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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was public.

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Kam Lake

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 23% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Yes, where there is not an existing land rights with benefit provisions within that land rights agreement. Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Well, we got there. Thank you for the clarification. That is exactly what I was looking for. My next question is: for an unsettled area, where a production licence is sought in an unsettled area, what is the process for that? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Will there be additional requirements put onto those agreements if they are brought forward to the Minister, above and beyond what are contained in the land rights agreements? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

For greater clarity, the government will not attempt to bring forward regulations that contradict or add conditions above and beyond what are included in land right agreements? Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. In terms of existing land rights agreements that have conditions for benefits, will those satisfy this section? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. On the clause as amended, the new clause 1(2)(b) is saying that the requirements in subsection (1) can qualify if there is an existing agreement, but it also speaks to regulations.

Just for greater certainty, does the Minister envision a situation where, let's say, X mining company applies for a production licence; they meet the qualifications of the Tlicho agreement, for example; and then they go to the Minister and say, "We have this agreement. It meets the Tlicho land rights agreement." Will the Minister then say that that passes muster, "You have your benefits agreement; here is your licence"? Is that what this does now? Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 230-18(3): Bill 34: Mineral Resources Act - Amend subclause 52(2) by adding (1.2), Carried August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think this is a much-needed improvement, as well. I support it. It is important that we clarify this section because there was a great deal of confusion and not just amongst industry looking at the clause and trying to figure it out and providing submissions to the committee's public consultation but also when the committee consulted with Indigenous governments who were involved in co-drafting. There was some confusion as to what benefit agreements are.

I think this is a much-needed improvement to the bill. I think it shows that the Northwest Territories is a place where social licence is a very high priority for our industry, where they have taken great pains to ensure that the conditions contained in Indigenous land rights agreements are carried out to the letter and that benefits are provided to the people who have used the land since time immemorial. I am glad that we finally can turn the page on this in the legislation and we have provided certainty.

I may have more questions if this motion amends the bill. At this point, I am very pleased to see this, and I commend the Minister for bringing it forward. Thank you.

Committee Motion 229-18(3): Bill 34: Mineral Resources Act - Delete and Replace clause 52(1), Carried August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Committee raised these concerns around the vagueness, and I want to commend the government on trying something here to give some more certainty to the provisions that surround benefit agreements with Indigenous governments and organizations. I think this is a much more precise point in time. It ties it to production licenses, unlike the current wording of the act, which is to a production project, which isn't clearly defined. The (a) part of the clause clearly connects it with the life cycle of mining work, so I think this is a needed improvement to provide that level of specificity and clarity to industry and to Indigenous governments, as well, and to anyone who is interested in knowing when these requirements are going to kick in under the legislation. So I support this clause. Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would request a division in clause 51 and that the vote be recorded.

Committee Motion 228-18(3): Bill 34: Mineral Resources Act - Delete and Replace clause 51, Defeated August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think that this is a commendable effort to improve, again, a section that is far too vague. Part of me very much wants to see this kind of certainty and specificity added to the legislation, especially after the debate that we have had on the floor so far where we couldn't even get a straight answer that this is just going to enshrine best practices and move forward along that basis. That being said, my concern is that, unlike section 52, I am not sure if industry has been properly consulted on this.

Even though this is a discretionary clause, I would like to know firmly that all stakeholders who are engaged in this have an opportunity to weigh in on it and cooperatively develop how this is going to look. There may be an opportunity to do that in regulations, but there certainly wasn't an opportunity to do that in statute.

I think that the only remedy for clause 51 is to delete the clause and let the next government work on building a better clause. Although I am sympathetic to why this is before us, I am not in a position to support it today, but I do truly commend the efforts of Members to bring this forward. I think that it is their best efforts to correct a very flawed component of this legislation. Thank you, Mr. Chair.