This is page numbers 607 - 658 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 housing.

Topics

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

I had been hoping that I could simply say that I would commit to get back to the Member with the results from April. I am more hesitant to say that I'm going to put out an RFP based on the fact that I don't know what the reports of the pilot will say. That said, as I've said, the GNWT doesn't want to hold this back. If the stakeholders are in support and they are able to undertake the project and to continue it forward, the GNWT is not going to stop third-party reporting from moving forward under those circumstances. I think the best that I could perhaps do for today is to say that if, in fact, the reporting comes back and the pilots come back as being positive and that there is capacity to move this forward, then, at that point, the matter will move forward and it will move forward in a fashion that is timely, keeping in mind that we have June session where, if I haven't issued an RFP or if the department hasn't issued an RFP, then, by that stage, I would expect the Member to be asking me questions again, and hopefully it would be much easier to commit. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

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

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

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I previously asked questions on carbon offsets to the Minister of ENR and, in time, I will ask them to the Minister of Infrastructure to make sure that any green energy projects can access what is an ever-increasing pool of funding, but I guess, since it's money-related, I will ask the Minister of Finance today: can the issue of carbon offsets be provided to the relevant climate change committee and a policy document be produced?

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister of Finance.

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, in contrast to some of my previous responses, I'll just say yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I appreciate that answer. The importance here is that carbon offset pools are increasingly becoming a more and more common, larger pool of money to tap into. The federal government is looking at setting up a credit scheme nation-wide, and I don't want the Northwest Territories to be left behind. One of my concerns with this is that it's not really built into our energy strategy or our climate change strategy, so I want to make sure that we look into this properly. Can the Minister work with her counterparts in Infrastructure and ENR and make sure there are some clearer points of accountability for who is responsible, ultimately, for the many aspects of carbon offsets?

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

I think I have all-around good news on this one. There are two different questions coming out of the Member's question just now. The first was with respect to the carbon offset program that is being developed by the federal government, and I am pleased to tell the House that, indeed, Department of Finance officials are already working with their federal counterparts on this so that we certainly will not be left out, and we want to ensure that we have an appropriate place at that table.

Then, second, with respect to having a clear point of accountability, this is, again, good news. Climate change is a project that is receiving collaboration from a real whole-of-government approach. Many departments are involved, and that is a positive thing. It's bringing together the many different facets of this issue. I acknowledge the Member's point and the challenge he is having asking questions of Cabinet, and so I would certainly commit to ensuring that there is a clear point of accountability that can answer to all of these different facets, or that I can direct to Member to which aspect of the collaboration will respond to questions. I will make sure that that is communicated.

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2020

Page 613

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I appreciate that answer, and I recognize that this is a new area, but I think carbon offsets and carbon trading are only going to get bigger and they are only going to become a greater source of revenue for the Northwest Territories and green projects. I'm happy to hear that we are working with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada to make sure we have input into that carbon credit scheme that's being developed nation-wide, so I guess my question to the Minister of Finance is: can we direct the staff who are doing that to make sure that the priorities of the North, and perhaps a carve-out for northern credits and our unique situation, are reflected and we advocate for that in that policy?

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

As I said, the Department of Finance is already active on this file. They are already engaged at the federal level, and the point of engagement at the federal level is always to ensure that the people of the Northwest Territories and the needs of the Northwest Territories are being fully considered. I am confident that that will happen. I am confident that that will happen in the follow-up to this conversation here in the House, and I am quite confident that, indeed, if carbon offsets are a direction that the federal government moves to, we will be, as I've said, engaged and involved and we will not let ourselves fall behind on the issue.

Question 179-19(2): Carbon Offsets
Oral Questions

Page 613

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

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

Question 180-19(2): Public Housing Rental Arrears
Oral Questions

Page 613

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last year, the Department of Finance put the Property Tax Arrears Program in place, out of recognition that some people who have had to have taxes at times higher than their annual income may never be paid off with their arrears. It allows remission forgiveness in property tax interest in return for a person making a payment on the principal that is owed. Will the Minister have her department develop a similar program with the arrears and forgiveness of debt, money put on, and they will get some of their arrears freed? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 180-19(2): Public Housing Rental Arrears
Oral Questions

Page 613

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

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

Question 180-19(2): Public Housing Rental Arrears
Oral Questions

Page 613

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Housing Corporation is open to new methods. I would have to take a look and see what is working and what is not working before we establish new ideas going forward, but I am going to commit to be working with the Member to look and see how we can work with the outstanding arrears within the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. Thank you.

Question 180-19(2): Public Housing Rental Arrears
Oral Questions

Page 613

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

That sounds really good. It could be the Minister Paulie Chinna Arrears Program. We're thankful for that. This work will involve assessing the total amount of arrears owed by an annual income for those who owe arrears. Will the Minister provide an assessment to the appropriate standing committee when this is completed?

Question 180-19(2): Public Housing Rental Arrears
Oral Questions

Page 613

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Once a review is done, yes, I will be submitting something to the standing committee.