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Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Inuvik Boot Lake

Won his last election, in 2015, with 89% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 780-18(3): Elder Forced Out of Home into Facility June 6th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In regard to the constituent's concern, I won't get into the specifics. The Member and I have had conversations on that.

One of the mandates of the 18th Legislative Assembly is promoting community wellness and safety to support elders in their own communities for as long as possible. I had questions from one of the Members earlier this week, and we talked about the seniors' aging-in-place retrofits, and we support that. We also want to make sure that, when we look at the work that we are doing in the communities with our seniors and our elders, it is done on a case-by-case study. I did encourage the Member that we will be working with his constituent and himself to address the situation.

Like I said, we do have a mandate. We have done a comprehensive seniors planning study that we're going to focus on. We do have a seniors aging in place retrofits. We are working with the Department of Health and Social Services. Over the past few years, we have constructed five seniors' complexes which I must mention; two of them are in the Member's riding. We continue to support seniors aging in place, or seniors aging in a place where they have the supports and the services that they need.

We will continue to keep the Member updated, and we will continue to dialogue with the Member and work on the case before us and come up with a solution. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 210-18(3): The De Beers/Yellowknife Women's Society Partnership June 6th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to speak about a new partnership between the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation and the De Beers Group, a partnership that will help house some of our most vulnerable citizens.

De Beers Group has invested heavily in the Northwest Territories over the years through the development of its two mines. These investments have provided numerous gains for the residents of the Northwest Territories in terms of jobs and procurement. In addition to the economic benefits, De Beers Group has indicated that they want to support lasting social improvements to communities.

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation and the De Beers Group have discussed potential legacy housing projects, consistent with the De Beers Group's commitment to supporting Northwest Territories communities involved in diamond mining. The De Beers Group is especially interested in projects that address the long-term needs of vulnerable people in their operating region.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the De Beers Group, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, and the Yellowknife Women's Society have agreed to improve shelter housing for women who are homeless.

The Yellowknife Women's Society shelter on Franklin Avenue will be reconfigured to provide 16 single-room suites for homeless women. The De Beers Group is making a generous contribution of $250,000 to the project. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation will provide the project management expertise and a $350,000 contribution under the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation's Community Housing Support Initiative. The Yellowknife Women's Society will administer a smaller emergency shelter section of the building. They will continue to provide supportive services to residents in the new suites.

These new spaces will provide better privacy, safety, and security for women. The shared living arrangement offers the safety of living with others, as opposed to being isolated in a rental unit on the private market. Residents will have a safe, stable home where they can start to address some of the other challenges in their lives, without having to worry about housing.

This initiative supports the mandate commitment of the 18th Legislative Assembly on increasing the availability of safe, affordable housing and creating solutions for addressing homelessness. It is also consistent with long-term planning to address homelessness in Yellowknife. This project is one step towards what our communities, this government, and all of our partners want; healthy, sustainable communities with safe, adequate, and affordable housing.

Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation's partnership with the De Beers Group and the Yellowknife Women's Society is an exciting opportunity. It is a great example of how a corporate citizen can work with governments and other partners to create tangible outcomes and make our communities better places for all of our residents. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 204-18(3): 2019 Northwest Territories Track and Field Championships June 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the athletes, coaches, chaperones, and most importantly, all of the volunteers who are making their way to Hay River for the annual Northwest Territories Track and Field Championships.

At 1:00 p.m. today, events will have commenced, making this the 29th Anniversary of one of the Northwest Territories' premier sporting events. I, along with some of my colleagues from the House, will be in attendance for the opening ceremonies tonight.

Approximately 30 teams and 1,150 athletes will embark on vying for the Championship Banner. 28 of those teams are from schools in 13 different communities from every region.

Mr. Speaker, this event is a massive undertaking that could not be done without the tremendous volunteer and community support of Hay River and the surrounding region. Hay River continues to show that they can support and host these types of events. I applaud you all. Special recognition goes to Tim Borchuk, JJ Hirst, and Rachel Yee for leading this year's event.

Mr. Speaker, events like the Track and Field Championships encourage our youth to lead healthy and active lifestyles, which improve physical and mental well-being and, ultimately, the well-being of our communities.

I want to thank Members of this Assembly and those who have preceded us in supporting great sport, physical activity, and recreation events across the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish the best of luck to all of the athletes and coaches and that all participants will share in friendly, challenging, and rewarding competitions and that the youth will benefit for years to come from the experiences and friendships that they will find at the Northwest Territories Track and Field Championships. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery June 5th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Once again, I would like to welcome to the House my parents, Winston and Martha Moses. Thanks for being here today and for all the support. Also, at this time, I would like to recognize all the education leaders for all the work that you do, and the lives that you've changed, and the support that you give our communities and our children. Mahsi cho, quyanainni, merci beaucoup, thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 772-18(3): Emergency Preparedness Plans June 4th, 2019

There are a lot of priorities within the Department of MACA, and this is one of them, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our residents, due to the dry season that we had. Thankfully, we have been getting this rain and even the snow that is helping us out. I want to say that this is something that we will look at. We are not sure what the summer is going to look like, but it is something where we will make sure that all communities, especially in the regions that have dry conditions, we will make sure that we reach out to them and make sure that we have a plan in place with the communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 772-18(3): Emergency Preparedness Plans June 4th, 2019

First of all, I think that we did develop a comprehensive set of guidelines to help facilitate community evacuations, should they happen, which covers anything from the roles and responsibilities of people in the community to what resources that we have. We will continue to work on that. I mentioned the statistics earlier about how many communities have emergency plans, within this year, within the last five years. We need to keep them updated, and we need to make sure that all of our communities practice their emergency plans and make sure that, in instances such as the South Slave communities, they don't get caught in a situation with evacuations.

Cross-departmentally, I think, with the government and the federal government, we would be able to make a quick response should something happen, and that is something that is always on our mind and discussed.

Question 772-18(3): Emergency Preparedness Plans June 4th, 2019

As previously mentioned, our regional office engages with communities on emergency plan requirements and implementation of a process for systematic annual review of all community emergency plans. Also, as I mentioned earlier, we are looking at doing five workshops in the upcoming year. We do work with the Department of ENR, as well as Lands, and, more importantly, working with the community governments to help them update their plans and to make sure that we do a review of that. One of the programs that we have developed, and we have already had discussions in this House about, is the Small Community Employment Program that communities get funding for. I know that some communities have used that funding to do FireSmart programs. We will continue to promote this, especially when we do have a dry season.

With what is happening in Alberta and northern BC, as well as the Yukon, we have to make sure that our residents and our communities are safe.

Question 772-18(3): Emergency Preparedness Plans June 4th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I would just like to update Members and residents and/or other leaders across the NWT that the Emergency Management Act requires communities to prepare and approve emergency plans and programs. MACA does administer a number of activities and tools to help community governments. As well, regional offices maintain adequate emergency capacity, including emergency planning workshops and desktop emergency plan reviews. We will continue to do that. I would like to update the Member that, as of March 2019, we have had nine community governments that have emergency plans validated in the past two years and 21 community governments that have plans that are less than five years old. Since 2012, we have 31 community governments that have participated in emergency planning workshops and/or tabletop exercises to update and validate their emergency plans.

In 2019-2020, we are looking at conducting five workshops throughout the Northwest Territories, but this is a partnership-building exercise, and we do provide the services, but we do need communities to work with us and update and work on their community plans. I appreciate the Member's comments in terms of the dry season in the South Slave area.

Question 768-18(3): Aging in Place June 4th, 2019

Yes, we have already started some of that work. We are working with the Department of Health and Social Services to keep our seniors in their residences. On the other side, like I have said, we have already constructed some projects in the communities that I have mentioned. Sometimes it comes down to contractors in the communities, whether or not we can do that type of work when they are looking at bigger projects, just on the reality side, Mr. Speaker.

We have done senior aging-in-place retrofits through the Housing Corporation. We also have ongoing seniors' marketing and promotion campaigns on the programs that we deliver, so that seniors can understand what they are able to access. We are also -- and I think all Members should be aware of this, especially the small communities -- piloting LHO repair services to private residents, something that has never been done before. We will see how that works out. It is going to benefit seniors who own their own homes, who need repairs or retrofits in their homes, and we are going to see how that works. Our LHO maintenance crew can go and help them out.

As we progress with that program, we will make sure that the Member, as well as all Members, know how that program is happening. That is something new, so it is really exciting. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 768-18(3): Aging in Place June 4th, 2019

There are a couple of things there in terms of accessibility and working with our seniors and community members to address that. One of the highlights over the past few weeks was that we had the Housing Summit up in Inuvik, and we did invite the NWT Disabilities Council to come and speak, not only with the NWT Housing Corporation and the GNWT, but with all leaders across the Northwest Territories, to see how we can to fix that problem.

The information on how many owners are over 70 years old in the NWT, that information may be available through the NWT Community Survey, administered by the NWT Bureau of Statistics. It will have to be determined whether this information is readily available, but we can look into it and make sure that we get back to the Member.

I would say that one of the big steps that we have taken with the Housing Summit was having the NWT Disabilities Council come and make a presentation, be part of it, and speak with all leaders across the NWT. We had a lot of leadership at the summit to have those discussions.