This is page numbers 410 - 439 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 2nd 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 building.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Arngna'naaq, Mr. Arvaluk, Hon. Michael Ballantyne, Mr. Dent, Mr. Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, Hon. Don Morin, Mr. Nerysoo, Hon. John Ningark, Hon. Dennis Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Todd, Hon. Tony Whitford, Mr. Zoe

--- Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Good afternoon, and welcome back. Orders of the day for Tuesday, March 24, 1992. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Ministers' statements Mr. Kakfwi.

Stephen Kakfwi

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise the House of some recent developments on the National Constitutional Reform. As Members know, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on a Renewed Canada tabled its report in Parliament on February 28th. It was made public on March 1st. This report was the culmination of many months of public hearings and constitutional conferences that had examined 28 proposals put forward by the federal government in a discussion paper in September 1991. The joint parliamentary committee report contained over 40 recommendations, and the federal government had initially announced that it would attempt to refine these recommendations into a constitutional resolution or some other form of federal response by April 15th.

Under pressure from several provinces, Minister Clark called a meeting on March 12th to discuss a process by which multilateral discussions could lead to a consensus package of reforms that could be considered by Quebec and other provinces. I attended this meeting, and I am pleased to report today that one of the conclusions was that aboriginal and territorial delegates will be included in all public and private meetings on constitutional negotiations over the next few months. This was a significant change of policy for the federal government and for some of the provincial governments.

A second outcome of that meeting was an agreement to conduct an intensive series of officials' and Ministers' meetings over the next 10 weeks in an attempt to work out the details of a final constitutional package that would be acceptable to provinces, territorial and aboriginal organizations as well as to the federal government. The deadline for completion has been set at May 31st. It was felt that a package of reforms had to be available for Quebec to consider in advance of that province's setting its question for an October referendum on sovereignty.

Last Thursday, March 19th, the first officials' meeting was held to organize the work for the next few weeks. Four working groups of officials have been established to examine various issues. The intention is to have these officials identify and clarify issues to assist Ministers and First Ministers in developing the final consensus package. The working groups started work yesterday in Toronto and will carry on meetings over the next few days. As I said, Mr Speaker, the significant part of these working groups is that they include federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal delegations. At this stage

of the process, officials have not received any mandate to negotiate agreements of any sort. Mr. Speaker, your special committee on constitutional reform will be preparing its interim report on the national reform process over the next few weeks, with the intention of making recommendations to the Assembly on these issues. Thank you.

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Ministers' statements. Mr. Morin.

Minister's Statement 39-12(2): Contract Signed In
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Russia

Minister's Statement 39-12(2): Contract Signed In
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is with considerable pleasure today that I have the opportunity to announce in this House that a northern company has signed a major contract to design and construct a town in the former USSR.

The Department of Public Works has, during that time, cochaired with the USSR Minister for State Construction, GOSSTROI, the northern construction theme, one of four themes under the program. Following from their initial visits under the program, Ferguson Simek and Clark has undertaken to pursue further private ventures in the Republic of Yakut, which is in the far north of the Russian republic. With the assistance by the Government of the Northwest Territories, and in particular the advice and services of our director of circumpolar affairs, Mr. Walter Slipchenko, in Ottawa, Mr. Simek has been able to establish a joint venture.

Members have perhaps read in the local media that the joint venture company already has under construction a small wilderness hotel. The project has involved a number of other northern companies, and I am advised that the project is now in its final stages of completion and will soon be open for business.

Following this first success, Mr. Simek, with the assistance of the Department of Public Works, has been able to negotiate a contract to construct an entire town near the city of Yakutia. During these negotiations, the Minister of Public Works was very much involved in securing the confidence and approval of the republic's president. Last year, the Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, accompanied by the then Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, the Hon. Tom Buffers, visited Yakutia, where she signed a protocol with the president of the republic, That protocol outlines a co-operation between the governments of the Northwest Territories and the Republic of Yakutia which has allowed Ferguson Simek and Clark to strike this deal. The project will involve the joint efforts of several northern companies and the Department of Public Works. The municipal infrastructure and housing will be designed to NWT standards, using many of the plans and specifications developed through our capital programs.

Mr. Speaker, this success is but one example of how the government, and in particular Public Works, is working with the northern construction industry to advance their goals and objectives. It also indicates that our northern construction industry is maturing, and, as it does, they will look beyond our own jurisdictions for opportunities. Ventures such as these offer significant opportunity for Northerners, and the Government of the Northwest Territories must do what it can to preserve and assist in these opportunities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 39-12(2): Contract Signed In
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Ministers' statements. Mr. Patterson.

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Mr. Speaker, the 1992 Arctic Winter Games have just been completed in Whitehorse, Yukon. As Minister responsible, I am pleased to provide Members of the Assembly with highlights on our NWT team's participation in this premier circumpolar sport and cultural event.

Mr. Speaker, our team of nearly 308 athletes with supporting coaches and mission staff brought home a total of 93 ulus: 25 gold, 33 silver and 35 bronze.

--- Applause

Athletic excellence, combined with fair play, are qualities to be encouraged and recognized in our young people. The following athletes won gold ulus at the 1992 Arctic Winter Games and deserve special mention:

Tim Angotingoar of Chesterfield Inlet for Arctic sports, head pull; Heather Kolit of Coral Harbour for the one foot high kick; Tommy lquiyuituuq of Pelly Bay for the Alaskan high kick and one foot high kick; Julie Oolayou of Lake Harbour for the one foot high kick and two foot high kick; Manny Buckley of Hay River Reserve for the finger pull and stick gambling; Lloyd Lamouelle of Rae-Edzo for the stick push and stick gambling; Freddy Tinqui of Rae-Edzo for stick gambling; Charlie Quitte of Rae-Edzo for stick gambling; Christie Elliot of Coppermine for badminton doubles; Melanie Langill of Coral Harbour for badminton doubles; the Kevin Koe rink of Yellowknife for curling; and Amber Ruben of Fort Smith for figure skating; the open women's hockey team, with athletes from Inuvik, Fort Smith, Yellowknife, lqaluit, Hay River, Lac la Martre, Rankin Inlet and Arviat; the open co-ed silhouette rifle team, with athletes from Yellowknife, Inuvik, Enterprise and the Hay River Reserve; Jaida Green, Fort Smith, three gold ulus in snowshoeing; Warren Magrum, Hay River, two gold ulus in snowshoe biathlon; John Kidd, Hay River, two gold ulus in snowshoe biathlon; the open junior snowshoe biathlon; team with athletes from Fort Smith and Hay River, The bantam mens hockey team with athletes from Hay River, Yellowknife, Enterprise, Fort Smith and Baker Lake.

In addition to these athletes, I am sure Members of the House will join me in congratulating the other 68 NWT medal winners and all members of Team NWT for their excellent performances and the effort they put into making us all proud. Mr. Speaker, I will be tabling a complete list of all the medal winners later this session, as soon as it is translated. Thank you.

--- Applause

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 21st, at the closing ceremonies of the 1992 Arctic Winter Games, the Northwest Territories was awarded the highest honour that can be given, the coveted Hodgson Trophy. This trophy is awarded by the Arctic Winter Games Corporation and voted on by all teams for the unit best exemplifying fair play and good sportsmanship. Of the many things that make the Arctic Winter Games unique, this recognition by our northern peers is perhaps the most cherished.

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time since the Hodgson Trophy was first awarded in 1978 that the Northwest Territories has won the award. The original trophy is a delicate piece of artwork with soapstone base and narwhal tusk and is placed in the permanent care of staff at the Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. The winning unit receives a large framed photo of the trophy to keep on display in their unit.

--- Applause

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Thank you, Mr. Patterson. That is much nicer than the fish you brought into the Assembly previously. Ministers' statements. Mr. Ningark.

John Ningark Natilikmiot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last week I travelled to Vancouver to attend the spring meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment. Although the council has existed for 10 years, this is the first time that Yukon and the Northwest Territories have had full status. I believe this is an important step to assist our government to work with other jurisdictions to keep the Arctic environment healthy.

While at the meeting, I was able to gain the co-operation of several other Ministers on transboundary issues. The Ministers of Environment for Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta all agreed to get back to work on developing the bilateral transboundary water agreements. These are important to protect the Liard, Mackenzie and Peace-Athabasca-Slave Rivers. I also met with the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment. We both agreed that the draft bilateral agreement between Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories is now complete. Saskatchewan will also share its monitoring information on the abandoned uranium mines on Lake Athabasca.

The British Columbia Minister of Forestry travelled to Vancouver to discuss with me the effects of logging on Fort Liard trappers. Unfortunately, trappers cannot be compensated because British Columbia has no compensation program. We did agree on a process to ensure that, in the future, trappers will have an opportunity to comment on proposed logging plans. As well, BC Forestry will advise the Department of Renewable Resources about logging plans near the territorial border.

I was pleased with the co-operation that was offered by all the Ministers that I met. I would like to thank the previous Minister of Renewable Resources, Titus Allooloo, who helped to set up many of the initiatives that I am now completing.

--- Applause

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Minister's statements. Mr. Pollard.

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

The House

John Pollard Hay River

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Nellie Cournoyea will be absent from the House today and tomorrow to attend a First Ministers' Conference on the Economy. The Hon. Titus Allooloo will be absent all week to attend meetings with TFN in Pond Inlet, Igloolik and Hall Beach regarding the plebiscite. I will be absent from the House March 26th and 27th to meet with the Hon. Tom Siddon to discuss the health billing dispute, the formula funding agreement and municipal grants in lieu of taxes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Ministers' statements. Mr. Patterson.

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House upon a community justice workshop hosted by the community of Fort McPherson on the weekend of March 7th and 8th. Some 60 people participated in the intensive two-day workshop, which included representatives from Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvik, Aklavik, Arctic Red River and Fort Good Hope. The community also invited Chief Judge Robert Halifax and Judge Brian Bruser of Inuvik, along with senior officials from my department and the corrections division of the Department of Social Services.

A news release issued by the conference outlines the participation of elders from Fort McPherson who described eloquently the changes in social order and social controls among the Gwich'in people in this century.

Last year, Fort McPherson initiated a community justice committee to give advice and recommendations to Judge Bruser, the regional judge of the territorial court, on meaningful and relevant sentences for offenders before the court. For example, their advice has already resulted in successful land-based programs under the supervision of Gwich'in elders. The conference identified a broad range of additional functions the committees can perform as a networking, communication and referral agency throughout the justice system.

Mr. Speaker, I am very encouraged by these community initiatives, which have been strongly supported by the territorial court. A community justice committee has formed in Tuktoyaktuk, and interest has been expressed by Aklavik and Fort Good Hope, to name just a few of the communities in the West which are beginning to join in efforts to make the administration of justice more culturally-relevant, community based and locally accountable. Similar initiatives are forthcoming in the East, again with strong support from Judge Beverley Browne, the regional judge of the territorial court in lqaluit.

To date, the committees have performed largely unfunded volunteer efforts. My department and the corrections division of the Department of Social Services are undertaking consultations with communities on how best to support their efforts, along with other related initiatives such as the justices of the peace program. In the long term, I believe that such community programs will play a key role in reducing the incredible pressures on our policing, courts, legal aid and prison systems. It may allow us to redirect funds toward local institutions with both the responsibility and the ability to change the behaviour which has put our people so frequently in conflict with the law, and restore the social controls which

were a traditional strength.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank Chief James Ross and the local organizers of the conference for their enthusiasm and for the hospitality extended to community and government participants in the conference. Thank you.

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Gargan.

Recognition Of Fort Providence Pages
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to introduce, to Members, four young boys from my constituency who are taking a break from school this week. Most schools had a break last week, but for some reason it is this week that these boys, standing beside you, Mr. Speaker, are taking a break,

I would like to introduce them to you. Starting from my right over on this side, Tommy Gargan, is from Fort Providence --are all from Providence -- and his mom and dad are Tommy and Linda; his dad works as a supervisor for Evergreen Forestry; his mom works at The Bay, Northern Store. Next to Tommy is Rodney Bonnetrouge; Rodney's mom and dad are Ronald and Shirley; Ronald works for the Housing Corporation, and Shirley also works there; Harry Joe Landry is the one to your right, Mr. Speaker, and Harry has a famous dad, who is Johnny Landry, a musician and Harry's mom works at the senior citizens' home. On the far right, Mr. Speaker, is Solomon Gargan, and Solomon is my son.

--- Applause

His mom works for the Housing Corporation, too.

--- Laughter

I want to express my appreciation to you, Mr. Speaker, and the Clerk, for allowing the opportunity for these boys to come over here to earn some money for this week. Of course, these boys have done everything I have told them to do.

---Laughter

They all play hockey, and they are also looking forward to going home and spending all their hard-earned cash on the heavy dates that are ahead of them.

Lastly, the boys are staying with me, and so far they have put up with my cooking and they have been well-behaved. I wish the boys well, and I hope that they enjoy themselves here in Yellowknife. Mahsi cho.

--- Applause

Recognition Of Fort Providence Pages
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

All Members join Mr. Gargan in welcoming the boys here to our Assembly. Members' statements. Mr. Zoe.

Member's Statement On Correction Re T-Line

Developments Limited

Recognition Of Fort Providence Pages
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Henry Zoe

Henry Zoe North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to make a correction with respect to a question I addressed to the Minister of the NWT Housing Corporation on Wednesday, March 4. In that question I indicated that the government had run into problems with a company called Treeline Construction Limited, and that this company had failed to pay its creditors. In fact, Mr. Speaker, the company in question was not Treeline

Construction Limited, but T-Line Developments Limited. T-Line Developments Limited is a company that operated for a short period of time in the NWT as a northern storefront operation. It is now bankrupt and many northern businesses, unfortunately, lost money in their dealings with T-Line Developments Limited. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to make this correction for the record. Mahsi.

Recognition Of Fort Providence Pages
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Mr. Todd.

Financial Situation Of Government
Item 3: Members' Statements

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John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today, refreshed and revived after a short break in the Keewatin.

--- Applause

During the break I actually spent most of the time answering the phone and speaking with many of my constituents and, in fact, talking to other constituents across the Territories about a number of issues that concern them. One issue that arose time after time during these conversations was the uncertainty of people about the current financial situation of this government. People are unsure about what is happening. All they hear about from the government is that we are in a precarious financial situation.

I, too, am concerned, both as an MLA and as chairman of the standing committee on finance, in the way in which we are handling the current financial crunch. All we hear is the talk of down-sizing, postponing projects, and reducing the size of government. As a result, people are uncertain about what the future holds. Consumers are not spending and investors are not investing. The result is that our economy is being assaulted by the lack of confidence.

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to make light of the problems we are facing. They are important issues and they are troubling issues. However, I believe it is essential that the government also accentuates the positive; what we are going to do to reduce our deficit; how are we showing investors that the NWT is still a good place to invest; and what we are doing to ensure growth and stability in our economy. Or, as my good friend Jim Antoine said, what initiatives are we taking to develop our northern resource base.

--- Applause

Financial Situation Of Government
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Returns to oral questions. Mr. Ningark.

Return To Question O318-12(2): Consideration Of Sparrow Case In New Wildlife Conservation Act
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

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John Ningark Natilikmiot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have a return to Question O318-12(2), asked by Mr. Nerysoo on March 12, 1992. Several years ago the Department of Renewable Resources with assistance from the Department of Justice, reviewed the Sparrow case. The review confirmed that the department's legislation, policies and management practices were consistent with the court decision and that no changes were required.

Since the new Wildlife Conservation Act reflects the existing Wildlife Act, which is consistent with the Sparrow case, no special amendments were needed. Thank you.