Hay River South
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It has been a difficult year for many NWT residents and businesses, and as the vaccine is rolling out, it appears we are now moving in the right direction. It is now time to place our economy front and centre with the goal of ensuring northern businesses are provided every opportunity to be successful.
Mr. Speaker, the issue of economic recovery for the Northwest Territories has been a topic of discussion and rightly so. As such, my immediate concern is how this government will ensure that we can push out shovel-ready projects in businesses big and small that will provide benefit to northern businesses this construction season.
Mr. Speaker, northern-owned businesses are looking for our support when it comes to tendering and awarding contracts. It is important that this government uses the tools at its disposal to make every effort to award contracts to northern businesses. Whether we are using sole sourcing, obtaining quotes only from northern businesses, negotiated contracts, standing offer agreements, Business Incentive Policy or manufacturing policy, we must pull out all the stops and do everything possible to support northern businesses.
Mr. Speaker, everything that can be said about the need for this government to provide support to northern businesses has been said many times. What we now need is a commitment from this government not to give continued lip service to our real northern businesses but to provide our northern businesses with substantial work during the upcoming construction season. I do understand we are going through a procurement review process, but in the interim, we need to continue to find ways that support northern businesses in order to allow them to survive this pandemic. For Hay River, our businesses are the backbone of the community, and I expect that is true to many of the regional and small communities, and that is why we have to champion them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I will have questions for the Minister of Finance.