This is page numbers 5413 - 5452 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.

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Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, committee. We will begin with consideration of the committee report. One second, please. Let me get my papers in order, here. Thank you, committee. Committee, we will consider Committee Report 14-18(3), Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report. I will turn to the chair of the committee for opening remarks. Ms. Green.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly worked hard to deliver the interim report that was tabled today and read into the record yesterday. We travelled extensively between the new year and the beginning of this session. We started in Fort Smith and then went on to Hay River, Fort Providence, and Detah. We also met with the public here in Yellowknife and at the Association of Communities earlier this month. We received a few written submissions. We are grateful for the dozens of people who took part in informal conversations about the barriers that prevent women from running for office and solutions to those barriers. As well, we are looking at policy and legislative changes that will enable women to take their places here in this House.

Our interim report includes seven recommendations that address policy changes, and we will be going through each of them, I understand, today. Our work will continue after the House rises tomorrow. We will be travelling to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk the first week of April to discuss ways to improve women's representation, and to Norman Wells and Behchoko in May for the same purpose. All of that information will be combined with any additional written responses to create a final report. Our goal is simple: to increase the number of women sitting in this House so that the other half of society is better represented here. I would also like to thank the MLAs on the committee, including the honourable Members for Range Lake, Thebacha, Deh Cho, and Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. These Members may also have comments of their own. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Ms. Green. I will open the floor to general comments on the report itself. Seeing none, Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

March 13th, 2019

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this Assembly recommends that the Legislative Assembly Board of Management consider childcare expenses as a constituency work allowance expense. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Ms. Green. There is a motion on the floor. To the motion. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. At several places that we met, we heard from women that one of the things that stood in their way of serving in the Legislative Assembly was their responsibility as caregivers for their families, especially for small children. They heard that they would like to be able to access childcare, whether in their home community or here in Yellowknife when they are sitting in this Legislative Assembly. So, as such, we recommended that childcare expenses be included in the constituency work allowance expense. My further clarification there is that people who claim childcare expenses as part of their constituency work allowances would not receive less of a constituency work allowance; it would be the full amount plus the childcare expenses, so that those with children who are claiming childcare expenses would not be penalized for doing so. Those are my remarks. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. To the motion. Mr. Testart.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I, as Members know, have a young family at home, and oftentimes I like to share those childcare responsibilities equally with my partner. She has a job of her own. It's a very demanding job. Oftentimes, childcare, it can be quite difficult to just on rely on another partner to do so. I think, for a long time, that has kind of been the status quo. I recall in other occupations that, when the childcare issue would come up as a single parent, I would often be told, "Well, you know, you have a girlfriend. Why can't she help out?" That is not really the point. The point is, if you are sharing time equally between partners and you are both responsible for childcare and you both have your own affairs that need to be taken care of, then childcare comes into play. I think many people with young families, and in particular women, would benefit greatly from seeing our Legislature take action on this issue and provide some sort of benefit for childcare, so I think this is an important motion. I think it will make a difference, a tangible difference, in addressing a major concern of women candidates and also candidates with young families, so I support this motion, and I hope others do, as well. Thank you.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. To the motion. Mr. O'Reilly.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Yes, thanks, Mr. Chair. I, too, support this motion, and I want to thank the Members of the committee for doing the work. I think these are some very easy changes that we can do to make the Legislative Assembly just a much more family-friendly place. I remember my time on city council in Yellowknife from 1997 to 2006. We had young kids at the time, and I remember taking the kids into the Chamber one time. We were having a mock council meeting when the mayor actually discovered us playing in there. So, all of that to say that childcare is a barrier for folks who would like to come in here and serve the public interest, and I certainly support this and the other recommendations that the committee came up with. Thanks, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. To the motion. Minister Cochrane.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I also am going to support this motion. For many years, I was a single parent, and childcare was always a barrier. Women traditionally are known to make less income. This is not the same in the Legislative Assembly, but it used to be, in a time when women were told, and I am going to be kind of blunt, that, "You make your bed. You lie in it." So women stayed in relationships, in my mother's day, throughout their lives, happy or not. Those times have changed. We now have more single parents. The majority of them tend to be women, although there are men who are single-parenting, as well, so this will be one way of addressing a huge barrier for not only women, but for all single parents. That is a new demographic of parenting in this day and age, so I think this is an important motion, and I urge all Members to support this motion. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair R.J. Simpson

Thank you. To the motion. I will allow the mover to close debate. Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 107-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Child Care Expenses as Constituency Work Allowance Expense, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I appreciate the statements in support of this motion. As people have said, this is a very simple way to make the work more accommodating for women. I request a recorded vote. Mahsi.