This is page numbers 689 - 717 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 community.

Topics

Care Of Sled Dogs
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 690

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Today I would like to speak on a matter that will soon be coming up here in Yellowknife. Recently, I listened to an interview on the radio with an NWT dog musher by the name of Dave Olsen. This was prior to the start of the 1,500 mile Iditarod race in Alaska. It seems that certain animal rights groups are trying to stop events such as the Iditarod, Yukon Quest -- and, no doubt, they will be looking at us shortly -- claiming that this is cruel and mistreating animals, and that they are using animals for the amusement of men.

In the interview, Mr. Olsen, who raises dogs for a living, expressed the sentiments of the dog mushers well, people I have had the pleasure of knowing over the years who raise dogs, which are bred and born for racing, they are raised and trained with care and affection, and they work well with their trainers, not unlike any other show dog or cat that they have in the south. For these dogs, that is their purpose in life and they are treated, in my opinion, with all the care they need.

Madam Speaker, I have been associated with the Yellowknife Rotary Club for a good number of years. The Yellowknife Rotary Club sponsored the 150 mile Canadian championship dog race here on Yellowknife Bay. It's over a three day period of 50 miles each day. I have yet to see, in the ten years that I've been working on that dog race, closely associated with the mushers, cruelty to animals out there on the ice or anywhere, as a matter of fact, in the handling area. They are groomed, they are fed, they are watered. Even out on the trail they are petted. They work hard.

May I seek unanimous consent to conclude?

Care Of Sled Dogs
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 690

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Care Of Sled Dogs
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 690

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, colleagues. Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, they are tended well out there on the race. I've been associated with dog teams for many years as some of the Members here have, as well, raised dogs in their youth and run them. We look after them because they are part of our life. I no longer raise dogs but I am associated as closely as I can be. I am very concerned, Madam Speaker, and that is why I raise this issue that soon those same animal rights people will be here looking at this Canadian championship dog race and stating the same thing, that this is very cruel. I, for one, Madam Speaker, denounce that kind of statement because they are unfounded and they are interfering in areas where they know little or nothing about. I want to say, for the record, that the mushers have the full support, I am sure, of a lot of people who are associated with this sport and bring a certain amount of recognition to the Northwest Territories through their efforts. Thank you.

---Applause

Care Of Sled Dogs
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Aboriginal Languages Month
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. Last year during a special chiefs' meeting of the Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa, the chiefs unanimously approved the designation of March as Aboriginal Languages Month. The chiefs of Canada have recognized that language is part of culture, and it carries the key to self-determination and our future as a First Nations people.

This was done to focus more attention and effort to support aboriginal languages in Canada. Recognition of our languages is recognition of ourselves as a distinct people. It is essential that we express our beliefs and ideals through our own languages. Languages define our thoughts, our values of beliefs and our traditions. We cannot become complacent in our efforts to promote aboriginal languages. Unlike Euro-Canadians, we have no option for returning to the old country and to relearn a forgotten tongue. Once a northern language falls into disuse, it is gone forever. (Translation ends)

Madam Speaker, I am proud of my language and I believe that my language is a very important part of defining who I am as a Dene. This government has started down the road to dealing with the problems surrounding the use of aboriginal languages. Programs administered by the government such as taping of oral histories is an important part of this process. However, Madam Speaker, it is equally important for this government to remember just as it is important to gather traditions of the aboriginal elders, it is also necessary to share and disseminate information and languages with younger generations.

Madam Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Aboriginal Languages Month
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Aboriginal Languages Month
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Since 1990, this organization, the NWT Literacy Council, has done an excellent job in promoting literacy in the NWT. Projects under way include working hand in hand with CBC to raise awareness through interviews and contests. The council has plans to publish native language books written by and for teenagers. This is an excellent program that will not only promote reading of one's own language, it also helps to develop young authors' writing skills. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Aboriginal Languages Month
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

March 18th, 1994

Page 691

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to say at the outset to everyone, especially the MLA for Baffin Central, I am a strong supporter of the Pangnirtung fishery. When I was Government Leader I accompanied the Honourable Tom Hockin, then Minister of Small Business and Tourism. We travelled by snowmobile to the site of the first turbot fishery. Mr. Hockin subsequently extended assistance to help get the fishery going, and since then it has prospered and has, in fact, been given significant financial support through the NWT Development Corporation.

As Minister of Education, I also worked with the Honourable John Leefe, then Minister of Fisheries for Nova Scotia, who came to Baffin several times to help Inuit fishermen get access to the excellent fisheries training available in Nova Scotia which I think has worked well.

I will never forget Mr. Leefe's advice to our government at that time. He said that in developing our fishery we had two clear choices to make. We could follow the Newfoundland model: very generous government subsidies for over-capitalized equipment and facilities for large corporations. This approach ignores the reality of real markets and real costs and is ultimately doomed to fail because government cannot afford huge subsidies forever. Or, we could follow what he described as the Nova Scotia model which focused on small businesses, inshore operations and reasonable limits on loans and subsidies to respect the real economy.

Recently, Madam Speaker, I have dared to ask a few questions about the policies and mandate of the NWT Development Corporation when it comes to market disruption. My inquiries have been inspired by the concerns of a small Iqaluit-based company in which northern residents have invested their own money. I have been surprised at the defensive reaction of the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. He rather contemptuously described my corporate constituents as a minor player. I would have hoped, Madam Speaker, that the Minister would have more respect for a small business, which is trying to become involved in developing the eastern fishery using their own capital and without reliance on heavy government subsidies.

---Applause

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Mr. Patterson, your allotted time has lapsed.

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

I seek unanimous consent to conclude, Madam Speaker.

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

Some Hon. Members

(Microphones turned off)

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 691

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Madam Speaker, I winced at the fulminations of the Member for Aivilik when he was on this side of the House and I am enjoying watching him suffer a bit now that I am over here.

---Laughter

Subsidies For Small Businesses
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 692

John Todd Keewatin Central

Keewatin Central...(Microphone turned off)

---Laughter