This is page numbers 4503 - 4526 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 i'd.

Topics

The House met at 1:36 p.m.

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Good afternoon, colleagues. Welcome back to the Chamber. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers’ statements. The honourable Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Lafferty.

Minister’s Statement 85-16(4): Mobile Trades Training Unit
Ministers’ Statements

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Education Week, I would like to draw attention to an important tool that is helping many Northerners receive important trades training in smaller communities. I’m talking about Aurora College’s Mobile Trades Training Lab in the Beaufort-Delta.

In 2008, the college worked with Education, Culture and Employment, the Government of Canada and partners in aboriginal governments and industry to secure the lab. It offers a 900 square foot shop that is fully self-contained with its own forced air oil furnace heating and power generators. It also comes equipped with an overhead crane for mechanics training and a rear car lift that allows students to bring light vehicles into the shop.

This unit allows Aurora College to deliver quality trades training in smaller communities in the Beaufort-Delta region, training that wouldn’t be possible due to limited infrastructure.

In 2008 and 2009, the lab facilitated delivery of introductory carpentry and introduction to plumbing and gas-fitting in Inuvik. These programs provided participants with entry-level skills so they can gain meaningful employment and go on to pursue apprenticeship opportunities.

The lab also brought the Career Technology Studies Construction Training Program to Fort McPherson in 2009. Students learned the basics of residential framing and how to safely use tools and different construction materials by building four storage sheds for use in the community. This program is part of the Success Project that the \

Tetlit Gwich’in Council initiated so residents can gain personal management skills, work experience, math and science upgrading, wellness training, and, in this case, basic construction training.

In addition, the lab allowed the Building Trades Helper Program to go to Tuktoyaktuk in 2009, teaching students the basics of construction. The project provided a real-world work environment where students were able to learn while working on an actual housing project assisting a journeyman to build two houses. The class also built three sheds which were donated to the local minor hockey association for a raffle. All proceeds went towards purchasing hockey equipment for local kids.

Mr. Speaker, this year the lab is facilitating the Building Trades Helper Program in Aklavik. As part of the training, the class is doing an interior retrofit of a local housing unit that was damaged by fire. This provides students the opportunity to learn wall framing and assist with plumbing and electrical rough-in work. At the end of the program, students will be more skilled and able to help tradespeople on construction sites.

I am very happy that the Mobile Trades Training Lab is helping people to receive training in their own community so they can enter fulfilling careers here in the North. I want to thank Aurora College and our many partners who made the lab and this training possible. These include our partners at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the Northern Transportation Company Limited, the Building Inuvialuit Potential Society, the Tetlit Gwich’in Council and our partners in industry. I also want to thank all the instructors and students who are making these programs so successful. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 85-16(4): Mobile Trades Training Unit
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. Item 3, Members’ statements. The honourable Member for Frame Lake, Ms. Bisaro.

Drop The Pop Programs In Yellowknife Schools
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Early this month the Minister of Health and Social Services made a statement about the 2010 Drop the Pop

program in effect for this month of February. Since it’s Education Week and Drop the Pop Month, I thought I would see what Yellowknife schools registered for the program are doing and highlight some of their activities.

I mentioned a few days ago that we have a great bunch of teachers in the NWT. Their creativity and that of our students is evident in the events that YK schools are holding to emphasize the importance of dropping the pop. Here’s a summary of what some Yellowknife schools are doing:

Weledeh school is running a program called Better Bones. They’ve identified nutrition ambassadors who are visiting classrooms and providing food samples high in calcium; food samples such as figs and cheese, and providing those to their classmates.

Sir John Franklin High School is using Drop the Pop funding to purchase small kitchen items, kettles, microwaves and toasters, as well as the bagels to go in those toasters. The school is considering providing water throughout the school for student consumption, made possible through the donation of water coolers by a local Yellowknife company, Tundra Transfer.

St. Patrick High School will profile foods that are high in calcium in several ways. Next week will see lunches that are high in calcium at the school’s cafe. Homeroom discussions on nutritious foods and the importance of calcium will be held. There will be daily draws for prizes such as yogurt tubes and the high-content calcium recipes will be posted to the school’s website.

William McDonald Middle School is going all out. They’ll have trivia questions about the evils of pop on teeth and bones. There are posters all over the school. They have had one assembly already with skits by the kids on the benefits of natural drinks instead of pop, and there will be a second assembly with students competing for the best Drop the Pop slogan and their finale. Next Friday they will drop a fake pop machine from the roof of the school, to the delight of the students, I have no doubt.

I have to say that the Health and Social Services department’s nutrition sector and the funding that they provide is being very well used. Now if we can just get MLAs off of those energy drinks...

Drop The Pop Programs In Yellowknife Schools
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The honourable Member for Nunakput, Mr. Jacobson.

Tribute To Andy Carpenter
Members’ Statements

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I stand in the House to make my Member’s statement in tribute of my good friend Andy Carpenter, who we lost this last week.

Nunakput has lost a leader who recently passed away on Monday. I join elders, leaders, and the community members from all across the Territory to remember a man who has contributed an incredible legacy to the Inuvialuit people in the communities of Nunakput. Whether Andy was in negotiations with a room full of Ministers, lawyers, bureaucrats or whether he was out on the land harvesting caribou, he brought wisdom, confidence and cultural awareness to everything he was involved in.

Over the years Andy has contributed building capacity for his people in the communities. His legacy shows everywhere: in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, success. His leadership also contributed to the Inuvialuit Game Council and, most recently, the past mayor of Sachs Harbour.

I grew up in Nunakput hearing about the accomplishments of Andy in a large way. He was a role model not just for myself but for many young people. Andy worked tirelessly to improve the life of the community. From lobbying for a permanent RCMP detachment or increased funding for infrastructure, he never gave up and always used the utmost diplomacy.

Andy loved Sachs Harbour. With all his accomplishments he could have lived anywhere, but he always called Sachs Harbour home. It was his anchor and it gave him strength.

He lived a hard life, but he never complained. He assisted in the growth of IRC. He never asked for praise. He was proven right and he never said, I told you so.

Our elders truly lived amazing lives. They had never seen the introduction of airplanes, electricity, televisions. They had to quickly adapt from a preliminary traditional lifestyle to a modern lifestyle. They had to take care of us...

Tribute To Andy Carpenter
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Mr. Jacobson, your time for Member’s statement has expired.

Tribute To Andy Carpenter
Members’ Statements

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted.

Tribute To Andy Carpenter
Members’ Statements

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, Andy was one of those people who look for these changes, not just to span one or two years, but decades in a region where people’s lifestyle has more improved to all these years because of his foresight for what I wish to take the opportunity to thank you, Andy.

Once he said a man’s worth is not what he takes with him, but what he leaves behind. He leaves behind not only a legacy, but he also leaves eight children, many more grandchildren and great-grandchildren who all admired him and loved him. Andy will always be remembered for his

accomplishments, diplomacy and utmost kindness. My thoughts and prayers will be with the family and friends of Andy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tribute To Andy Carpenter
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

“leadership For Literacy” Initiative
Members’ Statements

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

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

Mr. Speaker, in recognition of Education Week, today I would like to talk about a recent trip I made with the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment into my riding. On this trip we learned that the South Slave Divisional Educational Council is making efforts to increase the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations for reading proficiency in all its schools, including Fort Resolution and Lutselk'e. This initiative was implemented in 2007, and in only a few years the student achievement in reading has shown significant improvement. A key component of this is regular, accurate assessments of each student’s abilities, skills, strengths and challenges so that learning can be tailored to the students’ needs.

Mr. Speaker, sometimes students don’t get the necessary support at home with respect to schooling. This initiative, Leadership for Literacy, helps address that. At any given time during the school year, teachers know what level each student is reading at and can share this information with students and parents.

On this tour of the South Slave with the Minister I had a firsthand opportunity to meet with teachers and hear how the program is progressing. The teachers and other support staff are making a real effort to increase reading levels of all the students in the region.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Minister, the teachers, the department and the dedicated, hardworking staff of the South Slave Divisional Education Council for working hard on this initiative.

I have stood up in this House many times and talked about how we need more programs for youth. I often talked about the need for more youth programming in the communities, and this is one such youth program that is having an immediate positive impact on the youth in the community.

Mr. Speaker, I hope to see this program continue. It is too important to stop after only a few years. I’m not sure if the money has been set aside for the longer term or for a specific completion date. Later today, I will ask questions of the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment on future plans for this program. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

“leadership For Literacy” Initiative
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Property Tax Relief For Persons With Disabilities And Seniors
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I’m going to speak today about a topic I have brought up, I think, pretty consistently in the last 15 years that I’ve been an MLA. I don’t know how many terms you have to be elected or how many years you have to serve in order to get some of these issues resolved, but please don’t make me come back here again. I hope this can get resolved soon.

Mr. Speaker, the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief Act, an act of this government, permits a municipal taxing authority, by bylaw, to exempt the eligible property of a disabled person from a part of the taxes where the disabled person is the owner or part owner of the eligible property. The MTA, Municipal Taxing Authority, shall not exempt from taxes the eligible property of a disabled person who is part owner of the eligible property unless the other part owner or all other part owners are disabled persons or dependents of the disabled person.

Hay River’s disabled person’s property tax relief bylaw is consistent with that act. So in Hay River, the Town of Hay River has a bylaw that is consistent with this government’s act. The problem being, Mr. Speaker, is that most people who own a property who are in a relationship, who are married, have a common-law spouse, usually put the title in both of their names. The chances of both parties being disabled reduces the number of people who would be eligible for this tax quite considerably. Also, when it comes to senior citizens, if one person becomes eligible at the age of 65 for this tax relief and the other partner or party is younger than 65, again, they become ineligible for this tax relief.

Now, we’ve been talking about this for a long time, it hardly seems fair, Mr. Speaker, and it should be prorated or have some provision so that people can take advantage of this property tax relief.

I know that the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs has been working on this particular act. I believe there’s been a document, a consultative document that has gone out, there has been feedback come back, but, Mr. Speaker, as an MLA I continue to get inquiries at my constituency office about this, about when is it going to be changed, when is it going to be made fair and when are people going to have to stop going to drastic measures of putting the property in one partner’s name, which creates all kinds of other problems, potentially, in the future. So, Mr. Speaker, I’ll have

questions today for the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs on the tax relief for persons with disabilities and seniors. Thank you.