Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
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View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2019-02-28 15:08 [p.25931]
[Member spoke in Inuktitut and provided the following text:]
[Member provided the following translation:]
Mr. Speaker,
[English]
the Minister of Indigenous Services will be aware that in my riding of Nunavut, there is not one mental health and addictions treatment facility. The need for such a facility has been well documented and is exemplified by the highest rates of suicide in the nation and alcohol and drug addiction. The Government of Nunavut has recognized this need and has identified it as a priority.
The previous minister stated in the House that she had heard the call for a treatment centre and looked forward to moving forward with this work. Will the minister commit to funding this much-needed centre?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-12-11 15:12 [p.24730]
[Member spoke in Inuktitut and provided the following text:]
[Member provided the following translation of the Inuktitut:]
Mr. Speaker,
[English]
my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs.
Yesterday, Canada finally announced changes to the nutrition north program. The additional funding and other changes are welcome. However, the government has failed to fix the biggest problem with the program: its transparency and accountability. For example, the department has admitted the program subsidy received by some retailers is higher than the freight rate they are paying, which is why Nunavummiut believes some retailers are unjustly profiting from the subsidy.
Will the minister commit to finally fixing this problem before the spring budget?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-12-05 14:04 [p.24439]
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
[Member provided the following translation of the Inuktitut]
Mr. Speaker,
[English]
last week, in response to my question, the Prime Minister said that all parties that are supposed to be at the table for the two Dene treaties are at the table. He was wrong.
Since 1975, every modern land claims agreement in Canada has involved the province or territory where the lands in question are located. Further, every modern land claims agreement in Canada's northern territories has involved three parties: the indigenous group, Canada and the government of the territory where the agreement is to operate.
The two Dene treaties affect jurisdictional authority and will result in financial obligations to the Government of Nunavut and will also require amendments to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. They cannot be implemented without the consent of the Government of Nunavut.
Given the legal precedents and subsequent jurisprudence, I call on the Government of Canada to do the right thing and immediately invite the Government of Nunavut to the table as a full participant and signatory, where they should be. The treaties will be stronger for it.
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-11-28 15:08 [p.24097]
Mr. Speaker,
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
[English]
My question is for the Prime Minister.
His government has refused to include the Government of Nunavut as a signatory to two Dene treaties. These treaties will infringe on and limit the territorial government's legislative authority. Observer status just does not cut it. The Government of Nunavut has to be a full participant. As the premier has said, the Government of Canada cannot simply shove this agreement down Nunavummiut's throat. This is unprecedented.
Will the Prime Minister tell this House why his government has excluded the Government of Nunavut as a signatory to these important treaties?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-11-07 14:04 [p.23377]
Mr. Speaker,
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
[English]
I want to recognize a great Canadian, and, full disclosure, he is my cousin.
Jordin Tootoo learned to play hockey in our home community of Rankin Inlet. He played four seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings before joining the Nashville Predators in 2003, becoming the first Inuk to play in the NHL. After 13 seasons, Jordin has announced his retirement from professional hockey.
Jordin has faced struggles in his life. He lost his older brother to suicide. He conquered an alcohol addiction that threatened to end his playing career. He has turned those experiences into opportunities to promote mental wellness and suicide prevention. He has always given back to Inuit and indigenous communities and now will have more time to focus on his work with indigenous youth.
Jordin is an inspiration to all indigenous people, and indeed, to all Canadians. He has shown us that one can find success in life, even in the face of tough challenges, and how to help others find their way.
Jordin's Inuk name, Kudluk, means “thunder” in Inuktitut. Long may he roar.
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-11-05 15:04 [p.23263]
Mr. Speaker,
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
My question is for the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. This is in follow-up to my question last week. I do not believe that the minister grasped the severity of Nunavut's housing shortage.
Yes, $240 million has been allocated. It sounds like a lot, but it is over 10 years. That is 48 new houses per year for the entire territory, which is less than two per community. This is a crisis. Overcrowding is contributing to high rates of youth suicide and tuberculosis. No Canadian should live like this.
I ask again, will the minister take immediate action to work with the Government of Nunavut to solve this crisis?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-10-02 15:03 [p.22118]
Mr. Speaker,
[Member spoke in Inuktitut].
[English]
My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs. The minister is aware of the request to fund a feasibility study for the Kivalliq hydro fibre link. It is my understanding that a portion of this funding has or will be approved shortly.
This Inuit-to-Crown project is critical and supported by all mayors of the Kivalliq region. It will provide the region with a green source of energy and help Nunavummiut in its quest to build a sustainable economy.
Will the minister commit, as he did to stakeholders, to finding the remaining funding for this important study, which would lead to transformative change for Nunavut?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-09-17 15:10 [p.21399]
Mr. Speaker,
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
[English]
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.
It is over a year now since the nutrition north report was issued and we are still waiting for action. On his recent visit to Iqaluit, the new minister discovered that this was an urgent issue. Five times I have raised this in the House, and the answer is always, “We're taking our time to get it right.” I just have to wonder how long it takes the current government to get something right.
The Prime Minister has given the minister a specific mandate to fix and expand the program. Will he share what his timeline is to do that?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-06-12 13:58 [p.20726]
Madam Speaker, qujannamiik uqaqti.
Education and health care are two important priorities in my riding of Nunavut. With respect to education, Nunavut has the lowest graduation rate in the country, an unfortunate reality that has been influenced by many factors, including the deeply ingrained mistrust of the system due to the residential school legacy. Regarding health care, Nunavummiut need access to quality health care. They want to receive treatment in Nunavut from people who are sensitive and understanding of their culture.
I am happy to say that youth in Nunavut are doing their part to address these priorities. Tomorrow I will be travelling to my riding to congratulate those who have recently graduated from education and nursing programs at Nunavut Arctic College. These programs have provided students with a culturally relevant education, one that will help shape education and health care policies for generations to come. I am truly honoured to be asked to speak at the ceremony, and I am very proud of these graduates and their accomplishments.
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-06-11 15:08 [p.20607]
Mr. Speaker, qujannamiik uqaqti. My question is for the Minister of Indigenous Services.
Last week, I asked the Prime Minister a question regarding the recent declaration of crisis by two communities in my riding, declarations that stem from a lack of mental health services and an increase in suicide attempts.
Although I appreciate the answer provided, the funding mentioned is not solely intended for mental health support. Like other existing funding, it fails to address the need. These crises demonstrate that.
Will the minister commit to funding the mental health service and support needed by Nunavummiut?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-06-06 15:14 [p.20356]
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
[English]
Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Two communities in my riding have recently declared that they are in crisis. These declarations stem from the fact that there are too few mental health supports and an increased number of suicide attempts. Of the recent $118 million announced for first nations and Inuit mental health, Nunavut receives only $500,000 annually, despite the fact that the suicide rate is 10 times the national average. The current government has sent additional support to first nations communities in crisis. Will the government do the same for Inuit communities?
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-05-29 18:10 [p.19838]
[Member spoke in Inuktitut]
[English]
Mr. Speaker, to preface, I do not plan to take up too much time. I want to speak briefly to the great importance of this bill for Canada and for its indigenous people.
I would like to start by thanking the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou for bringing the bill forward, and I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to speak to it.
As an indigenous member of the House and this Parliament, the bill is truly special to me.
I think we all know that indigenous people of the country have historically suffered far too many traumas and injustices as a direct result of colonization. Over the past 150 years, Canada's indigenous people have lost much of their identity and culture, a loss that has left many struggling to find their place within the country. As a result, we see a huge disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous people, in particular, poverty, incarceration, health care, housing, access to clean water, and in their overall quality of life. Sadly, this is just the start of a long list of others.
I believe that the adoption of the bill would be a strong first step in helping to right these wrongs, to close this gap going forward.
The bill would fulfill one of the very important calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It calls on the federal government to use the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation. In doing so, the federal government is required to exercise a more contemporary approach when engaging with indigenous people, an approach that is rooted in respect for indigenous rights and equality. This is exactly what indigenous people of the country need.
I have stated many times in the House that Nunavummiut experience third world living conditions in a first world country. Sadly, this is a fact, and the statistics to support this statement are there. Nunavut has the highest rate of food insecurity in the country, with nearly 70% of homes being food insecure. There is currently a housing crisis where nearly 40% of Nunavummiut are in need of suitable safe housing. This is not to mention the highest rate of suicide and the lowest graduation rates in the country. Something needs to change.
Therefore, yes, I agree that we do need a new approach on how the Government of Canada engages with indigenous people and this bill represents a good step toward reconciliation in addressing the current disparity.
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-04-26 17:06 [p.18826]
Mr. Speaker,
[member spoke in Inuktitut]
[English]
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this motion on behalf of Nunavummiut and all survivors.
I would like to thank the member for Timmins—James Bay for bringing this motion to the House. I would also like to thank the New Democratic Party for sharing time with me and allowing me to have an opportunity to speak.
I can say, without a single shred of doubt, that a papal apology for the church's role in the implementation of, and its participation in, the Canadian residential school system is completely justified, and frankly, an apology is the very least the Pope could do for the indigenous people of this country.
As a result of residential schools, a generation of indigenous children were robbed of their childhood, raised not by their parents in loving homes but instead raised in a culture of violence, a culture of psychological and sexual abuse. It was this foreign and twisted culture that has since spawned a legacy of mental illness, drug addiction, and suicide among indigenous people in communities all across Canada. I know this, because I attended a residential school. I know this, because I myself have been affected. I personally know people who have been affected, family and friends I have watched struggle with this past.
There is not one family in my riding that has not been affected in one way or another by this awful legacy. Sadly, the devastating effect of residential schools has reached beyond the generation that experienced these horrors and has impacted today's generation of young people.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is attempting to explain its responsibility away with weak technical arguments. For example, it was suggested that many different dioceses of the church were responsible for the residential schools. Also stated was that a visit by the Pope to Canada to deliver an apology presents a potential financial burden for the church. Really. These arguments are appalling to me.
What is worse is that I read this morning that there is a hesitation to apologize because there are political factors at play that could affect the relationship between the government and the Church, factors such as the new federal summer jobs funding requirement and the Church's reluctance to respond to a direct request from the government.
An archbishop was quoted as saying, “That puts the church in a challenging place.” I am sorry. In response to this quote, I would like to ask the Church to consider the challenging place indigenous people have been put in as a direct result of residential schools. I can assure the archbishop that whatever challenging place the Church may be put in, indigenous people have lived and experienced much worse as a result of residential schools.
The Pope, as the head of the Catholic Church, must take responsibility for its actions and the profound effect those actions have had on generations of indigenous people. He must apologize on behalf of his church and join in the spirit of reconciliation, as has been recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. An apology is not only the right thing to do but is the Christian thing to do. Although an apology will not undo the horrors of the past, it will go a long way in helping survivors heal.
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2018-04-24 13:59 [p.18684]
Mr. Speaker, qujannamiik uqaqti.
Key social determinants of health, such as housing, education, infrastructure, health services, and food security, play a significant role in the well-being and quality of life of Canadians. Unfortunately, access to these factors is not the same across Canada, and anyone who has been to my riding has seen this first-hand.
The WHO has stated that social determinants of health are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources. I have stressed several times in this House that the per capita system fails the Government of Nunavut and Nunavummiut.
While I was touring my riding, many Inuit told me that they feel forgotten. They believe new Canadians get treated better than they do.
It is time to change the per capita system to more of a needs-based approach. It is time to address these inequities and work to ensure that Inuit can enjoy the same quality of life as other Canadians.
Nunavummiut are hopeful that the language used thus far has not been just talk.
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
Ind. (NU)
View Hunter Tootoo Profile
2017-12-08 12:05 [p.16200]
Qujannamiik Uqaqti, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.
The “What we heard” report on the nutrition north program was released eight months ago. Since that time, I have asked the minister on numerous occasions when Nunavummiut can expect the much-needed culturally relevant changes to the program. When I asked the same question on May 5, the response was that the launch of the new program would be “very soon”. My constituents are growing impatient.
My question again is, when can Nunavummiut expect these much-needed changes?
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