This is page numbers 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 know.

Topics

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Member for Great Slave.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. Okay, that's good. I appreciate that. I guess just the question is with the ongoing cost of operations, etcetera, and maybe it's just me not being knowledgeable of how this works, but I can't see that the O and M is going to escalate over the next couple years particularly due to the supply chain issues etcetera with COVID. So are we expecting -- is there a formula that then adds money every year to this number, or will it be a re-calculation coming. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

For that detail, I'll turn to the deputy minister. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Deputy Minister.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Gareau

Thank you, Madam Chair. So on the capital budget, the 29 million that you see in the draft capital estimates, that has previously -- that was increased just a couple years ago. Previously, it was 28 million. We do not apply a forced growth factor or any sort of calculations. That's a standard figure that appears in the main estimates every year. And it's on the O and M and the operations and maintenance and the water and sewage side where -- where we recognize the costs to community governments of operating their capital. And that's where we do the -- any forced growth changes, things like, you know, increased cost of fuel or power or, you know, higher costs to hire staff and other operating costs experienced by community governments. That's where those are captured. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Member for Great Slave.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. Okay, yeah, that makes sense to me. But I guess then my question would be is as communities, you know, they're not deciding one year to the next to create infrastructure or build infrastructure, so will there not be an increased infrastructure cost or capital cost due to what's happened with COVID, say, for ongoing projects and how will communities deal with that increased cost if they -- you know, if this budget is stagnant for this year, or these COVID years. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Minister.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you. First and foremost, you know, we focus on what the government does, but there's also own community sourced funding that they be able to allocate, or generate. We also have gas tax. We also reach out -- every time the federal government comes to us with additional programs out there, we try to tap into that. Unfortunately, you don't see it into the capital plan but there's been lots and lots of money from the federal government that's come into the communities, but because it's only a one-time opportunity, it doesn't show up and it doesn't also show up in a deficit. So for further detail -- if I missed anything, I'll actually turn to the -- with your permission, to the deputy minister. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Deputy Minister.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Gareau

Thank you, Madam Chair. MACA staff work with community governments to help them develop five-year capital plans. So annually, we sit down with community governments, help them review their plans, look at their infrastructure needs, look at what the -- what the cost impact is going to be.

We try to assist them with doing projections around, you know, supply chain issues, rising costs of materials, and what impact they may -- that may have on their ability to fund what capital.

Community governments also -- many of them have really good relationships with -- with each other. You know, they -- they get information from each other. They also frequently will hire technical expertise to help them, you know, develop their capital plan and to better understand what kind of costs they may face in the future so they do that planning ability annually to -- to help recognize that costs may rise, and -- or -- and many community governments also have capital reserves to be able to draw on if they are experiencing cost overruns in their capital projects.

And as Minister Thompson stated, there is federal funding available as well for most community -- for all community governments to assist with some priority projects. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Deputy Minister. Member for Great Slave.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. And I appreciate that. I think that the Minister and deputy minister are able to explain it more eloquently than I can ask about it and so I appreciate that they understood what I was trying to get at there. And I'm glad to hear that there are some capital reserves, but I would assume that's very community specific and not necessarily all communities would have that ability.

I guess more of a comment here too is just that this does seem like another area then, if we are -- have communities relying on federal funding, and we've talked about it lots with the housing situation, then we need those grant writers and people within those communities in that capacity there for them to be applying on all this federal funding, and I think again it crosses all the departments in the GNWT, and we've spoke to that. We had hoped there was going to be that position with the housing money. We don't think it was quite what we wanted it to be. So I would also say that MACA could very much be looking to increase grant writing capacity or funding capacity writers within the communities. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister, did you want to respond?