This is page numbers 805 - 842 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 board.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Titus Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Mr. Arngna'naaq, Hon. James Arvaluk, Hon. Michael Ballantyne, Mr. Bernhardt, Mr. Dent, Mr. Gargan, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, Ms. Mike, Mr. Nerysoo, Mr. Ningark, Hon. Dennis Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Hon. Tony Whitford, Mr. Zoe

--- Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 805

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Good afternoon. Before we proceed with Ministers' statements, I would like to give two rulings that came from last week's Assembly meetings.

Speaker's Ruling

On June 25, on page 2756 of the unedited transcript, the Minister of Education, under the item "Returns to Oral Questions" provided what he stated was a further return to Question O579-12(2). In making his return, the Minister of Education indicated that he had another return, and I quote, "Mr. Speaker, I have another return, which is somewhat unusual," and then proceeded to give his return. I indicated after the return was concluded that this concept of a further return was something not addressed by the rules.

In reviewing the original question, which was asked by Mr. Arvaluk on June 19, the Minister of Education did answer the question, and in his response indicated the following, and I quote, "I will get back to the Member with detailed information as to how the assessment is being conducted." I am aware that the past practice of some Ministers is to give a partial answer to a question and offer to provide further information. This has been done in two ways: by a return to oral question and by letter directly to the Member concerned. The problem that arises is that the official House records indicate that the question has been answered, as the Minister did not take it as notice. Taking a question as notice indicates that the Minister will provide a return at a later date.

I do not wish to curtail the flow of information, but would like the official records of the House to reflect the disposition of an oral question. The concept of a further return to an oral question should be addressed, so I would like to inform the House that I have referred this matter to the standing committee on rules, procedures and privileges to consider while they are undertaking their comprehensive review.

Speaker's Ruling

I have a second ruling. The honourable Member for Thebacha, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, raised a point of order on June 26 and it is contained on page 2879 of the unedited transcript. The Member, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, indicated she was not challenging the decision made earlier by the Deputy Speaker, but was seeking clarification from the Minister of Education during question period.

In reviewing the transcripts that lead up to the Deputy Speaker indicating that the matter was sub judice -- that means a matter that is before the courts -- the honourable Member's questions prior to the Chair's remarks on sub judice were in order. The questions did not become out of order when the Member for Thebacha had determined from the Minister of Education that, in fact, the matter was under appeal. It was at that point the Chair did indicate that any further questions directly related to the court case would be out of order.

Therefore, the Chair acted at the precise moment the House was advised that the matter was under appeal, thus ruling out any further questions. I find that the Member for Thebacha did not have a point of order, and, in fact, it was Mrs. Marie Jewell's questions that assisted the Chair in ruling on sub judice. I note that at that point, no further directly-related questions on the court case were posed. Thank you.

We can now move to orders of the day for Monday, June 29, 1992. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Pollard.

John Pollard Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Nellie Cournoyea and the Hon. Stephen Kakfwi will be absent from the House today to attend constitutional meetings in Ottawa. The Hon. Don Morin will be absent from the House today to attend meetings in Toronto with federal and provincial Ministers of Housing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

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

Charles Dent

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to express my support for the Yellowknife Air Cadets Squadron 825 in their efforts to acquire a surplus aircraft through the federal government. The particular plane, an RCMP DHC3 Otter, was the last one to serve in the North.

Mr. Speaker, I myself obtained a pilot's licence through the air cadets and thus realize the importance of this acquisition to Squadron 825. The aircraft will be used by the air cadets primarily for the purposes of flight and maintenance training. The air cadets squadron will have care, custody and control of the aircraft, and will maintain it at no extra cost to the community. If the acquisition is a successful one, the NWT Sport Parachuting Association and the Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association will also benefit from, and enjoy use of, this aircraft.

Mr. Speaker, local organizations like Air Squadron 825, the NWT Sport Parachuting Association and the Civilian Air Search and Rescue Association are involved in introducing new members to flight training and increasing the level of skill development among their current members. These local groups are in need of greater accessibility to aircraft in order to fulfill the mandate of their organizations. The acquisition of this aircraft will go a long way toward serving their training needs. Presently the Government of the Northwest Territories, through the Department of Education, is placing an intergovernmental bid for the aircraft with the federal ministry of Supply and Services. Financing of this aircraft will be raised partially by the sale of a painting of the RCMP Otter, which is now being completed. Limited edition prints of this painting will also help to raise money within the community.

This RCMP Otter is the last one to be retired and spent much of its service time in the North. It is fitting then, Mr. Speaker, that our local air cadets should be the beneficiaries of this surplus aircraft. Appropriately, Squadron 825 has also announced that the aircraft will be donated to the aviation gallery at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre when it is no longer airworthy.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the acquisition of the RCMP Otter will be of great benefit to Air Cadet Squadron 825 and other local organizations. I sincerely hope that the air cadets, with the support of the Department of Education, are successful in their acquisition bid for the aircraft. Thank you.

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Ms. Mike.

Mrs. Samuni Kanayuk
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 806

Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The history books record that Canada's sovereignty over the Eastern Arctic was established by the early efforts of churchmen and federal officials who were commissioned to travel into the North in the early 1900s. Names like Dr. Robert Bell, Reverend E.J. Peck and Dr. Leslie Livingstone have been remembered as the expeditionaries who strengthened Canada's Arctic claim.

The history books, Mr. Speaker, have conveniently overlooked the fact that these early travellers relied on the knowledge and good will of the Inuit throughout the region. Without the guides who cared for them on the land, these early heroes of Canadian exploration would never have been able to survive.

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, an elder in my constituency, Mrs. Samuni Kanayuk, is celebrating her 100th birthday. As I spoke with her during my last visit to Broughton Island, I realized the important role that she and so many aboriginal people of her generation played in making the North a part of Canada.

Throughout the 1920s, Mrs. Kanayuk and her first husband, Ugyualuk, served as guides for Dr. Livingstone's expeditions throughout the South Baffin. She also accompanied Maurice Haycock and Dr. Ludlow Weeks, who attempted to map Cumberland Sound and Nettilling Lake. In fact, it was the Inuit guides who tended to Dr. Weeks and brought him in off the land after a jammed rifle exploded and severed his arm from his shoulder. Livingstone, Weeks, Haycock, Reverend Peck and the rest never would have succeeded in this quest, Mr. Speaker, without the assistance of Mrs. Kanayuk and other Inuit guides.

As we prepare to celebrate Canada's 125th birthday later this week, Mr. Speaker, I hope all Northerners will take just a moment to think of elders like Samuni Kanayuk whose contribution has meant so much to our northern homeland. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mrs. Samuni Kanayuk
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Assembly, to welcome the chairperson of the Science Institute, the chairperson Legislative Assembly Building Society, and a former colleague, the former Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, Mr. John Parker.

--- Applause

Members' statements. Mr. Nerysoo.

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I had not considered taking time today to give a Member's statement, but I must rise, I think, to give defence to some of my colleagues. In particular, I want to make a statement about my support for the chairman of ajauqtit or the ordinary Members' committee, Jeannie Marie-Jewell. I think there is a great deal of criticism that has been directed toward her in her efforts in this Assembly. A great deal of those efforts were a result of decisions that were made by the ordinary Members' committee, not decisions that were made by herself or without consultation with her colleagues. I think it is really unfair of the media, and maybe people like Mr. Sigvaldason, who is the publisher, should find out whether or not he has qualified people that are writing for him or other papers, because I realty think the kinds of comments that have been made are unfair.

More importantly, lot me quote from a newspaper, Nunatsiaq News, where it says, "Cabinet jobs went to those deemed to be the best and the brightest and the ones with honesty, integrity and brains." Now the question is, is that really the case? People talk about accountability of our government, and I think that when we see our communities not receiving some of the benefits that most people take for granted, then it is in the interests of Members on this side of the House to make people in cabinet accountable for their decisions and for the policies, and programs and services that they are offering to the people of the Northwest Territories.

I think it is really unfair that the media should take their efforts to only point out that there is one Member here who is trying to make this government accountable. That is simply not true, and I think it is unfair, so I wanted to get up after being absent for a week to defend my colleague because I think the media should get their facts straight and got their information to the people of the Northwest Territories correct so that people will understand the reasons why positions and decisions are being made the way they are in this Assembly.

--- Applause

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Mr. Koe.

Slow Pitch Ball Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 806

Fred Koe Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On Saturday, June 27, the Legislative Assembly Sharks, a group of athletic MLAs, staff and family members, participated in the second annual Curley Cup slow pitch ball tournament. This prestigious tournament put the Sharks up against teams made up of media personnel. There were five teams of media dignitaries from newspapers, radio and TV. As usual, the Legislative Assembly Sharks showed their sportsmanship, sense of fair play, respect and gratitude toward the media by being hospitable guests and letting them win, but not without a fight

---Laughter

The six teams competing were divided into an A and B pool. The Sharks were thrown into the scrum with teams from CBC TV and CBC Radio. The Sharks demonstrated their superiority in game one and destroyed the CBC Radio team by a score of 12 to five. I am sure this loss totally deflated the team because they went into the next game with no confidence and got wiped out by the TV crew.

---Laughter

In game two the Sharks played the CBC TV All Stars, and the TV crew showed that they meant business when they put out the first three Sharks sluggers. It was all downhill from there,

and the Sharks lost this epic battle eight to six.

The TV crew had a little help from the umpires from Northern News Services who had trouble interpreting and exercising the rules. I am sure their judgment was affected by the hot sun and the few bugs.

By winning one game, the Sharks advanced to the semi-finals and played the first place team from pool A. Unfortunately for us, this was a team from Northern News Services. After a quick caucus meeting, the Sharks decided that discretion was a better part of valour, and to ensure some good future press, the Sharks decided to take it easy and lost 12 to nine.

---Laughter

In any group performance, there are participants who deserve mention, not all "honourable." Before the games started, the Sharks team was in...

Slow Pitch Ball Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 807

The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Mr. Koe, your allotted time has expired.

Slow Pitch Ball Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 807

Fred Koe Inuvik

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Slow Pitch Ball Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

The honourable Member is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Proceed, Mr. Koe.

Slow Pitch Ball Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Fred Koe Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before the games started the Sharks team was in total disarray. People were looking for gloves, wondering what a bat or a ball was and questioning why everyone was scurrying around the ball field. It was not until Members from OMC called a caucus meeting that some semblance of order happened. By going through the agenda, we found out how many players we had, who played what position, and what hand the glove fit on. With this information, we ventured forth into the fray.

The Sharks most outstanding player had to be Ernie "Speedy" Bernhardt who covered the outfield like a barrenland caribou. Any ball hit by the opposition in Ernie's direction, if it did not fall into the water puddles, was caught by him. Ernie was also our most productive run producer by scoring four times.

The Sharks best hitter was Mike "the slugger" Ballantyne, who batted an astounding 1000, six hits and six at bat. He also patrolled first base and fell in the mud only once when he attempted a diving catch and missed.

Honourable mentions also have to go to Rassi Nashalik, our interpreter, who was able to decipher the opposing better skills and did a fine job for the Sharks on the pitching mound. Hon. Titus Allooloo, tried out for this position but because of poor delivery techniques, was demoted to the outfield and catcher.

---Laughter

On the other end of the scale for performances unworthy of mention was Titus's attempts at batting; in six at bat he was put out six times.

---Laughter

Also, our newest Minister, James Arvaluk, struck out two times and three at bats. He will have to watch because it is that third strike that hurts.

---Laughter

Once Becky and Sam decided on which hand the glove fit, they filled the spaces on the field. They better stick to politics.

---Laughter

Tony Whitford, Jim Antoine and yours truly, played steady ball all day and were the backbones of the team.

---Laughter

Our best cheerleaders were Ludy Pudluk and Kenoayoak Pudlat.

All in all it was a fun day, and honourable mention goes to the media teams for organizing this event. By the way, if anybody cares, the CBC TV team won, and they got the joyous task of organizing next year's tournament. Qujannamiik. Mahsi.

--- Applause

Slow Pitch Ball Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

If Members will note, that statement is an example of a statement important enough that I think the rules can be bent to accommodate a statement such as that.

--- Laughter

Members' statements. Mr. Bernhardt.

Construction Contracts For Kitikmeot
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 807

Ernie Bernhardt Kitikmeot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today because I am thoroughly frustrated and dismayed with this government. Not only have the infrastructure needs of the Kitikmeot been overlooked in the Government Leader's New Directions initiative, but now contracts that should have come to local firms in my constituency have gone to companies from outside our region. I am speaking about a contract which was awarded to a Yellowknife firm for the building of the extension of the health centre in Coppermine. I am also aware that a contract for the extension of the school facilities went to a Yellowknife firm as well.

Mr. Speaker, this is despite the fact that there is a well respected and dependable company in Coppermine that has over 10 years of experience and a record of 80 per cent northern hiring in Coppermine. These decisions fly in the face of all the economic development strategies that this and the previous governments have brought forward. This government may speak nobly about now directions and about reshaping northern government. I am quickly coming to learn that this is just a lot of talk. I am quickly losing confidence with the sort of decision-making that we are seeing today, and I would like to point out they should do away with this old boys' club that the previous government had, and let us start treating everybody in the Territories more humanly. Thank you.

Construction Contracts For Kitikmeot
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Mr. Gargan.

School Achievement Indicators Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 807

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to comment on the school achievement indicators program, a project of the Canadian Council of Ministers of Education. The project is aimed at finding out how well educational systems across the country are doing with respect to the academic training of our youth. Annual reports will be issued to show the participation rates, retention rates, and, perhaps most important graduation rates of students in the various jurisdictions.

Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to note that the program will not stop there. A second group of indicators will provide information about the literacy levels and mathematical skills of students at the ages of 13 to 16, and will involve testing students from most provinces and both territories on a wide range of skills from basic knowledge to critical thinking. Each year we will be able to see how well Northwest Territories students compare with those in other jurisdictions in reading, writing and arithmetic, and we will also be able to find out the extent to which achievement levels increase between the ages of 13 to 16.

Mr. Speaker, during my nine years as a Member of this House I have repeatedly heard that we need to devote all sorts of funds to the recruitment, housing, benefits and salaries of southern-trained teachers. I have heard that this is especially critical to ensure adequate education at the high school level. With the CCME school achievement indicator program, I believe we will be able to see whether we have been getting our money's worth, whether our current approach to education is working, or whether we need changes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

School Achievement Indicators Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

Members' statements. Mr. Pudlat.

Upgrading Of Graveyard
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 808

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My statement is regarding MACA. The graves that are down south are very close to a private home. The most recent ones are further up the hill. The ones that are close to the community, during 1980 there were markers to the graves; however, some have been disturbed, and some of the signs were removed because sometimes there were children that would go to the graves and disturb the graveyard and the signs. I would like to make a statement to the Minister of MACA. The community is asking for funding to upgrade the graves as well as the graveyard. We have forgotten the names of the people who are buried because the signs have been removed. We will be asking for funding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Upgrading Of Graveyard
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Michael Ballantyne

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

Further Return To Question O675-12(2): Status Of Ice Crossing Between Hay River And Reserve
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

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Titus Allooloo Amittuq

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a return to an oral question asked by Mr. Gargan on the Hay River ice crossing. The winter ice crossing between the Hay River Reserve and the town of Hay River would quality as a highway under the definition in the Motor Vehicles Act as it is used regularly by members of the public. However, it is not included in the schedule to the Public Highways Act, as It is not a federal or territorial responsibility, being a road developed entirely within the boundaries of the reserve and the town of Hay River. It does not cross any land which is the responsibility of the GNWT, but rather is considered a community responsibility. The Department of Transportation has never made any contribution toward the construction and maintenance of this ice bridge. However, as I indicated earlier, I am prepared to have the department convene a meeting with the band council and the town council to see it some mutually satisfactory arrangement can be made with regard to this community road.

Further Return To Question O667-12(2): Elizabeth Ward School Average
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

Page 808

Titus Allooloo Amittuq

I have another return to a question asked by Mr. Gargan on June 26, 1992. The average promotion rate for Elizabeth

Ward School in Fort Providence was 57 per cent in 1987-88, 72 per cent in 1988-89, and 81 per cent in 1989-90. In 1990-91, the average promotion rate for the school was 69 per cent

A detailed table has been provided to the Member for Deh Cho. Further information on the average progress of students at the school or the progress of individual students, can be obtained from the principal or director of the Deh Cho Divisional Board of Education.