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Results: 1 - 15 of 64
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to welcome Donna Lee Demarcke from NWT Tourism. I want to ask her a few questions, but first of all, I will say congratulations to her on her new position with NWT Tourism. I believe this is her first time in front of the finance committee.
We have talked several times about tourism in the Northwest Territories. I know there's a lot of concern from the operators, as the pandemic has had a great impact, as Donna Lee has presented. In the north, we have a wide variety of tourism operators, from large operations, especially in Yellowknife and regional centres, to one-person operations in our smaller communities.
I want to ask Donna Lee Demarcke if she has noticed any of the government supports that may be working well for some of the operators but maybe could be improved to help more of her members. That's my first question.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Do I still have some time?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Across all three territories, we're on pace to have vaccines administered to everyone who wants one in the coming weeks, and at least by the end of April. There's also some good news of late in terms of getting more vaccines delivered to the rest of the country.
It will still be months before the provinces reach herd immunity. Do you have any suggestions on measures? I think you've just brought up one, but how can the industry be best supported during this period of varying provincial and territorial vaccine levels?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I have a final question.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I want to ask about how Northwest Territories Tourism is preparing for a post-pandemic season in tourism. Many people are saying that we're going to see everything come back to normal, but that might take a while. Is your organization doing anything to try to plan around that? How can the federal government help?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have just a couple of short questions.
First of all, thank you to the presenters today for the very good information.
One question is for the First West Credit Union. For Canadian credit unions, how much of an increase have you seen in the number of individuals or businesses defaulting on their loan payments relative to 2019?
The second question is, have the credit unions been affected differently than the larger financial institutions, and how did the credit unions address these differences, if they were there?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
My question is for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. I represent the Northwest Territories, and up until the pandemic hit, tourism was the sector that was growing by leaps and bounds. We had aurora borealis viewing. People were coming from all over the world. Our hotels were full. Sometimes you couldn't get a room in any of the hotels. New hotels were being built. The airlines were full, totally booked. Restaurants were full. Then the pandemic hit and it really took its toll.
In our discussions with the tourism sector, what we talked about was the vaccine being the key to unlocking travel and getting tourism back to the Northwest Territories, and to the north for that matter.
Now, in this part of the country, in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut, everybody who wants to be vaccinated is going to be by the end of April. However, now we're realizing that it's really not going to make much of a difference for the tourism industry because our borders are still going to stay locked and restrictions will still be in place for travel because of what's going on in the south.
Would you agree that the recovery of the tourism industry is going to be based largely on the rollout of the vaccine, getting everybody vaccinated in Canada, and for us especially up in the western provinces? It's really going to be a challenge to get tourism going until the last province gets everybody vaccinated.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I think you touched on what was going to be my next question. Our tourism industry, especially in aurora viewing, was largely the Asian market. We had a lot of people coming from Japan, China and Korea. Even if we had herd immunity in Canada, I don't know how many people will be travelling very soon. I don't know how many people will be coming from other countries—or travelling anywhere, for that matter. I think that will be a challenge.
I didn't hear you talk about indigenous tourism. I'm curious to know whether you have any information on what the impact has been for indigenous tourism. I know that in my riding, I've talked to a lot of operators living in small and remote communities who are just closing their doors because they're mom-and-pop or one-person operations. It's just easier for them to do nothing and not try to chase programs and dollars.
I think we may be seeing a greater impact on indigenous tourism than the other markets in the tourism sector.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the minister for appearing in front of us and having an open discussion on so many things over the last while.
I represent the Northwest Territories. A year ago we were very nervous. We didn't know what the outlook was. The pandemic was declared, and we spent a very difficult year trying to make sure everybody was looked after. We're now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are being rolled out, and here in the north it looks like we'll have everybody vaccinated by at least April.
The combined work of the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada can only be described as a success in keeping the cases down and the death numbers low. The low numbers in the north have allowed us to do more than what our southern neighbours were able to do. For us in the north, we were able to keep all our schools open. We allowed businesses to stay open. I think for that we should all give ourselves a collective pat on the back.
The Government of the Northwest Territories just announced fairly recently that of the $156 million that was spent in the Northwest Territories to address COVID, $123 million of that was covered by the Government of Canada. That's the reason we were successful. The assistance that the territories received from the federal government is the major reason we were able to operate the way we have.
Our economy varies by degree. We have some people who did well all through the pandemic and others who have struggled, and then there are some who are really in trouble.
Back in June, the Government of Canada increased the borrowing limit for all three territorial governments to ensure that they could continue to have the fiscal flexibility to manage the economic pressures caused by COVID. I'd like to ask if the minister could explain how Bill C-14 similarly seeks to make sure the Government of Canada has the fiscal flexibility it will require.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
No, keep going.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Yes. I think the minister is aware that the different regions of the country are emerging from the pandemic at different rates. I'd like to know how the government is giving the necessary resources to regional development agencies so that they can meet the changing needs of local economies across this country.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all our witnesses for a very interesting discussion on a very concerning issue.
I'm in the same boat as Pat Kelly; I don't have a whole lot of farms in my riding. We do have some hobby farms and some community gardens and things of that nature.
I have a number of questions. I think I'll start with Mr. Harpe. He made a very good presentation, but I'm not clear on some things he said, maybe because of my lack of exposure to farming. He mentioned that his farm was a corporate farm, but it's not a real corporate farm. I can understand the difference between an unincorporated farm and an incorporated farm, but maybe he could explain to me what he meant. I think his farm is considered a corporate farm, but it's not the same as a real corporate farm. I didn't follow that.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
You referred to the big farms getting bigger, which you were concerned about.
Is there a difference in definition?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I have another question, just for clarity. Mr. Harpe pointed to the fact that if he sold his farm to his children versus to an entity outside of the family, the difference could be $100,000 or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The financial difference would be large. Would this bill change that fact? Would this change how much of a difference in money there would be in selling to his family versus selling to a company or selling to somebody else?
Would you be able to give me an example of what that means?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'll be quick.
Bill C-208 was brought in by Larry Maguire, who is a Conservative member. He made a lot of good arguments in his presentation. We hear a lot of people supporting this. It seems like a logical thing to have families being able to transfer their businesses to their children.
The last time it was raised, in 2017, lots of issues hadn't been resolved. I hear from a lot of people who have been working on this for quite some time. It looks like it's been a thorn in the side of many people on this panel.
Why didn't it happen when the Conservatives were in power? They're now bringing it forward. What stopped it before?
Maybe that's for Dan or Brian.
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