This is page numbers 5945 - 5992 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 public.

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Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

August 13th, 2019

Page 5982

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move, to the extent it is possible before the dissolution of the 18th Assembly and for the public record, that the government provide a response to these recommendations, even of a preliminary nature, that committee may publicly disclose. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5982

The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. There is a motion on the floor. The motion is in order. To the motion.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 5982

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Thank you, committee. Seeing nothing further, does committee agree that this concludes consideration of Committee Report 25-18(3)?

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, committee. This concludes our consideration of the committee report. We have agreed to next consider Bill 36. We are going to change some personnel out here, so just give us a minute, and we will get right into it.

Thank you, committee. We will get right into Bill 36. I will ask the Minister responsible for it to introduce it. Minister Schumann.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to introduce Bill 36, An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act.

Bill 36 seeks to enhance transparency and public accountability, address administrative and technical issues, and manage significant discoveries of petroleum in the Northwest Territories in the best interests of all residents.

To enhance transparency and public accountability, this bill proposes:

  • requiring greater amounts of information to be disclosed about a number of different licences and activities related to the petroleum in the NWT;
  • increasing public representation on the Environmental Studies Management Board, while requiring more reporting on activities of the fund they manage;
  • adding consideration of Indigenous traditional knowledge and input from Indigenous organizations when appointing board members; and
  • clarifying the requirements related to conflicts of interest on public boards established under the act.

To better manage significant petroleum discoveries, this bill would amend the criteria for an interest holder to be eligible for a significant discovery licence. This bill will also restrict the term of a significant discovery licence to better reflect our territory's values and principles when it comes to land and natural resource management.

On the administrative and technical side, this bill would clarify authorities of the Minister to delegate their powers, duties, and functions to other qualified persons, and correct inconsistencies and errors identified throughout the current Petroleum Resources Act.

This bill is part of the government's work to improve the NWT land and resource management regime, to ensure northerners are able to make decisions that support sustainable, responsible development and protection of the environment while respecting Indigenous rights.

This kind of made-in-the-NWT legislation will help ensure NWT residents are making the decisions about how land and resources in the NWT are developed and used on behalf of current residents and future generations.

This bill resulted from an extensive policy development effort, including significant legislative research; two months of open and multi-platform engagement with the public, industry, Indigenous governments, NGOs, and other interested stakeholders; feedback from those on this committee; and close collaboration with Indigenous governments through the Intergovernmental Council. The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment also prepared plain-language materials to support the public engagement process.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment has worked with the Legislation Division of the Department of Justice on the Bill. The department does not anticipate that new regulations are necessary for this particular legislative initiative but does anticipate working with the Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations to ensure appropriate guidance is developed before bringing these changes into force should the bill pass.

I also wish to take this opportunity to commend the committee on their continued engagement with the public as this bill was moved through the legislative process. I welcome any questions the Members may have. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Minister. I will now turn to the chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Development, which considered the bill, for any opening comments that he may have. Mr. Vanthuyne, any opening comments?

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Nothing further to add, just similar, along the lines of the opening comments provided with regard to the report, so no further comments. Thank you.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Minister, I understand you have witnesses you wish to bring into the Chamber, so, Sergeant-at-Arms, please escort the witnesses into Chamber. We will try to squeeze them all at that table. Minister, you may take your seat at the witness table. Minister, will you please introduce your witnesses for the record.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. On my left, I have Menzie McEachern, director of mineral and petroleum resources. On my immediate right, I have Joel Marion, senior legislation advisor. On my far right, I have Christina Brownlee, lead drafter. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Welcome to the witnesses. I will now open the floor to general comments. Mr. Testart.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just before we get into the actual business of reviewing the legislation clause by clause, I would like to ask some questions on significant discovery licences, and hopefully the witnesses can oblige. How many significant discovery licences, or SDLs, are currently in the Northwest Territories or have been issued to rights holders in the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Mr. Testart. Minister.

Committee Motion 167-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Review of Bill 36: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Resources Act and Bill 37: An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Operations Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We do not have that number in front of us, but we can probably get it before this session is over so that we can get the number back to the Member. Thank you, Mr. Chair.