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

Member's Statement On Local Food Production
Members' Statements

Page 4287

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, Mr. Moses.

Member's Statement On Medical Travel And Accommodation Concerns
Members' Statements

Page 4287

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to focus my Member's statement today on another concern and issue that we have with our Medical Travel Policy. As Members who represent people of the public, we come across situations that we don't always account for or ever think that would happen. This was the case of one my most recent situations, where an individual who was travelling inside the Northwest Territories - or any individual, for that matter, who runs into some unforeseen health issues and whether or not our government takes care of them while they are in the situation when they might have been travelling for personal or other business issues throughout the Northwest Territories. That's just the issue that I'm dealing with right now.

I'm not sure how many other MLAs or residents of the Northwest Territories might have run into this problem, where they went travelling for other business for their work or, like I said, other personal commitments, and received some medical attention and were refused. This is the situation: they were refused possible accommodations, even a boarding home, as well as refused possible transportation upon returning to their home when they had to go back to a small community. In such cases, when a person is travelling from a small community, they have some kind of charter vehicle or something to get them back in a proper time after their personal or their work-related events happen, and in this case it was work related and they did miss a charter and a shuttle in and now they're a little concerned about how they're going to get back home to the community.

I will ask questions to the Minister of Health in dealing with these kinds of situations when there are unexpected medical issues that happen for our residents of the Northwest Territories who are travelling inside the Northwest Territories when medical travel has told them that they won't be able to help them out because they weren't sent out of their home community on their medical travel. That needs to be dealt with.

I will ask questions of the Minister of Health later, on some of these policies and how we can change them and, in this certain case, how can we make things better for the resident and for their family and for other people in the Northwest Territories. Thank you.

Member's Statement On Medical Travel And Accommodation Concerns
Members' Statements

Page 4288

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

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

Member's Statement On NWT Teachers' Association Workload Study
Members' Statements

Page 4288

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last week the Northwest Territories Teachers' Association released a pan-northern study on teacher workload, entitled “Understanding Teacher Workloads.”

It is significant to me that the findings from this study are consistent with national and international research. In fact, across many sectors in North America, overwork is a growing problem marked by work intensification. This report's findings show that although NWT teachers love their jobs and their students, they are burning themselves out, trying to deliver a quality product within a system that is not supporting their efforts.

Northern teachers are consistently being asked to do more and more with less and less. We must ever be mindful that teachers' work environments are our children's learning environments. If working conditions are putting our teachers at risk of burnout and stress, this has a negative effect on the quality of NWT children's education.

The report finds that NWT teachers are struggling with increasing demands and fewer resources. These demands include such things as:

  • diverse needs and academic abilities amongst the children in any classroom;
  • student absenteeism;
  • lack of clerical support and classroom assistants;
  • lack of time for planning and professional collaboration;
  • a perpetual cycle of new teachers leaving the communities and/or the profession due to stress or isolation; and
  • stress from non-instructional issues.

This report also includes recommendations for positive change, including such things as:

  • creating flexible curriculums supported by capacity and time to do things;
  • building time into the teacher's day for professional collaboration;
  • support for unworkable systems, multiple grades, ability levels and increasing students' needs in the classrooms;
  • recognition and support for workloads, which include increased reporting, changing curriculums, evolving assessment requirements and societal demands;
  • supporting teachers in classrooms with adequate numbers of EAs and coordination with other community supports, social services, health care and so on.

I applaud the NWTTA for their initiative in doing this study and sharing the findings with all education stakeholders. I sincerely hope that the Department of Education, Culture and Employment will seriously consider the report and its findings as it moves ahead with their Education Renewal and Innovation Initiative and that the Minister will continue to work with the NWTTA to make things better for all our NWT teachers. Thank you.

Member's Statement On NWT Teachers' Association Workload Study
Members' Statements

Page 4288

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Hawkins.

Member's Statement On International Women's Day
Members' Statements

Page 4288

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Saturday, March 8th, was International Women's Day, a time to celebrate the achievement of women and what they have accomplished here in the North, across Canada and certainly across the world.

I personally support the equality of women in all aspects of our world and certainly in our lives. All women so readily deserve our love, appreciation and definitely our respect.

Women, as we know, are equal contributors to the world we know and they must not be thought of in any lesser manner. They are recognized leaders in all aspects of business, politics, academics, sports and family. The results of their work and dedication can be found everywhere we look. Simply, more can be done to recognize the impacts women make in our lives. Sadly, they do not get the recognition they deserve and at times they absolutely have crimes against them, which is certainly unfair and we must highlight the accomplishments and support them in many ways.

At the same time, many women, both young and old, have been unfairly targeted by others through violence and exploitation. We need to look no further than the recently deeply disappointing example in Ottawa, where a Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women failed to act. I believe they failed not just Aboriginal women but all women and girls across Canada and the world through their inaction. Without proceeding to a formal inquiry to address this terrible, terrible problem on addressing the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada, they have failed them.

So, here is a clear example on how women are not being supported in Canada. I certainly hope our territory stands up loud and clear and expresses its objection. We must do everything we can to support women to help them through the education of everyone, and certainly through our actions here as men. We must all join together, because a woman's fight is a man's fight as well. We must help them in their relentless struggle for gender equality, which certainly they deserve.

On the weekend, the wise women that certainly deserved our recognition were Karen Willy, Pamela Faith Gordon, Patricia Modeste, Sister Margaret Beaudette and Harriet Geddes.

Of course, I must make sure I mention that wise woman in my life would be, of course, my wife, and I'm very grateful for her, but I especially want to acknowledge the wise woman in my life who I look towards the most, which, of course, is my mother.

I draw this attention because I say in closing that there is so much to celebrate, but to support women on every single occasion we must continue with the work that needs to be done. I believe we can do this through making it a better world and we can do this, certainly, together. I ask all men to join together in the women's fight for equality.

Member's Statement On International Women's Day
Members' Statements

Page 4289

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Hawkins. The Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Nadli.

Member's Statement On Local Water Treatment Plants
Members' Statements

Page 4289

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Each year we spend thousands of dollars servicing the communities of Enterprise and Kakisa with the water truck from Hay River. As expensive as it may be to build and maintain water treatment plants, by now the cost of trucking water has paid for local water treatment systems.

Kakisa is right beside the lake. It's time to find creative solutions for the construction and operation and maintenance of water treatment plants for both of these communities.

A number of years ago, a hamlet in Sweden with a similar population as Kakisa and Enterprise, came up with six different water treatment options for decision-makers to consider. All of these options met or exceeded standards for quality, cleanliness, community capacity and environmental responsibility.

Water treatment plants are fully operational in communities throughout all three territories and in remote work camps that serve 10 times the number of people living in Kakisa and Enterprise. That proves that water treatment plants can be established in these communities too.

Both Enterprise and Kakisa want to explore the possibly of partnerships between government, local development corporations, band councils and even private industry to fund local water treatment systems. The proposed wood pellet plant in Enterprise will need a water supply and so do the campgrounds at Enterprise and Kakisa. Further development of both of those areas could provide a reliable, long-term partner in the operation of water treatment plants.

We are all aware that water treatment plants need to meet a comprehensive list of standards and codes. It is absolutely necessary that the systems in our communities meet or exceed these standards. Trucked-in water from Hay River guarantees a certain water quality, but in the long term, local water treatment is by far the safest, least expensive option for any municipality. Safe, reliable, functional water and sewer systems are integral to our standard of living. The construction and operation of local water treatment plants is essential to all of our communities. I urge this government to rise to the challenge and work together to reach the solutions that Enterprise and Kakisa need.

Member's Statement On Local Water Treatment Plants
Members' Statements

Page 4289

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

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

Member's Statement On 2014 Arctic Winter Games
Members' Statements

Page 4289

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was able to go back to Hay River this weekend and saw that there were biathletes training in Hay River for the Arctic Winter Games. Today I thought I'd recognize all those athletes out there practicing and training throughout the Northwest Territories for the Arctic Winter Games next week.

I'd like to commend all those people that have helped them, the coaches, their parents. I look forward to being at the Arctic Winter Games next week. We have 35 athletes and six coaches from Hay River ourselves, and many of their parents are travelling to Fairbanks, Alaska, to be there.

Twenty-six years ago I was there curling in Fairbanks. We ended up with a silver ulu, and I think it's a great event for most of the youth.

I'd like to read out the youth that are coming from Hay River as well as the coaches: Kaed Blake, Tori Blake, Nicholas Cockney, Clell Crook, Michaela Crook, Kiel Crook, Elli Cunningham, Daniel DaRose, Joel Demarcke, Cordell Gagnier, Logan Gagnier, Jeffrey Groenheyde, Rachel Harder, Bryn Hill, Carter Hill, Alex Huang, Fiona Huang, Calvin King, Paige Kruger, Jared LeBlanc, Andrew Lirette, Tanner Mandeville, Dawson McMeekin, Daniel Melanson, Lochlan Munro, Elliot Pinto, Simon Pittman, Cassidy Ring, Drake Roberts, Brooke Schaefer, Kara Schaefer, Nathan Schepher and Levon Schumann.

The coaches are Claude Crook, Coady Duncan, Charges Lirette, Lorraine McDonald, Curtis Rowe and, obviously, Mr. Paul Delorey for junior curling.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish everybody good luck and let's bring home some ulus. Thank you.

Member's Statement On 2014 Arctic Winter Games
Members' Statements

Page 4290

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bouchard. The honourable Member for Range Lake, Mr. Dolynny.

Member's Statement On Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization Fund
Members' Statements

March 10th, 2014

Page 4290

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Non-government organizations, or NGOs, are non-profit citizen groups who provide essential services to our residents. Everything from feeding the hungry and housing the homeless to providing child care, safe shelters or counselling services for youth and those with addictions or legal issues.

NGOs face unimaginable challenges in doing the work they do. They rely on a core of selfless volunteers who work long hours with little support because they believe in helping others in their communities.

They lack funds and often make do with less than adequate facilities, yet somehow year after year they continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and underprivileged among us.

Where is the GNWT in all this? Our NGO funding policy makes a paltry $350,000 per year available to eligible NGOs that meet our vaguely defined criteria. This $350,000 hasn't changed since the policy inception in 2010-2011.

Let's put this in perspective. In 2012-2013, 27 organizations applied for funding totalling over $1 million of ask. Of the 27, less than half, 11 applicants, shared in the funding and of those, only three got the full amount they requested.

Only three out of 27 had their funding needs met, yet the GNWT's own policy says that this elusive funding is for NGOs to “deliver programs and services that the GNWT considers critical and which the GNWT would deliver directly if the NGO were not able to do so.”

Further, for those NGOs seeking funding for the coming 2014-2015 fiscal year, information is non-existent. Information on the Department of Executive's website is a year old and provides deadlines for applicants for last year's allocations. I think this speaks volumes about how critical the GNWT really thinks the work of NGOs is.

Members of this House have asked repeatedly for funding for NGOs to be increased, but this alone is not enough. The time NGO volunteers spend fundraising is time they are not spending helping those in need. NGOs need clarity and reliability of funding. They need accurate, up-to-date information. NGOs need a clear decision-making process for funding applications and a list of what the government considers to be priority of critical services.

We need to do more for these NGOs who do not qualify for funding so they can become better qualified.

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

---Unanimous consent granted

Member's Statement On Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization Fund
Members' Statements

Page 4290

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

We should be providing services to assist emergent NGOs and to take a look at existing stable NGOs to see where there are overlaps in synergies, so we can assist these NGOs to streamline these operations and stretch our funding dollars.

This government has a responsibility to stop paying lip service to NGOs and to start to recognize NGOs as a valued and essential resource. It's time the government stopped inadequate, piecemeal funding for services that are, by its own admission, critical to NWT residents.

It is time for the government to implement an integrated approach to working with NGOs in the true spirit of partnership. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement On Non-governmental Organizations Stabilization Fund
Members' Statements

Page 4290

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Dolynny. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. The honourable Premier, Mr. McLeod.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 4290

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased to recognize my wife of 40 years and my lifelong partner, and also another constituent of Yellowknife South, Carmelita Allen. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.