This is page numbers 4035 – 4074 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 communities.


The House met at 1:30 p.m.



The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Good afternoon, colleagues. Item 2, Ministers’ statements. The honourable Premier, Mr. McLeod.

Minister’s Statement 45-17(5): Signing Of Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement And Intergovernmental Agreement On Lands And Resource Management
Ministers’ Statements

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, building strong working relationships with Aboriginal governments has been a personal priority of mine and of this Assembly. Our ability to work together in the spirit of respect, recognition and responsibility is what enables us to serve the common interest of all the people of this territory and will be the foundation for the successful implementation of devolution.

I am pleased to advise Members that our governments have taken another step forward in our continuing partnership with the signing of the Northwest Territories Intergovernmental Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement and the Northwest Territories Intergovernmental Agreement on Lands and Resource Management. These two agreements mark further milestones in our journey together to create a strong, prosperous Northwest Territories that will provide opportunities to all our residents.

I want to congratulate the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Northwest Territory Metis Nation, the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the Tlicho Government for their work on these agreements.

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring all people in the Northwest Territories share in the benefits of resource development on public lands. That is why we offered to share 25 percent of the fiscal benefit from resource revenues with our Aboriginal government partners. When resource revenues are collected by the Government of the Northwest Territories, Aboriginal

government partners will receive a direct share of the benefits of resource development. We are setting a new standard for collaboration here in the Northwest Territories, Mr. Speaker. Nowhere else in Canada have revenues from public lands been offered to Aboriginal governments at this level.

Resource revenue sharing offers the promise of further fiscal capacity to Aboriginal governments. Gone are the days when resource development in the NWT offered little opportunity to Aboriginal people. Today resource development should mean jobs and investment opportunity for all residents and business in the NWT. It must be done responsibly, in a way that protects the land and water and recognizes that Aboriginal peoples have rights, including rights under land claims and treaties. Mr. Speaker, through devolution and the Revenue Sharing Agreement we also recognize that resource revenues can further benefit our Aboriginal government partners and their citizens, along with all residents of the NWT.

In addition to resource revenue sharing, our Aboriginal government partners in devolution have also helped lay the foundation for how we will cooperate and collaborate with Aboriginal governments in the area of land and resource management. Once again the GNWT is breaking new ground and setting an example for others to follow in formalizing its relationships with Aboriginal governments.

The Intergovernmental Agreement on Lands and Resources allows us to engage with Aboriginal governments through an Intergovernmental Council. We have a shared interest in exploring harmonized management regimes, building knowledge and capacity in land and resource management, attracting investment and protecting lands and resources. We believe the best way to do these things is to work collaboratively and cooperatively. The Intergovernmental Council will let us build the best possible land and resource management policies and practices together and share ideas for legislation and policy covering our respective lands and resources.

The Intergovernmental Council is not intended to be a forum for discussing constitutional development or issues. It will not restrict or diminish the legislative authority of this Assembly, or the authority of Aboriginal governments. It will,

however, give us further opportunity to work constructively together. It allows us to build upon the best practices of this government as we assume the responsibility for the management of public lands and waters.

In recent years and months, we have worked closely with Aboriginal government partners as the Wildlife Act was developed. We have entered into government-to-government agreements with four Aboriginal governments. We have worked closely with our partners in the development of an NWT Water Stewardship Strategy, recognized as one of the most progressive in the world. We have collaborated on a Land Use and Sustainability Framework that will help guide us in land and resource management. We have clearly benefited from cooperation and collaboration with Aboriginal governments. With the


Agreement we commit, along with our Aboriginal government partners, to continue this approach in areas related to land and resource management.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our Aboriginal government partners for their work with us. I want to thank them for their shared leadership as we set an example for others in Canada and around the world to follow, and I know that we all look forward to working together to build a strong, prosperous NWT.

This Assembly has a stated vision that includes, “Strong individuals, families and communities sharing the benefits and responsibilities of a unified, environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories.” With our Devolution Agreement, with our Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement and with our Intergovernmental Agreement we are helping to fulfil that promise. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 45-17(5): Signing Of Resource Revenue Sharing Agreement And Intergovernmental Agreement On Lands And Resource Management
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Lafferty.

Minister’s Statement 46-17(5): National Aboriginal Education Initiative
Ministers’ Statements

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to share with you an exciting initiative that will move forward some of our government’s top priorities, enabling Aboriginal youth to achieve their potential through quality education and developing home-grown solutions to our labour market challenges.

I am proud to announce that the Council of Ministers of Education Canada has asked me to co-lead a national initiative to improve Aboriginal education across Canada with my Alberta counterpart. This appointment recognizes our experience in developing residential school teaching resources in partnership with the

Government of Nunavut and the Legacy of Hope Foundation.

Last year I made a commitment to ensure that all NWT teachers are aware of the history and legacy of residential schools. We have now provided training to the majority of teachers and, by the end of this year, all teachers in the territory will have participated in this awareness training. We are recognized as a national leader in this area.

For the national initiative, I want to build on this experience as well as on the groundbreaking ideas in our new Education Renewal and Innovation Framework: Directions for Change. We have proposed to focus on post-secondary teacher training and the increased recruitment of Aboriginal teachers all across Canada.

We want to ensure all of Canada’s teachers acknowledge and have a clear understanding of our country’s past, specifically of the very real impacts of past residential schools on Aboriginal students today.

As such, we have also proposed to focus at the national level on encouraging more Aboriginal young people to pursue teaching as a career. Building a workforce of dedicated, local Aboriginal teachers will produce even greater benefits for our territory and our country.

Aboriginal teachers who are members of the community and who share the same culture and traditions are better equipped to bring the school into the community and the community into the school. Strengthening this relationship helps students understand the importance of, and builds strong bonds between, education and the community.

Mr. Speaker, Aboriginal youth are the fastest growing segment of our population and will play a key role in our country’s future. They are starting to look to our young people to fill worker shortages, both north and south of 60. Aboriginal students’ success stems from their sense of identity, growing up proud of themselves, their communities and their cultures. Increasing and retaining the number of Aboriginal teachers in our schools is an obvious way to support that student growth.

The support from my fellow Ministers of Education will underline the national understanding that we must offer equitable access to educational opportunities and services to Aboriginal students so they have the skills and knowledge they need to reach this potential.

It reinforces that we must do more than simply bridge the gap. We need to support young people’s educational success so they can live fulfilled lives and contribute to stable, healthy and productive communities and a prosperous country.

Members of this Assembly know that investments in our children are investments in the future of the NWT and our country. I am truly encouraged by the priority being given to improving education for Aboriginal youth by my fellow Education Ministers. I am equally proud to be able to put our territory on the national stage as we lead the way in Aboriginal education. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 46-17(5): National Aboriginal Education Initiative
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. The honourable Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Ramsay.

Minister’s Statement 47-17(5): Mineral Development Strategy Implementation Plan
Ministers’ Statements

Kam Lake

David Ramsay Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Mr. Speaker, mineral exploration and development is a cornerstone of the NWT economy. Ensuring the continuing health of this sector is critical if we want to grow our economy and achieve our vision of a strong, prosperous Northwest Territories. Last fall this government reached a major milestone when it released the NWT Mineral Development Strategy. This is a comprehensive plan to ensure the long-term growth of a sustainable mining industry that will create jobs and economic opportunities for the people of the NWT.

As Members of this Assembly are aware, this strategy was a partnership effort. It was developed in conjunction with the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines with extensive input from the mining industry, local and regional governments, and NWT residents from around the territory.

Mr. Speaker, we are developing an implementation plan to put the recommendations made in the Mineral Development Strategy into place. We expect to complete our plan by the end of March, but we are not waiting to get started and have already set the wheels in motion.

Although ITI has taken the lead on the development and implementation of the Mineral Development Strategy, other GNWT departments will play a key role. As the strategy involves several recommendations related to training, Aboriginal engagement and capacity building, sustainability promotion and regulation, we are working closely with other GNWT departments to ensure a cohesive approach.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is proposing to invest close to $2 million in initiatives outlined in the Mineral Development Strategy. By making immediate investments in the future of mineral development and exploration in the territory, we can transform our resource potential into real opportunities for our residents, businesses and communities across the NWT.

Solid geoscience information is the foundation on which resource development is built. A good

geoscience knowledge base represents a key competitive advantage for jurisdictions that want to attract mineral and petroleum resource investment. Through the Mineral Development Strategy, we will provide better and more comprehensive geoscience information and research.

Comprehensive, accurate identification of where these resources might be found is essential to making new discoveries and fostering new development.

We are also proposing to create a Mining Incentive Program aimed at attracting mineral exploration. These types of programs have been successful across Canada. Yukon is a prime example of where this has worked.

Earmarking funds to market the NWT as an attractive place for mineral exploration and development investment is also a key deliverable in the Mineral Development Strategy. We will also make investments to enhance Aboriginal engagement and community capacity building, which will assist organizations to prepare and participate in mineral developments in their area.

Mr. Speaker, these investments will play key roles addressing the decline in exploration expenditures and firmly establish the NWT as a favourable jurisdiction for sustained mineral exploration investment.

To ensure we stay on track, the implementation plan will contain a performance evaluation framework that will help to assess our progress. I look forward to returning to this Assembly annually to share our achievements.

Mr. Speaker, this government strongly supports a balanced approach to developing and advancing economic growth. Resource development must not only be environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable, it also needs to yield real economic benefits to NWT residents, communities and businesses.

The Mineral Development Strategy is part of this government’s plan to grow our economy, which also includes the Economic Opportunities Strategy, strategic infrastructure investments, and new energy and power system plans.

Alongside investments we are making in our people through initiatives like the Anti-Poverty Strategy and Early Childhood Development Framework, we are doing our part to help create a strong, prosperous Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 47-17(5): Mineral Development Strategy Implementation Plan
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. The honourable Minister of Health and Social Services, Mr. Abernethy.

Minister’s Statement 48-17(5): Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Pan-Territorial Symposium March 4 – 5, 2014
Ministers’ Statements

Great Slave

Glen Abernethy Minister of Health and Social Services

Mr. Speaker, investing in prevention, education and awareness, and early childhood development are priorities of the 17th Legislative Assembly.

On March 4th and 5th , the Department of Health and

Social Services will host the Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Partnership Symposium. The theme is Sharing Voices, Inspiring Hope: FASD in Northern Communities - Finding Solutions that Work.

Professionals and community workers will share information on innovative approaches and initiatives that are uniquely suited to northern communities and can both prevent FASD and improve the quality of life for people living with the disorder.

The Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Partnership, CNFASDP, is an alliance of the four western provinces and three territories. The goal of the partnership has been to develop a coordinated approach to the prevention of FASD and the care and support of those affected by FASD. The GNWT has been a proud partner in this work since 1999.

FASD is a major concern in our territory, and its social and economic impact has touched all of us either directly or indirectly. FASD is a preventable developmental disability that affects about 1 percent of the Canadian population. It cannot be cured and has lifelong impacts on individuals, their families and their communities.

Individuals with FASD have permanent brain damage from exposure to alcohol before birth. They need support throughout their lives to overcome challenges to their health, mental health, learning difficulties and behavioral problems that can lead to issues with addictions and involvement in the justice system. Our government is committed to preventing FASD and to supporting individuals affected by FASD.

Mr. Speaker, the symposium will give individuals affected by FASD, as well as their families, an opportunity to share their experiences and success stories. They will talk about what resources exist in their communities and how these resources can be better managed. They can then go back to their communities with new strategies to address FASD.

The symposium will help us to improve our network of community services and supports. I would like to acknowledge the work done by our partners to organize this symposium: Aboriginal governments and organizations, non-government organizations, professional associations, pan-territorial communities and the governments of Yukon and Nunavut.

With the support from these organizations, we are happy to announce a number of keynote speakers, including Dr. Sterling Clarren, who is the scientific director of Canada FASD Research Network and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington State; and Ms. Nancy Poole, who is the director of research and knowledge translation for the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health and the prevention lead for the CanFASD Research Network. These notable speakers, combined with our own local experts, will provide a great opportunity for learning.

Addressing FASD is an important step towards having sustainable, vibrant, safe communities, Mr. Speaker. This symposium will help further this goal. It also aligns with commitments made in the GNWT framework for early childhood development to ensure that expectant mothers have the support they need, whether it is help to stop drinking, to eat a healthy diet, to be protected from an abusive relationship or to get the best prenatal care possible.

This symposium will help us achieve our goal of ensuring families and individuals affected by FASD feel better supported within their communities and function more independently.

I look forward to sharing the final report from the symposium with my colleagues in this Assembly and the CanFASD Partnership. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 48-17(5): Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Pan-Territorial Symposium March 4 – 5, 2014
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Abernethy. Item 3, Members’ statements. The Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Education Week 2014
Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to speak on Education Week and to recognize the hard work of the Dehcho Divisional Board, the principals, teachers, assistants and all the hardworking staff that make education a success in our region and small communities.

Over the years during my tenure as MLA for Nahendeh, I’ve travelled to our communities and seen the teachers in our schools and admired the attention and care they give our students and the involvement they have in the communities. It really does take a special calibre of teacher to venture north and live in our small and remote communities, teach and learn with limited resources, basically, like 100 years ago with one-room schools. However, those resourceful teachers taught our best Canadians, created great minds that grew our great Canada. With these similar conditions, our

resourceful teachers are now growing our great Northwest Territories with bright, young Northerners that can, and will, lead us into the future.

I want to commend, once again, all our teachers for their great contributions in all aspects of community life, getting involved in after-hours activities such as sports, Cadets, Brownies and supporting cultural activities that are unique to us, for taking the time for fundraising, travel to tournaments, attend territorial and national championships not only with sports but in educational competitions as well. With continued support from our government, our Education Minister, we as MLAs, and all our leaders and communities, our teachers will continue to have success, inspire and support our students. We do have great educational champions in the Northwest Territories. Well done, educators and education boards. Keep up the good work.

Education Week 2014
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

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

Wellness Conference
Members’ Statements

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This past weekend I attended the second NWT Wellness Conference at Sir John Franklin High School, and joined my colleagues, Ms. Bisaro and the Premier, for a tour there. While the Premier may not be known for his flexibility in this House, you should have seen him in the yoga workshop. I had no idea the human body could do things like that. But the Premier was not the only one who put a lot of effort into this event.

There were plenty of dedicated volunteers and sponsors from the local business community, non-government organizations, talented care providers, and motivated citizens who deserve a hearty thank you for their hard work and contributions, and I should give a tip of the hat to Weledeh businesspeople Leanne Tait and Tami Johnson of Tait Communications, Wayne Guy of Guy Architects, Matthew Grogono of Old Town Glassworks, and Johanna Tiemessen, who is program coordinator.

Twenty-six trade show exhibitors included a wide variety of wellness options, medical and naturopathic doctors, traditional and natural healers, varied massage therapists, hard of hearing support, life coaches and an estate planning lawyer, to name just a few.

Besides eight informative workshops, the trade show and live demonstrations, the conference included four panels: Bridging the Gap: Allopathic and Naturopathic Medicine; Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace; Demystifying Energy Healing; Wellness-Connecting Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit.

Finally, inspirational music therapist Jennifer Buchanan was the keynote speaker and a moving music collaboration led by Weledeh VIP Pat Braden ended the conference in style.

This conference would not have been possible without the help of their very dedicated, thrifty and hardworking steering committee: Simone Goudreau, recruitment coordinator; Della Green, Aboriginal component; Tami Johnson, as I mentioned, marketing; Rhonda Miller, workshop and panel coordinator; Paul Gillard, logistics; Johanna Tiemessen, program coordinator; Peggy Holroyd, volunteer coordinator; and Sylvie Francoeur, coordinator (Ayni Conceptions). I’d like you to join me in thanking all these good, hardworking folks.

Wellness Conference
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Colleagues, today I would like to welcome and introduce a special group of international students that are here from Rotary International. They are joining us here in the House today from all over the world. Welcome to the Northwest Territories and welcome to Canada.

Member for Frame Lake, Ms. Bisaro.