This is page numbers 659 - 708 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 community.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

March 12th, 2020

Page 662

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I have visitors. Thank you for coming. I would like to welcome Tony Lucas, Sr., Donna Keogak. Thank you for bringing down my Pages from the community of Sachs Harbour, and my pages, Tony Lucas, Jr., and Rylan Esau, for working so hard and helping us here in the Assembly and in the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

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

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Yellowknife North.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize my constituent from Yellowknife North, Irene Hache, here with us today. It's always good to have visitors. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Hay River North.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to recognize a couple of Pages who are returning, Ms. Charlotte Buth and Ms. Josee Touesnard. I want to thank them for their help this year, and last year, as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

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

Thank you, Member for Hay River North. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Kam Lake.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize Page Alexander Ramsay, who is with us today in the House. Thank you.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 662

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

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Welcome to the Chamber. If we've missed anyone, I hope you are enjoying the proceedings. It's always nice to have an audience with us. Thank you. Item 6, acknowledgements. Item 7, oral questions. Member for Nunakput.

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 662

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. COVID-19, 145 cases in Canada to date. I need to know if the Emergency Measures Act that was updated by the last Assembly to the GNWT overhauled its emergency plan, besides the planning that is underway right now to give the residents of the Northwest Territories, especially the small communities that we represent, direction on how the government is handling this outbreak. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the Deputy Premier.

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 662

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

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Deputy Premier.

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 662

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared, as we are aware, a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and requires enhanced public health and emergency preparedness. The Member is asking: what is the government doing to prepare? The GNWT has a territorial planning committee which is leading a broader, all-of-government approach emergency response planning to address potential disruptions and essential community, regional, and territorial services and support.

The Health and Social Services emergency operations centre has been fully activated to permit the Health and Social Services system to coordinate rapid planning in advance of a Northwest Territories outbreak. The chief medical public health officer is leading the public health preparations and surveillance and providing subject matter expertise to the Health and Social Services system and the GNWT on pandemic planning requirements. The NWT COVID-19 pandemic planning guide and checklist is guiding the Health and Social Services system preparations. The Health and Social Services authorities are planning for a surge in cases that may affect regular delivery of health services. Decisions around deferring the delivery of non-essential health services may be made as necessary. Staff have received fresher training on infectious disease protocols. The Northwest Territories receives routine updates from the Canadian public health office officials on suspected and confirmed cases reported in other parts of Canada and the world. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 662

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

What are the plans to assist small communities for the pandemic?

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 662

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

The Departments of Health and Social Services and Municipal and Community Affairs are providing information, guidance, and support to community and Indigenous governments. The department will continue to share information necessary for their planning efforts. The local and regional authorities, governments, agencies, and businesses should be finalizing emergency readiness plans in light of the potential for a COVID-19 outbreak. An outbreak in the Northwest Territories could impact community services and may increase the need for basic supplies, as well as water delivery, sewage pump-out, and facilities to the homes. Organizers of these events and gatherings should assess their plans, recognizing that this is an evolving situation that may require rapid decisions to protect the health and well-being of our residents here in the Northwest Territories. We know that community members will band together and support each other in the event that COVID-19 reaches their community.

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 662

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Is MACA doing outreach to the municipal and community governments in our 33 communities across the territory in regard to what is happening with COVID-19, and when are they able to start their emergency action plans?

Question 186-19(2): COVID-19 Emergency Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

Yes, the departments are working together, and there was a meeting yesterday, my colleagues here have just informed me. Plans are underway, and our departments and the Northwest Territories, we take this seriously. We are all working together as a department to ensure that messaging and information to our communities is done, and it's immediate.