This is page numbers 2637 - 2658 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 community.

Topics

Question 701-19(2): Housing Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 2643

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

I appreciate what the Minister is saying about addressing the home community first and about making sure that people from the community have access to housing in that community. Sometimes, what happens is people end up living in other communities for one reason or another, and I think there are other ways that we can address this policy and make it achieve both of our ends. I am wondering if the Minister would be willing to look at community membership or land claim beneficiary membership in lieu of a community residency policy to ensure that even people who have moved away, who are still land claim beneficiaries of the region, are still able to be prioritized within the public housing wait list.

Question 701-19(2): Housing Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 2643

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

The policy has created, as I said, fairness. Public housing is available for everybody. Looking at the residency requirements, I don't want to create silos, and I don't want to create division amongst that waiting list and amongst decisions being made at the local community level. Looking at that, I just want to also elaborate that the Housing Corporation works strongly with Indigenous groups throughout the territory. We just announced a $60 million co-investment fund that has been exhausted for the territory, and we do have Indigenous applications, people and groups who are coming forward wanting to address their wait lists and housing needs in their specific communities.

Question 701-19(2): Housing Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 2643

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 701-19(2): Housing Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 2643

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Just as a final question today, I am wondering if the Housing Corporation has ever reviewed the unintended consequences of this policy. If yes, what have they found, and if not, why not and would they be willing to look into that? Thank you.

Question 701-19(2): Housing Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Yes, we have been speaking about this policy. Like I had said, I want to make sure that the policy is fair. We travel throughout the Northwest Territories. I see the wait lists myself, and I see the community residents. They are homeless, and they are travelling, and they are house to house. There's overcrowding. That is what I would like to address first. Then, when we have community members who are wanting to move back into the Northwest Territories, we need to work with that. Already, if they are entering into one of our smaller communities, we already have a wait list that is significant. The need for housing, I hear you, is pretty much a crisis in the territory.

I just want to elaborate and speak about the co-investment fund. That was a strong relationship that we did have with the federal government to exhaust that co-investment fund when the expiry date for that was 2028, we were able to exhaust it in three years. That displays what a housing crisis we have in the Northwest Territories. It is significant. We need more money to put houses on the ground. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 701-19(2): Housing Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 2644

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

March 31st, 2021

Page 2644

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Hay River is preparing for spring breakup and possible flooding. It could be happening while we are sitting in May. Can the Minister of MACA confirm what supports the town of Hay River and residents can expect from her department during this breakup, if any supports at all? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The town of Hay River had experienced this just last spring. Municipal and Community Affairs did provide assistance in working with those residents and looking at the affected areas. I will follow up with the Member. I was briefed at my last briefing for the town of Hay River that they were working on a federal application for the disaster fund to work with those affected residents by the high water levels. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

I think she misunderstood my question; it was what they are going to do for breakup this year. In the fall of last year, due to high water levels and high winds, businesses and residents experienced loss and damage to infrastructure and property with little support and little to no financial support from this government. Can we expect the same treatment, or are we going to show some compassion if the same thing happens during this breakup?

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Just to comment on my reply, the application was supposed to be submitted to deal with the rising waters in Hay River, to deal with the residents that would be affected by the high water levels. MACA continues to support the community. We have just had a meeting with the Town of Hay River. I will follow up with the Member.

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Can the Minister confirm if MACA will have any representatives in Hay River during breakup to ensure that decisions are timely and that support is there?

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

My staff will provide support as we do have a regional office in Hay River, and we do have one in Fort Smith.

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Hay River South.

Question 702-19(2): Flooding Support for Hay River
Oral Questions

Page 2644

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of the issues that came up last year is that any residents who were relocated during breakup, I think most of them came to Yellowknife. We have Fort Smith with accommodations close by. I would like to see us utilize those services, as well. I like to keep things in the South Slave, if we can. I am hoping that the Minister will allow people to have an option of where they want to go if they are required to evacuate. If she could just comment on that, thank you.