This is page numbers 1535 – 1562 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 2nd 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 budget.


Members Present

Hon. Glen Abernethy, Mr. Beaulieu, Mr. Blake, Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Ms. Green, Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Hon. Bob McLeod, Hon. Robert McLeod, Mr. McNeely, Hon. Alfred Moses, Mr. Nadli, Mr. O’Reilly, Hon. Wally Schumann, Hon. Louis Sebert, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Vanthuyne.

The House met at 1:32 p.m.


The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Good afternoon, Members. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Minister of Transportation.

Wally Schumann

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, investments in our transportation system are critical for creating economic and social opportunities for Northerners. The Department of Transportation’s commitment to securing federal funding to advance the Mackenzie Valley Highway under the mandate of the 18th Legislative Assembly is intended to capture these kinds of opportunities.

We are already seeing the benefits of road construction in the Beaufort Delta, where the northernmost section of the Mackenzie Valley Highway, the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway, is nearly completed. Improved access and significant training and employment has positioned the residents of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk to take advantage of future opportunities related to resource development and tourism and will result in a lower cost of living.

Mr. Speaker, now is the time to start bringing benefits like these to the residents of the Sahtu. We know that the suspension of oil production in Norman Wells is currently contributing to economic uncertainty for many residents. More than ever, we need to invest in projects that generate employment and reduce the cost of living in this region.

On January 5th, the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories gave the region some positive news with the announcement of funding for the Canyon Creek all-season access road. The Government of Canada is contributing $15 million, or 75 per cent, towards the construction costs of this project, while the GNWT is providing the

remaining $5 million, or 25 per cent. The project involves the construction of a 14 kilometre access road south of the Town of Norman Wells, providing access to granular resources and traditional Sahtu lands which may be used for recreation, tourism, and business development.

Construction alone is expected to create 50 jobs, general training opportunities for 12 individuals, and heavy equipment operator training for 16 individuals. The skills and experience gained by the Sahtu residents involved in the project will help prepare them to participate fully in the eventual construction of the Mackenzie Valley Highway. Construction will also benefit a host of local and northern suppliers of things like construction equipment, signage, and building materials. Project construction is expected to begin this March, and the direct employment benefits will be spread over nearly two years, which is when the project is expected to be completed.

The Canyon Creek all-season access road represents another step towards replacing the existing Mackenzie Valley winter road with an all-weather corridor, which remains the ultimate solution to improving transportation access throughout the Mackenzie Valley.

Mr. Speaker, construction of the Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Norman Wells will reduce the impacts of climate change on the Northwest Territories' transportation system, which are shortening the window of operation for winter roads. A more resilient transportation system will also result in efficiencies in the delivery of essential goods and materials to communities. The savings realized by the trucking industry will be passed on to consumers for household necessities and lower the cost of supplies required for the construction of houses, schools, and medical care facilities.

Improved intercommunity mobility will also allow residents better access to services that may not be immediately available in their own community. Businesses will be connected to other markets, supporting economic growth. The improved access will also reduce the cost of industry exploration and development, opening up new areas for mineral potential and increasing the attractiveness of continued petroleum production and development in the Sahtu. The Mackenzie Valley Highway is critical to unlocking much of the still untapped resource potential of the region. Tourism in remote communities throughout the Mackenzie Valley is also expected to increase with the completion of the all-weather highway.

The Department of Transportation continues to build political support for construction of the Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Norman Wells. This project is in the mandate approved by the Legislative Assembly, and we will work with the Sahtu to see it through.

The department has submitted a business case requesting $700 million in federal funding under the National Infrastructure Fund of the New Building Canada Plan. While the federal government’s review of this funding submission is currently suspended pending a decision by Canada regarding its long-term infrastructure funding plan, new opportunities for funding may become available with the upcoming federal budget. In the meantime, the Department of Transportation continues identifying ways to advance critical components of the envisioned highway, including the Great Bear River Bridge.

Mr. Speaker, the construction of the Mackenzie Valley Highway remains a high priority for Northerners. The Department of Transportation continues to pursue opportunities to advance the project. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources.

Robert C. McLeod

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on the progress made on the development of a range plan for the Bathurst caribou herd. As Members may be aware, cumulative impact concerns were raised during environmental assessments of the Gahcho Kue, Fortune Minerals NICO project, and the Jay Pipe project expansion. Each environmental assessment recommended that the Government of the Northwest Territories develop approaches for cumulative effects monitoring.

In response to these concerns and measures, the Government of the Northwest Territories began a collaborative process in 2014 for development of a range plan to reduce and manage disturbance to caribou and caribou habitat from human and natural change. This initiative supports the following two priorities of this Legislative Assembly and the mandate:

● improving coordination and effectiveness in resource management systems, recognizing traditional knowledge, land claims agreements and devolution; and

● effective co-management of caribou herds.

Mr. Speaker, a working group which includes representatives from federal, territorial, and Aboriginal governments, industry, wildlife co-management boards, Aboriginal and non-government organizations has been meeting to discuss and consider management options for a Bathurst caribou range plan.

I am pleased to report the working group has completed a draft discussion document on concept and approaches that could be used to develop the range plan. The document will be used to engage Aboriginal governments, regulators, communities, stakeholders, and the public on management options and potential tools.

These tools include:

● cumulative disturbance thresholds which reflect limits of acceptable change based on ecological, cultural, social and economic values and perspectives;

● conservation areas to formally protect important migration corridors and sensitive habitats;

● activity guidelines to manage locations and timing of human land use activities to reduce direct impact on caribou when they are in certain areas at certain times; and

● access management approaches to address issues such as construction methods and route orientation to reduce barriers to caribou movement, consolidation of routes, and use of seasonal roads.

Engagement on the concepts and approaches to protect important caribou habitat will start in the next few weeks.

Mr. Speaker, decisions about caribou management is a shared responsibility and must consider ecological, cultural, and economic values to achieve balanced outcomes.

I encourage Aboriginal governments, communities, decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public to review, discuss, and provide feedback on these options so we can achieve balance in managing the range of the Bathurst caribou herd for the benefit of current and future generations. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Minister of Public Works and Services.

Wally Schumann

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories Energy Strategy will support the transition to a lower carbon economy in the NWT in the transportation, heating, electricity, and industrial sectors by supporting efficiency as well as renewable and alternative energy solutions.

Hearing from NWT residents is an important part of developing our strategy, and we started hosting a series of regional public engagement sessions to inform both the Energy Strategy and the Climate Change Strategic Framework in November. We have already been to Inuvik, Norman Wells, Yellowknife, and Fort Smith, and will go to Fort Simpson, Hay River, and Behchoko over the coming weeks. To help frame our public engagements, we have already released an Energy Strategy Discussion Guide, which is also available online.

Mr. Speaker, to make sure that workshop participants properly represented regional interests, the Government of the Northwest Territories brought in stakeholders from the surrounding communities to take part.

The format for these sessions is a two-day invitational workshop along with an evening public session. This approach makes it possible to have participants focus on the Energy Strategy for one day and the Climate Change Strategic Framework on the second day.

These workshops have been well-attended, with roughly 200 participants so far. Feedback has been positive, with participants saying that the format helped them take part in both engagements in a meaningful way.

Through these engagements we heard that energy affordability is a major concern. We also heard that the Government of the Northwest Territories should improve its outreach on energy and how it communicates so people have a better understanding of the Northwest Territories' energy system. It was of great interest to us when many participants expressed desire to be more involved as part of the solution through cooperation and partnership.

Participants generally said, we need to do more to support local renewable and alternative energy. This means solutions addressing affordability as well as greenhouse gas emissions for electricity, heating, and transportation.

We also collected significant feedback on how to support the public on making energy efficiency improvements. Participants expressed that the Government of the Northwest Territories should help more with more upfront, flexible, and expanded programs and services. The input we receive as part of these engagements will be used to help us review energy efficiency programs and services provided by the Government of the Northwest Territories, which is among our mandate commitments.

We also heard about carbon pricing. People asked quality questions and raised legitimate concerns about the potential impacts that a carbon tax could have on residents, business, and industry in the Northwest Territories. This valuable feedback will help guide our research and discussions with the federal government and territorial counterparts on how best to prepare for a price on carbon that works for the people of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of encouraging things through these engagements, and what we heard will be made public through regional engagement reports once all of our workshops are completed.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is involved at a national level in both the Canadian Energy Strategy and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. It is important that the Northwest Territories be part of a national solution to address climate change and make energy more sustainable. Our involvement allows us to work with our colleagues from across Canada to find solutions for our common issues, ensuring the challenges facing northern jurisdictions are considered. This includes a commitment to work with the federal government to explore expanding the Taltson hydropower site and finding solutions to diesel use in off-grid communities.

Part of our mandate commitment is to participate in the Pan-Canadian Task Force on Reducing Diesel in Remote Communities. This is part of a larger Canadian Energy Strategy. We provided the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Arctic Energy Alliance, Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, Tlicho Government, and Inuvialuit Regional Corporation with support to attend a national summit on the topic. Making sure that northern voices are part of these efforts at the national level is important, helps us achieve our mandate commitments, and supports the development of our own energy strategy.

The government’s mandate commitments include increasing the production and transmission of renewable and alternative energy and supporting the use of energy-efficient technologies in the residential, commercial, and public sectors. A new energy strategy will help us achieve this. As we near the end of our public engagement sessions, the Government of the Northwest Territories will begin drafting the strategy over the course of this winter and spring. We look forward to sharing it with Members for their input before releasing it to the public later this year.

Mr. Speaker, this strategy will help chart a course for an energy future in the Northwest Territories that will rely less on carbon, will be more secure, and will help fulfill the goals and beliefs of our people. We will create a plan aiming to make sure residents have access to affordable, sustainable energy, and will support our long-term economic, social, and environmental well-being. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Minister for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, our entry into this Legislative Assembly just over a year ago seems a distant memory. Back then, having been a Minister for less than a couple of months, the learning curve was daunting and there were many things I needed to learn. The perception of how long ago those times were is reinforced even more by how much work we have done since then. Not only did I spend days, evenings, and weekends reading binder after binder, I have expanded my housing knowledge the honest way by travelling throughout our territory into our rural and remote communities and talking with the people we represent. These visits allowed me the opportunity to hear first-hand the struggles people face in their attempt to obtain, retain, or maintain housing within their home communities.

We set a path for ourselves with the drafting of our mandate last year, and housing is a large part in realizing our mandate. The housing actions that we have implemented support all of our priorities, but specifically cost of living and community safety and wellness.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to provide you a progress report on housing activities over the last year.

In terms of homelessness supports, there have been many projects that have been initiated, including the homeless forum to solicit the needs and solutions in Yellowknife, which provided stakeholder-defined solutions to guide the roadmap action group led by the City of Yellowknife. We provided support for the Housing First project operated by the Yellowknife Women’s Society and the renovation of shelters to include semi-independent singles' units. We are also converting vacant units into three four-plexes in the communities to house singles and providing maintenance funding to support these units. We have developed a housing survey and delivered it across the territory to solicit feedback into potential solutions. To date, we have nearly 1,200 replies. The housing survey will be used to identify areas of concern and to guide the revision of all our homelessness programming as part of the strategic program renewal the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation is conducting. We will be looking for ways to amend our policies and our programming, with the ultimate goal of ensuring residents have access to programs and supports to help them enter the housing market and/or retain their housing units.

In terms of subsidized rental housing, investment continued to be made in the renovation and repair of the public housing stock. The modernization of our units, especially through energy-efficient technologies, supports the overall sustainability of this important social infrastructure totaling over 2,400 units. The replacement of old units with high energy consumption with multi-unit buildings that feature energy-efficient technologies such as photovoltaic solar panels, pellet boilers, and solar hot water heaters also helps to improve the sustainability of public housing and lower the cost of living for people.

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation’s homeownership repair programs support hundreds of people and projects a year from preventative maintenance, such as furnace servicing and water tank cleaning, to emergency repair, energy-efficiency renovations, and renovations to improve accessibility. It is anticipated that housing program renewal will explore ways to improve access to homeowners for support, including repair and renovation services for seniors.

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation implemented an enhanced communications and promotions campaign to raise greater awareness in seniors of the types of support and programming available to them. The most effective tool was direct marketing through visits to each community in the fall of 2016. As Members know, providing support so people can remain in their homes as long as possible assists in helping our seniors age in place and is a key priority in supporting community safety and wellness.

Another action on this priority is the development of seniors' independent housing nine-plexes that are targeted to seniors with low-to-modest income. These facilities are designed for independent living, but also have common areas to promote programming and socialization. These units are critical contributions to the social infrastructure for communities, enabling elders to remain in their home communities where they have the support of their friends and families.

We also continued to make progress in disposing of surplus units, with 55 units disposed of to date and with full expectation that the 2016-17 target of 89 units, 34 disposed through sales and 55 through demolition, will be reached. Recognizing that these units hold residual value and may be of interest to individuals or local organizations, units for disposal are now listed on the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation website. The disposal of these surplus units will free up land and resources that can be reinvested into housing supports. The demolition of surplus units will also provide an opportunity to train people regarding the removal of hazardous material so that we can hire local people and create employment in small communities.

Mr. Speaker, energy efficiency is important to the sustainability and longevity of our housing programs. Given our high cost of utilities and our cold environment, we are building to a higher standard than southern jurisdictions. As such, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation has been leading the way, using energy-efficient building practices and piloting alternative energy sources. All of our new construction meets or exceeds the high energy-efficiency standard of EnerGuide 80. This year, we have invested $850,000 in energy-efficient projects, including solar, insulation, and other energy upgrades on multi-unit public housing buildings.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister, at this time your time for Minister's statement has expired.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for unanimous consent to finish my statement. Thank you.

---Unanimous consent granted

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, for fiscal year 2017-18 our capital plan includes $4.8 million in investments in energy-efficient components and upgrades.

We have also partnered with the Arctic Energy Alliance in supporting their LED lighting project, and the upcoming fiscal year will see us investing $200,000 to continue to support the LED initiative for its public housing units. These actions will help reduce CO2emissions and associated fuel costs for both existing home units and future construction projects.

Having accessible, timely, and responsive property management services is important to our residents who access our rental programs. I am pleased to report that this year we have opened new local housing organizations in the communities of Fort Liard, Gameti, and Whati. Residents can now go down the street in these communities and talk with a housing manager, get counselled one-on-one on housing finances, or speak to their maintenance officer about issues they might have.

Mr. Speaker, over the past year, I have learned a lot about the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation's programs and policies and the impact these have for residents. All the while, housing programs and services have continued to be delivered with our overarching mandate ever-present and informing our actions. Once the information from our engagement survey is all in and it has been analyzed, I will be moving aggressively to revise and/or develop policy and program responses to address the identified needs. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to public in the gallery. We have with us Shannon Gullberg, language commissioner for the Northwest Territories. Welcome to our proceedings. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, something I am perhaps most passionate about is the development of the Northwest Territories' knowledge economy. I have called for the evolution of Aurora College into a fully realized polytechnic institute. I have advocated for enhancing funding for Dechinta Bush University, and supported legislation to allow made-in-the-North academic degrees.

Mr. Speaker, although the success of our economy has always relied on resource industries, it is time to focus on building a resilient economy that capitalizes on the incredible talents of Northerners. I am talking about a real knowledge economy built on northern innovation and supported by this government as a way to deliver inclusive and sustainable long-term growth.

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Advisory Council on Economic Growth issued the second Path to Prosperity report on February 6th of this year. The report's recommendations are focused on unleashing Canada's economic potential by innovating our current economic paradigm to drive growth through creating a highly skilled Canadian workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. This is the kind of real change that Canadians and our North needs now more than ever to address a troubling trend that is also evident in this report. Up to 40 per cent of the current Canadian workforce will quite possibly become obsolete due to increasing automation within the next 10 years.

Instead of putting their heads into the ground to hide from this inevitability, the advisory council has a solution: to build a highly skilled and resilient workforce. The anchor of this solution to the major structural changes on the horizon is the creation of a future skills lab, a non-profit and non-political body designed to encourage and enable next-generation skills. It would invite all levels of government, private sector organizations, labour unions, and other interested parties to partner on an opt-in basis that would co-finance innovative pilot programs, skills, and competency development that address identified labour gaps.

Mr. Speaker, I truly believe we should take similar actions to unlock innovation within our future generation of Northerners, whether that means restructuring our current publicly funded institutions or taking into account prior suggestions I have put forward on the creation of new ones. We simply cannot afford not to act. The jobs of the future are out there, Mr. Speaker, and it is time that we started encouraging innovation in the northern work force so we won't be left in the cold when the shift comes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Cory Vanthuyne

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in recent days there has been a lot of attention on the government's proposal to end Aurora College's four-year Teacher Education Program and its two-year Social Work Diploma program.

Students of these programs were surprised by the cuts. Now they're worried about their education and job futures, while other residents are worried about how we will meet the demand for northern teachers and social workers.

Mr. Speaker, the proposed cuts touch on several issues close to the hearts of Regular Members: job creation, education, the fulfilment of our mandate, and reconciliation.

First, job creation. With the Skills 4 Success action plan, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment seeks to align NWT post-secondary education with job demand, but that is going to need to include jobs in the teaching profession projected in our 15-year job forecast to be in top demand.

Last year the Social Work Diploma program had six graduates. All of them were immediately hired or offered jobs, and all of them continued their studies towards a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. That may be a small class, but we're a small territory, and our education system is inextricably linked to the success of our economy.

Next, education and fulfillment of the mandate. Mr. Speaker, it's our part of our mandate to expand, not to shrink opportunities of post-secondary education in northern educational institutions. I'd argue that our Student Financial Assistance program is the best in Canada, helping students pursue their education goals even when it means temporarily leaving the NWT, but if we want to strengthen our own capacity for education and for home-grown workers, like the five women currently in the social work program, we need to support quality options here at home. Mr. Speaker, there is no time like the present.

Third, reconciliation. Mr. Speaker, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called for funding on post-secondary teacher training programs that educated teachers on integrating Indigenous knowledge into their work. The Teacher Education Program does just that.

Mr. Speaker, all 19 Members in the House want to close the skills gap. We all want to see our people working.

If the government feels that the best option for Northerners is to close these programs, Northerners must know that their elected leaders have a clear plan for how our territory will thrive without them. At this point, Mr. Speaker, I'm not seeing the plan. I'll have questions for the Minister at the appropriate time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Passing Of Boniface Ayha
Members’ Statements

Daniel McNeely

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This morning we lost a respected elder from the Sahtu community in Tulita, and on behalf of the Sahtu region we want to send all the family our thoughts and prayers. Boniface Ayha, also known as just Bonni, was a well-known elder who loved his home community of Tulita; however, he was born and raised in Deline. Bonni loved to laugh and share many Shutagotine stories with our youths. Bonni also served this government for over 24 years and especially enjoyed his time with his family out on the land.

Mr. Speaker, Boniface Ayha leaves behind his wife, Margery, and five boys, and he will be truly missed by his family and the people of the Sahtu Region. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Passing Of Boniface Ayha
Members’ Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Our condolences and prayers goes out to the family, as well. Bonnie also has relatives in Behchoko and Tlicho Region. Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, monsieur le President. I want to talk about how we can develop a real post-secondary education system leading to transformative change in the Northwest Territories. I'm talking about beginning the work of building a university of the Northwest Territories.

Canada is the only circumpolar nation without a university in its arctic or sub-arctic region. In 2015, I had the opportunity to visit the second largest city is Iceland, called Akureyri. It's a thriving place with about 19,000 people and a university established in 1987. There are now about 1,900 students and 180 faculty and staff. Many of the students are from the circumpolar world including Canada. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in business administration, education sciences, educational studies, health sciences, natural resources sciences, and polar law.

There are seven research institutes on campus. All of this activity generates business, innovation, and many international partnerships. There is no reason why we can't do the same here in the Northwest Territories if our leaders have the vision and political will.

In the Northwest Territories we have developed world-leading practices in the documentation and application of traditional knowledge and its use in environmental management. Our integrated resource management system established through Indigenous land rights agreements is the envy of many around the world, and there is a lot of interest and study of what we are doing up here. We are continually developing new approaches to the architectural and engineering challenges of cold climate design, construction, and operations. I have raised the issue of environmental legacies that have been left behind by past industrial operations, but the flipside is that they have developed a lot of experience with site closure and remediation that can be shared around the world.

Putting these concepts together with our existing institutions of College nordique, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, and Aurora College, we can build a strong post-secondary education network and university of the Northwest Territories. This is the kind of transformative change that the federal government is looking for and many Northwest Territories' residents, too, as we look beyond mining. I will have questions for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment later today. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Michael Nadli

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. [English translation not provided] As we know, some small communities already have [English translation not provided]. With current enrolment the people to teacher ratio is 13.3:1, but ECE intends to fund schools to a ratio of 12:1.

There are still several lingering issues, some of which have been brought up by my colleagues. I'll highlight three themes.

First, government-to-government relationships. When ECE moved to include JK students at Chief Sunrise School in the Hay River Reserve, the chief and council were not consulted. Later the Minister met with staff from the local DEA and from the Aboriginal Head Start program, but again did not involve the chief and council.

This is not appropriate, Mr. Speaker. At all times, protocols of consultation and consent must be respected. There are legal precedents that set protocols for consultations.

Second, resources. [Translation begins] We talk about the money and they said if we work on it enough then there will be money there for them, but we're not sure. For me, it's Chief Sunrise School. I think about them. On Monday the Minister of junior kindergarten said if there's money there then in the fall time we might find out, he said, but how much money they're talking about, the teachers, how much they need to work with them, maybe until the end of March, he said. So more than that, the young children, when they're going to school, they have to be bused to this school, too. We don’t know what's going to happen with that. [Translation ends]

Third, small community solutions. While JK is working well and welcome in some communities, that doesn't mean it's right for others. At a constituency meetings in Fort Providence I was told in no uncertain terms that JK should be stopped. There, residents value the strong relationship between the Aboriginal Head Start program and their community. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Mahsi.

---Unanimous consent granted

Michael Nadli

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, colleagues. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. There residents value the strong relationship between the Aboriginal Head Start program and their community. They don’t understand why ECE wouldn't want to build on that success.

I will speak more on Aboriginal Head Start tomorrow, Mr. Speaker. For now, let me say that people I have spoken with remain concerned that JK might work in regional centres, but not in our small communities and schools.

Confusion like we've seen in the House this week doesn't soothe those worries. It only muddies the waters and raises more questions. Until tomorrow, Mr. Speaker. Mahsi.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife Centre.