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 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

March 12th, 2020

Page 663

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I have some questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Just to do some follow-up questions from my colleague from Nunakput. Can the Minister comment if she has worked with our federal Minister of health on a plan to battle the virus, and if so, what resources are being committed to the territories? Marsi cho.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

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

Thank you, Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

The federal government announced $500 million, and I think what the Member is asking is: how much of this money will we receive here in the Northwest Territories and the provinces, and is this amount sufficient? We are pleased that the federal government has announced this funding. We have heard from the federal Minister of Health that this funding is just the beginning of support which is great because that is not a lot of money. We are currently working to identify areas where funding can support us and how much we will need to do this. Officials in my department are working to prepare a list of our needs and finalizing proposals, and we are expected to complete this by tomorrow. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you to the Minister for her response. That's encouraging. It may fall to the Minister of Finance's purview, but hopefully, the Minister of health can answer this. Will the Minister be extending any additional sick-day benefits for residents who may need to take some time off work to self-isolate?

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

The Member is correct; it should go to Finance. However, we've been briefed in Cabinet, and there was an e-mail that was sent out to the employees yesterday, informing them of some of the questions and answers. One of the questions that was asked was: according to the GNWT policy, employees experiencing symptoms of cough, fever, difficulty breathing, experiencing those symptoms, and waiting for test results or have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 will have access to sick leave with pay.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Probably, the biggest question I think I have on here is: in terms of our public institutions, are there any plans in place to close schools, community halls, and other work places?

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

At this time, we are not considering closing any public institutions. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 here in the Northwest Territories as of a few minutes ago, and if there was, I'd be the second to know. There are no cases here. As a result of that, we are not planning on closing down any public institution. However, as a precautionary measure, our government is enhancing surveillance for the COVID-19 to include those individuals who present flu-like symptoms within 14 days, or have travelled outside the Northwest Territories. The best precautions, however, are what we've been communicating. If you are sick, stay home. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home. Monitor yourself. Practice safe hygiene and respiratory practices.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

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

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 663

Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I heard the Minister, as well, mentioning that there are some committees. There are some plans in place. My main concern, too, is as for some of the smaller communities. Will there be any sort of a compensation, if in the event it ever goes down as a lockdown, to help out with food and rationing and that sort of thing? Compensation, I guess, is where I'm going with that, emergency planning. Marsi cho.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

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Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

We're not aware of compensation yet. I think we're still in the planning stage. The Northwest Territories COVID-19 pandemic planning guide and checklist is guiding our system preparations. The Health and Social Services authorities are planning for a surge in case this may affect regular delivery of health services. As we prepare to respond for a potential pandemic, there are certainly risks that we will face. We are planning to address these risks, even as the situation changes quickly. These areas are planned, is preparing to respond to, and what will be reflected in our proposal to the federal government to help support and provide us with funding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 188-19(2): COVID-19 Planning
Oral Questions

Page 664

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Question 189-19(2): Contractor Suspension List
Oral Questions

Page 664

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The questions are for the Minister responsible for NWT Housing Corporation. Earlier, I spoke about suspension lists for contractors. I'd like to ask the Minister, does the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation have a suspension list for contractors in place? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 189-19(2): Contractor Suspension List
Oral Questions

Page 664

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

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Question 189-19(2): Contractor Suspension List
Oral Questions

Page 664

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There are very few suspensions in the Northwest Territories. We do have a list that we do keep, but we do also try to work with our contractors to get them back into good standing so we are able to further do more business with them. We try to educate them through the process, as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 189-19(2): Contractor Suspension List
Oral Questions

Page 664

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

The Minister indicated that there were only a few on there. Can she tell me exactly how many is on that list?