This is page numbers 105 - 162 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.

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

Page 109

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

The type of board that the Member is describing is exactly what will complete this transformation. Right now, based on the foundational review and the government's response to the foundational review, we have moved to a public administrator instead of a board, and that is to ensure that this process is streamlined, so that everyone is on the same page and that we're moving in the same direction while we strengthen the foundation, because that's what's going on right now, is we're strengthening the foundation. We're identifying the issues that occurred in the past, that I spoke about in the last Assembly as a Regular Member, that everyone is concerned about, and we're fixing those so that we can institute a board and we can move toward having this world-class university that we're all waiting for.

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

Page 109

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

My third question is: how does the government justify turning a temporary measure into an ongoing four-year suspension? Now, I'm hearing it's going to be five, or potentially six years. Is this going to be an ongoing discussion that we're going to be having? Define the term "temporary measures." We heard 2022, the last time. Is that the final date that the board members are going to be appointed?

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

Page 109

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

This is why I'm excited to get the information out there, because, right now, that's the plan. I don't like to say we're going to get something done regardless of whether we're ready or not. I've seen, when government tries to do that, things don't work out well. There are also legislative changes that need to happen, and that means the Assembly is involved. Right now, that's the plan, 2022. That's temporary, that's during the life of this Assembly, and that is going to lead us toward the creation of the university.

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

Page 109

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

Thank you, Minister. Member for Monfwi.

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

Page 109

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Mr. Speaker. I certainly hope that is the plan, 2022, not 2023 or 2024, when our term is up, here. My final question is regarding the polytechnic transition period. I'm just curious to know, because I haven't seen any of these areas, if we have any Aboriginal or Indigenous persons or resource people who are involved as part of the management team during this transition period. Masi, Mr. Speaker.

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

Page 109

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

I am involved. All of the Members of this House are going to be involved. I've offered a technical briefing to the Standing Committee on Social Development, but we have crazy schedules right now, so we haven't been able to get in front of the committee to show them what we're up to and hear what the feedback is. Further to the expertise that was mentioned earlier, there are people at the college also assisting with this. It's not just some people in Lahm Ridge Tower in downtown Yellowknife. You know, we have people with a lot of experience working on this.

One of the first things that I did during the very first briefing I had with the department about this is I said, "We need a much stronger Indigenous government engagement strategy," or approach. I don't even want to say "strategy"; approach. So I actually pushed some of the timelines back because I wanted to make sure that we're developing a university that is going to meet the needs of the people it's serving. I don't want to create a university and hope people buy into it; I want to build that from the ground up. So the Member can rest assured, we're going to have that input. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Page 109

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 59-19(2): Budgeting Process and Public Communication
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 109

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I had a question for the Minister of Finance, but I just want to say what the Minister from ECE said about having plans to move forward and taking steps to be more open and transparent to the people of the Northwest Territories. They deserve that. With that, my question to the Minister of Finance is: would the Minister commit to having the Department of Finance do more public communications around the budget process, including supplementary appropriations? Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Question 59-19(2): Budgeting Process and Public Communication
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 109

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

Thank you, Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Minister of Finance.

Question 59-19(2): Budgeting Process and Public Communication
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 109

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is an occasion where I'm tempted to simply say, "Yes," and sit down, but perhaps I'll elaborate. I'll elaborate very briefly, only in that this is a conversation that we've already been having in the Department of Finance, recognizing that what the finance department does can sometimes seem unnecessarily opaque, and it doesn't need to be that way. In my past life, a lot of what I often did was translate things from legalese into good public communication, and it is my hope to bring some of that to what happens in our Department of Finance so that we can all better understand the documents. So I certainly will do that, and I'll certainly be going to the Members as I'm working through with different ways we can do that.

I can say that we have already set up, this Friday, an opportunity for media to have a conversation with myself about the process of the budget and how a budgeting process unfolds and how that comes together, in the hopes that, as we move through this session, the public is better informed as to the different stages of what happens throughout the year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 59-19(2): Budgeting Process and Public Communication
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

February 12th, 2020

Page 109

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you for the response from the Minister. Not quite what I wanted to hear, but, you know, I try to look at it this way: the States have the CIA; Canada has CSIS. You know, they have their secret committees, but we're the GNWT. We're a consensus government. I think we need to be more open, wherever we can, and I'm hoping that that's the way moving forward. People deserve transparency, as I mentioned earlier. I guess my next question is: can the Minister commit to having the department do more to inform the public about the various GNWT budgets, such as the capital budget and the main estimates, and have a little more of an education piece for the public?

Question 59-19(2): Budgeting Process and Public Communication
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 109

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Again, the short answer is yes. I'm more than prepared to make that commitment. So, in addition to the fact that there is an effort to have some general media engagement this coming Friday about how a budget process unfolds, in addition to that, we're already working on having a bit more of a social media strategy to introduce people to the different parts of a budget and to the different processes. There has been some information already going out on social media to that regard. We are also actively, right now, working with stakeholder organizations across the Northwest Territories, in order to provide them with opportunities to have sort of budget fundamentals, to understand what the process is, understand what the budgets are, and we certainly look forward to being able to bring that kind of presentation out into the public in many forums.

So, again, the short answer is yes. The long answer is we're already doing some of that work and we're going to continue to find ways to do that work. It is certainly of interest to me to make sure that people who are coming to the government, who are asking for support for various projects, understand the best possible time to do that, understand what goes into that process, so that, when they come forward, they can give all the best possible information to the right parties early on, so that we can actually deliver on a budget that is effective and that does achieve the priorities of the people of the Northwest Territories.

Question 59-19(2): Budgeting Process and Public Communication
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 110

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Kam lake.

Question 60-19(2): Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Policies
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 110

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday in the House, the housing Minister advised that we do not work through legislation, and that "the Housing Corporation works solely through policy." Given that the NWT Housing Corporation Act sets out the Minister's authority, will the Minister please clarify what she meant by her remarks? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 60-19(2): Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Policies
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 110

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

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