This is page numbers 6289 - 6352 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 assembly.

Topics

Committee Motion 246-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Perceptions Held by Northern Businesses Toward the Government of the Northwest Territories' Procurement Processes - Government Response to Recommendations, carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Nakimayak. Next, we have Mr. Vanthuyne.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

August 21st, 2019

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Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this committee recommends that the Executive Council develop a protocol or protocols for engaging Indigenous governments, co-management organizations, and the intergovernmental council in the development of legislation governing land and resources and any related regulations. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Vanthuyne. The motion is on the floor and is being distributed. We will just give a few seconds here. Thank you, committee. The motion has been distributed. The motion is in order. To the motion. Mr. Vanthuyne.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I won't say much more than what has already been shared in terms of what we have heard out there. What this does is it encourages that protocols be set so that we have some degree of consistency in how we are going to approach the co-development and co-drafting of legislation.

As we travelled out on the road, we heard from a number of stakeholders, Indigenous governments, and others that there just didn't seem to be a very consistent approach. Sometimes, there was significant time to make input. There were other times where it seemed that Indigenous groups felt that they were pressured at that moment in time to make their contribution known.

There were concerns about not having enough resources on behalf of Indigenous governments to effectively contribute and that that would have required more time for them to get those resources so that they could effectively and meaningfully contribute.

Really, this is about developing some form of protocols so that when we do engage Indigenous governments with regard to co-drafting, that we have a process that everyone can expect and understand and, therefore, create some degree of certainty and reliability. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Vanthuyne. To the motion. Mr. O'Reilly.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Mr. Chair. I want to concur with what the chair said. First off, what we heard: we heard from Indigenous governments. We heard from municipal governments. We heard from industry. We heard from NGOs, individual citizens. There is a lot of interest in the significant public policy matters that have been shunted off to regulations through these bills. A lot of the important substance matters of public interest are going to be developed by Ministers or Cabinet. There is no requirement in the bills for any public participation.

Committee tried, through amending the bills, different kinds of processes, whether it was the wording from the MVRMA to require some kind of consultation. We tried to include authority for the Minister, enabling authority, not requirements, to enter into agreements with Indigenous governments to allow for collaboration moving forward. We tried the wording from the Petroleum Resources Act, the Oil and Gas Operations Act, the gazetting process. We tried everything that we could think of to get some agreement or some commitment from Cabinet on what this process would look like. All we got were some intentions to involve people in the future, intentions. Our government shouldn't operate on intentions.

We came up with lots of options. There was nothing from Cabinet. There still is no government-wide approach to development of regulations. I have heard excuses like, "We are going to leave it to the 19th Assembly," or "We can't do that." All I have heard is excuses so far. I still don't understand nor does the public understand what the process is going to look like moving forward.

We tried lots of different options. This is the last-ditch effort on the part of the committee to try to get this Cabinet to actually come up with a process. So far, they have completely failed. As I say, this is a last-ditch effort to try to get a response on what that process is going to look like going forward. They can snicker and laugh all they want, but we came up with the ideas. They have not. Thanks, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly. Next, we have Mr. McNeely.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I share with you some of the systems we have on behalf of the region and this government. I sat in on a number of these bilateral meetings and in preparation leading up to the bilateral meetings between this government and the Sahtu Secretariat. The intent of these bilateral meetings, held twice a year and follow-ups between, is to design protocol to how better implement and provide services that are facing challenges or meeting policy upgrade.

To me, that protocol is in place. I sit back and wonder, "Is this motion really contradicting what is in place already?" The intergovernmental council is there. In between bilateral meetings, the opportunity is there to have private one-on-one with government if the region leadership decides to do so. There are a number of engagements that are happening. Within those engagements, the agenda is designed to address the concerns from the region. I see that in place already. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly. To the motion. Mr. Nakimayak.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I, too, worry about this, as well. I, as well, too, like Mr. McNeely, sat in intergovernmental council meetings between the Inuvialuit and Cabinet. I see the working relationship. I see there are examples out there that we see here as a government that have come through this House, funding and implementation of programs and services. I wonder about this. I wonder where this is coming from. That is my question, Mr. Chair. Seeing it in action, I don't know about this. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Nakimayak. Next, we have Mr. Simpson.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am going to support this motion. I think it is a way to hold the government accountable. If there are no standards, then they can do whatever they want and say they are right. I think it is also a way to protect those Indigenous groups that don't have settled claims yet like the ones in my region. I will be supporting this. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Simpson. Next, we have Mr. Beaulieu.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would support the motion even if it is just for the co-drafting. As many of the organizations have signed on to devolution, they also want the responsibility to be able to co-draft for their governments. Right now, what's in place, and solidly in place, are technical working groups. The technical working groups get together, the governments, the Indigenous governments, the GNWT, and they draft legislation through that process.

As we've seen in the Forest Act, the Indigenous governments are not happy with that, and this would just ensure that they get an opportunity to co-draft. All the legislation which they co-draft on, I think some of the legislation wouldn't need it. It could be something that could be maybe non-substantial, and it would be something that the government could co-draft, and after discussion at an intergovernmental forum, it would probably be acceptable in that way. The opportunity of the Indigenous governments really have a strong desire to co-draft legislation with the government. This gives them that opportunity. This will ensure that that opportunity could be set in place, and I don't think it does any harm. I think all it does is allow the governments to have their say on legislation that's going to govern their people.

I can't see how this would be something that would be viewed as something that is negative. It's beyond me how individuals could consider this to be something that they couldn't support or consider to be a negative when all this says is that given the opportunities that Indigenous governments they co-draft legislation. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 247-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Protocols for Engagement in Development of Legislation, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Next, we have Mr. Testart.