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 341-19(2): Bathurst Caribou Herd Management
Oral Questions

Page 1216

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Again, some of the challenges that we are dealing with COVID. ENR was unable to secure a research firm from Nunavut to proceed the planning calving grounds survey of the Bathurst and Bluenose East herds. The survey will be rescheduled for June 2021, which will be three years since the last survey, which is within our time frame that we do the survey. Other herd monitoring programs are able to continue, including composition surveys, monitoring radio-collared caribou, and other target research. Given the very low size of the Bathurst heard, ENR and its co-management partners are currently doing a wide range of actions to support herd recovery. Postponement of the calving ground survey will not delay or impact current management actions, including habitat and wolf management.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that I have reached out to the Minister of ENR from Nunavut, and we have had some communications back and forth. We were talking about having a phone call or a face-to-face meeting some time later this summer so that we can discuss this important activity. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 341-19(2): Bathurst Caribou Herd Management
Oral Questions

Page 1216

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

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

June 12th, 2020

Page 1216

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. There is still some confusion about what happens when people from outside arrive into the Northwest Territories. There was a CBC report yesterday on their website, and I just want to quote one sentence here. It says, "If they don't meet one of the essential services exemptions, they will be told they need to apply for an exemption and self-isolate for 14 days."

I have some questions for the Minister of health on this, and I have talked to her about this and raised some of these concerns. I would like to know, Mr. Speaker, if non-Canadian citizens arrive into the Northwest Territories, and they do not meet one of the current exemptions, will they be turned back? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

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

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

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. While we are talking about COVID, I need to take this opportunity to correct the record. Yesterday, in response to the honourable Member for Yellowknife North, I stated that roughly one third of the population suffered from chronic disease. I did not have the stats right in front of me, and I was working from memory; so that's my bad. In fact, Mr. Speaker, according to the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System, more than 12,000 individuals, or about a quarter -- not a third, about a quarter -- of the population in the Northwest Territories are believed to have a chronic disease. Although not all chronic diseases are associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, that's the response to the Member's question yesterday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Now I'll get back to the other Member's question. The Chief Public Health Officer's jurisdiction does not extend to public health officers being able to force people to turn back. Any person, whether you are a Canadian citizen or not, who presents at the border without approved documentation or without meeting any one of the exemptions under the travel restriction order will be told they can either wait at the border and submit a resident self-isolation plan for approval by contacting Protect Northwest Territories, return to their place of origin and submit a resident self-isolation plan for approval, or be charged $1,725 if they decide to proceed to travel in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

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

Thank you, Minister. I think that's what you call two birds with one stone there. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I would like to chat with the Minister afterwards. You have an opportunity to make a personal explanation to correct the record, but that's a procedural thing. This is still very confusing, Mr. Speaker. What happens when a Canadian citizen arrives into the NWT and they do not meet any of the current exemptions? Will they be turned back, or are they allowed to stay somewhere, even if it's at the border? Are they allowed to stay for 14 days and self-isolate and then apply for an exemption? How does this work?

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

I will say it again. Any person, whether you are a Canadian citizen or not, who presents at the border without approved documentation or without meeting one of the exemptions under the travel restrictions order will be told that either they can wait at the border, do the paperwork, return back to their place of origin, or be charged the fine. I don't know how clear this can be.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

I'm still a little confused here. Presumably, then, somebody coming in, even if they're a Canadian citizen, non-Canadian citizen, can camp out at the airport for 14 days, and then they've cleared self-isolation, and then they can travel anywhere in the Northwest Territories. Is that how this could work, Mr. Speaker? Thanks.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

No. If a person travels into the Northwest Territories, you have to self-isolate in one of our four centres.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

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

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Frame Lake.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I am still confused, and I think members of the public are still confused about this. If someone presents at the border and they don't have an exemption, they don't have a self-isolation plan, and if they head off somewhere, who is going to cover the costs associated with that? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

A Canadian who does not meet any exemptions is prohibited from travelling within the Northwest Territories. If a person who does not meet our exemption arrives and is directed to self-isolate before returning to their point of origin, they will need to pay for their self-isolation. Currently, the GNWT only pays for Northwest Territories residents who need to self-isolate in a self-isolation centre. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 342-19(2): COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Oral Questions

Page 1217

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

Thank you, Minister. Colleagues, our time for oral questions has expired. Item 8, written questions. Item 9, returns to written questions. Item 10, replies to 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. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Tabled Document 148-19(2): Accreditation Canada Accreditation Report: Tlicho Community Services Agency Tabled Document 149-19(2): Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 263-19(2): Impacts of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Centres Tabled Document 150-19(2): Government of Northwest Territories NWT Home and Community Care Review, Final Report, September 26, 2019 Tabled Document 151-19(2): Department Of Health And Social Services Response to Home And Community Care Review, June 11, 2020
Tabling Of Documents

Page 1218

Diane Thom Inuvik Boot Lake

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following four documents: "Accreditation Canada Accreditation Report: Tlicho Community Services Agency;" "Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 263-19(2): Impacts of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities;" the "Home and Community Care Review;" and the GNWT's "Response to the Home and Community Care Review." Thank you, Mr. Speaker.