This is page numbers 5679 - 5712 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.

Topics

Question 755-18(3): Cannabis Retail Privatization
Oral Questions

Page 5692

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 755-18(3): Cannabis Retail Privatization
Oral Questions

Page 5692

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I assume, once we have these private retail stores, we'll get a better sense of the consumer base out there. Many people have commented to me on the somewhat absurd situation where we will have private cannabis stores before we have private liquor retail stores. Is the department willing to consider the example they're setting by privatizing cannabis retail to extend that to alcohol? Thank you.

Question 755-18(3): Cannabis Retail Privatization
Oral Questions

Page 5692

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Not at the moment, Mr. Speaker. We have our liquor retailers in each region, and I think I'd be a little hesitant. Again, I'd be a little hesitant in expanding the number of liquor stores and making liquor a little more available to those who are feeling the effects of it. So, again, we may need to do a review of the whole operation, and I think it's one where we can provide some advice to the incoming government of the 19th, and maybe start some of the work now and doing a review of the overall liquor and cannabis distribution in the Northwest Territories, but at the moment, we're not looking to open a private retailer for liquor more than we need to. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 755-18(3): Cannabis Retail Privatization
Oral Questions

Page 5692

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

May 30th, 2019

Page 5692

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Justice. I know the Minister is aware of the Guthrie House Therapeutic Community in Nanaimo, and his officials are working to set up a similar program at the South Slave Correctional Centre. Can the Minister tell us whether the program in the South Slave will assist inmates to find housing on their release? Thank you

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5692

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Justice.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5692

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The reintegration of inmates back into society, of course, is a very important part of the correctional system. I also had the opportunity to go to Guthrie House. Currently there is no transitional housing specific to individuals. We could look at that, but there is a housing shortage throughout the Northwest Territories, and I don't know where this would be in our priorities, but we do realize the importance of reintegrating those who are incarcerated back into society. Thank you.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5692

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you to the Minister for that question. Are there any supports in place now that would assist inmates to find housing on their release?

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5692

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Yes. Institutional case managers and community probation officers work with other government departments to assist an inmate in navigating and accessing community resources and housing upon the return to their communities. We are aware, of course, that there are housing shortages throughout the Northwest Territories, and this is an important issue for inmates being reintegrated.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5692

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Is there any possibility that the Minister of Justice could work with the Minister of Housing to look at alternatives to releasing inmates into homelessness, such as, for example, transitional housing, so that it is possible to stop the cycle of people failing because they don't have stable housing and going back into the justice system?

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5693

Louis Sebert Thebacha

I am always happy to work with the Minister of Housing with respect to issues such as this, but I think that we have to recognize that there are housings issues throughout the Northwest Territories. We do realize, however, that this is a particular problem for those who are attempting to reintegrate into their communities.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5693

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5693

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you to the Minister for that answer. I wonder if the Minister would start on a small scale and try a pilot project in which staff could assist inmates to find housing, maybe just in one community, in order to maintain the department's investment in their wellness. I am thinking, in one of the communities where there is a correctional centre, that there be a pilot project and the Minister gauge the results of ensuring that inmates have housing on their release, in order to see whether, in fact, that brings down rates of people going back into jails. Thank you.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5693

Louis Sebert Thebacha

As I have mentioned, case managers and community probation officers work with various departments as they attempt to reintegrate those who are in custody back into their communities. I don't think that I can commit to a pilot project. I will speak to the Minister of Housing regarding this concept, but I don't think that we can make any commitments at this time. Thank you.

Question 756-18(3): Housing Support for Released Inmates
Oral Questions

Page 5693

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Mackenzie Delta.