This is page numbers 5333 - 5364 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 services. View the webstream of the day's session.

Topics

Palliative Care Action Plan
Members' Statements

Page 5334

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last December the federal government released its framework on palliative care in Canada. The framework is a counterpoint to the 2016 introduction of assisted dying legislation. It identifies four priority areas for action intended to improve access to palliative care. They include palliative care education and training for healthcare providers and caregivers; measures to support palliative care providers; research and the collection of data on palliative care; and finally, measures to facilitate equitable access to palliative care, particularly for underserviced populations.

The federal framework was developed in consultation with provincial and territorial governments, including our own. Now that there is a federal framework, this government says it is examining how we could align our palliative care services. Our mandate for the 18th Assembly calls for the development of an action plan for expanded palliative care services, although the mandate tracker contains no information on progress towards this commitment, which is shown as "under way."

Achieving these alignments will require special accommodations within the service environment of our territory-wide system. Information on culturally safe end-of-life practices specific to the cultural context of the NWT will be especially important, particularly in fulfilling the recent Cultural Safety Declaration of Commitment.

In attempting to honour the desire for not only for aging but dying in place, our far-flung healthcare service area will need to provide the ability to consult a palliative care clinical support network.

Mr. Speaker, the needs of seniors are becoming more obvious as their population increases, whether it is in relation to the need for the increased supply of long-term care beds, housing support and programs under the seniors' planning study, or the increased demand on seniors' programs and services.

There is not much time left in the mandate of this Assembly, and I am eager to see what progress has been made on the palliative care action plan commitment under the mandate. I will have questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Mahsi.

Palliative Care Action Plan
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Irene and Angus McLeod Retirement
Members' Statements

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I have the privilege of congratulating Irene and Angus McLeod of Fort Liard as they are celebrating a combined 75 years of service to the GNWT in the community of Fort Liard.

Irene has been working at the health centre in Fort Liard since August 1973. Irene first began working as a housekeeper, and then it became housekeeping, receptionist, and clerical duties. Irene remained in this position for 10 years.

Following this, Irene became the interpreter, medical travel assistant, and receptionist. When Irene was young, she aspired to be a nurse. However, the first time she assisted with a delivery, she realized that her dream of being a nurse may not be what she thought, as she started to feel sick during the delivery. Irene thought to herself, "So much for that idea." Irene soon realized she needed to find something that she enjoyed. She shared and encouraged everyone committed to the long term, "If you want to learn more, you have to teach yourself and have the motivation and drive to excel."

Angus has been employed at the health centre in the custodial service for 35 years. When asked how to maintain successful long-term employment, Angus stated, "If you want to work, then work. Don't take time off." Angus shared he rarely, if ever, took time off.

When asked what they enjoyed most about their work, Irene shared how she enjoyed meeting new people and interpreting for the elders. Angus shared how he enjoyed getting out and helping people.

Irene and Angus were born and raised in Fort Liard. Both have nine siblings. They are each the eldest in their families. Irene and Angus met in Fort Liard in 1972 and married on December 20, 1973. They have been blessed with three children, William, Lisa, and Clinton. They also have the privilege of having 11 grandchildren, with the 12th on the way in May 2019.

Mr. Speaker, Irene would like to express a heartfelt thanks to her grandfather for her successes and drive in life, namely her employment. Irene attended residential school from the age of five to 15. Her grandfather cared for her and was the one who revived her South Slavey dialect, which has served her and the people of Ford Liard well.

I would like to thank them very much for their service and encourage them to enjoy their retirement, since they have put three quarters of their life together for the Government of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Irene and Angus McLeod Retirement
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Northwest Territories Midwifery Program
Members' Statements

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I rise today to make my fourth annual midwifery statement. The Northwest Territories Midwifery Program has one of the longest gestation periods in the history of this Assembly, but now there is some good news to report.

In response to my questioning during the Committee of the Whole review of the Department of Health and Social Services budget earlier in this sitting, there is now confirmation of new 2019-2020 funding of $373,000 for three positions. One of them is a full-time midwifery clinical specialist and a three-quarter-time midwife position, both in Yellowknife, and a three-quarter midwife position for Hay River. The total spending on midwifery for 2019-2020 will be $1.789 million, which will be a very good investment with huge payoffs in deferred or avoided costs.

For 2019-2020, there will be a total complement of 8.5 full-time-equivalent midwifery staff in the Northwest Territories. The department says that this makes for one of the most robust midwifery programs in the country, measured against 15 total positions in Saskatchewan and the Maritime provinces with a combined total of 13. A Northwest Territories midwifery program means mothers having children in their home communities, with decreased travel costs, the benefits of pre- and post-natal care, and a healthcare model completely in tune with community health centres and reconciliation. Good news, indeed.

In applauding this program, I have to give a great deal of credit to midwifery advocates who have lobbied long and faithfully for these results. We go back to the last Assembly in 2012, when public advocacy prompted the government to commission a Midwifery Review and Expansion Analysis Report. Since then, I have personally attended at least two midwifery demonstrations out in front of this building.

Although it has taken more than seven years to get here, I also want to recognize the work of successive Ministers of Health and their staff, especially the current Minister, who went to the well with what must have been a convincing business case to secure the resources to see this through.

I will have questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services later today about making sure that we get this good news on midwifery out to all of our citizens and publicly report on further implementation and progress. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Northwest Territories Midwifery Program
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Hay River North.

Hay River Fire Department Appreciation
Members' Statements

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have to give a shout-out to the women and men of the Hay River Fire Department. Since yesterday they have been working to contain a fire that flared up at Hay River landfill, and for the past week they have been working to manage the fire as it burned underground. For the most part, all of the firefighters have other full-time jobs and family responsibilities, so I am sure that many of them have had some long, tiring days over the past week. That is why I figured that this would be a good time to show them some appreciation and thank them for helping keep our region safe.

Mr. Speaker, we are lucky in Hay River. For decades, the Hay River Fire Department has set a high bar when it comes to training and preparedness. As a resident, it feels great to know that, if I am ever in a situation where I need to call an ambulance or report a fire, there is a dedicated team ready to jump into action. I know that it is not something that every community has, so I am thankful, and I don't take it for granted.

In addition to responding to hundreds of calls each year and spending thousands of hours fighting fires, providing emergency medical services in town and along 800 kilometres of highway, and performing other emergency services, such as the 24-hour flood watch in the spring, the members of the Hay River Fire Department find plenty of time to contribute to the community in other ways, as well.

Every year they are present at the track-and-field championships, managing the medical tent, taking care of athletes and spectators, and helping out in other ways; on New Year's they treat the community to multiple firework displays; during the Christmas season they team up with the RCMP for the annual toy drive, where they collect and deliver hundreds of toys for children; and throughout the year they also hold public safety events.

Mr. Speaker, we are very lucky to have them. I know that they are all busy right now, they are all tired right now, and I just want to let them know that their work is appreciated. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hay River Fire Department Appreciation
Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

March 11th, 2019

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to the visitors in the gallery, but more specifically, a visitor in our interpreter booth. If I can ask Mary just to stand up for a few minutes, Mary Kudlak. I would like to recognize a respected elder, Mary Kudlak from Ulukhaktok. We are lucky to have Mary as an Inuinnaqtun interpreter this week.

Mary was born 30 miles east of Ulukhaktok in a place called Anialik. She grew up in a caribou-skin tent where they speared fish, wintered in snow houses, and hunted seals through seal breathing holes. Mary has the same Inuit facial tattoos as her grandmother, Helen Kalvak. Her tattoos were done by Hovak Johnston, who brought back traditional Inuit tattooing.

Mary can be found ice fishing from March until July around the surrounding lakes in Ulukhaktok. She has a fire pit outside her house where anyone is welcome to share her traditional food, stories, and drum songs. Mary is a respected elder in the Northwest Territories, and many people look up to her as a mentor. She is an advocate of her official language, Inuinnaqtun, and shares her passion and knowledge through the territory.

Mary definitely does not see age as a barrier. This past weekend, colleagues, Mary completed the Ice Road Jigging Challenge, went for a slide down the snow castle ice slide, and sat on the Snow King's throne.

At this point in time, I would like to say thank you, Mary, for all of the things that you do to keep Indigenous languages alive and for continuing to educate our youth about the traditional ways of our people. Masi for all of your services.

---Applause

Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Nunakput.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to recognize my constituent, Mary Kudlak. Actually, Mary is a relative of mine. She grew up with my father in residential school in Kugluktuk, actually, I think, in the '50s. I would like to welcome Mary to the Legislature. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. If we missed anyone in the gallery, thanks for being here with us. It is always great to have an audience as part of our proceedings. Masi. Item 6, acknowledgements. Item 7, oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 671-18(3): Palliative Care Action Plan
Oral Questions

Page 5336

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Health and Social Services. First, could the Minister tell us the status of the mandate commitment on developing and implementing an action plan for expanded palliative care services? Mahsi.

Question 671-18(3): Palliative Care Action Plan
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 671-18(3): Palliative Care Action Plan
Oral Questions

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Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That item is 4.2.1. In an effort to limit the number of action plans that we are developing, we have actually incorporated the palliative care work within the existing Continuing Care Services Action Plan. That is actually under objective 4 within that action plan. Palliative care is a component of home and community care, and this review is currently under way and will help to inform these services when they are rolled out and delivered.

Also, Mr. Speaker, palliative care is also a component of the Charting Our Course: Northwest Territories Cancer Strategy 2015-2025, and we have hired a territorial palliative care specialist to work in collaboration with the authority, with the Tlicho Community Services Agency, and Hay River to finalize palliative care policies, care pathways, and protocols for the implementation across the entire health system in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 671-18(3): Palliative Care Action Plan
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I just have to make sure I understand what was said there. This plan is becoming part of another plan, and the other plan is coming to us I'm not sure when?