This is page numbers 5221 – 5256 of the Hansard for the 17th Assembly, 5th 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 development.

Topics

Living Wage Movement
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Order!

Living Wage Movement
Members’ Statements

Bob Bromley Weledeh

This week is Living Wage Week in Canada. Many people in the Northwest Territories don’t earn enough at their jobs to pull themselves and their families above the poverty line. The concept of a living wage is based on the understanding that a person working full time should be able to support themselves in their community.

This movement is gaining traction in many places throughout the world. It addresses income inequality, one of the biggest obstacles to economies everywhere. Paying employees a living wage can change that for millions of Canadians. In fact, employers in about 30 cities are set to do just that.

A living wage sets an evidence-based standard that calculates the cost of living in a community based on a basket of goods and services. In contrast,

minimum wage legislation does not come close to meeting these costs for individuals or families.

A recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in all 10 provinces between 1983 and 2012 found that raising the minimum wage does not affect job numbers. A living wage can make a world of difference in health outcomes and quality of life, but the living wage amount varies from community to community due to differences in costs of living and government transfers as it is based on local costs for things like food, housing, transportation and child care.

A living wage is by no means extravagant. For instance, calculations do not include the cost of homeownership, debt repayment or savings. New Westminster, BC, became the first municipality in Canada to officially become a living wage employer in 2010. Since then, dozens of Canadian communities have become actively engaged in living wage discussions supported by national organizations such as Vibrant Communities Canada and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

In Yellowknife, Alternatives North, with the support of Anti-Poverty Strategy dollars, are engaged in exploring what a living wage would look like in the NWT’s capital city.

The living wage movement is fairly recent to Canada, but where living wage policies have been implemented in the United States and the United Kingdom, employers and communities have realized significant benefits.

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

---Unanimous consent granted

Living Wage Movement
Members’ Statements

Bob Bromley Weledeh

The living wage movement is fairly recent to Canada, but where living wage policies have been implemented in the United States and the United Kingdom, employers and communities have realized significant benefits including increased productivity, lower employee turnover and, most importantly, less poverty and healthier families.

I urge this government to stay tuned on what is happening with communities adopting this standard, to pay attention to the Alternatives North study and to help the communities and people of the North through establishment of living wage communities in the Northwest Territories. Mahsi.

Living Wage Movement
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Member for Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.

NWT Aboriginal Sport Circle
Members’ Statements

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to be short with my Member’s statement. But it’s written too long, so I’ll only use two pages here.

Mr. Speaker, it’s a great moment that we shared in this House yesterday. We sent a message to women, young and old, and to also to Canada.

Today I want to talk about our youth and the safe and healthy alternatives our Aboriginal Sport Circle of the Northwest Territories is providing to them.

We want our youth to excel. We want them to turn their positive energy into a powerful beat of a drum. The year 2014 was successful for our Aboriginal athletes, coaches and parents. The North has and will continue to produce world-class athletes. For example, the Sahtu was well represented with drummers from Fort Good Hope, in Regina, Saskatchewan. Thirty-one people from the Sahtu were on Team NWT who competed, coached and volunteered at these Aboriginal Indigenous Games.

This was a culture-filled experience with our youth. Anyone who tuned into the coverage on APTN or CKLB Radio could see and hear the great time our youth had. Not only did they compete in the traditional Aboriginal sports, they competed in canoeing and archery, or modern sports like basketball or track. They also had the opportunity to meet fellow athletes and elders from other First Nations and Aboriginal communities across Canada and the United States.

At the Cultural Village, traditional teepees were in front of the University of Saskatchewan. Northern youth showcased some of the traditional Inuit and Dene games. They drew large crowds. Many First Nations and Metis coaches were asking Team NWT if they had any play books or rule books for our games. What a testament to a diverse northern culture.

Mahsi cho to Greg Hopf, Aaron Wells, Derek Squirrel, Carson Roche, Pauline Roche, Gloria Gaudette, Freda and Gordon Taneton, Eddie Cook and all the people who put this short piece together. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

NWT Aboriginal Sport Circle
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Federal Housing Stock In Fort Simpson
Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Not everything federal got transferred to the GNWT with devolution. In Fort Simpson there are about eight to 10 housing units and land that remain with the federal government.

The federal government has always held on to these homes, many of them empty, stating that they’re keeping them for future needs or federal staffing. Well, we now have many, if not all, federal responsibilities through devolution and these homes in Fort Simpson can alleviate a housing need to residents and for the future government jobs that will get devolved to Fort Simpson.

Given the newly released housing results tabled by the Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation earlier today, I have a suggestion that will improve it even more.

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time I will ask the Minister responsible for the Northwest Housing Corporation why was this not negotiated and transferred to our government and to the NWT Housing Corporation, so that our communities can increase their housing stock either through sales and/or through the local housing organizations.

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

---Laughter

Federal Housing Stock In Fort Simpson
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Blake.

Medical Escort Policy
Members’ Statements

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Back in 2012 there was a number of concerns for the need of medical escorts for the elderly. Over the past year the department has improved the delivery of medical escorts and I would like to commend the department and their delivery and support for those in need. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Medical Escort Policy
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Blake. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s my pleasure today to recognize my husband, Rick Groenewegen, in the visitors gallery. I just want to beg your indulgence for one moment and say that Rick is a really lucky guy.

---Laughter

He lives in Hay River. He has a great MLA, Mr. Bouchard. He has been married to me for almost 38 years, a mere two life sentences with good behaviour, and on Monday he will be 60 years old and just two weeks ago someone asked me if he was my son. Thank you.

---Applause

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. The honourable Premier, Mr. McLeod.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased to recognize a constituent of Yellowknife South, Gayla Thunstrom. Welcome to the Assembly.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Mr. Abernethy.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The department is participating in bring your child to school today. The department hosted

students who have been involved in learning how the Department of Health and Social Services works on projects that help NWT residents access health care services and also learn about nutrition. They provided some great incite and ideas on how the department could focus some of their efforts, so I would like to recognize the two individuals here with us today, Grade 9 students from Ecole St. Patrick High School. That is Ethan Carey and Josh Deleff, and with them, as well, is Josh’s mother, Yvette Deleff, who is the department senior nursing consultant of long-term care. Thank you.