This is page numbers 1 - 28 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 --.

Topics

Oral Question 769-19(2): Staffing Appeal Process
Oral Questions

Page 9

Speaker

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

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

June 4th, 2021

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Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Would the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment support the NWT Arts Council as an independent arts organization? Thank you.

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

Speaker

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

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. When the Member for Frame Lake asked these questions not long ago, I gave the answer that I would look in to the viability of creating an independent arm's length arts organization in the territory, and that is still the plan. We are going to look into this, what would it look like, what would it cost, and what could it do. So we're beginning that work. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm wondering about timelines. I like to have timelines. So since the department recognizes that the 181.5 million federal dollars flowing to the Canada Arts Council -- for the arts, sorry, is not accessible to the territorial government, when will the department commit to reviewing the organizational structure for the NWT arts so that we can make it an arm's length organization. So I know they're looking into it right now. We've just come off of almost two years of the department reviewing an art strategy. So I'm wondering what kind of timeline are they working towards.

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So the work to determine when that happens is underway. We are going to (indiscernible) full review of arts funding programs across the territory. This isn't something that can be done in isolation, just creating an arts council. We need to take stock of what we're doing, how much are we spending, and how effective is it, and how can it be improved by the creation of something like an arm's length arts council. So that work is happening over the coming years. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm wondering if the Department of Education, Culture and Employment has the capacity to complete this work during the length of the 19th Assembly? Thank you.

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Depending on what you prioritize, you can get a lot done in the next couple years. That being said, there is a lot of work that, like I just mentioned, we want to do in conjunction with this. And that is reviewing the programs that we have, how effective they are, determining if there's better places we could put our money, and one of those things we're going to look at is the arts council and what it could look like in the future. So I'd like to say that we could just get it done, but I also want to make sure that we research it, we look at what's happening in other jurisdictions, and then we do something that's right for the territory given our specific circumstances, because I don't want to create an organization that is set up to fail. I don't want to create an organization that is going to be very costly and not produce results. So we have to do all of this work before just moving ahead with something. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 770-19(2): NWT Arts Council
Oral Questions

Page 9

Speaker

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

Oral Question 771-19(2): Income Assistance Emergency Allowance
Oral Questions

Page 9

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. Sometimes I don't say enough good things about my colleagues across the floor. So I want to congratulate the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for increasing income assistance for some of our residents in the flood-impacted communities. I think that was a really good move on part of his department. But I'd like to know which communities are receiving the top-up. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 771-19(2): Income Assistance Emergency Allowance
Oral Questions

Page 9

Speaker

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for EC and E.

Oral Question 771-19(2): Income Assistance Emergency Allowance
Oral Questions

Page 9

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Under the income assistance regulations, the department can issue an emergency allowance to income assistance clients when there is an emergency. And in this instance, there -- the emergency allowance was issued to income assistance clients in Fort Simpson and zones 1, 2, and 3 in Fort Good Hope. There are no income assistance clients in Jean Marie River, otherwise we would have supported them as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 771-19(2): Income Assistance Emergency Allowance
Oral Questions

Page 9

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. Thanks very much to the Minister for that forward-looking work by his department. I'm just wondering, though, is -- were these payments like one-time payments or are they going to be ongoing in some way? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 771-19(2): Income Assistance Emergency Allowance
Oral Questions

Page 9

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The emergency payments are one time and so they were issued when the emergency occurred, and, you know, if you look at, like somewhere like Aklavik, it's my understanding that there hasn't been flood damage and power outages the way there has been in places like Jean Marie and Fort Simpson, and so the benefits haven't been issued there. But if that were to change, then I'm sure the director of income assistance would issue those benefits accordingly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 771-19(2): Income Assistance Emergency Allowance
Oral Questions

Page 9

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister again for his response. I know that our colleagues on the other side have made commitments that we're going to get people back into their homes in time before winter, and so what kind of discretion is there recognizing that people -- some people are probably going to be out of their homes for a number of months. What kind of discretion is there to continue these top-up payments over a period of time and what sort of criteria would be used to trigger that action? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.