This is page numbers 5679 - 5712 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. View the webstream of the day's session.

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Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Lands.

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Government of the Northwest Territories and Canada are currently concluding consultation on the draft terms of reference for the Wek'eezhii land use planning committee and planning office for the public lands in the Wek'eezhii.

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for confirming that there will be a Wek'eezhii land use planning committee. Can the Minister confirm who will sit on this committee and whether it has the same general functions and duties as the land use planning boards established pursuant to the federal Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act?

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Louis Sebert Thebacha

It is currently proposed that the Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada, and the Tlicho Government will sit on the land use planning committee. The general functions and duties of the committee will be the same as those pursuant to the MVRMA. The Wek'eezhii land use planning committee and planning office will develop and recommend a final plan to governments for approval.

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for confirming my understanding of how the committee is to work, and similar in function to these other boards. One of the features of the land use planning boards for the Gwich'in and Sahtu settlement areas is that they continue on into the implementation phase of land use planning by checking on the conformity with proposed land uses once a plan has been approved. Can the Minister explain whether the Wek'eezhii land use planning committee will have a role in the implementation of any land use plan approved for that area, and tell us what that role would look like?

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Louis Sebert Thebacha

The proposed role of the land use planning committee in implementation is similar to that of other planning boards; that is to say, following plan approval at committee's ongoing roles, a plan implementation will include determination and conformity of proposed activities with the approved plan where proposals are referred to the committee to make the determination, consider requests for exceptions to the plan, where the plan provides for such a role; monitor implementation of the plan, and carry out periodic reviews, and make recommendation to the parties to amend the plan.

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. Again, I'd like to thank the Minister for confirming my understanding of how this committee is going to work. The legal authority for completed plans in the Gwich'in and Sahtu settlement areas are set out in some detail in the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. Section 22.5.3 of the Tlicho agreement says: "The parties may by agreement establish a land use planning body and a mechanism for the preparation, approval, and implementation of a land use plan that applies to Wek'eezhii, other than national parks." Clearly, the authority of such a land use planning body over implementation is found in the Tlicho agreement, but there's not a lot of detail of how land use planning will be done or implemented. Can the Minister tell us whether there is any other statute or regulations that will provide guidance or legal authority to improve land use plans under the Tlicho agreement?

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Louis Sebert Thebacha

The Tlicho agreement is the legal instrument, and it will be coordinated with the MVRMA through section 24.1(f) of the MVRMA. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 761-18(3): Wek'eezhi Land Use Planning Committee
Oral Questions

Page 5698

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Nunakput.

Question 762-19(3): Fire Disruption Resupply and critical Infrastructure
Oral Questions

May 30th, 2019

Page 5698

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last year's shipping was affected by sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, and it looks like, this year, forest fires may affect the delivery of goods to Nunakput communities. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Infrastructure give an update on the department's contingency plans to ensure that petroleum products and dried goods get delivered to communities along the Mackenzie River and also to communities in Nunakput? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 762-19(3): Fire Disruption Resupply and critical Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 5698

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 762-19(3): Fire Disruption Resupply and critical Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 5698

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I've said in this House over the last couple of days, first of all, we moved up the sailing season to try to alleviate the situation. We've been working with the fuel supplier, and now we have these fires that have started in Alberta which throw some of those plans into jeopardy, where we'll have to go back and rejig this. As I've updated the House today, we're working with our fuel supplier and looking at trucking things to Hay River in the short term, depending on how long it takes CN Rail to ramp their system back up and get their services available to Hay River. We'll continue to do that. If that becomes an issue, we're going to be looking at trucking, like we said, around the Liard Highway.

One of the things that I didn't mention yesterday, that I forgot to mention, actually, is about what we're going to try to do for the IRC communities, and we need to get this information out. I believe the department has posted our schedule, as I've said, and I'm glad that the Member has asked us this question, because he can post it on his Facebook page and help us get the message out there, as well. Because we're changing our sailing season, we want some people to be well aware of that because we're moving the dates up. We want to stage all the IRC, our coastal community stuff. We want to stage that stuff in Tuktoyaktuk by mid-July with all our barges, and be loaded, and tugs ready to sail, as long as sea conditions are safe at that time. That's going to change the dates a bit, so I want the community members to be well aware that that's going to change a little bit, so they've got to try to get their freight to the terminal in Hay River a lot sooner.

We're going to work closely with the Coast Guard, as I said yesterday, to hopefully have their vessels there to have adequate ice-breaking services to help support us if need be. We will continue to work with the communities and the IRC and the residents of the coastal communities to make sure that these goods are sitting, as I said, in Tuktoyaktuk in July, mid-July, to do that. If the fires become an issue, the long-term trucking plan is to continue to work with them and the railroad. I will continue to update all Members in this House. I know we're only sitting for a few more days next week. I can probably update the House next week on where things are at, as well, but throughout the summer, we'll continue to try to get the message out there the best we can, and maybe email all Members on this situation.

Question 762-19(3): Fire Disruption Resupply and critical Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 5699

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

It's good to see that the Minister and the department are working on the fly on issues like this, as sometimes they may get bigger and bigger within a 24- or even 12-hour window as we see the fire growing in the territory. This fire is getting bigger every day, and I'm concerned that this may have negative effects on the communities in the Far North. As we've already experienced phone and fax line issues in remote communities, my question to the Minister: has the Government of the Northwest Territories thought to FireSmart and important infrastructure like communication towers, fibre lines, and other means of communication we rely on in the Northwest Territories on a daily basis?

Question 762-19(3): Fire Disruption Resupply and critical Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 5699

Wally Schumann Hay River South

As I have updated the House, we are monitoring these fires in Alberta as closely as we can and working with the Alberta government. The Alberta fire crews are taxed right to the max. I think that they are trying to protect as much critical infrastructure as they can right across the province. There are a number of fires going on there. They are doing the best that they can, and we thank them for what they are doing and are certainly glad that crews will be able to go out there and support them as well.

We are not aware of any impacts on communication infrastructure serving the North at this time, but we will keep a close eye on the situation. One of the other things, I guess, based on this question, that has come to my thoughts sitting here was, you know, the Yukon government is looking at putting their fibre line in from Tsiigehtchic to the Yukon as a redundancy line. I know that is not in place right now, but that is something that will certainly be a welcome addition, to have redundancy built into the system around that type of infrastructure. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.