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

Question 526-17(5): Addressing Homelessness In The NWT
Oral Questions

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thanks, Mr. Speaker. Thanks to the Minister. Again, considering the interest expressed by the NWT Association of Communities, I would encourage the Minister and the Housing Corp very strongly to use NWTAC as a vehicle to get that information out and to get them to take advantage of the offer from the Housing Corp.

With the homeless coordinator in place now for a year and a half, in this 2014-15 budget year, can the Minister tell me what sorts of things the homelessness coordinator is working on? What are the priorities? What are the goals that this person is working on in this budget year? Thank you.

Question 526-17(5): Addressing Homelessness In The NWT
Oral Questions

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

The coordinator is working with a number of different groups and hearing a lot of concerns out there, then they will package that information and come forward to the Housing Corporation.

We have two or three different pots of money. We have the Homelessness Assistance Fund. I think that pot is about $125,000. We have Small Community Homelessness Fund. We have $190,000 allocated for 14 projects in 10 communities to date, and the homeless coordinator plays a huge role in helping us with that. We have the Shelter Enhancement Fund that I spoke about.

So, the homeless coordinator is very important in helping us determine where some of these investments could be made, helping us look over the applications, and we have had fairly good success in the number of applications that have come in. We look forward to, again, working with the communities to try and help alleviate the problem with homelessness across the NWT. Thank you.

Question 526-17(5): Addressing Homelessness In The NWT
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Blake.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

November 5th, 2014

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It has been five days now since the trapping season opened up on the Mackenzie Delta. Many trappers are being challenged right now with the price of gas. We are paying anywhere from $1.79 to $2.00 per litre. Many trappers need at least $400 to $800 just to get started, even more, depending on the distance you travel.

I would like to ask the Minister of ITI, are there plans to increase the Harvesters Assistance Program? Thank you.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Blake. Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At this time there isn’t. I know I have fielded questions from other Members earlier in this session in regard to support for trappers around the NWT. On the Community Harvesters Assistance Program, or CHAP as it is referred to, we have just over $1 million. It’s $1.074 million. It goes to local wildlife committees to disburse the funds at the community level. If there are folks out there that feel that we should take another look at the funding, I know it was increased a few years back, but if, as I mentioned earlier, the pressures are there, that’s something that I can and would like to discuss with Members and communities. Thank you.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

The pot of funding the Minister is talking about has a limit of $500 and it limits whether you can buy gas or groceries. A lot of trappers need the essentials like gas and groceries and skidoo parts.

I would like to ask the Minister, when is the department going to review that and increase that funding? Thank you.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, there are other programs that trappers can avail themselves of. Of course, there is the Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program and the Grubstake Program that gets folks out. Based on the amount of fur that they think they are going to get, we can advance them some money before they go out and get to the trapping.

We have programs, but if the Member is calling on us to have a look at those programs and the level of support, that’s something that maybe, perhaps in next year’s business plans we could have a look at this and the level of funding that we do provide. Of course, like anything, there are cost pressures on government and, of course, there is cost pressures on trappers, as well, so we have to understand that and if we need to review that, I think, as I mentioned earlier, we can work with Members and communities and see that happen.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

One thing I didn’t mention was in the community, for example, of Fort McPherson, we have between 50 and 60 applicants that apply for this funding, which is roughly $12,500 for the CHAP that the Minister is referring to.

Will the Minister work with those communities with high demand to work out something for next season? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, of course, we have to continue to work with ENR on this with the delivery there and also with the local wildlife committees. As well, they are the ones that administer the funds at the community level and we wouldn’t be able to do this alone, so again, we would have to have a discussion with ENR and the LWCs around the territory that do administer these funds. Thank you.

Question 527-17(5): Increasing The Community Harvesters Assistance Program
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Hawkins.

Question 528-17(5): Mental Health Act
Oral Questions

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member’s statement today I talked about some concerns with the Mental Health Act. As the Minister knows quite well, the Mental Health Act was originated back in 1988 and it has a lot of particular issues, but I know the department is certainly looking forward to updating the act in a current way.

So maybe let’s start with that, because frankly, I have been dealing with families that have been struggling with the archaic act as it is written today and they are looking for some inspiration and certainly some hope as to what processes will be engaged and how soon we can see some development of the new Mental Health Act.

Let’s start with that. Maybe the Minister can provide a bit of an update and overview of some action. Thank you.

Question 528-17(5): Mental Health Act
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Hawkins. Minister of Health, Mr. Abernethy.

Question 528-17(5): Mental Health Act
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last year we actually went out and started doing some consultations and getting input from the communities. We had a discussion paper that was put online and shared with committee. Both the department and the committee went out looking for additional input on that. We’ve used that data to develop an LP. The LP has gone to committee. On October 20th the committee returned the LP and I

am now taking that forward to Cabinet. As soon as it is passed in Cabinet, we will be issuing drafting instructions from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Justice and drafting will begin very shortly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 528-17(5): Mental Health Act
Oral Questions

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, I’ve been taking several calls from various families across the North, be it Inuvik, Yellowknife or even Hay River, and frankly, they are all expressing similar concerns about access to services on the ground and timely access to services on the ground that are relevant to the need.

Maybe the Minister can provide some update to that, because folks are feeling boxed in and powerless to be able to help under the present act. Maybe if the Minister could talk about those areas. What other areas can we do in that little space between today and when the new act becomes official, because it does feel like a long, relentless struggle that they are not making any headway. Thank you.