- Her favourite word was services.
Last in the Legislative Assembly October 2023, as MLA for Yellowknife Centre
Won her last election, in 2019, with 35% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'm going to quote the section of the Member's Code of Conduct which applies in this case. Members must act lawfully and in a manner that will with withstand the closest public scrutiny, upholding the integrity and honour of the Legislative Assembly and its Members. Members shall ensure their conduct does not bring the integrity of their office, or of the Legislative Assembly, into disrepute.
And as you know, Mr. Speaker, there's commentary that goes with this. And I think the most important paragraph in the commentary says the Legislative Assembly will not generally be interested in the personal or private affairs of a Member; however, if a Member's conduct is such that knowledge of it would likely to impair the public's trust in the institution of the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Assembly may be justified in taking action. This is particularly so where the conduct in question is unlawful.
Mr. Speaker, there's no question that the Member for Great Slave has broken the Code of Conduct and that has been affirmed by the Integrity Commissioner.
I want to say as a Yellowknife MLA, when I was evacuated, and the news broke that the MLA for Great Slave had returned that the reaction from Yellowknife residents was anger. People were angry. They were also in a place that they didn't find comforting. They were in a place that wasn't home to them. Even though they may have been in a place that was safe and secure, they would rather have been in their own beds. And they were angry, I think, because there was no shared sense of anxiety and hardship, which all of us experienced to some extent or another.
There was no compelling reason for the MLA to be in Yellowknife, and there was no reason for her to stay after the YKDFN made it clear that they did not need her -- they did not need her services. So in summary, this was a selfish decision with no benefit to the community. And the fact that she's not here today tells us that she has nothing but disdain for this House. Those are my comments.
Tabled Document 1036-19(2): Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority 2022-2023 Annual Report Tabled Document 1037-19(2): Tlicho Community Services Agency Health and Social Services Annual Report 2022-2023 October 6th, 2023
Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following two documents: Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority 2022-2023 Annual Report, and the Tlicho Community Services Agency Health and Social Services Annual Report 2022-2023. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 6th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Many White who has been filling in as my ministerial special advisor for the last two weeks. I'd like to thank Shaleen Woodward, Martin Goldney, and James Tulley, for all the work they do to support the executive council. There are a lot of people here who support the executive council. Thank you for everything that you've done.
Kenzi, you're here today. Thank you for being a page; I really appreciate it. And I would also like to thank Craig Yeo, my constituency assistant through most of my time in the Legislative Assembly. He's done a wonderful job of helping constituents. And finally to my friend Kevin O'Reilly, who I've known since before I moved to Yellowknife because he was talking about mining reclamation in Labrador when I lived there. So Kevin, thank you for this journey that we've taken together.
Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I would like this rule to be called the Kevin O'Reilly Memorial Rule. Thank you.
Committee Motion 524-19(2): Committee Report 52-19(2): Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures Report on the Review of the Rules of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly- Strangers, Carried October 5th, 2023
Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I feel like this is the icing on the cake of making this a family friendly workplace. Just to recap, when I first started working here, if you wanted to change a baby you had to change him or her on the bathroom floor. That was the only available place. So what a long way we've come from that to actually welcoming babies into the Chamber. Thank you.
Committee Motion 517-19(2): Committee Report 52-19(2): Report on the Review of the Rules of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly - Removal of Member from Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight, Carried October 5th, 2023
Yeah, thank you. I have the same thought as well. There have been issues in each of the Assemblies that I've -- that I've been a Member of with attendance, and it seems counterintuitive to suspend someone who's not coming anyway. But at the same time, it draws attention to the problem that some Members are not doing their jobs. And I think it's important for the public to know about that. But having said that, I take the point of the Member for Hay River North that we're sort of looking at both sides of the coin here. Thank you.
Committee Motion 516-19(2): Committee Report 52-19(2): Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures Report on the Review of the Rules of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly - Regular Member committee Membership, Carried October 5th, 2023
Thank you, Madam Chair. Yes, Madam Chair, I was going to make a similar point to the Member for Frame Lake that when this occurred in this Assembly, it made for an unequal distribution of work which is not considerate of the other Members. And so it's a shame that we have to set it out explicitly, but I think it's a good idea. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. The timing set out in Bill 80 now provides the department with just over two years to develop professional regulations. The department remains concerned that they may not be able to meet this deadline. The timing set out in the bill leaves little room for delays that are frequently encountered during the regulatory development. It does not reflect the challenges that the department anticipates when engaging the dental hygiene profession.
Dental hygienists in the NWT do not have a territorial association or organization representing the profession, nor has the department received any explicit indication from members of the dental hygiene profession regarding what changes they would like to see in the regulatory framework. This makes it difficult to know whom to engage in the development of the regulations, the content, and the estimated time required to draft them.
The current regulatory framework for dental hygienists is significantly outdated and silent on many of the elements found in modern professional regulatory frameworks, such as standards of practice, continuing competency requirements, and complaints considerations. We know significant work will be required to move the regulation of dental hygienists from the Dental Auxiliaries Act to the Health and Social Services Professions Act. This work cannot be done without thorough engagement with the profession.
While the department is committed to advancing these regulations as quickly as possible, these external variables pose risk that legislated timings for regulatory development will be missed. Missing these legislated timelines poses risks to both the dental hygiene profession and to the public as I mentioned in my opening remarks.
If Bill 80 came into force prior to finalizing with the regulations, there would be no legislation governing the regulation of dental hygienists in the NWT. During this gap, dental hygienists could not be licensed to practice in the NWT. This means that the public could not make a complaint about the professional's conduct and existing professional license would not be valid and no new licenses could be issued and non-licensed professionals could provide services without a license. It's also likely that professional insurance for dental hygienists practicing during this time would be difficult to obtain.
While this gap could be addressed through an amending bill in the next Assembly, such an approach would take away from the work to develop the regulations. For these reasons, I'm proposing that Bill 80 be amended to allow the department additional time, which they may or may not need, to 2027, to work with the dental hygiene profession to develop a comprehensive and modern regulatory framework for dental hygienists in the NWT. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that Bill 80 be amended in subsection in
(a) in subclause 1(2), by striking out "December 1st, 2025" in proposed subsection 5(2) and substituting "August 1st, 2027"; and
(b) in subclause 1(3), by striking out "November 30th, 2025" in proposed subsection 67.1(1) and substituting "July 31st, 2027."
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters October 5th, 2023
Mr. Chair, I'm here as the Minister of health to discuss this Private Member's Bill, Bill 80, the Dental Hygienist Profession Statute Amendment Act. I would like to thank the Member for Kam Lake and the Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes for their efforts to advance a modern regulatory framework for dental hygienists. I'd also like to thank the Members of the Standing Committee on Social Development for the time they have taken to hear the department's concerns with the approach taken to this bill, and specifically the time it will take to create new profession-specific regulations for dental hygienists under the umbrella Health and Social Services Professions Act.
The department recognizes that there is a significant gap in the provision of preventative dental services in our communities and agrees that expanding the scope of dental hygienists is one potential solution. We also acknowledge that the current regulatory framework for dental hygienists is outdated and unnecessarily restricts their scope of practice.
Mr. Chair, this bill will not fix this problem. Dental services are not part of the NWT health plan. In small Indigenous communities, dental services are funded by the non-insured health benefits program, which is, in turn, funded by Indigenous Services Canada. The fact is the federal government isn't allocating enough money to attract providers to travel to the small communities to offer services.
All the dental contracts we had expired on March 31st, 2023. And prior to that, we advertised for new regionally-based contracts. What we got out of that was two regions did not receive any bids. Two regions received a single bid however both proposals were noncompliant.
The department and myself, in particular, have been advocating for changes to the requirements of working with Indigenous Services Canada to determine next steps. But until the contracts are awarded, if and when, access to dental services outside of the home community is being assessed by Indigenous Services Canada on a case-by-case basis. We need our partners at the federal government to come to the table to understand the challenges that are preventing the delivery of these services. This includes reviewing rates offered to providers for services and working to improve communications on how residents who qualify can access services while they are not available in their home communities.
We agree that the regulatory framework for dental hygienists should be prioritized for modernization. However, we remain concerned about the legislated timing for completing the new profession specific regulations for dental hygienists. Pharmacists and midwives have both applied earlier than this bill arrived to be regulated, and those -- we are prioritizing those.
There are risks to missing the legislated deadline. If that were to happen, dental hygienists would not be regulated and without regulation, they probably could not obtain insurance. The department would prefer more time in order to manage this risk and looks forward to working with the NWT dental hygienists to update their practice. Thank you.
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