This is page numbers 6469 - 6510 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 6th 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 territories.

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Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. The honourable Premier, Mr. Roland.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

Inuvik Boot Lake

Floyd Roland Premier

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We haven’t considered a plebiscite as part of the general election. I’m not too familiar with the territorial plebiscite process. I know we do have them for different parts of our legislation. For example, under the Liquor Act in our communities, that type of thing. I’m not sure on the territorial side, but we haven’t given it consideration as our signing of the agreement-in-principle begins the negotiation process towards a final agreement.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Again, we do have a Plebiscite Act in the Northwest Territories and it is being administered by the Chief Electoral Officer who is in charge of the election which will take place this fall. By having these two events taking place simultaneously, I think it’s important that we do get feedback from the general public on this important policy and political issue in the Northwest Territories. I think it’s important that we do allow the public to give us a sense of exactly where they stand on this issue. I know as politicians sometimes the only time we seem to get direction is during an election. I think this also gives the public an opportunity to have a say on this important issue. Again I’d just like to ask the Premier and his Cabinet colleagues if they will consider that as one of the options to get feedback in regard to the announcements and the important issue of devolution in the Northwest Territories.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

Inuvik Boot Lake

Floyd Roland Premier

It’s difficult to come up with a response or an answer that would be clear on this, because the fact is, as we’ve signed the devolution agreement to begin the process of negotiations towards a final agreement, I guess looking at the future as towards a final agreement is that something that can be considered at the time, I think the government-of-the-day would have to have a look at that. Our process in this fall election... What would a question be? The fact is we have signed an agreement and we’re beginning the process towards negotiation.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Mr. Speaker, just on the issue of what the question should be, I just sort of wordsmithed a little bit of that in regard to: Do you agree the Government of the Northwest Territories have signed the Northwest Territories lands and resources devolution agreement in January 2007? Do you agree or disagree? Yes or no?

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

Inuvik Boot Lake

Floyd Roland Premier

Again, the process I can see is we usually in plebiscites are seeking direction going forward on something and we have signed the agreement-in-principle. We are beginning the work of preparing for negotiations, where the advertisements, as the Member has spoken to, are to get information on the AIP out to the public for direction going forward. I guess that is something to be considered by a future government

as a final agreement and should the GNWT sign depending who’s all at the table, in a sense. Thank you.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Roland. Your final supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, a plebiscite is to get feedback from the general public in regard to how they perceive a particular issue such as devolution. I know we’re spending $16,000 on radio announcements, we’re spending a lot of money on full-page ads. We’re doing all the advertising out there so how do we get the feedback from the public in regard to how do they see a particular issues? Do they support it? Don’t they? I’d like to ask the Premier, in order to allow the public to give us that feedback, would you consider an option such as a plebiscite?

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

Inuvik Boot Lake

Floyd Roland Premier

The processes we have available to us both as the Members of the Assembly and, of course, from the Executive side and looking at the devolution process, one, we count on feedback from Members of the Legislative Assembly, when they go back home to their constituencies, to provide feedback on that level. As well, from our departmental workings with Aboriginal governments and groups across the Northwest Territories, we seek their input from time to time on whether it’s a piece of legislation or a piece of policy work. The way we’re doing it now, providing information out there, again, from a plebiscite side of things, is it to ask about should we have signed it. The fact is we have signed it. I would say maybe more forward looking a government-of-the-day could ask the question of the people should we agree to a final agreement once we know what it might look like. Thank you.

Question 34-16(6): Plebiscite On Devolution Agreement-In-Principle
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Roland. The honourable Member for Weledeh, Mr. Bromley.

Question 35-16(6): Expansion Of Midwifery Services In The NWT
Oral Questions

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are to the Minister of Health and Social Services. The Minister has responded in writing to my previous oral questions on midwifery and the answers are not inspiring. The reply says, “analysis to develop an expanded NWT model of midwifery care will be undertaken in 2011-12.” Unfortunately, the exact same promise precisely mirrors a November 9, 2009, letter from the department’s deputy minister. That work was to be completed in three weeks, Mr. Speaker.

When is the Minister going to get serious on this? Is the work starting now? Next month? When is the work starting? Thank you.

Question 35-16(6): Expansion Of Midwifery Services In The NWT
Oral Questions

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Question 35-16(6): Expansion Of Midwifery Services In The NWT
Oral Questions

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member is quoting two different letters and without knowing the specific context of what we were speaking to in 2009 and 2011, I think it’s unfortunate that he’s making such a generalization.

I want to just state for the record that I, as the Minister, and the department have been very clear that we support expansion of the Midwifery Program in the Northwest Territories. The program has been under stress because we had to go through renewing the THAF funding, which is from the money that we fund the Midwifery Program now. The next phase that we are working on for 2011 and 2012, we are doing an in-depth analysis to see how much money will be required to expand the Midwifery Program and what the accepted standard is in the industry.

Mr. Speaker, the work that we did in 2009 is different than the work that we are doing in 2011 and 2012. I believe 2009 has to do with finding the money immediately to fund the positions in Fort Smith. Thank you.

Question 35-16(6): Expansion Of Midwifery Services In The NWT
Oral Questions

Bob Bromley Weledeh

The Minister says she is serious, but her written reply to my question goes on to say that the now 2011-12 analysis will be brought forward for the 2013-14 year business plans. Review promised this year, now in the coming year, not even in the business plans until the second year after that, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister has almost carried this baby to full term…

---Laughter

...the full term of this Assembly. Why does she think expanded midwifery should go into the incubator for yet another year before we even see it in the business plans?

Question 35-16(6): Expansion Of Midwifery Services In The NWT
Oral Questions

March 10th, 2011

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Because, Mr. Speaker, we have to be serious about the complexities of the budgeting process, the business plan process and the work required to give birth to a full-fledged Midwifery Program. As that letter indicated, we are reviewing the Midwifery Program and analyzing the cost requirements for 2011 and 2012 with a view to putting it into the fiscal year 2013-14.

Mr. Speaker, our department is doing the work that’s required to see what kind of resource requirements that we need to undertake in order expand the Midwifery Program we have. Thank you.