This is page numbers 143 - 180 of the Hansard for the 15th Assembly, 6th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was communities.

Topics

Members Present

Honourable Brendan Bell, Mr. Braden, Honourable Paul Delorey, Honourable Charles Dent, Mrs. Groenewegen, Honourable Joe Handley, Mr. Hawkins, Honourable David Krutko, Mr. Lafferty, Ms. Lee, Hon. Michael McLeod, Mr. McLeod, Hon. Kevin Menicoche, Mr. Miltenberger, Mr. Pokiak, Mr. Ramsay, Honourable Floyd Roland, Mr. Villeneuve, Mr. Yakeleya

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 143

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Good afternoon, colleagues. Welcome back to the Chamber. Orders of the day. Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Board. Mr. Krutko.

Minister's Statement 14-15(6): Skills Canada
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 143

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Mr. Speaker, on April 19, 2007, youth from across the Northwest Territories participated in the 9th Annual Territorial Skills Competition. Over 100 northern youth were entered into the various competitive events designed to foster careers and trades in technology. I would like to extend congratulations to those who took part, especially those competitors in the worksite safety event.

The worksite safety event involved three parts. Competitors gave an oral presentation on workplace health or safety topic of their choice. They took a written test and were also asked to identify safety hazards at a mock worksite overseen by the Workers' Compensation Board safety officers. To qualify to compete, the participants first had to take the Safety and the Young Worker Program offered through the Workers' Compensation Board. This year, there were 12 participants at the territorial level, 11 in the junior category and one in a senior category. The students who participated performed well and I encourage them to return next year.

Across Canada, people are beginning to realize that workplace accidents must not be accepted as part of our working lives. Every workplace injury can be prevented if safety is the first priority. In participating in the worksite safety competition, these youth are not only demonstrating a commitment to workplace safety, they are leading by example and building the foundation for a culture of safety in the next generation of workers in the Northwest Territories.

For proof of this commitment to workplace safety, we need to look no further than our territory's record at the national level where NWT participants have been awarded the gold medal in this category for three of the past six years. I would like to applaud all the youth who participated at the territorial level; in particular Keegan Lower and Peter Boggis who received gold medals in the worksite safety event for the junior and senior categories respectively. Peter Boggis who won the gold in this category at the national competition last year will be once again moving to compete against the best and safest youth of Canada.

I wish him the best of luck and best of luck to the other NWT competitors who are moving on to the National Skills Canada Competition. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 14-15(6): Skills Canada
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 143

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Minister's statements. The honourable Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Mr. McLeod.

Minister's Statement 15-15(6): Get Active NWT Campaign
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 143

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise my colleagues that on May 15th, the Minister of Health and Social Service and the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment will join me in the Great Hall of the Legislative Assembly to launch the 2007 Get Active NWT summer campaign.

The 2007 Get Active event is a friendly challenge to residents of the Northwest Territories to register the time they spend being physically active for a chance to win a $5,000 grant to support their community recreation program, a $500 grant for the most active groups and airline tickets to Edmonton.

Minister's Statement 15-15(6): Get Active NWT Campaign
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 143

An Hon. Member

Buy north.

Minister's Statement 15-15(6): Get Active NWT Campaign
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 143

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

During our 2006 Summer Get Active challenge, nearly 18 percent of residents were recruited to log over 10 million minutes of physical activity. In the recently completed 2007 Get Winter Active challenge campaign, 380 NWT youth logged nearly 631,000 minutes of physical activity.

The 2007 Get Active campaign is posed to be even better with additional prizes for participants, special Get Active community events in all regions, and more partners joining in, including the Canadian Cancer Society, First Air, the Northwest Territories Recreation and Parks Association and many others.

As impressive as the participation numbers have been in the past years and the expectation for this year's campaign, it is known that there are a great many individuals who carry on their personal commitment to physical activity and a heavy lifestyle without ever logging a single minute into a campaign such as this one. To all those silent role models, congratulations on your efforts and the examples that you set.

Each year in Canada, more than two-thirds of deaths result from four groups of chronic diseases: cardiovascular, cancer, two types of diabetes and respiratory. These chronic diseases share common, preventable risk factors including physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and tobacco use.

The Get Active campaign is one of a number of efforts the Government of the Northwest Territories is supporting to

promote all residents to live healthier lifestyles. Even if a few more people can be convinced to be physically active, the cost savings for the health care system is huge and the lifestyle improvements immeasurable.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all Members of the Legislative Assembly for helping to set an example and I encourage you to promote Get Active and other healthy lifestyle choices. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 15-15(6): Get Active NWT Campaign
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 144

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Bell.

Minister's Statement 16-15(6): Camping NWT - On-line Reservation System
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 144

Brendan Bell Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories has one of the most impressive parks systems in all of Canada. On May 1, 2007, the system was improved when the Department of ITI launched its new territorial parks on-line reservation system. The web address is www.campingnwt.ca.

The on-line reservation system is one of several initiatives being undertaken by Industry, Tourism and Investment to enhance the camping experience in NWT parks.

In 2006, we were pleased to roll out the first phase of the on-line reservation program at Fred Henne Park in the North Slave region. This year, we've expanded the service to all of the other major territorial parks in the territory. In the North Slave region this includes Prelude and Reid Lake parks. In the South Slave: Twin Falls, Hay River and Queen Elizabeth parks. In the Deh Cho: Sambaa Deh, Blackstone, Fort Simpson, and in the Inuvik region: Happy Valley and Jak Park Campground.

A key feature of the on-line reservation system is the ability to actually see pictures of the site you are interested in. You can see what amenities are available and then be able to book the site on-line. This is accomplished thanks to the installation of satellite communications in each of the participating parks. We have been able to provide this value-added tool to the public due to the cooperation and support of our various parks contractors across the NWT. I would like to commend our private sector partners for this support.

Mr. Speaker, this initiative, as well as constantly improving park facilities and infrastructure and ongoing staff training, are all part of the department's goal to make camping in the NWT a memorable and positive experience. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 16-15(6): Camping NWT - On-line Reservation System
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 144

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Bell. Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister of Human Resources, Mr. Dent.

Minister's Statement 17-15(6): Youth Employment Opportunities In The GNWT
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 144

Charles Dent Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, a sure sign of spring in many NWT communities is the return of summer students. The GNWT Summer Student Program is one way we offer to hire and train northerners as future public servants.

In 2001, the GNWT introduced the Maximizing Northern Employment Initiative. As part of this initiative, the Northern Student and Northern Graduate Employment programs were established. These programs encourage northern students to pursue post-secondary degrees and diplomas, and then work in the NWT after graduation.

Graduates can access internships and specialized skill development training. Qualified northern graduates of nursing, social work and teaching programs are guaranteed a job offer somewhere in the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, since 2001, the Graduate Nursing Program has placed 87 northern nursing graduates. The Graduate Social Work Program has placed 16 social workers and the Graduate Teacher Program has placed over 50 teachers.

For students finishing a year of post-secondary schooling, we have a Summer Student Hiring Program that helps students receive progressive, relevant experience directly related to their studies.

In 2006, the GNWT provided 343 summer students with employment between April and September. Mr. Speaker, as of this week, 195 students have already been hired for summer 2007 in seven NWT communities. This includes 56 priority one and 108 priority two individuals. These employment opportunities offer students an insight into the public service work environment. They also provide employees with an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills with future job seekers.

Our Graduate Internship Program has been successful in attracting northerners to the public service. Since 2001, over 260 northerners have participated in the internship program. Over 88 interns from the program have joined the GNWT in indeterminate positions. Of those who have moved on, many have returned to school for advanced degrees or gone to work for other northern employers. Mr. Speaker, 35 interns will join the GNWT this year.

I invite my colleagues to join me in welcoming all the interns and summer students who are joining the public service this year. The time spent with the GNWT will provide these individuals with valuable work experience. Our northern students and graduates will be filling essential positions in the future.

Mr. Speaker, these programs serve as examples of how the GNWT is preparing, developing and retaining northerners in the public service. As North American labour markets become more competitive, we need to look at our own staff and other northern residents and the educational programs we provide in order to fill our public service positions with the best candidates.

We could not provide the quality programs that we do without dedicated public service employees. Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the time, energy and dedication they bring to mentoring and training our new employees. Through their efforts, the GNWT continues to offer an exciting and vibrant workplace for northerners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 17-15(6): Youth Employment Opportunities In The GNWT
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 145

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Dent. Ministers' statements. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Great Slave, Mr. Braden.

Juno Award Recipient Leela Gilday
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 145

Bill Braden Great Slave

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. It's always a pleasure to stand in this Assembly and acknowledge the significant milestones and achievements on behalf of constituents and residents. In this light, it was a great moment for a tremendous northern family, a Yellowknife family and the whole NWT to see that Leela Gilday was acknowledged as the Juno Award winner for aboriginal recordings...

---Applause

Juno Award Recipient Leela Gilday
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 145

Some Hon. Members

Hear! Hear!