Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wanted to end the first session of this new Assembly by thanking the public service. In this House, part of our job is to be critical of government, but I want to assure everyone who works in our public service that we are grateful for the work they do, and being a government worker can often be a thankless job.
We elected officials must remember that the GNWT is not some amorphous, impersonal machine, but it is made up of hard-working people who take pride in their jobs. It is our nurses who heal the sick. It is our teachers who are raising the next generation of strong minds. It is social workers, policy wonks, scientists, firefighters, road maintenance workers, and so much more.
To all of the members of the public service, I know, at times, that the demands of this House can be difficult. Sometimes you just get that program finally implemented and working, and some MLA tells you to change it, but I ask you to be patient. This leads me to my next point.
We in this House are not the experts. We are elected to lead, but we can only do so if provided advice from those in government who are the experts. We can only make truly informed decisions if we are provided all of the facts and options for solving our territory's problems.
To our public service, I encourage you to know that this is a new Assembly, an Assembly willing to do things differently, and know that we want new ideas. In fact, we want old ideas, too. Perhaps that program that was denied by the last administration, perhaps this is the time to push it through.
I am reminded, when we met our new ombud, that a Member wanted to thank Wendy Bisaro, who served as a Member two Assemblies ago. This is a recognition that progress is often slow, and all of our progress is built on the Members who served before us.
To our new Ministers, I encourage you to get into your regions, talk with your front-line workers, hear their concerns, and let's give them a few early wins. You must trust your senior management, but you must also remember that a department is so much more than its headquarters. It is more than its senior bureaucrats, who often have a lens that may be risk-adverse and not exactly a reflection of what is happening on the ground.
I ask all of us, and mostly, I thank the public service, and I encourage them to feel bold, feel empowered, and let's deliver programs and services that our Northerners need. Thank you.