- Her favourite word was know.
Last in the Legislative Assembly October 2023, as MLA for Great Slave
Lost her last election, in 2023, with 26% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'll keep it short so I'm not keeping everybody from dinner and cocktails. So I just want to say that I do support this budget. I'm happy to see a lot of infrastructure projects going forward. 100 percent road funding that can't be used for houses, so we don't need to have that debate. It is money that's coming from the federal government to fix up our roads, and we didn't have to put any money into that. And I just want to say I completely support all of our communities and all of my small community colleagues' communities to be connected by roads, including what my colleague from Monfwi said about getting Gameti and Whati on there. And I want to see -- or sorry, Wekweeti. I want to see the entire Mackenzie Valley Highway road built. So not even just to Norman Wells but all the way up to my colleagues in Inuvik's riding so that we no longer have to worry about the Dempster Highway, so much; we still want it, it's beautiful and we need a tourism piece there and I know that yourself is on that highway, Mr. Speaker. But, you know, it would be great if we could have two areas to bring in resources, supply chain, and have some redundancy in our network of roads. So I support this. I will be voting for it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Nokleby's Reply October 6th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm going to try to do this one from the heart because for me that's when I feel like I always am able to speak my best. So I've got a couple notes here and I'll forgive -- everybody will have to forgive me if I forget to mention someone that has been there for me.
I first just wanted to start with my personal staff that had helped me through the last while starting with my MSA, when I was a Minister, Krista Elander. Also my campaign manager. And as well Colleen O'Connor who was my constituency assistant for the majority of my time here in the House. I don't think she's here, but Colleen saw me through what was probably one of the toughest moments of my life, and as well including the death of my mother, and I wanted to thank her for that time. My current constituency assistant, Maggie Mercredi, I can't thank Maggie enough. Maggie is my sounding board. Maggie is my weathervane. Maggie is my teacher, my instructor. The conversations that we have and the things that I have learned, particularly around the privilege that I hold as a white woman in this country and in this nation, I can't thank her enough for that perspective that she gives me. And I'm honoured to call her my friend as well as my assistant. I would be remiss if we talked about all the staff in this building, and I didn't bring up the security guards, the security guards who have made me feel fairly safe given that I've had a little bit of a bumpy ride here and who knows, when people get passionate about things how it's going to go. And I've always known that security had my back, plus they were the recipient of a lot of my corny jokes as I came in to the Assembly every day. So I appreciate their time. And unfortunately Bob is now gone, he was also my constituent. So I always enjoyed chatting with him.
Speaking of my constituents, they have been through a lot with me. I know that there are many that are probably not too happy with me at the moment but there are a lot that have reached out in support. I would be remiss if I didn't bring up probably everybody's favorite Canada Day parade participant Merlin Williams and his wife Joyce who have provided just a huge amount of support to me over the last four years and just keeping me going as well as providing me some of that dry British humour that I miss from all my great uncles who were Scottish and loved a good joke. Although they are Welsh so I will not, you know, conflate the two.
I think a huge thing for me has been the committee work, which I often tell people the sessional piece is not really that important to me. I find this to actually be the part of the job that I don't -- I mean, I like to get up, it's fun to put on the earrings and the clothes and etcetera, but to me the real work is the work that we've been doing in our committees and our advocacy work. And I'm really, really proud of the two committees that I sat on, besides the AOC, which was the Standing Committee on Social Development as well as the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment. Both were very lively. Both were very informative. I'm a lifelong learner. My parents the were educators, I've mentioned that many times in this House, and the things that I have learned just from being a part of these committees has blown my mind. And I know that no matter what happens in my path forward, the information and the knowledge that I've gained from that work is going to serve me no matter where I go and will allow me to continue on the path of advocacy no matter whether I sit in this House doing so or somewhere else in this territory.
This role really is about relationships. Relationships across the House, across the floor, but relationships also with our colleagues, relationships with our staff and relationships with our constituents and our neighbours. I've been very grateful to have made great friends in this Assembly. I really want to give a special shout out, though, to my colleague the MLA for Monfwi. We've had a great time sitting here much maybe to your chagrin a few times, Mr. Speaker, when we get chatting. I just want to say that the power of this woman is that she is probably the only person in my adult life that has ever gotten me to pray on a bible. And if you know me, Mr. Speaker, that is a huge thing. And I think it speaks volumes to the faith and commitment that Jane has and the heart that she has brought to this Assembly and the support that she has shown me. I am really grateful for your support and your friendship, Jane, as well to you, Jackie, we've been a big supporter in keeping me coming back into this House time and again.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't speak about all my colleagues. I've watched everybody transform and change over four years. I don't even recognize myself from when I came into this House. I remember feeling so scared and intimidated. Haylee Carlson being that bright smile to make us all feel a little bit less scared. But it's funny to me now when people talk about the intimidation or feeling like the awe of coming in here that I no longer have that same feeling of fear that I had when I walked in. And to me, as a person who has struggled a long time in my life with confidence and esteem, the ability to now walk into this Assembly and feel like I belong here is a huge growth for me and speaks volumes to the confidence I now have in myself that has been instilled in me through this work.
I would have to say to you, Mr. Speaker, specifically thank you. Thank you for tolerating my, you know, challenging of process and rules at times. I know the clerk's office has also been kept on their toes by me. I'm a firm believer that change doesn't happen unless we sort of push forward and batter, and I know sometimes my battering ram is a little bit maybe oversized for what it needs to be; however, it's always been done with the intent to make the change that's good and right for this territory. And I thank you for always having a sense of humour while you do this and while you deal with me. So much appreciated.
I had already mentioned before the translators. I am a fast speaker. I am the youngest of four kids, I had to speak a lot to get words in when I was a child, and I think that's translated on now as well as having been a consultant where time was money. We didn't have a lot of time to spend choosing our words often, and so we just plowed ahead. So thank you to the translators and the interpreters for bearing with me, but also thank you for all of your kind words of support. Many times I walked out of this Chamber after a very, very difficult day not knowing many of you from before -- or not knowing hardly any of you from before, but you have said words to me that encouraged me, that have kept me going. I don't have family in the territory. I don't have any family anymore that's of a certain vintage. And so I do really appreciate that the elders, I feel that you have welcomed me and embraced me and encouraged me and I thank you so much for that.
Sorry, I just got to find my notes here.
There are a few things that have happened here in this last one that I want to take forward to the 20th Assembly and areas I think that are important for them to focus on. My speech today or my statement today was on the infrastructure deficit. I can't stress enough what that is doing to us as a territory. When you are constantly playing catchup on things, you're spending more money to do that catchup than you would if you had the right money to begin with. That's a huge thing and lesson in consulting. In engineering, you need to put the money upfront to do so right. And so I think that's something we really need to take forward in the next Assembly is get that Mackenzie Valley Highway built.
The next piece I think that is probably the most important -- well, I say that, and then every time I say that I think of about 40 other things that I feel are equivalently important. And I think I'm a bit cursed sometimes with that bigger picture, you know, and interconnectivity ability to see that, so. Addictions and mental health. I've been a huge proponent of mental health supports. And, Mr. Speaker, I've been very frank; I spoke about it earlier today to the CBC. I struggle from depression and anxiety. And I think that has been something that when I have people that come to me in this territory that are suffering, that is the piece that I have been able to relate to them on and to really see that if you don't have safety, you don't have security, which comes into the housing piece we talk a lot about, you will not have good mental health and you will not be able to do anything in your life. It is just something that is all encompassing. The addictions, I personally try to help many people -- I've got a lot of ideas on that that I won't waste our time here today speaking about, but I think to me that has to be one of the top priorities of the 20th Assembly. I also spoke this week about proactive climate change and emergency response. As an engineer, iterative process, learning from our mistakes, living documents, standard operating procedures, all of these are things that I think are very important, things that I helped and hoped to bring to the Assembly as an MLA and something that I think we really need to be looking at and being smarter with our government day-to-day work and ensuring we're doing it efficiently.
And lastly, I just -- on this part is I wanted to speak a little bit to the federal engagement. I do say -- have seen an increase to the hundred percent dollars. And kudos to us all, I think, as a group for being able to be vocal and loud about some of the issues that we're facing. I have to say as much as COVID has been a terrible thing for us, I think in some ways it did us a little bit of good in highlighting to the federal government just really how behind the 8 ball we really are in here in the territory. And I do think some of that hundred percent dollars is a result of them finally having an understanding of what it means to get food into Ulukhaktok or into, you know, Sachs Harbour. And I think that it's important that the next Assembly utilize our unique consensus government to create relationships not only with the ruling federal party but also all of the opposition parties as well. We all know in this House that everybody comes to us on this side when they want to push on that side. So we need to be doing that more strategically as a territory and leveraging relationships with all three federal parties to get what we want and get them at each other in the House just like the municipalities do to us here, Mr. Speaker.
Another majorally important part to me in all of this, and pretty much actually the moment that I made a decision to ever get into politics, had to do with working with youth and women and advocacy of women in being in leadership roles. As I've mentioned before, and you may not remember this but I'm an engineer, Mr. Speaker, and I have spent my entire career dealing with a lack of female representation in my profession. It was from advocating for more women in the -- discipline of engineering that led me to become a politician. I remember specifically sitting with a group of Pathfinders, which is the teenaged-age girls in Girl Guides and thinking to myself about a work event I just had and wondering where was my voice, what was this. And then I looked at these girls and I thought to myself, I don't want them to become 40 years old and wondering why they don't have any voice in their government, why they don't have any say, why they still feel second class. And, Mr. Speaker, for me, that was the reason that I ran for office. And one of the best things that I've had doing here was participating in the youth parliament and being one of, I hope, the most enthusiastic pages that they've ever seen. And so to have the youth with us, to have the pages here, the youth parliament, something we missed out on during COVID, has really impacted me and to being a role model to those youth and especially young girls, that is one of the most important things I carry out of this Assembly.
And as I said before, just the transformation of myself, I'm grateful for who I've become, the strength that I've learned and, yeah, the path that I find myself suddenly on versus where I thought I was going to be maybe ten years ago.
I had hoped my colleague for Thebacha would still be here because I wanted to give her a bit of a shout out because she's always talking about Rambo so I really wanted to mention my two cats, Piper and Sophie who, honestly, Mr. Speaker, we can -- I know this is a territory that loves their animals. But when you are a single person, and I heard my colleague speak to coming home and not having their family around, that is my reality every day. So I have to admit those cats have gotten me through some tough times. And, you know, I can't stress enough the importance of the animals. And I love that we have an Assembly where we embrace that; a territory where we embrace animals as part of our life and our well-being.
I don't want to belabour on this one either, but I do want to say thank you to everybody that supported the evacuation efforts in the last while as well as those that supported through COVID. We would not have been able to do a lot in the last while without our sister provinces in the south - Alberta, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, BC, the Yukon. Everybody that helped us to take care of that, the firefighters and the army.
Last, Mr. Speaker, a couple of my colleagues here have touched upon their influences in their life and who they were and what was important to them. And I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that on October 4th, my mom would have been 80 years old. This would have been a very significant date for her, and it wasn't lost to me that it was the day that they unveiled the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls monument. My mom has always instilled in me a strong -- and my dad, a very strong passion to stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves. And so to me, it was very fitting that for her 80th birthday, I was able to stand there and do something so monumental. It is a day that I won't forget, and I was able to mark it in a different way for me than, you know, just spending a day of missing her. One of the things that my mom and my dad did for me was that they have instilled in my empathy and compassion. And that is what I bring to this role; traits, that I believe have made me the leader that I am today. And, Mr. Speaker, I'm really proud of the leader that I am today. People can say what they want to say. They can find my faults and my flaws. I've never denied them. That's the, I think, the nature of the engineers is we're just going to tell you how it is. And I take that so much to my heart, the oaths that I've taken as an engineer and as an MLA. But at the end of the day, I can tell you that I have done everything in this House with good intent, with the mindset of the people of the Northwest Territories at heart. And that will always be my motivation. If I am sitting in this House, or whether or not I'm on some other path, I know that going forward I will always be here helping and advocating. I don't see myself going back to taking water samples, Mr. Speaker. So with that in mind, I just want to say again thank you to all my colleagues. You know, I know it hasn't been easy. I have never been the easiest Member in this House, I will acknowledge that, I admit it, but at the end of the day I sure made it interesting. Have a good day, Mr. Speaker.
Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 6th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And I will probably miss some Great Slave residents in all of this. I can't see much of the gallery, so I apologize in advance.
First, I'd like to start with recognizing my friend and constituent Garrett Cochrane who is a city councillor and a resident of Great Slave. I would also like to welcome Mr. Ollie Williams. I'm not quite sure if he's always my friend but, you know, I do appreciate the work that he does and the relationship that we've had over the last four years as well as recognizing the efforts of his team and the other media throughout the evacuation. So thank you for that, Ollie.
I've been lucky to work with people here. Many of my constituents actually work in this building as well. So I would like to recognize Nicole Bonnell and Jean Yuris as my constituents as well. I think Corrinne Sanderson is my constituent, but I don't want to put her on the spot if she's moved in with her partner yet. So I'll just recognize her and say welcome back. So thank you so much to everyone that's here and anybody that I've missed -- I can see Jozef there as well. So thanks to everybody, and it's just been a wonderful four years. I've had ups and downs, but -- oh, I would be remiss to not thank the translators. I am going to do my mushy one later as well, but I am the biggest probably transgressor of fast speaking and trying to cram it all in. So I want to thank them. I will say this very slowly. I appreciate everything that you've done for me over the last four years and getting my word out to the small communities. So thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Member's Statement 1661-19(2): Critical Infrastructure Funding October 6th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I didn't speak about one of my favorite topics one last time in this Assembly, Infrastructure.
When I say that word, one's mind often turns to roads and buildings, airports, and bridges. But really Infrastructure encompasses so much more than that. It is
- The pipes that bring you water and carry away your waste.
- The fibre optic line that allows you to instantly communicate or watch that sporting event in Europe.
- The solid waste facility where you take your garbage or the water treatment plant that provides you with fresh, clean water to drink.
One only needs to compare the budgets associated with the GNWT departments to understand the sheer enormity of the Department of Infrastructure and all they do for residents and the territory. This is the department that completes the community resupply and ensures that heat and ventilation systems stay on in our buildings. They ferry us around, keep our planes in the air, and patrol our highways.
Over the last four years, I have been vocal about the extreme infrastructure deficit in our communities. Our hamlets and towns are in desperate need of funding to build new schools and recreation centres, roads, and waste facilities. However, what good is building new infrastructure if we're not properly caring for what we have? Everywhere you go in the NWT the eye is met with crumbling, aging buildings and roads in need of repair. Despite a new capital budget full of road money, the political will to address the infrastructure deficit has been missing in this Assembly. Every year that we fail to provide the funds to upkeep and properly maintain our assets, the costs for repair and replacement exponentially increase. To allow this to continue is negligent and poor fiscal management. One only has to look at the lack of movement, the lack of urgency, to address the shoreline erosion threatening the diesel plant in Fort Simpson for a prime example of this lack of foresight and planning by the GNWT.
Mr. Speaker, I want to urge whoever sits in this Chamber in the 20th Assembly to immediately assess and create a plan to address the growing community infrastructure deficit and to properly fund municipalities so that they can operate and maintain their assets in order to ensure their longevity.
And one last thing Mr. Speaker, I want to urge them to build the Mackenzie Valley Highway - a needed lifeline for the Sahtu - if they do anything in the next four years.
Bill 65: Builders' Lien Act, Carried October 5th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I echo my colleague's concerns with this bill. There were a lot of things I think that could have been done differently. I have my regrets for how it all progressed in the sense of we did get bogged down on something, but it was an important conversation to be had. I think it worked well as far as back and forth with the Minister and the department. It's just unfortunate for me I also believe that the bill is not where it should be and I will be not supporting the bill; however, I want it to become a priority and something that happens really quickly in the 20th with the prompt payment piece included. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
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. And to answer my colleague's question, no, I won't be now having a baby in order to take advantage of these. My colleague from Nunakput, not Kam Lake, sorry.
I did want to say -- echo the sentiments as well that, you know, having been a part of this Assembly, to have this many women in and to see the changes that have occurred because of that, not only in our procedures but just some of the things that have happened where the conversations around earrings that we seem to have. We joke that the number 1 thing said here in this House sometimes is who made your earrings. And then a clerk coming in and bringing her child in while she was on mat leave was a moment for me that really struck me as a legislator that this is probably something that has not happened much in the past, and we not only see it in our Members but we're also seeing it in our staff, that there is a lot more representation. And so, yeah, I think it's an exciting thing. And I have to laugh. It's probably one of the most funny worded motions I think I've ever seen, but I love it. So thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I won't go on and on about the budget either. But I just wanted to say that one thing that I really like about this budget is all the roadwork that's in it. And what I really, really like about the roads and bridge work is a lot of it is 100 percent funded. And I think -- and will give kudos on that. I think any time we can bring in 100 percent dollars to our territory, it's only a good thing. And also just to point out, we can't take road money and build houses with it. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just don't accept these reasons that are being provided as to why this date needs to be pushed back even further. There's no reason that this could not be done with a professional association somewhere else. We have seen that in numerous other professions where because we don't have the people or the bodies to populate our own, we often will use others. For example, NAPEG uses the board of examiners for engineers in Alberta because we can't maintain that here on our own. So I do think that there was -- there is a method and a way that this could have been done by using, say, Alberta's association or others.
The people that did come and present to us told us that this is not going to be anything that's going to be rocket science as far as development of standard operating procedures. They're very general across the board. They -- what works in the south works up here. Really, I think that this could be done and, really, the want to move to back to even further to be four years I think really just speaks to the will to ensure the well-being of people outside of the capital. I don't think the will is there. I think that oftentimes communities are suffering as a result of a focus and a narrow mindedness about what we can do and what really is, you know, within the latitudes of this Assembly. This sound like it's going to be like we're regulating the profession of medicine itself, four years to develop. No. This is a standard piece of work that the government itself has already carved out exceptions for itself. The IRC's already got people working. So this has been done. There are people -- dental hygienists working in this manner already. But it seems like it's okay to make those exceptions for GNWT when they want to but when it comes time to do that for everybody else, that's no longer the case. The will and the want is not there.
And I find that, you know, it really does go against the true nature of the consensus government that we came to a compromise. We heard the concerns from the department. And yet we still now in the 11th hour are having amendments made to push this back even further, four years so kids can just get a cleaning. It's shameful, Mr. Chair. And I will not be supporting this motion. Thank you.
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters October 5th, 2023
Thank you. Yeah, I would definitely quantify or qualify that as immeasurable, really, the effects that this could have on people in those -- in those regions. I had a question, but I don't remember it. So thank you, Mr. Chair. And I appreciate the Member for her work on this. Thanks.
Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters October 5th, 2023
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Has the Member had any -- and this is probably quite a high -- or wishful question. But does she have any idea how much not having this dental hygienist practice or this ability to have preventative care is really costing us as a territory? Was there any work done around characterizing or quantifying how much money are we spending to send people either to Yellowknife, to the south? Why, when we're waiting for things that are preventative to become emergent situations? We obviously are paying more for that. Does the Member have any feel for how much money we would save by having this? Thank you.
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