This is page numbers 6869 - 6942 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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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife Centre. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Inuvik Boot Lake.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize my ministerial advisor Robert Collinson. He stood beside me for the last four years. Quyananni. He's in the gallery wearing his vacation shirt. When I walked in the office this morning, I said where the heck do you think you're going? One more day. So thank you, Robert. I also would like to recognize Valerie Daniels who's my EA, and also Corrinne Sanderson. Thank you for being with me here today. She was my previous EA. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Boot Lake. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Yellowknife South.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

October 6th, 2023

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Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, unlike the Member for Nunakput, there's quite a number of residents that actually, I think, are from Yellowknife South. I'm not going to recognize you all. I'm going to do one thing. I'm going to highlight that we have these nice little forms -- people can fill these forms out when they come and visit us here in the Legislative Assembly -- and they can tell you where they're from, which constituency they are. So if you are from Yellowknife South and you didn't fill it out, I'm sorry, I'm not going to get to you. But one person did. Mira Dunn filled out this little form this morning.

Mr. Speaker, I do have a few more though.

Mr. Speaker, also in the gallery, and maybe not quite residents but nearby and near to my heart, are a few folks who have helped me in my ministerial office this -- not just this year, these last four years. Kelly McLaughlin, Mr. Speaker, she was one of the first people that walked into this building with me and if she hadn't, I think I might have turned around and walked back out. Solidad, she's been my EAC for the first three years of my time and, again, really, if I hadn't had her keeping me organized, I'm not sure I would have made it. Since then, I've had Etenda Yakeleya join the office and, Mr. Speaker, it's a lot that comes through our office and very grateful to have her. And Drew Robertson took over as my ministerial special advisor. He is a resident of Yellowknife South so I can recognize him doubly. And, Mr. Speaker, the amount and volume that comes through my office, as all of our offices, honestly, I don't know how I would manage but for these folks.

One last one, Mr. Speaker. Sarah Kalnay-Watson, the MLA from north and south for Yellowknife share a constituency assistant. As a Minister, I really don't know how I'd do my job without her managing what happens at our constituency office. I am deeply grateful for her work for our constituents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife South. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Range Lake.

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Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Mr. Speaker, I am going to read out a whole bunch of names today. I want to start by recognizing the family of Edward Sangris that are here to acknowledge his services as a Yellowknife Dene chief for the past 16 years. I apologize if I say some of the names wrong. I'm going to try my hardest.

His son is here, Gordon Sangris. His daughter-in-law, Roseanne Sangris. His daughter, Vanessa Sangris. His son-in-law, Heston Cardinal. His grandchildren, Alicia, Sysa, Maddie, Daylina, and Gordon. I also see his wife in the gallery. Welcome. We also have his in-laws. Elaine Baillargeon-Betsina, George Betsina, Randy Baillargeon, Cyna Dauherty, and Afrie Baillargeon. Thank you, Vanessa, for providing the names, and I apologize if I said some of them wrong. But thank you; it was an honour to work with your father and your relative.

I also want to recognize one of my favorite nephews in the whole world and a city of Yellowknife councillor, Mr. Garrett Cochrane. Thank you for being here on our last day; end of my political career, beginning of yours. Go boy.

One of my best friends is here in the gallery. Ms. Arlene Hache, who has been strong with me for many, many years and one of my strongest supporters. I am so looking forward to regaining our friendship, being able to go for coffee again. It's been a long time. My heart is with you.

My staff, Brenda Fowler. I ask for a bodyguard all the time since I've been here, and they never gave me one. The closest I could get was Brenda Fowler. She's my bodyguard, and she's the keeper of my calendar. Trust her with my heart. Alex Kincaid is our hockey STAR. She needed those skills to be able to keep up on the BFs coming through the Premier's office. Kenna Gosselin, our go-getter. She's going places. She's young and dynamic, and she will go far in the government. Keep her. Shaleen Woodward, my right hand. James Tolley, Shaleen's right hand. Mira Dunn, another treasured friend of mine, the daughter of Arlene Hache, the woman that I worked with for many years in the Yellowknife Women's Society, a woman that cares deeply about people and honoured to have been able to spend time with her. Going to go for coffee with you too after. And Miranda Bye. Is Miranda here? Miranda worked with me as a ministerial advisor in the Legislative Assembly. This woman is dynamic. She's an Indigenous woman from the Northwest Territories. She will do wonders for the Northwest Territories in whatever position she fulfills. So thank you for being here, Miranda.

Communication staff, many of them, and phenomenal people. They took a beating through this Assembly. Everybody kept saying more communications, more communications, more communications, working day and night. You look pretty good, though, actually, working for all that time. And, again, some of them I might say their names a little bit wrong but I'm going to try my hardest. Egatta Aggie, is he here for me. Gokenska -- I should have that down. We were on every night on the TV but I'm still pronouncing that wrong. Jackie McKinnon lent me her red shall. I'll never forget. Jack Miltenberger, a newer Member to the Assembly. Great addition to the team. Nicole Bonnell filled in for Andrew when Andrew left. I didn't think someone could fill his shoes, but you got big feet. You've done a good job. And Kenneth, who also works in communications. Again, a go-getter. Like I said, she started in our office, moved over to communications. She's going places. And Krysta Pidborchinski. I'm sorry if I said your name wrong. I try my hardest. But the communications team was so vital throughout this government. The staff was so vital. Those who have come, those who have left, sincerely owe you a huge debt of gratitude. Thank you for being you. Thank you for working with us. Thank you for serving the residents of the NWT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Range Lake. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Sahtu.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And it's such an emotional day. It's our last day. The four years we've made complete history in the Northwest Territories and within Canada. I don't want to make this a Member's statement, but I want to recognize Bernice Neyally is here, of Deline. You give me a lot of strength with you being here. And just knowing what you've been through in the last year. Thank you so much for being here as well. It means a lot.

I want to thank also my staff. My staff, my strength, my pillars, they've seen me through so much. They've supported me professionally, emotionally. They've been my cheerleaders. Thank you to Kevin Whitehead who had joined me about a year ago. Great skills. Somebody to strongly rely on. Larissa Stewart for getting me ready, getting me organized every day. But when I first started this position, I did have a different team. I don't know if Heather Neykako is in the audience and Jean Yuris. When I first had started the portfolio, the strength from these ladies, extraordinary. And to get me prepared every single day, reading 800 pages a night, getting briefed constantly, and all of a sudden my brain can't even fill that capacity but then you learn how to speed read. I remember the Premier telling me that's a skill you got to learn, learn that basically overnight with -- you just had to.

And also, I just wanted to acknowledge that as Minister I tried to make the position available to people in small communities. I tried to give them the experience because working in this Legislative Assembly, it's pretty much based on who you know to work in the Minister's seat. I want to thank Joelene Menacho of Tulita, and I want to Felicia Bavard of Norman Wells. Both came up from the Sahtu office to come and support and maintain my desk while my employees were off on leave.

And also, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Natasha Takazo who was my constituent assistant as well too, that has been supporting me for the past couple of years. We've seen a lot happen in the region. There has just been extraordinary events that have happened in this last four years. But, also, Mr. Speaker, I need to acknowledge my constituent assistants that had worked for me. Like I said, I tried to make the opportunity available for everybody to be included in this position. Erin Goose of Norman Wells, Donna Erutse of Fort Good Hope, Les Baton of Deline, Sandra T'selle of Fort Good Hope, and Carrie Campbell of Norman Wells. I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting me and making this position as strong as we're able to make it become. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Sahtu. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Thebacha.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to acknowledge Chief Edward Sangris. He will always be the chief of the Yellowknives to me. I also sat with him on the Akaitcho Territory which was when he was grand chief. We had lots of discussions. And, you know, the way the government is today compared to when it was at that time -- and I never had a lot to do with Government of the Northwest Territories at that time. It was mostly federal. And but what we had to do with government at that time was not as nice as it is today, so. And I'd also want to thank his wife Beatrice. She prayed for me a lot and kept me going, and I'm great friends with that family and will remain friends always.

I also want to recognize Chief Marlowe who is also part of the Akaitcho Territory. I look forward to a signed agreement in the near future because that's their goal, and I wish them all well, but especially the Sangris family. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Yellowknife North.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize all of the Yellowknife North constituents in the gallery. They are actually very well represented in both GNWT staff and the Assembly, so I won't name them all. And I'd also like to recognize Yellowknife North constituent Arlene Hache for all of her work. And Yellowknife South constituent Sarah Kalnay-Watson for being a great constituency assistant. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Hay River North.

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R.J. Simpson

R.J. Simpson Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to recognize some people I have in the gallery here who I've been working with at the Assembly for four years. My ministerial special advisor Rona Sherigan, my EAC Sheila Kotchille. They were a team that was already together when I became a Minister, and I was so happy that I was able to hire both of them. Working with them in the last Assembly, I knew that -- you know, I knew what a good team they made. I think all Ministers probably think this, but I'm sure we have the busiest office here in the Assembly of all the Ministers, and they manage to keep it organized somehow with ECE, justice, and my Government House Leader role. It's a lot of paper, and they do an amazing job.

Speaking of Government House Leader, in that role I worked with Kelly McLaughlin, who was mentioned, and with Heather Rivere, and I can't say enough good things about them as well. This job is -- you know, there's a lot of work that goes into this but we -- we can't do it alone. And if you don't have good people around you, you're going to fail and, you know, that's not acceptable at this level. So I really appreciate what they've been doing. And someone who never gets acknowledged here as well, it's Andrew who works the mikes here. I don't think anyone's ever acknowledged him. But, somehow, he keeps up with everything we're saying, knows -- you know, and knows what to do. So I appreciate his work as well. Thank you.

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River North. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Kam Lake.

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Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I know that Yellowknife North and Yellowknife South like to lay their claim to fame to Ms. Sarah Kalnay-Watson but she is, in fact, a Kam Lake resident. I've known Sarah since we were in grade 5 and her parents moved her from Ontario to Yellowknife, and I reaped the benefits of that.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to acknowledge in the gallery Taylor Maxwell. Taylor Maxwell, I've known since she was a preteen. She is our committee clerk intern, but we like to call her clerk of everything because we have a lot of expectation on our interns, and she has fulfilled all of them. So huge thank you to Taylor for that. I'd also like to acknowledge Larissa Stewart and Kevin Whitehead, also known as team housing. And we all know I've not been kind to housing over the course of this Assembly, so thank you to them.

I would also like to acknowledge in the gallery today, and welcome, Manuel and Marta Jorge who are here. They have been huge supporters, and they have been huge advocates as well for the business and manufacturing community. So thank you very much for being here today. And to my surprise, my husband Jeffrey Bowden has joined us in the gallery as well. Thank you.

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Great Slave.

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Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I will probably miss some Great Slave residents in all of this. I can't see much of the gallery, so I apologize in advance.

First, I'd like to start with recognizing my friend and constituent Garrett Cochrane who is a city councillor and a resident of Great Slave. I would also like to welcome Mr. Ollie Williams. I'm not quite sure if he's always my friend but, you know, I do appreciate the work that he does and the relationship that we've had over the last four years as well as recognizing the efforts of his team and the other media throughout the evacuation. So thank you for that, Ollie.

I've been lucky to work with people here. Many of my constituents actually work in this building as well. So I would like to recognize Nicole Bonnell and Jean Yuris as my constituents as well. I think Corrinne Sanderson is my constituent, but I don't want to put her on the spot if she's moved in with her partner yet. So I'll just recognize her and say welcome back. So thank you so much to everyone that's here and anybody that I've missed -- I can see Jozef there as well. So thanks to everybody, and it's just been a wonderful four years. I've had ups and downs, but -- oh, I would be remiss to not thank the translators. I am going to do my mushy one later as well, but I am the biggest probably transgressor of fast speaking and trying to cram it all in. So I want to thank them. I will say this very slowly. I appreciate everything that you've done for me over the last four years and getting my word out to the small communities. So thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Nahendeh.

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Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today you heard me talk about my Minister's statement about the NWT Active Living Framework. Up in the gallery is Aaron Wells, the executive director for Aboriginal Sports Circle. Billy O, or Billy Othmer as people call him. I just call him Billy O, executive director for Sport North. NWT Parks Association, Tim Van Dam, interim executive director. I just found out that Sheena's out there so he's covering for her. That's great. And the Mackenzie Recreation Association, Delanie Vale, program director. And I've known Delanie since about there, but we won't say anything about that. But I appreciate these four people. The work they're doing. I was a colleague with them and spent a lot of time asking them a whole bunch of hard questions and getting good answers. So I thank them for that.

For the team that I was able to get, when I first started, I was told to find somebody that you trust. So I become your Minister of special advisor and I got Jeff Raitte, and then my EAC is Krista Ingram. We were able to tap into her, very lucky. But also Mr. Michael Gibbons, our communications specialist. We got a little bit busy this last couple months, so I thank him for the work there. There's three other people I'd like to thank. Pierre Cochrane, former CA for Mr. Kieron Testart. But he's now a city councillor and all the best with that. Steve Norn, a former colleague here. And my own personal pilot, every time I seem to get on the First Air flight that I have, see Mr. Jeffrey Bowden there. So thank you very much for my personal pilot. Thank you.

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nahendeh. Recognition of visitors in the gallery.

I'm feeling left out here, so I'll recognize a few people as well. I'd like to recognize Jozef Carnogursky. He also attended school with Diane and Lesa and myself. And to this day, him and Lesa are still together. But one thing I'd like to thank is all the staff. You know, there's a lot of them joining us here today and, you know, we've -- it's a hard job to make all of us look good here but you do a wonderful job. You know, a lot of people don't know what happens behind the scenes of what happens in the Chamber here, but the staff are such a big part of it. And, you know, when I first got in, I was told, don't recognize the staff but, you know, right down -- like, when I was a Regular Member, research played a big part because, you know, a lot of the things that are brought up as Regular Members, they do all the research. Like, if you use the -- what's offered, they bring up all the history. You know, that's such a big help for especially new Members. And I know it's really appreciated. And all the staff, our clerks, Ms. Wickens, Mr. Rutland, Mr. Ball, and everybody in the back, yes. And our new sergeant-at-arms, Mr. Powder, doing a great job. Keep it up. Keep everybody on their feet. And also our interpreters, you're doing a wonderful job. You know, it's a great honour to have you all with us here in the Chamber and carrying on our traditional languages. You know, a lot of people throughout the territory appreciate it. We all do as well. And all the supporters of the Members, you know, it really helps to have that support. I know we wouldn't be here without your support. I'd just like to thank you all once again, and I hope you're enjoying our proceedings.

Recognition of visitors in the gallery. On that note, colleagues, we will take a short recess.

---SHORT RECESS

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The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Let us begin. Acknowledgements. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Members of this Assembly have spoken at length on the importance of hiring Indigenous people. Will the Minister at ECC tell us how many ECC firefighters there are in total and how many are Indigenous? Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Environment and Climate Change.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the Member for the question. NWT fire crews type 1 firefighters, we had 34 crews, which is 12 person crews, for 136 extra firefighters, EFFs were 324, for a total of 460. So if you look at the breakdown of Indigenous populations of the Beau-Del was 89 percent. Deh Cho was 100 percent. North Slave was 100 percent. Sahtu was 99 percent. And the South Slave was 97 percent. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.