This is page numbers 5051 - 5086 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 housing.

Topics

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. You know, Madam Speaker, we talk about NGOs and all the good work that they do throughout the years year after year. So, Madam Speaker, as with most NGOs year to year funding is an issue when what is needed is multiyear funding that allows for stability.

Madam Speaker, will the Minister commit to establishing multiyear funding through the NGO Stabilization Fund for organizations such as the Hay River Ski Club? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Wow, I think he's just trying to go on a run here. I don't know if I can keep on saying yes because it's starting to hurt me here.

Madam Speaker, I understand that NGOs are seeking multiyear agreements for their organizations. I recognize these agreements support long-term planning and provide security that organizations require to hire and maintain staff. The NGO Stabilization Fund, however, has never provided core funding. It exists solely to provide short-term support to organizations who require assistance to stabilize management or operations or address extraordinary costs. Contributions are intended only to address the stabilization or extraordinary needs rather than core long-term funding. I know that previously that EIAs working on some stuff on this, and as a Cabinet we're looking at this. So with the stabilization fund, it's, again, short-term, but I think we are looking as a whole-of-government on that very issue. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

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

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. You know, it's good to hear that because, you know, here in the last few weeks, you know, we've been talking about youth and all the things that we should do for youth, and so it's time for us to, you know, walk the talk and step up to the plate and that's providing them the services that they require.

So the other issue -- another issue here is -- and I've talked to youth in -- and parents also in Hay River, about access to facilities. And I'm finding that some of the Indigenous children, and maybe some that are at risk, don't feel like they're being served. So, Madam Speaker, will the Minister commit to working with other departments and community youth to identify the need for a youth facility in communities where none exist and find ways to establish one? Thank you.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Municipal and Community Affairs does provide funding for 36 youth centres across the Northwest Territories under the Youth Initiative Program. We contribute about $14,000 to each facility to support their operations. MACA is committed to establishing an interdepartmental working group on youth to provide the GNWT a forum that will be able to coordinate youth programs and services to support local community priorities. And that's part of the youth strategy that we're working on.

However, the question that the Member asked, if there's a community that wishes to establish a new facility dedicated to youth, there are MACA staff that can support the government -- their community government with their plans both to establish a facility and to coordinate youth-based programming. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh.

Question 1303-19(2): Tu Nedhe Wiilideh Constituency Support
Oral Questions

November 3rd, 2022

Page 5070

Edjericon

Yeah, thank you, Madam Speaker. I believe the reason so many First Nation governments don't recognize the GNWT as a system -- of our system faults when constitutionally protected self-government agreements are being established through the modern claim process. Why would anyone want to make space for a territorial government that is so out of step with priorities of its residents and struggling to deliver their most fundamental rights?

Madam Speaker, I said it before and why am I here? If political priorities can't influence decision-making, why are many of us here as MLAs if consensus is really about the stability of GNWT departments rather than meeting the needs of our residents? My question to the Premier is what can we do to work together so that my luggage can be put on the train even though it left the station? Thank you.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you, Member. Honourable Premier.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The question is really difficult. I mean, I'm going to start with the last part of it that says what I can do to make sure my luggage is put on the train that's already left, I'm guessing you kind of wait for the train to come back. But, really, and seriously, in seriousness, Madam Speaker, I hear the Member, and I do agree with him that we can't be working in silos anymore. We've done that for too long. And so I think that that's recognized by this government. And so we're trying to look at ways that we can work better with the Indigenous governments. You know, we've always had the intergovernmental council meetings with devolution groups. But this government brought forward the council of leaders so that all Indigenous governments would have a chance to have a voice. And we're working on serious issues at that table, like climate change. Like the Minister said, 42 policies that were brought forward to the council of leaders for housing policies and looked at. That was their number one goal at that council of leaders when we defined the agenda and so that's what they're working on first, and we'll move from that. We also brought the modern treaty groups so that groups that have settled claims can actually look at the implementation. So I think the best thing we can do to make sure the priorities are -- all priorities are addressed is that we continue to meet together. We don't -- even though the discussions are hard, we need to sit there. It's only when we work together and listen to each other, be willing to compromise and be able to understand each other, that we'll actually serve the best for residents all throughout the NWT. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Edjericon

Yeah, thank you, Madam Speaker. I was going to say that, she made a comment about the council of leaders etcetera. But not long ago there was an article put out by Herb Norweigian talking about settled claims and unsettled claims as to how they're treated. So my question to the Premier is how can we build new relationships so that we are able to make sure that we're all on the same page? Thank you.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Madam Speaker. That is, again, one of the reasons that we brought together the council of leaders, because it's not only land claims and self-governments that we need to work with, we need to work with all Indigenous governments. So that was the focus of the council of leaders. We also meet with bilaterals with all Indigenous governments across the Northwest Territories - some twice a year, some once a year, sometimes three times a year. But, again, the whole key is to be able to sit at the table together to address the issues together. And that's what we're trying to do in this government. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Edjericon

Yeah, thank you, Madam Speaker. This dialogue "government for the sake of government" can't continue. We have one year left to change our system, to make real change happen for our people. So, Madam Speaker, in all -- it's a concern for me to say that, you know, yes, we got one year left in our term. How can we fix the problems we're having? Right now as it is for me to address any issue in my riding, I got to deal with policy and government. And right now it's really concerning. So we're going to have to do better as a government. We got one year left to change it because otherwise if we don't do it, then why am I here? I'm saying that if it's -- if we can't fix it, then consensus is not working. What I'm saying by that is that we all got to work together but it seems like we're not doing it. Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'd like to know what the Premier can do to improve this relationship. Thank you.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I agree 100 percent that we all need to work together to actually address the issues. And we try to do that. There will be times that we don't agree, but it's not a matter of just one person trying to get their way. And I think that we have to recognize that in relationships. We all make commitments at the beginning of this government to work on relationships. But it can't be one person. It can't be the Premier alone. So every single Member here has to try to work on the relationships. We're not going to get everything we want. We don't have enough money. I've already said that. If we had billions and billions of dollars, I'd give every single person here billions of dollars but we don't have it. So we need to be able to, all of us, be really conscious in how we work together, listen to each other. A wise chief told me it's not only listening, you have to hear each other. And so that's what we all need to work on. I'm going to try to do my part, Madam Speaker, but I can't do it alone. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Final supplementary.

Edjericon

Yeah, thank you. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yeah, I'm glad that -- you know, I hear that. And, you know, we got a year left and we got to make sure that we deliver what we say we're going to deliver. And we got two land claims that's outstanding. That should really be given top priority. And as it is right now, I also have a constituent member that was turned down for medical travel to fly back from Edmonton to get her treatment in Hay River tomorrow. Again, the system, its policies are broken. It's not working for the people in my riding. And so I often wonder, you know, yes, I'm glad that we want to work together but the policies of government needs to change because the MLAs here, we're elected by the people. Why is it that we can't make decisions when policies dictate? Why am I here? And so changes need to happen. Thank you. The question to the Premier is what can we continue to improve this relationship? Thank you.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Yes, we recognize that there is no government system that's 100 percent perfect. I haven't met one government out there yet that should be able to say that they have everything down and they're doing everything right, and not even one person. I'm 62 years old pretty soon here, Madam Speaker, and I've said when I was 50 years old that I can either sit and just curl up, or I can keep continuing to learn. So all of us have to continue to learn and continue to grow and government departments also. So I think that's why we made the commitment at the council of leaders that the housing, all of the policies would be looked at within that. I think that's why the Minister of Health and Social Services is doing a review of the medical services that are being provided. So it's not that we're not trying to support each other; it's that we're limited as well within the compliance. Not only policies but financially as well and we have to live within that.

But, Madam Speaker, I'd like to also address the reason that the MLA is here, hopefully is because he does have an important role in the Legislative Assembly. If we don't have representatives from every single riding, then we are not listening to the words of the people. And so I know sometimes we don't get what we want but it's critical that every person has a voice in the NWT, and that means that MLAs have to be here to be able to carry forward those voices. As tough as they can be and as mean as they can be some days, Madam Speaker, we're here to hear. Thank you.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Oral questions. Member for Nunakput.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, you know, earlier in this session I spoke about the importance of regional sporting events in our region of Beaufort Delta and Nunakput. So, Madam Speaker, can the Minister advise me what's the state of the potential of regional sport in the Beaufort Delta and where he's at with it since last I spoke about it? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Thank you. Is that for Minister of MACA?

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Yes.

The Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker Lesa Semmler

Okay, just to make sure. Minister of MACA.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

I was hoping it was for the Minister of Lands but I guess that's me too, so. I thank the Member for this. I've had conversations with the Member, and he's very passionate about giving that opportunity for the youth in the Beau-Del. There used to be an organization called the Beaufort Delta Recreation Association. And they would be able to get together with the communities and have these conversations about how they would be able to offer regional events, working with the schools, and whether it was winter/summer and that there. So unfortunately I've been advised that this organization doesn't exist right now but the funding still does. So, again, it works with -- on a reimbursement with the communities. So that's where that is right now. But I'm more than willing to talk to the Member further on this. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Speaker. What's the process, Madam Speaker, that we could get these organizations back up and running because I really feel that my students in the outlying communities of Sachs Harbour, Paulatuk, and Ulukhaktok are really shortchanged on being able to travel and do sports, especially when we have some really talented youth up there. So what's the process, and is the Minister willing to come on a tour with me to visit with our leadership and let them know the good news that there's funding available? Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

No. I'm just joking. Yes, so the process is very much community-driven. The community needs to reach out to the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, the sport and recreation and youth coordinators. They do work out to them. And start working on it, working together. The staff is available. I can tell you from my experience in 1994 when I became the recreation development officer, I started working on the Mackenzie Rec Association, and it is a very valid organization, and so is the BDSRA. It was a very valid organization. It addressed some of the things that the Member talked about. Give them the opportunity to provide regional and community events, training and that. So that there is what I will do is, is I'll make sure that the regional from the Inuvik and Sahtu reach out to the Member and the communities and start working on that process.

In regards to the tour, I'm more than willing to work with the Member, and we'll try to set up a time realizing all our schedules are really busy right now. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Madam Speaker, that was a long time ago. I was 21 years old. I just graduated from high school. I graduated at 17 but I was 21. Still young. I think I had one or two children by then. So, Madam Speaker, you know, I realize the Member from the HR in the south asked about increasing funding, and I thank him for that for saying we're looking into this. But can the Minister provide us with a list of programs when it was developed and how much was in that budget for that? Thank you, Madam Speaker.