Legislative Assembly photo


In the Legislative Assembly


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was know.
Historical Information Daryl Dolynny is no longer a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Range Lake

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 953-17(5): NWT Tourism Marketing October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the Minister is aware, his department was provided additional funding for tourism programs under the Economic Opportunities Strategy.

Can the Minister tell the House what benefits were derived from this investment?

Question 953-17(5): NWT Tourism Marketing October 8th, 2015

For the record, NWT has a handicap in tourism and marketing investment compared to the rest of Canada. Two years ago this Assembly approved a substantial increase to its marketing budget for the NWT Tourism.

Can the Minister of ITI provide us with a brief description of the benefits with that increased funding that he received?

Question 953-17(5): NWT Tourism Marketing October 8th, 2015

During the life of this government there have been two trade missions to China, costing taxpayers significant investment.

Can the Minister stand before this House and clearly demonstrate a tangible benefit from these junket missions?

Question 953-17(5): NWT Tourism Marketing October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to give Mr. Miltenberger a break here today. I’d like to talk about tourism for my last set of questions. NWT Tourism likes to market the NWT as a premier world-wide tourist destination. However, hampered with a limited budget and a complex five regional marketing plan, it does beg to ask how we’re able to compete on the national and world stage when it comes to tourism. The traveller is more sophisticated than ever and is looking for that wow factor. My question has always been are we able to deliver at that level. With that in mind, my questions will be for the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

A successful tourism economy depends on a skilled workforce and a world-class hospitality program.

Can the Minister inform the House how his department supports the development of human resources that will ensure that the visitors to the NWT will have this experience that exceeds this wow factor?

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To you and through you, I’d like to introduce a fine young man from the riding of Range Lake, a man who has joined us on many occasions here, who is a staunch advocate for transparency and accountability with his recent Open NWT website. That is Mr. David Wasylciw. Keep up the good work. Thank you.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters October 8th, 2015

Now a word to my family, who are first in my heart and mind. It is with admiration and commitment and care my wife, Cindy, has provided me all these years in my political trenches. She is my rock, Mr. Speaker.

I started this journey with two young boys. Now one of them is in university and the other is about to leave the nest. So to Tanner and Bronson, who might be listening in, you’ve been a source of humbling support and I thank you.

This building is not just a place where I work; it has been my home, where my colleagues have become my family. We are losing two family members who are not seeking re-election. So to Mr. Bromley and Ms. Bisaro, we do wish you well and thank you for your guidance.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, it has been a privilege to serve this Chamber with you and to serve the people of Range Lake. This is not farewell but merely goodbye for now. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand before you with my last statement in the House with some bittersweet retrospectives. Before I do, I want to commend my colleagues here today for their reflective and, indeed, moving comments and, sometimes, stories.

It is without question that some sentiments today might invite a certain cynical rejoinder, particularly as one may observe the sometimes cacophony of our oral question period or view the potential toxicity of our political arena. Certainly, and with fondness, I still retain a great respect and a reverence for this institution, which is the centrepiece of democracy and a cradle for our northern way of life.

For the first time ever, I was able to shepherd my way with an arsenal of parliamentary instruments at my disposal, from motions, petitions and oral questions, that have helped me advance the public good. Some of this good took many forms, and here are just a few Mr. Speaker: As a policymaker and legislator, I’m especially proud of convincing a need of the rewrite of the Human Tissue Act and, on the eve of a private member’s bill, I thank Cabinet for bringing it forward themselves. We are anxiously and patiently waiting for the new organ donor program to come online very soon.

Overseeing the resurrection of the responsibility of the public purse in the review of public accounts is a milestone to which all members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations should be proud of. As a chair of that committee now, it is indeed an honour.

Finally, our 11 official languages make us unique in culture and spirit. It is with this reverence that inspired me to speak four of those languages in the House: Tlicho, North Slavey, South Slavey and, of course, French.

There are many more milestones than time would allow and I would like to do them at a later time.

Of course, none of this parliamentary work would have been possible without the commitment and care of those around us.

For Mr. Grant Pryznyk in my constituency office, to the professional and personal legislative personnel from the security detail to the library staff to the technical staff to our Pages to research staff and to House and committee clerks, to all I say thank you very much.

Now a word to my family.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’d like to welcome the department and the Minister here today. As this has been a very long and a very swift journey to have this bill before the House, I do want to commend the Minister and his department for getting this bill near the end of our term and I want to thank the department for assisting committee as we went from community to community to discuss the intricacies of this bill.

I guess, first and foremost – and some of this stuff may sound familiar to the department here – as I said in the clause-by-clause review, I believe what we have before is a very action-rich and a very resource-poor bill before us and what I mean by that is the fact that we’ve got a lot of new actions in order to deal with mental illness in the Northwest Territories, many of those which I support as a Member who has had the pleasure of going literally line-by-line and community-by-community to make that evaluation.

Where I feel that it is resource poor, although we have heard some indications that there will be some money invested in this, that money will pale in comparison to what really is needed to make this bill fully and truly effective. I want to just be cautious as we go through this bill and hopefully approve it here today, that the department has a big undertaking to try to get the much-needed resources. The Minister has his colleagues sitting across from us here; we have the Finance Minister here. You’re going to have to find some money, Mr. Minister, otherwise this bill won’t be as effective as we may think it is and it’s going to require some infrastructure, it’s going to require some human resources and it’s going to require a lot of community involvement.

So I do challenge the Minister to do the necessary lobbying. I know we’re going to be finishing up session here in a day or so. I know the Minister acts in his capacity up until the next Assembly is sworn in. So I’m hoping that during that period of time that we’re able to put the tools together to kind of put the necessary action items together to make sure that, again, if this bill goes through, that we’re going to have to start on that venture.

Things that I’ve noticed as we went through this act and taking this act on the road and trying to dabble in a little bit into my own medical background as a pharmacist is that – and I’m just going to say something here – according to statistics from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, at least 20 percent of people with mental illness also have a substance abuse problem. So there’s a clear correlation, and I’ll explain more about where this number comes from and what it means to this act, but there’s a clear indication as we investigate more and more in Canada that there is a commonality between addictions and mental health. Again, when you look at the overall aspect of this act, addictions are relatively silent. I think there’s going to be a bit of a wall there when we start rolling this out, and I’ll tell you that in a second.

What we’re seeing is that with the new paradigm shift in treatment is integrating the treatment of both mental health and addiction as being treated together. A lot of the studies coming out now that have some of the best outcomes when we treat mental health and addictions as one. Now, where this puts the residents of the Northwest Territories in a bit of a predicament is that our addictions treatment facilities are down south and that’s going be causing a problem and you heard time and time again and even some of the recommendations is the fact that we strongly encourage addictions treatment programs need to come back to home row.

I know the Minister is very adamant that through cost efficiencies and trying to save money, economies of scale, that it’s not possible. But the health care system is saying we need to work together with addictions, we have to find ways to find solutions. There are many studies here. There are a number of studies I can provide to the Minister and the department later to back up the information that I’m talking about, but as the Minister always says, these are silos and there are silos now with mental health and addiction service across Canada.

Many organizations, many jurisdictions, many provinces have seen that and, again, this act is silent on that. The growing trend right now in the provinces is integrated diagnosis and treatment initiatives. These are going hand in hand, and again, many of the new paradigms in terms of treatment are showing that these integrated diagnosis treatment programs are starting to roll out across the provinces and even at a provincial level – I’ll pick Alberta, for example – addiction counsellors are being cross-trained to do mental health work and mental health counsellors are being cross-trained to do addiction work. So it’s happening in other provinces. In fact, it’s gone even further that even a province like Ontario, that Minister of Health made an integrating mental health and addictions services as one of his four goals in the strategic 10-year plan. So they’ve noticed the fact that this is important to them as well. I know we’re not Ontario, but we need to look at what’s leading the charge across Canada when it comes to the flexibility of treatment options and integrated services.

So I’ll leave it at that particular point, Mr. Chair, and again, because this act is relatively silent on addictions, I just wanted to point out some of the recent trends that we’re seeing across Canada and some of the silence that we have pursuant to this act.

One of the last things I want to talk about is the fact that, yes, there is a triggering mechanism of a five-year review of this act, and I’m very thankful that it is. I think it was well received across the communities and I applaud the government for including it. Not every legislation has a triggering clause and I’m glad we have one in this one. So, kudos to the department for allowing that to happen. However, as I’ve said before in committee, in public settings, I don’t think we need to wait for that five-year review before we initiate that trigger. I think we’re going to slowly find out, once this act and if this act comes online, that we’re going to probably have to do some massaging of this act sooner than later and we all know how the speed of government happens sometimes and I don’t want to fall victim to that trend. We waited over 30 years for this to happen, so let’s not become victims of our own demise.

Let’s make sure that we are proactive by design and I strongly encourage the department to look at it early on in the life of the 18th once this thing comes online. I would include even up to a year, up to two years after we go live with this that it comes up for formal review and a full public consultation process. Hopefully by then the stuff I talked about earlier with integration of addictions might be able to be incorporated with mental health within the paradigms of one act.

I will conclude saying thank you very much for allowing me to speak and I do want to thank my colleagues. This was the last act that we had the pleasure of travelling together. You get to know your fellow counterparts quite intimately, I guess, sometimes when you’re doing road community travel. But this is a great group from the Social Programs committee. They’re enriched with plenty of rigor and I just want to say, for the record, it was a pleasure working with them and we’ve got a great chair that leads us down that path. Thank you.

Motion 50-17(5): Medical Travel Policy, Carried October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of this motion, and I’d like to thank Mr. Yakeleya and Mr. Hawkins for bringing it forward.

First and foremost, we’re very thankful that the mover of this motion is here with us. We know he suffered a very traumatic injury and sustained injury, as well as his family. So on behalf of the Assembly, I want to make sure that we wish him well and much healing for him and his family.

It’s only when you go through yourself the trials and tribulations of pain, of injury, you can actually assess whether or not our health system is actually working for the people it serves. It’s a testament to our system. It’s a testament to the work of men and women who work for us.

I want to say, first and foremost, I’ve worked alongside the medical community for over two decades and we’ve got some great people who work in our health facilities and in our travel area, who do the booking and who work at health centres. I want them not to read into this as something that they’re doing wrong. It’s something that we can do better. I think I want to make that perfectly clear. We have made strides in medical travel but have we made the leaps and bounds to make sure that we’re actually there for the people we serve.

This motion has evolved tremendously over the last couple of days as this motion was discussed in the committee. We were looking at basically a no-ask policy first, and quite frankly, it didn’t garner the support of members, and we could see why. It would be too problematic. But it’s something to consider down the road.

I’m glad that the mover of the motion brought it to us today with more cognitive… He talks about impaired mobility and cognitive ability. Those are key attributes to which we need to be very cognizant. Because, as we heard earlier, everyone in this room, we hope, is of sound mind and body today. As I say, we hope. But when you’re in pain and you’re not firing on all cylinders, everything is magnified tenfold. You’re not able to think clearly. You’re not able to make that decision. You’re not able to make a phone call. You’re not able to hold a bag or even walk up a flight of stairs to get on a plane or take your bag off the rail. You’re not able to do those things, so having an escort, really, in essence, is a key attribute to the healing process. For whatever reason, this motion talks about very specifics in nature which I like, and I think we need to give consideration where consideration is due.

As well, it’s very pertinent for us to note that we’ve waited a very long time. When I say we, residents of the Northwest Territories, Members of this House, committee, and of course, the Auditor General of Canada. He’s still waiting too. He’s asked this government to act accordingly. The government of the day said, yup, we’ll do that. We’ll get on it and we’ll have it done by a certain date, and that’s actually documented for everyone to see. Well, of course, we’ve gone past that date. We’ve gone past that date many times. It’s unearthly to still hear stories to this day, and I can tell you, as a Member who has to listen to a patient or a constituent come in, the moment we know it’s an issue of medical travel, we all know we’re going to be there for a while. It’s not one issue that falls off the rails when it comes to medical travel. It’s a story, and it’s usually a cascade, it’s a myriad of issues, one after the other, to which you’re here as a Member and you try to help.

Now, of course, we put tools in place. We’ve got system navigators, and that’s a great move that the department did. But as I said, when you’re sitting there listening to a patient go through their story about what happened to them, you feel for that person. You go, geez, why couldn’t we have done something better? So this is one of those motions where it says why couldn’t we have done something better, why should we not do something to improve?

So, I really appreciate the motion for what it is. This is a very subtle nudge to the Minister to say you know what, don’t leave it on the backbench. Let’s tackle this issue. We know the Minister has approached committee. We know the Minister has talked about the bigger plans. I’m sure today he’ll share some specific details about where they’re going with medical travel and I’m hoping the public is able to understand where we’re going, should we get there sooner.

The motion talks about getting back to us in February of 2016. Hopefully, some of us are here, but I’m encouraging the Minister and the department, let’s not wait until February 2016. There are certain things we can do now. That’s what this motion says. Let’s do it now. We’ve been waiting years. Years.

So I want to leave you with this, I can go on at length with this because this is definitely up my alley, but I want to leave you with this here: You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for, and clearly we haven’t worked enough on this one. Thank you.

Committee Report 25-17(5): Report On The Review Of Bill 55: Mental Health Act October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. During the committee’s travel in the communities, residents described their despair and helplessness in the face of suicide. They want clearer direction in how to support people who are at risk and what to do when something goes terribly wrong. The facts and statistics for the Northwest Territories show an obvious need to strengthen suicide prevention efforts. According to the 2011 Northwest Territories Health Status Report, the annual suicide rate in the Northwest Territories is 65 percent higher than the national rate. The same report indicates that the suicide rate in small communities is several times higher than the national average. The chief coroner for the Northwest Territories reported that the suicide rate for 2014 rose substantially over previous years. Furthermore, Statistics Canada data for 2010 show that the suicide rate among youth in the Inuit homelands – which include the Inuvialuit of the western Arctic – is up to 30 times higher than that of youth in other parts of Canada.

According to the latest national and international evidence, suicide is largely preventable. For this reason, suicide prevention efforts should be strengthened and include training in Mental Health First Aid for community leaders and GNWT employees. The government also should investigate methods used in Québec, where an aggressive provincial strategy has led to dramatic declines in the rate of suicide.

With respect to Bill 55, the committee sought to introduce provisions to better ensure that people who have attempted suicide, or threatened to do so, receive proper assessments and follow-up care. A new provision pertains to cases where a person has recently caused, threatened, or attempted self-harm. It will ensure that the person undergoes further assessment to determine whether an involuntary admission is necessary. The Minister agreed to the motion and assured the committee that education and training will be provided to health professionals so that the new provision is correctly administered. The Minister also explained that involuntary psychiatric assessments are completed by a trained psychiatrist or physician and is comprehensive in nature, including an investigation into the presenting concern, the history of the concern, a mental-status exam, a physical exam, personal history, direct observations, and consultation with other professionals.

The committee also drafted a motion to establish self-harm as a criterion for involuntary admission, under the proposed Section 13. However, after reviewing the draft motion, the Minister indicated that he could not concur with it. He explained that recent harm is not a guarantee that a person will harm themselves or others in the near future and, further, that an involuntary admission solely on this basis could result in a challenge

under the

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Moreover, while the legislation in some other jurisdictions includes recent harm as a criterion for involuntary admission, it indicates that the risk of future harm must also be present. Persuaded by this reasoning, the committee chose not to introduce the motion.

Strategy for Youth and Adolescents

During its review of Bill 55, the committee learned that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Canadian youth and that roughly 20 percent of Canadian youth have a mental health issue. Moreover, in about 70 percent of cases, mental health problems emerge before a person reaches the age of 18. These facts came to light in a 2006 report by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. The ground-breaking report called the treatment of children and youth the worst part of the mental health system in Canada. The report made such an impact that all Canadian provinces subsequently developed stand-alone mental health strategies for youth and adolescents. The Northwest Territories has not yet followed suit. However, as he indicated at the clause-by-clause review, the Minister will be recommending that such a strategy be undertaken in the 18th Assembly.

Through you, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to turn it over to my colleague Ms. Bisaro. Thank you.