This is page numbers 821 - 852 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. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Arvaluk, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Gargan, Mr. Lewis, Hon. Jeannie Marie-Jewell, Hon. Rebecca Mike, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ng, Mr. Ningark, 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. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Lewis.

Inaccurate Statistics On Alcohol Abuse In The Nwt
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. On Tuesday, I said I was alarmed to read a description of Yellowknife that appeared in a Cape Town, South Africa newspaper called Cape Argus, in February of this year. I said that what disturbed me the most was that the factual information that appeared in the article was supplied by the Government of the Northwest Territories, and that if public servants are going to provide information to anybody, they had better get their facts straight.

Madam Speaker, it's important to the morale of our public service that the record of this House presents a factual account of where the information came from with respect to this newspaper article. I'm told, Madam Speaker, that the information contained was not supplied by this government. It was provided by the executive director of Northern Addiction Services, and there has been no indication of where the executive director obtained the information that 80 per cent of northerners are addicted to alcohol and drugs. I made the wrong assumption, Madam Speaker, that Northern Addiction Services uses the same statistics as the Government of the Northwest Territories. However, I will be interested in hearing from the government what the true picture of addiction in the Northwest Territories really is, in response to a question I asked the Minister this week. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Inaccurate Statistics On Alcohol Abuse In The Nwt
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for North Slave, Mr. Zoe.

Water And Sewer Subsidy Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Henry Zoe North Slave

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Today I would like to speak to the water and sewer subsidy program operated by the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. This program, Madam Speaker, pays for some of the high costs of providing clean water, and appropriate sewage service in northern communities by subsidizing the rates paid by northerners. It costs a lot of money to provide clean water and proper sewage services in northern communities, money that can be hard to come by. This program is of great benefit to northern business as it enables the growth of the small business sector in the north, growth that might otherwise be stifled by high utility costs.

Madam Speaker, the subsidy program is also a boon to home ownership in the Northwest Territories. Mortgage payments and heating costs are already much higher in the north than in most of the country. The water and sewer subsidy program makes it a little easier for northerners to afford to buy their own homes. In fact, Madam Speaker, this is a very important program; so important that it is often the subject of rumours, rumours that the subsidy might be reduced and that northern home owners and business people might have to pay much more for their water and sewage services.

Because the water and sewer subsidy program is so important, the Members of this House trust that the government will always consult fully with House and with the municipalities of the Northwest Territories before considering any changes to the subsidy. Thank you.

Water And Sewer Subsidy Program
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.

Privatization Of Government Services
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Past governments and this government have planned and partially initiated privatization of the government services which were identified in order to streamline government functions by reducing operating costs and, of course, creating opportunities for business and individuals wishing to establish business. Examples I'm aware of in the Kitikmeot, over the years, are for vehicle maintenance, oil burner and plumbing, heating- related maintenance, some carpentry, painting and electrical-related services on a limited basis and the warehousing and supply of materials and goods. I'm also aware that the government has privatized the retail liquor outlets, the motor vehicle licensing, printing services and some POL delivery contracts.

Madam Speaker, I fully support the privatization of government services, as long as it creates business opportunities for individuals and supports existing businesses and reduces costs to the government. While these full or partial privatization initiatives have been ongoing over the years, I believe it's time to review all current contracts with the intent of expanding the contracts which have been successful in providing these partial services to the government.

Our government must refocus their attention on privatization of government functions to reduce costs and to provide these business and employment opportunities for individuals in our communities. Mahsi cho.

Privatization Of Government Services
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Legislative Assembly And Media's Annual Hockey Game
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Samuel Gargan Deh Cho

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Last night the MLA Sharks held their final hockey practice in preparation for tomorrow's big game. The team is ready to go and they look very hungry. In fact, "Jungle" Jim Antoine got a little too aggressive and took out our very own Joe "Bunny" Larocque. Passing very crisp, as five sticks were broken during practice trying to receive a pass. Speed is also one of the team's assets. This year, Georgina "Skate-Like-The-Wind" Frankie, literally burned several grooves into the ice.

The team features four strong lines, including those led by James "Van Cleefe" Arvaluk, and Donnie "Teflon" Morin. Madam Speaker, since Mr. Morin has been on the Executive he has humbled himself, both on the Executive level and on the ice. News of the team has already reached the ears of the media. Concerned about what they were facing, a media spy was sent to watch a practice and was quickly evicted by Kelvin "The Enforcer" Ng. Dave "Scottie" Hamilton, the team's general manager, has spiffed up his wardrobe for this illustrious event.

The Sharks would like to remind their fans that game time is tomorrow at 2:00 pm in the community arena. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Legislative Assembly And Media's Annual Hockey Game
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. The honourable Member for Keewatin Central, Mr. Todd.

Further Return To Question 359-12(5): Injured Workers' Access To Courts Following Appeals Process
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

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John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have a return to an oral question asked by Mr. Ballantyne on March 23, 1994 regarding injured workers' access to courts, following the appeals process. The honourable Member for Yellowknife North asked me on March 23 what recourse was available to workers who have exhausted the appeals process for workers' compensation.

The Workers' Compensation Act is quite specific about such cases.

Section 7.9(1) of the act states: "Subject to sections 7.7 and 7.8, a decision of the appeals tribunal on an appeal is final and conclusive." Section 7.9(2) states: "A decision of the appeals tribunal may not be questioned or reviewed in any court."

The only exceptions would be:

1. Where the board considers that the appeals tribunal has failed to properly apply the policy established by the board or has failed to comply with the provisions of the act or the regulations (section 7.7). In this case, the board may direct the appeals tribunal to rehear the appeal and give fair and reasonable consideration to that policy and those provisions. In doing so, the board may stay a decision, ruling or order of the appeals tribunal pending a rehearing of the appeal.

2. The appeals tribunal may vary a decision made by it and may, on its own motion, rehear an appeal (section 7.8).

3. A judicial review may be sought by an appellant where it is felt that the appeals tribunal has, for example, failed to follow the rules of natural justice, fettered its discretion, or exceeded its authority. In such cases, the court may only direct that the appeal be reheard and under what parameters but cannot change the appeal decision itself.

Further Return To Question 359-12(5): Injured Workers' Access To Courts Following Appeals Process
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 4, returns to oral questions. The honourable Member for Baffin Central, Ms. Mike.

Further Return To Question 348-12(5): Policy For Over-accommodating Staff Under Staff Housing Guidelines
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

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Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

This is a response to a question asked by Mr. Ng on March 22, 1994 regarding policy for over- accommodating staff under staff housing guidelines. While we do not have a policy for allocating staff housing, we do have guidelines. A copy of those guidelines was tabled yesterday. The guidelines provide for employees, at or above the regional superintendent level, to be assigned one bedroom larger than the size normally allocated based on employee's needs.

Further Return To Question 329-12(5): Guidelines For Allocation Of Staff Housing
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

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Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

I have another return, Madam Speaker, if I may. It is a return to oral question asked by Mr. Ng on March 18, 1994 regarding guidelines for allocation of staff housing. In allocating staff accommodations, the primary consideration is the number of bedrooms required for an employee's family.

Wherever possible, employees with large families are accommodated in units which have the most space. However, a larger unit costs more to rent. Because of this, employees are given a choice of a smaller unit if one is available.