This is page numbers 4571 - 4620 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 yellowknife.

Topics

Question 473-18(3): Daycare Programs
Oral Questions

Page 4596

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

At this time, no, we are not supporting extra money for people to come in. I think it would be huge. It's a great idea. However, in honesty, it would be huge on daycares. That's based on my background with running daycares. It's that they use volunteers from all over the communities. It's powerful. The centre that I ran, they had speech pathologists coming in and, you know, people from Health and Social Services. We had elders coming in. We have parents coming in. If we started to support, it would be a matter of picking and choosing which ones get money and which ones don't. At this time, we are not doing that. There are other programs that actually support those kinds of endeavours. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 473-18(3): Daycare Programs
Oral Questions

Page 4596

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4596

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Can he tell us how the Federal Poverty Reduction Strategy will impact poverty in the NWT? Can he estimate how many people will move out of poverty by 2020? Thank you.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4596

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4596

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it is a federal government strategy, so I can't say exactly how many people the federal government strategy might move out of poverty, but I can talk a little bit about the work that we are doing with the federal government.

As the Member has already indicated, the federal government's poverty reduction strategy sets out an official measure of poverty for Canada using the market basket measure. They are actually going to change it and call it "Canada's official poverty line." The market basket measure is a measure, as the Member, I'm certain, is aware, through the Canadian Income Survey, which has traditionally excluded the Northwest Territories.

I was happy to see that the new strategy actually commits to extending the Canada Income Survey so that the poverty line can be measured and reported in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut. I'm happy to say that Statistics Canada has already initiated a review of the market basket measure which will be completed by the end of the 2018-2019 fiscal review. Their review will include consideration of the unique cost of living in the northern territories, with the possibility that the market basket measure will be tailored, hopefully tailored, to reflect northern realities.

I'm happy to say that the Bureau of Statistics; Education, Culture, and Employment; and Health and Social Services are participating in that review. In fact, we have staff in Ottawa this week participating in some workshops around this.

We are hoping, Mr. Speaker, or we are intending that, in next week's anti-poverty roundtable, there will a presentation on the Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy delivered by representatives from Employment and Social Development Canada. There is a session on the development of the northern market basket measures that will also be held. I think this is a going to be an important discussion. It's going to be led by the Bureau of Statistics with input from Statistics Canada.

Mr. Speaker, we are hopeful that the northern basket will be implemented following the review. If it is not, it is still going to be a benefit for the Northwest Territories to be included in the Canadian Income Survey and the national reporting on the official poverty line. This will allow us in the Northwest Territories to measure progress in reducing poverty against other jurisdictions, as well as national results. The NWT has established, as the Member knows, 23 of our own indicators that we are using to assess poverty here in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4596

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate that response. The Minister said there is a presentation next week at the anti-poverty roundtable on the Federal Poverty Reduction Strategy. Can he not tell us what impact this strategy will have on the NWT, as apparently the analysis has been done?

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4596

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

In the strategy, the federal government is encouraging provinces and territories to live up to the principles of their plan by doing different actions and activities in the Northwest Territories. These actually, I think, in many ways are similar to the territorial Anti-Poverty Action Plan, as it summarizes existing programs and funding commitments across the government, as well as with our partners throughout the Northwest Territories.

Once again, I am not the right person to talk about the federal plan. I am looking forward to seeing the presentation and working with our partners from across the Northwest Territories to continue addressing poverty here in the Northwest Territories.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4596

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Indicators are not measurements of poverty. They are indicators. It is something different. The indicators for food security shows that we have a pretty significant level of people who describe themselves as having moderate to severe food insecurity. Can the Minister tell us how the anti-poverty initiatives and funding in the NWT are made? Any improvement in this area?

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4597

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

The Government of the Northwest Territories is taking a whole-of-government approach when it comes to addressing poverty. Housing is doing an important thing. Income support is doing important things, as the Member highlighted within her Member's statement. ITI is doing important things. ENR. The government is working to create and support community gardens in every community in the Northwest Territories. The anti-poverty fund has also put money into different food programs throughout the Northwest Territories.

The federal government, obviously, has a role to play. We're hoping to see some positive results from the review of the food mail program. These are things that will help control costs, bring fresh produce, fresh products, to the Northwest Territories.

In the agricultural strategy, the Department of Health and Social Services is working to remove barriers so that individuals who are growing their own produce can sell it. That's our first step under that strategy. Our second step is to allow the sale of locally harvested foods and farm foods, so that these foods can be made available at a local level, and in a safe way.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4597

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4597

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, for somebody who is hungry today, I'm not sure they're going to be thrilled that there's a whole-of-government response. That isn't going to meet any of their immediate needs. Not only that, many of the people who are hungry today have parents who are hungry, and grandparents who are hungry. There is a poverty trap where people are unable to exit to have enough to meet their needs to actually make a chance in their circumstances. Is the Minister aware of this problem, and what is he doing about it? Thank you.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4597

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

I hate to inform the Member that I'm not new to this file, and I have been working on addressing poverty here in the Northwest Territories with partners from across the territory for a number of years. We did bring forward an NWT framework for addressing poverty in the Northwest Territories where there are multiple partners working to address these problems. The GNWT has also taken action, and I highlighted some of the things we're doing around food security here already.

On top of that, we also have the Anti-Poverty Fund, which is an application-based program. We have $1 million in that fund. A number of those recipients were organizations putting together kitchens and food programs so that they could get food into the mouths of those most at need. We are doing work in that area, but it's not just the Government of the Northwest Territories. We've really got to applaud the communities that are stepping up and doing work. The federal government, we are really interested to see how they move with food mail. We've got community gardens that are growing food, making produce. There are things that are happening. We're not saying it's perfect, Mr. Speaker. I would never be so naive to suggest we've got this one figured out and solved, but we are working with our partners to get it done. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 474-18(3): Poverty in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 4597

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Member for Sahtu.

Question 475-18(3): Renewable Solar Energy
Oral Questions

October 30th, 2018

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Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions following up on my statement are directed to the Minister of Infrastructure. My first question, Mr. Speaker: the Government of Canada's Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund has provided $23 million for our new energy programs in the Northwest Territories. Can the Minister provide a breakdown of the types of projects that funding will be used for and how the department plans to roll out the program? Mahsi.

Question 475-18(3): Renewable Solar Energy
Oral Questions

Page 4597

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister of Infrastructure.