This is page numbers 2575 – 2598 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 going.

Topics

Question 813-18(2): Apprenticeship And Trades Industry Partnerships
Oral Questions

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and with our Apprenticeship, Trades and Occupational Certification Board, when we have meetings with them, get updates, we will ensure that. This is a concern of the Member, but I am sure they stay on top of it. It is industry-driven, so anything new and innovative that we are doing in industry, I am sure the board is on top of that. I have full trust and confidence that they are working in the best interests of industry, but also in the best interests of Northerners, and we will make sure that is part of the next discussions that we have with the board.

Question 813-18(2): Apprenticeship And Trades Industry Partnerships
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 814-18(2): Yellowknife Airport Hours Of Operation
Oral Questions

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On our last sitting, I brought up the issue of airline passengers arriving at the Yellowknife Airport late at night; you know, if a flight is delayed, maybe at 1:00 in the morning or so, and then having to catch their connecting flight to Hay River early the next morning. The issue was that the airport would close for about a 90-minute window, and these people have to find somewhere to stay. Often there are no hotel rooms, and I know people who were lucky enough that a cab driver let them sleep on their couch for those couple hours. I asked the Minister about this before. He told me that, once Bill 7 passes, the revolving fund, which it did, they would start looking into this. Today he made a statement on the Yellowknife Airport Evolution, and I am wondering is a plan to keep the airport open 24 hours in the works so that his constituents do not have to sleep on strangers' couches. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 814-18(2): Yellowknife Airport Hours Of Operation
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 814-18(2): Yellowknife Airport Hours Of Operation
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I stated in the House today, as we move forward on July 1st with the revolving fund for the airport, we believe it is going to be an economic driver for the City of Yellowknife and the citizens of the Northwest Territories. I believe that is something that we are going to have to have a look at through the business process. As I have said in the House, we have a number of consultative committees that look at this issue, and I will make sure that this is one of the ones that is on the table for them to have a look at moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 814-18(2): Yellowknife Airport Hours Of Operation
Oral Questions

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Maybe someday, I guess. The Minister also mentioned the Department of Infrastructure is working with carriers on new or expanded routes. I know airfare and air travel into Hay River is a major issue. Can the Minister confirm whether or not the Department of Infrastructure is working on bringing new air carriers into the Yellowknife-Hay River route or perhaps working on a route from Yellowknife to Edmonton that stops in Hay River?

Question 814-18(2): Yellowknife Airport Hours Of Operation
Oral Questions

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Our job is not to lobby airline industries for which routes they take. Our job is to put the practices and opportunities in place that allow for businesses to develop in the Northwest Territories. I believe we have done that setting up the revolving fund. What came out of that, as soon as we brought this initiative forward, we had a number of air carriers get a hold of the department about possible routes coming particularly to the YZF airport around the revolving fund. I think that is an ongoing basis, and I think there are great opportunities particularly for the YZF airport.

I will speak to Hay River in short, as I know the Mayor of Hay River has raised this as a concern. I know he has reached out to a couple carriers in specific to try to get them to bring opportunities to Hay River and have a look at it. I believe as the economy in the South Slave picks up with a couple of initiatives that we are looking at moving forward down there, there will be an opportunity maybe for an air carrier to have a better look at it, and the economies of scales will work a little bit better for them. I personally have reached out to one carrier myself, too, to ask them to have a look at the situation in Hay River.

Question 814-18(2): Yellowknife Airport Hours Of Operation
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

June 2nd, 2017

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Committee of the Whole, we rolled the money for the sobering centre into the current year's spending because the money had not been spent last year. So it seems like a good time to ask the Minister of Health and Social Services for an update on creating a sobering centre in Yellowknife. Thank you.

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have been in the Assembly for a large number of years now, and this has been possibly one of the most frustrating files that I have worked on. Something that should be such a good news story has turned out to be quite a frustration. We had hoped we would have a location by now. We have had several locations that we thought we were very close on, and for a variety of reasons such as contaminations in buildings, inability to get leases, we have not been able to get a firm location. We have come up with a temporary solution that will be beginning shortly. We are looking at doing some joint releases with the city. I will not say what that is at this point in time, but I did share it with the Members. The Members did get an update by e-mail where we are, and I did indicate that we are working on a joint release with the city. At that point, I will be making it public to residents of Yellowknife in the North. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I thank the Minister for his answer. I understand that what he is working on now is a temporary solution. Could he please talk about what he is doing toward a long-term solution?

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

We have to look at this in a short-, medium-, and long-term approach. We do have something in the works for the short term, which we hope to be announcing very shortly, in cooperation with the city, who has been a fantastic partner on this. In the medium-term, well, we have to put it in medium-term because there is a longer plan in place. We have looked to acquire and put a hold on the downtown location, which is the Yellowknife Day Care at this point. They are vacating the building. The GNWT owns the building. That building does have to come down. We believe that that is a prime location for a sobering centre day shelter in the downtown core, but we will not be able to move onto that site for approximately two years, which means we have to come up with a medium-term solution.

For the medium-term solution, we are looking at a number of different properties in Yellowknife. We have got two that are possible. I would hate to say what those properties are because we have had lots of properties that got really close, almost to the point where we were ready to do some retrofitting, and have failed at the last minute due to environmental remediation or other issues. So we have a short-term solution we are going to be announcing shortly. We are still looking for the medium-term, and we have a long-term plan for a future sobering centre day shelter here in Yellowknife.

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Lots of good news in that answer. What I hear is that it is really the medium-term now that presents problems. I am sure that this is a very high priority for you to provide continuity of service once the sobering centre opens. I know that this has been frustrating, that there have been a lot of setbacks. What kinds of new approaches can you take to try and work with landlords or repurpose GNWT-owned assets to find that medium-term solution?

Question 815-18(2): Creation Of A Yellowknife Sobering Centre
Oral Questions

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Last time we talked about this in the House, I was inundated, thankfully, with just a large number of people saying, "Have you tried this building?" "Have you looked at that property?" "Have you followed up with?" The answer in most situations is, yes, we have looked at those properties. We've talked to those landlords. We've been looking for a solution. There were a couple that were a little bit more difficult because it involved moving GNWT staff and re-profiling billing just as the Member has suggested. We are looking at some current GNWT space that we might have to take our staff out of and relocate. I'm not going to name those places at this point in time because we're still working on some of the details and there's another property that may be available. We're trying to ascertain whether or not that is something we can get on the medium-term basis.

I've made the mistake, Mr. Speaker, of saying we're close a couple of times on a medium-term solution, so I'm going to cautious. I want to say that we're going to have something in place shortly. The only thing I can say for sure is we've got a short-term solution in place that we're going to announce shortly. That will take us to the end of September. We're really hoping we can find a medium-term solution because, as the Member has said, continuity on this is going to be critical.