This is page numbers 4463 - 4502 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 4th 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 health.

Topics

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

Monfwi

Jackson Lafferty Minister of Justice

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. This particular area, we get direction from the Legislative Assembly and the priorities and goals and objectives of this government. I didn’t see any penitentiary within the goals of this Assembly. There are other priority items, priorities of the Northwest Territories and the communities such as community policing or other community programming. Those are the areas we focus on. Mostly on community policing, the Community Policing Program. Those are the areas that we’re focusing on. The areas we feel we can achieve and we have to date achieved those goals and objectives. Whether it be a penitentiary institution, that may be five or 10 years down the road that we may see a light. At this time we went after the short term and have achieved it.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

As a government I believe we have to be searching out opportunities. I disagree with the Minister. Here’s an opportunity to get some real economic development in one of our communities here in the Northwest Territories. I’m talking 300 jobs, multiple families with the possibility of moving to the Northwest Territories, increasing our revenue stream, business opportunities, contract opportunities for businesses. This is something the government has to pay attention to. They have to have some vision, they have to have some passion, and they have to have some vigor. They’re low when it comes to any of those things. They’re letting opportunities pass us by and I’d like to ask the Minister when he will have that discussion. If the Minister’s not going to have that discussion, when will the Premier have that discussion with the federal government? If we don’t make our own opportunities and pursue them nobody’s going to do it for us.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

Monfwi

Jackson Lafferty Minister of Justice

If it is the will of this Assembly, I will be more than willing to present that idea to the federal government. But I haven’t heard much from this Assembly if this is a priority for this government. If it is, then I’d like to know from this Assembly. Then I can put a bug in the federal

Minister’s ear that this is of high importance for the territorial government. I haven’t heard that to date. There are other pressing issues that we certainly are dealing with. I feel that we need to tackle more of those small issues that we can certainly achieve.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Like I said, if we don’t pursue opportunities, there are other jurisdictions in this country. I know Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario are very aggressive in pursuing opportunities. You can rest assured their Members of Parliament and provincial Legislature are out there beating the bushes with the federal government, looking for the federal government to invest in their provinces. We’re not doing that and I think this Minister has to have that discussion. It’s not going to cost us anything to write a letter or sit down with that Minister of Justice and talk to them about the possibility of a penitentiary here in the Northwest Territories. That’s not setting aside any of the other priorities of this government; that’s sitting down with the Minister and discussing the opportunity. That’s what I’m asking the Minister to do. I can’t speak for the rest of the Members of this House, but 300 jobs in an economic opportunity like this is something I don’t think we should turn our backs on because of other priorities.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

Monfwi

Jackson Lafferty Minister of Justice

With the federal government and their own initiatives, we don’t know if this is on their radar. At the same time, if we’re going to build this kind of facility, we’re talking millions. Those millions going through the communities, such as preventive programs that we currently are pursuing, we are again achieving those successes to date. Community policing. We’re talking about an institution here that could be in the far distance, down the road. At the same time, we have to listen to what the federal government’s goals and objectives are for the Northwest Territories. When the opportunity comes up, sure, I can ask the federal Minister if there’s a plan for that.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. Final supplementary, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, we wouldn’t be using our own money. It would be a federal penitentiary. A federal institution, much like I’ve asked this government to go to Ottawa and demand that those 800-or-so-odd jobs that are located in Gatineau in Ottawa that pertain to northern development are located here. It’s much the same as asking this government to go to the federal government and demand that more military jobs are located here in the Northwest Territories. It’s the same thing. It’s not our money. So how hard is it to go and ask for it? That’s my question. When will the Minister write a letter to the federal Minister of Justice asking them what their plans are for building a new penitentiary in this country and whether in fact we can register our interest in

locating that here? It’s not going to cost us anything. I’ll give him the 42 cents for a stamp.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

Monfwi

Jackson Lafferty Minister of Justice

Fifty-eight cents. We have to keep our priorities straight here. We have two detachments that are coming: Wrigley and Gameti. Those are my first priority as a department of the GNWT. Penitentiary is over here possibly. We have to consult with the federal government if they’re willing to do that. My focus is on two detachments and I’m going to continue to push that until we see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s coming. Those are our priorities for this Government of the Northwest Territories.

Question 388-16(4): Location Of Federal Penitentiary In The NWT
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. The honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Krutko.

Question 389-16(4): Relationship Between The Minister And Authorities
Oral Questions

February 24th, 2010

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to follow up with my question in my Member’s statement to the Minister of Health and Social Services on the powers of the Minister under the health act. It does indeed describe the powers of the Minister and it says that the Minister may, and gives a whole list of items. Under (a) it refers to licensing, supervision and inspection of health facilities and social services facilities in the Northwest Territories to ensure that adequate standards are maintained for those facilities.

We have health centres throughout the Northwest Territories in almost every one of our communities. In order for those facilities to be functional, you have to have people delivering the programs and services. I’d like to ask the Minister what exactly she is doing with what’s happening in Tsiigehtchic. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen the service provided fully. I’d like to ask the Minister what she is doing to ensure there are going to be functional facilities in the Northwest Territories when it comes to health care facilities in our communities.

Question 389-16(4): Relationship Between The Minister And Authorities
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. The honourable Minister responsible for Health and Social Services, Ms. Lee.

Question 389-16(4): Relationship Between The Minister And Authorities
Oral Questions

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The act also allows us to set up boards and that’s what we operate under in the Northwest Territories. The community of Tsiigehtchic does have a health centre and it does have staff. It has a community health rep that works there year round. We also have physicians and specialists that visit that facility as well as the nurses who provide services for almost four months up to half the year.

Question 389-16(4): Relationship Between The Minister And Authorities
Oral Questions

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Four months of the year is not an adequate service. If anything, like my colleague from Nahendeh, similar to the situation in Wrigley,

Tsiigehtchic is in the same predicament. I had a verbal commitment from the Minister that there was going to be a position filled February 1st . I passed

that on to the community, it was passed off to the community leaders who were being told something different.

I’d like to ask the Minister, as the Minister responsible for the establishment of health boards it also stipulates that the Minister, in regard to powers of the boards, by either directive or other written instructions issued by the Minister who can direct them to ensure that you have a full-time position in those communities to make them functional. Has the Minister submitted a written request or directed the health board to make sure that they have a full-time nurse in those communities?

Question 389-16(4): Relationship Between The Minister And Authorities
Oral Questions

Sandy Lee Range Lake

For the record, I need to say that I don’t understand where the February 1st came

from. The Member is well aware that we’ve been working through many hours in this House to work on our health care delivery system so that we have enhanced services in communities by changing the way we do things. That’s the plan under Foundation for Change. But as it exists now, we give our block funding to the regional health and social services authorities and they are regional bodies who share their resources to provide the best services they can for all of the communities.

Question 389-16(4): Relationship Between The Minister And Authorities
Oral Questions

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Again, that is the problem. The Minister gives the monies to the organizations and walks away from them. She says here’s the money, have at ‘er. The directive is clear that the Minister has the powers to ensure that the health facilities and social services facilities in the Northwest Territories must ensure that adequate standards are maintained for those facilities. To me that means the services have to be provided at those facilities. If you give the money to the health board to take care of six health care facilities, they have to make sure that the people are able to operate those facilities, maintain public health and social service providers to have a place to work out of. I’d like to ask the Minister again what her department is doing to ensure these facilities are functional and adequately being serviced by the health boards by ensuring that the dollars we give them are being spent on people to operate those facilities.