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This is from 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 report.

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. Wally Schumann, Hon. Louis Sebert, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Vanthuyne.

The House met at 1:31 p.m.

Prayer
Prayer

March 15th, 2018

David Black

[English translation not provided.]

Prayer
Prayer

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Good afternoon, Members. Ministers' statements. Minister of Industry, Tourism, Investment.

Minister's Statement 67-18(3): NWT Manufacturing Strategy – What We Heard
Ministers' Statements

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, the expansion and growth of the Northwest Territories' manufacturing sector offers a means to diversify the economy and encourage greater economic development and investment.

For that reason, our government has committed to developing a northern Manufacturing Strategy in collaboration with industry and the Northwest Territories' Manufacturers' Association.

In this government's mandate, we have committed to developing a Northwest Territories Manufacturing Strategy that will expand our territory's manufacturing sector; identify areas of potential growth; promote and market NWT manufactured products; and aid in the professional and technological advancement of manufacturing in the Northwest Territories.

The development of this strategy is being guided by research and engagement with existing manufacturers, prospective manufacturers, key stakeholders, and the public.

The department investigated the market factors that point to what needs to be done. Dialogues, public engagement sessions, and industry meetings have given us an understanding of what stakeholders want to do, and facility tours and industry meetings have demonstrated what can be done.

Over the past few months, ITI's project team hosted 11 public sessions and an additional 60 stakeholder engagements, talking face-to-face with as many as 174 individuals about manufacturing in the Northwest Territories.

A web-based engagement portal was also used to gather feedback from those who were unable to attend engagement opportunities in person. The website was accessed 262 times and follow-up communications were conducted by phone or email.

Mr. Speaker, the findings of our meetings and engagements will be formally captured in a "what we heard" report that we will release in April. It will offer an understanding of the challenges, ideas, and opportunities raised by NWT residents, manufacturers, and stakeholders.

Many of the discussions addressed the common challenges of working and operating a business in the North. Freight and utility costs, in particular, are impeaching on our manufacturers. Staff recruitment, training, and retention were also identified as challenges.

As expected, our government's procurement policies and practices were a topic of much discussion. We recognize that more communication and clarity will be needed in this area.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, we heard that we need to increase markets, outside government, for products manufactured in the NWT, and develop supports for NWT manufacturing beyond the existing Northern Manufacturers Policy.

Mr. Speaker, our engagement process will generally inform our strategy development. In addition to identifying the challenges, issues, and concerns of the Northwest Territories' manufacturing sector, our conversations and meetings have confirmed the opportunities and strengths on which we will now build and move forward.

I look forward to sharing a draft of the Northwest Territories' new NWT Manufacturing Strategy with Members in time for our May-June session. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 67-18(3): NWT Manufacturing Strategy – What We Heard
Ministers' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Minister's Statement 68-18(3): Services For Seniors
Ministers' Statements

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has made a commitment in its mandate to support our seniors to live in their own homes for as long as possible while ensuring adequate supports when they can no longer do so. I would like to provide an update on our continued efforts to make this commitment a reality.

As Members know, the government put in place a strategic framework, Our Elders Our Communities, which supports a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of our seniors.

Current work related to the seven priorities in this framework is ongoing and includes:

• Planning for future long-term care beds in Yellowknife, Hay River, and Inuvik;

• Planning for extended care beds in alignment with the timelines of the Stanton Renewal Project;

• Supporting Health and Social Services Authorities with training on the Supportive Pathways approach;

• Supporting authority staff to attend Elders in Motion training;

• Collaborating with the authorities on policies to support implementation of the new Continuing Care Standards;

• Planning to pilot tools developed with the NWT Seniors' Society to screen for elder abuse; and

• Collaborating with the NWT Seniors' Society to validate tools and the approach to support early integration of palliative care.

We are also making progress on the activities outlined in our Continuing Care Services Action Plan. Research and analysis for a Paid Family/Community Caregiver Option Pilot is currently under way in order to identify the needs of seniors, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers. We want to empower our seniors by allowing them to decide who they want to assist them with their unmet care needs. This type of program will be of particular importance in our smaller Indigenous communities, where resources are limited, connection to family is strong, and aging in place is favoured. The federal investment of $890,000 to the program over the next four years will undoubtedly aid in its overall success.

Mr. Speaker, the department is advancing work on the Yellowknife Adult Day Program. A thorough review of the AVENS Elder's Day program was conducted in 2017, which informed the need for adult day programming in Yellowknife. A request for proposal was issued earlier this winter. The department is working closely with the Yellowknife Region of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority to re-establish adult day services for seniors in the City of Yellowknife.

A few months ago, we released the sixth edition of our Seniors' Information Handbook. This resource provides a comprehensive list of programs and services that seniors and their caregivers can access to make informed decisions about their care. We distributed this handbook in a widespread mail-out across the territory and continue to receive requests for copies to this day. We are proud of this resource and are thankful to all of our partners who contributed to its completion.

I am also pleased that officials from government have begun working with the NWT Seniors' Society to develop a report card on GNWT programs and services for seniors. The report card is an opportunity to inventory and assess the effectiveness of GNWT programs and services either designed for or accessed by seniors, determine how well they are meeting seniors' needs, and identify areas for potential improvement or better coordination. The first steps are to draft terms of reference for the project, to start an inventory of all programs and services for seniors across government, and to begin an assessment of the effectiveness of these programs and services in order to identify areas for improvement.

Mr. Speaker, knowing that the number of adults over the age of 70 will nearly triple by 2034, we are making significant strides to ensure our elders can age safely in their homes with dignity while surrounded by family. This issue will remain at the forefront of GNWT priorities as we strive for our Best Care, Best Health, Better Future.Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 68-18(3): Services For Seniors
Ministers' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Preservation Of Indigenous Languages
Members' Statements

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, with new money rolling in from Canadian Heritage to revitalize, preserve, and enhance official Indigenous languages, this funding is imperative to the survival of our languages and culture that have been undergoing a pattern of decline. It is my hope that the Northwest Territories will have a success story about the language revival and become an example for the rest of the country to follow.

Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons why linguistic heritage is often in danger of extinguishment is because of colonialism and the treatment of non-dominant languages and culture being rendered invisible. The fate of our languages can be drastically changed simply by the fact that children no longer learn them.

One way we can help language revival is to teach children from an early age. Who better to teach them than our elders, who are some of the greatest teachers of our society? An example is possibly having daycares in the same buildings or streets as homes for elders, and include elders and children's engagement in the daily schedules of activities.

Mr. Speaker, elders hold valuable knowledge and wisdom in all topics of life. They have valuable talents, skills, and expertise that are so relevant today. Elders are some of the most concerned when it comes to youth, children, and families. Mr. Speaker, elders are keen observers of their environment, offering us guidance and awareness that help our communities. Throughout various colonialization forces, our elders remained filled with hope, faith, and humour intact, which tell the rest of us something about the power and validity of traditional teachings, healings, and resilience. Mr. Speaker, we must take care of our elders, not only because they need us, but because we also need them.

Mr. Speaker, we must promote our elders, to socially include them with family, friends, and organizations in their communities. If we empower our elders in this way, elders are able to fulfill their intergenerational roles in transferring their knowledge and traditions to the next generation, which would help them be more active and effective in teaching and maintaining preserving our cultures, traditions, and way of life.

Mr. Speaker, it is crucial to involve our elders in all areas where they can meaningfully participate in intergenerational relationships, especially when it comes to children and the revival of their mother tongue. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Preservation Of Indigenous Languages
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Nezuh Edeheh Gots'endih Youth Conference: Living Well With Oneself
Members' Statements

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as you have heard, the Nahendeh region has dealt with a number of tragic deaths in the past year. We have had a lot of people working on helping the residents deal with this matter. Last June, the Deh Cho Divisional Education Council trustees directed the staff to plan a conference around the theme of mental health. This is one way to respond to the sixth suicide in the past six months, a young woman from the community of Fort Simpson. There was a concern that our youth needed more information on how to live healthy lives and make positive choices. A conference was determined to be one of the starting points for educating our youth and leading into substantial follow-up in the area of mental well-being.

The council staff worked with representatives from Municipal and Community Affairs, Health and Social Services, and First Nations to work on organizing the conference this past February in Fort Simpson. The theme, Living Well for Oneself, evolved in response to the student survey on what they would like to know and do, as well as incorporating some of the direction from youth we met over this past summer.

The two-day sessions were organized in a conference-like format with a focus on mental wellness. In the evening, there were various recreational activities, from sport and traditional games to yoga and meditation, as well as various arts. Quiet areas were set up in the school, including open studios for those wanting to decompress using an art medium. A MUCH Music dance on Wednesday night was followed by two MUCH Music motivation presentations on Thursday morning for conference participants and for the Bompas students.

The conference was attended by 189 students from grades 7 to 12 from all of the eight Deh Cho communities. They were able to provide strategies to support students to deal with mental health issues and to develop and maintain a healthy balanced life. Conference organizers felt that they had strong partnerships and buy-in from all organization and a stronger action to move forward. I would like to share a couple of comments from the youth who responded to the following question: "What one or two messages were important to you?"

• Mental health is a serious topic.

• Never be ashamed of what and who you are.

• Believe in yourself; you are not alone.

They had 28 students complete this section, asking them to identify themselves if they needed to talk to anyone.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, the one saying, "It takes a community to raise a child," is so true. However, I would like to take it one step further and say it takes the region and territories to help our youth grow.

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank the organizations, the government, and the youth for an excellent first start. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Nezuh Edeheh Gots'endih Youth Conference: Living Well With Oneself
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Arctic Winter Games
Members' Statements

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mr. Speaker, can you feel it? Can you hear it? Mr. Speaker, the Arctic Winter Games are fast approaching, and the opening ceremony of the 2018 South Slave Games is taking place this Sunday, March 18, in Hay River. Hay River is the traditional territory of the K'atlodeeche First Nations, along with the West Point First Nation and the Metis Nation.

While part of the games will also be held in Fort Smith, the Dene games will take place on the Hay River Reserve. I look forward to the cultural events, such as stick pull, snow snake, hand games, and drum dances.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge some of the athletes and coaches from the Deh Cho riding:

• Beth Hudson from Fort Providence is Team NWT's coach for table tennis;

• Katherine Lenoire from Enterprise is a curler on the junior team; and finally

• Shannon Bonnetrouge from Fort Providence is the territorial champion and will be competing as a junior table tennis athlete.

I would also like to recognize the many people who made this possible in the towns of Hay River and Fort Smith, the parents and the cheerleaders who will be cheering on their favourite team and players. Mr. Speaker, I am proud that the Deh Cho will be represented at the Arctic Winter Games, and we will be rooting for team NWT. Best of luck to our athletes. They are our future Olympians in the making. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Arctic Winter Games
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Best of luck to all athletes for the Northwest Territories. Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Arctic Winter Games
Members' Statements

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, can you feel it? Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the athletes who are excited to be travelling this weekend to participate in the Arctic Winter Games in Hay River and Fort Smith.

Mr. Speaker, athletes have worked countless hours preparing, training, and focusing on achieving in their sport to get to this level of competition. I wish to congratulate all athletes. These games are going to be memorable as they go out and compete, making the NWT proud of their accomplishments. They will make new friends, see different territories, provinces, and different countries participating and enjoying the extracurricular activities that Hay River and Fort Smith have to offer.

Mr. Speaker, I commend the community supporters, parents, and coaches who have helped get their athletes to the Arctic Winter Games. I also want to recognize athletes from the Mackenzie Delta riding who will be participating: Kendall Archie, Arctic sports; Keegan Arey, Dene games; Logan Arey, Dene games; Monica Arey, Dene games; Frank Elanik, Dene games; Annie Erigaktoak, Dene games; Maurice Blake, Dene games; Madison McLeod, snowshoeing; Ruth Hanthorn, snowshoeing; Jesse Hanthorn, snowshoeing; Darby Robert, snowshoeing; Joel Arey, snowshoeing; and A.J. Charlie, for hockey.

Good luck. Try your best. Be proud. Play fair. We will be cheering you on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Arctic Winter Games
Members' Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.