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.

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Oral question 824-19(2): housing in nunakput
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Taken as a comment. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho -- oh, sorry. Frame Lake.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

November 29th, 2021

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

. MR. O'REILLY: Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are about this government's lack of preparedness around the opening of the Tlicho All-Season Road. I'll mainly focus on the environmental side for now. So my questions are for the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources.

The legally binding measures from an environmental assessment project have not been completed, especially when it comes to the impact on woodland caribou. Can the Minister tell us how this will affect the proposed opening date of the road scheduled for tomorrow? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Environment and Natural Resources.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, all the wildlife-related measures for the opening of the road have been completed. ENR has been working with the co-management partners to meet the measures from all -- or the Tlicho All-Season Road environmental assessment that needed to be fulfilled prior to the road opening to the public.

In July, ENR provided input into Infrastructure's final habitat offset plan with boreal caribou which was submitted to the Wek'eezhii Renewable Resource Board.

In August, ENR submitted an interim Wek'eezhii boreal caribou range plan to the WRRB. Work on the full Wek'eezhii boreal caribou range plan will be assumed in 2022. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. Of course there's a number of things that are still not approved, and he didn't actually address my question about what effect that's going to have on the opening, which is tomorrow. So the effect, Mr. Speaker, I'll tell you, is nothing. This government hasn't completed its commitments.

I noted the recently released boreal caribou population and harvest models report from ENR that recommended a very limited or no resident harvest for the boreal caribou population around the Tlicho All-Season Road. What is the Minister going to do about the new all season harvester access that the road represents and will harvest restrictions be introduced and when? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the boreal caribou sustainable harvest assessment report was completed for ENR to identify sustainable harvest levels for boreal caribou in the southern NWT including the Wek'eezhii area. ENR is meeting with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations on the finding of this report. I must really stress we're meeting with Indigenous governments here and our organizations. The report concluded that the area around the road could support some harvest of boreal caribou and so far we have not seen indications that sustainable harvest levels are being exceeded. ENR has hired a renewable resource officer in Whati to increase a harvesting monitoring along the roads in accordance with measure 9-1. The GNWT is also providing financial support to the Tlicho government for the Indigenous harvesting monitoring program that will begin this winter. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. Thanks to the Minister for that. I'll just remind him again that the road is opening tomorrow. So it's great that there's meetings happening but the road opens tomorrow.

I fully understand that inland fisheries are federal jurisdiction but we obviously have a role to play. The sellers of sport fishing licenses, promotion of country food, harvesting and sustainable livelihoods. And the Minister also has a fish -- a wildlife and fish division under his department. So what, if anything, has the Minister done about the impacts of the new road access on the sport fishery in Lac La Martre and the sport fishing lodge already operating there? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Tlicho government and the federal Department of Fisheries and Ocean established a fisheries management working group to ensure any concerns with fisheries are brought forward and addressed.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Infrastructure developed a fish and fish habitat protection plan with the Tlicho All-Season Road which considers measures and commitments made during the environmental assessment and incorporate input from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. And we've reached out to the federal government, and we've had these conversations from our end as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Frame Lake.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. I'd really be curious to know what's happening there, but I remain very concerned about the continuing failing of this government to adequately plan for new roads, let alone properly maintain the ones that we have.

Can the Minister tell us what lessons, if any, we've learned about the banishment of environmental impacts from the Inuvik to Tuk highway and how those were applied to the Tlicho All-Season Road? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I can tell the Member right now we are working with the Indigenous government. We are working with the Tlicho government to get this road up and operational and making sure we do things properly. We just received a letter from the Tlicho government with some valid concerns, and I'm working with them on that.

Both projects took a cooperative approach by engaging with local governments, local Indigenous organizations, stakeholders, and the territorial and federal government to achieve significant local and regional benefits. Given the difference in geologic -- or geographical locations and ecosystems of the two projects and a technical design differs, the project -- environmental impact for the Inuvik-Tuk highway in the TASR are different. That wildlife management and monitoring plan for the Tlicho All-Season Road project considered the Inuvik to Tuk highway, wildlife, and wildlife habitat protected area, and the wildlife affected monitoring program. So we've taken and looked at the reports, looked at how we move forward and, most importantly, we work with our Indigenous governments to make sure we do it right. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 825-19(2): tlicho all-season road preparedness
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

oral question 826-19(2): educational renewal framework
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

MR. BONNETROUGE: Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, supporting our youth is essential, particularly in high school starting from grades 7 or 8 when we start seeing students dropping out. My question to the Minister, what is the department doing to support students in high school grades 7 to 12 to stay in school? Mahsi.

oral question 826-19(2): educational renewal framework
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Deh Cho. Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment.

oral question 826-19(2): educational renewal framework
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Department of Education, Culture and Employment provides some broad strategic direction to education bodies. It provides funding to education bodies. But really it's the education bodies themselves, the DEAs and DECs, who really deliver the education to students. And so I can talk about the supports that EC provides, but really the -- obviously the majority of the supports are at that level. So ECE has the ministerial directive on inclusive schooling and that provides explicit funding for and direction to education bodies on supports for students in the territory so that students can be met where they are in their educational journey. EC officials meet regularly with education body officials to try and coordinate efforts related to supporting students. Aside from the regular funding, there's been a number of initiatives under the Education Renewal Innovation Framework. So some examples of those are northern distance learning. We have that available in 19 small communities. And that's a way to provide small community students with access to teachers who are generally experts in their field, which is something that a lot of small communities don't have access to, and I think that having that level of support really helps students along in their studies.

ECE has partnered with Elders, language, and curriculum experts to develop the Our Languages curriculum which helps -- it recognizes the responsibility of schools to support culture and language. It helps foster that sense of community.

We have the career and education advisors which is not rolling out as fast as I would like, but nothing really is in the days of COVID, but those positions are intended to actually help this exact range of students that the Member's talking about to determine what courses they need to get where they want and help them determine what they want to do in life.

There's a number of other things, and I could talk for quite a while on this, Mr. Speaker, but I'll leave it at that for now. Thank you.