This is page numbers 709 - 738 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 going.

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Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Deputy Premier. Minister of Finance.

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, I feel like we are all wearing sort of a collective Ministers responsible for supporting GNWT through the COVID virus hat right now, so it just so happens that I think the department of human resources or division of human resources might have had some of the most recent information on this. Just to reassure that on a broad scale, at this point, anyone coming in or out, coming into the NWT, it is suggested that they consider monitoring for their symptoms and consider whether or not they need to self-isolate.

As far as leave provisions, non-essential travel outside of NWT, as I said earlier, is being restricted and travel within the NWT is being looked at department-by-department in order to ensure that essential services are being provided, but that non-essential travel is not taking place. Beyond that, the Chief Public Health Officer again continues to brief all of the Ministers, and, as I understand, will be looking to brief the House, all the Members on the rise of the House, about any ongoing developments. Things are changing rapidly, but, at the same time, there are people who are responding to them rapidly. It is a bit difficult to do so, certainly, when we are all sitting here together, but I do have faith that that is happening even while we are here. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

As it stands, obviously, we would like to follow what the Chief Medical Officer recommends, and I understand that she has stated that she doesn't have the authority to stop this from happening, people coming from the South. It is this government that is responsible, and we have had experience with PDAC participants who came back and there are some issues. This is becoming a pandemic, as it has been called. We have people coming in from the South. We don't know where they have been, but they are it bringing into the Northwest Territories. Not only the Northwest Territories, but small and isolated communities. We have a lack of health professionals, so I am very worried about my community, the Wekweeti and Gameti small communities. Is there a plan in place to deal with that matter immediately? Because we are saying, "Well, we are allowing self-isolation, if that needs to be the case," but we are just allowing them to do that on their own cases. It is optional. As a government, are we dealing with this particular matter?

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Yes, the small communities and the needs of small communities have been at the heart and at the center of a lot of the considerations that have gone into the planning that is under way. I know that there are going to be some differences. Hesitancy now isn't the lack of a plan. Hesitancy is that I want to ensure that I am speaking with the most current information on behalf of all the departments.

Obviously, the House is aware that, right now, our Premier is actually on a phone call with the Prime Minister and other first Ministers. It would be helpful, I think, to know what has been discussed in that conversation, and it would be helpful certainly to check back in with all the departments and our Public Health Officer, as they have been meeting this morning and taking steps to ensure that they are doing everything they need to. Because there hasn't been a confirmed case in the Northwest Territories, and so we want to ensure that there is not a confirmed case in the Northwest Territories, as a result of which our Chief Public Health Officer has been taking an approach that is directed at achieving that goal. That, Mr. Speaker, is why, if there is a sense of us not speaking fully, it is because we want to speak clearly and correctly and accurately with the most up-to-date information.

Again, Mr. Speaker, the fact that we have small communities who have less healthcare infrastructure than the larger centres, that has been something that I know I have personally raised when I have been on the national calls with my colleagues, and I believe they have been raised by the colleagues in Cabinet with their colleagues, that we need to take those considerations very seriously. I simply want to assure the Member that, as soon as I have the current up-to-date plan and information, we will share that with the House and get that information out to the public.

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

I am just trying to get the points across so I can share them with my constituents, as well. People who have been texting and messaging us. People who are coming from the South. To be self-isolated, is it optional, or is it mandatory from our perspective, the government's perspective?

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

At this point, it's still a recommendation that anyone coming back into the Northwest Territories would consider their own symptomology and determine whether or not they need to self-isolate. That is still the recommendation. Indeed, there have been media releases on a national level only just this morning about travel that is coming back internationally and recommending that anyone returning internationally, I believe, is being recommended, indeed, to self-isolate. They're being a bit more aggressive here in the Northwest Territories about travel coming in from elsewhere in Canada, as well, but the latest information that I have is that that was still a recommendation.

Again, in response to what was happening at a national level this morning, literally as we have been sitting here for the past hour, there has been an effort to update that information for the Northwest Territories in keeping with what's happening nationally and ensuring that we do what we can to either prevent or slow the time within which we would have a virus identified here in the Northwest Territories. I will continue to update the House, and we will continue, all of us, to update the public in due course.

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Minister. The time for oral questions has expired. Item 8, written questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I request that we take a short recess, please, just to discuss some items of an urgent matter. Marsi cho.

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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

Okay. We will take a short recess.

---SHORT RECESS

Question 210-19(2): COVID-19 and Border Control in the Northwest Territories
Oral Questions

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

We will now reconvene. Item 8, written questions. Item 9, returns to written questions. Item 10, replies to the Commissioner's address. Item 11, petitions. Item 12, reports of committees on the review of bills. Item 13, reports of standing and special committees. Item 14, tabling of documents. Item 15, notices of motion. Item 16, motions. Item 17, notices of motion for first reading of bills. Item 18, first reading of bills. Item 19, second reading of bills. Government House Leader.

Bill 3: An Act to Amend the Public Highways Act
Second Reading Of Bills

March 13th, 2020

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Sahtu, that Bill 3, An Act to Amend the Public Highways Act, be read for the second time. The bill amends the Public Highways Act to address government liability for loss or damage resulting from a failure to maintain primary highways in the Northwest Territories. The bill requires the Minister to maintain primary highways and provides that the Government of the Northwest Territories is liable, with exceptions, for loss or damage resulting from a failure to do so. The bill makes clear that the Minister has no duty to maintain roads that are not designated as primary highways under this act. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 3: An Act to Amend the Public Highways Act
Second Reading Of Bills

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

Thank you, Government House Leader. To the principal of the bill.

Bill 3: An Act to Amend the Public Highways Act
Second Reading Of Bills

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Some Hon. Members

Question.

Bill 3: An Act to Amend the Public Highways Act
Second Reading Of Bills

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

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Bill 3-19(2) has had second reading and is referred to committee. Item 20, consideration in Committee of the Whole of bills and other matters: Tabled Document 30-19(2), Main Estimates 2020-2021; and Tabled Document 43-19(2), Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 1, 2020-2021, with the Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes in the chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Lesa Semmler

I will call Committee of the Whole to order. What is the wish of committee, Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh?