- His favourite word was federal.
Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Yellowknife South
Won his last election, in 2015, with 70% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Question 812-18(3): Country Food in Healthcare Facilities August 15th, 2019
Approved owners of wildlife are experienced and licenced community harvesters or hunters and outfitters who harvest and provide gifts of wild meats according to the Northwest Territories Wildlife Act. Renewable resource officers may donate wild game meats which were unlawfully harvested. Fish may be donated by fishers holding sport fishing or commercial fishing licences. Plants like berries, edible greens, Labrador tea, and spruce tea tips may also be donated by community harvesters. I should point out that no licence is required to harvests plants.
Question 812-18(3): Country Food in Healthcare Facilities August 15th, 2019
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Traditional foods are presently being cooked and served to the patients by the Indigenous Wellness Program at Stanton Territorial Hospital with the support of Dexterra, the company that provides food services in the hospital. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Minister's Statement 223-18(3): Minister Absent from the House August 15th, 2019
Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the honourable Glen Abernethy will be absent from the House today due to illness. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Minister's Statement 219-18(3): Offshore Oil and Gas Negotiations August 14th, 2019
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to update this Assembly on negotiations toward the shared management of oil and gas resources in the NWT offshore, along with our ongoing work to undertake a five-year, science-based review of the federal moratorium on offshore oil and gas activity in Arctic waters.
Mr. Speaker, the devolution agreement commits Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories, with the participation of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, to undertake negotiations for the management of oil and gas resources and the sharing of revenues in the offshore. Canada made a similar commitment to the Government of Yukon.
Northerners should be in charge of decisions about the future of the North and need the opportunity to grow the Northwest Territories economy based on the responsible development of the Northwest Territories' rich reserves of natural resources.
As Members are aware, negotiations began in April of this year in Inuvik. Since that time, two additional negotiation sessions have been held, one in Yellowknife in May and one in Calgary in June. An approach to guide ongoing negotiations has been agreed upon and will anchor the negotiation across the federal and Northwest Territories election periods.
Negotiations are set to resume in January 2020, but work will continue with ongoing discussions and preparation for negotiations to continue until then.
Mr. Speaker, concurrent with negotiations, a separate table has been established to oversee the five-year, science-based review process for the federal moratorium on offshore activity in the Western Arctic, which was unilaterally imposed by Canada in 2016 without any consultation with our government.
Parties to this table include Canada, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon. This provides the GNWT and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation with direct input into the science-based review and also the decision on whether or not the moratorium will be lifted following the completion of the five-year review.
This work is a priority of our government and is a mandate item. To show our commitment to this important work, we have established a small Office of Devolution Initiatives within the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs, comprised of three staff. This office will lead our work on this file, along with work associated with a review of the transitional provisions under the devolution agreement with respect to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
Mr. Speaker, the GNWT remains committed to ensuring that northern decision-makers have a strong role in resource management decisions that will directly affect NWT residents. Decisions cannot and should not be made unilaterally from Ottawa. Our work to negotiate an offshore resource and revenue-sharing regime in the Beaufort region is a tangible step towards empowering Northerners through self-determination.
I look forward to the work ahead and hope that this important work will be successfully completed early in the life of the 19th Legislative Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Minister's Statement 218-18(3): Minister Absent from the House August 14th, 2019
Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the Members that the Honourable Glen Abernethy will be absent in the House today due to illness. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I guess it's a fine line that we walk because we try to respect the regional Aboriginal government, such as the Dehcho First Nation. We do not want to be seen as dividing and conquering, so we work with the regional Aboriginal government. In this case, in reference to the K'atlodeeche First Nation, they are no longer part of the Dehcho First Nation. They have signed on to the devolution agreement of 2014, and they are part of our intergovernmental counsel. We have also signed a formal government-to-government arrangement by signing an MoU with the K'atlodeeche First Nation, which we formalize this, regular meetings on an annual basis, and to work out on different priorities and issues. I guess I should also raise the fact that the on-reserve/off-reserve issue also complicates the matter because the K'atlodeeche First Nation is also on reserve, so it does make it very complex, so that is the difference in engagement.
Each region has a regional management team, and we also have a regional director; one in the north and one in the south. Our regional management team is committed to continuing engagement with the community. Departments such as MACA and the NWT Housing Corporation have committed to ongoing support and engagement. We want to ensure that our engagement is effective. The regional management committee will work to expand these engagements into other areas of priority as identified by the community.
The fact that we are only a couple of weeks away before the writ is dropped, I don't anticipate that there will be any political visits or engagement with the community. I expect that early in the new 19th Assembly, there will be lots of opportunities for future engagement with the Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Government of the Northwest Territories is happy to work with the Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation to advance their priorities. I certainly agree with the notion that building a better relationship will lead to new possibilities. Each community develops its own infrastructure plan supported by Government of the Northwest Territories funding. MACA provides advice and support on projects and priorities.
We are happy to continue these discussions and look for opportunities to leverage federal funding to achieve the community's priorities. One challenge we all face as leaders is the reality of having more priorities than funding. MACA can support some of the critical analysis required to ensure the local development of their capital plans that will reflect their priorities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
There was no breach involved whatsoever. Five mandate items were all agreed to by this Assembly. It is in the mandate of the Government of the Northwest Territories. I will be tabling the mandate document before the end of this sitting. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
With the five mandate items that directed that we make progress in a number of areas, including oil and gas and also investments in our natural resources, in our view, if the energy sector in southern Canada disappears, then there is very little hope for further investments in oil and gas in the Northwest Territories, and it would affect future developments.
I felt that it was important to make sure that our concerns were addressed. It is very difficult for a small territory to get their interests addressed at a national level, and so I have made it a practice to work with all three of the leading parties in Canada to make sure that our interests are represented and, also, working very closely with my Premier colleagues in Canada to help us advance our interests.
Help us improve OpenNWT
Please only include contact information if you would like to hear back.