This is page numbers 1197 - 1220 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 work.

Topics

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1209

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Department of Infrastructure has recently been considering this approach based on conversations with community members. I recognize that the highway, due to its proximity to Inuvik and associated recreational areas, is one of the most heavily travelled areas of Highway No. 8. I have lots of conversations with my counterpart in the Yukon, who is also very keen to see the Dempster rehabilitated, and we have discussed that with the federal government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1209

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Would the Minister commit to widening the Dempster Highway from Inuvik this year?

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1209

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Infrastructure has approved $4.5 million in the 2020-2020 capital plan for Highway No. 8 reconstruction using federal funding under the Building Canada plan, bundle number 3, for ongoing Highway No. 8 widening and rehabilitation. Planned work for this year includes 3.3 kilometres of embankment widening, brushing, culvert and guardrail installation for kilometres 146.6 to 149.6. The Building Canada plan fund started in 2019-2020 and is a $4.5 million per year for the next five years.

I will commit to having the department examine our plans for this summer and beyond to align the work with the needs of the region. I cannot commit that this will happen this construction season, as we will have to look into timing, planning, and permitting issues, but I would be pleased to update you on our review and share our plans moving forward.

I would also like to mention that the Department of Infrastructure, through a combination of its own forces and contracted services, operates and maintains close to 2,500 kilometres of all-weather road and constructs over 1,400 kilometres of winter roads annually. We do this through the use of a 20-year strategic plan that addresses our transportation needs to ensure the safety of all Northwest Territories residents. I would have to go in and look at that plan and whether there needs to be adjustments.

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1209

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Well, since she won't commit to it this year, would she commit to separating and starting from both ends this year?

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1209

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

I will commit to having a look at this and trying to incorporate the Member's wishes.

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1210

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Will the Minister commit that she will continue to fight for more money so that our highway can be done from Inuvik to Tsiigehtchic? We have the nurse who goes out there. Sometimes we have RCMP. We have medical buses that travel down that road. We need more money, and we need to have that road done before 30 years. Can the Minister commit that she is going to go out and look for more money to get working on this highway, starting on the Inuvik side? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

I think anyone who knows me knows that I speak my mind, and I do so at my federal table. Yes, I commit to the Member that I will continue to advocate strongly for the Dempster fix-up and rehabilitation with the federal government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 335-19(2): Dempster Highway Upgrades
Oral Questions

Page 1210

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Monfwi.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

June 12th, 2020

Page 1210

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Mr. Speaker. [Translation] Mr. Speaker, about the new road to Whati, I would like to ask questions to the ITI Minister [translation ends].

I have additional questions for the Minister of Infrastructure. Some questions may be for more detailed information, which the Minister may not have at hand, but this is coming directly from my constituents. It's their words, Mr. Speaker. What is the current status on the Tlicho All-Season Road project? More specifically, to the northern, southern, and Tlicho hires. Last time I asked the Minister, southern hires were 50-percent-plus. Masi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

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

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As of June 2, 2020, 77 people were employed with the project. Of the 77 workers employed, 24 were from the Tlicho region or the Northwest Territories, and 53 were from the South. There have been 6,573 hours of Tlicho citizen training resulting out of the project to date. The number of employees is anticipated to increase up to 120 by the end of June. We remain committed to ensuring that local and northern benefits on the project are maintained. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

I am glad that the Minister is committed to monitoring the progress that is happening there. That's my next line of questions here. We are fortunate to be living in the North. It's small enough that we run into our constituents, or people, who actually work at the TASR site, Tlicho All-Season Road. I was yet again, Mr. Speaker, informed by one of the current workers yesterday that southern hires keep increasing, and friends and relatives of Southerners get on heavy equipment faster than my own Tlicho people working there. Even those guys, my Tlicho workers, have been waiting for a number of weeks now.

Mr. Speaker, I have questions for the Minister: what is the number of recent southern hires, new hires, the positions that they were hired for, and also advancements at the TASR construction site for southern hires?

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

I will have to come back to the Member with those details.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

I'd like to thank the Minister for her follow-up on this, because, again, this is coming from my constituents, so there are more detailed questions being asked of me to the Minister. My Tlicho workers, who are approximately, as the Minister indicated, 24 out of 70, or according to the workers there it's around a hundred or coming to a hundred, so it's a small number that we have there, who have years of experience as heavy equipment operators through their diamond mines experience, but they are not given the same treatment as Southerners wishing to advance. Could I have the Minister's commitment to provide in detail, as she may not have that in hand, as indicated earlier, the number of Tlicho workers who cite any advancements since the start of construction in October 2019; in addition, southern workers who cite less advancement?