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 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

August 21st, 2019

Page 6338

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this committee recommends that each technical working group receive a comprehensive briefing on the legislative process and where the technical working group fits within that process; and further, this briefing should make it clear to participants that each bill undergoes a two-stage process, involving public consultation and development at the bill-development stage, led by the sponsoring Minister, and a second in-depth review, led by standing committees, once a bill is introduced in the Legislative Assembly, which can include public hearings, research, and independent analysis. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6338

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Vanthuyne. The motion is on the floor and has been distributed. The motion is in order. To the motion. Mr. Vanthuyne.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6338

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think again you can predict where this is going. This motion clearly outlines some of the challenges that we faced while we were on the road when we were dealing or interacting with different stakeholders. The two primary instances are one, that they felt that they needed to better understand what this process was about, so we feel that having a comprehensive briefing on the legislation process would be very good for those who are involved in the technical working groups from their particular regions; and then, secondly, time and time again, no matter where we went, people felt that, frankly, we were the government, and they could not delineate between ourselves and the departments on many occasions, and so we feel that there is some better understanding that needs to be put out there, and this is what this motion promotes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6338

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Vanthuyne. To the motion. Mr. Testart.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6338

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think in addition to the chair's comments about kind of broader public knowledge of what a standing committee is, what Regular Members do, and, you know, making it very clear that they are two branches of government, the executive branch that proposes legislation and the legislative branch that reviews legislation.

That being said, I support that, that rationale, but I think what this motion speaks to more directly is that the technical working group that is spending a lot of time in the drafting stages of this bill needs to clearly understand what happens next so that expectations are fairly realized throughout the process. Because what we do not want, I do not think anyone wants, is the idea that what's developed through a technical working group or what is developed at the preliminary stages of a draft bill is going to be the final form of the bill, barring any regulations that have to come.

You know, the legislative prerogative of the House and the standing committees needs to be a clearly identified process that comes next, and the changes that may be sought in that process need to be clearly understood because, again, we do not want to be in a situation where standing committee is told, "Well, you cannot change this bill now; you've just got to rubber-stamp it," because that would be infringing on the independence of the legislative branch. However, you also do not want to be on the other side, where the standing committee undoes a lot of the hard-fought battles that have been undertaken in the co-drafting process. So I think this is a really important idea or concept if we are going to continue to co-draft and continue to do it well. Thank you.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6338

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6338

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Mr. Chair. I agree with what may colleagues on the committee have said here. We were getting correspondence from Indigenous governments, and after the closure date for public submissions, that wanted to submit additional information and, in some cases, actually better understand what the process was. So I think it became clear to committee that there was not really a lot of understanding of the legislative process and what the role is for standing committee. We are not the government. We are not the ones who wrote the legislation in the first place. Our job is to actually review it and seek to make improvements based on the input and the public interest. I think it's pretty fair to say that there wasn't a very good understanding of that amongst the Indigenous governments, all of them, and that some of them wanted to better understand the process and so on.

However, I think, although this recommendation is aimed at the technical working groups and so on, I think it's fair to say that the same applies to the staff in some of the departments. They did not understand what role standing committee had, and they did not really get what our role was and that we could actually propose and make changes to the legislation, the bills, as they went through the public review process. So that needs to be, I think, improved upon, as well. That is not meant as a criticism of anybody, but I think we just have to find ways to make sure that people understand what role the standing committee plays and that we respect the division between the executive and the legislative branches' functions of government. That is the way our government has been set up, and I think there could be a lot more effort put into public education around that. As I understand it, some of those issues are going to find their way into the transition report, as well, but that is something that committee had observed. Thanks, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Chair. You know what, I am looking at this, and I had to look again. Mr. Chair, we have very capable research staff who are assigned to committees and do very good work. This, I think, almost takes away from them. You know, all of the educational stuff, I don't know what we are going to do. Like, say, the next government or the next committee, I don't know how we put educational stuff out there, but the next committee would have to decide that, and the next government. You know, all of this plain language stuff, we do get from our research, and it's very good. It's very high-level briefing notes and all that, and I really appreciate it. I just look at this, and I am, like, if we can't understand the language, then maybe we shouldn't be here, so I am really kind of worried about this. I am trying to convince myself that this is a high-level motion that would be useful. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Nakimayak. To the motion.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 252-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Comprehensive Briefing on Legislative Process for Technical Working Group, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

The Chair Frederick Blake Jr.

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

---Carried

Mr. Vanthuyne.

Committee Motion 253-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Process for Development of Regulations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories develop a standard process for how regulations will be developed for legislation that was developed under a technical working group. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 253-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Process for Development of Regulations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Thank you, Mr. Vanthuyne. The motion is on the floor and has been distributed. The motion is in order. To the motion. Mr. Vanthuyne.

Committee Motion 253-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives - Process for Development of Regulations, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6339

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We heard from IGOs and co-drafters, technical working groups, and they were generally very pleased and appreciative of the opportunity to co-draft legislation, but then felt that this would be also a very good collaborative process when it comes to regulation-making.

It was our understanding, when putting the questions to the respective Ministers, that that was going to be their intention on the most part, at least with regard to some regulations. We see that as very well-meaning and productive, but this would be a motion that provides some degree of formality to that. Thank you, Mr. Chair.