This is page numbers 5695 - 5762 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

Members Present

Hon. Diane Archie, Hon. Frederick Blake Jr., Hon. Paulie Chinna, Ms. Cleveland, Hon. Caroline Cochrane, Hon. Julie Green, Mr. Jacobson, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Martselos, Ms. Nokleby, Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Semmler, Mr. Rocky Simpson, Hon. Shane Thompson, Ms. Weyallon Armstrong

The House met at 1:30 p.m.

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

Page 5695

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Mr. Speaker, the knowledge and skills of professional engineers and geoscientists are vital in meeting the priorities of our government and in supporting the quality of life for Northerners. As Minister of Infrastructure, I know how important these professions are to achieving our mandate priorities, especially in making strategic infrastructure investments that connect communities and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy. The work of these professionals informs the location and design of new structures, assists in responsibly extracting energy resources, and contributes to the development of climate change adaptation strategies for Northern communities and those building infrastructure in the territory.

Mr. Speaker, engineers are essential in developing infrastructure in the Northwest Territories. This is evidenced by the 27 airports, over 115 bridges, and several thousand kilometres of paved and gravel roads that carry people and critical supplies to our communities, all designed by engineers.

Energy conservation initiatives are key in reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in the NWT. Replacing the primary heat source for GNWT buildings across the territory with wood pellets is a government success story. The team of mechanical and energy engineers at the Department of Infrastructure has converted over 40 GNWT facilities. This includes schools, health centres, airports, and others to biomass since 2007. Biomass now represents 36 percent of GNWT's overall heating energy.

Mr. Speaker, because designing, building, and maintaining infrastructure that is safe and reliable is so important, it is crucial there is a strong regulator to oversee these professions. The Northwest Territories and the Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists, NAPEG for short, is that regulatory authority for practicing engineer and geoscientist professionals in both the NWT and Nunavut. It establishes and maintains the standards and ethics of engineering and geoscientist professionals to maintain integrity and public safety in these respective professions.

Over 2,000 practicing engineers are active and registered with NAPEG, with approximately 400 of being NWT residents and approximately 120 of them employed within the GNWT. These professionals design, build, and maintain the infrastructure that support our daily lives and the foundation for the industries that drive our economy. They are also the geoscientists supporting our territorial mineral and mining sector.

Along with being the regulatory authority for these professions, NAPEG is also focused on the future. Attracting and retaining talent to the North is a challenge and so is building professional diversity. NAPEG recognizes the importance of increasing diversity among professional engineers and geoscientists in the North and attracting underrepresented members of the population. That is why NAPEG is an active participant in the Engineers Canada 30-by-30 initiative, which is an effort to increase the number of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 percent by 2030.

Mr. Speaker, the public infrastructure we all use and depend on is there, in part, because of the hard work of engineers and geoscientists. March is National Engineering Month in Canada. I would ask the House to join me in recognizing the contributions of engineers and geoscientists to the planning, design, building, and maintenance of infrastructure in the North. Quyananni, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Colleagues, before we continue, I'd like to recognize Glen Abernathy, former Member, Minister of the 16th, 17th, and 18th Legislative Assembly. I hardly recognized Glen; retirement looks good on him. Welcome to the Chamber.

Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, as a part of the GNWT's commitment to address homelessness in the territory, Housing NWT offers several client-centered programs. Today I would like to highlight some of these programs as well as the investments we have made, since the beginning of the 19th Legislative Assembly, to support residents experiencing homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless.

Mr. Speaker, the Transitional Rent Supplementary Program was extended, and the funding was increased with a seamless application process to reduce barriers. In April 2021, this program evolved and is now called the Canada-NWT Housing Benefit Program, with half funded by the GNWT and the other half by the Government of Canada. In 2021, over 248 applicants accessed the program and is currently accepting applications with no waitlist.

Mr. Speaker, the Homelessness Assistance Fund is a one-time funded program to applicants up to a maximum of $3,000. This program is flexible and is available to assist in different types of ways to include utility arrears, private market rental arrears, damage deposits, first month's rent, or travel assistance to a community in which individuals are guaranteed housing. Since this program was first offered in 2009, Housing NWT has supported 746 individuals and families to remain in their homes. To date in this fiscal year, Housing NWT has approved 56 successful applicants supporting single adults, couples, and families.

Another program that supports people experiencing homelessness is the Shelter Enhancement Fund. It provides northern communities with funding to repair and improve existing shelters, supporting building upgrades and equipment purchases. Since 2017, Housing NWT has provided up to $750,000 to non-governmental organizations for emergency plumbing repairs, upgrades to electrical systems, security systems, fire alarms, and new flooring and roofs.

Mr. Speaker, it is only through this kind of partnership and the approach that the NWT will be successfully addressing the territory's housing concerns. The Small Community Homelessness Assistance Fund is another good example of partnership. It combines GNWT and community resources to develop innovative supports that help communities address homelessness in ways that make sense to them.

In the past four years, Housing NWT provided over $150,000 in funding to Indigenous governments and community partners. The Small Community Assistance Fund has supported several community projects including community engagements to reduce homelessness, the introduction of various community food programs, clothing and furniture banks, rent supplements, and vouchers for various essential goods and supplies.

Mr. Speaker, another program centered around partnership is the Northern Pathways to Housing program, targeting single adults experiencing homelessness. It provides clients with access to permanent supportive housing, rental assistance, and case management to maintain their housing. The purpose of this program is to move people out of homelessness and into a safe place to live while working with them one-on-one, living independently, maintaining their own home, and to address the issues that lead to their current situation. Northern Pathways is now operating in the communities of

  • Behchoko, in partnership with the Friendship Centre;
  • Fort Simpson, in partnership with the Liidlii Kue First Nation;
  • In Aklavik, in partnership with the Aklavik Indian Band; and
  • In Fort Good Hope, with the Kasho Got'ine Housing Society.

Northern Pathways to Housing works with partners to provide wraparound supports to stabilize our housing clients.

Mr. Speaker, Housing NWT supports seven emergency shelters throughout the Northwest Territories. We funded emergency overnight shelters in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Simpson, Inuvik, and Fort Good Hope, and work with community partners to provide emergency housing for those most in need. As part of Housing NWT's renewal, the public housing intake application has been redesigned to include the social factor points for individuals experiencing homelessness as part of the point rating system. It now considers an applicant's housing history, looking specifically at periods where an individual has been unsheltered, emergency accommodations are needed or provisionally accommodated.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, Housing NWT continues to move forward with the housing stability worker pilot program, which started in Behchoko in the fall of 2018. This strength-based program provides direct support to public housing tenants at risk of eviction through a client-centered approach to improve tenancy practices and work towards the household goals. The Tlicho government is working with Housing NWT to build on this program.

Mr. Speaker, these homelessness programs and partnerships are key to helping the most vulnerable residents and improving housing outcomes for Northerners. Housing NWT recognizes that there is still a long way to go in terms of helping all residents reach their housing goals. We are proud to be working towards putting these goals to reach many Northerners. We will continue to listen, build, and work with our partners and stakeholders to address homelessness in the NWT.

I would like to thank the commitment and creativity of Housing NWT staff for taking the direction and initiative to create housing programs to best house and support the needs for the people of the Northwest Territories. Your time and effort have been greatly appreciated. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Ministers' statements. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, March is National Social Work Month, and I am taking this opportunity to recognize the valuable contributions made by social workers in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in the Northwest Territories.

This year's theme is Social Work Breaks Barriers. It is important to acknowledge that social work helps break down the barriers that prevent people and communities from thriving. This theme showcases how social workers support the empowerment of individuals, families, and communities to overcome difficulties that may prevent them from reaching their full potential, safety, and overall good health.

Social workers are crucial to the well-being of communities. They provide essential services to those in need. They work in many different settings such as schools, health centres, and community organizations. They support individuals and families facing challenges such as those caused by the pandemic and floods, and they assist by providing essential services to support children and families in emergency situations. They help residents navigate health care, income support, and legal systems. They also advocate for the rights and needs of residents to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to succeed.

Mr. Speaker, in the NWT we have 134 licensed social workers. Their work can be incredibly challenging as they deal with emotional situations and individuals or families in crisis. Social workers possess a combination of compassion, empathy, and resilience. A strong desire to support others and make society a better place draws many social workers to the profession. They share common principles of belief in equality, social justice, as well as recognition that everyone has the right to reach their full potential.

The work being advanced by social workers in the Government of the Northwest Territories' child and family services system includes improving integration of diverse programs that support children, youth, and families such as access to safe housing, mental wellness supports and recreational opportunities. They are also available to connect families and individuals to resources and services for prenatal and postnatal care.

Mr. Speaker, social work is an essential profession to our residents and the health and social services system. I want to acknowledge each social worker, as well as all the other staff who provide supports within the social services system for their commitment to the work they do and, more importantly, for their compassion and devotion to the people of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Cabinet and NWT residents, I thank all social workers for their continued dedication. National Social Work Month serves as a reminder of the important role that social workers play in our communities and in the general wellness and health of our territory. I hope it will also inspire residents to consider a career in social work. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Ministers' statements. Ministers' statements. Madam Premier.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to advise Members that the Honourable R.J. Simpson will be absent from the House for the remainder of the week to attend the federal/provincial/territorial immigration ministers meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Madam Premier. Ministers' statements. Members' statements. Member for Thebacha.

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my statement today, I want to talk about the child and youth counselling program that the Departments of Health and Social Services and Education, Culture and Employment have been jointly rolling out over the last few years.

Mr. Speaker, the child and youth counselling program was first announced in 2018 and, as of 2022, it has been fully rolled out across all regions of the NWT. The intent of this program was to provide a higher level of mental health supports for students and families across the NWT. And this was done by challenging the qualifications, the titles, and job descriptions for all school counsellors. And one of the actions with these changes was to hire new counselling staff throughout the NWT schools to ensure that all child and youth counsellors will have specific qualifications and consistent quality care for students.

Mr. Speaker, when this program was first introduced, I was supportive of its intent to bring a higher standard of mental health care to all students of the NWT; however, as this program was being rolled out in the South Slave in 2021-2022, there was some unintended consequences that create the opposite effect for the students in Fort Smith because, unfortunately, these new standards created barriers for a long-time student counsellor who worked at PWK High School.

Mr. Speaker, once the CYC program was introduced, Fort Smith's long-time student counsellor, who was born and raised in Fort Smith and is Indigenous, had lost her job because she did not have the new level of education that was required for the position. This change not only disrupted the livelihood of that employee, but it also disrupted the established relationships that she developed with both the students and the community alike. Despite her length of employment in the job and the strong desire and demand by the students to keep her there, it was decided by the government to let her go. After she left, it took a while for the position to be filled. But when it finally got filled, the new employee did not connect well with students resulting in reduced quality of mental health care for them for about a year. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Overall, Mr. Speaker, as these changes were carried out, I heard from many parents, educators, and students of their disapproval and disappointment regarding these changes. As a result, I spent considerable time talking to both the Ministers of education and health to try and retain the long-time student counsellor but regretfully were unable to do so. However, with the recent news of CYC undergoing an evaluation, I think there is potential to correct some wrongs and truly improve the level and quality of mental health care for students in the NWT. I will have questions for the health minister later today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, for over a century, Denmark has delivered social housing through non-profit housing organizations. These organizations develop and own the buildings and residents influence their living conditions through a system of tenant democracy. As a result, Danish non-profit housing development is highly regulated in terms of financing, design, construction, and management. By Danish law, each municipality reserves roughly 25 percent of its social housing stock for refugees, unemployed people, and people with disabilities. Capital for building social housing comes from a national building fund or a revolving renovation fund set in Danish law and governed by a board of directors with oversight over the housing non-profit organizations. Every four years, the fund's operating levels and investments are agreed on by Danish parliament. As a non-profit organizations repay their loans or tenants pay rent, the fund is replenished, creating a sustainable funding cycle for construction costs and a consistent funding mechanism for ongoing large scale maintenance and renovation of social housing properties. Affordable housing developers rely on sometimes dozens of financing sources to fill the gap of total construction costs. But with Denmark's national building fund, the non-profit housing development sector receives simplified financing largely from the fund itself at 88 percent investment, 10 percent from a no interest loan for a 50-year term and 2 percent from tenants' rent. But once the construction project is done, Mr. Speaker, tenants can exert some control over the operating budget, repairs, and overall maintenance which are overseen by non-profit housing organizations.

Western institutions pulled four lessons from the Danish social housing system. The first, build simplified mechanisms for affordable public or non-profit housing financing and establish loan repayment system under a revolving fund. Second, diversify tenants and owner incomes within buildings for more flexible ways of meeting repayment terms and capturing wider social benefits. Third, pursue cooperative housing policies. And finally, consider other income policies that complement affordable housing because income policies matter when developing and enacting housing policies.

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Social Development listened to community members speak on homelessness prevention. We heard equal parts of the history of what wasn't working and aspirational views of what housing in the NWT could look like. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Thank you.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, colleagues. Mr. Speaker, here in the NWT, tenants want anatomy, respect, and progress. Image the shift from aspiration to action when public housing tenants are given a seat at the table to help self-determine how funds are used. Affording residents self-determination of their living conditions through tenancy democracy has potentially huge impacts on the financial sustainability and health of community housing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Members' statements. Member for Great Slave.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have raised my concern in this House many times about the lack of long-term vision and planning when it comes to the North's critical infrastructure projects and, specifically, I am concerned about the planning and implementation of Fort Simpson's power.

The village's current diesel power plant sits on the bank of the Mackenzie River, directly in the high-risk flood zone. The land adjacent to this critical piece of infrastructure is washing away, undermined by the scouring action of the river. If another flooding event occurs, there could be severe consequences for the residents of Fort Simpson.

It is my understanding that work was being done to establish an LNG power plant that would supplement the existing diesel plant; however, given the reoccurring flooding in the region, it is clear that a full replacement on higher ground is required, and I would like to know the status of that upgrade. I am worried that this LNG expansion is not going to happen quickly enough given the impacts of the recent flood.

Mr. Speaker, our energy strategy is looking to reduce our emissions and get our communities on greener and renewable energy, something an LNG plant could help. Fort Simpson is not currently slated to be connected to our major energy infrastructure, including any future Talston hydro expansion therefore we must come up with a different solution. We cannot risk losing an opportunity to do something innovative utilizing LNG for this important energy infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, expanding small scale LNG in Northwest Territories communities can play a key role in bridging the gap between our current high carbon intensive infrastructure and completely renewable energy in the future. It should be considered for use wherever it makes sense and, Mr. Speaker, where it makes sense is Fort Simpson. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The community of Tuktoyaktuk's been waiting for our new school for several years. The school's been in the books since 2007, the year when I first got elected. And Mr. Abernathy was a part of that, giving us the authority to move forward with it so I want to thank him and welcome him into the House. It's good to see him.

The GNWT secured $36 million, Mr. Speaker, to renovate the space at the school and support high school programs. The original contract was awarded in 2020 and estimated completion 2023-2024. Mr. Speaker, the final year of this project, the community has been waiting a long time, making due with a school that's less suitable. But the renovations are still not complete because a contractor needs to get inside to do the work. The school wants to let the contractors in so they could get the work done so they could have the school back that can accommodate the students.

Mr. Speaker, the renovation at the school's been so delayed. Magalanik School took it upon themselves the space the contractors need, the GNWT support, but not only that the contractor's support. Magalanik School needs four portables, Mr. Speaker, to be brought into the community. They're trying to rent space in the community, Mr. Speaker, from the churches, from Kitty Hall, from other spaces in the community, which is not right. They're taking away. We could find four portable trailers. We could find stuff, like for the capital, just like nothing so it should be the responsibility of the contractor, Mr. Speaker, to provide these four trailers, portables for the students, to get the education done properly and not going to the Kitty Hall or to the church or wherever the space is rented. It's not right. We need to find suitable accommodation for the students, Mr. Speaker.

The GNWT has provided portables in other schools for renovations that's been underway. Why can't we provide the students at Tuk with four portables, Mr. Speaker? I will have questions for the Minister at the appropriate time. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Members' statements. Member for Monfwi.

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Child and youth care counsellors. Mr. Speaker, March break 2023 is coming and a lot of youth will be looking for something to do and maybe exposed to drug use because of lack of activities in the communities. Yesterday I spoke of the need to work with community leadership to protect against drug use. Today I want to continue that discussion. There are many people dealing with addictions. In my region, crack cocaine addictions.

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows someone who is using crack in my communities. This is an extremely addictive substance and, as I have said before in this House, kids as young as 12 years old are experimenting with drugs. What is more disturbing is we have drug dealers trying to use these kids to sell crack cocaine. This is unacceptable, Mr. Speaker. How can we help our small communities grow and become strong if our youngest cannot escape the influence of drug dealers?

Mr. Speaker, we hear from parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, siblings, in the communities who are doing their best but fear for their children and grandchildren because they might fall into the grips of the drug dealers. We are losing people, youth, and parents to drugs. As a result, we have children in care of child welfare system due to parents abusing the addictions.

Mr. Speaker, this is a crisis we must manage. The child and youth care counsellor positions can help this work and support our residents. However, we need to ensure that they are culturally sensitive and trained. They need to work with the Indigenous government to help share information about resources and supports available for our youth. Without this collaboration, the child and youth care position will not be useful in protecting our youth from the illicit drug trade. Mr. Speaker, I will have question for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. In the last sitting, I questioned why the Minister and Department of Lands had contracted a southern accounting firm, Ernst & Young, to look at the use of surety bonds in the NWT to cover environmental liabilities. The sole source contract has now ballooned to over $230,000. I also questioned why the department appears to have placed this work at the top of its agenda after a request from the mining industry to accept this form of financial security.

It's not clear how surety bonds fit into the stalled development of regulations for the Public Land Act unless the Minister is prepared to accept this less secure form of financial security. The Minister said back in October that the report from this very expensive work would be ready in early 2023. I haven't seen that report or any recent public engagement on the development of regulations for the Public Land Act which will presumably set the forms of financial security that GNWT will accept for surface leases. No doubt the Minister is fully aware that this government already took a $23 million hit because of GNWT's failure to request any financial security for the Giant Mine surface lease and more liabilities coming our way from Ptarmigan Mine and other operations that remain unsecured under watch like Cameron Hills and Prairie Creek.

On the issue of public engagement on the Public Land Act regulations, it's been radio silence since May 2021 when a "what we heard" report was issued on general concerns. One of the most popular measures suggested during this first phase was to restrict the Minister's ability to accept dodgey forms of financial security. I would place surety bonds in that category, especially when GNWT has little to no capacity to track the financial health of operators and those who back financial securities.

The second round of public engagement on the proposed Public Land Act regulations that was promised for late 2021 to early 2022 never took place. Stakeholder advisory committees were also supposed to be set up and that hasn't happened either, Mr. Speaker. I'll have questions for the Minister of Lands on the status of the work on surety bonds and when the public engagement on the Public Land Act regulations will begin again. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Housing, housing, housing, Mr. Speaker. It's all we seem to talk about in this House. And, Mr. Speaker, credit is due that this Assembly has delivered more housing money than we have seen in decades, largely thanks to a lot of federal programs that have rolled out to both the GNWT and Indigenous governments. Yet, Mr. Speaker, we have absolutely no sense whether we have made any progress on ending homelessness in this territory, which ultimately is the goal, Mr. Speaker. And I suspect we have not made any progress at all, Mr. Speaker. I suspect, at best, we are trying as hard as we can against current tides of increasing rent, increasing house prices, increasing construction costs, and a high cost of living, just to prevent more people from become homeless, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, we don't even know how long our housing waitlist is. The best evidence we have is from the Minister anecdotally saying in one of her communities it was somewhere between three and seven years, Mr. Speaker. And, Mr. Speaker, we have asked countless questions of the housing minister, but it's important to remember that this is not just a housing initiative. In fact, income assistance and the housing allowance it provides is one of the single biggest things this government does to prevent homelessness. In addition, many of the key NGO and shelter funding flows through health and social services. And, Mr. Speaker, it seems that despite all of this spending and all of this talk, we are just yelling and going in all sorts of different directions without any sort of coherent plan. And, Mr. Speaker, we were promised a plan. That was the homelessness prevention strategy. We were promised that plan in 2020, 2021, 2022, and here we stand in 2023, after having spent millions of dollars, and we still do not have that plan, Mr. Speaker. I will have questions for the Premier who is responsible for coordinating the Homelessness Prevention Strategy on when we can finally see the plan, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Members' statements. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I said I wasn't going to do a statement, but I can't. I just cannot do that. So I have to say something. So, Mr. Speaker, I am fortunate to have an office on main street in Hay River that's accessible to all residents and, Mr. Speaker, today I want to let those persons who stop by my office for coffee, and sometimes they actually ask for advice, I will be home Friday so when you see my truck outside come on in.

Mr. Speaker, a service I do provide to residents in Hay River is the preparation of wills, personal directives, and power of attorneys. I just want to let those who are waiting for their documents, expect a call next week to set up an appointment to review and sign off those documents.

And, Mr. Speaker, I would also like to let the shelter residents know that my office will be open starting Saturday at 7 a.m. so stop by for a coffee and let me know what I missed over the last two weeks. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Members' statements. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Lesa Semmler

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when the regional health authorities were dissolved and the one super-board was created in the Northwest Territories, I recall the message was to the Northwest Territories it was to streamline services, to share resources. And one of the main reasons was to be able to save costs. Well, Mr. Speaker, this is not proven to be the case.

Mr. Speaker, our health authority budget has increased every year since its inception, and it does not look like we'll ever be able to work within its budget. We have heard the Minister explain what the drivers are, and we see no way around these issues.

Mr. Speaker, we have increasing addiction issues. We have increasing mental health issues. We have increased the needs of CFS for our families, and our staffing issues increased where we have shortage of nurses, shortage of doctors. You know, we're turning to using agency nurses, which is a huge increase on our budget. Mr. Speaker, we as a government really need to look at this decision and maybe reconsider was this ever really a good decision. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to advise you that respected elder Jessie May Snider passed away on February 28th, 2023. I would like to thank her family and brother for providing me with her Celebration of Life which I will share with you here today.

Jessie May Hardisty was born in a tent in Pehdzeh Ki, somewhere around Xahndah, on June 2nd, 1945 to Adeline and Edward Hardisty. Jessie was raised by Granny Jessie in Wrigley. As Jessie grew older, she went to residential school in Fort Simpson, Fort Providence, and Inuvik. Upon finishing school, Jessie went to work at Lapointe Hall as a kitchen helper. After working there for a while, she moved to Yellowknife where she met her love of her life - Richard Snider. Sometime later, they moved to Calgary and as Robert said, "some of her kids had started to appear and they started to expand their family." They moved to another location to work BC and Manitoba and traveled across Canada. Jessie loved to see the country, its beauty, and other people.

Jessie did not like to live in the city, so the family moved to Fort Nelson, BC, to be with her sister Mabel. In 1980, they decided to move to Fort Liard. They stayed there until 1991 and then moved to Redknife. Living there helped her get back to her traditional lifestyle and, again, some more children somehow appeared. In 1997, they moved back to Fort Simpson and this where they remained and raised their family.

Jessie was so happy to move back to Fort Simpson because her brothers could provide her with moose meat. She loved her moose meat and berries that she would pick. As well, geese were on top of her menu when her son Darrell would bring it to her.

Mr. Speaker, Jessie's favorite pastime was to play bingo. As the story goes, she loved the number 10. Merle shared a story with Robert. One day she took her mother into town to get her bingo cards. As they were going back home, Jessie said, "Stop, I do not have B10 on my cards, so we have to go back and get a card with that number."

Mr. Speaker, Jessie was very successful at bingo. She won a couple of cars and several large jackpots. Besides her luck, she enjoyed connecting with friends and meeting them at these bingos and this was why she would travel the Deh Cho to attend bingos. She even attended a few bingo games in Las Vegas.

Mr. Speaker, all throughout her life she made many friends, and some were able to attend her funeral. The family would like to thank everyone who attended and those who sent best wishes. I can tell you her husband, children, siblings, extended family and friends will sadly miss her. Mashi cho.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nahendeh. Our thought and prayers are with the family and community at this time.

Members' statements. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Great Slave.

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

Page 5699

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to recognize former Minister Glen Abernathy. He's also -- or am I looking the wrong way, I can't see where he's at? He's also a former constituent of mine, a friend, and a mentor. So I just wanted to say welcome. Thank you.

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 Great Slave. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Range Lake.

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

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Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd also like to recognize former Minister Glen Abernathy. He was the Minister of Health and Social Services for many years and although we miss him in the Assembly, I have a feeling that he was very happy that he didn't have to go through the pandemic with us. But 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, Madam Premier. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Thebacha.

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

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Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize the pages from the PWK High School, Fort Smith, Brody Chepelsky-Tetso and Donald Ferguson. And I would also like to thank their chaperones, Christy and Tony Jones.

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 Thebacha. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member for Nunakput.

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

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Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to welcome back into the House Mr. Glen Abernathy. Both of us were elected in 2007 and we'd work here all day and then we'd go to his house and we'd play Xbox, so those were the good old days. And just welcome him back into the House; it's good to see you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Page 5699

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Reports of committees on the review of bills. Reports of standing and special committees. Member for Kam Lake.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Your Standing Committee on Social Development is pleased to provide its Report on Homelessness Prevention: Supporting Pathways to Housing for NWT Residents, and commends it to the House.

Standing Committee on Social Development

Report On Homelessness Prevention

For many residents, home is a place of family, love and comfort. It's where people are connected to their cultures and communities. Importantly, a home must be affordable, structurally sound, and large enough for all members of the family. Many Indigenous peoples want homes that meet their cultural needs and land-based lifestyles. A home is not just a physical structure; it's a way of life, a source of support, and a place that meets your basic human needs. Yet, far too many people in the Northwest Territories do not have a home to call their own. Each person in the NWT deserves the dignity of a home. Through a culturally safe, coordinated all of territory approach, it is possible to prevent homelessness. A collective response requires all to step forward and work toward housing all community members.

Introduction: Homelessness Prevention

The Standing Committee on Social Development focused their study on homelessness prevention. Homelessness prevention refers to targeted policies, practices, and interventions that prevent a person from experiencing homelessness or reducing the risk of homelessness recurring. Homelessness prevention also provides the necessary resources and supports for those in need of stable housing and other integrated services as a pathway out of homelessness. Committee chose this lens and has made recommendations to prevent or reduce the number of NWT residents who may experience homelessness in the future, as well as to provide interventions for those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

"The very thought that our people in the small communities who do not have a roof over their heads and are going hungry is unfathomable in this day and age." - Ron Bonnetrouge, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Deh Cho

Understanding Experiences of Homelessness in the Northwest Territories

The NWT is facing an unprecedented housing crisis directly connected to a rising number of people experiencing homelessness throughout the territory. In 2015, the City of Yellowknife counted 139 individuals as experiencing homelessness. In 2021, the City of Yellowknife counted 312 individuals as experiencing homelessness. This is a 124 percent increase over six years. To hear directly from residents and community leadership throughout the territory on the issues contributing to the housing crisis and homelessness, committee traveled to three communities, hosted public hearings, invited written submissions, and posted an online survey. People were clear: There is a shortage of housing across the territory, there is not enough affordable housing, and of the housing units that do exist (both private and public) many are in major disrepair. As a result, residents are often faced with an impossible decision: live in unhealthy, abusive and/or overcrowded homes, or experience visible homelessness on the street or in a shelter.

Homelessness is experienced in different ways. Visible homelessness is commonly understood as people sleeping on the street, using emergency shelters or other crisis interventions. Hidden homelessness means that while a person may have a roof over their head, they do not have their own residence or any prospects of securing housing. Homelessness has been characterized as the personal failings of an individual. While it is important to understand individual causes and risk factors, it does not account for the social determinants of health that can increase or decrease the likelihood of experiencing homelessness. The social determinants of health include income, access to education, access to employment, food security, and housing to name a few. The inequities of Indigenous health are attributed to colonization and racism. Key determinants of Indigenous health are self-determination, de-colonization, and cultural continuity. Given half the NWT population is Indigenous, the causes and risk factors contributing to experiencing homelessness align with the legacy of colonization.

The impacts of homelessness included the loss of life; reduced life expectancy; substance abuse and addictions; exposure to violence; suicidal ideation; trauma; inability to secure employment; and increased vulnerability to illness and disease. In the NWT, the consequences of homelessness are deadly serious and life threatening. The pathways out of homelessness and toward homelessness prevention are multi-layered and achievable. They require housing, health, economic, and justice responses across the territory. Acts of reconciliation must be made to support the self-determination of Indigenous governments and peoples. Societal beliefs and attitudes must shift to honour housing as a human right. Through a culturally safe, coordinated all of territory approach, preventing homelessness is possible.

Committee Approach

Committee puts forward this report and recommendations at a time of territorial, national, and global housing crises. The 19th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories identified increasing the number of affordable homes and reducing core housing need as one of its priorities. Further, the Assembly's priority to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and the 2019 Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, affirms the rights, needs and priorities for Indigenous governments, groups and peoples.

Committee took two approaches to this report: A homelessness prevention approach (described above) and a trauma-informed approach. A trauma-informed approach recognizes a person holistically and acknowledges that a person may have or is currently experiencing trauma. One way that committee incorporated a trauma-informed approach is to center the voices of individuals and families with lived experience with homelessness.

Engagement Process

From May to December 2022, more than 165 people came forward to give their perspectives on housing and homelessness. People engaged in community meetings, a private meeting with youth at Home Base YK, in-camera presentations, written submissions, and an anonymous survey (to protect confidentiality).

Recommendations

The recommendations put forward are intended to support pathways out of homelessness and towards being safely housed, as well as recommendations to prevent or reduce the experience of homelessness in the future.

Recommendation 1

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that Housing NWT establish a youth housing fund by the 2023-2024 fiscal year with sustainable, multi-year funding available to Indigenous governments and non-governmental organizations to purchase, operate and manage safe housing for children and youth in care.

Recommendation 2

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends the Department of Health and Social Services create an Indigenous Child and Family Services Navigator position dedicated to youth who are aging out of care find stable housing and other supports.

Recommendation 3

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends Municipal and Community Affairs lead an all-of-government approach to ensuring all children and youth have access to sports with increased funding, subsidies and vouchers for sports equipment and registration fees.

Recommendation 4

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that Housing NWT establish a women's housing fund by the 2023-2024 fiscal year that provides sustainable, multi-year funding to Indigenous governments and non-profit organizations to purchase, operate and manage housing for women and their children who are at risk of violence or have experienced violence.

Recommendation 5

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that the Department of Health and Social Services lead the development of 2SLGBTQIPA+ guidelines for emergency shelters, transitional housing, and non-profit organizations providing housing and homelessness prevention supports by the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Recommendation 6

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that the Department of Justice increase funding to the Men's Healing Fund to support regional healing programs for the holistic health and well-being of men.

Recommendation 7

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories complete Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action Number 21 and secure substantive federal funding for an NWT Indigenous healing centre to support Indigenous individuals who have been harmed and/or traumatized by the Indian residential schools system, Sixties Scoop, and other acts of colonization.

Recommendation 8

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that the Department of Health and Social Services expedite the application, approval, and reporting requirement process of the On the Land Healing Fund to uphold Indigenous governments' and organizations' self-determination and ensure allocation of annual funds.

Recommendation 9

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories take an all-of-government approach to providing sustainable, multi-year funding for emergency shelters, transitional housing with wraparound sobriety and mental health supports, and supported living housing with managed alcohol and harm reduction programs.

Recommendation 10

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends Housing NWT work with Indigenous governments and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to establish an Indigenous housing fund that will provide Indigenous governments and/or Indigenous non-governmental organizations financial support to purchase, operate, and manage housing aimed at Indigenous individuals and families.

Recommendation 11

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends that the Government of the Northwest Territories work with Indigenous governments, architects, engineers, and other professionals to help develop a suite of Indigenous-led climate change responsive designs for emergency shelters, transitional housing, affordable housing, and housing for seniors and housing for those with disabilities.

Recommendation 12

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends the Government of the Northwest Territories meet its commitment to develop an all of government Homelessness Prevention Strategy by April 2023.

Recommendation 13

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends the Department of Education, Culture and Employment partner with the northern private sector, non-governmental organizations, and Indigenous governments to develop one-year lease agreements and rental assistance payments to accommodate private sector lease requirements to support housing partnerships and increase access to affordable housing.

Recommendation 14

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends Housing NWT amend the collection policy and forgive any arrears up to $30,000 for Indian residential school survivors as an act of reconciliation before the end of the 19th Assembly.

Recommendation 15

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends Housing NWT implement the principles of the collection policy and develop a strategy by the 2023-2024 fiscal year to forgive arrears that cannot be collected despite demonstrated effort.

Recommendation 16

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends Housing NWT eradicate the residency policy and update the public housing point rating system with community membership as an additional factor with corresponding points and significant weight.

Recommendation 17

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends Housing NWT develop a first right of refusal clause in leasing agreements to ensure family members of tenants receive the first opportunity to lease a public housing unit before the unit goes to market.

Recommendation 18

The Standing Committee on Social Development recommends the Government of the Northwest Territories provide a response to this report in 120 days.

Conclusion

This report and recommendations were written to honour the voices of NWT residents and provide meaningful recommendations for pathways out of homelessness and towards housing NWT residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. Member for Kam Lake.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Great Slave, that Committee Report 47-19(2), Standing Committee on Social Development Report on Homelessness Prevention: Supporting Pathways to Housing NWT Residents, be deemed read and printed in Hansard in its entirety. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. The motion is in order. To the motion?

Some Hon. Members

Question.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried. Committee Report 47-19(2) has been deemed read ---

---Carried

Reports of standing and special committees. Member for Kam Lake.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Great Slave, that Committee Report 47-19(2), Standing Committee on Social Development Report on Homelessness Prevention: Supporting Pathways to Housing NWT Residents, be received by the Assembly and referred to Committee of the Whole. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Kam Lake. The motion is in order. To the motion?

Some Hon. Members

Question.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried. Committee Report 47-19(2) has been received and will be moved into Committee of the Whole for further consideration

---Carried

Reports of standing and special committees. Returns to oral questions. Acknowledgements. Oral questions. Member for Nunakput.

Question 1439-19(2): Portables for Magalanik School
Oral Questions

March 7th, 2023

Page 5700

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, Mr. Speaker, I was talking about Magalanik School and the retrofits that's happening in the community. For the last two years, I guess we've been waiting for an update from the contractor, and we've been still waiting for that timeline to get some completion or a notice of what's happening.

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Infrastructure commit to working with me and the contractor, who the contractor is a holder is an Inuvialuit development corporation, are willing to work with me to work with the contractor to get four portables into the community instead of trying to use our local community buildings and stuff like that being taken away from the community during the day and the evening. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Nunakput. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is working with the Beaufort Delta District Education Council, the BDEC, to look at space for the community to use as temporary classrooms until the Magalanik School expansion and renovation is complete. I hear the Member wanting to work together, look at space, so, I mean, we can have that discussion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Minister for that. Mr. Speaker, you know, four portables being brought into the community, I think that could be utilized as a -- when they're done with them, they could be put into the housing stock, something we all need, more houses.

Mr. Speaker, what support can the Minister of Infrastructure provide to the students of Tuk on temporary houses to students that construction is underway to make sure that we're trying to work with IRC and IDC to get these -- it should be the contractor's responsibility to get these portables, and I'm calling them out today. And I want to work with the Minister to make sure that happens, to bring in four portables, because this is supposed to be a good news story but now, Mr. Speaker, it's nothing but headaches from my mayor. I hear it from my mayor; I hear it from TCC. What's the plan; what's happening? We're already utilizing stuff that's -- we're wearing down our own stuff, like the community hall, the church, you know, everything. We need to bring in something new. If we could do it for down in Yellowknife, we could do it for up in Tuktoyaktuk. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the GNWT has worked with the contractor to get a new project schedule moving -- for moving the temporary classrooms outside of the gymnasium so that we can allow the gym to be open at start of the school year, which is in September. I do want to say that we don't have any portables that could be deployed to Tuk. And as well, Mr. Speaker, we don't really have the budget to be able to accommodate and purchase the additional portables. So I just want to be upfront with the Member that, you know, we are trying to get the school opened in September but the project does continue, and we are working with the contractor to be able to get an updated schedule so that we can share with the community. And, you know, I've heard from the community leaders as well. The mayor has reached out and just wanted updates, so we are working to be able to provide those. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, with the four portables that we're asking for, would it be able to ask the contractor to bring them in and sublease them back to BDEC, I guess. I seen a tender that went out to the community yesterday asking for rental space in the community. Why is it so hard to get four portable units into the community for no more than 16 students, and there's four classes that has to be brought in. So how hard can that be to work with the contractor. They got $35 million. They must have been saving. And everybody wants to blame COVID yet in regards to the price cost. So why can't this happen, Mr. Speaker? Thank you.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned we are working with BDEC, the GNWT, Department of Infrastructure as well as Education, Culture and Employment, to look at some solutions on how we can accommodate the students. The timeline to procure, construct, and deliver portables to Tuk doesn't really align with the timelines to be able to get the gym opened for school year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Nunakput.

Jackie Jacobson

Jackie Jacobson Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, you know, like I said before, you know, we could get those portables brought up. You know, they're already pre-made in the south if need be. But the thing is the biggest thing it has a rippling effect on my students and the community. There's no gym. Mental health issues. It's ripples right across for the community as a whole having no gym. And I really wish that the Minister -- I know she will work with me to get it done but, you know, having a joint meeting with the Inuvialuit Development Corporation and the contractor, with myself and my leadership from Tuk, to go over the plan and what's happening and a timeline. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I know the Member is very frustrated about the timeline and getting the school in Tuktoyaktuk open. You know, we have been -- we've reached out to the contractor to be able to provide the Department of Infrastructure, as well as the community, with updated plans on what we're doing to ensure that we get this school open for the kids in September, Mr. Speaker. We will work with the Member and be able to come up with timelines and perhaps, you know, if we need to have meetings with the Member and the leadership, that's something we can do. Thanks, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister provide some insight on the reasons why an evaluation of the child and youth counselling program was initiated recently? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Member for the question. It's the practice of Health and Social Services to evaluate programs once they're up and running. The last segment of this program was introduced in the last school year. So the timing was right to conduct an evaluation of the program now. Thank you.

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister explain what the scope of the evaluation of the CYC will be and what the intended outcomes are for that review? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the CYCC program was developed with feedback from a wide variety of people, including students, parents, health authorities, and others. And so we're going back to that group and asking them what they think the strengths and weaknesses of this program is, and particularly the extent to which it is achieving its goal of improving access to mental wellness supports for youth. So the evaluation -- there was a portion of it that began last year with staff who were leaving in the last school year and continuing on now with the public engagement period. And rather than waiting for the whole report to be done at the end of August, myself and the Minister of ECE have committed to make changes that will be in place in time for the new school year where those changes seem to be of benefit to the program. Thank you.

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister explain the type of feedback the health department has received to date from students, parents, and educators on the impact of the CYC has had in schools so far? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the only formal feedback we've had to this date is from individuals who accessed the child and youth care counselling program that was captured in the 2021 community counselling program client satisfaction questionnaire. That questionnaire showed a 78 percent satisfaction rate with CYCC services. But it's important to note that the response rate for that questionnaire was low, and so rather than relying solely on that we are now inviting parents, students, teachers, and community members to give us their views on how the program is working. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Thebacha.

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, with the introduction of the CYC, there were several former student counsellors in all regions of the NWT, including in Fort Smith, who lost their jobs because they didn't have the education, qualifications, required for the new positions. Given this program evaluation, can the Minister tell us if there's a potential for former school counsellors who lost their jobs under CYC to have their old jobs reinstated or reconsidered? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this evaluation is not at that point and this is not the forum for HR. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Great Slave.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Infrastructure. Given that we have had these recent flooding events that are really highlighting the vulnerability of our infrastructure and that we're likely to see more coming, can the Minister tell me if the Fort Simpson diesel plant is being moved or completely replaced given its current location? Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when the flood happened in Fort Simpson, there was big concern from the community. The mayor reached out and was concerned about the flooding.

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation reached out and received some federal money to replace the plant, and we received the funding and then the flood happened and so we've had to go back and, you know, look at what we need to do because it is a big concern. We know that. We've found location off the island. So this is something that we are working on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I guess then from hearing that, it doesn't sound like there's any plans to do anything with the plant on the island but rather to look at the new location where the LNG plant was proposed. It's my understanding that the original LNG plant proposed was only supplemental but now needs to be a full plant to populate -- sorry, to power Simpson. So what is the cost for that entire LNG plant that would be needed to power the entire village? Thank you.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation board is having a meeting on Friday. You know, we are hoping to get some confirmation to be able to continue some of the scoping that is required for this construction. Mr. Speaker, we're hoping to get this done by the summer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So get what done by the summer? Is that the designs, is that the money from the federal government that's needed, the building of the plant itself, geotechnical designs; can the Minister be a Minister be a bit more specific about what's going to be done by the summer? Thank you.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the work that's being completed now is ongoing. We don't have a cost estimate. We are looking at the relocation of new plant projects. So once we get that in place, Mr. Speaker, that would be able to help us to go to the feds through Infrastructure Canada to be able to look at the costs of this project. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Great Slave.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm going to have to go on the round for a second set of questions because I have a lot here.

So my question -- my last question will be on is the plan -- or sorry, first of all, I'm concerned that this design and cost estimate hasn't already been done since it's been about a year since we knew that this supplemental plant was not going to be large enough. Therefore, what is the Minister planning to do this flooding season when the road next to the diesel plant is undermined? Is there an emergency plan or some sort of safety plan in place should the undermining of the river lead to the inoperability of the plant as it is now? Thank you.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we are working with the community to look at this, unfortunately it's not going to be done this year. We all know how long it takes to be able to build infrastructure. So we are working with the community and working with the flood response to be able to, you know, have something in place for if there happens to be a flood again in Fort Simpson. 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 President. My questions are for the Minister of Lands. The department has placed top priority in our requests from the mining industry to use surety bonds as an acceptable form of financial security. Ernst & Young were sole sourced for $230,000 to tell the government that surety bonds are good financial security.

Can the Minister tell us whether the report is finished and will be released publicly? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Minister responsible for Lands.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the GNWT led by the Department of Lands has hired a consultant, as the Member has said, EY Consulting Services, to conduct research on surety bonds as a form of reclamation security. This information will inform decisions on the form of securities that the GNWT may consider. EY has now completed their research and identified some draft findings, and the final report will be made available publicly once it is finalized by EY. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. Of course I probably should have squeezed in when is it going to be released? But our government is poised to accept surety bonds without a real plan to prevent further public liabilities like Giant Mine, Cameron Hills, Mactung, Ptarmigan Mine, and more. Can the Minister tell us when GNWT will change its approach to financial security and regularly accept surety bonds? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, using EY's draft findings, the GNWT is working on guidance which will provide industry with clarity regarding the form of the security that GNWT will accept in the future. I will inform MLAs on this guidance when it has been completed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. It's been radio silence on any public engagement on the development of Public Land Act regulations that will deal with financial security and other matters. Nothing has been done on public engagement since the release of the "what we heard" report in May 2021. That's 20 months ago, Mr. Speaker.

Can the Minister tell us when his department will start the promised phase two of public engagement and finally set up the stakeholder advisory committees? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Member for the question. The Public Land Act regulations are near the end of the drafting process. The Department of Lands is working collaboratively with Indigenous -- or Intergovernmental Council Secretariat partners and the Department of Justice to prepare regulations that meet the needs and desires of the public in the Northwest Territories. Stakeholder engagement is anticipated to continue into the late spring of 2023. Public engagement and section 35 consultation with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations, it's also anticipated to occur into the late spring of 2023. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I want to thank the Minister for that. I just don't really understand why the work with the Intergovernmental Council can happen in parallel with public engagement. This department and others just seem to leave the public engagement to the very end of the process. By then all the important decisions are made; it's too late.

So, you know, can the Minister tell us if there is actually going to be any meaningful public engagement on the development of the Public Land Act regulations including the forms of acceptable financial security? Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, stakeholder engagement is anticipated to continue into late spring of 2023. Public engagement and section 35 consultation with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations is anticipated to occur until the late spring of 2023. The public land use regulations will establish accessible forms of security for disposition of public lands. Mr. Speaker, we are working on trying to get this done by the end of this sitting. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Lesa Semmler

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Health and Social Services. Last year, NTHSSA's one-year deficit hit a record high of $33 million and yesterday the Minister confirmed that this year's deficit would be in the same ballpark. That would push our accumulated deficit over $200 million. The Minister also stated that the health sustainability office is dealing with the problem but that doesn't seem to be producing any results. So what are the challenges that the sustainability office is having to reduce this deficit, Mr. Speaker?

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thanks to the Member for the question. The office is now fully staffed. For a while there was an issue with staffing in the office so that they could do their work but that is not an issue at this point.

The basic issue is that it's like playing whack-a-mole in the Department of Health and Social Services. When we finish paying for one thing, another thing needs funding. And this has really become more acute in the time that I've been Minister of Health and Social Services. There are more calls for more services to be covered by our health system than ever before without any commensurate means of looking at ways to increase revenue, decrease non-core services, or in other ways to try and bring our finances into alignment. So the result is that we -- that the NTHSSA was not properly funded when it was created. It's still not properly funded. And the situation that we find ourselves in is that we run a deficit annually. And as the Member knows, the last deficit was $33 million. Thank you.

Lesa Semmler

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yeah, so the Minister -- will the Minister commit to public reporting in the next NTHSSA annual report on what results the sustainability office achieves, because I know with what she's saying that they're fully staffed now, because that would have been my second question if they have enough resources but, can we know what their achievements are so that we can know if the work that they're doing is actually producing end results. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yesterday during the mains examination of the department, I committed to a confidential briefing to the committee on accountability and oversight of the NTHSSA finances, what savings have been realized, what pressures are driving costs up, and so I'm going to repeat that here again today. At a very high level, it can be included in the annual report. But my caution about that is that the annual report won't be out until the fall, and it won't cover anything that happens after the end of this month. So the timeliness of that document is not great. Thank you.

Lesa Semmler

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So if the Minister won't be able to commit to the -- because of the timing, then can the Minister commit to some type of public -- I mean, different departments have different ways to show this publicly. Maybe, like, my colleague always asks for it online so we could see how they're -- it's like the child and family services, you could check to see how you're doing and what things are being done. So will the Minister commit to something like that so the public knows that you're doing the work. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure what exactly is possible. But I believe that it's important to provide accountability to the public for both our spending and our debts. And so I will work with the department to develop some kind of public reporting. I can't say right now whether that will be online or not. But I will work towards public accountability on this public reporting. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Lesa Semmler

Lesa Semmler Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you for that, to the Minister. Is the Minister confident that the NTHSSA deficit will be less than $30 million next year? Is there a target as to what they're hoping to be under or -- I guess that's my final question, because I'm not sure much more I can ask on this topic. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you. Mr. Speaker, I don't have a firm idea of what the deficit will be. I know that we're paying more for travel; we're paying more for freight; we're paying more for drugs; we're paying more for staff, especially because we have so much temporary staff and they are expensive to acquire and work here. So I am very concerned about all those things that are driving costs up. And on the other side, there is uncertainty about the revenue that we're going to get from Canada through the CHT and the tailored bilaterals, whether they're going to renew the Territorial Health Investment Fund. So there are just so many unknowns at this point that all I can say is I will buy the Member lunch if we don't have a deficit. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Yellowknife North.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, it's kind of been a long march to one day the GNWT would have a plan to address homelessness. You kind of think it would be something we'd have in the first place, but I'm hoping that the Premier could give us some good news and update the House on when the strategy to address homelessness will be complete? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Yellowknife North. Honourable Premier.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This strategy to address homelessness is a pretty important document, in my personal opinion, based on my professional experience before coming into the ledge and my personal interest in politics as well. When it was first brought to me and said we need to change the strategy, one of the first things I looked at when looking at it is the stakeholder engagement which, Mr. Speaker, I felt was a little bit lacking. So we have provided a “draft” draft that we are seeking feedback from MLAs to see if we're on the right track. We will be doing engagement with the sheltering agencies and other agencies that are directly impacted by homelessness. And we are expecting that a draft, final draft, will come to the Assembly, be tabled in the House here within this sitting, so towards the end of March. Again, there will be work after that. And so the final strategy, not in draft, will be tabled in the May, June session. But hopefully the draft will be at the end of this month. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, I'm hopeful too that at least a draft will get tabled. I think at some point we seem to have kind of lost sight of the goal, which is, you know -- in our mandate we're committed to adding a hundred new public housing units, which certainly helps, you know, with homelessness. But the goal is not just to add and maintain our public housing stock. The goal is to actually end homelessness, and I mean that under the definition. I often point to the Yellowknife ten-year plan to end homelessness. I point to the fact that Medicine Hat, which has far more people than the Northwest Territories, has ended homelessness, meaning that when we go out and count, there are less than three people who identify as chronically homeless which is the goal, Mr. Speaker. It's the goal we should be working towards. So can the Premier confirm whether our strategy will actually be one to end homelessness? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm just going to be honest here, Mr. Speaker. In my 20 plus years of being a social worker and working directly with homeless people, I cannot make a commitment that says we will end homelessness. I think that's a fallacy, Mr. Speaker. So our goal is to end long-term chronic homelessness. There are situations every single day, and this is based on 20 years of working with people, that today you might not be homelessness; tomorrow you might lose your job; you might have a bad relationship; you might end up homeless. So, Mr. Speaker, the goal is not to end homelessness. The goal is to end chronic long-term homelessness within this plan. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Yeah, thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know what, I'm actually glad to hear that. I think we're getting into semantics. When people say end homelessness, they mean that when you go out and count the people on the street, they haven't been chronically homeless usually for a period of about three months. You know, you want to try and get someone back into housing in some sort of form, whether it's transitional, in three months. So I don't want to get into semantics of what ending homelessness does as long as we're somewhat in the same ballpark.

My real question -- my next question, though, Mr. Speaker, is we love our big strategies, but we don't necessarily like funding them. Can the Premier inform this House of whether the draft strategy or the final strategy or some point the final strategy will actually be costed and have some money with it, Mr. Speaker?

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There's a couple of things that I am trying to get done within this homelessness strategy. One is to have some costing. Of course, some things, Mr. Speaker -- some things -- I'm hoping to have a logic model because I've heard that from Members right across this Assembly about measurable outcomes, etcetera. And we had no measurable outcomes or even baseline data for homelessness at this point, Mr. Speaker. We don't even know how many people are homeless. So data collection is a part of the homelessness strategy that we'd be looking at. Some costing initially. But this strategy is not going to be done in six months. And my guess is not even in six years. I think this will be a long-term strategy. So some costing will be done but not the whole costing for the whole strategy, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Rylund Johnson

Rylund Johnson Yellowknife North

Yeah, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also want to make sure that we're not trying to reinvent the wheel here. We know that a number of our communities have housing plans. We know a few of our Indigenous governments are working on housing plans. I mentioned earlier the Yellowknife -- the City of Yellowknife created a ten-year plan to end homelessness, which was costed. They really fell behind and then required a lot of federal and GNWT funding to do it. But I think that the framework is there, at least in the Yellowknife model.

Can the Premier speak to how all of those other plans will work into our strategy? I want to make sure this is truly a whole-of-government and a whole-of-territory approach. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yeah, I do think that it does need to be looked at not just from a housing perspective. A lot of times people think that homelessness is just a lack of housing. That's not -- that's, again, a fallacy, Mr. Speaker. In my personal opinion, homelessness comes from many factors. It may be situational, bad relationship today. It could be mental health and addictions. It could be other factors that some people prefer to live in different ways. And so it's important that we not reinvent the wheel. And that's why I'm looking for the stakeholder engagement which is critical. That'll involve the sheltering agencies. It'll involve all the agencies that are involved in homelessness, including the City of Yellowknife who is very active in addressing homelessness. We need to look at what their plans are and incorporate into ours. Reinventing the wheel is not the way to go.

One other point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, is that I've realized over my seven and a half years of being in the Assembly is that homelessness is a really hard topic. People are not really comfortable with it. Better get comfortable. The reality is is that we tend to shuffle them from department to department, and you can't do that with homelessness. It does take an integrated approach. We're looking at -- depending on the draft and the feedback we get, we're looking at actually taking that and actually having a division within the GNWT that addresses homelessness so that it can be an all-of-government approach so it's not shuffled from department to department within this Assembly, past Assemblies and the next Assemblies to come. So thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Madam Premier. Oral questions. Member for Kam Lake.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Oh Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry, I'm operating out of my computer today. There we go. My questions today are for the Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Mr. Speaker, to calculate the annual funding it provides to LHOs for repair and maintenance of its public housing portfolio, the corporation uses a formula that multiplies a fixed amount by the number and type of housing units. The LHOs are expected to allocate the funds according to the needs identified in the annual property inspection and condition rating process. So I'm wondering if the Minister can let the House know if LHOs are adequately funded as per the Housing NWT formula? Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Member for the question as well too. You know, since I've had the housing portfolio, I've had the opportunity to travel to the majority of the communities throughout the Northwest Territories. I've met with the local housing authorities. I've met with the board of directors as well too. Also with the district offices to really thoroughly understand the housing delivery program right at the grassroots, right at the ground level, and what I was able to see and understand is that no, the local housing authorities are not adequately funded. And through that, we've created a housing strategy as well too where we are going to be identifying those impacts that we need to address. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm wondering if the Minister responsible for Housing NWT can let the House know what the current difference is between what is funded and what is actually required? Thank you.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Member for this question as well too. What I've come to understand is that we need homes throughout the Northwest Territories. We need a lot of homes. But also with our constant advocacy with the Indigenous governments, stakeholders throughout the Northwest Territories, with the federal government as well too, to put houses on the ground. Mr. Speaker, there's a huge difference. When we're looking at putting homes on the ground, we need to address the social impacts of that program delivery. We also need to provide adequate programming as well too to support our local -- our homeowners in our smaller communities for our seniors, for our youth, and for me, Mr. Speaker, that is the huge difference. But what is required throughout the Northwest Territories is we need more homes, and we need more houses on the ground. We need operational and maintenance funding. We need more money coming to the Northwest Territories. And by that, working with Indigenous governments, stakeholders, nonprofit organizations, we've seen a huge address to housing needs throughout the Northwest Territories with our work with the federal government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think this side of the House is well aware that the Northwest Territories has a housing deficit and needs more homes. My question was what is the current difference between what is funded and what is required? Thank you.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just bluntly, I want to say that we need more operations and maintenance funding for our public housing -- for our public housing units throughout the territory. But through our strategic renewal as well too, these issues are going to be addressed and it's going to provide us a further guideline on what we are going to be expecting in the months and the years to come as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Caitlin Cleveland

Caitlin Cleveland Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, we sit on this side of the House when we go through budgets and we ask these questions about what budget do you need in order to operate a housing corporation? What budgets do you need in order to be able to do the minor and major repairs of public housing so that you can deliver safe housing to northern residents? So I'm perplexed as to why the Minister cannot tell me how much she is underfunded in order to be responsible to her mandate. And it's frustrating to me because on this side of the House, we keep saying to Housing, what do you need; what do you need? And so I'm still asking, what do you need? If I can't get the question here today, what I would like to ask, Mr. Speaker, is the current Housing NWT annual report does not give an adequate snapshot of Housing NWT assets, their condition, and asset maintenance costs. In 2008 -- so many, many years ago, Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago -- the Auditor General recommended that the corporation regularly report on the condition of its public housing portfolio.

So will the Minister ensure -- because she cannot answer the question here today -- that the corporation's full list of assets by community, their condition, and required asset maintenance costs be included in Housing NWT's next annual report? Thank you.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And thank you to the Member for the question. And I don't feel that I'm not able to answer the question adequately. We are in a housing crisis. We have lobbied with the federal government as well. You can see construction happening throughout the Northwest Territories. We've enhanced those opportunities at the local community level. We've engaged with the stakeholders throughout the territory as well to address adequate housing throughout the Northwest Territories but also trying to find solutions on how to address housing throughout the territory. And looking at putting a number on it, we're looking at millions of trying to address housing needs throughout the Northwest Territories. And right now, working with Indigenous groups is key, is how -- you know, we have the same lobbying efforts as they do as well too. We need to get more housing into the smaller communities. We need to have adequate programming. But we just do not have the funding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if this government build more houses in communities and met the basic human needs, this evaluation of the CYCC would not be needed.

I'm going to say these questions anyway even though the Minister's going to say that it's under evaluation. So, Mr. Speaker, we need to ensure that CYCC staff understand the unique culture of our communities so that students can trust them and use them. Can the Minister explain how the CYCC staff become integrated into the communities so that there is trust between them and our students? Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm going to start by saying the CYCC program has a steering committee, and the Tlicho Community Services Agency sits on that steering committee. So it's not like there's a big huge gap between the Tlicho Community Services Agency and the program itself.

That said, there is antiracism and cultural safety training offered, 14 different sessions between February of this year and March of next year. Of course, the Living Well Together curriculum is mandatory for all GNWT staff. So there are several important ways that we impress on new hires the importance of cultural safety and antiracism.

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, drug addiction, especially crack cocaine, is a major issue in my region. And even now with the all-season road open to Whati, they are seeing the impact, the social problems. So can the Minister explain what is being done to educate students on the negative impacts of using drugs and how we can make sure the CYCC staff can direct students to the supports they need to avoid or overcome addictions? Thank you.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the CYCCs are available to talk about a broad range of issues that youth encounter, whether that is drug use and abuse, family violence, negative social interactions, and so on. They are there to support the students and talk to them about the issues that are of concern to them, and that would include drug use. So we have various media campaigns that dissuade or attempt to dissuade people from using drugs, and those would be available to the people in the Tlicho region as they are every other part of the NWT. Thank you.

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we need to ensure the Indigenous government are working with the schools and the Government of the Northwest Territories to make CYCC positions as effective as possible. How is the Government of the Northwest Territories working with the Tlicho government and other Indigenous government to share best practices and information on supporting students in being drug free and directing them to support where they are available? Thank you.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the CYCC program has a steering committee that includes all of the health authorities, including the Tlicho Community Services Agency. So I certainly think that there would be a possibility for the Tlicho Community Services Agency to raise issues in that forum. There's also a board of the TCSA who could be involved in this area of advocating for services for its students. So I think there are a number of ways.

There are big ways too, like the bilaterals, which I attend and answer questions directly to the Tlicho government. There's the NWT Council of Leaders. So I have to say that the CYCC program issues seem to resonate most in the Tlicho region. I'm aware of that. The evaluation is underway. It's being expedited so that changes are going to be in place for the next school year, in the fall of this year. So we are trying to take into account people's concerns and to address them. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Final supplementary. Member for Monfwi.

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Okay, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, since this program is, you know, going under review, I would like to ask the Minister what is the new equivalency going to be of the program once the review is completed? Thank you.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I missed a word in the Member's question, but I think she wants to know what's going to happen after the evaluation of the program is finished.

We can't know that at this point. We need to collect more information from the people who use the program, teachers, parents, students, community members, and we need to hear what the strengths are in the program, what the issues are, and what ideas, hopefully, they have to address those issues. So once that work is complete, we'll have a better idea of the future of it. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about NTPC. I want to take about aging infrastructure that NTPC has. I want to talk about frequent power outages. And I want to talk about temporary backup power. But my questions aren't for the Minister of NTPC; it's for the Minister of housing.

Mr. Speaker, during an extended power outage, what backup power is available to housing units owned by Housing NWT? Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Minister responsible for Housing NWT.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd have to get back to the Member. I don't -- I'm not familiar if we do have backup generators for when the power goes out in our smaller communities. I'd have to get back to the Member. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Power outages during the winter months can result in considerable damage to equipment -- I mean to the house, to the appliances in there as well, and also, you know, it's hard on the people who may have to be stuck in a cold house for an extended period of time. So has the department considered this a potential issue, or has it been a potential issue in the smaller communities further north?

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Since I've had the portfolio, I haven't been asked this question. I don't know if it's an issue in our smaller communities, but I can get back to the Member. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This question, I know, the Minister will be able to answer because we just had a chat about it yesterday.

Is the Minister willing to have the department cost out an upgrade to electrical panels in existing units that would allow for use of small generators to power the houses during an outage? So it's a matter of flipping a switch and plugging in our little Honda generator or whatever you have. Thank you.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am always looking for innovative ideas on how further look at cost savings, energy savings throughout the territory. And the Member is correct, I'm interested in looking at this further, so I'd like to bring this back to the department as well and looking at those emergency circumstances when it comes to power outages as well. We do live in such a harsh climate as well and looking at the harsh weather conditions in the winter as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And would the Minister consider having her department look at actually building, you know, that right into the new units that are -- that will be coming on stream or going forward? Thank you.

Paulie Chinna

Paulie Chinna Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, I will bring this back to the department as I'm quite interested in looking at emergency responses when we're looking at power outages in smaller communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

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

Jane Weyallon Armstrong

Jane Weyallon Armstrong Monfwi

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I was asking -- I know they do the evaluation for a reason. There's a reason behind it, because the program is not working in many of our communities. But even like my colleague from Thebacha mentioned, that a lot of people lost their job as a result of the new -- of the equivalencies. So I'm just asking the Minister that once the evaluation is completed, what kind of options are they looking for in this -- for this, part of the equivalency -- like, what kind of options are they looking for within this -- for this CYCC positions, like, once it's completed? Like, what kind of options. Like, right now the barrier is the master's degree so I'm just checking -- asking about the equivalency of the positions. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Monfwi. Minister responsible for Health and Social Services.

Julie Green

Julie Green Yellowknife Centre

Okay, first of all, this program is being evaluated because it was first introduced in 2018 and the rollout finished last year so it's time now to revisit its strengths and areas that require improvement. That's the reason that it's being evaluated.

What we committed to doing was changing things leading into the next school year as we found issues and ways to address them. So, for example, there's long been discussion about the threshold of education for the CYCCs being too high and excluding people who may have good cultural connections but not the same level of education required. So a second job description has been drafted to allow regional mental health teams more flexibility in capturing a wider variety of counselling candidates to fill those roles in schools. So in plain language, what that means is the master's degree is no longer the only qualification or the most important qualification for filling those jobs. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Oral questions. Written questions. Returns to written questions. Mr. Clerk.

Clerk Of The House Mr. Tim Mercer

Mr. Speaker, I have a Return to Written Question 58-19(2) asked by the Member for Monfwi on February 14th, 2023, to the Minister of Infrastructure, regarding Frank Channel Bridge Replacement.

1. Can the Minister provide a detailed breakdown of the additional costs identified for the. Frank Channel Bridge Replacement Project?

Mr. Speaker, since the original 2021 application to the National Trade Corridors Fund, project costs for the Dehk'e Frank Channel Bridge have increased due to a variety of external factors. This experience is not unique to this project or to the Northwest Territories. All jurisdictions in Canada are experiencing inflated commodity costs, supply chain shortages and increased labour costs, which are impacting infrastructure projects.

Regarding the Dehk'e Frank Channel Bridge, the Department of Infrastructure received an initial cost estimate from the Tlicho-Kiewit general partnership and also solicited an independent third-party cost estimate. Both estimates indicated the previously announced $50 million contribution agreement was not enough to deliver the project.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Northwest Territories has requested a top-up to the funding agreement with Canada that, if approved, would increase the total contribution agreement to $70 million. The project will be advancing to procurement stage and therefore the detail breakdown cannot be shared.

2. Can the Minister provide a detailed breakdown of funding already committed or budgeted by the GNWT, and or committed/budgeted by the federal government?

In 2021, the Government of Northwest Territories and Infrastructure Canada announced $50 million in funding for the replacement of the Dehk'e Frank Channel Bridge under the National Trade Corridors Fund. This would be cost shared, with Canada contributing 75 percent and our government contributing 25 percent.

It is important to note that total project costs include more than construction costs. Other costs relate to engineering work, design, consultants, project management, environmental permitting and monitoring, and contingency funding.

3. Can the Minister provide a copy of the last structural assessment completed on the Frank Channel Bridge?

Later today, at the appropriate time, I will table two documents to answer the Member's question: the 2021 Frank Channel Bridge Inspection Report and Inspection Form.

The Inspection Report finds that no major repairs are immediately recommended for the bridge. It did recommend that the potholes in the deck be repaired. These potholes were subsequently repaired by the department.

The report also recommends that repairs be done to the existing bridge if the new bridge is not constructed within five years, including:

  • Rehabilitating the deck;
  • A routing inspection;
  • Repainting several bridge elements;
  • Replacing the bearings on pier 2; and,
  • Repairing concrete on several bridge elements.

4. Can the Minister provide a detailed contingency plan for continued operation and maintenance of the Frank Channel Bridge if construction of the replacement is delayed?

Department of Infrastructure staff inspect the bridge on a regular basis. Minor and preventative maintenance of the existing bridge will continue, as required. The structure also undergoes an intensive inspection every three years. The last intensive inspection was performed in July 2021.

Appreciating the Member for Monfwi's concerns about community safety, we welcome her to attend an upcoming inspection of the bridge. My office will reach out to her, as well as to community leadership, about accompanying departmental staff and myself on a routine bridge inspection this upcoming summer.

If future inspections determine additional interventions are required to prolong the lifespan of the current structure until the new Dehk'e Frank Channel Bridge is built, mitigations could include reducing the bridge to single lane with alternating traffic, reducing the maximum weight of vehicles crossing the bridge, or a combination of both.

Please note that the current bridge crossing speed is already reduced to 40 kilometres per hour, which was the first step to reduce impact and prolong the lifespan of this critical piece of infrastructure.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Replies to the Commissioner's address. Petitions. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Diane Archie

Diane Archie Inuvik Boot Lake

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following two documents: Government of the Northwest Territories Bridge Inspection Form - Frank Channel Bridge, July 2021; and, Stantec Consulting Ltd. 2021 Frank Channel Bridge Inspection Report dated February 12, 2022. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. Tabling of documents. Madam Premier.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document: The Plain Language Summary for Bill 72: Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Madam Premier. Tabling of documents. Minister responsible for Environment and Natural Resources.

Shane Thompson

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document: What We Heard: A Forest Act for the NWT, February 2023. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Minister. 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: A letter from Alternatives North regarding comments on Forest Act Summary of Policy Intentions dated January 26th, 2022. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. Tabling of documents. Notices of motion. Member for Great Slave. Notices of Motion

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Thursday, March 9th, 2023, I will move the following motion:

Now therefore I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River South, that the Legislative Assembly recommend that the Government of the Northwest Territories update the Northwest Territories Residential Tenancies Act to include maximum allowable rent adjustments which are no more than the five-year average of the Canada Consumer Price Index;

And further, the government include in the Northwest Territories Residential Tenancies Act that increases to rent above the five-year average of the Canada Consumer Price Index can be applied for by private landlords to the NWT rental officer;

And further, the Government of the Northwest Territories provide a response to this motion within 120 days. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. Notices of motion. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Thursday, March 9th, 2023, I will move the following motion:

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Nahendeh, that when this House adjourns on Thursday, March 9th, 2023, it shall be adjourned until Monday, March 27th, 2023;

And furthermore, that at any time prior to March 27th, 2023, if the Speaker is satisfied, after consultation with the Executive Council and Members of the Legislative Assembly, that the public interest requires that the House should meet at an earlier time during the adjournment, or at a time later than the scheduled resumption of the House, the Speaker may give notice and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay River South. Notices of motion. Motions. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. Member for Thebacha.

Bill 76: An Act to Amend the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act
Notices Of Motion For The First Reading Of Bills

Page 5706

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I give notice that on Thursday, March the 9th, 2023, I will present Bill 76, An Act to Amend the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, to be read for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 76: An Act to Amend the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act
Notices Of Motion For The First Reading Of Bills

Page 5706

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Notices of motion for the first reading of bills. First reading of bills. Second reading of bills. Madam Premier.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for the Sahtu, that Bill 72, Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, be read for the second time.

This bill creates a cause of action for the Government of the Northwest Territories in its own right against manufacturers and wholesalers of opioid products, and their consultants, for the recovery of the cost of health care benefits caused or contributed to by an opioid-related wrong. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Madam Premier. The motion is in order. To the principle of the bill.

Some Hon. Members

Question.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? Any abstentions? The motion is carried. Bill 72 has had second reading.

---Carried

Second reading of bills. Member for Thebacha.

Frieda Martselos

Frieda Martselos Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, I move, second by the Member for Nahendeh, that Bill 73, An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, No. 4, be read a second time.

Mr. Speaker, Bill 73 amends the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act to adjust the indemnities and allowances listed in Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Schedule C annually using the average change in the Consumer Price Index over the past five years.

Currently, MLA indemnities and allowances are adjusted each year on April 1st based on the CPI for the previous calendar year. If the status quo is maintained, MLA indemnities and allowances will increase by 6.8 percent on April 1st of this year.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will help avoid sharp increases in MLA pay in years when inflation is unusually and temporarily high. Implementing a five-year rolling average as a basis for future annual adjustments to MLA indemnities is the approach used in Manitoba, Mr. Speaker, and it will help smooth out any unusual and temporary spikes in inflation.

For April of 2023, this bill will reduce the annual adjustment from 6.8 percent to 3.02 percent.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. The motion is in order. To the principle of the bill. Member for Frame Lake.

Kevin O'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Merci, Monsieur le President. I wish to speak to the principle of the bill. This is probably one of the shortest bills this Assembly will ever deal with, but I think it's important that the public and media understand what this bill is all about. And I believe that the Member for Thebacha has explained it probably much better than I'm going to try to do right now. But what this is really to do is to replace the current way of calculating MLA's indemnity, or salaries, office holders, and allowances. Right now those are changed according to the consumer price index as of April 1st each year. This is going to move it to a five-year rolling average. And I'm not opposed to that, but I think the timing of the bill is the issue, Mr. Speaker.

And as I understand -- or what the honourable -- the mover indicated was that this is as a result of the high -- relatively high rate of inflation that we're experiencing now. As of April 1st, MLA salaries and indemnities and allowances would go up by 6.8 percent. As of April 1st, that would cost about $350,000. So moving to a five-year rolling average will reduce the increase to 3.02 percent but increase subsequent years by as much as about 2 percent, depending on what the rate of inflation or the consumer price index is until a new equilibrium is established. So I do not support this change for a number of reasons.

First, I just don't think it's good practice for sitting politicians to change their remuneration. There's already perception of conflict and perhaps even a real conflict of interest when we attempt to change our own remuneration. And this is why we actually appoint an independent commission on compensation and benefits every couple of Assemblies to look at these issues and bring back recommendations to us. But those recommendations, when they're brought back to the House, if they're accepted, they're only implemented for the next Assembly so sitting MLAs are not, you know, making changes to their own remuneration, and I think that's a far better practice.

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, I think there's going to be perception that these changes are really interfering with the upcoming collective bargaining with the Union of Northern Workers for the majority of our employees. That contract is coming to an end as of March 31st, 2023, and I expect, as I understand bargaining's probably already started on this, so I think this sets a bad precedent. It's not unlike what happened perhaps in the last Assembly where initially MLAs decided to take a two year pay freeze after some presentations from Cabinet that were akin to the sky is falling. And I think that set us up for a bad set of negotiations in the last Assembly, and I think this is probably going to head us in the same direction, Mr. Speaker.

Thirdly, the last thing I guess I'd like to say about this is that I think this is really about -- the effect of this will be about reducing, you know, our ability to attract quality people to this Assembly and to political life, that we want more representative candidates to come into this place. And I think this is going to probably make it less attractive over time. And I think it also feeds into the narrative that politicians are paid too much, work too little, and are expendable. And I'm not prepared to enter into that narrative, Mr. Speaker.

So for all these reasons, I do not support this bill. However, I'm not opposed to going to a five-year rolling average of consumer price index to calculate increases to remuneration but that should apply to the next Assembly. So at the appropriate time, I will move an amendment to that effect. I don't expect that it's going to pass but we'll see. But I certainly look forward to the debate on this, and I expect and would encourage constituents to contact us about what this bill is really all about. Thanks, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Frame Lake. To the principle of the bill. Member for Great Slave.

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina Nokleby Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think it's worth clarifying that if this bill is not introduced that all Members in this House will get a cost of living increase that is the current CPI, which is over 6 percent. What this bill does is actually reduces the amount of money that MLAs would get as a raise come April 1st by smoothing it out using that CPI five-year average. Why I think that it's important to make this designation is that we as MLAs are not actually changing what our remuneration is at this point. What we're doing is actually proposing a change that minimizes that cost of living raise that we would be getting regardless such that it doesn't look like we are taking advantage of an odd spike in the CPI at this time. So I do support the principle of this bill. I am a single person. I have one income. I have to run a household on that income. In my professional life, I could make at least $50,000 more a year plus better benefits and such and more vacation. So, therefore, for me it is important to recognize that I believe that MLAs already make a fairly small amount of money comparatively to other professionals in this territory. We are struggling just like everybody else to pay bills. I've heard my colleague here speak many times about paying for things out of his own pocket for his constituents. I do the same. I daily am hit up for money. And at this point, while it may sound like I'm being greedy, I need that cost of living raise. I do agree for it being spread out over the five-year rolling average; however, I do want to clarify that this is not MLAs giving themselves a raise. If anything, this is MLAs giving themselves a cut. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Great Slave. To the principle of bill? Member for Range Lake.

Caroline Cochrane

Caroline Cochrane Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also want to do some clarifications here. The intent of this bill is not around collective bargaining and it is not Cabinet directed or Cabinet did any presentations so I can't speak for the previous Cabinet, but I can speak for this one. At no time has Cabinet talked to the Regular Members in trying to say that this should be -- the sky is falling and that this needs to happen. This is an initiative by the Legislative Assembly, and I do support this initiative. The supply chain issues since COVID hit have been horrible for all of us. Our cost of living has gone up. Inflation is impacting residents, businesses, employers right across the board. I think that all of us at this time of what's happening, not only in the NWT but across Canada, have to be conscious of what we're doing to stop the rising inflation. And in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, this is part of that, that we would try to curb the inflation rates that are going to be unacceptable and unlivable for many people and residents of the Northwest Territories. So I do support this bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Range Lake. To the principle of the bill. Member for Hay River South.

Rocky Simpson

Rocky Simpson Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, although I understand the intent of this bill, as a politician for me it's never been about the money. It's about doing what's right for the people. And also, you know, we have to understand that, you know -- or to understand what people are going through, we almost have to live that as well. And there's a lot of people out there that I know that are struggling that I -- you know, I provided money to and I provided other supports as well. And, you know, I still kind of, you know, make ends meet. So I guess what I'm trying to -- what I'm going to do is introduce a revision to the motion as well and that's to freeze this year's increase and then go to a rolling average starting in a year from now. So, you know, at the end of the day, like I say, it's -- there's a lot of people out there struggling, and I think it's important that, you know, we do our part as well. And, you know, probably a lot of people here, maybe they made more money, you know, in other jobs, and that's their choice. If they want to go back to that, that's fine. The other thing is -- and we talk about, you know, recruiting people by, you know, having, you know, a higher remuneration for politicians but I don't think that's true. I think at the end of the day, we probably attract more people who really want to do this job. We get people from the communities. The North is small. And sometimes it's about, you know, picking the person who believes in what's happening on the ground, believes in people. And if we don't do that, we may as well not be here. Because for me, it's doing the right thing for the people. And right now, you know, when it comes to unions well, you know, they got -- they have to do what they have to do and at the end of the day, you know, I look at where I'm at and the decisions I have to make and it's got nothing to do with the union and their negotiations as well. So, yeah, so what I'm going to be doing is to ask for a -- is asking for a zero percent for a year and then go to rolling average after that. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Frederick Blake Jr.

Thank you, Member for Hay Rive