This is page numbers 709 - 738 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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Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Madam Chair, I move that $10 million not previously authorized be deleted from infrastructure capital investment expenditures, asset management in the Supplementary Estimates, Infrastructure Expenditures, No. 1, 2020-2021. Mahsi, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

There is a motion being distributed. The motion is in order. To the motion. Member for Frame Lake.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 718

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. I think it's important that the public realize this is a very important debate that we are about to have. It's a debate about the future of the Northwest Territories. It's a debate about infrastructure projects and people.

What this motion is about is deleting from the supplement appropriations $10 million that has not been previously authorized for work on the Slave Geological Province road. I fully understand that this is 75 percent federal funding. I understand that this is part of a larger project and that the estimated costs are $1 billion or more to actually build the project. I raised numerous concerns about this in the last Assembly, around a whole variety of issues and matters, and I have talked about those with my colleagues when we were developing our priorities. I talked about it during the mandate, and I am talking again about it here today. We have to make hard decisions, and that is why people elect us to this House, is to make those kinds of decisions.

My position has always been clear, that I will put people over large infrastructure projects, investment in people over large infrastructure projects. I have always asked for detailed analyses of economic costs, benefits, and value for money around these infrastructure projects, and I have never gotten it. I understand that some of this expenditure may be for that work, but I think we need to have the debate and discussion now around whether this is the right path to start to go down and whether we want to continue to spend money developing this particular project. What we are being asked to do is authorize $2.5 million of our own money for next year, but that is just the beginning, where this is $10 million over four years.

In my view, the more time and effort that we continue to spend on this particular project, it takes away from work we can and should be doing on other projects, namely housing. That, to me, has always been one of my highest priorities. It's what I hear from my constituents. That is why I am here. By continuing to spend money on this project, it is taking away from our ability and efforts to do other projects, whether it's housing, whether it's healthcare, whether it's education. Unfortunately, we have never had, sort of, the analysis about, if we had $1 billion to spend, where would we get the biggest bang for our buck? What I do know is that the economic multipliers used by the Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics will show you that investment in health and education creates way more jobs than investment in mining and non-renewable resource development. That's not me saying it; that's the Bureau of Statistics.

One of the reasons that I have expressed a lot of concern about this project is the state of the Bathurst caribou herd, and make no mistake about it, this road, as planned, will go through the range of the Bathurst caribou herd. The planning to date has been to maximize access to mineral deposits. I asked very clearly on the floor of the House how the routing was being designed, and so on. I was told that it was being done to maximize access to mineral resources. There has been no consideration whatsoever given to caribou and their habitat. We still don't have a fully funded plan to help the Bathurst caribou herd recover. I will say that we do have a range plan that has finally been approved; it has not been fully funded. I have kept asking on the floor of this House, "Where is the work on habitat protection?" That has not been done, and we need a much more balanced approach on that. Quite frankly, I would take the $2.5 million from this and spend it on other things, including habitat protection.

I think the other issue that this project raises is one of priorities, in terms of even our own infrastructure. In the last government, they had an opportunity to submit a number of projects to the National Trade Corridors program, including the Frank Channel Bridge. The previous Cabinet decided that the Slave Geological Province road was a higher priority than the Frank Channel Bridge. That, to me, Madam Chair, was the wrong set of priorities. I will always put public safety over a large infrastructure project. This money can and should have gone to do work on the Frank Channel Bridge.

I want to say one more thing about this, Madam Chair, and it comes from the economic analysis report that was done in March of last year by the Department of Infrastructure. It was not given to the MLAs of the day. We were not told about it, but it is available on the Department of Infrastructure website. The assumptions used were that, even during the engineering and professional services stage of this project, 66 percent of the labour work to be done is going to be imported. Even the $2.5 million that we're going to put in here, two thirds of that is not going to stay in the Northwest Territories; it's going to go elsewhere. At no stage in the Slave Geological Province road, from design, construction, right to actual mining, will any more than 50 percent of those jobs actually stay in the Northwest Territories. If we spend a billion dollars on housing, I would tell you that a lot more of those jobs would stay in the Northwest Territories; or on health, education, you name it. Those are the kinds of priorities that I came here with.

Lastly, I want to say, Madam Chair, that I just simply believe that we cannot afford to build this project, even if it was the right thing to do. We cannot afford it as a government. We're very close to the debt wall. This would require extraordinary borrowing or increasing our borrowing limit. I just don't think that we can afford this, nor can we afford to do three infrastructure projects, the big three, at the same time. I think we are fooling ourselves, we're fooling the people of the Northwest Territories, if we continue to try to tell them that we're going to do these three large infrastructure projects all at the same time.

Madam Chair, this is a very, very important debate that we are about to have, and it's the first time that we have had this debate in public about what our priorities are going to be, moving forward, as a government and about this particular project. I encourage all of my colleagues to think carefully about what they're going to say and where they want to stand on this issue. Madam Chair, I request a recorded vote. Mahsi.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 718

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. To the motion. Member for Hay River South.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 718

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Madam Chair. I have thought about this expenditure of these funds, and initially, I had said that, when it came to this road, I had no interest in it whatsoever, but at the same time, I reflected on that, and I don't look at this as an infrastructure project versus people. What we have to look at, we have to look at it as a balanced approach to growing the NWT. The NWT, right now, we need an economy. Right now, besides the government, our main economy really is mining, and we know that it's going to end at some point. The diamond mines might end there, but something else might take its place.

I still believe that we have to support our education system, our health system, our public housing requirements, but we also have to support the business sector. When you look at the money that comes into the Northwest Territories, over a billion of that goes into health, goes into education, and goes into housing. If you take a look at, really, what goes into the business or the economic side, it's very little. I want to make sure, when we go forward, that it is balanced. I know that we have different opinions here with some of us, but that's okay. That's what I like about it, that we hear everything.

In saying that, one thing that my colleague had mentioned is that the jobs are going to come from the South to do this work. The money is going to go south, and it's up to us to make sure that doesn't happen. We have to make sure that anybody doing work for the GNWT has to have a stake in the Northwest Territories. They have to have an office here. We have to hold their feet to the fire to make sure that they hire people here. They have to have some ownership in land, buildings, and infrastructure themselves in the Northwest Territories. If we don't do that, then I would have to agree with my colleague that we don't need it. As long as the government can, you know, assure me that that's going to happen, then I have no problem allowing the expenditure to go through.

I guess, the motion that is before us right now, I won't be supporting it for the very reason that the economy is very important to me, and there are businesses in the Northwest Territories that are struggling and there are people who are struggling. We have to make sure that we have a diversified economy, and that means looking at all aspects of it. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 718

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. To the motion. Minister of Finance.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 719

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Madam Chair, thank you. It is perhaps fitting that we are going to discuss what I agree is an important debate on a day when we are otherwise very focused on marshalling resources here in the Northwest Territories for the health and safety of our people. It brings, for me, as Minister of Finance, into focus the fact that we are so dependent on the federal government for so many things. It brings into focus the fact that we have to remain, at times, more visionary and better leaders; more visionary of our future and better leaders for our people.

One of the priorities that we collectively set, all 19 of us, Madam Chair, as you well know, was to have strategic investments in our infrastructure. Specifically, this project, Madam Chair. This is one of the first opportunities that we're having to actually advance those priorities in a meaningful way. We didn't come to that decision about priorities easily. We didn't come to it necessarily unanimously, but, Madam Chair, that's not necessarily how consensus government works. Consensus government is an opportunity to debate and to discuss.

Madam Chair, we are before you here. I am before you here on what I've said already is agreed to as being a priority for this Assembly, that it was something we would move forward on. The current appropriation that is being proposed builds on an appropriation that existed already from 2019. It's an opportunity to begin the employment assessment. It's an opportunity to begin the planning. What that then means, Madam Chair, is that this is an opportunity to be comprehensive. It's an opportunity to be consultative. It's an opportunity to showcase the fact that the Northwest Territories can do resource development differently and better. We can be leaders in resource development. We can be leaders in Indigenous relationships. We can be leaders in ways that can show the rest of Canada how modern resource development can work. This is just one part of it. This is just the opening stages, the environmental assessment and the planning stage.

Madam Chair, it's an opportunity to be world-class. It's also an opportunity, Madam Chair, to deliver widespread benefits across the Northwest Territories. It's an opportunity to truly have all of our people shine. It's the first phase, and it's a phase where, if we're going to have the concerns already raised around whether or not, Madam Chair, to involve and engage local employment, then that's up to us. It's up to us, Madam Chair, through our procurement and our contracting to ensure that, in fact, we engage the people of the Northwest Territories.

Madam Chair, it's an opportunity for us to actually bring forward a project that will have benefits for several regions. For example, Madam Chair, it was suggested that we could invest this money elsewhere, in the Frank Channel Bridge. Well, the Frank Channel Bridge is a key link. If this is going to be a transportation corridor that's going to link the Northwest Territories to Nunavut, to the Arctic, well, we need to maintain the existing linkages we have, and the Frank Channel Bridge is a critical part of that. By bringing this project forward, I'd suggest that, in fact, this is going to be another reason why the Frank Channel Bridge should be brought forward, as well, and it's going to be a strong reason to support that project.

We have, in the past, sought funding for the Frank Channel, but the federal government had granted this project the funding; but this is now a chance to come back around and say that that bigger picture, that vision, needs to be supported on all those fronts.

Madam Chair, it's also an opportunity to, perhaps, boost our clean energy industry. It's an opportunity to look at what's happening in Taltson and say whether or not this would not actually support that project, too, by encouraging development, by encouraging the opportunity for further corridors for energy delivery.

Obviously, too, Madam Chair, this is an opportunity where we can better develop the mineral resource sector in terms of the kinds of mining industry that will support green energy. Again, Madam Chair, we can be leaders in this, but it is up to us to have that vision, and it's up to us as to how you're going to develop it, and this is really, again, just the starting point.

We all know in this House that we're facing a decline in our current resource industry. Our current resource industry has already largely reached its peak, arguably has reached its peak, and we want to rebuild our mineral resource industry. We want to build investor confidence, and we want to rebuild that in a way that is current and modern and responsive to this Assembly, and this Assembly's vision. This is not prior Assemblies. This is not the past Assembly. This is not the way things have always been done. We all arrived here on a mission of change, and we all arrived her on a mission of doing things differently and better. That means keeping resource dollars in the North. That means keeping the spending on projects in the North. That means engaging local industries. That will be up to all of us, and it will be up to this Cabinet to do that, and to deliver on that promise.

Madam Chair, I don't see necessarily that it's a simple choice of saying, "Spend it on health or spend it on something else." That's not, unfortunately, the ease with which government budgeting works. We just don't get to pick and choose one thing over another. We need an economy in the North. If we don't have an economy in the North, Madam Chair, we aren't going to have people. We won't need all the other things if we don't have the people here to support that economy. We need all of these things together. That's where it becomes a case of saying, Madam Chair, that I do believe that we have to advance this project, and advance housing. We can advance this project with this vote, and still vote on all the other things that we have in our priorities by being careful, by being balanced, by looking at that total picture.

Would I ask necessarily for this House to vote on the same project over and over? No, Madam Chair; that's not what we've done. We've presented a $2 billion budget. This is one small piece of an infrastructure supplementary appropriation to do one project, but there's so much more that the GNWT is delivering on. This project, however, Madam Chair, is the opportunity to grow the economy, to increase investor confidence, and to truly move ourselves forward in a way that makes us different and leaders.

Madam Chair, the consequences of not doing that are significant. If we were to choose to turn this away, and to turn this money away, we'd be turning our backs on a project that's been approved to the tune of $30 million from the federal government. I have over and over now already heard it said, the importance of reaching out to our federal partners. The importance of engaging with the federal government to ensure investment in infrastructure in the North, social infrastructure and physical infrastructure. Madam Chair, I'm not sure where exactly I would go or how I would restart if we were to suddenly turn around and say, "No, this major nation-building project that you've been looking at since the 1950s, we're turning our backs on it."

Madam Chair, I don't think we can afford to do that. I think, too, we have to think about the bigger scene of what we're building, what we're potentially building. It is a transportation corridor into an area that doesn't have communities. It's a transportation corridor into an area of high economic opportunity. There are tourism opportunities. This will support the ability to, again, as I've said, ultimately support a potentially green energy industry in terms of the minerals that are being sourced. It provides a corridor into Nunavut. It really is nation-building, and it's up to us whether we want to do that.

Madam Chair, as a result of that, I am asking people to continue to vote this project forward, and to, as such, not vote in favour of the motion to remove this money from the supplementary appropriation. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Minister. Member for Nunakput.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. Going over the motion and going over the bill, we, as Members of the Assembly, have to look at the big picture. We have to make sure that we are creating jobs and employment for the people in regard to projects where, basically, free money is coming from the federal government. I think what the biggest thing is, how I look at it is, when Yellowknife does good, we do good, and this is jobs for Yellowknife. There's a potential opportunity to make change in regard to the socio-economic agreements between the mine sites that are going to have access to that. We're going to be able to hold them more accountable, and having to have your office here, people working out of here, people working from the Delta where we're from, giving them opportunities. Potentially, this could bring five mines in. I know it's going through traditional grounds for caribou, but we had this same thing with our Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik Highway, and, you know what, it seems to be working. In the big picture, we are open for business.

If we do not do this project and give that $2.5 million, I want that $2.5 million for some of the stuff that I want to do, but something like this, this is needed. It's free money. We have got to work for it, work together. I agree a lot with my colleague, but today we have to support this bill to go through. It has other things on it, right, for Inuvik, for the airport and stuff like that, so I am fully supporting this. I won't be supporting the motion. I will be supporting the go-forward for the bigger picture across the territory. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. To the motion.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Yes. Marsi cho, Madam Chair. I just want to share my thoughts on this motion. I am looking at a map of the Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh riding, and this goes right through the heart of it. This project goes right through the heart of my riding, and I am about a balanced approach, as well. However, I am tired of a lot of the resources that come out, that are being extracted, a lot of the projects that come in here and seeing my constituents go without, still go without, and it's still continuing, and I am tired of it. I am sick and tired of it, and so are the chiefs, as well, of the Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh riding and the Akaitcho territory. I have consulted with our chiefs. They agree with me on this. I was conflicted in the fact that, yes, we need an economy, but there is still not enough consultation. The other stuff in the Delta, I am okay with, but I am not okay with the supp portion, so I will be supporting this part of the motion. That is where I stand on that. That is all I have to say. Marsi cho, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. To the motion. Member for Thebacha.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

March 13th, 2020

Page 720

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Madam Chair. I know this is part of our mandate that we set out together, all of us. I am very much about the economy. We have to set the stage to ensure that we are still open for business. I am very strong about the economy, always was, ever since I have been here. Even before, in my previous leadership, everything was around business and the economy, even in what I have done in my previous leadership, setting up the First Nation to ensure that when I leave they are set up for life.

I think it's extremely important that a strong economy is best for all the people of the Northwest Territories. We must have faith. We must have hope. We have to look to the future. A lot of our youth do not come back here because we don't have a strong economy, when they go out for education. That has happened many times, even in the South Slave area. I believe that the economy is extremely important, a balanced economy and an economy that will ensure that all the social programs are looked after. You can't have it only one way.

I appreciate the comments and the motion that came forward from my learned colleague, and I respect his views, and I hope he respects mine. I will be voting against this motion because I am in favour. We are only asking for, the government is only asking for, $2.5 million or so, and it's a preliminary thing with the environmental and the studies that have to take place. That was part of our mandate when we all sat down together, all 19 of us, and so I will be voting against this motion, and I am in favour of a strong economy. Thank you so much, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. To the motion. Member for Kam Lake.

Committee Motion 9-19(2): Tabled Document 43-19(2) Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021 - Deletion of $10,000,000 Not Previously Authorized from Department of Infrastructure, Capital Investment Expenditures, Asset Management, Defeated
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I find this a very frustrating workday, today. To be quite honest with everybody, I wish that we had been able to sit and go through every detail of the entire future of this project before we came and thought about putting dollars into it. In actual fact, I wish that this had been dealt with 20 years ago, when diamond mines were at their height. Maybe the diamond mines would have actually paid for a lot more of our infrastructure if we had made that part of the deal. However, we can't go back. We can only go forward.

In regard to what the Minister of Finance said in terms of strategic investment on the three major infrastructure projects, yes, that was in our mandate, but I don't think we ever had a conversation about what direction we were actually going to take. We knew that those were the three major infrastructure projects that the territory had and that we were interested, but we also knew that we do not have the money for all of them. The Slave Geological Province road is a $1-billion project, and we do not have $1 billion to finish it. It's just not part of our reality. The diamond mines will very likely be closed before this road is fully open and operational, and I know that there are other opportunities for more roads. Do we even have the money to contribute 25 percent of the total cost? That is also an unknown and very frustrating, because how much money are we going to put into a project that we are not sure we will actually be able to financially see through to the very end?

The other part of it is: will Nunavut actually contribute their half of the road, which goes up to the Arctic Ocean, which is a huge component of this project? I feel like there are a lot of questions about whether or not we can make this work and whether or not it will make it to the Arctic Ocean. That being said, I would hate to wait and then 20 years from now wish that we had actually looked into this and wish that we had actually done a research study to see if this was feasible rather than having the people of the Northwest Territories continue to question where we should put our money, along with everybody sitting around this table here today, because the economy is important. When we went door to door, and I know a lot of the people in Yellowknife heard a lot of the same things, one of the primary concerns of people of the Northwest Territories or at least, sorry, in Yellowknife, was our economy and was the future of jobs in the Northwest Territories. We are sitting here with an opportunity to leverage some serious federal dollars and essentially provide jobs for a $2.5-million investment on our part and a $7.5-million investment on the federal government's part, but, that being said, in order for us to actually maintain benefit or get any benefit from that money, we have to actually have northern employment and northern contractors working on this.

If we look at the Members' statements we have heard recently from the Member for Monfwi in regard to, say, the road to Whati, 40 percent of that was northern contractors, and 40 percent is not enough in my mind. That is not good enough for the money that we are keeping in the Northwest Territories. If we are going to be looking at spending money and saying that this does create jobs in the Northwest Territories, then we have to be diligent in making sure that we are actually getting something for our own money and that we are actually leveraging the federal dollars and putting them into our own economy because, otherwise, there is absolutely no sense in doing this because, yes, while we say we are open for business, we definitely are not open to be taken advantage of anymore. We need to start maintaining some benefit from the resources of the Northwest Territories, and we need to start working with Indigenous governments and making sure that people are benefitting. Right now, our people are hurting, and that is not the case. I am going to just go through my notes here and make sure I am not rambling too much.

Like the Minister of Finance also said, it is up to us to make this work. We have not done a great job of that in the past with the road to Whati and with Stanton Foundation. I have multiple people in my riding who have not been paid who were sub-contractors from larger contractors through the Stanton Territorial Hospital Project.

We are not doing any kind of service to the people of the Northwest Territories when we are inviting southern companies to come up and then not even pay the Northerners with the money we are hoping to keep in the North. I think that it is our responsibility, to provide the people of the Northwest Territories with as much information as possible. While this supplementary of $2.5 million is looking into an environmental assessment, that is what it is doing. It is providing people of the Northwest Territories with information so that we can be able to say, "Yes, we are going to do this going forward," or, "No, we are not going to do this going forward," and be able to have an evidence-based decision as to what infrastructure project we are actually strategically going to put our money behind. Thank you, Madam Chair.