This is page numbers 127 - 154 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 5th 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

Members Present

Mr. Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, 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. Ng, Mr. Ningark, Mr. Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 127

Madam Speaker

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

Minister's Statement 12-12(5): Devolution - Oil And Gas And Minerals
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Since I have become Minister responsible for Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, I have become much more impressed with the potential of our non-renewable resources, particularly minerals, to our economic future. I've also become very concerned about how poorly positioned we are as a government to take advantage of these resources for the long term benefit of our residents. This government has no ability to legislate in respect to oil and gas and minerals, or to obtain revenues from their development.

Mineral exploration activity in the NWT is booming, not just for diamonds but also for gold and base metals. Over the next ten years, we will probably see at least six new mines open in the NWT, bringing thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars worth of new investments. The mineral industry is here for the long term. It provides us with one of the best opportunities we have to increase our economic self-reliance. But we cannot realize this potential under the current arrangements.

Without the legislative tools to manage these industries and without access to resource revenues, this government will continue to have minimal control over non-renewable resource development, and will realize no fiscal benefits from mining and oil and gas activity.

Madam Speaker, this is why I intend to pursue devolution of responsibilities for oil and gas and minerals from the Government of Canada as a matter of my highest priority.

As long as we receive a reasonable share of revenues, a reasonable transfer of financial resources to operate the programs, and a clean transfer of legislative powers then we should be in a position to proceed with a devolution agreement for oil and gas and minerals which leaves us much better off than we are today.

Madam Speaker, in the coming weeks I intend to meet with aboriginal organizations and federal Ministers to move this initiative forward and I intend to keep the Assembly informed of any and all developments. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 12-12(5): Devolution - Oil And Gas And Minerals
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

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

Minister's Statement 13-12(5): Community Constable Pilot Projects
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to report that agreement has been reached with the federal government which represents significant progress in the development of new arrangements towards more community control of policing.

Two pilot projects in Fort Good Hope and Coral Harbour will allow for the introduction of a community constable program. Six people from each community were sent to Regina on February 7 to commence three weeks of training at the RCMP academy.

After completing their initial training period, the community constables will be working between 15 and 35 hours a month under the supervision of the RCMP in their respective communities.

In developing these pilot projects with the RCMP, it was considered desirable that there be representation from both Dene and Inuit communities. RCMP members at the detachments of Fort Good Hope and Coral Harbour, and the members of these communities had a special interest in conducting this program. The two communities also offered experience in both one-person and two-person detachments. Accordingly, the RCMP recommended that the communities of Fort Good Hope and Coral Harbour be considered as pilot communities.

The initiation of these projects represent encouraging cooperation between the communities, the RCMP, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the federal government.

The period of these projects is three years. The experience gained will be helpful as the communities of the north and this government search for the optimum ways to provide for community policing. Thank you.

---Applause.

Minister's Statement 13-12(5): Community Constable Pilot Projects
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

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

Nunavut Leaders' Summit In Rankin Inlet
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 128

Titus Allooloo Amittuq

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to conclude my Member's statement from yesterday with regard to the Nunavut leaders' summit that was held in Rankin Inlet.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the leaders' conference, I am sure that the Members of this Legislative Assembly will meet with interest after I have tabled the following document. However, I will commit that there was a declaration approved by delegates which committed those present to the annual meeting of this nature until 1999. Regular contact and discussions between leaders of organizations within Nunavut was encouraged, as well, Madam Speaker, with all we have to do between now and 1999.

It is essential that we work together to ensure that duplication of efforts will not occur. We, in the Nunavut Caucus, are committed to this initiative and are looking forward to future meetings with other Nunavut leaders. There were three accompanying statements, Madam Speaker, that were approved by the delegates. They deal with items that were discussed at the meeting that were of major concern to the delegates. Those are statements regarding cooperation and commitment to education in Nunavut, the statement supporting the devolution of non-renewable resources from the federal government to the Government of the Northwest Territories, and a statement concerning the adoption of a code of conduct by organizations in Nunavut. I guess that the Members will find these statements interesting and I believe that they are indicative of the commitment and hard work that lies ahead for all of us in the Northwest Territories as we work towards division.

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Members of the Nunavut Caucus, the Nunavut Tunngavik executive, the members of the Nunavut Implementation Commission, the regional organizations and all other delegates who attended the meeting, for their hard work during the three days, as well. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause.

Nunavut Leaders' Summit In Rankin Inlet
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 128

Madam Speaker

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

Housing Shortage In Baffin Island
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 128

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Madam Speaker, mindful of your admonition on Friday that Members should try to stay within the time limit, I have to confess that my Member's statement, for some reason -- it must have been the typist -- came out longer than two and a half minutes. So I'm going to probably go over, and I should confess that at the beginning, not at the end. But it's good stuff, Madam Speaker, so I'm going to start.

Madam Speaker, the government's staff housing strategy looks great, in principle. I'm sure that all Members agree with helping government employees who want to become home owners to do so. There are many in my riding. However, once again, just as with the rent increases, serious problems have arisen in implementing the strategy.

The main problem that I see -- and I'm not only speaking for Iqaluit -- is that quite apart from the sale of staff housing, whether staff housing is sold to employees or not, this strategy, unfortunately, will not deal with the fundamental problem of a huge and growing shortage of staff housing in the entire region, and I suspect in other regions, as well.

The reason is, Madam Speaker, that since the government has been talking about getting out of staff housing, mainly by selling units off but also by raising rents to encourage home ownership, hardly any new staff houses have been built or leased in Baffin Island. That's for at least the last ten years unless, that is, they burned down.

At the recent Baffin leaders' summit, for example, we heard from the Department of Social Services that they cannot hire a social worker in Broughton Island or in Hall Beach. Why? No staff housing.

I know that the 1994-95 budget of the Department of Justice contains funds to hire a community justice worker to support the elders' group which is very active in justice in Pond Inlet. Great news. Yet, our government is busy selling off existing staff houses, even a duplex, even to a term employee I've heard, although there are already no surplus staff housing units in Pond Inlet. Will Pond Inlet get its new community justice worker? Where will that person live?

In Iqaluit, a long awaited alcohol and drug treatment centre is near completion.

Housing Shortage In Baffin Island
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 128

Madam Speaker

Mr. Patterson, your allotted time has lapsed for Members' statements. I think if you didn't waste 15 seconds explaining you would be over, you probably would have had more time. However, you require...

---Applause

Mr. Patterson, go ahead.

Housing Shortage In Baffin Island
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

May I seek unanimous consent, Madam Speaker, humbly. Thank you.

Housing Shortage In Baffin Island
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 128

Madam Speaker

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

Housing Shortage In Baffin Island
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

I feel fortunate today, Madam Speaker. Thank you.

Housing Shortage In Baffin Island
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 129

Madam Speaker

Order. I asked for nays. I didn't hear any nays. I asked twice and I didn't hear any so, Mr. Patterson, proceed.