Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to this Assembly’s goal of helping our residents become healthy, educated people free from poverty. A strong territory needs a strong society and all residents of the NWT should have the chance to enjoy the benefits of living in a prosperous, well-governed territory and to participate fully in a healthy, just society.
Last June, I was pleased to table the Anti-Poverty Strategic Framework: Building on the Strengths of Northerners. This important document represents input from key stakeholders and was an important first step.
Later today, I will table in the House, the GNWT’s initial response to the Framework. Our government’s Anti-Poverty Action Plan outlines the commitments we will make, starting immediately, to improve our response to poverty in the NWT. Our Action Plan includes investments of $2.6 million. This new funding will support day shelter programs in Yellowknife and Inuvik, and to build new housing units in four small communities for residents who may need additional support. It will see $1 million in new spending every year to provide nutritious food directly to children and youth through established programs.
This demonstrates our government’s commitment to taking leadership in the reduction of poverty in our territory, and will form a part of the Territorial Action Plan which will include actions by all sectors and all regions of the NWT. But this is only a start.
We have always recognized that this government can’t tackle this issue alone. We need to partner with communities, Aboriginal governments, non-government organizations and business.