Debates of June 11, 2024 (day 25)

20th Assembly, 1st Session
Members Present
Hon. Caitlin Cleveland, Mr. Edjericon, Mr. Hawkins, Hon. Lucy Kuptana, Hon. Jay Macdonald, Hon. Vince McKay, Mr. McNeely, Ms. Morgan, Mr. Morse, Mr. Nerysoo, Hon. R.J. Simpson, Ms. Reid, Mr. Rodgers, Hon. Lesa Semmler, Mr. Testart, Mr. Thompson, Mrs. Weyallon Armstrong, Hon. Caroline Wawzonek, Mrs. Yakeleya


Thank you. Colleagues, I'd like to thank Sarah Cleary for the opening guiding words.

Ministers’ Statements

Minister’s Statement 54-20(1): Funding Opportunities for Mental Wellness and Addictions Recovery Programs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to remind Members of the funding made available by the Department of Health and Social Services supporting the delivery of communitybased programs focused on mental wellness and addiction recovery. These funds were created in response to engagement with Indigenous governments in which they asked the GNWT to provide more flexible funding that could be used to run programs in their own communities and regions that would be responsive to the needs of Indigenous people.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of the Department of Health and Social Services in our responsiveness to these needs, and I am pleased to share information about this available funding. Every year, $3.05 million is available through the Department of Health and Social Services Community Wellness and Addictions Recovery Fund. This fund prioritizes Indigenous governments and supports the delivery of culturallyrelevant communitybased options for residents living with mental health and addictions issues. Created in 20232024, in response to feedback from the NWT Council of Leaders, it is the combination of the On the Land Healing Fund, Addictions Recovery Peer Support Fund, and Addictions Recovery and Aftercare Fund. The intention of this merger was to reduce the administrative burden on Indigenous governments and to enhance flexibility when identifying priorities and allocating resources. This funding opportunity was opened to community governing authorities and other community organizations on April 1st.

The second fund the Department administers is the Community Suicide Prevention Fund. This fund supports communities in the development and delivery of culturally safe communitybased programs focused on suicide prevention, awareness, and stigma reduction. It is also available to support communities interested in developing or implementing their own suicide prevention strategies. The amount of this fund is $725,000 annually, and one project per community can be approved. This fund is available to a wide variety of community organizations.

There is a very simple application form for these funds, and the department staff are available to support communities through the application process, answer any questions, and provide feedback about potential activities if needed. Indigenous governments are wellpositioned to understand the unique needs of their communities, and communitybased programming is a critical part of our overall mental wellness and addictions services.

Mr. Speaker, funding is still available in both funding pots, and I am hopeful that communities will work with the department to take advantage of these opportunities to further enhance community supports. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Members’ Statements

Member’s Statement 281-20(1): Inuvik Petroleum Show

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in 2001, Inuvik hosted the first annual Inuvik Petroleum Show. It was inspired by the impending announcement that the Mackenzie Valley pipeline was on the horizon, and Inuvik's economic future looked bright. The town was bumping, Mr. Speaker. You could barely find a parking spot downtown. The hotels were busy, the restaurants were crowded, and people were working in the exploration industry. Tour operators were busy, and artisans were selling their products. Mr. Speaker, residents were excited at the prospect of burning clean locally sourced natural gas to heat their homes at a price that would allow them to live without having to worry how they'll get through another winter. Certainly not the $40 per gigajoule they currently must pay for gas shipped to Inuvik from southern sources.

Mr. Speaker, over 700 people attended the show in its early days. Celebrities and prominent political speakers attended, journalists such as Amanda Lang, Andrew Coyne, and the late great Rex Murphy, all made appearances to speak to delegates and Indigenous leaders leading the pipeline project to see for themselves what the buzz was all about. Mr. Speaker, the president of KOGAS flew from Korea to meet with industry and Indigenous leaders to explore opportunities for trillions of tonnes of clean burning natural gas.

As we know, Mr. Speaker, the regulatory system flexed its muscle, and six years later the pipeline dream was no more. But good news, Mr. Speaker. The good news is that the community of Inuvik soldiered on, and the show, now called the Inuvik Expo, still exists. It had to adjust, just as our counterparts in Ottawa have adjusted its priorities around energy development. This week, Mr. Speaker, over 200 delegates are in Inuvik discussing such things as natural gas and renewable resources, climate and energy innovation, Indigenous leadership and circumpolar governance and sovereignty and the knowledge economy, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to applaud and congratulate the hardworking members of my town council, Indigenous governments, and our government for keeping this show relevant and continuing to push for all economic opportunities in our region. Mr. Speaker, like the resilient and hardworking residents of our community, I too will soldier on. I will continue to advocate for the development of this resource. I will continue to advocate for the Indigenous government who are currently developing their own natural gas facility to provide some relief to our residents.

Mr. Speaker, I sometimes think I have a better chance of getting support for a unicorn farm in Inuvik than support for our natural gas. But sadly, unicorn tears will not heat the homes and provide prosperity for people living in the Beaufort Delta, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Inuvik Boot Lake. Members' statements. Member from Great Slave.

Member’s Statement 282-20(1): Change of Name Act

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I tend to keep tabs on other governments' legislation and initiatives. Something that made me very happy, indeed, back in April, was hearing that the Manitoba government put forward Bill 33. It received assent last week, Mr. Speaker.

Manitoba's Bill 33 makes amendments to the Manitoba Change of Name Act and will further clarify in law that trans and nonbinary folks will not be published in the Manitoba gazette under their dead name which changing their legal name during transition. Being dead named is an extremely traumatic experience for many.

I was able to seek clarification from our wonderful NWT Assembly research staff that there are already allowances in our own NWT change of name legislation for trans folks not to be published in our gazette when changing a name; however, when a trans person goes online to find out how they can apply for a change of name, that option is not discussed in any way on the HSS website, nor is it captured in the change of name application form.

The Minister has let me know that trans and gender diverse folks seeking a name change can call the registrar of vital statistics at 18006610830 toll free to request an exemption in their application. The Minister also noted that removing the requirement for publicly posting changes of name in the gazette is something the department is considering as part of planned amendments to the Change of Name Act. As the application for a change of name form is found in associated regulations, changes to the form will require amendment as well.

Now, while this is a good start, I still have more questions around how we can make interactions with the health system more safe and inclusive for gender diverse folks, and those questions for the Minister of health, I'll have them at the appropriate time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Great Slave. Members' statements. Member from the Sahtu.

Member’s Statement 283-20(1): Sahtu Graduation Season

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. 2024 graduation. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of the Sahtu region's high school graduates. These young adults have reached an important milestone in their lives, completing their secondary education and preparing to embark on their further new education journeys.

Mr. Speaker, education is the key to unlocking a brighter future, and these graduates have certainly demonstrated their commitment to personal growth and development. They have acquired valuable knowledge and skills that will serve them well into the future endeavours. Whether they choose to pursue higher education, enter the workforce, or explore other opportunities, education by itself provides security, deserves recognition, and needs our investment. It is vitally important for the future and stability of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage these graduates to continue learning, to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and to use their education to make positive contributions to their communities and to the world around them. The Sahtu region is proud of their achievements, and we look forward to seeing them all as they accomplish in the coming years.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to travelling to the Sahtu communities after our spring sitting. These graduation ceremonies await. Some have occurred, some are yet to come, and stand alongside the proud parents, leaders, grandparents, brothers, and sisters, and most importantly the education staff.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Sahtu region and this Assembly, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the NWT graduate classes. May they continue to strive for excellence, pursue their dreams with passion, and make their mark on the world. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from the Sahtu. Members' statements. Member from Monfwi.

Member’s Statement 284-20(1): Changes to Student Financial Assistance Offerings for Indigenous STudents

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the good work done in the last Assembly by the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, who is now the Honorable Premier. In the 19th Assembly, the Minister of ECE made changes to the Student Financial Assistance program where the 12-semester limit, or $60,000 cap on funding, was removed for Indigenous students. Mr. Speaker, this is an incredible offering to the Indigenous students of the NWT. This support makes education more accessible and equitable.

Mr. Speaker, we know the education outcomes of Indigenous people in the NWT are well below nonIndigenous. NonIndigenous students graduate high school at a rate of 70 to 80 percent but Indigenous students are graduating at only a rate of 40 to 50 percent. The graduation rate is higher in Yellowknife than anywhere else in the NWT, although graduation rates in the regional centres are close behind. Mr. Speaker, clearly students in small communities are disadvantaged and require extra services and support to achieve equity in education.

Mr. Speaker, education is a treaty right, and providing this unlimited SFA support truly means that Indigenous students can have a dream and now have the means to achieve the knowledge which can make those dreams reality. A lot of students in small communities can now use SFA to upgrade after high school so they can get into college or university and feel comfortable and ready for postsecondary education. Without a cap or limit on the amount of funding they can access, students in small communities are set up for success. Now Indigenous students can access SFA for the things they need to do, whether it be upgrading or pursuing the highest level of education they can dream of. Mr. Speaker, can I have unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Unanimous consent granted

Mr. Speaker, this government has a major task to improve education outcomes in the NWT, but there have been good actions taken along the way. I want to acknowledge and thank the Minister of ECE from the 19th Assembly for changes in policy to support Indigenous students, most especially those in small communities. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Monfwi. Members' statements. Member from Yellowknife North.

Member’s Statement 285-20(1): Emergency Shelters

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to draw attention to the growing population experiencing homelessness in Yellowknife and the nonprofit emergency shelters whose capacity is being completely overwhelmed. The last time the city of Yellowknife did a pointintime count in 2021, it was estimated that at least 312 people were experiencing homelessness in Yellowknife, the vast majority of whom are Indigenous, and 99 people at that time were staying regularly in emergency shelters. But the numbers have gone up a lot more since then.

The stress of COVID lockdowns resulted in more violence in many homes. Since then many more women and youth, in particular, have been seeking emergency shelter. The series of evacuations last summer caused most of our territory to be displaced from their home communities, and many ended up on the streets of Yellowknife. Some of those who were evacuated from Yellowknife returned from southern provinces with some new friends in tow.

Recently, I met with the Salvation Army which is within the Yellowknife North riding. It provides an emergency men's shelter every night with 31 sleeping spaces. It also operates the Bailey House, which is a 32 bed men's transitional housing facility, including four private rooms reserved for those coming out of jail. Now, normally as the weather gets warmer and sleeping rough becomes more of an option, numbers in emergency shelter would start to dwindle, but the Salvation Army is currently at over double its capacity every single night. They are trying to pack over 60 people into cramped rooms with mats laid out on the floor. They are working with people under the influence of harder drugs who are more severely intoxicated than they've seen before. Predictably, this results in more violence amongst shelter users and against staff. Many of the longer-term shelter users are now terrified to be there in the same cramped space as a younger and tougher crowd, but they have nowhere else to go. The RCMP and the ambulance are being called multiple times each night and this, of course, does not really solve anything. In this kind of an environment, you can't even offer people basic safety, let alone counselling or medical treatment, or pathways to a different life. Mr. Speaker, I'm worried our shelter system in Yellowknife will collapse if we don't urgently find better solutions. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Yellowknife North. Members' statements. Member from Range Lake.

Member’s Statement 286-20(1): Folk on the Rocks

Mr. Speaker, the start of summer means the countdown beginning for the worldrenowned Folk on the Rocks music festival hosted every year in my beautiful Range Lake riding. Since 1980, this proud tradition has showcased the very best of the North's musical talent and has brought nationally and internationally renowned musicians to the NWT, delighting festival goers and giving these talented performers some northern exposure.

It's now in its 44th year. The festival features talented local northern groups, such as Amy and the Easy Hundo, Branded Sonic, Refrigerator, Narwhal, Grace Clarke, Tanya Snow, and the David Gon Band. They will also feature performances from acts such as the Aurora Fiddle Society, Glam on the Rocks, Taiga Yoga, and the Yellowknives Dene Drummers. It's no surprise Range Lake's Folk on the Rocks has been named the Best Small Music Festival in Canada. The hard work of the Folk on the Rocks organizing team ensures an expectational experience for attendees year after year. The combination of their dedication and the exceptional talent they attract provides more than a great time for Northerners. It also brings in tourists from all over the world as well.

Folk on the Rocks also provides an amazing opportunity for volunteers, young and old, to enjoy the event while facilitating arts and culture in the North. So if you and a friend want to come and help out this year, you're more than welcome to. The festival takes place between July 19th and the 21st, and all are invited to the Warm the Rocks free public event at the Somba K'e Civic Plaza on the afternoon of July 19th to kick things off. Tickets are for sale now at where the final stage schedule has just been posted. They're available for purchase on location as well. Let's rock, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Range Lake. Members' statements. Member from Tu NedheWiilideh.

Member’s Statement 287-20(1): Solutions for Education for Indigenous Students

Mr. Speaker, another school year draws to an end, and it's a good time to reflect on Indigenous education in the North. We all want the best education for our children but unfortunately, like all public services, education exists in a long shadow of colonialism and systemic racism, and this means First Nation communities have a different experience with education system in addition to having their own unique needs.

Treaty rights have been trying the rights to education for Indigenous people, and those treaties are themselves enshrined in the Canadian Constitution but work still needs to be done to realize those rights and to the full extent. Thankfully, Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has recently committed to implementing the United Nation Charter of Rights of Indigenous people here in the North, which means bringing their laws into alignment with the rights outlined in that document, including the rights to the improvement of economic and social conditions and implementation of treaties and in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous people.

UNDRIP has a lot to say when it comes to Indigenous education, specifically as well including the rights to establish and control their education system and institution and access to all level and forms of education of the state without discrimination and that particular attention should be paid to the rights and needs of our children. Mr. Speaker, we need to bring our territory education up to standards laid out in UNDRIP in accordance with the rights enshrined in the Canadian Constitution and our treaties because the status quo is not working. It is not getting enough Indigenous children through the high school, and children graduate after six years of high school education. Then the institute of financial systems forces Indigenous students, who graduate high school, to pick between supplementary grants or remissible loans. Either does not meet the needs and the federal CIRNAC money partially funds this program, so they should have access to both and having this supplementary grant is also discriminatory.

Fixing this barrier to Indigenous students and students financial assistance is a shortterm solution but my constituents have brought to my attention that there are many longterm solutions as well. The previous Assembly passed the UNDRIP Implementation Act in this time to bring legislation aligned with UNDRIP and find the solution to education UNDRIP mandates us to implement. I look forward to question the Minister of ECE on some of these solutions later today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Tu NedheWiilideh. Members' statements. Member from the Dehcho.

Member’s Statement 288-20(1): Mental health

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we know in the NWT our people are struggling with mental health challenges. Just over 56 percent of people in the NWT rate themselves as mentally well; so that's people that are thinking good about themselves. Indigenous people, and particularly former RS residential school students and people that went to residential school rate themselves a little lower than that as being mentally well.

Mr. Speaker, this is heartbreaking. We know in the NWT we have high rates of smoking, poor diets and activity, and heavy drinking. And, Mr. Speaker, and all of these stem from the mental health issues. When we're not mentally well, we become unwell physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

Mr. Speaker, we cannot separate our mind from our body. Our mind, body, and spirit are closer to our overall wellbeing, and we must give our communities the tools to take care of all these parts of themselves. We must nourish our mind to be in good working order for ourselves and our families and for our communities. There are many threats facing our communities. Our community members are turning to drug and alcohol, violent crimes, and they struggle with low selfesteem and mental health challenges.

Mr. Speaker, how do we lift up and empower people to become mentally strong and resilient? People who struggle with addictions can only recover by choice. People will only help themselves as much as they choose to. What can we do to empower people to choose well for themselves?

As a fallout of colonization, people are hesitant to trust from trusting the traditional way that have sustained ourselves for generation to trusting government services and programs. Trust is a big issue. Our residents need to know they are supported and cared for because many people feel alone.

Mr. Speaker, no one should feel alone, but this is what's happening today. Some of our people are suffering. They are fighting their battles silently and behind closed doors. I would like to see more programs and supports that help our residents get back to healthy mental balance. I will have questions for the Minister of health later today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from the Dehcho. Members' statements. Member from Yellowknife Centre.

Member’s Statement 289-20(1): Supports for Autism

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For families, friends, and supporters of autism parents and families, the struggle is real and it's daytoday. It's certainly not for the faint of heart. Mr. Speaker, when you're on the vanguard of this problem every single day, this challenge, my heart goes out to those folks who are dealing with this. They are truly angels that that keep their families together.

Mr. Speaker, we all know the spectrum of autism ranges from some challenges to a lot of challenges, and each one is unique but each one is important. You know, I wish that one day, Mr. Speaker to be clear, I wish one day there is a cure. But until those days, we must not abandon these parents to make sure that they know that their lives matter and we're with them through these challenges. But like many challenges before us, there has been so many facts and proofs out there that socialization is so critical during the formative years. So lest we forget that the important thing that happens is focus is right now on the young child, but children become teens, and teens become adults. So formative, constructive supports are critical because that's who they will become with or without them.

The GNWT offers some supports, it's true, but when you're in a small community you have very little supports so what do you do? You move to a regional centre. And then you quickly realize that regional centres don't have any supports, or more supports, so they move to Yellowknife. And lo and behold, when they get to Yellowknife, they quickly learn there's nothing or very little here. So what do they do? They leave the territory, Mr. Speaker.

The pittance offered for people struggling with autism is so small between the years of zero to six, parents are constantly searching for opportunities. As a matter of fact, it's created a competitive process where they're constantly fighting behind the scenes keeping ideas and opportunities secret rather than becoming a supportive network as they rightly should. So in other words, they're hiding opportunities when they hear, I hear there's one opening in this place, but I can't tell anyone, rather than saying I hear an opening in these places, let's make sure everyone gets a shot.

Mr. Speaker, the science proves very clearly engagement, therapy, physical, and verbal supports, are absolutely necessary in the early years and the people that only end up doing this are the parents who have to either stay at home or make the sacrifices that their work will kindly support them.

Mr. Speaker, I have much more for my Member's statement. I won't seek unanimous consent, but I'll raise the further issues in my oral questions about how we can help these people with better policy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Yellowknife Centre. Members' statements. Member from Thebacha.

Member’s Statement 290-20(1): Frank Gruben Pride Festival

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to an event of special cultural and social importance in Fort Smith, the Frank Gruben Pride Festival scheduled to take place June 14th to 16th, 2024. This free community festival serves as a beacon of inclusivity, solidarity, and remembrance. The Frank Gruben Pride Festival provides a safe haven for Members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and their allies to honour the memory of Frank Gruben, a missing Indigenous person. In a world where safety and acceptance are not always guaranteed, events like this play a critical role in fostering a sense of belonging and dignity.

Mr. Speaker, what makes this festival truly special is its diversified approach to advocacy and celebration featuring local musicians, drag artists, and crafts people, including talents from Fort Smith and various communities across the Northwest Territories. The event serves as a platform for artistic expression and cultural exchange through the sale of their art, participants show solidarity and support for causes close to our hearts, including missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, LGBTQIA2S+ rights and the memory of Frank Gruben.

Mr. Speaker, beyond its artistic and cultural offerings, the Frank Gruben Pride Festival is a vehicle for education and awareness. Through conversations and celebration, we aim to uplift Indigenous, Metis, Inuit, and the LGBTQIA2S+ voices, artists and businesses, enriching our collective understanding of diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage my fellow Members to join me in supporting the Frank Gruben Pride Festival and its mission to create a more just and compassionate society. Let us stand together in celebrating the richness of our community and honouring the memory of those who have been lost. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Thebacha. Members' statements.

Member’s Statement 291-20(1): Laura Gareau Retirement

Colleagues, on April 19, 2024, Laura Gareau retired from the GNWT. Unfortunately, I was not able to congratulate her in person. I heard it was a very enjoyable event and a few laughs were had.

Colleagues, Laura's public service career started with the Government of Manitoba, right after she graduated from University of Manitoba with a Master's of Public Administration. After a period with the Government of Manitoba, she decided to take an adventure and moved to the Northwest Territories. It was not going to be a permanent move but like most folks that move up North, she fell in love with the city, her new friends, and working for the Government of Northwest Territories.

I am happy to say that she had a varied and successful 25year career with the GNWT. Laura started as an FMB analyst going on to work in seven different departments and eventually become deputy minister of Municipal and Community Affairs. In all those roles, Laura had modelled the characteristics of a true public servant through her commitment to improving the lives of NWT residents and activities of our communities while balancing those objectives that need to be accountable to the public. She has reminded us of the importance of speaking truth to power, as well as the role of public servants to implement the mandate and priorities of the government that we all serve.

During our time working together, we were able to get done a lot done in two and a half years. Just to name a few, the EMO, DFAA, completing the municipal funding pots in the 19th Assembly even though it was set for the 20th. Oh, and how I forgot the two years of floods and last year's wildfires season when we had to evacuate 11 communities which was over 70 percent of our residents.

As I said, we had a few laughs which I would like to share one with you here today. After the 2021 flood, the DM and Laura spent weeks trying to come up with a plan on how they were going to convince me to move five regional Sport North positions to EMO positions. They even spoke to my MSA to see how I would react to this idea. I still remember how they both looked after presenting the idea to me, and I agreed with them. It was like the Ikea commercial, remember when the wife comes running out of the store telling her husband to start the car before the Ikea could change their mind about the stuff they sold her.

Colleagues, before I close, I have part of the speech done by the ADM at her retirement party that I would like demeaned read and printed in the Hansard.

In closing, I would like to thank her for all her service and improvements for our residents' life. I wish her all the best on her next adventures. Thank you.

(Deemed Read)

Laura is also known for her commitment to excellence. Over her long career, Laura has been recognized as a high achiever who likes to "get things done". She sets high expectations for her team, but also for herself. Laura brings a strong policy lens and exemplary critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as a commitment to improving processes and striving for excellence to every project she has worked on.

She spearheaded several major policy and functional changes in the GNWT, including the "New Deal", the transformation of the health and social services system, including the establishment of the NWT Health and Social Services Authority and oversight of the evaluation report of the Education Renewal and Innovation Initiative. More recently, at MACA she also undertook the first comprehensive review of the Disaster Assistance Program in 26 years and updated both the Disaster Assistance Policy and the NWT Emergency Plan, which will be released publicly on Monday.

Laura's time at MACA has been marked by three consecutive years of the most challenging natural disaster events in the NWT's history. Through all of this, Laura really has kept a steady hand on the helm and never wavered from her commitment to achieving the best results possible. Few know how hard she has worked to support the GNWT, community governments, and all of the residents of the NWT to get through these emergency events.

Finally, I think we all know that Laura is committed to enjoying life and we have all benefitted from the good humour she brought to our everyday working life over the past few years. Laura has an infectious laugh and can see the funny side of most situations. Even at the bleakest of times, she has made us laugh. Her sense of humour has helped set the tone and got all of us collectively through some really tough times, especially over the past year.

On a personal note, I have to say how much I have enjoyed working so closely with you these past few years.

I have learned so much from you and really appreciated all of your insight, advice and support. We accomplished a lot but, most of all, we had a lot of fun. Thank you for everything and I wish you many happy years of adventures and personal fulfillment. Enjoy your retirement.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Colleagues, before we go to you, I'd like to recognize a special young lady in the audience, Colleen Wellborn. Thank you very much for coming here and keeping track of your husband. You know, he's well behaved today because you're here. So thank you. Member for Range Lake.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize a constituent of mine, who also happens to be my lovely wife, the love of my life, Colleen. She's here today, and whilst I have been here working on behalf of all of our neighbours she's been holding down the fort at home, and I couldn't do it without her. Thank you so much for being here.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Visitors in the gallery. Member from Thebacha.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize two young people from P.W. Kaeser High School who are here as pages today Anthony Roberts and Shane Subertuk. Thank you for being here, and we appreciate your service.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member for Thebacha. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member from Yellowknife North.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize I can't see him but Tony Brushett, the executive director of the Salvation Army, who is a Yellowknife North resident as well as the Salvation Army itself being within my riding. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Yellowknife North. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Member from Yellowknife Centre.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize a constituent. She's well known to all of us. It's Ms. Sarah Cleary. She's not only one of our wonderful and dependable translators who's served the House for so many years, she's also known as the sewer extraordinaire. So anyway, thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to wish her well. Thank you.

Speaker: MR. SPEAKER

Thank you, Member from Yellowknife Centre. Recognition of visitors in the gallery.

If we missed anybody, we'd like to thank you very much for being here in your House and allowing us to do our job for the residents of the Northwest Territories.

Reports of Standing and Special Committees

Committee Report 7-20(1): Standing Committee on Public Accounts Report on the Review of the 2022-2023 Public Accounts