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Results: 1 - 15 of 15
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome to the presenters.
My question is for the Mining Association of Canada. Mr. Marshall, welcome back. I always appreciate your submissions, because there's a reference to the north in them, and I think we need as much attention on the north as we can get.
We've heard from a number of witnesses this week who have called on the government to put priority on northern infrastructure and have emphasized the important goal of having federal support being both significant and accessible to northern applicants.
In your recommendations, you talk about northern infrastructure. Could you explain how MAC's recommendations on the trade and transportation corridors initiative, and also the Canada Infrastructure Bank, would assist in meeting this goal?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you for that. I certainly agree with you. I think the NWT Chamber of Commerce is also saying the same thing. We need to deal with the infrastructure deficit. We need to be able to sort out the issue of land tenure with indigenous people if we're going to.... The mining association, the mining people, need more access to land, and that's a big issue for us.
You also talked about skills training. Given that the mining industry is the backbone and you probably train more indigenous people than any other sector, could you talk about the importance of providing resources for indigenous skills training?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
The last issue I want to touch on is royalties.
This was a subject that was hot and heavy during the campaign. In the north, we've always said that we should be able to keep 100% of the royalties that are collected. Right now, we collect only 50%. We would like to see the remaining 50% go to either indigenous governments or the Government of the Northwest Territories. They are very underfunded and have very little in terms of revenue.
You talked about leaving royalties in the jurisdiction where they are collected. Could you expand a little bit on that?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you very much.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have one question for Mr. Obed. Thank you for your presentation.
I hear from all jurisdictions in the north about the housing situation. People claim it's a housing crisis. Could you talk a bit about how that impacts the indigenous people in all of the north?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to everybody who presented today. They were very interesting presentations and I know everybody had short notice. I want to welcome the NWT Association of Communities. You also had short notice and travelled quite a ways to be here. You brought up very interesting challenges we have in the north. If we could find the resources and convince committee to put this as part of the recommendations, we'd be moving a little bit closer to the Canadian standard.
We all know that one of the biggest challenges for communities, organizations and businesses in the Northwest Territories is that the programs need to be sizable enough to address the northern infrastructure and services gaps, and also accessible and flexible. Could you talk a little bit on the importance of designing federal programs to reflect the realities in the north?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I'm going to cut you off because I want to talk about the issue of housing. We heard a bit about it. I know in the north, because I travel, housing is at every table, in every discussion, and it is a crisis. Could you talk a bit about that? I know the city has made homelessness a priority. Can you talk about some of the urgency and requirements for investment in housing in the north?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I will be splitting my time with my colleague Annie Koutrakis.
I have a couple of quick observations that I want to flag. Then I have a question for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
First of all, I want to commend you for the work your organization is doing on the indigenous fire marshals. I think it's a good move. I think it's something that's much needed. In your document you state that you need support. Maybe you could provide to the committee what form that would take.
The second thing is that as fire chiefs, fire marshals are responsible for all hazards by default. This is an observation from the Northwest Territories, and I think it will happen with these fire marshals on the reserves. We don't have building inspectors. By default, the fire marshal's office is usually asked to take on that responsibility. It's a serious concern. I think that may be an area that you could look into a lot more.
The question I want to ask is regarding mental health. I think this is a real serious concern. It's something that we deal with with social workers in the north. We've already invested $30 million in a commitment over five years. Is that meeting the mark? Is that meeting what it's intended to meet?
If you could respond to that, then I'll turn it over to Annie.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thanks to everybody who presented today.
My question is for the Green Budget Coalition.
The 2019 Speech from the Throne and also the mandate letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change talked about conservation of lands and oceans to 25% by 2025, and 30% by 2030.
Many of us believe that partnerships with indigenous nations, which can create new protected areas across different parts of Canada, are very essential to meeting those targets. I didn't see any reference to either the indigenous protected areas or the indigenous guardians in your submission. Both of these are good conservation tools to have, and we've used them in the riding I represent, the Northwest Territories.
They're very popular programs with my constituents. In fact, the first indigenous protected area in Canada was just established close to my home community of Fort Providence in the Northwest Territories. The government did an analysis and found that in the Northwest Territories anyway the investment in indigenous guardians returns a value of up to $3.70....
Does the Green Budget Coalition work with those types of programs, or would it support indigenous-led conservation efforts such as these?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you for that response.
My next question is for Chief Picard.
I appreciate your presentation today. It looks as though many parts of Canada share the same issues and problems. You talked about the indigenous people in jail at 30%. In the Northwest Territories, 83% of the people in jails are indigenous. That number is staggering. There are many issues and problems that we can point to, but the biggest challenge we have—and I think it's across the country—is the issue of indigenous housing.
I can't have a round table discussion on any issue in my riding without housing coming to the forefront, and once it does, it doesn't leave the table until the meeting concludes.
There was a budget of $600 million provided to the Assembly of First Nations. I'm just wondering if any of that money flowed to your part of the country to the Quebec AFN.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thanks, presenters today, for coming and presenting, although your presentation is a little bit skimpy. I was hoping to hear more on some of the work you've done in the pre-budget consultations and especially what you heard from the north, because I wanted to raise an issue that is affecting the north. It's the physical pressures that the territories are facing. We have a small tax base and high costs of construction and service, and we have a set borrowing limit. That borrowing limit is set by this government and it's currently $1.3 billion. The Government of Northwest Territories always seems to be right at its debt limit and struggles to get projects done.
Is the Government of Canada open to exploring options to assist the Government of Northwest Territories in addressing some of the challenges through such measures as increasing their borrowing limit or allowing for greater flexibility in cost sharing on projects, infrastructure and other things?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
The definition of “large” depends what side of the fence you're on. The $800 million doesn't go very far when you split it among three territories and some of the provinces. Just one road costs over $2 billion. I should remind the government that the Government of Canada is still responsible for building roads in the Northwest Territories. It still holds that responsibility.
When we talk about how other countries are doing, and how the national indicators are showing that our country is doing well and things are going pretty well, there are some areas of concern for the Northwest Territories. Our economy has not been keeping up with what's going on in the rest of Canada. We're growing at a slower pace. We are getting to a point where the backbone of our economy is going to be disappearing pretty soon. The diamond mines are all past their peak production points. We really don't have any other industry ready to offset their decline.
What efforts is the Government of Canada taking to support regional economies, like ours, to grow and diversify?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
I would like to nominate Wayne Easter for the chair.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
Mr. Chairman, I just need further clarity.
Could you break it down again, Mr. Julian, as to how many from each party?
The Chair: Mr. Julian.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
That's nothing.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Results: 1 - 15 of 15

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