Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Policing in northern communities is a very essential service that a lot take for granted. There are a lot of small communities — I believe there are some eight communities — that don’t have policing services in the Northwest Territories.
I think it is paramount on this government that we do whatever we can to provide some service, regardless if it’s scheduled service or, in most cases, ensuring that we have a process where the community feels that they can see the RCMP once in a while in the communities, either once or twice a week in every month, if possible.
Mr. Speaker, policing in Tsiigehtchic has always been an outstanding issue. We held a meeting this summer along with the Minister of Justice to talk about policing issues. The community has made an attempt to assist the RCMP by working along with the RCMP through the community justice committee to try to find accommodation for the RCMP to overnight in that community. But we’re being told by the RCMP: well, the accommodation was great, but it doesn’t have a phone, and we don’t have communication access. As we all know, in this day and age we have cellphones; we have satphones. Communication should not be a reason to not overnight in that community.
The communities have tried everything they can to reduce the amount of liquor consumption in communities. Tsiigehtchic was one of the few communities that stepped forward to implement regulations under the Liquor Act to ask for prohibition in that community. For several years now the prohibition order has been in place, but without enforcement the legislation doesn’t mean anything.
Mr. Speaker, the community has been working through the community justice committee to find ways to deal with crime, breaches of legislation, such as the Liquor Act. But without a secure police force and also ensuring the community feels safe, the community has found itself dealing with and responding to emergencies more and more.
I will be asking the Minister in regard to some of the actions that he committed to in that public meeting in Tsiigehtchic at the appropriate time.