This is page numbers 887 - 916 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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Bill 6: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act
Second Reading Of Bills

May 29th, 2020

Page 903

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very excited to move this bill into second reading. Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River North, that Bill 6, An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, be read for the second time.

Mr. Speaker, this bill amends the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act to permit this Assembly to conduct all or a portion of a session by way of teleconference or video conference, and it permits Members to participate in a session by way of teleconference or video conference at the discretion of the Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 6: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act
Second Reading Of Bills

Page 903

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. To the principle of the bill. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Bill 6 has had its second reading. Member for Yellowknife North.

Bill 6: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act
Second Reading Of Bills

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Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to waive Rule 73(2) and have Bill 6, An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, moved into Committee of the Whole for consideration later today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 6: An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act
Second Reading Of Bills

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. The Member is seeking unanimous consent to have Bill 6 moved into Committee of the Whole. Are there any nays? There are no nays.

---Unanimous consent granted

Bill 6 will be moved into Committee of the Whole. Thank you. Item 20, consideration in Committee of the Whole of bills and other matters: Tabled Document 30-19(2), Main Estimates 2020-2021, with the Department of Health and Social Services, with the Member for Yellowknife Centre 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 Julie Green

Members, what is the wish of the committee? Mr. Norn.

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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Steve Norn Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Marsi cho, Madam Chair. Committee wishes to consider Tabled Document 30-19(2), Main Estimates 2020-2021.

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 Julie Green

Thank you, Mr. Norn. We will resume after a short break.

---SHORT RECESS

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 Julie Green

Good afternoon, Members. Today, we are going to continue our review of the Department of Health and Social Services budget. When we left off yesterday, we were talking about the section on out of territory services. Are there any additional questions on out of territory services in the Health and Social Services budget? I think that's beginning about page 175 of your document. Are there any additional questions on out of territory services? Sergeant-at-Arms, could you please escort in the witnesses. Will the Minister of Health to again introduce her witnesses, please.

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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Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. Today, I have with me Deputy Minister Bruce Cooper and Ms. Mathison. Thank you.

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 Julie Green

Thank you, Madam Minister. I have on the speaker's list the Member for Monfwi. Please go ahead.

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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Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Madam Chair. [Translation] Thank you, Madam Chair. Page 180, that's what I'm referring to, about the English term, when we say addiction treatment centres, meaning that, for the treatment, they would be able to be sent to Edmonton, but last year, according to the record, there were 191 sent for treatment, and that spent well over $200,000 on residential, school, and medical services, all together included, but because I don't know if it would be in the same department, I would like to ask about that one. Sending people for treatment out of the territory, is it under Health and Social Services? Would they be able to look into it again? Regarding the 191 people who were sent out of the territory, is it possible that they could be treated or going for treatment here in the territory, because there is on-the-land funding?

We have a lot of elders today who would be able to treat. Our leaders, our teachers, would know how to help with the treatment, but people referring to working on themselves, we are always sending them out of the territory. Let's not do it anymore. Let's have an addictions program here in the territory and have elders working with them. Put them in place. We know they are strong, respecting our elders, and also have an aftercare program, as well, with it. Right now, I would like to ask the Minister: was there ever an issue, topic of discussion, about this kind of treatment being put in the territory? We know how many were sent. That's money that could be spent in the territory. Can the Minister respond to that? [Translation ends]

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 Julie Green

[Microphone turned off] ...Minister of Health and Social Services.

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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Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

[Translation] Madam Chair, addiction treatment centre [English translation not available] [Translation ends] I hear where the Member is coming from in terms of looking at doing something closer to home, including our elders, including our residents. Right now, within the department, we provide funding to all the Indigenous groups to have an on-the-land fund. In terms of the addictions, have we thought about that in the past? I am going to ask Mr. Cooper if we have thought about that previously.

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 Julie Green

Thank you, Minister. Deputy Minister.

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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Cooper

Thank you, Madam Chair. Yes, in fact, there had been four different residential addictions facilities in the NWT over the years. The last facility closed in 2013, and that is when the department signed contracts with southern providers. At the time, the thought was that using southern providers would provide for more specialized treatment, more choice for people. To now, our focus has been on southern facilities that we have certainly heard issues around aftercare. Certainly, the experiences that we have had with the COVID response and observing the impact on people through the disability council initiative has caused us to consider this issue of: what could we be doing here in the North to add onto the on-the-land that we've been doing, and might there be other opportunities to look at a treatment centre? It is certainly something that's not off the table. It is something we are going to be looking at as a range of options to incorporate lessons learned out of COVID.

I do think it is important, notwithstanding the challenges that exist with aftercare and housing, we do have about 70 to 75 percent of people who attend treatment in the South in our current model who do return here sober. We have been focusing a lot on efforts to make sure that this gets maintained and they continue to get supported. All that to say that we are, absolutely, open to the idea of looking at a treatment centre, and we'll be taking a look at this question, and different treatment models as part of our planning forward. Thank you, Madam Chair.