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

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

December 7th, 2021

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.