This is page numbers 2745 - 2784 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 communities.

Members Present

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

The House met at 1:30 p.m.


The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Good afternoon, colleagues. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Glen Abernethy

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that later today I will be tabling the Continuing Care Services Action Plan. The Continuing Care Services Action Plan

builds on the seven priorities of the 2014 Strategic Framework, Our Elders: Our Communities, and on our mandate commitment to take action so that NWT seniors can age in place and live in their own homes and communities for as long possible.

We are also committed to ensuring that adequate supports are available for those who can no longer do so. Furthermore, our mandate commits us to develop an action plan for enhanced home and community care and palliative care, and to propose a regulatory framework for long-term care. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to let you know that the Continuing Care Services Action Plan

sets the foundation to deliver on all of these mandated commitments.

Our government values the importance of the wisdom, knowledge, and experience that seniors and elders bring to our communities. They provide the foundation for the rich cultural heritage and traditional knowledge that defines the unique character of the Northwest Territories. First and foremost, the Continuing Care Services Action Plan

provides a road map to ensure elders and seniors remain in their homes as long as possible, allowing them to maintain their respected place within our communities, and contribute to our vision of community wellness.

The action plan also acknowledges that it is essential that we care for our elders who can no longer remain in their homes by making high-quality long-term care services available. Whether they reside in their homes or in a long-term care facility, our government is committed to providing seniors and elders with the most responsive, culturally safe, and efficient health care possible.

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that I have discussed the importance of supporting our seniors and elders in this House. It is a topic that residents have consistently indicated is a priority and that Members have supported action on. With this in mind, I would like to elaborate on our approach to structuring this important work

The Continuing Care Services Action Plan

sets out five key objectives in moving our vision forward. Our first group of actions aims to optimize healthy aging so that seniors and elders can lead active and independent lives. The second objective is to improve home and community care and caregiver supports to sustain aging in place. The third set of actions will improve long-term care and equitable access to this essential care service. The fourth objective of the action plan focuses on enhancing palliative care, providing NWT residents with options, dignity, comfort, and access to palliative care when and where they need it. Finally, the fifth objective demands that we strive to provide culturally safe and high-quality continuing care across the continuum of services.

This action plan recognizes that we are most successful when we work collaboratively as a government, community, and non-profit partners. Working with groups such as the NWT Recreation and Parks Association, Aurora College, the NWT Association of Communities, the NWT Seniors Society, and the Alzheimer’s Society enables us to achieve greater outcomes than working alone. Many activities within the action plan

require us to partner with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs and the NWT Housing Corporation. Mr. Speaker, we are looking forward to working closely with those departments and partners to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for seniors and elders.

The Continuing Care Services Action Plan will guide the initiatives required to ensure that seniors and elders are given the best possible opportunity to age in their place of choice. This action plan works to achieve the Department of Health and Social Services vision and goals of Best Health, Best Care, for a Better Future, strengthens our vision of healthy communities and puts into action our mandate goals and priorities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Minister of Infrastructure.

Wally Schumann

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, infrastructure investments help connect residents to essential services, lower the cost of living, increase our resiliency to the impacts of climate change, and support economic development. Today, I want to provide Members an update on priority infrastructure projects being pursued by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, in 2017 the Government of Canada announced its Investing in Canada Plan, which includes over $180 billion in infrastructure investments over 12 years. The Government of the Northwest Territories continues to work with our federal counterparts to receive more information on new federal funding programs and to identify opportunities that will benefit our territory.

On July 6th the Government of the Northwest Territories received a letter from the federal Minister of Infrastructure outlining our territory's allocation under four funding streams being administered by Infrastructure Canada. These streams include investments in green infrastructure that supports the territory's commitments to the environment, including those under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change; Public Transit infrastructure; Community, Culture and Recreation infrastructure; and Rural and Northern Communities infrastructure streams that support wide-ranging infrastructure priorities such as local roads, food security, and broadband connectivity.

Also included under the Rural and Northern Communities stream is the Arctic Energy Fund for projects supporting more efficient and reliable energy in Canada's North. This fund will provide $175 million to the Northwest Territories, which will be used to implement actions under the Government of the Northwest Territories' new Energy Strategy to be finalized in the new year.

In this letter, the federal Minister indicated the Government of Canada would be initiating negotiations on bilateral agreements for this funding with the goal of concluding negotiations by March 2018 at the latest. The Government of the NWT has already begun working to draft an initial list of infrastructure projects that could benefit from this funding and match these projects to the different federal funding streams. Infrastructure priorities will include those already identified under the Mandate of this 18th Legislative Assembly. The Government of the Northwest Territories will have to be strategic to maximize opportunities, and we look forward to working with Regular Members as we work for the benefit of all Northerners.

In addition to the programs announced by Infrastructure Canada, there is a series of other national programs that have been announced by the federal government, including those that address social infrastructure such as housing, education, and long-term care. The Government of the Northwest Territories is awaiting further details.

While we are making progress to advance priorities like the National Trade Corridors Fund and Low Carbon Economy Fund, Mr. Speaker, small jurisdictions like the NWT are playing catch-up and require basic highway infrastructure to connect our communities and provide opportunities for economic growth. That is why our government made a commitment in its mandate to capture opportunities for investment in transportation infrastructure by working to secure funding for the Mackenzie Valley highway, make an all-weather road to Whati, and improve access to the Slave Geological Province. These projects were identified as top priorities for Northwest Territories residents during engagement sessions for the Government of the Northwest Territories' 25-year Transportation Strategy released in 2016, which included an online survey, stakeholder interviews, and public meetings in all regional centres. These investments will connect residents to new social and employment opportunities, reduce the cost of living in the territory, increase our resiliency and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and provide better access to natural resources.

Consistent with this commitment, the Department of Infrastructure has submitted two expressions of interest to Transport Canada under the National Trade Corridors Fund for the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor and Mackenzie Valley Highway projects.

Projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund are intended to support the flow of goods and passengers and increase economic development. The program is merit-based, with up to $400 million of this funding being dedicated to transportation projects in the three territories.

The expression of interests phase represents a first step in a longer project approval process. Project proposals sent to Transport Canada under the National Trade Corridors Fund will also be shared with the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which allows for an opportunity to fund these projects under the bank instead. The infrastructure bank will focus on large, transformative, revenue-generating projects, which could potentially include the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor and Taltson Hydro Expansion Project. It is expected that the infrastructure bank will be operational by the end of 2017.

Mr. Speaker, we are currently very early in the process for developing these projects. Federal funding will allow the Government of the Northwest Territories to advance to the next steps, which include additional planning and engineering work, environmental activities supporting the protection of wildlife such as caribou, and engagements with stakeholders, including Aboriginal governments and organizations.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has also submitted an initial proposal for funding under the Low Carbon Economy Fund towards a number of programs that will help reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in different sectors of the Northwest Territories' economy. Government of the Northwest Territories staff met with officials from Environment and Climate Change Canada in August to discuss this draft proposal, and we anticipate submitting a formal proposal by mid-October. Funding received under this fund would support the implementation of the Government of the Northwest Territories' commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change and Clean Growth.

Significant and meaningful investment in Northwest Territories infrastructure is needed. Creating the North our people want and need means working together with many partners, Canada, Indigenous governments, community governments, the Legislative Assembly, businesses and industry, to create and implement a clear plan for investing in our people in the long term.

On September 21st I met with other federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers in Ottawa to discuss early results and the next phase of the Investing in Canada Plan. This meeting provided a significant opportunity for jurisdictions to share their infrastructure priorities and discuss how federal funding programs can help maximize the benefits of these projects.

We will continue to keep Members apprised of the progress of submissions under the National Trade Corridors Fund and the Low Carbon Economy Fund and any other federal programs. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Hay River North.

Eulogy For Pat Bobinski
Members' Statements

R.J. Simpson

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Pat Bobinski, who passed away this summer at the age of 77. He was a resident of Hay River for over 50 years, but I would wager there is at least one person in every single community in the territory whose life he personally impacted in a positive way.

Those who only know of him may know him as "Mr. Biathlon." That is because, by most accounts, biathlon would not exist in the Northwest Territories without Pat. There would not be biathletes from Fort Smith to Paulatuk and everywhere in between, let alone representing the NWT at the Olympics. For his impact on sport, Biathlon Canada presented him with the June Hooper Award in 2010, which is given annually to one person in Canada who has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the sport with years of service, dedication, and unstinting devotion. However, Mr. Speaker, his impressive contributions to biathlon only touch on his true legacy.

They are a consequence of what truly defined him and what those who knew him will remember him by; his utter selflessness and his devotion to helping others. Of course, this could be seen through his volunteer work with sport, the endless hours of one-on-one coaching in a variety of supports, his work with the ski club, the shooting club, the track and field championships, NWT Biathlon, and so on, and of course in the countless miles he traveled doing this work.

However, his volunteerism extended well beyond sports. He served on the board of many volunteer associations, was a justice of the peace for four decades, a volunteer firefighter, and generally would be wherever he was needed. He never sought the limelight, but his contributions did not go unnoticed. A few of the many, many rewards he received include the NWT Outstanding Volunteer Award, the NWT Outstanding Volunteer Elder Award, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and numerous national and regional awards for sports.

He also received the Commissioner's and the Governor General's Award for Bravery, which he received for challenging the Hay River's severely flooded west channel to evacuate stranded residents in 1985. Alone, in total darkness, he paddled his canoe amid fast-moving ice floes and other debris in search of victims. Plucking people from their perches, he assisted them to the extra boat he had tied to the rear of his canoe. Time after time, he braved the swirling water until he had satisfied himself that all the residents of the west channel had been accounted for and evacuated. I told somebody that story today. They responded, "Yeah, that sounds like Pat." He was one of a kind and will truly be missed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Eulogy For Pat Bobinski
Members' Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Our condolences to the family and also to the region, as well. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Cory Vanthuyne

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I want to speak about the completion of negotiations on land rights, resources, and self-government. We committed in our mandate to finalize these agreements, and we recognize that without their completion many of our other priority goals will be stymied or may not even be achievable.

Mr. Speaker, it is a discussion that has been going on for a lifetime, and its importance is not diminishing over time. In fact, it is growing in urgency. Since the last election, Mr. Speaker, this issue has been raised in every constituency meeting that I have had so far. All Northerners know the importance of completing these agreements on land rights. They know how much depends on fair and thorough negotiation and resolution of these issues, and like all of us in this House, they want to see this job done. They want certainty.

We know that the NWT is seen as a favourable place to invest in exploration. Recent numbers regarding staking and the positive uptake in the mineral incentive program show us that. We know that we are developing recreational land use plans. We want to move ahead with developments in agriculture, forestry, and alternative energies. We know that our tourism sector is booming, but many of these initiatives can be slowed down or brought to a complete halt unless we resolve the issues of land rights.

That said, Mr. Speaker, we also know it is a complex and detailed job. My insistence that we must make progress in these negotiations indicates no lack of respect and appreciation for those charged with the task. It is fair to say it has been a challenge facing public government. It is fair to say it is the biggest challenge facing public governance in our territory, but as I said earlier, it has been going on for a lifetime.

Mr. Speaker, in the last sitting the Premier rose in the Assembly and provided us with an update of the many different folders in this file. It was encouraging to hear the many fronts on which progress was being made, but now we are just two years away from the next election. Mr. Speaker, the 18th Assembly made a commitment to see real progress, even completion on these negotiations.

Our window to achieve real progress is growing more and more narrow. The Northwest Territories and its people are ready to move on and build their future. It is time we helped them get there. Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, I will have questions for the Premier. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Herbert Nakimayak

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as the Northwest Passage gains a greater international profile and becomes more frequently travelled, the Northwest Territories would be in a better position to benefit if it had a deep water port in Tuktoyaktuk or Ulukhaktok.

Just as the name suggests, a deep water port can be accessed from a large body of water such as the Beaufort Sea, along with a protected docking and staging for large heavily loaded vessels. Deep water allows for more efficient handling of cargo because large ships can dock at the port and take on cargo directly rather than anchoring out in the harbour and using smaller vessels to transfer cargo.

Marine support will be crucial for offshore exploration and development. A deep water port in the Beaufort Sea would support drilling activity. It would attract tourism, support cargo shipping. It could serve as a first line of defence in the event of a blowout or an oil spill. It could also provide sewage facilities for shipping to prevent illegal dumping from polluting our waters.

Building key infrastructure would send a message to businesses that the GNWT welcomes investment and is prepared to work with businesses to build the necessary infrastructure. Northern residents and local businesses would have a direct opportunity to profit from offshore activity. Mr. Speaker, building a deep sea port would be a large-scale undertaking that would require careful analysis and planning. The GNWT is getting more experience with these types of projects, and could even look at doing this as a public/private partnership. A great deal of work would need to be done to make this project happen, including undertaking necessary environmental assessments, considering design options, and securing the necessary funding.

Mr. Speaker, with funding from CANOR and the GNWT, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation commissioned a study in 2014 which identified key considerations regarding development of the harbour in Tuktoyaktuk to support the maritime activity in the Beaufort Sea.

In 2018 the Government of Nunavut is set to begin construction on Iqaluit's $85 million deep sea port, which is slated to be fully operational by 2020. The federal government has committed to contribute $63.7 million to this mega-project. Mr. Speaker, these things make me believe that a deep sea port for the Northwest Territories could become a reality in the foreseeable future. We just need to dream big, collaborate with our partners, and commit to making it happen. Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Frederick Blake Jr.

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the community of Tsiigehtchic is hopeful that, in the near future, they will have a resident in our renewable resource officer to turn to in emergencies. Up until now, we have had to place calls to Inuvik, then wait for staff from Inuvik or Fort MacPherson to visit the community. In the past, that worked for Tsiigehtchic, but now the situation has changed.

Wild animals are entering the community. Just last month, wolves came into town and attacked and killed two dogs. In a separate incident, wolves also approached other residents. We have also seen bears entering the community. Mr. Speaker, fortunately, no people have been hurt, but residents are worried. Our wild visitors typically turn up in the early morning and in the evenings, when children are out walking, and it is harder to get a hold of an officer.

Mr. Speaker, I was very excited to hear that ENR is introducing a new position for the community, from part-time to full-time. I will leave that there because I don't want to comment on an open job competition. Instead, my concern right now is the safety of the community until the position is filled. I will have questions for the Minister later today. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Michael Nadli

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the NWT, healthcare services for seniors are classified according to the level of care required by the patients. This ranges from homecare and supported living to long-term care for elders with complex needs.

The Deh Gah Got'ie senior's home in Fort Providence isn't really part of that spectrum. Although it has been renovated in the past, it is designed for independent living. It is meant for people who do not require regular support at all. Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health and Social Services and the NWT Housing Corporation visited the facility during a recent tour. To address this, Fort Providence leaders want a long-term facility established in our community. It might be made capable of providing that care.

Instead, Mr. Speaker, the department intends to regionalize long-term care. That means beds are centred at larger facilities in larger communities, and that in small communities elders have to move. The department argues that community based long-term care is impossible, that economies of scale work against us, that it simply cannot be done.

I have seen the numbers, Mr. Speaker. I know how many beds we need, and how much it would cost to build and operate them. I know why the department favours regionalization, but I need you to understand why I cannot support that argument, because it smacks of the residential school experience, Mr. Speaker.

Under the residential school system, the state used its power to split First Nations communities and families and force First Nations children from their homes. Now, the government tells us, our elders, that if they want to place in long-term care, they must leave their communities, their families, and their homes. Even if the department does not intend this comparison, they must still understand how their decisions are experienced in the communities. Money might be saved, but it is saved on the backs of First Nations, people uprooted from their homes.

This government has committed to prioritizing aging in place and to fulfill the TRC's calls to action, and the regionalization of long-term care is inconsistent with those calls to action. There must be a solution that does not repeat the wounds of the residential school system. There is no other option that I could accept. Masi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Kieron Testart

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, it is a great thing that students of Yellowknife have a variety of choices when pursuing their educational goals. Whether Yellowknife Education District No. 1, Yellowknife Catholic schools, or at the Commission scolaire francophone Territoires du Nord-Ouest. All these schools are amazing places of learning, and officials at the Department of Education, Culture and Employment have done a great job providing support to the Yellowknife schools, but today I want to talk about a school in my constituency that is dealing with an ongoing problem that has a simple situation. That school is Ecole St. Joseph's School.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment has determined the number of students needed to put the school at 100 per cent capacity is 581. In the current school year, Ecole St. Joseph School currently has 571 students enrolled, putting them at 97 per cent capacity. If current student population remains the same, then we can project next school year will be at 102 per cent capacity, and the following year at 103 per cent capacity. This clearly indicates we have an overcrowding problem at St. Joseph's, and need to resolve it immediately before it starts to effect the educational standards students and parents expect from St. Joe's; the largest primary school in the Northwest Territories.

This has been a point of discussion between the Minister and Yellowknife Catholic Schools for over three years, and the main suggestion that has come from the Minister was to share space with Yellowknife District No. 1. Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, this is an unacceptable outcome to everyone involved, and in the long run will not solve the lack of space at St. Joseph's.

Mr. Speaker, I'll admit I'm confused about the Minister's plan and how it will be a cost-saving measure. If these students are to be attending Ecole St. Joseph, then obviously they will still have to be using space. Or will they be counted as not attending Ecole St. Joseph, but rather attending whatever public school they are situated in, except for the Yellowknife Catholic Schools' curriculum? I suppose this means we'll have to transport students to and from wherever these spare classrooms are located. This plan is confusing, it's unfair to both students and teachers who want to attend Ecole St. Joseph and have chosen that school for their students' futures.

Instead of pursuing this convoluted scheme any further, let's invest in the students of Ecole St. Joseph in the most practical way and purchase some modular classroom facilities. There is space for them on school grounds, Yellowknife Catholic School Board and parents are resoundingly supportive of this solution, and it just makes sense.

Mr. Speaker, let's do what's best for students and begin the process of purchasing modulars that can be in place next year before Ecole St. Joseph School is officially over 100 per cent capacity and we have to start stacking students. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. The Arctic Energy Alliance is our NWT-grown centre of energy excellence. The alliance offers a suite of programs tailored to our energy use needs. Over the years it has developed made-in-the-NWT programs for energy use planning to improve energy efficiency and the use of the alternative energies for commercial and residential users. These programs help reduce our cost of living, benefit the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and create local jobs.

Like many organizations with good programming in areas of high demand, the alliance is a victim of its own success. I've learned from constituents that the limited funds devoted to the Alternative Energy Technologies Program and Commercial Energy Conservation and Efficiency Program were fully subscribed by the end of June this year, and that there is already a waiting list of clients hoping to receive funding with more than six months left in the year. These programs support the introduction of commercially available clean energy technologies to reduce fuel use and demonstrate the viability of renewable energy technologies. Funding support varies between $2,500 and $32,000 for residential and business projects, depending on whether the applicants are in communities with hydroelectricity or in thermal power and off-grid locations. Ordinarily, the alliance would have some ability to re-profile funds across its various programs, but that uptake on all programs has been strong and there is apparently not much from other programs to re-profile to renewables.

This raises a couple of issues. First, when programs run out by the end of the first quarter we obviously have a good program that needs to be better resourced. As Regular Members had requested during the last budget stalemate, I'm calling on the Minister to re-profile funds in 2017-2017 so the Alliance can approve applications on its waiting list and publicize the availability of funds for those who knew no funds were available so didn't bother to apply.

Most importantly, we need to ramp up our funding for programs that get us off fossil fuels. The government warns of increased cost of living resulting from carbon pricing. These programs by the Arctic Energy Alliance can help with that. The federal government will be introducing a program to offset introduction of carbon pricing; we should advantage of that and not roll back our funding. I'll have questions for the Minister later today. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, social issues are again top of mind for Yellowknife residents, according to a recent survey by the city. This is especially true for people like me and my family who live downtown. On our street, we see public intoxication and the negative behaviour that comes with it on an almost daily basis; that includes an attempted break-in by an intoxicated person this summer that frightened us when it happened and cost us thousands of dollars in repairs to the doors and doorframe.

Have we thought about moving to a different part of the city? You bet, but we're staying put and here's why. The City of Yellowknife and the GNWT are finally making a serious effort to tackle social issues downtown. The city is funding a street outreach program that has already provided more than a thousand rides to people who are intoxicated in the downtown core. I've called the outreach service myself because I've been concerned about people stumbling down the street. The van has arrived promptly to offer them a ride to a safe place. Mr. Speaker, I commend the City of Yellowknife for funding this service and the people who staff the program.

One of the primary destinations for the street outreach van was the temporary sobering centre located at the Yellowknife arena. Once it opened in July it helped hundreds of people by providing a barebones but safe place to sleep off intoxication. Mr. Speaker, this is how harm reduction works. It acknowledges a problem and provides a constructive solution that is client-focused. I commend the GNWT for providing this service and the staff who work on the front line.

I congratulate the government for finding a long-term location for the sobering centre. It's downtown, and downtown is where it needs to be. There's no use putting it where the people aren't; they won't use it, and the other harm reduction measures won't count for anything, either. It's better to have the centre where it will be used, where clients can access programming, housing, and other supports in the area. For residents and businesses who are unhappy with the new location, I ask you to be patient.

These two initiatives, the street outreach program and the sobering centre, have not only met the safety needs of intoxicated people, they have made the downtown a more hospitable place for the rest of us. That doesn't mean all the problems downtown have been solved, but there has been a noticeable improvement. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Eulogy For Louis Tsetso
Members' Statements

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to speak about a constituent who recently passed away, Mr. Louis Tsetso. Louis was born in 1957 and spent his entire life in and around Fort Simpson.

Louis was a man of the land. He loved spending as much time as he could on the land. His most desired activity was the spring hunt. He was avid about being on the land in the springtime when everything came to life. His brother George will tell you this was the joy of his life.

Beyond his love for nature, Louis was a craftsman. He has made traditional puzzles composed of 10 pieces or more. These skills were passed down to Louis by elders in his family, which originated with his ancestors. Louis was a quiet and simple man. Although he was most likely to keep to himself, his close friends knew him as a man who loved practical jokes and to make people laugh.

While growing up, Louis's generous mother would keep her doors open and welcome anybody from the community into her kitchen for a bite to eat. Louis's sister had a cat, and one day Louis decided to remove all the labels from her cat food. Louis also made sure no other food products consumed by humans were labelled, and by the end of the night the cat food was gone. Louis created pleasant memories like this for everyone to look back on and laugh.

Louis is survived by his brothers, Antoine, Ricky, George, and Richard; his sister Caroline, Judee, Suza, Hilda, Stella, and his stepsister Nancy. He will be sadly missed by the family and members alike. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Eulogy For Louis Tsetso
Members' Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Our condolences to the family and also to the region as well. Members' statements. Item 4, reports of standing and special committees. Item 5, returns to oral questions. Item 6, recognition of visitors in the gallery.