This is page numbers 1299 - 1316 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd 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 land.

Topics

Question 365-19(2): Access to Treatment Programs
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thanks to the Minister. I look forward to seeing that in my community. Will the GNWT also commit to changing the way mental health and addiction service is done? I know we have the mental health and addiction counselors within the GNWT. The way that they work within the system with each region will be different, and I understand that. What would a culturally respectful community drug and alcohol program look like, including elders and traditional spaces, with the counselors that we have currently within the GNWT? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 365-19(2): Access to Treatment Programs
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you for that question. This is an area in which I need to take a little time to think about how this might be applicable. We have the child and youth care counsellors and the Community Counselling Program, and I think they operate within offices. They don't go out to on-the-land camps or other types of settings. The question is: how would we make that work better? I think it's a really good question, and I look forward to working with the Member to figure out how that can be implemented. Thank you.

Question 365-19(2): Access to Treatment Programs
Oral Questions

Page 1309

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

October 19th, 2020

Page 1309

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My question is for the Minister of Finance, who is responsible for the NWT carbon tax. Earlier today, I discussed some of the shortcomings of the large emitter carbon tax grant program. Can the Minister confirm whether there was any public engagement and work with standing committee to develop the large carbon emitter carbon tax grant program? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister of Finance.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There hasn't been a formal engagement process since the time that the regime was proposed back in the 18th Assembly. However, the Standing Committee on Government Operations has been consulted both at the time of the 18th Assembly, as well as here earlier in 2020, as I think the MLA did earlier reference. They were given a copy in advance of the large emitter grant policy back in March, and similarly, the industry itself, the large emitters themselves who would be subject to this, were also given an opportunity for some feedback on this, which came after the committee's opportunity to review. Then, there were some, I believe, adjustments to some of those documents and templates after that time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for that. I can assure the Minister there was very little consultation with committee in terms of developing the actual bill that was brought forward, and that was one of the reasons why I voted against it in the last Assembly. The Minister promised that there would be some consultation on the development of these guidelines, and I'm not convinced that really happened. On to my question: can the Minister tell us whether there have been any applications under the large emitter carbon tax grant program or policy, and if so, how many have been successful?

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

The accounts for this program were only set up as of March 31, 2020, which obviously falls and coincides quite a bit with what is happening with COVID-19. As of this point, with a few months, no, there have not been any applications yet to date.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for that, and I'm kind of not surprised, given the high bar that the current guidelines put on applicants. Can the Minister tell us what the available revenues are projected for the 2020-2021 fiscal year for large emitter carbon tax grant program? Sorry, I did give the Minister a head's up before coming to the House today.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Yes. I do happen to have those numbers now right in front of me. For the fiscal year of 2020-2021, we are projecting $25 million in carbon tax revenues, which, based on that projection and assuming no drawdowns, at the end of this fiscal year, the large emitter individual accounts would be estimated to be just over $2 million.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1309

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1310

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for those figures. Earlier today, I outlined some of the limitations with the large emitter carbon tax grant program and policy. These include the narrow scope of the eligibility criteria that does not encourage innovation or experimentation; the requirement for a third-party engineering assessment; the lack of public reporting of any project submitted or approved; there are no forums for submission of projects; and more. Would the Minister agree that it is already time to review the large emitter carbon tax grant program and policy, and how will she ensure this time that there is some level of accountability and public engagement while working with standing committee? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1310

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Fortunately, this is a policy-based item, so there certainly is opportunity to refine it as it has now rolled out and before any applications come in. Again, it's fairly early in its stages. The Member mentions the need for innovation, the desire for innovation. I have actually heard the same from industry, that they also want the opportunity to innovate, that they want the opportunity to access these funds, to be real leaders in this area. To the extent that that can be considered, I think that is a great opportunity. Again, the policy itself is not complex. It's not lengthy. It may very easily be subject to the opportunity to fix it and to move forward with it in a way that is really meaningful and that will address these issues that are coming forward now, at this early stage. It is the right time to be looking at it. It is the right time to be having that engagement. Mr. Speaker, indeed, as I have said, industry has already been in contact around this. Now, the Member is also speaking to it. I am quite certain that we will be able to find a way forward that is accountable and innovative. Thank you.

Question 366-19(2): Large Emitter Carbon Tax Grant Program
Oral Questions

Page 1310

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 367-19(2): Transferring Lands to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

Page 1310

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Earlier, I spoke about a number of issues I believe the Department of Lands is facing. In general, I think the theme was that we have a lot of work giving land back, whether it be to Indigenous governments, residents, companies, or municipalities. My first question for the Minister of Lands is: can I get an update on the mandate commitment to have a process guide for transferring land to municipalities by winter 2021? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.