This is page numbers of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was work.

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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

December 7th, 2021

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.