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Roles

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was going.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Hay River North

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committee Motion 140-17(5): Concurrence Of Td 281-17(5): Northwest Territories Capital Estimates 2016-2017, Carried October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Madam Chair. Obviously, my next question is for Public Works and Services spending another $1.5 million on

more office space in Yellowknife. Obviously, this is a concern. I know we just built a whole building. I know we have millions and millions of dollars out there in rental space in Yellowknife, and obviously, it’s been key to me to do some decentralization and promote decentralization and now we’re spending another $1.5 million to do some more office upgrades.

Can the Minister just give me an explanation of this $1.5 million being spent, and how often do we spend another $1.5 million on office space in Yellowknife?

Committee Motion 140-17(5): Concurrence Of Td 281-17(5): Northwest Territories Capital Estimates 2016-2017, Carried October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just have some general questions to the Minister about the ENR expenditure on the US purchase of these aircraft.

My fir

st question is: Why wouldn’t we have hedged

the major purchase of these assets and are we making that correction going forward? We know we have multiple payments to make in US currency and are we making that in the future so that we don’t have to spend $400,000 every time we try to make a payment?

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 2nd, 2015

Another program I know they’ve

been working on is the signage in the whole area of the Legislative Assembly, the tourist booth, the museum and stuff like that.

Can we just get an update? Do we have anything coming up in the upcoming budget on that or is it just all this year’s expenditure? I’m looking forward to seeing some of that completion.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 2nd, 2015

Thank you. I see this item on here and I’m just wondering if we have some other capital expenditures. I know we’ve talked, the Board of Management, about doing some upgrades to the building. Have we completed all those upgrades for access? I know we’ve had people with disabilities come through, CNIB come through and stuff like that. Are there any other building upgrades that we’re looking at doing in this upcoming year? Thank you.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 2nd, 2015

I understand the proposal and the concept of building a new building. I guess no cost and no risk sounds a little scary to me in the fact that obviously the P3, there’s got to be something in it for the private part of the equation, and at no cost. Somewhere along the line we’re paying extra somewhere to retrofit that building or we’re paying in a long period of time for extras. Somehow that retrofit to the current facility, once we build the new one, is being paid for somewhere down the line. The GNWT has got to be on the hook somewhere. At no cost, I ca

n’t believe that

would be true.

Another area I appreciate is in this project we are also talking about extended care. I am glad they planned for a place to put their extended care in a new building. I know in Hay River that process wasn’t thought through by the Department of Health when they designed the new Hay River facility. We had to get that into the budget to extend that. I will be asking questions about that in the next section. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I do have some questions about the Stanton Project as well. Obviously, there is a bit of a balancing here. We, obviously, as Regular Members, had an opportunity to walk through Stanton, and there is definitely a need for improvement to the facility, and talking to some of the contractors that were bidding on it and were talking about bidding on it, a stand-alone building is probably more efficient and a more effective way to do this project.

I guess the difficulty comes in the fact that in the communities in the regions we kind of often see that and say, okay, well, Yellowknife’s getting a b

igger health centre. I know it’s a territorial facility,

and I appreciate that, but I guess some of the difficulty that I’m hearing is what’s going to be done with the old hospital. My understanding was that when we build our new facilities, we build them for the health care only, and then our own facilities, I’ll use Hay River as an example, we’re going to use our old medical clinic for office space. I was thinking, in Stanton’s case we’d be building a hospital just for the essentials, using the old hospital probably for the administration, just like we’re planning to do in Hay River with the medical clinic, but it seems like we’re doing a bigger project than that, which is difficult for us who are continuing to look for things in the regions.

I understand

we’re building a new hospital, but it’s

going to be a “have your cake and eat it too” scenario where there’s a double whammy. You’re getting a new hospital and you’re getting a new upgraded facility in the community. There are probably some needs for that somewhere, but from a regional perspective, people are always looking at that and obviously criticizing it.

I know Mr. Bromley was asking those questions, and the Minister was talking about staffing, and obviously we have an issue in Hay River about our staffing. We originally started asking for 33 new positions, went down to 21 and then come back and we are about to be given a lesser amount. Before we get too far down the road, we should actually have some of those numbers of the staffing that a brand new $350 million building is going to add for staffing. I’m assuming that Stanton is probably similar to the new Hay River Health Centre where things are separated and you already need separate staff, so the numbers will maybe be different. In Hay River we’re seeing a scenario where the ER and patient care are separate right now, where they were together before, so we’re seeing that type of increase for that at that facility. But we should know that going into Stanton right

now. We should be doing some of those operational assessments right now so that Regular Members can understand the pressures that we’re going to see in that health care.

The other question that I have, and I see the portable ultrasounds are in two areas in this budget and I’m not so much concerned about ultrasounds, but I’m just talking about equipment. I know in the South Slave we have a situation where we have a lot of people travelling from Fort Smith to Hay River and a lot of them are taking cabs and a lot of them are travelling there, and even some of those people in Fort Smith are talking about moving to Hay River because they’re on a dialysis system. I know Fort Smith used to have dialysis. I don’t know if it’s an operations thing or we got it and they didn’t, we took it from there or…

W

hy can’t we run two dialysis systems in the South

Slave? We’re spending a whole bunch of money transporting people, forcing people who are on dialysis, who are ill, to travel three times a week. It’s probably costing us an arm and a leg. It’s definitely affecting the care and concern of the public because those people are actually talking about moving to a community where they’re getting that service.

I think we need to look at that as far as getting dialysis back in Smith for the residents of those communities.

Obviously,

we

appreciate

the

economic driver with those people coming into the community, but it’s getting to a point where it’s beyond that and beyond just a small economic driver. It’s actually affecting people’s lives. If we could look into that p

rocess, I think that’s definitely

a difficulty we have.

I’ll just wait for the Minister’s answer on that.

Bill 69: An Act To Amend The Legislative Assembly And Executive Council Act, No. 2 October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Kam Lake, that Bill 69, An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, No. 2, be read for the first time.

Question 916-17(5): Employment Opportunities For Post-Secondary Graduates October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m

just wondering if the Minister can give me more information or indicate to me whether we are linked to all other departments in the NWT, Justice, HR, Housing, some of those positions where we know we need a certain skill set that we want, not just for highly educated people but also for tradespeople. Are we linked to all the sectors and all the private sectors? Can the private sector come to us and say we would like to put this job out to the students of the Northwest Territories? Are we able to take that information and pass it on to our students? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 916-17(5): Employment Opportunities For Post-Secondary Graduates October 2nd, 2015

Sounds great, Mr. Speaker. Has the department made those contacts with HR? Have we started to make the links of linking those students with potential positions in the future, linking up what the students are currently taking with what we have in our inventory of positions in the Northwest Territories? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 916-17(5): Employment Opportunities For Post-Secondary Graduates October 2nd, 2015

Can I clarify a question with the Minister? So, now we have the checkmark in the application, currently we have the ability to contact those students when we have job positions from HR? We can contact the students that these are the positions we currently have in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.