(1): Cellphone Coverage Outside of Municipalities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

The Minister must remember I said lots of nice things about her today. My question is: can the Minister provide a timeline as to tasks undertaken to enable this service coming into being in the very near future?

Question 28-19(1): Cellphone Coverage Outside of Municipalities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

I am sorry, but I don't have a timeline right now. The program is so new that I can't make a commitment as to when the expansion or further to the program.

Question 28-19(1): Cellphone Coverage Outside of Municipalities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 97

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 29-19(1): Transfer of Municipal Lands to the City of Yellowknife
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

December 12th, 2019

Page 98

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Presently, the municipal government of the City of Yellowknife only controls 9 percent of the land within its municipal boundary. In order for the City of Yellowknife to access any of the additional lands beyond their land planning, an application has to be made to the Department of Lands. This process has become so burdensome and so difficult to navigate that the City of Yellowknife made it one of their election priorities that all of the vacant Commissioner's land be transferred to the City of Yellowknife within their municipal boundaries. My question is to the Minister of Lands of whether he can commit that that Land will be transferred to the municipal government.

Question 29-19(1): Transfer of Municipal Lands to the City of Yellowknife
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 98

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Member. Minister of Lands.

Question 29-19(1): Transfer of Municipal Lands to the City of Yellowknife
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 98

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The GNWT has met several times to discuss with the city initiative, including two meetings with the city to date. Work has been focusing on ensuring clarity on what Lands initiative will include, ensure clarity on the process to carry out the initiative, and identification of milestones accomplished throughout the initiative and who is responsible for each. The department is focused on ensuring the initiative is carried out in a timely manner that ensures the transfer is done right. A meeting with the city is scheduled for next week to continue working with this initiative moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 29-19(1): Transfer of Municipal Lands to the City of Yellowknife
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 98

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I would ask the Minister to update this House on the result of those meetings. Also, my hope is that following the kind of paternalistic nature between the Department of Lands and the City of Yellowknife, after these lands are developed, perhaps some of those employees at the Department of Lands can begin working with other community governments to transfer the land. Can the Minister tell me what conversations are happening with other municipal governments to transfer land within their municipal boundaries?