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

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Member for Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

February 24th, 2010

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are to the Minister of ITI. Just to listen to him, he’s a big fan of strategies and visions. I want to ask the Minister here in terms of getting -- I’m going to back to it -- wildlife food into our government facilities or into stores. Right now we have a fish market here. We have good fish in the Great Slave Lake and Bear Lake. How can the Minister, through his department, assist the fishery industry to put fish into our government institutions such as the hospital where they can have traditional foods in that facility?

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is an area that we’ve worked very hard on over the years and there has been quite a number of initiatives that we’ve attempted. We had a red meat initiative, for example, We’ve had test fishing at the

community level, and going back to residential school days, I don’t know if the Member wants to go back to where everybody ate fish three times a day, but we can work at the community level, because we all recognize how that was done, is it was purchased by local harvesters, and I think that we are prepared to do that. We put money in the proposed budget to allow us to improve in those different areas. Also, we talked quite a lot about producing locally. The only area that we have to be clear on is when you start serving or making food available to the public, you have to make sure that it meets all of the healthy tests or health standards, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

I certainly don’t want to go back in time. The residential school days, according to my uncle, they served rotten fish there, so I’d like to just leave it at that there.

I want to ask the Minister of ITI, in terms of even just for the one issue on fish here, in terms of working with the Minister of Health and Social Services at the Stanton Territorial Hospital serving fish for elders who are in the hospital, who want fish broth, who want some boiled fish for their recovery. The Minister is responsible for traditional economy and, you know, they have wonderful fish in Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. Is it possible, through the strategy, that he can work with this Cabinet to see how they can get fish served at the territorial hospital, in his capacity as the Minister of ITI?

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

As soon as this budget is approved, we have identified funds to allow us to do that to develop local markets for fish, and I think one of the best places to start would be to work with my colleagues that have institutional facilities and get them to start purchasing fish and other commercial country food that is available and start serving it. Thank you.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

I’m getting hungry now here. I want to ask the Minister in terms of his development, his process in terms of developing local markets for, say for example, fish, in terms of once the budget now is going to be, hopefully, finalized within the next six days here, in terms of going forward, is the Minister then prepared to put a discussion paper before the appropriate community in terms of getting their input, in terms of having this initiative see the light of day in terms of when we can get something on the go here.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

We always work very closely with committee on these kinds of things, so we will put together some ideas and principles to work with committee as to how we could best develop this and utilize minimal resources to develop a very important local fishery or production of local foods. Thank you.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Yakeleya.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I take it that the Minister will look at a territorial-wide initiative in terms of just the one issue of fish, in terms of how we can get this into the government facilities.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That’s our intention, recognizing that not all of the communities have quotas. You need to have quotas, for example, for commercial fisheries, and a lot of times, working with the federal Department of Fisheries, we can get them to set a quota as to what your quota is what you catch kind of approach. So that’s one area that we can work closely together on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 397-16(4): Northern And Traditional Foods In Northern Institutions
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 398-16(4): Marketing For The Great Slave Lake Fishery
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question today is for the Minister of ITI as well. My colleague Mr. Yakeleya raises the issue of domestic product for a domestic market. We have long had a lately untapped resource in the way of our fishery and for years we’ve been asking the government to do what they can to make the fortunes and life of the fishermen better. I’m, of course, speaking of the fishermen on the Great Slave Lake and the quota of fish that does not get harvested from that lake, which is determined by the Department of Fisheries to be sustainable.

Mr. Speaker, a landmark decision has now been made by the fishers of the Northwest Territories on Great Slave Lake in that at their last meeting they voted to be removed from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. This is something that the government was never prepared to move on until the fishermen voted to have this happen. Now that it has been voted upon and the majority said yes, we want out of this legislation, we want out of this monopoly, we want the opportunity to market our fish differently and through different channels, what are the next steps? What is the Minister going to do next to aid and assist the fishermen to find markets and process their product? Thank you.

Question 398-16(4): Marketing For The Great Slave Lake Fishery
Oral Questions (Reversion)

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Question 398-16(4): Marketing For The Great Slave Lake Fishery
Oral Questions (Reversion)

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, obviously, the first step is to identify what the legal requirements are. As I mentioned before in previous questioning, there are liabilities that were agreed to at the time that the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation was established. So when you move a motion to remove yourself from an entity, there are some liabilities that have to be

dealt with. So that would be the first step, Mr. Speaker.