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 know.

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Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I guess further to the conversations that I'm hearing today between colleagues on this side of the House, the Minister of Infrastructure, the Minister of Finance or ITI here today, one of the things that has struck me is this idea of getting projects done on time and on budget right now. And one of the things that we have just heard as well acknowledged by Minister Wawzonek on screen was, you know, the rising costs of living in the Northwest Territories and inflation as well.

So if, you know, costs of wood, steel, all have gone up over the last period of time, how really are we completing projects or expecting businesses to complete projects on behalf of the GNWT on time and on budget? Especially if projects still have the same scope, Mr. Speaker.

And so I am wondering, are conversations between the Department of Infrastructure happening with the federal government about existing projects to ensure that projects aren't being completed on the backs of northern businesses? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Member is correct. I mean, you look at some of the infrastructure projects and the costs overruns and this government, going through our budget stuff and in a current deficit, it is difficult to look at some of the infrastructure projects, especially if it is our mandate item. You know, we have a mandate to be able to -- 22 mandate items is a lot to, a lot to go through. We have heard it all week here, so I mean, we are looking at specific projects, going to the federal government, seeking additional money to be able to at least advance some of these projects. And it is a challenge, like I mean within each of our different departments and trying to push some of our projects forward. So it is a challenge. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, on this one here I was looking for kind of commitments around what conversations are happening at federal tables in order to protect NWT businesses in contracts that they have entered into before COVID, before inflation, and that they are now bound to in this new market. And especially where we heard today a contract was signed in 2019, it is now 2022, and the work is still being expected to be on time -- well, it's not on time, on budget, under the same scope. And so you how is the GNWT working with the federal government to protect northern businesses in these existing contracts? Thank you.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I feel like it's not just Minister of Infrastructure but it's Minister of Finance, the Premier, all having discussions at the federal level to be able to advance and seek additional funding for these projects. You know, some of the contracts that we have are -- that's the private contractor's role, to be able to -- to do the work within the contract scope. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I guess what I am going to do is kind of shift here to just a GNWT focus and take the feds out of the equation.

So even within the GNWT, there are existing contracts. We have hundreds of millions of dollars of carryovers from Infrastructure every year and some of those are contracts that have already been set before COVID, before the inflation. Like even a contract that was set at this time last year would have been incurring additional -- substantial additional costs this year. And some of those might have people in certain business situations where really they are almost expected to now pay out of pocket to be able to work for the GNWT, depending on the sector, depending on the project.

And so what is the GNWT then on its own, its own contracts, what kind of conversations are they having with northern businesses about those existing contracts to make sure the work gets done without costing northern businesses money to work for the government? Thank you.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, that is a good question. I mean, you know, we look at some of our contracts and staying within scope is difficult. And, you know, we do experience costs overruns in some of these projects but we do as a department, Infrastructure anyways, work with the contractors to make sure that we stay within targets and within milestone and budget as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, I know colleagues have questions so I will sit down, thank you.

Question 1078-19(2): Northwest Territories Business Protection with Inflation
Oral Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Okay, taken as a comment. Oral questions. Member for Great Slave.

Question 1079-19(2): Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport Expansion Project
Oral Questions

March 31st, 2022

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm going to try again with the Minister of Infrastructure.

In all of these supposed meetings that they've been having with the joint venture, were there any participation by project officers, engineers, technical staff, directors, or have they all been high level with Indigenous governments? Thank you.

Question 1079-19(2): Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport Expansion Project
Oral Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. This line of questions is taken on notice earlier. It has to be on a different question, sorry.

Question 1079-19(2): Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

(Audio)

Question 1079-19(2): Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport Expansion Project
Oral Questions

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Okay. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Question 1079-19(2): Inuvik Mike Zubko Airport Expansion Project
Oral Questions

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we've had a number of meetings at all levels. I mean, I've reached out to some of the contacts within the JV. My deputy minister had meetings with National Defence. We've had several different meetings that have occurred. As for who is involved and what's their credentials, I don't know that at this time. Perhaps maybe they are engineers. I know one of our ADMs is, and he's been at the meetings, so. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.