This is page numbers 4103 - 4182 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

Question 336-18(3): Indigenous Government Consultations on Land Leases
Oral Questions

Page 4114

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, but unfortunately, I didn't get an answer. I heard a reduction of 5 per cent, you know, but it didn't say if that was in there, this reduction. I guess, the Minister of Finance, maybe I should be asking him the questions on that, but I'll worry about that later on. So my last question: with the huge increases to NWT lease fees, can the Minister please advise the House what the residents will see when it comes to the service being offered by the GNWT? Are they enhancing the services? Are they doing anything, including for these people out there who have cabins out in the bush? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 336-18(3): Indigenous Government Consultations on Land Leases
Oral Questions

Page 4114

Louis Sebert Thebacha

We had thought for some time that in no way did the lease fees cover the types of costs of administering such a huge area. So we thought there had to be an increase in any case, but apart from that, of course, there are certain things that lessees receive. One of those things is exclusive right to use the land with legal certainty. So we feel that that alone is worth quite a bit, and of course there are issues that Lands is going be having to deal with in the future, such as unauthorized occupancy. So yes, there were increases, and we feel they were justified. Thank you.

Question 336-18(3): Indigenous Government Consultations on Land Leases
Oral Questions

Page 4114

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

May 31st, 2018

Page 4115

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation and responsible for Homelessness. Is the Minister satisfied that having six people in a bachelor apartment with a hot plate and a bar fridge is appropriate housing for them, and not a priority case for the Housing Authority? Thank you.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Of course, I'm not. I don't think anybody in this House would feel that way, or even agree to that. I think that, as a government, we try our best to house individuals in the situations that were mentioned. We have a homelessness working group that we're working with to address these issues.

In terms of anybody who is in a situation, as the Member had mentioned in her statement, the NWT Housing Corporation has formed a new partnership, called the NGO Rental Partnership Program, also referred to as rapid re-housing, to support the YWCA, the Yellowknife Women's Society, with housing stability for residents who they serve. This support is very flexible and can be used for such things as damage deposits, rent supplements, or rapid re-housing. This partnership is designed to support households, like I said, throughout the NWT, as we had mentioned.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is a reality. There is a reality that we do have long waiting lists on housing throughout the Northwest Territories, specifically in our regional centres, and here in Yellowknife is our biggest. We try our best, we try to address it, and I do want to affirm that staff at the NWT Housing Corporation works diligently, they work hard, they try their best to house any individual in any circumstances, as well as our staff at the local housing organizations, as well as our regional offices. We've developed partnerships with NGOs, we've worked with community governments, Indigenous governments, to address homelessness and housing issues.

Mr. Speaker, there are realities out there, and I just want to let the Member know that my staff are working very hard to try to address these issues. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

What I take from that answer is there's no shortage of programs, but somehow there's a disconnect where this family, who is living in inadequate circumstances, is not being hooked up with a variety of programs that they may be eligible for as a low-income family. It's important to note, Mr. Speaker, they're a working family. They are not on income assistance. So they are trying to make it on their own initiative, and somehow there is this gap between what they need and what is on offer. How can the Minister bridge that gap?

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

First of all, we have done of few things. We have done a Housing Engagement Survey in 2017, and we're going to do another one in January of 2019. With that, we're developing these community housing plans for all 33 communities in the Northwest Territories, and through that survey, what we've developed is we're doing a strategic renewal within the NWT Housing Corporation. We're going to be reviewing all of our NWT Housing Corporation programs, and we're going to be reviewing them for potential improvements, as well as looking at improvements in our homelessness programs. We continue to do compassionate training for our staff at the LHO, so they know the clientele that they're working with, so that they can help them in the circumstances that they are in. Anybody in that situation, as long as they get on the waiting list for the NWT Housing Corporation, then they can apply for income assistance to help them with market rent.

Unfortunately, here in Yellowknife, another issue, too, is the market availability, as well as in some of our regional centres. So we're doing a strategic renewal, and hopefully that will address that. Income threshold is something that we might want to take a look at, as well, something that was done with income assistance.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I need the Minister to come down to the level of the client. A strategic renewal is not something this family is going to participate in, is going to directly benefit from. What they need is more appropriate housing. The Minister is telling me with endless lists that there is this, that, and the other program, and my question is: how are people on the waiting list made aware of these programs which may resolve their problems?

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

I want to say, again, that the staff at the LHO offices, local housing organizations, the regional offices, are getting out into the communities. I've instructed them to go out into the communities, let them know what programs are available to them, and make sure that any clients who come in are aware of programs such as the Homelessness Assistance Fund, subsidized rent programs. We also have, as I mentioned, the NGO rental partnership program that will help individuals in such cases. It is on a case-by-case basis, however, and I encourage any families, anyone who is in a situation where they're looking for housing, to go and speak to their LHO officers to make sure that they're informed of all the programs, all the services, that they're entitled to.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4115

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4116

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Minister has suggested at one point that the family apply for income assistance, and that's in spite of the fact that one parent is working full-time and making the effort to provide for his family. We keep saying in this House, "A good job is a social program." Is that really the best suggestion the Minister has, to facilitate more spending of government money rather than addressing the problem at hand? I still don't understand how this family is going to access suitable housing. Thank you.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4116

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

One thing that this government does is it does provide a lot of social supports to residents of the Northwest Territories. It was only an option. I didn't say to go and do it. It is an option for anybody who finds themselves in that situation or needs a little bit of extra help. We do have the Rent Supplement Program, as I mentioned, to help supplement the living costs that are associated with staying in your own unit, or a market unit, and that's something I would encourage.

We're here to help, as a government, whether it's through income assistance, through the programs we have at Housing, or any other programs that we have initiated or developed during the life of this government. We will continue to do that. It was an option, and I'm just throwing options out there in terms of anybody who is listening who might need a little bit of extra help, and that is what this government is here to do. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 337-18(3): Housing Policy for Families
Oral Questions

Page 4116

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 338-18(3): Educating Healthcare Professionals in the NWT
Oral Questions

Page 4116

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, during my Member's statement I talked about my desire to see the old Stanton Hospital being used as a nursing school. I would like to ask the Minister of Education some questions on that.

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Health released a statement on the use of the existing Stanton Hospital as an extended care, long-term care, primary care, outpatient rehabilitation services facility. I would like to ask the Minister of Education if, in spite of that statement, the door would still be open for this government to use the old Stanton Hospital as a school. Thank you.