A staff member prepares documents ahead of a sitting of the NWT legislature in May 2018. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio The Northwest Territories’ politicians are back in action at the legislature for the next four weeks, starting on Thursday afternoon.
As usual, those weeks will be a mixture of cabinet members introducing new or amended government programs and services, legislation and government policy being debated, and regular MLAs coming forward with issues raised on behalf of community members.
If you want to see it for yourself, you can watch each day’s session live on the Legislative Assembly’s Facebook page (or community TV). Tune in from 1:30pm Monday to Thursday; Friday’s session always starts at 10am instead.
Advertisement. Story continues below Cabin Radio will have daily summaries in our morning newscasts and Lunchtime News shows, including clips of the most important exchanges or statements. (Get Lunchtime News as a podcast here .)
And of course, we’ll report on significant developments right here on the Cabin Radio website.
As the territory’s regular MLAs return to the legislature, we asked each of them to supply a list of issues they intend raising with ministers over the next few weeks. Below is an edited and condensed summary of what they told us. Tom Beaulieu
Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh
Tom Beaulieu wants to talk about “strategic spending,” in which the territory could – he believes – make investments up front to save money later. Home care – Beaulieu says this is a perfect example of strategic spending. He wants the territory to invest in home care, so seniors can wait longer before having to move into long-term care. He argues that will save around $750,000 per senior in care costs if better home care allows them an extra five to 10 years in their own home.
Stanton Hospital – in keeping with his desire for better home care, Beaulieu is interested in exploring whether the old Stanton Hospital can be used in part as a school for the training of home care workers and caregivers.
Early childhood development – “If you spend a dollar on a one-year-old, it comes back tenfold,” says Beaulieu. He wants the government to “look at both ends of the spectrum” by improving early childhood development programs, and working on ways to ensure more kids in communities graduate Grade 12, while also assisting seniors to remain in their own homes for longer.
When it comes to capital spending, Beaulieu will advocate for replacing the school in Dettah and creating a gymnasium for Ndilo. “They can’t even compete within the city at a fair level because they don’t have a gym to train properly in,” he said. He’ll also ask the Housing Corporation – “for the umpteenth time” – to draft a community development plan. Julie Green
Member for Yellowknife Centre
Julie Green will focus on the Aurora College Foundational Review, basic income, and tourism as her key priorities. Aurora College – discussing the government’s response to the Foundational Review, which she expects to be tabled during this four-week session.
Basic income – “It’s time to look at a basic income to replace the current income assistance scheme,” she said.
Tourism – Green wants to look at ways of enhancing tourists’ experience in the NWT, like a longer camping season, a visitor centre, and developing new tourism products.
She’s also planning to discuss the legalization of cannabis, International Day of the Girl, International Anti-Poverty Day, and Family Violence Awareness Week.“Of course the purpose of this session is to review the capital spending budget,” she added. “I expect the minister to table that budget on October 12. […]
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