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

Motion 42-19(2): Declaration of Vacant Seat for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, Carried
Motions

Page 2958

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Motion is in order. To the motion. Member for Inuvik Boot Lake.

Motion 42-19(2): Declaration of Vacant Seat for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, Carried
Motions

Page 2958

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I sincerely regret that we are in this situation and having to debate this motion of revocation.

As a Member of this Assembly, I have the right to be safe when doing my job. Our staff in the building have the right to be safe when doing their jobs. We have a right to be free of threats for doing our jobs within the rules of this Assembly, which my colleague from Frame Lake so eloquently outlined.

The Member from Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh could have dealt with this in a measured, less antagonistic approached. He could have apologized immediately during the adjudicator hearings. He could have accepted the role of fellow MLAs in following the rules of this House. He could have restrained from lashing out with threats to myself, to my fellow MLAs, to our staff, and even the media.

I do not take this lightly. I trust -- the trust is broken but -- both with the public and the institution, and therefore, Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting this motion.

Motion 42-19(2): Declaration of Vacant Seat for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, Carried
Motions

Page 2958

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Boot Lake. The motion is in order. To the motion. I give the mover the opportunity to make closing comments if you wish.

Motion 42-19(2): Declaration of Vacant Seat for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, Carried
Motions

Page 2959

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, my point of privilege and the sole adjudicator report both speak to this motion in its entirety. I would like to acknowledge and thank all my colleagues for their statements that came from the heart.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 42-19(2): Declaration of Vacant Seat for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh, Carried
Motions

Page 2959

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you. Members, a recorded vote has been requested. All those in favour, please rise.

Recorded Vote
Motions

Page 2959

Deputy Clerk Of The House Mr. Ball

The Member for Thebacha. The Member for Frame Lake. The Member for Nunakput. The Member for Kam Lake. The Member for Yellowknife South. The Member for Range Lake. The Member for Yellowknife Centre. The Member for Great Slave. The Member for Hay River South. The Member for Monfwi. The Member for Yellowknife North. The Member for Deh Cho. The Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. The Member for Nahendeh. The Member for Sahtu. The Member for Inuvik Boot Lake. The Member for Hay River North.

Recorded Vote
Motions

Page 2959

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

All those opposed, please rise. All those abstaining, please rise. The results of the recorded vote: 17 in favour, zero opposed, zero abstentions. The motion is carried.

This matter is now concluded. Colleagues, I'll call a short recess.

---Recess

Recorded Vote
Motions

Page 2959

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Orders of the day. Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Minister's Statement 179-19(2): Proof Of Vaccination Credential
Ministers' Statements

November 23rd, 2021

Page 2959

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to entertain everyone. Mr. Speaker, it's becoming more common for people to be asked to prove that they've been vaccinated against COVID-19, and as a result, the GNWT has worked diligently to make sure that NWT residents have a safe, secure proof of vaccination document that is accepted across the country and internationally.

We've been working with governments across the country to develop a standardized vaccine certificate that NWT residents can use to show they've been vaccinated against COVID-19, including for air travel, as new federal regulations come into effect.

The NWT proof of vaccination credential has been tested and accepted by the Canadian Border Service Agency. Through this work, Mr. Speaker, residents now have easy and secure access to their own health information. With the roof of vaccination credential, we are able to resume some semblance of pre-pandemic life.

The process for getting the certificate was designed to be as convenient as possible while ensuring that people's privacy is protected and health records are secure. We encourage all residents who can do so to download their proof of vaccination credential online.

The GNWT has also made in-person options available in all communities across the territory. You can now request your proof of vaccination by filling out the online form on the GNWT website, submitting a request by e-mail, or requesting it through your health centre.

I want to give a very large thanks to the staff from the Department of Finance, Information Shared Services, Health and Social Services, and the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority for their excellent work on the design, delivery, and implementation of this important tool.

Vaccination is a vital resource for public health management. It's still our best weapon in the fight against COVID-19. Since the COVID-19 vaccines have been available here in the territory, our government has and continues to encourage all residents to get vaccinated. Of course, if a resident of the Northwest Territories does not want to get vaccinated, that is their choice.

For those who have chosen to help protect themselves and their community, the proof of vaccination credential gives them the tool to prove their vaccination status wherever it may be required, whether it is in the gym, community hall, airport, or their employer.

The NWT wide gathering order currently in place provides the opportunity for businesses and community organizations to use the proof of vaccine credential to increase the number of people who can access services or activities. This program provides confidence to residents who have chosen to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.

Like many governments, businesses, and organizations around the world, the GNWT and many other employers in the territory have introduced vaccine mandates to protect employees and those they serve. Thanks to this new credential, residents can quickly, reliably, and securely prove their vaccination status to anyone who requires it.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I want to encourage all eligible residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the booster shot when available. It is the best protection against the virus, and it's readily available in every community health centre or public health unit in the NWT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 179-19(2): Proof Of Vaccination Credential
Ministers' Statements

Page 2959

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Ministers' statements. Members' statements. Member for Thebacha.

Alcohol Delivery
Members' Statements

Page 2959

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, this week is national Addictions Awareness week. Addictions and substance abuse is a major issue in the NWT and has been for many years. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has only intensified the existing struggles of addiction and substance abuse. The pandemic has increased feelings of isolation, stress, and anxiety and has severely limited the availability and accessibility of services for people with addictions and mental health issues.

Despite these challenges, the Government of the Northwest Territories has made several questionable changes to liquor regulations over the course of this pandemic.

Most recently on October 19th, 2021, the Department of Finance amended liquor regulations to enable residents to order liquor from liquor stores and have it delivered to their home via taxis. While this amendment is only in effect temporarily until December 31st, 2021, this decision has potential to cause devastating effects for those with addiction issues.

Mr. Speaker, according to a May 2021 report from the Canadian Institute for Mental Health Information, Canadians with past and current mental health concerns reported greater increases in substance abuse during the pandemic and those with past and current substance abuse concerns reported more mental health symptoms.

Those who reported poorer mental health were more likely to have increased their use of substances such as cannabis and alcohol. The report also states that more Canadians received substance related hospital care during the COVID pandemic than in the previous year.

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Alcohol Delivery
Members' Statements

Page 2959

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, the data speaks for itself. More people turn to alcohol and drugs during this pandemic than they did in pre-pandemic times. This is a disturbing trend which I certainly hope will not continue any further; however, when I see a policy -- when I see policy decisions that only enables addictions and makes it easier for people to access alcohol while still having difficulties to access addiction or mental health services, I have a problem with that.

Using COVID as a justification for this liquor policy change, whether temporary or not, is not okay. Overall, Mr. Speaker, addictions and substance abuse affects people in all walks of life, all nationalities, all income levels, and all ages.

For these reasons, it is very concerning to me that our government is now permitting alcohol to be delivered to people's doorsteps. I will have questions for the Minister of Finance at the appropriate time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Alcohol Delivery
Members' Statements

Page 2959

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Members' statements. Member for Monfwi.

Lands
Members' Statements

Page 2959

Jane Weyallon-Armstrong Monfwi

[Translation]. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to bring up the issue about -- about the land administration and property tax in Tlicho communities.

Constituent had reached out to me asking what we can do to make it easier to transfer property into their names. Many had -- are living in a House registered in a late family Member's. The process is very legal, overly complex, and it's just too difficult for the land officer to resolve on their own.

So now under programs and services because we can maybe do something and make it out for them, so -- so for that reason, I just -- so under the working for the people in the right direction, I would like to also work well with the land administration because it's under the community government and the people that's employed there.

We should also have a legal terms of having the land or all that information passed on to them. [Translation Ends].

We own the homes they are living. And that effects their eligibility for other government program. For example, many of my constituent in this situation are not eligible for major, minor, or emergency housing repair through the Housing Corporation. This situation is not acceptable, especially because Tlicho communities have a housing crisis, which I spoke about yesterday. This is according to the NWT statistics. Tlicho communities have the most household in all of the NWT that are not suitable, which is sitting at 39 percent.

Mr. Speaker, people want to transfer the file of their late family home and -- House and land in a quick, affordable, and uncomplicated way.

At this time, some of the -- my constituent were told that in order for them to transfer the file for the land transfer, they were told to go to Department of Justice, get a lawyer, to go through court, to settle all this through court. And in order to get a -- to hire a lawyer, it's going to cost $10,000 to settle this claim, in which many cannot afford. There's not too many jobs in small communities. If we are faced with this in my constituents, I'm sure there are other constituents that are in the same situation as myself here.

So for -- so I just -- I want to ask the government if the government can do anything to make things better. Maybe the legal team, maybe they can send a legal team to Behchoko, Whatì and Wekweètì and Gamèti to settle this outstanding land issues. And there is a lot of back -- back -- sorry -- backlog of outstanding land issues.

The legislation could be amended so that bylaws can be implemented that would require, that would ensure that people wills are properly recognized. These issue are not going to go away anytime soon. So thank you. So I will be asking a question to the Minister of Justice after. Thank you.

Lands
Members' Statements

Page 2960

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Members' statements. Member for Great Slave.