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 work.

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oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The type of arts council structure that the Member's speaking about, they are usually born out of a grassroots organization, a group of artists that get together and has a vision, has a plan, and it's an organization that then can be supported.

There is currently no organization in the territory that has that ability at this point. There's a number of different organizations, and maybe if they all combine their power, that might be an organization that we might be able to support. But that's just not the case. These are generally grassroots organizations. And while the GNWT has been asked to start a grassroots organization that could turn into an arts council, but that's just not the way things work. So is one of the impediments.

The other impediment is the fact that the O and M for such an organization would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that is the money that currently goes directly to artists. So we would have to take that from artists, put it towards office space, executive director, travel, all of those types of things. So those are a couple of the impediments. And I will say that the work to -- I'll just leave it at that for now. I know the Member has more questions. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there's another way that we can do this. We could drive it from the GNWT outwards. It doesn't have to be, you know, continuing on with the whole notion and the age-old anecdote of the "starving artist". We can actually prop our artists up, give them an opportunity to bring in huge amounts of dollars into the territory, and go at it from a GNWT perspective, which I think is what a lot of people are asking for given the GNWT already does have a program that supports artists, and we want to be able to see that organization grow.

And so I'm wondering how long will it take the GNWT to complete "the action", quote, explore the creation of an NWT arts association, and what are the measurable deliverables that the Minister sees coming out of that? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The work has begun under the art strategy to look at the programs, look at how we fund different organizations, and that is the work to determine whether or not something like an arts council would be the way to go.

We provide more funding for the arts and culture in the Northwest Territories than any other jurisdiction in Canada per capita outside of the Yukon. So it's not like we are not providing these supports. But we also provide -- we spend twice as much on education per capita as the rest of Canada, three times as much on policing. I don't know how much more on health. So there's not unlimited money to go around and get everything we want. And I've had conversations with the Member recently that, you know, we need to really look at what we want to keep, never mind what we want to add. So there are very real budget discussions that we need to have about how we spend our money, and we are doing the work right now to inform those discussions. I don't want to commit half a million dollars to support an organization without some real solid grounds to do so. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. And I agree with the Minister, the GNWT cannot continue to grow its budget and expand its wallet a whole heck of a lot more than it already is doing. And this is what this organization would do, it would give the artists of the Northwest Territories an opportunity to bring in private and federal public dollars so that we can grow this wallet, so to speak, of NWT artists. And so I'm wondering how the GNWT intends to support northern artists to fulfill this work of the deliverable from the strategy to explore the creation of an NWT arts association. How is E, C and E going to include artists in this conversation to help propel it forward? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There will be engagement that's going to happen to get that feedback from artists, and that's going to begin likely early in the new year. So we are going to engage, and we're going to talk to them, and we're going to listen. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I could -- well, a lot of my colleagues could probably attest to the fact that I'm slightly hard of hearing, but I'm pretty sure I heard a sigh from a lot of artists of the Northwest Territories on that one.

Before I was even elected, before any of us were elected into the 19th Assembly, ITI and ECE did engage with artists across the Northwest Territories. They invested a lot of time and a lot of effort, and it was very well received from the artists of the Northwest Territories. And so I think people would be frustrated in order to go back and say the same things: We want independence. We want infrastructure. We want core funding. These are a lot of the things that we hear. We heard from the Member from Yellowknife North say the same thing. And so I'm wondering from the Minister, then, what will be different this time? Thank you.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, you know, what the Member's talking about, it might be, I'm not going to infer too much, but I think the engagement on the art strategy, and she's right, what we heard, we want more funding, more infrastructure, more of basically everything. And the fact is that we can't build a plan based on just more of everything. So we need to go out and say this is what we have now. These are the pots of money that we have. This is how we fund artists. Is this working? Is this pot of money working? And then from there we determine perhaps we can put money elsewhere, and it might be in an arts organization, to help us access third party funding. But we need something a little more structured, a little less high level. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 864-19(2): Northwest Territories Arts Council
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

December 7th, 2021

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. These questions are for the Premier. They are easy ones.

---Laughter

Can the Premier confirm the hours and what days the border crossing on Highway No. 7 is open?

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Honourable Premier.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Actually, I thought that was going to be easy but it's not quite as easy as I thought. I'd have to get back to the Member and find out the exact hours of operation, because we have three border crossings so I'm not a hundred percent sure. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do know you can leave any time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know there's limited hours at that crossing. So when can we see those -- or when can we expect that the hours would be increased so that they're open -- you know, it's opened seven days a week for however many hours a day? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

oral question 865-19(2): Highway No. 7 Border Hours of Operation
Members' Statementsmember's Statement Onunity In The Legislative Assembly

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The determination of when borders open and when we'll need enforcement is a determination made by the CPHO. However, I can say that the CPHO has been vocal in saying that we're suspecting that by spring that we will be calling off the public health emergency and if do that, then there will be no border patrols. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.