Candidate in the Frame Lake Yellowknife race.
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April 3, 2020
CBC North - In a press release on Thursday, the territory's committee of regular MLAs noted concerns about the pressures on businesses and essential services in the N.W.T. Some of them responded and here are their own words — condensed and edited for CBC style. They're going to do contact tracing, like they do with every case … The people who were in contact will be notified — that's standard through the Public Health Act. Everybody needs to be limiting the time they're going out so we can stop this in its tracks. Nunakput, Jackie JacobsonI've been hearing a lot of concerns about community travel, in regards to people flying into the coastal communities — Sachs [Harbour], Uluhaktok, Paulatuk [N.W.T.].
April 1, 2020
NNSL Media - Regular MLAs have called on cabinet to freeze evictions while the territory weathers the global health pandemic. “We’re in an emergency situation and extraordinary measures may be necessary to help with landlords, and tenants, in particular,” he said. However, with the onset of another confirmed COVID-19 case in Inuvik, Tu Nedhe – Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn is another member supporting an evictions pause. As potential options, he pointed to the rental assistance program in Manitoba; a one-time $900 emergency payout in Saskatchewan; and an evictions pause in Yukon. Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson called for a pause to evictions prior to the pandemic, citing the extreme temperatures and weather facing tenants in his constituency.
April 1, 2020
CBC North - The territory's largest landlord, Northview Apartment REIT, issued a memo this week telling tenants to contact one of its offices if they can't pay their rent. Aid for landlordsBut not everyone thinks landlords should take the hit if tenants can't make rent. Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly says the territorial and federal governments need to provide aid to tenants and landlords during the COVID-19 crisis. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada)Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly is calling on the territorial government "to deal with the pending residential rent crisis with rent deferrals, rent assistance, and or small landlord assistance." Many are northern residents who own one or two small rental properties.
March 31, 2020
NNSL Media - An $8.2 million COVID-19 package touted as the NWT government’s second wave of relief was announced by cabinet ministers Tuesday. As follow-up to $13.2 million focusing on business released earlier this month, government officials also promised more measures in the near future. In Yellowknife, that means $1.4 million will go toward preparing 25 units at Arnica Inn and 36 units at Aspen Apartments. There is $1.6 million for income assistance, with single recipients getting $500 and households of two or more people getting $1,000. Asked how the government plans for NWT workers with multiple jobs facing layoffs, Wawzonek said much of the relief will fall to Ottawa, pointing to recent federal relief packages.
March 20, 2020
NNSL Media - The linchpin of NWT’s climate change fight efforts looked weak to some MLAs at a technical briefing on March 12. The expansion would be 64 kilometres north of Fort Smith on the Taltson River, and would almost triple the current hydro capacity of the NWT. “We don’t have that type of spend (compared to the Taltson expansion) planned for the Beaufort Delta,” he said, continuing to say there were no projects that would achieve the same reductions of the dam. O’Reilly proposed alternatives like carbon offsets, and renewable diesel, in case the Taltson project didn’t go ahead. Thebacha MLA Frieda Martselos was more positive on the Taltson expansion, saying the project would bolster the territory’s economy, and boost access to renewable energy.
March 14, 2020
Cabin Radio - Territorial politicians on Friday voted to go ahead with limited spending on a planned road to Nunavut in what one MLA called "the most important debate that we've had since we've been elected." The NWT will ultimately pay only $2.5 million this year with $7.5 million funded by the federal government. Deleting the funding could have ended any prospect of the road going ahead for a generation. "Quite frankly, I would take the $2.5 million [NWT share of the $10 million] from this and spend it on other things, including habitat protection," he said. You just add million, million, million."
March 13, 2020
CBC North - Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green questioned what the plan would be if the Taltson expansion fails to go ahead. We don't have another project that is as viable and as attractive for meeting the reduction of greenhouse gases. - John Vandenberg, assistant deputy minister of Infrastructure"We do depend on the Taltson project to meet our greenhouse gas commitments going forward," Vandenberg said. The territory's framework document does say, "without federal support for Taltson, the N.W.T. The territory's plan includes a number of small-scale infrastructure projects that will reduce greenhouse gases and cut costs for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.
March 12, 2020
CBC North - The Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly plans to ask the Auditor General of Canada to examine the costs and "long-term financial implications" of the new Stanton Territorial hospital in Yellowknife. Frieda Martselos, the MLA for Thebacha, brought the motion, which asks for a special audit of the hospital and the public-private partnership behind it. Finance officials have called the new $350-million hospital the largest building project ever undertaken by the territorial government. Stanton Territorial Hospital has been plagued with problems since it opened in May of 2019 including mould , water leaks, birthing tubs that couldn't be used and a shortage of nurses . Wawzonek said the government is working to ensure the hospital project partners take "responsible action" to deliver services as they're supposed to.
March 12, 2020
CKLB 101.9 - “For speaking the truth, I will not apologize.”That is what Monfwi MLA Jackson Lafferty said when he was told to apologize to Premier Caroline Cochrane. Delay due to language rightsLafferty instead brought up a point of privilege on Tuesday since no Tłı̨chǫ interpreters were available. He said his right to speak his Tłı̨chǫ language was infringed upon and asked to close down the house. With Tłı̨chǫ interpreters now present, Lafferty said he never intended to “scandalize this house” but refused to apologize. “Truth and integrity are (more) important however than hurt feelings.”Lafferty spoke with CKLB as he was leaving the Legislative Assembly.
March 12, 2020
Cabin Radio - The Office of the Auditor General will be asked by NWT politicians to scrutinize the finances behind the building of Yellowknife's new Stanton Territorial Hospital. The final decision on what to audit rests with interim auditor general Sylvain Ricard. It is considered to be, at least in financial terms, the largest capital project the NWT has ever undertaken. "To date, the Office of the Auditor General has been involved and provided only positive reviews of all financial aspects of the project." A similar audit was conducted in 2011 on the subject of the Deh Cho Bridge, another NWT P3 project.