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 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2497

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If the Member is talking about long-term care facilities, there are none in his riding. If he is talking about homecare support so that people receive services while in their own homes, every community in the Beaufort-Delta and in his riding has homecare services available. They are usually provided by the healthcare centre, and they work with elders and their families to deliver the services that are identified as required under a nursing assessment. That could be a full range of things from help with bathing and mobility, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and so on. Tuktoyaktuk, as well, is one of the sites of the paid family caregiver program where this pilot project is providing up to four hours a week of additional supports to five elders in the community. We are very interested to see the outcome of this, whether it's a way forward to provide more community support. There is quite a bit of homecare, but long-term care is only available closest to him in Inuvik. Thank you.

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2497

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

The next steps are working with our housing Minister and Health Minister in regard to getting elders facilities in both Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok, which we need. Like I said before, flying to Inuvik is over $1,000 to go see one of your loved ones. The only time you'll get to go there is if you are going there for medical. It really hurts and impacts families deeply when they are sending an elder to Inuvik for long-term care. We need to fix this problem. We could find money for anything when it comes to bigger projects and stuff like that, but something like this, working with the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, the community corporation, and our government: are they willing to work together to take those next steps in regard to providing elders facilities in those two communities?

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2497

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

The issue here with long-term care is economies of scale. There are 12 elders in Sachs Harbour who are 60-plus, 43 in Ulukhaktok, 31 in Paulatuk, and 139 in Tuktoyaktuk. That's a very small population from which to build a long-term care centre that benefits from the economies of scales. I think the minimum size is 16 beds. I don't think that it's feasible to do long-term care in those facilities because of the size of them. However, we have heard from Mr. Colin Okheena from Ulukhaktok, and he has requested that we meet with him and his community corporation to talk about elders facilities in his communities. We have agreed to that. We wrote to him at the end of February and suggested that he call the office and set up a meeting.

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

I thank the Minister for that, for reaching out to Mr. Okheena. I really think the demographic size of a community or distance from Inuvik to Ulukhaktok or Ulukhaktok to Sachs Harbour or to Paulatuk or Tuktoyaktuk, it shouldn't matter. It shouldn't matter for the money that we are spending. These elders were here first, born and raised. We have to take care of our elders. Money shouldn't be the main issue. I know we are stretched like a rubber band, but the thing is: my elders deserve this. My elders need to stay home. Our families need to be kept together because you know it as well as I do: as soon as they go to Inuvik, they don't last long. I don't mean to say that, and I'm not trying to hurt anybody's feelings or nothing. At the end of the day, our elders were born and raised in the Northwest Territories, and we demand service.

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate the Member's passion on this topic and the desire to keep people at home. It is our mandate to help seniors age in place with dignity, and of course, that's every senior in the NWT. The way that long-term care works is that people don't go in to long-term care unless they have 24/7 nursing needs or chronic conditions, complex conditions, that need full-time nursing care. Unfortunately, the reason that people don't last a long time after they go into long-term care is because they are already pretty ill. The average stay in long-term care is around two-and-a-half years. I appreciate that that is not an outcome that anyone wants. The outcome that people want is for elders to stay in their community.

As I have said previously, there is a combination here of homecare support, which is provided by the Department of Health and Social Services, and a facility in which the elders can live, which is within the NWT Housing Corporation. I have committed, and the Housing Corporation Minister has agreed, that we will work together to sort out how we can make this aging-in-place pledge a reality.

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2498

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just for the record, will the Minister and her colleague in housing commit to working with myself, the community of Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok in my Nunakput riding, to work together to try to see if we could get long-term facilities? Would she commit to that? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

I have articulated my commitment, and that is my commitment. Thank you.

Question 663-19(2): Elders' Facilities in Nunakput Communities
Oral Questions

Page 2498

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Question 664-19(2): Devolving Powers to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

March 11th, 2021

Page 2498

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, the starting point in any conversation about our municipal powers is that they are presently a mess. Twenty-four of our communities either fall under the Cities, Towns and Villages Act, the Hamlets Act, the Charter Communities Act, or the Tlicho Government act. The remaining nine communities are designated authorities and fall under the Indian Act. I am surprised the NWTAC can find agreement on anything. As such, whenever a problem falls that only applies to one of those specific pieces of legislation, there is no support for the other communities. Six of our communities administer their own taxes; 18, MACA does it; and a remaining nine pay no tax at all. My main concern is getting the Department of MACA to bring forward some legislation that sorts out these various pieces and the powers. My first question is: will the department bring forward the Cities, Towns and Villages Act and some of the other corresponding legislation during the life of this Assembly?

Question 664-19(2): Devolving Powers to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

Page 2498

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Question 664-19(2): Devolving Powers to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, first of all, want to comment on the history of the Northwest Territories, and the way that we operate is in a very unique, dynamic way of administrating throughout the territory. We do have designated communities. We do have communities that are acquiring self-government. We do have settled land claim areas, as well, and we have such a strong, rich history here in the territory. Looking at the Cities, Towns and Villages Act and when it was established to create the municipalities of the Northwest Territories, we have kind of evolved with the legislation but also knowing that the Indigenous groups have come forward to create their own set of governing aspects.

With that, this is a very unique approach that does not exist in the northern part of the territory and the northern part of Canada. We don't have a charter that is currently established, but the City of Yellowknife has not designated this as a priority. We are looking at the taxation, and we are looking at the Fire Prevention Act right now. The conversation continues, but just to answer the Member's question: no, this will not be brought forward in the lifetime of this government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 664-19(2): Devolving Powers to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

I appreciate the complexity here. My concern is I want to find some work to progress the work on the Cities, Towns and Villages Act and surrounding it. I note the department started work on the Fire Prevention Act back in 2008, and hopefully, we see that in the life of this Assembly. I recognize that there were years of work to actually get this done, and it gets to the heart of the NWT: are we going to have public governments in the future, or are we going to have more private governments? Presently, we have legislated that there are public governments across the Northwest Territories, and I would like to see that debate happen. To do that, I need the department to begin some of the work on these various pieces of legislation. Is the department ready to begin that work, and maybe the next Assembly can see some legislation?

Question 664-19(2): Devolving Powers to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

With the legislation brought forward and with the support of NWTAC and the City of Yellowknife, we are concentrating on the property taxation, as I've stated, and also the fire prevention. They have listed these as two priorities. With that, I am confident that my department will bring those two forward and we will see those changes. Also, looking at the involvement of the Northwest Territories, as well, and looking at the municipal governments, I honestly want to say that conversations do happen with the Indigenous governments, as well. Whether we're going to see self-government during the lifetime of this Assembly, whether we're going to see agreements going forward, it really changes the direction of Municipal and Community Affairs and how we are going to be working with the smaller communities.

Question 664-19(2): Devolving Powers to Municipal Governments
Oral Questions

Page 2498

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

One of the reasons the City of Yellowknife wants to see a city charter, and I want to see it, is it's a fiscal arrangement. The City of Yellowknife is the only jurisdiction where a percentage of their taxes have to fund the education system. It's the only city that has a property tax base that could actually fund municipal services. There's a reason we have tax-paying communities and non-tax-paying communities. Whenever the City of Yellowknife asks for a change to how they can administer taxes, they are told no because the conversation is only relevant to the City of Yellowknife. In part of the Property Assessment and Taxation Act conversation, which we will see, is it possible to have a separate fiscal arrangement and some different tax powers for the City of Yellowknife?