This is page numbers 429 - 460 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, 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, 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 429

Madam Speaker

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

Minister's Statement 32-12(5): Development Of A Mortgage Investment Corporation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 429

John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, it is common knowledge that residents in the smaller communities in the Northwest Territories face a difficult situation when attempting to arrange financing from financial institutions for commercial or residential mortgages.

The housing shortage precipitated by drastic federal cutbacks in funding for social housing which my colleague, the Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, has been working diligently to get reversed is made worse by the lack of mortgage financing available for people in small communities who can afford to build or buy their own homes.

I am pleased to inform the House that the Department of Economic Development and Tourism is developing a proposal to establish a mortgage investment corporation to help ease the shortage of commercial and residential...

---Applause

...mortgage financing in small communities.

A number of Members of this House have been briefed on this concept last fall and their positive response to the initial proposal was encouraging.

Madam Speaker, a mortgage investment corporation could provide home and commercial financing for residents in smaller communities in the Northwest Territories using equity capital from various sources.

For example, with initial investments totalling $40 million the corporation, using this equity as leverage, could attract up to $250 million additional investment dollars, five times the original investment.

Emphasis would be placed on small investors from a cross-section of the Northwest Territories population, but a mortgage investment corporation would be able to attract investments from other areas in Canada and attract possible future investment from southern Canada.

A mortgage investment corporation can raise funds at attractive rates from the public, and the investors can be protected through Canadian deposit insurance. Mortgages issued can be eligible for insurance by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided they meet the requirements.

Madam Speaker, a corporation of this nature could play a significant role in helping alleviate the housing shortage in the Northwest Territories. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 32-12(5): Development Of A Mortgage Investment Corporation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 429

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for High Arctic, Mr. Pudluk.

Difficulties With Construction In High Arctic
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 429

Ludy Pudluk High Arctic

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. Today I would like to raise a concern of my constituents regarding the home ownership program, now called the access program. This is a program that enables people to own their own homes, and is an opportunity that my constituents greatly appreciate.

There is a problem with this program and it has to do with the amount of time that the people have to complete their homes. They have two years to build their units, unfortunately it's not always possible to finish them in this time due to several factors. These factors include the northern climate. Early onset of winter and severe cold make it almost impossible to properly construct foundations and other structural components of their houses. As well, darkness limits the amount of time one has to work outside, and safety becomes a concern. The people in my constituency who are part of this program also have jobs to go to during the day which means that they have only evenings and weekends to work on their homes.

A concern that has been expressed to me has to do with the Housing Corporation's practice of going to communities to harass those people who are behind in the construction of their houses. They threaten people with taking their homes away and giving them to someone else. This causes much worry and undue stress on these people who are trying their best to complete their homes in the specified amount of time.

Madam Speaker, the Housing Corporation needs to be more sensitive in its dealings with people involved in the home ownership program, and recognize the difficulties inherent to the High Arctic with respect to building homes. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Difficulties With Construction In High Arctic
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Madam Speaker

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

Difficulties Faced By Arctic Winter Games Athletes From Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am very proud of the young people from my constituency who will be participating in the Arctic Winter Games.

In dealing with Sport North, I am concerned about their lack of sensitivity with the realities in Nunavut. We had problems getting an escort for a young athlete from Sanikiluaq who is the first ever participant from that community. I would like to encourage the government to pressure Sport North to be more understanding on how to deal with people and athletes from Nunavut, and their needs. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Difficulties Faced By Arctic Winter Games Athletes From Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Madam Speaker

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

Congratulating Arctic Winter Games Participants
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Today I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate all of the participants who are entered into the Arctic Winter Games. And to use this time, as well, to wish them well as some of them are on their way already to Slave Lake, as I understand it, and will be gathering there at the end of this week to meet some pretty stiff competition from the Yukon and Alaska. The young people participating in these games come from every region in the territories, and almost every community. They represent all ages and they compete in all of the different challenges that will be at the Arctic Winter Games.

In spite of the differences of where they come from and the competitions they will be entered into, they all share one thing, Madam Speaker, and that's sportsmanship. They share the spirit of fair play that goes along with and makes the Arctic Winter Games what they are, truly northern. Regardless of the outcome in the numbers of medals they bring back for us, our hearts will be with them. Those of us who won't be able to be there as they compete against each other, will watch them on the television and hear them on the radio. And they will know that we are supporting them and that they'll be doing their very best.

On behalf of all the constituents of Yellowknife South, to those athletes who will be there, I wish them the best of luck.

---Applause

Congratulating Arctic Winter Games Participants
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Madam Speaker

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

Member's Statements On Town Of Iqaluit Municipal Advisory Committee Meeting
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Last week I attended, as an observer, a meeting of the municipal advisory committee of the town of Iqaluit. I was very impressed with the businesslike manner with which a number of critical issues were dealt with on which decisive recommendations were made to Mr. Beaumont, the municipal administrator.

The first issue dealt with was the finances of the town. The committee reported to the public that, with the forgiveness of interest by the GNWT, the town can cover the costs of the land debenture. In fact, if the committee is able to proceed with its plans to make additional land available for construction this summer, given the high demand for land in Iqaluit, then even more revenues could be obtained to accelerate repayment of the debenture loan.

As far as the town's general financial situation is concerned, committee members reported their opinion, after studying the matter, that the town's financial situation was secure.

Other issues discussed on which recommendations were made to Mr. Beaumont were evaluation of management staff; reinstating a contract to develop a town general plan, which was inexplicably cancelled when the council was dissolved; the need to hire a lands officer with continued financial assistance to be sought from the Minister of MACA; the need to get a report from the GNWT lands division on available commercial and residential lots which would then lead to a ballot draw by March 31; recommended process to hire a new senior administrative officer; the appropriate composition of the town's collective bargaining committee; the satisfactory status of the coming year's social services funding agreement; and, the most effective uses for the funds allocated for capital improvements for recreational facilities for Iqaluit in the coming fiscal year.

The most important discussion concerned the need for an early election. Members of the advisory committee are doing their best but realize they are only an appointed body. They are as anxious as anyone to see an elected council in place. Important decisions are being made this year concerning the implementation of land claims and the planning for the new Nunavut government which will affect the community for many years to come. The Queen of England is making a return visit to Iqaluit this summer. The advisory committee would like to see an election held before the end of the school year. They have my full support in this request.

Later on, Madam Speaker, I will be beseeching the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs to restore democracy in Iqaluit as soon as possible.

---Applause

Thank you. Qujannamiik.

Member's Statements On Town Of Iqaluit Municipal Advisory Committee Meeting
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 430

Madam Speaker

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

Federal Government Vs Elders' Interpretation Of Treaty 11
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 431

Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I rise today to thank the Deh Cho Tribal Council for the very informative presentation they gave to Members of the House on February 17, 1994. I think this presentation gave some Members, both from the east and west, a better understanding of some of the positions taken by Dene leaders in the Treaty 11 area. It is important, Madam Speaker, for everyone to remember that this was a peace treaty. There was no war. It was purely and simply a peace treaty.

We ask that people do not give up any of their rights to the land or their way of life. Madam Speaker, the major problem with this and other treaties that were negotiated between Canada and the aboriginal nations was the difference between what was promised verbally to the chiefs and what actually came to be put on paper. Madam Speaker, for years Pat Buggins of my constituency has been telling me that the documents that exist refutes the context of Treaty 11. The former catholic bishop of the Mackenzie, Bishop Gabriel Breynet, wrote down the entire statement in 1937. The actual wording of Treaty 11 differs greatly from what Bishop Breynet translated and others took to be promised by the government in 1921.

These verbal agreements and promises were, and as far as we are concerned, part of the parcel of the written provision of Treaty 11. It must be interpreted as such. Madam Speaker, maybe this is why aboriginal people are getting much better with the paperwork. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Federal Government Vs Elders' Interpretation Of Treaty 11
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 431

Madam Speaker

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Natilikmiot, Mr. Ningark.