This is page numbers 24 - 48 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 1st Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was report.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Titus Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Mr. Arngna'naaq, Mr. Arvaluk, Hon. Michael Ballantyne, Mr. Bernhardt, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Mr. Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, Ms. Mike, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Dennis Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Mr. Todd, Hon. Tony Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 24

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Orders of the day for Tuesday, December 10, 1991. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Kakfwi.

Ministers' Statement 5-12(1): Community Transfer Initiative
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

December 10th, 1991

Page 24

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you. Yesterday the Government Leader indicated that cabinet agrees with the general direction of the report, "Strength At Two Levels," and in particular the major emphasis the report places on transferring significantly more authority, responsibility and resources to communities. These transfers will give community residents more control over their own lives and will also create more local jobs.

We know that MLAs and communities will judge our performance on this item more than on any other issue and, on behalf of my cabinet colleagues and our Government Leader, I want to state very clearly that community self-government is and will be a major priority. The Ministry of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs is taking the lead role in implementing community transfer agreements. A community transfer committee, made up of deputy ministers and chaired by my deputy minister, is in place to oversee this process. A full-time working group which will report to the committee is being established, and each department will be instructed to work closely with them. Regional directors will also be closely linked to the process.

However, we know that this project will not succeed if it is shaped and driven by headquarters. Community and aboriginal leaders and Members of this House have a critically important role to play. We have some ideas, but we need your views and your active involvement to make this initiative work.

Our goal is to help interested communities establish much stronger governments at the community level. This is not a simple matter. Each of our communities is unique, and each may have its own problems and priorities. What we must do, together, is develop an approach that has some basic guidelines and consistencies yet is flexible enough to accommodate the differing needs of interested communities.

Some communities may be ready to assume broad responsibilities; others may want to focus on one or two program areas; others may want to start by consolidating, under one roof, the responsibilities being currently exercised in the community before they assume new ones; and still others may want to continue as they are now. I must also stress that we can only deal with a reasonable number of communities at any one time.

One important issue we must come to grips with, especially with the chiefs and band councils in Dene communities, is the role aboriginal self-government should play in this initiative. While this is a question we are willing to address, it is not one for which we have the answers. We will be seeking your advice on this sensitive but important issue.

The community transfer committee is in the process of developing a comprehensive strategy for implementing community transfer agreements. A kick-off phase will give us an opportunity to inform northern residents about our intentions and to seek advice from community and aboriginal leaders, and MLAs, on the major elements of the strategy. A somewhat longer pre-negotiation phase will provide the government and interested communities with time to properly prepare themselves for negotiations.

We are serious about making community self-government a major focus of our term of office. We are prepared to go one step further and commit this government to making every effort possible to incorporate aspirations for aboriginal self-government into policies and a process for implementing community self-government.

Implementing community transfer agreements will be no simple task. The lack of success in past years bears this out. However, with the advice and active participation of MLAs, aboriginal and community leaders, I am certain that important changes in the areas of community and aboriginal self-government will be realized during the term of this government. Thank you.

Ministers' Statement 5-12(1): Community Transfer Initiative
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 24

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome to the Assembly, sitting in the gallery, Mr. Louis Pilakapsi, who is the acting president of Tungavik Federation of Nunavut.

---Applause

Ministers' statements. Mr. Allooloo.

Ministers' Statement 6-12(1): Seat Belt Usage
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 24

Titus Allooloo Amittuq

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to bring to Members' attention that seat belt usage in the Northwest Territories has increased this year to 68.9 per cent from the previous level of 39 per cent in 1990, and 10 per cent in 1989.

At the same time, fatalities in the Northwest Territories have dropped from the 1989 rate of 4.2 per 10,000 vehicles to a low of 1.5 per 10,000 vehicles at the end of 1990; a rate equal to the lowest in Canada.

I would encourage all residents of the Northwest Territories to buckle up in order to achieve the national objective of a 95 per cent seat belt usage rate by 1995. Combined with other safety measures, this will assist us in preventing the unnecessary deaths of the motorists and pedestrians who use our roadways. Qujannamiik.

Ministers' Statement 6-12(1): Seat Belt Usage
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 24

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Thank you. Ministers' statements. Mr. Whitford.

Ministers' Statement 7-12(1): Youth Initiatives Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 25

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the youth initiatives program provides support directly to young people on issues related to the concerns of alcohol and drug prevention and intervention. I am pleased to announce that through this program there will be a booth for the youth initiatives program at the community-based Careers and Trades Occupation Fair being held tomorrow, Wednesday, December 11, 1991, at the Explorer Hotel in the Katimavik Rooms.

The student council of Akaitcho Hall, in conjunction with students attending school in Yellowknife from the various regions, have been working together setting up the display booth for this event. A poster and a booklet entitled "A Guide to Programs and Services for Young People in the Northwest Territories" will be distributed at this fair. The Department of Social Services is pleased to assist the youth of the Northwest Territories to participate in drug-free, fun-filled events.

I encourage my colleagues, my constituency members and everyone else to take part in this career fair and to stop by their booth, thereby showing support for their worthwhile venture. Thank you.

Ministers' Statement 7-12(1): Youth Initiatives Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 25

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Thank you, Mr. Whitford. Ministers' statements. Mr. Zoe.

Motion To Move Ministers' Statement 5-12(1): To Committee Of The Whole, Carried
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 25

Henry Zoe North Slave

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Inuvik, that the Ministers' Statement 5-12(1), entitled "Community Transfer Initiative" presented by the Minister for Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs, be moved into committee of the whole.

Motion To Move Ministers' Statement 5-12(1): To Committee Of The Whole, Carried
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 25

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

The motion is in order at any time. All those in favour of the motion? Opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Ministers' statements. Government Leader.

Motion To Move Ministers' Statement 5-12(1): To Committee Of The Whole, Carried
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 25

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention to the House that Mr. John Ningark will not be attending the session today because of a family illness. He asked me to express his apologies.

Motion To Move Ministers' Statement 5-12(1): To Committee Of The Whole, Carried
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 25

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mrs. Marie-Jewell.

Government Leader's Commitment To Open Government
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 25

Jeannie Marie-Jewell Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as the chairperson of the ordinary Members committee, I have taken the responsibility to advise the government that on November 15, 1991, the Government Leader indicated a commitment, and I quote: "...to a more open style of government and greater ordinary Member involvement in decision-making."

Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the Government Leader read a statement entitled "Living Within Our Means" and advised the Members of this House of significant changes to the organization of this government, such as the consolidation of the petroleum, oils and lubricants program under the NWT Power Corporation. After announcing these major changes, the Government Leader subsequently tabled the Beatty report in this House.

Mr. Speaker, although the ordinary Members of this House generally support the Beatty report, we are concerned with some of the recommendations. There was no discussion and no opportunity for their views to be known or expressed prior to the announcement yesterday. And if this government is truly dedicated to a more open style of government, it would have provided the ordinary Members of this House an opportunity to express those concerns prior to announcing its recommendations in the House yesterday.

Due to these recent developments, Mr. Speaker, the ordinary Members of this House feel that the intention of the Government Leader is contradictory to the Government Leader's statement on a more open style of government. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Government Leader's Commitment To Open Government
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 25

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Mr. Arvaluk.