This is page numbers 659 - 708 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 community.

Topics

Question 193-19(2): Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board
Oral Questions

Page 665

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

The Minister is right. There are provisions in the agreements for the board, and there is one year of funding, apparently, one year of funding. Many of these issues that I have raised about application within municipal boundaries, use of financial security to ensure compliance, these are not inconsistent with what is found in the agreements. I actually participated in the review of the original federal legislation. There was very little support for it at the public hearing in Yellowknife, except from the mining industry. Will the Minister commit to engaging Indigenous and the public, including the mining industry, during the review of the Surface Rights Board Act?

Question 193-19(2): Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board
Oral Questions

Page 665

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

As the request, right now, we haven't heard anything from Indigenous governments. We haven't heard from the mining industry. Right now, we haven't heard, besides our Member here, and I appreciate his work leading up to this. Right now, we haven't heard anything from them. I can reach out to the three land claim agreements to see if they have concerns with it, but right now, we're not going to review this because it's an obligation in the agreements.

Question 193-19(2): Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board
Oral Questions

Page 666

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

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

Question 193-19(2): Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board
Oral Questions

Page 666

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. There are provisions in the agreements for interim arrangements, as well, in the absence of legislation. This legislation was forced on us by the federal government, and I think it's time that we looked at it. Look, this board has been in place for seven years; not one dispute. That's, I don't know, over $2 million spent on this work, and no disputes to resolve. Can the Minister give us a schedule for the review that he has committed to undertake on the Surface Rights Board Act? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 193-19(2): Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board
Oral Questions

Page 666

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

As I said, we have not heard anything from Indigenous governments on this concern. We are under the process that we will review this if there is a new land claim settled, and we would actually start the process then. I am willing to work with the Member to see how we and the committee can start this process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 193-19(2): Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board
Oral Questions

Page 666

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

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

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

March 12th, 2020

Page 666

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier today in my statement, presently, there is no such thing as an agricultural lease in the Northwest Territories. My question to the Minister of Lands is: when can we see agricultural leases in the Northwest Territories?

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

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

Thank you. Minister of Lands.

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Presently, people wanting agricultural leases need to apply through commercial activity. This work that Lands and ITI are currently undertaking will address agricultural activities. Right now, we are working on it, but presently, they would have to go through the commercial lease act process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I quite often hear that Lands is working on things, but I rarely hear that Lands has completed things. The issue with going through the commercial lease process is that you cannot live on a commercial lease. If you're going to farm, you should probably live there. My question is: is the Minister willing to review the commercial leasing process to see if agricultural people can live on the land?

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I have heard this concern from the Member and other people in here. In the long term, we don't allow that, but in the present, what we are encouraging people to do is to actually apply for residential leases besides the commercial lease for the land so that they can live beside the land right now. We are in the process of trying to work on it, and the process takes some time.

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I don't often like to refer to the Yukon as doing things better than us, but I can tell you what a proper agricultural land system looks like. In the Yukon, if you live on a piece of land for seven years, they give it to you for free in fee simple. It's not a lease; you get to own that land if you're willing to put it to agricultural use. Now, I think this is, perhaps, too much to ask the Department of Lands to look at something like that, but when we are looking at agricultural leases, can we look at the pricing and make this as cheap as possible for those willing to start agricultural businesses?

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

The Yukon has a great process; we can't argue about that. We also have land claims processes, so we have to remember to respect Indigenous rights as we move forward. However, in hearing the Member speak about this and that, we are actually working on that. We are trying to make that part of the regulations. We are dealing with it. Presently, I would just like to point out that raw land is already low. It's at $800 per hectare for territorial land; 5 percent of assessed value for Commissioner's land. Again, like I said, pricing for the review of this process will be part of our Public Land Act and regulations.

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

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

Thank you, Minister. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 194-19(2): Agricultural Leases in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 666

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do look forward to the implementation of the Public Land Act and finally having one piece of land. I think it is a huge step that will help us deal with the issues of finally getting the outstanding land claims settled. My question is, though, for the Yellowknife periphery area. I have the Ingraham Trail on it, and I have no shortage of constituents complaining about the Department of Lands and the lack of planning and the mishap way that we have rolled out leases in that area. In regard to agricultural requests that have come from constituents, can the Yellowknife periphery area plan look into agricultural use? Thank you.