This is page numbers 1481 - 1522 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 going.

Topics

Question 428-19(2): Medical Travel
Oral Questions

Page 1491

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I do make a commitment to look into what is going on with the meals. Thanks.

Question 428-19(2): Medical Travel
Oral Questions

Page 1491

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Great Slave.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

October 29th, 2020

Page 1491

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Infrastructure. In my statement, I was discussing maintenance costs and how the lack of performing maintenance could actually increase costs down the line. Could the Minister please tell me what the total value of deferred maintenance costs are currently on our aging existing infrastructure? Thank you.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1491

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1491

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Deferred Maintenance Program is an essential part of the government's strategy to effectively manage our infrastructure. The Deferred Maintenance Program has a budget of $5 million a year. The deferred maintenance backlog, I think that's where the Member is coming from, on our aging assets is assessed at $465,728,561; and, Members, you will hear more about it tonight in Committee of the Whole. It is estimated that there is about $11 million that is crucial, which could include safety upgrades, code upgrades, systems that are beyond their useful life, and issues that cause a lot of functionality in our facilities. The annual facility conditions assessments help us to prioritize deferred maintenance spending and also to identify and undertake remedial work to ensure that our buildings continue to be safe for occupancy and to maximize the useful life of these assets. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1491

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

That's a very staggering number to hear. I would encourage the Minister to have her department look into using systems where they can be maintained and operated by Northwest Territories businesses so that some of those costs come down, as we do bring people from the South. Earlier in the session, I did ask about funding that the department had committed to addressing needed repairs on the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway. The ITH is currently experiencing conditions that could lead to permafrost degradation and safety issues that will only increase exponentially with time. Can the Minister please reconfirm the commitment to perform significant rehabilitation work on the ITH this year?

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1491

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

I am happy to hear that the Members are getting interested in some projects in the Beaufort-Delta. The department was able to resurface 26 kilometres of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway this summer, which utilized 15,000 square metres of aggregate. This was over and above the ongoing maintenance that we have completed by local contractors. The department has also hired a consultant to review the entirety of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway for any additional capital work that may be required. Infrastructure will also work to secure required funding as a result of that report. Additionally, we are working with the Department of ITI to secure funding for some highway pullouts.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1491

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

That is all well and good, to have a consultant engaged. However, we all know, and I know personally, how long consultants can take to return their reports. I do believe that there needs to be work done this year. I am hearing that what has been done has not been adequate. Given the time sensitivities around permafrost could I have the Minister commit to trying to find some more money for this year to repair more of the ITH?

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1492

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Absolutely. I know there is federal funding out there, and Infrastructure, we get two-thirds of our funding from the federal government. If there are pots of money out there that we can pursue, then there is no reason why the department shouldn't be pursuing that to upgrade some of our roads.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1492

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Great Slave.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1492

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can the Minister tell me: in the last three months, has the government or her department turned down any offers of federal funding for infrastructure, for example, around roads or a treatment centre such as Nunavut has? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1492

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

I'm not aware that the Department of Infrastructure has turned down any federal funding. I just mentioned that two-thirds of our funding does come from the federal government, and we should be actively pursuing any further federal funding to be able to increase projects in the territories. Thank you.

Question 429-19(2): Deferred Maintenance on Aging Infrastructure
Oral Questions

Page 1492

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Thebacha.

Question 430-19(2): Client Services
Oral Questions

Page 1492

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, I want the Minister to succeed and do well with her portfolio. My hope is that the Minister will hear my critiques and work with the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation to improve its client services at the Fort Smith Housing Authority. We are still in a pandemic. Threats, last-chance letters, and eviction notices must stop. My constituents who are reliant on public housing must be treated fairly and with respect. Does the Minister agree? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 430-19(2): Client Services
Oral Questions

Page 1492

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.