This is page numbers 6259 – 6290 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 work.

Topics

Early Childhood Program Governance And Funding
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I want to revisit the subject of daycares and daycare funding. Over the years this government has repeatedly professed that children are important and that we care for our children, but the actions they’ve taken belie their words.

We don’t have many licenced daycares in the territory. Lots of communities have no daycare at all. Those licenced daycares which do exist in the NWT can get some funding from Education, Culture and Employment to help them with their operations, but it’s well-known that the current funding opportunities are not really working for them. For example, daycares are still funded based on daily attendance of children, an onerous and time-consuming practice that does not provide stable funding for the licenced daycare operator.

Education, Culture and Employment has, since last fall, been reviewing the Early Childhood Program with a focus on funding and governance. There are seven pages of the terms of reference for the review on the Education, Culture and Employment website, and it indicates that a report was due on March 31st of this year. Information went out late

last year to daycares about a survey they could participate in, and a symposium was to be held. According to the survey request from ECE, the focus of input was to be on administration and funding processes. Strangely, the survey targeted front-line staff, those working directly with children, those not usually involved in administrative duties. Why not target managers and operators?

But I’m very glad that this review was undertaken. It was long overdue. Little has been heard of the results of the review, however. Did the work actually get done? Was the symposium held? What were the results of the survey and the symposium? Was a report completed by March 31st as was

required by the terms of reference? Does the department have recommendations from the review for improvements to the administration and funding of daycares? Will we finally see changes to the way that daycares are funded? I have lots of questions and could find no answers anywhere on the Education, Culture and Employment website.

Changes are very much needed and I hope that change is coming. I will have questions for the Minister of ECE. I hope he will have the answers that I and others seek. Thank you.

Early Childhood Program Governance And Funding
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, Mr. Moses.

Respite Care Services
Members’ Statements

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. An aging population and aging family support system have major implications on our health care systems but, more importantly, on our respite services that are provided throughout the Northwest Territories and in our communities. I’ll take it a little bit further than that. It’s not only the aging population but we do have people in the Northwest Territories, whether it be a child or an adult, who are living with a disability or a chronic health condition. It could be physical, mental and, in some cases, cognitive impairment,

and they need assistance in their home, and their families need assistance providing those respite care services.

I want to talk about respite care services, talk about home care services, providing support workers, and even support for the support workers, creating instrumental activities so people who are under these conditions can actually live a daily lifestyle that you and I share, Mr. Speaker, or help them get reintegrated back into society.

Respite care has been reported to reduce the burden on families with family members who have developmental disabilities at home, relieves family stress, improves family functioning and also reduces social isolation for people with a chronic condition or disability. It gets them out in the community.

I know when we’ve extended health care services, we do provide long-term care services, we provide day programming, we do have home care services in the communities, but when you talk to our home care support staff, when you only have one in a community, they’re overburdened with the amount of elders they have to visit, the amount of children they have to visit, the amount of people who have developmental disabilities or other physical impairments.

We do have a lot of challenges in the Northwest Territories. For instance, we have eight communities without a nurse. We have health centres that are aging and depleting. We also have some facilities that don’t have gyms and other facilities where we can hold these day programs, and we also have some human resources issues, and more importantly, there’s always a financial burden when it comes to these kinds of discussions.

Most families pay out of pocket for respite services. In fact, those who can’t pay for it actually go without respite services.

I will be asking questions of the Minister of Health today how we can address those issues and give people who need that assistance the assistance. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Respite Care Services
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Moses. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, Mr. McLeod.

Spring Graduation Ceremonies
Members’ Statements

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m going to have track tryouts this afternoon out back. If you can walk that far, you’re on the team.

This is a great time across the Northwest Territories. With all the graduation ceremonies that are going on, it’s just a very positive time. In Inuvik we have a number of ceremonies that are taking

place. It starts right from the four-year-olds, the Aboriginal Head Start program, with their little gowns and they graduate into kindergarten. We have our kindergarten children graduating into Grade 1.

Then on Saturday in Inuvik, the East Three Secondary School is having their high school graduation ceremony. I think they have over 30 students this year graduating, so congratulations to them.

The learning centre, those who have gone back to try and upgrade their schooling so they could get into college, they’re having their completion ceremony, if they haven’t had it already.

At Aurora Campus a couple weeks ago, Member Moses and I had the privilege of attending. They had their convocation ceremony. They had a fantastic theme this year. It was Our Elders, Cultures and Traditions. They had the gym all decorated up with tents, and it was just a fantastic ceremony. I was pleased to be part of it.

There are a lot of proud families across the Northwest Territories; there’s a lot of positive energy; there’s a lot of enthusiasm; and I think we have to do what we can, as legislators, to tap into that positive energy and enthusiasm and work to give all our young people an opportunity. I think this government and governments before and governments that come after us will do that. We’ll work hard to give them an opportunity to further their education and make sure they come home to work.

I would like all Members to join me in congratulating all graduates across the Northwest Territories. This is a great time for all their families and themselves. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Spring Graduation Ceremonies
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Mr. Ramsay.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

May 29th, 2015

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s always a great day when we get students visiting us here at the Legislative Assembly. I have two great schools in my riding. One of those schools is St. Joseph School. I was mentioning to the kids out in the Great Hall earlier that I was a student at St. Joseph in Grade 6. So, it’s great to see them here visiting the Assembly today. This is a Grade 6 class. The teacher’s name is Amanda Delaurier. I’ll go through the students’ names: Jasmine Balsillie, Nolan Elliot, Aron Nathaniel Gomes, Avery Hacala, Tori Hamm, Keegan Head, Makayla Lane, Landon Lavers, Julia Leonardis, Elijah Loos, James MacCara, Lennie Mager, Juliet Mcguire, Raven Mutford, Madison Penney, Marianne Richard, Kyle Rogers, Katie Schauerte,

Olivia Talen, Ellie Mia Taylor and also Alyssa Vornbrock-Jaeb. Now, we had another class. I’m not sure if they’re up there, Ms. Booth’s class. If they’re up there, it looks like they’re gone, but I also want to thank Ms. Booth and her Grade 5/6 students who were here earlier visiting the Assembly. Thanks.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Mr. Menicoche.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I’m happy to have another student from Bompas Elementary join us here today and it’s my very own stepdaughter, Ms. Brittany Jewel Kendo. Welcome to the gallery. I just want to say she has been training hard to attend the track and field meet in Hay River as well. So, good luck with that.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you. Mr. Bromley.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to recognize our Pages today, particularly Emma Willoughby. I’m not sure if she’s in the House at this moment, but she’s around somewhere. Also, of course, I’d like to recognize her mother, Catherine Boyd, in the gallery with us today. Thanks very much for all of the things you do on behalf of the MLAs.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I missed the name of the young man for whom we applauded, but I just want to say there is a leader. As soon as Minister Ramsay started calling out the names, he pointed at every single person that was being introduced. They maybe were shy to introduce themselves, but he did that. Hey, you need one in every crowd. Way to go. Welcome.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery
Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. I’d like to welcome everybody here. Thank you for taking an interest in our proceedings here today. It is always good to see youth in the House. Item 6, acknowledgements. Item 7, oral questions. The Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 833-17(5): Morel Mushroom Harvesting Concerns
Oral Questions

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In response to Minister Ramsay’s statement today on morel mushrooms, I have a few questions. We have seen the morel mushroom pickers converge on Hay River. It’s an interesting group, the ones who are from outside of the Northwest Territories. You can recognize them readily. “Hi. You must be here to pick mushrooms.” That’s what I usually say to them. I can’t tell you why I recognize them, but anyway, they are coming in and the Minister has

indicated that this is an industry that could result in millions of dollars for harvesters. They say the department has offered on-site workshops.

I guess I have some concerns. It sounds like even from the Minister’s statement it’s creating a little tourism because there’s no rain, so there are no mushrooms to pick. So we’ve got all these people hanging around. So, good on Kakisa for taking an opportunity to do a little cultural awareness. That’s really great.

But anybody coming into the Northwest Territories who wants to fish, harvest firewood, transport goods into our territory, be a vendor in our territory, or even wants to go on a trip on the land, they generally have to check in with somebody. So here’s my concern. You have a lot of people from down south. No doubt the Northerners may be aware of some of the dangers of being in the bush, but these people say they’ve got camps set up all over the place. I say, “Where’s your camp?” “Oh, it’s 150 miles down, you know, the Kakisa River, or wherever.” I’m concerned that, yes, this may generate a lot of money, but how much is it going to cost us when one campfire or one cigarette butt goes into our extremely dry forest and burns the Northwest Territories down? Thank you.