This is page numbers 549 - 580 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 housing.

Topics

Round-table On Economy And Environment
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. During the 11th Assembly, we established a Special Committee on Northern Economy. This work really was to provide some kind of long-range idea about the way we should go as a jurisdiction. It was adopted by our Assembly.

One of the recommendations was that we establish a round-table on the economy and the environment. That was chopped after a short time because it was seen to be redundant, but a lot of thought had gone into the way we were going as a territory. It was felt by our committee and Members at that time that if we were going to develop in the west -- especially in the west -- then it was very important that we didn't put ourselves in the position that we have to react and take on fights with all the groups of people who are attracted to this part of the world and there is a battle which suddenly they can engage in; raise lots of money to protect this and that.

I would urge the government to really look at some kind of forum, whereby all the stakeholders could meet -- and it doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't have to meet every week -- maybe once or twice a year to exchange information so that northern people can set the ground rules about the way we're going to develop. That was the point of the round-table. I'm sorry, in their haste to look at things that could be chopped out because they didn't have an immediate impact, the government reconsidered the need for this kind of forum right now. Simply because I believe we are on the verge of major developments in the west and I don't believe we should allow people outside of this jurisdiction, and outside of Canada, in many cases, to dictate to us how we go. Thank you.

Round-table On Economy And Environment
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Kitikmeot, Mr. Ng.

Contamination Of Coppermine's Fresh Water Supply
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, similar to a majority of other communities with trucked water service, Coppermine's fresh water is drawn from a fresh water source -- in their case, near the mouth of the Coppermine River -- into a water treatment centre and stored until water trucks receive the water and deliver it to households and businesses throughout the community.

Over the past several years, the contamination of the fresh water supply has taken place as a result of silt and sediment infiltration and salt water intrusion. The reasons for the contamination have been attributed to faulty salt water detection monitoring equipment, low water levels in the Coppermine River, high tides, strong northerly winds, clogged intake line filters and various other reasons. The obvious reason for the annual contamination problem is poor location of the water intake treatment facility.

Madam Speaker, this year has been the worst ever, to the recollection of Coppermine residents, for salt water contamination. The community has endured salt water contamination regularly since early August. The hamlet council and I have addressed this issue to the government, only to be reassured that alternative water resupply avenues were established through a contingency plan to be used during extended periods of salt water intrusion, to ensure that the community has access to potable water at all times.

Madam Speaker, the contingency plan is not working. Over the last two full days the community residents of Coppermine have gone without water deliver as, once again, the high tides and low water levels have shut down the fresh water system in Coppermine. At 9:00 am this morning the water supply system was reactivated and, once again, there was fresh water available at the intake source. However, this may only be a temporary occurrence as tides and wind conditions may once again lead to the closure of the water supply system, if not today, in the immediate future.

In recognizing the water supply problem, MACA in previous years, had scheduled major water supply improvements to the community of Coppermine for 1995-96. However, in this year's capital estimates, the water supply improvements have been pushed back to 1996-97.

Madam Speaker, my time is up. I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Contamination Of Coppermine's Fresh Water Supply
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

The honourable Member is seeking unanimous consent to continue. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Ng.

Contamination Of Coppermine's Fresh Water Supply
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Madam Speaker, honourable colleagues. Madam Speaker, fresh water is a basic necessity for survival. It is a priority for all people. I find it totally unacceptable that the people of Coppermine had to deal with not having the availability of fresh water on a regular, year-round basis. Our government supplies and maintains the water treatment infrastructure. They have been unsuccessful in addressing the issue of ensuring fresh water is available to the hamlet for delivery to the community. It is obvious to me that the water supply intake source must be relocated.

Madam Speaker, this issue is of critical importance to the people of Coppermine. I will continue to pursue this matter in asking the government to reinstate the funding for next year's construction and to ensure there is a constant, dependable fresh water supply to the residents of Coppermine.

---Applause

Contamination Of Coppermine's Fresh Water Supply
Item 3: Members' Statements

October 27th, 1994

Page 552

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for High Arctic, Mr. Pudluk.

Future Location Of The Capital Of Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

Ludy Pudluk High Arctic

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. Today I would like to express my concern about the Nunavut government. I know they are discussing the location of the capital of the Nunavut government today. I know there is going to be a great deal of debate and lobbying. It was a difficult battle to divide the north and settle the boundary. We had to work very hard at it for many years. Today, our people in Nunavut believe and know that Nunavut is going to become a reality.

They are happy that future generations will have a place to call their own and a government that is closer to their communities than Yellowknife. Many people have expressed the concern many times about having the headquarters in Yellowknife, which is too far away.

We began discussing the division of the north in the late 1970s and we had a plebiscite in 1982 to settle this question. The majority voted for division. Since then, we started discussing the boundary issue; where the dividing line is going to be. After ten years of discussion, we had a plebiscite to settle the question of the boundary. The majority voted in favour of the proposed boundary. Up to today, northerners have made their own decisions about how Nunavut is going to be.

Madam Speaker, I would like to tell the leaders of Nunavut not to worry so much about where the capital is going to be. We know it is going to somewhere in Nunavut. The exact location or the formation of the government is not really an issue any more. There is no real need for debate any more. We can just settle through negotiations. And 1999 is getting closer. We will have to put our House in order so that Nunavut will have a firm basis to start from. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Future Location Of The Capital Of Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Natilikmiot, Mr. Ningark.

Allocation Of Social Assistance
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

John Ningark Natilikmiot

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. I stand today to talk about social assistance recipients. They are in need. I realize they always go through a hard time. They are worried about their children, their families and their households. This summer, I met with the hamlet council in Pelly Bay regarding this issue and I was asked to bring up the issue of social assistance to the Minister.

A lot of times, a large household will receive the same amount as a household that is smaller. As Members of the Legislative Assembly, we have to work for the people in our communities. We have to treat our constituents the same and we have to support them. It is not good to ignore this situation. I will be bringing this up during question period. Thank you.

Allocation Of Social Assistance
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife South, Mr. Whitford.

Dangers Of Thin Ice
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this past week, we were all saddened to hear of the accidental death of a respected elder and experienced hunter in the Kitikmeot, one of Mr. Ng's constituents, after his snow machine went through the ice on a fishing trip.

Last year in early winter, we here in Yellowknife, too, lost two young people to a similar type of accident on Yellowknife Bay when the snowmobile and toboggan that they were using to cross the lake fell through thin ice. It was only about half a mile or three-quarters of a mile from their homes in Dettah. A couple of winters ago, you will recall, sadly, that two experienced hunters from Lutsel K'e perished on the natural lake when their snow machine went through thin ice as well.

Each year in winter many sport hunters, fishermen and snowmobilers get anxious, as winter moves south, to get out and enjoy the beautiful winters that we have here. And almost each year for the past decade, we've lost someone. These events have ended tragically. In most cases, these accidents happen away from where help can immediately be found. Hypothermia is usually followed by drowning. If they manage to get out of the water, there is no guarantee that they're going to be safe because of the cold, and that can also result in death.

Some of these events can be prevented, they're not all totally accidents. If people just use caution, and certainly if they exercise patience. People must wait until the ice is formed solid enough on the lakes before they can...Certainly, on the bigger lakes where there are currents and the water stays warmer for a longer period of time because of the size, and the ice doesn't form.

I would also like to caution parents here in Yellowknife that they should explain to the children that Frame Lake, out here on our doorstep, will not be safe for quite some time, given the warm weather we've had. If you recall, the ice has formed almost solidly across the lake at least twice in the last two weeks. In a couple of day's time, the ice had gone completely and we had open water. And this is going to continue, according to the weatherman, for some period of time. So I would ask parents to make sure that their kids exercise...

Dangers Of Thin Ice
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 553

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Sorry, your time was up and I had pressed the button prior to completing your statement.

Dangers Of Thin Ice
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 553

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. May I seek unanimous consent to conclude?

Dangers Of Thin Ice
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 553

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Dangers Of Thin Ice
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 553

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and colleagues. You will recall that in the last two weeks, Frame Lake has frozen over completely from shore to shore at least twice. And a couple of days after, it had melted completely and we now have open water.

I would like to ask parents to make sure that they explain to their children that although there's ice on that lake, although they can throw rocks on it and the ice won't break, it's still not safe to walk on. If they ever fall through, it's very unlikely that they'll have a chance to be pulled out of there in time to save their lives. So, with that, I say think safe, wait and live to enjoy the winter. Thanks very much.

---Applause