This is page numbers 5255 - 5298 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 housing. View the webstream of the day's session.

Topics

Bill 42: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Products Tax Act
First Reading Of Bills

March 7th, 2019

Page 5263

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River South, that Bill 42, An Act to Amend the Petroleum Products Tax Act, be read for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 42: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Products Tax Act
First Reading Of Bills

Page 5263

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The motion is in order. The motion is non-debatable. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Bill 42 has had its first reading. First reading of bills. Minister of Finance.

Bill 43: An Act to Amend the Income Tax
First Reading Of Bills

Page 5263

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Yellowknife South, that Bill 43, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, be read for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 43: An Act to Amend the Income Tax
First Reading Of Bills

Page 5263

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. The motion is in order. The motion is non-debatable. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Bill 43 has had its first reading. First reading of bills. Item 19, second reading of bills. Item 20, consideration in Committee of the Whole of bills and other matters: Bill 26, Statistics Act; Bill 31, Northwest Territories 911 Act; Committee Report 12-18(3), Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018 Report of the Auditor General of Canada on Northwest Territories Child and Family Services; Committee Report 13-18(3), Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of Bill 31: Northwest Territories 911 Act; Minister's Statement 131-18(3), Sessional Statement 44; Minister's Statement 151-18(3), New Federal Infrastructure Agreement; Minister's Statement 158-18(3), Developments in Early Childhood Programs and Services; and Tabled Document 322-18(3), Main Estimates, 2019-2020. By the authority given to me as Speaker by Motion 7-18(3), I hereby authorize the House to sit beyond the daily hour of adjournment to consider the business before the House, with Member Hay River North in the chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

The Chair R.J. Simpson

I will now call Committee of the Whole to order. What is the wish of committee? Mr. Beaulieu.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Committee would like to consider Tabled Document 322-18(3), Main Estimates 2019-2020, with the NWT Housing Corporation and the Department of Lands. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Does committee agree?

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, committee. We will consider the documents, but first, a brief recess.

---SHORT RECESS

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

The Chair R.J. Simpson

I will now call Committee of the Whole back to order. Committee, we have agreed to consider Tabled Document 322-18(3), Main Estimates 2019-2020, beginning with the NWT Housing Corporation, which is found on page 365 of the document. I will turn to the Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation for opening comments. Minister Moses.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Mr. Chair, I am pleased to present the 2019-2020 Main Estimates for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. Overall, the corporation's estimates propose an increase of $284,000 or 0.3 percent over the 2018-2019 Main Estimates.

The proposed estimates include forced growth of:

  • $515,000 for public housing water and sanitation services; and
  • $100,000 for Habitat for Humanity Northwest Territories, the first of three $100,000 annual contributions to assist Habitat for Humanity NWT with the delivery of their affordable housing program.

In 2019-2020, to assist with the strategic alignment of the government's emergency shelter programming, the responsibility for Northwest Territories emergency shelters will be transferred from the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, along with new initiative funding of $397,000 for additional support personnel for emergency overnight shelters.

With respect to support under the National Housing Strategy, the federal government is allocating $1.9 million to address territorial housing priorities, including affordability, repair, and renewal, and $531,000 to protect and regenerate the social housing sector. These amounts will be cost-matched by the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. The Northwest Territories will also receive $3.6 million under the National Housing Fund to the Northwest Territories housing issues. This amount does not require a cost-match.

These estimates support the priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly and address the cost-of-living priority, especially through our commitment to implementing northern solutions for northern housing:

  • This includes investing in energy efficient solutions for both new construction and repairs.
  • We will ensure that land is available for new housing by disposing of a minimum of 50 surplus Northwest Territories Housing Corporation units per year.
  • We are continuing to work with other governments to support the housing needs of their staff, and in so doing, ensure that community service levels are maintained. An example of this is the development of 45 rental units for use by the RCMP.
  • Another priority is continuing our success under the Community Housing Support Initiative. In partnership with Indigenous and local governments, such as the Jean Marie River First Nation and the Salt River First Nation, this initiative has led to the development of more affordable housing in communities.
  • To ensure that the network of Government of the Northwest Territories homelessness supports continue to be effective, a homelessness strategic plan will be completed in 2019-2020.
  • We will also continue to address the rising demand for seniors' housing by planning for the construction of new seniors' complexes, including mixed-rent projects.
  • Finally, we will continue our successful engagement with the federal government under the National Housing Strategy, focusing in 2019-2020 on clarifying federal Indigenous housing support for the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Chair, that does conclude my opening remarks. I would be happy to answer Members' questions. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Minister Moses. I understand that you have witnesses to bring into the Chamber. Sergeant-at-Arms, please escort the witnesses into the House, and Minister, please take your seat at the witness table. Minister, would you please introduce your witnesses for the room.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5263

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. On my left is our president and CEO of the NWT Housing Corporation, Mr. Tom Williams. On my right is Mr. Jim Martin, the vice president of finance and infrastructure services.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5264

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Committee, the corporation begins on page 365. The total is found on page 369, but, as always, we will defer consideration of the total until consideration of the activities. There are four activities. The first is community housing services, which can be found starting on page 372. Does committee have questions or comments for the witnesses? Mr. Beaulieu.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5264

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My questions in this area are pertaining to the public housing inventory. I am aware of the CMHC declining fund that exists, and this is causing the Housing Corporation to return to the Government of the Northwest Territories to get more funding as the various public housing units are paid off. They are assigned in groups of housing with a CMHC number. As they are paid off, CMHC quits providing the mortgage payment and the O and M to operate the home, thus the declining fund, which is scheduled to decline to nothing in, I guess, about 19 years from now. I am curious to know if the Housing Corporation has developed any strategy to divest themselves of public housing in all of the communities across the territory? That is my first question. Thank you, Mr. Chair.