Legislative Assembly photo

Roles

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was hay.

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

Question 826-17(5): GNWT Summer Student Employment Program May 28th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps in the past, and I’m not too sure of the details of this, this government collaborated and cooperated with the private sector to expand the number of students employed back in their home Northwest Territories for the summer months who are involved in post-secondary education.

I’d like to ask the Minister if his department has recently contemplated the idea of doing a top-up to the private sector for hiring post-secondary school students in their workplaces and is that a way that we can expand the number of opportunities? We don’t want to lose our students to the South. We would like to get them back home and get them some experience in their field of training. Thank you.

Question 826-17(5): GNWT Summer Student Employment Program May 28th, 2015

That is very welcome news, because I tend to hear more from the priority 2 students who are out studying, and when they come home, for some reason, they get screened out. So, it’s very good for the public to be aware of that breakdown between P1 and P2 students. So, I’m glad we’ve got that out there and on the record.

However, we have more than this number who are out taking post-secondary education. We have a recruitment and retention issue in the public service in the Northwest Territories. I still think it would be better if there was an initiative to hire more summer students and try the best we can to match their area of learning and training to a position in the public service here in the Northwest Territories.

So, I’d like to ask the Minister, how would he see ensuring that departments have money to hire more students, and does he know how many post-secondary students there are in total, perhaps, who are outside of the Northwest Territories in school? Thank you.

Question 826-17(5): GNWT Summer Student Employment Program May 28th, 2015

I’d like to ask the Minister, do you have any idea what the breakdown is? Obviously, they’re hired for our Affirmative Action Policy, which would then employ priority 1 and priority 2 hire candidates, and I’d like to ask the Minister if he has any kind of a breakdown on how many of each of that category are hired by these departments. Thank you.

Question 826-17(5): GNWT Summer Student Employment Program May 28th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member’s statement I talked about this government’s opportunity to provide post-secondary students who come home to the Northwest Territories to work for the summer. I don’t know what the statistics are right now on whether that number has been growing. I’m not sure what the statistics are with respect to how many of those students are priority 1 hires and how many are priority 2s, and I’d like to know, also, how many of those positions that are made available are made available here in the capital and how many are in the regions, and I’d like to know if the Minister has any of that information at his fingertips as a starting point. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

GNWT Summer Student Employment Program May 28th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to point out an irony, as I see it, with respect to hiring summer students to come and work in the Northwest Territories. Post-secondary students at southern institutions, we are supporting them, we are paying for them, and many of them who want to come back to the Northwest Territories for the summer cannot get a job with the public service.

The irony I speak about is that this government, on the other hand in another department, spends I want to say millions. I don’t know the exact number, but millions of dollars to go out and promote a program called Make Your Mark. They are going out across Canada, trying to assess people who have never been to the North, don’t know anything about it, don’t have any connections, and they are trying to attract them to the public service.

Meanwhile, we have students in post-secondary education who are priority 1, priority 2 students who are down south working for their education. We are paying for their education; we are investing in them; but when they try to get a job in the public service, we don’t have enough money to go around. We can’t hire them all. So, they are down there perhaps taking a specialized field like an engineer or something in the nursing field, some experience where we could bring them home to work for the summer. You know what? They might come back and work for the Government of the Northwest Territories at some point in the future.

I think it’s ironic that we would spend millions of dollars to attract strangers to come and work in the Northwest Territories in our public service, yet we can’t seem to find enough money to employ our students who are coming home.

Just in case anybody out there listening doesn’t know, priority 1 is an indigenous Aboriginal person under our Affirmative Action Policy. A P2, or priority 2, is an indigenous non-Aboriginal person.

I think we need to up the numbers in both of these categories. It’s understood that P1 is probably for the most part in our public service disproportionately under-represented. I understand that.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s a sad thing when we only have enough summer jobs in the public service to offer those jobs to priority 1 students. We need more to offer also to priority 2. After all, when we go across the country to try to attract people, those people have no priority hiring status in our government. We don’t even know them. The fact that a priority 2 student is indigenous non-Aboriginal means they are from here. Their family is here, but we are letting them slip away from us.

Later today I will have questions for the Minister of Human Resources on how we can better direct our resources to have more public service employment opportunities for our post-secondary kids. Thanks.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery May 27th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am very proud as the Member for Hay River South to have had two constituents from the Hay River South riding who are inducted into the Education Hall of Fame today. Doris Camsell, who has been a big contributor to traditional language and culture for her First Nation that she comes from in Fort Providence. She has been a wonderful asset in Hay River in the education field, and I would like to recognize her husband, Doug, who is also with her

today. He is also a well-known mariner in the Northwest Territories.

I would also like to recognize Bruce Green, who taught high school for many, many years. He is the father of the famous Brendan Green – I had to mention that – and Bruce’s wife, Marilyn, who is also here today, who is Brendan Green’s mother. Mr. Green was well known for his science teaching at Diamond Jenness Secondary School and had a particularly outstanding knowledge of mushrooms. I am sure he is watching this morel mushroom harvest, this rush we are having in the Northwest Territories, very closely. Welcome to the House and congratulations on a well-deserved recognition today.

Development Of Territorial Energy Strategy May 27th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Welcome back. It’s good to be back in the House. We only have seven short days here, so we have to make them count.

I am a firm believer, as an MLA, to giving credit where credit is due. We have failed as a government as the 17th Assembly in one area that I

am going to talk about today, and that is coming up with a broad energy strategy. Fail.

In the absence of a clearly thought out strategy that considers our environment, our economy and our cost of living, this government will just keep acting in a reactive mode, running willy-nilly. Like when we had to come up with a Cabinet meeting, they went someplace to have a meeting and they came back and said, “We’re going to throw $20 million into the fact that we have low water and high diesel costs.” This is the way this government has reacted to everything related to this. Let’s just throw more money at it.

We had $60 million set aside at the beginning of this Assembly to actually do something creative and responsible when it came to energy, but we have literally blown all of that. We have failed to look at the creative opportunities to do things in the Northwest Territories for Northerners in the area of energy. Here we are now a few short months until the end of our term, we’ve got a Cabinet that seemingly is going to run willy-nilly on this energy piece and people are going to use this opportunity for whatever political bucket list they may have hidden in their drawer somewhere and I’m not very happy about it, Mr. Speaker.

I have been in this Legislature a long time, and without divulging any confidentiality, let me tell you I had the opportunity to sit through a noon hour briefing today which, bar none, wins the prize, top marks for the least substance on an extremely important issue that I have ever been involved in. It’s an absolute insult to the 11 Members on this side of the House that this government, if they have a plan, are not willing to share it or discuss it or take it out for public consultation to the people of the Northwest Territories.

So, we just keep spending our money fixing crisis to crisis management, just fixing problems as we go along. We are never going to get out ahead of the problem. Mr. Speaker, I’m not very happy about it. Like I said, I can’t divulge confidential information

that has been shared in committee, but this is something that we need to talk about. This is important to the people of the North, that we have a broad Energy Strategy.

We had two energy charrettes, and now, just about when the 17th Assembly is over, we’re going to

have a response from the government for those energy charrettes. It’s too important a topic.

I may not be here in the 18th Assembly, but this is

something we get a failed mark on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery March 12th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to recognize my husband in the gallery today. There was one of those silly little things on Facebook and it said the 10 names of the best husbands. Richard wasn’t on there, but William was. I’d like to recognize William Richard Groenewegen today.

Tribute To Northern Artists Producing Wearable Art March 12th, 2015

Of course, this could have the potential of being a long statement, but I’m talking about this coat collection. But, Mr. Speaker, I wanted to mention by name just a few of the other beaders and people who sew who have contributed to the collection of garments that I am proud and honoured to own:

• beaver mittens from the late Sarah Simon;

• a wolverine-trimmed parka with Delta braid made by the late Florence Peterson from the Mackenzie Delta;

• a moosehide jacket crafted by Bernadette Williah from Behchoko;

• beaded gauntlet gloves, the last pair sewn and beaded by the late Anne Buggins from the K'atlodeeche First Nation;

• baby belts, dolls, moccasins, mukluks, beadworks from the Sahtu;

• jackets from Alice Abel and Kathy Dahl;

• a stroud jacket, I’m very proud of, with the beadwork done by Mary Louise Sangris.

These are just to mention a few, Mr. Speaker, and I won’t go on any longer. But someday I hope this collection will be in a museum someplace and I hope that I will have a chance to record all the stories of the wonderful artists, and a shout out to all of them today. Thank you.

Tribute To Northern Artists Producing Wearable Art March 12th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My statement today is about just one of the reasons why I love the North. I wanted to wear this jacket in the Assembly today because the next time we’re back here it’s going to be summertime and it’s going to be way too hot. As Darcy Moses, my friend, delivered this jacket to catch the Buffalo flight this morning, blowing snow slowed his arrival at the airport from his studio suite in Enterprise. Buffalo was already taxiing towards the runway, but Cathy McBryan ran out, waving the coat, and Joe turned back and picked it up. I mean, where else but in the North, Mr. Speaker?

Back to the jackets. Each jacket I’ve collected over the years is comprised of materials collected all with their own interest and their own story. When I’m retired someday I’m going to record all of the components and stories of the artists and how I came to acquire these jackets.

I want to remember and mention some of the people who shared their traditional skills and artistic talents, which are hard, impossible to place a monetary value on. For example, the jacket I’m wearing today was originally sewn by a respected elder, Sara Lamalice, from the K'atlodeeche First Nation. It was a man’s jacket, so I asked my friend Darcy Moses to remodel it for me. I loved Sara’s unique beadwork.

The extra moosehide that went into it is a story. A respected hunter from Fort Good Hope, named Alexie Chinna, well-known as a great hunter, carefully skinned out a moose. He rolled up the hide, he packed it in a box and he shipped it to Hay River to me on an airplane. I then put it in my truck, drove it to Fort Providence and delivered it to the home of Angelique Nadli, the late mother of my colleague here from the Deh Cho. Mrs. Nadli took the hide on her toboggan to her spring camp and tanned the hide for me. I remember very well the day that she brought it and delivered it in Hay River. It was just during Mackenzie Days, and how excited I was as I unfolded that beautiful smelling and looking hide.

Mr. Speaker, each style of beadwork in the North is unique and beautiful. The first jacket that I commissioned had the beadwork of Jessie Amos from Inuvik, the caribou hide is from Judith Charlo from Weledeh here, wolverine from Charlie Apples from the Tlicho, who walked in the front door one day with an untanned wolverine hide and wanted to know who’d like to buy it and, of course, I put up my hand, the same way that I acquired a beautiful moose hide from Angelique Loman from Trout Lake.

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

---Unanimous consent granted