This is page numbers 739 - 766 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 health.

Topics

Question 217-19(2): COVID-19 Pandemic and Government of the Northwest Territories Employees Working Remotely
Oral Questions

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Certainly, anyone who is following the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer and who is returning from international travel should be working from home right now. Beyond that, anyone who has concerns or needs, such as childcare, resulting from the current situation ought to be speaking to their supervisor. All departments, I am sure, I am confident, are working closely and working with human resources to support their people right now in whatever circumstances they might find themselves, whether it's because they've returned from international travel or if they are needing to care for someone who is in that situation. If there is a need like that, I would suggest that every single department is aware and that the supervisors are aware and that they are in contact with human resources, and we will, for the time being, face that one step at a time.

Question 217-19(2): COVID-19 Pandemic and Government of the Northwest Territories Employees Working Remotely
Oral Questions

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Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I appreciate that answer. My concern here is that remote working requires some logistics. We have to build the technical capacity. I believe that we should start doing this now. We should start piloting sending different sections of departments who can work from home to do it. I'm not talking about front-line healthcare workers, obviously, or essential services, but we are the largest employer in this territory, and I believe that many of our workers should be working from home now. If we are closing schools and daycares and closing mass gatherings, it does not make sense to have 5,000 public civil servants who can work from home being at work. My question is: will the Minister of Finance start directing departments to begin their workers remote working?

Question 217-19(2): COVID-19 Pandemic and Government of the Northwest Territories Employees Working Remotely
Oral Questions

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

We don't need to pilot anything, and we don't need to start having the conversations about the technologies. The conversations about the technology have started. TSC and Information and Shared Services are already working together. The Department of Finance is already engaging and supporting Northwestel and their efforts to ensure that we have adequate bandwidth. These things are happening, so they don't need to start, and they don't need to pilot.

What I am not going to do is stand here and direct departments, who each have their own operational needs and who all have an operational plan. Departments are running tabletop exercises this week. They're determining whether or not they need to change the way that they are offering their programs and services, and whether work is done a certain way, and I am confident that, if the time arises where they need to have a directive, then that directive will issue. Until that time, if individuals can't attend work because they are sick, because they've returned, because they have childcare arising from what is happening, then they should be taking that up department by department, and each department is well aware that there are options for workers and that we are working to increase those options and to evaluate whether we need to change that as we go forward.

Question 217-19(2): COVID-19 Pandemic and Government of the Northwest Territories Employees Working Remotely
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, monsieur le President. My questions are for the Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs. Earlier today, I raised issues with GNWT's mixed track record with regard to responsible resource development. A five-year review of GNWT's delegated authority under the devolution agreement should have started by now. Can the Minister tell us whether the five-year review has actually started? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe that the review was delayed. The intergovernmental council was waiting until Bill C-88, the federal bill, was passed. Now that it has been passed, we are in conversations with the federal government to move this forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for that. There are a number of parties to the devolution agreement and a number of other Indigenous governments who have not signed it. Can the Premier confirm who will be involved in the five-year review of the MVRMA delegated authority and whether this will include the non-signatory Indigenous governments?

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Certainly, the nine Indigenous governments that did sign on to devolution will be taking part in this review. We also will be developing a plan for how to engage with the other Indigenous governments that didn't sign on.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Minister for that response. I raised some doubts about whether we have been able to manage our resources responsibly, given devolution, but can the Premier tell us what role there will be for the public and Regular MLAs in the five-year review of our delegated authority under the MVRMA.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Normally, I would actually defer this to the Minister of ITI or Infrastructure, but she is self-isolating at this point for another day. What I can say is that my direction to all Cabinet Members is to engage better in this Assembly with our stakeholders, all stakeholders, the public, our stakeholders in the MRA, as are committee MLAs. We will be looking to engage both our standing committee and the public in most, if not all, regulations, recognizing that some regulations are just word-smithing and stuff. There will be situations that we won't be engaging everyone, but whenever possible, it is about engaging as many as possible.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Honourable Premier. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Premier for that response, but that is not really the question I was asking. I would like to know what role there will be for the standing committee, Regular MLAs, and the public in the five-year review of the MVRMA under the devolution agreement. The Minister spoke about the regulations that might come forward under resource management legislation, but I want to know what the public's role is going to be, Regular MLAs' role is going to be in the five-year review of the MVRMA. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Again, I am not going to want to notice on this question. I'm going to try to answer it. If it's not the right answer, then the next session, if the Member can bring it back to the Assembly. My direction to all Ministers was: try to engage stakeholders as much as possible. A five-year review tells me that there would be more than one opportunity, ideally at least once a year, that all stakeholders would be engaged with this. I would ask the Member to ask the appropriate Minister when she returns for a more concrete answer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 218-19(2): Five-Year Review of Delegated Authority under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act
Oral Questions

Page 746

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

Thank you, Honourable Premier. Oral questions. Member for Monfwi.