This is page numbers 863 - 902 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 chairman.

Topics

Members Present

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

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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Madam Speaker

Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Hay River, Mr. Pollard.

Minister's Statement 59-12(6): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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John Pollard Hay River

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and good afternoon. Madam Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi will be absent from the House for the remainder of the week to attend constitutional consultation meetings in his constituency. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Minister's Statement 59-12(6): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Baffin Central, Ms. Mike.

Minister's Statement 60-12(6): Resignations
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. On October 31st I was asked a question by the honourable Member for Inuvik dealing with the resignation of two NWT directors from the International Committee of the Arctic Winter Games. The question was based on a news report that the members were forced to resign. I replied, "not to my knowledge."

On my return from Iqaluit, it was brought to my attention that a number of Members had a concern about my response to the question by Mr. Koe. Madam Speaker, when the decision was announced to hold the games in Yellowknife, rather than Inuvik, the deputy minister of Municipal and Community Affairs was instructed to examine a number of options on where we go from here.

Those options included having the deputy minister determine whether the directors were prepared to consider resigning their positions on the committee as a sign of protect against the manner in which Inuvik was disqualified as a host community, and the lack of procedures for the host jurisdiction to participate in making the final decision. I subsequently received a letter from Mr. Donald Cooper informing me of his decision to resign from the committee for personal reasons. In addition, Mr. Ian Legaree stated in a letter to the committee that his resignation was in protest of the decision.

Madam Speaker, I want to inform Mr. Koe and Members of this House that my response to his question was not adequate because it responded to the preamble of the question, rather than the question itself. I want to apologize for any misunderstandings my response may have created. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 60-12(6): Resignations
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife South, Mr. Whitford.

Member's Statement Re Remembrance Day
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, today on each of the Members' desks, they will find a poppy. Many Members are wearing a red poppy on their lapels already. As most Members know, the red poppy is to symbolize the slogan, "lest we forget," lest we forget the millions of young men and women who, down through the years, have given their lives in the fight for the freedom we now enjoy.

The poppy, first introduced following the Second World War, comes from the poppy field of Flanders. The blood red poppy is to remind us of the blood shed on our behalf by Canadians continents away and, unfortunately, that is still occurring in such places as Bosnia, Africa and other places to this day.

We need not forget that World War I ended only 75 years ago, after four terrible years and next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. We must not forget the thousands of Canadians still buried in the soil of Flanders and other unknown graves across Europe and in the sea.

This past summer I visited only a few of the many Canadian cemeteries in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and was moved by the thousands and thousands of crosses of Canadian dead. I saw the endless list of names carved in the stones of memorials at Crosebeak, Vimy and Yeeps, the names of the known dead, but who have no known grave. Today we still hold parades, stand in moments of silence, pray and wear our poppies. We shake the hands of the older veterans and say thank you for their sacrifices, the sacrifice of blood, life and youth, the sacrifice of men and women, boys and girls, who have given their lives in these terrible wars. They deserve to be remembered this week and every week, lest we forget.

Lest we forget the immortal words of John McCrae: "In Flanders fields the poppies grow, between the crosses, row on row." Let us not forget. Thank you.

---Applause

Member's Statement Re Remembrance Day
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for North Slave, Mr. Zoe.

Reorganization Of Maca
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Henry Zoe North Slave

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I still have a number of concerns about the recent reorganization of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. This is a department which had a long-standing reputation as a department which gets things done. Communities of all sizes in the Northwest Territories, from Yellowknife down to the smallest settlements, are regularly impressed by the way this government department works with them to help them solve their problems. But, I don't think any of them expected the events of this summer.

Almost immediately after a new deputy minister was appointed, a dramatic restructuring of the department took place. Now, if there had been recent problems with the department, such a shake up wouldn't be a surprise, or if we had some suggestion from the Minister that some reorganization might take place to improve the department's effectiveness and efficiency, then it wouldn't have been a surprise. But, this restructuring came out of the blue.

Communities and departmental staff and Members of this House had no idea what was coming. Very little, if any, consultation took place. And now the Northwest Territories municipalities are concerned about the affect this restructuring will have on their relationship with the department.

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the briefing provided by the Minister to Members explaining the reasons behind these changes, however, I'm still not satisfied with the explanation given. I feel there are still some legitimate concerns which have not yet been addressed and I will be raising these concerns later on during question period. Thank you.

Reorganization Of Maca
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Antoine.

Canada/nwt Infrastructure Agreement
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Madam Speaker. I rise today to express my concerns about the Canada/Northwest Territories infrastructure agreement that was signed on August 24th of this year by the Minister of Finance.

It is a good agreement because it puts additional money into communities for the development of their infrastructure. Although, Madam Speaker, I am somewhat disappointed about there being a cap on the amount of money available to smaller communities, particularly when these are usually communities that need the most help in developing their infrastructure. I understand that these restrictions were a precondition of the federal, not the territorial government. I applaud the efforts of the Minister in attempting to have this money distributed in a fair and equitable manner. I believe the negotiations were done with the best intentions under the restrictions placed on the access to the money by the federal government.

Madam Speaker, I am also concerned that some bands and Metis locals will not be able to benefit from this agreement because they do not have the funds to match the contribution from the federal and territorial governments.

I strongly urge this government to give as much leeway as possible to band councils and Metis locals, particularly those that have not signed a final land claims agreement, therefore do not have the accessible cash. This money should be distributed as fairly as possible, and among concerned stakeholders in each community.

Madam Speaker, my understanding of this agreement is that it is designed to improve the infrastructure in each community and to provide opportunities for training and employment for northerners. The agreement is being administered by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, and I strongly urge each of the communities, the band councils and other aboriginal organizations to take advantage of this program to improve the quality of life in their home communities.

Madam Speaker, I will be monitoring progress of this agreement and will probably be asking questions in the future, perhaps even this afternoon. Mahsi cho.

Canada/nwt Infrastructure Agreement
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Baffin South, Mr. Pudlat.

Communities Operating Radios Without Licences
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a concern regarding SBX-11 radios in my constituency. This has been a concern and the concern is that even though people don't have a licence to operate the radios, they operate them anyway. I believe we could get charged if we don't have a licence because they are aware of other people who are operating radios without licences. Some people in their communities are saying that they don't have to renew their licence because other people don't. I wonder how this can be operated properly. I will be raising questions later. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Communities Operating Radios Without Licences
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

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