NNSL Photo/Graphic


Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Legislative Assembly Briefs
Moratorium on public housing evictions

Galit Rodan
Northern News Services
Published Monday, December 12, 2011

Housing Minister Robert C. McLeod said a temporary moratorium on evictions of NWT Housing Corporation clients will take effect immediately.

The moratorium only applies to tenants with arrears and does not cover tenants who violate their leases in other ways.

"I am hopeful that the tenants see this as a real opportunity to address their arrears instead of worrying about being evicted this winter," said McLeod. "This moratorium should not be looked at as a chance for tenants to stop paying their rent or paying their arrears. "

The moratorium will expire April 1, 2012. McLeod said the Housing Corporation will continue its attempts to collect rent and arrears during this time but will not "take the final step of eviction" until the moratorium expires.

Climate change failure a 'crime against humanity'

Mother Nature has a crusader in Bob Bromley, who likened Canada's failure to take effective action on climate change to a "crime against humanity." During Wednesday's sitting of the legislative assembly, the MLA for Weledeh took time during both the member's statements and oral questions to lament Canada's failings on climate change and press Environment Minister Michael Miltenberger to show more leadership.

"In the past six weeks our residents have been shocked to see open water in Tuk Harbour in November. We saw plus-14 degree temperatures in Fort Liard in December, and roller coaster weather with repeated changes of 20 to 30 degrees from day to day in Yellowknife," said Bromley.

Bromley said the federal government has failed to institute measures stringent enough to reduce emissions by the amount required to avoid "dangerous climate change" and its ensuing effects, including "loss of life, species and the ability of ecosystems to support us."

In the face of failure at the federal level, Bromley said the provinces and territories must lead the way - something he felt was not being done in the GNWT.

"According to our Greenhouse Gas Strategy, the GNWT is prepared to allow our emissions to surge by almost 100 per cent above 1990 levels by 2020. Given what we know, such policy followed through by any jurisdiction would constitute a crime against humanity," said Bromley.

Environment Minister Michael Miltenberger took exception to the comment.

MLA wants more permanent aviation memorials

"We, as a territory, have done very little to commemorate our fallen Northern aviation heroes," said Range Lake MLA Daryl Dolynny, after reminding the legislative assembly of the rash of local aviation tragedies in the past year, including the recent death of Adlair Aviation's Paul Laserich.

Dolynny said the single existing official memorial - Bush Pilots Monument in Yellowknife's Old Town - is dedicated to bush pilots and engineers who died flying in the 1920s and '30s, and there is no permanent memorial for those who have lost their lives since.

Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister David Ramsay said his department will discuss the proposal further with MLAs and other residents throughout the NWT.

Pleas for new Nahanni Butte, Trout Lake schools

For the time being children in Trout Lake will continue receiving their education at the community's recreational centre and children in Nahanni Butte will continue to be schooled in an old log building.

"I have been raising this issue for several years," said Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche. "It is the Department of Education's duty to provide students with a healthy learning environment and that duty extends to all students across this territory, not just Inuvik and Yellowknife."

Menicoche asked Education, Culture and Employment Minister Jackson Lafferty whether the schools were at least included in the 20-year capital needs assessment. He had to press Lafferty on the issue before the minister admitted, "I have to get that more detailed information. I don't have the plan in front of me today."

No permanent doctors in Hay River

Hay River North MLA Robert Bouchard told the House that the lack of permanent doctors in Hay River was a "large problem" that was "lowering the quality of health care in Hay River."

Bouchard pointed out that Hay River is one of the largest communities in the North and its hospital is accessed by people in surrounding communities as well.

"Patients are seeing a different doctor every time they attend the hospital or the medical clinic," he said. "The lack of permanent doctors is costing this government more money. Costs are higher when individuals have to be shipped out of the community because there are no doctors to admit them."

Bouchard asked the GNWT to help recruit permanent doctors to Hay River and asked Health Minister Tom Beaulieu whether the GNWT would provide additional funding to remedy the problem.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.