This is page numbers 2483 – 2502 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 assembly.

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The House met at 10:03 a.m.

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Good morning, colleagues. Today is International Women’s Day and I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the women who are accomplishing so much and all the work that’s done in our home communities that makes a difference in our great territory of the Northwest Territories.

---Applause

Item 2, Ministers’ statements. Honourable Premier, Mr. McLeod.

Minister’s Statement 44-17(4): Wise Women Of 2013
Ministers’ Statements

Yellowknife South

Bob McLeod Premier

Mr. Speaker, International Women's Day honours women's advancement towards equality and reminds us of the vigilance required to ensure that equality is maintained in every aspect of society.

Every year the Status of Women Council celebrates this day by announcing recipients for the Wise Women Awards. These women, chosen from five Northwest Territories regions, stand up of what is right for women, children and families. They work tirelessly behind the scenes or on centre stage to make a difference in our communities. They never give up their effort to encourage women to become leaders in their homes and communities. These wise women were nominated by their communities because they give their time and dedication to their families, and to those who seek help, and to their communities. They speak to the need for fairness and advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

This year the Status of Women Council honours the following wise women:• At 98 years of age, Taipana Rene Oliktoak from

Ulukhaktok is revered as a true role model for the traditional ways of her people;• Vivian Edgi Manuel of Fort Good Hope has an

unfailing willingness to help people and work to improve her community;• Margaret Ann Landry of Fort Providence is a

tireless worker for people in need;• Edna Schaefer from Fort Smith is never short

on patience and kindness for the people of her community; and• Karen Wright-Fraser from Yellowknife for her

skills in constructing traditional clothing and teaching traditional skills that help to keep culture alive and relevant.

Since 1992 the Status of Women Council of the Northwest Territories has hosted the Wise Women Awards honouring the recipients at the Bread and Roses Luncheon.

Mr. Speaker, I extend this Assembly’s congratulations to the recipients and our appreciation for their lifetime work for the betterment of northern communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 44-17(4): Wise Women Of 2013
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

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

International Women’s Day
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As you and the Premier have mentioned, today is the 102

nd International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8

th to celebrate

women’s achievement throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

On this day, we all need to spread the message of women’s empowerment to our friends, family and the men in our lives. It’s a day that connects women around the world and celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. It is a day to celebrate the women in our lives and our communities, to honour the advances women have made, but at the same time remember the need for continued action to

ensure that the equality fought for and gained by women who have passed before us is maintained in all aspects of our society.

To quote an old advertising slogan: “We’ve come a long way, baby.” But I must echo a quote I heard this morning on the radio: “Much has been accomplished, but much is still to be done.”

Of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, nearly 70 percent are women. Between 75 and 80 percent of the world’s 27 million refugees are women and children, and of the world’s nearly 130 million children who are not in school, two-thirds are girls. On average, women earn between 30 to 40 percent less pay than men for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence. Rape and domestic violence are significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum. This theme reflects the belief that increasing women’s participation and access to leadership roles and opportunities will help women and girls thrive, reach their full potential and fulfill their dreams, and in doing so they will change our world for the better.

As mentioned by the Premier, we honour five NWT wise women today, who each, in their own way, have contributed to changing our world for the better. Congratulations to that formidable group of women, and let’s use this day to get fired up about women’s rights and empowerment, use this day to promote change in the lives of women all over the world.

International Women’s Day
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Challenge Of Finding Permanent Doctors For Hay River
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to rise again in this House to talk about the issue of the doctor shortage in Hay River. When I came to Hay River almost 40 years ago, the hospital and the medical clinic were operated by the Pentecostal Sub-Arctic Mission. As part of their recruitment of staff for the hospital, they also recruited doctors, and many of those doctors made a long-term commitment to Hay River.

Over the years the practice of medicine has changed. It seems gone are the days of a family practitioner hanging up a shingle in a small town and staying there and being on call for every emergency that comes up in the community, delivering everyone’s baby. I mean, those picture-perfect, kind of, old-fashioned days will soon be gone. Young doctors now graduating from medical school want to have a life where they can devote time to their family, and travel, and all kinds of other things. Also, the training for general practitioners

has changed now where everybody either is a general practitioner or they specialize in something, and so this has made quite an impact on the delivery of medical services in Hay River.

Culminating at the same time as the departure of the Sub-Arctic Mission was a national doctor shortage. That came about, I believe, partly as a result of a decision that was made in the halls of power somewhere that they would reduce the number of training seats for medical doctors in our educational institutions across the country, so we had the unfortunate situation of a Canadian doctor shortage at the same time as a long-standing institution that had attracted doctors to Hay River was departing that role and giving up that contract.

Since then, Hay River has continued to struggle. We’ve had good locums. We’ve had repeat locums. We’ve had people in the health authority in Hay River who have put forward a very valiant effort to try and recruit doctors. Unfortunately, again, when you are the first doctor in on a full-time basis and you’re in a small town, it doesn’t matter if you’re on call. You’re always on call. If there’s a motor vehicle accident, if there’s an emergency of any kind, necessarily, because of what you can offer, you will be called upon.

We have had a hard time in Hay River to recruit that first doctor. Once we get that first one, then it seems like it would be easier to recruit. The doctor shortage has alleviated. We have seen some progress, and I am very, very happy to have been informed, with my colleague Mr. Bouchard last night, by our Minister of Health and Social Services, that Hay River has signed a permanent doctor, the first one in many years on a three-year contract. Thank you.

Challenge Of Finding Permanent Doctors For Hay River
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. Colleagues, before we go on today, it’s always good to have family in the House, especially my mother who is here today with us. It’s good to have her here. She’s going to clean up my apartment.

---Applause

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

Ambulance And Emergency Services For Fort Liard
Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would like this Assembly to make a decision that will save lives. I know the good Ministers of Health and Municipal and Community Affairs are listening closely and I would really appreciate their support on this. Fort Liard needs an ambulance. To support that service, an agreement is also needed between the health systems in NWT and British Columbia to ensure emergency service is available in Fort Nelson for our residents. There

are many good reasons to provide this service and to train staff to deliver it, but one key stands out above the rest.

A year and a half ago, a young infant died because the medevac flight could not get to Fort Liard quickly enough to save a life. For lack of a reliable weather report, a plane did not leave Yellowknife for almost five hours, according to the coroner’s report. But even then, it took another three and a half hours to fly to Liard and return to Yellowknife.

This little girl’s life just slipped away. If there was an ambulance in Fort Liard, she might have lived. In three hours she could have been driven to Fort Nelson. It was a very sad loss for her family and the whole community. I want to be sure we learn every lesson we can so that nothing like that happens again.

As you know, Fort Liard is some distance from Yellowknife by air. Weather being what it is, especially near the mountains, flight delays are fairly common. Quite often when cloud ceilings are low, the road is still easily travelled. It is Fort Liard’s main supply route and is travelled by many tourists. I won’t even get into the statistics and conditions on the use of Highway No. 7 today.

It is obvious that additional emergency service providing an ambulance would be a great benefit. Some of the costs would be recovered by reducing the number of expensive medevac flights. Sorry, Mr. Speaker, I think I am putting this too gently. I do want to concentrate on what is important here. An ambulance in Fort Liard will save lives. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Ambulance And Emergency Services For Fort Liard
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. The honourable Member for Range Lake, Mr. Dolynny.

Yellowknife Community Foundation And Diavik Diamond Mines Scholarship Fund
Members’ Statements

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today in celebration of International Women’s Day, as you indicated. I am very thankful and happy we have a lot of wise women here with us today in the gallery. I am also very pleased that I sit between two very wise women in politics. We should be cheering, Mr. Speaker. These women here teach this old dog many new tricks.

---Laughter

I’m not here just to speak about our lovely ladies here today; I am also here to talk about a partnership. I am here to talk about the Yellowknife Community Foundation and Diavik Diamond Mines. The Yellowknife Community Foundation was established in 1991 and they administer over $3 million worth of assets. Those assets turn into donations back to the community in various formats. Over the years they have given back to the

community anywhere between $75,000 a year to over $125,000 a year. I think that is quite an accomplishment for a community of this size.

What we have heard recently was a partnership of a recent announcement with the Yellowknife Community Foundation and Diavik Diamond Mines. Diavik Diamond Mines has announced the establishment of a Diavik Community Scholarship Fund. What makes this fund very unique is that it’s actually open not just to Yellowknife students. This is actually open to support tertiary education for students across Canada’s Northwest Territories and the West Kitikmeot region of Nunavut. This is a very broad approach. This is actually quite new for the Yellowknife Community Foundation. I applaud them for reaching beyond the boundaries of Yellowknife.

According to the chief operating officer of Diavik Diamond Mines, the purpose behind it is to promote northern skills development and, hopefully, for a sustainable future in resources.

The scholarship fund itself, as I said, is open to all NWT students and West Kitikmeot students, with a priority for Aboriginal students seeking a college diploma or a university degree or a related trade certification in the resource industry.

So, once again, we need to applaud the good work and stewardship of our companies out there. Diavik Diamond Mines is once again reaching out to not just the community of Yellowknife, but to all Northwest Territories and West Kitikmeot, and for that we should thank them for their continued stewardship and support for our communities. Thank you.

Yellowknife Community Foundation And Diavik Diamond Mines Scholarship Fund
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Dolynny. The Member for Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.

Policies Honouring Elders’ Traditional Knowledge Of The Land
Members’ Statements

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Good morning, Mr. Speaker. There was a quote that I’d like to do my Member’s statement on. The quote is: “The land is in my blood.” One reason for the lack of understanding between the European people and the Aboriginal people can be traced back to the early world views of Aboriginal humanity. For example, taking care of our elders or taking care of our land. Both are different but yet they are the same.

It is in the European’s view of the natural world that our resources are primary value, quite simply of raw material. In the North we have a wealth of these resources. For example, the discovery of oil in the Sahtu by the Dene people only to have Imperial Oil come in and get rich and give the federal government a share of these riches. We even built a road to pipe this oil out in 1943, now famously called the Canol Oil Project, built by the U.S. and

Canadian governments. Just look at the Tlicho traditional territory where a small, shiny rock is being dug up and sold for millions around the world, and I’m not even talking about the Beaufort Sea.

My people are at a crossroads in our thinking as to who we are and why we are and, most importantly, where are we going. These three simple questions to each, ask ourselves when you find these answers, you’re on your way.

The Sahtu is my homeland of my own. We follow the laws of Yamoria and this is told down the Mackenzie Valley. As a matter of fact, our Dene laws are posted in the schools.

The point I’m making is our elders have to fill the roles in our communities by teaching and connecting us to the land. Our elders have reminded us over and over again about our relationship to the land. Our elders are very concerned about our young people. They cry when they see young people hurting themselves and they pray for them. Our elders are our professors, teachers, leaders, counsellors and spiritual guides. They earned their degrees from their years being in school on the land.

As one of our elders said to me as we talked early on when I sobered up, when he knelt down and picked up some dust off the ground and the dust came out of his hand, he said this is the blood of my people, be careful how you walk on this land. We need to put together a policy that will honour our elders by our government in this Assembly. Thank you.

Policies Honouring Elders’ Traditional Knowledge Of The Land
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. The Member for Weledeh, Mr. Bromley.