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Legislative Assembly briefs
Extra milk fee may be eliminated

Elizabeth McMillan
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - People shouldn't have to pay a handling fee on recycling milk containers because it amounts to a tax on milk, Weledeh MLA Bob Bromley said as he moved a motion to get rid of the surcharge.

"We don’t want to tax nutrition and we don’t have to if we assign the funds already approved to eliminate this effect," he said.

The motion called on the GNWT to take immediate action to get rid of the 10 cent non-refundable fee and "provide a corresponding and suitable level of financial assistance to the Environment Fund, if required, to assist in covering program expenses and improvements to waste reduction and recovery programs."

Bromley said that would involve putting between $70,000 and $75,000 directly toward recycling programs.

In mid-February the price of milk and milk substitute products went up to cover recycling fees. People can get a partial refund from beverage container depots – 25 cents of the extra 35 cents for two-litre and four-litre containers, and 10 cents of the additional 20 cents charged for one-litre cartons. Eleven MLAs passed the motion March 3.

Wendy Bisaro, MLA for Frame Lake, said the territorial government should also consider adding a sin tax to pop and liquor bottles and cans, to offset the cost of recycling milk containers.

Department should pay for misinformation: Abernethy

If the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) gave misinformation to caribou outfitters, it should be prepared to compensate them financially, Great Slave MLA Glen Abernethy told the legislative assembly on March 4.

Abernethy said during a meeting in December 2008, representatives from the department told outfitters they would receive 750 tags through the 2010 season. He said businesses relied on this information and booked hunts for 2010, hunts that had to be cancelled after ENR announced the interim ban on hunting Bathurst caribou effective Jan. 1, 2010.

"ENR gave bad information, bad advice to residents who relied on that information to their detriment and are now in a negative financial position, which might drive them into bankruptcy," he said.

Citing compensation the Department of Municipalities and Community Affairs gave to people who repaired their homes following the flood in Hay River in 2007 – after they received misinformation from the department – Abernethy questioned what ENR Minister Michael Miltenberger was going to do for the outfitters.

Miltenberger said money was available through the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. He said he would sit down with Industry Minister Bob McLeod to discuss the issue.

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