This is page numbers 4687 - 4726 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 know.

Topics

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Municipal and Community Affairs.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, thanks to the Member for the questions here. Work is underway to conduct an after-action review of the 2022 flood and the 2021 flood. Once completed, the recommendations will be public. MACA has worked with ENR and hydraulic experts to examine the cause of the 2021 and the 2022 flood, and we'll be doing the same thing with the 2022 flood. The work has been included -- include the production of flood extensive planning, our mapping of it, the flood zone and that. And this information will be provided to the communities of the town of Hay River and K'atlodeeche First Nation in October so -- at the end of October. In regards to the after-action plan, unfortunately we will not be able to get -- it's going to be -- it's being done, but it will not be done until after late next year because we have to be -- as part of it is the flood recovery. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, will the Minister confirm, other than raising buildings, has the department started to work towards identifying flood mitigation measures for Hay River that would include watershed management, flood mapping, establishing flood risk elevations, berms, dredging, drainage, embankments, stabilization, dewatering equipment, and an action plan? Thank you.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you. Yes. So the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is working with the Town of Hay River, K'atlodeeche First Nation, and the federal government on how we can address these situation mitigation and work with them to get this work done. So we're in the process. We're working with them. And, again, it takes a little bit of time, and it's a little back and forth but we are working with the town and K'atlodeeche First Nation as well as the federal government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, will the Minister confirm if any specific mitigation measures have been identified for Paradise Valley, The Corridor, Old Town, West Channel, and the New Town. You know, we don't know what's going to happen next year. So I think we have to take some decisive action and prepare for it. Thank you.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The answer is yes, we are working on that. We're working with the town. There's a lot of discussion again. We're also working with the federal government, and we're trying to find and identifying funding sources to address this mitigation, to make sure that this situation doesn't happen again or we're prepared for it if it happens, or floods happening again. So we are working with the town as well as K'atlodeeche First Nation on this very topic. And, again, like I said, we're reaching out to the federal government and trying to find additional funds and funding sources to deal with this matter. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I hope the Minister and the department isn't putting all this work on the shoulders of the community because they just don't have -- they just don't possess the resources required to undertake this assessment review, evaluation. So can the Minister confirm if there is a communication plan in place that is directed at disseminating and gathering information to and from residents on mitigation solutions for specific areas in Hay River. Thank you.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you. I know the first part. No, we're not putting -- just downloading on to the town or the K'atlodeeche First Nation. We're working together collaboratively to do this. As per the part of the question in regards to the public information component, yes, that's part of the plan. That's part of the strategies that we're working on. We're making sure that this information is public and we're making sure residents here in the town, in this area are able to provide this information moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 1202-19(2): Sale of the MacTung Mine
Oral Questions

October 19th, 2022

Page 4705

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. The news released on the sale of Mactung property says that GNWT will get $15 million. Can the Minister tell us whether we have received the initial $1.5 million from Fireweed Zinc, and where are we at with a definitive agreement when another $3.5 million may be coming our way? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I can confirm that the initial $1.5 million payment from Fireweed Metals was received in June of this year. And further to that, Mr. Speaker, they were given 18 months in order to do some due diligence work. I understand that there has been some work done over the last exploration season this past spring/summer and that we are expecting that the final agreement will then be signed -- or rather the purchase agreement will be signed which will trigger the further payment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. Details on the agreement for the sale of this property seem to be quite scarce. Can the Minister confirm whether the terms of sale will be binding on any future owners of the property in the case where Fireweed Zinc decides to sell the property or loses it? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, both the letter of intent as well as the asset purchase agreement would be binding on future owners should Fireweed Metals not be the owners of the property. Thank you.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that information. It's not clear who may be responsible for the residual junk at the property and any closure reclamation that might be required. Can the Minister tell us whether our government is on the hook for any responsibility and liability for the current condition of the property? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The property's actually relatively undeveloped and as such -- well, I mean, I can't speak for what the company may have decided upon but I can certainly say that the GNWT is selling the property as is, and that was part of the -- that will be part of the asset purchase agreement, that they -- all the liabilities, to the extent that there are any, will be transferred and that, of course, is the basis on which the agreement is moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. I'm happy to send her some pictures of the junk when we're finished here. But in my view, the Cantung and the Mactung saga is another example of post-devolution mismanagement of our resources. When I asked the Minister for lessons learned last time, she said that lessons learned would be considered at the time of sale. So I'm going to try the question again. Can the Minister explain what lessons have been learned about financial security and public liabilities from the Cantung and Mactung saga? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure that the lessons learned here are necessarily the ones that the Member's expecting insofar as in this case, Mactung actually has turned out to be a fairly strategic and important critical minerals and metals project; it has been sold; it's been sold with the liabilities transferring to the owner. And hopefully, we'll actually see the development of a critical minerals and metals project. So in that sense, it actually has all gone quite well, which isn't to say that the government generally wants to go out and be the buyer of a mine. But in this sense, it did work out.

As far as securities go, well again, Mr. Speaker, this was a project that originally, under its previous ownership, that did go into CCAA, did not go through the board processes that we have today with respect to ensuring regulatory compliance. The processes that we have now are, in my view, far more robust than what they were and would hopefully not result in a situation where properties are undersecured. That is not anyone's expectation.

And, you know, so again, in that sense is that a lesson learned from this, or is that a lesson learned from devolution? Mr. Speaker, this -- again, I don't know that this is the time for that lesson. I think we've actually learned that lesson in another context. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Health and Social Services. I believe the department will work to create, you know, a number of information items on each of the specified health conditions and work with those people to get the answers they're seeking moving forward. But I think as legislators, there's some fundamental questions about, you know, whether this is a good idea in the first place. And I think one of those is costs.

So my first question for the Minister of health is how much are we currently spending on providing extended health benefits to those with specified health conditions? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health and Social Services is working to make the extended health benefits more equitable. And we put out a number of products here, a discussion paper at FAQ, and a plain language summary, which talks about the supplementary health benefits for low income people, and a drug program for catastrophic costs. The amount of money we're spending right now on this, the 54 specified disease conditions, is $4.3 million, and that's for 1,514 individuals. Thank you.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I guess the next question is do we know -- I'm actually somewhat unsure whether this is going to save us money or cost us more money, the switch from a specified list to a means tested model. Do we know how much this current proposal will cost us or save us, Mr. Speaker.