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 339-18(3): Rental Office Backlog
Oral Questions

Page 4118

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

While the Minister continues to survey the results, my constituents are losing thousands of dollars by this backlog. If he is not willing to bring forward more resources, what other things can he do to reduce the waiting times at the rental office? What kind of policy or directives can he apply to make this problem resolve itself?

Question 339-18(3): Rental Office Backlog
Oral Questions

Page 4118

Louis Sebert Thebacha

As mentioned earlier, we do recognize this as a problem. We have taken a number of steps, including increasing the number of hearings via three-way teleconference and scheduling face-to-face hearings outside Yellowknife more promptly. We are attempting to streamline the office and become more efficient and give people a shorter time in which their matters can be resolved. We do recognize this is an important issue.

Question 339-18(3): Rental Office Backlog
Oral Questions

Page 4118

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 339-18(3): Rental Office Backlog
Oral Questions

Page 4118

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when examining the cases that have gone in front of the rental officer, there are many that seem to be a result of the lack of willingness of the parties to work it out on their own and some misunderstanding of what the rental officer can do. I would suggest to the Minister, because I am not all about criticism and would like to give him some solutions today, that perhaps he commit some resources to educating potential landlords and tenants of their responsibilities and rights under the Residential Tenancies Act. Is he willing to put forward some education like that so we can get rid of frivolous cases that are jamming up the system? Thank you.

Question 339-18(3): Rental Office Backlog
Oral Questions

Page 4118

Louis Sebert Thebacha

I doubt whether the parties involved in those cases regard them as frivolous, but the rental office does offer public education materials. When appropriate, landlords and tenants are encouraged to resolve matters outside the formal application process. However, it has to be said that not all individuals are prepared to be flexible. Many want their day in court. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 339-18(3): Rental Office Backlog
Oral Questions

Page 4118

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

May 31st, 2018

Page 4118

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have some questions for the Minister of Justice. During our last sitting, the Minister stated that the corrections service has established a committee to examine the feasibility of implementing a therapeutic community model to treat inmates at the South Mackenzie Correctional Centre.

The therapeutic community model considers substance abuse as a symptom of much broader problems in a residential setting and uses holistic treatment approaches that have an impact on every aspect of a resident's life. This represents a substantial shift in our approach to corrections. In fact, the Minister has stated that the department is currently in the final stages of curriculum development for the pre-treatment healing addictions program to be facilitated out of SMCC.

I would like to follow up with the Minister, because this is, like I said, a substantial shift and hasn't gotten much attention. Part of this therapeutic model relies heavily on case management. I would like to ask the Minster: since case management is essential to the success of this model, will new staff be hired to ensure appropriate case management? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4118

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Justice.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4118

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think those of us who did have the opportunity to go to see the program as it was working in British Columbia were very impressed with the program. Clearly, should we go ahead with this; it would represent a significant change in the way in which we are doing business.

To fully incorporate such a therapeutic model at SMCC, a staffing base would be required to further support the offenders' recovery and growth. They currently have the staffing and resources required to support this model, that is very good news, including management as well as unit case management and program staff. Clearly, training in the philosophy and approach exemplified by Guthrie House would be required for a therapeutic community to be fully implemented in the Northwest Territories.

The news is encouraging. We were very impressed with the Guthrie House model and are thinking about having such a model at SMCC. Thank you.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4119

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

I was more encouraged last time I asked the Minister about this, because it sounded like they were moving ahead with this. Now, I hear a lot of "maybe we will do this." I would like some clarification: are concrete steps being taken so that the department can move forward with this therapeutic model at SMCC?

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4119

Louis Sebert Thebacha

We are currently looking at the possibility of transitioning the SMCC in Hay River to a therapeutic community model. We are spending time on this. Certainly, as I said before, we were all impressed when we went to Guthrie House. I think we should move ahead with our review to ascertain whether we can replicate that model in the Northwest Territories, because clearly, we have to start doing business in a different way.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4119

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Again, I heard "possibility" in there. I was under the impression, or maybe it was just hopeful thinking, wishful thinking, that the department was moving forward with this. The Minister mentioned a review. Can I have some sort of timeline of when this review will be complete and when he can give a definitive answer of whether or not this transition is going to take place?

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4119

Louis Sebert Thebacha

I don't think I can provide a timeline and a definitive answer at this time, but we will check with the department and get back to the Member opposite.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4119

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Hay River North.

Question 340-18(3): South Mackenzie Correctional Centre Therapeutic Model
Oral Questions

Page 4119

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The clock is ticking. We don't have that much time. They say, at the end of the Assembly, the departments are just waiting out the Ministers. I would like to see the Minister get moving on this. Will he commit to getting me a timeline and some information on the work that has been done so that I can ensure that is shared with committee? Then we can hopefully press to move this forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.