This is page numbers 719 - 751 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, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, 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, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Nerysoo.

Minister's Statement 52-12(5): Education Week - Technology In The Classroom
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to announced that this is Education Week in the Northwest Territories. This year's theme is "technology in the classroom."

We've all heard about the electronic super-highway and how it will shape communications in the coming years. The development of this highway has implications for education in the Northwest Territories and the world.

First, if the Northwest Territories is going to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change now and in the future, it is essential that our students learn how to use new technologies as they emerge.

Secondly, the electronic highway is potentially an excellent teaching tool, enabling Northwest Territories students to access information from a wide range of sources, and to communicate and collaborate on projects with other students in the rest of Canada and throughout the world.

For example, a few days ago students at Samuel Hearne School in Inuvik, Ecole St. Joseph School in Yellowknife and a school in Hillsboro, California were linked by computer to participate in a unique pilot project. They were testing the capabilities of communications technology for an international expedition which will take place next year. Students and staff in the three schools worked with computers, scanners and a computer tablet to learn more about the international Arctic project from the expedition team which was working out of Ecole St. Joseph School.

Next year, this team of international explorers and scientists will conduct a major expedition to increase understanding of the Arctic and its role in the global environment. They will use an international computer network to interact daily with students in grades four through 12 in classrooms around the world.

The team is currently on a practice expedition into the central Arctic, and their progress reports are posted regularly on the North of 60 electronic bulletin board system and internet.

Northwest Territories schools will follow this project on a daily basis through the bulletin board system, which my department established last year. Their participation in the international Arctic project teleconference was made possible through the cooperation of NorthwesTel, which contributed a good deal of the equipment and staff expertise.

To ensure all students in the Northwest Territories have access to the bulletin board system, Education, Culture and Employment has provided all schools with a computer and a high-speed modem. Schools in every community and the department can exchange messages, transfer files and access data banks and distance learning materials. During Education Week, schools will participate in a number of projects using the north of 60 system.

The department is also developing a distance education strategy which will provide communities in the Northwest Territories access to an electronic information and distance learning system.

All communities will be electronically linked and connected to national and international information networks. The department will provide programming for these networks using television, radio, libraries and computers.

Through consolidation of programs, a new information networks division was established in the department which brings together staff with expertise in this area. Information networks coordinates Government of the Northwest Territories participation in Television Northern Canada supports regional, community and private broadcasters; and, provides library services in partnership with communities, library boards and school boards. It also produces, acquires and distributes learning resources for school-based and distance education programs.

Madam Speaker, my department is already working in partnership with other government departments and agencies, aboriginal broadcasters and the private sector on the development and use of new communications networks.

To ensure that the distance education strategy is developed with input from all of these partners, as well as the residents of the Northwest Territories, the department has contracted the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation to plan a symposium on distance learning and new communications technologies. The symposium will be held this summer on TVNC, so it will be broadcast in communities from Labrador to Yukon. Presenters at the TVNC uplink sites in Yellowknife, Iqaluit and Whitehorse will facilitate discussions, while people from all communities will be able to phone in with comments and suggestions.

Madam Speaker, access to electronic sources of information will play an increasingly important role in the development of the Northwest Territories in the coming years. Education, Culture and Employment, with the cooperation of our partners, is developing an interactive networking system for the use and benefit of all residents of the Northwest Territories. I am pleased that the theme of Education Week reflects and promotes this innovative direction. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 52-12(5): Education Week - Technology In The Classroom
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Appreciation For Conference Sponsored By Yellowknife Association Of Community Living
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. On the weekend, Madam Speaker, I attended a conference at the Yellowknife Inn which was sponsored by the Yellowknife Association of Community Living. This association attempts to find ways in which mentally handicapped adults can integrate themselves into our society, and there were people from all over Newfoundland, from Manitoulin Island, Toronto and various other places in southern Canada. But, more especially, there were very large delegations from northern communities. From Tuktoyaktuk there were half a dozen people who came, from Rae-Edzo there were at least half a dozen people, from Cambridge Bay, Fort Smith and many other communities right throughout the Northwest Territories to try to find ways in which people, in fact, who have handicaps, can find ways of living on their own independently, with their own small place and look after themselves, and also to help them to find ways in which they can provide some kind of satisfactory work, preferably, in the long run -- and this was part of the vision -- in the place that they would like to call home.

I would like to, on behalf of the association, thank, especially, the Department of Social Services that sponsored a banquet on Saturday night. The highlight of this banquet was the fact that people were forced to get together, but also to listen to some wonderful northern entertainers. I had not heard this young lady sing before, but there is a young lady in Yellowknife by the name of Amber Lemouel who I had heard a lot about. She is 15 years old and has a voice that will tear your heart out. For those people who are looking for a young singer who has obvious vocal talents, this is the person they should be looking to, I believe, as someone who has a good career in front of her. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Appreciation For Conference Sponsored By Yellowknife Association Of Community Living
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 720

The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Financial Assistance For Students Attending High School In Provinces
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 720

Titus Allooloo Amittuq

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise today to speak on the lack of reasonable policy by the Department of Education in dealing with the issue of NWT students attending high school in the south.

In my constituency, there is one student whose parents decided was too advanced to take the general high school courses as offered in Pond Inlet. The only option given to this student to receive the advanced high school courses was for him to attend high school in Iqaluit. Madam Speaker, his parents did not want to send their son there because of all the social problems and the low rate of graduation by the aboriginal students.

Madam Speaker, this family has enrolled their son in a school in Ottawa at considerable expense to themselves. When they asked the Department of Education for help, they were told that there was no policy covering this, and ultimately it was the divisional board's responsibility to deal with this situation. The Baffin divisional board says that it is the Department of Education's responsibility to provide direction in this matter.

Madam Speaker, I'll be pursuing this matter during question period. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Financial Assistance For Students Attending High School In Provinces
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Transportation Services For Special Needs Persons
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) I will be making a statement today regarding problems with transportation services for a person with special needs in my constituency. Concerns have been brought to my attention from both Cape Dorset and Sanikiluaq regarding this issue. In both of these communities, there are a number of young people with either physical or mental handicaps who require assistance while going to school or other places in the community. I have been asked to bring up this issue by both parents and care givers.

I understand that in Cape Dorset, there has been some effort to provide rides to people with wheelchairs in regular vehicles, but this has proven very cumbersome and impractical without a proper wheelchair lift. They would like assistance from the government for obtaining a properly equipped vehicle. Madam Speaker, I am also informed that in Sanikiluaq, there is no formal arrangement for providing transportation assistance for those with special needs in that community. Parents have to do their best by using snowmobiles in the winter or all-terrain vehicles in the summer, which causes a lot of hardship to them.

During question period today, I will be asking the government for information on what programs are presently available to help these people and to find out if we are, in fact, doing everything we can to assist those with special needs in improving their mobility. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Transportation Services For Special Needs Persons
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Kids' Help Phone Bowl-a-thon
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 721

Michael Ballantyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I thought today I would bring Members up to date on the results of the Kids' Help Phone bowl-a-thon which took place on Friday night. Members will recall that Mr. Morin, Mr. Dent and myself canvassed Members for support for this particular event. The Kids' Help Phone bowl-a-thon was held in cooperation with the Yellowknife five pin bowler's association and the Bank of Montreal and they raised close to $25,000 for a national Kids' Help Phone line.

For the record, that phone number is 1-800-668-6868. I think it's a very important service that is being provided across the country to kids in trouble. Your MLA's team consisted of Captain Charles "Pinball" Dent, Donnie "Crash" Morin, my eight year old daughter Alexandra "Hawkeye" Ballantyne, and myself.

---Laughter

Kids' Help Phone Bowl-a-thon
Item 3: Members' Statements

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An Hon. Member

What was your score?

Kids' Help Phone Bowl-a-thon
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Michael Ballantyne Yellowknife North

Thanks to the generosity of Members, we raised over $1,000 for this cause.

---Applause

The actual details I can share with Members. My daughter's best game was 107. She did very well with an unorthodox two-handed technique. Charles Dent was really the star. He had the best score of anybody. He bowled 277 with five consecutive strikes, a cult hero among certain people in this town. Donnie and I went head to head and at the very end, due to bad luck on my part, Donnie won 204 to 200 when I missed the head pin in the last frame. But, we have a rematch for next year. I would, again, like to thank all Members, members of our staff and even the media who supported this very worthwhile cause. Thank you, very much.

---Applause

Kids' Help Phone Bowl-a-thon
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Kitikmeot, Mr. Ng.