This is page numbers 6289 - 6352 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 assembly.

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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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The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. Nadli. Mr. O'Reilly.

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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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Thanks, Mr. Chair. I'd like to thank the committee for letting me sit in on some of the deliberations they had in Yellowknife around Bill 45, and I want to thank the committee. I think this is a clear example of how consensus government can and should work.

I know that at one point there were actually almost no, or virtually no, written submissions that the committee had received, and I want to recognize the work of my colleague the honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre in seeking out some expert reviews of the bill. She certainly went the extra distance, and that's the kind of job that we should all be doing here as MLAs to ensure that legislation gets a thorough review and that it reflects best practices.

As I understand it, this is the first time the Corrections Act has ever actually gone through a comprehensive review. The original bill, I think, as others have said, was really focused largely on administrative matters. Certainly, through the committee's work, and I think with the advice of some outside experts, the focus is much more on inmates, a more balanced approach, their rights and interests. There was a lot of experience that was gained from what happened in Nunavut in the recent review of their legislation, as well. I think it much better incorporates the concepts of reconciliation and provides some oversight.

It also deals with the devastating effects of solitary confinement which Canada is not having a very good track record on. There are some very good changes that have been made to this bill, and as I understand it, there were 32 motions raised by committee, and all of them were concurred with by the Minister. That's an amazing track record, quite frankly, and I wish that all of our standing committees had received that level of collaboration and cooperation. Unfortunately, that is not the case, but here's an example, I think, of how consensus government could be made to work. It's not about getting your way. It's about making sure that we can work together and do things in the best interests of all of our residents. Unfortunately, I don't think that's been the experience with a number of the other bills that we've dealt with, but I do, again, want to thank the committee for their very hard work, and work of the Minister and his staff.

I did actually get to sit in on one meeting where the deputy minister and a couple of other staff people were there. The attitude that they took was, if the committee had a concern or an issue, let's see how we can fix this. It was a "can do" approach, and unfortunately, that kind of approach was not brought to the table in a number of the other bills that I've sat in on, but here's a model of how it can and should be done in the future. I once again want to commend the work of the standing committee. 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 Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly. Mr. Testart.

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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Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think you can summarize the feelings of Members, at least on this side of the House, to say this process that led to the committee's process around this bill was a triumph of consensus. It does draw to mind the previous work that this department and this Minister did on the ATIP Act, starting with a bill that was largely updates, and now has ended up being some of the most progressive legislation in Canada governing that topic, and I'm a firm believer in credit where credit is due. I think, in this case, learning from my colleagues, that there was a lot of give and take, a lot of cooperation, and ultimately a better bill that better serves our residents. I commend the committee's hard work. I commend the Minister's hard work, and the staff who collaborated to make it happen. Thank you.

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 Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. Testart. Mr. Blake.

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

August 21st, 2019

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Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'd just like to thank our committee members who were part of the committee. Our committee took a real stance on the changes that needed to be done. At first, the department wasn't willing to. Our committee took the stance that we're not going to move on this bill the way it stands, and that led to a lot of changes to the bill that we now have, and I commend the Minister and the department for being willing to make those changes, and especially to our law clerk and their legal team that spent a lot of time, over a time of about a week that made all these changes that committee wanted to see into this bill, that final draft that we have here today. I'd just like to commend everybody who is part of that, our committee members, chair, and also the Minister, working together for the betterment of our residents in the territory to have justice and to be treated fairly. I would just like to thank everybody for their hard work and dedication. 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 Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Mr. Blake. Any further comments? Seeing none, we will recognize Mr. Thompson for closing comments. There are six motions. Six motions, and we will move to the chair of the committee.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Mr. Chair, I move that this committee recommends that the Department of Justice explore the possibility allowing for private interviews between an inmate and a facility's Indigenous elder or spiritual adviser subject, to reasonable restrictions. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you. There is a motion on the floor and it is being distributed. The motion is in order. To the motion.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Daniel McNeely

Question has been called. All those in favour? Ms. Green.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. McNeely. I just wanted to say to this motion that one of the things that we really liked about the Nunavut Act, the Corrections Act, was that it had a significant cultural context in it reflecting the culture and language of the Inuit. We felt that by what we could do to reflect that in the Northwest Territories is to find a role for elders and spiritual advisers. They do exist there now, and they operate in group settings. We felt that the opportunity for private interviews may also be beneficial to inmates. That's the background to this decision. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Daniel McNeely

Thank you, Ms. Green. To the motion.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 6321

Some Hon. Members

Question.

Committee Motion 237-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act - Private Interviews between Inmates and Indigenous Elders or Spiritual Advisors, Carried
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Daniel McNeely

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

To the next motion. Mr. Thompson.