This is page numbers 6187 - 6288 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.

Topics

Family Violence
Members' Statements

Page 6192

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, colleagues. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. They need to start by looking at the priorities outlined by the Coalition Against Family Violence, because they are still relevant. Their challenges to create policies and programs that demonstrate that family violence is not normal, and there is something that we can do about it. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Family Violence
Members' Statements

Page 6192

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Improving P3 Contracts for Northern Benefits
Members' Statements

Page 6192

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to talk today about P3 contracts. Public-private partnerships have been used to achieve some of our large infrastructure projects here in the North, like the new Stanton Territorial Hospital, and will be the method used for the Whati road.

The benefit of P3s is that projects that would otherwise not have funding can be completed using long-term payments that don't require an increase in taxes. That way, government funds can be used elsewhere for other priorities, but, Mr. Speaker, our government has policies to support northern businesses. To be consistent, I think that we need better rules for P3s.

We need to ensure that, in each case, there is a strong benefit component to Northerners. For example, we have a detailed Business Incentive Policy. It ensures that the northern businesses bidding on government contracts have an advantage when BIP is applied. As the government conducts operations, northern businesses can successfully be awarded government work.

Similarly, our Negotiated Contracts Policy is described to provide benefits to northern businesses and communities. Negotiated contracts are intended to create growth in non-market communities or regions, providing jobs for Northerners, support for new and developing businesses, and opportunities for on-the-job training and apprenticeships. A good example is the recent Norman Wells health centre. There, the negotiated contract provided not only substantial work for northern businesses, but also trades training and life skills development in all Sahtu communities.

When it comes to P3s, BIP doesn't apply, and northern benefits aren't always negotiated. An example is the company managing the new Stanton Hospital. When the hospital opened, the contract for coffee throughout the hospital went to a southern company. Needless to say, Yellowknife coffee suppliers were not happy. The complaint was resolved, and we now have a northern coffee supplier at the new hospital.

The lesson is clear: BIP and our Negotiated Contracts Policy make sure that northern businesses, communities, and individuals gain the most benefits from the government conducting business. In that same way, if we keep using P3s, Northerners need to reap the benefits of substantial public spending. We have policies that already work for Northerners, injecting them into the P3 contracting process is the way that we must go in the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Improving P3 Contracts for Northern Benefits
Members' Statements

Page 6192

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Anniversaries of Deh Cho Constituents
Members' Statements

Page 6192

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Three couples of the Deh Cho riding celebrated long-term anniversaries with family get-togethers, dinners, and dances. The loving couples were treated like royalty by their families and created lots of love and happiness in their community.

The union of two people in love and major is a special moment in life. Living and building a life together commonly brings the joy of children and family. Of course, there are the low points and the challenges, but working through those moments together only make you stronger. I am happy to recognize the following married couples who celebrated their anniversaries.

Fred and Veronique Sabourin of Fort Providence were married July 27, 1954. Veronique's maiden name is Sambele. They met Leshamie, a village down from Fort Providence. They have 11 children, 32 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Fred and Veronique can often be found at their cabin about three quarters of the way downriver to Horn River.

Daniel and Emily Squirrel of Fort Providence were married January 6, 1959. Emily's maiden name is Bonnetrouge. Daniel asked Emily's grandfather for Emily's hand in marriage. They have five children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Daniel and Emily actively attend local events and often are at their cabin at the winter crossing.

Sarah and Gabe Chicot of Kakisa were married July 6, 1959. Sarah's maiden name is St. Pierre. They met at the old community. They have five children, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Both Sarah and Gabe continue to be active in their community, often helping their son fish and making dryfish.

I would like to once again express my congratulations to these married couples. Congratulations, and may you have many more years of love and happiness. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Anniversaries of Deh Cho Constituents
Members' Statements

Page 6193

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Mine Reclamation along Great Bear Lake
Members' Statements

August 20th, 2019

Page 6193

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Resource development in the Northwest Territories dates back to original mineral exploration in the 1930s in the Sahtu region. The mining industry is the main economic driver of the Northwest Territories economy, an industry that sustains government, direct benefits, and contributes to a supply chain that includes a vast amount of Northerners and businesses.

Mr. Speaker, a new era has shown new potentials in the region's abandoned sector and great wealth for economic opportunities from yesterday's federal announcement on the Government of Canada's new Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program. One of the listed areas is the Great Bear Lake, consisting of multiple smaller sites in close proximity to each other.

This is welcoming news while we attribute to modernizing industry legislation from the days of its original rights issuances, legislation that we hope will provide confidence and certainty.

Mr. Speaker, advancing and acknowledging the devolution resource development responsibilities provides me with confidence that our government recognizes the potential for enhancing economic opportunities by engagement with all northern stakeholders. I look forward in participating on the process of this modernization legislation and viewed as economic sustainability support. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Mine Reclamation along Great Bear Lake
Members' Statements

Page 6193

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Recycling in Nahendeh
Members' Statements

Page 6193

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my riding, like others, there are no recycling facilities for paper, cardboard, and metals. With increased consumerism, waste reduction and recycling issues are essential. Our neighbours in the south in Edmonton, Alberta, have a world-renowned waste management facility. For us to not even have a recycling depot for cardboard and paper is unacceptable. We are further behind that we should be reducing pollution and waste.

Mr. Speaker, if you go to the dump in Fort Simpson, you will see piles and piles of waste cardboard and paper that could be recycled. Starting up a recycling facility would reduce our contribution to the landfill and the negative impact that the waste has on the natural environment. If government had a recycling program for paper and cardboard, we would increase the lifespan of our dumps, which in turn would help the environment.

In addition to the benefit of the environment recycling has, a new facility would provide a new industry for employment in my riding. Perhaps we could have a handler in each community, with the main facility being in Fort Simpson, where all the recycling for the riding is sent out. This possible structure could create at least one position in each community of my riding, as well as more positions at the main facility in Fort Simpson.

Mr. Speaker, we currently have a bottle depot in Fort Simpson for recycling cans, plastic, glass bottles, and electronics. We have a smaller bottle depot in the surrounding communities. The recycling depot in Fort Simpson could be expanded to become a crushing facility. Material could be sorted, crushed, and then sent out rather than being sent out sorted but not crushed. This would provide more employment in my riding.

Highlights from the NWT Waste Reduction and Recovery Program 2013-2014 Annual Report said, "An electronics recycling pilot project was initiated in September 2013 and collected over 7 metric tonnes of electronics." These results are astonishing. It would be great to introduce more recycling facilities in ridings for different materials so that the NWT can contribute to yielding such great results in recycling.

Mr. Speaker, the results of this pilot project were proven to be successful and electronic recycling has been implemented across NWT. Why not introduce a program for paper and cardboard now? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recycling in Nahendeh
Members' Statements

Page 6193

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Child Care in Fort MacPherson
Members' Statements

Page 6194

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As summer nears its end, so does the summer school break. Parents have been planning for the children heading back to school, and parents with young ones at home are planning for babysitters or daycare. In smaller communities such as Fort McPherson, we don't have the option for daycare.

Mr. Speaker let me note a few points about the benefits of daycare:

  • The emotional well-being by sending our children to daycare at a young age: they become comfortable in social situations.
  • The developmental opportunities: daycare staff are trained and can teach our children developmental skills.
  • Attending daycare in the early stages of life helps our children with physical, emotional, social, language, and cognitive development.

Mr. Speaker, there is a house specifically for daycare use, with inspections on a regular basis checking for safety and health hazards. This house sits empty. Last March, funding was cut and the daycare was closed indefinitely.

Daycare is necessary for most parents, both of whom are working. Having your child in daycare is much better than having to worry about if the babysitter will show up.

Single parents who want to go back to school or find employment rely on daycare opportunities. Just having the option, knowing that daycare is a viable source, believe me, has less stress.

Mr. Speaker, let me add that daycare helps children develop skills to make them successful for junior kindergarten, having a structure in place with teachings in a fun setting adds to our children enjoying school and wanting to learn.

Parents in Fort McPherson are requesting daycare. They want this in place as soon as we can in order for them to have a steady, reliable place for their children. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will have questions later today.

Child Care in Fort MacPherson
Members' Statements

Page 6194

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd.
Members' Statements

Page 6194

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. In February 2015, Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd. stopped production in the Cameron Hills field in the Northwest Territories. It bought the operations from Paramount Resources a couple of years before that, and GNWT approved the assignment of regulatory approvals to the new owner. The field consists of 50 wells, winter roads, summer all-terrain vehicle trails, a gas and oil gathering system, a central battery, temporary and permanent camps, airstrips, borrow pits, and bridges. A class A water licence and a type A land use permit cover its activities in the NWT.

It also holds an operations authorization from the Office of the Regulator of Oil and Gas Operations, 15 production licences, and 11 significant discovery licences in the Northwest Territories.

Following some research, it looks like there has never been an approved closure and reclamation plan for Cameron Hills. Three different versions of a closure and reclamation plan have been submitted, and all have been rejected as inadequate. More recently, a workshop was held in Hay River in February 2019 on closure of the field and a new plan is due tomorrow, August 21st.

Trading was halted in Strategic Oil and Gas in April 2019 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and some directors have resigned. Strategic Oil and Gas is now in creditor protection with KPMG, a large international accounting and audit firm, as the court-appointed monitor.

On May 9, 2019, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench granted a revised stay of proceeding until September 30, 2019. Further, the court approved a process to begin the sale of its assets.

In June I asked a series of written questions on the status of Strategic Oil and Gas holdings in the NWT, its liabilities, and what our government is doing to protect our interests. I found out that only about $3 million is held in financial security and that there did not appear to be any estimate of its liabilities.

On the KPMG website, there is a document showing a list of unsecured creditors, including one from the NWT and an estimate of $12.375 million for the end-of-life obligations from OROGO, although the executive director tells me they had no input into this figure. This would leave a shortfall of over $9 million for environmental liabilities from a company that is in creditor protection. Needless to say, I will have questions for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment on what our government is doing to protect taxpayers and the environment. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Strategic Oil and Gas Ltd.
Members' Statements

Page 6194

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Health Care in Nunakput
Members' Statements

Page 6195

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Back in February of this year I did a Member's statement on healthcare in relation to elders, where I talked about multiple system-related issues that Nunakput residents have brought to my attention. Today I would like to expand on the subject of healthcare in relation to Indigenous peoples.

Among the issues I mentioned in my previous statement on healthcare, I talked about the need for more culturally safe and appropriate healthcare to be offered to the people of the Northwest Territories. Ironically, the day after I made the statement, the Department of Health and Social Services came out with a cultural safety plan which I was very glad to see addressed some of the core issues on healthcare.

Moreover, Mr. Speaker, there are other issues which my constituents have experienced recently in relation to the health department, particularly with medical travel. For example, there was one case where a medical patient was required by their doctor to have an escort travel to Edmonton with them for an appointment. However, the medical travel personnel viewed the situation differently and left the patient in need without any escorts at all.

Mr. Speaker, I understand that every patient has different medical circumstances and that our health department must address each situation accordingly. However, my biggest concern with medical travel is that, when some patients require translators, that option does not seem to be made readily available all the time.

Situations like these should not be occurring anymore in this day in age, where patients are faced with language barriers upon receiving healthcare in the Northwest Territories. After all, we are a territory that recognizes 11 official languages. Therefore, it is imperative that all of our government services, not only healthcare, be made available in each of our official languages when they are needed. I would like to have assurance that all of our citizens across the Northwest Territories, regardless of their identity, language, or where they live, are well-informed of their medical situations and the options of care that are available to them, especially when it comes to medications and when surgery is involved.

Mr. Speaker, we as a government need to ensure that our healthcare system is looking after the needs of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples equally. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.