This is page numbers 5299 - 5332 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 women. View the webstream of the day's session.

Topics

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

Page 5309

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have heard everybody here talk about it, and I appreciate that the Government of the Northwest Territories has reached out to the federal government to work on a deal for heating fuel so that it's not going to have an impact, but we are still going to have an impact on it because we are going to have to pay for the transportation costs here. I am not going to reiterate everything, but it's the cost of living. I have listened to my communities, and I have heard the concerns about gas. It is an issue. We do not have to go on a road trip to hear it. We have heard it in the House here. We have heard it in Members' statements. We have heard it. Ministers have heard it through our correspondence with them. It's going to be an impact on cost of living, so, right now, the way we have it right now, I cannot support this. It's about the small communities. It's about the people there. It's about the people who we are supposed to be representing, and so, right now, I cannot support this bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the principle of the bill. Member for Nunakput.

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

Page 5309

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Like my colleagues from the Mackenzie Delta and the Sahtu, my region, we are very rich in natural gas resources, and we have yet to develop that. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that, in the future of the territory, the Inuvialuit will come to that. The cost of living is the highest in my region and territory, also the cost of transportation, and to see aviation fuel being exempt from things like that as well as anything to bring down the cost of living, Mr. Speaker -- consultation is very important, especially with Indigenous groups. When we look at the number of bills, there is a huge number of bills that are going through this legislature and this Assembly. I think what we need to keep in mind is we need to continue with growing capacity within this legislature to bring those forward so that our Members are informed and we are able to make educated decisions. Sometimes I sit here and I see some of the decisions that we make on both sides. Sometimes, from where I sit, they seem uninformed, but maybe there is something that I am missing, as well. Mr. Speaker, I would like to see this go forward, and I would like to encourage the Government of the Northwest Territories to involve the Inuvialuit and all of the other Indigenous groups across the territory, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

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

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the principle of the bill. Member for Deh Cho.

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

Page 5309

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in opposition to the principle of the bill and mainly because here in the Northwest Territories we live in a vast and remote part of Canada, and, of course, the cost of living is very high. Recently in the media, it was brought to the public's attention that, our income support, the cost of income support is increasing, with more of our people depending on supplements from this government to put food on our table. So how could we rationalize adding more of a burden on the average people in the average communities the North? It just boggles me. So, for those reasons, I will not support it. Mahsi.

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

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the principle of the bill. Minister of Finance.

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

Page 5309

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The government is opposed to any kind of tax, but this is one that the federal government, in their infinite wisdom, had decided that they were going to implement, regardless. So our challenge was to try to mitigate the impact that it was going to have on people across the Northwest Territories. Our folks at the department went across the Northwest Territories. They listened to people. They understood that a tax was coming. They did not like it. Everybody is opposed to a new tax. That is why this government has in our four years done very little as far as raising taxes in the Northwest Territories. People have said that they want the least impact on themselves as possible. Now, I am sure Members opposite have heard those concerns, and it's always good to stand up and say, "Well, I am opposed to a new tax." Well, I am opposed to a tax, as well. The federal government is going to implement it. There have been a couple of challenges. We will have to wait to see. What this does, this gives us the tools we have to try to work to mitigate.

I have provided some information to Members opposite, some briefings that we have had on the cost to people in the Northwest Territories had we used the federal backstop. The federal backstop: $922.59 cost on the average family; the NWT approach the carbon pricing: $356.92; that is a $753 difference, so you want to tell the people of the Northwest Territories that, "Yes, we like the federal backstop so much. It is going to cost you $700 more a year, but we are going to go with that." Is that what you are telling them? Or as a couple of Members so wisely said, "Why don't you take it on the road. Let them tell you that themselves and see what they say."

We claim to hear the voice of the people in the Northwest Territories sometimes, and there are times we can't over the sound of our own voices, so let's not decide what is best for them. Let's give them an opportunity to decide for themselves. I think we worked very closely. We showed a lot of leadership on this. We have had other jurisdictions actually using or wanting to use our approach because they think it is one that is a little more fair to them. Aviation fuel. We worked with the federal government. They exempted that. Great. Heating fuels, diesel, propane, natural gas. Our approach is zero. Their approach is $435.95. I mean, I can understand the Members' concerns, of course. I mean, I have heard a lot of concerns. We want to do our bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is all fine. I think that was the overall goal of the Pan-Canadian Framework and the Paris Agreement, but our challenge here in the Northwest Territories is how we are going to mitigate the impact that it is going to have on our folks here.

I have given you some numbers. Part of what we are criticized for sometimes is our lack of communication. I have to agree there. I mean, we should have communicated a lot of this information better to the folks out there. Then they can get hold of you and say, "Hey, my MLA is not too bad. I don't like a tax, but if this is going to mitigate."

We don't know what is going to happen on July 1st. As I said before, there are a couple of challenges that are being taken out there, but I don't want to play catch up. I want to make sure that we are prepared so, when it comes, our people are not feeling it, and using the federal backstop is not good for our people. Not at all. Not at all.

I have given you the numbers, and again, I think there should be an opportunity for people out there to tell you how they feel about this, recognizing the fact that the federal government again in their infinite wisdom plan to implement this regardless, and what we are trying to do for the people of the Northwest Territories is mitigate the impact. Otherwise, it would cost them a lot more. We don't like taxes, but we are trying to do what is best for our people, and I believe, Mr. Speaker, a discussion like this, I think, requires a recorded vote.

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

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. To the principle of the bill.

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

Page 5309

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Recorded Vote
Second Reading Of Bills

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Question has been called. There has been a request for a recorded vote. All those in favour, please stand.

Recorded Vote
Second Reading Of Bills

Page 5309

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

The Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, the Member for Hay River South, the Member for Thebacha, the Member for Mackenzie Delta, the Member for Sahtu, the Member for Nunakput, the Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, the Member for Range Lake, the Member for Great Slave, the Member for Yellowknife South.

Recorded Vote
Second Reading Of Bills

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. All those opposed, please stand.

Recorded Vote
Second Reading Of Bills

Page 5309

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

The Member for Hay River North, the Member for Yellowknife North, the Member for Kam Lake, the Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, the Member for Nahendeh, the Member for Frame Lake, the Member for Yellowknife centre, the Member for Deh Cho.

Recorded Vote
Second Reading Of Bills

Page 5309

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

All those abstaining, please stand. The results of the recorded vote: 10 in favour; 8 opposed. The motion is carried.

---Carried

Bill 42 has had a second reading and is now referred to a standing committee. Second reading of bills. Minister of Finance.

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

March 8th, 2019

Page 5309

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River South, that Bill 43, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, be read for the second time. This bill amends the Income Tax Act to make changes to non-refundable tax claimed by multi-jurisdictional individual tax filers, including changes that restrict the Northwest Territories' pension credit to the Northwest Territories' residents, and changes that allow co-pension and dividend credits to be claimed by Northwest Territories residents with business income earned outside the territories. This bill also amends the Income Tax Act to provide a cost of living offset as a mechanism for recurring carbon tax revenue to Northwest Territories' residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.