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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was land.

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Thebacha

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 6% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committee Motion 202-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and the Environment Report on the Review of Bill 46: Public Land Act - Consultation on Amendment of Regulations for the Public Land Act, Carried August 19th, 2019

Yes, thank you, Mr. Chair. As has been mentioned in some of the comments that we have already heard, this was the bringing together of two pieces of legislation. Originally, the original plan Members will recall was to amend both acts, so, after hearing from respondents, we considered merging the two acts, so really this is a combination and an improvement of the two acts. I am also informed that IGCS specifically asked for minimal engagement on the bill, including no technical working group. The new act did not create any new authorities and dealt only with administrative and technical barriers to consistent land administration. I mean this is not a bill, an act, that is breaking new ground. There may be improvements in the future. I am sure I will hear about that. I listened seriously to the recommendations that committee brought forward. Yes, so this does represent an improvement on what we had before. Is it perfect? No, but we needed to move ahead with this.

As I say, at the beginning, we were going to amend both acts. I could not really understand why we could not put it all together in one, and we did hear through the engagement period, people did tell us, that we should consider, in fact suggested that we consider strongly, having this with one act, which is what we have done. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 202-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and the Environment Report on the Review of Bill 46: Public Land Act - Consultation on Amendment of Regulations for the Public Land Act, Carried August 19th, 2019

Yes, thank you, Mr. Chair. To my left is Willard Hagen, deputy minister of Lands; to my right, Melissa Bard, manager, legislation, Lands; and, to her right, Christina Brownlee, legislative counsel, Justice. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 202-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and the Environment Report on the Review of Bill 46: Public Land Act - Consultation on Amendment of Regulations for the Public Land Act, Carried August 19th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am here to present Bill 46, Public Land Act. The purpose of the bill to is establish the rules for creating and transferring interest in public land from one party to another.

Bill 46 seeks to harmonize the two existing public land administration regimes under the Northwest Territories Lands Act and the Commissioner's Land Act. This bill addresses the technical and administrative inconsistencies between the acts and consolidates them into a single legislative foundation. Public land administration cuts across all sectors and all regions. This harmonization allows us to better serve our residents, attract investment, and diversify our economy.

Bill 46 addresses the administration of public land through:

  • issuing and administering leases for a range of uses such as residences, cabins, agriculture, and small businesses;
  • setting aside public land through government reserves or land withdrawals to support public infrastructure development, land claim negotiations, and protected areas;
  • administering quarry and mineral resources; and
  • inspections and compliance programs to prevent public liabilities.

Bill 46 is the result of careful work and broad engagement and is an important first step to help improve land administration in the Northwest Territories. Northerners need to have a consistent legislative base for public land administration to evolve and respond to local needs.

I would like to thank Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment for their thorough review of the bill. I would also like to thank our respective officials for their collaboration to find mutually agreeable solutions that have enhanced and improved the bill. I am prepared to answer any questions Members may have. Thank you.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 19th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize Rachel Dell, the curator of the Northern Life Museum and Culture Centre in Fort Smith. I would also like to recognize Corbin Sinclair from Fort Smith on receiving the Youth Award from the Minister's Culture and Heritage Circle. Mr. Sinclair is 17 and has embraced his culture through drumming, hand games, and Dene games. He demonstrates hand games at school and at cultural events. He attended the 2018 Arctic Winter Games, where he won a gold ulu for stick pole, and the 2019 Canada Winter Games, where he was a demonstrator of Dene and Inuit games. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 824-18(3): Uncontested Lands within Municipal Boundaries August 16th, 2019

It is rather difficult to predict the future. However, as I said, Lands and I expect MACA, also, is very well aware of the concerns of the municipalities, which we will take into account as we move forward.

Question 824-18(3): Uncontested Lands within Municipal Boundaries August 16th, 2019

As mentioned, MACA and Lands are working on a strategy, which, hopefully, will clarify to municipalities what they need to do to obtain land in the communities. As I say, it is now currently done on a case-by-case basis. I do understand the frustrations of some of the communities, including some of the larger ones.

Question 824-18(3): Uncontested Lands within Municipal Boundaries August 16th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As a former municipal councillor, as is the Member opposite, I have been aware of this issue, which is an important issue in many of our communities. There is no overall policy to transfer all Commissioner's land in municipal boundaries to municipalities. Applications can be made by municipalities to obtain portions and parts of that land. I do realize it is an important issue. As I mentioned yesterday, MACA and Lands staff are currently finalizing a strategy on the process with the transfer of land assets specifically to community governments. We do recognize the importance of this issue. We are working on it. I, like the Member opposite, do understand the needs of communities. Thank you.

Question 818-18(3): Sexual Assault Reporting August 16th, 2019

I do not know whether I can make that commitment. I will get back to the Member, however, after speaking with the department. Thank you.

Question 818-18(3): Sexual Assault Reporting August 16th, 2019

As I said, the department is in the process of finalizing a document as to what was heard, and, that document, I can commit to sharing that document. Ultimately, the document may be tabled. However, that would require it to be translated, as I understand it, I am informed, into French, and that probably would take place in the next Assembly.

Question 818-18(3): Sexual Assault Reporting August 16th, 2019

As I mentioned, the meeting was well attended. I am not in a position to answer the question of the Member opposite at this time, simply because I do not know.