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.

Topics

Agricultural Strategy
Members' Statements

Page 559

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

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Just a reminder to Members, please seek unanimous consent. Keep an eye on the clock. It's going over quite a bit here. Thank you. Members' statements. Member for Monfwi.

Delivered in Tlicho - Interpretation Not Available
Members' Statements

Page 559

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Mr. Speaker. [English translation not available].

Delivered in Tlicho - Interpretation Not Available
Members' Statements

Page 559

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

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Members' statements. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

International Women's Day
Members' Statements

Page 559

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I wasn't able to speak about this last session day -- I was not feeling well -- so I thought I'd share my statement on International Women's Day.

As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, in honour of International Women's Day, which was officially recognized yesterday, on Sunday, March 8th, I would like to share some remarks to highlight this occasion. First, I'd like to share some facts about what led to International Women's Day becoming a worldwide celebration. The first Women's Day took place in the U.S. on February 28, 1909. However, that celebration was only recognized domestically within the U.S. The first official Women's Day on an international scale was held two years later in March 1911 in Germany, Austria, and in Denmark.

2020 marks the 111th global commemoration for women, as International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1909. This day was meant to celebrate social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day is about calling out the many injustices that women are faced with every day, and the constant battle to fight for and safeguard women's rights.

While it's important, Mr. Speaker, to be informed about the many struggles that women must deal with on a regular basis, I'd like to celebrate this past International Women's Day by sharing a story about a special woman in my life, and that lady was my great-grandmother, Adeline Mandeville.

I remember, one quick story, before I went to university. I was going to a job in the TransCanada Pipelines, and she told me -- I'll say another story in Chipewyan shortly here, but she told me, "Speak straight. Don't lie. Work out. Now, get out of the house, and go work, and I can live on my old age pension." "Go work," she said. She was a straight shooter, straight to the point, and I love her for that because I don't know where I would be if she was not like that.

I would like to say a few words in my language, and this is an excerpt of what happened when I was a kid. My great-grandfather Modeste was also there. We were going duck hunting. [English translation not available]. There was a gunshot boom, and I looked up, and I thought it was my great-grandfather shooting, but, no, it was my great-grandmother. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

International Women's Day
Members' Statements

Page 559

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

I got excited telling this story because I have not told it in so long. To be very short, basically, it was this image of my great-grandmother: she had a bright yellow handkerchief on with a dress, and she had a shotgun, and she was shooting, and she shot a duck. I looked up, and I was so surprised, and I was like, "Man, that is one strong lady." She taught me a lot in life, both my great-grandparents, and I would like to say, "[English translation not available]." Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

International Women's Day
Members' Statements

Page 559

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

Members' statements. Member for Deh Cho.

Fort Providence Health Centre Concerns
Members' Statements

Page 559

Ronald Bonnetrouge Deh Cho

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. The residents of my community of Fort Providence are up in arms over the services provided at the local health centre. Most who I have spoken with state they no longer want to deal with the local health centre and are reaching out to other health centres in the outlying communities. Residents are constantly being mistreated, misdiagnosed, and being brushed off for any assistance, even with compensation forms that are required to file a disability claim. Medical travel is in question as patient escorts are not being provided for serious ailments to people being diagnosed with cancer symptoms and injuries to the elderly. The residents notice good nurses leaving our community and are concerned. I had filed a complaint back in November 2019, with no action on the file since.

Mr. Speaker, this situation is totally out of hand and requires immediate attention. I will have questions for the health Minister at the appropriate time. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Fort Providence Health Centre Concerns
Members' Statements

Page 559

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

Thank you, Member for Deh Cho. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

North Slave Correctional Centre Assault
Members' Statements

Page 559

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. At the end of May last year, an inmate at the North Slave Correctional Centre assaulted a prison guard, and when I say "assaulted," I mean he landed more than a dozen punches on the guard's head and kicked him in the stomach several times when he fell to the floor. I am told this is the most serious assault on a prison guard at NSCC in many years.

The little that we do know comes from the court case involving the inmate. He pleaded guilty to the assault on the guard and for another assault that put him in remand, in jail, in the first place. NNSL obtained video footage of the attack, which was entered as evidence. We see the attack. Then someone opens the door the man just walked through, looks, and then closes it. A guard runs from the opposite direction, sprays the inmate, and then handcuffs him. The fallen guard is helped out of the way, and the inmate is escorted in the opposite direction by two guards. There is no audio on this video, so we don't know what was said. The guard who was assaulted was taken to hospital for assessment and released, we learned later.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice did its own investigation of the incident. I obtained the report by two departmental staff through access to information. It offers spotty information because large sections are blacked out. What I did learn was that the guard was not following the proper protocol for escorting this inmate. It is unclear whether the guard knew he wasn't following the protocol. Since the incident, the warden has informed staff that they have to review the corrections directives and standing orders and sign off on them. I also learned that the there is no training for new officers that relates specifically to escorting inmates through the building, although guards are taught self-defense as well as how to arrest and control inmates. It's unclear how much refresher training guards get after their initial six weeks of training.

Mr. Speaker, there are some loose ends. Why didn't corrections have a third party investigate the incident? Were serious incident response protocols followed? None of these questions are answered in the blacked-out report.

Mr. Speaker, being a prison guard is a tough job. Violence is always a risk, so safety is a big deal. This report raises questions about how safe a place NSCC is to work. I will have questions for the Minister of Justice. Mahsi.

North Slave Correctional Centre Assault
Members' Statements

Page 560

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Rental Adjustment for Aging Public Housing Units in Nunakput
Members' Statements

Page 560

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am riding high, and I am still smiling from last week's "yes" from the Minister in regard to T4s to using pay stubs. I still want to say thank you. You are so good to us.

Mr. Speaker, positive responses send important messages that the Minister is listening to our concerns on this side of the House and trying to work with us. I wish all of the "yeses" would solve all of the problems of my constituents' housing, but, sadly, that is not the case, Mr. Speaker.

In Nunakput communities, such as Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, and Tuktoyaktuk, public housing units in service were built in 1970s, 1980s, and in the '90s. We have very few new units in our communities, Mr. Speaker. Many units have been repaired or retrofitted more than a few times, and the majority of them still require a lot of maintenance and upkeep on a yearly basis, such as doors, windows, and the mould.

My constituents who live in these older public housing units need relief, Mr. Speaker. Many of them are trying desperately to get out of arrears, and that is next week's statement, how to get rid of all the rent arrears across the Northwest Territories. People are struggling.

On top of this, in Nunakput, we come from the coldest place in the territory, the most remote communities of the Northwest Territories. The tenants do their best to keep the units healthy and warm. A person who lives in public units built in 2000 and 2010 does not have the challenges of keeping the units livable; yet, they are paying the same rent, Mr. Speaker.

Today, I am asking the Minister to seriously consider lowering the monthly rent paid by people living in the oldest public housing units. These units have probably paid for themselves 10 times over in the decades since they were built. The lower monthly rent in the oldest public housing units will allow people a better chance to get out of arrears, to keep the heat and lights on and not have those limiters on for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, being able to pay their bills.

Mr. Speaker, would the Minister please consider this recommendation seriously? Costs to government would be minimal. The impact on my constituents' lives would be immeasurable. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rental Adjustment for Aging Public Housing Units in Nunakput
Members' Statements

Page 560

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

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Daylight Savings Time
Members' Statements

March 10th, 2020

Page 560

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Are you feeling a little tired today, perhaps like you did not get enough sleep? Well, that is because, Mr. Speaker, on the weekend, the government stole an hour from us due to the time change. The hardest part about this is I don't really know why. Often, people say it's about the farmers, but that is actually not true. Saskatchewan has not had a time change for years, and the farming is doing just fine there.

The true origins of this lie with Germany and World War I, as a cost measure to save fuel, something that is not even the case anymore as it has been shown that places with daylight savings time actually spend more money on electricity consumption.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to address that often people say that daylight savings time adds daylight, which is not possible. The sun and the earth's position is something we cannot change. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, there is no reason for daylight savings time to exist in the Northwest Territories. Just ask my friends from the Beaudel. There is plenty of daylight in the summertime.

Mr. Speaker, our neighbours in the Yukon have recently gotten rid of the time change. I believe it is time for the Northwest Territories to do this, as well. The last Assembly began this work. There was a petition with over 500 signatures requesting this. The Alberta government recently conducted a survey of its residents and found that 93 percent want to get rid of the time change. There are jurisdictions across the world finally looking at getting rid of this anomaly that we believe we can control time, Mr. Speaker. I will have questions for the Minister of Justice, or should I say the Minister of Time, about whether we can finally get rid of this archaic practice. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Daylight Savings Time
Members' Statements

Page 560

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Food Security in the Northwest Territories
Members' Statements

Page 560

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. As noted by my colleague, the Member for Yellowknife Centre, the Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics released additional data from the 2019 community survey at the end of February of this year. I'll focus on food security, because I find those results particularly shocking.

In 2018, 3,407 NWT households, or 23 percent, reported that they were often or sometimes worried about having enough money for food in the previous 12 months. Many of these households also stated they had difficulty making ends meet, with 12.5 percent reporting both food insecurity and general financial insecurity. Food insecurity among NWT communities ranged from 9 percent in Kakisa to 60 percent in Behchoko. Many of our smaller and more remote communities are having a difficult time putting food on the table. Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, Hay River Reserve, Wrigley, and Behchoko all have 50 percent or more of their households worried about food.

It is totally unacceptable that people in the NWT are going without food. Planning and building roads, where less than 50 percent of the workers are Northerners, is not going to solve this problem. NWT residents need food security programs and supports, housing, and education. Put people first, Mr. Speaker. Building food security in our communities cuts across our government and should include actions such as:

  • making more land available for agriculture and production;
  • training in local gardening and food preservation;
  • better support for food harvester support programs and inter-settlement trade;
  • review of regulatory barriers and gaps to allow for sale of locally produced food in the Northwest Territories; and
  • a real Nutrition North program that moves from rewarding retailers to supporting local food producers and consumers.

I'll have questions later today for the Premier on what our government is doing to build food security in the Northwest Territories and how our efforts will stop people worrying about where their next meal is going to come from. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.