This is page numbers 1197 - 1220 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 work.

Topics

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Yes, I will have to come back to the Member with those details. However, I do want to commit to the Member that I remain committed to ensuring that Northerners are getting meaningful work and training out of these projects and that we will ensure that, going forward, we are making sure that the training components are built in and that people are getting meaningful employment.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1210

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

Thank you, Minister. Final short supplementary, Member for Monfwi.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Masi, Mr. Speaker. I understand that the Minister is new to the file. I'm glad she's going to follow through. That agreement was before she came on board, so I'm glad she is going to be monitoring this. The last question I have is: can I get a commitment from the Minister that she and/or her senior staff, departmental staff, visit the Tlicho All-season Road construction site and meet with the Tlicho workers to simply hear them out and follow through with their concerns, Mr. Speaker? Masi.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Yes. Yesterday in the House I committed to coming to speak with the workers at the Edzo maintenance camp for the highway. At the same time, I will come to the TASR camp and speak with people there. Anytime, though, I do encourage the Member, if he does have constituents who have concerns, that they come to me directly and don't wait on those visits, which will likely be the last week of June. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 336-19(2): Tlicho All-Season Access Road Project
Oral Questions

Page 1211

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

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

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have questions for the Minister of Housing. Yesterday, I brought up questions about the lack of housing in Hay River. Since then, I have been thinking about it and becoming increasingly frustrated and angry, and only wrote the questions while sitting here. I will start with: in Hay River, I'm going to start recommending to those residents who cannot find permanent housing to start looking at other communities, as the government just can't deliver the housing they require.

My first question to the Minister would be: I would ask the Minister, considering we have a significant housing shortage in Hay River, is her department willing to work with ECE to cover the cost of relocation and some temporary rent payment supports for those persons and families willing to relocate to Yellowknife or southern Canada? This appears to be the only option this government has to give our residents a chance at the housing they deserve. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

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

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, Member, for your comment. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation has, right now, as I mentioned yesterday, rolled out $43 million in infrastructure projects and housing throughout the Northwest Territories. I understand the Member's frustration with the lack of housing or with homeless issues throughout his riding. It has become quite significant throughout the Northwest Territories that we do have a large number of homelessness issues throughout the Northwest Territories, but the Housing Corporation does have programs that accommodate these unique situations. We have a homelessness assistance fund that is available to every resident throughout the Northwest Territories that provides assistance for first month's rent and the damage deposit for each client. We have made changes to our transitional rent supplementary program for the Northwest Territories.

As of right now, we are working with a vulnerable persons working group in Hay River and looking at strategies and options for Hay River, for this area. As we progress and go forward, I will keep the Member up to date on what we will be creating for his riding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

It's not only a housing deficit that we are facing in Hay River. It is access to land, as well. Can the Minister commit to working collaboratively with MACA, Lands, and the Town of Hay River to ensure that land for public housing will be made available, with a quick turnaround?

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Yes, I am aware that we do have to work with our Indigenous groups. There is a consultation period that we have to fulfil when accessing land throughout the Northwest Territories. There are several in different jurisdictions and different approaches and different Indigenous groups that we would need to consult with. The department has been working in conjunction with the Department of Lands as we develop throughout the Northwest Territories. That is a relationship that has already existed, and yes, I will be working to continue that relationship, working with the Department of Lands for accessing properties, and also working with the Department of ECE to look at our homelessness fund and financial assistance that we have available to the residents of the Northwest Territories.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Over the years, communities and government have been talking about smaller homes for people, so I will ask the Minister: will she commit her department to seriously look at the construction of smaller homes for those who are homeless or hard to house?

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Yes, that is a conversation that we are actually having right now. We do have a program called the Community Initiative Fund that works directly with community residents, with the leadership, looking at unique projects such as this. Yes, I do commit to working with my department and I will follow up with the Member on the progress of it, and also with the outcome of the vulnerable persons working group in Hay River, as well.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1211

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

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Hay River South.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1212

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have lots of conversations, and that is kind of part of the problem. What we need is more action. To address the housing deficit in the NWT, it always comes down to money. What action has the Minister taken to address the issue of lack of funding to substantially address our housing shortage here in the NWT? Is the Minister applying any pressure on the federal government to access additional funds for housing? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 337-19(2): Addressing Homelessness and Housing In Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 1212

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Yes, the Housing Corporation is in constant communication with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. I have established a working relationship with my federal counterpart. We do have access to the $60-million co-investment fund for the Northwest Territories, and it's a partnership and an initiative that we are working through within our department. We are establishing staff right now to roll out this project, this funding, so it could be more easily accessible to the residents of the Northwest Territories. As we go forward, I still continue the conversation with the federal government and to lobby for money for the Northwest Territories. We live in a unique territory. We have unique challenges, here, and our construction season, I also display that it's short, so, going forward, I will commit to working with the federal government and accessing more money for the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.