This is page numbers 739 - 766 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 health.

Topics

Question 211-19(2): Line Repairs and Power Limiters in Nunakput during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oral Questions

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Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

I'm encouraged to hear that. You know, it's coming. I'm really worried about our communities, our elders, people who we represent in our communities, because we know all of them. I really think that we really should think about this, from now until June, take all limiters off. The Minister could make that happen. Would the Minister commit to me today to getting that done?

Question 211-19(2): Line Repairs and Power Limiters in Nunakput during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oral Questions

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I can't make that commitment. The commitment we've made is we'll reach out and work with these individuals to come up with payment plans. If they've fallen in payment plans, limiters will not be installed. If people don't come up with payment plans, then we will install the new process of 15 minutes on / 5 minutes off, and then, for people who don't have smart meters, that have 15 amps, then they would have to reset manually. We are working with the residents; however, we also have to be diligent in us moving forward so I think this is a good option.

Question 211-19(2): Line Repairs and Power Limiters in Nunakput during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oral Questions

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

Final supplementary, Member for Nunakput.

Question 211-19(2): Line Repairs and Power Limiters in Nunakput during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oral Questions

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Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The payment plans, I guess, for all our riding of Nunakput would have to go through Inuvik because we don't have any Power Corporation offices and that would be basically for the whole Delta. Would the Minister provide numbers for the people for our ridings of the whole Beaufort Delta in regard to if they're in arrears with the power corporation, to make sure that his staff know in Inuvik that the payment plan will be signed, and they don't have to worry about it, so the limiters will be not put on? That's the worst thing that we need, because it's still cold weather back in the Delta and we don't need this. Would the Minister commit today to making sure that happens?

Question 211-19(2): Line Repairs and Power Limiters in Nunakput during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oral Questions

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Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I'm willing to work with all colleagues to get this information out there in the Beaufort-Delta. He's explained that it's through Inuvik. We will make sure numbers are given to his constituents who are in arrears, are having these challenges, and as well as other Members should they wish this information. I will make sure we get that information to him as soon as the end of this day. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 211-19(2): Line Repairs and Power Limiters in Nunakput during COVID-19 Pandemic
Oral Questions

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

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

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

March 16th, 2020

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Premier. A month is obviously a long time in the life of the coronavirus outbreak. It has now become a pandemic and there are more cases in Europe than China. Can the Minister update us now on the impact of the coronavirus health crisis on the tourism industry in the NWT? Thank you.

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Honourable Premier.

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't have current statistics on where, exactly, the tourism industry is within the Northwest Territories; however, it doesn't take very much research to look outside our doors and see that the numbers are going down. There are two things that are happening. One, the numbers are going down, and the public is concerned that we still have tourists on our streets. I'd like to first of all say that all tourists have been asked to self-isolate when they come into Canada. We have brought up the concerns to the federal government in talking about international travel. It's really hard to self-isolate when people come into the NWT for one or two days. It is something that we're working on with the federal government and it will impact the tourism sector within the Northwest Territories and throughout Canada, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate that response. The ITI Minister previously committed to more robust data collection about impacts. That's important, but it doesn't seem like the highest priority right now. My question is: what can the Premier do to support tourism operators who have had to cancel tours and lay off staff through this spring and summer?

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

We are concerned about our economy. We're concerned about all businesses in the NWT, including the tourism industry. Right now, at this time, like I said, we're waiting for the federal government. They are in charge of travel airlines. We are asking for them to actually confirm how they will ensure that our residents are safe with the amount of tourists, which does imply that we're asking them to support not having travellers come to the Northwest Territories internationally, as well.

It's already impacting. We've already got letters from the tourist industry. We've got letters from airlines. We've got letters from the business communities already. The economy is going to hurt. What I can say is that we have brought those concerns to the federal government. Concerns have been voiced from every jurisdiction across Canada. Our federal government is looking for changes; they're looking at programs such as making adjustments to the EI that might be able to help people. At this time, all I can say is the federal government is aware of our concerns. They know that we're looking for some kind of economic stimulus, some kind of economic benefit for us, and they have promised to get back to us and they've promised to take the considerations of the whole territories into consideration.

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate that answer. I see that the onus is really on the federal government to come up with some kind of contingency fund to assist not only tourism operators but also sectors of the economy that are currently hurting. What kind of responsibility does the GNWT have in this circumstance other than connecting with the federal government to come up with those contingency plans?

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

For businesses that are a little bit worried or need some extra assistance, they can contact our Department of ITI for assistance. We do have the Business Development Program that might be able to assist them in some long-term plans. We're looking at bumping up; we're working. Right now, the priority is on health and safety. I have to put that. Right now, we're scrambling to figure out how we're going to take care of our residents, our long-term care, our most vulnerable in society. At the same time, we're looking at the economic detriments, so we're looking at increase, probably, in Income Support, people on Income Support. Again, we're advocating to the federal government for EI. We're looking at tools and resources that will be able to help our industry. It's a day-to-day battle that we're facing right now, an hour-to-hour battle. Our officials, all of our Ministers, myself, we're all getting updated regularly every single day. Things are changing every day. All I can say is the federal government does know our needs and we're trying to work as best we can with our limited resources.

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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

Thank you, Honourable Premier. Final supplementary, Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 212-19(2): Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Tourism
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you to the Premier for that. I appreciate that the focus is on health and safety, but I think that there are people and businesses who are stressed about their livelihood because, the businesses they own or the businesses they work for, they don't necessarily have generous sick times or contingency plans to keep people going while they have to be off work for circumstances that are beyond their control. I would really urge the Premier to task the ITI staff with a recovery plan, to use those federal resources when they come through, to see if there is anything that can be repurposed in our budget that would help people to continue with their livelihoods. What I'm concerned about is that we will have the health crisis, and then we'll go into an economic crisis because of the health crisis. Can the Minister assure me that that kind of planning will take place? Thank you,