This is page numbers 2493 - 2524 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 care.

Topics

Question 665-19(2): Northwest Territories Midwifery Services
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My questions today are also for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Mr. Speaker, over the last year, the fourth trimester has drastically changed for new mothers. We spent decades telling new moms to get out and stay active only to now tell them to stay home and stay alone. How have the supports for new moms changed or evolved over the last year in the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister of Health and Social Services.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Member for introducing a new term for me, the fourth trimester. For a moment there I thought that pregnancy might have been extended for an entire year, but I understand now that this is the first three months of baby's life. Of course, as the Member said in her statement, it's common for new parents, especially first-time parents, to be anxious about how to care for their baby, their family, and themselves, and certainly, it is not a time where we want people to feel alone and unsupported. We realize that COVID-19 has, in fact, had that kind of an effect. However, having said that, the health system continues to deliver health programs, so clients can access different kinds of programs and services for post-partum care.

There is post-natal care at six weeks with their primary care practitioner, where an additional post-partum and mental health screening is provided to catch any issues that are prevalent at that point. There is also comprehensive care available at that same six-week mark if the person is within the midwifery program. There are also virtual post-partum classes that are delivered by Yellowknife Public Health to those who need to stay at home. We are willing to provide the services. We are hoping that parents will articulate what they need, and we will be able to respond to that with the specific services they need. Thank you.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

I appreciate that there are existing services available. I can say I have used some of them myself as a new mom. All of my babies were born in Yellowknife. I am wondering if the Minister of Health and Social Services is willing to evaluate post-partum supports to new moms by engaging with recent and new moms to ensure they are meeting this generation of moms at the right time and with the right support. An example of this is: traditionally, like the Minister said, new moms are seen at six weeks in order to give the moms a chance, to say, "Okay, let's check on you now." In an environment where, now, we are spending a lot more time at home, there is a lot more uncertainty about the world, and people are using social media a lot more, maybe it's more relevant for that to be moved up to three weeks. I am wondering if the Department of Health and Social Services will commit to engaging with new moms to see what they are looking for.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

The department is always working with new parents to understand what they need and how we could better support them. That is a core part of our mandate. We do not need to be directed to find out how they are feeling. This is the ongoing work of the department. We, of course, could always offer more services and deliver them in different ways, and so we are interested in looking at our prenatal and post-natal education programming and delivery and making sure that it is as effective as can be, that not only is it effective but that it is grounded in traditional knowledge and presents a culturally safe option for Indigenous moms. The department has, as I mentioned, conducted extensive engagement with parents and families through the midwifery review that was referenced earlier this afternoon, and all of this information will be included in our continuous evaluation of what we are doing.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Since the department is always looking for new ways to serve new parents, I am wondering if the department is willing to look at new ways to communicate with parents. Asking for help can be very hard, and asking for help when you need it, it might actually be something like 2:00 in the morning. Our next generation of new moms is heavily invested in virtual communication through social media and text messaging, so I am wondering if the Minister will commit to establishing new communication protocols in the Northwest Territories that accommodate text messaging supports for new moms so that they have access to NWT support when they need it, in a communication style that suits them.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Midwives, in particular, have always engaged their clients using a variety of methods, and in the current communications environment, that includes phone, text, FaceTime, and video conferencing. This particular engagement is being considered in the expansion of midwifery services in the Yellowknife area, which I referenced earlier, and so how to meet current needs is certainly on our radar. We do not expect everybody to pack up the baby and come into the office.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am definitely excited for the changes that the midwifery program will present to the Northwest Territories, but the fact of the matter is that not everybody has access to a midwife or uses one. I am wondering if this is a change that can be made at the public health level because every new mom is connected to public health. I am wondering if public health can take on the responsibility or the option of passing along a phone number to new moms so that they are able to text somebody when they need it. Many people who work for public health are already on call; they probably already carry a cellphone. I am wondering if this cellphone number can be provided to new moms to use within the first three months, if and when they need it, because being a new parent can be very scary. Thank you.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I am not sure what is possible in terms of having public health on call to a greater extent than they are now, but that is certainly something I can enquire about and get back to the Member with. Thank you.

Question 666-19(2): The Fourth Trimester
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Frame Lake.

Question 667-19(2): Minimum Wage Committee
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2021

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Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to assure the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment that I was not dozing off, and he did have my attention when he announced the minimum-wage increase today. However, I want to ask him: I raised this issue about the Minimum Wage Committee in a previous Member's statement. I think he received some kind of report. Is he willing to make that report public? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Question 667-19(2): Minimum Wage Committee
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

Question 667-19(2): Minimum Wage Committee
Oral Questions

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R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will have to give the same answer I gave last time with this question, that this report was prepared as advice for Cabinet, and it was prepared by people who were assured that it would be kept confidential. I am not prepared to go back on that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.