This is page numbers 81 - 106 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 1st 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 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Member. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Recruitment and retention of registered nurses and specialized training in rural and remote locations is a current challenge and a priority for the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services. Nurses stationed in the communities are community health nurses, CHN; nurses in charge, NIC; and nurse practitioners, NP. All three categories are nurses with specialized and advanced education after graduating from the basic nursing program. Community health nurses for smaller communities require, at a minimum, two years' experience. Nurses in charge require more experience.

During the hiring process, we consider both skills and experience to screen candidates for interviewing. During the interview process, we ask questions to test their suitability for working in small communities. Before a job is offered, references are checked. At the reference check stage, we are again checking for suitability for smaller communities. All candidates, upon hire, go through the orientation to confirm their skills match the need in the work environment and, if a gap is identified, the employee works towards the required education. Ongoing performance of staff is evaluated through the performance evaluation process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

I want to thank the Minister for her response. I want to just voice my frustration. I've been speaking with constituents, and this has happened several times, where they always say, "There is not enough training for nurses; we always have to go to another community, over to a bigger centre to get help." With that, my next question is: will the Minister committee to having an experienced nursing staff placed in communities such as Lutselk'e and Deninu Kue?

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Previous experience is a key hiring criteria in our community health centres. The nurse in charge or the nurse practitioner positions require a certain amount of experience in order to successfully carry out the responsibilities and mentor new nursing staff.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

I have another question for the Minister: is there a job shadowing program in place for recent post-secondary graduates for nurses and social workers in the NWT?

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

We offer placements for students through the Summer Employment Program, where students from the nursing program can gain on-the-job experience. New graduate nurses are hired into entry-level positions where they have an opportunity to work with more experienced colleagues, while having lesser workload, a development plan, and education plan.

Social work students have an opportunity to work as summer students, family preservation workers, and case aides, which allows them to develop the skills and experience as part of their education. Newly graduated social workers are also hired into entry-level positions, which support them to get comfortable with the role while they get experience. They will have smaller workload, an education plan, and mentors.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Minister. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for the response from the Minister. My last question: will the Minister commit to having a homecare nurse in Deninu Kue? Mahsi cho.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

The homecare nurse position was posted last summer in the Member's community, with no successful candidate. The department will continue to recruit. In the interim, we have a relief nurse who will be working in the community starting in January. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 32-19(1): Nursing in Small Communities
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 101

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Question 33-19(1): Emergency Warming Shelter in Hay River
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 102

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In Hay River, we are in dire need of an emergency warming shelter for the homeless, so the questions I have are for the Minister of Housing and the Minister of Homelessness, which is the same person. I would like to ask the Minister if her department is prepared to provide assistance to a group in Hay River, a non-profit group, to assist setting up a temporary emergency warming shelter? Thank you.

Question 33-19(1): Emergency Warming Shelter in Hay River
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 102

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Member. Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Question 33-19(1): Emergency Warming Shelter in Hay River
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 102

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Member, for your comment. Right now, I'm not in a place to make a commitment to look at, I guess, the homeless shelter. I don't know; I'd have to look at what our plans are for Hay River, what money we have committed, do we have infrastructure that actually exists in that community, and what is the program development. I'm not familiar with what are the non-profit organizations that actually exist in Hay River, but I am wanting to work with the Member to find solutions to address this concern. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 33-19(1): Emergency Warming Shelter in Hay River
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 102

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Well, I guess it's an emergency warming shelter because what's going to happen here is we've got people on the street and, with these temperatures, we're going to end up having somebody freeze, here. I guess what we are looking for, or the group is looking for, is some assistance. I don't think they are looking for anything too much, and we just need some, or they will need some, assistance from the Department, if possible. Thank you.

Question 33-19(1): Emergency Warming Shelter in Hay River
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery (reversion)

Page 102

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr)

Thank you, Member. The time for oral questions has expired, but I will let the Member continue. Minister.