Mr. Speaker, the early years, from birth to age five, are among the most critical for a child’s development. The Department of Education, Culture and Employment recognizes the need to support safe and high-quality early learning environments for children to grow into healthy adults and fulfill their potential as capable people.
Mr. Speaker, this government made a commitment at the beginning of this Legislative Assembly to support the effective co-management of our caribou herds. As you know, many of our herds are experiencing rapid declines and it is our shared responsibility as a government and a territory to promote their recovery.
Range plans are a vital part of how we work together to co-manage our caribou herds and provide guidance to decision-makers, developers and communities to manage activities on the land in a way that supports healthy caribou populations.
Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice, under the Community Justice and Policing Division, has been leading an innovative ‘whole of government’ pilot program in Yellowknife called Integrated Case Management or ICM. This program has been designed to understand and fundamentally reform the way social envelope services are accessed and delivered in the NWT by identifying the barriers and challenges residents face when obtaining services.
Mr. Speaker, international interest in the North has been increasing steadily over the past few years. As the effects of climate change increase access to the Arctic, the global geopolitical context for the region is changing.
With enormous untapped opportunities for shipping, research and resource development, many countries are looking to influence the development of policies and international agreements that will benefit them and their interests in the region.
Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize the athletes, coaches and mission staff who represented Team Northwest Territories at the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games, held in Swift Current, Saskatchewan from August 9 to 18.
This year, Team NT fielded 167 participants in seven different sports including soccer, swimming, athletics, tennis, volleyball and wrestling.
Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories made a mandate commitment to finalize a strategic plan to enhance existing programming and build new partnership initiatives to support healthy and sustainable traditional lifestyles, and to develop country food programming to promote the consumption of wild foods.
Mr. Speaker, today I will be tabling the Child and Family Services Quality Improvement Plan. The Quality Improvement Plan sets out actions that we are taking to address issues identified as part of our internal reviews, the 2018 Auditor General’s Report and from feedback from staff, Indigenous governments and other stakeholders in our system.
Mr. Speaker, our territory has no shortage of spectacular sights for visitors and residents to enjoy. Our territorial parks are the starting point for many looking to experience these world-class wonders.
Through the life of this government, and in-line with our mandate, we have invested in enhancing these vital assets for the benefit of the growing contingent of tourists choosing the NWT, and our residents seeking to enjoy their recreational time.
Mr. Speaker, few services have as direct an impact on our citizens as the policing services provided by the RCMP. This modern relationship continues to develop, providing effective and collaborative policing services in our communities.
Over the past few years, the RCMP in the NWT have placed a deliberate focus on increasing public trust in policing services, working with partners to improve responses for vulnerable populations, and adapting their work to reflect changing legislation and best practices.
Mr. Speaker, the demand for safe, affordable and locally-grown food choices continues to rise in the Northwest Territories and is a topic that our government is actively addressing as part of the Government of the Northwest Territories Agriculture Strategy.