This is page numbers 5567 - 5614 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, Madam Premier. Oral questions. Written questions. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You caught me off guard.

Mr. Speaker, residents of Hay River and surrounding communities rely on the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority to provide them with timely and quality health care. Due to an ongoing and continued shortage of physicians at the facility, residents' personal health is now at risk. My questions are for the Minister for Health and Social Services and are as follows:

  1. What is the current number of physicians at Stanton Territorial Hospital, Inuvik Regional Hospital, Fort Smith Health Centre, and the Hay River Regional Health Centre, and on a per capita basis, what are the number and types of physicians needed to provide an acceptable level of healthcare service at each facility;
  2. The department of health has the responsibility of providing timely and quality health care to all residents of the Northwest Territories. Is there a policy that requires the department to commit a minimum number of physicians to each of Stanton Territorial Hospital, Inuvik Regional Hospital, Fort Smith Health Centre, and the Hay River Regional Health Centre, and if so, can you please provide a copy of the policy;
  3. Due to a lack of physicians at Hay River Regional Health Centre, have assessments been conducted to confirm the impact on the quality of health care provided to residents and staff satisfaction in the workplace, and if so, what were the assessment outcomes and recommendations;
  4. For the community of Hay River, will the department of health consider turning over responsibility for physician recruitment to the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority along with the financial resources and provide access to the database of physicians and outline a process to move this forward; and,
  5. Has the department of health undertaken an assessment of whether health care services for Hay River and area residents would be better served if the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority was incorporated into the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority, and are there any barriers that would make this unfeasible?

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Written questions. Returns to written questions. Mr. Clerk.

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

Mr. Speaker, I have a Return to Written Question 57-19(2) asked by the Member for Yellowknife North on February 9th, 2023, to the Minister of Infrastructure regarding the Payments for Leased Space. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Infrastructure maintains a portfolio of general office space in accordance with the Government of the Northwest Territories' Leasing of Improved Real Property Policy. This policy is publicly available online and includes more detailed information regarding some of the exclusions and inclusions on the types of leases administered by the GNWT. Leasing of improved real property is excluded from the business incentive policy.

In addition, the Department of Infrastructure is not able to provide details on individual leases, including costs and lease terms. If this information were to be made public, it may impact the commercial real estate market and influence pricing for future leases. Infrastructure and the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs intend to work together to review the Leasing of Improved Real Property Policy once the review of the GNWT procurement review is complete.

I would also like to answer the specific questions raised by the Member, including providing lease fees paid by the GNWT to the following companies, broken down by individual lease and building space, for the last ten years as follows:

1. All lease payments made to Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund (Northview) and its predecessor companies, broken down both by residential leases and commercial leases per year

The GNWT has six commercial office space leases with Northview, which are administered by the Department of Infrastructure for a total annual lease cost of $8.9 million. This includes the base rent plus operations and maintenance.

2. All lease payments made to KingSett Capital, which is the co-owner of Northview, for the last ten years and broken down by residential and commercial leases per year.

The GNWT has four commercial office space leases with KingSett Capital, which are administered by the Department of Infrastructure for a total of $6.5 million. This includes base rent plus operations and maintenance.

In relation to these first two questions, the Department of Infrastructure is not responsible for GNWT residential leases and is therefore not able to provide information related to residential leases.

3. The total of future lease commitments to the above companies and the expiration date of each of those leases

The total future lease commitments for leases related to Northview is $20.1 million, which includes base rent plus operations and maintenance. The total future lease commitments for leases related to Kingsett Capital is $26.855 million, which includes base rent plus operations and maintenance.

4. A clear breakdown of how each of the leases were tendered and in what year they went out for public competition, if at all.

The GNWT is required to initially obtain new office space by public tender or request for proposals, except where Executive Council has authorized negotiations. The Department of Infrastructure cannot influence which businesses choose to pursue these opportunities.

The following information can be disclosed for the last 10 years of commercial office space leases held by the GNWT:

  • 47 leases were transferred to the Department of Infrastructure by other GNWT departments;
  • 9 federal leases were transferred to the GNWT during devolution;
  • 28 current leases were acquired via public procurement; and,
  • 9 leases were negotiated, with approval from the Executive Council.

Later today, at the appropriate time, I will table additional information to the Member's questions regarding payments for commercial leased space administered by the Department of Infrastructure. Thank you, Mr. Speaker

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. Replies to the Commissioner's address. Petitions. Reports of committees on the review of bills. Member for Great Slave.

Bill 68: An Act to Amend the Child Daycare Act
Reports Of Committees On The Review Of Bills

March 2nd, 2023

Page 5575

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Your committee would like to report on its consideration of Bill 68, An Act to Amend the Child Daycare Act.

Bill 68 received second reading in the Legislative Assembly on November 3rd, 2022 and was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Development for review.

On March 1st, 2023, the standing committee held a public hearing and clause-by-clause review of the bill with the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Six motions to amend the bill were carried by committee and concurred with by the Minister. The committee thanks the Minister and department for their hard work and collaboration to improve this bill.

Mr. Speaker, the committee reports that Bill 68, An Act to Amend the Child Daycare Act, is ready for consideration in Committee of the Whole as amended and reprinted. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 68: An Act to Amend the Child Daycare Act
Reports Of Committees On The Review Of Bills

Page 5575

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Reports of committees on the review of bills. Reports of standing and special committees. Member for Yellowknife North.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have got three pages for you today.

Mr. Speaker, your Standing Committee on Government Operations is pleased to provide its Report on Bill 67, An Act to Amend the Fire Prevention Act, and commends it to the House.

Introduction

Bill 67: An Act to Amend the Fire Prevention Act received second reading on November. 3, 2022 and was referred to the Standing Committee on Government Operations for review.

Bill 67 makes changes to the Fire Prevention (Act) that has not been comprehensively reviewed since it was first passed in 1988. Bill 67 is intended to improve regulatory functions of the Act, create an authoritative plan review process, and a formal avenue of appeal for plan reviews, as well as provide protection against personal liability that is comparable to other jurisdictions.

The new act specifically changes the following:

  • adds a liability exclusion for fire officials.
  • authorizes the fire marshal to delegate duties.
  • requirements made in a plan review report are binding.
  • establishes a plan review appeal board.
  • modernizes language.

Committee Considered Public Input

Committee sought public feedback on Bill 67 with a public notice and targeted engagement letters. Committee received written submissions from the Northwest Territories Association of Communities which is included as an appendix to this report.

On January 12, 2023, committee held a public hearing to review Bill 67. At that meeting, committee heard remarks from Minister of MACA, asked questions to departmental officials, and received oral comments from the NWTAC. Committee thanks the NWTAC for their engagement.

One area that NWTAC identified was the need to provide clarity and certainty with respect to the timelines of the appeal board process. Committee agreed with this concern.

Committee also held concerns regarding the composition of the board and wanted to ensure the appeal board would consist of industry professionals from across the NWT and not be filled with public servants.

Committee was initially concerned about the exclusion of liability clause for the Minister or others carrying out a power or duty by the Act, but committee recognizes this is necessary to provide protection against personal liability for those performing statutory functions and that the clause is consistent with other jurisdictions across Canada.

Committee recognizes the NWT lacks standalone building standards legislation, as most other jurisdictions across Canada have. Committee has expressed concern that without building standards legislation the fire marshal is becoming the authority for both fire and buildings. The NWT is currently the only Canadian jurisdiction that has not adopted a building standards framework to support the National Building Code and the National Fire Code. The GNWT has identified this legislation needs to be developed and is targeting for the 20th Assembly.

Committee Amended Three Clauses

Timeline for Appeal Board Process

While committee welcomes the establishment of an appeal board to deal with appeals on decisions of the fire marshal, committee was concerned the legislation did not provide enough clarity on timelines for the process. The NWTAC also requested the timeline for appeal board processes be clarified in legislation.

A motion was drafted to ensure a clear timeline was established for the appeal board to make a decision on the appeal board hearing. Clause 14 of Bill 67 is amended to establish a 30-day period for the board to "affirm, modify or revoke the order."

Committee is satisfied this motion provides a clear timeline for the appeal board process to be carried out and that the motion to amend clause 14.1(3) was passed at the clause-by-clause review.

Appeal Board Composition

While committee supports the establishment of an appeal board there was concern about the composition of the board. Committee specifically wanted to ensure that the GNWT would not create another board that is filled by public servants. Committee refers specifically to the composition of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation board held by deputy ministers and views this as highly inefficient and ineffective. Committee also wanted to ensure that clear provisions were in place to ensure industry professionals from across the NWT filled the composition of the appeal board.

A motion was drafted to ensure the "Minister shall make reasonable efforts to appoint members who are representative of the industries and communities of the Northwest Territories."

This motion was passed at the clause-by-clause review.

A motion was drafted to ensure public servants refrain from participation in the appeal board. The motion provided certainty that "the Minister shall not appoint a member of the public service to the board."

This motion was passed at the clause-by-clause review.

Conclusion

On February 13th, 2023, committee held a clause-by-clause review. Committee passed the motions to report Bill 67, as amended, to the Legislative Assembly as ready for consideration in Committee of the Whole.

This concludes the Standing Committee on Government Operations' review of Bill 67. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Reports of standing and special committees. Member for Yellowknife North.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Thebacha, that the Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on Bill 67, An Act to Amend the Fire Prevention Act, be received and adopted by the Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. The motion is in order. To the motion?

Some Hon. Members

Question.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried. It will be received and adopted by the Assembly.

---Carried

Reports of standing and special committees. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document: Information for Return to Written Question 57-19(2): Payments for Leased Space. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Tabling of documents. Member for Thebacha.

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a publication from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addictions entitled "Canada's Guidance on Alcohol and Health: Final Report." Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Tabling of documents. Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I wish to table the following two documents: The first one, Environment and Climate Change Canada Guidance for Using Climate Pollution Pricing Proceeds; the second one, November 2022 GNWT Mineral Royalties Presentation to Yellowknife Geoscience Forum: "Financial Modeling in Support of Revising the Royalty Regime of Mining in the NWT" by Michael Doggett, Nick Dennahower, and Hendrik Falck. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Tabling of documents. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to table an order of the Alberta Energy Regulator to Imperial Oil Resources Limited regarding the Kearl Oil Sands Processing Plant. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Tabling of documents. Notices of motion. Motions. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. Minister responsible for Justice.

Bill 72: Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act
Notices Of Motion For The First Reading Of Bills

Page 5576

R.J. Simpson

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Monday, March 6th, 2023, I will present Bill 72, Opioid Damages and Healthcare Costs Recovery Act, to be read for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 72: Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act
Notices Of Motion For The First Reading Of Bills

Page 5576

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. Member for Thebacha.

Bill 73: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, No. 4
Notices Of Motion For The First Reading Of Bills

Page 5576

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I give notice that on Monday, March the 6th, 2023, I will present Bill 73, An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, No. 4, to be ready for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 73: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, No. 4
Notices Of Motion For The First Reading Of Bills

Page 5577

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. First reading of bills. Second reading of bills. Consideration in Committee of the Whole of bills and other matters, Bill 23, 29, 61, 63, 66, and 67, Committee Report 40-19(2), Committee Report 43-19(2), Committee Report 44-19(2), Minister's Statement 264-19(2), Tabled Document 681-19(2), Tabled Document 694-19(2), and Tabled Document 813-19(2), with Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes in the chair.