Legislative Assembly photo

Roles

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Great Slave

Won his last election, in 2015, with 79% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Sorry, Mr. Chair. The Member faded out in the last couple words of his question. I want to make sure that I get it right. Can I get him to please repeat it?

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. On my left is Heather Ruptash, who is the senior policy analyst at the Department of Health and Social Services, and on my right, Laura Jeffrey, legislative counsel, Department of Justice. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to introduce Bill 41, the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act. As with Bill 40, the development of Bill 41 has been a result of significant time and effort by the Department of Health and Social Services and would not have been possible without the input and contribution from the Standing Committee on Social Development, as well as many members of the public. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Members of the Standing Committee on Social Development for the time that they have taken to ensure that this bill received a comprehensive review. I wish to acknowledge the time and effort that members of the public took to develop submissions and share research.

There are national concerns around tobacco use and the increasing prevalence of vaping products. The primary purpose of Bill 41, the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act, is to deter the uptake of tobacco and vaping in the NWT, to encourage individuals to quit using these items, to denormalize smoking, and to prevent early initiation of adolescents to addictive products and substances.

Bill 41 would repeal the existing Tobacco Control Act and replace it with a modern piece of legislation that regulates and restricts access to both tobacco products and vapour products and accessories. This bill would restrict access to these items by raising the legal age of purchase to 19, resulting in consistent framework for regulated substances in the Northwest Territories, including cannabis and alcohol. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. That is why the bill is in front of us. That is what we are hoping to accomplish and do. We want to get this done as badly as the Members want it done, and we will get it done as quickly as we can. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We just need to finalize a number of regulations, but as I said, we are hoping to have that done at the beginning of the next Assembly, after the election.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I believe that we were asked this question in Committee of the Whole when we did our clause-by-clause, but we are hoping to have it early in the life of the next Assembly, preferably right at the beginning.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have two different individuals with me; Heather Ruptash, who is the senior policy analyst with the Department of Health and Social Services, and Laura Jeffrey, who is legislative counsel, Department of Justice. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to introduce Bill 40: The Smoking and Control Reduction Act. The development of this bill has been the result of significant time and effort by the Department of Health and Social Services and wouldn't have been made possible without the input and contribution from the Standing Committee on Social Development as well as members of the public.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Social Development for the time they have taken to ensure that this bill received a comprehensive review. I wish to acknowledge the time and effort members of the public took to develop submissions and share research on the effect of smoking on today's society.

Mr. Chair, smoking is a serious public health concern, and the NWT has one of the highest smoking rates in Canada. The primary purpose of this Bill 40 is to protect the public, particularly children and youth, from a variety of second-hand smoke exposure, including vaping aerosol. To protect the public's health, prohibiting the general act of smoking any substance is considered more effective than trying to distinguish between which product is actually being used.

Bill 40 would repeal the Cannabis Smoking Control Act and replace it with the comprehensive legislation that restricts smoking of any substance in specific public areas to protect the public, deter uptake, and denormalize smoking. Thank you, Mr. Chair.