This is page numbers 5877 - 5944 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 report.

Topics

Question 789-18(3): State of Health Care System in Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 5889

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

True to form, the Minister answered a couple of my other questions, so I will skip to my last one. Unfortunately, the next Assembly will have a new Minister of Health. What advice can this Minister provide to his successor to help address these ongoing issues at the Health and Social Services authority in Hay River?

Question 789-18(3): State of Health Care System in Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

We face challenges across the entire Northwest Territories. Recruitment and retention is a big challenge. When it comes to Hay River, I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of different practitioners and nurses, both in Hay River and out of Hay River, and one of the things that I have heard from some individuals outside the community is that they would love to go to Hay River. They think it's a great community. It's in a beautiful spot, it's a 10-hour drive from Edmonton, it's a brand-new health centre, but they don't want to go there because they don't want to leave the public service.

Frankly, I think that one of the initiatives that the next government does have to undertake is to bring Hay River into the public service to improve that security, ensure that they are getting the best pension, and expand their ability to reach out to additional services in the Northwest Territories, to make sure that we have those economies of scale that Hay River doesn't always get to take advantage of. I really think that the next government is going to have to find a way to bring them in.

Question 789-18(3): State of Health Care System in Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 5890

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I wanted to follow up on my statement on the Affirmative Action Policy. About 30 years ago, as a result of the Oka Crisis, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples did a report and released their findings on November 1, 1996. That was 30 years ago. In 2019, it is a long shot, but marijuana was legalized. Much has changed. My question is to the Minister of Finance. I asked the Minister this question before and did not get a direct answer, so I will ask again: why has the Affirmative Action Policy not been updated in the last 30 years? Does concern about the legitimacy of affirmative action for other disadvantaged groups have anything to do with the GNWT's reluctance to update its policy? Mahsi.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister of Finance.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The policy is one tool related to recruitment of Indigenous employees. We have introduced a number of programs that will assist with increasing Indigenous employees within the GNWT and will help employees advance. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

One of the suggestions is to identify an individual who, perhaps, could herald some changes in terms of instituting opportunities for career paths for Indigenous people. Will the Minister consider developing a standalone Affirmative Action Policy for Indigenous people? Will he instruct his department to begin this work before the end of this Assembly?

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

We always want to try and increase the number of Indigenous employees within the GNWT, and I think that the government has taken a number of steps to do so. I think that the Member pointed out some of my past comments about merit, moving a lot of them along based on merit and what they bring to the job. In my career within the GNWT, and here in the Legislative Assembly, I have seen improvement.

The 19th Assembly, when they come in, can choose to take up this approach if they want, but I am not sure that changing the policy would be the best approach to increasing Indigenous employment.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Is there a model in other jurisdictions that has been successful in hiring more Aboriginal people into the government that the GNWT could perhaps use as a model?

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

I can get back to the Member, but there are few, if any, jurisdictions that have been as successful as the GNWT in increasing Indigenous employment. We share best practices amongst provinces and territories. I am not sure if there is a model out there that we can actually use; I think that ours is the model that they can actually use.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think we are on to something good here, so I will ask the Minister: will the Minister commit to bringing on board an Indigenous employee advocate who is tasked to work with the management to assist interested Indigenous employees seeking work with the GNWT? Mahsi.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

As far as an Indigenous employee advocate, I am not sure if we have one, but we already have a Diversity and Inclusion Unit and an Indigenous Employee Advisory Committee.

As I said before, we are winding down the life of the 18th Legislative Assembly, and as the 19th comes in, one of their priorities may be to include this as they move forward. We will let them make that decision, but we have already taken some steps to address the Members' concerns. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 790-18(3): Affirmative Action Policy
Oral Questions

Page 5890

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 791-18(3): Cremation Regulations
Oral Questions

August 12th, 2019

Page 5891

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are for the Minister of Health and Social Services. On September 27, 2017, my private Member's bill, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, was passed. The Minister committed to develop regulations as a priority. His department released a Key Elements for Discussion document on May 1, 2019, soliciting input on regulations. Can the Minister describe what he has in mind for regulations of cremation services? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.