It was only one year ago that I was anxiously awaiting the results of the 2016 election. What a thrill it was to learn that I was elected by the folks of beautiful Mount-Lorne Southern Lakes to represent them as their MLA. I want to acknowledge that this is a role I take with deep responsibility. I do my best to work respectfully in the Legislature and to represent my constituents and all Yukoners. When I am not in the Legislature, I have been trying to spend a lot of time in the communities. So far this year I have made over 50 trips to Yukon communities – lucky me. Here are a few highlights from the past year.
This year, I had the privilege within the Department of Community Services to bring forward our first piece of legislation: National Aboriginal Day as a statutory holiday. This important piece of legislation received unanimous support in the Assembly. Another significant piece of legislation I had the privilege of bringing forward this fall was the Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act. At its heart, this Act is about keeping our kids healthy and well, and making sure that the children’s dental program continues. The Act allows us to overcome some challenges and rules around our dental hygienists, giving them the opportunity to work to the full scope of their practice in a safe manner with our kids.
I also want to briefly share the progress we are making on midwifery. The Minister of Health and Social Services and I have met many times with the midwifery association of the Yukon and also other medical professionals, ranging from nurses to OB/GYNs. As we bring life into this world, we want there to be safe and sustainable options, especially in our communities. That’s why I’m very pleased to state that we now have the midwifery advisory committee and that we will be working over the next year or so to develop the regulations for publicly funded midwifery integrated into our health care system. Overall, the outcome we are seeking is access to midwifery, choices for Yukon women & families, and safe, affordable maternal and infant care, resulting in positive health outcomes for all Yukoners.
- Bringing forward the legislation which saw National Aboriginal Day become a statutory holiday in Yukon.
- Bringing forward the Act to Amend the Dental Profession Act, to ensure the best dental services possible for our children in Yukon.
- Developed the midwifery advisory committee to work on regulations which will enable Yukon to have a publicly funded midwifery profession integrated into our health care system.
- Witnessing the raising of the totem pole at the opening of the Carcross Learning Centre within my riding.
- Helping to send 176 participants to Toronto to participate in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games.
- Joining the federal government to announce that $600 million of new dollars will be invested in infrastructure over the next 10 years in our communities.
- $18.2 million invested in our communities in 2017 through the comprehensive municipal grant and now working on a new agreement for the next 5 years.
- Negotiated, over the next three years, to triple the funding in French language here in the territory.