This is page numbers 917 - 956 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.

Topics

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 932

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 932

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, our department provides $1.8 million to Indigenous groups for on-the-land programs. Thank you.

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 933

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

I appreciate that the Minister spoke to we're not quite sure what the fall will bring. We aren't sure what the fall will bring. We aren't sure what will happen with kids this fall with the second or third wave, and if kids will end up back at school, but we have heard wonderful things about the child and youth care counsellors who will be going into schools this fall. What I'm wondering is: even if our kids don't return to school, will these child and youth care counsellors still be accessible supports to the kids of the Northwest Territories?

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 933

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

The answer is yes. The child and youth care counsellors are already working with schools and continuing to provide supports to children and youth, in their schools and in their communities. The child and youth care counsellors are providing services to children and youth using the telephone and virtual approaches. Also, they will continue to work through the summer and into the fall, regardless of whether schools are open or not.

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 933

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

I appreciate that answer from the Minister. I would like to move on to our front-line workers, if possible. Compassion fatigue is a real thing, and I think that it is something that our front-line workers are experiencing throughout the Northwest Territories right now. Many of our front-line workers were recalled from March Break, annual leave was cancelled, and they've been working non-stop at a very high-stress time. With a limited number of mental health counsellors, nurses, and physicians that we have in the Northwest Territories, how does the GNWT intend to support the needs of Northerners while protecting the psychological health and safety of our front-line staff?

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 933

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

All the GNWT front-line staff have access to their Employee and Family Assistance Program, the EFAP. In addition, the Northwest Territories Health Social Service Authority has implemented a staff support line and a crisis debriefs needed in all the regions. The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority has also worked with occupational health and safety to create a wellness room in the hospitals for staff who may need to access their EFAP or support line during their shift. There are also plans to support vacation leave for health professionals over the summer.

Question 270-19(2): Mental Health Supports during COVID-19
Oral Questions

Page 933

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2020

Page 933

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of ENR. As I mentioned in my statement, there is a lot of freelance camping that happened on the Ingraham Trail this weekend. I do appreciate that we wait all winter to get outside, but gathering in places outside of campgrounds presents some risks to both people and the environment. My question for you is: what kind of monitoring has your department done of the freelance camping on the Ingraham Trail in the last week? Thank you.

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 933

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources.

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 933

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Member for her question. The department does go out there and inspect various campsites and that. Unfortunately, right now, campsites are closed right now, so we have actually asked the public to advise us of situations so that we are aware of them and so that we can send staff out there to make sure that they are following the guidelines that we set out. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 933

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

As I understand it, it's up to the public to police themselves in the matter of freelance camping, and there is no either proactive inspection or proactive education taking place with the campers about the risks of camping in wild places at this time.

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 933

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

We actually do get out there with the town people, being fire smart, being safe, looking out for the environment, don't feed bears, and stuff like that. Again, what we are trying to do is, because we are in a new environment, we do have stuff out there, but we don't have them out there on the weekends right now. We will look into this matter, and we will advise the public what we are going to be doing moving forward. Right now, we rely on the public because we are asking them to advise us of situations so that we can help them move forward. Wearing my other hat with the Minister of Lands, we do have inspectors out there, as well, but again, we are asking for people to work with us on this.

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 933

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you to the Minister for that. You don't inspect on weekends, so I'm going to say that that's when the most freelance camping takes place. How is your department keeping a lid on the potential risks of fires, sewage dumps, garbage dumps, bear interactions, and so on? How is your department keeping a lid on that if they don't go out on weekends?

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 934

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I guess I should clarify. They do do weekends, but right now, we aren't because we're in a new environment. The campgrounds that are going on right now, freelance and that, we are working on that. We are looking at that situation. We do have our bear line up. We have our fire line up. We have those things there. As for the sewers and that, we have to work across departments. As the Minister for ITI spoke about, we have people who are cross-trained. We work together with these matters.

Again, we are asking the public to bring it forward to us if we have concerns. We have heard the Member loud and clearly here. We will get back and educate people on this process. To get the details, I don't have that with me right in front of me right now, but I will make that commitment to this Member right now and to the public. What we will do is we will get that information to you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 271-19(2): Impacts of Camping outside of Campgrounds
Oral Questions

Page 934

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Just a reminder to Members and Ministers, please direct your questions and answers through me, Mr. Speaker. With that, final supplementary, Member for Yellowknife Centre.