This is page numbers 4183 - 4214 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 work.

Topics

Question 353-18(3): Tsiigehtchic Ferry Landing
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Mr. Speaker, in the past, the department had the community maintaining the ferry landings, and everything worked well. As soon as the ferry was in the water, the landings were done, and even this spring the community stepped up and removed the big mountain of ice that was on the ferry landing. Will the Minister direct his department to go back to the way things used to be and have the community maintain the landing?

Question 353-18(3): Tsiigehtchic Ferry Landing
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Wally Schumann Hay River South

I'm not going to commit to that in the House. I will have a conversation with our superintendent in the region and ask if there are best practices that we can be learning from this going forward. If there's a benefit to having the community look after the landing, maybe, possibly next season, maybe that's an opportunity.

One thing I want to make quite clear on this ferry this year, I want to congratulation our staff, in particular of Infrastructure, for all of the hard work they've done. We've installed four new engines on this thing. They're up and running well. Transport Canada gladly gave us a certificate to operate this ferry before final inspection because of the great work that the department has done.

I would also like to update Members of the House that this service is actually in almost a week early compared to most seasons. Now, is that due to climate change and such? We're not quite aware of that. I am not a scientist, but this is definitely a week early, so I commend the staff for all the great work they've done, and thank you to the community of Tsiigehtchic for trying to help out to help get this service up and running because it's in the best interests of everybody that we get this thing running sooner than later. There's the Department of Health, the Department of Justice, and the residents in the region.

Question 353-18(3): Tsiigehtchic Ferry Landing
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Mr. Speaker, yes the staff did a wonderful job on installing the ferries this year. I'm not questioning that. The only question I have is: will the Minster, over the next few months, work with me and the community to come up with some agreement to do the landings in the community as it was even a couple of years back? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 353-18(3): Tsiigehtchic Ferry Landing
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Wally Schumann Hay River South

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I will talk to my superintendent, and we'll make sure that the Member from the region is in the loop, and we'll have those discussions and see what we can do moving forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 353-18(3): Tsiigehtchic Ferry Landing
Oral Questions

Page 4183

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Sahtu.

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2018

Page 4183

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question here today is for the Minster of Health, on dialysis services. We have a new building that is very welcome by the community in Normal Wells, providing services to the community and the surrounding communities, a very, well, state-of-the-art building, I must add. We had several tours there, and I heard complimentary feedback from the general public. However, there is a lack in service for dialysis treatment.

Will the Minister elaborate if there are any plans on providing dialysis services to the residents of the Sahtu from the facility in Norman Wells?

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Dialysis is a very complex process, requiring some very complex machinery and highly-trained individuals who actually know how to operate the machines, as well as to clean the machines, which require a significant cleaning between use to ensure that there is no cross-contamination. It isn't as simple as putting in a machine and putting in a nurse. You need to have a significant amount of backup staff. If you are going to offer it in a facility, you need to make sure that you have enough staff complement so that if somebody is sick, there is a proper backfill. Otherwise, it could be an individual or a client at risk of harm or worse.

Mr. Speaker, we are focused on providing supports to our residents regardless of where they live. We are continuing to explore how we can work with Alberta to expand peritoneal dialysis, which could be done in homes where the individual's particular condition will allow.

I hear the Member. I hear the Member's desire, but we are not in a position to put a dialysis machine and a dialysis service in the new health centre at this time.

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thanks to the Minister for that. That clears the air on concerns and residents that I know of that have that illness. Will the Minister look at providing an options paper on moving forward when this could be done, if any?

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Since we have moved to a single authority, we have a lot of opportunities to really dig into the system to see how things are working and to have a larger perspective or larger vision of how we want to move forward.

One of the things that we clearly need to do is primary care reform. This is something that needs to be done at a territorial level, and it has to look at all of the types of programs and services that are being delivered in all areas of the Northwest Territories. Things like dialysis, midwifery, and other things are certainly part of this overarching primary care review, as well as just how we provide our services at the front line.

I am not going to commit to doing a specific review on dialysis in the Sahtu, but I will commit to the Member that we are working on making improvements to the system through a primary care approach which will benefit on all residents and will focus on the clients rather than the system.

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thanks to the Minister for that reply here. I look forward to working with the department to develop a methodology or a model to see if that service could be provided from the facility in Norman Wells, the costs of the equipment, the costs of training, the costs of personnel, have that modelled so it's on paper, not to say that we're going to do it, but just to educate ourselves whether that service can be provided at some point in time for discussion purposes.

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Just the other day, I was asked questions about expanding one shift in Hay River for the dialysis services that were there, recognizing that will require additional staff and additional backup. We have some early numbers on that, and adding a shift could be as much as $600,000.

When you think about providing dialysis services in a community like Norman Wells, it would require a number of machines, because you can't have one; you have to have a backup machine, even if you don't use it. You have to have adequate numbers of staff. We are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to deliver a program where the cost-benefit of that may not be there.

I'm not saying that the population of the Northwest Territories isn't going to grow and we won't get there, but as a system that is running a $90 million accumulated deficit, we have to think carefully about how we are investing our money, and we need to know that that money is supporting the healthcare of our residents and that we are getting best value for money. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 354-18(3): Dialysis Services
Oral Questions

Page 4183

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Nahendeh.

Question 355-18(3): Seniors' Tax Benefit
Oral Questions

Page 4183

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Early in the week, I was asking questions to the Minister of Finance about taxation in Fort Liard and that.

Some of the questions that we heard during my visits into the communities were in regard to when you turn 65, you have the opportunity to have the taxes waived. I guess the first question to the Minister is: how does the department actually inform people, when they turn 65, that their taxation is going to be waived? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 355-18(3): Seniors' Tax Benefit
Oral Questions

Page 4183

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Finance.