Debates of June 10, 2024 (day 24)



Colleagues, I'd like to thank Valerie Stefansson for the opening, for her guiding words.

Before we get in there, I see some special folks in the House there today. Eleanor Young, a friend, a colleague of mine. But now this is going to be the fun part. Mr. Dave Hurley is here today. I'd like to recognize this young man. I've known Mr. Hurley since 1983 so he looks as young as he did that day there, so I'd like to thank David. I'd like to thank Audrey. Kim, we all know Kim. And Tara, and Meagan. So thank you very much for being in the House today. I could tell more stories, but I will keep myself – I will behave myself today, right, Mr. Hurley?

Ministers’ Statements

Minister’s Statement 51-20(1): Mineral Resources Act Regulations – Preparing for Implementation

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, developing regulations for the Mineral Resources Act is one of the key commitments from the Government of the Northwest Territories to support responsible resource development. This Act represents a new chapter for our mining sector, setting the stage for modernization and shared prosperity for residents, Indigenous governments, and our industry partners.

The Act and future regulation will increase opportunities for exploration by providing more time to explore claims before transitioning to leases and making it easier to collect high-quality geoscience data. This, in turn, will attract investment and support the highly-anticipated move to an online map staking system.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is working hard, in collaboration with Indigenous governments and stakeholders, to ensure that the regulations needed to implement the Mineral Resources Act are completed within the 20th Legislative Assembly. A comprehensive policy intentions document was completed at the end of 2023.

The document captures the collaborative intent and rationale of the regulations that are being developed collaboratively and is guiding the legal drafting process.

Consensus has been reached with Indigenous governments and organizations participating in the regulation development process for almost all of the proposed policy concepts. The department is expecting an initial draft of the regulations toward the end of this year and in the first quarter of 2025, publicly sharing the proposed regulations for final engagement before they are circulated for Section 35 consultation.

Mr. Speaker, relationships will be foundational to the implementation of the Mineral Resources Act. Understanding this, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is working to ensure stakeholders are aware of and understand proposed changes and innovations, as well as the timelines for their implementation. Department officials meet regularly with representatives of the NWT's mining industry to address specific subjects or concerns and to ensure that all parties feel heard and see the full value of these regulations.

In May, the department met with NWT regulators to provide updates and advance collaborative discussions regarding the integration of the Mineral Resources Act into the broader regulatory framework. Officials also traveled to Lutselk'e to meet with elders, leaders, and residents to answer their questions and build understanding among Indigenous governments, stakeholders, and regulatory partners.

Mr. Speaker, the regulations that will bring the Mineral Resources Act into force are advancing under a protocol set out in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Lands and Resources Management, a first for our territory. This work includes restructuring the department's mineral and petroleum resources branch for efficiency and supporting the new legislation with necessary software changes for greater transparency and accessibility.

An example of this leading industry approach is the proposed modernization of the

socio-economic and impact-benefit agreements signed with diamond mines. These agreements have positioned the NWT as a leader in the social and

environmentally-conscious management of mining in Canada.

Under the Mineral Resources Act, future benefit agreements can take various flexible forms, including participation, partnership, and equity agreements, all in the spirit of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The time is right for these changes. There is a desire to chart a new way of doing business in the territory, bringing further clarity to industry and investors. This work is crucial as the territory moves towards a new era of mining amid a growing demand for critical minerals. I look forward to providing further updates on work to develop these regulations as we strive to take our territory's mining industry to new heights. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and Happy Mining Week.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Minister for ITI. Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Minister’s Statement 52-20(1): Habitat for Humanity

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, of our many partnerships, I rise today to applaud the work of Habitat for Humanity Northwest Territories. In the last 11 years, Habitat has built ten homes in the North. Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers work hard to provide affordable homes for the Northwest Territories residents, and I am pleased with the continued partnership between Habitat and Housing NWT. Housing NWT has contributed over $250,000 to Habitat for Humanity NWT. By working in partnership with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, it allows us to find ways to increase housing availability across our territory. I am always pleased when, through partnership, we can support our residents to reach their housing goals.

The week of May 13, 2024, key ceremonies were held at the two most recent builds in Hay River and Yellowknife. As much as the families and houses deserve recognition, so do the volunteers behind them - Volunteers like Dave Hurley of Yellowknife.

Dave is the co-founder and former board chair of the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. On May 14, 2024, he won Habitat for Humanity Canada's Terry Petkau Legacy Award. The national award is the highest honour for Members of the organization. Mr. Speaker, let me tell you a little about the legacy of Dave.

In 2010, Dave was concerned about the economic disparities preventing low to middle-income families from owning their own homes in the Northwest Territories. So, he helped co-found Habitat for Humanity NWT.

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember Habitat houses are not free. They are for families who lack the money for a downpayment but are willing to provide the volunteer work and mortgage payments to get a roof over their heads. These are the people Dave is dedicated to helping, even in difficult times. When Habitat for Humanity NWT was at risk of losing its affiliate status, Dave worked tirelessly with the national office to develop solutions. He even recruited family and friends to sit on the board to ensure quorum was met so local operations could continue. Under Dave's leadership, Habitat for Humanity built the ten homes I mentioned earlier. They are in Dettah, Hay River and Yellowknife.

Dave is known among colleagues and friends as a strong project manager who takes a respectful, realistic, and culturally sensitive approach to building homes in the North. Those who know him describe him as a loyal, trustworthy, compassionate volunteer who loves the North as much as he loves his family and friends. It is not unusual to see him wiping a tear when welcoming parents and children to their new homes. For these reasons and more, he is known as the Heart of Habitat for Humanity NWT.

Congratulations, Dave Hurley, on receiving Habitat for Humanity's Terry Petkau Legacy Award. Housing NWT is proud of your many accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Habitat for Humanity.uyananni, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Ministers' Statements. Deputy Premier.

Minister’s Statement 53-20(1): Premier Absent from the House

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to advise the House that the honourable Member for Hay River North, Premier, will be absent from the House for today and tomorrow to attend the Western Premiers' Conference in Whitehorse, Yukon. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Members’ Statements

Member’s Statement 271-20(1): Mining Week 2024

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The second week of June marks Mining Week, a time to celebrate the industry that has built the North as we know it and reflect on the hard work of the first pioneers and all who have come after them in maintaining and growing our engine of economic growth.

Mining Week is a proud tradition first proclaimed by Yellowknife Mayor McMahon in 1991. This year, the Nunavut and NWT Chamber of Mines will be holding the mine rescue competition on June 14th and 15th at the multiplex arena. They will also hold a miners’ picnic on the 15th outside the multiplex from 12 to 3 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, the mining industry is truly thousands of years old. People Indigenous to this land became experts in harnessing minerals long ago to create everything from nails, saws, knives and daggers, so they may craft, build, and hunt. After contact with Europeans, a boom of prospectors making their way farther north to stake claim to the source of minerals took place, bringing with them the first settlers to the North who set up communities the around these deposits establishing many of the communities we live in today. Almost a century after the first mines opened to the shores of Great Slave Lake, the industry has gone through many booms and busts and we've learned many lessons along the way. We've learned how necessary it is to respectfully partner with Indigenous nations so that the industries develop fairly to the benefit of all. We've also learned how important it is to shrink mining's ecological footprint so that Northerners can continue to enjoy a pristine natural environment.

Since the first Mining Week was proclaimed, many mines have come and gone but the crown jewel of our industry is our diamond mines. These mines have contributed $23 billion to the NWT's economy since 1999 and have spent $16 billion on procurement from NWT businesses alone with over $7 billion going to Indigenous owned businesses. Since 2015, the GNWT has collected an average of $90 million from diamond mines annually and over 3,000 workers are employed in the mining sector overall.

This Mining Week, it's time to reflect on the closing of these mines and how we must pivot to the next chapter of our mining history. The land still boasts untapped mineral resources that are the demand of world markets, but it's up to this government to make new development a reality. Let's carry on the work of the pioneers who came before us. Let's get mining back on track for the North. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Range Lake. Members' statements. Member from Monfwi.

Member’s Statement 272-20(1): Chief Jimmy Bruneau School

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Chief Jimmy Bruneau residents.

Mr. Speaker, in 1970, the Rae Band Council formed and elected Rae-Edzo School Society to build and operate a new school called Chief Jimmy Bruneau School with a capacity of over 400 students. Chief Jimmy Bruneau School also included a 100-bed residence run by the school society for nonlocal Tlicho students. This residence housed Tlicho children from all of the outlying Tlicho communities as well as N'dilo and Dettah.

Around 1992, when Akaitcho Hall was in the process of closing down, Chief Jimmy Bruneau School became a regional high school where students from Gameti, Wekweeti, Whati, Dettah, and N'dilo were housed in the residence to complete their high school. Around 2004, the residence closed, but the children and youth still remained in Behchoko and moved to boarding homes.

Mr. Speaker, to this day students in Wekweeti who want to complete high school education must move to Behchoko, Whati, and Gameti, and home board with local families. Mr. Speaker, the Rae-Edzo School Society operated the school but it was still a federally funded residential school. My concern is that hundreds of children were housed in residence at Chief Jimmy Bruneau School, yet these people are still not recognized as having had to attend residential school - a school that was designed and funded by the same department that funded residential school.

No students who were forced to attend Chief Jimmy Bruneau School have been eligible for any compensation for their experience at residential school. Mr. Speaker, hundreds of students were forced to leave their homes as young as six and seven years old. I myself remember being in grade 2 with classmates from Whati, Dettah, and N'dilo. These children were forced to leave their parents and safety of their family to attend school hundreds of kilometers away.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Member from Monfwi, your time is up.

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you. A school for many children only accessible by plane. This is a traumatic experience, and there is no recognition of the experience these survivors lived through. I will have questions for the Premier. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Monfwi. Members' statements. Member from Frame Lake.

Member’s Statement 273-20(1): Habitat for Humanity

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I was going to do an acknowledgement for Dave Hurley today but being the selfless guy that he is, he asked that I instead highlight the important work Habitat for Humanity is doing in the NWT. So that is what I am speaking about today.

Habitat for Humanity Northwest Territories is a non-profit organization working toward a North where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Established in 2013, the NWT affiliate is one of the youngest in the country. Their mission is to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through affordable homeownership for working northern families by providing a hand up, not a handout. It is not a free home, and homes are not given away. Applicants must be able to make affordable mortgage payments and contribute 500 volunteer hours working on their home or in the community. Habitat uses a shared equity mortgage model to lower the cost of homeownership and provide an opportunity to own a home to people who may not otherwise have that opportunity. Habitat staff support the homeowner and help prepare them for homeownership by providing training and resources on home maintenance, budgeting, and other support. Mortgage payments are set at 25 percent of household income, which allows families to build equity and save for their family's future by lowering their monthly living costs.

In 2021, Habitat received CMHC funding to build ten family homes over five years. This funding was the turning point in their ability to provide affordable housing to NWT residents. The organization was able to hire staff and build at least two homes a year. Since 2021, Habitat has built seven homes in three NWT communities, providing seven families an incredible opportunity to become homeowners with affordable mortgage payments. Of all families who have become homeowners since 2013, 80 percent are Indigenous or Inuit and more than half are single parents. Families range in size from one to seven children. All were living in unsafe, unsuitable, and/or unaffordable housing before becoming Habitat homeowners.

Mr. Speaker, partnerships are crucial to Habitat's work. Habitat partnered with the city of Yellowknife, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and the town of Hay River who donated building lots to the organization for their recent builds.

Housing NWT, Yellowknife's Elks Lodge, and many local contractors and businesses are also long-time financial supporters of Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Speaker, I request unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Habitat for Humanity, and I am sure my colleagues will also for the great work they are doing in our communities. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Frame Lake. Members' statements. Member from Mackenzie Delta.

Member’s Statement 274-20(1): Gravel Source near Tsiigehtchic

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A gravel source is very important for many reasons. We need gravel for the upkeep of the highway, for the ferry landings, and for community use. With the high cost of fuel and transportation, it is important that we find a gravel source that is close to the community and readily available at a competitive price.

While Tsiigehtchic has that gravel source right in its backyard, extracting this source will benefit the community in many ways like training, employment, and this venture will help the economy of the NWT.

Mr. Speaker, today, if any community within the Beaufort Delta region requires top-grade gravel, they have to rely on a company from the town of Inuvik. With the high cost of fuel and transportation of the material from Inuvik to Tsiigehtchic, the cost of gravel will have increased substantially, and that extra cost is usually passed on to the customer.

Mr. Speaker, Cony Bay is located 20 kilometers away from the community of Tsiigehtchic, and a few years back the gravel source was tested and considered an excellent source to extract. This gravel source could also be used by the neighboring community of Fort McPherson at a competitive price compared to the community's present supplier. The Department of Infrastructure would definitely benefit from this venture because of the demand for top-grade gravel to keep the Dempster Highway in a safe driving condition should be a priority to the GNWT.

Mr. Speaker, with the collaboration of other stakeholders, such as other government departments, local Indigenous governments and private industry, this venture would benefit the community, region, and territory through employment and training opportunities. These training opportunities will open other doors to employment within the community region, territory, and the rest of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, every community in the Northwest Territories has something that contributes to the economy. Our involvement as a government is vital in making these and other ventures a reality in enhancing the economy of the NWT. The community of Tsiigehtchic and the Government of the Northwest Territories should act on this venture as soon as possible. The solution to top-grade gravel, employment, and training opportunities are waiting at the door of Tsiigehtchic. Let's open the doors to opportunity for the community, region, and the rest of the Northwest Territories.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Mackenzie Delta. Good timing, Member for Mackenzie Delta. Members' statements. Member from Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Member’s Statement 275-20(1): Infrastructure Funding for N’dilo

Mr. Speaker, Yellowknives Dene First Nation has lived on these shores of Great Slave Lake since time immemorial, part of whom make up the presentday community of N'dilo on Latham Island. While they find themselves in the municipal boundary of Yellowknife, the community which has only existed before less than a century, N'dilo is separated in the community with distinct people. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories evidently does not agree. I say that they do not agree because the people of N'dilo are officially treated as residents of Yellowknife. We just have to look at how the community of public infrastructure format is calculated.

The calculation which dictates how much per capita funding is allocated to the communities. The population of N'dilo's grouped in Yellowknife instead of being included in with Dettah. Therefore, N'dilo is subsidizing services in Yellowknife leaving Dettah on the hook for the funds needed to maintain services for their fellow YKDFN members in N'dilo.

Yes, Yellowknife and N'dilo have a close relationship, but it is inappropriate for the people of N'dilo to be forced to rely on the municipal services of a different community. N'dilo is unique and needs and has a distinct government separate from the city of Yellowknife. So this situation is also inefficient as well as unfair to the people of N'dilo.

The leadership is looking for services such as a new water treatment facility, new band office, new gymnasium, upgraded community freezers, etcetera. They should have asked Yellowknife to share the funds for these projects or be told that they can provide them with these services instead.

These two separate entities deserve two separate pots of money. However, there's a lot of agreement between N'dilo and Yellowknife as well, as leaders of both communities understand they must work together for the benefit of the region. Expanding a municipal boundary to have more lands for housing and other services is a good example. There has been a great deal of collaboration between the city of Yellowknife and YKDFN to make this happen, but we have not seen any progress coming from the GNWT despite years of work on this issue.

Mr. Speaker, we need to strengthen our relationship between N'dilo and the city of Yellowknife so that YKDFN members are respected in their community and supported. I hope to get some clarity on this issue today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from the Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Members' statements. Member from the Sahtu.

Member’s Statement 276-20(1): Impacts on Businessess of Cancelled Marine Transportation Services Season

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Cancelled barging 2024 season impacts to the Sahtu businesses. On May the 23rd, the Government of the Northwest Territories announced that due to the low water levels, there would be no barging between Hay River, Tulita, and Norman Wells.

Mr. Speaker, while the Government of the Northwest Territories cannot change the low water levels throughout the Mackenzie basin, we can change how we respond to the impacted businesses. Making businesses wait 6 to 12 months to ship supplies is not an option as they can't go without work during the construction season and still maintain staff, cash flow, and pay operating expenses. Several companies already have laid off staff and fear they may never return.

Mr. Speaker, businesses in the Sahtu estimate over $14 million in lost revenues, $500,000 in added shipping costs, and potentially millions more in future losses. Several millions in losses will also be felt throughout reduced indirect spending at accommodations, groceries, restaurants. Mr. Speaker, our region's disposal economy is terrible and gone.

Mr. Speaker, the Sahtu people are resilient, but they also cannot weather the storm alone. Businesses are facing challenges dealing with MTS staff, with virtually no support to assist them as they scramble to make other arrangements. Many feel disrespected, dismissed, with one business quoting as saying it's bordering impossible to do business in the Sahtu region.

Mr. Speaker, the shocking low water levels have dealt a severe blow to our local and regional businesses and the entire Sahtu economy. Without extra support provided at this time, there will be dire consequences. Later, Mr. Speaker, I will have questions for the appropriate Minister. Mahsi.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Sahtu. Members' statements. Member from Inuvik Boot Lake.

Member’s Statement 277-20(1): Redundancy Line for Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Line

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, you've heard me speak in this House regarding the Inuvik satellite station facility, an important piece of the economy viability in Inuvik and certainly, Mr. Speaker, was the anchor tenant for the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Line, which I appreciate this previous government had completed. Mr. Speaker, now there's a redundancy line being built through the Dempster Highway and through Whitehorse and over through Fort Nelson as well to ensure that we do have a redundancy loop for any breakages or any lapses in that line that's important to this facility.

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the Whitehorse-Dawson portion has been paid for by the federal government but, Mr. Speaker, half the redundancy issues are between McGill Lake and High Level. So, Mr. Speaker, why wouldn't we, I guess, as a government look to go through Fort St. John and beyond for this link to ensure that, again, we keep uninterrupted service for this important facility in Inuvik and of course the residents along the way as well. We do need that redundancy beyond Fort Nelson, Mr. Speaker.

So, Mr. Speaker, my question would be, I guess, for the appropriate Minister at the time, is to why we are relying on McGill Lake as the primary redundancy link, Mr. Speaker, and why aren't we looking at filling that void all the way down beyond that to Fort St. John and beyond? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Inuvik Boot Lake. Member from Deh Cho.

Member’s Statement 278-20(1): Disaster Assistance Programs for Traditional Cabin Owners

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, another impact facing many residents in my riding and other ridings is the debris and waste created from the wildfires. There are many cabins spread throughout the Deh Cho. These are traditional cabins used for hunting, fishing, and recreational purposes. Some of these cabins were destroyed by wildfire, and the owners are searching for any supports available to them. Cleaning up sites that are completely charred, remove all the debris, or trying to renovate buildings with fire damage is not an easy task.

Municipal and Community Affairs provides support to clean up residential sites in community boundaries, but the support is not provided to business or cabin owners. The GNWT has disaster financial assistance and disaster compensation for hunters and trappers. Is there assistance or consideration for damage to cabins in these funding programs? Hunting and fishing is a part of our Dene way of life and it's a part of who we are, so having a cabin on the land is like an extension to our homes. Is there any coordination logistical or financial support that can be provided? I will have questions for the Minister of ECC later, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from the Deh Cho. Members' statements. Member from Yellowknife Centre.

Member’s Statement 279-20(1): Equitable Access to Health Care

Mr. Speaker, equitable access to health care is in the front of minds of all Northerners as we look to our families, and we always want the best for them. This includes specialized support services, such as specialists to get testing and treatment, Mr. Speaker. We all know delays cost lives, they cost money, they create frustration and inefficiencies, and this trouble Northerners far and wide. So whether you're in the Mackenzie Delta or you're in the Sahtu, Mr. Speaker, people get frustrated.

For example, delays in specialized services because your government chooses to send our team of experts, our specialized health care professionals to Nunavut, instead of putting our Northerners, our own citizens, to work. What does this do? It causes burnout in our health care system, our caregivers, delays getting care if you're a Northerner, and the catch-up just never seems to happen.

Mr. Speaker, I have to get frustrated as I shake my head and I see that why do we send people from Yellowknife to Edmonton practically daily for rheumatoid arthritis treatment? Does that make fiscal sense? What about the craziness and frustration people feel when they hear that folks have to travel from the Delta for diabetes treatment regularly, or dental treatment? The numbers just don't make sense, Mr. Speaker, when you see hundreds of people annually travelling down when we can do business much smarter.

Money doesn't grow on trees, but in the theme of Mining Week, Mr. Speaker, it can be found in the ground. But efficiencies pile up. Addressing the latter two matters, Mr. Speaker, is very important to resolve funding issues because those two alone would help us fund extended health care benefits. It's not innovation, Mr. Speaker. It's common sense.

Mr. Speaker, with current budget of around $650 million, there's opportunities abound. Maybe the department should consider instead of hiring more and dozens and hundreds of employees, be it on the books, off the books, funded, unfunded, agencies, casuals, etcetera, they just hire one efficiency expert to ask the question, why are we doing things this way? Can't we do them better? Differently? Doesn't it make sense to reflect once in a while why we do things?

Mr. Speaker, I raise this point because there's so many opportunities before us. The other day I was reading online, it said people won't support change if they're not confident in their abilities to adapt. So people are threatened by the shortcomings, real or imagined, and then they protect themselves by resisting to change. It comes down to fear of failure and knowledge and inability. Mr. Speaker, I say this, as I finish, dear, health department, I believe in you, you can do it.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Members' statements.

Member’s Statement 280-20(1): Sport North Awards

Colleagues, on May 24th and 25, Sport North held its Annual General Meeting and their annual Sport North Awards Banquet on the last day of the meetings. I can tell you; I was invited to attend the Banquet as a guest of one of the award winners. I can say the evening event was a huge success. The banquet brought together athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters from across the Northwest Territories to celebrate the remarkable achievements in sport over the past year. The awards play a valuable role in supporting athlete success and recognizing the NWT's growing talent.

Upon getting there, I realized that there were several friends that were receiving awards that event.

Janie Hobart received the Delma Kisoun Memorial Community Contributor Award.

Janie was nominated by NWT Curling. I have known her and worked with her over the years. She was and still is committed to the development of sport and recreation for the NWT. With the Mackenzie Recreation Association, she spearheaded the annual Lawrie Hobart Memorial Volleyball Tournament which is hosted in Fort Smith. The scariest thing is when Janie comes to you and says she has an idea, because nine out of ten times you'll ended up doing it regardless.

Shari Olsen received the Dennis Crane Memorial Official of the Year Award. She was nominated by Table Tennis North.

Like some of you here, I have known Shari for a long time. As fellow athletes in softball, we got together at various events throughout the years. At the Arctic Winter Games, I ran into her and asked her what she was doing there, and she said she was officiating. I assumed it was for figure skating, but I was wrong. It was for table tennis. When I asked her why, her response was I wanted a new challenge and officiating table tennis was this. She spoke about the sport and what it brought out of her.

Rowe's Construction received the Corporate Contributor of the Year where they were nominated by Table Tennis North.

This company has offices in Hay River and Fort Simpson. The amazing thing about this company, they have been and always been about giving back to the communities including places where their company do not have staff. I can tell you they have been responsible for helping building ball fields, golf courses, referees and changing rooms, sponsoring teams, events and fundraising activities.

Jaicee Tsetso was one of the Members of the Team of the Year - Arctic Winter Games female basketball team. This team went undefeated throughout the whole tournament and winning the first gold medal, beating the powerful team of Alaska in the final game - the first time in 50 years.

Colleagues, I have included three of the award winners' nominations in my speech today however reflecting of the time, I will deemed it as read.

In closing I would like to echo Bill Othmer, the executive director of Sport North's final words: The awards banquet is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our territorial sport organizations. Each recipient has shown exceptional commitment and passion, and it is a privilege to recognize their achievements. We are inspired by their stories and motivated to continue supporting their journeys.

Congratulations to all the award winners. They are well deserved.

(Deemed Read)

Janie has been a part of the NWTCA Board, and/or the Fort Smith Curling Club Board as the liaison to the NWTCA since the mid-1980s. She has held every role of the NWTCA, including President, and has been the Competitions director for several years.

Janie has been officiating with NWT Curling at the local and Territorial levels for over 25 years. This year alone just officIated multiple NWTCA Championships, the Senior Nati, AWG in Alaska, as well as the U21 in Alberta. Janie travels to NWT communities to facilitate Officials trainings.

Janie has officiated at almost every level of national championships as well as Men's Worlds and Junior Worlds Janie was a timer at the Olympics and Para-Olympics in Vancouver.

She is on the board of the Mackenzie Rec Board.

At the 2016 National Masters Curling Championship in Nova Scotia, Janie was selected by her peers for the Female Sportsmanship Award.

Shari has dedicated the past five years to officiating with Table Tennis North, showcasing her passion and expertise in the sport. From the NWT School Championships to prestigious events like the 2020, 2023, and 2024 Arctic Winter Games, as well as the 2019 and 2023 Canada Winter Games, Shari has been a consistent and reliable Territorial Umpire. This exciting opportunity marks a new chapter in Shari's officiating career, as she eagerly anticipates the challenges and growth that come with reaching the national level. Her dedication and commitment to the sport are evident, and her future as a national Umpire looks promising.

Shari is a dedicated and enthusiastic Territorial Umpire in the Northwest Territories, always eager to enhance her skills and knowledge in the field. She seizes every learning opportunity that comes her way, demonstrating a strong commitment to personal growth and professional development. Shari's willingness to lend a helping hand and support her less experienced colleagues showcases her exceptional leadership qualities and dedication to the sport. With her passion for mentoring and guiding others, we are excited about the prospect of Shari becoming a Referee in the near future, as she continues to inspire and empower officials in the Territory.

Shari is a true role model in every sense of the word. She consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that everyone around her has everything they need to excel in their official duties. Leading by example, Shari embodies professionalism in all aspects of her work. Her dedication to learning and teaching is unwavering, as she believes in the power of knowledge sharing and continuous growth. Shari's commitment to excellence serves as an inspiration to those around her, making her a respected and admired figure in her field.

Shari is a dedicated individual who is deeply involved in various sports, with Table Tennis being just one of her many passions. She is known for her strong sense of community and commitment to her territory, always striving to ensure that everyone around her has the chance to excel and reach their full potential. Shari's inclusive and supportive nature creates a welcoming environment where individuals can thrive and grow, making her a true champion of empowerment and opportunity for all.

Rowe's Construction has been a pillar of support for the North, particularly in the realm of Table Tennis. Their contributions have been invaluable, from offering transportation services to various communities to storing and distributing equipment for the sport. Their unwavering assistance before, during, and after events has been a source of great comfort and reliability. Rowe's Construction embodies a positive and supportive attitude, always viewing challenges as opportunities and possibilities. Their dedication to the growth and success of Table Tennis in the North is truly commendable.

Table Tennis North will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024, and throughout the years, Rowe1s Construction has been a steadfast supporter of our organization. Their unwavering commitment to our cause has been instrumental in our growth and success. We are just one of the many organizations and events that have benefited from Rowe's Construction1s generosity. From local community events to Territorial competitions and beyond, Rowe1s Construction has consistently demonstrated their dedication to supporting and uplifting the community. We are grateful for their continued partnership and look forward to many more years of collaboration.


Acknowledgement 5-20(1): Chief T’Selehye High School Graduates

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The community of Fort Good Hope is proud to celebrate two graduates from the Chief T’Selehye School this year. We'd like to congratulate Jermaine Tobac and Dyer Gardebois on their achievement. The whole community wants to celebrate in their success and wish them the best in their education journey as they take their next steps. Mahsi.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Acknowledgements. Oral questions. Written questions. Returns to written questions. Replies to the Commissioner's address. Petitions. Member from Range Lake.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to return to item 7 on the orders of the day. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

The Member from Range Lake asked unanimous consent to return to item number 7, oral questions. Any nays? Seeing no nays, we'll go back to oral questions. Oral questions. Member from Range Lake?

Oral Questions (Reversion)