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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was health.

Last in the Legislative Assembly March 2011, as MLA for Range Lake

Won her last election, in 2007, with 73% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 7-16(6): Proposed Health Care Professions Legislation March 7th, 2011

I think it’s important for the Members and the public to know that professions like massage therapist and naturopathic practitioners can continue to practice their fields. They do not need the legislation to practice those. As I stated, unregulated professions pose certain regulating challenges such as small professional numbers and significant licensing differences throughout Canada. It does require tremendous research to determine how best to accommodate these unique circumstances. We believe that, as a department, by finding a framework for the most challenging and complex professions, the four that we have stated, that we will be able to accommodate future professions under the act.

Mr. Speaker, we are making progress in this area. We feel that it will really ground the work to a halt if we were to include everything at once. We are interested in moving forward in the four and that will set a framework for the other ones to be added. I want to note again that nothing right now will stop

massage therapists and naturopathic practitioners from practicing their fields. They can continue to do that. Thank you.

Question 7-16(6): Proposed Health Care Professions Legislation March 7th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The legislation that we are working on is going to be Health and Social Services umbrella profession legislation and it will start with including four large professions: licensed practical nurses, psychologists, emergency medical service providers and chiropractors, because they have been identified as the four we need to work on right away. There are several other professions that have asked to be included and they could be included as we go forward.

There is lots of research and background work that we need to do to establish this umbrella legislation and this has been in the works for a very long time. We believe that once the framework is in place it would be more doable to include other professions.

Question 2-16(6): Inclusion Of Naturopathic Practitioners In Proposed Health Care Professions Legislation March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I think the Member is drawing a clear picture of the complexities involved in this. Our staff has met with the people that practice naturopathic medicine in the Territories. They were advised that they should continue to keep their licence in other jurisdictions, then they can continue to practice naturopath medicine here. They can continue to provide services to their clients. It is just that they cannot call themselves a doctor. In order to do that, we need to do some more work. We will continue to do that, but this will be something that would require more work and it is under review. Thank you.

Question 2-16(6): Inclusion Of Naturopathic Practitioners In Proposed Health Care Professions Legislation March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to just reiterate that the department is reviewing the possibility of including this group of practitioners into omnibus allied health professional legislation. Each of them have very, very few numbers and this has been in the works and it will take some time to develop, but it is under review.

Secondly, it’s the Medical Profession Act in the Northwest Territories that defines who are doctors and who can call themselves doctors, so there is conflicting legislation that we need to work through.

The third thing is what is important is that for those people who are practicing naturopathic medicine, they are allowed to practice that as they exist now. So no one is interfering with their practices. They could have clients, they could do the work, because I have been getting lots of letters from the general public who would like to continue to have that practice offered to them. I want to assure them that they can continue to have that. It is just that those people who are practicing this field cannot call themselves doctors. Thank you.

Question 2-16(6): Inclusion Of Naturopathic Practitioners In Proposed Health Care Professions Legislation March 7th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I need to caution the Member and anybody else who is discussing this naturopathic medicine, that we do not refer to anybody as a doctor. That is actually the issue in question, because under the NWT legislation, no one other than a doctor, physician or surgeon is allowed to call themselves a doctor. Naturopathic doctors are not recognized as doctors in the Territories and of they were to call themselves a doctor, that is illegal. That is an issue here. I need to let the Members know, and the public know, the naturopathic medicine, people can practice that right now without regulation, it is just that they cannot call themselves doctors. Thank you.

Question 2-16(6): Inclusion Of Naturopathic Practitioners In Proposed Health Care Professions Legislation March 7th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member is right; we are considering an omnibus legislation on various health or allied health professions and it is possible that this could be inputted in that. Thank you.

Question 583-16(5): School Nutrition Programs March 4th, 2011

Of course not. I could tell you that under NWT funded programs, under Healthy Food for Learning Education, Culture and Employment provides: $94,685 for Beaufort-Delta; $6,867 for Commission Scolaire; $50,488 for Deh Cho; $49,000 for Tlicho; $44,000 for Sahtu; $64,000 for South Slave; $23,989 for YCS; $45,000 for YK1. That’s just one column. I could provide the Member with the list. While we speak about the need to do things, I think we should be careful about just sweeping generalizations, saying that in a very kind of very mean way, I must say.

Question 583-16(5): School Nutrition Programs March 4th, 2011

I would need to look into that specifically, but I am aware, in visiting a lot of schools in our communities, that they do serve these programs and we have lots of food programs in the communities. The information from Education, Culture and Employment is that under NWT funded programs we have spent almost

$600,000 and that under federally funded, with resources managed by GNWT programs, we have provided funding to almost every region to help with Healthy Food for Learning, Drop the Pop, Health Promotion Fund, Together for Healthy Living, Breakfast for Learning. There are lots of programs that Education, Culture and Employment provides, as well as Health and Social Services.

Question 583-16(5): School Nutrition Programs March 4th, 2011

A large part of the work that we do in the Department of Health and Social Services is health promotion. Our staff is out there promoting healthy eating habits, dangers of child obesity, just eating healthy and not abusing things that are harmful to us. The pre-natal and post-natal health; there is so much work we do. In the past the government has reduced the power rates in the communities and that really helps with the cost of food in our smallest communities. As well, we have increased food mail programs. Not food mail, food basket. I think it’s important that we understand that there are many departments that are involved in the issue that the Member is raising.

Question 583-16(5): School Nutrition Programs March 4th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member knows that it’s the Department of Education, Culture and Employment that has programming for providing support for food in schools. Education, Culture and Employment has extensive school nutrition programs.