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March 14, 2012, Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories News Release,Yellowknife.  Alcohol and drug treatment and an anti-poverty strategy are the two top priorities of the Standing Committee on Social Programs in the 17th Assembly. "Addictions and poverty are the biggest problems we've got in the Northwest Territories, and there is no one who is not touched by them" said committee chair Alfred Moses. "We are determined to make concrete progress. The government has been coating on these issues for too long. Now that an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Strategy is being developed, we have good reason to think the current cabinet will be on side."

Addictions and poverty are integral to many of the challenges identified by the Standing Committee on Social Programs including low incomes and unemployment, school attendance and low educational achievement, poor health outcomes, inadequate housing, as well as crime and rehabilitation The standing committee’s five members met in Hay River from February 29 to March 2 for an intensive planning session and visits to local facilities, including the South Mackenzie Correctional Centre, Nats’eejee K’eh Treatment Centre, H.H. Williams Hospital, and the Family Support Centre. The committee is responsible for the regular MLAs’ oversight of the Departments of Health and Social Services; Education, Culture and Employment; Justice; and the NWT Housing Corporation (NWTHC). “We were very impressed by the good work being done in the facilities we visited,” Moses said. “We really appreciated the dedication and frankness of the staff everywhere we went.”
The committee believes there is a solid foundation for government departments to cooperate and collaborate on services with broader impact. “To make headway on our priorities we need Education, Justice, Housing, and Health to work together,” added committee member Wendy Bisaro. “For example, Corrections might need an alcohol treatment program in one of its facilities, and that would involve the health department at the very least.”
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Posted by Valoree Walker – 3/19/12; 8:14:47 AM – Permalink –   –

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