Oct 22 2014

David Ramsay – GNWT First-Ever Call Cycle – Oil and Gas

Dave Ramsay - Official PortraitMr. Speaker, now that the Government of the Northwest Territories is responsible for administering the territory’s onshore petroleum resources, we are looking ahead to effectively plan and manage the NWT’s world-class oil and gas potential for the benefit of all residents.

To encourage future exploration and responsible development of oil and gas reserves in the territory, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is preparing for its first-ever Call Cycle for Oil and Gas Exploration Rights.

Mr. Speaker, at this stage, the petroleum rights issuance process is moving forward with the Call for Nominations, which may then be followed by a Call for Bids.  During the Call for Nominations phase, interested parties have four weeks to recommend parcels of land to the GNWT that should be made available for oil and gas exploration. Once the results of these submissions have been assessed, the government will decide which parcels will be made available to prospective bidders in a Call for Bids. The Petroleum Resources Act requires that the Call for Bids must remain open for a minimum of 120 days.

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Oct 22 2014

Tom Beaulieu – Road Safety

Tom Beaulieu - Official PortraitMr. Speaker, the safety of Northerners is a goal shared by Members of this Assembly and the Department of Transportation as we strive to build safe communities and a safe transportation system, in all modes, for the benefit of our residents.

Mr. Speaker, Parachute Canada is a national organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. Parachute has declared this week to be National Teen Driver Safety Week. Although young people only make up 13% of licensed drivers nationally, they account for 24% of road fatalities. Additionally, 40% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes are between the ages of 16 and 24. These shocking statistics have to change.

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Oct 21 2014

GNWT to develop framework to manage recreational lands

YELLOWKNIFE (October 21, 2014) – Minister of Lands Robert C. McLeod announced today that the Government of the Northwest Territories is beginning work to develop a Recreational Land Management Framework for the Northwest Territories.

“Northerners have told us that they care about environmental sustainability and also want more opportunities to lease land near communities for recreational use,” said Minister McLeod. “Now that devolution has taken place, we need to ensure recreational leasing throughout the territory meets northern needs and priorities.”

The Department of Lands is beginning work to modernize and unify its framework for managing recreational land management as part of the government’s commitment to improve policies and processes to better meet northern needs. The draft framework will be shared with Aboriginal governments and made available on the Department of Lands website for stakeholder and public review and feedback.  The work is expected to take approximately 18-24 months.

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Oct 21 2014

R.C. McLeod – Developing a Recreational Land Management Framework for the Northwest Territories

Robert C McLeod - Official PortraitMr. Speaker, the Department of Lands is responsible for managing and administering Territorial lands and Commissioner’s land. Territorial lands are public lands formerly administered by the federal government and devolved to the Government of the Northwest Territories on April 1st, 2014. Commissioner’s land is public land already under the GNWT’s jurisdiction and formerly administered by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.  Prior to April 1st of this year, the GNWT was only responsible for .02% of the land mass, or roughly 2700 square kilometers. Post-devolution we are now responsible for 85% of the land mass of the NWT or 1.15 million square kilometers.

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Oct 21 2014

David Ramsay – Implementation of the NWT Mineral Development Strategy

Dave Ramsay - Official PortraitMr. Speaker, responsible mineral exploration and development strengthens our territorial economy and helps to provide each region with opportunities and choices.

Later today I will be tabling the Mineral Development Strategy Implementation Plan, which will put the recommendations made in the Mineral Development Strategy into place.  The creation of an environmentally sustainable NWT Mineral Development Strategy was a key priority of the 17th Legislative Assembly and it establishes a comprehensive plan to ensure the long-term growth of a sustainable mining industry that will create jobs and economic opportunities for the people of the NWT.

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Oct 20 2014

Bob McLeod – Family Violence Awareness Week

Premier Bob McLeodMr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has a vision of a strong, prosperous North. We know that creating this North starts with healthy, safe communities where people can prosper, free from the fear of violence.

October 5–11, 2014 was the 14th annual Family Violence Awareness Week. There were several events held across the Northwest Territories to bring attention to the serious ongoing problem we have with family violence among our residents. These events included a radio phone-in show in Fort Good Hope, school presentations with elders and youth in Tuktoyaktuk, workshops on the Hay River Reserve, four events in Fort Liard including a community potluck, Fort Simpson high school students decorated and displayed anti-violence t-shirts and Inuvik held a scavenger hunt and barbeque. I want to congratulate all the communities who participated in these and other activities.

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Oct 20 2014

J. Michael Miltenberger – Report on the Northwest Territories Power Corporation

Michael Miltenberger - official portraitMr. Speaker, it has been a challenging summer for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.  During this past summer the Taltson hydroelectric plant and the transmission lines between the Snare plants and Yellowknife were threatened by forest fires.  Fortunately, all major infrastructure was preserved however, these same fires were responsible for half of the power outages experienced on the Snare system.

The same drought conditions that contributed to this being one of the worst forest fires years in history, is also responsible for low water on the Snare system.  Water levels at Snare are at a 64-year low and prompted the Corporation to apply for a 3.7 cent rate rider to cover the additional 16 million litres of fuel it anticipates burning up until June 2015 – at a cost of about $20 million.  This government recognized that customers could not afford an increase in power costs and agreed to cover this unavoidable expense.

Mr. Speaker, the Corporation recognizes the current way of operating is no longer sustainable – rates have reached their limit of affordability.  What occurred this past summer, while an environmental anomaly, has been a catalyst that has initiated serious discussion on potentially game-changing direction and focus.

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Oct 20 2014

David Ramsay – Supporting Small Business with the Implementation of the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy

Dave Ramsay - Official PortraitMr. Speaker, small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our community and regional economies.

To encourage economic diversity and sustainability, the Government of the Northwest Territories has long supported the interests and growth of this highly valued segment of the North’s economic community through a variety of programs and services.

As we mark Small Business Week this year, the GNWT is moving forward with the implementation of its NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy.  This Strategy offers a plan to expand and diversify the NWT economy outside of its rich resource sector, in areas such as agriculture, tourism, fishing, manufacturing and the traditional economies.

Later today, I will be tabling the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy Implementation Plan that maps out the priorities, methods and resources to address the Strategy’s 117 recommended actions.

It reflects, in part, our commitment to improve supports to NWT businesses and to grow a stable and attractive entrepreneurial environment.

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Oct 20 2014

GNWT celebrates role of small business in NWT economy

YELLOWKNIFE (October 20, 2014) – October 19-26 marks Small Business Week in Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is highlighting services and programs available to local businesses.

“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are integral to growing the territorial economy,” said Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) David Ramsay, who is also the Minister Responsible for the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC). “Earlier this year, the GNWT began implementing the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy. This strategy supports our ongoing efforts to create business opportunities and grow an attractive entrepreneurial environment throughout the NWT.”

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Oct 20 2014

Minister Ramsay promotes NWT interests at Justice Ministers’ meetings

Justice MinisterYELLOWKNIFE (October 20, 2014) – Minister of Justice David Ramsay joined his federal, provincial and territorial colleagues in Banff last week to discuss a range of public safety and justice issues, including several of interest to NWT residents.

Ministers talked about the progress that has been made on addressing violence against Aboriginal women and girls and agreed to the release of a progress report outlining specific activities underway as well as further commitments for action.  Ministers also discussed countering violent extremism, implementation of the proposed Victims Bill of Rights, further collaboration on access to justice issues and shared information on initiatives to support offender reintegration.

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