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

Anniversary
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

I think it’s a very exciting period as to what’s happening in Inuvik, especially with the satellite tracking facilities that have been put in place. I think there are three satellite tracking facilities there now. When I attended the first one, we were told that with this fibre optic link that conceivably there could be 35 of these facilities, because Inuvik’s got the best location in the world for tracking of satellites. The Aurora Research Institute has been a very active participant and promoting this, and as part of construction of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link, we see the research institute as playing a leading role.

There are very active discussions going on between the various departments involved, the various proponents and the international community. I think that you will see the Aurora Research Institute playing a very integral part to the future development in this area in Inuvik.

Anniversary
Oral Questions

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

In that sense, in terms of international reputation, over 50 years the ARI has developed a strong network of researchers nationally, locally, regionally, territorially and, as the Premier stated, internationally.

What is our government doing in terms of supporting the researchers either through grants, through bursaries, through even scholarships for some of our young researchers, our students to look forward and going into to take some type of post-secondary education in the area of research, either biology, chemistry and those areas? Has the government created any of those types of monetary support?

Anniversary
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

We have a number of international researchers that set up and operate right in the Aurora Research Institute. We also provide a lot of logistical and backup and equipment support. As I said, the Aurora Research Institute receives funding from the Department of Education for annual operations, and they also access funding on an application-based process. We do involve and utilize them to do research on behalf of the government, and certainly, with the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link, I understand that we will do further investing in that regard.

Anniversary
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Moses.

Anniversary
Oral Questions

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to ask the Premier, he mentions they do a lot of support and looking for the ARI doing work on behalf of the government. If the ARI is doing work on behalf of the government, how often does the Premier and Cabinet meet with the executives of ARI as well as with the board of governors specifically on research findings that come out of the Aurora Research Institute that can help us as decision-makers make our jobs a lot easier and more efficient when we’re doing such work?

Anniversary
Oral Questions

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

We receive results on a regular and ongoing basis. They are channelled through the Aurora College and through the Department of Education, and it finds our way to us. I myself, I think I’ve been to Inuvik about 10 times this year. On almost every visit I have the opportunity to drop in to the Aurora Research Institute for one reason or another, and at the risk of indicating how old I am, I negotiated devolution of the three arctic research centres from the federal government to the territorial government about 25 years ago. I think we have really benefitted from it.

Anniversary
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The Member for Frame Lake, Ms. Bisaro.

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

November 5th, 2014

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions today are addressed to the Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. I’m going to revisit a subject that I’ve spoken on a number of times, and that’s homelessness and what the Housing Corporation is doing about homelessness. In this fiscal year, I believe it is, we now have a homelessness coordinator, and I think the coordinator has been in the position for a while. I would ask the Minister to confirm how long.

My first question has to do with a question that I asked quite some time ago, and that was I expressed the need for standards for our shelters, that we do not have standards anywhere in the territory for any of our shelters.

I’d like to ask the Minister whether or not the homelessness coordinator is working on that or if the corporation in general is working on developing shelter standards.

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

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The Minister of Housing, Mr. McLeod.

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

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The homelessness coordinator has been on board now for about a year and a half and has been visiting a lot of the agencies and gathering as much information as she can to assist her in her job. As far as the standards go, as the Housing Corporation, if we provide the infrastructure, we would ensure that infrastructure meets all the building standards. As far as the programming in there, I would have to have a discussion with my colleague, the Minister of Health and Social Services, because my understanding is that whoever the funding agency is to operate that shelter would have a set of standards that are built into the operating agreement. I will follow up with the Minister and see what type of standards that they have, but our part of it is usually just providing the infrastructure and having our own set of building standards.

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

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thanks to the Minister for that. It points out one of the problems that we have with homelessness and our government is that it crosses over departments, and I kind of thought with a homelessness coordinator that he/she would be responsible for all aspects of it, but perhaps not. So I appreciate the Minister looking into it for me.

The next point I wanted to bring up has to do with a resolution from the NWT Association of Communities 2014 annual general meeting. They passed a resolution there on homelessness and I want to read the operative clause: “Now therefore be it resolved that the GNWT fully fund homeless shelters within the boundaries of its communities

and that the GNWT direct and fund its departments to end homelessness in the NWT.” So, you know, the resolution called for funding from the Housing Corporation.

I’d like to know first of all, how many homeless shelters do we have in the NWT, how many communities have a homeless shelter and what funding does the Housing Corporation provide to these shelters for their operations. Thank you.

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

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

As for the exact number of homeless shelters, I’m not quite sure. I will gather that information. I do know that through one of our programs, the NWT Housing Corporation, we were looking at four pilot projects in the communities where we would provide the infrastructure, do some necessary repairs to it, and work with a local agency, be it the band office or one of the local government offices, to operate this on our behalf.

I think we have three communities that have taken us up on that. We have one that’s in the works now. We’re looking forward to see how this rolls out, and this is to get people in the smaller communities that don’t have a place to stay, an opportunity to have somewhere to stay for a few days or…and supports that we have for housing, when we first got the portfolio, it was all rolled into this. There were different pots of money in different departments. We tried to bring all that money into the Homelessness Fund. We, I think, ended up with about $250,000, close to $300,000. This year we’ve added an additional $100,000 in the Shelter Enhancement Fund. So those that have homeless shelters, there’s an opportunity for them to put an application on this $100,000 to make some improvements on their facility. So that’s one of the many programs that we have in place. Thank you.

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

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thanks to the Minister. It’s good to hear that we are increasing funding, and I hope that continues, that we are going to continue to increase funding because it’s definitely an area where we have a definite lack. Emergency and transition housing is the other area where we really don’t have enough housing in any of our communities. Sometimes its non-existent or it’s very hard to come by.

The Minister kind of spoke to the fact that he’s trying to provide infrastructure in communities for emergency or homeless shelters. In those communities that have not taken up the Minister’s offer to date, what sort of a priority or what kind of actions is the Housing Corp taking to make sure that every community takes advantage of this offer? Thank you.

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

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

We had developed this as a pilot project with the hope that, well, with the four pilot projects, that the communities would put in the applications right away to take advantage of this. We were a little disappointed that we only had

three come forward right away, and we do have, I think, a fourth one that we’re working on right now. We want to see how this works, and if this works well, this is a great opportunity for community organizations, too, because we will provide them with some funding to look after these homeless shelters on our behalf.

So, we’ll evaluate the results of this and then if there’s opportunity for us to expand this program into other communities, if they see how it’s working in these four particular communities, if there are opportunities there, we will certainly take advantage of those opportunities and see if we can expand the program. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Final, short supplementary, Ms. Bisaro.