This is page numbers 1689 - 1724 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 work.

Topics

Elders' Housing Issues
Members' Statements

Page 1696

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Guaranteed Basic Income
Members' Statements

Page 1696

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Northwest Territories regularly has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world, and we are consistently amongst one of the highest government spending per capita in the world. No doubt, the first statistic is largely due to the fact that we have a small population and diamond mines, and the second fact is due to the difficulty of delivering services over such a vast territory. However, in this same time period, Madam Speaker, we have seen very little progress on many of our things. Our high school graduation rates and our housing inequality have all largely stayed the same or gotten worse.

I have multiple times made statements in this House about the importance of a guaranteed basic income as I believe this the path to addressing some of these systemic issues. However, I want to emphasize that this is not just a progressive issue. There are people on the left, certainly. Our Time Yellowknife has called for this; there are conservative senators; the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has endorsed this; the Liberal Party in their Caucus has made this a priority. I really believe there is political will across the political spectrum to look at this.

I want to emphasize that this is also about streamlining a number of programs. Right now, we have a wage top-up program, where, if you are earning minimum wage, you get topped up to $18 an hour, but if you actually did not apply for that and you apply for income assistance and say you had your childcare covered, you'd get topped up to $25 an hour because you are eligible, if you are working full-time on minimum wage, to get income assistance. Our income assistance is, in fact, also a wage subsidy program.

However, then, we have other programs coming in, such as DILIS (ph) from the federal government, disability supports, old age supplements, guaranteed income supplement for the elderly, the Canadian Child Benefit for parents with children, the working income tax benefit; we have the northern residents tax reduction; we also have things like the housing rent subsidy, CHAP funding, home heating subsidy for seniors.

I do not believe anyone is looking at how all of these programs interact and work together, especially once we get to the federal level. There seems to be some miscommunication. So often, the question is: how much does a guaranteed basic income cost? However, I don't believe we can answer that unless we do the work to figure out what is currently being spent across all departments and all levels of governments supporting our most vulnerable. I will have questions for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment if we can begin that work. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Guaranteed Basic Income
Members' Statements

Page 1697

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members' statements. Member for Range Lake.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week - Recognition of Michael Turner-Davis and Nathan Dunn
Members' Statements

Page 1697

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Madam Speaker, I'd like to recognize two residents of Range Lake whose achievements have made our riding proud by winning the top marks in their trade for their levels. I'd like to recognize Michael Turner-Davis, who is Level 2 Automotive Service Technician, and Nathan Dunne, who is Level 1 Sprinkler Systems Installer. Congratulations to you both and to all apprentices throughout the Northwest Territories for the work you do. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week - Recognition of Michael Turner-Davis and Nathan Dunn
Members' Statements

Page 1697

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members' statements. Member for Hay River North.

Remembrance Day
Members' Statements

Page 1697

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Madam Speaker, each year on November 11th, Canadians pause to remember the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives for our country so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have today. I encourage residents to reflect on the bravery of Canadians, both past and present, who have put their lives on the line to protect the peace and safety that make up the fabric of our society. The heroes who have stepped up in the name of freedom and democracy have done so in conflicts that span every generation.

During some of our darkest days, Madam Speaker, Canadians left their families behind to fight against the evils of the time, to keep our country safe. For that, we are forever grateful. We must remember those who have been forever changed by war, those who never returned home, and the families, friends, and communities who continue to feel the impacts of those losses. They defended democracy and helped build peace here at home and around the world. They gave up their future for the future of others, and it is important that we take the time to reflect on this selflessness and honour those who answered their country's call.

Remembrance Day is also a time to honour and thank all members of Canada's military for their service in times of war, conflict, and peace. Over the years, Canadians from all walks of life have stood in cooperation and friendship with our allies as we have contributed to the fight against forces of tyranny. Madam Speaker, we can never repay the debt we owe to the many men and women who have paid for our freedom with their lives. What we can do is remember their sacrifices and pay tribute to their bravery and patriotism, lest we forget. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Remembrance Day
Members' Statements

Page 1697

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members' statements. Member for Inuvik Boot Lake.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week - Recognition of Joel Hanthorn and Joseph Lemieux
Members' Statements

November 5th, 2020

Page 1697

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Madam Speaker. National Skilled Trades and Technology Week is a Canada-wide event designed to promote awareness of the many opportunities in skilled trades and technology. Awards are being provided to apprentices who have achieved the highest mark equal or greater to 80 percent in their theory examination for their trade and level, as well as those who have achieved journeyperson status in 2019-2020.

Today, I am pleased to acknowledge the hard work of a couple of constituents from Inuvik Boot Lake who are on their path to getting their journeypersons trade status. I would first like to acknowledge Joel Hanthorn, who successfully completed the second year of his Construction Electrician ticket. I would also like to acknowledge Joseph Lemieux, who has successfully completed the third year of his Plumber/Gasfitter ticket.

The trades are important to keeping the people of the North safe and our economy moving ahead in a positive manner. Madam Speaker, there is always a need for tradespeople in the territories, to build our houses, keep our roads and airports open, keep our ferries running. We need tradespeople to heat the lights and keep the water running. In short, Madam Speaker, we need tradespeople for everyday lives. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week - Recognition of Joel Hanthorn and Joseph Lemieux
Members' Statements

Page 1698

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife South.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week - Recognition of Slavomir Rohac
Members' Statements

Page 1698

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I, too, want to acknowledge the National Skilled Trades and Technology Week here in Canada and, as my colleague from Inuvik Boot Lake has just outlined, some of the important features that come from this opportunity to encourage the trades and for young people to gain skills.

Madam Speaker, I am also very happy to take this opportunity to congratulate one of my constituents, Slavimir Rohak, for achieving this award and obtaining one of the highest marks for the Level 2 Heavy Equipment Technician. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

National Skilled Trades and Technology Week - Recognition of Slavomir Rohac
Members' Statements

Page 1698

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Eulogy for Elaine Blake
Members' Statements

Page 1698

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Today, I am going to be recognizing one of our Northwest Territories Housing Corporation employees. The employee worked for us at the local housing authority in Tsiigehtchic. It is with great sadness and regret that I convey the news of the passing of a great Northerner, Ms. Elaine Blake of Tsiigehtchic. I want to express my whole-hearted condolences to her family and friends, and to the residents of Tsiigehtchic for their loss.

Elaine had been the local housing association manager in Tsiigehtchic for nearly 14 years. Prior to working as a housing manger, she was the housing coordinator for the community of Tsiigehtchic and, prior to that, she was also the contractor for the Petroleum Products Division of the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Elaine was a long-term resident of Tsiigehtchic and had moved to the community in 1980. She was the mother of two boys, Jeremy and Darby, and two girls, Charlene and Sasha. She is also survived by nine grandchildren.

Madam Speaker, Elaine was very active in the community as a volunteer, helping with Mackenzie Valley Jamborees, Canoe Days, and spending her free time cooking for elders. She was an avid canoer. She enjoyed travelling the Northwest Territories to spend time on the water canoeing and in competitions. She also enjoyed sharing traditional activities with her children and grandchildren.

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation will be missing her and her tireless work, and her commitment to the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation's provision of affordable and quality care and the safe and adequate client service that she had provided. People tell me that she went door to door and always opened her door, and she was always available for people at any time, in any circumstance. She went above and beyond to meet the client service of all public housing tenants. She addressed them seriously, and she addressed them with professionalism.

Madam Speaker, our communities need more Elaine Blakes to display and to help us with our client service at the community level. I ask Members of the House to join me in a moment of silence to celebrate the life of Ms. Elaine Blake, a northern hero. Mahsi, Madam Speaker.

Eulogy for Elaine Blake
Members' Statements

Page 1698

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Members, we will have a moment of silence.

---Moment of silence

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Return to Oral Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Returns To Oral Questions

Page 1698

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a Return to Oral Question asked by the Member of Deh Cho on October 16, 2020, regarding long-term care facility.

The former health centre building in Fort Providence was deemed surplus by the department when the new health and social services centre was constructed. It was determined by Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Infrastructure that the building had reached the end of its useful life from both a technical and program perspective. It would have been cost prohibitive to upgrade the facility and meet current healthcare design and infection control standards to continue to be used a health facility.

The Department of Health and Social Services has determined that building long-term care facilities in communities outside of regional centers is not feasible because of the high cost of building and operating a long-term care facility and the need for adequate nursing and personal care staff to operate it safely.

The Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving homecare services to enable elders with care needs to remain living in their community longer. As part of the mandate commitment to support seniors to age in place with dignity, we are working with our partners in other government departments to identify gaps and help improve other services and housing options that meet the growing needs of seniors.

With respect to the former health centre, the Department of Infrastructure is responsible for the disposal of the property in accordance with the GNWT Disposal of Improved Real Property Policy. I have been advised that, in early October, the Minister of Infrastructure provided the Member with an update on the disposal process for the former Fort Providence Health Centre, which is being done in accordance with this policy. I understand there is currently an assessment of the building under way and the Department of Infrastructure has already received interest from local groups. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Return to Oral Question 358-19(2): Long-Term Care Facility
Returns To Oral Questions

Page 1699

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Range Lake.