This is page numbers 5135 - 5160 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. View the webstream of the day's session.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Glen Abernethy, Mr. Beaulieu, Mr. Blake, Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Ms. Green, Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Hon. Bob McLeod, Hon. Robert McLeod, Hon. Alfred Moses, Mr. Nadli, Mr. Nakimayak, Mr. O'Reilly, Hon. Wally Schumann, Hon. Louis Sebert, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Vanthuyne

The House met at 1:31 p.m.

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Prayer
Prayer

Page 5135

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Good afternoon, colleagues. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

Minister's Statement 161-18(3): Developments in Education Renewal
Ministers' Statements

Page 5135

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Mr. Speaker, the transformational changes we have been making across the education system are gaining momentum to help fulfil this government's mandate commitments towards education renewal.

Under the Skills 4 Success strategy, grades nine to 12 students and youth aged 18 to 24 across the North will soon have access to career and education advisors. The Department of Education, Culture and Employment has already hired six to work with students to help them navigate their best academic path from "classroom to career."

The career and education advisors have been hired for initial two-year terms based in Yellowknife, but each one is responsible for a specific region. This will enable the team to research and develop a consistent approach for delivering the educational advisory services to students and youth across the Northwest Territories. They will work as a mobile team to provide services both in person and by distance.

School pilots are planned for the 2018-2019 winter semester to pilot the new resources and approach in selected schools throughout the regions. The permanent locations of the positions will be determined once the results of the pilots are available and informed decisions can be made as to where the positions would best be placed. Work is being planned in consultation with education bodies and regional ECE Service Centre staff to build upon and strengthen existing resources.

The advisors will work as a mobile team to provide advice to students and youth so that they can make informed decisions to improve their education and employment outcomes. They will also support youth aged 18-24 to become re-engaged in learning, promote skilled trades as careers, and assist students with finding financial supports for in-demand occupations.

Mr. Speaker, the department has also been working to solidify all of the components of the High School Pathways initiative. This work includes new high school completion options, new courses, counselling supports, and technologies to better support students and offer them new opportunities. I am pleased that courses on life skills are now being added, so students have an understanding of finances, budgeting, self-awareness, and decision-making, as well as preparing them for further education or training and giving them effective tools to manage their lives.

Focus groups with students and teachers, as well as community town halls, will take place in the spring of 2019 to engage parents, students, and communities. The new High School Pathways model will roll out across the Northwest Territories one grade at a time, starting with grade seven students in September 2019-2020.

As a part of the High School Pathways initiative and as a further contribution to Indigenizing education, ECE will begin the development of a new Northern Studies 20 course that will be required for graduation.

Northern Studies 20 will be focused on opportunities for students to learn about land claims, treaties, and implementation agreements, as well as more in-depth learning about the Northwest Territories' style of consensus government. Northern Studies 20 is expected to be fully implemented in 2023-2024, with the first cohort of grade 11 students following the new High School Pathways model.

Mr. Speaker, another objective of education renewal is to assist students to be able to access the courses necessary so they can attend any post-secondary school they choose. A critical initiative we have in place, and one that has proven to be successful, is Northern Distance Learning.

Northern Distance Learning allows students to remain in their community and take higher-level academic courses via a video conferencing network out of Inuvik. Education, Culture and Employment worked with education bodies to identify the next four small communities to offer Northern Distance Learning in 2019-2020, and they are Fort Providence, Lutselk'e, Paulatuk, and Whati.

There will be a total of 15 schools accessing this service in 2019-2020. The program will be expanded further in 2020-2021, for a total of 20 schools that will offer a comprehensive education in students' home communities.

Students will experience high-quality and uninterrupted Internet service through dedicated bandwidth purchased specifically for the delivery of this initiative. It is important that every student have an opportunity for quality education, and we are proud that we are now able to offer this opportunity to students in small and remote communities.

Mr. Speaker, no single group or organization can accomplish change alone. Our partnerships with our school bodies, the NWT Association of Teachers, parents, and community members are critical to our success. Positive, healthy experiences for children of all ages are a shared responsibility that includes business and community partners, health services, government, and families working together toward a common goal, the healthy development of the children of the Northwest Territories. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 161-18(3): Developments in Education Renewal
Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Ministers' statements. Colleagues, I'd like to draw your attention to visitors in the gallery today. Here with us, Mr. Anthony W.J. Whitford. As many of you know, Mr. Whitford held many roles, former Commissioner, former Speaker, former Minister, former Member, former Sergeant-at-Arms, honorary Clerk at the Table, and member of the Order of the NWT. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Whitford to the House this afternoon. It's always a pleasure to have you in the Chambers. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Canadian Radio and Television Commission Report on Aggressive and Misleading Sales Practices
Members' Statements

Page 5135

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, CRTC, which is a federal regulatory body that oversees all Canadian broadcasting and telecom activities, released a report on aggressive and misleading series of sales practices within the telecommunications industry.

Mr. Speaker, this report has long been awaited because many Canadians, including many Northerners, have long suspect the existence of such sale practices. After months of research and cross-country consultations, the CRTC has concluded that there is, indeed, a high prevalence of aggressive and misleading sales practices within the telecom and television marketplace. Such sale practices are found to exist in all manners of sale, including in-store and over-the-phone, door-to-door and online.

Mr. Speaker, some examples of these negative sales practices include sale agents not accepting no as an answer or service providers making it difficult to change or cancel services or sale agents withhold key contractual terms or provide inaccurate consumer information. Of course, some service providers engage in such practices more than others. However, these practices are occurring to such an extent that it is resulting in harm being done to consumers.

Mr. Speaker, these situations have a potential to inflict both mental stress and financial hardships with consumers. Moreover, the effects of such harms are amplified when it comes to vulnerable populations such as seniors, persons with disabilities, and people with language barriers. Other vulnerable factors include low-levels of digital literacy skills as well as lower education and income levels.

In terms of solutions, Mr. Speaker, while the report did indicate that service providers do have internal measures to monitor such sales practices, they vary from one provider to another. Overall, existing internal measures are insufficient. The report also noted that based on evidence gathered, many people are unaware of what options exist to seek redress in this area. For instance, the report discovered that many Canadians don't know that there is an independent body dedicated to resolving telecom consumer complaints, which is called Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services.

Mr. Speaker, while this report does fall under the federal jurisdiction, my goal with this statement is to help raise awareness around this issue with people of the NWT because, clearly, more work needs to be done in addressing negative sales practices within the telecom industry across this country. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Canadian Radio and Television Commission Report on Aggressive and Misleading Sales Practices
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Canadian Parents for French
Members' Statements

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Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I rise today to speak on the importance of learning new languages and how language learning connects us to our culture and heritage and is kept alive by the hard work of dedicated community members who promote and preserve language-learning in our communities. Although there are many different organizations devoted to language promotion in the Northwest Territories, I want to take the time today to recognize the NWT branch for Canadian Parents for French and the many volunteers who support the organization.

I first learned about Canadian Parents for French, or CPF, when I was looking for extracurricular activities in French for my son, who I am proud to say is enrolled in a French-immersion program and is well on his way to fluency in both English and French. I was so impressed with the quality of the CPF programs that I immediately joined the organization and continue to support their important work in the NWT.

Canadian Parents for French [Translation] is dedicated to the promotion of learning of French as a second language for young Canadians. In 1977, Keith Spicer was the Official Languages Commissioner for Canada. He was interested by the bilingualism of young Canadians. He met parents across the country who wanted that their children would learn a second language. This small group, originally started with parents, became a national network made up of 10 chapters and 150 sections all over the country. Over the past four years, local chapters in the Northwest Territories have already consulted with groups and native governments for developed strategies and to ensure the preservation and teaching of other official languages.

Mr. Speaker, the ability to speak several languages or any language gives our young people a competitive advantage to help them find work and to find new friends who come from different cultures. This ability to speak several languages also gives a different perspective on the world, how an individual understands definitions and complex situations. That is to say, the ability to think, to express yourself, and to feel the feelings of other individuals gives unlimited advantages. [Translation ends]

Language is, without a doubt, an important part of shaping individual and community identity. With 11 official languages, each one unique and priceless its value to our Northern heritage, keeping language-learning strong is so important in achieving that goal. It is thanks to organizations like Canadian Parents for French that we can ensure future generations will continue to reap the benefits of speaking more than one language. I want to express my personal gratitude for this wonderful organization and the volunteers who work hard to make it a continued success. Merci, Monsieur le President.

Canadian Parents for French
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Youth Ambassador Program
Members' Statements

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs for developing the Youth Ambassador Program and giving Northern youth an amazing opportunity to volunteer and experiences events across Canada and even internationally.

I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand what they experience at these events.

I would like to thank the staff who spent the past year getting our youth ready for the 2019 Canadian Winter Games experience in Red Deer.

Mr. Speaker, I could spend hours talking about this great program, but I think it best to use words from our youth from Sambaa K'e, Fort Liard, and Fort Simpson.

"The trip to Red Deer was very tiring, but very worth it! It's so nice here. I went to a two-hour shift and traded some pins, and I've learned how to use the transit system. I've met a few people from different provinces, and I'm really looking forward to next week!" Aaron.

"I am excited and proud to be part of the NWT Youth Ambassadors Program again and to be in Red Deer, Alberta, volunteering at the Canada Winter Games. The journey here was quite tiring, but it was really worth it. So far, my shifts have been at the Red Deer Curling Centre, and I have met lots of people from all over Canada! I advise the youth in the NWT to sign up for this program next time because they're missing out on an awesome experience if they don't!" AJ.

"I am excited to be a part of the NWT Youth Ambassador Program for the Canada Winter Games. The trip was exhausting but was worth it! Today, I started my shift at 7:00 a.m. for volunteer services. The job is excellent. There is a lot of friendly people that I greet, and I check them in and out. Given this opportunity to gain new experiences and seeing people all around is amazing. Pin trading is slowly starting to take over me, but I hope everyone here has an amazing time as I am." Angel-Rose.

"It's been really interesting working and taking in the entertainment while being in a place I haven't been before. Two days ago, I was able to go to a Brett Kissel concert. It was a lot of fun! I had a blast, and that will probably be my best night in Red Deer!" Zaida.

In closing, I would like to thank all of the youth for their hard work and the department for their commitment to our youth, and I wish them all the best. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Youth Ambassador Program
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

United Nations World Water Day
Members' Statements

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Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. World Water Day, led by the United Nations, will take place on March 22nd. For the past 26 years, the United Nations has partnered with countries and communities around the world to raise public awareness of the importance of fresh water and sustainable management of water resources. This year, World Water Day will focus on the theme "Leaving no one behind."

That means advocating and taking action for access to water, protecting and managing water resources, and educating ourselves on issues of water access, pollution, treatment, and sustainability.

Here in the Northwest Territories, the federal and territorial governments are working with local leaders and educators in Tuktoyaktuk as well as the Inuvialuit Water Board to celebrate World Water Day in that community.

If you are in Tuktoyaktuk on March 22nd, there will be World Water Day events at Kitty Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., including information booths, activities, challenges, displays on water and waste, and even door prizes.

There will also be opportunities to learn about water treatment, with a presentation from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and options for a tour of the community's water treatment plant.

Tuktoyaktuk youth are also getting involved. Students from Mangilaluk School worked hard on submissions to a poster contest and an emoji contest, both around the theme of raising awareness around water needs and water pollution.

I'd like to congratulate the students from Mangilaluk School and the winners, Emily Panaktalok-Raddi, Corabella Chicksi, Zoey Warren, Miley Wolki, Tameqaw Pokiak, and Jaden Cockney. If you make it out to World Water Day in Tuktoyaktuk, be sure to look out for their art on display.

Mr. Speaker, I definitely encourage people in the region to attend and learn more about water management in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker.

United Nations World Water Day
Members' Statements

Page 5136

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Measles Virus in Mackenzie Delta
Members' Statements

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Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was recently concerned to learn that measles virus has spread to the NWT, and more specifically, to my region in the Beaufort-Delta. This concerns me, because measles is a very serious and contagious disease caused by a virus. It can spread quickly through the air from an infected person when they cough or sneeze.

Measles causes a red, blotchy rash, high fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes. Most people recover fully from measles within two to three weeks, but measles can be dangerous, especially for infants, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

Complications from the measles disease can include:

  • Ear infections;
  • Pneumonia; and
  • Encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, which can cause seizures, brain damage, or death.

Mr. Speaker, immunization is the best way to protect against getting measles. Measles-containing vaccines are safe and extremely effective. Higher-risk individuals exposed to measles should immediately contact their community health centre or healthcare practitioner. Two doses of the vaccine are almost 100 percent protective.

Because of immunization, measles is now a very rare disease in Canada, but outbreaks still occur. Most cases occur in people born in 1970 or later who have not received two doses of measles vaccine and were in the same room as someone with measles. Most at risk are Canadians who travel overseas to areas with lower immunization rates or to areas with outbreaks.

I am very concerned, and I want to ensure my constituents, especially children and parents, have access to the important health information and vaccines that can protect us from this disease. I'll have questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services later today. Thank you.

Measles Virus in Mackenzie Delta
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.