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 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

The Member knows that the Beaufort-Delta authority is in a deficit situation. There is no money for them to fund from within. Secondly, I’m not sure where the Member gets that we’re only spending $60,000 in Tsiigehtchic. Mr. Speaker, the GNWT spends a lot more money than $280,000 in Tsiigehtchic for health and social services. We have a full-time community health rep there; we have a full-time home support worker there; we have visiting nurses that go there for 89 days of the year; we have doctors’ services; we have a specialist service; as well, a social worker that goes there, Mr. Speaker. So there has been a

lot of information provided to the Member in answer to his questions, but I guess it’s up to him how he reads that.

But, Mr. Speaker, as the Premier indicated, if it was my wish tomorrow, I would have a nurse and doctor and hospital and everything that everybody wants in every community, but, Mr. Speaker, we have a $1.4 billion budget. We already spend almost a million dollars a day providing health and social services to 40,000 residents and we are working at our backs to be fair and equitable and make sure everybody has access to health care, which we do in the Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Again, Mr. Speaker, it’s sounds like the Minister is a broken record and she basically blames everybody else but the person that’s responsible, which is ultimately the Minister who should be the one making sure that these programs and services are being delivered under the mandate that you have as a Minister, but, more importantly, not continue to say, well, the health authority has a deficit. Well, excuse me, if they have a deficit. As a Minister you should intervene and find out exactly why programs and services aren’t being delivered in communities and why they continue to run a deficit.

So I’d like to ask the Minister why is it that you continue to put the onus on the health board. Why don’t you use your authority as Minister and, basically, appoint an administrative officer to run that health board, like you’ve done in other cases, if they’re not doing the job to provide a simple thing as a nurse in the community? If they can’t do that, I don’t know what else we expect from them. So I’d like to ask the Minister, if you’re really serious about doing something, you have an opportunity to prove yourself as a Minister that you actually can accomplish something here. Thank you.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Range Lake

Sandy Lee Minister of Health and Social Services

Mr. Speaker, the Member knows that the budget we approve in the House, it is a work of our collective decisions. We work under a regional health delivery service model. I don’t think the Member is convinced of that. If we have any facts to suggest that, if we dissolve the board and hired a public administrator today, that that would get an enhanced…or have full-time positions in every community, I believe all of us would do that. Delivery of health care is much more complex. We have our challenges. It’s not just about issuing an edict tomorrow and say let there be. Mr. Speaker, we are faced with the challenges of using the resources we have fair and equitably to all of the communities. So, Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work on that. Thank you.

Question 395-16(4): Nursing Services In Tsiigehtchic
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. The honourable Member for Kam Lake, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

February 24th, 2010

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to ask some questions. I suppose I’ll ask some questions of the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, and it gets back to some of my previous questions to the Minister of Justice. From where I sit, Mr. Speaker, I think the government is letting opportunities slip past us. I believe we’re soundly asleep at the switch oftentimes, and I think somebody has to ring the alarm clock and wake these guys up over here so that they understand that there are opportunities out there. We have to multi-task. If you’re a Minister, I don’t understand how a Minister could stand up in the House and say they have other priorities when, you know, they can’t write a letter and deal with other priorities. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to ask the Minister of ITI what exactly the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is doing to attract new economic activity here to the Northwest Territories. Thank you.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. The honourable Minister responsible for Industry, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Bob McLeod.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We spend a lot of money promoting the North and making different investors aware of opportunities in the North. Where possible, we take trade missions to other countries, and I’m glad that this Member is starting to support some of those initiatives so that we can go out and make the world aware of business opportunities here in the Northwest Territories. We’re doing that even without royalties from the federal government, and we are taking every advantage to partner with the federal government and, certainly, we will look for any opportunities that are out there where it will create jobs and provide benefits to the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, when I was speaking earlier I talked of other jurisdictions, other provinces and territories, for that matter, in this country that, to me, seem much more aggressive, they seem to pursue things with much more vigor and passion than our government does. I’m talking about opportunities like I mentioned earlier: federal penitentiary; I’m talking about opportunities for an increased military presence here in the North; I’m talking about the jobs that are located in Ottawa; I’m talking about the film industry, looking at innovation and technology and opportunities in that regard.

You look at the province of Saskatchewan, that’s a good example, Mr. Speaker, and I think we could take a lesson from Premier Brad Wall in Saskatchewan. The man is aggressive. They go

after business opportunities. They attract people to Saskatchewan. They took Fortune Minerals from us. I know my colleague Mrs. Groenewegen was talking about the Nechalacho project and Avalon Ventures earlier today, and I’d hate to see us lose yet another opportunity, Mr. Speaker. So I’d like to ask the Minister what they are doing in regard to trying to be aggressive and get these opportunities here on the ground in the Northwest Territories. Thank you.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

I’m certainly pleased that you used the reference of Saskatchewan, because to attract investors you don’t just wave a magic wand and people appear. You have to have a strategy; you have to have resources; you have to have people; and you have to have programs that cost money and will attract investors into the Northwest Territories. I think that we can all borrow a page from Saskatchewan. If we had additional resources we could go out and lobby all of the different sectors that are out there that potentially are looking at building new facilities. We could lobby the federal government. We’ve been trying to promote a convention centre for the Northwest Territories, or a number of convention centres. All those things take resources and this is certainly something in the direction that we want to move into. Thank you.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Ramsay Kam Lake

I agree with the Minister. I think, as a government, we should be all over the federal government when there comes any opportunity to get federal investment in this Territory. Again, Mr. Speaker, I don’t see that happening with this government. I’ve been talking about some ideas here for the last two and a half years and, you know, we’ve been managing, it seems like bouncing from issue to issue to issue without really concentrating on some bigger prizes, Mr. Speaker, and those are the opportunities that exist in trying to get some federal investment here in our Territory. I’d like to ask the Minister, are they currently working... I know we’ve got a strategy to try to attract people here, a national campaign. What are we doing as a government to try and attract some of those federal dollars and federal positions here to the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

We go to Ottawa quite regularly. We attempt to meet with federal Ministers on a regular basis, and at every opportunity we talk to the federal government about the fact that, in my view, the federal government has abdicated the North.

Twenty years ago every federal department was represented here in Yellowknife or in the Northwest Territories, and they’ve all pulled back south. This is an area that we need to reverse. I think that we now have CanNor, the economic development agency. I think that working more closely with the federal government on devolution and resource revenue

sharing, I think that we’ll have a lot more opportunities in the North. Thank you.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Your final supplementary, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, I just see that it seems to me that the government and Cabinet Minister are afraid to step out of their comfort zone to take a chance, to take some risks and get out there and promote our Territory. There seems to me to be a lack of a vision that this government has, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps we need a visionary type of exercise with Cabinet and with Regular Members to sit down and try to chart out a new vision, or what we think is the vision, where we want to go and the opportunities that are out there, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to ask the Minister, perhaps if the government can commit to re-examine where we’re at and where we’re going, because, Mr. Speaker, like I said, I don’t think we’re making much progress. Thank you.

Question 396-16(4): Economic Development Opportunities In The NWT
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

I’m a big fan of strategizing or developing visions in every sector and, certainly, we can review the vision that was developed when we were all elected. There have been a lot of areas that we’ve been pushing very hard on: the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, for example, the Mackenzie Valley Highway, the Taltson Dam. I could name a whole host of projects that we’ve been working and pushing very hard on the federal government and we can certainly expand our horizons in a whole bunch of different areas, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.