This is page numbers 4687 - 4726 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 know.

Topics

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you. We're in the information gathering phase, and I'm gratified to say we've been getting a lot of feedback. So we don't have a specific model that we can apply costing to. But given the fact that we're going to include more benefits for more people, we expect the program to cost more. Thank you.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Yeah, thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, yeah, I guess we're going to have find out some data there because I imagine providing prescription costs to people who already have specified diseases is more costly than, you know, just because you are a low income earner doesn't mean you get any prescriptions at all. We might bring thousands of people in who barely use the benefits. So I get there's some work to costing this. But to me the department is kind of completely gone out and engaged on, to me, what are separate questions. One, do we want to provide a means tested program; and two, do we want to get rid of the specified health. I don't know that we should be framing that as binary. And I guess my question to the Minister is why can't we keep both, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I appreciate the question. I don't see it as a binary situation here. The specified conditions' list covers 54 diseases. If you have ALS, as one example, you're not on that list. You're not getting any help from the government of the NWT. So the starting point was to make the program more equitable for people who not only have drug costs for chronic conditions but they also don't have any drug coverage at all. So that means for the most basic things like antibiotics. So the thing about this is that people and their conditions don't fit into these little silos very easily. So what we're trying to do here is ask the people who have the means to help pay for their own coverage and to support the people who don't have the means to get the coverage they need to live their best lives. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary, Member for Yellowknife North.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, my hope is that we could find a way to work with each of those people on the specified health condition list. I know there are some very expensive drugs, and there are some people with some very unique circumstances. And we may have to keep some of the conditions. Also I know we may have to revisit the list. There's some confusion to me why cancer's on there if it's insured; what it actually is accomplishing by being on there.

But my other question is the federal government recently announced a federal dental care plan. It was means tested. And I believe there is announcement in the work at the federal level to announce a federal pharma care plan. I imagine it'll be means tested as well. I'm just wondering if the Minister has any insight from her federal colleagues about any news in that area or how that would affect our current plans moving forward. It may make a lot of what we're trying to do moot, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, first of all, the Member has raised this issue about cancer drugs, and I want to give him a specific answer to this. If somebody has cancer and they're receiving treatment in a hospital, those drugs are provided to the person without any means testing or any charge. If after the cancer treatment there is a prescription that is preventative, like tamoxifen for breast cancer, then that is part of the specified condition list, and it would be captured in this new program. So, again, in response to his points, there is -- there is consideration for a drug benefit plan that would cover catastrophic medical costs. For example, the most current treatment for cystic fibrosis is $300,000 per year per client, which is obviously a very huge amount of money for anyone to undertake.

So in terms of the federal government, we don't have any additional information about when pharma care is going to happen. There was a report given to the federal government on the pharma care program prior to the 2019 election, and we delayed the review of the supplementary health benefits program to wait for more information to come forward on pharma care -- national pharma care. It hasn't come forward. So we've decided that we need to move forward with our own review. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Monfwi.

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Due to housing crisis, what we need is action. Mr. Speaker, how can this Assembly help the Government of the Northwest Territories transfer housing properties to the Indigenous government faster? Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And to the Member's question, thank you for that as well that I just -- the Tlicho is a settled land claim area. They do have self-government. I would have to bring this forward to their respective government. If they have looking at housing units to be transferred, I would have to further those discussions with that appropriate government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le Presidente. I have one more question for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Would the Minister commit to share a copy of the draft agreement with Fireweed Zinc, a definitive agreement, with the Standing Committee on a confidential basis, before that's finalized. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, subject to there being any legal reason that I can't do that, I would not have a problem doing that on a confidential basis. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Written questions. Returns to written questions. Replies to the Commissioner's address. Petitions. Reports of committees on the review of bills. Reports of standing and special committees. Tabling of documents. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to table the following documents: One, Analysis of Regional Flood Risk Planning and Evacuation Procedures following the May 2022 Hay River Flood. Two, 2014 Northwest Territories Hazard Identification Risk Assessment, Government of the Northwest Territories. Number 3, Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Infrastructure in All NWT Communities, Government of the Northwest Territories. Four, Highway Drainage Design Standards Ontario Minister of Transport. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Tabling of documents. Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I wish to table the following document: It's a Resolution Number 22/23-013, 52nd Dene National Assembly, Subject: Keepers of the Water Resolution. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Tabling of documents. Notices of motion. Motions. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. First reading of bills. Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present to the House Bill 56, An Act to Amend the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Act to be read for the first time. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Colleagues, pursuant to Rule 8.2(3), Bill 56, An Act to Amend the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Act is deemed read for first time and is now ready for second reading.

First reading of bills. Minister responsible for Justice.

R.J. Simpson

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Mr. Speaker, I wish to present to the House Bill 57, Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act 2022, to be read for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Colleagues, pursuant to Rule 8.2(3), Bill 57, Miscellaneous Statute Amendment Act 2022, is deemed read for the first time and is now ready for second reading.

First reading of bills. Second reading of bills. Consideration in Committee of the Whole of bills and other matters, Bill 23, 29, 48, 52, and 53, Tabled document 723-19(2), with Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes in the chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

October 19th, 2022

Page 4708

The Chair

The Chair Lesa Semmler

I now call Committee of the Whole to order. What is the wish of committee? Member for Frame Lake.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 4708

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Madam la Presidente. Committee wishes to consider Tabled Document 723-19(2), 2023-2024 Capital Estimates, with general comments, Legislative Assembly, Justice, and Municipal and Community Affairs. Merci.