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Evidence of meeting #42 for Natural Resources in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was community.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Peter Jenkins  Mayor, City of Dawson
Pujjuut Kusugak  Mayor, Hamlet of Rankin Inlet
Peter Tapatai  Representative, Hamlet of Baker Lake

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

She's our Minister of Health now.

Is there a high school in Baker Lake?

10:20 a.m.

Representative, Hamlet of Baker Lake

Peter Tapatai

Yes. We have Jonah Amitnaag high school.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Jenkins, could you expand on Dawson City's current relationship to gold mining exploration and development?

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, City of Dawson

Peter Jenkins

It is a very good one, sir.

Our first nations, the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, are well involved in the community. Of the 22 self-governing first nations in Canada, 11 of them are in the Yukon. Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in has set up a number of different companies. One is a fuel distributor, one is a trucking company, one is a construction company. They are servicing the mining industry with their well-trained first nations people.

They are very integrated into the community. They built a number of houses right in the municipal limits after their land claims were settled and signed, and agreed to abide by the City of Dawson's municipal bylaws.

We have an excellent working relationship. Chief and council and the mayor and council meet on a regular basis, at least quarterly, and go over areas of mutual concern.

They're actively involved in the mining community. Some of the best highway foremen are first nations descendants and they're working for the Government of the Yukon. They're very integrated into the community, and we're probably ahead of the curve in Canada in that regard, and we're very thankful.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Jenkins, you've already been involved in political life at all levels for a few decades. Have you ever made a contribution to political advocacy in a foreign country?

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, City of Dawson

Peter Jenkins

I never have.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

I didn't think so.

We know your views about financial contributions to political advocacy from foreign countries. Do you think they should be made illegal?

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, City of Dawson

Peter Jenkins

They should have parameters around how that money flows into Canada and how it's dealt with and used within Canada. The point of origin of that money and its intended purpose should be duly recognized.

Guidelines might be put around the type of money flowing into Canada, yes.

I might add that I'm well involved in Alaska and the business community there, and I know what's going on in that area.

It's amazing to—

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

You don't get involved in political advocacy there?

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, City of Dawson

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

You know that's a foreign country.

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, City of Dawson

Peter Jenkins

That's correct.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

Thank you, Mr. Galipeau—

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Before I go, Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could have a seconder for this motion: that we adjourn this meeting to Rankin Inlet and go fishing.

10:20 a.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

I'm going to rule that out of order, as much as I'd love to go along with it.

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

I'd like to challenge the chair.

10:20 a.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Leon Benoit

Mr. Nicholls, you have up to five minutes. Go ahead, please.

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Welcome to the south.

I realize it's very good of you to come here before the committee, and I wish there were more exchanges so we could go to the north. I hope I'll be able to travel in the north in the next couple of years and visit you in your own communities.

Mr. Kusugak, I have a question about funding for something called the Mine Training Society, a partnership with first nations. Is the funding still in place for that program? Could you speak to that?

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, Hamlet of Rankin Inlet

Pujjuut Kusugak

As far as I know, the Kivalliq Inuit Association is part of the Kivalliq Mine Training Society. I think they also work with the Government of Nunavut or the Nunavut Arctic College.

I can't answer about the funding. I don't want to give the wrong information, if funding is still there or where the funding comes from.

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

But there's a federal component to that funding, I understand?

10:20 a.m.

Mayor, Hamlet of Rankin Inlet

Pujjuut Kusugak

I believe so. From what I understand...I can't remember exactly who the funding agency was. I work at the Kivalliq Inuit Association also, but I didn't get the specific funding program.

June 7th, 2012 / 10:25 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls NDP Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

I also have some questions about the royalty regime and devolution in your territory. Considering that the current negotiations between the Government of Canada and Nunavut over control of natural resource revenues....

Do you find it appropriate that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency aren't analyzing the potential effects of devolution of northern communities for self-determination, self-sufficiency, and control over your resources? Instead, devolution is being studied as a financial issue by the Government of Canada within the Department of Finance.

Could you speak to the ongoing negotiations?

10:25 a.m.

Mayor, Hamlet of Rankin Inlet

Pujjuut Kusugak

The territory of Nunavut was created so that the people of Nunavut could become independent and not be so dependent on the rest of Canada. Just for everybody's information, Inuit do pay taxes. We're contributing Canadians. This way, we can contribute towards everybody else, but also, the royalties and things of that sort can help the Nunavut territory. I think it's really a matter of pride. You want to be able to look after your own people. You want to be able to provide for your families—not just for you but for everybody else after you—and that's the whole point of devolution, I believe.