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Results: 1 - 15 of 3963
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's good to see everybody at committee.
Welcome to the minister. As the minister knows, the north is not the same—
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
[Technical difficulty—Editor] the rest of Canada doesn't face, and we're experiencing climate change impacts like nowhere else in Canada. In the last two weeks, five communities flooded and to an extent we've never seen before. I'm on flood watch right now in a community where the water is going to be over the banks pretty soon.
With changing water levels, temperature change, melting permafrost, shore erosion and forest fires, we have it all, and the sad reality is that we have very little greenhouse gas emissions. It's something that concerns us and we want to see every avenue taken to try to change it.
The announcement of the $2.6 billion for home retrofit grants was very good to see. I think a lot of people in our communities are happy with it. There is a large indigenous population here and we have challenges with housing, so this is going to go a long way.
However, we have other issues: our costs are higher, we have isolation concerns and our construction seasons don't match those in the south. I'm hoping the minister will be able to let us know whether a solution will be tailored to the north so we can be included as part of this. That's my first question.
The second question is about the energy advisers. These positions are going to require people with a high level of education and degrees in the field already, before they're even considered as advisers. We have a small population. We don't have many experts in this field. I'm hoping this portion of the announcement will allow us to tailor the training program so we can have people from the north doing the job of energy adviser.
Those are the two questions I have for the minister.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all the presenters today.
My question is for Natasha Hope Morano from Startup Canada. Here in the Northwest Territories, we've had a number of small local businesses successfully pivot to e-commerce during the pandemic. We had a coffee company that started marketing online and another restaurant that started selling their salad dressing. However, for northern businesses, one of the biggest hurdles to expanding further in that field or in that area is the reliability and affordability of high-speed Internet.
Could you talk to us about how important it is that the Government of Canada continue to bring forward measures like the additional $1 billion in this budget for the universal broadband fund to close the digital divide for many people, including northern entrepreneurs.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
My next question is for the Quebec tourism organization.
I didn't get the person's name, Mr. Chairman.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I'll just put the question out to whoever wants to answer it.
The NWT has a very well-established and well-renowned tourism sector that makes up a significant portion of our economy. We've probably had tighter restrictions in the north to limit travel to and from our territories, from outside of the country but also from other regions of Canada.
With the budget's announcement of $1 billion in support for the tourism and events sector, including $500 million to the regional development agencies for tourism businesses and $100 million more for Destination Canada, do either of you anticipate that this funding will help your membership through the remainder of the pandemic and help prepare for the eventual reopening of our regions to tourists?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, everyone, for your presentations today.
My question is for the Canadian Cancer Society. First of all, I really appreciate the work you do and everything you've done over the last while on the issue of cancer. I come from a very large family. The issue of cancer has been something that has plagued us, as it has most big families.
It's even more challenging when you come from the north. For us to get a diagnosis or any kind of checkup, we have to go to Alberta. For anybody to get any kind of treatment, they have to go to Alberta. It's not like walking across the street to get a doctor's test. It's expensive, it takes a lot of time and it really puts a lot of burden on the families. It was really good to see what the budget has for support, increasing the time to 26 weeks.
You mentioned that you would have liked to see a 50-week period. Can you explain how you came up with that number? It does make a lot sense for many of us who are in the remote areas, but I'd like to hear your side of it.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you for giving me some time, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, thank you to all the presenters. It's a very interesting discussion.
My question is for the tourism association, Beth Potter.
I represent the Northwest Territories and over half of the Northwest Territories is indigenous, so it was very important to us to see the Indigenous Tourism Association finally set up an office here in the Northwest Territories. I know, by your presentation, that they are part of your organization.
For us, they serve a very important purpose. They play a really important role in the north, and it's a different role from most of the other agencies that deal with tourism, because we have different challenges here in the Northwest Territories—and the Yukon and Nunavut, for that matter—but we have huge potential. Our communities are small. Getting professionals is very difficult, and getting consultants or accountants to deal with the small communities and the people who live there is a real challenge.
I find that a lot of our operators struggle to get even insurance or permits, things of that nature, where you have to go to the regional centre to get them, and the Indigenous Tourism Association plays a big role in helping them and guiding them.
This year we've seen the Indigenous Tourism Association in the budget; it got money. I want to ask you if you feel that is something we should be encouraging to do better, to get more money for indigenous tourism, so they can have more staff on the ground and more people to help things move along and move forward.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Yes. Thank you for that.
I would also like to ask you—and I am not sure if you're aware of this—but there are real challenges when it comes to getting indigenous people formally involved in tourism development. In our communities, and I believe it would be the same in the tribes in the south, it is really important to have things structured in a way that you don't step on somebody's toes when you go into a different area of one tribe's traditional lands or a family's traditional lands. A lot of the communities are working on and have been talking with Indigenous Tourism to develop tourism development plans so that the tourism industry knows where they need to stay away from—important burial grounds, sacred sites or environmentally sensitive areas—and the plans have to fit into land-use plans.
I don't know if you've ever had a chance to talk about a big picture strategy that indigenous people need to have versus everybody else who just gets a licence, a permit and whatever they need to sell their product, but I think it needs more. Maybe you could talk about that.
I also think that a lot of the money that came for tourism relief left indigenous people out. I know many hunters on the northern coast along the Beaufort Sea, the polar bear hunters, the ecotourism operators or single operators like a father and son or a couple, just closed their doors. They didn't bother to try to get some of the money to provide relief because they don't have access to people who can package that stuff.
I'll just leave that with you to comment on. It's a different world when it comes to indigenous tourism, and I think you're aware of some of that.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to everybody who made presentations. It's a very interesting discussion.
My first question is to the Ontario Real Estate Association and Brian Santos.
I found the presentation very interesting. The comment about encouraging housing repair and energy efficiency being part of that is something we're really focused on here in the Northwest Territories. We see it as an easy way to create employment. A lot of people could use the upgrades on their houses and even build new ones. I really support that.
The one comment that caught my attention was the issue of Internet availability. I've sat on a number of studies that took place in the north because the issue of isolation is a big factor for our youth. I had opportunity to travel around and talk to youth about their mental health and depression. Internet availability was pointed to as an area that was really impacting them. It also had an impact on distance learning and education. It really resulted on a lot of out-migration from our smaller communities to larger centres.
Mr. Santos, you said that it also has an impact on the housing market and on the decision people make when they want to buy a house. How much of a factor is it in the the decision to buy a house in areas with low Internet availability? That really impacts me in the north. We still don't have high-speed Internet in some of our communities.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you for that.
My next question is for the Tourism Association of P.E.I. I listened with interest to how much the CEWS and CERS have supported your industry. It's the same in the north. The backbone of our economy is mining, but tourism was a growing industry, and we had companies and operators popping up. Every year we were seeing more and more of them. Now that a number of them have reduced their operations, it's really hurting the rest of the population. The closure of a tourism business really has a spin-off effect in the hospitality sector, for sure, but it does in other areas, too.
In the north we've been trying to look at doing things differently. Most of the people in the north have had their second vaccine, so there are a number of exemptions that are being made for ecotourism for people who are operating in very remote areas. Sport hunters and ecotourist operators are allowed to bring in people. It seems to be helping a good percentage of our operators, but it still doesn't help everybody.
Yukon, for example, has now lifted a restriction so that anybody coming to Yukon who has had both their vaccines doesn't have to self-isolate; they can travel back and forth, and that means a lot more travel within the territories.
If people with both vaccine shots were able to travel freely within our country, within Canada, how much would that help your industry when it comes to enough businesses staying afloat?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for the presentation.
I have a question on the First Nation Fiscal Management Act and the amendments, and who it applies to. I represent the Northwest Territories and we have a different system in the north, and that's pretty much the same in the Yukon and Nunavut. Do these amendments have any implications for the north, or I guess the question is, is the north part of it or not part of it?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Okay.
I have one more question. It's good to hear that the modern treaty holder self-governing nations are going to be included. I'm assuming it's going to be through the self-governing fiscal policy that is being negotiated, or the terms are being negotiated that will allow this.
I still am a little bit curious to see how it's going to work in the north on indigenous lands. The Government of Northwest Territories collects all GST and everything else, so it's a different ball game in the north.
I'm just wondering how that will apply.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the minister for joining us.
I want to ask the minister the following question. When it comes to fiscal flexibility, the Government of Canada has significantly more capacity than its provincial-territorial and municipal counterparts. This is certainly the case in the area I come from, the Northwest Territories. How will the measures in Bill C-30 help ensure that these other orders of government are able to provide the services and infrastructure that their residents rely on?
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