This is page numbers 4497 - 4544 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.

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Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4510

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And the Minister alluded a little bit of the changes but are you able to share what some of these significant changes that may be when this policy comes into effect? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the current review of the Hunters and Trappers Disaster Compensation Policy is being assessed all aspects of the program including eligibility, amount of compensation that will be available for harvesters. Any changes are intended to help people engage in traditional economy, support access to country food, and support people being on the land. ENR will engage with key partners before final changes are done. So the policy is open and we're trying to improve it globally. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister about past experiences.

So I mentioned in my statement that the Taltson River, when it flooded, a lot of the hunter and trapper cabins, there was increase in compensation during that flood to those hunters and trappers. So will my constituents now, and any other hunters and trappers impacted by floods, be eligible to the same compensation that was given to those in the Taltson River as it was referred to in some news articles, up to $40,000? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, and I thank the Member for this very important question. The Taltson River flooding event resulted in significant damages to cabins out there, and we viewed applications individually to look at how best to support the applicants. So there is an exception to it, in that process there. We will again review application on case-by-case basis and suggest that affected hunters and trappers reach out to their local ENR office. Again, just so the impacted people out there, please reach out to our regional offices. We're willing to work with you and, again, there will be exceptions that we need to look at. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you for that, Minister. As many people supplement their income by offsetting food costs now with harvesting fish, ducks, geese, moose, berries -- not everyone does this -- by selling furs or calculating how they're harvesting. So I think I heard in his statement in the review that some of this stuff would be added into the review. And they do this from their cabins out on the delta. So how does ENR or how will ENR, or is this going to be in the review, how they are measuring earning 25 percent and will they do -- will they ensure that there's a way to include this, measure this kind of offset? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And Mr. Speaker, I thank the Member for a great question.

ENR relies on hunters and trappers to provide evidence that 25 percent of their income comes from harvesting. At this point, no decision has been made on possible changes to eligible criteria under the new program but this aspect is under review. So we are working with impacted residents, hunters and trappers, as well as Indigenous governments to work on this, and committee. Hunters and trappers, again, can reach out to our local ENR office to get assistance to complete their applications. So we're there to help. And more than willing to work with the individuals but also the Members that have affected constituents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1145-19(2): Hunters and Trappers Disaster Assistance Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions.

Colleagues, before we continue, I'd like to welcome back our former Premier, Mr. Bob McLeod, and his wife Melody and the rest of his family. Welcome to the Chamber. Welcome back.

Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

June 3rd, 2022

Page 4511

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions today are for the Minister of Housing. It just wouldn't be a normal session if I didn't ask for them to remove the community residency policy.

So, Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Housing remove the community residency policy? Thank you.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Right now the Housing Corporation has taken direction into reviewing all policies within our department. Right now we are working with the Council of Leaders, which is a respected working arm for us throughout the territory. We had brought this to their table as well. I just want the Member to know that we are having those discussions, and we are going to be bringing that back to committee before the end of this government for committee to have their opportunity to make their suggestions and their comments on those changes to those policies. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4511

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I fear that while the people of the Northwest Territories have waited four years for a homelessness strategy and no changes have happened that there are policies that can change in the meantime.

If the reason the Minister says that she needs to hold on to the policy is for fairness and housing can't be distributed fairly without this policy, then why hasn't the Minister updated the point rating system to ensure fairness when housing is distributed to residents? Thank you.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4512

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Member for her question as well too.

Throughout my time holding the portfolio, I'm confidently wanting to say that I went to every region throughout the Northwest Territories, and I was able to speak with a number of the LHOs. I think the last number that I had was 20, and there's 23 throughout the Northwest Territories. So I had brought this up as well too, talking about the point rating system, and the LHOs didn't have too much comments to wanting to change the point rating system. And also I did speak about the residency requirements which where the LHOs do have a service agreement that is performed on behalf of Housing NWT.

The comments for that as well too is that they found that policy fair.

But I will bring that back to the LHOs. Housing NWT will be meeting with the local housing authorities regionally in the next coming months, and I will bring this back. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4512

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm kind of confused then. If Housing NWT has gone to LHOs and they have said that they don't want to change their policies but Housing is speaking with the Council of Leaders about changing policies, what power does Housing NWT have then over LHOs to change policies? Thank you.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4512

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The policies are administered by Housing NWT. But I'm looking for fairness and consistency throughout the Northwest Territories and having the Council of Leaders at the table and having these discussions, looking at these policies, we have made great movement with them in talking with the federal government as well.

I did make an announcement this morning that I acknowledge what they had received throughout the territory, and I'm looking at this as a positive way to be doing and addressing housing in smaller communities as well.

And we are not waiting for the Council of Leaders to make the decision. We are looking for the recommendations and the comments from that table and the recommendations and comments from the local housing authorities. I would like to highlight their work and bring them to the table and update those service contracts as well too.

Mr. Speaker, there's a lot of work to be doing when I'm speaking about local housing authorities, and I respect the questions coming from the MLA because it really provides a lot of good feedback for us to be bringing that back. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Oral Question 1146-19(2): Housing Northwest Territories Community Residency Policy
Oral Questions

Page 4512

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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