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

Question 484-19(2): Ingraham Trail Fire Services from Dettah
Oral Questions

Page 1708

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 484-19(2): Ingraham Trail Fire Services from Dettah
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am a little frustrated. The way I see this, there are three options. One, we contract with Dettah, and we make sure that a fire hall that has struggled to get insurance and get a full crew of volunteers happens by April 1st; two, we contract with the City of Yellowknife, who has been extremely resistant to providing services; or, three, in the next few months, we construct a fire hall on the Ingraham Trail, which also seems extremely impossible. My question for the Minister is: what is the plan to make sure fire services continue on the Ingraham Trail? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question 484-19(2): Ingraham Trail Fire Services from Dettah
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

I would have to follow up with the Member, but we cannot make decisions because we are working with the Indigenous groups and with the City of Yellowknife. Considering the number of people who are going to be involved, strategically looking at how are we going to provide fire services in Ingraham Trail, we are working with this, and we do have a strategy right now. I will provide the Member with an update. It has not been finalized. We are working with the City of Yellowknife in respect to them, too, and YKDFN. I need to be very clear and strategic when I prepare the response. I need to hear from the affected parties first. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question 484-19(2): Ingraham Trail Fire Services from Dettah
Oral Questions

Page 1709

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

November 5th, 2020

Page 1709

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Health and Social Services. We are getting into the winter season. We are getting into the ice road season. I am just wondering if the department is looking at any special orders or changes to the orders or if anything will be in place for the truckers hauling to the mines and hauling down the winter road. I think we have that 30-hour turnaround in place, and I think we are going to be going over that, especially this winter when we are heading into Colville Lake, Norman Wells, some places like that. I am just wondering what the department is doing with respect to that. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Thank you to the Member for Hay River South for the question. It's an excellent question, and I am sorry I don't have an answer ready to it. However, I do take his point that this is something we need to sort out now. That 30 hours would not be enough time into Colville Lake or to drive up to the diamond mines. There will need to be some consideration of how to make that possible since those are essential services and time-limited services that are being provided. Thank you.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

With the trucks coming into the territories and going up the winter road and to the mines and that, are we going to be adding any monitoring to that? Are we going to step that up, say, in Yellowknife and along the winter road, as well? Is there anything different that you think might be happening in that respect, on the monitoring side?

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

With respect to the road to the mines, it's a private road, and there is a dispatch office in the industrial area of Yellowknife that truckers go to to be dispatched. They leave at specific time intervals a numbers of trucks at a time. That would continue. It's a private road, so they would continue doing that. They have security on that road. I know that they are vigilant about the speed limit and how many hours the driver has been on the road and so on and so forth. For the rest of the territory, I think that the enforcement would be maintained through the current border controls that are in place now. I can certainly find out if they are planning to increase that capacity at all to deal with the volume of trucks that come up through the early winter.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

When I think about Hay River, as well, we have a number of trucks coming in and fuelling up, and just knowing what's happening with monitoring and enforcement right now, all of a sudden, we're going to have a lot more trucks in there. Most of the truckers, I think, are following the rules, following the orders, but you always get the odd one that figures they can go around town and that. I just want to make sure that Hay River -- we're lucky; we've been fortunate that we haven't had a COVID case, but this winter, I could see that happening just because of the number of trucks that are moving in and out of there daily. I look forward to getting a response from the Minister with respect to enforcement and monitoring for this winter. That's all.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate the Member's concern. It usually is a lot of traffic. The road to the mines is usually in the realm of 7,000 to 9,000 trucks a winter over a two-month period, so it is a very intense amount of traffic that will be coming right from the border through the South Slave up into the tundra. With respect to other truckers who deliver fuel to small communities on winter roads, I see the need to be vigilant there so that they don't unintentionally spread COVID-19 to those communities. I will be in touch with the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer to ensure that these issues are on her radar, as well.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

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

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1709

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Just one last question, and that is: are we going to be looking at any quick tests for COVID where we can reduce the amount of time or assist the truckers who are coming in here to ensure that they are COVID-free when they come across our border? Is that something that we may be looking at this winter? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1710

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

The problem with rapid testing is that it really doesn't work if you only do it once. There is a period of time over which somebody could become infectious, have symptoms, have a fever, so you can't really do one test and say, "Okay. That's good. You don't have any COVID." It's usually a series during the 14-day isolation period. I know that what they're doing now with essential health workers is a test right when they come in to see that they're well, and then they're asking them to really self-isolate except for those times that they are at work. There is a model to follow there that may be helpful to make sure that truckers are not held up but are also well enough to go into the communities. Thank you.

Question 485-19(2): Increased Winter Trucking and Covid-19 Considerations
Oral Questions

Page 1710

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Colleagues, our time for oral questions has expired. Item 8, written questions. Member for Kam Lake.