This is page numbers 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 know.

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Member's statement on Healthcare and Nursing Challenges
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this session, I'd planned to speak to a range of issues from tourism and business relief funding to mental health supports for residential school survivors and those experiencing addiction. However, I've spent most my time lately consumed with the healthcare crisis at Stanton; a crisis that this Cabinet appears to be characterizing as unavoidable.

However, according to the Local 11 union president, the UNW has been raising this concern to the department for at least 18 months now; concern about the low morale of Stanton personnel who have been experiencing increasing rates of burnout for years.

When asked last week, the Minister of Health stated that no other wards at the hospital were facing a similar situation to that of the OBS unit, which suddenly closed last Monday. However, over the weekend everything I read and heard directly from the nurses themselves shows that this is just not the case and more shutdowns are imminent.

One way nurses feel unappreciated has been the lack of GNWT acknowledgement of how COVID has changed the way they practice. Changes that include.

  • Increased safety protocols and PPE requirements;
  • Additional personal and patient testing; and,.
  • Ever-changing travel and isolation rules that have required nurses to use their own leave after an exposure to COVID at work or after travel.

When the federal government provided money to the provinces and territories for COVID-related healthcare expenses, every other jurisdiction used that money to give frontline workers hazard pay or bonuses. BC and New Brunswick nurses got raises of $4 per hour; in Ontario it was $2 an hour; and in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and NFLD and Labrador, nurses received payments ranging from $800 to $2000. The Yukon, Nunavut, PEI, and Quebec offered retention or signing bonuses and increased nurses' pay. The NWT is the only province or territory in Canada where frontline staff have not received any pandemic or hazard pay. Our frontline workers deserve retroactive pandemic pay now.

NWT nurses' stress is not only due to the current COVID situation. For years, NWT nurses have been working in conditions not seen in southern hospitals including through the design, construction, and opening of our new hospital, which has experienced significant growing pains. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to finish my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Nurses here have additional duties like an expectation to train and orient locums as well as to provide instruction and training to students and brand new nurses. Formal training is often inadequate with inexperienced nursing staff performing specialized duties that would require formalized training in the south.

Mr. Speaker, this is not acceptable. Our residents deserve nurses that are adequately compensated and at the top of their game, happy to be at work, not beaten down by years of poor treatment and disrespect. I will have questions for Minister responsible for Human Resources at the appropriate time.

---Applause

Member's statement on Healthcare and Nursing Challenges
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

member's statement on Department of Municipal and Community Affairs Legislative Progress
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think over time, we come to speak of different departments as if they were living and breathing persons with their own personalities and their quirks and their faults. I often talk about the Department of Lands still operating as if it was a department of the federal government and that devolution is not really completed.

Mr. Speaker, we talked about Justice as if it's a bunch of lawyers and they have this really small kind of world view and are very risk adverse. And Mr. Speaker, often when we talk about the Department of MACA, we talk about their inability to get legislation done. Mr. Speaker, this is a conversation I would like to end in this Assembly and future Assembly's going forward. And I think no one better than Minister Thompson is suited to do it.

I believe ENR, after taking over 12 years to get the Wildlife Act as finally developed the internal capacity to pass bills and work cooperatively with Indigenous governments. I even believe the Department of Lands will get its Public Land Act Regulations in force and is on its way. But I don't believe this of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, Mr. Speaker.

In any Legislative Assembly, the Department of Justice by far surpasses other departments in bringing forward bills. We know in this Assembly the Department of Justice, being full of lawyers, is good at getting legislation done. I would like to, one day, say that about the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, Mr. Speaker.

I believe at the root of this, it is an underfunded department and under prioritized. We know that we need to do more about public safety and emergency response. We know that climate change will make these concerns even more relevant. The majority of infrastructure publicly held is owned by municipalities. We know we need to do more work on municipalities' infrastructure first before our own.


Mr. Speaker, I believe many of the holdups and fights we have having in this territory can be solved through MACA legislation. Whether you are dealing with a hamlet, a designated authority, a city, a town, or village, or a bunch of people living on public land somewhat illegally due to leases, that is all issues that can be solved through MACA legislation.

These are large conversations. They are related to self-government negotiations. There is decades of work to be done here. There is decades of work to be done in building standards, in how we fund municipalities, and how the future of this territory works. I will have questions for the Minister of MACA if whether we can get MCACA on the right path to be a great department at passing legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on Department of Municipal and Community Affairs Legislative Progress
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

member's statement on tlicho Region Housing Crisis
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

Jane Weyallon-Armstrong Monfwi

Okay, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I'm going to be speaking about housing again. Housing crisis in Tlicho regions.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to be talking about housing today because it is an important issue. Our community members in Tlicho region and all of NWT are facing a very serious problem. Many of our people do not have a basic need being met, which is housing.

Mr. Speaker, we all know that each person deserves a home, a home that keeps us safe, warm, and secure. Home is a place of love and family. It is the foundation of our well-being.

Mr. Speaker, we also know that having a home gives us a higher quality of life. In order to provide a high quality of life, each person in the community must have a housing available that is affordable to every income level.

Families without secure housing live with greater fear, stress and instability. This impacts the children, the youth, and youth in many ways. Some of the children and youth are unable to live with their own families. As a result, everyone is spread into different homes. Without a home, our people are having a hard time to provide for themselves and their family. This is unacceptable, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, many community members in the Tlicho region want to own their own homes but it is unaffordable because of high mortgage and high cost of living. Mr. Speaker, one of the ways to address the housing crisis in Tlicho region for the NWT Housing Corporation is to promote homeownership program. Mr. Speaker, I will have question for the Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation. Mahsi.

---Applause

member's statement on tlicho Region Housing Crisis
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

member's statement on Housing in Nunakput
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I'm looking at housing and housing assistance while we're going through a housing crisis, too, in my riding of Nunakput. There are no market housing, Mr. Speaker, in the communities in Nunakput. All the Housing Corporation does not have enough houses to address the issues - we all know that. And even the public housing we do have is inadequate. There are houses, when the wind blows a certain way, that you have snow coming in, west wind through the doors in through the windows.

I think, Mr. Speaker, what we should be doing is making a -- I brought this up in June and I see that the Minister and her staff did allocate funds for the communities in my riding, but we need more. Mr. Speaker, we all need more. The money's sitting and what we should be doing is trying to access it. I think CMHC's part of our problem. I know they're the ones that funds us. I think my Minister's been really adamant in trying to do her best to get this stuff done but it's not but it's not being a priority of our government. The priority of this government, everybody should have a roof over their head and be able to not couch surf. Like right, for instance it's minus 36 in Sachs Harbour right now. How hard it is to go and buy something? Not hard. Couldn't be hard because then you could just go buy those prefab units and go buy 20. Can't be that hard. Got enough staff there to give her a hand, and I know she's wanting to help because when I talk to her she's passionate about her job and she wants to do best for the people.

Mr. Speaker, I really think as a regular Member this side of the House, I really think we should be really taking this as a priority on our behalf of our constituents. People are suffering. Not only that, the people that do have houses that did before the -- have lost their job or retirement or something with COVID-19 for instance in Tuk, you have water pumps going down, there's eight people in the family, they can't even afford a water pump so how do we help them? And like good job for Fort Good Hope, I'm really proud to hear that, of what they've and I'm going to be looking to start societies in all my communities I represent to work with the Minister and our government to get proper housing for the people we represent. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on Housing in Nunakput
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

member's statement on mproving Government of the Northwest Territories Procurement Processes
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

Clevland

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this sitting, as we work through the capital estimates, the GNWT tabled a procurement policy review. I support infrastructure spending and the economic development it brings. But for your territory to see the benefits of this capital budget, we need procurement that increases benefit retention and grows the NWT private sector through meaningful spending.

While I recognize the GNWT is preparing a response to this report, there are some simple procedural changes that could be implemented immediately to improve fairness and transparency in the procurement process today.

Businesses have concerns about communication and procedural fairness of how bids are administered, advertised, or requested, and how the government is evaluating value for dollar. Businesses feel they are being shut out of the opportunity to apply on bids and do not believe their BIP status is giving them the intended advantage.

Mr. Speaker, less than one percent of businesses are benefitting from their BIP status. BIP was recognized as ineffective on bids over $1 million and that the total value for contract expenditures for BIP businesses is decreasing. The report supports some concerns from the businesses that I serve but one of the strongest points of change I see has nothing to do with changing a policy or reevaluating a bid system.

Mr. Speaker, it begins with a shift in focus. Procurement is viewed as a service to government. The role of this unit to take the procurement needs from government departments, format them, put them out into the global market place, and then work with government departments to choose the bid, largely a process that ends in lowest dollar winners. But one easy fix is an evolution of procurement to industry facing service that communicates and consults with industry for it is relationships with business owners by spending time outside the office, works with vendors to regularly improve process, analyzes data to identify NWT industry gaps, and strives to bring procurement to NWT businesses.

Mr. Speaker, I believe there is great value in involving and connecting our disjointed and inconsistent procurement policies but I believe there is more to gain from a shift in the public service of procurement to focus on who they serve and that is the people and interests of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

member's statement on mproving Government of the Northwest Territories Procurement Processes
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Members' statements. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes

member's statement on Inuvik Warming Shelter Fire
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, on Friday evening,our Inuvik volunteer fire department responded to a fire at the temporary location for the Inuvik warming shelter in Veterans Way. All staff and residents got out safe but due to the damage, they were relocated to a new location - a new-old location I should say, on Berger Street. And as per the fire chief's public update, it was stated that it was an electrical issue.

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday night, they then responded to another second fire at the same location, and this ended in a total loss of the building.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this time to thank the Inuvik fire department and all its volunteers who went out and fought this fire in the minus 30 temperatures. Your service to Inuvik is extremely valuable.

I also want to thank the Northwest Territories Power Corporation staff that restored the power to our residents as quick as they did. I would also like to make a note that my constituents were after the Minister of NWT Power Corp.

Mr. Speaker, the residents in this facility are our most vulnerable, especially during these winter months, and I'm thankful for the quick action on the Housing Department that got the residents into their temporary location right away. But, Mr. Speaker, moving our most vulnerable from an old vacant building to another is not a solution. We have been told that we are to receive a GNWT homeless strategy, yet we have not received this.

Mr. Speaker, in our territory we have many under housed residents in all of our communities. In the smaller communities, we tend not to know that they are there. However in our regional centres, and the capital, we see many residents that tend to move to access some of these important services they cannot get in their home community.

Mr. Speaker, this crisis is more than a shelter. It's the services and the support that these residents require, as well as the shelter, to be able to begin assisting our residents of the Northwest Territories. I will have questions for the Minister responsible for Homelessness and Housing Corporation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause.

member's statement on Inuvik Warming Shelter Fire
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Eulogy for Miranda Marie Isaiah
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

November 29th, 2021

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

HON. SHANE THOMPSON Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Miranda Marie Isaiah was born on November 6, 1979. Miranda was born and raised in Fort Simpson where she lived her whole life. She was an only child to the late Caroline Isaiah. Miranda was raised by her late grandparents Mary Rose and Charles Isaiah. Miranda had a very close relationship with her granny.

Miranda had the greatest sense of humour. Whenever you talked to her, you could guarantee she was going to make you laugh or tell you some crazy joke.

Miranda was a kind and giving person. She was always willing to give or share what she could with anyone. She would be seen driving around the community handing out meals and/or sandwiches to those that didn't have anything to eat. As well, she always had water available to give away. She always liked to share especially when she cooked meals. Nothing would go to waste.

During the flood, Miranda's amazingness showed through. She helped those needing help with the basics. Whether it was blankets, food, a helping shoulder or being there for people she would do what she could.

Miranda was a loving and caring mother to her three boys - Tanner, Nogha and Hudson. The boys were her pride and joy. There was nothing she wouldn't do for them. Miranda was a stay-at-home mother to ensure her children were looked after.

Mr. Speaker, Miranda was a strong and independent woman who was stubborn when she felt she was right, which was most of the time according to people that know her. She didn't like to ask or reach out for help from anyone. She would always find a way to make thing work out even if it was challenging times for her or her family.

Miranda was looking at going back to work at the long-term care facility once her boys were in school. She always spoke about her enjoyment working there and helping the Elders. As well, the Elders would really enjoy when it was her shift.

Family and friends would like to thank everybody for their kind words, comforting hands, donations, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. In Miranda's fashion, they ask everyone to take care of each other and remember to cherish the time we have with each other. Mr. Speaker, she will be sadly missed by her family and friends. Thank you.

Eulogy for Miranda Marie Isaiah
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onaccess To Traditionally Tanned Hides

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nahendeh. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the community. Members' statements. Returns to oral questions. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Acknowledgements. Oral questions. Member for Thebacha.

Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement
Oral Questionsoral Question 822-19(2)territorial Policing Services Agreement

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the NWT Territorial Police Service Agreement, there is no mention of the need for the RCMP to provide the Legislative Assembly the financial statements of its yearly expenditures. Can the Minister explain why there is no public financial statements from the RCMP submitted to the Assembly? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.