NWT Disability Council Questions and Answers

The NWT Disability Council has posed six (6) Northwest Territories election questions to candidates. I would like to thank the NWT Disability Council for the opportunity to present my responses to their questions as this is a cause near and dear to me. If you have any questions about my response, I would be happy to discuss them further with you. My contact information can be found on my contact page.

If you are a constituent of the Great Slave Riding in Yellowknife and would like me to come to you to speak about why I am running and what I will bring to the 19th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, please contact me.

What do you think are the key barriers facing people with disabilities in the NWT?  

Key terms articulate the numerous barriers faced by persons with disabilities – access to facilities, inclusion with workforce opportunities and being treated respectfully as equal.

How have you engaged with people with disabilities in your campaign? What steps have you taken to make your campaign more accessible? Do you have a campaign office and is it accessible?   

I have disabled family members.  I have my office at Birchwood Coffee which has wheelchair access and a wheelchair accessible washroom and am able to meet with persons there.  I have visited and attempted to engage with some disabled constituents at their residents and encourage them to call for transportation assistance if needed.  I appreciate having the opportunity to speak with and listen to constituents who are impacted.  I recognize I have limited experience and knowledge but I value learning and using acquired knowledge to advocate for important changes.

Are you familiar with the Disability Action Plan released by the 18th Assembly? What are your priority items for this plan? How do you plan on advocating for these items? 

I have reviewed the plan which addresses how the government intends “to advance equity, accessibility and inclusion, and participation, to support persons with disabilities and their caregivers in the Northwest Territories.”

The Minister stresses the importance of partnerships between GNWT and NGO.  I agree and will support nurturing these partnerships.

I have stated that I want to see a secure and healthy future for my children and grandchildren.  This goal requires addressing the gaps in the current system for persons with disabilities, both in the legislation and the delivery of services.  The more the disabled are empowered and their views respected, the faster they will have opportunities for equal participation in our communities. 

Education supports for children is really critical, as that gives them equal opportunity to learn to their capacity. Income security for the disabled and the disadvantaged must be considered.  Access to training for family members and support workers needs to be integrated in community-based delivery systems.

Are you familiar with the extended health benefits programs operating in the NWT? Are you committed to eliminating discrimination from the Specified Disease Conditions Program and introducing comprehensive supplementary health insurance for low-income residents?

This objective is more common sense that most concerns.  Families must be able to function with strength and health and not be placed at a disadvantage because they have children or adult family members who require special supports. 

Low-income families often represent the strongest shoulders in our communities and they fight daily for their family’s well-being. Making health care insurance available to families on low income, will result in fewer care costs per individual down the road.

Are you committed to repatriating people with disabilities who are from the NWT back to their home communities/regions who have been sent out of territory for care? How will you work to increase the services and supports available to people with disabilities in the NWT to ensure that all residents are able to live with their own families and within their own communities?

I support this initiative with the understanding the person being “repatriated” has a voice in any transition and adequate care is available to them in their home and family community.

How do you plan to engage with the needs of people with disabilities in your constituency if you were to be elected? How do you plan to ensure that policies and programs implemented by the 19th Assembly are accessible to all NWT residents?

I will work with the Council of Disabled, NWT Autism Society, seeking advice and information.  I will also reach out to ensure individuals and families have ready access to me as their MLA.

If you have any questions about my response, I would be happy to discuss them further with you. My contact information can be found on my contact page.

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