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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was know.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Weledeh

Won his last election, in 2011, with 89% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 938-17(5): Territorial Midwifery Program October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of Health and Social Services following up on my Member’s statement. We have been waiting for several years for the long-promised territory-wide midwife program. People are starting to question whether this government is really serious about implementing one. We get assurances, but so far little action. We do not have any idea what this territorial program is currently looking like. I want to ask the Minister, to start with, what is the status of the program and where are we in the process to implement it? Mahsi.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to welcome and recognize a bunch of young constituents and future leaders from the school in Ndilo, the K’alemi Dene School, and I wonder if they could stand up as I mention their names. We have here David Sangris, D.J. Drygeese, Aurora Fraser, Kaiya Goulet, Amy Betsina, Devon Vogel, Justin Lafferty, Cheyenne Lafferty, Stefon Franki, Nick Beaulieu, Kaydens Abel, Dakota Mackeinzo, Donovan Black Quitte, Riel Komrie, and they are accompanied by Tiffany Smith, education assistant; and teacher Anna Hernandez.

I’d like to just mention, when I asked this bunch of young folks if they like to read, just about everyone put their hands up. These are a literate bunch and they’re bound for great destinations, so I appreciate them being in the House today.

Thank you very much. I’d also like to recognize the Students Against Drunk Driving, the St. Pat’s School and Weledeh School in the Weledeh riding. Thanks very much for all the work that they do. Very good stuff. Mahsi.

Territorial Midwifery Program October 6th, 2015

For the sake of our young families, I hope the Minister will confirm real progress and certainty on moving forward with territorial midwifery in Yellowknife soon. I will have questions. Mahsi.

Territorial Midwifery Program October 6th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my Member’s statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Territorial Midwifery Program October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have been talking about a territory-wide midwife program for a long time now. Originally we had programs in Fort Smith and Yellowknife, but the Yellowknife program was dropped with a plan to beef up the program in the Minister’s home community of Fort Smith.

The plan was to expand the Fort Smith program to Hay River, the Beau-Del, Behchoko and Yellowknife. A start was made and we have since seen progress in Hay River and Fort Smith. However, the Minister reports that the health authorities in the Beau-Del decided that instead of a midwifery program they would maintain general practitioners’ obstetrics skills complemented by community health workers and nurse practitioners.

This past July the Minister said that the next goal was to develop a territorial midwifery service based in Yellowknife and to expand the program into the regions, starting with the Deh Cho region and Behchoko. We have not heard about how and when the program will roll out here in Yellowknife.

A local mother-to-be recently asked if she could count on having her next baby with the assistance of a midwife in Yellowknife. She was told, “There is much work to be done, including seeking funding for this proposed program.” When did this become a proposed program and when did we lose the money for it? The Minister stated in July that he was still committed to move forward with a territorial model based out of Yellowknife in 2015-16 so that the full rollout could be done in 2016-17. Positions for midwives elsewhere have been funded for some time, though the positions have languished unfulfilled.

We have a midwife coordinator position. In fact we have two now, but it would seem that it would be a good thing to have some midwives to coordinate. There seems to be little commitment by the government to fulfill their promise of a timely territorial Midwifery Program serving all of the regions of the NWT.

With the sporadic and conflicting information out there, there is public concern and confusion about where we are headed with this program. The apparent lack of progress or even that we might be moving backwards with this program has people asking a lot of questions. I urge the Minister to set their minds at ease and reassure the mothers-to-be across the territory who want such services that they will be able to have their babies with the assistance of well-trained midwives who are supported by a comprehensive, stable, well-funded Midwifery Program in any of our regional centres across the NWT.

For the sake of our young families, I hope the Minister will confirm real progress and certainty on moving forward with territorial midwifery.

Committee Motion 141-17(5): Concurrence Of Tabled Document 325-17(5): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2015-2016, Carried October 5th, 2015

I did have some comments on the climate change related aspects of this, but I think since this is happening more and more often and coming up repeatedly in this supp, I’ll just save it and talk about it later. Thank you.

Committee Motion 141-17(5): Concurrence Of Tabled Document 325-17(5): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2015-2016, Carried October 5th, 2015

Thanks to the Minister for that response. Will we be doing another one this year? Is there an intent to do that? Maybe the Minister commented on that and I missed it. I am just wondering if this is something we now do annually. Thank you.

Committee Motion 141-17(5): Concurrence Of Tabled Document 325-17(5): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2015-2016, Carried October 5th, 2015

Thank you. I think last year, the largest year we had on record, obviously, it was a challenge. We were a little more prepared this year as a result of having that experience. But I know there was a comprehensive review done by the department on the performance during our ’14-15 year that I’m sure we drew upon for the ’15-16 year. I wonder if the Minister could tell us any areas that we improved our performance and perhaps our proficiency as a result of

that previous year’s

experience. Thank you.

Committee Motion 141-17(5): Concurrence Of Tabled Document 325-17(5): Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures), No. 3, 2015-2016, Carried October 5th, 2015

Thank you, Madam Chair. I think we had three separate hits before we finally got to our final number on fire suppression costs last fiscal year. I’m wondering: do we know if this is the last one or do we anticipate whether there could be more supps for fire suppression for this fiscal year. Obviously, it would be handled by the 18th Assembly. Thank you.