This is page numbers 2617 - 2654 of the Hansard for the 17th 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 work.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Glen Abernethy, Hon. Tom Beaulieu, Ms. Bisaro, Mr. Blake, Mr. Bouchard, Mr. Bromley, Mr. Dolynny, Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Hawkins, Hon. Jackie Jacobson, Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Hon. Bob McLeod, Hon. Robert McLeod, Mr. Menicoche, Hon. Michael Miltenberger, Mr. Moses, Mr. Nadli, Hon. David Ramsay, Mr. Yakeleya

The House met at 1:29 p.m.

---Prayer

Speaker's Ruling
Prayer

Page 2617

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Good afternoon, colleagues. I will now provide my ruling on the point of order raised by Mr. Lafferty in the House yesterday.

This is a sensitive issue involving real people with real life problems and responsibilities. Mr. Bromley did seek my advice before reading his constituent's poem, but only in regard to the use of offensive language.

Upon review of the entire text, I feel that the poem made clear reference to an individual who is not a Member of the House and, thus, not able to defend herself publicly.

Colleagues, there are two sides to every story. It is against our rules to use our privileges in this House to make insulting or damaging remarks about people who cannot respond. Although Mr. Bromley was reading something written by a constituent, Members are not allowed to do indirectly what they are prevented from doing directly.

Members, there have been several times during this session when negative things have been said about individuals who are not Members of this House. We are here to debate issues, not to use our positions to criticize the work of people who can't defend themselves. There are more appropriate ways to do that if a Member feels the need. As your Speaker, I will take a hard line on issues like this from now on.

I rule that the Member for Monfwi has a point or order. I direct that all references to the individual in question be deleted from Hansard.

I will now call upon Mr. Bromley to retract his remarks and apologize to the House.

Speaker's Ruling
Prayer

Page 2617

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On the day in question, I read into the House a poem, a piece of art, social art, if you will...

Speaker's Ruling
Prayer

Page 2617

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

The debate is over. I am seeking an apology to the House. Mr. Bromley.

Speaker's Ruling
Prayer

Page 2617

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I recognize that. The poem contained a person's first name. I should have caught this and questioned it, but I did not. If in so doing I caused unintended offence to anyone, I apologize to both them and this House. Further, Mr. Speaker, I will be on guard to make sure that I will not do this again. Mahsi.

Speaker's Ruling
Prayer

Page 2617

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister of Public Works, Mr. Abernethy.

Minister's Statement 53-17(4): Diamond Jenness Secondary School Renovations
Ministers' Statements

Page 2617

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Mr. Speaker, I would like to update Members on the renovations recently completed by the Department of Public Works and Services at the Diamond Jenness Secondary School in Hay River.

Diamond Jenness Secondary School was originally designed by
well-known Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal and has supported the delivery of education programs in the town of Hay River for over 37 years. Public Works and Services, working with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, recently completed a major midlife retrofit designed to extend the life of the facility while reducing operations and maintenance costs through improved energy efficiency.

In the successful delivery of this project, we are pleased that much of the original character of the building has been preserved in the upgrading of the school including the original exterior colour.

In addition to a complete retrofit of the original school, this project also included a new trades shop to provide opportunities for students to consider apprenticeship and career development in areas such as automotive mechanics, welding and carpentry which are much needed skill sets in our northern workforce.

In extending the life of the school, this retrofit included a number of technical enhancements to conserve energy and improve its performance including:

  • energy-saving lighting controls with occupancy sensors;
  • the introduction of efficient, long lasting, low maintenance LED lighting fixtures throughout the concourse of the school, a first for Government of the Northwest Territories public infrastructure anywhere in the North;
  • improved roof, windows and building envelope with higher insulation levels and an improved air barrier to enhance comfort while saving energy;
  • a complete energy-efficient ventilation system upgrade with heat recovery to improve the overall environment and performance of the school;
  • a modern building control system operating in conjunction with the biomass district heating system to improve operational efficiency and overall energy management; and
  • improved access and security for after-hours community programs.

In line with our government's commitments to pursue energy efficiency and sustainability, Diamond Jenness Secondary School is now more energy efficient than ever before thanks to significant improvements to the building envelope and the installation of these energy-saving technologies and heat recovery systems.

Mr. Speaker, these energy improvements are expected to decrease the school's annual electricity consumption by 235 megawatt hours each year; a reduction of approximately 40 percent. Additionally, heating requirements will also decrease by 1700 gigajoules annually, equivalent to displacing 66,000 litres of propane or 44,000 litres of heating fuel each year. Thanks to innovative design, technology use and energy improvements, the renovated Diamond Jenness Secondary School is expected to perform approximately 40 percent better than the 1997 Model Energy Code for Buildings.

Mr. Speaker, in delivering high quality energy-efficient building projects on behalf of the GNWT, Public Works and Services recognizes that local and northern involvement in our construction industry is an important part of the northern economy. I am pleased to confirm that:

  • 78 percent of the funds spent on goods and services for this project went to local and northern businesses, and
  • 73 percent of the labour force was northern and 57 percent of these northern workers were local from Hay River.

Mr. Speaker, the midlife retrofit of Diamond Jenness Secondary School was successfully completed on budget with a construction cost of $28.2 million. With 78 percent of the goods and services provided by northern businesses and 73 percent of the labour by northern residents, this project demonstrates the significant economic benefits that can be achieved through the GNWT's infrastructure program.

Throughout the life of this project, there were 12 local and northern workers who participated as apprentices, four of whom have since received journeyman certification, fostering the skill development of our residents and strengthening our northern workforce.

Mr. Speaker, midlife retrofits such as those completed at the Diamond Jenness Secondary School are allowing the GNWT to preserve and enhance our existing infrastructure, improve program delivery, reduce energy consumption and prolong the life of our facilities. The GNWT's investment in this midlife retrofit has extended the service life of this facility for another 20 to 30 years and has reduced the GNWT's deferred maintenance deficit by $20,072,547.

Mr. Speaker, throughout this project the project team worked closely with school administration to create a schedule that minimized disruptions to the school's day-to-day operations. Flexibility and cooperation by all stakeholders throughout the delivery of the project was key to its success and is a model for future projects.

PWS is pleased to have been a partner in the delivery of this important project for the Department of Education, Culture and Employment and the residents of Hay River, and I hope that the community and students will enjoy and make the most of the new school for years to come. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 53-17(4): Diamond Jenness Secondary School Renovations
Ministers' Statements

Page 2618

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Abernethy. The honourable Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation, Mr. McLeod.

Minister's Statement 54-17(4): Homelessness And Transitional Housing
Ministers' Statements

Page 2618

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

HON. ROBERT MCLEOD: Mr. Speaker, addressing housing needs is a priority of the 17th Legislative Assembly, and the NWT Housing Corporation offers a range of programs along the housing continuum to help residents meet their shelter needs. Public housing, supports to third-party organizations that provide low-cost housing, rent supplements, home ownership repair programs, and subsidies to help low and modest income purchase homes all help residents depending on their needs. But there is more work to do and homelessness is another of the important housing issues in the Northwest Territories.

Homelessness is a complex issue with many factors, and the government has a wide variety of programs that support those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This year the Small Communities Homelessness Fund and the Homelessness Assistance Fund were transferred, along with the $325,000 in program funding, to the NWT Housing Corporation from Health and Social Services.

Mr. Speaker, with the support provided through the Small Communities Homelessness Fund, 13 community organizations are being assisted with projects which include soup kitchens, food banks, food rescue programs and supports for shelter programs, to name a few. One particularly interesting project includes the rental of garden plots at the Inuvik Community Garden. Homeless residents are involved in the planting and tending of the garden plots right through to harvest.

The Small Community Homelessness Fund is an application-based program and currently there are projects in Aklavik, Inuvik, Fort Simpson, Deline, Fort McPherson, Hay River, Fort Smith, Behchoko and Ulukhaktok.

The Homelessness Assistance Fund provides assistance to individuals to help resolve their homelessness situation or to avoid homelessness. This is a fund of last resort which clients access through delivery agents like community social service workers. The fund is targeted to address situations where unforeseen events occur like where a job is lost or unexpected expenses happen. During 2012-13 a total of 36 applicants have been assisted through the Homelessness Assistance Fund.

The NWT Housing Corporation remains committed to supporting Betty House with a contribution of approximately $2.3 million committed to through the MOU signed in February 2012. Betty House will provide transitional housing for women and their children. It is expected that these funds will have a significant impact in ensuring the completion of Betty House, and we believe that this initiative is an important part of our overall priority to ensure our sustainable and vibrant communities are filled with healthy, educated people free from poverty.

Mr. Speaker, the NWT Housing Corporation's strategic plan identified strengthening the approach to homelessness and transitional housing as a priority. The NWT Housing Corporation continues to work with our partners, including other levels of government and community organizations, to provide assistance to those in need. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 54-17(4): Homelessness And Transitional Housing
Ministers' Statements

Page 2618

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Miltenberger.

Minister's Statement 55-17(4): Update On Protected Areas Strategy
Ministers' Statements

Page 2619

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to update the people of the Northwest Territories and our Protected Areas Strategy partners on the implementation of the NWT Protected Areas Strategy.

The Protected Areas Strategy was established in 1999 as an overall framework to guide the work of identifying and establishing protected areas in the Northwest Territories. It was developed in partnership by regional Aboriginal organizations, the federal and territorial governments, environmental non-governmental organizations and industry.

A substantial amount of work has been done under the Strategy. Saoyú-ʔehdacho (Deline) was established as a National Historic Site in April 2009 and several other areas have been advanced for protection. These include Edehzhie, or the Horn Plateau, and Ts'ude niline Tu'eyeta as candidate National Wildlife Areas.

We recognize and appreciate the significant work undertaken during the past 13 years by all PAS partners, including communities, Aboriginal organizations, working groups, the steering committee and the secretariat. Work conducted through the Protected Areas Strategy has contributed to a greater understanding of the ecological, cultural and potential economic values of lands across the NWT.

The Protected Areas Strategy has provided our government and Aboriginal governments with a strong foundation for the management and conservation of lands as we prepare to take on the administration of lands in 2014.

Mr. Speaker, the work is not done. As we move forward we will need to continue to work with our Protected Areas Strategy partners to ensure we can make informed decisions on the establishment of protected areas. We will continue to support the completion of working group reports and the extension of interim land withdrawals for candidate areas to ensure this level of certainty remains until final decisions are made after devolution. We will also continue to advance the establishment of core representative areas within each ecoregion of the Northwest Territories.

The NWT Land Use and Sustainability Framework will set out the principles guiding future GNWT policy direction on land matters. Land use planning and the development of new, and use of existing, northern tools for protected areas are key features of this framework, which will be completed on a priority basis.

Mr. Speaker, working with our partners will ensure sustainability and stewardship of our land and resources. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 55-17(4): Update On Protected Areas Strategy
Ministers' Statements

Page 2619

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Blake.

Member's Statement On Reflections On The Budget Session
Members' Statements

Page 2619

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I'd like to speak about the budget process. Last year at this time, I was very discouraged about the budget process mainly because it was already set. This year I'm very happy about the process that we've undergone over the last six weeks. A lot of progress has been made in the Northwest Territories. I'd like to thank my colleagues here for their support on the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway, also the initialing of the Devolution Agreement, Mr. Speaker.

This government is slowly checking off the priorities that we have set as the 17th Legislative Assembly and I'd like to thank everybody for working together. We do have a long way to go, but if we keep this up, we'll make it through the priorities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement On Reflections On The Budget Session
Members' Statements

Page 2619

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Blake. The honourable Member for Hay River North, Mr. Bouchard.