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

Relationship Between The Minister And Health Authorities
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. The honourable Member for Tu Nedhe, Mr. Beaulieu.

Establishment Of A Territorial Park On The Slave River Near Fort Resolution
Members’ Statements

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. [English translation not provided.]

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to talk again about the camping area near Fort Resolution on the Slave River referred to as Big Eddy. In the past few days I have heard many of my colleagues and the Minister of ITI stand up in the House and talk about the importance of tourism in the NWT. This is good to hear, Mr. Speaker, but at the same time I have to wonder about this, because in my riding there is only one territorial park even though there are many areas that can be easily designated as parks.

So we need to start looking at extending some of this support for tourism into the areas in Tu Nedhe.

Mr. Speaker, the traditional area known as Big Eddy is one such area. Listening to the community as MLA, the community would like to see this area become a territorial park. I have stood in this House on numerous occasions and talked about the limited opportunities in both Lutselk'e and Fort Resolution. Mr. Speaker, establishing a territorial park at Big Eddy will enhance the economic pictures in Fort Resolution and it will provide for immediate and long-term job opportunities for residents, and will also mean more money for the community businesses from visiting tourism and also some short-term employment during construction.

Mr. Speaker, just as important, if not more important, is the protection of certain areas because of its cultural importance and preserving its ecological integrity. Mr. Speaker, the World Conservation Union defines a protected area as an area of land and/or sea especially dedicated for the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of the natural and associated culture resources and managed through legal or other affective means. Based on this, I would say that the Big Eddy on the Slave River is one such area.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the development of this area as an overnight territorial park will provide many boating and fishing opportunities for the residents of Fort Res.

Later today I will have questions on how the community can realize its goal of getting Big Eddy designated as a territorial park. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Establishment Of A Territorial Park On The Slave River Near Fort Resolution
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Education And Training For Youth In The Sahtu
Members’ Statements

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, in the Sahtu region we have many young people under the age of 25 years old. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, 45 percent of the entire population of the Sahtu is under 25 years old. That’s an amazing fact, Mr. Speaker.

We need to develop and implement a solid plan for training so that our young people get the best training for the future. Our young people are eagerly waiting to contribute to our communities and to the North. Many young people are making their best efforts to participate in upgrading and employment training programs, and we need to have a regional training centre called the Sahtu Tech. We’re at the very edge of opening the North Slave agenda to mega projects such as the Mackenzie Gas Project and the extension of the Mackenzie Valley Highway.

What are we waiting for, Mr. Speaker? Let’s get those training programs in place for our young people so that in a year or so we can see a decrease in the unemployment rate and an increase in the skill building and the trades development. The best investment to our young people is to give them the tools to help themselves.

Our children look up and follow the examples of their parents, brothers and sisters, and family members. As leaders, we want to make sure that the resources are in place and we can be sure that our young people will work hard with those resources and put them to good use. We can help them to overcome life’s challenges and know that nothing can stand in their way if they are determined. We learned that kind of attitude from our parents and elders and it’s time to pass that along to the next generation of emerging leaders. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Education And Training For Youth In The Sahtu
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Continued Support For The Avalon Ventures Project
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Premier, the Cabinet and the Ordinary Members of this House have all been working hard to bring economic development into the Northwest Territories. One of the best possibilities in many decades to improve the economy of the South Slave is the potential of the value-added processing of rare earths at Pine Point, and it’s up to $500 million of investment.

Mr. Speaker, in July of last year the GNWT lost the investment of Fortune Minerals Hydromet plant and 80 value-added jobs when they were courted by the Saskatchewan government with their low power rates and incentives.

Unlike some previous mines, Avalon has started early and worked hard with aboriginal governments and the GNWT to try to find ways to retain value-added in the NWT. Recently, the Premier responded positively to requests from Avalon Rare Metals and the standing committee, that the GNWT would work constructively to pursue the possibility of the availability of competitively priced power and transportation infrastructure.

On Monday, February 22nd , the chair of the

Northwest Territories Power Corporation states that Avalon Rare Metals is not going to get a deal on power. He is quoted in News/North as saying, “Avalon is not going to get cheaper power than anybody else in the South Slave system. What Saskatchewan sells power for is really not relevant to us, simply because we have to recover our costs of service.”

I was shocked, Mr. Speaker, seeing the comments of the chair of NTPC contradicting our Premier, the will of its shareholder and this Legislature. In short, the chair of NTPC threw ice water on the hopes of using the surplus energy from the Taltson dam to leverage this once in a lifetime opportunity to develop the economy in the South Slave.

Mr. Speaker, the reverberations of this unauthorized communication and action go far beyond the borders of the Northwest Territories. You have to believe that the Premier of Saskatchewan and the chair of SaskPower were delighted to hear this comment. What are the investors at Avalon to think when they read that all of Avalon’s efforts to find ways to retain value added in the NWT are publicly dismissed by the NTPC board chair?

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted.

Continued Support For The Avalon Ventures Project
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

In his response that was shared with Members, the Premier asked Avalon to work with the GNWT to develop a plan that would allow Avalon to locate its processing plant in the NWT. Initial discussions have occurred. The Premier also suggested that the proposal to the federal government might be another way to ensure this project was to proceed. The comments in this article also have a damaging effect on public perception as it seems like Mr. Voytilla is also the spokesperson for the PUB, who is talking about blended rates and the cost of power to the public if this should go ahead.

I think there is a possible solution. I support the Avalon project and I know other Members support it as well. We need to see this attitude reflected by the people who are taking it upon themselves to be our spokespersons.

Continued Support For The Avalon Ventures Project
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. The honourable Member for Nunakput, Mr. Jacobson.

Education Issues In Nunakput
Members’ Statements

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today is Education Week. This world requires many resources. Even through the buildings and books or basic supplies all schools need in today’s world, much more is needed. Our kids are increasingly left behind. In the Beaufort-Delta communities everything, our adequate, reliable housing, living programs contribute to community successful graduation rate.

Several weeks ago I mentioned in the House currently there are eight students in the Nunakput community of Sachs Harbour who, for various reasons, have left high school in Inuvik and moved back home. Reasons include nowhere to live, not

enough resources and support. Support from this government and the Beaufort-Delta education is lacking.

In other Member’s statements I’ve highlighted problems with some school buildings. The schools are not big enough for the number of students they have, from the size of the gymnasium to the size of the library. At Mangilaluk School, for instance, there is a lack of space in the whole building that needs to be redone to bring it up to standards. We’re far below the territorial standards. Ulukhaktok, a Nunakput community, schools have old, outdated, second-hand, broken down computers that are often incompatible with modern software and e-ware. According to the school principal, most computers are even incompatible with the satellite linkup for the telehealth in Ulukhaktok.

According to Karen Kitekudlak, the chairperson of the district education authority in Ulukhaktok, the condition of Helen Kalvak School is worsening. This school was once the pride of Nunakput and was designed to have been built so beautifully. Now I ask this government what happened.

Sachs seriously lacks adequate accommodation for teachers and this coming school year the recruitment and retention of good teachers in the small communities such as the Nunakput community of Sachs are very dependent on providing adequate housing for teachers.

Over the years, schools have come a long way and have grown from one-room shacks to multi-functional facilities and more, as needed. Compared to national standards, our students are far below average in everything.

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted.

Education Issues In Nunakput
Members’ Statements

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Our students are far below average in everything from adequate textbooks to square footage per student. Nunakput communities are experiencing very unique educational challenges for our youth. How much longer will this government take before they recognize some of these things that have to be done? This government must implement measures and recommendations made by numerous organizations and community governments.

We’re going to truly educate our youth to be competitive nationally, commit to supply our schools with adequate resources required for today’s educational challenges needs. I urge this government to implement per student calculation standards that students in tax-based communities receive, factoring in northern costs associated in small, remote communities. I will have questions for the Minister of Education at the appropriate time.

Education Issues In Nunakput
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Jacobson. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Nursing Services In Wrigley
Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. You may have heard a report on the radio this morning about how there will be no nurse in the community of Wrigley this year. I had spoken earlier saying that there would be a return of the service to Wrigley and it gave me no pleasure to correct this publicly.

The road to returning nursing service to Wrigley is a challenging one. When I was first elected I was told that there would be no nurse for Wrigley until there is policing. So I worked hard in the last term to ensure the return of policing to Wrigley. The Minister of Justice then, Cabinet, and our Assembly approved two RCMP positions in 2007 and a commitment for a detachment by 2011.

The next piece of the puzzle should have been easy: re-establish nursing to Wrigley. Yet for the past two and a half years I’ve continued to raise this issue. In November 2009 I understood from the Minister of Health and Social Services that there was a proposal to return nursing services to Wrigley. In December I did indeed advise the new chief of Wrigley, Tim Lennie, that there would be a position for Wrigley in 2010.

However, yesterday I was advised by Deh Cho Health and Social Services that there was no dedicated nursing position in their budget. Although the Government of the Northwest Territories approves funding for boards, it does not make detailed decisions on how the money is spent. I think the priority of our government should be the priority of our boards.

Myself and the community of Wrigley need the Minister of Health and Social Services and our government to pay attention to our needs. How will they provide for the needs of Wrigley and the residents of Nahendeh. I will be following up on this during question period.

Nursing Services In Wrigley
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Hawkins.

Communication Between Regular Members And Cabinet
Members’ Statements

February 24th, 2010

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Time and time again you hear issues raised from this side of the House and they continue to be pushed away. As said quite clearly by my colleague Mr. Menicoche, we raise issues because they are of community interest and they are important. The relentless pursuit of these community and

constituency issues will continue regardless of the deaf ears on the Cabinet side of this House.

When we speak about health board issues, education board issues, Power Corporation board issues, Liquor Board issues, municipal issues, or even housing board issues, we’re not speaking just for our own voices. We’re speaking for the people, the community, the constituency, and sometimes even up to six communities we’re speaking for. Where are the Ministers listening on this issue? Are they standing behind the boards and using them as the defence to doing something? I don’t know.

I ask the Ministers across this House to take a good look. More than 50 percent of the voices of this Territory are sitting on this side of the House. So wake up from your still stare. We’re here speaking. May I remind Cabinet...

---Interjection

Communication Between Regular Members And Cabinet
Members’ Statements

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

We know the money is chopped up at the Cabinet table but we will not stand for this. We need Cabinet to realize we have priorities that represent our communities and constituencies and they’re very important. When an MLA brings forward an issue, quite often you’ll hear from the Ministers a relentless defence of it and you’ll hear the Five-D Approaches, as I like to call it: the Minister will defend, defer, delay, and sometimes deflect and defy the issue over and over. I had to add another one because they divide the House on the issue. The Ds just keep rolling.

When do you hear from the Cabinet side of this how can we help unite the Territory on the specific issues raised by Regular Members. That’s when Cabinet’s listening. We hear that very little. I’d like to hear from Cabinet, “How can we help?”, as opposed to, “Sorry, we’re busy, maybe it’s the board’s problem.”