This is page numbers 495 - 544 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 going.

Topics

Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

August 22nd, 2007

Page 513

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue my questions with the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment on this issue of the housing rental assessments. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Minister wanting to sit down with me within this short time frame of our term as a Member. I would like to ask the Minister, this is one example in my questioning the housing assessments. There is a high core need in my community and other communities in the North. There are a lot of people that are crammed into these little houses. The assessments are done on household income, not on the person who is signing the lease for that house. Mr. Speaker, I just want to state that there are a lot of people who are crammed into these units here. A lot of them want to work, but they are getting dinged by the Housing Corporation. Is the Minister willing to look at some flexibility and a phase-in approach to these people to start taking ownership of their own homes through a phase-in approach to paying for their rent? Thank you.

Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. The honourable Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Dent.

Return To Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

Charles Dent Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the Member is aware, it is the Housing Corporation that sets the rents for units in the North. Education, Culture and Employment calculates what subsidy a family might qualify for. That rent is then taken into account. We can certainly sit down with our partners at the Housing Corporation, as I said earlier, to make sure that we are available to work with members of the community to ensure that they are aware of all the programs. The Housing Corporation has a number of programs that are geared to income to help people get into better housing situations. We are now tasked with both ECE, Housing Corporation and Health and Social Services staff trying to work more together. I can make that commitment to the Member that we will look to see what we can do. Thank you.

Return To Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Dent. Supplementary, Mr. Yakeleya.

Supplementary To Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Minister's willingness to go to bat for the Sahtu people and other people around this issue here to talk to the Minister of the Housing Corporation. Mr. Speaker, it is a good program that the department has put out; however, it needs some tweaking. It needs to continue to be improved. This is one issue here. Would the Minister, through his discussions with the Housing Minister, look at this situation where the phase-in approach could be done immediately in terms of supporting people who are now in this situation? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. Mr. Dent.

Further Return To Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

Charles Dent Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Certainly, I will ensure there are staff that get together to follow up with the concern in the community immediately. We will work to ensure that the supports that are available right now are being provided to family members. The other thing that is important, Mr. Speaker, as I said in my statement today, the next program that we are hoping to see some work on redesign is the public housing rental subsidy. So we are expecting that that program will also now, over the course of the next year, be modified to reflect the new policy that we have in this government. That policy clearly is set up to ensure that it is flexible and it brings people the supports they need to become more independent.

Further Return To Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Question 183-15(6): Social Housing Rent Assessment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Dent. Oral questions. The honourable Member for Kam Lake, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions again are for the Minister responsible for Human Resources. We look back over the past 10 years of this government and the government before it and the government before that have spent over $8 million in the area of PeopleSoft and the software there for human resources. Just last year, we spent another $450,000 on a Hackett report to go over business processes at HR. Just recently in the supp, there is another $523,000 to deal with PeopleSoft. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that it is a black hole of public funds that is going into a product that basically does not deliver the value for the money that the government is putting into it. I would like to ask the Minister what the plan is going forward to deal with the inadequacies of that software, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 513

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. The honourable Minister responsible for Human Resources, Mr. Dent.

Return To Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 514

Charles Dent Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The issue of the cost of the PeopleSoft program shouldn't be a surprise to the Member. If you look at the Grant Thornton report which was done in the year 2000, it predicted that the annual cost for PeopleSoft would be about $1.8 million including licensing, software support, hardware acquisition and so on. So there is an ongoing cost to having any program that the government runs, because it has to continually update that and pay for its support and licensing.

Mr. Speaker, it is also important for me to state that the programs, all of the modules that are used right now, are working as expected. So there is one module which would have been a new module over and above what the government had in place before that is not working, but everything else is working as expected. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return To Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 514

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Dent. Supplementary, Mr. Ramsay.

Supplementary To Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 514

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What I'd like to get at is we are spending all this money in the area of PeopleSoft and it's because the program itself was cut up over the years or bastardized, if I could. I want to find out who is responsible for making these decisions where that program that we've spent millions of dollars gets cut up to suit our needs of the day and it doesn't look long term on what the future needs of the Government of the Northwest Territories are and we end up having to pay more money. I'd like to ask the Minister who is responsible for making decisions in regard to PeopleSoft when it comes to cutting that program up and causing us to spend more money in the future, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 514

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Mr. Dent.

Further Return To Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Question 184-15(6): GNWT Human Resources Information System
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 514

Charles Dent Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, that was a decision that was made by previous governments, so it's not one I can specifically say that was a previous Premier or Minister responsible for HR because that department is new. However, it was done prior to this government coming into place in 2003. Thank you.