This is page numbers 773 - 824 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 development.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Arvaluk, Mr. Ballantyne, Mr. Dent, Mr. Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ng, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudluk, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Keewatin Central, Mr. Todd.

Minister's Statement 56-12(6): Bhp - Dia Met Diamond Project
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I wish to provide this Assembly with an update on the status of the diamond exploration program being conducted by BHP and Dia Met Minerals, north of Lac de Gras.

BHP has indicated that underground bulk sampling of the Panda kimberlite pipe is proceeding at a good pace and that they expect to finish this phase of their exploration in early December. The company has applied to continue the exploration and evaluation of their property by an underground bulk sample program on the Misery kimberlite pipe.

The airstrip at BHP's Koala camp is being extended, and should be completed in early November. The longer airstrip will allow the company to use larger, more economical aircraft to transport equipment, supplies and employees.

It has been reported that BHP could make a production decision on their Lac de Gras diamond property by the end of 1994. This date was based upon the expected completion of a full engineering feasibility study. However, the feasibility report may not be finished until more bulk sampling results have been received later in 1995.

It is the understanding of this government that the federal Minister of Environment will soon name the panel which will evaluate the environmental impact of this project. We have participated in sessions to recommended terms of reference for the panel and have nominated individuals to be considered as potential panel members.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 56-12(6): Bhp - Dia Met Diamond Project
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Frame Lake, Mr. Dent.

Fiscal Position Of Wcb
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, a few weeks ago, the Minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Board released the board's 1993 annual report in great fanfare in this House. The headline in the press, and I quote "In the black, WCB up $14 million."

---Applause

But, Madam Speaker, the headline went on to say the amazing financial recovery was questioned by labour and employers. The Minister did not explain that of the $13.4 million turnaround between 1992 and 1993, about $3.3 million came from increased assessments to employers and over $10 million came from reduced claim payments to injured workers. In fact, the cost of administering the board increased slightly in 1993, even though the total number of claims decreased slightly.

Madam Speaker, there are a number of legitimate concerns to be addressed here, and the ordinary Members of this House will be addressing those concerns later today in question period.

---Applause

Fiscal Position Of Wcb
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Wasted Animal Carcasses
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak about something that happens far too often in the north and must be condemned yet again. I am talking about the needless slaughter of wildlife which is sometimes left to spoil and rot. There is a common trend that runs through our many aboriginal cultures here in the north: our relationship with the land and all of its creatures. The land and the wildlife have sustained us for hundreds of years. Because of the respect that aboriginal cultures have with the wildlife, we look upon the animals as our brothers and sisters who have given their lives so that we may live. Out of respect, our people make the most possible use of the entire animal.

Members may have guessed that I am referring to the incident this past August where a scientist shot and killed a grizzly then left the carcass to rot. I won't go into the details of the incident, Madam Speaker, for they have been documented already. Whether or not everything was done that could have been done to get this bear to leave before having to shoot it is debatable, and I won't go into that. But I am sure that things were all considered in the courts. What upsets me and I'm sure most northern residents, is the apparent failure to address the seriousness of the issue. This person was charged with abandoning a dead animal and allowing the hide to spoil. He was convicted of that charge. What I find appalling, Madam Speaker, is that the penalty enforced by the court was a fine of $115. Not only was no part of the animal able to be used, but the belly of the hide alone would have been far greater than $115.

I have to ask where is the justice in this. Where is the deterrence factor to keep others from doing the same? I am not saying it is never necessary to kill an animal to protect yourself or your property, but to kill and throw away is not our way. And it's shameful the penalty being proposed should reflect this.

Madam Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude by statement.

Wasted Animal Carcasses
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Wasted Animal Carcasses
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, as I understand it, the law allows for a maximum fine of $1,000 for this offence. The offender was advised by Renewable Resources what to do with the animal, but did not act on that advice. The judgment has been made in this case, Madam Speaker, and I won't debate it after the fact. I expect that the officers and the people of the Department of Renewable Resources who are responsible for the enforcement of the Wildlife Act are as upset about this as I am. I fear that this case has sent a message to others who may find themselves facing the same situation. That is, there is an easy way out and you don't need to go to the trouble of preserving the animal after it has been destroyed because it won't cost you anything.

Madam Speaker, our laws with respect to wildlife are not a matter of convenience. They are there for a reason and must be respected by everyone. I hope, by raising the issue here today, that our legal system will take these comments to heart and consider applying much stricter penalties allowed by the law in such cases, so that we may see fewer cases like this in the future. Mahsi cho.

---Applause

Wasted Animal Carcasses
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Aboriginal Health And Traditional Healing
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Fred Koe Inuvik

Mahsi, Madam Speaker. I rise today to speak about aboriginal health and traditional healing. Last year when the Special Committee on Health and Social Services tabled a report, one of the recommendations we made was that traditional healing methods must be recognized and funded by government and incorporated in our system of health and social services.

Madam Speaker, last week there was a press release from the Government of Ontario. The Government of Ontario recognized that traditional forms of aboriginal medicine are legitimate and will be recognized in Ontario under a new health policy. The new policy endorses the use of traditional healers, medicine people, midwives and elders in the medical system where they will serve native people. In addition, the government has pledged that those practising traditional native medicine will be recognized, respected and protected from government regulation.

The Ontario Minister of Health, Ruth Grier, also stated that, "For too long, we have not listened to the voices of the First Nations, nor have we honoured their medicine." She also goes on to say, "We support health care, designed, developed and delivered by aboriginal people, in keeping with their goals and our government's commitment to their right to self-determination."

Madam Speaker, this is good news for aboriginal people in the province of Ontario and, I hope, a model for other provinces and for this territory to consider. We should take the type of action being taken in Ontario to heart and also to practice that in the Northwest Territories. Mahsi cho.

---Applause

Aboriginal Health And Traditional Healing
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Expansion Of Cambridge Bay Arena Complex
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, the Cambridge Bay arena complex was completed in 1986, with GNWT funding of approximately $600,000 and a hamlet contribution of $400,000. The project involved renovation to an existing steel-frame structure, which was started by a community initiative in the late 1970s, but never completed.

Unfortunately, the design of the existing structure did not allow for the construction of a full-sized ice surface. The municipal council, in 1985, of which I was a member, made the decision to accept the smaller ice surface and to contribute a sizeable financial investment in order to finish off the arena complex.

Madam Speaker, like most recreational facilities in the north, this arena complex has been extensively used since its establishment. The main activities are minor and senior hockey, public and figure skating, curling and private rentals. Unfortunately, over the years, the extensive use has deteriorated the building. A few years ago, the council and MACA recognized the need to upgrade the arena complex and budgeted $300,000 for the upgrade.

This past spring, hockey players and other facility users approached me requesting that the ice surface be expanded to a regular size. In conjunction with the hamlet council, we put forward a request to MACA on the need for a larger ice surface, recognizing the growing demands of the community. Madam Speaker, I'm happy to report that MACA has responded positively to this issue by reprofiling the project to include an ice surface expansion and by increasing the budgeted financial forecast to $750,000 to carry out the work in 1996.

On behalf of my constituents, I wish to thank the former Minister, Mr. Arngna'naaq, the current Minister, Ms. Mike, and the departmental officials of MACA for their assistance in addressing this issue. Thank you.

---Applause

Expansion Of Cambridge Bay Arena Complex
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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