This is page numbers 557 - 606 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 thanks.

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Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

The NWT Housing Corporation currently is tracking the costs paid by the tenants in the units for the power, the heating fuel, and with other different units; are they tracking that?

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

According to my department, we do take care of the fuel and water, and we do track the consumption of those intakes annually.

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Would the Minister be willing to direct her department to undertake an assessment to determine the cost of living for the people in the older units versus the newer units?

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Yes, I will commit to looking at the differences between the variations in our rent for the clients that we serve. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Nunakput.

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a good day again. I am getting all that I want to hear. Housing is the biggest concern for me in my riding, across this whole territory. That is why it's one of the biggest things in our mandate, so I am really happy with the Minister, who is trying. She is making a good effort. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, the assessment shows, and I know, that the older units will cost more, but for the Minister to address the rent scale accordingly when that assessment comes out, I will be pushing for that in the House, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thanks, Member, for the comment. We will be reviewing these rent scales as we go forward and the variations between the new and the older units. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 167-19(2): Rent Scale for Public Housing Units
Oral Questions

Page 562

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

March 10th, 2020

Page 562

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. My questions are for the Premier. Earlier today, I recounted some of the statistics from the latest community survey, where almost a quarter of NWT residents purported being worried "sometimes" or "often" about food security. Can the Premier tell us what specific actions this government is taking to build food security and whether we have any specific targets over the next four years? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 562

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

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Honourable Premier.

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 562

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Food, clothing, and shelter are, according to Maslow's hierarchy, the basic needs that we need to meet for people; so when I hear that almost 3,400 people, my understanding is, are feeling insecure about their food, that brings concerns. It should bring concerns for all of our governments. What are we doing about it?

We do have things that we are working on, a range of activities, from increasing local food production to, of course, our agricultural industry that was just spoken about earlier today. Our territorial Anti-Poverty Action Plan includes 12 actions on food security, including the establishment of a food security coalition for the NWT, so we will be moving forward on this action plan, as well. Then, of course, we are looking to work with the Government of Canada, constantly working with the Government of Canada, to get some input into the redesign of our Nutrition North. I have heard for many years that that is not working. It's time for the Government of Canada to hear us and make a Nutrition North program that more works for the Northwest Territories.

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 562

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Premier for that response. It was 3,400 households, not individuals; it's a lot more individuals who are worried about food. Mr. Speaker, without a proper tracking system to account for local food production and consumption, it seems unlikely that there will be any measurable progress towards building stronger food security. Can the Premier tell us whether there is indeed a proper tacking system in place for food security in the NWT, and if not, will she commit her Cabinet to developing one?

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 562

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

The Member knows that, actually, the NWT Bureau of Statistics does track food prices in the larger regional centres, such as Yellowknife, Hay River, et cetera. They also, every few years, do a comparison across the communities, and from that, a food price index is calculated. It shows variations in the price of food across the communities. The question on whether we would track further than that, that is a question that, at this point, I am not willing to actually make a commitment to. It's one thing to be able to track how many people might start an egg-producing farm or a large-scale farm. How many people actually have greenhouses in their backyard, such as myself? Those would be impossible to track, but those are really important food initiatives that people have to take in the Northwest Territories. I grew up here in 1962, and I couldn't even grow grass; I never knew we used to have farming here. It's an initiative that we have to push further. We need to look at food production in all areas, whether it's in harvesting to growing your own crops. However, to be able to take numbers on all of that, like I said, the backyard farmers, it would be a little bit more difficult.

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 562

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I want to thank the Premier for that. Look, prices do have a relation to food security, but I asked about food production: do we have a way of measuring food production and consumption of local foods? I don't think it's impossible to track. We have a greenhouse in our front yard, as well. We can survey people and get a better idea of this.

I want to make it a little easier for the Premier with the next question, ask her about an area that she should be familiar with, and that is Nutrition North. Can the Premier tell us, specifically, what action is being undertaken by the federal government and our government to redesign Nutrition North?

Question 168-19(2): Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

Page 562

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Right now, I cannot say, honestly, what is being done at this point. There has just been a new election within the Northwest Territories and, of course, federally, there was a new election that just happened, too. We have done initial meetings with our Ministers and the Prime Minister. I will be meeting again with the Prime Minister this week. However, it isn't something that we have actually said, "Here's an action plan on it."

Nutrition North is not working in the Northwest Territories. I did not have to come into the Legislature to hear that. I have heard it for many years. What I can commit to is that I will be bringing it forward to the Minister for the North. It is in our Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. I will continue to advocate for it, as well as all of the other issues that we have in the Northwest Territories.