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View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-13 14:05 [p.29056]
Mr. Speaker, the expansion of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is yielding great results. We not only made CanNor funding ongoing for the first time, but we also increased it.
I cannot talk fast enough today to list all of the investments, but I can name a few. There are millions for our tourism industry for marketing support to Northwest Territories Tourism, to more specific funding for our amazing Snowking, boosting arts and crafts in Inuvik, the pavilion in Hay River, campground investments in Tulita and Wrigley, and support for Ulukhaktok to help provide services to cruise ship tourists. The investments include $2.7 million to the Government of Northwest Territories for advance work on the Slave Geological road. There is Canada 150 funding of over $2 million for much-needed improvements to the Girl Guides camp, the Deline cultural centre, and the trail system in Fort Smith.
Support for CanNor is support for northern economic development. It is great to see the support that this side of the House has for economic development in the north.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 21:01 [p.28963]
Madam Speaker, in the previous government, Bill C-15 was created in 2014 with complete disregard for the land claims agreements. The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act was created through the negotiations of land claims, and it certainly destroyed the trust factor with indigenous people in the Northwest Territories.
I want to ask the member if she would talk a little about how Bill C-88 would re-establish trust with indigenous people in the Northwest Territories, protect their constitutionally protected land claims and self-government agreements and restore legal certainty.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 21:16 [p.28965]
Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I take offence to the fact that the member feels that I, as an indigenous person, belong to him. I also take offence to the comment that because the minister is wearing an indigenous scarf, it is offensive. That is totally wrong and unacceptable. I would ask the member to retract those statements.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:07 [p.28967]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate being able to use the rest of my time on Bill C-88, which would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
This is a very important piece of legislation in my riding of Northwest Territories. The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act is the legislation that defines our unique system of land and water management in Mackenzie Valley, which is most of the Northwest Territories.
I had left off yesterday discussing the previous amendments made in 2014 to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The current amendments would not only fix the terribly thought out board amalgamation amendments of the previous government, but would also reintroduce all of the other proposed improvements to and modernization of the act that were halted with the NWT Supreme Court injunction.
These amendments were initially brought in by the members opposite, so I really cannot understand why they would be against Bill C-88. It must be their resistance to getting rid of the superboard and affirming the importance of the regional panels as set out in the constitutionally protected land claim agreements.
Other amendments in Bill C-88 clarify board composition when special representatives are added to the boards and provide for board member term extensions to allow for the completion of ongoing proceedings.
The amendments also allow for the creation of an enforceable development certificate scheme to clarify expectations for developers and enforcement agencies, following the environmental assessment. The development certificate amendment process provides for the reconsideration of specific elements of a project rather than having to undergo a full project environmental assessment for technological or environmental changes. Regional study provisions, if employed, would simply add valuable information to the regional data centre that could help inform responsible development.
The regulation-making authorities for administrative monetary penalties and cost recovery are also proposed in this bill and are consistent with modern-day approaches to resource management in other parts of the country. All northern partners, including industry groups, would be involved in the development of these regulations, which would provide further clarity on expectations, roles and responsibilities.
As we all know, there are those across the aisle who seem to not want to have a robust, inclusive and effective regulatory process in the Northwest Territories. The resulting ill-informed and cherry-picking amendments to the MVRMA were brought in by the previous Conservative government in 2014. The Conservatives' goal was to move decisions away from regional community members and restructure the land and water boards with a complete disregard for land claim agreements. As history has shown, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories had a problem with that.
Indigenous governments have settled land claims. Canada and the NWT government worked very long and hard to conclude these agreements. They cannot be ignored for expediency, for political gain and pandering to interest groups. As we have seen in this case, and we will see in the future if required, if any level of government thinks it can just set them aside when convenient, it will end up before the courts and will not like the outcome.
Bill C-88 is not just about keeping decision-making in the hands of those who know best, the indigenous and northern people; it is also about targeted improvements to the regime as a whole. These amendments do both.
I thank everyone here today for their continued support. Hopefully, we will see some new supporters here today. These amendments would right past wrongs and certainly improve the regulatory system in the north.
I certainly want to highlight the initial work that the Tlicho government has done to spearhead the court challenge of the ill-conceived Conservative amendments back in 2014, which stopped the superboard from ever being created in the first place. Their successful injunction at the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories suspended those flawed provisions from being enacted.
Finally, I would like to thank the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs for bringing them forward. I wish him well and look forward to seeing and working with him in the future.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:14 [p.28968]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the hon. member. There are not only two parts to this piece of legislation. There are actually three. The first part is referring to the superboard. The second part contains the eight regulatory items that were brought forward by the previous Conservative government that I think everybody agreed to and were focused on. When the bill came forward it had the superboard attachment. In Bill C-88, we have a further piece which is the Canadian Petroleum Resources Act. I believe that is the part the member is referring to.
We heard loud and clear from the Premier of the Northwest Territories when he appeared as a witness in front of the indigenous affairs committee. The member was chairing the meeting so she was there when he said he appreciated how well the negotiations were going. There are negotiations that are happening with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Government of the Northwest Territories and the federal government that will bring oversight and co-management abilities on the Beaufort Sea. This is a piece that was ignored by the previous Conservative government. The Conservative government would not put the Beaufort Sea discussions on the table.
I find it very surprising when members are concerned about how we react to the discussions on the Beaufort Sea when the previous Conservative government would not include it. Neither would it include the Norman Wells oil fields, two cash cows that generate revenue. They were left out. They were not part of the deal. The Conservative government would not let them put these items on the table, but our government has.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:16 [p.28968]
Mr. Speaker, I would argue that this is UNDRIP in action. This includes all of the indigenous governments in the regulatory process. Every government that has agreed to and signed on to the land claim agreements is involved in the regulatory process in the Northwest Territories. Fifty per cent of the seats are guaranteed for indigenous people. We have a resource revenue-sharing component in the Northwest Territories. I do not think any other jurisdiction has that, a revenue-sharing component for indigenous people. They get 20% of the Government of Northwest Territories' share.
This is the best example we could have when it comes to inclusion of indigenous people. I think it is a model that other jurisdictions, including the hon. member's province, could look at using. Other countries have come to look at how we operate and how we include indigenous people. They see it as a very good model that we should share with other jurisdictions.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:18 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, it took many years to get to the point where the management and decision-making around resource development in the Northwest Territories could be agreed to in the form of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The government of the day agreed to it, signed on to it, only to renege a couple of years later, saying it was going to make changes, while not consulting with anybody. A consultant was brought in from Alberta, a consultant who specialized in oil and gas and knew nothing about land claims or self-government or any kind of legislation in that area.
I think it shattered the trust of all the indigenous people who were involved with the Mackenzie Valley resource management boards and also the people who were involved in the creation of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. It has taken a long time. People wonder why it has taken so long to bring Bill C-88 back to the table. We had to deal with the trust factor. We had to convince indigenous people that we were serious and that we were not going to do what the previous government did, and that we were going to sort out all the issues before we got here.
Now, every indigenous government that has a role in the Mackenzie Valley boards supports this legislation. They have taken out ads in newspapers stating that they support it. The Government of Northwest Territories supports it. Industry supports it. It provides reassurance that they know the process and everybody is comfortable with it.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:21 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, I am aware that Bill C-15 was a Conservative bill that really shattered the confidence of the indigenous people in the Northwest Territories.
It was a bill that never should have come forward. It is a bill that we are trying to correct today. There is an opportunity for my honoured colleague from across the way, who I travel with most weekends to return home, to support this bill. He has the opportunity to stand up now and support Bill C-88. I would appreciate it if he would do so. I think he knows the bill. He knows how important it is to the Northwest Territories. I think he is quite supportive of indigenous governments and resource development.
This would provide reassurance. I would ask the member to stand up and support this bill. Let us clear up some of the wrongdoings from the past.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:22 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, the member fails to point out that the moratorium was only on new exploration licences in federal waters. She does not point out the fact that there was no activity. There were no applications in sight. Historically, over the five years prior to that, it was $7 million. There is no economic boom if they are only going to find $7 million spent in the Northwest Territories as a whole on oil and gas. Therefore, there was a natural moratorium.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 23:50 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Yukon for his very good presentation on Bill C-88.
I want to ask the member about the unique co-management systems that we have in the north across the board, and why the co-management system for resource development is so important to us in the north. Could he elaborate on that a little bit?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 23:52 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on an issue that comes mostly from industry. I meet quite often with the Chamber of Mines. It attends a lot of the round tables and has very strong opinions on resource development and the economy. So does the Chamber of Commerce. They always talk about the need to address a number of things if the north is going to become more economically secure.
The first thing is to address the issue of cost through infrastructure, mostly transportation infrastructure. The second thing is to sort out and resolve land tenure, compensation and self-governance with the indigenous people. They claim, and I agree with them, that certainty is a big issue and that we should not change the system we have. Everyone is comfortable and familiar with it.
Would the member agree that keeping the system, with the changes in Bill C-88, would give legal certainty to industry and all northerners, including the indigenous governments?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 21:10 [p.28859]
Mr. Speaker, I will leave Canadians to interpret and translate what the member has said.
I want to point out a couple of things that he failed to mention.
First, the Conservatives were in power for the 10 years, when these discussions were going on, and really did not do anything to help the economy. In fact, they left it in shambles.
The member also pointed out that the bill and the changes made would influence the activities in resource development in the Northwest Territories. I should remind him that it was his government that created the Mackenzie Valley resource management boards and negotiated, through land claim discussions and negotiations, to come to this arrangement. They decided they wanted to change it.
I was in the indigenous affairs committee when the contractor who was hired by Minister Strahl to go out and consult was presented. He talked about the direction he received from the minister. He was not totally clear, but he was told to fold all the regional boards and set up one super board. He was also talked about the rounds of consultations he had in the Northwest Territories. From what other witnesses said, he had set up two rounds of consultations.
One was with the indigenous governments, where everybody who was in the room was against the changes that included doing away with a regional board system and bringing in a super board. In the second round of consultations, everybody showed up except the consultant who was hired by the Conservative government.
When I asked the consultant about the report he presented and how he recommended that this was what everybody wanted when everybody was against it. He claimed that people said one thing in public, but whispered something else in his ear.
I am very disappointed that the member views including indigenous people in the consultation and regulatory process as a hindrance. Why does he see the involvement of indigenous as an attack on industry, as were his words?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 21:45 [p.28864]
Mr. Speaker, in committee, we heard quite a few presentations, and most were favourable to Bill C-88.
We heard from the premier, stating that he was happy with the negotiations on oversight and management of the Beaufort Sea, and that things were going well. Along with Grand Chief George Mackenzie from the Tlicho government, they talked about how they needed to see this move forward through the legislative process and receive royal assent in this Parliament. The negative implications of the status quo would be significant. If the bill is not passed in this Parliament, rising in June, indigenous rights and other federal-territorial initiatives, such as the five-year review of devolution agreements would be compromised.
Does the member agree with the premier and the grand chief that the negative implications of the status quo are significant?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 22:06 [p.28867]
Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the member. She mentioned there were two aspects to this legislation, but there are three. First, it would repeal the restructuring of the superboard. Second, regulatory items negotiated with the Conservative government of the day, which we consider positive, are included. Third, changes are proposed to the Canadian Petroleum Resources Act.
I was very pleased to hear the hon. member talk about the need to listen to people who were impacted. In 2014, the consultant who was hired heard many presentations in the first round of discussions, during which indigenous governments and the Government of the Northwest Territories sat in the same room. All governments there indicated they did not support the changes. There was not one word of support at that time. However, the consultant still chose to recommend that changes be made in three different sections of the bill.
Bill C-88 is an important bill. It is now supported by the Government of the Northwest Territories, which has provided written support. The Tlicho government, the Gwich’in government and the Sahtu government support it. All the impacted indigenous governments, along with the Government of the Northwest Territories, support it.
Now that the member has been reassured that governments in the Northwest Territories support Bill C-88 and that it is positive, will she vote to support it?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-10 22:36 [p.28871]
Mr. Speaker, I think I heard the member say that she agreed with the courts. I interpret that to mean that she views the creation of the superboard as something that, in hindsight, was wrong.
I would like the member to remind us how many regional boards the previous legislation, Bill C-15, was going to kill in anticipation of the creation of the superboard.
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