Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was cho.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2021, as MLA for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Lost his last election, a byelection in 2022, by acclaimation.

Statements in the House

Improving Housing Programs December 10th, 2019

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Since coming to the office in this 19th Assembly, I have noticed a number of common issues that people seem to be encountering when dealing with the NWT Housing Corporation. In the multiple housing-related constituency issues I have already begun dealing with, it's become quite apparent that there exist some very noticeable cracks in the infrastructure of the NWT Housing Corporation, which many people, mostly vulnerable populations, are falling through.

I believe part of the reason for this, Mr. Speaker, is that too many of our government policies have become overly prescriptive and are not properly serving the people we're meant to protect and represent.

I have talked to many people how are in need, some in dire need, in cases, of certain housing programs for things like home repairs and renovations, basic home maintenance services, and better outreach when it comes to assisting the elders in applying for housing programs.

Mr. Speaker, our housing programs cannot exist only to serve our bureaucratic needs, but, in my view, that is what they have slowly become, whether we know it and whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Why do these programs exist if our most vulnerable citizens, like elders, low-income people, and young people cannot properly access and make use of them? We need to rethink how we are delivering programs and services through the Housing Corporation. We need to reduce barriers and be more flexible to people's circumstances, and be open to new ideas for ways to improve service delivery.

We also need to look after our elders. They deserve and should live in comfortable and affordable homes.

Mr. Speaker, among the 19th Assembly's mandate items is to increase the number of affordable homes and reduce core housing needs, so, if we want to make good on a commitment like that, we must work to improve aspects of the Housing Corporation wherever it is needed, including the areas I identified today. Our housing policies are outdated and are not working for everyone as they should. This is not sustainable, and we have a duty to change course if something is not working. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.