Legislative Assembly photo

Roles

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was going.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Frame Lake

Won her last election, in 2011, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that we report progress.

---Carried

Motion 54-17(5): Climate Change Planning, Carried October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to make some brief remarks.

The fact that we need to have this motion indicates that the GNWT, the government and the Cabinet, have not recognized that climate change is having huge impacts on us as residents and on the territory in terms of environment and our lands. I would say we’ve paid lip service to climate change. We have reacted to climate change. But this is asking for us to plan for climate change, and to plan for climate change and mitigation of the effects of climate change, and it’s long overdue.

Mr. Bromley has laid out a number of the things that have occurred within the territory that have been caused by climate change. We’re going to get more. Fires is one, the low water is another that we have, over the past couple of weeks in discussing our budgets, said, yes, these things are going to happen again and again. As a government, we don’t have a plan to deal with these sorts of events. We react to them but we don’t have a plan to be proactive in recognition of them.

The second operative part of the motion talks about reducing our targets and moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and I am totally in support of that. We rely far too heavily on fossil fuels. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m very disappointed that we don’t have large energy projects that have come to fruition in my time here.

I’ll just leave it at that. I also, as Mr. Bromley has done, urge my colleagues to be in support of this motion. It’s something that is forward looking and I think we, as a government, need to recognize that we need to be proactive and look forward as opposed to reactive and in the now.

Motion To Receive And Adopt Committee Report 28-15(5), Carried October 8th, 2015

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Range Lake, that Committee Report 28-17(5), be received and adopted by this Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion That Committee Report 28-15(5) Be Deemed Read And Printed In Hansard, Carried October 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I move seconded by the honourable Member for Range Lake, that Committee Report 28-17(5) be deemed read and printed in Hansard in its entirety. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Report 28-17(5): Standing Committee On Priorities And Planning Report On Transition Matters October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to report to the Assembly Committee Report 28-17(5), Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning Report on Transition Matters.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It was a real pleasure to come into the House today and see so many people in the gallery, and as Mr. Bromley said, some of them have lasted through our droning, others have had to go, but it was great to see so many people. It was also great to see so many people sitting on that side, the far side of the Assembly so that we can actually see them from the Regular Members’ seats.

I have two constituents who I want to recognize, Suzette Montreuil has had to go, but Mr. Kevin O’Reilly, who both he and Suzette have been great supporters. So, thank you both of you for coming and for all the work that you do on behalf of residents of the NWT and particularly Yellowknife. Thank you.

18th Assembly Priorities October 8th, 2015

Thanks again, colleagues.

• ENR and Lands have promised assessments for the developments that we have within the territory to chart the unknowns. Make sure that they’re done.

• ENR and Lands have promised securities for those developments and liabilities to make sure that those happen and that we get the money that is deserved in order to clean up.

• Climate Change Plan. The development of a Climate Change Plan is necessary.

• Health and Social Services has promised us a Pharmaceutical Strategy.

• The Human Rights Commission has done a wonderful review of the Human Rights Act. We need to make sure that amendments are followed through on.

• Justice needs to bring forward legislation for an ombudsman, please.

• Health and Social Services is promising Medical Travel Policy and Program changes. Follow up on those.

• Education infrastructure and schools is lacking and the need to find some solutions to the court case, which has been ongoing forever.

• The Mineral Development Strategy and the Economic Opportunities Strategies. Those are both well developed, but we need to monitor the actions that are going on in them.

Some of these are well developed; some of them just need monitoring; some are in development and need watching to make sure they happen. Some of them need to be developed. It’s a long list and it only covers my personal recollections of what needs to be done.

To the 18th Assembly I say, it’s a lot of work to do it right, but please roll up your sleeves and get ‘er done.

Finally, I’d like to say some thank yous that I didn’t include yesterday at my peril. Thank you very much to the staff of the Assembly. Mr. Bromley said it extremely well. All of the staff here are excellent and they have made our job, my job, our job much easier. To you, Mr. Speaker, thank you for your support. To my CAs, I’ve had three in the course of my eight years here and all three of them have been excellent support and excellent help for the work that I do.

Lastly, although not least, to my family and my friends who have provided support. I don’t have much family here, but I certainly have friends here and some of them are in the gallery and they have been extremely supportive and have made my job a lot easier. So, thank you all.

18th Assembly Priorities October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday I covered the good, the bad and the ugly. Today I want to take this last opportunity to speak to the House and use the prerogative that comes with my age to provide some advice to the Members of the 18th Assembly.

This Assembly has accomplished a lot, in spite of my negative comments yesterday. Work has been done, reports have been written, action plans developed, and I don’t want that work to get lost, so I will again subject the House to my views about what the 18th Assembly needs to follow up on.

• First – and these are in no order of importance – the promised junior kindergarten review report and the recommendations that may come with it.

• The promise of an energy efficiency act.

• Universal daycare report and actions that should be taken with that.

• The Aurora College report and actions that are contained therein.

• Dechinta and College Nordique requests for inclusion in secondary school legislation.

• Mental Health Act report recommendations and the Mental Health Act regulations.

• Child and Family Services Act review and the recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General regarding the child and family services.

• The Social Issues Committee of Cabinet’s Anti-Poverty Action Plan must not get lost.

• The Our Elders: Our Communities report on seniors’ needs to be followed up on.

• BDIC has had a program review. Were any actions taken on that?

• Hydraulic fracturing regulations consultation. It must continue. It must. There must be consultation.

• Health and Social Services recent quality assurance review and action plan that is apparently coming from that. Make sure it comes.

• The Program Review Office work. Ensure that reviews are received and considered by committee.

• Population Growth Strategy. Monitor the results and keep the government’s feet to the fire on that.

• The Justice Action Plan regarding corrections from the Office of the Auditor General’s report.

• The Education, Renewal and Innovation Strategy and Action Plan.

• The Early Childhood Development Strategy and Action Plan.

• Health and social services authorities amalgamation. Monitor it and make sure it happens correctly.

• The Health Information Act implementation. Monitor it and make sure it happens correctly.

• Ensure there’s a review of royalty regimes and taxation.

• Find a way to get Heritage Fund legislation amendments done.

• ENR and Lands have promised assessments for developments.

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. That’s also not unusual.

---Unanimous consent granted

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 7th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I don’t have any questions, but I do want to make a few comments to this bill.

It is a long time coming, both the amount of time it took to get from department to committee and then the time committee spent on it, although it was compressed. I know we had a lot of hours in a short period of time.

This bill, as I stated earlier today, is very much an improvement over the current bill. I look forward to seeing how it is going to work. In terms of the concerns that we heard in our public hearings and in our travels, I think most of them have been addressed by committee. We didn’t agree with all of the concerns that we were presented with, but certainly in our deliberations we took a great deal of time. If we were going to sort of put aside somebody’s concern, we took a great deal of time to understand why we were doing that and whether or not it was the right decision and if that concern could be addressed elsewhere. I feel quite comfortable with the changes that we have made to the bill, based on the concerns that we were presented with and I don’t think that the ones that we did not accept, I don’t think they have had a huge impact on the success of the bill, on the future success.

One of the things – and Mr. Dolynny mentioned it already – that I am really quite concerned about is the assisted community treatment program and the provisions in the act for that. I support the principle, absolutely, but I am extremely concerned that without the programs and services at a local level and, as I think we stated in the report, without increases in those local programs and services, it is basically going to be assisted community treatment in Yellowknife and maybe in a couple of the regional centres.

The Minister has referenced, and I think it was referenced elsewhere, that there is going to be an addition of three PYs. Those PYs are all going to be at headquarters. Maybe that is okay for the first year, while you are developing regulations and while the act is not in force, but if there is not a significant change in the provision of programs and services at the local level, assisted community treatment won’t work, in my estimation. I echo Mr. Dolynny’s comments. You are going to have to find more money somewhere or else, and money for people somewhere in order for it to work.

One of the major concerns that committee had, and many people who made submissions also had, right from the start, it was really interesting. It was a huge topic at the very first public hearing, and that was the lack of reference to any sort of culture in the act. We have added enough provisions in the act that I feel quite comfortable that those who made submissions about culture would read the act, or would understand it now, that the act does allow for a cultural component. It is so much of the way that people live in the Northwest Territories is based on their culture or their spirituality or their religion, whatever it happens to be. We have allowed for that to come to how the act is going to operate.

I am extremely pleased that the Minister has publically now stated that there will be a development of a strategy for youth and adolescents. It was something that at committee we felt strongly was required and there was a period of time that we were not sure whether or not that was going to be happening, and I’m really pleased that is going to be developed because I think it’s also going to add to the success of the act.

My last comment has to do with the recommendations that are in the report. They aren’t recommendations specifically to the bill, but they are recommendations, as I see it, to the way the bill is going to operate, to the way the programs and services are going to operate. I would ask, we’ve had a couple of reports in the last couple of years where the response from government to a report has not responded publicly to recommendations that don’t affect the act specifically. So I would ask the Minister to inform his future Minister that any response to this standing committee report should include, publicly, a response to the recommendations that are in this report because they are key to making the act work from an operational perspective. So that’s all I have. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 7th, 2015

Thank you, Madam Chair. We would like to deal with Bill 55, Mental Health Act, and Committee Report 25-17(5), Report on the Review of Bill 55, Mental Health Act.