This is page numbers 295 - 344 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 going.

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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 Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Are there any further questions to "Create a polytechnic university"? Member for Deh Cho.

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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Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Madam Chair. One of the university question, Aurora College, all those create aspirations for the young at heart, young kids in the communities, some place they can go to in the North, some place close to home. I assume those are aspirations that they would have. I don't want to cut those aspirations off. It is probably inevitable that this will happen, but it may happen further down the road than we expect. There are factors that contribute to that. We heard from the Premier before that the federal government funds infrastructure, but they do not fund programming. With us being in a deficit mode and constantly raising our debt limit, are we going to be able to afford it? To staff it and to run the programs and to be associated with other recognized universities, that is going to cost a lot of money. Do we have the money for that?

Another big factor too, as my colleague from Monfwi alluded to, is the education levels in our small communities. I think we have got the majority of them on the outside here that don't have those education levels as in par with the rest of Canada. We have got probably a majority that through social passing up to grade 12, but anywhere from grades seven, eight, and nine. There are a lot of them that are up there. They are smart cookies out there. What is missing from the education in our small communities is the required sciences and the math because we don't have matriculation programs in the academic programming in our communities. We don't have chemistry. We don't have physics. We don't have biology. They are saying it is in distance learning but who actually is monitoring that? Where is the evaluation on that? I am a really big fan of evaluations to see if a program is actually working, and seeing who is taking advantage of it, and whether it is working for those people.

There is a majority out there who are going to aspire to hit any university. We have to fix that. That is what I have been harping on since day one when I got here back in October because it is just what it is. We are critically low levels in relation to the Yukon College, to a university, I don't believe they have a situation as the NWT because NWT, we have three large regional centres. One is Yellowknife. Two large regional centres that run Aurora College programming. That programming and those centres are very important to the two outlying communities, besides Yellowknife, because it is creating employment in those centres. Families have moved there. They have got a legacy; they have been living there forever. They are running hockey programs. They are running sports programs. These are all the educators who we brought in to the outlying communities to run the colleges. This is really concerning, when we are going to centralize the university in one place, because you have to think about the impacts that we are going to be leaving. We are setting up these communities to become ghost towns. It is already happening right now. I will tell you why it is happening right now. It is because the GNWT in the past has allowed to degradate the programming that was in the college and with the housing. I have seen that myself in Fort Smith. They weren't up-keeping or advancing or getting more programming moving North, concentrating on those centres and making them better places. We lost programming; we lost social services in those communities. I don't think they have a teacher education program there anymore. There could have been a lot more.

When I went there to continue my upgrading or whatever, I just say where is everybody? Everybody went south. They want to go south. Who doesn't want to go to school in Grand Prairie and Edmonton? That is what was happening. We were losing our own students because of not following our own policies with the GNWT for education funding, because some of the students were not allowed to fund their families in the communities to go to school in another community, where there are no student residences. They want to take their kids there because they have better education in the larger centres. We are not funding them for that, right in the territories. What we are doing is we are funding students to go take upgrading down South. That just doesn't make sense. We are not following any of our policies. That is what I have been watching from the outside for quite some time. You have to really think of that, what we are doing to the outside centres when we are going to make these decisions. I am not comfortable doing that, myself.

I did touch upon the programming and the funding that is all required, but I think we have to be cautious, throw caution to the wind, here, as we move forward. We can keep doing our studies and everything; we have to keep battling each other, saying, "No, no, no to this. We don't want it here. We want it over there." We have to join together for the future of the children of the Northwest Territories, but how we get there is a task in itself, and I would like to throw that caution to the wind for all to consider. Mahsi, Madam 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 Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member for Deh Cho. I will give it to the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment to respond.

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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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Madam Chair. There was a lot in that eight minutes there, so I will respond to what I can. The Northern Distance Learning, the Member mentioned evaluations. We just had an Office of the Auditor General of Canada report that evaluated that program; they said it is great. We just had our five-year report on ERI; there are so many acronyms, I can never recall the name when I need to, but that showed success. I have testimonials from students, so that program is doing well. We are keeping an eye on it, and it is one of the bright spots when it comes to education.

The Member said we are going to turn the outlying communities, the ones outside of Yellowknife, into ghost towns. I don't know what the Member has planned, but I don't want any part of that. I am not turning Inuvik or Fort Smith into a ghost town. No one is centralizing a university in Yellowknife. There is no centralization of a university happening. The polytechnic university will not be centralized in Yellowknife. We are not creating a University of Yellowknife. I don't know how many more times, how many different ways I can say this.

We have a beautiful campus in Fort Smith. We are not made of money. We are not going to bulldoze a beautiful campus that has amazing facilities. We are going to utilize them. If it is the biggest campus, it is probably going to have the most students. We need infrastructure in Yellowknife, there is no doubt about it. I don't know if anyone paid attention to what happened in the last Assembly; I am not about centralization. I relate with MLA Martselos. I am about the regions. I am about the entire territory. We can't centralize; we are not going to centralize. We are not creating ghost towns. Thank you, Madam 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 Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Time has come, so are there any further questions on "Create a polytechnic university"? Seeing no further questions, committee, do you agree that we have concluded consideration of Tabled Document 12-19(2), 2019-2023 Mandate of the Government of the Northwest Territories?

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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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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 Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Premier, and our thanks to the witness, Mr. Goldney, for appearing before us. Sergeant-at-Arms, will you please escort the witness from the Chamber? What is the will of committee? Mr. Norn.

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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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Madam Chair, I move that the chair rise and report progress.

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 Lesa Semmler

There is a motion on the floor to report progress. The motion is in order and non-debatable. All those in favour. All those opposed. The motion is carried.

---Carried

I will now rise and report progress.

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

May I have the report of the Committee of the Whole? Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Report Of Committee Of The Whole

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Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Tabled Document 12-19(2) and would like to report that Tabled Document 12-19(2) is concluded, and Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of the Committee of the Whole be concurred with. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Report Of Committee Of The Whole

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

Thank you. The motion is on the floor. Do we have a seconder? Member for Frame Lake. Item 23, third reading of bills. Minister of Finance.

Bill 2: Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 4, 2019-2020
Third Reading Of Bills

February 27th, 2020

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Sahtu, that Bill 2, Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 4, 2019-2020, be read for the third time. Mr. Speaker, I would request a recorded vote, please. Thank you.

Bill 2: Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 4, 2019-2020
Third Reading Of Bills

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

Thank you, Minister. The Minister has requested a recorded vote. All those in favour, please rise.

Recorded Vote
Third Reading Of Bills

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Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

The Member for Yellowknife South, the Member for Sahtu, the Member for Range Lake, the Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, the Member for Great Slave, the Member for Hay River North, the Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, the Member for Yellowknife Centre, the Member for Hay River South, the Member for Nunakput, the Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, the Member for Frame Lake, the Member for Kam Lake, the Member for Deh Cho, the Member for Yellowknife North, the Member for Nahendeh.