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

Congratulations to Sahtu Region High School Graduates
Members' Statements

Page 1206

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Good morning, Mr. Speaker. Today, I would like to recognize the accomplishments of the graduation class of 2020 in the Sahtu region. With a total of five communities in the Sahtu region and 19 graduate students, it is a remarkable accomplishment in these unusual circumstances. Facing and adjusting to the change due to COVID-19, the students of the Sahtu region have displayed resilience and leadership in working toward their educational dreams and leading into the future to strive for higher accomplishments, leading to achieve their dreams. Your life, your journey, has begun. It is a celebration. Congratulations. I am proud of you.

The need for education in the Sahtu region: we have a lot of projects that we are working toward. We need the educational opportunities and dreams and training within our region. I would like to commend the class of 2020 to continue their educational dreams, to strive as the Sahtu region, to lead with resilience. Congratulations, class of 2020. Mahsi.

Congratulations to Sahtu Region High School Graduates
Members' Statements

Page 1206

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

Thank you, Member for Sahtu. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Managed Alcohol Programs
Members' Statements

June 12th, 2020

Page 1206

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of this Assembly's mandate items is to establish a managed alcohol program and a medical detox program by the spring of 2023. We expect that such programming will reduce hospitalizations due to alcohol by 30 percent. This is one of my favourite mandate items. I believe it shows a switch in mentality that this government is ready to put harm reduction at the core of our programs. There was much debate about managed alcohol programs in the last Assembly, but there was little progress on it.

During COVID-19, we saw a number of our service providers take the initial steps to build managed alcohol programs. I think this was largely due to a recognition that people detoxing in the midst of a pandemic and putting a surge on our healthcare system was not necessary, and there was a way to reduce harm. Many of these programs were not managed alcohol programs per se, with the necessary medical supervision. They are a recognition that people going through an alcohol withdrawal is an extremely painful process.

Mr. Speaker, I believe we spend too much time in this Assembly debating how to provide alcohol and debating all of these issues around alcohol, and not enough time focusing on helping our constituents heal. Alcohol is not the cause of addiction; trauma is. We owe it in this Assembly to provide people with the means to heal, and that can look different for every single person. My dream is that, when a person is struggling with alcohol, they show up to their service provider and they are given an option for on-the-land treatment, for medical detox, for a managed alcohol program. If they want to go cold turkey down South, they are given that option. They are given a wide range of tools to use, because everyone's path to sobriety looks different, and we as government owe it to provide them with programming that is non-judgmental and tailored to their needs.

I will have questions for the Minister of Health and Social Services to see that we are on track to providing such programming and we can get this work done as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Managed Alcohol Programs
Members' Statements

Page 1206

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Congratulations to Nahendeh High School Graduates
Members' Statements

Page 1207

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. COVID-19 has thrown us a curve in our celebrations of the class of 2020 graduation in Nahendeh. I have been informed that these graduation ceremonies have been postponed to allow the celebration plans to be approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. I look forward to being part of those celebrations later on in the year. However, the DEAs and school staff and community members have placed signage in the streets, set up a Web page, developed family photos, given out cooler packages, and a number of other opportunities to celebrate with our successful graduates.

In Nahendeh, we celebrate various classes, starting with kindergarten, grade six, grade nine, and grade 12 across the region. I wish I had all of the successful graduates' names here today to celebrate with them, but unfortunately I can't get them. I do know we have five post-secondary graduates who will help the residents of the Northwest Territories in the future. We have five grade 12 graduates from the Echo Dene School in Fort Liard; 13 graduates from the Liidlii Kue Regional High School from across the region, from the smaller centres and Fort Simpson.

Like everyone here, I am so proud of these students. They achieved so much, and I am looking forward to seeing what they are going to achieve in the future. I would like to thank the parents, teachers, support staff, families, and friends for all their support and continued supports for our graduates. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank them very much, and I look forward to their success in the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Congratulations to Nahendeh High School Graduates
Members' Statements

Page 1207

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

Thank you, Member for Nahendeh. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Item 6, acknowledgements. Item 7, oral questions. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My first set of questions are for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. The Minister announced the creation of a Business Advisory Council almost three months ago, and, when questioned in the House on May the 27th, she said, "We definitely commit to having an open and transparent and collaborative government" with respect to telling us the details of the Business Advisory Council. With that in mind, it's my understanding that the council has met at least once. Can the Minister now tell us who is on the council? Thank you very much.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

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

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe that information has been provided to the Members. If it hasn't, I will follow up to ensure that it has. We were allowing the council to make their own press release as they are arm's length from my office. We'll ensure that gets corrected if it hasn't been done so before now. Thank you.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

The public doesn't know anything about this council. They don't know who is on it. They don't know the terms of reference. They don't know that they've met or when they will meet again. In the spirit of transparent and collaborative government which you have committed yourself to, can you please make the public aware of the details of this Business Advisory Council today?

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

The Business Advisory Council released a press release earlier this week. If the Member hasn't seen it, I will forward it along. We do have a statement coming, and we will ensure that the list is included there. As mentioned, this is their council, not my council, to determine how they communicate to the public. That's what we're currently trying to figure out. The council has met once, or twice actually, now. They're very keen to get going, and we will be providing that information.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

This news release is news to me. It's news to my colleagues on this side of the House. I haven't seen it reported in the media. We still are left with a situation where the government has created a council for which we have no public information. I don't know where this news release is. Is it possible for you to tell us now who is on the council, what their mandate is, and when they're going to meet again?

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

As mentioned, the Business Advisory Council put out their own press release. It did not come through my department. Therefore, I cannot say why the Member has not seen it, but I will commit to sharing that with you. I will right now list off the council. We have Paul Gruner, Det'on Cho Corporation. He is the co-chair. We have Jenni Bruce, president of the Northwest Territories chamber. She is a co-chair. We have Kyle Wright, Tim Syer, Pat Rower, Linda Martin, Sean Crowell, Denny Rodgers, Duc Trinh, James Thorbourne, Sara Brown, Gary Vivian, Darrel Beaulieu, Harold Grinde, Donna Lee DeMarcke, Trevor Wever, and Kevin Hodgins. I apologize if I've said anybody's name wrong. We will provide the rest of the information to you in a written format as it is probably just not the worth the time to go through it right now.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1207

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

Thank you, Minister. I know there's a lot of passion here, but please direct your question through me. Member for Yellowknife Centre.

Question 333-19(2): Business Advisory Council
Oral Questions

Page 1208

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My apologies. Thank you to the Minister for that information. The point is not that the information should be provided privately to me or to my colleagues but that this council that was put into being by the government should be made known to the public. This council wouldn't exist without the government, so the government has a responsibility to tell the public what this council is about and who is on it. You have just mentioned some names and what their mandate is. I'm sure you appreciate that there's a lot of interest in this council. There is some potential to make creative recommendations like the ones that I mentioned in my statement about building a retrofit economy. Will the Minister commit to making the information public today? Thank you.