Mr. Speaker, addressing the housing needs of vulnerable people, including seniors, single people and homeless individuals, has been a key priority of this government and all Members of this legislature. The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation is addressing the housing challenges faced by vulnerable groups through its investments and infrastructure projects.
Mr. Speaker, Seniors and Elders hold a unique place throughout our Territory. They are our mentors and caregivers, and the wealth of knowledge and wisdom they provide is beneficial to all Northwest Territories’ residents. Seniors and Elders are also the fastest growing population in the NWT, and there is a need to understand how our government programs and services are supporting them now and into the future.
Mr. Speaker, this Government is committed to ensuring that the people of the Northwest Territories have access to a wealth of high-quality post-secondary education opportunities. Educated citizens are critical to a healthy northern society and a strong and prosperous economy. Our Government is acting on the 18th Assembly’s Mandate priorities to expand opportunities for post-secondary education, trades-oriented learning and northern educational institutions and to foster the knowledge economy.
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.