This is page numbers 4267 - 4292 of the Hansard for 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 housing.

Topics

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. Nakimayak, Mr. O'Reilly, Hon. Louis Sebert, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Vanthuyne

The House met at 1:31 p.m.

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

Page 4267

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The Honourable Premier.

Minister's Statement 97-18(3): Minister Absent from the House
Ministers' Statements

Page 4267

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the honourable Wally Schumann will be absent from the House today and tomorrow to attend the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Tourism meeting in Calgary, Alberta. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 97-18(3): Minister Absent from the House
Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Housing Needs in Mackenzie Delta
Members' Statements

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Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, next month, after we have all gone home to our communities, we will see communities, provinces, and territories across the country recognizing National Housing Day. Since 1998, this has been considered a day of action on the urgent housing needs of many Canadians.

On November 22nd, Mr. Speaker, I hope you will remember this statement because, like so many northern communities, housing needs in the Mackenzie Delta are urgent, also.

I am talking about families on the waiting list for three years or more, with no end in sight, even with letters of support from doctors expressing the urgency of their housing needs.

I am talking about young people putting off starting families of their own because there is nowhere to live. Mr. Speaker, bucking national trends, communities in my riding are actually growing. People who left to seek work or go to school in Inuvik, Yellowknife, or Whitehorse want to come home.

The Mackenzie Delta wants to welcome them, Mr. Speaker, but the fact remains: there just are not enough houses. Thanks to an injection of federal money and a partnership with the NWT Housing Corporation, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is introducing new units across the settlement region, but, Mr. Speaker, here's the thing: I understand these will not be additional units, instead slowly replacing stock that is aging out of the Housing Corporation's inventory. This means we will still be in a shortage, especially in Aklavik and Fort McPherson.

The NWT Housing Corporation has some existing projects under way, Mr. Speaker, but there is still a long way to go to put a roof over the heads of some of our most vulnerable residents. I will have questions for the Minister later today. Thank you.

Housing Needs in Mackenzie Delta
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Aurora College
Members' Statements

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Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak on a topic which I know is on the minds of many Northerners. Aurora College.

When most of us were elected in 2015, we made post-secondary education and the future of the college a key campaign issue, so it was not a surprise that made its way into our mandate. Yet, after three years, we are no further ahead on post-secondary education and a renewed mandate for Aurora College than when we started. I, like many others, am concerned by the tone and shape this conversation has taken. We have seen a report published advising the GNWT of how best to move forward on this investment in the next generation of Northerners, and it seems to many that this investment has become a political football thrown back and forth for the benefit of politicians rather than for the benefit of students and residents of the Northwest Territories.

The decision-making process has been delayed again and again, and I assume that the Minister's much-anticipated response to this report will again hold off any decision by this legislative body until after the next election. This means that, with this existing process, the college and students cannot begin a plan for the prospect of expanding northern education until 2019 or 2020, at best, based on the rate the government has put into this project to date.

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear: the current focus of this government is not student-centred. Again, this has become a political hockey puck being passed around with seemingly no end. How can students and their parents in the NWT have confidence that this government has their best interests in mind?

At present, our talks seem to pit community against community, as opposed to trying to find a consensus of what is ultimately best for northern students. Students, regardless of the final location of the college, will need amenities, housing, social, educational; access to transport; technological solutions; and a well-rounded quality of campus life. These must be at the centre of our decision-making process, as opposed to what is most politically expedient for particular MLAs who put the interests of one community above others.

Young Northerners need to know that this government has their best interests in mind and that we are committed to putting their needs before the political calculations of individual Members. I hope we can, as a Legislative Assembly, find a meaningful consensus and allow shovels to get into the ground as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Aurora College
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Appreciation for Rescue of Elders in Deh Cho
Members' Statements

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Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in small northern communities, having each other is all we have, and helping each other in a time of need is essential. Mr. Speaker, [English translation not provided.] Case in point: at the beginning of the month, there was a family in Fort Providence who were at their fall fish camp, and they attempted to walk back to the community. After two days of walking and three quarters of the way into town, an elderly couple had to be rescued as nighttime temperatures dipped to minus seven.

Mr. Speaker, elders Antoine Canadien and Celine Lesage are both active traditional harvesters who fish in the falltime. They experienced mechanical issues with their outboard motor and decided to walk back to town.

After the second night of their walk back to town, the elders sent their two grandchildren for help. A search team was mobilized, with people on quads, boats, and a helicopter.

Mr. Speaker, fortunately, the elders were located and brought into town and to the health centre. Both are doing well and are grateful for their bush survival skills, which enabled them to survive without food or water during their walk back to town.

A special thanks to the following people; James Nadli, Eric Nadli, Ernest Nadli, and George Nadli, Sheldon Farcy, Cameron Sapp, Michael Vandell, Rick Lesage, Colin Malewski, Danny Beaulieu, and Edward Landry.

Mr. Speaker, elders Antoine Canadien and Celine Lesage are very thankful to the people who went out searching for them. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation for Rescue of Elders in Deh Cho
Members' Statements

Page 4268

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Lands Rights for Traditional Cabins
Members' Statements

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, before I get into my Member's statement, I would like to inform the House that I am going to be out of the House on Tuesday to Thursday for personal issues. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, during my visit to the communities of Fort Liard and Wrigley, the chiefs were questioning why the GNWT is charging members or looking at charging band members who have traditional cabins $840 per year. This goes against Treaty 11. The chiefs were able to share with me the Report of The Commissioner for Treaty No. 11, dated October 12, 1921. The author of the report was D.C. Scott, Esquire, Deputy Superintendent General, Department of Indian Affairs. This report was done by the deputy superintendent who helped bring forward Treaty No. 11.

In the report, there are a number of quotes I would like to share: "I had several meetings with them (Providence Indians), and explained the terms of the treaty. They were very apt in asking questions, and here, as in all the other posts where the treaty was signed, the questions asked and the difficulties encountered were much the same. The Indians seemed afraid, for one thing, that their liberty to hunt, trap and fish would be taken away or curtailed, but were assured by me that this would not be the case, and the government will expect them to support themselves in their own way, and, in fact, that more twine for nets and more ammunition were given under the terms of this treaty than under any of the preceding ones; this went a long way to calm their fears."

A second one: "Also, the said Indian rights, titles and privileges whatsoever to all other lands wherever situated in the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories or in any other portion of the Dominion of Canada. To have and to hold the same to His Majesty the King and His Predecessors forever.

His Majesty the King hereby agrees with the said Indians that they shall have the right to pursue their right vocations of hunting, trapping, and fishing throughout the tract surrendered as therefore to subscribe, subject to such regulations as may from time to time be made by the Government of the Canada acting under the authority of His Majesty, and saving and excepting such tracts as may be required or taken up from the time of settlement, mining and trading or other purposes."

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

---Unanimous consent granted

Lands Rights for Traditional Cabins
Members' Statements

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my colleagues. Now, with this in mind, they are wondering why the GNWT Department of Lands is able to supersede Treaty 11 and impose the lease fee on their traditional cabins, which will cause them hardship and their ability to hunt, trap, and fish. They had the right to use this land and build their traditional cabins as they saw fit in their traditional territories. Now, the GNWT is saying no. That is not right, and if they want the certain locations, they must pay $840. Later today, I will have questions for the Minister of Lands. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Lands Rights for Traditional Cabins
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Community Landfills and Waste Disposal
Members' Statements

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Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Waste recycling is a continuous and community effort. These efforts can be measured by the tidiness and organized appearance of community landfills.

Mr. Speaker, ENR delivered in 2009 a waste landfill audit per community. This audit included a recycling cost. The inventory included such items as household appliances, barrels of waste fluids, batteries, tires, et cetera.

Mr. Speaker, ongoing arrangements were made since the study was delivered, but as we know, waste is an ever-generating one and the opportunity of disposal.

Mr. Speaker, solutions for improving the management of waste resources need to consider the diverse interest of all our groups producing and managing waste. The NWT's unique challenges include our northern climate, small and isolated population, with a lack of all-season roads to licenced facilities.

Mr. Speaker, in preparation for the upcoming winter road season, discussions with our northern communities must take place now for a disposal plan to the appropriate licensed waste facilities in the south.

Later, Mr. Speaker, I will have questions for the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources. Mahsi.