This is page numbers 2341 - 2382 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 going.

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

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Minister.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Chair. Sorry, I just want to make sure I'm looking at the right number. Non-renewable resource revenues, minerals, oil, and gas, I have $1.511, Madam Chair. Sorry, for last year, yes. For last year, Madam Chair, the numbers have been updated, and I think we are now expecting some small amount of royalties for this fiscal, given that Ekati has come back online and given some of the rebounding in the diamond markets. I don't know if I have that number available. Let me see if Deputy Minister Strand or Director Salvador do.

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Deputy Minister Strand.

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Strand

Thank you, Madam Chair. When this estimate was done, this forecast was at the height of COVID. That's why it has a zero number in there. We do the next forecast in August, so we are anticipating that there will be a number in there. I just don't know exactly what that is. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Member.

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. We don't know how much it is, but it might be slightly greater than the dash or the zero that might appear there. It's estimated for 2021-2022 that we are only going to get $1.5 million for royalties from diamond mining and oil and gas? Is that right? Just wondering if it's a typo again. Thanks, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister.

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Madam Chair, typos are pretty rare in the main estimates. No, it's not a typo. Look, the mineral resources sector has had some pretty significant struggles over the last year and, we are expecting, likely will continue to have some pretty significant ups and downs in the year to come. The estimates in the forecast are perhaps a bit conservative, but I suspect the Minister of Finance would rather have a conservative estimate than have a wide variation in terms of the own-source revenues that we are expecting to have come in. If, in fact, the diamond markets continue to rebound, as they seem to be, though that's far from certain, given that there need to be significant shutdowns across Canada, I was going to say, but internationally, as well, it's difficult to anticipate what, in fact, is going to happen. There have been new sales and new sites, which have gone very well, but, in fact, again, that alone isn't going to rebound this sector. We are going to have to see how much catchup there is going to be over last year, how far it is going to get.

As far as other areas, again, commodities are coming back, but a lot of our projects are at early stages. We may or may not be seeing royalties coming in this coming year. The biggest source of the royalties was the diamond mines, and we are not necessarily able to say with strong certainty that, yes, in fact, it's going to be a complete and full rebound in the course of this next fiscal. It would be nothing more than a pleasure for me to come back and have a large number change there in terms of our revised estimates for 2021-2022 showing, in fact, a high number, but that's not the number that we projected back in the height of COVID when the mains were prepared. Thank you, Madam Chair.

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Member.

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Madam Chair. I appreciate those comments. Just very quickly, I am really concerned with these numbers. They are, as I understand, based on sales of diamonds. It's not a great time to be trying to sell diamonds. I understand that there is a global pandemic, but this is not what devolution promised us. The estimates of the day were $60 million in revenues. Moving forward, all of this was going to benefit everybody. When I see these kinds of figures, this is a real warning sign that we need to look at what revenues we actually get from resource development and how we manage the resources. That's all I have to say for now. Thanks, Madam Chair. I do appreciate everybody having to put up with 10 minutes of me doing this stuff. Thank you.

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Madam Chair. I have one quick question and one last concern. I won't try to drag this on too long. The $1.5 million, minerals and oil and gas royalties, again, we used to get so many royalties. I think something we really need to look at as a government is, any time there is new development in the future, to find a way that, if there is any sort of massive ebbs, like we are having right now, to have some cost certainty or royalty certainty, for lack of better words. Any time the market has tanked, no matter what is negotiated, any time we negotiate with industry or the resources sector, to have that balance there. When times are good, yes, the royalties are going to be great, but we still have to be prepared to make sure that we don't have as low numbers as these. I think this is probably a historical low in terms of income. I will just leave that as a comment. I think that's something we need to always find ways to make sure that we get as much juice for our squeezing from our resource sector without hurting business, as well, on their end. Thank you.

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. I'll take that as a comment. Thank you, Members. Please return now to the departmental summary on page 203. Industry, Tourism and Investment, operations expenditures, total department, 2021-2022 Main Estimates, $59,989,000. Does committee agree? Mr. Norn.

Committee Motion 84-19(2): Tabled Document 286-19(2): Main Estimates 2021-2022 - Industry, Tourism and Investment - Deferral of Department (page 203), Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

March 4th, 2021

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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Madam Chair. I move that the committee defer further consideration of the estimates for the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment at this time. Marsi cho, Madam Chair.

Committee Motion 84-19(2): Tabled Document 286-19(2): Main Estimates 2021-2022 - Industry, Tourism and Investment - Deferral of Department (page 203), Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

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