This is page numbers 367 - 397 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 education.

Topics

Members Present

Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Arvaluk, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Mr. Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ng, Mr. Ningark, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Whitford

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 367

Madam Speaker

Good morning. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Kivallivik, Mr. Arngna'naaq.

Minister's Statement 26-12(5): Arctic Winter Games 1994
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Silas Arngna'naaq Kivallivik

Madam Speaker, the 1994 Arctic Winter Games will be held March 6 to 12, 1994 in Slave Lake, Alberta. As Minister responsible for sport, I am pleased to provide Members of the Assembly with an update on the Northwest Territories' team to this circumpolar sport and cultural event.

Northwest Territories will send 354 athletes, coaches and mission staff, representing all regions. This year, 38 communities will have participants, up from 34 communities in 1992. I am pleased to note that community representation on our team has steadily increased from 1980 when only 20 communities were sending athletes to the games. This increase in numbers of athletes and coaches from small communities is due, in large part, Madam Speaker, to the cooperative efforts of the Government of the Northwest Territories and communities in providing sport and recreation facilities, coaching development and competitions to all athletes of the Northwest Territories.

Madam Speaker, the delegation will include 12 mission staff to assist and support the teams and a group of ten cultural performers from Norman Wells, Iqaluit and Rae-Edzo who will participate in the cultural program planned by the Slave Lake host society.

Madam Speaker, on March 1, I will provide Members with additional information on the games to be held in Slave Lake, along with a promotional package. At that time, we plan to unveil the new team clothing with a program of events in the great hall of the Legislative Assembly.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our volunteer organizers, including the Sport North Federation for the months of hard work they have put in to ensure the success of the regional and territorial trials held to select our final team.

We do not judge the success of the Arctic Winter Games on the number or colour of ulus we may win. Madam Speaker, the Arctic Winter Games have earned the importance they hold throughout the north because of the wide participation of athletes in the games and in our regional and territorial trials. All these events provide opportunities for the athletes to compete to achieve their personal best.

The regional trials were held this past November and December, and the territorial trials on the January 20 to 22 weekend. The Arctic Winter Games territorial trials are the single largest sporting event in the Northwest Territories. They were held in 11 different communities and involved 1,300 participants. In total, the regional and territorial trials involved 2,700 athletes, coaches and officials from virtually every community in the Northwest Territories. To those who made this massive undertaking happen, should go the appreciation and continued support of this Legislative Assembly.

Madam Speaker, later today, I will provide the Members of this Assembly with a list of the Northwest Territories' team members and mission staff. I look forward to making a further statement on the Arctic Winter Games, but at this time I would ask all Members to join me in wishing all athletes the very best in their upcoming competitions. I am sure they will represent the Northwest Territories with pride. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 26-12(5): Arctic Winter Games 1994
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 367

Madam Speaker

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

Minister's Statement 27-12(5): Negotiated Contracts
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

February 25th, 1994

Page 367

John Todd Keewatin Central

During the fall session of this Assembly, many questions were raised about this government's policy of entering into negotiated contracts with community organizations outside of the conventional public tendering process.

First of all, we must put the role of negotiated contracts in its proper perspective. On December 13, 1993, I tabled in this House a record of the contracts which the Department of Transportation had negotiated since April 1, 1992. Between the first of April 1992 and the end of November 1993, the department awarded 905 contracts with a combined value of $84 million. During that same time, the department entered into 21 negotiated contracts with a total value of $6.4 million. Negotiated contracts represent a little over two per cent of the number of contracts awarded and less than eight per cent of the department's contractual expenditures. By far, most of the Department of Transportation's business is conducted through the conventional public tendering process and negotiated contracts play only a small part .

I fully support the competitive tendering process as the most efficient means of awarding public contracts. As anyone who has ever made a bid on a public contract knows, bare-knuckle competition can be a pretty rough business. The pricing strategies that bidders employ are highly innovative and competitive. Exactly as it is intended to do, the tendering process selects the most experienced, aggressive and successful entrepreneurs to work on our public projects.

Even so, for many years, the Government of the Northwest Territories has applied a modified version of the public tendering process through its business incentive policy. The business incentive policy corrects for the economies of scale that larger firms in southern Canada enjoy. The policy also takes into account the higher costs of doing business in the north that northern entrepreneurs incur.

The preference that the business incentive policy gives to northern firms has been successful in helping to establish viable business sectors in the larger northern centres. Working from our success, we have revised the business incentive policy again to extend its reach even further to the businesses in the smaller communities.

However, for all the advantages of the tendering process, public government, especially in the NWT, has a broader responsibility to its people than to look always and solely at the lowest bid. Strict adherence to the public tendering process would not, in any acceptable length of time, bring about the socio-economic benefits of business management experience or the training and employment opportunities that our communities so desperately need.

In some cases, the department adopts a special approach to a contract award in which, along with the lowest bid, it evaluates the local training and employment opportunities the contractor can deliver through the project. In other cases, where a local contracting firm may not exist, the department might manage the project itself to make the most of an opportunity to employ local workers.

The negotiated contract is another tool that we use to bring business opportunities to the communities. Until smaller companies in the communities have had a chance to gain some management experience and entrepreneurial skills, they operate at a severe competitive disadvantage to our more established and proven businesses in the private sector.

The decision to enter into a negotiated contract is made by the Executive Council within an established policy framework which sets the criteria and objectives a given proposal must satisfy.

We might have cause for concern if too large a portion of governments' expenditures were made through negotiated contracts or if too many of them went sour. As it is, negotiated contracts are a small part, I repeat a small part, of our public expenditures and most of them succeed. Of the 21 negotiated in the past two fiscal years, only one has gone badly wrong and for that one I have accepted full responsibility.

---Applause

By the same token, I might add, the public tendering process does not always work as it should. Sometimes the lowest bid is shaved too fine, the contractor defaults and cannot finish the job or deliver the product. No method is perfect and we should not rely on any one method to meet all the objectives of this government.

I am proud of the department's record with negotiated contracts. The figures I tabled on December 13 show that the Department of Transportation's record with negotiated contracts is a good one and one which I, as the Minister responsible and with my colleagues on the Executive Council, fully endorse.

It is my responsibility as a Minister to choose the best tool for the job. For the purpose of stimulating community business development and offering local training and employment benefits, a negotiated contract is one of the tools we have. When I am satisfied that a negotiated contract can accomplish its purpose best, I intend to use it.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 27-12(5): Negotiated Contracts
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 368

Madam Speaker

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

Using Discretion In Lotteries And Sweepstakes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 368

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to share with you a little incident that occurred here a little while ago, and bring you up to date on a bit of good news.

The good news, of course, is I have an answering machine at home and recently it was recording a number of long distance incoming calls but because it was an answering machine, it would stop at that. One day I happened to be home and the phone rang. This very friendly female voice says, hi, Tony, it's really good to catch you. You seem to be a very hard person to get hold of. The weather up there is pretty cold, and all of that. I said, who is this and give me your name.

She said, I have some good news for you. I asked, what's the good news? She said, you and your wife have just won a Caribbean cruise. I thought, oh, boy. This time of the year it's 40 below here. And we got to chatting as if this person knew me. It came down to a point where this cruise was reserved in Florida for Mr. and Mrs. Whitford, and all we had to do was to send $40 there to retain this good standing because there were a lot of people in Yellowknife, by the way, who were on the list and I just happened to be at the top of the list. If I didn't take it, somebody else would get this fabulous prize. So they wanted my Visa number right away. I said, you send me the details in hard copy and I'll send you my cheque, but that didn't do. They wanted my Visa number which I wouldn't give and they got kind of mad and hung up.

Yesterday, more good news. I got a letter in the mail that says I am now in the finals for $10,000 and I have a special number, number 182. I was all excited and I read all this stuff. I was going to send it in until this morning, Sam tells me he got the same letter and it's the same number, 182.

---Laughter

So we both won $10,000 and, Madam Speaker, we were going to go. However, there was more good news in here. If I act quickly -- and there's a certificate of authenticity here -- I can get a diamond bracelet for my wife that is worth $3,400. But, the good news is, if I send it in right away, I can get it for $29.

---Laughter

Just the other day I got another one from Australia. They're coming in from all over the place. Can I just conclude, Madam Speaker, because I was going to get to a point here.

Using Discretion In Lotteries And Sweepstakes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Madam Speaker

Mr. Whitford, I don't believe you asked for unanimous consent to continue telling us your interesting story.

Using Discretion In Lotteries And Sweepstakes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Madam Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to continue.

Using Discretion In Lotteries And Sweepstakes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Madam Speaker

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

Using Discretion In Lotteries And Sweepstakes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, colleagues. This is important to you as well. You may be getting these things and not spending any time to read them. How they get the names, I don't know, but I'm setting a little trap so I'll be able to check to see where they originate.

The point I'm trying to get to is -- although it does sound kind of humorous -- it is a very serious matter because you are getting your named picked by offshore people now. Like I said, I got one from Australia. It said all I had to do was to send in $4.50 and that's not very much. But when you read the fine print it tells you how many people are going to respond to this and how much they're going to make. They're going to make millions for giving away about $20,000, totally, in prizes.

The serious part of it, colleagues and Madam Speaker, is that Consumer Affairs has been issuing warnings to people. Never, never, never give your Visa number over the telephone to people that you don't know. It's being misused. The RCMP are onto a number of frauds that are being perpetrated by people using the telephones. The point is, they're getting very, very personal. They're calling you by your first name, they're giving you details that wouldn't otherwise be known. How did they know it was cold here in Yellowknife? They give you indications that your neighbours or your friends have submitted your name on your behalf.

I caution you, Members, just be a little cautious when you get these very personal calls that tell you you're going to get something for nothing. Because usually when the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. So with that, thank you.

---Applause

Using Discretion In Lotteries And Sweepstakes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Madam Speaker

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

---Laughter

Creation Of New Words
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The other day, the Member for Yellowknife Centre gave me an idea for the Friday lighter side of things when he suggested that we should create new words to confuse the federal bureaucracy. I started thinking about the words and definitions.

Madam Speaker, a word like "Pollardization," this is a nervous condition suffered by the Northwest Territories Finance Minister when dealing...

---Laughter

..with the federal officials over the perversity factor.

---Laughter

When someone makes a "Lewisian" statement they are rambling and finally reveal the point of the speech at the end of it.

Another word is "Titusaphobia," this is the inability to make proper travel plans.

---Laughter

The world's best babysitters compete every year for the "Hamiltion Award," named in honour of one of the finest babysitters in the world.

---Laughter

When someone is "Ballantynian"...

---Laughter

...in their approach to life, they say things like even though I smoke and extra taxes will affect me, I none the less support the position the government has taken in this matter. A very noble statement indeed, Madam Speaker. Although I do not see how this tax will affect him, having never seen him buy a pack of cigarettes.

---Laughter

---Applause

---Laughter

Madam Speaker, I was thinking of a word for the Speaker and I thought of some but I was kind of chicken. Thank you.

---Laughter

---Applause

Creation Of New Words
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 369

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife North, Mr. Ballantyne.