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 work.

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oral question 869-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Workign group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 869-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Workign group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister again for that information.

I'm not aware of any other economic sector or nongovernmental organization that has been able to have such privileged access with so little transparency. Last week we heard the Member for Great Slave call for a working group for the tourism sector and, you know, we had the business advisory council, the Minister tabled the terms -- the membership of this working group but the members for the Chamber of Mines were blacked out.

Can the Minister tell us whether any other economic sector or nongovernmental organizations have such meetings without any public scrutiny or other stakeholders at the table? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 869-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Workign group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there are meetings between officials happening across sectors. So the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, in particular, meets with Northwest Territories Tourism on a very regular basis. They are funded to do the majority of the marketing on behalf of the Northwest Territories and are really a key partner involved in understanding what's happening in that industry.

So what I understood last week's conversation to be about maybe reaching out individually to some of the operators who might not be as directly involved in the tourism association. I certainly didn't understand that there was any desire to lessen the number of meetings that are had with the NWT Tourism Association. Similarly, the fish strategy and the work on the Great Slave fish revitalization came about largely because of the very direct and regular meetings that also happened between fishers and Members and officials at ITI, and in particular now with the Tlicho, they again meet regularly. And I don't know that really the intent here is to walk through every division and department of the economic side or the economic branch of the Department of ITI.

Mr. Speaker, I can say for myself I don't know that I have turned down any meeting, whether it was with a development corporation, whether it was with a particular organization, whether it was with an advocacy group, the construction association. It's so important to stay live and involved on what's happening across the territory and across the industries. We're going to continue to do that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 869-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Workign group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

December 7th, 2021

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of ECE.

In October, the Financial Post published an article speaking to a 300 percent surge in propane prices. This was reflective of prices seen in Edmonton, just south of us. And so I'm wondering if the Minister of ECE has seen any increases to propane costs in the Northwest Territories specific to the seniors home heating subsidy. Thank you.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I've seen the article the Member's referring to. I don't believe that 300 percent increase is a retail price that people are paying. And I think it's probably related to the fact that the price of propane plummeted last year, and it is now back to the more normal levels. So we are seeing a slight increase in the cost of propane. It's around 10 percent from two years ago, although significantly higher than last year, but it is more closely - it's closer to the average right now. Thank you.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we heard previously a lot in this House about how the change in policy from a number of leaders on an annual basis for the seniors home heating subsidy was changed to a dollar amount on an annual basis and the impact that that had on seniors. So even a 10 percent increase would have an impact on the amount of fuel a senior could access to heat their homes. So how is this even 10 percent increase expected to have an impact on seniors across the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And Mr. Speaker knows all about this. I recall in the last Assembly, this hit his constituents hard because there was an increase in fuel prices that was quite abrupt and the change in the way that this was funded didn't quite account for that. So what we did last year, actually, was we increased the amount that seniors are eligible for, and Members in this House should remember that. So there was an increase.

And I also want to say that despite the fact that there is a monetary amount now associated with this, there is a cap. A number of instances have come across my desk as Minister where Members' constituents couldn't afford fuel; they had used up their entire home heating subsidy amount and they still needed fuel. And in every one of those cases, they were able to get income assistance to support them. I know there's some stigma associated with applying for income assistance but that is there to help people. We don't want you to freeze in the winter. And in every instance where people needed fuel, that I saw, they were able to get it through that program. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. And I appreciate the Minister's anecdote about ECE and income assistance being able to help out so that seniors aren't going without. I'm wondering if that is a separate application process or if that is a back end process that is handled by the staff at ECE so that I guess undue administrative burdens aren't being placed on seniors. Thank you.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is a separate process, but it is still income security staff so they are able to assist with that.

I want to point out that this is one of the reasons why the department is dedicated to creating a separate stream for seniors in terms of income security because why should someone have to go and apply for multiple things to get one thing. So that work is ongoing and should come to fruition before the end of this Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 870-19(2): Increase in Propane Prices
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 871-19(2): Cold Weather Testing
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to ask some questions to the Minister of Infrastructure. I apologize I didn't know I was going to have the opportunity to do this today, so.

I understand from a news release that the department has put out that there's some cold weather testing of a light-armored helicopter happening out at the Yellowknife Airport. Can the Minister tell us whether we have any criteria for the use of the Yellowknife Airport when it comes to cold weather testing? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 871-19(2): Cold Weather Testing
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

oral question 871-19(2): Cold Weather Testing
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm not aware that we have anything in place, and I appreciate the Member coming with no notice but I can get back to the Member on that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.