Transcript of meeting #1 for Midterm Review Committee in the 18th Assembly. (The original version is on the Legislative Assembly's site.) The winning word was work.

The winning word was work.

On the agenda

MLAs speaking

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. The MLA has asked an interesting question, and I have to agree that if we do get a vote of non-confidence it would be hurtful, in all honesty. I believe that I have worked hard over the two years. I believe that I have a lot of work to do. I came with a purpose. I have been working towards fulfilling that purpose, so no. I have to say that if I do get a vote of non-confidence that I would want to see who actually believes that I need to step down. In all honesty, we all take feedback, and we need to be able to take that feedback and improve our work, but to step down is not what I came for. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister Robert C. McLeod.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, one of the things we have talked about a lot in here is transparency, and if any of us, or if I were to resign, that would go against what we have been talking about for the last two years. I would not resign. I would wait for a motion or revocation, which is far more transparent and is something that we are preaching and we should practice. Thank you.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Minister Moses.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, being a Minister takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. Over the last two years, I've made a lot of investment into increasing relationships with our partners to accomplish a lot of the goals and achievements that we have done. A very interesting question by the Member. No, I would not look at resigning if I received a vote of non-confidence. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister Sebert.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I share the sentiments of my colleagues that you've already heard from. Members may recall that when the rules committee came forward with their plans and suggestions around the whole issue of the midterm review, I did file a minority report. I was particularly concerned about the secretive nature of the vote we are facing today. Therefore, no, I would not resign, and if Members opposite wish to remove us, they can do so in an open vote. Thank you.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Minister Schumann.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Chair. After hearing all my colleagues, I agree with everything that has been said today. When we all ran to be Members of the 18th Legislative Assembly, we know this is a consensus government. We all want to work collectively for residents of the Northwest Territories and do the best things that we can. There is a lot of work to be done in this Chamber, and there continues to be a lot of work done, and I think everyone has done a great job bringing forward the work that's been done so far.

We have one of the largest mandates ever in the history of the Northwest Territories. We are collectively working towards fulfilling that for the residents of the Northwest Territories, and as my colleague said, the Minister of Finance, I would not resign just based on openness and transparency that we talk about continually in this government. I would want to have an open and fair discussion in this Chamber to do that. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Simpson's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Questions to Ministers. I have next on my list: Member O'Reilly.

Mr. O'Reilly's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My question is for Minister Abernethy. On December 9, 2015, MLA Abernethy put his name forward to serve as our Premier. In his candidacy speech, Mr. Abernethy said "we have a new energy, new ideas" and "the status quo is no longer acceptable." Can the Minister tell us what he has personally done to change the status quo here at the Legislative Assembly over the last two years, and what further work remains? Mahsi, Mr. Chair.

Mr. O'Reilly's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Minister Abernethy.

Mr. O'Reilly's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I remember intimately what it's like to be a Member of this Assembly and not sit in on the Executive Council side. It can be very frustrating for Members when they don't feel like they are getting information, or there are surprises that occur in the House. I do not support surprises for anybody in this Assembly on either side, so I've worked very hard over the last two years to make sure that Members are informed on issues related to health and social services.

I have gone extra steps to make sure that we are providing them with detailed information when crises are occurring in communities, and providing them updates on a regular basis. I'm trying hard to work with MLAs on a regular basis to make sure that their input is incorporated in things that are actually happening in this Assembly. Outside of this Assembly, we have also tried to do things differently. I believe that there are answers, and good, great ideas in communities on the issues that are facing them, and I think it's really important for us to really engage with stakeholders.

When it comes to things like developing a framework and an action plan for things like disabilities, I have gone to the stakeholders and asked them to be part of the design of frameworks. I have asked them to actually help hold the pen. This is not something that has happened very often in this Assembly. It happened once before on the anti-poverty framework and action plan. These are things that are important to me, and working with Members and working with stakeholders, and giving them opportunities to take their consideration, and listen to what they are saying, and use those ideas to make change is different than things have been done traditionally, and I think it is a good way of doing business. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. O'Reilly's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

The Chair Jackson Lafferty

Questions to Ministers. Next on my list: Member Testart.

Mr. Testart's Question
Members' Questions for Ministers

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, my question is for the Minister of Education, Minister Moses. When he was on this side of the House, he made many statements into the proposed junior kindergarten program at the time. He sought additional funding for educational authorities, going so far as to request an extra supplementary appropriation to "offset these costs and let education authorities out there know we will support what they do, whether they had a surplus or a deficit." Further, he supported a motion to get dollars for the implementation of junior kindergarten and that whole early child education initiative, and even went on to question whether or not Cabinet takes it seriously, what Regular Members were doing. Now, when we embarked on continuing the junior kindergarten initiative, the Minister resorted to the exact same plan, which left a funding gap that took years to resolve. My question for the Minister is: what experience did he gain on this side of the House criticizing that program? Why did he continue on with the same plan? Why didn't he work with his department to make it a better plan that would be supported by the majority of Members, and when Members raised opposition to the plan because it left our school boards out in the cold, why did he continue along with it? Why was it such a battle to get full funding for junior kindergarten? There's still a question to that full funding. Thank you, Mr. Chair.