This is page numbers 1111 - 1152 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 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chair. Two point five million dollars to increase funding to municipal governments. One of our mandate commitments is to reduce the municipal funding gap. Can I just clarify whether this money is specifically in regards to funding for the municipal funding gap, and where this gets us in reducing that overall? Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1148

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister of Finance.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Chair. This funding will be allocated based on the established funding formula that is already in existence, and so, as such, it will be divided accordingly and take a piece away from the funding gap that exists for all of those from the funding gap or from the formulas identifying a gap. I don't have the specific number by community, but I can provide that detail if that is what the Member is looking for. Thank you.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1148

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Member for Yellowknife North.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chair. Yes. I would like to see a bit more of, I know this is in the mandate and I know this is MACA, but a bit more of a costed plan of how much this actually reduces the funding gap by. I know we're quite a few million dollars short, and I also think when we do some of our hazard mapping and permafrost mapping from the climate change framework, we're going to see the cost of municipal infrastructure increase even more. It's somewhat a losing battle that I think we, as a territory, really have to prioritize. I'd like to hear a commitment from the Minister that we will get a little bit more of a breakdown of how, every time we throw a few million dollars at the municipal funding gap, we are actually closing it? Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1148

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister of Finance.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

June 10th, 2020

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Chair. "Throwing money at," that's totally the wrong term, but putting money in towards communities isn't just a matter of putting it into a bank account. Those communities are using that money to provide services: water and sewer services, for instance; waste services, for instance; other infrastructure. There's no doubt that needs always continue to grow, but every time that there's an investment made in the communities, it supports the fact that there's a gap in terms of the program services and infrastructure available in those communities. I suspect, Madam Chair, that it is going to be a complicated calculation in that, for some, an investment will support a gap that exists right now at a real point in time, and for others, yes, they will be experiencing climate change more severely than in other communities. Essentially, the gap, in some ways, one might say is growing, and others might say is actually reduced by an investment, by a greater percentage or proportion.

This is not an easy conversation, Madam Chair, but the commitment is there. It's in the mandate, and based on what's in the mandate, that is what this money is going towards. I can definitely provide the breakdown based on what we have all agreed, as the 19th Assembly, is a priority and then what was presented as being the mandate items, how the funding here is going to achieve those goals. I just want to caution that, in terms of saying community by community, what's their individual gap and where are they each at, that will probably continue to be a moving target over time. I just wanted to make a note of caution in terms of what we can provide. We will provide what this money is doing to the gap as it is found in the mandate right now. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1148

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Member for Frame Lake.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. I do want to commend the Minister and my friends in Cabinet for finding money to invest in this mandate item. This is good. I served on city council, so I know that municipal governments make good use of this money. What I want to get some assurance of is that there is actually someone or some way of tracking what the municipal funding gap actually is. That was done, I think, in the 17th Assembly. There was a task force between MACA and NWTAC, representation from different kinds of communities, small regional centres, and Yellowknife. They worked together on rejigging the way that funds should be allocated to municipal governments based on need. It was a great piece of work done collaboratively, and a moment in time, the municipal funding gap was identified. Is that work being kept up to date? Thanks, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1149

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister of Finance.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Chair. I believe that MACA is, in fact, keeping those numbers. Well, MACA can keep track of those numbers, Madam Chair, but I don't have the tracking right in front of me right now. I think that there is certainly an intention, at least in the Department of Finance, to the extent that there is a tracking of all of the public monies that are spent, to ensure that there is tracking, to ensure that the money that is being spent is being spent appropriately, wisely, and having the effects that we want it to have. I know that we have increased our capacity in the Department of Finance to do exactly that kind of work and make sure that, in fact, money is going where it needs to go and having the effects that it wants to have. I am certainly not going to commit the Minister of MACA to do one thing or another, but there can be monitoring. I think I would go so far as to commit that there will be monitoring somewhere, Madam Chair. Thank you.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1149

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Member for Frame Lake.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. While I have the MACA Minister's ears, I am going to suggest a couple of things here. What we need is an annual update of what that municipal funding gap is. It should be reported publicly so that we know what that is. It should be given to NWTAC, as well. If we have made a commitment together, as a priority, and Cabinet is willing to work on this, of closing that gap, we need a plan to do that. I know that things keep changing with COVID and all the rest, but we need to have a plan for how we think we are going to invest in that municipal funding gap for the rest of this term. Anyways, there are a couple of ideas that I want to plant in the Minister's ears, some kind of regular reporting, updating of that funding gap on an annual basis. If she can develop a plan for how we are going to deal with it as best that we can for the remainder of the term, that would be great. I will leave it at that. Thanks, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1149

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Any further questions or comments under the regional operations? Seeing none, regional operations, not previously authorized, $2,793,000. Does committee agree?

Committee Motion 15-19(2): Concurrence Motion - Tabled Document 130-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 2, 2020-2021, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.