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.

Topics

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1118

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Government of the Northwest Territories is not a party to the Salt River treaty settlement agreement. It's a party to Schedule B. The agreement is between the federal government and Salt River, but Schedule B, which is attached to the agreement, addresses the transfer of Commissioner's lands to Canada. It also talks about the Appendix C as regarding the programs and services that you will receive on the reserve. A trilateral working group has been formed to undertake the discussions pursuant to the terms of reference that have been agreed upon by Canada, the GNWT, and the Salt River First Nation. We worked extensively with the Salt River First Nation and Canada to implement the provisions of Appendix C to Schedule B, and we will continue to do so. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1118

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

I don't think that is correct, but I will verify it for the next sitting. The Government of the Northwest Territories has equal representation at the trilateral table to ensure that the Salt River claim is implemented. Getting stuck on words of intent for 18 years is completely unacceptable. Will the Premier commit that her government will take proper measures to stop further delay in the Salt River claim implementation for reasons like this?

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1118

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Again, to my knowledge, the government isn't a party to the land entitlement claim because it's a reserve. We don't have authority on that agreement, but we do have the appendixes. Appendix A, which is talking about the land, is actually done, in my understanding. It's Appendix C that is about programs and services.

We're more than willing to work with Salt River on this. I think the MLA would know that, when I was the Minister of housing in the last Assembly, for many years, housing had not been provided on that reserve, and I stood up and said, "We need to provide services to that reserve." That carries through with my commitments as Premier. I recognize that those residents are residents of the NWT, and we will do what we can to provide them with the same quality of services that we provide to all residents.

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1118

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Will the Premier commit that this government will stop dragging its feet and begin to work immediately with the federal government to complete the implementation of the Salt River claim within the life of this government?

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1118

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Absolutely. The land claims for all of the Indigenous governments are critical, and Salt River is no different than any other one. We have a trilateral working group. They have met twice already since the beginning of this term, and the official steering committee has met even more regularly. They are meeting regularly already. If the Salt River First Nation is interested in advancing the treaty settlement agreement with Canada, it might be time that we want to sit down and talk about other strategic approaches to working with the federal government. We're open to working with the Salt River, they are our people, and making sure that Canada does sign off on this as soon as possible.

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1118

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

Thank you, Honourable Premier. Final supplementary, Member for Thebacha.

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

June 10th, 2020

Page 1119

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Reserves across Canada are always talking about the colour of the water on reserves. In Salt River, we have no developed lots to build infrastructure on. Can the Premier ask the Prime Minister in one of their weekly talks to implement the shovel-ready project of the Salt River First Nation to ensure the reserve actually has water and sewer for the development of these surveyed lots? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1119

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

This is critical. I mean, it's too bad COVID-19 hit, because people need to go into the communities and see how people are living. The Regular Member, while she was a chief, did take me to the reserve and showed me some of the issues that they were seeing, and I advocate that, as soon as possible, all Members do that. Absolutely. I've already written a letter of support to the Salt River First Nation when they put in the proposals for these shovel-ready projects, so that is a commitment that I've already done and will carry forward. However, I can't commit to bringing it to the weekly meetings with the Prime Minister because those weekly meetings are with Premiers from across Canada. It's more general topics that we all are talking about. What I can commit to is that I will bring it up to our Northern Affairs Minister, and if I have one-on-one meetings with the deputy Prime Minister or the Prime Minister, at that point, I will bring it forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 314-19(2): Salt River First Nation Claim Implementation
Oral Questions

Page 1119

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

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

Question 315-19(2): Claw-back of Income Assistance from Inuvialuit Beneficiaries
Oral Questions

Page 1119

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I was speaking in my Member's statement about clawbacks in regard to Inuvialuit beneficiary cheques in regard to getting our yearly payment as a beneficiary. Is it correct, in my understanding, that beneficiary cheques used to be exempt from income support on clawbacks since 2007? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 315-19(2): Claw-back of Income Assistance from Inuvialuit Beneficiaries
Oral Questions

Page 1119

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

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

Question 315-19(2): Claw-back of Income Assistance from Inuvialuit Beneficiaries
Oral Questions

Page 1119

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I spent a lot of time trying to learn the file, and I think I've done pretty well. I'm not up to date with what happened in 2007, so I can't confirm what the status of the program was in 2007. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 315-19(2): Claw-back of Income Assistance from Inuvialuit Beneficiaries
Oral Questions

Page 1119

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Why does the GNWT feel payments to beneficiaries across the Inuvialuit beneficiaries be clawed back from income support clients? Why?

Question 315-19(2): Claw-back of Income Assistance from Inuvialuit Beneficiaries
Oral Questions

Page 1119

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

I understand the Member is using the term "clawback," but it's not like we're taking people's money. What happens is that the Income Assistance Program is there to provide people with their basic needs, and so, if there is money coming from another source, then that money goes towards the basic needs, and the amount, that gap, is lessened. That's the situation here.

With that said, this is the first time I am hearing about this, and this is different from money that comes from an impact benefit agreement or a land claim. This is money that is earned through the corporations, I believe. It is earned income. With that being said, I am willing to look at this. Like I said, it's my first time hearing about it, but I'm hearing lots of suggestions from the Member. I am happy to sit down and look at the different types of income that is exempted.

Question 315-19(2): Claw-back of Income Assistance from Inuvialuit Beneficiaries
Oral Questions

Page 1119

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

When they are deducting disability benefits, old age benefits, land claim payouts, how much does it save the GNWT on all these clawbacks which should be given to the people? These are disability, old age. People need help. We are the highest paying for groceries in my riding. We are the most northerly riding, and we pay the highest prices. Why are they clawing back what little they get when our government doesn't have jobs to provide up there?