This is page numbers 183 - 213 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 chairman.

Topics

Members Present

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

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 183

Madam Speaker

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

Minister's Statement 18-12(5): Appointments To The Workers' Compensation Board
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I am pleased today to announce that the following members of the Workers' Compensation Board have been reappointed: Mrs. Vivian Stevely of Hay River for a two year term effective February 18, 1994; Mr. Fred Coman of Iqaluit for a three year term effective February 18, 1994; and, Mr. Tom Hoefer of Yellowknife for a one year term effective May 4, 1994.

In addition, it is also my pleasure to announce that I have appointed Joan Mercredi to the Workers' Compensation Board of the Northwest Territories.

Most people are aware of the vacancy left on the WCB when Jim Bourque resigned in January to take a position with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. After carefully considering suggestions from a number of sources, I have chosen Ms. Mercredi for her skills, her background and her valued perspectives.

Ms. Mercredi is an aboriginal person, who currently practices law here in Yellowknife. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked many years in the petroleum and telecommunications industries as a front line worker and manager, and she has also been self-employed. She knows first-hand the experiences of the modern workplace and understands the perspectives of the WCB's many stakeholders.

As an aboriginal in the north, Ms. Mercredi grasps native issues and she will ensure that our WCB is more than just a mirror of a southern institution. She is joining Vivian Stevely, increasing the number of women on the board to two and emphasizing our government's commitment to work towards greater representation of women on boards and agencies.

Ms. Mercredi joins a group of individuals who have worked diligently over the past year to improve service and involve their stakeholders through better communication. At the same time, the board continues to strive to provide full funding for current and future liabilities, without reducing workers' benefits.

Ms. Mercredi, chairperson, Jeff Gilmour and other members of the board, still have difficult tasks which they must address over the next several years. The board is considering changing the classification system, introducing a merit rebate/surcharge program and enhancing its safety education programs. There will be many challenges for Ms. Mercredi during her two year term.

I have complete confidence in the board members and in the appeals tribunal commissioners. The board is clearly committed to effectively handling the money employers trust in them and to provide timely and sensitive services and benefits to injured workers. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 18-12(5): Appointments To The Workers' Compensation Board
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Tu Nedhe, Mr. Morin.

Minister's Statement 19-12(5): Departmental Posters
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Department of Public Works and Services has produced two posters to stress to students the importance of staying in school. These posters are being distributed to MLAs, schools and government offices throughout the Northwest Territories. Posters are part of the department's ongoing career awareness efforts.

The posters feature two Public Works and Services outstanding aboriginal employees. They are successful now because they completed their post-secondary education.

Madam Speaker, I wish to add my encouragement to young students in the Northwest Territories to stay in school and to complete their education. I can guarantee students that a good education will go a long way towards helping them to achieve their lifetime goals. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 19-12(5): Departmental Posters
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

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

Minister's Statement 20-12(5): Contributions Of Mr. Joe Enook To Education
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mr. Joe Enook for his many years of dedicated service to education in the Baffin region.

---Applause

Mr. Enook is stepping down this week after nine years as chairperson of the Baffin Divisional Board of Education.

Many of you know that in 1985, the first divisional board of education in the Northwest Territories was formed in the Baffin region. Mr. Enook became its first chairperson and has been chairperson ever since. Previous to that, he was the chairperson of the Baffin Regional Education Society, the structure that preceded the divisional board.

Joe is very proud of the fact that he's a graduate of the Northwest Territories education system. He attended the Gordon Robertson Educational Centre, as it was known then, in Iqaluit.

Joe believes that education is critically important to the young people of Nunavut and he believes strongly that the education system must meet the needs of students. He has worked tirelessly to achieve that.

Two weeks ago, Joe Enook became a grandfather. His little granddaughter, Jennifer, will start school in the first kindergarten class in Nunavut in 1999. In that class, Jennifer will learn Inuktitut and be taught by an Inuk teacher. Her schooling will reflect the commitment and dedication of her grandfather, and others like him, to build an Inuit system of education for the children of Nunavut.

Today, Madam Speaker, I would like to publicly recognize Joe Enook's commitment to education in the Northwest Territories throughout his years as chairperson of Baffin Divisional Board of Education and to thank him for his contribution. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 20-12(5): Contributions Of Mr. Joe Enook To Education
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Gargan.

Rcmp Charged With Impaired Driving Causing Death
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 184

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Recently, in Prince Edward Island, an RCMP officer was charged and acquitted in a case involving impaired driving causing death. The reason, Madam Speaker, that this officer got off was that he challenged the validity of the breathalyser test administered to him because the test itself was not administered until 90 minutes after the accident. Normally the prosecution goes backwards based on the time of an accident to determine the level of alcohol at the time of the accident. This RCMP officer's lawyer successfully argued that the beer the officer had in his stomach at that time, was not yet absorbed into his system and that any reading obtained later would be suspect. To make a long story short, Madam Speaker, the judge in this case agreed that there was reasonable doubt as to the accuracy of the breathalyser test and had no choice, but to acquit the officer.

Madam Speaker, as always, I am outraged when people who are in positions of authority and have knowledge of how the system works, manage to get out of being punished to the full extent of the law. I have looked far, Madam Speaker, to see cases of a similar nature in the Northwest Territories. When I think of Diane Doyle being in Fort Smith, as opposed to a federal prison down south, I am reminded again that if a person knows which bell and whistle to pull, a person can and does get out of the full consequence of their actions.

I am bringing this up, Madam Speaker, because I think a very important point has to be made. A person who is in the position of public trust, be it a policeman, a senior civil servant or an elected official, these people have to be able to stand up to the full responsibility of their inappropriate actions and be prepared to suffer the consequences.

Madam Speaker, no one can tell me that the RCMP officer who killed the 15 year old boy in Prince Edward Island did not know that he would be impaired after drinking five beer. No one can tell me that Diane Doyle...

Rcmp Charged With Impaired Driving Causing Death
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

Excuse me, Mr. Gargan. Your allotted time has lapsed. The honourable Member for Deh Cho.

Rcmp Charged With Impaired Driving Causing Death
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Madam Speaker, I request unanimous consent to continue my statement.

Rcmp Charged With Impaired Driving Causing Death
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

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

Rcmp Charged With Impaired Driving Causing Death
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker and honourable Members. No one can tell me, Madam Speaker, that Diane Doyle did not realize that her system...(inaudible)...was wrong. When you occupy a position in the public trust, your actions must be above reproach. Madam Speaker, the code of conduct we recently adopted goes some way to addressing this concern. We must be careful not to betray the trust the public has placed in us as MLAs. Mahsi cho, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Rcmp Charged With Impaired Driving Causing Death
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Madam Speaker

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