This is page numbers 2951 - 2988 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 public.

Topics

Oral Question 783-19(2): Housing Needs
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Jane Weyallon-Armstrong Monfwi

Ten? Ten was not the number I was looking for. But that is okay for now, you know. Because what we're looking for -- like, I said, Tlicho region is in housing crisis and ten is not enough to -- and then we have 200 people on the waitlist and so that was the reason why. And then now the government is committed to retrofit some houses and those houses, it's not going to help reduce our waiting list. So therefore I'm just asking the Minister, will they commit to giving up the houses that are too costly to repair so that they can build more houses. Thank you.

Oral Question 783-19(2): Housing Needs
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just, you know, throughout the term of my time as Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation, I want to reiterate that this is the largest housing delivery that we have had in a number of years, with 90 units coming to the Northwest Territories, and also the Housing Corporation submitting another federal application for an additional 14, which brings us to 108. We will meet the mandate requirement of a hundred units throughout the Northwest Territories.

And also I just wanted to highlight that the Housing Corporation works with each of the communities to develop a housing plan and that is initiated at the community level as well too. And just throughout the Northwest Territories to date, the Housing Corporation has retrofitted 324 housing units throughout the territory as well too, and looking at the home ownership programs as well.

And also the engagement with the Indigenous groups throughout the Northwest Territories by the federal government with those conversations going forward, there is going to be a significant amount of money coming to the territory that will be allocated to the Indigenous groups to help us with the housing crisis throughout the territory and a portion of that is going to the Tlicho. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 783-19(2): Housing Needs
Oral Questions

Page 2963

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Thebacha.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

November 23rd, 2021

Page 2963

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, on October 19, 2021, the Department of Finance amended liquor regulations to allow liquor deliveries to people's homes. Can the Minister tell us if this was a directive from the Chief Public Health Officer or was this decision made by Cabinet. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister of Finance.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in my role as the Minister of Finance I have had the opportunity to meet with the Chief Public Health Officer and the Premier and the Minister of Health regularly throughout this pandemic. It came to my attention during one of the recent outbreaks that began as of August that one of the challenges that was being faced was that individuals were leaving self-isolation in order to go out and access alcohol services. When that information came to me, the decision does come to me whether or not to amend regulations on Liquor Act and with that information and that knowledge, knowing the situation we were in, that was under my decision. It was not a direction of the Chief Public Health Officer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us if she is aware of any problems that have occurred under this temporary regulatory change since it was instituted. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not right now aware of any challenges or difficulties or any new types of charges or any of the sort. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I'm aware in fact that it's been very minimally used, in fact almost not used at all and really I'd say that that's hopefully good news. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us if there are any future plans to make this temporary liquor regulation into a permanent regulation for the NWT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, no, certainly not in the fashion that this one came about. This came about very responsively to situations that were coming to our information in regards to managing the outbreak of COVID-19. This is certainly not how I would intend to generally manage liquor regulations or to make any amendments to them. I would note that there is, of course, the much bigger review happening of the Liquor Act and the management of alcohol in the Northwest Territories and certainly under that context, it may well be reviewed generally and whether or not this is something the people of the territories want to see changed in some fashion could occur. But that's the only way that anything permanent would come into play, is in the course of a proceeding of that nature. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Thebacha.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, December for many people is the Christmas season, which is a special time for family and togetherness. Would the Minister consider ending this temporary liquor regulation earlier than December 31st, 2021. If so, how about November 30th, 2021, or sooner. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the original impetus behind the change arose, if I recall correctly, when the outbreaks were, at that point, still in Yellowknife. There's been something of rolling outbreaks it seems, unfortunately, over the last few months. So I think I would say that I have been fairly reactive to the liquor regulations over the last couple of years with COVID-19 and quite quick to make amendments, where appropriate, to respond. So I will certainly go back and look and consider whether or not that is feasible in the circumstances. I am cognizant that there's still something of an outbreak in the Beaufort Delta right now so I would want to consider if the original reasons for making this decision have changed and if they have, then I'd certainly reconsider that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 784-19(2): Alcohol Delivery
Oral Questions

Page 2963

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Oral Question 785-19(2): COVID Accommodations
Oral Questions

Page 2963

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we know the importance of air travel for the delivery of goods, passengers, medical travel, and workers around the NWT. From what I heard yesterday, the reason for terminating unvaccinated staff was because of not being allowed on aircraft.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Minister of Finance what discussions, if any, has the government had with the federal government to address the importance of air travel and our need to keep staff employed through accommodation measures when air travel is required. As I understand it, testing and PPE may be an option when flying to remote communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.