This is page numbers 4285 - 4326 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 public.

Topics

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you. It's a given that we have many NGOs offering similar programs, sometimes overlapping mandates and duplication of synergies. What is the Premier prepared to do to assist these NGOs streamline their operation and stretch our funding dollars? Thank you.

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

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Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you. The Government of the Northwest Territories does not prescribe NGO mandates or activities. What we do is we assist them. So with the NGO Stabilization Fund, for example, we provide short-term support to NGOs for governance, management, organizational development and extraordinary operations so that they can continue to provide the essential services.

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you. Will the Premier commit to developing an NGO support office similar to what we see with the BDIC, but which helps emergent NGOs get on their feet and address my earlier questions assisting existing NGOs streamline their operations and maximize their funding? Thank you.

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you. Yellowknife used to have a storefront for voluntary organizations and it was not very well utilized. At the end of the day it was shut down, so we're using other processes to assist NGOs. Thank you.

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

Page 4294

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

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

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can the Premier share what the Department of Executive is doing right now, because their website is currently a little outdated, and what are they going to do to reach out and assist NGOs seeking funding for the upcoming 2014-2015 fiscal year? Thank you.

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

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Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

I'm not sure when the Member checked the website, but I checked it today and it looked like it was updated. But for the Member's information, for 2013-14 there were 16 applications and 11 organizations were granted funding. For this upcoming year we have guaranteed that we will have our request for applications before the end of May and that we will have the money out before the end of July. Thank you.

Question 257-17(5): Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization
Oral Questions

Page 4294

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The Member for Hay River North, Mr. Bouchard.

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last week I had questions for the Minister of Education on junior kindergarten. I want to follow up with some questions about the funding for other programs that are going to be affected by junior kindergarten.

Has the Department of Education looked into the effects of taking four-year-olds out of the systems we have? I'll use Hay River as an example, obviously. We have a playschool, we have Growing Together and we have a Head Start program. These are programs that are affected by that, so I'm wondering if the department has looked into the effect of the enrolment in those departments by introducing junior kindergarten.

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

Page 4294

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bouchard. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Lafferty.

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

The introduction of junior kindergarten this fall, the following year in Hay River is not meant to replace other high quality programming being delivered in Hay River, playschool or Head Start programming. We are providing families of the NWT with a high quality, affordable education option for four-year-olds.

The early childhood program continues to provide ongoing funding through all these licenced daycares and family day homes, as Members alluded to earlier. This also addresses where we have different pots of funding that I've highlighted in the House, I believe it was last week or the week before. Language Nest funding like the Small Communities Initiative, some Small Communities Initiative funding, Healthy Children Initiative funding. Part of the funding that we provide to licenced child care programming or licenced daycare programming is to offset the costs of operating, whether it be the day home or the licenced operators. We will continue to provide that funding to these establishments.

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

I guess the issue is if those organizations don't have four-year-olds, are they funded per capita or per student? How will they continue to exist? Will the enrolments be so declined that they will not be able to operate? Has the department looked at that enrolment and do they fund per student?

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

We made some changes to our early childhood programming and then based on the student attendance and the reporting mechanism and so forth. We're trying to make it easier for the licenced operators to function effectively and efficiently. Yes, my department, again, is working very closely with operators in the Northwest Territories, not only Hay River but other communities that have four-year-olds going into the school system, because we're fully aware that the planned focus will be zero to three, so that's the planned target. We're doing what we can to subsidize them with all the program subsidizations that we currently offer.

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

Page 4294

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

I've received information from one of the organizations, the Head Start program, that basically they had been informed that they are now a zero to three not a three/four, and I guess they're quite disturbed in the fact that they have been running this for over 20 years. They were asked to realign after the Department of Education has done that.

How can the Minister justify that we're changing the focus to zero to three when these organizations were established to do three to four?

Question 258-17(5): Potential Impacts Of Junior Kindergarten
Oral Questions

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Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Early childhood consultants have been working with the operators throughout the Northwest Territories. We will continue to do so. These are just some of the areas that have been in discussion with the operators. We're offering a free junior kindergarten to the Northwest Territories and allowing more focus on the zero to three as we move forward this fall, the following year and also the third year phased approach. The free junior kindergarten has been offered as a free basis. It has been a fee-for-service in some of the communities. This is an opportunity for those individuals, the parents, the single parents that cannot afford junior kindergarten.