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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.