Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, a lot of times Member’s stand up raising issues and questions from their ridings and not getting the answers that they’d like. Mr. Speaker, we cannot hide behind the authorities of boards, regardless if it’s a health board or an education board, as a reason the Minister can’t do anything.
Mr. Speaker, it’s clear in the NWT Health Act that the Minister can do something by way of directives to the Department of Health, the service boards, regardless if it’s the Inuvik Health Board, and also instruct them to carry out certain activities. It’s in the
legislation by the directive and with other written instructions issued by a Minister that they can move on some of these issues.
I know I’ve raised issues in this House, like the Minister stated yesterday, day after day, year after year, in regard to getting a nurse for Tsiigehtchic. Yet, the Minister’s response yesterday: “well, we do provide services.” It’s clear in the legislation that they do have to have functional facilities in regard to how we carry out our programs. Mr. Speaker, it’s also been in the directive that the Minister may, to ensure that the Territories, to ensure that adequate standards are maintained for the facilities, which means it has to be a functional facility. You can’t have a functional facility if you don’t have anybody in it to provide the services. And, again, it’s in the legislation.
Mr. Speaker, it’s frustrating for Members on this side of the House to do our job for the people we represent to bring their issues to the table of this House and ask the important questions, especially when it comes to the health and well-being of our communities. Again, Mr. Speaker, it is frustrating for the people back home hearing no from Ministers that they think have some powers. I think it’s critical that the Ministers carry out their ministerial responsibilities through a ministerial directive, a written response to the health boards or education boards to do exactly what’s been directed of them so that they can act on the situation.
We spend over a billion dollars a year, but we cannot act from that side of the House to do a simple thing like get a nurse in the community, but we can spend $2 million to operate facilities that we just built. Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time I will be asking the Minister questions on the powers that she has under the NWT Health Act.