This is page numbers 6353 - 6412 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

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Michael Nadli

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

[Translation] I want to talk in Slavey, my language. It's pretty hard for me to speak it, but it's my language. I want to know that it's good to speak my language if I have to. Many times, I have been in meetings, and we will talk about our government, talk about our leaders, and an elder said that: whoever is the boss of this land, who you call the boss of the land, is he looking after all the land? How come you guys, we don't see them very often? If we speak in Slavey, in our language, we say that we're looking at the land, the boss of the land. All the time, we look at the government that way. When we say something is the boss, he's looking after something. Many times, if you're looking after the House, it's looking at people who are giving you money. In our language, that's how it is. We as Dene people, we should look at saying our own boss, us, we being our own boss; but in the community, the moms, the dads, the elders, all those are the bosses of the community. If you look in the past, whoever is the oldest, the elder, that's the one you talk to.

In the community, the band council, the Metis, the government, you look at this self-government. The council, you look at that, too. Many times they work together. We call them regions. Look at the Deh Cho region, for example. There are about seven communities working together. Over here in the Northwest Territories, we look at this. If we look at who's the boss, they all talk the same language, and when you're the boss for the Dene people, it's you who is the boss. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Translation ends.]

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Tax Incentives to Support Economic Development
Members' Statements

August 22nd, 2019

Page 6360

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I rise to speak on the subject of tax incentives. Tax incentives are an effective way to stimulate and encourage certain types of economic behaviour for both the private sector and households alike. In the NWT, we have, on average, a 97-percent tax filing rate for residents, which means that any changes to the tax code will directly affect almost all Northerners, and if we do it right, tax breaks will put more money into the pockets of Northerners.

We, as a territory, need to address the deficiency of investment capital flowing into the jurisdiction, among other issues, if we are to reverse the down ward economic growth that still grips our territory. Appropriately targeted tax credits, if implemented by the next Assembly, can lay the foundation for a prosperous upturn in our economy.

Incentivizing research and development would encourage research institutions to invest and spend here in the NWT, giving the territory useful and long-lasting relationships with educational institutions from all around the world, in turn stimulating made-in-the-North innovations.

Increasing our competitiveness would bring in countless secondary and tertiary effects into our economy, allowing the NWT to stand its own against larger southern jurisdictions. It is expensive to live in the North, and employers will tell you that it can be frighteningly expensive to retain skilled employees.

Properly targeted tax incentives can help alleviate this burden, which, in turn, will pump more money into the local economy, in a way of reinvesting tax dollars into our communities.

Appropriately targeted tax credits can work to benefit investment, family finances, innovation, economic growth, and societal behavioural shifts. We are at a precipice. We, and the next Assembly, must take swift and concrete action to address our shrinking economy; otherwise, we risk seeing further cuts to services, a shrinking population, and an ever-growing higher cost of living, all of which needs to be urgently addressed by the future government.

Mr. Speaker, these issues I raise today in our penultimate session because I have been raising them for a long time, and it doesn't seem like the approach of the GNWT has been to pursue tax credits as a way to incentivize behaviour and to move things along in our economy. It needs to be done. We need to take a different approach, because what we are doing just isn't working. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Arctic Policy Framework
Members' Statements

Page 6361

Herbert Nakimayak

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to talk about the long-awaited Arctic Policy Framework that the federal government has been working on for the last two-and-a-half years and should be unveiling any time now.

Mr. Speaker, it has been 10 years since the federal government released its first Arctic Policy Framework, so Canada is long overdue for an updated set of policy directives regarding our Arctic region. I think it is worth noting that among the many differences between our pending framework and last decade's framework is the fact that, this time around, our federal government seems to be much more hands-on in terms of engaging and consulting with Northerners. This time around, Mr. Speaker, I see the feds have reached out not only to territorial governments, but to Indigenous governments, civil society, industry leaders, and the average citizens, as well.

As we wait for the official announcement of this policy framework, I would like to share some of the key points of interest that I personally hope to see in the federal plan. Most of these ideas have already been talked about throughout various draft documents that the Government of the Northwest Territories has published from engagement sessions with stakeholders.

I hope to see a section of the framework address some of the many social issues that Northerners regularly experience, such as food insecurity, housing inadequacy and homelessness, high rates of suicide, and large gaps in education and general health outcomes.

In terms of infrastructure, I hope to see more details on how and when the feds intend to provide high-speed Internet to all Arctic communities, along with ideas on how communities can improve access to affordable and sustainable energy options. I also hope that the framework will provide support options for helping northern businesses grow and retain their wealth within the Arctic while simultaneously helping to foster stronger economic ties with southern Canada.

I encourage our Premier to advocate up to the very last minute of this Assembly on the Arctic Policy Framework. I could go on, as there are many common issues that exist all throughout the Arctic communities and in Canada. I don't know exactly what will be included in the final policy framework, but, Mr. Speaker, looking forward, I hope that all levels of government work together to improve the quality of life in the Northwest Territories and our neighbours around the Arctic. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Arctic Policy Framework
Members' Statements

Page 6361

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Colleagues, [Translation] I would like to welcome Nora Doig to the hall, and also the chief of Detah, Chief Eddie Sangris. I would like to welcome them. [Translation ends] Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Yellowknife North.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

Cory Vanthuyne

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and welcome Rylund Johnson. Rylund is a Yellowknife North constituent and will be a fellow candidate in the upcoming election. Welcome. I also want to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, like you, to welcome friend and chief of Yellowknives Dene and re-elected, I believe, for a fourth term, Chief Ed Sangris. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Range Lake.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to take a moment to recognize some visitors in the gallery, Ms. Yvonne Hopkins and Amanda Baton, with the Northwest Territories Native Women's Association; also, Yolanda Chapman, who is with Intergovernmental Affairs; and my one and only power woman, the Minister's advisor for women issues, Ms. Elizabeth, commonly known as Sabet, Biscaye. She rocks. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

Tom Beaulieu

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize Chief Edward Sangris of the YK Dene First Nations, and I would like to also recognize Pascal Erasmus, who has been my constituency assistant for the last year. Thank you.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Yellowknife South.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

Bob McLeod

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to recognize a constituent of Yellowknife South, Yolanda Chapman. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6361

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Nunakput.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6362

Herbert Nakimayak

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to recognize Mr. Pascal Erasmus. He works with myself and Tom, and it is good to see young people like that working for MLAs who live in different regions of the territory. It really helps grow our capacity within an individual. I would like to thank Pascal for his help over the last couple of weeks, especially during the final bit of session, and also to Mr. Rylund Johnson, as well. I see that he is running in the next territorial election. I wish him luck. We have had a lot of aspiring politicians sit over the last couple of weeks, and it is good to see him in on the action.

As well, Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Ms. Nora Doig from Behchoko. She is with the Community Foundations of Canada, and also Melanie Blanchette, from Community Foundations of Canada. I see that they may be starting up a foundation in Inuvik, and possibly Iqaluit, so any retiring politicians might want to go and talk to her.

Also, Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize my wife, Yvonne. It has been a ride, Mr. Speaker. We get to go hunt in my region and her region, and also representing our country on international meetings around this world, so I really appreciate her support. Honestly I don't know how I could put up with some people without her support, so I really do appreciate that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6362

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Kam Lake.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6362

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to recognize Chief Ed Sangris. I haven't had the chance to congratulate him in person, so I am doing it now. You are getting a lot of love today, Chief, and it is well-deserved. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6362

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Sahtu.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6362

Daniel McNeely

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to recognize Yvonne Nakimayak, beneficiary of the Sahtu land claim, and recognize Chief Ed Sangris on his recent election victory and a mentor to my son, Arnold. Mahsi.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 6362

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. If we missed anyone in the gallery, thanks for being here with us. It is always great to have an audience as part of our proceedings. Mahsi. Item 6, acknowledgements. Item 7, oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Cory Vanthuyne

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my statement today I spoke about one of the most exciting things in the NWT's future. Of course, that is the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university. My questions are for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. I would like to ask the Minister: the post-secondary strategic framework refers to a strategic plan for Aurora College to be followed by an implementation plan for its transformation into a polytechnic university. Can the Minister tell us what the timeline is for these next important steps? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister Education, Culture and Employment.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Initially, when we did the review and we talked about becoming a polytechnic university, I am always trying to be optimistic. I have learned, being a Cabinet Minister. "Under-commit and over-perform" is my motto. I had five, six years probably. We are moving. We are getting this gung-ho. We are going forward.

We do have a tentative timeline for the strategic framework for the Aurora College. That will be beginning in the fall. Then, when it will be done will be a little bit difficult to say. I am assuming that, in the fall, there will be a new Cabinet. At that point, a new Minister will be overseeing it. I can say that the work has been started, and the process will begin this fall. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.