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.

Topics

Question 190-19(2): Lack of Enforcement in Illegal Drug Trade
Oral Questions

Page 664

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, would the Minister ensure that the commander of "G" Division makes it a priority for the members of the Fort Smith detachment to make enforcement of criminal activity in the drug trade a priority?

Question 190-19(2): Lack of Enforcement in Illegal Drug Trade
Oral Questions

Page 664

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

I am not in a position to say what the police priority action plans will be that are developed between the RCMP and a specific community, but again, I can certainly look at the policing priorities that are developed on the Ministerial level. Then we'll certainly have engagement again with our RCMP and to speak to them about the concerns that are being raised. I am confident that, when they go through their own process with the community, it is a direct engagement. I have asked them in the past about that process and sought assurance that they are developing their community policing action plans in a timely fashion and with direct engagement from the community. I will continue to have those conversations with the RCMP, and I am confident that, certainly, from the detachment level, they also recognize the importance of that direct community engagement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 190-19(2): Lack of Enforcement in Illegal Drug Trade
Oral Questions

Page 664

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

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

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

Page 664

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Justice. As I said in my statement, the Yukon government is piloting a program to train Indigenous people to write Gladue reports. The purpose of the report is to inform the court of the background and circumstances of an Indigenous offender so that courts have consistent information when considering sentencing. My question is: has the Minister given any thought to funding a report-writing program like the one being piloted in the Yukon? Thank you.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

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

Thank you. Minister of Justice.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

Page 664

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, we have given thought, and I have personally given thought, to whether or not we can fund that. As the Member is aware, Gladue report-writing's purpose is to provide better information to the courts so that they can make better decisions in a way that respect somebody's Indigenous heritage but also respects, sometimes, the systemic issues that impact an individual when they come before the courts. The ultimate purpose of that, Mr. Speaker, is to reduce the over-incarceration of Indigenous people in Canadian prisons, particularly in Northwest Territories prisons. Ultimately, while having given thought to whether or not this is a direction we want to go, at this time, our focus is on other ways of actually achieving that same goal and putting those resources towards achieving that same goal in other ways. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

That was an intriguing answer. Can the Minister tell us what other equivalent ways she is looking at reducing Indigenous representation in the justice system?

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

Page 665

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

The Department of Justice will be doing some strategic planning when session is over. During the course of that, one of the priorities that we have that has been a personal priority for me is to achieve some movement in terms of the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in prisons. There are ways of doing that by increasing our community engagement; by increasing community justice programming; by looking to diversion programs; by truly avoiding people going into the jail system in the first place; by, for example, reducing the amount of people who are in remand. There are a number of levers that we can pull, and those are all going to be levers that we are looking to to see what changes we can make both quickly but also systemically over time.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

Page 665

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Any and all attempts to reduce Indigenous representation in the justice system and in corrections, I think, are welcome. I see the potential in Gladue reports, and I hope that the Minister will include this in her strategic planning session. Could I have that assurance, please?

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

More information doesn't hurt. More information is better, and certainly, we do need to ensure that the reasons that bring people before courts are fully understood. I have personally seen the difference that that can make in the course of a court proceeding. Yes, I will certainly assure that consideration is given to whether or not full Gladue reports can or should be included and whether resources should be directed in that vein.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Final supplementary, Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you to the Minister for that. One of the intriguing ideas about the Yukon example is that it is a collaboration between the Council of Yukon First Nations, Legal Aid, and the territorial government. I encourage the Minister to have some research done into that program to see how it may be beneficial there. Is she able to make that commitment? Thank you.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

Page 665

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

I had the opportunity to meet with my colleagues from the Yukon at the First Ministers' Meeting that was held not long ago, and we had a very good conversation about a lot of initiatives that are happening in the Yukon right now. Indeed, some of our alternative courts were modelled after systems back in the Yukon. I can certainly assure the Member that those exact conversations with that jurisdiction will continue and that we will both continue to share best practices. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 191-19(2): Gladue Reports
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Question 192-19(2): Housing Waiting Lists
Oral Questions

March 12th, 2020

Page 665

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions today are for the Minister for Housing Corporation. Can the Minister tell me whether or not they have a way to triage their housing waiting list, knowing that, in my community, there are 80 single people on that list? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.