This is page numbers 6413 - 6444 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.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Glen Abernethy, Mr. Beaulieu, Mr. Blake, Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Ms. Green, Hon. Jackson Lafferty, Hon. Bob McLeod, Hon. Robert McLeod, Mr. McNeely, Hon. Alfred Moses, Mr. Nadli, Mr. Nakimayak, Mr. O'Reilly, Hon. Wally Schumann, Hon. Louis Sebert, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Vanthuyne

The House met at 10:02 a.m.

Prayer
Prayer

Page 6413

Stephen Kakfwi

[Translation] Thank you, my people. We look at the culture of our people. We keep praying in our language. We use the drum. That is why we pray. That is what I will say to you. We use this to help each one of us what we do within our faith, our culture. Someday, we bring it to the Creator some things that we ask. We show it to the other people and all the other world. [Translation ends]

Today, this is your last day together as an Assembly. You have come to the end of this road, and you will all start new roads from here. I will sing you a song. It is a song about the land. It is about travelling on the land. It is about being alone, facing the winds and the elements. It is about embracing everything that is around you, the people, the communities, the different peoples who we are who choose to live together. It is about the mountains. It is about the river and the lakes and the ocean. It is about calling the spirit of the land that sustains us, that we all may find a way to connect to a land that loves us, that takes care of us. This is a song that you can remember as you travel and as you see the land that is all around you. [English translation not provided.] Thank you.

Prayer
Prayer

Page 6413

Speaker

Masi. Please be seated. Good morning, Members. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Minister of Lands.

Minister's Statement 244-18(3): Land Titles Office New Online Services
Ministers' Statements

Page 6413

Louis Sebert Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude all Ministers' statements filed with the clerk today.

---Unanimous consent granted

[English translation not provided.]

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT's Land Titles Office is responsible for recording and maintaining the validity and security of all land titles information in the Northwest Territories. These public records have previously only been available during office hours and, if requirements were needed to view the actual file, these files could only be examined in person at the registry office.

In order to allow citizens throughout the Northwest Territories the ability to review land titles documents where and when they need them, the Department of Justice has developed and launched an online solution that will allow access on a 24/7 basis from any computer.

The newly designed online Northwest Territories Land Titles System allows the user to view the registered documents as if they were being viewed at the registry office. The system is fully bilingual, in French and English.

The ability to view these documents is valuable to lawyers, surveyors, and land administrators, as well as the public, so that they can verify the ownership of privately owned surveyed lands and determine who holds an interest in the lands. As this information is relied upon mainly in real estate transactions, the need for reliability is of utmost importance.

The new online system provides easy 24-hour-a-day access to information about any parcel of land that is registered with the Land Titles Office. This includes access to certificates of title, plans of survey, and associated documents. These documents can be downloaded and printed immediately.

The ability to search online will save thousands of dollars in time for professionals and for people who previously had to physically search files. Residents of our smaller communities will have the same immediate access to the system. For those who need or would prefer to work with the registry in person or by phone, fax, or email, staff will still be available to assist.

Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories Land Titles System was launched on May 21, 2019, and I hope I got that date right in French but if I didn't, that is the date, and is operating smoothly. User uptake has been very good, with over 200 registered users to date. Feedback from members of the public and professionals has been positive, and many stating that the new method for access is a vast improvement.

The Department of Justice is committed to improving the way we provide services in the most efficient and effective way possible. This includes ensuring that our residents have the same level of access to the information that they need no matter where in the NWT they reside. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 244-18(3): Land Titles Office New Online Services
Ministers' Statements

Page 6414

Speaker

Masi. It took you four years to do a statement in French but it was worth it. Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

Minister's Statement 245-18(3): Campaign School for Women
Ministers' Statements

Page 6414

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Mr. Speaker, today there are increasing numbers of women leaders who are working at the local and regional level for the betterment of our communities, but only a handful of women have ever taken seats in this Legislative Assembly. Mr. Speaker, it's time to change that. Our governing bodies should be representative of the populations they serve, and women make up half of our population. We need more women in political leadership at all levels, but especially here in this House.

We are seeing progress. The municipal elections in the fall of 2018 saw several women being elected into positions as mayors and councillors throughout the territory. Several of the successful candidates represent a younger demographic, and that's great news for the future of our territory.

Mr. Speaker, these women candidates succeeded with support from family, friends, donors, and campaign workers, but it all starts with the women themselves. Each woman who puts her name forward inspires women throughout the Northwest Territories to run for office, whether it is for the local education authority, a municipal council, an Indigenous government, the Legislative Assembly, or the Parliament of Canada.

The results of the municipal elections last year show that Northerners do see women as leaders who belong in the political realm. Better yet, more and more women see themselves as leaders.

Mr. Speaker, every Member of this House has been concerned about the low numbers of women in leadership, especially on boards and agencies and in political leadership at the territorial level. The mandate of the 18th Legislative Assembly committed our government to improving gender equity on boards and agencies and to taking steps to increase the participation of women in politics.

The Government of the Northwest Territories has sponsored Campaign Schools for Women over the term of this Assembly. Some of the successful municipal candidates last year were past participants of these workshops. We have also developed a "made-in-the-North" curriculum to support the workshops.

In developing this training material, we sought and received input from women across the Northwest Territories, and the training material is designed to apply to any elected position. I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories and the Status of Women Council, who worked with us to pilot this training material.

I am also happy to report that a communications campaign has been designed to help increase the number of women seeking political office by reinforcing the message that women are capable leaders. Phase One of the campaign was launched this month, and it will run until nominations for the territorial election close in the first week of September. Phase Two will run from October 24th to November 15th, leading up to the municipal elections in nine communities.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the support that this government has provided to women in an effort to increase their representation in the Legislative Legislative Assembly. This House established the Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly and unanimously supported each of the recommendations made in the final report. I was also pleased to provide funding for a very successful initiative led by the Member for Yellowknife Centre and the Yellowknife Women's Society, who offered a series of workshops and networking opportunities to prepare women to run for the Legislative Assembly.

We see evidence of the positive impact of our work in the number of women who have already announced that they will put their names forward in the upcoming Northwest Territories election. All of us in this Assembly, both women and men, have done our part to promote women in elected positions during our term and to fulfill our mandate commitments.

Mr. Speaker, I have more good news. We are not alone in our quest for gender equity in political life. The Government of Canada is stepping up, as well. On August 8th, I was with the Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, Michael McLeod, to announce new funding for our government from the Government of Canada. On behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality, MP McLeod announced $525,000 in new funding to bolster our own investment in women's leadership initiatives. This funding will be used to create a new online portal for the Campaign School for Women that will allow us to reach more residents, more often. It will help us continue pilot-testing the new "made-in-the-North" Campaign School curriculum, with additional workshops throughout the Northwest Territories, and it will help us continue our communications campaign to encourage women to enter politics at all levels.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to report that the mandate commitments of the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the delivery of workshops that help to get women into politics and to support a communications campaign to increase the participation of women in politics have been achieved, but our work is not yet done. It must continue until women are equally represented at all levels of elected leadership.

This government has worked very hard to increase the number of women in politics. I would like to thank all of the inspiring women who have decided to run in the upcoming territorial elections. It is time for women to take their seats at the table, and in this House. This territory wants more women leaders, we need their talents at all levels, and we will make it happen. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 245-18(3): Campaign School for Women
Ministers' Statements

Page 6415

Speaker

Masi. Ministers' statements. The Honourable Premier.

Minister's Statement 246-18(3): Achievements of the 18th Assembly
Ministers' Statements

Page 6415

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, as the 18th Legislative Assembly comes to an end, now is a good time for us to look back at the past four years and the good work that we have done together for the people of the Northwest Territories.

The 18th Assembly has been the first full Assembly since the federal government devolved responsibility for public lands, resources, and waters to the Government of the Northwest Territories. Devolution significantly increased the responsibilities of the Government of the Northwest Territories and expanded the areas in which this Legislative Assembly has legal authority. At the time of devolution, the 17th Legislative Assembly mirrored existing federal legislation, making the decision to first devolve and then evolve. It fell to the 18th Assembly to do the heavy lifting on the "evolve" part of the equation.

Devolution was just the beginning, Mr. Speaker. It was this Assembly that had to do the hard work of understanding our residents' priorities for newly devolved authorities and turn them into sound legislation and policy to reflect northern views and aspirations.

I am pleased to say that we were up to the task. The first made-in-the-Northwest Territories Mineral Resources Act will receive assent today, setting out for the first time ever how the Government of the Northwest Territories will manage the rich reserves of mineral resources that we share, in line with the views and priorities of northern decision-makers. We have also amended the Petroleum Resources Act and the Oil and Gas Operations Act to take into account our new responsibilities and reflect Northerners' priorities.

Part of managing the land and resources of the Northwest Territories responsibly includes making our own decisions about how land will be protected and conserved. A new Protected Areas Act passed this past June now gives Northerners the legal tools for creating a network of permanent protected areas that conserve the ecological and cultural worth of the Northwest Territories' most valued places.

We have updated and modernized the Environmental Rights Act, establishing the requirement for government departments and certain public bodies to consider a statement of environmental values in their decision-making, and mandating a State of the Environment Report.

We have passed a new Public Land Act, bringing together two previously separate regimes for managing public land in the Northwest Territories and setting the stage for further development of a more unified approach to land management.

Work to strengthen and improve the Government of the Northwest Territories' approach to managing land and resources will continue, Mr. Speaker, including work on the Waters Act and the Forest Act, but the work we have done in four short years to establish a new made-in-the-North legislative regime for land and resource management is an accomplishment that we should all be proud of.

Another priority for Northerners, Mr. Speaker, was improving government openness and transparency, and our government has responded. During this term, this Assembly passed the Ombud Act and appointed the first ever Ombud for the Northwest Territories.

Following a comprehensive review undertaken by the Government of the Northwest Territories, this Assembly also made significant amendments to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

We have complemented this legislative work with the creation of our government's first-ever Open Government Policy, including a new guide to public engagement that will help ensure that we are taking a consistent approach to soliciting the views of the public on important matters of public policy and factoring those into our work.

Mr. Speaker, we have worked together to pass several important pieces of legislation to protect public health and safety, including the Northwest Territories 911 Act, which will provide for a territory-wide 911 service beginning this fall. We also passed a new Emergency Management Act.

Responding to legislative changes at the federal level, Mr. Speaker, we passed the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act. We have also passed new legislation to control and reduce smoking and legislation to control the sale of tobacco and vapour products.

Mr. Speaker. In all, we have considered 93 bills, including money bills, over the past four years, representing a significant amount of work. Over these four years, the Government of the Northwest Territories has also invested in initiatives meant to advance the priorities of the 18th Legislative Assembly and better serve the people of the territory.

Together, we have invested more than $82 million in health, wellness, and education initiatives, including $33.5 million in health services, $17 million in children's programs, nearly $11 million in long-term care and seniors, and $6 million in shelters and vulnerable populations.

We have invested $29 million in community operations and safety, including $12 million in housing, $7.5 million to address the cost of living, $5 million for community government operations, and $2 million for 911.

We have invested $22 million in climate change and another $5 million in the environment, Mr. Speaker.

We have also invested more than $42 million in the economy and labour market, including $14 million in the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Line, nearly $12 million in adult education and training, $5 million in economic diversification, and $3 million in tourism and parks.

We have also invested more than $19 million in government services, including $3 million in service delivery improvements, almost $2 million in cannabis implementation, $2 million in intergovernmental relations, and $1.5 million in devolution implementation.

We have also invested millions in literally building the Northwest Territories during the term of this government, Mr. Speaker, including our biggest-ever capital plan in the current fiscal year.

Over the past four years, we have invested over $155 million in the new Stanton Territorial Hospital, and another $92 million in other health facilities in communities around the Northwest Territories.

We have invested $44 million in schools and $88.5 million in Northwest Territories Housing Corporation capital. We have invested over $112 million in community capital through our community government capital formula funding.

During this Assembly, in addition to the Stanton Territorial Hospital, the Government of the Northwest Territories celebrated the completion of two other major capital projects: the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway; and the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Line.

Looking to the future, we have invested almost $114 million in the Tlicho All-Season Road and $142 million in other road projects under the Building Canada Fund. With the planning and permitting work now complete, I am pleased to note that Minister Schumann will be hosting an official ground-breaking ceremony in Whati tomorrow with representatives from the Tlicho Government and a number of MLAs and Ministers to mark the start of work on the Tlicho All-Season Road.

We are also advancing energy, transportation, and other infrastructure projects in partnership with the federal government through the Investing in Canada Plan and the National Trades Corridor Fund.

We continue to advance the Mackenzie Valley Highway, Mr. Speaker, as well as the Slave Geological Province Corridor, two important roads to resources that will help unlock our territory's potential and create jobs and economic opportunities for our residents and all Canadians.

Our government has also made substantial investments in energy during the life of this Assembly, addressing multiple priorities, including economic development, cost of living, and environment and climate change. This includes projects like a 40-kilowatt solar project in Tulita and the Inuvik Wind Project. We have secured federal funding for a new and more efficient generator in Sachs Harbour, and for upgrades to the Snare Forks hydroelectric facility.

We continue to collect wind data in Norman Wells, Sachs Harbour, and Snare Rapids, and are monitoring water flows in Gameti to assess the potential for a mini-hydro project.

We continue to work with the federal government to advance the Taltson Hydroelectric Expansion Project, Mr. Speaker, and have secured $2 million in funding already, with a commitment for a further $18 million over the next three years.

These efforts have been guided by our government's integrated approach to addressing energy and climate change that was announced in May 2018 with the release of our 2030 Energy Strategy, Climate Change Strategic Framework, and Petroleum Resources Strategy.

The Government of the Northwest Territories recognizes that Northerners care deeply about the land, environment, and wildlife, Mr. Speaker, and we have worked throughout this Assembly to reflect that concern in our actions and decisions.

Earlier this week, our government was part of the celebrations in Lutselk'e to announce the creation of Thaidene Nene with the Government of Canada, Lutselk'e Dene First Nation, Deninu Kue First Nation, and NWT Metis Nation. The new national and territorial parks that will be established on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake represent the culmination of a 50-year dream for the people of the region that our government was pleased to be part of.

We have also continued to take steps to manage and protect wildlife in the Northwest Territories, including the implementation of significant new regulations under the Wildlife Act and the creation of a Boreal Caribou Recovery Strategy, a Bathurst Caribou Range Plan, and a Boreal Caribou Range Plan.

We also recognize that a strong territory starts with strong people, Mr. Speaker, and we have continued to support healthy, educated people over the four years of this Assembly.

During this Assembly, the Government of the Northwest Territories undertook a comprehensive analysis of labour market needs and launched the Skills 4 Success initiative to improve employment success for Northwest Territories residents, close skill gaps for in-demand jobs, and more effectively respond to employer and industry needs.

We completed the Aurora College Foundational Review and have responded with a plan to create the first polytechnic university in the Northwest Territories, built around our existing campus communities and community learning centres that will create new and expanded post-secondary educational opportunities for our people. We continue to invest in the college, including with a $10-million Centre for Mine and Industry Training we opened in Fort Smith at the beginning of this year.

We have completed the roll-out of free, optional junior kindergarten to all communities during the life of this Assembly, Mr. Speaker, giving Northwest Territories families more options and flexibility and giving our kids the support they need to grow and develop right from the start.

Our government has also launched a new community-based child and youth care counsellor initiative, Mr. Speaker, aimed to provide critical mental health supports and counselling at the community level.

We have invested in a new long-term care addition for Woodland Manor in Hay River, a new health centre and long-term care facility in Norman Wells, a new health centre in Fort Resolution, and the Jimmy Erasmus Seniors' Home in Behchoko.

During this Assembly, the Government of the Northwest Territories has also completed a significant transformation in the way that health services are delivered and managed with the creation of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority. The new authority has helped to break down systemic barriers to efficient and effective care and service delivery and built the foundation for a system with improved accountability and performance, informed by regional wellness councils.

We also understand that we must meet people where they are at, focusing on the needs of the individual, not our systems and processes. That is why our government has introduced a cultural safety action plan for our health system, to create an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people from all cultures and identities feel safe. It is also why we have embarked on a new primary care reform initiative that will ensure our health system is based around the needs of the patient and their families, focusing on outcomes for our people.

We continue to invest in justice in our communities, Mr. Speaker, including a new women's correction facility that will be opening in Fort Smith at the end of this month. This brand-new facility has been designed to provide female offenders with culturally appropriate programs and activities meant to help them become productive, healthy members of their communities.

To support safe communities, our government has agreed to construct 45 staff housing units at the request of the RCMP in five communities, including Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, and Norman Wells.

Our government has also continued to address the critical need for housing in the Northwest Territories, including convening the first-ever Northern Housing Summit in Inuvik earlier this year and successfully negotiating for $36 million under the National Housing Strategy and a $60-million carve-out under the National Housing Co-investment Fund.

Earlier this month, the Government of the Northwest Territories opened a new seniors nine-plex in Fort McPherson and a 17-unit singles building in Inuvik. We have invested in supportive housing project in Fort Simpson, Behchoko, Aklavik, and Fort Good Hope under our Northern Pathways to Housing program. We partnered with the Salt River First Nation to open two housing units, and also partnered with the Centre for Northern Families to open eight semi-independent units for people who are experiencing homelessness in Yellowknife.

We know homelessness is a challenge across the territory, Mr. Speaker, and each year the Government of the Northwest Territories works across departments and with many different service providers in communities all across the North to provide programs, services, and funding intended to support community members who may be experiencing homelessness or other related challenges. We continue to work on this issue through innovative approaches like Housing First, integrated case management, and the Homelessness Assistance Fund. We have increased resources to address this issue, including the new combined Sobering Centre and Day Shelter in Yellowknife.

Mr. Speaker, today is day 90 of our sitting days in this Third Session. Session is a major focus for the public and for us as Members, but we need to remember that government is a 365-days-a-year business. We have accomplished a lot since the First Session of the 18th Assembly took place on December 17, 2015. We should be proud of our accomplishments as an Assembly.

I want to thank the Members who have worked with us on behalf of the people of the Northwest Territories, and I want to thank the hard-working members of the public service who have supported us in turning our priorities into plans, policies, programs, and services for our residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 246-18(3): Achievements of the 18th Assembly
Ministers' Statements

Page 6418

Speaker

Masi. Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly
Members' Statements

Page 6418

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As we wrap up the 18th Assembly, it is my privilege to confirm what most folks already know: that I will be running for a second term, and I am excited and energized to hit the campaign trail.

To the constituents of Yellowknife North, Yellowknife has never failed me. Being entrusted as your representative and decision-maker at this level has been an incredible honour. It's been a dream come true to be your MLA for this unique, stunning, and diverse riding.

Mr. Speaker, I have enjoyed so much about this experience and being a part of this consensus government. I especially enjoyed my role as the chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment.

To all of my MLA colleagues, I applaud you for your commitment and thank you for your dedication to our territory.

To the amazing Assembly staff who supports us, it's been a tremendous pleasure working with all of you. We, as Regular Members, all Members, would be lost without your tremendous effort and dedication.

To my constituent assistant, Keith McNeil, you carried a lot of the weight of my day-to-day workload and you did a fine job of it. I can't thank you enough.

Outside government, we work with Indigenous leaders, community leaders, NGOs, and business leaders. Their knowledge and insight has helped me to understand my role and the importance of collaboration and respect. You have my utmost respect, and I thank you for your wisdom.

I came to the Assembly with experience in municipal government. My views may have been somewhat narrow, but the many Northerners I have met and worked with have helped me to understand our territory much better. I am proud to be a part of this great territory, and appreciate what it has to offer, which is a lot.

Mr. Speaker, our form of government is evaluated by our citizens, and also people throughout Canada and around the world. I have always believed I have an obligation as an MLA to stay focused on the long-term benefits of our territory. We are doing great things, but there is plenty of work to be done. I will continually pursue the best interests of my riding, and all the citizens of this great territory.

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the city and territory that have given so much to me over the years, and I am thrilled to continue on this journey. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly
Members' Statements

Page 6418

Speaker

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly
Members' Statements

August 23rd, 2019

Page 6419

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I reflect on the work of the 18th Assembly, I think back to the early days, when we set our priorities and the ambitious mandate that was put forward by all Members of this House. It is the spirit of compromise and cooperation that was the through-line for this Assembly. This is contrary to sensationalist claims of a dysfunctional institution. One need only look to our record to see that the vast majority of decisions, laws, and government spending have nearly always received the unanimous support of this House. To focus on our differences is to do a discredit to what has brought us together, which is service for the people of the Northwest Territories.

Is our system perfect? No, of course not. There are clear deficiencies in our democratic institutions, as there are in all democratic institutions, but I have been envigoured by the debates we've had on this subject, both in this Chamber and in public forums. I look forward to seeing the 19th Assembly continue the debate and find new and better ways to strengthen our Parliamentary traditions and achieve meaningful, democratic reform.

On this final day of session, I would like to thank all those who have supported me over the years; my constituents, my hard-working staff, my friends, and most importantly, my family, who have stood by me always.

I would also like to thank my honourable friends in this House. I have learned something from each of you, and will never forget the time we spent together in service to the people of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly
Members' Statements

Page 6419

Speaker

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly
Members' Statements

Page 6419

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, want to make closing comments as we conclude our last sitting day and recognize a lot of people out there, and a lot of accomplishments that I'm hoping that I have made, and contributions to fulfilling the platform that I sought out four years ago, and recognize the government's support for the people out there.

As an example, there are many social challenges in our remote communities, particularly having served the Sahtu in five communities without an all-season road. It really makes it a seasonal challenge to fill your grocery shelves, for example, and accessing a road trip. Those have to be scheduled.

I really support the recognition of the Sahtu leadership and the Sahtu residents, and I thank them for their support throughout the last four years. I also want to thank my family, who looked after our home while I was away. That gave me comfort to concentrate on the challenges to be addressed in this Assembly, to bring prosperous hope to the people of the Sahtu, and to the Territories, as well, with the number of highlighted resources pledged as identified in the Premier's statement today.

To give you some examples, here, in particular I campaigned on the Mackenzie Valley Highway and I was quite happy, I would say, or pleased this morning to reflect on what we've done in order to achieve where we are today in that regard. We've got a regional office in the Sahtu region, now, based in Norman Wells, bringing employee benefits and employee security to the region. The Department of Infrastructure did nothing but help to make that a realization, and realizing and continuing on with the services. Our government purchased some barges; now, I can feel free to go to the communities and say, "You've got a supply chain that would fill up your resupply of petroleum products in your homes." Mr. Speaker, I see unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Mahsi.

---Unanimous consent granted

Reflections on the 18th Assembly
Members' Statements

Page 6419

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, colleagues. In the area of health, there were a number of problems that was brought to my attention, and I have come to realize that this job is really not what it may seem to be on the audio. I, many of times, thought about that when I had seen my predecessor on audio, wondering what do they do outside of that. Now, I've seen it from the inside, and I can really say and respect the colleagues who set aside time from their life to work for the people. In that regard, I've grown to respect all Members of this House, and recognize the continued support from the staff of this House, and the staff from the departments that make them look good.

In the area of the health department, there were a number of suicidal challenges based in...