This is page numbers 2819 - 2866 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 mrspeaker.

Topics

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Health explain to my constituents what does "significant risk" mean to her department? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

The Speaker (Honourable Frederick Blake Jr.)

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this term is not defined in the legislation. And it is the judgment of the chief public health officer about what "significant risk" is. She is a medical doctor who uses resources from the public health community to determine significant risk, and she advises myself and others about what that risk is and how to mitigate it. Thank you.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can the Minister explain to my constituents what does "reasonable measures" mean to her department? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm getting a working-over as a non-doctor/non-lawyer. So reasonable measures are those measures, as I understand it, that will mitigate the risk of disease and other unwanted outcomes of a public health emergency. Thank you.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister confirm the basis for her decision to continually extend the public health emergency as it relates to COVID? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, public health is about balancing the public health emergency and the risk to the public with the mitigation measures that reduce that risk. That is something that is an ongoing process. It's a judgment. It's based on science but ultimately the chief public health officer has to try to strike that balance. And I heard my colleague, the Minister of Justice, say that they were involved in looking at that as well. What I recognize from my inbox today, and most days recently, is that people are not satisfied with that balance any longer. They feel that the mitigation measures are too harsh for the risks that are posed now by COVID, especially given the increased vaccination rate. And that's the reason that we are revising Emerging Wisely, or the CPHO is revising Emerging Wisely. We recognize that things have changed and we need to catch up. And so by this time next week, that document will be public and everyone will see how we've addressed that. And no doubt, my inbox will fill up again. Thank you.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

The Speaker (Honourable Frederick Blake Jr.)

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

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, can the Minister confirm if her department, with respect to the public health emergency and orders, is to only provide a rubber stamp with no discussion with-- yes, when the CPHO provides her direction? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the decision to renew is the chief public health officer's to provide, and I sign off on it. So the thing is that advises me about what she thinks is necessary and then I agreed up to this point. I guess at some point I could disagree. But the point here is that the chief public health officer has sweeping power under the Public Health Act to evaluate things like risk and reasonable measures and to decide on what kind of public health orders would address those, and so the public health emergency comes out of that. And I am keen to see the public health emergency retired, and that is something that I hope that Emerging Wisely will point us in the direction of so that we no longer have these states of emergency in place that continue month in and month out. Thank you.

Oral Question 762-19(2): Public Health Emergency ORders
Oral Questions

Page 2826

The Speaker (Honourable Frederick Blake Jr.)

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Oral Question 763-19(2): Nursing Human Resources
Oral Questions

June 3rd, 2021

Page 2826

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker I thought you forgot me. Or are you just favoring my colleague there?

Mr. Speaker, in my Member's statement, you know, this a long ongoing issue. This is something that I talked about even in my campaign. You know, this is not something that's new with the difference between locum nurses and indeterminate nurses and the unfairness and how it creates this unhealthy workplace. You know, when working with the people and you're having to have each other's back, you know, and you get frustrated. So I think one of the first questions I have is will the Minister commit to having an NTHSSA hire an independent party to hear from the nurses who are indeterminate, locum, do exit interviews with all health care staff, make that mandatory, and to report back to the staff that have put that information forward and to the NTHSSA on the findings and then make it public so that this House and everyone else can hear it? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 763-19(2): Nursing Human Resources
Oral Questions

Page 2826

The Speaker (Honourable Frederick Blake Jr.)

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Oral Question 763-19(2): Nursing Human Resources
Oral Questions

Page 2826

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes that she is in fact unforgettable. And I do appreciate her advocacy always about nurses. And I'm alive to the issues around job satisfaction. They've been reported to me personally and reported publicly that there is dissatisfaction within the NTHSSA, and some places, about working conditions, compensation, and so on and so forth.

I am very interested in hearing from the nurses. I can say that it is easier to retain a nurse than to find a nurse and get him or her to move here and take that job. We have an overall vacancy rate in the NTHSSA of about 17 percent. So anyone that we can keep rather than see out the door, this is a victory all around.

So we have been trying, in fact, that work in our mandate by saying that we would take measures to recruit and retrain resident health care professionals in the time of this Assembly. So I am going to commit to working with the department to gather the input of the nurses and to find out what we can do to understand why they do leave and whether there are things that we can do that would make their job satisfaction better. Thank you.

Oral Question 763-19(2): Nursing Human Resources
Oral Questions

Page 2826

The Speaker (Honourable Frederick Blake Jr.)

Thank you, Minister. I believe she was talking about me. Sorry, I messed up on my list so I'll put you on the top tomorrow. Top of the list, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.