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View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-05-01 10:03
So that does have some impact on Russia itself.
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-05-01 10:04
Thank you.
Mr. Dem'ianiuk, a lot of our discussion in committee has been around the supply of oil and gas. We haven't really spent a lot of time talking about what you mentioned at the end of your presentation, which was about exporting knowledge or importing Ukrainian students for professional development.
Mr. Edwards pointed something out, which is that the government is in transition and there has to be some incentive to look at a policy shift, at least for energy efficiency. We heard in a past committee testimony that there could be a bit of a challenge with that because prices are generally lower and then there could be some social economic impacts of raising gas prices, or the cost of finding those efficiencies.
What is the incentive at a government level, and what is the incentive at a consumer level to realize efficiencies in the Ukrainian market for energy consumption? How can Canada take advantage of that if that's the case, or how can Canada influence it to try to encourage an energy efficiency policy either by the consumer in the Ukraine, or by the government?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-05-01 10:06
I appreciate that.
I have time for a small question.
Do you know, or are you able to comment on Canadian expertise in terms of inviting Ukrainian students, Ukrainian professionals into Canada to take advantage of some of the skills and trades program expertise that we have in the construction and development of energy efficient things from homes to windows to doors right on up to oil and gas extraction?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-29 10:05
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all of our witnesses.
My first question will be for Mr. Salkeld.
We heard our witnesses from Poland describe energy efficiency in Ukraine as poor and well below European Union averages. There was some discussion as well about the challenges of trying to improve that efficiency and about how simply raising the cost would create some social challenges there.
What role do you see Canadian companies potentially being able to play in the improvement of energy efficiency, and what time frame are we able to deal with in that regard?
You talked about the medium and long-term game, and I think when we're talking about those aspects of conventional or unconventional drilling, or moving things to market there, it does make sense that it would be a medium to long-term game.
But in terms of Canadian expertise and energy efficiency, surely we must have companies that are able to deliver some more immediate solutions to those challenges.
Maybe I could get you to talk about that a little bit, if you have any insight.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-29 10:08
You touched a bit on the teaching aspect of it. Where do Canadian companies sit globally now and where could they sit in the European market with instruction and training?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-28 17:14
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, as well, to both of you for attending today.
I don't know if you were sitting in on the last bit of testimony, but we heard some comments on the changing ocean conditions. You're up in areas 4 and 5 and it sounded like we're seeing more sort of ocean condition impact in the more southern regions. Is your board hearing about similar ocean condition changes? What is the driving force, at least from your perspective, on the stock declines in those areas? Also, how has your input into that been brought to the minister and how has it been received?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-28 17:16
When you are talking about a holistic approach, I know you're specifically referencing looking at what you do to one species and how that impacts another, and seeing the totality of the ecosystem itself. But in terms of study and research—and I appreciate that you're also dealing with a different level of research budget—is there any contribution of the board on traditional knowledge, or does that play as easily for ocean-based species as it does for terrestrial, land-based species?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-28 17:18
Mr. Sopuck touched on it toward the end of his questioning with DFO around the influence of natural mortality, largely from the predator species, and they did touch on the seals a bit. Of course, you're farther north along this food chain, where I would imagine the influence of that seal growth and population is probably a little more than in the south. What impact is that having or what discussion level is going on, without being scientific about it? How are people responding to the boom in the seal population? What influence do they think it has on the shrimp and other fish stocks?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-28 17:19
In terms of—
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-28 17:20
Don't I get a MacAulay minute?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-10 9:47
Mr. Chair, I gather you know what direction I'm going in with this one. It's probably a good time to remind us that we're here to study the cross-country benefits, and on the last four questions we haven't heard any tie-in to that.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-10 10:01
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'll keep my questions brief.
Mr. Howard, you talked about capacity of railcars and we're having a discussion about pipelines here today as well. Maybe you could provide some information or figures regarding a potential benefit in Canada to other sectors with improved capacity of pipelines, and therefore a reduced reliance on transportation, specifically rail. How might that benefit other sectors' access to rail or other transportation methods if we had a better capacity development of pipeline flow?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-10 10:02
Thank you very much.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 9:26
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to all of our witnesses. All of you on the west coast got up very early in the morning to be here, so we appreciate that.
My question will be for Mr. Turner in the Yukon.
Mr. Turner, I'm curious to hear if the Yukon chamber has undertaken any studies to assess the number of Yukoners who might be outside of our territory, in the proverbial south. Of course, we call everything outside of the Yukon “the south”. I'm just wondering if the chamber has an indication in numbers of Yukoners who are currently employed in the oil and gas industry in the south and who come and go from our territory on a regular basis to find work.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 9:28
Right, and sometimes there's both a blessing and a curse to that.
As you indicated, we would get indirect benefits or induced benefits from Yukoners who find employment in the oil and gas sector in southern parts of Canada and then bring those benefits back to the territory. The challenge, I guess, as it were, would be that we also see some of those skills.... Skills Yukon is a great example. We have tremendous talent. People develop these skills in the Yukon, in the north, and then they go down to the south. The one thing we heard on committee was that one of the real benefits of the oil and gas sector was that it was doing skills development and those skills are highly transferable to other careers and other jobs outside of the oil and gas sector. The employees are able to transfer their talents to a plethora of other fields, so that's a tremendous benefit.
The challenge for us, then, would be that we see these young people who develop those skills moving away and deploying those skills in other parts of Canada, but then we're not able to transfer them into other fields in the Yukon. Are there any assessments in the Yukon.... I guess maybe the ultimate question would be, how would we maximize those benefits? Or what would that mean to us if those skills were able to come home in a developed oil and gas sector in the Yukon?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 9:31
We've seen through the extraction resource sector in the Yukon—as you mentioned in your presentation, that's been the focus of the Yukon—the growth of things like the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining at Yukon College and the mine training simulators, for an enhanced level of training that's highly mobile, to address some of those needs to get it outside of Whitehorse even, and into the communities.
Skills Yukon is a great example of development of our talent, with first nations employment and training opportunities and education in those communities. We've seen companies like Quantum Machine Works do exceptionally well.
Would you anticipate that we would realize those same benefits from oil and gas as we have with the extractive sector?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 10:14
Mr. Turner, in 2012 the Prime Minister of Canada signed a historical resource revenue-sharing agreement with the Government of Yukon. Can you talk about how that might be realized or what sort of benefits the Yukon would realize with a developed LNG and oil and gas sector with the resource revenue-sharing agreement that was signed, particularly when you consider that $890 million of the $1.3 billion territorial budget comes directly from federal transfers right now?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 10:16
You touched on the first nations benefits. Currently there are several first nations that have signed impact benefit agreements in different extractive sectors. Could you touch on any anticipated IBAs and how that growth has been positive for first nations, and where they might go with enhanced oil and gas or energy sector development?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 10:17
I think for the record it would be important to note that the Government of Canada has teamed with the Government of the Yukon and regional municipalities to invest directly in biomass energy generation. As a great example, Haines Junction received half a million dollars from the federal government to explore biomass potential there. Forest inventory and geothermal wind in Kluane First Nation.... Pellet boilers are a great example. We're getting pellets from Fort St. John to help heat the correctional facilities. Of course the $71 million in the Mayo B hydroelectric facility is right from the Government of Canada. Those have all been great and they're helping very small regional exploration of energy development. But on a much bigger scale in terms of the energy consumption that you highlighted, in terms of hydroelectric capacity and the realities of how much influence wind energy biomass can actually have considering the development needs we have....
Could you touch on some of the agreements or necessary conditions that the Government of the Yukon has in terms of development with first nations corporations when they engage in contracting of particular infrastructure projects? What is the Government of the Yukon obligated to do in terms of working with Yukon first nations corporations?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 10:19
Mr. Turner, I think, was going to answer that.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 10:40
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Turner, we had some discussion today about the Alaska Highway and some of the perils of it. What didn't get articulated was that the development of the Alaska Highway during the war was for a supply route and an actual pipeline route. We also have the North Canol Road and the South Canol Road that were originally developed for pipelines. There's an interesting history in the territory that I don't think is expressed all that well.
We've talked about some of the challenges in terms of the development: human resources, financial capacity, infrastructure capacity. In your opinion, is the Yukon up for the challenge? It's a nice problem to have, but do you think the Yukon is up to facing this challenge?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-08 10:42
Thank you.
Thank you all for your testimony.
I'll turn my time over to Ms. Block.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:21
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses.
Just touching on a question that Mr. Chisholm asked in terms of the government's approach to this and the seriousness of it, is it common for a minister to appear before a WTO hearing like this?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:22
We're appealing on logic and facts, I would say. But how helpful is it—we weren't there so that's kind of why the committee is interesting in hearing—to have a minister with traditional and cultural roots and a clear understanding, both from practical experience...? I mean, our minister has hands-on, real-life experience there. She can participate in this discussion with the WTO. How helpful is that?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:23
The EU has been holding the position that Greenland has taken advantage of the exemptions and that basically it's Canada's fault for not taking advantage of the exemptions that are being offered them.
If I understand it correctly, they're not measuring.... As you've said, they're measuring the group that's engaged in the harvest, not the methods they're using. Canada's hunt is sustainable, it's legal, and it's ethical, and we've deployed a number of strategies over our seal hunt to make it a humane hunt.
How does Greenland compare in terms of that hunt and how humane—for lack of a better word, I guess—is Greenland's hunt compared to Canada's? Is the EU conscious of that or are they asking Greenland to support documents of the humane way in which seals are harvested in Greenland in comparison to Canada...?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:26
It's perplexing, then, though, that there would be an argument that on moral grounds they're restricting this hunt, but they don't particularly care how the hunt is undertaken and whether it's humane or not humane. They don't care how people kill the seals as long as those people belong to a class of persons. In that sense alone, it's a discriminatory vein the EU is taking by saying that they appreciate the culture and value and their understanding of that, but it's very perplexing for them to say, “We're standing on a moral ground here, but we don't actually care how these seals are killed.”
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:27
I'm sure the EU is holding their cards close to their chest right now and they probably don't want to deal in hypotheticals at all, but has there been any indication or signalling of what the EU would do should the WTO come back and rule in Canada's favour on this issue?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:28
The ITK position is well known on this, but I have heard that in some positions on the European side, in the political world, they feel that while the ITK is suggesting that it's hurting the market, it's not the general sense of hunters in the communities themselves. I would disagree with that, from being in the Arctic, spending time in the Arctic, and talking directly with them.
I think it's great that they're showing solidarity with our eastern sealers. It's important. But has the WTO heard from other groups beyond the ITK position on this? Are they hearing from individual sealers who represent small community hunts?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-07 16:29
We have spent a lot of time today talking about the Inuit hunt in Canada, but there is a huge eastern market and a great number of Canadians outside of the traditional hunt, as it were, from an Inuit cultural perspective.
This ban on the hunt affects the downstream processing aspect as well, so it's not just the hunt itself but all the downstream end of it. Were the numbers that you talked about—in 2006 the $18 million, and less than half a million dollars in 2013—reflective of the entire market or just the hunt itself?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-03 10:05
Thank you to all our witnesses.
The reason we undertook this study to find, obviously, the cross-country benefits is partly that there just seems to be a permeating sense that Alberta is the only province that benefits from energy development, oil sands development. It's easy to villainize something when you don't appreciate the benefits in your own backyard from something. The discussion—and we see it here today—has been couched in terms of we aren't realizing any benefits versus couching it as though it would be nice to maximize the benefits.
The other way it's couched—and Mr. Leach sort of leaned to this—is that we've presented this either/or discussion. Certainly I think we as a government have been trying to make sure that we've been promoting the responsible resource development angle, which means we aren't proposing an either/or scenario. We understand that care and concern for the environment and natural resource extraction aren't mutually exclusive things.
Ms. Kennedy, I have a couple of direct questions for you just to get it on the record. Would you agree with the characterization that the oil sands is dirty oil?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-03 10:07
Would you agree with the characterization that you enjoy the benefits of an unregulated development?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-03 10:07
Would you agree with the characterization that no money from the oil sands flows into important social programs, in infrastructure development, a wide range of public transit, housing needs, all kinds of other government-based programs and social delivery services?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-03 10:07
Part of the challenge when we get into this, the way things are couched and the public discussion around this, and to maximize realizing the benefits, starts I think with public leadership.
I won't expect you to weigh in on a partisan comment, but it's interesting that we have as an example an NDP candidate in the Trinity—Spadina riding, Joe Cressy, who is stepping out and saying these things about oil sands development. It's no wonder we face a challenge in helping people across Canada realize the benefits when the people in charge of, or looking to be in charge of, public policy and looking to lead this nation on this kind of discussion are starting out with rhetoric like that.
How challenging is it for companies like yours to help articulate the benefits that we are realizing, not just the maximization of it, when there's that kind of rhetoric and then just some challenges with the couching of the discussion in general?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-01 9:29
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all our witnesses for being here today. There's a lot of information and I'm rifling through everybody's testimony here to get down to really what we're hoping to achieve in this study. I appreciate the detail. Of course, there are lots of numbers and figures that at times are a bit staggering in nature when we're talking billions and trillions of dollars.
Being a member of Parliament for the Yukon, I know we're pretty localized, small, and we like to bring things back to that kitchen table kind of benefit that this sector brings to the Canadian economy.
I will get a chance to ask Ms. Allan a couple of questions on her presentation, but what's interesting is that one of the remarks in it was that we're being given a picture of the industry that the industry wants us to see. I guess what I see, and it has been articulated in some of these that I think are most meaningful to the Canadian public, is the largest employer of first nations people in Canada is the oil sands. I see development corporations in the Yukon being built not just around the energy sector but development projects, and for all intents and purposes development projects can be one and the same when we're talking about benefits purely. We see a quality of life that we haven't seen before, I think that would be the same realized in Alberta. I see Yukon workers who have gotten skilled training jobs and have left the territory, and continue to leave the territory and come back to seek jobs in Alberta, and work and then return those dollars to our territory.
Maybe, Ms. Annesley, you could talk about just what you see in terms of the Canadian workforce migrating around the country to find jobs, and what they do in terms of bringing that back to their home provinces when they seek employment. And what is the industry looking at doing to enhance and develop jobs within the workforce's own provinces to keep people working where they live? I think that while they all appreciate moving around to get those jobs, it would be nice to have people at home working as well. So maybe touch on those two things for us, if you can.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-01 9:35
So it's the development of a highly transferable skill set that exists in or outside of the energy sector?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-01 9:36
Thank you.
Mr. Larson, the fertilizing end of it is an interesting angle that we don't hear a lot about. It's really some downstream discussion here, and I'll take this vein. Your industry's involvement in the oil sands and the utilization of natural gas for fertilizers is helping the farmer. Of course, there's cross-utilization of infrastructure between roadways and rail, and then, you know, you support the farmer. The farmer needs to get their product off the fields and into market, and if there's cross-competition with rail—
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-01 10:31
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Myers, I just want to try to summarize something that you talked about and see if I understand this correctly. It was based on the price control discussion that Ms. Allan was talking about. Her presentation talked about development versus exploitation, and it's an interesting cross-comparison around this price control issue. You mentioned that cheaper goods don't necessarily equate to capital retention of profits, and then those in turn right now lead to innovation, improvements on efficiencies like environmental protection from emissions, water consumption, and reclamation projects that Canadian companies are, at times, world leaders in.
It would seem to me, and correct me if I'm wrong here, that straight off the board just cheaper goods without any forethought and planning in this would ultimately lead to immediate greater consumption of a product that then in turn has some detrimental environmental impacts because you're consuming at a much higher rate. Then that doesn't leave the companies with that capital investment to create that innovation unless they're highly subsidized by the government. Would that be a sort of close summation of this issue?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-04-01 10:35
How much time do I have? One minute.
Maybe if you have a chance, you could comment on that question as well, Ms. Annesley.
We did start this discussion in the last round of questioning around some of the other things that are being done in the trade sector. Budget 2014 also introduced the Red Seal student loan program. And I know some of the colleges, at least in our territory, are dealing with that dual credit aspect: high school into....
Do you have any comments on that and maybe the previous discussion?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-31 16:31
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's great to see you before the committee, Minister.
We talked a little bit about small craft harbours. Of course, they're of significant importance to our fishermen, and keeping them in great repair is no easy task, given that they're spread all across the country—hundreds of them, in fact. Often they're in remote locations.
Can you explain how the additional $40 million will accelerate their maintenance and, if you could, touch on some of the locations where the government's investments are among small craft harbours so that Canadians get a sense of where these investments are spread out across the country?
But specifically, how will that additional $40 million accelerate their maintenance?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-31 16:33
I appreciate that.
So we have the investment, $20 million each year over two years.
Given some of the challenges you've articulated—and obviously it's a sensible approach, making sure that user safety and the development considerations are first and foremost—how confident are you that additional money will be spent on deserving projects and not returned back into the fiscal framework?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-31 16:34
Thank you for that.
I see in the graph charts we have before us there's a breakdown of where the expenditures are for compliance and enforcement, and fisheries protection. These two are separate categories in the graph charts we have under strategic outcome and program. Collectively they make up about 75% of that section of the budget, which I think is an excellent allocation to protection.
You touched on it, though, Minister, you directly dealt with this. And Mr. Gillis talked about it in his presentation. I could sense it in yours, when you were talking to us about the pride you have in DFO science work. Mr. Gillis talked about it in respect to the Asian carp initiative.
Could you touch on how important the work that DFO science does is, what it contributes to the management aspect, how they work together—as Mr. Gillis touched on—and how the science work supports the critical work of compliance, and enforcement, and fisheries protection?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-31 16:36
Thank you.
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-31 17:27
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The minister described the department now as leaner, better integrated, and results based. It sounds like an Olympic athlete, so I'm looking forward to some great results this year.
Could I get a comment specifically on the small craft harbour in Pangnirtung and how that came about and the significance of that investment for the people in Nunavut with that particular small craft harbour?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-31 17:28
It does build on your point, outside of the discussion around MPAs, with this example in a different realm, that oceans are very different, not just from one perspective.
Do you have any additional comments on that, on the social and economic differences of Canadian oceans?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-27 10:03
Thank you, Chair, and thank you to all our witnesses for some interesting presentations.
Chief Adam, I'm the member of Parliament for Yukon. The premise of this study of cross-country benefits for all Canadians is of course interesting from a Yukon perspective, because when we frame this discussion around development in the north, it is a question for our entire population, including our aboriginal and first nations people in Yukon.
One thing I have heard as their member of Parliament is that they want Yukon people for Yukon jobs. Of course, that centres around our first nations. Eleven of the fourteen first nations in our territory have signed final agreements.
The government has done a great job, both the territorial and the federal governments, of supporting them with financial resources to sign and secure IBAs, to develop communication plans to work with industry, to help them with the capacity development.
I appreciate the comments you made around the struggle to have the capacity, with the influx of development, to deal with the volume of applications with few staff. We have been recognizing those challenges and trying to support the capacity development of our first nations, at least in Yukon, to make sure that they have the capacity to deal with the opportunities before them.
It will be a continuing growth process, but some of the ways they have done this up north include investing in education and training, specifically around our college development with the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, to make sure that we meet that one real premise Yukoners have, which again is Yukon people for Yukon jobs: local people to get local opportunities, specific job training for the jobs that are available in high-demand fields, and well-paying jobs, not just underskilled jobs, but semi-skilled and highly skilled opportunities.
From that, we have seen our first nations achieve, have seen our development corporations, high-paying jobs and better-paying jobs in those fields that are available, an increase in graduates, an increase in enrolment rates at post-secondary educational institutions that focus on these.
I'm wondering three things.
First, does your first nation have a development corporation?
Do you have any of the members of your first nation working right now in oil sands and natural gas development in the area? If so, are they starting to achieve greater rates of job opportunities, better-paying jobs? Are they realizing those opportunities at all?
Are you seeing people of your first nation starting to move in that career direction? Are they asking for that? Are the colleges and institutions responding to that demand by providing greater opportunity for them to achieve that kind of training and realize local opportunities for local people?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-27 10:08
Those are definitely challenges.
I was just wondering—
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-27 10:45
I wanted to quickly go back to Chief Adam with something that builds on what Ms. Block was saying. It's the sense that there's an either-or discussion that goes on with development, particularly with our energy sector.
Chief, you mentioned that you strike an interesting balance between the people in your community who work in the oil and gas industry and want to find careers and opportunity there and those who want a traditional lifestyle. I would gather, without being presumptuous, that those people who work in the oil and gas sector, who find opportunities there, and who seek education and career choices, very much want to maintain their traditional lifestyle as well. For them it's not an either-or discussion either. Would it be accurate that your first nation people working in oil and gas still very much practise tradition and culture and live traditional lifestyles as well?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-25 10:03
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to all our witnesses.
Mayor Norton, I was going to ask questions along the same vein as questions that Ms. Moore was asking, and you touched on the subject. I'm a member of Parliament for the Yukon, and we've certainly benefited from the Atlantic Canada labour force as well over the years, particularly from Newfoundland and Labrador.
The interesting thing we noticed, and it's the reason we engaged in this study in the first place, is that, to get down to the kitchen table items for Canadians, there has to be a discussion about risk versus reward. Many people either see the footprint or they picture the negative aspect of development—not just of oil and gas, but of all kinds of development in the country—but don't, we feel, necessarily appreciate the depth and the breadth of the rewards that come with it.
You've talked about the social licence and you don't see large development as a problem. What do you think are the largest contributing things to having that licence? Is it the vacancy rates, both commercially and independently, or are your projections of having a 250,000-person community that only has 70,000 people in it now spurring a desperate need for growth, or is it something deeper ingrained in your community that just welcomes it? I would say the situation is probably very different across the country, in terms of welcoming development.
May I have a quick comment on that?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-25 10:05
It would be nice to be able to focus on the positive, but you're looking toward growth, so we have to talk a little about the negative aspect of this, because those are kitchen table issues for Canadian families.
What does it mean to your community when people board the planes and are away for three to four weeks at a time? What does it do in terms of the social fabric of the community, the development, and the growth? What does it mean for kids growing up, when they have a one-parent family and are having periodic time with intermittent parental relationships? What does it mean for community growth, and community strength and wellness, from that point of view?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-25 10:07
This is the oil and gas, the energy sector, and Mr. Teed pointed out that there are six areas of focus. You just basically said it's among the top six, but where does it rank in terms of those six?
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CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-06 15:45
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good to see you here on committee, Minister.
I'm sure you know that in January we went into Yellowknife to hear witnesses on Bill C-15. I'm looking over your supplementary estimates (C) in respect to the Northwest Territories devolution act. Of course, we've heard from people like Premier Bob McLeod, who has said that this devolution act could be a game changer for the people in the Northwest Territories. As a Yukon member of Parliament, I have certainly experienced the benefits that our territory has gained through devolution over the 10-year period that we've enjoyed those benefits.
There's approximately $36 million allocated to help implement the devolution agreement. I'm just wondering if you can let the committee know what the progress looks like in terms of the implementation of the devolution agreement, and how it will increase economic opportunities for the people of the north.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 15:49
Thank you.
So $36 million, particularly the volume, set aside for a one-time cost is obviously a significant investment. Can you put in perspective for us how long the people and the leaders of the Northwest Territories have been working toward this devolution agreement? Why is this agreement such an important milestone in the lives of the people of the Northwest Territories?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 15:51
Minister, I'd like to congratulate you on getting close to finished now. We're getting near the finish line. But certainly, as you've articulated, success after 80 years of attempts to bring this historic agreement to fruition for the people of the Northwest Territories is certainly a monumental achievement. So congratulations on working well with your GNWT partners to make this happen.
I understand that the NWT is mirroring some federal legislation to prepare for the assumption of control on April 1. Can you share with the committee what steps are being taken to ensure investor and stakeholder confidence in this transition period?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 9:51
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to all of our witnesses here today.
Mr. Boag, I was looking through this document here, and some of the statistics around the kilometres of road and the volume of passenger travel around the country are pretty impressive.
When we have discussions about the oil and gas energy sector, a lot of times it seems that the overall sort of tone and tenor of it is that we're consuming this, but we don't ever really seem to drive down to the point that the consumption of oil and gas is not necessarily, in most cases, the end use. It's really a facilitator to do other things, to achieve other things. For example, it's for moving goods and supplies and services and people, for getting people to their jobs, and for getting products like critical medical supplies around the country. It really helps facilitate the movement of everything in our country, but I think a lot of that gets lost, in that we don't fully acknowledge that the consumption of that product is not the end option for us.
On that vein, what do pipelines do to help facilitate that movement of people and goods across the country for this nation?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 9:55
Excellent. Thank you.
Mr. Smillie, welcome back to the committee.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 9:56
I wanted to welcome him back.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 10:34
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome to the committee, Mr. Smillie. I'm repeating that again.
I'm going to build on something Mr. Calkins was asking a little while ago in terms of training. We've made some investments in the Red Seal program to elevate the status to being equivalent to the university or college-based recognition programs. We're seeing that across the north. I'm from the Yukon. Yukon College is doing a lot of work around the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining. A lot of the workers there are realizing that there are opportunities in Fort McMurray and in Northern British Columbia. I know it's been said that when you're flying in a plane now, you're likely sitting beside someone in the trades going to find work. We certainly see that in the Yukon.
We've touched on it a bit, but how adaptable is the workforce in terms of getting that training at those colleges and then being able to deploy that across a wide spectrum of jobs? How important is that to an economy that can, not necessarily boom or bust as we've heard it described, but certainly fluctuate at times, in which there are highs and lows. Sometimes those are seasonal highs and lows or monthly highs and lows and not necessarily decades of highs and lows. Could you maybe touch on a little bit of that?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-06 10:38
It would be interesting to receive information on the value of that mobility in terms of what we could do. There's probably a saying right across Canada similar to what we say in the Yukon: Yukon people for Yukon jobs. Invariably, that expression exists in Atlantic Canada as well as in other regions. There is also some value to mobility.
Could you just touch on that dichotomy of wanting to keep people local, keep them at their homes, and keep them working? Could you also touch on that cross-country benefit of having a mobile workforce and what other industries indirectly benefit from a mobile workforce in our nation?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-05 16:21
Merci. Thank you.
I'm subbing in on this committee, and interestingly enough, last fall I subbed in on the Canadian Heritage committee, and you were testifying at that one on the exact same thing. Lucky me, I can tell you that my son's pretty jealous. He was the last time. He's a 13-year-old kid and like all his buddies, he's highly involved in these games. He'd probably be better sitting in this chair asking you questions than I am. He'd have a million for you.
Ed Holder and I are just waiting for you to come up with probably your next best seller of our video game on question period.
Voices: Oh, oh.
Mr. Ryan Leef: You'd have quite an interactive battle there. I think it would be a number one hit. Get some direct involvement in democracy in Canada. We could have people crossing the floor. I'd play it.
Anyway—I noticed on your map—it's great to see involvement right across the country, save for being right there in the three territories. But I'm just curious; if I missed it, what would you define as sort of the number one drawing card for establishment in each province? I suppose I get Quebec and Ontario kind of dominating a bit of that market, but you see Manitoba has 20 and Alberta has 20, and then Saskatchewan has one sandwiched in between there. Is there some variable that's more attractive in Manitoba, Alberta, and B.C. than Saskatchewan or just in terms of general selection right across the country that projects the growth of the business?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-05 16:24
There's some provincial influence on that.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-05 16:24
Sort of on a different vein here, I think it's impressive that you have the third largest video game development in the world, particularly when you look at the global players you're up against. It's neat.
Interestingly enough, one thing that I shared with my son after the testimony at the Canadian Heritage committee that he didn't seem to know, and he's immersed in this stuff to the point where I'm constantly trying to kick him out the door....
Is there a labelling or a marketing strategy? It's great for us here, and I think a lot of us go, “Wow, that's interesting”, but when you're so big and such a prominent player in the world, why does the average Canadian not really grasp that just yet?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-05 16:26
Would there be an advantage to having the Canadian product synonymous with quality and expertise, and then the government can play a role in branding? So globally, people know this is another Canadian game, another Canadian innovation, another Canadian product and we know Canadians are doing a really good job of this. Would that help, or is it just something you're not trying to stream down?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-05 16:27
I sit on the natural resource committee and we talk a lot there about social licence of things on a totally different scale. Of course like a lot of parents they're concerned about the kids. The general perspective is that you're spending too much time on video games, get out there. You must deal with a bit of that. Is there a message that you have, or sort of that social licence that you're giving? What give-back activities are your companies involved with in the community to balance that responsible utilization of video games and the health and welfare of the youth in Canada?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-04 10:13
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
To Mr. Burt, we've heard some hypothetical questions being asked, but is there any indication that we need to be addressing the hypothetical situation that there will be an absolute crash in the oil and gas sector that would leave hundreds of thousands of Canadians unemployed?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-04 10:13
Yes. We've been hearing hypothetical questions around that, but where's the reality of that?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-04 10:14
I'm from the Yukon. I certainly see a number of my constituents who enjoy economic opportunities in Fort McMurray, Fort Nelson, and areas in northern British Columbia. Obviously as we're exploring opportunities in the territory, one of the things that we're doing is heavily investing in trades training. The Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining is a good example of that.
What we're seeing is that those skills and investments by the federal government are highly transferable. So an investment in the education is great for the economy, great for development, and it's highly transferable. In my mind, that is preparatory work so people can work in the oil and gas sector but then take their trades and skills that they're learning through federal government investment into other sectors of the workforce should there be downturns in a particular economy.
Ms. Kenny, are you seeing that with people employed in the pipeline sector who are coming and going, ebbing and flowing? As there are opportunities, they move into it; as there are not, they're able to find secure, gainful employment in other sectors.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-04 10:16
Mr. Burt, we're trying to study the cross-country benefits and we've talked about the current benefits today. Do we ever conceptualize or comprehend, just for the sake of perspective, where Canada would be today without the current situation in the oil and gas sector? Do we have indication of what that picture would look like?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-04 10:18
How significant is that compared to potential in other sectors? We've heard suggestions that we could replace that entirely with tourism. Now, I'm a big proponent of not putting all your eggs in one economic basket, having a really nice cross-section of investment. How does that compare to the other opportunities that we have in the absence of oil and gas?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-03-04 10:19
Because of the bouncing buck....
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-25 9:22
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to all of our witnesses.
I have a few questions. I'll start with Mr. Neatby.
You highlighted in your presentation some interesting figures on the employment rates, with 229 direct high-paying jobs created in the Northwest Territories. What is the company's assessment of the capacity for those jobs locally?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-25 9:24
I'm Yukon's member of Parliament. We face some of the same challenges that my colleague from the Western Arctic does concerning resource development prospects and the desire for local people to take advantage of local opportunities and position themselves for jobs in high-demand fields.
Without getting into specific detail, if you're not at liberty to talk about something—but you talk about the accommodation agreements with first nations and aboriginal groups in the community—do the accommodation agreements involve training programs and parameters, specific numbers of jobs, cash transfers? What kinds of things are built into these accommodation agreements, or at least into what you can talk about?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-25 9:26
Are the skills required in this industry any different? Can the training that exists for other mining opportunities overlap, or are there some different specific skill sets that need to be trained for in rare earth mining? Is there going to be some longer-term overlap that could be beneficial in terms of diversifying a person's opportunity in the mining or resource extraction workforce beyond the employment that they can realize with your company?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-25 9:27
We spend a lot of time on this study learning about rare earth metals themselves and haven't talked too much around the opportunities that they can potentially create for communities. You've listed here that Avalon has spent over $90 million on the project and $60 million alone went into the feasibility study, so there's $30 million outside of the feasibility study.
I don't need exact figures, just a rough idea, but what portion of those expenditures are right in the Northwest Territories itself?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-25 9:28
That would involve a cross-section of employment in that area, helicopters and trucking.
How broad is the net when you're doing feasibility and your anticipation of when you go into production in terms of the ancillary services in that region?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 9:28
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all of our witnesses today. You touched a little bit briefly on what some of the other countries are doing. Whoever is prepared to answer this question, I'll leave it open.
What is the rate that other countries are developing in this industry in comparison to the rate Canada is developing it?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 9:28
Yes, speed and efficiency....
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 9:30
You mentioned that—
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 9:31
You said that there's a race to supply going on. Considering that, and considering that the rough projection right now is that Canada has 50% of the rare earths outside of China, what does it do...? Is Canada in that big of a crunch? I guess what I'm trying to ask is this. You have other countries that have much smaller resources for rare earths. I can see them being in a real race to get to that first before Canada really exposes the market, but does that put us in a position where we really need to race to get to this? If we're not part of that race and we don't beat everybody to the punch, so to speak, what does that do to our industry? How does that impact us in the longer term, considering we do still have about 50% of the resources?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 9:34
Mr. Wilson, in your first presentation you talked about the training requirements for your highly qualified field—
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 9:34
You did outline quite a complex chain to even get to identifying your rare earths and then, of course, we have the mining side, the production side, and the distribution side.
In your mind, where is the focus required in the training aspect? What would the investment look like? What would the training look like, and is there something right now that the Government of Canada is doing or that industry is doing already that's meeting some of those needs?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-13 10:29
Well said.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-12 16:11
Thank you for your testimony so far. I am going to keep following the vein that Mr. Kamp started on and that you were touching on here.
You're really saying that your return on investment won't improve from more than an increase in the volume of exports.
Have you done an economic impact assessment? What I'm driving at here is this. That ROI improvement in most industries is going to mean the ability to spend the money that you wouldn't have otherwise had on jobs locally, on indirect industries that support the main industry and improve the community. It's that proverbial bouncing buck.
Do you have a handle on what your members would do with the improved ROI and who would indirectly or directly be enhanced because of it?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-02-12 16:14
There's improved prosperity with that because of the reduced tariffs.
You mentioned the aging labour force. Would it not be a fair assessment then that if there's some enhanced prosperity, it becomes a lot more attractive market for youth and people looking at new careers or new lines of business to actually start moving into, because a huge market, now a more prosperous one, is going to be available?
Are you planning on marketing that angle of it? Maybe you could give me your insights into that angle of it.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 9:11
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Premier, it's good to see you again. It's always a pleasure to be back in the Northwest Territories. I've been here quite a few times in the last year.
I'm a fellow northerner, and we always like to talk about our weather first. It seems every time I come here, it's to get a true taste of what winter is like. We sure have been enjoying some mild stuff in Whitehorse. In fact, the other day when I left, it was 13 degrees.
So there's my update on our weather. It's a necessary northern weather discussion.
It's good to breathe that arctic air, as Ms. Jones was saying.
Mr. Premier, awhile ago you wrote in an article in The Hill Times that this is fulfilling the promise made 46 years ago, secured through the ongoing development of a fully elected and representative legislative assembly in the Northwest Territories.
There has been some discussion around the level of consultation. Of course that's why we're here in the Northwest Territories again today, to further consult on Bill C-15. There have been numerous discussions going on. It certainly hasn't just happened over the last year or handful of years. As you noted, it's been a long time coming.
Could you give us a little bit of background on the history of devolution talks in the Northwest Territories and the input that has gone into it over the years? Perhaps you can build a bit on the comments you've made in the past about aboriginal governments being critical partners in the negotiation of devolution, and the fact that they're necessary to its successful implementation. I know you were able to highlight that your government has agreed to share 25% of resource revenues with aboriginal governments as part of devolution, which I think is important and significant.
Perhaps you could quickly touch on the long-term goal of the Northwest Territories to realize devolution and how much discussion has gone on in this territory over the years toward that goal.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 9:17
On that point, Mr. Premier, there have been some claims that the regulatory improvements and devolution itself would stall ongoing land claims. Of course, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has said that there's nothing here that will affect the comprehensive land claims process that's taking place, that he has committed that the negotiations will go on, and that in his view it may create an impetus to actually reach an agreement sooner. Would you share that viewpoint?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 9:24
Thank you again, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Premier, there have been claims that the current systems in terms of the regulatory review are working, but we have certainly heard testimony that the differences that exist between and within some of the northern jurisdictions can be confusing and a bit counterproductive; that some of the processes are complex, costly, unpredictable, and time-consuming.
Obviously it is our desire, and the desire of the Northwest Territories, I would think, that Bill C-15 would streamline the regulatory process by putting appropriate time limits in place and allowing for a consolidation of federal decision-making and measures that will include and improve environmental protection—for example, an increase in fines.
When we look at investment, as an example, across the country, where regions have a more favourable review process that's consistent and predictable, where it's effective and timely, where it's basically welcoming to business, that tends to be what people will be attracted to. Would that not be the same in the regions in the north? The Northwest Territories is a huge territory. If you have different processes existing in different regions, some will benefit and some will not, simply because people will seek out those regional locations that are straightforward, that are effective, that are understandable and workable.
Would you agree that the advantage to having one consistent review process across the entire territory will ensure equalized opportunity for every region, and not one region benefiting where another might not just because of confusing or complex differences that currently exist?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 9:27
Thank you.
There has been some concern that the amalgamation of the board itself would reduce regional influence over resource development and affect land claims agreements. Our position obviously is that the integrated regulatory regime is designed to make consistent and informed decision-making, as you just articulated. You maintain that it is strong, efficient, and effective.
But the new board, in its design approach now as I understand it, will be made up of equal membership from aboriginal and government nominees, and where a particular development or review is taking place in a particular region or community, there will be additional secured representation of people from that region. Is that accurate?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 9:29
That's consistent with individual land claim agreements and conditions laid out in each of those self-government agreements.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:34
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all our witnesses.
Mr. McCrank, my questions will be for you. I'm the member of Parliament for the Yukon, and of course we've gone through devolution and board composition discussions. We've worked with 11 of our 14 first nations who have settled their land claims agreements, and we work well with the other three. We're familiar with final agreements and self-government agreements under the structure of an umbrella final agreement.
We heard clearly in the panel earlier that there was deep concern more around the fact that the boards were felt by the representative chiefs...that the process was working, so why change what's not broken?
I sit on the natural resource committee in Ottawa as well, and what I've heard clearly there, from witness after witness, is that the process in the Northwest Territories can be complex. It can be costly, unpredictable, and time-consuming.
So on the one hand, we have one group saying, no, it's working perfectly. But then we have industry, we have individuals and businesses, we have chambers, and we have even the Government of the Northwest Territories saying, and recognizing that, no, there are some real challenges with the way we've structured this. It seems to me there's a real disconnect there between one group's perception of how things are working and another group's perception of how things are working.
You had the benefit of comparing and contrasting those regulatory systems between the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. Can you give us your perspective on the difference that we heard today and what I've heard, both on this committee and on the natural resource committee, and compare that a bit with the Yukon experience?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:39
Thank you.
Mr. Pollard, when you were going through consultations here and talking with groups and engaging them, including the first nations, you outlined the structure of the current board quite well. We're looking at moving from roughly 30 people involved in this to 11. I think one of the bigger concerns on the panel before was that they were articulating there would now be no regional representation whatsoever on this board. You explained that at least 50% of the board was going to be made up of regional representation, and then 50% of government, and a chairperson. The Government of the Northwest Territories obviously represents everyone in the Northwest Territories, and the regions would be represented by their key spokespeople as well as their elected MLAs that work for the GNWT.
What kind of feedback were you hearing as you were consulting in terms of that regional representation still existing on the main board?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:41
Were those accommodations made based on input that you had heard, then?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:41
So this was part of the consultation process. You heard that feedback and you made those accommodations.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:41
So that was based on direct feedback you heard as you were consulting on that?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:42
So you would not necessarily agree, then, with the comments we heard before, which were that the concerns of the local regions or the first nations of that area...that they weren't offered that opportunity or that this was a surprise to them that this composition has changed. I mean, it made it sound as though today was the first time that they had heard of this.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:42
Thank you.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:50
Mr. Chair, I do take a bit of umbrage with Mr. Bevington's concerns when I raised the questions I raised. I think it's important to focus on best practices across the three territories to see what works. Certainly, that was the nature of my questions, to determine what those best practices are and to see if we can deploy them across the three territories. It may be a bit of a cliché, but as we say, there's no sense in reinventing the wheel. If we find a system that's working, we want to be able to take the good from that system, and we also want to eliminate the things that aren't unique to a particular region or that don't work so well.
I will correct the record for Mr. Bevington. Clearly, while he's talking about 2008-09 and Yukon's mining practices, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, Yukon contributed to 10% of Canada's GDP in exploration alone. We have three operating mines going right now and three more in the permitting phase, so I'm not sure where he's getting his facts about the Yukon territory stalling out in mining.
When we're looking at those best practices, we're looking at what worked in a jurisdiction and what didn't. We have the Yukon example. The Yukon has had devolution for over 10 years now.
Maybe Mr. Pollard can answer these questions, or you, Mr. McCrank, if they're well suited to you.
What experiences from the Yukon were taken into consideration? What were seen as positive measures and mechanisms built into the devolution agreement in Bill C-15, and what was left out because it wasn't working? What did we learn from the Yukon experience, both the good and the bad, that we were able to take or that we were able to leave behind?
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 11:53
Excellent. Thank you.
Mr. Seeback had a couple of questions. I'll pass the rest of my time to him.
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CPC (YT)
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2014-01-27 16:49
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I suppose notwithstanding the opportunity today for each of you to present to the committee, just by way of comment, our being able to get up here is great. This is our tenth meeting on the devolution agreement. Today's collective meeting hours would be about the equivalent of two and a half weeks' worth of meetings in Ottawa.
Obviously you can see that with this set-up it's not always possible to move throughout the communities, but it's nice for us to be able to get to them when we can. I know, as a Yukon member of Parliament, that it would really be nice to be able to move this big machinery around with us to all of our communities when we need to consult, but it's not always in the essence of either budgetary issues or time.
On a note that Mr. Bevington made—again, notwithstanding the opportunity you have here today to comment—I think in terms of any other opportunities to have provided your recommendations ahead of time, obviously it falls to each of us, as your members of Parliament, to hold consultations and to hear from you ahead of time. Mr. Bevington would have had ample opportunity to provide that to government had he held those consultations directly with you.
Moving on to my set of questions, Mr. Stanzell, you did mention the Yukon example, the YESAB situation where there are six regional offices occurring. Of course there's an outlined structure for the makeup of this board. Do you envision that makeup somewhat the way as articulated, that regional boards could still exist, or regional offices could be opened under the new structure? Do you envision the current structure then to be somewhat of a minimum?
We've established the.... It's being called a mega-board, ironically, when it's actually a smaller board than what exists in terms of raw numbers. Do you envision that as somewhat of a minimum, with nothing preventing, as you go forward, regional offices from being established to ensure that localized input?
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