This is page numbers 4857 - 4880 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 budget. View the webstream of the day's session.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Blake, Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Ms. Green, Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Hon. Bob McLeod, Hon. Robert McLeod, Mr. McNeely, Hon. Alfred Moses, Mr. Nadli, Mr. Nakimayak, Mr. O'Reilly, Hon. Wally Schumann, Hon. Louis Sebert, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Vanthuyne

The House met at 1:31 p.m.

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Good afternoon, Members. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Minister's Statement 141-18(3): A Roundup of Roundup 2019
Ministers' Statements

Page 4857

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories has world-class mineral potential that could bring economic benefits to the residents of the Northwest Territories, industry players, and Canada.

In fact, nearly $1 billion of our economy comes from mining and exploration. It is the primary generator of wealth in the Northwest Territories and the reason why our government has made the commitment to support mineral exploration and the mining sector by implementing the Mineral Development Strategy, capturing opportunities to build transportation infrastructure that enables resources to get to market, closing the skills gap in the mining sector, implementing the Mining Incentive Program, developing and introducing a Mineral Resources Act, and supporting Indigenous governments to build capacity in dealing with the mining-related activities.

Mr. Speaker, last month our government was represented at the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver and used our attendance there as an opportunity to promote the importance of mining and the benefits mining brings to the residents of the Northwest Territories, industry players, and Canada. This was also an opportunity to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of our world-class mineral potential and to profile our partnerships with Indigenous and community governments.

Today, I would like to share with Members some observations about the trip, a "roundup of roundup" if you will, and why I continue to believe that our attendance at this annual event is critical.

Mr. Speaker, I was joined in Vancouver by some of my Cabinet colleagues, Members of the Legislative Assembly, Indigenous leaders and representatives, Government of Northwest Territories staff, Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty, and a number of other representatives from the Northwest Territories organizations and businesses. Our enhanced presence at roundup left no doubt that our territory stands united in support of mining and I have the full confidence that the message was received throughout the event.

The Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup is an excellent opportunity to showcase just how much is going on in our territory, celebrate some of our successes, and generate interest in the Northwest Territories as a great place to invest in mining. It gave us the opportunity to meet with investors, exploration companies, and industry leaders. It also connected us with six junior exploration companies, some who have already begun work in the NWT and others who are seeking more information.

Mr. Speaker, the rich potential of our territory was confirmed early in the week with good news from Evrim Resources and Newmont Mining regarding surface sampling results from their Astro gold project, a discovery that could result in an entirely new gold deposit type for our territory and establish a new gold district in the Sahtu.

Our government was also able to share news. The Socio-economic Agreement signing that took place on the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup tradeshow floor between the Government of the Northwest Territories and Fortune Minerals marked an important step on the road to the NWT becoming home to Canada's first primary cobalt mine.

The Impact Benefit Agreement between NorZinc and the Nahanni Butte Dene Band was another well attended event and demonstrated how, together, the Government of the Northwest Territories, Indigenous governments, and industry can achieve mutually beneficial success.

Avalon Advance Materials' announcement of their small-scale project with a new partner Cheetah Resources PTY Ltd. was also welcome news.

At NWT Night, I was happy to announce the Government of the Northwest Territories' intention to partner with the Government of Canada to market the Mactung deposit and Cantung mine, as tungsten prices are on the rise. Together, they offer as close to a turnkey project as exists in our northern territory. I look forward to getting this project off the ground and finding the right partner to help us get there.

Mr. Speaker, our attendance at the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup is just one way our government is working together to seek out opportunities to meet with mining and financial companies to increase awareness of the Northwest Territories' significant mineral potential and investment opportunities. With guidance from our Mineral Development Strategy, our government executes a full suite of marketing and outreach activities to tell our story on the global stage.

While many jurisdictions have immense mineral potential, few can boast the holistic, inclusive approach we take to managing and encouraging responsible mineral exploration and development in our territory. This means that, when we tell our story, we get to say our territory offers a low-risk investment jurisdiction that is setting the bar for Indigenous partnership and contributes to improved outcomes for northern communities and meaningful opportunities for Northerners.

As I've said before, it's a good story, one that the mining market is increasingly seeking when making decisions on where to invest.

I will continue to use every possible opportunity to share our story and demonstrate that, when responsible developers invest in our territory, they can have the confidence in moving world-class projects forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 141-18(3): A Roundup of Roundup 2019
Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Minister's Statement 142-18(3): Canada Games and the Youth Ambassador Program
Ministers' Statements

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Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, from February 15 to March 3, 2019, athletes from the Northwest Territories will be representing our territory at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta. This event is an important celebration of Canadian sport and culture. It will be the largest event of its kind ever hosted in Red Deer and central Alberta, and one of the largest in Alberta since the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

During the past year, our northern athletes have been preparing themselves physically and mentally. Our athletes will be competing in archery, badminton, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, gymnastics, hockey, judo, short-track speed skating, squash, and table tennis. All 93 athletes have spent countless hours training hard in preparation to compete in what will be one of the formative moments of their sporting careers.

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the hard work and long hours put in by the athletes and coaches in preparation for the Canada Winter Games. Not only will our athletes represent the Northwest Territories on the national stage, but they are also outstanding healthy-lifestyle role models for the entire North.

I would also like everyone to recognize that Team NT's athletes could not reach the Games without the "behind the scenes" effort and support from members of their communities. The hours of preparation, fundraising, organizing, and encouragement from family, friends, and communities are critical to our athletes' successes.

In addition to Team NT, Municipal and Community Affairs will be supporting 32 Youth Ambassadors and staff from 13 communities as they travel to the Canada Winter Games. I have full confidence that our Youth Ambassadors and their chaperones will be exceptional representatives of our territory throughout the event. The Youth Ambassadors will be placed in many different roles to help support our athletes at the Games.

As ambassadors, they will demonstrate that youth from across the North have incredible strength, great character, and will be strong future leaders for their communities. Our youth will benefit greatly from this unique experience. Friendships will be formed, and our young people will return to their communities with many lasting memories.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to recognize the efforts of Chef de Mission Bill Othmer and Assistant Chef de Mission Damon Crossman, along with their mission staff, responsible for supporting Team NT leading up to and during the Canada Winter Games. These two individuals and the mission staff work with the Sport North Federation and the territorial sport organizations. They are responsible for selecting and managing their respective teams. The efforts of these individuals are significant contributions to a healthy future for the Northwest Territories.

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is proud to support members of Team NT and the Youth Ambassadors, as part of our commitment to supporting healthy lifestyles for youth and promoting a healthy, stronger North. As Team NT and the Youth Ambassadors prepare to travel to Red Deer, it is my great pleasure to recognize Team NT's 149 athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff, who will be participating in the 2019 Canada Winter Games. To all of those behind the scenes, the volunteers, parents, staff, schools, and community governments, we acknowledge your contributions and thank you for supporting our athletes' success at the games. On behalf of the government and residents of the Northwest Territories, I would like to wish our athletes a safe and successful Canada Winter Games. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 142-18(3): Canada Games and the Youth Ambassador Program
Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. The Honourable Premier.

Minister's Statement 143-18(3): Minister Absent from the House
Ministers' Statements

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Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the Members that the honourable Glenn Abernethy will be absent from the House today due to a personal matter. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to visitors in the gallery. I am pleased to recognize a delegation from Ontario, the Ontario Legislature interns, who are here with us today. They are here this week to learn more about our consensus-style government. Forgive me if I mispronounce your name, but bear with me. We have with us today Jad El Tal, Janessa Duran, Braelyn Guppy, Linda Bui, Nikki Romano, Clara Pasieka, Hudson Manning -- this is a bit tricky, here -- Piotr Supierz-Szczyglowski, Nishani Chankar, and Chandradai Munisha Basiram. Masi for joining us here today. Thanks for being here with us, and welcome to the Northwest Territories. Masi. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Government of the Northwest Territories Support for Yellowknife Water Line Replacement
Members' Statements

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. The community of Yellowknife was forced to rely on the Yellowknife River as a safe and clean source of water due to arsenic contamination from local mining operations, particularly the Giant Mine. The federal government confirmed its liability for these expenses when it paid for the 1968-1969 construction of a pumphouse and a submarine water line from the Yellowknife River to another pumphouse south of Yellowknife. The Yellowknife River pumphouse also serves the Yellowknives Dene First Nations community of Detah.

The submarine water line is in need of replacement. The City of Yellowknife tried unsuccessfully to have this issue addressed during the environmental assessment of the Giant Mine Remediation Project from 2008 to 2013. The federal government and the GNWT would not provide any assistance.

After much discussion, the city contracted a detailed evaluation of two source-water options, replacing the current line or using water from Yellowknife Bay with additional treatment capability. The evaluation considered the possibility of an accidental release of arsenic from Giant Mine, at least until the chambers are completely frozen around 2050.

A set of weighted criteria were developed with city council to evaluate the two options, and these criteria included susceptibility to raw water quality changes, constructability, reliability of water supply, ease of operation, and 25-year life cycle costs.

Thirteen different scenarios were evaluated, and, in nine of them, the Yellowknife River source with a replacement water line came out on top. The Yellowknife River with pipeline option would cost $33 million, and the Yellowknife Bay water source would cost about $18.2 million. The recommendation is to go with the Yellowknife River and a water line.

The city has approached our government for funding and support. I will be asking the Minister of Infrastructure about these matters later today. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Government of the Northwest Territories Support for Yellowknife Water Line Replacement
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Enterprise Land Tenure
Members' Statements

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Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the government is very proud of its support for the "Big E," the economy, of the Northwest Territories, and yes, diamond mines and new roads are important, but, from the small community perspective, the situation really is "no business, as usual."

Let's take a look at Enterprise. It is a small community right on the highway into the NWT from the south. It has always been a business community, and there is a strong "enterprising" spirit.

On the other hand, our government is fostering economic uncertainty by neglecting the community. Residents are interested in commercial land to expand or start businesses, but they just can't get it.

This is a long story, Mr. Speaker, a tale of bureaucratic to-and-fro, frustration, and woe that goes back to at least 2009. I will spare you the details. The bottom line is that the hamlet wants to be able to approve commercial leases of land within Enterprise and enable residents to obtain title to the land that they live on.

Half of our Cabinet, Mr. Speaker, visited Enterprise in May of 2018, and all seemed well. The Minister of Lands promised to reply within two weeks to concerns raised about uncertainty related to land use, leasing, and title. Since then, no land has been turned over to the Hamlet of Enterprise.

Meanwhile, a major industrial project for wood pellet manufacturing has been fast-tracked by our government. Aurora Wood Pellets' application for 350 hectares of land took less than a year from start to finish. There was no consultation with the Hamlet of Enterprise.

I raise this because it shows our government's zippy service to big business and zip for service to small local business and community aspirations. My understanding is that Enterprise has met the terms of applicable legislation and done all that the GNWT has asked of the hamlet. Government officials have been invited to council meetings. Since last October, the community has been unable to get a representative from the lands department to explain the process of turning over land to the hamlet or the residents.

In the three years of the 18th Assembly, many of my colleagues have spoken about the importance to small communities of a few jobs and a little bit of business. What we are trying to say is that this is a big problem, not a small problem. This is the Northwest Territories' problem.

We need to change our ways, Mr. Speaker. Let's start by making some land available in Enterprise. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Enterprise Land Tenure
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Aboriginal Sports Circle Coaching Award - Jonathan Tsetso
Members' Statements

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Aboriginal Sports Circle of the NWT Awards Program is to recognize and give credit to exceptional community members in the NWT sport system. The individuals who have continually shown dedication and hard work and have made significant contributions will be honoured for the positive difference that they are making in their respective communities.

A yearly awards dinner is being held to celebrate the awards recipients' involvement in a number of categories. One of those categories is coaching.

The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates the commitment, success, and dedication necessary in the development of their athletes and program, at any level of competition in the NWT.

The 2018 award winner was Jonathan Tsetso. Jonathan is a coach from Fort Simpson who is deeply involved in the Fort Simpson Minor Hockey program, as well as being involved with the recreational hockey program in his community. John is the recipient of the coach award due to his continuous commitment to the youth of the community, encouraging them to participate and practice on a regular basis. Jonathan constantly exhibits his passion to help the youth by running quality youth hockey programs.

Jonathan is always looking to improve his coaching skills so that he is able to provide his community with the best program. Jonathan is reliable, hard-working, and always happy to be there. Along with the skills of the game, Jonathan also implements and is a huge proponent of fair play and sportsmanship in his coaching style. He has a strong desire to create a fun and safe environment for everyone.

Jonathan has played a major role in revitalizing the Fort Simpson Minor Hockey program. With his assistance, Fort Simpson has been able to send teams to the Fort Smith hockey tournament for two years in a row for their first time in over a decade.

As a grandparent, I have witnessed firsthand the impact that Jonathan has left on the youth as their coach and mentor. I am proud that the Aboriginal Sports Circle of the Northwest Territories recognized Jonathan with the 2018 Coach Award.

Congratulations to Jonathan. Your efforts with our youth do not go unnoticed. Thank you for the positive mentorship that you provide to the young people of our community. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Aboriginal Sports Circle Coaching Award - Jonathan Tsetso
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.