This is page numbers 1277 - 1298 of the Hansard for the 19th Assembly, 2nd 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 911.

Topics

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for the question. I realize that it's very difficult for families to come to terms with deaths due to addictions, especially in young people, and it happens much too often. For the 18-to-30 group, they would have access to all the same resources that adults have. Those include things such as counselling, the opportunity to go to facility-based addictions, the opportunity to come back and use on-the-land services, and other kinds of peer supports. There is a full range of services outlined in the Mental Wellness and Addictions Recovery Action Plan, that was tabled in 2019, that are applicable to all residents of the NWT. Thank you.

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

I had the opportunity to go through some of the government websites, and I noticed that there are quite a few toll-free numbers you can access to get support. I would ask the Minister: can she confirm how many calls are received on support lines, and how many of these calls are from Indigenous peoples? How many are from others? How many by community, and how is it determined if services provided by these toll-free numbers are actually working?

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate that the Member was able to give me this question in advance because there is quite a detailed answer to provide. The Department of Health and Social Services operates the NWT helpline. It's available 24/7, and that could be for counseling. It could be for referral. There are a number of different functions. The helpline calls are anonymous, so people choose how much information to disclose, such as their ethnicity, their age, the community of origin and so on.

However, I can tell you that, in 2019, there were 697 calls to the helpline; 46 percent identified as female; 52 percent identified as male; approximately 55 percent of callers disclosed their ethnicity, and of that number, 19 percent identified as Indigenous. As I mentioned, people do not have to disclose where they are calling from, but the data says that 50 percent of callers identify as being from a rural community, which I would say in our context is a remote community, and 30 percent from an urban area. Because the calls are anonymous and the service is immediate, there is not a program of follow-up with callers to see whether they have additional questions. It would be on the caller to call the line and ask for additional help.

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Hay River South.

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For the people in the NWT, and I guess maybe I am thinking about myself, as well, the more personal face-to-face meetings are usually preferred over telephone or videoconferencing, and I guess a lot of people are just used to that. Can the Minister confirm that the department has statistics on the preference clients have on how the services are provided and what are the most successful methods?

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you to the Member for Hay River South. Every two years, the department conducts a satisfaction survey related to the Community Counselling Program, and it looks at a lot of different things: cultural safety, respect, access, how effective the services were. We have discovered, as you said, that people do like face-to-face services, but what we really had as an overarching message from the last survey is that there is no "one size fits all." Some younger people prefer the phone apps; others prefer face-to-face encounters; and others are content to be on the telephone. What I want you to know is that this is something that we track regularly, and the outcome is customer satisfaction. That is to say the people who phoned or who have reached out for help feel that they have received effective help. Thank you.

Question 357-19(2): Addictions Support
Oral Questions

Page 1289

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

October 16th, 2020

Page 1289

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. My Member's statement spoke at length of our knowledge-keepers and the life they have lived in their communities while passing on their knowledge of the land to the next generation of their families. This Assembly recognizes the need to keep the knowledge-keepers to age in their communities and at the same time to keep their dignity as human beings.

Mr. Speaker, my community of Fort Providence currently has an abandoned former health centre building that would make an ideal long-term care facility for our elders. We can also make space for people with severe disabilities and offer other programs, such as the "A New Day" program, which targets male offenders of a partnership. Just a note, there are two separate entrances, so there are two separate areas of the health centre, and also a basement unit. My question to the health Minister is: will she make a commitment to turning this building into a long-term care centre for our community? Mahsi.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1289

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Deh Cho. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am going to take that question on notice as I do not have any specific information about the condition of the Fort Providence health centre. Thank you.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1289

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

It seems that only the larger centres get all the services and buildings, including victims' shelters, family violence centres, sobering centres, homeless shelters, and the list goes on. Can the health Minister make a commitment to look at instituting a small-sized, long-term care centre in Fort Providence?

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1290

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Long-term care facilities are for people who need complex medical care from nurses 24 hours a day. They are people who have needs that are beyond families to provide. As a result of the level of care required, these facilities are located in regional centres, and that is a place where there is a broader range of services available and also a greater number of staff who can work with the elders. I realize it's important to keep elders in their communities, but I also realize that, in order to provide them with the care they need for their own quality of life, it may not be possible to do that in the community until the ends of their lives.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1290

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi for that, Minister. It saddens me to know that this government can spend huge sums of money on large-ticket items that are not a priority for Members on this side of the House. Every time a small community wants to offer programs that the larger centres offer, we are shrugged off, making large excuses of "You need qualified people." Those qualified people can be relocated or new positions created in the small communities to accommodate so that we can have this program. No, we cannot have something that will stimulate our much-needed local economies, that will include creating much-needed jobs. Can this Minister of health begin the process of providing all the small communities with the much-needed programs offered by the large centres so that our residents do not have to flock to the regional centres?

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1290

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you for that question. It is a priority of this government to help elders to age in place, and there are many things that need to be lined up in order to make that mandate commitment a reality. One is housing, that people have housing that is suitable and affordable for them to live in. The second is that we have a robust home and community care program that can visit more able adults in their homes and provide them with personal support worker services. That could be things like driving the elder to an appointment. It could be cleaning their oven. It could be taking them grocery shopping. It's whatever the elder needs to be able to stay in place. There is a drive now to expand the homecare services to better define what is being offered and where it's being offered, but underpinning all this work is the commitment to have elders age in place. That's where we're at.

Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Oral Questions

Page 1290

The Speaker (Hon. Frederick Blake Jr) Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Deh Cho.