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This is from the 18th Assembly, 3rd 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

Summer Student Employment
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Recognition Of The 99th Birthday Of Persis Gruben Ayownik
Members' Statements

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today is a special day in Nunakput and the Northwest Territories because it is Persis Gruben Ayownik's 99th birthday. She's not only the oldest person in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, but the only survivor of Shingle Point Residential School, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, Persis' mother Sarah widowed very young, as Persis' father died in an accident before Persis was even born. Most of Sarah's relatives suggested that she put her daughter up for adoption, but Sarah was determined to keep her. Sarah married once more to an lnuk man named Lennie lnglangasuk at the age of 18, and Persis was brought to Banks Island.

Old man Lennie was the only father she had ever known. Lennie adopted Persis as his very own daughter, and Persis never stopped loving him, as he was very good to her. Despite her background as a Gwich'in woman, she learned lnuvialuktun and many Inuk dialects., but don't ever call her Gwich'in. I've been warned, so she says.

Persis and her family have travelled all over the Arctic waters of Northern Canada in her father's schooner in the 1920s, going from one adventure to the next. Some of these adventures were when Persis saved their stranded schooner with her stockings, or when she and her sister shot a polar bear from the deck of the schooner and fleshed it before they starved to death, or the time they amounted $60,000 dollars in one year from a combination of an abundant fox harvest and high-quality sewing, or when she met Charlie Gruben in Aklavik and they married in 1937.

In 1956, Persis returned to Tuktoyaktuk, and then her adventures never stopped, such as when she had to dig her infant daughter Eileen out of the snow from a dog sled mishap in 1949. Persis had 11 children in total. Starting from the oldest, Agnes, John, Mabel, Frank, Sammy, Sarah, Eileen, Freddy, Buddy, Lena, and her youngest and most favourite, Chucky, so he says.

Mr. Speaker, Persis has been known for her good sewing skills, proven by her exotic sewing designs. Mr. Speaker, people young and old still approach her for information on the lnuvialuit culture.

Mr. Speaker, please join me as we wish Persis a happy 99th birthday, and let's get to see elders living strong and a long time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of The 99th Birthday Of Persis Gruben Ayownik
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Mackenzie Valley Highway Project
Members' Statements

October 20th, 2017

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, as we conclude our session for the 2017 calendar year and look forward to the resources of next year's fiscal proposal with high hopes of Infrastructure budget releases.

Mr. Speaker, this brings to the mandate of this government and my 2015 election priorities of working towards supporting the construction for the long-desired project, the Mackenzie Valley highway. Mr. Speaker, today I highlight the continuous efforts by our group as follows.

This Infrastructure is an already-supported highway by the previous Assembly, for an application submitted to the federal government dated March 2014. The main project scope involves 330 kilometres of roadway from Wrigley to Norman Wells at the capital cost of $700 million, and this includes the 470-metre span bridge crossing the Great Bear River at the junction of Tulita and the Mackenzie. Project embankment and project bridge expenditures will contribute 28 per cent in the Deh Cho, and 72 per cent in the Sahtu.

Mr. Speaker, the project will see growth in the NWT and national gross domestic product, affordable access for public, industry, and government goods and services. The project will see growth in the Sahtu and, most of all, "unlocking the potential," thus allowing the Sahtu to provide meaningful economic contributions by being an active economic player and providing access to 26 per cent of the NWT land quantum.

Mr. Speaker, maintaining the balance of fiscal policy and our region's continued efforts, we hold by developing a multi-program financing model that would be supportive by all stakeholders on a sectional approach, as we understand without financing or funding, we have no programming or projects.

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

---Unanimous consent granted

Mackenzie Valley Highway Project
Members' Statements

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, colleagues. Mr. Speaker, other NWT areas have and will enjoy economic infrastructure benefits. The Sahtu, in particular the community of Tulita, looks forward to advancing the shovel-ready Bear River Bridge which was procured in 2006.

Later Mr. Speaker, I will have questions for the appropriate Minister for a joint advancing. Mahsi.

Mackenzie Valley Highway Project
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Issues With Public Housing Modular Units
Members' Statements

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the life of this Assembly, the NWT Housing Corporation has brought a number of modular units into our small communities in an effort to tackle public housing infrastructure needs. So far in my riding, Aklavik has received two units, and Tsiigehtchic has received one. NWT communities can anticipate additional units in the future.

There is no doubt that adequate, affordable housing is a major need in the Northwest Territories, from the small communities to the regional centres and Yellowknife. The Housing Corporation's strategy is one of cost savings, moving away from more durable, long-lasting stick-built homes and relying on modular units built somewhere else and trucked or barged in.

Mr. Speaker, myself and many of my colleagues have repeatedly warned the government that their search for cost savings through modular units means expenses crop up somewhere else. Specifically, it means that jobs, including opportunities to access training, gain work experience, build skills, and bring an income, are taken away from the small communities.

There is also the question of quality. Some of my constituents worry about the quality and durability of these trailers compared to stick-built units, especially through the severe winters in remote communities. They wonder about the unit's life span and what kind of value for money the units will have in the long run.

When I spoke about the local housing organizations yesterday, I highlighted the Housing Corporation's work to support housing leadership and decision-making in the communities at the community level, helping communities take a leadership role with all of the benefits that it brings, but the same philosophy applies to construction, too, not just property management.

Residents want to play their part in their communities, Mr. Speaker, and they want to work. They do not want to keep watching jobs go elsewhere. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I will have questions later today.

Issues With Public Housing Modular Units
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Status Of Government Legislative Initiatives
Members' Statements

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share my dismay with the glacial pace with which Cabinet is advancing legislation during this 18th Assembly. The pace is so slow that we have no hope of accomplishing all of the proposed legislative initiatives that we inherited from the 17th Assembly and those that come from our mandate.

Mr. Speaker, reviewing, debating, and approving legislation is one of our most fundamental tasks as Members. It is our responsibility to write laws that respond to the needs of residents and to provide them with good governance.

At this midway point of our term, we have passed 33 bills. Half of them are about money, including appropriations and supplementary appropriations for both the operations and capital budgets. Of the other half, most bills were small in scope, where a tweak or an update was required to existing legislation. In two years, in my estimation, we have dealt with only five bills with any substance that were not mandatory money bills. There has been less legislation passed in the first two years of this Assembly than in either the 16th or 17th Assemblies.

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped the government would pick up the pace as this third session of the Assembly gets under way, but that is not happening. Just one non-money bill has been introduced.

It is not as if there is no need for new legislation. There is work under way on the new Mineral Resources Act. The Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs outlined an ambitious legislative agenda earlier this month, including replacing the Civil Emergency Measures Act, updating the Fire Prevention Act, and amending the Cities, Towns, and Villages Act, but we have yet to see this legislation. The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources told us earlier this month there are four pieces of legislation he would like to update, including the Forest Management Act and the Waters Act, but again, we have nothing in hand today to review. Our mandate commits us to closing our term with an Ombudsman Act in place. The point is that every department has a list of legislation it plans to introduce during this 18th Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, we are about to begin a three-and-a-half-month recess with only one bill to review. Next year, if everything on the legislative agenda comes to fruition, the various standing committees will be hard-pressed to keep up. In fact, as I have said earlier, it is impossible for us to complete all the legislative initiatives government is contemplating at the pace it is moving. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Thank you.

---Unanimous consent granted

Status Of Government Legislative Initiatives
Members' Statements

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi. In fact, it is impossible for us to complete all the legislative initiatives government is contemplating at the pace it is moving. I will have questions for the Premier about our progress through the legislative agenda. Mahsi.

Status Of Government Legislative Initiatives
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Midwifery Services In The Northwest Territories
Members' Statements

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. Midwifery: where to begin? We go back to the last Assembly in 2012, when public advocacy prompted the government to commission a Midwifery Review and Expansion Analysis Report. That report recommended options for expansion of midwifery service, including creating a territorial model based out of Yellowknife in 2015-2016, so that the full rollout could be done in 2016-2017. Mr. Speaker, that was last year.

The Minister stated in July 2015 that he was still committed to introducing midwifery services, but then there was no money; so a further study and further public consultation was commissioned by the department, staffed by two term consultants. In explaining the intended outcomes of this study, the Minister said on June 1, 2016, "We have those consultants in place. They're working on evaluation frameworks, not to reinvestigate it, but to help us develop a territorial model."

The report that was recently released is sorely lacking. Basically, this is because none of the three stated purposes of the study was to recommend a preferred plan for establishing midwifery services. The study only looked at:

• perceived gaps in service;

• potential enhancements for an integrated midwifery program; and

• potential support for community health nurses.

It is not surprising the report only recommended further study, examining the feasibility of midwifery expansion to Hay River as a regional program and the reinstatement of the Yellowknife position with travel resources to enable travel to other communities, and yet more study, examining the feasibility of an integrated Beaufort Delta service establishment and proposals for service to Behchoko.

It is not clear what the next steps may be.

I cannot describe my disappointment in reading that, when it comes to establishing actual positions in communities, we are still stuck in the "feasibility" stage. How many more studies will this take? The Minister promised that we would get a proposal for a territorial midwifery program, not a proposal for more studies. I will have questions during the upcoming business plans on what is being done right now and when we are going to see a territorial midwifery program with services available in Yellowknife. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Midwifery Services In The Northwest Territories
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Ingraham Trail Road Safety And Maintenance
Members' Statements

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, this morning there was another highway accident on the Ingraham Trail outside Yellowknife. Like many previous incidents, this one took place on the section of highway near the Prosperous Lake boat launch. This is a challenging stretch of road, Mr. Speaker.

Already this morning I have been contacted by both the media and my constituents who live along the Ingraham Trail. They are understandably concerned about the safety of the road they rely on and drive every day.

Again, we have a reminder about the importance of focusing and taking deliberate action to make our roads as safe as possible. I have raised the question of ongoing maintenance and improvement of this road with the Minister on numerous occasions, and I commend him that I have always received forthright and positive responses. I have seen myself that the department works hard to make continuing improvements in the highway's condition.

I don't yet know much, but as far as I can determine this morning's accident did not incur serious results, but it serves as a reminder that we cannot rest in facing challenges of public safety on our roads. Like other NWT highways, the Ingraham Trail grows busier every year, and we are soon to enter its busiest season.

Along with maintenance and improvements, we must also continue to emphasize and support driver education and safe driving habits. While capital investment is needed to promote safety on all our roadways, efforts to educate our travelling public, and prevent drinking and driving cannot be overemphasized. Motor vehicle accidents can be avoided through a combination of safe driving practices and infrastructure, maintenance, and upgrading. Our government must continue to support both.

I will have questions for the Minister of Infrastructure at the appropriate time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Ingraham Trail Road Safety And Maintenance
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.