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.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Diane Archie, Hon. Frederick Blake Jr., Mr. Bonnetrouge, Hon. Paulie Chinna, Ms. Cleveland, Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Hon. Julie Green, Mr. Jacobson, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Martselos, Ms. Nokleby, Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Semmler, Hon. R.J. Simpson, MR. ROCKY SIMPSON:, Hon. Shane Thompson, Hon. Caroline Wawzonek. Ms. Weyallon-Amstrong

The House met at 1:30 p.m.

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Environment and Natural Resources.

Ministers' Statements

Minister's Statement 194-19(2):
Continuing Climate Leadership

Prayer
Prayer

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, climate change is one of the most critical issues we face today. I am pleased to report on actions the GNWT is taking to address its impacts here in the NWT.

As a territory, we are responsible for less than 0.2 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions but we are experiencing climate warming at a rate that is three times the global average. We have already seen significant changes that are impacting our environment, our economy, our infrastructure, and our way of life. We are seeing changing ice conditions, coastal erosion, rising sea levels, and melting permafrost.

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to taking action to address these destructive impacts.
Later today, we will table multiple annual reports highlighting work that has been done with our partners to mitigate and adapt to climate change across the NWT.

I would like to highlight a few of these actions today.

In January, we became the first jurisdiction in Canada to include consideration of a climate change factor in Cabinet and Financial Management Board decision-making. Assessing the potential impacts of government decisions on climate change ensures that meaningful and consistent climate change action is taken away departments and improving our accountability on climate action.

We have also worked with our partners to establish a Climate Change Council that includes members from Indigenous governments and community leaders. The council will include advisory groups such as youth, Elders, community governments, industry, non-government organizations, co-management boards, and academia who will inform priorities of the climate change action plan. In addition, the council will also include various advisory panels such as the water stewardship panel, the cumulative impact monitoring program panel, and the sustainable livelihood panel that will provide advice and recommendation. The council and advisory groups are important forums to bring together community perspectives and expert guidance as we face a challenging climate.

Madam Speaker, climate action takes investment in people and programming. Over the last year, our government has made significant investments when it comes to addressing climate change. We have invested nearly $56 million, and have created 15 new positions across government to work on climate change actions.

In 2021, the Department of Infrastructure invested over $38 million as part of the 2030 Energy Strategy, and for energy and greenhouse gas reduction projects and programs, which resulted in 3.6 kilo tonnes of greenhouse gas emission reductions. This $38 million included significant investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, such as providing over $5.3 million to the Arctic Energy Alliance, resulting in nearly $2 million in incentives being given out. These incentives help residents, businesses, and communities to be more energy efficient.

Our government has also invested roughly $3.8 million dollars in energy retrofits to government assets which has contributed to our own emission reduction over the last year.

Madam Speaker, the Department of Finance continued its efforts on carbon pricing over the last year. The price per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions rose to $30, and we provide rebates for residents to reduce the burden caused by high costs associated with residential heating.

Madam Speaker, I would also like to highlight that earlier this month the GNWT participated in the 26th Council of the Parties in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the Canadian delegation. It is unfortunate that due to the pandemic, Indigenous participation was not fully represented this year as previous conferences. I am hopeful that Indigenous participation will return to pre-COVID levels at future conferences and commitment to working with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations through the Climate Change Council to support Indigenous participation in the future.

COP26 was an opportunity for the GNWT to engage directly with the Government of Canada to advocate for NWT climate change interests and to highlight the unique challenges and opportunities that exist in the NWT. We shared ideas, learned from others, and brought back knowledge to inform our efforts on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Our government will continue to lead in the fight against climate change. We will keep working closely with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations, the federal government, community leaders, academia, industry, and non-government organizations, who are our allies in taking action on climate change.

The GNWT has accomplished a lot over the past year in addressing climate change but there is still work to be done. We must all work together to find solutions to address climate change in the Northwest Territories and continue this important work. I know that we all rise to the challenge. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Prayer
Prayer

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Minister's Statement 195-19(2): 2030 Energy Strategy Update
Prayer

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.


MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, Minister. Ministers' Statements. Minister for our Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Minister's Statement 195-19(2): 2030 Energy Strategy Update
Prayer

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, strengthening our leadership and authority on climate change and enhancing efforts to stabilize the cost of power is a priority of the Government of the Northwest Territories; so is increasing the use of alternative and renewable energy.

Today, as part of our government's integrated approach to climate change reporting, we will release four reports, including the 2020-2021 Energy Initiatives Report. This report outlines almost $38 million in energy-related investments the GNWT made during the past fiscal year. These investments not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help us take real action against climate change, they also provide our communities with reliable energy and stabilize costs for residents. This supports the goals of the Northwest Territories' 2030 Energy Strategy and 2030 Climate Change Strategic Framework.

Mr. Speaker, projects that are positively impacting residents and communities include those from the Greenhouse Gas Grant Program. One of the three projects approved this year by the GNWT was $1.1 million for the installation of two wood pellet boilers in two Yellowknife schools, in Mildred Hall and Range Lake North. Once these boilers are installed and operating, they are expected to reduce 578 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
This last year, the GNWT provided over $5.3 million to the Arctic Energy Alliance, resulting in nearly $2 million in incentives being given out. These funds support the energy efficiency, conservation, and alternative energy programs and services. Residents, businesses and communities all benefit. This year, the organization provided 1000 more rebates than in 2019-2020, despite dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to advance key projects that will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation in diesel communities by 25 percent; one of the strategic objectives of the 2030 Energy Strategy.

This summer the GNWT and the federal government announced $60 million in funding to build the Fort Providence-Kakisa Transmission Line. This project will virtually eliminate diesel fuel consumption for power generation in these communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3000 tonnes per year.

Mr. Speaker, the Inuvik Wind Project is another important initiative under the 2030 Energy Strategy. This 3.5-megawatt wind turbine will reduce diesel consumption in our largest off-grid community by up to 30 percent. The permitting phase for the project has been completed and it moved into final design. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the winter of 2022.

When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the GNWT is leading by example through the Capital Asset Retrofit Fund. This program delivers energy efficiency projects for GNWT facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects completed in the last fiscal year decreased government emissions by two kilo tonnes.

The GNWT continues to advance the Taltson Hydroelectricity Expansion Project. Technical work on transmission routing options is also ongoing. We expect a preliminary business case for the project later this fiscal year.

Mr. Speaker, while we have accomplished a great deal during the first three years of implementation of the 2030 Energy Strategy, we must keep moving forward. It is time to take stock of the lessons we have learned in implementing this strategy. We must combine these learnings with new research and analyze to inform a renewed strategy and accompanying the energy action plan.

As the GNWT conducts this review and carries on with implementation, we will continue to engage directly with communities and Indigenous governments and organizations to ensure their participation, partnership, and empowerment when proposing and implementing energy solutions. The GNWT cannot meet its energy and climate change objectives by acting alone. We need all Northerners to play a role. By continuing to work together, we can make it happen. Quyananni, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 195-19(2): 2030 Energy Strategy Update
Prayer

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Ministers' statements. Members' statements. Member for Thebacha.

Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as Caucus chair, I must address a very important issue which is affecting everybody in this building, the Legislative Assembly, as well as all people across the NWT. The issue I am referring to is to the need to maintain proper confidentiality of certain sensitive matters that are before the Assembly and the need for more unity, cohesion, trust and professionalism as MLAs.

This Assembly has been plagued by constant and ongoing leaks of various confidential and sensitive information. These leaks have had damaging effects on proper function of our government. They also affected people's lives, careers, and families.

I have always been a proponent of accountable and transparent governance; however, in my work it is also extremely important to balance that with confidentiality of sensitive information. Both as an MLA but especially as Caucus chair, I expect a certain level of respect for the office we hold and for the common good of the people of the NWT.

Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, if this Assembly continues to engage in sideshow activities on concluded matters, where neutral decisions have already been made by independent third parties, then the work of the Assembly will suffer. We've dealt with all these sideshows already in the Assembly's workplace review and in the inquiry and work of the sole adjudicator. It is distracting and obstructing the work of the Legislative Assembly.

Therefore, for the sake of the people of the NWT, the sideshow has got to stop.

In addition, I think some of the content quoted within the December 6th, 2021 News North front page is unprofessional, out of context, and must stop. I, for one, am not controlled by no one, and I am tired of our Assembly being portrayed as dysfunctional by the media and by the people of the NWT. For the dignity of this House, we must restore order to this Assembly to this sideshow behaviour. A sideshow is not what we signed up for but that is what the business of the Assembly risks coming to. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Our Assembly has lost its focus and has devoted considerable public funds and government resources in responding to and dealing with these various sideshow activities. It is time-consuming and inefficient for staff to continue to respond to these activities. What does it accomplish? Nothing.

Everything is at stake from the staff morale of the Assembly to the very confidence of the people of the NWT. We were put here to make the NWT a better place but are we really accomplishing that right now?

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, December for many people is supposed to be a joyful time during a special holiday season marked on our calendars. We shouldn't need to deal with this type of stuff. For those who want to continue these sideshow activities, just stop. For those who won't stop, our leadership must take action. We must turn the page on these matters and move on.

This Assembly has plenty of work to address. We can't be putting ourselves first before the people of the NWT. That is not good leadership. It is not what we were elected here to do. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Member's statement on Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Recovery Working Group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. In June 2021 I tabled redacted summaries of the secret meetings of the GNWT-Chamber of Mines COVID Recovery Working Group. I tabled another set of summaries earlier this sitting as well and they contained about 80 additional disclosures from the Department as a result of a new review conducted under our more permissive amendments to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

As I said before, what was supposed to be a working group focused on economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID pandemic has transitioned into a high-level lobbying campaign. This is not about whether mining is good or criticism of the Chamber of Mines; this is about the appropriateness of these meetings held behind closed doors.

In June, I outlined several options for the Minister to bring some transparency and accountability to these secret meetings which does not appear to have been adopted in any way, so I will repeat them again here.

Now that this information about these meetings has been made public, the Minister has several options, as I see it.

  • The Minister could stop these meetings now that the pandemic is almost over;.
  • Confine these meetings to their original and stated purpose of economic recovery rather than the current lobbying campaign that appears to have no limits;
  • Allow other interested parties to observe and/or participate;
  • Make complete summaries of these meetings public;
  • Allow other economic sectors and non-governmental organizations the same opportunity for consultation and lobbying; and/or,
  • Bring in lobbyist legislation so there is proper disclosure guidance for lobbying.

I will have questions later today for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment on the GNWT-Chamber of Mines COVID Recovery Working Group. Merci, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Member's statement on Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Recovery Working Group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

member's statement on Abstinence from Alcohol and Drugs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, given the upcoming festive season, I wanted to share a message regarding abstinence from alcohol and drugs. I wanted to relay a message about options should you continue and options to do other activities rather than turn to alcohol and drugs for enjoyment.

Mr. Speaker, when one chooses to party it up, whether they are single or in a relationship, and especially if they have children, there are significant effects to that decision. What we see from our communities and monthly RCMP crime reports is the escalating domestic violence and sexual assaults that plague our small communities.

Since COVID hit, there has been a significant increase in the use of alcohol and drugs, especially with all the free money floating around. Many families are running into problems with living expenses as they choose to buy significant amounts of alcohol and drugs; everything else is secondary to the fun they can have. The families of these people suffer because of their decisions and they bear the brunt of the stress waiting to see if they will come home safely and for many it is the children that are affected in this way.

We see far too often how happy the children are when their parents are home and taking care of them. This is what should be thought of before making decisions to purchase alcohol and drugs. What they also don't realize is the amount of stress that is placed on our ever-decreasing health care and staffing levels. Most get serious injuries from falls or beatings and most times can't get the immediate attention they require due to staffing levels.

Mr. Speaker, there are more positives than negatives when one abstains from alcohol and drugs. There is the all-important family relationship with immediate family and beyond, including the whole community. Healthy clear minds see improved mental health for all, increases willpower and self-esteem. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent.

---Unanimous consent granted

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker, and mahsi, colleagues. This will also improve education outcomes as our Elders envisioned for us and have stated. We want good education for our children and future generations to become doctors, lawyers, and teachers and so forth. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs creates a positive community atmosphere as this will hopefully improve volunteerism and that helps to improve life in the communities.

I encourage all residents of the Northwest Territories to start doing and making things happen for your family, your friends, your community and, most of all, for yourself. There are always supports within your community to begin this journey. Please take advantage of all services available to improve your lives. Mahsi.

---Applause

member's statement on Abstinence from Alcohol and Drugs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Deh Cho. Members' statements. Member for Great Slave.

member's statement on Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

As a regular Member, I'm active on our social development committee which has identified children and family services as an area of focus. From this work, I have been learning so much about the issues facing families and youth in the NWT. One area that I am becoming more familiar with is the foster care system, and I want thank everyone who has taken the time to speak with me about this topic as it's a sensitive one.

Mr. Speaker, when I look at our social problems, I can see the gap that youth and young adults are falling into. Aging-out or kicked out of foster care, they often find themselves with little to no options, with too many going on to become chronic dependents of social welfare as adults. One way we can remove adults from our system is to prevent them from being dependent on it in the first place. And in the Northwest Territories, only one organization is supporting youth to get them out of the system, and that is Home Base Yellowknife.

Home Base is a youth support organization that offers four programs for youth to help them become self-sufficient and deal with trauma from their childhoods. Home Base has ten full-time dorm spaces in their main building on 52nd Street, also operating a shelter there from 8 to 8 daily. The shelter provides a safe space for youth to sleep, have a meal, and wash their clothes.

Home Base operates a second youth centre next to Overlander Sports, open from 12 to 8 every day, providing a second place for youth to shower, do laundry, eat, and work on resumes and life planning.

Home Base also has a housing program that assists 20- to 24-year-olds with housing through commercial leases or at their newly acquired Park Place apartment building near City Hall. Youth can attend any of Home Base's programs to receive support, advice, and guidance on careers and life management skills. The goal of Home Base is to stabilize youth in order to reintegrate them into society and get them back into school.

Although Home Base wants to increase youth shelter supports to 24 hours a days 7 days a week, their current financial projection means a cut to shelter hours is coming rather than an expansion. In order to even maintain the current level of programming, Home Base needs additional emergency homelessness assistance funding to do so.

While Home Base receives programming money, they do not have core funding available for wages or to buy essential supplies. With core funding for staff and supplies, Home Base could offer 24-hour supports to youth in an effort to divert this vulnerable population from a lifetime of dependence on social programming. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Member's statement on Health Advocate for Medical Travel and Nunakput Residents
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my constituents travel medical appointments either to Inuvik or they're travelling in from Inuvik to Yellowknife if they can't be serviced, and if we can't do the servicing for medical here, we're sending them to Edmonton. My constituents fly all the way from their home communities who it probably take five days in return to going to the community. They wait for their appointment especially, you know, some of our cancer patients. We've lost so many people this year due to cancer. We do need a health advocate Mr. Speaker, in the Inuvik Regional Hospital to assist our communities, to making sure that the people are getting to their appointments, information is shared on the patient, and so likely what's happening. This means that the travel dates in the right place for the right times for their appointments, to be on time, because there's a little bit of -- I got a couple of concerns from my mayor from Ulukhaktok that patients are traveling and they're not having an escort; they're getting to their appointment, there's no appointments.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, sometimes things get missed, appointments, but they don't book the flights, book the travel. This means sometimes residents need treatment and they don't get it at the right time. And this has to stop, Mr. Speaker.

We need a patients advocate, again. We need somebody to help the patients in the communities that are at nursing stations to help them because they're overworked already. Our nursing staff, our health staff, they're overworked and they need their patient advocate out of Inuvik to help assist them to do their job. You know, sometimes they get calls at one in the morning or a text message and they're saying I travel at 9 o'clock, I never got no travel yet. I'm not going to wake up the Health Minister, Mr. Speaker, at 2 o'clock in the morning saying I need travel done for somebody. I'll send her a text message, and Julie's been good about it, the Minister has been good about it, get back to me first thing in the morning and we try to get it sorted out and try and do good for the patient. But Mr. Speaker, we do need a health advocate in Inuvik. I will have questions for the Minister on where that health advocate is for the community, to assist the communities out of the Inuvik Regional Hospital. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Member's statement on Health Advocate for Medical Travel and Nunakput Residents
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Members' statements. Member for Monfwi.

member's statement on Community‐Based Education Programs in Small Communities
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Weyallon-Armstrong

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, my Member's statement is for the Minister of Education on community-based programs. Mr. Speaker, we cannot wait for polytechnic university. Bring the program to the communities rather than having students leave their communities, families, culture, and language. They will get the same education as students attending post-secondary education in the south.

The GNWT is too dependent on workers from the south. These workers often don't stay in our small communities very long. We have many young people in our communities, with Grade 12 education, either unemployed or underemployed with others having to go on Income Support. Mr. Speaker, the community labor force survey shows that the Tlicho region has the highest rate of unemployment in the NWT at 28 percent; the lowest participation rate in the workforce at 60 percent; and lowest employment rate at 43.6 percent.

Mr. Speaker, if the Aurora College Campus is based in Tlicho communities were fully utilized to deliver community-based program, we would have local people trained to fill the need for local jobs in communities. The challenge to promote post-secondary education in the Tlicho region is that not everyone wants to leave their communities or be away for long periods of time without the support of the families and culture. Further, with housing shortage in the NWT young families do not want to leave their home as there is no guarantee they will be able to access housing upon their return.

Mr. Speaker, times have changed, technologies are improving -- Can I have a unanimous consent to conclude my statement, please?

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, times have changed, technologies are improving. It should be possible to deliver Aurora College programs like education, social work, nursing, remotely in the communities and/or if the Aurora College does not have the capacity, perhaps another college or university can come and deliver the program. Who delivers the program is not as important as the fact that they must be delivered and based in small communities.

Facilitating the delivery of college programs in Tlicho region is a good opportunity to train young people to get the jobs they want and to find work to better their communities. The government can also save money on relocation costs for southern employees and reduce dependence on outside workforce. We need to invest more money in the younger generations.

Government leaders at every level say that the youth are the future but, Mr. Speaker, we seem to be failing to make the necessary investments in their future. The people that live in the NWT are not going anywhere. They are going to stay in their communities and work for the benefit for all Northerners. If the government can make the necessary investment in young people, the government can take a person dependent on the government for Income Support and social housing and turn them into a taxpayer. These savings, and the savings from relocation costs, should help to pay for those programs.

Our community people, with the right training, will do a better job as they know their communities, the people, the culture and language. The graduates will be part of northern economies. Masi, Mr. Speaker, I will have questions for the Minister of Education.

---Applause

member's statement on Community‐Based Education Programs in Small Communities
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Members' statements. Member for Hay River South.

member's statement on Safe Shelters in Regional Centre and Small Communities
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that a new long-term day shelter has been made available to those in Yellowknife that have no other means of staying warm, staying fed, and staying safe during these cold winter days.

Mr. Speaker, it used to shock me how fast projects in Yellowknife, like the day shelter or others, can happen and how quickly funds can be found. Not anymore. I soon realized that when you are city with a population of some 20,000 plus; when you have the Premier; the Minister of Health; and the Minister of Finance, all being from Yellowknife, it will increase the pace at how fast funds can be secured and how quick an idea can be put into action.

Mr. Speaker, I now want to quote a portion of the statement made yesterday in a press release by the Minister of Health, which reads: "As part of our commitment to reconciliation and to ensure that everyone can access safe shelter facilities..."

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear the Minister refer to reconciliation and by further stating that everyone should have access to safe shelters. However, our regional centres and smaller communities are also struggling with the same issues but we do not have the population of Yellowknife, nor do we have the Premier, nor the Minister of Health, nor the Minister of Finance living in our communities to support something similar.

Our communities desperately need something in place for the longer term. Addressing the need for a day and night shelter every fall is not sufficient. It is not fair to NGO's that provide that service. It is not fair to the communities. And most importantly, it is not fair to those who require the service.

Mr. Speaker, I believe this government is on the right path with respect to supporting those finding themselves living on the street by providing long-term shelter options. For those in regional and smaller communities, they must have equal and equitable access to supports that those in Yellowknife take for granted. We need to identify local infrastructure that is being underutilized or sitting empty and repurpose it for long-term shelters and programming in our communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on Safe Shelters in Regional Centre and Small Communities
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

member's statement on Arts Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A diverse and committed arts community exists in the Northwest Territories, with literally dozens of groups in the areas of dance, theatre, music, film, visual arts, crafts, and many more. Organizations may be small but they are big on hard work, enthusiasm, commitment, and inclusive programs that reach across our communities. Artists understand and acknowledge how the arts function to support our social strengths, our human health and well-being. Hill Strategies Research Reports reveal the link between the arts and student engagement in education, positive economic impact, and cultural tourism, improved quality of life, importance in aboriginal health and well-being, and the lists goes on. Beyond these at a time when social changes and challenges are many, the arts provide a valid way to engage community learning, exploration, idea exchange, and critical dialogue that ground our culture and identity. These same artists are seeing gaps, key gaps that are limiting the role the arts can play in diversifying and strengthening our territorial economy. One is the lack of a properly funded arts hub typically found in every other capital in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, we currently have a surge in vacant space in downtown Yellowknife, the Bellanca Building, and with other government offices being vacated as they move to new buildings. We have an opportunity to now to take action. Many of that space is in Weledeh, an ideal location for an institution.

Wait a minute, Mr. Speaker. I apologize; I just read a statement from my predecessor Bob Bromley from over a decade ago, Mr. Speaker, because nothing has changed in this focus, Mr. Speaker. And now we have released an art strategy and still nothing has changed, Mr. Speaker.

I do not believe this art strategy is taking this issue seriously. I do not believe we are capturing the federal money that is out there. There are numerous funding pots across numerous organizations in the federal government, and if we had a proper art strategy maybe we could actually make some progress on this issue. I will have questions for the Minister of E, C and E. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on Arts Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Members' statements. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

member's statement on Procurement Decisions by Government and Crown Corporations
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, GNWT spending is a key economic driver for the NWT. We know through the pandemic how much we rely on GNWT spending. And, Mr. Speaker, the impact of GNWT spending extends to the procurement decisions made just by this government but for the Crown corporations supported by our public funds.

Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize that the GNWT has undertaken a review of procurement and has made a commitment towards an Indigenous procurement policy, which is very positive. Local NWT-based businesses, NWT Indigenous businesses that are based in our communities hire local employees and contribute wealth back to the community, and we hear often of them falling through the gaps of the NWT spending.

I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, the procurement review will address the gaps that we see with the NWT businesses today as they compete on bids.

Mr. Speaker, the procurement review needs to recognize full impact of GNWT spending and include a review of how at its arm's length Crown corporations who spend of hundreds of millions of dollars every year and are procuring NWT goods and services. Will the GNWT hold Crown corporations accountable to the value of the NWT-based spending?

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT also needs to improve the directory of the NWT-based businesses to ensure that it is comprehensive and reflects local business registries. An updated and current NWT business registration will improve procurement decisions for GNWT and its Crown corporations.

Mr. Speaker, public money should be leveraged to grow our local economy through the NWT-owned businesses. NWT-owned businesses need to be prioritized for all GNWT spending, including the extension of GNWT spending through its Crown corporations. GNWT needs to ensure that local Indigenous business are considered first and that companies who do business in the GNWT or GNWT Crown corporations are required to demonstrate local ownership and local employment.

Mr. Speaker, the strategy behind the GNWT spending right now is essential to build back our economy and ensuring our communities have an economic chance. I will have questions for the Minister of Finance later today. Thank you.

---Applause

member's statement on Procurement Decisions by Government and Crown Corporations
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

member's statement on Needs of Arts Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as a child I have vivid memories, as my mother's sidekick, as artists discussed the needs of the NWT arts community. Many of the faces that advocated then are the same in today's fabric of arts activists, but they're tired of asking for the same things: core funding, independence, and infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT released the next ten-year art strategy. Despite several suggestions to improve the strategy from standing committees on both economic development and environment and social development, not one suggestion was considered or incorporated in to the final draft.

I have shared my gratitude for a strategy focused on art many times but I am disappointed that this strategy does not clearly capitalize on the opportunity to grow NWT arts now.

In 2020, the Government of Canada announced $181.5 million in additional funding for Heritage Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. These dollars cannot fund the GNWT and are exclusive to independent arts organizations.

The Ministers of ITI and ECE recognize this. Yet, we still have no path to transition to an independent NWT arts council and continue to miss out on funding, economic development, and growth for northern artists. The board of the NWT Arts Council has been recently filled yet the GNWT states in the art strategy that the GNWT will "support the arts community to explore the feasibility or interest in creating an arm's length entity that would support and strengthen the NWT creative sector."

But independent arts councils aren't a new idea. Arts councils of most jurisdictions administer the majority of government art funds which, in turn, provide core funding for other regional arts organizations, key festivals, and events. So why is the GNWT dragging its feet and putting this work on to artists in volunteer roles to explore the feasibility of such an organization?

Mr. Speaker, in addition to legislation, an arts council needs core funding. The art strategy does not identify commitment for core funding. Most public funding initiatives are project or program specific and do not keep the lights on or staff working. If we want a robust arts strategy supported by experienced staff, the council needs the capacity to go after significant pots of private and public funding.

A solution to truly propel the NWT arts is before the GNWT, significant federal funding is available, COVID has given a boost to the arts on the global stage, and the time for change is now so that hopefully the Member for Yellowknife North won't be reading my statement three terms from now. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on Needs of Arts Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

member's statement on Eulogy for Mary Bernadine (Bernie) MacKinnon
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Mary Bernadine MacKinnon, formerly known Petrie, known to us as Bernie, peacefully passed away in the arms of her partner, Terry Arnold, on August 23 in Happy Valley Labrador-Newfoundland at the age of 62 from a heroic battle with cancer.

Born on the west side of PEI, she worked hard all her life. She was a cook in many seafood restaurants, she was a co-captain on a lobster boat, and a general manager of Subways. She and her husband ended up coming north to work for the Northwest Company, known as the Northern Store. They moved from Hay River to Fort Smith and on to Fort Simpson.

Bernie excelled in every position she was placed in. I got to meet her when she was the food service manager in Fort Simpson. Because of her hard work, she received the Food Service Manager of the Year.

Bernie made friends with people very quickly as she was very thoughtful, caring, and a sincere person. It was Bernie's friendliness that made her a very special person to her co-workers and customers alike, making lifelong friends from all the stores she worked in. A perfect example was when she convinced a young man with some substance abuse problems to go out for help at a rehab place. He turned his life around, became a councillor, married a beautiful woman. Previously he and Bernie still played Scrabble online until her passing. The amazing thing was that he did not get a chance to beat her.

The family would like to thank the Northern Store for helping them move closer to Bernie's home province as she was recovering with her first battle with cancer. Bernie always spoke about her five children and grandchildren. They, along with Terry, were her life.

Bernie will be sadly missed by her partner of 17 years, her children and grandchildren. God bless her and may she have peace with the Lord. As well, both her parents who are in Heaven.

Terry and the family would like to thank all the medical staff that help Bernie during the battle, especially the medical staff in Fort Simpson and the Stanton Hospital and the hospital in Edmonton. They made sure she and her honey were treated well. She will be sadly missed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

member's statement on Eulogy for Mary Bernadine (Bernie) MacKinnon
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nahendeh. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and community at this time. Members' statements. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Reports of committees on review of bills. Reports of standing and special committees. Returns to oral questions. Acknowledgements.

Colleagues, before we begin with oral questions, I will just ask everyone to please respect one another. I know sometimes we have a lot of heated discussions on whether you're asking questions or answering and sometimes we don't always like the answers we're given, I've been there, and sometimes I get heated but just, please, respect one another. Thank you. Oral questions. Member for Nunakput.


ORAL QUESTIONS

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I brought up the health care advocate for the Beaufort Delta in the Inuvik Regional Hospital. Mr. Speaker, I'm asking the Minister of Health, was it put into place, the health care advocate at the Inuvik Regional Hospital? Thank you.

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the regular Members negotiated, in addition to this year's operating budget, of four Indigenous patient advocates that would be located in Inuvik, Hay River, Fort Smith, and Yellowknife. Their specific mandate is to work to improve cultural safety and patient experience by supporting Indigenous patients in particular and resolving their concerns, complaints, and questions, and bridging cultural and language barriers. The job descriptions for these Indigenous patient advocates are now in development, and we expect to have them in place next year. Thank you.

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I really thank the Minister for that response. It's a good news story and I think that -- so is the Minister saying January next year? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I think I might feel the flames at my feet, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the information I have is that it will be early next year. So let's say by the time we come back. Thank you.

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No, no question, I'm just really happy that we're getting a patients' advocate so people have a place to phone and get assistance and get quicker response times. And I thank the Minister for that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

oral question 861-19(2): Health Care Advocate at Inuvik Regional Hospital
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

A couple of weeks ago I tabled redacted meeting summaries from the GNWT-Chamber of Mines COVID-19 Working Group meetings. From the April 28th meeting, ITI states "allowing money from philanthropic organizations from the south is something we will be watching so it doesn't influence land use planning with more protected areas."

Can the Minister tell us which philanthropic organizations are being watched and what kind of monitoring or surveillance is being conducted? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Industry, Tourism and Investment.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there is no surveillance being conducted. Mr. Speaker, I understand that these meeting minutes continue to be a source of great consternation. They are minutes. They are taken by a note taker, they are not transcripts, and they certainly are not something to which I would say speak on my behalf about what the department is or is not doing or the priorities of the department. So just to put that context on the quotes that are coming, again there are notes taken by someone at a meeting.

That said, Mr. Speaker, philanthropic organizations, this quote, this has long been a matter raised by certain members of the industry that we want to ensure that when decisions are being made about land use in the Northwest Territories that those decisions are made by members of the regions in which the matters arise so that they're decisions made by northern residents, by northern communities, by northern governments. And that's really the role of the GNWT here, is not to go spying on anybody but simply to facilitate land use planning by and for the benefit of Northerners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working 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 for that. In October 2021, Alberta released the report from the $3.5 million Allan inquiry into foreign funded anti-energy campaigns that found no evidence of wrongdoing by environmental groups.

Can the Minister tell us whether this government is going to hold a similar public inquiry in terms of watching philanthropic organizations, or does this government actually recognize the value that these organizations can bring to the NWT? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we very fortunately in this government have the LNR departments all working well together. That is Lands, Natural Resources, and Environment all working together. In this particular instance, ENR happens to be the lead in terms of trying to work through a process or governance where we might, if there were to be opportunities to work with large organizations, is to bring funding alternatives on conservation initiatives, then we want to ensure, again, as a collective and as the GNWT and as Northerners, that we'd be doing that within a structure that is for the benefit of Northerners.

So we don't share the concern that I believe was the impetus behind that study and behind that inquiry, that there was some sort of nefarious thing happening. We are quite trusting and quite happy to work with anyone who wants to come and be mindful of the benefits of the northern residence and northern communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working 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 for those words. As I understand, the Chamber of Mines has filed for a judicial review of decision by the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board not to issue unlimited extensions to land use permits. And, Mr. Speaker, I don't want to speak to the case in any way, but the meeting summary show that the Chamber met with Ministers of this government about their application before it was filed. So can the Minister tell us what happened in those meetings? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So, Mr. Speaker, I wasn't at the meetings but I was able to make inquiries, and I appreciate a bit of a heads-up that these topics might be coming.

The importance or the desire of industry to ensure that they have access to leases that are effective has long been a matter of their advocacy. That said, this is an area where, although I understand CIRNAC on behalf of the federal government might have actually taken the position that leases should be extended, the GNWT has not taken a position. We have remained neutral and we continue to remain neutral, and whatever process might be happening before the courts with other parties, as the Member's already said, is not ours to speak to here. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working 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 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working 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 for clarifying that. So I've suggested a couple of times now there are a number of options to bring greater transparency and accountability to these secret meetings.

Can the Minister tell us whether these meetings are consistent with our open government policy and describe how she is going to bring greater transparency and accountability to these secret meetings? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, given the multiple times we've now spoken about these meetings, I'm not sure I agree with the characterization of them as being particularly secret in any fashion. And indeed even after the last round of exchanges that the Member and I had on this, the Chamber of Mines themselves put a number of the meeting minutes onto their own website to demonstrate that they too are more than happy to make known the fact that they are working to advance the interests of the industry with the GNWT.

As for the ongoing work there, Mr. Speaker, I certainly took note of the concerns that were raised in the last time that this matter came before the House. The deputy minister and I are looking to have a new set of terms of reference issued. When I have them, I will certainly make them available to the Members so that we are able to, in fact, be clear and focused on the purpose here. And the clear purpose, clear focus, is that this is an anchor area, an anchor section of the economy. It's one that we want to see supported, and we want to work with those with their knowledge of that sector to see where we have mutual areas of interest. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 862-19(2): Government of the Northwest Territories and Chamber of Mines COVID‐19 Working group
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Great Slave.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

December 7th, 2021

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Housing Minister who is also the Minister responsible for Youth.

My first question is will the Minister commitment to touring Home Base and learning about the work and programs that they're providing firsthand? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Minister responsible for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Member for the question. I have met with Home Base recently through zoom. And I have been able to receive a comprehensive understanding of the supports that they provide to the youth. But looking forward into the new year, I will commit to touring the facility with the Member. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister for that commitment to come and take a look at their operations. I think it's always good when you can see things firsthand. Let's keep it on vein of saying yes.

Can the Minister commit to providing Home Base with emergency funding to expand support hours to 24/7 and to keep their shelters open? The reason that this is so crucial right now is the temperatures are dropping, and they do provide a very important service for youth. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To date, the Housing Corporation has supported Home Base with capital funding under our shelter enhancement fund to do minor retrofits to the building. Their operational funding has been provided by Health and Social Services. I understand the emergency shelter funding within the Northwest Territories has been fully subscribed and allocated to all seven current operating shelters across Northwest Territories.

I can ensure the Member and the House that the Housing Corporation is in further discussion with Home Base. After our recent meeting with them to see how the Housing Corporation can work with them, and the Housing Corporation will invite other social program departments to participate in these discussions. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Minister's answers sort of speak to my next question as well.

Can the Minister commit to assisting or working with her colleagues to look for core funding for the Home Base program so that we can keep youth from not experiencing homelessness as well as ease the burden on social services? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I understand that there is a need and importance of the service they provide. We are currently in conversations with other social development departments after our mutual role and responsibilities when it comes to funding and supporting the various shelters and accommodation supports across Northwest Territories. The support provided to youth is one of the specific target groups. We are also in conversation with Canada and to access programs like the federal Reaching Home initiative to support programs and facilities within the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Great Slave.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to hear the Minister speak about working with other departments. I think that the way that youth are being dealt with definitely crosses multiple departments so we do need to keep breaking down those silos.

My last question is will the Minister commit to touring other buildings in my district, such as Norseman Manor and Simpson House, to see where we are placing the vulnerable youth and committing to developing an action plan to end youth homelessness? Thank you.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The department does have a working group with the various lessees that we hold in Yellowknife. And also I will be making sure and commit that we reflect the youth homelessness needs in our homelessness strategy that will be tabled in early 2022. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 863-19(2): Home Base Yellowknife
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 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions today are for the Minister for Education, Culture and Employment.

My first question is what is the challenge to making the NWT art strategy arm's length and why was this not initially just put into the art strategy as a deliverable? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
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 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The type of arts council structure that the Member's speaking about, they are usually born out of a grassroots organization, a group of artists that get together and has a vision, has a plan, and it's an organization that then can be supported.

There is currently no organization in the territory that has that ability at this point. There's a number of different organizations, and maybe if they all combine their power, that might be an organization that we might be able to support. But that's just not the case. These are generally grassroots organizations. And while the GNWT has been asked to start a grassroots organization that could turn into an arts council, but that's just not the way things work. So is one of the impediments.

The other impediment is the fact that the O and M for such an organization would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that is the money that currently goes directly to artists. So we would have to take that from artists, put it towards office space, executive director, travel, all of those types of things. So those are a couple of the impediments. And I will say that the work to -- I'll just leave it at that for now. I know the Member has more questions. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there's another way that we can do this. We could drive it from the GNWT outwards. It doesn't have to be, you know, continuing on with the whole notion and the age-old anecdote of the "starving artist". We can actually prop our artists up, give them an opportunity to bring in huge amounts of dollars into the territory, and go at it from a GNWT perspective, which I think is what a lot of people are asking for given the GNWT already does have a program that supports artists, and we want to be able to see that organization grow.

And so I'm wondering how long will it take the GNWT to complete "the action", quote, explore the creation of an NWT arts association, and what are the measurable deliverables that the Minister sees coming out of that? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The work has begun under the art strategy to look at the programs, look at how we fund different organizations, and that is the work to determine whether or not something like an arts council would be the way to go.

We provide more funding for the arts and culture in the Northwest Territories than any other jurisdiction in Canada per capita outside of the Yukon. So it's not like we are not providing these supports. But we also provide -- we spend twice as much on education per capita as the rest of Canada, three times as much on policing. I don't know how much more on health. So there's not unlimited money to go around and get everything we want. And I've had conversations with the Member recently that, you know, we need to really look at what we want to keep, never mind what we want to add. So there are very real budget discussions that we need to have about how we spend our money, and we are doing the work right now to inform those discussions. I don't want to commit half a million dollars to support an organization without some real solid grounds to do so. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. And I agree with the Minister, the GNWT cannot continue to grow its budget and expand its wallet a whole heck of a lot more than it already is doing. And this is what this organization would do, it would give the artists of the Northwest Territories an opportunity to bring in private and federal public dollars so that we can grow this wallet, so to speak, of NWT artists. And so I'm wondering how the GNWT intends to support northern artists to fulfill this work of the deliverable from the strategy to explore the creation of an NWT arts association. How is E, C and E going to include artists in this conversation to help propel it forward? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There will be engagement that's going to happen to get that feedback from artists, and that's going to begin likely early in the new year. So we are going to engage, and we're going to talk to them, and we're going to listen. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I could -- well, a lot of my colleagues could probably attest to the fact that I'm slightly hard of hearing, but I'm pretty sure I heard a sigh from a lot of artists of the Northwest Territories on that one.

Before I was even elected, before any of us were elected into the 19th Assembly, ITI and ECE did engage with artists across the Northwest Territories. They invested a lot of time and a lot of effort, and it was very well received from the artists of the Northwest Territories. And so I think people would be frustrated in order to go back and say the same things: We want independence. We want infrastructure. We want core funding. These are a lot of the things that we hear. We heard from the Member from Yellowknife North say the same thing. And so I'm wondering from the Minister, then, what will be different this time? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, you know, what the Member's talking about, it might be, I'm not going to infer too much, but I think the engagement on the art strategy, and she's right, what we heard, we want more funding, more infrastructure, more of basically everything. And the fact is that we can't build a plan based on just more of everything. So we need to go out and say this is what we have now. These are the pots of money that we have. This is how we fund artists. Is this working? Is this pot of money working? And then from there we determine perhaps we can put money elsewhere, and it might be in an arts organization, to help us access third party funding. But we need something a little more structured, a little less high level. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions, Member for Hay River South.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. These questions are for the Premier. They are easy ones.

---Laughter

Can the Premier confirm the hours and what days the border crossing on Highway No. 7 is open?

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Honourable Premier.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Actually, I thought that was going to be easy but it's not quite as easy as I thought. I'd have to get back to the Member and find out the exact hours of operation, because we have three border crossings so I'm not a hundred percent sure. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do know you can leave any time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know there's limited hours at that crossing. So when can we see those -- or when can we expect that the hours would be increased so that they're open -- you know, it's opened seven days a week for however many hours a day? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The determination of when borders open and when we'll need enforcement is a determination made by the CPHO. However, I can say that the CPHO has been vocal in saying that we're suspecting that by spring that we will be calling off the public health emergency and if do that, then there will be no border patrols. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now for the million dollar question. We have businesses in the southern NWT working further north, and they're travelling back and forth in, you know, through BC or the Yukon and working up north and then coming back. And they're finding it costly to go through Grande Prairie and come around. And you know, they have an idea of when they're leaving the -- they know when they're leaving the North to come back this way, and they would like to have access to that border to come through, through back into either whether it's Hay River, Yellowknife, or Simpson. So I'm wondering if there's any way that those hours -- or they can be accommodated and supported so they don't have to make that extra trip and live with those extra costs? And some of them even said, you know, if there was a little cost to have the person go out there and open the gate, they'd be willing to pay for it. Thank you.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do know that the community was very concerned about COVID, and so I do know that once we reach a certain population that we opened it up a little bit more. But people -- businesses do have to reach out and let us know when they're coming. So we're trying to work with them as much as possible but we're also trying to make sure that communities are safe. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Honourable Premier. Final supplementary, Member for Hay River South.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, during the winters you'll usually see work on the pipelines, and I'm not sure if there's going to be any work this winter but I suspect there will be, and there's equipment, you know, coming in from the south and, you know, some of it comes around through Highway No. 1 while other equipment and goods come through Highway No. 7. So has Premier -- has the department I guess, or the secretariat, looked at how they could support that by, you know, extending those hours at that border crossing when there's a large movement of traffic coming north? Thank you.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Actually, the border open was specifically made to address the needs of truckers coming into the communities, needing to drop off supplies, etcetera. So that's been taken into account. Most of the trucking companies, speaking of almost two years, are well aware of the times of operation. If there's anyone that is not, they are required -- if they're an occasional user, they are required to file a self-isolation plan and therefore hopefully will identify what they need and we can get back to them on that. But if anyone has issues and can't access it and can't get information, let me know because we're here to help. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Honourable Premier. Oral questions. Member for Monfwi.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Weyallon-Armstrong

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For Minister of Education.

Since 2018, how many Northerners graduated from Aurora College specifically in nursing, teacher, and social work program?

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I try to stay up on my files but I don't have that level of specific information for the Member right now; I apologize. Thank you.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Weyallon-Armstrong

It's going to be the same reply, but that's okay. How many people in the NWT have a grade 12 education and are Income Support? Thank you.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I recommend perhaps a written question or sending these to my office because I don't have that information on hand either; I apologize. Thank you.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Weyallon-Armstrong

Okay, another one. Can the Minister provide data showing how many Indigenous teachers, social workers, and nurses are in the NWT?

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Mr. Speaker, I'm unable to produce that data for the Member right now; I'm sorry. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Monfwi.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Weyallon-Armstrong

I think he can answer, okay. So when will the report be completed for the teacher and social work program? When will the Aurora College open the doors to start accepting students for teacher and social work program? Thank you.

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I expect the earliest those programs could be reinstated would be the 2023-2024 school year, so not the upcoming school year that would begin in September 2022 but the following year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

oral question 866-19(2): Community-Based Education ProgramS
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to follow up on some of the questions that my colleague from Kam Lake asked.

Presently one of the requirements to get Canadian Council of Arts funding at a certain level is to have an exhibition in a public art gallery. We are the only jurisdiction right now who does not have a public art gallery. Well, we kind of have one. It's a trailer that drives around to communities and shows public art. But I really think there's a lowest common denominator here where we could get some sort of space somewhere that meets the criteria of a public art gallery. Is that something we are planning to do anytime soon? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre has two curated shows a year where they display the work of an artist. I would imagine that that would count as an art gallery for the purposes that the Member is speaking about. In terms of a public art gallery, building a new public art gallery, there are no plans to build a new public art gallery. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I heard the Minister speak earlier about, you know, usually the arts organizations were thinking about a grassroots and then they go and they can access and leverage all this federal funding. And a similar thing exists for museums across the country. Many museums heavily settle for publicly funded but also receive a lot of federal donations and private donations and have an independent board. And I think this gets to some of the tension about what exactly the Prince of Wales is intended to be and what its mandate is. I think one of the ways to solve that would also be to put the museum arm's length. Is this something the department is considering?

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That is being looked into. The Member points out most -- I think we're probably the only jurisdiction that funds 100 percent of museum. This is not the way it works. Most museums in most jurisdictions are funded by organizations outside of government who can access millions of dollars from the federal government, from private organizations, etcetera. So yes, we are looking into this.

We have to keep in mind that the Prince of Wales also contains a significant amount of office space for the GNWT and it contains the territorial archives. So there are considerations, but it's definitely something that we are looking into because it could be an avenue to accessing additional funding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I heard the Minister speak earlier about, you know, we don't necessarily have a bunch of new funding for the art strategy and we have to look at what we're spending right now and evaluate that. And my understanding is how these things usually go is we do a strategy and then sometimes we do a framework or an action plan.

Can the Minister just speak to whether there is some subsequent document coming out of the art strategy and will it have any funding attached to it? Thank you.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So one of the first things in the art strategy is to review all of the different funding, how it's working. Now, I had the option to just not put out an art strategy, and I considered that because I knew that people would want something a little more concrete and specific and I thought, well, we can just do this work without sort of telling the public what we're undertaking. But I thought, no, for the sake of transparency let's release the strategy, say, this is our plan; it's going to take some time but it's our plan. And then after we take some of those steps in that plan, we'll be able to put out some concrete actions. And so what I expect after we do the evaluation of the funding is a plan to show how we are going to distribute that funding. So I'm not going to say that it's going to include new funding. The case could be that what we have, used in a different way, is sufficient. So there definitely will be something more pointed and concrete in the future coming from this. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Yellowknife North.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I guess I'm going to try once again with my questions from the Member of Kam Lake. I think the Minister makes a great point of if you can put the museum arm's length, it can leverage more funding. Presently, we have a bunch of art staff working in GNWT as public servants. We have an arts council that distributes funding. I don't see how it costs any money to take all of that out of the public service and give it to an arm's length body that can then leverage public funding. In fact, I think we can probably save some money if we could do that.

Is the Minister willing to make the arts council arm's length? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There is one person in the GNWT who, as part of their duties, works with the arts council to distribute that money. That is not enough money to fund an executive director and an office in downtown Yellowknife, never mind the additional funds for travel for everything else. So no, at this point I'm not willing to do that. It would not be a good use of our funds.

There's other jurisdictions in Canada who operate in the same manner that we do. We are not unique in this sense so it's not like there is one gold standard for arts councils. So at this point, I'm not willing to say yes. But in the future, who knows. Let's look into it and see what we can find out and see if we can arrange our money in a way that we can support an organization to bring in this countless millions that is apparently out there and free for the taking for third party arts organizations. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 867-19(2): Needs of Art Community in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Minister responsible for Finance.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, that, indeed, does essentially restate the obligation that is on us because of the mandate, and not because of the mandate but thanks to the mandate. It is an articulation of a priority that we all came together here and found, and it's one of Cabinet's priorities as well in terms of maximizing benefits to Northerners. So that is exactly what we want to try to do.

How it's going to come down, what that's going to look like, is the exact process we're in right now. So I hope that's enough of an almost yes for the Member for today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So going down that same path, can the Minister also commit to the same mechanism when doing negotiated contracts because we need to ensure that the work is going to NWT residents and businesses, whether it's local businesses, contractors, and/or with Indigenous governments. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the more specific we get the less I'm probably able to make commitments here on the floor. The negotiated contracts policy right now, which is actually a policy of EIA, not Finance, not ITI, not Infrastructure, not procurement shared services, is one that is meant to provide a tool or a mechanism by which we could go directly to an Indigenous government. But, of course, as soon as there's more than one business that comes and requests a contract under a negotiated contract policy, the assumption is it goes to public tender. The result of that being that we often wind up not being able to use that tool in the way that it was perhaps intended. So it is certainly one of the things that I think has been identified as, again, would be beneficial to have under one umbrella. It would be beneficial to have a unified sense of the objectives and purpose, namely, to ensure that we are keeping benefits in the North, and to make sure that the tool is actually achieving that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm also concerned that the GNWT provides significant amounts of public funding to Crown corporations, and we've heard in this House in the capital budget of the millions and millions of dollars that flow through to our Crown corporations yet those corporations are not held by the same procurement policies of the GNWT.

So will the Minister commit to include consideration of Crown corporations, or speak with our Cabinet colleagues, to commit to this consideration of Crown corporation procurement policies in the GNWT's procurement review? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am not a Minister responsible for one of the Crown corporations so I certainly want to be cautious in that regard. Now, that said, we are certainly operating on a whole-of-government approach, and I am able to work closely with my colleague, the Minister who is responsible, and I think perhaps here the messaging is really -- lies largely around the Northwest Territories Power Corporation. So they are not right now subject to the same procurement policies just as they are not subject to the same human resources policies. And as to whether or not they might then want to look at what we're doing with our procurement, that would be up to them. It would require amendments. So, Mr. Speaker I can certainly say I would take it up with my colleague, but I suspect that the Minister has already heard the question and might know that it may well be coming her way some day soon. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There's another Minister who has a huge Crown corporation with huge dollars too. So, you know, it's not just one Member. And also the other thing, too, is that this is where the deputy ministers, there's deputy ministers, there's board members, to control these Crown corporations. They know our mandate. They know what we're trying to achieve here. They know that these Crown corporations are fully funded majority by everything that's approved through this House.

So I ask, again, to the Minister of Finance, as I'm only directing to one Minister, that they take a look at committing that they look at the Crown corporations in this review and looking at the policies that they do have to make sure that they're applicable to what we stand for as this 19 Assembly and ensuring that this money and the work is staying in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, Mr. Speaker, this is now definitely probably outside the realm of anything I have the expertise to speak to. I mean, again though, in terms of procurement in the Northwest Territories and achieving the goal of maximizing benefits to residents and to businesses, maximizing keeping dollars circulating in the North, that is a mandate for the whole-of-government. It's a mandate that applies to every one of the Ministers, not just to me, and I am quite confident that the working group that we have set up to do procurement review for the GNWT can, and I'm sure has, but can certainly engage with Crown corporations to see, in fact, perhaps they have their own best practices that might be beneficial to us or vice versa, that we can in turn share with them the work that we're doing. So that much there I can certainly commit to, that we ensure that that sharing is happening. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 868-19(2): Government Procurement
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. 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 would like to go back to the Minister of ITI about the secret meetings of the GNWT-Chamber of Mines working group. The meeting summaries appear to show that a draft list of critical minerals and proposed actions on critical minerals has already been shared with the Chamber. ITI indicates that "we won't engage on it much when it is released."

Can the Minister explain what is going on here with critical minerals and what commitments may have already been made? 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

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Industry, Tourism and Investment.

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, again, I don't like to get into a battle of somebody's notes that they might have taken that weren't a transcript. But just to give some context here about what that says is that the first steps are glossy high-level goals, and it does says that these will be short and high level, emphasizing, again, that that's the rationale, that this isn't something we were engaging in strategic planning or framework or an action plan. It really is meant to be a discussion.

Mr. Speaker, the critical minerals workshop, in a lot of ways, was something that started because a year and some ago, when I assumed this portfolio, I started talking about critical minerals as something that we needed to be looking at, that we were going to be behind the 8 ball if we, in the Northwest Territories, weren't looking at this. It's happening elsewhere. Canada and the United States already has a joint action strategy on critical minerals whereas the Northwest Territories given the methods we have on the mineral resource industries. So with that in mind, the department moved forward, had the workshop, and there's been no talk at this stage certainly that we're going to go off and develop our own list. Canada already has a list. The department's officials are working with Canada on their strategies and on their actions, and certainly bringing everyone into that fold to see what's on Canada's list, to see what's on the shared list with the United States, and to see where we would fit in, that's the level of engagement that's been had thus far. 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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for trying to explain those notes to me.

But in the meeting summaries, there's also some sort of a pan-territorial investment study underway to support subsidies or grants to the mining industry. The chamber appears to have changed the terms of reference, influenced who was interviewed, and has been given advance drafts of the study.

Can the Minister explain what is going on with this study and when the public, and even regular MLAs, may get a say in this work? 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, this is work that was done by the three territories jointly, along with the federal government, and funding was provided accordingly. The statement of work, requirement of work was drafted jointly by the three territories. I think that was a working group in fact, and then with funding. So as the project went underway, has already -- and was already conceptualized, most certainly they did go and ask industry who should be participating. The purpose of the study was to determine how to increase investment in exploration and the mineral resource sector in the three territories.

Mr. Speaker, this is, of course, also not the first time that we've had the opportunity to speak about this, the Member and I, and I have been going back to see when we can get this document available. The delay was not on our end. We had three partners involved as well as funders from the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say I think I am going to be able to bring that matter and may in fact be able to table it this -- that report and be able to table it this session. 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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that commitment to table the report.

So it's evident from the meeting summaries that the Chamber of Mines is pressing both the federal and NWT governments to provide legally binding policy direction to co-management bodies to "fix the grassroots exploration investment identified in the audit."

Can the Minister explain what sort of policy direction is being sought by the chamber and whether our government is going to do that to these independent co-management bodies? 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. Yes, Mr. Speaker, the perception that the regulatory framework of the Northwest Territories is complex is also not new, but the regulatory framework we have here is one that's developed through co-management. It's one that once a company gets through it, the process is clear and certain and they know that they will have gone through a process that involves involvement with Indigenous governments, and it's one that really meets very high ESG standard - environmental, social, and government standards.

So we're alive to the concerns that are being raised and may want to try to support and assist industry to get through our regulatory systems so that they have a good product once they do. There is, Mr. Speaker, one thing: Mackenzie Valley operational dialog. It is something on which the Government of the Northwest Territories participates, the board participates, industry participates. And this is not policy change, Mr. Speaker. It's looking at ways that we can already use what we're doing today, that the board can use, their tools that they have at their disposal, to ensure that when decisions are made or that when processes are underway that they're being done in a way that's respectful and that makes sense for small scale projects. But it's not policy change, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

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

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.

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. And I want to apologize to the Minister in catching her a little bit cold-footed. But I guess I've had some concerns raised with me about whether we do actually have any criteria for the use of the airport.

One time in the early 1980s, this government actually took a principled stand against cruise missile testing in our territory, and I understand that this is a military weapon that is actually being tested at the airport. So can the Minister commit, if there is no criteria, to actually develop a set of criteria for a cold-weather testing at our airport? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

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 can look and get back to the Member if we do have requirements. I do want to make note that I was told that the helicopter's not armed, if that makes the Member feel any better, or the city. But I can look into it and just maybe determine how much work is involved in actually coming up with this policy. Thank you, 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, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Monfwi.

oral question 872-19(2): Relocation Costs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Weyallon-Armstrong

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Okay, this is for the department of Finance.

To date, how much money has the GNWT spent on relocation costs to hire non-NWT residents for employment in school within the last five years?

oral question 872-19(2): Relocation Costs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Minister responsible for Finance.

oral question 872-19(2): Relocation Costs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I don't have that number here. I will go back to the department and see what information we can pull, what data we can pull. Thank you.

oral question 872-19(2): Relocation Costs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 872-19(2): Relocation Costs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The federal government, after a series of review, recommended best practices for Crown corporations was to not have public servants sit on their board. The federal government passed a number of recommendations.

In our own situation, I think it's very likely that our Power Corp will be asking for a rate increase to the Public Utilities Board, and I really think it confuses the issue of whether we are responsible for rate increases, or whether the Power Corp is, when the board is made up entirely of deputy ministers.

So my question for the Minister responsible for Northwest Territories Power Corporation is when are we going to remove the deputy ministers from the Power Corp board? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 872-19(2): Relocation Costs
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

oral question 873-19(2): Board of Directors of Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The federal government, after a series of review, recommended best practices for Crown corporations was to not have public servants sit on their board. The federal government passed a number of recommendations.

In our own situation, I think it's very likely that our Power Corp will be asking for a rate increase to the Public Utilities Board, and I really think it confuses the issue of whether we are responsible for rate increases, or whether the Power Corp is, when the board is made up entirely of deputy ministers.

So my question for the Minister responsible for Northwest Territories Power Corporation is when are we going to remove the deputy ministers from the Power Corp board? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 873-19(2): Board of Directors of Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

oral question 873-19(2): Board of Directors of Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, you know, the board of directors, yes, they are made up of deputy ministers within the government, and we are doing a review of the Northwest Territories corporation.

The Territorial Hydro Corporation Act states that the board of directors of the Northwest Territories Powers is designated as the board for the power, the hydro corporation. The work that we're doing is looking into the review of what does this consist of, how much it would cost and, yes, that's what we're doing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 873-19(2): Board of Directors of Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps the Minister can provide the House with an update of when that review is expected to be complete.

oral question 873-19(2): Board of Directors of Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, that work is ongoing. The government's review is going to take time. We are hoping for the session right after the New Year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 873-19(2): Board of Directors of Northwest Territories Power Corporation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

So can the Minister tell us what involvement, if any, our government has had in the development of these regulations? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you. Usually the Member gives me the question ahead of time but this is good; I actually had a conversation with our staff just recently about this very topic.

So we've reached out to the federal minister to have this actual conversation about trying to get a position on the board. We've had communications with the Alberta government to work on this. So we are having these dialogs back and forth with the minister of Alberta as well as the federal minister, and we're trying to get this resolved. This has been a very long issue for not just only the Member but our Indigenous governments across the territories, all the way up from the Beau-Del all the way down to Fort Smith. So we've heard them. We've heard the concerns. We are working with them within the system we have presently. So we are on a plate, I guess, communicating back and forth with a letter and there will be another letter being sent out probably within the next week or so. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to ask the -- thanks to the Minister for that. Can he commit to share a copy of this letter that he's sending with the regular MLAs, even on a confidential basis, so that we're aware of what's being requested and how we might be engaged in the development of these regulations moving forward? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it's not Yellowknife North asking the questions today. We will look at back -- I do not want to make a commitment here in the House to say that we will share. I don't see why not but we want to make sure we do it right. So I will reach out back, talk to the department, have the frank conversations on what we can and cannot share, and then we'll get back to the House with that answer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

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

Can he tell us, though, a little bit more about the development of these federal regulations, what impact might that have on our trans-boundary water agreement with the Government of Alberta given that there could be emissions. Like, these tailings ponds are huge. They've been storing water for years. It looks like there's a desire now to start to release this in light of some of the flooding that's been happening and climate change and so on. So what impact is this going to have on or trans-boundary water agreement with the Government of Alberta? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, for that detail, I'm going to have to reach out to the department. I mean, that there involves a lot of people, departments. We need to find out, because right now I know the Alberta government's talking about it, but we've reached out to them. We're not supportive of this presently or even in the future. So we need to reach out to the federal minister and to the Alberta minister to get that information. But for further detail as to the question that the Member asked, that there is going to involve some research. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
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 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. Can he commit to sharing this research with the regular Members? Merci, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you. I will get back to the Members and the Committee of SCEDE with the information that we're able to provide. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 874-19(2): Federal Regulations for Release of Water from Oil Sands MR. O'REILLY: Thanks, Mr. Speaker. I do have some questions for the minister of environment and natural resources. Again, I haven't given him a heads up but, look, it's in the media now that the federal government is developing some regulations to allow for the release of water from the oil sands in Alberta. Of course, they would flow down -- that would flow downstream past our communities, including Fort Smith.
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Colleagues, our time for oral questions has expired. Written questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Written Questions
Written Questions

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. Map Staking versus Claim Staking for Mineral Rights. My questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, who is responsible for both promoting the mining industry and regulating it.

During the development of the Mineral Rights Act, there was a commitment from the Government of the Northwest Territories to implement map staking as the method for acquiring mineral rights. The department has also committed to spend $3.7 million developing a mineral administration and registry system to facilitate map staking, a fundamental change to the way in which mineral rights are secured. This will likely require a careful balance between the economic interests of small prospectors, claim post manufacturers, expediters, charter aircraft operators versus mining companies with the capital to tie up large areas without significant work commitments.

How is the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment going to balance these competing interests, and,

1. Please provide a summary of the representation work requirements for mineral claims since devolution, including the number of active mineral claims, value of the representation work completed, number of claims lapsed due to a failure to perform representation work, and the value of that representation work that would have occurred;

2. Please explain how the value of the work that would normally go into claim staking will be dealt with under map staking to prevent speculation and/or be converted into actual exploration work;

3. Please provide any economic analysis of the impacts of moving from claim staking to map staking that has been conducted by or for the Department; and,

4. Please provide a full description of the public engagement that the department intends to undertake as part of any move from claim staking to map staking, including the steps, timelines and specific opportunities for public input.

Merci, Mr. Speaker.

Written Questions
Written Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Written questions. Returns to written questions. Replies to the Commissioner's address. Petitions. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Environment and Natural Resources.

Tabling of Documents
tabled document 519-19(2):
NWT Climate Change Action Plan: Annual Report 2020-21

tabled document 520-19(2): nwt water stewardship strategy action plan 2021-2025 TABLEd DOCUMENT 521-19(2): nwt water stewardship strategy action plan 2021-2025 plain language summary TABLED DOCUMENT 522-19(2): responding to climate change in the nwt plain language overview report 2020/21
Written Questions

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following four documents: NWT Climate Change Action Plan: Annual Report 2020-21; NWT Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan 2021-2025; NWT Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan 2021-2025 Plain Language Summary; and the Responding to Climate Change in the NWT Plain Language Overview Report 2020/21. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

tabled document 520-19(2): nwt water stewardship strategy action plan 2021-2025 TABLEd DOCUMENT 521-19(2): nwt water stewardship strategy action plan 2021-2025 plain language summary TABLED DOCUMENT 522-19(2): responding to climate change in the nwt plain language overview report 2020/21
Written Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Finance.

TABLED DOCUMENT 523-19(2): northwest territories carbon tax report 2020/21
Written Questions

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document: Northwest Territories Carbon Tax Report 2020/21. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

TABLED DOCUMENT 523-19(2): northwest territories carbon tax report 2020/21
Written Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Tabled document 524-19(2): Northwest Territories Energy Initiatives Report - Reporting on Actions under the 2030 Energy Strategy Tabled Document 525-19(2): Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 782-19(2): NTPC COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
Written Questions

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following two documents: NWT Energy Initiatives Report 2020-2021; and a Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 782-19(2); NWT Power Corporation COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tabled document 524-19(2): Northwest Territories Energy Initiatives Report - Reporting on Actions under the 2030 Energy Strategy Tabled Document 525-19(2): Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 782-19(2): NTPC COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
Written Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Justice.

TABLED document 526-19(2): Plain Language Summary for Bill 41: Justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act
Written Questions

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document: Plain Language Summary for Bill 41: Justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

tabled document 527-19(2): Rules of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories dated december 7, 2021 tabled docuMent 528-19(2): 2021 Review of Members' Compensation and Benefits - northwest territories
Written Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Tabling of documents. Colleagues, I wish to table the reorganized Rules of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories dated December 7, 2021.

Tabling of documents.

Pursuant to section 31.1 of the Legislative and Executive Council Act, I hereby table the 2021 Review of Members' Compensation and Benefits prepared for the Independent Commission to review Members' Compensation and Benefits dated August 5th, 2021.

Tabling of documents. Notices of motion. Member for Frame Lake.

Motion 44-19(2): Appointment Of Equal Pay Commissioner
Motion 44-19(2): Appointment Of Equal Pay Commissioner

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I give notice that on Thursday, December 9th, 2021, I'll move the following motion:

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River North, that the following Members be pointed as alternate members of the board of management: Mr. Rocky Simpson, the Member for Hay River South; and Mrs. Caroline Cochrane, the Member for Range Lake;

AND FURTHER, that the following Members be appointed to the Standing Committee on Government Operations: Mrs. Lesa Semmler, the Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes; Ms. Caitlin Cleveland, the Member for Kam Lake; Mrs. Frieda Martselos, the Member for Thebacha; and Mr. Rylund Johnson, the Member for Yellowknife North.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 44-19(2): Appointment Of Equal Pay Commissioner
Motion 44-19(2): Appointment Of Equal Pay Commissioner

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Notices of motion. Member for Thebacha.

motion 45-19(2): t Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motion 44-19(2): Appointment Of Equal Pay Commissioner

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Thursday, December the 9th, 2021, I will move the following motion:

I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River North, that notwithstanding Rule 4, when this House adjourns on Thursday, December the 9th, 2021, it shall be adjourned until Wednesday, February the 2nd, 2022.

AND FURTHER, that any time prior to February the 2nd, 2022, if the Speaker is satisfied, after consultation with the Executive Council and Members of the Legislative Assembly, that the public interest requires that the House should meet at an earlier time during the adjournment or at a time later than the scheduled resumption of the House, the Speaker may give notice and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact into business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

motion 45-19(2): t Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motion 44-19(2): Appointment Of Equal Pay Commissioner

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Notices of motion. Motions. Member for Kam Lake.

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, WHEREAS section 40.2(1) of the Public Service Act provides that the Commissioner, on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly, shall appoint an Equal Pay Commissioner as an officer of the Legislative Assembly, who is responsible for exercising the powers and performing the duties set out in the act;

AND WHEREAS the position of Equal Pay Commissioner became vacant on November 30th, 2021;

AND WHEREAS the board of management was tasked with recruiting an Equal Pay Commissioner and as recommended an individual to the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Assembly is prepared to make a recommendation;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, that Ms. Bronwyn Watters be appointed as the Equal Pay Commissioner in accordance with the Public Service Act by the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories as recommended by the Legislative Assembly;

AND FURTHER, that the Speaker be authorized to communicate the effective date of the appointment to the Commissioner.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Motion is in order. To the motion?

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is a carried.

---Carried

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Motions. Member for Nunakput.

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

WHEREAS on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, Committee Report 22-19(2): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on Telecommunications was read into the record.

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member from Frame Lake, that the Committee Report 22-19(2): Standing committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on Telecommunications be received and referred to the Committee of the Whole for their consideration.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Motion is in order. To the motion?

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Motion 45-19(2): Move Committee Report 22-19(2) into Committee of the Whole
Motions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

The Report 22-19(2) will be moved into Committee of the Whole.

Motions. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. First reading of bills. Second reading of bills. Minister responsible for Justice.

Bill 41: Justice Administration Statute Amendment Act
Second Reading Of Bills

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, that Bill 41, justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act, be read for the second time.

This act amends three statutes administered by the Department of Justice. It amends the Jury Act and the Summary Conviction Procedures Act to reflect changes made to the Criminal Code of Canada. It further amends the Summary Conviction Procedures Act to clarify the role of the Attorney General for the Northwest Territories under that act. It also amends the Partnership and Business Names Act to recognize the authority of an Indian Band to be a limited partner in a limited partnership.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 41: Justice Administration Statute Amendment Act
Second Reading Of Bills

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Motion is in order and is non-debatable. To the principle of the bill?

Bill 41: Justice Administration Statute Amendment Act
Second Reading Of Bills

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

I call Committee of the Whole to order. What is the wish of committee? Member for Frame Lake.

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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. Committee would like to consider Tabled Document 437-19(2), Capital Estimates 2022-2023; Committee Report 22-19(2), Report on Telecommunications; Committee Report 20-19(2), Report on Bill 30, an Act to Amend the Aurora College Act; and Bill 30, an Act to Amend the Aurora College Act. Thanks, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Does committee agree?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, committee. We will take a short recess and start with the first item.

---SHORT RECESS

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

I will now call Committee of the Whole back to order. Committee, we've agreed to resume consideration of Tabled Document 437-19(2), Capital Estimates 2022-2023. We have previously considered and concluded all the departments. To begin our consideration, I will go to the Minister of Finance for some comments. Minister of Finance.

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

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I do have some closing remarks I'd like to make. I wanted to begin, Madam Chair, by thanking the Members for their consideration of the capital estimates and for the productive discussions we had in advance of seeing these estimates I hope move forward later today.

Capital estimates certainly are an important part of the budget for our territory's economy, and I do appreciate Members' challenging questions and their testing of this budget.

Madam Chair, I also very much appreciated the whole-of-territory approach that was clearly applied to the capital estimates. I believe that Members of the Legislative Assembly recognize that when one community or one region are strong, that we are all stronger together. As a result, our discussions of these estimates was not about advancing one region's projects ahead of another but of ensuring strategic infrastructure investments continue to be made across the Northwest Territories.

Madam Chair, earlier today, MLA Martselos mentioned cohesion, unity, and trust and, in my view, the discussions that we had with respect to this budget reflect those values.

There was a focus on getting the strategic work done and, in doing so, maximizing benefits to Northerners. Members were strong advocates on several points, and I have made a commitment before coming today that my ministerial colleagues and I will work to ensure that small capital projects are prioritized for attention, knowing that these projects are likely to provide employment and income to Northerners and northern businesses. This will also include messaging to all departments and regions to ensure annual small capital allocations are effectively utilized and maximized to achieve not only the goal of strategic infrastructure but of economic support across communities.

I am also committed to ensure MLAs, including our regional and community governments, are aware of upcoming projects anticipated for their region.

Members have also remained consistent in their advocacy to continue to improve the availability of housing across the Northwest Territories. This is a priority clearly shared by all Members of this Legislative Assembly. I have heard committee's concerns regarding the presentation of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation's capital estimates, and I am committed to work with the Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation to ensure that these concerns are addressed in future capital budgets. I've also committed to provide information to MLAs about the long-term cash flow on strategic housing projects, including the RCMP housing.

I acknowledge committee's concerns about the length of time required for the proposed procurement changes to be implemented. I have committed to provide more details for MLAs about the procurement review critical path, and have done so. The next steps for us are to follow through on work that is happening right now with Indigenous governments to ensure that our future policy incorporates specific provisions for Indigenous procurement. These consultations and ongoing analysis of the recommendations will continue through the early part of 2022 with a view to seeing at least some fruits of these labours implemented during the 2022 calendar year. I am committed to remain focused on these improvements to the GNWT's procurement policies, and I assure committee that we have dedicated resources allocated to this work that will allow us to continue to expedite these efforts.

For example, Madam Chair, I am pleased to inform and confirm with committee that vendor performance management is included in the Department of Finance's annual business plan, and that work has already started to implement this program.

In June of 2021, phase 1 began on construction contracts greater than $250,000 and a system change to allow for the entry of actual and planned Business Incentive Policy, or BIP, obligations on contracts. This change allows the GNWT to track contract information within its financial system instead of being done on paper. The goal of this change is to ensure that contractors are aware of their obligations under BIP and can be held accountable to those obligations with better reporting.

The next phase of vendor performance management is to develop and implement a policy with penalties for contractors for non-compliance with their BIP obligations. Once the policy has been developed, the department can extend the project and the program to more contracts.

And, again, committee has made it clear that ensuring adherence to contract requirements for northern hiring is a priority. I commit to continuing to monitor these efforts closely and will commit to provide Members updates as progress is made.

Another area of the consistent advocacy of Members has been in regards to ensuring support for community governments, especially as a result of ongoing expenditures by these governments in response to COVID-19.

In September 2021, communities received a letter from the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs that provided information on funding provided to communities with respect to COVID-related expenditures. The Minister of MACA had previously committed to reviewing the financial impact of community governments' COVID-19 pandemic response as part of the 2021-22 year-end financial process. So although we recognize this is not an issue for the current capital estimates, I commit to continuing to work with the MACA Minister to ensure an informed funding request can be considered.

Further, and last, the GNWT's response to the burden currently imposed on health care workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a focus of strong and consistent advocacy by MLAs. There are a number of things happening right now to respond to the situation, including two items being worked on by the GNWT; the first of which is a market adjustment policy, to provide parameters within which a department, including Health and Social Services, may determine whether additional pay should be temporarily used to recruit and retain staff whose work is essential to preserving the health or safety of the people of the Northwest Territories.

And the second is an additional childcare support for frontline healthcare professionals who may have had to report to their work sites during periods when schools or day homes were closed due to outbreaks.

Madam Chair, this concludes my remarks. Again, I do want to thank Members for their review of the 2022-23 capital estimates. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Members, are there any comments? Member for Frame Lake.

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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. And I do want to sincerely thank the Minister of Finance for her concluding remarks. I don't have anything nearly as eloquent, or prepared. But I certainly do appreciate, you know, the work that the Minister does on behalf of Cabinet in the review of the capital estimates. You know, so this is my -- I've been here six years. I want the public to know that this kind of collaborative discussion did not happen in the last Assembly when it came to either the capital or the main estimates. And it's certainly very much appreciated. I think it's a different way of doing business compared to the last Assembly. So I want to give full marks to my colleagues on the other side of the House for, you know, we have a Cabinet that's actually -- that is interested in working with regular MLAs, and I think this is proof of that again.

You know, people often wonder what happens in this place. I don't even know -- I don't think I know half the time either. But I think this is clearly an example of the kind of work that Cabinet and regular MLAs can do together in the interest of all of our residents when we -- and budgets, one of the most important things we do as MLAs is, you know, decide where to spend money. And it does involve tough decisions, it does involve setting priorities, and I don't always agree with those necessarily but I think this was an example of the kind of collaborative work that can and should be happening here. So of course, you know, we have given our colleagues on the other side a heads up that we do want to see more investment in housing for our residents, and we'd like to find ways to close the municipal funding gap as well. But I think that the Minister has laid out a number of other policy commitments here that I think really do start to raise the bar and set a good precedent for how we can work together on the capital estimates.

And of course, we do look forward to further details, particularly on the market adjustment that the Minister has committed to with regard to support for our health care workers during the pandemic. And clearly, I think this is really an example of how consensus government can and should work. Thanks, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Do we have any other general comments? Seeing none, committee, do you agree that this concludes consideration of Tabled Document 437-19(2), Capital Estimates, 2022-2023? Member for Frame Lake.

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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. I move that consideration of Tabled Document 437-19(2), Main Estimates 2022-2023, be now concluded; and, that Tabled Document 437-19(2) be reported and recommended as ready for further consideration in formal session through the form of an appropriation bill. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Tabled Document 437-19(2) will be reported as ready for consideration in formal session through the form of an appropriation bill.

Committee, we have now agreed to consider Committee Report 22-19(2), Report on Telecommunications. I will go to the Chair of Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment for any opening comments. Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. The committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories continue to invest in publicly-owned backboned internet infrastructure in the Northwest Territories, and further specifically, the Government of the Northwest Territories should prioritize the opportunity to create fibre redundancy in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. I will now open the floor to general comments on Committee Report 20-19(2), Report on Telecommunications. Member for Frame Lake.

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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. Yes, I just wanted to relay very quickly my thanks as a Member of the committee for the work that was done on the report. We did hear from a number of different internet service providers and from the Department of Finance that tends to have responsibility for information technology within our government and manages some of the projects related to access and affordability of telecommunication services in the NWT. So I know committee spent a fair bit of time listening to different people and interests on this issue. There was a submission made to the Canadian Radio Telecommunications Committee in Ottawa as well, in their proceeding, and now what you see here are a series of recommendations from the committee to try to increase access and affordability for all of our residents in the Northwest Territories. And I think this can and should be a much higher priority for our government moving forward and should be a priority in terms of securing investment from the federal government to support the work that's needed to ensure that we have the same sort of internet telecommunications services, or at least access to them, as most other Canadians enjoy. So I'm happy to support the recommendations from the committee that are going to be moved as motions. Thanks, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Member for Great Slave.

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

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. Yes, I too do support this bill. It was one of the first -- or sorry, this report and recommendations is one of the first ones that I worked on with this committee, and one thing I've noticed with the pandemic it is really highlighting the division in our territory of the have and have-nots and the need for infrastructure. I'm often pushing for the road infrastructure, which I think is just as critical, but the internet infrastructure and the telecommunications is key as well. If we don't address this issue now, we're only going to have our have-nots fall further behind. They won't be able to access the same level of schooling, the telehealth. It spans all of our departments, and if there's one area besides roads I think we should be investing in, it's definitely our telecommunications. So thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Seeing no further comments, Mr. Jacobson.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Madam Chair, I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories ensure fibre optic in the home is made available for Tuktoyaktuk residents at the completion of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk fibre line installation. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

We're going to go back to Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Yes, thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories continue to invest publicly-owned backbone internet infrastructure in the Northwest Territories;

And further, specifically, the Government of the Northwest Territories should prioritize the opportunity to create the fibre redundancy in the Northwest Territories.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories ensure fibre optic is made available in Tuktoyaktuk for the residents at completion of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk fibre line installation. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstaining? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories ensure all backboned internet infrastructure in communities that accommodates open wholesale access to the NWT businesses to collocate internet services and a fair price to NWT businesses. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

The question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories advocate for Canadian Radio Telecommunications Commission to set aside funding under the broadband fund for smaller service providers and Indigenous-owned businesses to help promote competition. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories ensure all publicly-funded internet backboned infrastructure in the community in the NWT provide wholesale high-speed third party internet access. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Motion is in order. To the motion? Member for Yellowknife North.

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

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just want to reiterate a point that I think is made in the last three motions here, is that we pay Northwestel about $10 million a year right now. We co-own a $100 million fibre line with them. The CRTC and the federal government gives them hundreds of millions of dollars in public money every single year and yet, consistently, we do not advocate or hold them accountable to allow competition in the market. I understand that they are largely -- the only regulated internet service monopoly in Canada, and there's some fighting that has to happen at the CRTC that does that. But to date, we have built publicly-funded infrastructure and then not allowed third party competition on it. We have failed to get the last mile to home in a lot of communities, and I think the way to do that is leverage our position of giving Northwestel millions of dollars every single year to get some things out of them, and I just haven't been seeing that to date. So I hope that the Minister takes these recommendations seriously. I know there's some ongoing projects in cooperation with Northwestel, but, really, we have to make sure that when taxpayer money is used to build internet infrastructure, that wholesale high-speed third party access is allowed so some competition can maybe emerge in this monopoly. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? All those abstaining? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Mr. Jacobson.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories address digital divide within the Northwest Territories by providing free access to basic internet packages through income assistance funding through the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation for public units, recommendation. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Member for Yellowknife North.

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

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chair. This is another one that in almost every other jurisdiction, the federal government has created a low income internet service which allows subsidized internet. Northwestel's parent company, Bell, has offered that in many jurisdictions. Northwestel has refused to do that here, once again because they're this weird federally-regulated monopoly. But I really do believe that there's a way to leverage the $10 million a year we give them to say, hey, we want to do what your parent company has agreed to do in other jurisdictions and make an internet rate for people who have lower incomes. And I also think there's a way to probably leverage some of that through public housing. Lots of public housing in other jurisdictions now has bear minimum low bandwidth free Wi-Fi built into the buildings. Northwestel, I think, could probably offer that service. It's probably even a win for them. Their parent company has started doing it in places. So once again, I think this is really about meeting with Northwestel and leveraging the millions and millions of dollars we give them every year. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Member for Great Slave.

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

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. I agree with my colleague. I think this is one of the low hanging fruit that we often hear the government talk about. As we, again, had gone through the pandemic, we've realized how much of our stuff needs to be accessible virtually, and a lot of the low income people IN my constituents have told me that they are not able to download forms or get online and do the housing or the, you know, health requests and things that they need to do, and that's a lot of work that we as MLAs end up picking up to help them navigate the system. So I think this is a win-win, that in the long run would actually end up saving the government money and would allow MLAs to focus on other areas of our work than trying to just be pathfinders through the system. So I really want to throw my support behind this motion as well. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

The question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? All those abstaining? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories address the digital divide building partnerships that provide free Wi-Fi services in all regional centres. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstention? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories procure internet services in smaller pieces so that local internet service providers can effectively bid on these opportunities. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

The motion is in order. To the motion

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Nunakput.

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

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories provide a response to the recommendations contained in this report within 120 days. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstention? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Thank you, committee. Do you agree that you have concluded consideration of Report 22-19(2), Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment, Report on Telecommunications?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, committee. We have concluded consideration of Committee Report 22-19(2), Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment, Report on Telecommunications.

Committee, we have agreed to consider Committee Report 20-19(2), Standing Committee on Social Development, Report on Bill 30: An Act to Amend the Aurora College Act. I will go to the chair of the Standing Committee on Social Development for any opening comments. Member for Kam Lake.

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

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, the committee's report was read into the record on November 30th, 2021 so I do not have any additional substantive comments to add at this time. Individual Members may have comment on the report, and I would like to thank the committee for their work on this report. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. I will now open the floor to general comments on the Committee Report 20-19(2), Standing Committee on Social Development, Report on Bill 30: An Act to Amend the Aurora College Act. Member for Great Slave.

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

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Sorry, Madam Chair, I just got really into my committee work this season. So I just wanted to say that I think the way that I see this moving and the work being done on Aurora College with the inclusion of the councils, and such, that I believe it's in the right faith of what we discussed as a group when we first met back two years ago around this time, I guess a little bit earlier, to discuss our priorities and mandate. And so I'm excited to see that this is a piece of legislation that will now incorporate Indigenous voices and NWT voices in the college as it moves forward. So thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Any further comments? Member for Frame Lake.

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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. Yes, I'm not a Member of the committee but I sat in on a lot of the meetings and deliberations, and I want to thank them for putting up with me. But, no, I think this is another example of a collaborative approach with our friends across the aisle where, you know, there were concerns identified by a number of presenters and compromises were reached. And the Minister accepted, I think there was seven different motions for changes to the bill to, I think, get a better balance in a number of areas in terms of Indigenous peoples, their representation in this moving forward, balance of power between the board and the Minister. So I want to complement our colleague, the Minister of Education, for that work.

But I also want people to understand that this is like a small piece of a bigger picture in our move towards establishing a polytechnic university. What this bill really does is reestablish public governance at Aurora College, something that was taken away about three, four years ago in the last Assembly by the Minister, then Minister and so, certainly, I support this. But it is starting to cast the dye or the mould moving forward in terms of a polytechnic university. But there still has to be a lot more work done in terms of the legislation to move towards the polytechnic university. But this is, I think, some good first steps and so I want to compliment the committee and the Minister. Thanks, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Any further questions or comments? Seeing no comments, Member for Kam Lake.

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

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I move that this committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories speak to questions on co-drafting legislation and co-management beyond resource-management-based legislation and discuss this concept with the NWT Council of Leaders. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Kam Lake.

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

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I move that this committee recommends that the Department of Education, Culture and Employment and Aurora College take note of this request that engagement timelines are respectful and sufficient for stakeholders to support meaningful consultation and ensure that the timeframes for engagement and consultation concerning the polytechnic university are adequate. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

The motion is in order. To the motion? Oh sorry, Member for Great Slave.

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

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just wanted to make a comment that we are hearing in several of the committees that people are feeling a bit of engagement and consultation burnout and fatigue. So I just wanted to say that this, I think, is very important because while it does say that, yes, we are reaching out to all these people, if they're not feeling like they have the adequate time to respond and such, then are we really meeting the goals of engagement. So I just wanted to say that I strongly support this motion. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. To the motion? Member for Yellowknife North.

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

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chair. I think how much consultation and engagement and how long a process takes is really the debate of the entire GNWT on all matters, and it's not a delicate matter. The previous motion speaking to bringing things to the Council of Leaders, I ask that the government take that seriously and, clearly, this could be a legacy of this government as we find that balance.

On this situation of the polytechnic, I think committee, I fully support them, making sure everyone is properly engaged. I think in many ways we get one last shot at this to do this right, and in my ways some of the faults of Aurora College have been political interference in the past, an inability to be nimble. And I think there's a balance to be struck here, is that we have to make sure we have buy-in from Indigenous governments and buy-in from communities to the creation of this new polytechnic initially, because once the board is established I really hope that there will be no more political interference and they will be able to make decisions quickly. But let's get it right the first time, and we can all take pride in this. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Member for Kam Lake.

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

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I move that this committee recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories provide a response to the recommendations contained in this report within 120 days. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

The motion is in order. To the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members

Question.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, committee. Do you agree that you have concluded consideration of Committee Report 20-19(2), Standing Committee on Social Development, Report on Bill 30: An Act to Amend the Aurora College Act?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, committee. We have concluded consideration of Committee Report 20-19(2), Standing Committee on Social Development, Report on Bill 30: An Act to Amend the Aurora College Act. [Audio]

Committee, we've agreed to consider Bill 30: An Act to Amend the Aurora College Act. I will ask the Minister of Health and Social Services -- sorry, don't ask you.

---Laughter

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment to introduce the bill.

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

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm here today to present Bill 30, an Act to Amend the Aurora College Act. I want to thank the Standing Committee on Social Development for their interest in and review of this bill.

This bill will result in an arm's length governance system that supports an effective, efficient, and sustainable Aurora College positioned to continuously identify and respond to the needs of northern residents, Indigenous governments, partners, and stakeholders. It will also set the stage for further legislative change in 2024 to create the polytechnic university.

The creation of a polytechnic university is a priority of the 19th Legislative Assembly and the Government of the Northwest Territories mandate commits to transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university in six years, including meeting a quality assurance review by fall 2023. In order to meet this commitment, timely amendments of the Aurora College Act are required to establish a new system of governance that meets national standards and best practices.

Proposed amendments to the Aurora College Act before us are critical to the transformation process, and I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with standing committee during their review of the bill. I believe we worked together in the true spirit of consensus government.

I would also like to acknowledge the considerable input that has been provided by Indigenous governments, partners, stakeholders, and members of the public through the development of this bill.

The establishment of a tricameral model of governance and a competency-based board of governors will better position the college to identify and respond to the needs of northern residents. The establishment of an Indigenous Knowledge Holders Council, as part of the tricameral model, will ensure the NWT is a leader in incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing, into a public institution that reflects the people it serves, including a largely Indigenous student population and a range of Indigenous research partners.

To be recognized as a university in the NWT, Aurora College will follow a process required under the Post-secondary Education Act, beginning with meeting the requirements of an external quality assurance review. Amendments to the governance system proposed in Bill 30 will meet the necessary quality assurance standards and best practices in post-secondary education governance needed for the external review.

That concludes my opening remarks, and I'd be happy to answer any questions that Members might have on this bill. And, Madam Chair, I have witnesses I would like to bring into the Chamber. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Sergeant-at-Arms, please escort the witness to the Chamber.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Minister, please introduce your witnesses.

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

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Chair. We have director of legislation division, Christina Duffy, and director of Aurora College Transformation, Dr. Chris Joseph. Thank you.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, welcome. I will now open the floor to general comments on Bill 30. Does committee agree that there are no further comments -- no comments? We can proceed to a clause-by-clause review of the bill.

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Committee, we will defer the bill number and title until after consideration of the clauses. We will consider the clauses in groups. Please turn to page 1 of the bill.

Clause 1 to 5, does committee agree?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Clause 6 to 10, does committee agree?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Clause 11 to 14, does committee agree?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Committee, to the bill as a whole, does committee agree that Bill 30, an Act to Amend the Aurora College Act, is now ready for third reading?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, committee. Does the committee agree that this concludes our consideration of Bill 30, an Act to Amend the Aurora College Act?

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

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister, and thank you to your witnesses. Sergeant-at-Arms, please escort the witnesses from the Chamber.

Member for Frame Lake.

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

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Madam Chair, I move that the chair rise and report progress. Thanks.

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

The Chair Lesa Semmler

There's a motion on the floor to report progress. The motion is in order and non-debatable. All those in favour? All those opposed? Motion is carried.

---Carried

I will now rise and report progress.

---SHORT RECESS

Report Of The Committee Of The Whole
Report Of The Committee Of The Whole

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

May I please have the report of the Committee of the Whole. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Report Of The Committee Of The Whole
Report Of The Committee Of The Whole

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Tabled Document 437-19(2), Committee Report 20-19(2), Committee Report 22-19(2), and Bill 30. And I'd like to report progress with 13 motions carried and that Committee Report 20-19(2) and Committee Report 22-19(2) are concluded; and that Bill 30 is ready for third reading; and that consideration of Tabled Document 437-19(2) is concluded; and that the House concur on those estimates as amended and that an appropriation bill to be based thereon be introduced without delay. And, Mr. Speaker, I move that report of the Committee of the Whole be concurred with. Thank you.

Report Of The Committee Of The Whole
Report Of The Committee Of The Whole

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Do we have a seconder. Member for Hay River North. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? Motion is carried.

---Carried

Third reading of bills. Mr. Speaker, orders of the day.

Orders Of The Day
Orders Of The Day

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Orders of the day for Thursday, December 8th, 2021, 1: 30 p.m.

  1. Prayer
  2. Ministers' statements
  3. Members' statements
  4. Returns to Oral Questions

    OQ 846-19(2) Addictions, Aftercare and Mental Health Supports: Date of Question - December 1, 202
  5. Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Oral questions
  8. Written questions
  9. Return to written questions
  10. Replies to Commissioner's address
  11. Petitions
  12. Reports of Committees on the Review of Bills

    13. Reports of Standing and Special Committees

14. Tabling of Documents

15. Notices of Motion

16. Motions

17. Notices of Motion for First Reading of Bills

18. First Reading of Bills

19. Second Reading of Bills

20.Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Bill 23 An Act to Amend the Public Utilities Act

Bill 29 Resource Royalty Information Disclosure Statute Amendment Act

CR 21-19(2) Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Government of the Northwest Territories Approach to the Mining Regime Fiscal Review

CR 23-19(2) Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Public Accounts

21. Report of Committee of the Whole

22. Third Reading of Bills

Bill 30 An Act to Amend the Aurora College Act

23. Orders of the Day

Orders Of The Day
Orders Of The Day

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. This House is adjourned until Wednesday, December 8th, 2021, at 1: 30 p.m.

---ADJOURNMENT

The House adjourned at 4:49 p.m.