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This is from 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 report.

Topics

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the Member indicated, we did release a discussion document on May 1st with an opportunity for feedback until the end of May. We did receive two submissions, and, based on that information, we have issued some drafting instructions for the regulations. In broad terms, and, I mean, I could spend a significant amount of time going into the detail, but I am not going to, but, in broad terms at this point, based on the feedback that we received, we feel that the regulations are going to be quite consistent with that key elements document that was released previously. I encourage anybody who wants the details to actually go online and read the document rather than having me quote the entire document verbatim, at length, which would take a significant amount of time, and I see we only have 28 minutes left. I am pretty sure I could take up the entire time.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I have actually got the document and have read it, and I would not want the Minister to suffer any more pain today in discussing the document at great length, but can the Minister tell us a little bit more about who submitted comments and generally what those comments were on the discussion paper?

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

The document was posted on the Health and Social Services website, and it was also distributed to a number of stakeholders that included the Departments of Municipal and Community Affairs, Environment and Natural Resources, the City of Yellowknife, the Towns of Inuvik and Hay River, funeral providers or the individuals providing those services in each community, and the NWT Association of Communities. Comments, as I indicated, and input were accepted till May 31st, and, from that process, the department did receive two responses, both of which were positive.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for that detail. Can the Minister tell us, though, what he knows about what the remaining steps are to ensure that this is a fully regulated field: what other departments, orders of government are involved; what the remaining obstacles are to make sure that a service, a funeral home, say for example here in Yellowknife, can actually offer cremations?

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

There is no territorial law or regulation prohibiting the practice of cremation in the Northwest Territories. The department and I did commit to developing regulations under the Public Health Act in 2019, and these will provide essentially greater support and certainty to providers who may wish to offer cremation services in the territories. Having said that, Mr. Speaker, the department is responsible for regulation of cremation that is limited to public health matters, such as handling the body and disposing of human waste materials. Other aspects of cremation actually fall under the mandates of other different GNWT departments, like Environment and Natural Resources is responsible for water use through the Land and Water Board licensing, and effluents such as sewage monitoring or emissions, which would be air regulations. Municipal and Community Affairs is responsible for areas related to municipal bylaws, and the municipality has some responsibility on licensing and allowing cremation in their individual communities. So it's a number of bodies. Health and Social Services is focused on the public health components, but we are working together with all of the partners to try to find a way to make this a reality as quickly as possible.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that response. I believe earlier he said that he hoped the regulations would be in place by the end of the calendar year. Can he just confirm that again for me and let me know what work his officials are continuing to do to ensure that this happens by the end of the year?

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

The Member and I have been talking about this particular issue for four years. I would really love to say that they are going to happen, the regulations are going to happen, right away. We did issue drafting instructions in June to the Department of Justice, but, unfortunately, as the Member knows, the individuals who were working on those regulations are the same ones who are helping us move a number of pieces of legislation that are before us today and through the next two weeks through the House. As a result, they did not have the time or the resources to do the regulations immediately. They have indicated to us that they intend to make it a priority in August, after this sitting is done, and we are hoping that we can get these done as quickly as possible. I think it's safe to say that, with an election and everything else happening, we probably will not see the regulations until the end of the calendar year, but it will get done. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Item 8, written questions. Item 9, returns to written questions. Mr. Clerk.

Return to Written Question 17-18(3): Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd. Holdings in the NWT
Returns To Written Questions

August 12th, 2019

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a return to written question 17-18(3), return to written question from the Honourable Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, regarding Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd. holdings in the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, I have a return to written question asked by Mr. O'Reilly, on June 6, 2019, regarding Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd. holdings in the NWT.

In collaboration with the Departments of Industry, Tourism and Investment; Environment and Natural Resources; and Lands; and the Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations, I am pleased to provide the following information to address the questions asked:

1. What are the current holdings of Strategic Oil and Gas in the NWT in terms of oil and gas rights, land use permits, water licences, and facilities?

Strategic Oil and Gas holds a Type "A" land use permit, MV2013A0010, and an "A" water licence, MV2010Ll-0001, both issued by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. The permit and licence are available on the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board's public registry at https://mvlwb.com/registry.

Strategic Oil and Gas holds an operations authorization issued under section 10 (1) (b) of the Oil and Gas Operations Act for activities leading to the closure of the Cameron Hills field. The file number is OA-2018-003 and is publicly available on Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations' public registry www.orogo.gov.nt.ca/en/registry.

Strategic Oil and Gas has an interest in 15 production licences and 11 significant discovery licences in the NWT.

Later today, at the appropriate time, I will table the document entitled "Petroleum Interests Held in the NWT by Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd."

2. Has Strategic Oil and Gas submitted full financial security for all of the water licenses, land use permits, and other rights for its holdings in the NWT?

Strategic Oil and Gas has posted, and the Government of the Northwest Territories has accepted, the full amount of security required under its land use permit and water licenses. The GNWT currently holds a total of $2,909,880 in land and water reclamation securities: $1,309,880 under Water License MV2010Ll-0001 and $1,600,000 under Land Use Permit MV2013A0010.

3. What are the reclamation liabilities of Strategic Oil and Gas for its holdings in the NWT?

Under its land use permit and water licence, Strategic Oil and Gas is responsible for reclaiming the land and water to the satisfaction of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. Further details are set out in the permit and licence conditions. All costs to remediate the site are the responsibility of Strategic Oil and Gas.

4. Does a plan exist for closure and remediation of existing facilities, and is financial security adequate for this work to be done?

The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board is responsible for approving the closure and reclamation plan for the existing facilities. Strategic Oil and Gas is required to submit a revised closure and reclamation plan to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board for review and approval on August 21, 2019. During the closure and reclamation plan review process and upon its approval, financial security will be assessed to ensure that security held by the GNWT is sufficient to cover the work required to remediate the facilities. Strategic Oil and Gas's OA application, also available on Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations' public registry, outlines its plans for the abandonment and decommissioning of oil and gas wells and other infrastructure at the Cameron Hills field. The Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations maintains oversight of the activities it has authorized with respect to Cameron Hills field.

5. What is our government doing to prevent public liabilities and ensure that the interests of the NWT are protected with regard to the current state of Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd.?

The GNWT is taking all reasonable steps to protect our interests. As this matter is before the courts, I am unable to comment further. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return to Written Question 18-18(3): Giant Mine Long-Term Funding Study
Returns To Written Questions

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

Mr. Speaker, I have a return to written question from the Honourable Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, return to written question 18-18(3), regarding the Giant Mine long-term funding study.

Mr. Speaker, I have a return to written question asked by Mr. O'Reilly on June 6, 2019, regarding Measure 6 of the Report of Environmental Assessment requiring the Giant Mine Remediation Project Team (Project Team) to investigate long-term funding options at Giant Mine.

1. Does the Minister consider that the draft long-term funding study meets the requirements of Measure 6 from the Giant Mine Environmental Assessment?

The Environmental Assessment Measure 6 directed the project team to investigate long-term funding options for the ongoing management of the Giant Mine Remediation Project (GMRP). The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) believes this investigation has been done through a draft report completed by the project team and their consultant, Deloitte. The Deloitte report looked at case studies of projects of similar nature to Giant Mine and analyzed how the various funding options could work for the GMRP.

The project team will be finalizing this report in the fall of 2019, which will incorporate feedback that was received from key members of the Giant Mine Working Group, which includes the Giant Mine Oversight Board, Alternatives North, North Slave Metis Alliance, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the City of Yellowknife, as well as the technical advisor to the Giant Mine Working Group.

The completion of the report was not intended to result in a final decision on the selection of a funding option; however, it is anticipated that this report will form a basis for further discussions on options with stakeholders through the development of a perpetual care plan.

2. What action is the Minister taking to ensure that there is adequate consideration given to a trust fund and other models beyond annual appropriations, to fund perpetual care requirements at Giant Mine?

As required through the Giant Mine Environmental Agreement, a perpetual care plan will be developed. The GNWT and Canada will co-lead this work, and will engage with affected parties. A framework will be developed in 2019-2020 that will include further assessment of the various long-term funding options, including a trust fund.

3. What actions is the Minister taking to ensure that this long-term funding study is completed in a timely fashion and that there is an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the study?

The project team is of the opinion that the direction provided in Measure 6 to investigate long-term funding options has been completed through the scope of work provided for the Deloitte report. Further discussions will be required with stakeholders to inform the selection of the best option for long-term funding. The GNWT is supportive of the project team engaging in these ongoing discussions through the development of the perpetual care plan. The project team has begun working on the development of the first draft of the perpetual care plan, which is due June 2020, with members of the Giant Mine Working Group and other interested parties.

4. Has the 2012 study by the Pembina Institute recommending a trust fund as the most appropriate mechanism for long-term funding of perpetual care at Giant Mine been taken into account, and what are the Minister's conclusions on the recommendations from the Pembina Institute report?

The Pembina Institute report was reviewed by the project team and has been a valuable reference from which to build on going forward. The Pembina Institute report informed the development of the Deloitte report, which will fulfill Measure 6. Discussions on long-term funding will continue through the development of the perpetual care plan, and the Pembina Institute report will continue to be considered during these discussions.
Thank you for your questions regarding long-term funding for the GMRP. The GNWT is committed to continuing to work with Canada on this important aspect of the GMRP and looks forward to engaging in related discussions with stakeholders in the near future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return to Written Question 19-18(3): Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Fees and Compensation
Returns To Written Questions

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

And, finally, Mr. Speaker, I have a return to written question 19-18(3). It's a return to written question provided by the Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister responsible for the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission regarding Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission rates.

Mr. Speaker, I have a return to written question asked by Mr. Testart on June 6, 2019 regarding the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission fees and compensation.

1) Please account for the total amount of fees in dollar amount paid to the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission by the private sector in the fiscal year 2017-2018.

Answer: The WSCC classifies employers into 17 different subclasses as listed below.

  • Subclass 10 / Renewable Resources and Outdoor Recreation
  • Subclass 22 / Mining Operation
  • Subclass 27 / Mining Services
  • Subclass 37 / Oil & Gas Servicing, Development, Refining and Pipeline Operations
  • Subclass 41 / General Construction
  • Subclass 43 / Mobile Equipment Operations, Logging and Marine Construction
  • Subclass 46 / Mechanical Installation & Servicing
  • Subclass 51 / Air Transportation
  • Subclass 53 / Ground Transportation
  • Subclass 54 / Trucking, General and Long Distance and Water Transportation
  • Subclass 62 / Retail, Wholesale and Light Manufacturing
  • Subclass 66 / Automotive Sales and Services and Metal Fabrication
  • Subclass 71 / Business, Communication and Amusement Services
  • Subclass 74/ Health, Welfare and Emergency Services
  • Subclass 76 / Accommodation, Catering, Food & Beverage Services
  • Subclass 81 / Government of the NWT and Nunavut & Public Utilities
  • Subclass 82 / Authorities and D.E.W. Line

The subclassification system provides a realistic proxy for a private versus public sector breakdown. Subclass 81 and 82 comprise what would best be considered the public sector, with all other subclasses comprising the private sector.

The total fees paid by the subclasses comprising the private sector in the calendar year 2018 were $49,414,151. The WSCC operates on a calendar year basis, with a December 31 fiscal year end.

2) Please provide a four-year average of fees in dollar amounts paid to the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission by the private sector.

Answer: Using the same subclass grouping as above in question 1, the average annual fees paid by the private sector during the period 2015 to 2018 were $47,003,281.

3) Please indicate the dollar amount of Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission compensation paid out to private sector employees in fiscal year 2017-2018.

  • Answer: Costs associated with workplace injuries include the following:
  • Direct costs for compensation and pension payments;
  • Costs for medical treatment and ongoing care;
  • Costs for vocational rehabilitation;
  • Travel associated with provision of care and rehabilitation;
  • The administrative costs of case management.

The above costs can and are paid out over the lifetime of a claim, which can vary in length from very short term to decades.

The amounts paid in fiscal year 2018 for private-employer claims as listed above totalled $43,934,069. The portion of administrative costs not charged directly to compensation and the management of claims and not included in the above applicable to private employers on an apportioned basis totalled $17,369,292.

4) Please provide a four-year average in dollar amount of Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission compensation paid out to private sector employees.

Answer: Utilizing the same methodology outlined in question 3 above, the average paid out during the period 2015 to 2018 to private-sector employees for a claim was $40,303,094. The average over the period 2015 to 2018 of administrative costs not charged directly to compensation and the management of claims and not included in the above on an apportioned basis was $17,282,700. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return to Written Question 19-18(3): Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Fees and Compensation
Returns To Written Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi, Mr. Clerk. Returns to written questions. Item 10, replies to Commissioner's opening address. Item 11, petitions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Return to Written Question 19-18(3): Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Fees and Compensation
Returns To Written Questions

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I seek unanimous consent to move to item 13 on the orders of the day, reports of committees on the review of bills. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Unanimous consent granted.