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Roles

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Yellowknife South

Won his last election, in 2015, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Supplementary To Question 38-16(1): Transfer Of Rental Assessment To NWTHC November 28th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to thank the Minister for that information. I’d also like to ask him who is conducting the review. Thank you.

Question 38-16(1): Transfer Of Rental Assessment To NWTHC November 28th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I’d like to direct my questions today to the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Going back to my Member’s statement on the transfer of rental assessments back to NWT Housing Corporation, I’d like to ask the Minister, there’s been a lot of concerns regarding this and it’s coming from constituents, it’s coming from a lot of people. I’d like to ask the Minister if a review has been done of the transfer of rental assessments to ECE from the Housing Corp? Thank you.

Return To Question 32-16(1): United Way Of Yellowknife November 28th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The United Way is a very important organization and I participated in the opening of their fundraising efforts. It’s an organization that we are working with and, certainly, I would be pleased to put in a reminder to all GNWT employees to sign on and start contributing to the United Way.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery November 28th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to recognize some Metis cousins.

---Laughter

Kenny Hudson, president of the Fort Smith Metis Local; as well as Vern Jones, the president of the NWT Metis Nation; Arthur Beck; Kara King; Jim Green from Dog River; I think it is Shannon Cumming. Also two constituents of mine from Yellowknife South, Mr. Gerald Read and Janet Pound.

---Applause

Public Housing Rental Assessment November 28th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, during the past couple of months, we have heard a lot of talk about being an effective and efficient government. I think to prove that we are not only going to talk the talk, we are going to walk the walk, would be to take the transfer of rental assessment responsibility back from ECE…

---Applause

…and transfer it back to the NWT Housing Corporation who, along with their authorities, have proven that they can look after this function in the past.

Mr. Speaker, we still hear from tenants that are waiting three weeks for their rental assessments to be done. It is not fair to the tenants. There are more termination notices, Mr. Speaker, being given out. The housing authorities have to follow policy and give out these termination notices. For the most part, it is not the fault of a lot of tenants who continue to keep up with their rent. They are just not being sent to them on time. Fourteen new positions were hired. I don’t know where these positions went. I am assuming they are in headquarters. Fourteen people giving one person in the region instructions as to what to do.

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that was brought up a few times in the 15th Assembly and will continue to be brought

up in the 16th until we, as MLAs, quit hearing from our

constituents that this is not a problem. We will continue to raise the issue. I think we have an opportunity now with a new Assembly and a new Cabinet. We should have a new attitude. We should look at programs that are just not working for these people that we serve. We should seriously look at transferring the responsibility back to the NWT Housing Corporation and it’s been proved that it has worked before. I am sure it will work again, Mr. Speaker. I would like to have this Assembly, as I said before, let’s walk the walk and let’s do what is right for the tenants that live in a lot of these housing authorities and it is affecting the housing authorities’ ability to deliver the programs because they are constantly waiting for their funding which can’t be done until the assessment. It is a long story and I could go on for another two and a half minutes. I think we need to have a new attitude, Mr. Speaker. Let’s give this responsibility back to the people that have proven before that they are able to do the job. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister’s Statement 3-16(1): Human Resources Efforts November 28th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, human resources are the most important resource in an organization. Government of the Northwest Territories managers and the Department of Human Resources are becoming strategic partners in human resource management, ensuring the GNWT has the right people in the right jobs to support GNWT business program delivery.

In the months to come, I am looking forward to providing this House with an update on those efforts and highlighting some of the initiatives that will enhance our ability to recruit and retain a top-notch public service. Today, I would like to touch on a few areas for challenge and improvement.

One of the largest challenges relating to employees in addressing old issues is pay and benefits. Between now and summer 2008, the department is focusing on the backlog of pay and benefits items that are not current. Human Resources staff process approximately 7,000 transactions in pay and benefits every two weeks. This workload has resulted in delays in old file issues being dealt with. A backlog team is dealing specifically with any issues that are more than two months old. The first members of the team have already begun the work on outstanding pension estimates and final pays. The Department of Human Resources is funding this effort by focusing on the priorities and reallocating its resources. I will be providing updates on progress as this work proceeds.

Another challenge is to improve the timeliness and success rates of recruitment. The government is competing for new employees with other sectors, locally and nationally. Competitions need to be run quickly and within the hiring guidelines. Steps are being taken to review the process and to ensure timely staffing services.

While there are many challenges for human resource services, there have also been areas of improvement.

Self-service was introduced to the GNWT just over a year ago and provides employees and managers with direct secure access to their own information from anywhere they have Internet access. This month, the final group of GNWT employees, those working for Aurora College and the divisional education councils, will get access to self-service. Self-service has improved the timeliness of payments for employees of benefits such as overtime and regular pay for those who must report their hours worked. It gives employees access to their pay information, beneficiary details and the means to revise their own

personal data including addresses, emergency contacts and bank account information.

While winter and the upcoming holiday season are on most people’s minds, human resource staff are beginning the annual campaign to enrol post-secondary students and graduates for possible summer and graduate work in summer 2008. Promotion of the programs and registration information will be available in the month of December.

As part of the effort to ensure that employees are properly compensated, the Department of Human Resources provided all employees with an opportunity this fall to verify their leave credits. Approximately 600 public service employees came forward with questions and they are being provided with a review and explanation of their leave. These reviews should be completed by mid-December.

Given the challenges in recruitment in the health and social services sector, an Allied Health recruitment unit was created by Human Resources in summer 2006. The results have been positive. This was the first year for a number of years where there have been no closures of health centres, ensuring that residents had access to local services. Through the development of a larger casual pool, there has been a reduction in the use of nurses hired through agencies of 70 percent, resulting in over $1 million in savings for the health and social services authorities.

As we set out priorities as an Assembly, it will be critical that the public service is ready and able to help us address those priorities. Mr. Speaker, in the months ahead, I will be providing the House with information on efforts to better support the human resource management of the public service and the efforts of all GNWT staff. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Question 24-16(1): Approaches To Government Infrastructure In Response To Climate Change November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Certainly, I’ll be working with my colleague, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, who has the lead on dealing with climate change, and will communicate that to him. Thank you.

Question 24-16(1): Approaches To Government Infrastructure In Response To Climate Change November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Certainly, it was also discussed in the context of mitigating climate change and the opportunities for utilizing infrastructure to do so. Thank you.

Question 24-16(1): Approaches To Government Infrastructure In Response To Climate Change November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For a while there I thought I’d go through this session without a question.

---Laughter

The northern economic development Ministers met in Ottawa Thursday and Friday of last week. In the discussions on climate change and in the three briefings that were presented to the northern economic development Ministers, it was pointed out that climate change is in fact a reality and this is a first instance where the issue of discussions on utilizing infrastructure as it means for adapting to the effects of climate change. This was discussed in the context of a number of different impacts of climate change and primarily with regards to buildings and with transportation. The discussion amongst the Ministers is that initially it will be primarily amongst the individual provinces and territories and their greenhouse gas strategies and as they implement them. Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 21-16(1): Provision Of Wheelchairs For Quadriplegics November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think if we dig a little further, we’re going to find that this motorized

wheelchair was removed from this individual. But I would like to ask the Minister if Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre in Edmonton is an expert and they deal with a lot of NWT residents that do sometimes get confined to wheelchairs. I would like to ask the Minister if she would request Glenrose do a review of the wheelchair accessibility in Inuvik and recommendations that they might come up with to take care of some of these problems. Thank you.