This is page numbers 5839 - 16 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

Minister's Statement 211-18(3): Addressing the Caribou Crisis
Ministers' Statements

Page 5844

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Thank you. There is a motion on the floor. The motion is in order and non-debatable. All those in favour? All those opposed?

---Carried.

The Minister's statement will be moved into Committee of the Whole. Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Elders Forced Into Long-Term Care
Members' Statements

Page 5844

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My statement today is from one of my constituents in the Mackenzie Delta. One of the elders was asked to move out of public housing and into the elders home. I agree that we lobby to keep our elders in the community. We have the Joe Greenland Centre in Aklavik. We have the newly constructed elders home in Fort McPherson, as well as an elders homes in Tsiigehtchic. However, if our elders are comfortable where they are now, why should they be asked to move into the homes?

Mr. Speaker, this elder can do daily living activities on her own. She has family members who check on her to make sure she is okay and to make sure that she gets out on daily outings. She wants to reside where she is now without having to relocate to the Joe Greenland Centre in the community. Let's keep our elders in their units where they are happy without forcing them to move out.

The majority of the elders in the NWT are independent. They keep themselves busy with daily chores. If we want our elders to be self-sufficient, we should be encouraging and supporting them to live independently.

Mr. Speaker, I know for a fact that our elders live longer lives because they do things on their own. They enjoy getting out and about, eating healthy, traditional foods provided by family members, and being able to cook for themselves. We should be respecting our elders' decisions to live independently and not forcing them against their will. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will have questions for the Minister later today.

Elders Forced Into Long-Term Care
Members' Statements

Page 5845

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

D-Day Commemoration
Members' Statements

Page 5845

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I rise to commemorate the sacrifices made by Allied soldiers on the shores of Normandy, France, 75 years ago today. Canadian soldiers, along with their Commonwealth and American allies, took part in the largest seaborne invasion in human history. This landing opened a western front on mainland Europe, and over roughly the next year, along with Soviet forces in the east, the Third Reich was besieged from all sides and ultimately surrendered in May 1945.

The task our forces had before them in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a task which had never been successfully done before, embarking from landing craft and by parachute while under fire in hopes to create a safe landing and port for resupply as part of a bigger effort to push back entrenched enemy forces.

Mr. Speaker, 75 years ago this morning, our Armed Forces set out to do the impossible, and they were victorious. It is only fitting that we pay homage to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives during the Second World War, of whom 5,500 were killed during the Battle of Normandy and 359 lost their lives on D-Day.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that all Members of this House and all members of the public will take a moment today to reflect upon this momentous anniversary, to reflect upon the sacrifices made by those who left their homes behind, too many never returning to their families. Many who served on that day are no longer with us today. In my opinion, it is our duty to not let them or their actions be forgotten. We must do our part to honour their service and pass on to the next generations their stories. We will remember them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

D-Day Commemoration
Members' Statements

Page 5845

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Recognition of William Alger
Members' Statements

Page 5845

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I had the pleasure of meeting William Alger, a young, 20-year-old man who was born and raised in Fort Simpson. He shared with me his journey as he discovered his goals and objectives, embracing his passion of his vision of developing a positive impact on the community of Fort Simpson and the North as a whole.

William graduated from Thomas Simpson School in June of 2016. Upon graduation, William was employed in the community in various positions. It was not until June of 2018 that he had the realization he would like to focus on a career in agriculture and what academic programs could afford him the ability to realize his dreams.

William, this past year, attended Vancouver Island University. He was enrolled in upgrading with the vision to register and complete the four-year tourism management program. Upon completion of this program, William plans to move back to Fort Simpson to pursue agriculture and business through online courses. William appraises to start a homestead in Fort Simpson to grow fresh and affordable produce. William's futuristic goals are to begin raising cattle and other livestock. William researched and explored possible funding opportunities through federal funded government programs and to begin such a venture.

William expressed how his initial movement for these initiative ideas were created by witnessing the hardship faced in the community with the cost of living, transportation costs, all part of the high cost of living. William began working on a farm, where he realized creating these same services and opportunities up North are doable. While William was working on the farm, he met his academic responsibilities with an attempt to continue educating himself while gaining knowledge regarding the farming industry.

William's motivation to establish on the premises that nutritional food is an actual necessity, regardless of the location. William recognizes unnecessary struggles Northerners face in attending nutritional food. William feels it is extremely unfair to charge northern people extremely high amounts for food, which is a basic human need. William's vision is positive, comes back to the community, and makes a positive impact, witnessed its flourishing growth through agriculture, which is an untapped resource.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend William Alger for his visionary approach to our community and look forward to witness this positive and innovative changes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition of William Alger
Members' Statements

Page 5845

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Members' Statements

June 6th, 2019

Page 5846

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Earlier this week, the report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released. It arrives at some sobering conclusions that, as Canadian leaders, we must take seriously. The term "Canadian genocide" has raised some controversy, Mr. Speaker, but I think it just shows how deeply serious this discussion is.

Many hundreds of Indigenous women have been assaulted, murdered, or simply disappear, Mr. Speaker. That is not just a crime. It isn't just unusual. This isn't a somewhere-else problem, Mr. Speaker. Our very own mothers, daughters, sisters, and neighbours are among the victims of this genocide. Women from our communities have similar experiences to those elsewhere in Canada. The support services they need are equally lacking. It is a problem right here at home, and we are not offering meaningful solutions.

What can we do, Mr. Speaker? The word "genocide" may make us uncomfortable, but that word's gravity must force us to confront reality. We need to achieve a new understanding of the experiences of Indigenous women, girls, and families, and take concrete steps to improve those experiences. Women in all our communities need support.

Our programs should offer women access to health and wellness services wherever they live. Our government should prioritize women's equity and equality and encourage women to step forward into leadership roles. We must move forward on the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Let's make self-government and self-determination a basic right for Indigenous peoples. Our land rights agreements should promote justice and opportunity by creating certainty on land ownership.

Our systems of policing and corrections need vigilance, and principles of restorative justice should be incorporated into our legal system. In schools and workplaces, we should emphasize knowledge and fluency in northern studies, Indigenous history, and the legacy of residential schools. Indigenous wellness and traditional healing should be fully incorporated in our health delivery systems, which should focus on preventative as well as treatment aspects of health.

Mr. Speaker, the report states that "insufficient political will is a roadblock" to progress. I challenge my friends and colleagues across the NWT: let us find the political will to start making a difference. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Members' Statements

Page 5846

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Thank you, Member. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Outstanding Volunteer Award Nominee
Members' Statements

Page 5846

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. [Translation] Today, my Member's statement will concern residents of the riding of Frame Lake who were named in the category through volunteer pride for young people. For three years, Vivianne Pauze has been carrying out volunteer work in her school theatre. Last year, she dedicated 77 hours as her role as script register. Over the past three years, she also officiated 20 times on events at the Northern Arts and Culture.

In the summer 2017, she did volunteer work as a soccer coach for a young team who were eight years old. In the school where she attends, she works on recycling programs and composting programs within the francophone community.

Ms. Pauze has been a volunteer at the (inaudible) daycare and during the annual meeting of the franco-tenoise federation in 2019.

In 2017-2018, Vivianne gave her time to the Foundation of Stanton Territorial Hospital by taking part and organize that's held, the so-called Mud Run. She also takes part actively by collecting food for the Salvation Army. She has gathered, raised funds during the Coldest Night to sensitive the people of the Northwest Territories about homelessness. She has collected 700 pieces of clothing for the Stanton Territorial Hospital for the YMCA. She has positive exercise bringing change for Yellowknife. Mr. Speaker, I would like unanimous consent to conclude my statement. [Translation ends.]

---Unanimous consent granted

Outstanding Volunteer Award Nominee
Members' Statements

Page 5846

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

[Translation] Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Colleagues. She wrote herself to the culture, recycling and composting. Francophone, sports and, of course, intended for the people who are need. Vivian trying to be, have a better world, a more humane role that can exist in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. [Translation ends.]

Outstanding Volunteer Award Nominee
Members' Statements

Page 5846

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Mental Health and Addictions Plan
Members' Statements

Page 5847

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to offer my thanks to the Minister of Health and Social Services and his staff for completing the long-awaited mental health and addictions action plan. The plan's strengths include flexibility for clients seeking services and an ambitious timeline for implementation.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the work I did with my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Social Development to report on the treatment centres we toured 18 months ago and to make recommendations for this action plan. For example, we recommended that the department provide more information about how to access addictions treatment. We said, specifically that the department should provide plain-language documents describing what treatment facilities have to offer and the steps required to get in. I have spoken to many people who are unaware of how to begin this stage of their healing journey. I wish the department had included this recommendation in their plan.

I am happy to see our recommendation on enhanced aftercare has been partially adopted. We wanted to see stronger after care connections with the southern facilities and to help communities that want to develop peer support groups like AA. We want to ensure home communities are part of the plan.

When we did our tour, the committee and the Minister repeatedly heard facility staff and residents emphasize the importance of safe, secure, and sober housing after leaving treatment. We heard about the threats to mental and physical wellbeing posed by homelessness or the return to the site of one's addiction because of a lack of housing.

The reality is that many Northerners exiting treatment centres are in fact discharged into homelessness. I recently met a man in Behchoko who completed the program at Fresh Start in Calgary two years ago. He lives with his daughter in a house with 16 people. He is doing his best to stay sober but his housing situation is not helping. It makes no sense to me that we invest millions of dollars in treatment for Northerners but we do not assist them with the most basic means of maintaining their sobriety. It's worth mentioning as well that providing housing is cheaper than providing a return trip to treatment.

Mr. Speaker, the action plan says the department will "pursue basic solutions for basic needs such as safe housing." Mr. Speaker, I see unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Mahsi.

---Unanimous consent granted

Mental Health and Addictions Plan
Members' Statements

Page 5847

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you. I will begin the quote again. "Pursue basic solutions for basic needs such as safe housing for individuals returning from addictions treatment programs." Mr. Speaker, this is just not good enough.

That leaves how many of the 181 people who completed treatment last year without safe housing? My answer is, even if it's one, that's too many. I will have questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Thank you.

Mental Health and Addictions Plan
Members' Statements

Page 5847

The Deputy Speaker R.J. Simpson

Thank you. Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.