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In the Legislative Assembly


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was hay.
Historical Information Jane Groenewegen is no longer a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Hay River South

Lost her last election, in 2015, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to recognize my constituent from Hay River South again today, Germaine Michel, and I’m so glad she came to see the Legislature and have a tour here. It’s her first time, and anybody who lives in our territory should come and enjoy this wonderful building. I’d also like to, again, recognize my constituency assistant of 17 years, Wendy Morgan, and thank her for all of her support and all of her help over these years. To my husband, Rick Groenewegen, he is a good man. Just think of how boring his life would have been without me.


To my beautiful daughter, Jillian, it’s so good to have her here in Yellowknife. As I said, she keeps me company when all of the rest of the family is not here. So I’d like to recognize them today. Thank you.

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

Like I said, sometimes things get a little tense around here, but Mr. Bouchard does have a wonderful sense of humour and I’ll just tell you one little incident. We were co-chairing a constituency meeting and I wanted to say something kind of off the record. I said to the whole audience – there were 100 people there – “So, if I can just take off my MLA hat for one minute,” and he turned to me in front of these 100 people and said, “You cannot take off your MLA hat at your own constituency meeting.” He put me right in my place. Of course, I laughed because, I mean, that’s just the kind of comment that he would make.

To both of my assistants, Orlanda Patterson, who works in my Hay River office, I’d like to thank her for her four years. She’s been an amazing support there. To my other constituency assistant who is here in the visitors gallery today, Wendy Morgan, who has been with me for 17 years. I can say categorically, without any hesitation, that I could not have done my job without Wendy’s support. We are a team and people know us as a team and I cannot thank her enough for everything that she’s done to support me in every way possible.

To my family, my husband, Rick, is here in the visitors gallery today. He is my biggest supporter. On those cold mornings when it’s 40 below and you have to get onto that Buffalo flight and I complain and whine, he goes, “Hey, sweetie, you wanted this job. Get out there.” And once I go through the front doors, I’m fine. Sometimes it’s just getting on that plane and getting here in the morning. But Rick has been an amazing support.

To my daughter, Jillian, who is also in the visitors gallery, who was six years old when I was elected. So maybe she doesn’t have much memory of her mother other than as an MLA. It’s been wonderful to have her here in Yellowknife for the last 14 years and somebody to come here at the other end. I don’t think I could have done this. I would have been lonely without her here.

I also wanted to thank my other two children, Jeffrey and Jordan. Jeffrey stood up at our 35th wedding anniversary and said, “I had an unconventional upbringing. My parents are not sentimental. They never look back and the most interest for them is yet to come.” You know, that is kind of true. We’re always in the moment. We’re always moving forward and that kind of sums up the way we are. I would also say I’m very proud of my son Jordan, who is away, finally, at RCMP depot right now down in Regina and not here to be with us today.

So to all of my colleagues, I wish you all the best. This is a rare, rare opportunity for community service. I hate the word “politician” and I hate the word “power.” We’re all here as servants of the people and it’s not about us, it’s all about them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the words of our deputy clerk, Mr. Schauerte, “day last.” When he starts our meetings he says that. Day last of the 17th Legislative Assembly and day last of 20 years in this Chamber for me.

Mr. Speaker, I’d like to also make some thank yous. To my colleagues first, who are the mosaic and the diversity of the Northwest Territories and who bring that to the work here that we do together in the Legislative Assembly, I’d like to thank them.

To my colleagues who served in the Cabinet during the 17th Legislative Assembly, thank you for the extra hours and time that you’ve put in. It has been a pleasure to work with you and you have been most attentive to concerns we bring to you.

I’d also, especially today, like to mention our Minister of Finance, Minister Miltenberger, who came to this Chamber at the same time as I did in 1995. He does look after the money, but he is also a man with a heart and I have gone to him on numerous occasions with stories of constituents that needed a little extra compassion from this government, and he has responded. He is a get ‘er done kind of guy. I’d like to thank him.

To yourself, Mr. Speaker, serving as your Deputy Speaker, thank you for that opportunity. You must have given me all of five minutes in that chair in the last four years.

To my two colleagues who will not be returning, Mr. Bromley – and I always tell him this in private and I’ll say it in public today – he thinks a little differently than I do and he made me think outside of the box and always brought a different perspective than what I might have normally concluded or gone to. I’d like to thank him.

To Ms. Bisaro, the other half of the women’s caucus – the caucus of two – for her professionalism. I would say without Mr. Bromley and Ms. Bisaro’s contributions in committees, things would have been a lot different. They were extremely diligent. I always tell Ms. Bisaro that when she speaks, she speaks amazingly. She doesn’t have any filler words. It’s just solid material and I enjoyed listening to her speak here in the House.

I would like to thank my colleague Mr. Bouchard from Hay River North. I’ve mentioned this before, but I didn’t know Mr. Bouchard very well before we came to this Chamber together four years ago. It has been indeed a great pleasure to get to know him so well and to work so closely with him. I have particularly enjoyed his wonderful sense of humour.

If I can seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement, I’ll tell you one funny story about that.

---Unanimous consent granted

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

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’ll be abstaining from voting on the motion for a couple of reasons. Number one, the work that’s outlined in here is already underway. We’ve already been briefed in Standing Committee on Social Programs on the review of the Medical Travel Policy. So, reference to the Auditor General and the report and all that, it’s already happening.

To the issue of us determining who should get a non-medical escort, it’s taking that decision out of the hands of the medical professionals and I don’t think that’s our role. So I’ll be abstaining from voting on the motion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Bill 55 includes new provisions for “assisted community treatment,” also known as “ACT.” Essentially, this is mandatory outpatient treatment, where psychiatric care is provided while the patient is living in the community. For each patient, a treatment plan is created where the patient, health and social services professionals and family members or other support persons agree to implement and monitor the plan.

Ideally, community treatment reduces the traumatic impact of hospitalization and helps the patient reintegrate into the community following a period of hospitalization. However, as the committee discovered, there are potential shortcomings associated with this type of psychiatric care. First, despite its widespread use in other Canadian jurisdictions, community-based treatment appears to be controversial. A 2012 review of Ontario’s legislation found inconclusive evidence on the benefits of community treatment. Second, because the department has no plans to bolster resources in the communities, this option will only be available where sufficient resources already exist: in Yellowknife and, potentially, regional centres. Patients from small communities will either have to forfeit this treatment option or live away from home. Third, community-based treatment may inadvertently expose patients to criminalization if the treatment plan goes awry or the patient is not adequately monitored. Fourth, people who agree to monitor an ACT patient may be exposed to legal liabilities. Fifth, people who agree to monitor an ACT patient may experience burnout as the burden of care is handed over to family members and other unpaid caregivers. For all of these reasons, the committee cannot fully endorse the provisions pertaining to assisted community treatment.


On a per capita basis, the homeless population in the Northwest Territories is sizable, and appears to be growing. A significant number of homeless people are struggling with mental illness. The prevailing approach to homelessness and mental illness is to rely on emergency health care and on shelters for emergency housing. In the long run, this approach is costly and ineffective. As an alternative, “Housing First” is an evidence-based intervention model whereby permanent housing and wrap-around supports are provided to individuals who are homeless and living with a serious mental illness. Canada’s At Home/Chez Soi initiative was a five-year, five-city Housing First demonstration project. It examined quality of life, community functioning, recovery, employment, and related outcomes. Overall, it demonstrated that the Housing First model can be implemented successfully in combination with assisted community treatment. The committee believes that aggressive action should be taken to address homelessness, especially through the use of Housing First initiatives.

At this time, I’d like to turn the reading of the report to Mr. Dolynny.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have watched government for a long time and I know that there have been instances in the quite far past now of Ministers that were travelling with Regular Members and that there became a question after the fact about whether the people who were sponsored with taxpayers’ dollars to go to some of these events actually ever did attend them. Do we have any mechanism in place to ensure that when people do travel on government business that they do indeed attend the functions that they are travelling for?

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials October 6th, 2015

That raises another interesting question. Why would there be a delay in the filing of expense claims when a Member would travel with a Cabinet Minister or the Premier, whether it be to a federal, provincial, territorial or on foreign travel or as a committee member of a committee designated member or a committee chair? Why would there be a delay in the filing of those expense claims?

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials October 6th, 2015

I’d ask the Minister, then, if the same rigorous and strenuous monitoring and checking of expense claims for the Ministers that Minister Miltenberger has spoken of, if that would also apply to Regular Members, because, as I said, I think the public is very interested in being assured of that and knowing that that is the case.

Question 945-17(5): Travel And Expense Claims By Elected Officials October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We only need to listen to the media these days and we hear that there is a great deal of interest in the public in how people in elected office spend the taxpayers’ money when it comes to claims for travel and other expenses. We’re very fortunate in this Assembly that we have very good staff who take some time and due diligence to ensure that the claims that are being made are correct, and when they are not, as we’ve heard today, these things are remedied very quickly.

I’d like to ask the Minister of Finance; today my colleague spoke about the monitoring of expense claims and travel claims on behalf of Ministers, and I think that when the public looks at us they see all of us as one group, as government. I also think that there are probably committee chairs and some Regular MLAs who travel just about as much as Ministers do, so I would just like to know, in fairness to the public and to this effort for transparency, I’d like to ask Minister Miltenberger if it would be the government’s intention to also monitor closely the expenses of Regular Members.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to recognize Hay River South constituent Germaine Michel, who is here today with my friend Melody McLeod. It’s hard to believe that they’re auntie and niece. They look like sisters.

Also, yes, our former constituent Lisa Buckmaster-Balmer, who is in the Nursing Program here and, yes, wouldn’t it be great to have these gals come home?

I thought I heard Sarah Pope as well. I don’t know if she’s there today or not, but if she is, I’d like to recognize her.