This is page numbers 4757 - 4776 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. View the webstream of the day's session.

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Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

Page 4761

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Regardless if there is any budget coming forward or not, we still need to do the consultation because what people out there say is very important to us, budget or no budget session anymore.

Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

Page 4761

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

My next question is: what is the end result of this consultation going to look like, then? Is it going to be something that is added in a supplementary appropriation? Is it a recommendation to the 19th Assembly? What's the point?

Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

Page 4761

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I wish I knew what the future of this particular consultation would look like. I would buy lottery tickets for tomorrow. The work needs to be done and, much like the work with the formula financing a couple of Assemblies ago, that was going to be quite an undertaking, so it was decided that they would do the work before the end of the Assembly to determine exactly what the gap was and how it might be utilized going forward. So that work was done, and I see that as this, as well. We will do the work now. There will be an opportunity to, if the work is done quickly enough, maybe come forward with the request. We do not know that until we hear back from the people of the Northwest Territories. Having failed that, then it may be a recommendation to the 19th Assembly, but we won't know until we hear from the people and we can conclude the consultation.

Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

Page 4761

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

Page 4761

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my last question is: what efforts is the Minister going to make to engage residents of the Northwest Territories by giving some profile to this consultation on the Department of Finance website?

Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

February 7th, 2019

Page 4761

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I take the Member's point. I will follow up and ensure that this is given the attention that it should be getting. I do know from being in a couple of places that there were some signs going up in the communities as to consultations that were happening there. I have seen some early indication of some of the consultations that are going on in the communities, some of the comments that were coming out. Obviously, they were in the paper, and because you mention the word "tax," everybody always says, "Well, I am opposed to any type of new tax." We will always have comments like that, but this is a consultation. We are very interested in hearing what the public has to say, and then we will put a plan together going forward. I take the Member's point, in response to her question. I will follow up and make sure that this is given the attention that it deserves. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 520-18(3): Consultation on Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax
Oral Questions

Page 4761

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Nahendeh.

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4761

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are going to be for the Minister of Health and Social Services again in regard to the regional wellness councils. Mr. Speaker, it's great to hear that the councils move their meetings to communities in a region, and it's been very helpful. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of community awareness of the meetings. Can the Minister advise us what the council does to advertise their meetings and how do they encourage public involvement in these meetings? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4761

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4762

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I will answer the question, but before I do so I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to the Member. Yesterday he asked me some questions on the regional wellness council and gave me an example, and I responded that I had responded by way of email. It turns out that email was in my draft account and I had never actually hit "send," so I am embarrassed, and I really apologize for giving that wrong information. This morning, I did send the Member an email with the correct information. So I do apologize for the confusion and the frustration that response yesterday may have caused.

When it comes to regional wellness councils, they are required to make sure that the public has timely notice of the date and times of meetings. Advertisement for regional wellness council meetings is usually organized by the regional wellness council through the authority that they are responsible for, so it may look different in every region and community, depending on what the best means of getting that information out is. I know in some cases it's posters. In some cases they have gone to local radio. There really is no one method for getting that information out. I do hear that there may be some concerns. I will certainly talk to the department and get them to work with the authorities to see if there are better mechanisms to get information out to support our regional wellness council to make sure that these meetings are well-attended.

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4762

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Before I go on to my next question, I appreciate the Minister for the correction in our communication. These things happen all the time, so I greatly appreciate him making that announcement here.

My next question is: do the regional wellness councils have agendas that have spots to allow public involvement in the meetings? If not, will the Minister and the department work with the NWT Health and Social Services and have it as a standard part of their agenda?

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4762

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

The regional wellness councils approve their agendas for every meeting, so there is an opportunity to make amendments. Typically, the meetings do not have activities to have sections for public input, but that does not mean they can't. So, if the regional wellness council wants to open the floor to take questions or comments, that is certainly something they could do on a one-up basis. I am not sure that it would occur on every agenda. It's really up to the regional wellness councils. We do not want to be too prescriptive on what they are discussing. We want to hear from them.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, attending the regional wellness council meetings is not the only way to get information. We anticipate and we expect that the regional wellness council members are going to be hearing from their community members, people in their communities, in and outside of those meetings. So there are lots of opportunities for them to get input from their communities and filter it into the system so that we can make good decisions.

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4762

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I thank the Minister for his answer. Yes, it's important if we are going to be having these meetings in communities that there is some avenue for people to participate in it, and I thank the Minister for that. So I will be able to share that with my constituents and talk to the regional councils about that, and I appreciate that each agenda and each organization has different ways of different things. My next question is: are stats such as walk-ins, medevacs, training, and development plans shared with the regional wellness council members when asked and, if not, why?

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4762

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

It's my expectation that those will be shared when requested by the regional wellness councils.

Question 521-18(3): Regional Wellness Councils
Oral Questions

Page 4762

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Nahendeh.