This is page numbers 3161 - 3198 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 going.

Topics

Carbon Pricing
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Addiction Treatment Centres Tour
Members' Statements

February 12th, 2018

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

[English translation not provided.]

Addiction Treatment Centres Tour
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

National Inquiry Into Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women And Girls Hearings In Yellowknife
Members' Statements

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I spent many hours a couple of weeks ago listening to the testimony of Northerners at the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls hearing that was held here in Yellowknife. I want to congratulate everyone who decided to speak in public. It gave those of us listening an opportunity to hear from families directly affected by the loss of their family members and about the scourge of family violence.

Here are some of my takeaways. When her father murdered her mother, Lesa Semmler became an orphan for all intents and purposes after her father went to jail. The same was true for Jayda Andre's nephew. The loss of parents always creates profound sadness, but imagine living with the fact that the death was deliberate and committed by a family member.

Mr. Speaker, the testimony of these two women made clear the second element: that their families helped them to the best of their ability, but the victims didn't or couldn't access counselling. Part of the issue is how interrelated the small communities are and how divisive this kind of traumatic event. Jayda Andre said that she didn't want to counsellors in Fort McPherson because they were related to the killer. That's understandable, and other counselling options are a long way away -- here in Yellowknife.

A third takeaway for me is about the importance of helping children. Lesa Semmler was eight when her mother died, and Joni Andre's son was two. They need special attention to process what has happened to them and targeted learning about positive ways to deal with anger in order to break the cycle of violence. To the best of my knowledge, this program is offered only in Yellowknife, so it wouldn't have helped either of these children.

Mr. Speaker, my final takeaway is about the status of women in the NWT. There is no escaping the fact that abusive men are tolerated, and violence against women is tolerated. Despite the fact that the NWT has the second‑highest rate of family violence in the country, no new resources have been allocated to prevention and eradication, except for the men's healing program. While many women support this program because they see benefits for themselves, it doesn't help keep them safe when they are being attacked, and it doesn't help their children who grow up in violent homes.

Mr. Speaker, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls hearing provided the first public conversation about family violence in the NWT in decades. It was an important experience for those who witnessed it, and I hope it was constructive for those who spoke. I'm disappointed that no one from Cabinet attended until the closing ceremonies. I hope that isn't an indication of their willingness to implement the commission's recommendations when they come out later this year. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

National Inquiry Into Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women And Girls Hearings In Yellowknife
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statement. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Mental Health And Addictions Services
Members' Statements

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I would like to talk about a major issue that we are facing in the North. Many people suffer from mental health and addiction issues in the NWT. These issues affect not only the individual, but their family, friends, co-workers, and the community. It is one of the leading causes of disability affecting more than 6.7 million Canadians. It is also very costly to the justice, health, and education systems in the NWT.

Mr. Speaker, we do not have a northern addiction treatment facility in the NWT. Our members have the option to attend treatment centres down South, either in Alberta or British Columbia. This may not be feasible for all individuals; some examples may be those with one income, small children, elderly parents, or employment conflicts. The statistics show that, in 2016-2017, a total of 172 people from the NWT attended a southern treatment centre.

Mr. Speaker, in the North there are many alcohol-related crimes, but I believe that many of those could have been prevented. I would like to mention that a judge on the NWT Supreme Court wished that treating addictions was "more of a priority" in the NWT. A judge called for more resources to be dedicated to fight substance abuse in the territory during a sentence hearing February 17, 2017, relating to one of my constituents. Many of our northern residents have been criminalized for suffering with alcohol and substance-related issues. It is clear that we need far more resources in the North to address this major social problem.

Mr. Speaker, in addition, I would like to see the creation and implementation of on-the-land programs geared for our youth starting at the elementary school level. We can create a new mentality of examining and addressing addictions and mental health, and one which focuses on prevention, treatment, and understanding. Mr. Speaker, another aspect is to focus on the services offered to those incarcerated. Helping to truly rehabilitate, educate those individuals, and provide ongoing care and commitment: this could help establish successful individuals. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mental Health And Addictions Services
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Eulogy For Sarah Jane Mcleod
Members' Statements

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I regret to inform you that Sarah Jane McLeod passed away on October 12, 2017. Sara Jane Isaiah was known as well as Sally. She was born on September 27, 1933, in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, to Eva Isaiah and Foster Browning.

Sally grew up in Aklavik as a ward of the church. She attended school there. As an adult, she returned to Fort Simpson, where she did odd jobs around the community before moving to Edmonton to work at the Charles Campsell Hospital. Later on, she returned to the North to work as a domestic worker for the family who ran the Forestry Department in Fort Liard.

There, she met her future husband, William Charles McLeod, who passed away previous to her. William had four children from his previous marriage, Frederick, Phillip, Mavis, and Ernest. Sally and Willie were married in 1953. They had nine children together; Angus, Ellen, Morris, Gladys, Ruby, Mabel, Kathie, Sharon, and Dolly.

Mr. Speaker, Sally had many talents. She was a wonderful seamstress and a fabulous cook. She made parkas and moccasins for her whole family, and they looked forward to receiving these. She sold parkas to the RCMP. She worked as a cook for local prisoners and various workers who came into town, then she decided to seek employment with the Hudson Bay Company. Later, she became the post mistress when the post office moved to the Northern Store. She held that position until she retired.

After retirement, she spent her time reading, doing crossword puzzles, and watching movies. Whenever somebody stopped by her house, there was always coffee, tea, and pilot biscuits. She was famous for having two candy dishes left for visitors. She was a caring, gentle, and soft-spoken lady whom I got to visit numerous times.

At age 70, Sara undertook the raising of her great grandchild Leona, who was just six months old. Sara was surrounded by her family in Fort Liard, as most of them still live there with their families. In her late years, Shayla, her granddaughter, would do her errands and make sure that her bills were paid and she had groceries. Various sons, daughters, and grandchildren were always visiting her and taking her on outings. Her son Angus took her berry picking just prior to her 86th birthday.

Christmas was a busy time for her. She would make sure each and every one of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren had something special. You think you knew her. All through the years, her children bought her Elvis memorabilia, and she would display this throughout the house. Just recently before she passed away, she commented, "I don't know why my family keeps buying me so much Elvis stuff. I don't like him." Sara Jane McLeod passed away surrounded by her family. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Eulogy For Sarah Jane Mcleod
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Our condolences to the family, as well. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Item 6, acknowledgments. Item 7, oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 80-18(3): Status Of Amendments To Cities, Towns And Villages Act
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs well knows the issue of the outstanding amendments to the Cities, Towns and Villages Act, earlier in the day in my Member's statement quoted one of her officials from a business plan review for 2016-2017. I would like to ask the Minister today: what progress has been done since that review on updating the Cities, Towns and Villages Act? Thank you.

Question 80-18(3): Status Of Amendments To Cities, Towns And Villages Act
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Question 80-18(3): Status Of Amendments To Cities, Towns And Villages Act
Oral Questions

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have come to learn that change in legislation does take a little bit more time than I would like to think it does, so it takes a lot of stakeholder engagement, a lot of writing, et cetera. What progress have we made? We have actually met with the six tax-based municipalities that would be affected by the CTV Act to look at things like the energy retrofits. We've also talked about the hotel tax levy with them. On the note of the hotel tax levy, we've had to meet with other stakeholders, so we have met with the Northwest Territories and the Regional Chamber of Commerce. We've met with the Hotel Association. From those stakeholder engagements, then, we move forward, and so we're in the process right now of drafting our proposal, which will be submitted in March coming up here next month, and from there we're looking at implementing our first bill to be presented in the May/June sitting. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 80-18(3): Status Of Amendments To Cities, Towns And Villages Act
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

I appreciate the stakeholder engagement that's gone into this. The Association of NWT Communities has recommended these changes and other changes in the legislation for, I think, a decade now, so it's nice to see the department moving forward. I'm wondering if there's any possible way that the Minister can move up the timeline? The reason I ask, Mr. Speaker, is the City of Yellowknife is depending on some of these changes so they can afford their tourism operation. I just don't want to be put in the situation where we're not able to give the City of Yellowknife this legislative change and they are forced to raise taxes in order to support tourism operation, which is, of course, something that this government takes very seriously. Is there any way we can move the legislative proposal up to this sitting so the standing committee can get a look at it before waiting for May/June?

Question 80-18(3): Status Of Amendments To Cities, Towns And Villages Act
Oral Questions

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

As stated at the beginning, I didn't realize that changing legislation takes as long as it does take. I often wish I could get them all off of my desk, but I realize it takes time. We are on a timeline that was submitted a year ago. We are on the timeline that was submitted just before the sitting. The proposal will be put in, in March. I can't move it any faster than the process takes, so the bill will be introduced to standing committee in May/June, and hopefully standing committee won't take as long and we will be able to get that off and rolling.

Question 80-18(3): Status Of Amendments To Cities, Towns And Villages Act
Oral Questions

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

I'll just remind the Minister that the changes that the department has narrowed down and has been consulting on have been recommended by Regular Members every year. So I can speak for the standing committee now that, if the legislative proposal contains the exact same recommendations that we've been making, we're pretty good to go with it. So, again, will the Minister expedite this matter? My concern is: we need to meet the timelines. I represent the riding here in Yellowknife. I'm looking out for my constituents, and I want to make sure that they're not burdened by the inability of this legislative proposal to move forward in a timely fashion, and it's going to impact the City of Yellowknife's budget. They're paying for ‑‑