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 public.

Topics

oral question 855-19(2): Vaccination Requirements
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I sadly don't know when COVID will go away. I wish it was gone; but it's not. And, you know, in the interim, we now have a new variant. So, you know, variants continue to arise. Variants continue to spread. And, you know, that's -- that's again why, you know, the -- part of the reason that we have a vaccination policy in the first place is that this -- you know, in the last year and a half has demonstrated itself to be the best way to -- to keep people safe, residents safe, public safe, people we serve, particularly in the Northwest Territories where, you know, we saw how quickly in some of the conditions in small communities, that may have overcrowding in houses, how quickly it can spread. And the impacts on it where we have communities and people who have already lower health care indicators. So until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, we have an obligation to do -- to use all the tools at our disposal, including vaccination policies as well as the panoply of masking and distancing that's going to keep people safe. So as -- you know, someday I do hope that there's a normal that doesn't involve COVID-19, but until that point, Madam Speaker, we're going to continue to have this policy in place. Thank you.

oral question 855-19(2): Vaccination Requirements
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

The Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Madam le President. My questions are for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. I would like to explore why the Yukon seems to be doing much better than us when it comes to federal investment in their post-secondary education system.

Can the Minister tell us what the specific ask was from our government that resulted in the federal announcement of $8 million in their last budget? Merci, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

The Speaker Lesa Semmler

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

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The ask that resulted in the $8 million contribution from the federal government was an ask for $8 million. We got every penny that we asked for. It is for the.

Development of a facilities plan, including making sure we go and do the proper engagement;

A research services team pilot, which is a way to advance the research environment in the Northwest Territories, bring more money into the Northwest Territories via research and really build connections among the research community in the Northwest Territories; and,

Money for the Western Arctic Research Centre expansion, and that is of course the facility in Inuvik.

So those are the three items that we approached the federal government and said these are the pieces that we need right now at this point in the transformation, and they happily obliged, and we got a shout out by name in their budget and we were very happy about that. So I'm very thankful the federal government sees the value of this and is fully supportive. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Madam le President. Thanks to the Minister for that. I guess I'm just a little bit greedy, and I would like some more.

I think that part of the reason why we're not attracting federal investment is we don't have a budget or a business case together yet for the transformation and, as I understand it, that won't be finished until July 2022.

Can the Minister tell us what he is going to do to speed up the development of that budget and a case for investing in the transformation and facilities for a polytechnic university. Merci, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. It might not seem like it, but 2022 is less than a month away. So July 2022 is not that far off. And there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The Member often references the Yukon and them getting money. The reason they got money is because they put a lot of effort into developing a facilities plan. That's what we're doing. We don't want to go with a document that is not up to par, that the federal government will look at and say we can't give you this much money based on this plan. So that's the work we're doing. It does take time. We do need to engage with communities because we are looking at a facilities plan that talks about the entire college from the three campuses down to the community learning centres. And that covers a lot of ground, and we need to make sure we do it right. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur -- or merci, Madam le President. Thanks to the Minister for that. I just worry that the window of opportunity's closing.

So can the Minister tell us what specific work is being done to encourage, promote the NWT to the federal government as a good place to invest in post-secondary education? Merci, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I don't have to sell the value of education to the federal government. When I meet with Minister Vandal, when I meet with any ministers, they appreciate the value of education. It's pretty easy to look at a chart and see that the more education you have, the more prosperous you are as an individual and the more prosperous your community and territory are. So there's plenty of excitement.

And I would also say that in addition to those interactions I have, the officials from the Aurora College and the Aurora College transformation team are in contact with federal officials, keeping them apprised of what's going on, and my Cabinet colleagues, Minister of Finance and the Premier, carry that message to Ottawa as well. This is a major priority for this government. And those conversations don't just happen at my level. They happen at a number of different tables. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

The Speaker Lesa Semmler

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

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Madam le President. Lastly, I think part of the reason we're not attracting federal investment post-secondary education is that our federal engagement is not clear enough, and it's still focused on big infrastructure that has little prospect of actually proceeding or benefitting NWT residents.

Can the Minister tell us what he's doing to convince his Cabinet colleagues that investment in post-secondary education is a very high priority, even higher than big infrastructure? Merci, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. So I do want to clarify that, you know, the Member said we're not attracting federal investments. This year, in this federal budget, we attracted federal investments in our post-secondary education system. It's happening. So I don't have to convince my Cabinet colleagues either of the value of this. Everyone is well aware that this is a priority. It's a priority of this Assembly. It's a priority of this government. Everyone understands the value of education and higher education. So I don't think that I need to convince everyone. I think we're all on the same page. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

oral question 856-19(2): Aurora College
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

The Speaker Lesa Semmler

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

oral question 857-19(2): Restriction on Bathurst Caribou
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

Jane Weyallon-Armstrong Monfwi

Thank you, Madam Chair -- or Madam Speaker. Yes, okay. I would like to rephrase the word that I used, "ban", to restriction and/or limiting harvest. So -- 'cause those are the most appropriate word to use when I'm referring to the ban on caribou. So it's -- I would like to rephrase that.

So a restriction on caribou, the Bathurst caribou herd has been in place for over ten years. Does the Minister anticipate that the restriction will ever be lifted? What requirements need to be met before the Minister can consider -- can consider lifting the ban on Bathurst caribou? Thank you.

oral question 857-19(2): Restriction on Bathurst Caribou
Oral Questionsoral Question 852-19(2):united Nations Declaration On The Right Of Indigenous People And Land Rights

The Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister for ENR.