This is page numbers 4757 - 4776 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.

Topics

Question 524-18(3): Indigenous Training Programs
Oral Questions

Page 4763

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

I am glad for that answer on the issue of promoting these two initiatives. In doing so, it will create inspiration to our youth that there is opportunity out there beyond post-secondary classes.

Our group is promoting a youth inspirational tour in the Sahtu sometime this spring, April or May. Can the Minister commit to providing some promotional brochures about the program and the criteria and so on, so that we can distribute the pamphlets during our Sahtu tour?

Question 524-18(3): Indigenous Training Programs
Oral Questions

February 7th, 2019

Page 4763

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

The Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning Unit attended career fairs, and that goes back to the Member's first question, in many different regions. Recently they attended the Aklavik Healthy Living Fair and the Fort Providence Skills 4 Success Career Fair. They plan to attend a career fair in Behchoko that would be attended by all high schools. Again, that is an opportunity to promote some of the opportunities. They recently finalized the guidebook on careers in health and social services professions, an NWT- focused career guidebook, which will be shared with all schools. Any opportunities that our departments have to share information on potential opportunities and training, they will do so at a number of fairs that they attend across the Northwest Territories.

Question 524-18(3): Indigenous Training Programs
Oral Questions

Page 4763

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have some questions for the Minister of Infrastructure regarding his earlier Minister's statement about Taltson Hydro Electricity Expansion. I recall that last year the MLA for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh questioned the government about why they weren't consulting with local Indigenous groups in the Fort Smith area regarding the expansion of Taltson. The answer was that there were no customers for the hydro power that could be generated by an expansion, so there was no point in consulting because there was no customer.

I see that there is money now for consultations, and I wonder if there is now a customer. My understanding is that the plan is to ship the energy north towards, presumably, the diamond mines, but given that this might not be completed until the mines are all shuttered, I want to know: do we have customers who have signed on the dotted line for this power? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I have clearly laid out in my Minister's statement today, we had two parts to this. We were going to clearly have a look at the regulatory process, the environmental process, the engineering around this thing, and then the Aboriginal participation on it. They need to build a business case on that. That will be some of the ongoing work that we will be working on, and hopefully, in the coming months, as I said in my Minister's statement, with more federal funding to help us support this, we will be able to look at all of those aspects. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

That leads me to my second question. The Minister stated that there was an application for more federal funding. I think that in the last Assembly there was about $15 million spent on looking at expanding Taltson. I know we have another couple of million now. What is this federal ask, and how much of it would have to be GNWT dollars?

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Yes, we clearly announced that we had $1.2 million with the federal Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister Leblanc. We don't have an application as such. We are hoping that there is going to be something in the coming months that the federal government will get behind and help support this project. I would probably closely watch the federal budget to see if there is going to be any extra funding in there.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

I just saw on the Minister's statement it said that the GNWT has put in a request for additional financial support, so I guess it is not an application per se. It is just a request.

I know that the Minister says that phase two is looking at an interprovincial connection and I have asked in this House before about talks with Saskatchewan and I understood that that was one of the customers they were looking at. Have there been any recent talks with Saskatchewan that the Minister can update us on?

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

Wally Schumann Hay River South

I believe that the department has not talked to Saskatchewan lately, as we have changed our refocus on joining the North/South Slave grids at the present application.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My final question is: how do we expect to pay for this expansion? I know that it might pay for itself over time, but the budget just came out yesterday. We are almost right up against the debt wall. You know, maybe at the beginning of this Assembly, this was viable, but our borrowing limit is almost maxed out. How does the Minister think that this is going to be paid for? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

Wally Schumann Hay River South

As I have said, we have a lot of work to do. We have to work with our Indigenous partners and do all our preliminary work that needs to be done. So it would be kind of pre-emptive on how we are going to pay for this if we can't prove that there is a viable project, but I'm sure the Minister of Finance has been in discussions with his federal counterpart on looking at different ways that we may have to change our borrowing limit on this.

There are different opportunities on financing this project, and that is what we need to scope out. It might be through the federal infrastructure bank. It might be private equity. There are a whole bunch of different business cases that could be presented to finance this type of project. There are a number of things that need to be done, as I have clearly said. We will continue to hope that we get some more federal funding to move this project out. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 525-18(3): Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 4764

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Question 526-18(3): Dempster Highway Windbreak at Km 4
Oral Questions

Page 4764

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in follow-up to my Member's statement last year, I have a couple more questions for the Minister responsible for Infrastructure. Mr. Speaker, it has been almost two years now since the windbreak has been taken from kilometre 4 on the Dempster Highway because it is deteriorating. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister: when will the department replace this windbreak at kilometre 4 on the Dempster Highway? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.