This is page numbers 609 - 640 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 corporation.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell, Hon. Rebecca Mike, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ng, Mr. Ningark, Mr. Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Hon. John Todd

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 609

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Good afternoon. Before we start on Ministers' statements, I would like to take a few moments to publicly thank an elder, Christine Balsillie, from Fort Resolution for the hours, time and work she has spent in designing this cape. It is very traditional and I hope it is reflective of the traditions of many of the types of work that many of the aboriginal women do in the Northwest Territories. It would be very nice with regard to indicating to our people of the north the work that native women and all women do. It will be displayed, in the future, in the Legislative Assembly. It is something that all northern people should be proud of. I would like to publicly thank her. Thank you.

---Applause

Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Sahtu, Mr. Kakfwi.

Minister's Statement 44-12(6): Rcmp Awards
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 609

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the Members of the Legislature of a number of awards which were recently made by the RCMP in honour of a number of residents in the Northwest Territories.

Commanding Officer Chief Superintendent Brian G. Watt of the RCMP "G" division presented long service awards, along with two commendation citations to 10 individuals on October 28, 1994. The awards presentation occurred at approximately 3:00 pm in the great hall of the Legislative Assembly.

Three long service awards, for 25 years of service were presented to Staff Sergeant Rod O'Brien, Sergeant Jimm Barr and Corporal Brian Vanstone.

Five long service awards, for 20 years of service, were presented to Staff Sergeant Dave Grundy, Sergeant Rick McKillican, Corporal Glen Morash, Corporal Jon Forsythe-Erman and Corporal Ron Jones.

Charlie Thomassie of Resolute Bay was the recipient of the Commissioner's commendation to a civilian. The award was in recognition of the assistance given to the RCMP in the apprehension of an individual who was discharging a firearm in the community.

The commanding officer's commendation to an RCMP member went to Corporal Nolan Butts.

Madam Speaker, I am sure that the Members of the Legislative Assembly will join with me in congratulating these individuals. Mahsi.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 44-12(6): Rcmp Awards
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 609

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' Statements. Madam Premier.

Minister's Statement 45-12(6): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 609

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Madam Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Silas Arngna'naaq will be absent from the House until Wednesday afternoon to attend a fisheries Ministers' meeting in Victoria. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Minister's Statement 45-12(6): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 609

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Keewatin Central, Mr. Todd.

Minister's Statement 46-12(6): Nunavut Economic Conference
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 609

John Todd Keewatin Central

Madam Speaker, as Members are aware, I was absent from the House last week to attend the Nunavut economic summit in Rankin Inlet. This conference was organized by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and brought together representatives of all the major economic, political and Inuit organizations in Nunavut.

The purpose of this conference was to begin the process of developing a strategy to deal with the economic issues facing Nunavut prior to and after division. Judging from the tremendous participation in this conference and the interesting discussions during the course of the week, this conference provided an important starting point in the development of such a strategy.

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend the organizers of the conference, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., for recognizing the need for this conference and for their hard work in making it a success.

Madam Speaker, I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker at the closing banquet of this conference. I had an opportunity at that time to announce a number of important organizational initiatives that the departments of Economic Development and Tourism and Transportation have recently initiated.

Anyone familiar with the tourism industry in the Northwest Territories is familiar with the frustration in trying to develop a territorial-wide tourism strategy. The simple fact of the matter is that tourism operators in the eastern and western Arctic face very different challenges and have very different needs, both in terms of marketing and business assistance.

In an effort to deal with these differences, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism will soon initiate discussions with the private sector on the establishment of two separate tourism authorities for the western Arctic and Nunavut. These new organizations would be led by the private sector in partnership with government. They would be the primary agents responsible for the development of tourism in the east and west, for the delivery of tourism marketing programs presently being delivered by government and for the development of tourism strategies that better fit their region.

Secondly, Madam Speaker, the department will soon begin negotiations on a new economic development agreement with the federal government. It is our intent to negotiate one formal agreement with two sub-agreements for the western Arctic and Nunavut. These sub-agreements will recognize the different economic priorities of the two regions and serve as a model for the new economic development agreements for the two new territories.

Madam Speaker, as Members are aware, during the past 12 months, we have decentralized much of the decision-making and financial authority for both the departments of Economic Development and Tourism and Transportation from headquarters to the regional level. The next logical step in the process is to further reorganize these departments to ensure that there is one senior manager primarily responsible for the operational and planning decisions of the department in the western Arctic and in Nunavut.

I have instructed the deputy ministers of Economic Development and Tourism and Transportation to bring forward these recommendations prior to the end of the year. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 46-12(6): Nunavut Economic Conference
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 610

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Nerysoo.

Minister's Statement 47-12(6): Report On Council Of Ministers Of Education, Canada Meeting, September 26-27
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 610

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I wish to honour my commitment to keep this Legislature informed about the national agenda in education and our participation in it.

The Ministers of Education from across this country met in Charlottetown a few weeks ago and made a joint declaration concerning the importance of partnership, excellence and accountability in education.

In late May 1994, the Council of Ministers of Education Canada facilitated the first ever national consultation on education where 495 delegates attended. An attempt was made to involve all sectors of Canadian society: students, educators, trustees, government and education agencies, business and labour, as well as 10 organizations representing the interests of groups such as native Canadians, women and the disabled. The conference identified a number of broad areas for activity.

First, the participants agreed that a national report on education should be developed. People said this report should contain information on the state of education and provide a comparison to education in other countries. People across Canada recognize the challenges we all face in reforming and improving the present education system in this country.

Secondly, Madam Speaker, the Ministers of Education agreed to continue with the school achievement indicators program. This program will become part of the national report on education. You will recall that in 1993, a math test was administered across Canada. Last spring, a reading and writing assessment took place, and we plan to administer a science assessment this spring. Detailed information on the reading and writing assessment should be available in December.

We anticipate that based on preliminary results, we will be close to the national average for writing, but lower in reading abilities. These assessments give us an indication of the performance of our system compared to our curriculum expectations and to the performance of students across the country. The results will help us to identify problem areas and plan for improvements in our systems to better serve our students. Members will recall that we are developing a numeracy and literacy strategy designed to help improve our students' performance in these critical areas.

Further, Madam Speaker, the declaration the Ministers of Education agreed and stated that "we jointly want to have the highest quality education based on shared and relevant goals, and to demonstrate accountability for achieving them." We realized that in order to achieve this goal and to make this part of our national report on education, we needed a solid base of information. As a result, a joint CMEC/Statistics Canada project was announced to develop better measurements of the performance of the education systems across the country. Specific suggestions regarding the content and format of a pan-Canadian education indicators program will be brought to the Ministers for consideration in the spring of 1995. Identified indicator areas would include academic achievement, accessibility, student flows, school to work transitions, citizenship and public satisfaction.

The third area Ministers agreed to was the need to further both research and planning in the area of distance education and open learning. The Ministers agreed to work on developing a basis for coordination and collaboration in this area. All Ministers see this as a way to increase access to education in a cost-effective manner. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 47-12(6): Report On Council Of Ministers Of Education, Canada Meeting, September 26-27
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 611

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Iqaluit Hunters Lost At Sea
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 611

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, this weekend, residents of my constituency, friends and relatives from all across the territories have become increasingly alarmed about 10 hunters from Iqaluit who were apparently returning from a walrus hunt last week at the end of Frobisher Bay. They sent an urgent distress call from their 12-metre longliner, about 100 miles from Iqaluit. The call was received by a nearby outpost camp at Tongait, about 11:00 pm last Saturday night. The call came in the midst of very strong winds, snow and rain. The hunters reported that their vessel was without power, drifting and taking in water.

Because of the difficulty transmitting radio messages this time of year, the news of the distress call could not be relayed to Iqaluit from the outpost camp until early Sunday morning. As soon as the message was received, a massive search effort began. Thanks to the presence of Canadian Armed Forces aircraft in Iqaluit for a military exercise, the rescue coordination centre in Halifax was able to mount a very thorough air search as soon as the news was received. An armed forces Aurora aircraft with the best air-to-surface radio was searching continuously all night, until relieved by another search aircraft early this morning. A Hercules and two twin otter aircraft have also been involved.

About 1:00 this morning, a large local vessel with 10 local men aboard left to assist with the search in the area, and very early this morning a fast Department of Fisheries and Oceans patrol vessel left to support on the water.

The latest news is that wreckage believed to be from a vessel has been seen from the air in the area where the boat is believed to have gone missing; about five miles south of Gabriel Island, and in the vicinity of Chase Island. The vessels at sea are now moving to that place and the air search will concentrate on the coast and islands in that area.

I'm grateful to have been kept fully informed by the Honourable Rebecca Mike and her officials in emergency measures. At this moment, the search goes on. We can only hope that the hunters have managed to somehow make it ashore, however, the situation is grave. All we can do now is pray for a miracle. Thank you.

Iqaluit Hunters Lost At Sea
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 611

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Lewis.

Need For Caution When Driving
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 611

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. In more than 40 years, Madam Speaker, apart from parking tickets, I have had only one traffic violation, and that was in your home town, Madam Speaker.

In 1972 I moved to Fort Smith from the eastern Arctic, and I hadn't driven for several years. I suppose I had forgotten all the rules; at least some of them. Although I had stopped before a school bus drop-off zone, I proceeded before the bus was in motion again; therefore, I had broken the law.

On Friday around 3:00 pm, Madam Speaker, I attended the ceremonies honouring many members of the RCMP in our great hall, and then I drove home around 4:00 pm. I proceeded up Franklin Avenue very carefully, since we received our first snowfall on Thursday night. I had occasion to use my brakes several times since people changed lanes and it made me think about the quick adjustments we have to make in our driving habits when winter finally arrives.

Turning right on Matonabee Street, where I have lived for the past 18 years, I suddenly realized that the vehicle parked on the opposite side of the road beyond the intersection was a school bus. In front of the bus was a mother and child waiting to cross the road. This mother, who I know, had already protested about the failure of motorists to honour the stop sign on the school bus. I admit to finding it difficult to apply my brakes in time to allow the lady to cross the road, although I did stop. Even when we know every speed zone and every traffic zone in our neighbourhood, bells should automatically ring when we see a large, yellow bus. It should be considered a moveable traffic sign.

People expect MLAs to set an example and to educate and make the public aware of many issues. So, tonight, Madam Speaker, on a related issue, when our streets will be full of eager, young trick or treating children, I urge Members and other members of the public to be extra careful and extra cautious. Thank you.

---Applause

Need For Caution When Driving
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 611

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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