This is page numbers 2439 - 2492 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 housing.

Topics

Question 654-19(2): Medevac Services and Medical Escorts
Oral Questions

Page 2443

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 654-19(2): Medevac Services and Medical Escorts
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do not have an answer that is Nunakput-specific, but I can tell you that, in the 2020 calendar year, for the Beaufort-Delta region as a whole, there were 305 air-ambulance transports. Thank you.

Question 654-19(2): Medevac Services and Medical Escorts
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

I thank the Minister for that. How does the Minister weigh the cost of medical response and medical travel against the cost of more doctors at Inuvik's hospital, for more doctors' visits in Tuktoyaktuk and Sachs Harbour and Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok?

Question 654-19(2): Medevac Services and Medical Escorts
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I am going to take that question on notice and provide an answer to the Member by Friday.

Question 654-19(2): Medevac Services and Medical Escorts
Oral Questions

Page 2443

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Taken as notice. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

March 10th, 2021

Page 2443

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I sense a reluctance on the part of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation to commit to a biomass energy strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce reliance on and consumption of diesel fuels. Can the Minister elaborate on the NWT Housing Corporation's plans to comply with the GNWT's energy plan in reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Mahsi.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Deh Cho. Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Energy efficiency is a huge consideration within the Housing Corporation and when we are building and retrofitting our units. I just wanted to speak about the partnerships that we do have throughout the territory, as well, and trying to alleviate those gas emissions, as well. Looking at how we are building our units, one of the highlights I have just at my fingertips now is that, in Aklavik, we do have a nine-plex that has been constructed, and we are looking at the decrease in using fuel in our units. We also replaced all of the light bulbs in our units, as well, and we are looking at the higher efficiency and savings when constructing our units. However, going back to the Member's comment about looking at an energy efficiency plan, this is what I had brought back to my department, and I would like to bring that back and provide information to the Members, as well, as to how we are changing the way that we are constructing our units and also retrofitting them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi to the Minister for that. I think she is hooked on the energy efficiency that I mentioned in my Member's statement that housing currently practices. I am talking about that step further, about a biomass energy strategy; that is to incorporate wood-pellet boiler systems as district heating, which would greatly reduce reliance on fossil fuels, especially diesel fuel, of which I think housing has got about 2,400, 2,600, or 2,900 units in the Northwest Territories. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister speak to the long-range plans of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation as I sense a reluctance to comply with the biomass energy strategies?

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

There is no reluctance from the Housing Corporation. As the Minister holding the portfolio, I am open to a lot of new initiatives throughout the territory and in looking at how we could better run our public housing more efficiently. I am open to having those conversations, and I will follow up with the Member to elaborate on those opportunities. I just have my binders and my folders in front of me. These questions are coming up, and I don't have that information right at my fingertips. It's probably somewhere in my documents here, but I can guarantee to the Member here that we have had this discussion and we have exercised this approach already in a number of our communities throughout the territory. I will follow up with the Member with further information.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi to the Minister for that. While she doesn't have her golden book, I guess I'll keep firing away. The cost of electricity is going up. The cost of heating fuels is going up. This will, in turn, raise tenants' rents and their costs for utilities. How will the Minister and the department combat this scenario?

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Working with the utilities within our public housing units and also looking at the fluctuating use of oil, gas, and electricity, those numbers fluctuate throughout the year, and we do have a strategy within the Housing Corporation to alleviate those costs. I do trust that those costs could be quite significant, but also, they are subsidized costs, as well. Once again, I will follow up with the Member to further elaborate on the response.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker, and mahsi to the Minister, who will follow up. Given the likelihood that CMHC will cut funding to the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation for operations and maintenance by 2038, can the Minister commit to a biomass energy strategy to present to CMHC for consideration in the hopes CMHC will have a change of heart? Mahsi.

Question 655-19(2): Biomass Heating and Energy Efficiency for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Housing
Oral Questions

Page 2443

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Absolutely. I will be speaking with my federal counterparts and with Canada, and I will present a strategy such as this because we do need houses on the ground. Looking at the cost of living for the Northwest Territories and the affordability up to our higher, Arctic communities, as well, this would be a significant approach that I will have a conversation with Canada about. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.