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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 Order Of The NWT Recipient – Mr. Bruce Green October 6th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to recognize a Hay River constituent, Bruce Green. He has been chosen as the recipient of the 2015 Order of the Northwest Territories. It is the highest honour of the Northwest Territories and takes precedence over all the orders, decorations and medals conferred by the government and the Legislative Assembly of the NWT.

A member of the Order is entitled to wear the insignia of the Order as a decoration and to use ONWT after his/her name, and membership is for life.

Bruce Green has devoted his life to teaching. He began teaching in 1967 and took up teaching in Hay River in 1974 with his wife, Marilyn. Bruce has a wealth of knowledge and experience in many fields, but most people know him as a northern science guy. His passion is science. He has shared his expertise in northern biology and archeology, and he was involved in promoting the Northern Tundra Science Camp offered to Grade 11 students from across the NWT.

Bruce has represented the Territorial Farmers’ Association and the GNWT at the 5th Circumpolar Conference in Sweden where he did a presentation on cold weather composting. Bruce provided his expertise in providing the Resource Manual of Practical Ideas, developed to include traditional and cultural learning in science curriculum at the primary level.

Through the years, Bruce has been a mentor, coach and active member of several clubs and associations, such as Biathlon Canada, the NWT Biathlon Association, NWT Wrestling, the Hay River Ski Club, the Territorial Farmers’ Association and the NWT Literacy Council.

Bruce has twice received the Hilroy Scholarship Award for Innovative Teaching and Programs. He has received Sport North awards for instructing and coaching wrestling and has been recognized as Hay River’s Citizen of the Year. Most recently, Bruce was inducted into the NWT Education Hall of Fame for his dedication to teaching in the Northwest Territories.

Bruce remains involved in the community and is instrumental in volunteering and planning programs, such as the Christmas Bird Count, beaver watching, owling, search for fossils, and many other educational, interesting meetings. Bruce also has musical talents and is often seen to be playing the organ in the Catholic Church.

Bruce and his wife, Marilyn, who is also a teacher, have lived in Hay River for over 38 years, raised their six children in a loving, caring and educational home. Bruce is also the proud parent of Olympic athlete, Brendan Green. We are thankful that Bruce and his family have decided to stay in the North, where I’m sure he will continue to contribute to the well-being of our community.

I’m pleased today to congratulate Bruce Green on this honourable recognition. On behalf of Hay River, thank you, Bruce, for all that you do for others and for Hay River and for the North. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 941-17(5): Deh Cho Bridge Referee Claim Review October 5th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m glad to hear that the matter is not concluded and that the Premier has expressed a willingness today to meet with the principals of Rowe’s Construction to see this matter brought to a satisfactory conclusion, understanding the challenges of the election period and so on. But I understand that Ministers will stay in their capacity and in their roles until after new Ministers or a new Cabinet has been elected and appointed, so I would still ask the Premier if this could be done still yet prior to that during the 17thAssembly?

Question 941-17(5): Deh Cho Bridge Referee Claim Review October 5th, 2015

I would like to ask the Premier if it is within his purview to instruct someone within the Department of Transportation to meet expeditiously with the Rowe’s to see this matter brought to a conclusion.

I am led to believe that there may be people in the Department of Transportation who are not as willing as perhaps their political masters or their political bosses would be to see this matter resolved, and I would like to see it resolved. If it takes political intervention, I’m asking for political intervention. Does the Premier have it within his ability to ask someone in the Department of Transportation, in the next short while, to meet with the Rowe’s, representatives of Rowe’s to find a solution to this situation?

Question 941-17(5): Deh Cho Bridge Referee Claim Review October 5th, 2015

The Premier and the Minister previously have spoken about legal liabilities. Again, this project is not without its challenges and difficulties, but the government and Rowe’s agreed to a referee arbitrator. In the arbitrator’s report it says I believe Rowe’s is entitled to a part of all of the money still owing to them up to the amount of the funds available under the credit agreement. I mean, these are nonbinding decisions of the arbitrator but the government and Rowe’s came together to go choose somebody to look at this whole situation and now here we are today and we’re just talking about the absolute legal liability.

I say this government has a moral liability, in the interest of good business and good business practices, to support a northern contractor who in good faith performed work for which they have not been paid. As I said, that amount has been written down substantially to take into account any of those questionable things that the Premier has made reference to. I think, like I said, you’re hearing pretty clearly from a number of Members on this side of the House that we are interested in seeing Rowe’s paid this $373,000. I’d like to ask the Premier, how can we get that done?

Question 941-17(5): Deh Cho Bridge Referee Claim Review October 5th, 2015

I’m going to join my colleagues on this side of the House today and also weigh in on this issue of the Deh Cho Bridge. I haven’t talked about the Deh Cho Bridge for a long time, and I’m going to direct my questions to the Premier, if I may, today.

We’re aware of the situation with the Deh Cho Bridge. It was fraught with challenges and setbacks and change in contractor and all kinds of things. Everybody was out there on the job doing their best to ensure the delivery of this bridge project as close to on schedule and on budget as possible. It is not a perfect science. Construction is not a perfect science, so when it became apparent that some of the scour rock had to be hauled from a further distance. There is such a thing as agreements between contractors and subcontractors. They aren’t always signed out there on the workplace, but the work gets done and it’s done in good faith. That’s what I want to say.

Now we have a situation here where we have a couple pots of money. We have money for deficiencies, we have money for holdbacks, and we have a northern contractor that was really owed about $1.3 million and that amount has now been written down to $373,000. You can see, the Cabinet can see, the Premier can see from the support on this side of the House that Rowe’s Construction is a territorial company, a long-standing territorial company that has come to the aid of the GNWT on many projects, because projects run into problems. It’s not a perfect science. Rowe’s has been, I think, a very good corporate citizen in the contracting that they have done for this government.

Now we have the situation before us today where we’re talking about $373,000. I’d like to ask the Premier: Is there money in any of the pots of money either from holdbacks or deficiencies that could allow us to pay this northern contractor? Everyone else has been paid. The Minister of Transportation has said we had to pay Ruskin, they built us a bridge. They didn’t build a bridge without the subcontractors there to help them and support them to get the job done.

Question 931-17(5): Personal Costs Associated With Addictions Treatment October 5th, 2015

Thank you, for that commitment. Thank you.

Question 931-17(5): Personal Costs Associated With Addictions Treatment October 5th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m not sure who I should direct my question to today, but as I said in my Member’s statement, I have a constituent who took the matter of their own well-being, their own welfare, into their own hands and took the initiative to get themselves to a residential treatment program in the South, was granted the time off from work, works for the government, and the results of that treatment were highly successful, and now, though, looms the debt that was incurred.

So, Mr. Speaker, I don’t know who to direct this question to. Okay. Now, Mr. Speaker, I am asking for a discretionary approval on compassionate grounds for this young family to have these costs covered, and I want to say that the cost incurred is no greater than what it would have been had this government referred them out for treatment. So, it’s no extra cost. Thank you.

NWT Addictions Treatment Services October 5th, 2015

So, although we can say that we have a streamlined process, there are these one-offs and these unusual circumstances which do occur at times. For this particular case, I am asking this government, again appealing to these Ministers for discretionary latitude to help this family out now with this debt that remains for an initiative that they took to get the treatment that they needed and are now living a happy and healthy life. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

NWT Addictions Treatment Services October 5th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our days in this House are drawing to a close. I want to speak about something today that’s still very, very important in the Northwest Territories and that is the subject of addictions. I don’t think anybody who works for this government around this table could say that we have anything less than an epidemic proportion of problems with addictions, and we also know that it affects every aspect of life in the Northwest Territories, whether it’s justice, education, health, or just the well-being and safety of our communities.

So, as a government, we look for ways to address addictions, and I do commend the government for things like community counselling programs; the NWT Helpline; the Matrix program, which I just saw an ad in the Fort Smith newspaper for a Matrix program which outlined it all – it looks amazing – withdrawal management; on-the-land healing programs; and then also there are the residential treatment centres. We do not have a residential treatment centre in the Northwest Territories at this time, but we were told that with the money that was saved from the closure of Nats’ejee K’eh that clients who needed residential treatment could be referred to southern institutions and that this process would be streamlined, so we took that as something to be encouraged by, but still today we know that it is not easy for people to find treatment that want treatment.

In my constituency I was approached by a constituent, and I’ll make this story short, but this individual was going to the family counselling services and he hit rock bottom. He was faced imminently with the loss of his job – which was a very good job – with the loss of his family, with the loss of his home, and this person took matters into his own hands. They got out their credit card and they got themselves to treatment because they knew they were at that crossroads of absolute loss of everything they valued. So they got themselves to residential treatment in the South, on their credit card, and I want to say, happily, the treatment was fantastic, it helped so much. They returned to their community, to their job, to their family, to their life, and to this day remain sober, and this was many, many months ago that they did this. But the fact is that they had to do that on their own dime and that debt still remains now a cloud hanging over that family.

This is a compassionate government. I have gone to these Ministers before with one-offs and unusual circumstances and they have been compassionate.

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

---Unanimous consent granted

Report Of Committee Of The Whole October 5th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Tabled Document 325-17(5), Supplementary Estimates (Infrastructure Expenditures) No. 3, 2015-2016; and Tabled Document 324-17(5), Supplementary Estimates (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016; and would like to report progress, and that consideration of Tabled Document 325-17(5) is concluded and that the House concur in those estimates and that an appropriation bill to be based thereon be introduced without delay. Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of Committee of the Whole be concurred with. Thank you.