This is page numbers 171 - 209 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 6th 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

Mr. Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Arvaluk, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Mr. Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell, Hon. Rebecca Mike, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ningark, Mr. Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 171

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Iqaluit, Mr. Patterson.

Congratulating Award-winning Joamie School In Iqaluit
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 171

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Good afternoon. You may wonder why I'm wearing a green tie today, Madam Speaker. I've already received a compliment from a Minister about my tie. In fact, Mr. Nerysoo wants to know the name of my haberdasher. Madam Speaker, it is not St. Patrick's Day. I'm wearing my green tie today in honour of the greenest school in Canada which is Joamie School in Iqaluit.

---Applause

Thank you. Joamie School is at the forefront of the green movement in Canadian schools. They do environmental projects with a passion which is almost unmatched in the rest of the country. I'm pleased here today to recognize that Joamie became the first school in Canada to reach earth status in a program put on by the Seeds Foundation. Receiving an environmental earth school award, Madam Speaker, means that Joamie has conducted at least 1,000 projects concerning the environment.

Before that, the 208 student school was already the second in the country to earn emerald status for having completed 500 projects. Prior to that achievement, it became only the fourth school in Canada to attain jade status for accomplishing 250 projects. The fact that the students reached their school's goal by Christmas is also remarkable, and they're still going strong with green projects, Madam Speaker.

Every class has participated in projects which include recycling, energy conservation and water conservation. One of the projects, for example, was a shortest shower contest. Madam Speaker, it gives me pleasure today to salute the students of Joamie School, their principal Ms. Florence Sliney, and the very supportive volunteer parent's advisory committee of that school. Congratulations. Thank you.

---Applause

Congratulating Award-winning Joamie School In Iqaluit
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 171

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Inuvik, Mr. Koe.

Canada/nwt Infrastructure Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 171

Fred Koe Inuvik

Mahsi, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, on August 24th, a significant news release was issued announcing the Canada/Northwest Territories infrastructure program. This is a $10.8 million cost-shared program designed to meet the infrastructure needs and priorities of local communities.

I, for one, am very pleased at this announcement and wish to compliment the Ministers who were involved in negotiating this agreement. However, of course, we all wish that we could have received more money. Madam Speaker, I don't wish to reiterate the highlights of the program, which were detailed in the press release, but I do wish to flag some issues which may be of concern when implementing the program.

It always seems that when we establish new programs, especially federal/territorial ones, that we have to involve many layers of bureaucracy. In this case, the program will be administered by a joint federal/territorial management committee. Applications will flow through regional superintendents of Education, Culture and Employment. Applications will be assessed by officials in Municipal and Community Affairs and the other government departments which are involved. And, community consultation groups may be established.

Madam Speaker, I believe in getting things done simply, effectively and efficiently. I believe things should follow the KISS principle: keep it simple, stupid. In this case, especially with such a good initiative, the whole program could be bogged down being reviewed by committees. Madam Speaker, I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that this program doesn't get bogged down in bureaucracy. Let the communities and their residents decide what their priorities are, give them the resources and let them get on with the job. Mahsi.

---Applause

Canada/nwt Infrastructure Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 171

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Gargan.

Concerns Of Contaminants In Redknife And Trout Rivers
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 171

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, during the week of August 8th this past summer, I

had the opportunity to travel the Redknife and Trout Rivers, on to Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson; areas that my Dad -- bless his soul -- traditionally travelled, along with myself at a very young age. I have learned to appreciate the traditional areas that I grew up in, as countless others of my generation have done.

During my trip I saw something that really bothered me that I hadn't seen before in this area. In many areas there was a very noticeable brown-coloured foam on the water. Madam Speaker, I have travelled on many lakes and rivers in the Northwest Territories, and this is not a natural occurrence.

In my opinion, this foam did not look like it could be explained by a rise in the water temperature. In addition, in these same waters, I was very disturbed to see a great number of dead fish floating about. Most of them were suckers, northern pike and whitefish.

I do not know what caused the foam on the water or the dead fish, but I suspect that, from the look of things, it may have been the result of an increase in levels of toxic substances. If this is the case, then we must increase our efforts to protect our land from our downstream neighbours who seem to have little or no regard for our land, our waters, our way of life, or our legacy to our children.

I wanted to let the Members of this House know, Madam Speaker, that perhaps more effort is needed to preserve our environment. I am aware of the monitoring programs and water quality studies carried out by the Department of Renewable Resources in cooperation with other jurisdictions, and I applaud their efforts. But I am saying that we cannot assume that those who do not have a stake in our future, namely our neighbours who share our waters, will be as concerned with the quality of our northern lakes and rivers.

I would like someone to tell me that this is a natural occurrence and my concern is misplaced, but I don't think that will be the case. I will be following up on this issue with the Minister of Renewable Resources to find out what has caused this particular problem in the Redknife and Trout rivers, and what is being done, or will be done, about it.

---Applause

Concerns Of Contaminants In Redknife And Trout Rivers
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 172

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Sahtu, Mr. Kakfwi.

"strings Across The Sky"
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 172

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In 1987, a Member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Andrea Hansen, came north on a tour and, at that time, initiated a project called "Strings Across the Sky" with Inuvik businessman, Frank Hansen. It was a project to bring music to the children of the north by teaching the skills, and to continue the tradition of fiddling, which is very strong in the Mackenzie Delta.

This woman has since paid the north annual visits, two or three times per year, to encourage young people of the Mackenzie Delta to renew interest in the tradition of fiddling. During the first weekend of September, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of September, there was a fiddling festival organized by the performers of the Northwest Territories, under the organization of Darlene Mandeville. They organized a three-day festival with fiddling, calling dances and teaching square dancing and other dances done to a fiddle. Andrea Hansen was there and was incredibly enthusiastic. She threw some real energy into the initiative. Following that, she made a visit again to Inuvik and indicated at that time if we could find someone to help her pay for the transportation on her visit to Norman Wells she would be prepared to stop in Fort Good Hope for two days. So the Sahtu divisional board staff got organized very quickly and took the initiative to find some money for it. The result was to the benefit of everybody in Fort Good Hope who also organized to provide room and board, transportation and accommodation for these people.

I want to compliment the Sahtu divisional board for their quick action and the people of Fort Good Hope to seize this initiative. I would also like to thank the people of the Strings Across the Sky. Thank you.

---Applause

"strings Across The Sky"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Madam Premier.

Further Return To Question 54-12(6): GNWT's Role In New Health Strategy
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

Page 172

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to give a return to an oral question asked by Mr. Fred Koe on October 6th. I would like to provide further clarification on my responses to the questions raised on October 6th by Mr. Koe concerning the Government of the Northwest Territories role in the federal government's new health strategy.

The federal government plans to spend some $243 million over five years on the national strategy to deal with urgent health priorities of First Nations and Inuit. Three main program areas will be addressed: mental health crisis management, solvent abuses and home care nursing.

The department has had discussions with the federal government on this initiative. The outcome has been positive in that the NWT will be eligible for funding. The exact amount of the Northwest Territories allocation, how the money will flow to the NWT, as well as the program parameters will be made known to the NWT in the next three to four weeks.

Return To Question 73-12(6): Social Worker For Arctic Bay
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

Page 172

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Madam Speaker, I have a further reply to an oral question asked by Ludy Pudluk regarding the social worker in Arctic Bay. The question was asked on October 7th. In reply to Mr. Pudluk's question about the social worker in Arctic Bay, I can advise that the competition has been completed and a candidate has been selected. There is no housing currently available, but it's expected that the house will be ready by late December or early January.

In the meantime, several options are being considered to ensure that social services remain available to the residents of Arctic Bay. There is a possibility that the social worker might be located in Nanisivik temporarily, commuting to Arctic Bay. Alternatively, the possibility of renting a house from the church in Arctic Bay is also being considered. These would only be temporary measures, Madam Speaker, and I can assure the Member that every effort will be made to locate the social worker in Arctic Bay as soon as housing is available.

Until then, social workers from other communities and from the regional office will continue to travel to Arctic Bay, as required, to maintain service delivery. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Return To Question 73-12(6): Social Worker For Arctic Bay
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

Page 173

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Item 6, oral questions. The honourable Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Gargan.

Question 86-12(6): Status Of Smouldering Forest Fires
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 173

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. On Friday, before question period was over, I asked a question regarding the forest fire situation in the Northwest Territories to the Minister of Renewable Resources. In his response he said that there were still 80 areas where fires were still smouldering. I would like to ask the Minister whether or not last year...I'd like to ask the Minister what was the status of the fires last summer, compared to this year, of those that were left smouldering. How many actually restarted this summer?