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In the Legislative Assembly


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was know.
Historical Information Katrina Nokleby is no longer a member of the Legislative Assembly.

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

Question 1604-19(2): Agricultual Growth October 3rd, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions are for the Minister of ITI. As I mentioned in my statement, I'm hearing more and more from members of the community that are unable to properly feed themselves, especially people that are on income assistance and may only be taking home $800 a month. So given that there is a lot of money out there in the federal government, I'm also worried that we're not taking the most advantage we could of this area. So can the Minister advise me -- and I understand she has to get back to me -- on how much federal funding that we have received directly to support the growth in our agri-food industry? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 1623-19(2): Strengthen and Diversity Northwest Territories Economy through Agriculture October 3rd, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the territory desperately needs to strengthen and diversify our economy. Our residents must have access to healthy and affordable food, and the need for mental health supports is at an all-time high. There is one sector that can help us improve in all these areas. The agri-food industry provides residents with opportunities to grow their own healthy produce and to open small and medium-sized economic ventures while reducing stress and improving mental health.

Mr. Speaker, our infrastructure gap and limited supply chain leave us vulnerable to food insecurity as was clearly demonstrated during the pandemic. When it took great pressure by myself as the Minister of ITI, with the Minister of Finance, to get flexibility in the federal funding to keep our small airlines alive. If the GNWT can begin to provide a better support system to boost community gardens, encourage residents to start growing their own food, and build capacity throughout the territory, we can directly reinforce our food security efforts through increased community capacity.

I cannot stress this enough, Mr. Speaker. The federal government is not thinking of us when it comes to food security and the GNWT is not giving this topic the attention it deserves. The food security file bounces between departments, with no clear ownership, and I don't see an appropriate nor established path forward. Residents are constantly reaching out to find support to feed their families and social media groups are often full of such pleas.

Mr. Speaker, through coordination, collaboration, and clear responsibility of duties, we can move forward with a solutions-based approach to help build our agri-food sector. There is a lot of federal money available to the agri-food area which could help all our residents; first, by increasing money into the territory and bolstering economic activity but also by providing residents with a reconnection to the land - a reconnection that has been shown to improve people's mental health and well-being. We should be building green houses, investing in fertilizer production, and establishing seed sharing programs. We should connect those with land to those who don't have it that want to garden. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it does not take much to start something positive and build the capacity within the NWT to feed ourselves. Steps must be taken now to support our agri-food industry, an industry that has been battered by two years of flooding and fires. I know that the GNWT can do more in this area, and it often only takes a small investment to see huge local results as demonstrated time and time again by the growers of our territory. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 472-19(2): Committee Report 61-19(2): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 81: An Act to Amend the Education Act, No. 2 - Absenteeism, Carried September 29th, 2023

Madam Chair, I think it would be very remiss if we didn't talk with this motion about the incidences that we have seen over the last while in some of our schools, which includes some pretty disturbing video footage that was shot in the community of Fort Simpson. I did not see anything in that video that showed a trauma-informed or culturally-appropriate approach.

And giving -- in watching that video, it was very disturbing to see that there was comments being made, and in contact with the family afterwards, they told me that their child no longer wants to go to school and very much spoke to me about the legacy of the residential schools and how this had invoked for the family a lot of -- a history of trauma. I think this has been a conversation that us on social development and AOC as a whole has had throughout the entire time on the Assembly, was this trauma-informed approach. As I deal with other departments that deal with marginalized people in the territory, I time and again see that this is not happening. A case in point was the income assistance letters that went out and slid under doors threatening everybody that their rent was going from $80 up to $1,600 because they hadn't filed income tax. So this government has a really long way to go in being trauma-informed and actually carrying that out in their work instead of just speaking to it and paying lip service to it. So I think that this is a very important motion, and I hope that everybody will support it. Thank you.

Committee Motion 471-19(2): Committee Report 61-19(2): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 81: An Act to Amend the Education Act, No. 2 - Engagement Process, Carried September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just wanted to reemphasize how important this one is. I was really struck by how invested all the community members were that came about having a say in the curriculum and how things move forward and how the schools are operating within their communities. So I thought this was a great motion for us to put forward. Thank you.

Committee Motion 470-19(2): Tabled Document 974-19(2): Supplementary Estimates (Operations Expenditures), No. 3, 2023-2024 - Deferral of Estimates, Carried September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. I have to say that this bill, and our taking it on the road, was probably one of the more impactful ones that I have had in the last while, or has struck me in the last while, was that just how deeply and passionate the people in the territory are about the education system and really where the state of it is when you look outside of Yellowknife. I didn't expect to hear the stories that I heard I guess, really. And I do want to -- like I my colleague said, express my thank you to those that shared with us. A lot of it, and you know yourself, Madam Chair, as being part of that committee, there were a lot of really tragic stories. You know, I never thought about the fact that somebody who was upgrading and then going off to an education in the south would become so demoralized upon not being able to keep up with their colleagues that they would then turn to self-harm. And I really wanted to thank the mother that shared that story with us. It was very painful. But it really impacted me in seeing the bigger picture of how these failures in our education system is impacting the youth in every way. Even the ones that have done what they're supposed to do and have made it through and have upgraded and have gone on only to find out that they don't meet the criteria and they don't have the same qualifications as the rest of Canada. And I can't imagine what that does to someone's psyche and their mental health when, you know, they've been this crowning jewel of their community and only to then come back and feel like a failure.

You know, I was really impressed upon me doing this was as we toured schools and such -- I had already mentioned the state of the school in Deline, that was really impactful. But I think the biggest thing was the disappointment from members of the public that this wasn't the be all/end all opening of the Education Act that was going to be, you know, the driver for the mandate item to improve educational outcomes.

I understand why it was done this way and that there were certain things that administratively needed to be done but, in retrospect, I think that it felt then very much -- very dismissive in a sense to community members that they were being told that they were yet going to have to wait even further.

When this Assembly first got in, it spoke a lot about education and about the children and the youth, and that seems to really have gone by the by. And I get that we've had, you know, crises after crises and environmental issues and pandemics and such, but it's not an excuse to not do things in the right manner. And so I'm glad that there was a good back and forth with the department. We heard a lot of concern around the transportation and that was not carried forward, and I appreciate that that was, you know, a compromise, and I think we worked well with the department in this regard on this bill. But I felt just the disappointment of the people in what this was.

And I guess just to not belabour that point any further, one piece that I think is really key that needs to be taken forward into the next Assembly is that the Indigenous governments that have their self-government already figured out, their next plan is to take on their Education Acts. So as we're moving this legislation forward and we embark on phase 2, it really needs to be done in that collaborative manner so that we're not setting up a new system that then contradicts whatever the community of Deline wants to do for themselves or what the Tlicho may want to do with their Education Act. And I'm excited for that. I actually -- it was sort of the thing about it all that I was like, you know what, let's let the Indigenous people do this, let's let them take it on and take care of the children because it's not working the way it is right now.

So just some of my rambling thoughts on our bill. But I do want to also say thank you very much to the communities that welcomed us in. It really was a pretty fabulous trip, and they were very welcoming, and we had some amazing discussions with people there. So thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. And I do hope that there will be some transparency with this group. I think that if there is a hesitancy to share and to allow MLAs to have a part in this, I think the Cabinet and Minister could be pointing back to the good work that's been done through the Forest Act and really a collaborative effort. And that's where we should be moving with all of our work between -- that we do in this House, is to have that triangle piece that we often hear about where it is actually meaningfully done, not where Cabinet sits as the go between between the two and filters the information back and forth. I think a fulsome conversation with all three groups would be worthwhile.

I just want to note that on my last comment is that this department, I think, really needs to get their communications under control, and I would suggest that they actually hire somebody that can facilitate these conversations, and not this person that we ended up with that was supposed administer all these projects that was just one employee, again, situated in headquarters. They need to have people - elders, Indigenous leaders - in communities employed by them to be the facilitator and go-between between the housing clients who are traumatized and the LHOs and the LHAs because they are not operating in a trauma-informed way. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. And I appreciate the Minister's commitment. I would like to better understand the process through which the assessments are made, including any standard operating procedures that are given to assessors to use.

I guess the last thing that I feel the need to comment on is the conversation around the money that is going directly to Indigenous governments. And, you know, I, again, sat here and listened time and time again to this Cabinet talk about their great relationship with Indigenous governments but then when push comes to shove and it's time of actually sharing information, the Indigenous governments don't trust this department to share their information with them. So what does that tell you, really, about the actual work that's being done with the Indigenous governments? This is an area where nobody is disagreeing that it's important and it needs to be taken care of. It should be the one area where you think everybody would be on the same page. So I think it really speaks volumes to the distrust that Indigenous governments have for the housing corporation. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. I think, again, this comes back to the point that my colleague was making that the communication out of this department is terrible. You know, there is -- the way things are presented to us, it's been impossible to figure out where things have actually been built and been constructed. I repeatedly have asked at times for updates for units in my own riding, and then to be surprised when an announcement is made with the federal government that, you know, that the Aspen Apartments is going to become public housing units, and I've had no update even though I've been asking for six months what was happening there.

So it's kind of frustrating to sit here, and we ask questions, and then the responses are coming back to us well, there's all this other stuff and sort of this don't you know about all of this because we've been sending you these things over the last four years. However, it just goes to show that there is no real attempt to ensure that people on this side of the House understand where things are going. And so if we have to go and tease out every single little thing from the department to figure out where things are going, what's being built, then this as an informational item and the communication from the department has failed. I still sit here at the end of four years, and I'm on the committee that deals with housing, and I still could not tell you where units were built. I have been asking since, like, last year when people would be moving into the Nordic Arms, which I'm assuming is part of maybe either this major retrofit Yellowknife or whatever, but my constituent that was promised that she was going to move there has been strung along now for six or seven months on that, as her son is continuously still exposed to crack smoke at Norseman Apartments.

I do want to thank the department, and the Minister, for listening at least and installing better security options when I did come to them two years ago. But the issue I have here too is that we hear from this department saying that there is, you know, so many -- 300 units that are on M and I, and I know that's their acronym for things that are being retrofitted and fixed up, but I have to wonder how robust is their assessment for the units that are remaining. So yes, they tell us well, we've got 300 that we're working on but who's to say that another one of like a thousand of these 2,700 units are in dire need of repair and it's the department that's just choosing to not assess that? I hear constantly communications about things with mold and issues and all of our things. The department, when I ask them why there's a window boarded up next to their unit, can't answer. And to me, that's concerning because if you know even the basics of building science, you know that what happens in one unit affects the next unit. But this shows the mentality of the department, to only focus on their small pieces and to treat that in an infrastructure type manner and a fiscal manner instead of, like I said yesterday, acknowledging that they are a social department and that they need to be getting people housed. So I would like to ask where is the assessment of the remaining units that are not on their retrofit, or their I and M schedule, how far behind are they in looking at those units to ensure that they are habitable, and are they actually ever looking at the fact that they're liable for a lot of the health issues that people in our territory are experiencing because they have not fixed these units? Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just wanted to first reiterate a bit what my colleague for Kam Lake said regarding the way that this is all presented to me. Whenever I look at the housing budgets, I'm always wondering like well, where are the houses, you know. I keep hearing for four years we've built this, we've built that and all of this. So then I look at this that we have, and it's all this $13 million is just retrofits and a bit of, like, some boiler stuff. Now that being said, I have since then heard the assistant deputy minister make the comment that the hundred units have already -- will be completed as of this year. So that makes me ask well, why are we not building more in the upcoming year? To me, it seems really strange that we would go an entire year without constructing any units or even starting on the construction of any units given that, you know, we are in such a major deficit to the point where, like, you know, my plans after this, if I'm not successful, is to run away and rent my house. So it's actually becoming quite lucrative now to become almost these little sort of mini landlords and such and live yourself in one room of your house and rent the rest of it out. So that being said, can the Minister or the department confirm that there will be no building of any units for the housing corp in 2024-2025? Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters September 29th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. Yeah, you know, I have heard the Minister say this before but it's really disappointing that it took four years, or at least two, in order to have a couple line items put into the contractor's reporting regarding things like per diems, which I raised with her numerous times, and brought up in Cabinet when I first got in.

I ordered a procurement review to the Department of Infrastructure in the spring of 2020. We are now sitting at the fall of 2023, and a lot of the things that I directed them to do have not come forward and are taking four years to do.

In order to have a reporting sheet, which the federal government has been doing on this type of thing for decades now, it has taken this government four years to develop that. And I can tell them right now that their contractors still keeps the incidental piece of the per diems from their northern workers. So I don't have a lot of faith in this enforcement that's been going on or been put forward. It took way too long to come forward, and I don't think there's any teeth in it. When members or people can move to a community, rent a residential address, label that as their office address and become local to take away contracts from others in that region and therefore then be able to actually establish a business location in that town -- and I'm talking about your own town, Madam Chair, you know, they're very much gaming the system. So I really hope that the next Assembly takes this to heart because a lot of our money is going to the south and to people that have worked for this government before and are sitting with cozy pensions and are also still now taking money away from people here. Thank you, Madam Chair.