This is page numbers 607 - 658 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 housing.

Topics

Question 177-19(3): Support for Trades Employment
Oral Questions

Page 611

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If someone wants to get into trades, there are a lot of ways to do it, of course. We offer trades courses at Aurora College here. There is more emphasis being put on the trades at the high school level. Our career development, it's a different name. The officials from ECE go into the schools and talk to the students, and tell them about other career opportunities. They are having those conversations with students now, saying that trades is a career that you can get into. That type of work needs to happen more and more. I know, for a long time, trades was sort of a secondary consideration, but the fact is it's good work.

Over the past couple number of years, the labour numbers in the NWT have gone down, but the number of self-employed people has actually gone up, has increased by 500, and trade is a perfect way to become self-employed. There's always work if you are a tradesperson. There are a number of programs. I won't go through them all right now. I'll let the Member ask some more questions because I might just answer them all if I keep going on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 177-19(3): Support for Trades Employment
Oral Questions

Page 612

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Well, I'm glad that his department is going into schools and promoting trades. That is something we need to start earlier with the kids. My next question is: what is the department doing to promote trades and self-employment initiatives in the NWT as a whole?

Question 177-19(3): Support for Trades Employment
Oral Questions

Page 612

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

One of the things that ECE is committing to doing is creating a blue seal certification program for journeymen or journeypersons. This is something that exists in other jurisdictions, and what it is is the technical aspect of being a journeyperson plus a business component. This is something that requires that the people who get the certification have those business skills. It's an additional thing that people can strive for. There is also the ECE self-employment program, in which the department will work with clients to help support their business idea. There is funding for courses to attend training, for books, for tools, for travel. ECE will help facilitate meetings with BDIC as the Member mentioned earlier, and they can help come up with a business plan. If someone is committed to starting their own business, whether it be trades or anything else, there are programs that are available. I can provide more detailed information to the Member, as well.

Question 177-19(3): Support for Trades Employment
Oral Questions

Page 612

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Just to give a little context on this one here, I used to work for Diavik and for the community's department, and we used to go to places like Wekweeti and Whati and stuff. I remember going to school. We were trying to explain trades to very young grades, and we couldn't get through to them. Finally, I said, "You know, I think I have a good example." I told a grade 6 term, "You know how, in Star Wars, there's Jedi's? You don't just become a Jedi overnight. You have to become a Padawan first. You have to train under somebody, and then you become one. That's how trades works."

I guess, on that note, I want to know what the Minister is doing to promote trades in our schools, in grade school?

Question 177-19(3): Support for Trades Employment
Oral Questions

Page 612

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

. As I mentioned earlier, we have the career and education advisors. What they do is they have those conversations with students, starting at grade 7, so it's not quite as early as the Member is speaking about, but they start letting kids know about their options early on so that those students can then make sure they're taking the right courses to get where they need to be. We also have the SNAP program, which is something that's available all over the territory, although it does take some partnerships; it's not something you can just roll out. There are a number of things like that, and, like I said, we just need to do a better job, and I'm working on this myself, in promoting the trades. Trades are great occupations. I don't really like to have a boss, necessarily, and, if you have a trade, you can be your own boss. Always, that work is always needed. You can work in a big company. You can work on your own. You can work in a small community. You can work anywhere. Trades are great opportunities, and we really need to get that word out there and make sure that we are guiding the students who want to go down that path down that path.

Question 177-19(3): Support for Trades Employment
Oral Questions

Page 612

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2020

Page 612

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Justice. I spoke frequently in the last Assembly about the benefits of involving third parties in sexual assault reporting and oversight of police sexual assault investigations. I believe that these initiatives will allow us to provide better services to survivors and to get a better idea of barriers to reporting and resolving cases. My question for the Minister is whether she supports moving forward on implementing these changes in the NWT. Mahsi.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Minister of Justice.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member has already alerted me previously to the fact that there is a report produced on this matter in June and that NGOs and stakeholders met at that time. Since then, Mr. Speaker, there's been some update, which is that the RCMP continue to engage with the proposed review committee and that, meanwhile, the GNWT Department of Justice is also putting forward a second meeting of the same stakeholders to review progress with respect to having the NGO group come together. So I say all that, Mr. Speaker, because the degree of support or program develop that will result will depend very much on what happens at these subsequent meetings, when we hear back from these same stakeholders, to determine exactly how they want to see this program unfold and that that will then better inform my ability to stand up in the House and explain the nature of the program as it goes forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you to the Minister for that answer. What we are proposing here for the Northwest Territories isn't new. It's not even new in Canada. There is third-party reporting in place in the Yukon. There is third-party oversight of police files available in Ontario. It is my understanding that the RCMP has already done the preliminary work to make this happen. Given that landscape is already fairly well formed, what are the barriers to implementing these changes in the Northwest Territories?

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

There are two different things that are at issue. First, with respect to third-party reporting, that certainly would provide another avenue of reporting, another way in which victims can come forward, and arguably in a way that would provide some flexibility and alternatives when people may not be in a position, for whatever reason, to attend the RCMP. That said, the model that is being looked at at present involves non-governmental organizations or victim service providers who are not necessarily GNWT employees, so, of course, we need to ensure that those individuals or those organizations have the capacity to deliver the training and capacity to then deliver any kind of services in order to perform the function of third-party reporting. I certainly don't want to underestimate what that might entail or assume that those agencies would have the ability to take that on. We would want to ensure that either they have that capacity or that we are able to support them in developing that capacity.

With respect to the third-party oversight, at that point, the Member points out that this is happening in other jurisdictions. However, wanting to work with our RCMP partners to ensure that, when this is happening or if there's going to be third-party oversight, that that is done in a way that is respectful of their operational processes.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate the Minister is being cautious, but the fact is that the stakeholders who were at the special meeting in June of last year were uniformly in favour of these initiatives, recognizing that there were some issues to be sorted out. What I'd like a sense of from the Minister is how long it's going to take to work through the considerations that she has named in order to put these services in place.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

I understand that the next round of stakeholder engagement is actually scheduled to take place in April of this year, so only just next month. At that point, there will be a review of what work has been done so far, what programs have been undertaken to this point. At that point, if in fact the various NGOs and stakeholders, victim services providers, and organizations are able to say that they can roll out and move forward, I would anticipate that there won't be a stop put in place, but the Department of Justice would be there to support their provision of those services. We do need to hear back from them, being partners in these programs. As I say, I expect that that's going to take place next month.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

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

Thank you. Final supplementary. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 178-19(2): Third-Party Reporting and Oversight of Sexual Assaults
Oral Questions

Page 612

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you to the Minister for that. I just want to point out what a glacial pace this is moving at. I've spoken about it for, say, three years, and the consultation happened in June, and the follow-up is happening in April, so I really am concerned about when this is actually going to happen. I wonder if it makes sense for the government to put out an RFP for a service provider and work specifically with the respondents to that RFP in order to launch the service, rather than doing more consultation and then moving on to an RFP at some other point?