This is page numbers 6089 - 6140 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

Question 1497-19(2): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 6095

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For change of protocol a little bit, I would like to -- I'd seek unanimous consent to return to item number 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1497-19(2): Taltson Hydro Expansion
Oral Questions

Page 6095

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Okay, the Premier is seeking unanimous consent to return to item 5. Are there any nays?

Sorry, Premier, it's nayed.

Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 1498-19(2): Business Incentive Policy Process
Oral Questions

March 30th, 2023

Page 6095

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To clarify, once oral questions is concluded, I am more than happy to go back to anything but returning now ends the time on the clock and I am going to use it.

My question, Mr. Speaker, is for Minister of ITI. We have been waiting years for a new procurement policy that will finally give us a new definition of northern business and hopefully that definition you will remove Walmart from BIP. When are we going to see that definition? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1498-19(2): Business Incentive Policy Process
Oral Questions

Page 6095

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister responsible for Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Question 1498-19(2): Business Incentive Policy Process
Oral Questions

Page 6095

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have answered that question this session already. It's part of the work that's underway right now. I can already say to the Member that we do already now have unified policies and objectives for procurement. That's a huge step forward. That is certainly a good starting place. There's a lot of information on the websites right now. New manufacturing guidelines, new manufacturing policy, new guidelines under BIP. And the definition right now, part of the delay there, is we are also working on an Indigenous procurement process with Indigenous partners. That work is still underway. We are not going to wait entirely for that finish before finishing the northern definition, and that will be worked on right now in the life of this government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1498-19(2): Business Incentive Policy Process
Oral Questions

Page 6095

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6095

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a question for the Minister of Finance. What in the federal budget will support an offset for the added cost of the carbon tax increase? Thank you.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6095

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Finance.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it's not my place necessarily to speak to what is or is not in the federal budget. What I can say, Mr. Speaker, having spent a lot more time studying in depth what was in Budget 2022 of the federal government is that there is still opportunities to use that money towards addressing the fact of the carbon tax. In addition to which is they're only just starting to roll out what's happening in Budget 2023. We want to strike while we can, Mr. Speaker. I am glad there's a minister in the House from the federal government. We want to use all of the resources of the federal government 2022-2023, and we want to get the North off of fossil fuels. This is our opportunity, and I'm glad they're here to hear it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I'm pleased to hear that there's a minister -- a federal minister in the gallery. I didn't even know that.

Mr. Speaker, residents and businesses in the NWT are struggling. How does this government expect to provide immediate support while we are waiting on this cheap green energy that's supposed to show up at some point? Thank you.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There continues to be, Mr. Speaker, a number of different initiatives -- well, before I go any further, I want to give a shout out to the Arctic Energy Alliance. They do a lot of work in this space, and they receive a lot of funding from our government to continue the work that they do in this space in terms of energy audits and ensuring that there's alternatives and paths forward and to help chart those paths forward. So I'd certainly encourage everyone to reach out to them. There are also funds within our government, again, to help support businesses in their changeovers. And, Mr. Speaker, as we've always done, and as we continue to do, ITI, there's a lot of supports in the business space through SEED in terms of helping businesses to grow their capacity. If they're growing their capacity, if they're growing their business, then they certainly will have more funds available to them. The COLO payment that we have, Mr. Speaker, built in purchasing power for residents so that they can help address the fact that they may be facing higher costs from businesses. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think I'm going to ask this question again, and there's something wrong with my earpiece so I didn't hear the answer.

Will the Minister ask the federal government to consider exempting residents and businesses of the Northwest Territories from carbon tax, because I understand the agricultural sector is looking for that in southern Canada. Thank you.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, let me sneak this one in first and just say that there is the GHG grant program for buildings and industry that does give a 25 percent eligible project cost for business and industry applicants. I want to sneak it in so that the business community does hear that and does access those funds.

Mr. Speaker, we've asked, other governments have asked, a number of Ministers have asked, hasn't gotten us very far in terms of being exempted from the carbon tax. So the Minister here has heard it himself. What I'd like to do, though, moving forward, let's get ourselves off fossil fuel, let's have more reliable energy, let's have energy alternatives. We can't do that alone. We're working off of old infrastructure. We're working in communities that don't have road access. These are things that are going to take serious dollars; they're going to take federal dollars. And if that's a commitment of the federal government, we've heard it again in this budget, they need to come to the North, they need to see the realities of the North. We are more than prepared to work with them. We're more than prepared to help communities with the federal government. And we can then be leaders in Canada and stand up and say that we've got these communities off fossil fuels. It's time to make that change, Mr. Speaker. We're here to help out. Thank you.

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 1499-19(2): Carbon Tax Increase
Oral Questions

Page 6096

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One other question that I had trouble hearing as well. Will the Minister relay to the federal government the negative impact the carbon tax has on all residents and businesses in the Northwest Territories, because people are suffering right now, especially in the northern part of the territory and we need some type of support. Like, I know that green energy is the way of the future. That's what we're looking for. But it's not going to be here today; it's not going to be here tomorrow, it's going to take a while. And so I'm hoping that, you know, federal government hears the needs that we have and the urgency of it and that, you know, we need to do something and I'm hoping that this government relays that message and makes it a strong message. Thank you.