22 Wednesday November 18 2015 YELLOWKNIFE CENTRE J. Green Im not sure that equal access is possible if that means the same programs and services for all seniors in all 33 communities. A better goal might be equitable ac- cess where the government provides seniors with what they need to access the same benefits. An expansion of the single window government service centres for example may be useful to helping seniors and others access programs and services. YELLOWKNIFE NORTH D. Wong Its important to be able to receive services in the language of your choice. Because folks are more comfortable receiving a service in their own language lan- guage services build trust dignity and fairness. For elders in our communities proper language translation is key to access programs and services like the Senior Home Heating Subsidy. Many forms and online services are available in English only unless by special request and instead should be automatically available in all 11 official lan- guages of the NWT. C. Vanthuyne Its very important that all residents of the north have fair and equal access to GNWT programs and services especially our Seniors. In collaboration with key stake- holders I would support conducting a review of the quality of services currently provided to Seniors and work to make effective improvements based on the recommendations that would come from the review. E. Castillo Basically if the seniors do not know what programs and services are available for them then they cannot access them. By working with NWT and Community Senior orga- nizations I want to ensure informationcommunication of the programs and services that our seniors can equally avail themselves to access are properly provided and distributed. Regular informationcommunication sessions can and should be held for the seniors throughout the territories including a readily accessible main online information and help service. B. Nind As MLA I would support setting up a formal Seniors Secretariat Office that would act as a formal storefront for all senior programs. This would provide for compre- hensive distribution of program materials for a seniors as well as provide personal assis- tance for all issues affecting seniors thus reducing confusion and frustration with those we should respect the most. I would also work to ensure that seniors have physical access and service to all facilities and offices that are of a public nature. YELLOWKNIFE SOUTH B. McLeod The NWT Seniors Strategy will recognize that within communities the needs of individual seniors differ and that the needs of individuals change as they age. Programs and services must be flexible and focus on the individual providing choices that are ap- propriate to their needs and capabilities. 5. What actions will you take to reduce living costs throughout the NWT FRAME LAKEYELLOWKNIFE R. Erasmus The cost of living can be reduced by making housing more affordable pro- moting alternative energy sources and energy conservation and finding ways to reduce taxes and service fees. K. OReilly GNWT should work with Yukon and Nunavut to ensure that the new federal government increases and indexes the Northern Residents Tax Deductions. Investment in economic development should be focused on lowering costs through local and sustain- able activities that decrease imports and create jobs food production fishing forestry renewable energy building and maintaining appropriate housing. Renewable energy pro- duction should be combined with housing retrofits using a revolving fund. Homeowners or condos pay back the costs of the retrofit through their energy savings. Co-operatives and community-owned enterprises also offer solutions. Employers should also be encour- aged to provide a living wage to employees. GREAT SLAVEYELLOWKNIFE G. Abernethy Control costs of power through investments in infrastructure solar wind etc.explore tax options to reduce the cost of running and operating small local business- es enhance and streamline rebate programs to install wood stoves more efficient fur- naces solar panels better insulation etc for commercial and residential users work with the Federal Government to update the Northern Resident Tax Deduction work with the Federal Government to improve the Nutrition North program for our isolated communities enhance support for community gardens and other food productions opportunities work with industry local governments business and other interested stakeholders to develop a plan to address homelessness in the NWT. C. Clarke We need to be more self-sufficient as Northerners to reduce the cost of living in the NWT. Currently we depend on almost all our resources from the south with the exception of traditional foods that are continuously depleting. One major way that we can reduce the cost of living is by producing our own food. We need to implement agriculture by growing our own vegetables and producing our own livestock. Many places are doing this now with such things as community gardens or herding reindeer. We need to increase these pursuits with sustainable fisheries logging and other industries that we are currently not realizing the ad- vantages of. Also we need to engage in alternate sources of energy and diversify our energy resources. In most communities we rely on fuel as a single source of heat and electricity. By researching and implementing alternative forms of energy such as wind tides geothermal and solar amongst others we can ensure a continuous and cheaper source of power. This diversification of energy will ensure lower prices. This is especially true as we see now when we have low waters for powering hydro-turbines or the altering cost of oil. These types of un- expected events drive up the cost of power and our living expenses in the Territories. HAY RIVER NORTH R. Bouchard I believe one of the first areas is the taxation. Increase the northern living allowance. Give all northerners back their payroll taxes. HAY RIVER SOUTH J. Groenewegen Increased funding toArctic EnergyAlliance would assist in providing wood andor pellet stoves to subsidize heating costs and reduce the cost of living for NWT seniors. B. Willows See question 1. KAM LAKEYELLOWKNIFE D. Ramsay We must continue to push the federal government on increasing northern residents tax deduction. We also must look at connecting the Northsouth hydro grids with a long term plan to tie these into the south AlbertaSaskatchewan. We also must continue to invest in alternative energy sources. K. Testart Reducing the cost of living is a key part of my platform. I will enhance funding for energy efficiency incentives and alternate energy technologies available to homeowners. These programs will be expanded to cover more of the cost to homeowners for the installation of appliances and energy systems lowering the cost of power over time and reducing carbon emissions. I will reduce the cost of power by leveraging hydro generated electricity with clean energy generation to offset low water levels and maximize hydro efficiency. I will close the funding gap for our communities by investing an additional 25 million over 4 years in municipal infrastructure. This investment will create jobs and support healthy well-main- tained and vibrant communities that will encourage people to come and stay in the North. NAHENDEH K. Menicoche The seniors fuel subsidy has to be improved so that we can assist the seniors for a longer period. S. Thompson Improve the Nutrition North program so that it will benefit all our semi isolated and isolated communities. Look at who supplies the foods for this program. Support the idea of development of year round community gardens and other food production opportunities such as chickens fish etc. Reinstate rebate programs for home owners to make it more energy ef- ficient such as LED lights appliances windows and better insulation.Reinstate rebate programs to install more efficient furnaces pellet stoves. Control the costs of power - more efficient op- erations of equipment and investments in infrastructure such as geo-thermal that would reduce costs and the need to rely on fossil fuel. Review the Northern Resident Tax Deduction and work with the Government of Canada to realign it with the cost of living. RANGE LAKEYELLOWKNIFE D. Dolynny When looking at the high cost of living one has to look at the average dispos- able income variance across the North the differences in living costs depending on where you live shelter options and affordability your heatingelectricity and water costs your food costs and more importantly the inequalities between large market and small communities. There are many ways we can tackle this issue. Here is a three step approach that will have a direct impact. i. The high cost of living affects all northerners this is a given. In order to deal with this issue the next government can no longer ignore their responsibility. First we need to embrace and support our Federal governments offering of increasing our Northern Resident Tax deduc- tion to the level indicated and to deal with the uniqueness of disparity incomes. ii. Secondly we need to lower our cost of food. This could be achieved by providing more support for NWT food networks NWT Farmers Associations community collective gardens and greenhouse invest- ments. iii. Finally we need to reduce our cost of energy and use of fossil fuels. This can only be achieved by the willingness of an elected cabinet and Premier committed to action and less on rhetoric. If elected and if being able to influence cabinet decision making we need to do the following to bring down our cost per kilowatt hour. 1. Heat re-capture technology at our thermal diesel generator production this will allow to use 60-70 of the heat lost up the stove pipe. This heat can be used for various sources via a utili-door system to either heat community gardens or buildings. 2. Need more energy efficiency investments such as major home retro-fit programs 3. Need more targeted incentives to offset the capitalization costs of alternative energy invest- ments for both resident and business. 4. The business of power production and distribution requires deep pockets and a brain trust to match unfortunately we suffer from both. Therefore we need to consider selling a large portion of our Northwest Territories Power Corporation to suitable partners who would be able to commit money and knowledge to our current dire situa- tion. This one time sale would take what is now a liability to an asset situation thereby allowing one time investments of practical alternate energy solutions such as hydro wind solar and biomass in our various communities. C. Cochrane-Johnson Cost of living is the number one issue raised within my riding. Ideas have ranged from alternative energy usage capping electrical rates expansion of pellet stove usage natural gas lines nuclear power and running a line from Taltson Hydro. Other ideas have included the GNWT opening more lease land so that people can choose between leas- ing property and owning lowering the toll on the bridge supporting local food production and investment in renewable resources such as fisheries. I will bring the suggestions from my riding to the table and work with other MLAs to find the best solution for the NWT. THEBACHA M. Miltenberger Lowering the cost of energy is the main way to lower the cost of living. This means reducing our reliance on diesel by switching to cheaper cleaner renewables like solar and wind. This is an initiative that I will put forward as a priority for the 18th assembly. L. Sebert The new federal government should increase the Northern Residents Allowance as soon as possible and allowance should be indexed to inflation as was promised in the recent federal election. Power rates are already too high and represent a financial burden for seniors on modest incomes. Efficiencies must be found to reduce these costs. D. Jaque Reducing the cost of living in the NWT is a huge challenge one that will continue to get more onerous. The sooner measures are taken the better. The high cost of food is a major contributing factor to the high cost of living. That can be alleviated somewhat by promoting com- munity-based agriculture as a major component of strengthening local economies which must be promoted and enhanced. Locally grown food is healthier tastes better and creates jobs. Locally grown food must involve the use of greenhouses in spring and fall which will require investing in research and development of better greenhouse technology as well as instruction on how to grow greenhouse crops. The cost of electricity must be reduced by replacing all diesel generators with solid state generators which are 30 more efficient and also investing in solar and wind energy to complement and reduce the use requirement of the new generators. YELLOWKNIFE CENTRE J. Green This is an issue for residents of all ages. I am championing low-cost loans from government that would enable homeowners to retrofit homes to improve their efficiency and to install renewable resources alternatives to home heating fuel and diesel power such as biomass and solar. YELLOWKNIFE NORTH D. Wong An estimated 60 of Yellowknife homes are rated below EnerGuide 70 which means many Yellowknife homes are inefficient and expensive to heat. Energy retrofits such as higher-rated wall and ceiling insulation windowsdoors or wood heating can mean large savings in utility bills especially in winter. We have an offer of low-interest loans for homeowners to do energy retrofits. Low interest loans up to 20000 could be repaid with monthly fuel savings. If elected Ill make territorial amendments to legislation to allow for low-interest loans for heat a top and immediate priority. We cant afford to miss any more of these opportunities. C. Vanthuyne Here are some ways to reduce the cost of living in the north support the Loans for Heat program from the City of Yellowknife. This will allow for energy efficient renovations that will reduce fuel costs significantly. Support the Yellowknife Farmers Market local food charter and have it passed on a territorial level. This allows for more healthy affordable food to be produced and shared locally. Support a variety of housing options and choices including tiny homes and secondary suites that will fit a variety of income levels. E. Castillo Affordability is a primary issue in the NWT that not only affects seniors. However high costs especially affect seniors who are most vulnerable because of fixed incomes that are not adjusted to the northern cost of living. Apart from ensuring housing and maintenance costs remain affordable including fuel and home modification subsi- dies incentives for green energy efficient home retrofits that will realize eventual savings should be instituted. In addition to ensuring the continuation of EHB I would work with other governments e.g. Canada municipal and businesses for incentives including tax relief such as removal of 20 of net income requirement under the Northern Resident Deduction Claim and also property tax cap and purchase service discounts. This is a paid advertisement sponsored by the NWT Seniors Society.