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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

I'll interpret that as "no." The fact that we don't know where this is headed, that it's incredibly broad, those were the initial concerns of committee, and I really hope that gets resolved tonight, that there is some clarity on this, because this is a big hole in this legislation that is solved by regulations, and we don't get to decide those, and we don't know what those are going to look like. So we need some certainly on this, and if all we could get is policy certainty tonight, I'd be happy, but we couldn't even get that. So I still have grave concerns around this section. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. What I am trying to seek clarity on is, A, how broad is this, and I think we've learned it's fairly broad; and B, given that, most likely, this will not change from its current form tonight, let's give crystal clear certainty what the government plans to do with this moving forward.

The Minister can say that there are no concerns from industry or investor confidence. We've got correspondence that says this section is very vague. So if he could just put on the public record tonight that this is just codifying what is currently going on in the Northwest Territories and there are no plans to change it, that would be a comfort to me and a comfort, I think, to our home audience. Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Could this section be used to enable regulations that creates a penalty regime if companies aren't able to meet their benefits governed by this section? Yes or no. Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Just once more for clarity, the Minister will confirm that the government's position on this clause is to continue the practice of best-effort socio-economic agreements moving forward into the regulations? Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you. I think that system works very well. Yet, we have this clause. What is the intention of this clause? Is the intention of this clause to change best efforts? Sorry. What is the policy direction? Will this clause be used to change the state of play away from best efforts and towards prescribed benefits for the public? Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you. That was very clear. That is what industry is looking at when they see a section like that that is so vague you could drive a truck through it, having that kind of certainty. If a socio-economic agreement is so signed that is governed by this section, if a company or mining project isn't able to meet the terms of the agreement, will regulations be drafted to create some sort of penalty if the agreement is breached in any measurable way? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Flexibility is one way to put it. I would call it intentionally vague. The committee received evidence that that is what was intended here: to make it intentionally vague so it could be plugged by regulations. My concern is that this is so wide-reaching, it could cover every aspect of the mineral cycle, including exploration. Can the Minister confirm that the intention of the section is solely restricted to the conditions that cause socio-economic agreements to arise, namely production? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you. I am not sure what list the Minister is referencing. There is list that is being proposed. I am asking very clear questions about what this means because I am hoping to get a clear policy intent for the public that is listening to these proceedings. If the Minster could be careful to understand the questions and I will be careful to read them clearly. This section is quite broad in its application. If I am to assume that this is to legislate socio-economic agreements, what is the government's vision for this? Is it to legislate socio-economic agreements to be binding on industry? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you. What does that mean, we need the flexibility? I am unclear on that. I wasn't proposing any changes to this. I was asking: is it a socio-economic agreement? What flexibility is the Minister indicating in his response? Thank you.

Recorded Vote August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. This clause governs benefits prescribed in respect to measures to provide benefits to people of the Northwest Territories. What is the practical instrument force that is contemplated by this clause? Is it a socio-economic agreement? Can the Minister confirm that? Thank you.