- 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
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think that the last speaker was very apt. This is a complicated set of governance in the Northwest Territories. It gets even more complicated when you bring in designated authorities, but I think that the point here is to achieve the consistency that was obtained with the lands act.
I think that land is as significant a management issue as subsurface rights, and to think that we would have municipalities informed of land transfers, but not informed of intended work, really doesn't give them the tools that they need to understand what is going around them. The community that I represent is a rather large one and has a very effective local government. Really, I see no reason why we can't afford them the same notice provisions that we have already built into another territorial statute.
I think it is important that we show that kind of respect for our municipalities, because local governance in the Northwest Territories is at the core of what we do here. In a vast territory that is geographically separate, we have to give our local governments as many tools as they can to be effective in meeting the needs of their residents.
I strongly support this motion, notwithstanding the complexities here. If this was alien or a foreign concept, then perhaps I would have objections, but this is something that already exists in statute, and I think that we should be as consistent in possible in our regulatory framework moving forward. This does exactly that. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you. We're in 2019, we have a very unique circumstances for governance in the Northwest Territories, and we have to continue on the path of reconciliation and respect Indigenous partners. That they have an inherent right to self-government and many of those self-governments have come forward.
In regards to Indigenous governments being involved in the creation of zones, I think that that is important, but at the end of the day, it is the Minister who approves the zone. The Minister is a representative of the public Government of the Northwest Territories for all of the people of the Northwest Territories, and that is his role.
To have an opportunity for the public to comment on the establishment of a zone, which, again, is the Minister's discretion, is not a mandatory decision that is made after an Indigenous government proposes a zone, so I don't think that this impacts the ability of the new special relationships that have been established through zones.
I think that this is important for scrutiny, transparency, and allowing everyone to weigh in, including industry, including civil society, and hold a public representative of government making decisions on behalf of the public government to have those decisions appropriately scrutinized and held to a level of transparency that the public expects in 2019 as well. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
How does industry, then, build a new zone or create a new zone to enable prospecting permits once they expire after 15 years and the act comes into force? Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Okay, that's clear. That grandfathered clause that's going to be carried over, will it be subject to the 15-year period as outlined in clause 11? Thank you.
Section 24(1) says: For the purposes of the section, applicable in respect of Indigenous governments and organizations, or those Indigenous governments and organizations. That's at the request of a zone. How does industry who basically wants to obtain a prospecting permit, how do they apply for a zone because this section is fairly explicit that it would be an Indigenous government that would have to request a zone be created. How does industry go about doing it, as they did with prospecting permits? Thank you.
I see that now. Is the plan going forward to better define, I guess on the top of this and what we've heard over the course of the debate is that it's a discrete mechanism or instrument for Indigenous governments to seek greater mining benefits, or encourage more mining exploration in their co-manage areas or traditional territories. That's the explicit purpose of the section.
I think prospecting licences or permits, rather, have a different purpose, a different policy statement, and I think that's why there's the confusion here. I agree 100 percent with the read that the transitional, that these are enabling for those transitional provisions, but this section, it feels orphaned with the stated intent of this.
What is the plan going forward? Is it to do this through the regulations that come next? Is it to provide a legislative amendment to include another subclause that's going to contain zones? The prospecting licences are not clearly defined apart from that traditional provision, and using this section as an instrument. Can we get some clarity on what the policy intention is moving forward as it relates to clearly defining zones as an instrument for prospecting permits apart from a transitional provision? Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Could I just get the section of the transitional provision again, covering the prospecting permits? Thank you.
Thank you. Would it be fair to characterize this zone section as having nothing to do with prospecting permits in its current form because they are addressed through a transitional provision? Thank you.
Thank you. Which part of the subclauses of clause 24 address the prospecting permit instrument? Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Could the witnesses explain how this provision of the act applies to prospecting permits? I hope I've got that right, but I'll just express the concern. The correspondence committee heard from industry that this was broadly supportive of the zones because they have been told, and they see it as an extension of prospecting permits which are under the old mining regulations. Could we have an explanation of how zones apply to that? Thank you.
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