Legislative Assembly photo



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 572-16(5): Safety And Security Of Staff And Psychiatric Patients At Stanton Territorial Hospital March 3rd, 2011

I acknowledge that we have had some incidents at the hospital in that specific unit. In general, every pass, the patients in the

psychiatric unit are allowed to have temporary passes depending on their conditions and situations. It’s a rare situation where patients are held there without having any passes. There are medical assessments and lots of work done to make sure that one can and is allowed to have a temporary pass, whether it is to go out for a cigarette or sometimes they are allowed to go to visit families. The primary objective for that service is to eventually be able to integrate these patients back into the community. It’s on a case-by-case basis but the staff and providers do constant assessment of the patients on leave.

Question 572-16(5): Safety And Security Of Staff And Psychiatric Patients At Stanton Territorial Hospital March 3rd, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That’s a pretty broad question. Being a facility that it is and the services it provides, there are any number of processes in place to review incidents and happenings at the hospital. If the Member wants to be more specific, I can try to address those.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery March 3rd, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to recognize two doctors in the gallery. One is our very own CPHO, public health officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, and the other is Dr. Lorne Clearsky, who is visiting us for three days with the possibility of working up here. I’m not sure if he’s decided, but as the Minister of Health I’m just saying that this is a very exciting environment in which to practice medicine. It can be challenging but very rewarding, and when the Deh Cho Bridge is built, it’s going to beautiful, and we might even throw in free Internet. Mr. Speaker, if I could ask my colleagues in welcoming Dr. Clearsky, who in three days really impressed our colleagues here, and we are very excited that he’s here. Thank you.

Minister’s Statement 124-16(5): National Nutrition Month (March) March 3rd, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. March is Nutrition Month in Canada. The national theme continues to be “Celebrate food...from the land to the table!” What we eat plays an important role in our health and well-being. The Department of Health and Social Services recognizes this through one of the goals in its action plan, A Foundation for Change. Communities, families and individuals make healthy choices and are protected from disease. This goal is achieved by promoting healthy living and wellness.

Mr. Speaker, last year we invested $74,000 through our Health Promotion Fund to help community groups and organizations deliver a variety of programs related to healthy living including those that supported healthy eating and active living. One example was the Fort Smith Healthy Eating and Active Living Program (HEAL). Twenty residents completed the 10-week program that combined daily physical activities, weigh-ins and nine healthy living and eating modules. The group as a whole lost almost 200 pounds over the 10 weeks. Other projects included: men’s cooking classes at the Salvation Army; Tumbling for Tots program in Norman Wells that promoted healthy eating and active living for toddlers ages three to five; a Healthy Living Program in Tulita that focused on healthy eating, not smoking around children and supporting pre and post-natal moms; Kids in the Kitchen in Hay River, as well as the promotion of breastfeeding through Moms, Boobs and Babies, a Yellowknife breastfeeding support group. Our Drop the Pop campaign continues to be successful, with 43 schools participating. This campaign provides schools with funding to deliver community-based projects that emphasize the importance of healthy foods and avoiding sugary drinks.

Mr. Speaker, in 2009, around 27 percent of NWT residents 18 and over were considered obese and 59 percent were considered physically inactive. This is higher than the rest of Canada, where 18 percent were considered obese and 48 percent physically inactive. Addressing these issues starts with our children and their families. Through programs like Drop the Pop, we are making a healthy choice an easy choice.

Throughout March we will be working in collaboration with partners including the Northern Nutrition Association in celebrating Nutrition Month. We also continue to partner with many territorial groups through our Health Promotion Fund. Community groups looking to support community-led projects can access the Health Promotion Funding. The application form is on our website,



Mr. Speaker, one of the priorities of this Assembly is to focus on prevention by promoting healthy

choices and lifestyles and the role of personal and family responsibility. We can achieve our goal of healthy, educated people only if we all work together and do our part. Throughout Nutrition Month I would like to challenge our residents to be role models and champions of healthy changes in their communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 561-16(5): Elder Abuse March 2nd, 2011

As I indicated, they had one initial meeting and I’m not sure if there’s a whole lot to report right now, but I am committed to working with them. I think we should give them a chance to meet and discuss and think through about where they want to go on the next phase.

I just want to repeat that my department, my officials that work with the seniors, they have a very

good working relationship with them as the people who work on the Family Violence Coalition as the other coalitions we have. We have our staff working with the NGOs and stakeholders in these groups. As the material arrives from them I would be happy to brief the committee and work with them. Thank you.

Question 561-16(5): Elder Abuse March 2nd, 2011

I was not given that request from the NWT Seniors’ Society. I don’t know if the society sent that information to the Member. I’m here ready to work with the NWT Seniors’ Society. I’ve not been given a chance to review those, so if the society has any information that they would like us to look into, we stand ready to look at their request. Thank you.

Question 561-16(5): Elder Abuse March 2nd, 2011

My understanding is that the coalition had one meeting and they are going to continue to meet to work on making a proposal to

the government on phase 3. The past practices have been not only with this Family Violence Coalition but also the Homelessness Coalition. Those are groups made up of people in the field as well as some of the government staff. Traditionally, we let them do their work and they will make their presentations to appropriate departments and the Ministers. It’s not a normal practice for a Minister to tell them what to do. Obviously, I am here standing ready to hear from them, but I think we do need to give them some time to do the work. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to present to us, and I’d be happy to ask them to include elder abuse as part of their work. Thank you.

Question 561-16(5): Elder Abuse March 2nd, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our staff meets regularly with seniors’ groups including the NWT Seniors’ Society. They have very good relationships with them. I was at the elders’ conference in December on elder abuse and I am not aware if they have formally submitted those proposals. They might have but I just don’t have that in front of me. When they do and if they have, we would review them, analyse them and respond to them. Thank you.

Question 560-16(5): Support For Seniors Continuing To Live In Their Homes And Communities March 2nd, 2011

I think I should give him my profile of where we are with home care programming that we’re doing right now. I would be happy to give him information on where we need to go and where we plan to go. Obviously, all the time it’s subject to funding. I’ve presented information to standing committee about growing funding needs. We want to expand the Home Care Program. We want to do different things with mental health

programming. We have $40 million or $50 million asked right now with the Department of Health and Social Services that we will be prioritizing and bringing forward in months to come.

Question 560-16(5): Support For Seniors Continuing To Live In Their Homes And Communities March 2nd, 2011

We are doing that right now so I’m not sure. A lot of people say, well, when are you going to do that? We are doing that as we speak. We are rolling out a program in Aklavik as we speak. That’s the transition between the Joe Greenland Centre and the program we are going to be offering. We are expanding the Home Care Program there. We want to deliver elders centre day programming there.

The Foundation for Change action plan includes expansion of home care but we need to find the resources to do that and that includes training and that includes having PYs set for home care. We are making that part of the business plan. We already have a very well-established Home Care Program in the Northwest Territories. I believe Ruth Spence started that 30 years ago, or Esther Braden. We have a very well-established Home Care Program history in the Northwest Territories. Our challenge is to expand that to communities outside of Yellowknife and we’re doing that right now. He doesn’t have to wait for the bell to go off and say when are you getting going. We are doing that. We want to do more of it.