This is page numbers 965 - 992 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, Mr. Antoine, 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, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Mr. Ng, Mr. Ningark, Mr. Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Baffin Central, Ms. Mike.

Minister's Statement 63-12(5): Inter-agency Training
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The honourable Member for Iqaluit asked me a question in the House yesterday about inter-agency training on family violence and sexual abuse in the Baffin. I indicated that the training for the Baffin was provided at the end of January of this year. Unfortunately, that was an error.

It was my understanding, Madam Speaker, that the training had been delivered as it was originally scheduled. My officials have now informed me that it was not possible to deliver the training at the time. There is still a strong commitment to provide the training and it is now planned for the fall of 1994.

I apologize to the Members for providing incorrect information. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 63-12(5): Inter-agency Training
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Yellowknifer Article "if It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I realize it is Thursday and not Friday, but we have a long weekend in front of us. I will try to get through this in my two and a half minutes.

Around 50 years ago, Madam Speaker, the Germans introduced a vehicle called the Volkswagen. In English this means people's car. It was cheap, economical on gas and easy to fix. Yesterday, an editorial appeared in the Yellowknifer headed "If It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It." The editorial referred to comments I made in this Assembly about fixing some problems with the way our government is running.

Madam Speaker, this government is very much like an early model Volkswagen. It may still be on the road, but it wouldn't pass a mechanical inspection test. It is a little like those vehicles you sometimes see advertised in the newspapers for less than $500. They're called mechanics' specials. The bodywork isn't bad, there's just a bit of rust and the tires are very good. At least that's what the ad says, the tires at least are good. Some of these old Volkswagens, Madam Speaker, are incredible machines. The steering is loose, there's a knock in the engine, it burns a lot of oil, the muffler is full of holes, the headlights go on and off whenever they feel like it and you can only open the passenger's side door. It makes an incredible amount of noise but, amazingly, it still runs.

Of course the car isn't cheap to run any more. The price of gas has gone up and the car needs a fill-up every few hours, not once a week like in the good old days. In fact, last week Ronna Bremer wrote a well-researched article on just how expensive it is to keep this car on the road. I believe that was the point of the article.

Madam Speaker, the public knows the car is still running because they hear it wheezing and rattling along from time to time. The media watches it very closely and continually reports on its failings and shortcomings. In fact, that seems to be its major preoccupation, how things are so bad. So, I find it odd that the Yellowknifer now finds that there's nothing to be fixed, after all these years of complaining.

Madam Speaker, I've owned several old vehicles...

Yellowknifer Article "if It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Lewis.

Yellowknifer Article "if It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Madam Speaker, I would like to get consent to finish my statement.

Yellowknifer Article "if It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Yellowknifer Article "if It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, colleagues. It is very rare that I ask to have an extension. Madam Speaker, I have owned several old vehicles. It is a frightening thing to see a mechanic turn on the ignition, lift the hood of the old car, start shaking his head and start making loud, long, moaning noises. Your heart begins to have a terrible, sinking feeling. You don't really want to hear the news because you know it's going to be bad.

Madam Speaker, reporters, for all their training, don't look under the hood and that's why they don't know what has to be fixed. Madam Speaker, when your vehicle is in bad shape, you don't wait until 1999 to take it into the garage. Madam Speaker, when your vehicle is driving all over the road, you don't drive very far and you would be better leaving it parked in your driveway. You wouldn't want to end up in a ditch or breaking down in the middle of nowhere at 40 degrees below zero.

Madam Speaker, the fear I have is that a final trip to the wrecking yard may not be very far away, unless we do something. I don't agree with the editorial in the Yellowknifer. The staff should look through past editions of the local newspapers and make a list of all the things they have found wrong with the way we have operated in this Legislative Assembly over the last several years. Better still, they had better ask the public, because that's not the story I'm hearing when I talk to my constituents. Thank you.

---Applause

Yellowknifer Article "if It's Not Broken, Don't Fix It"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

Throat Singing Duo "tuujat"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Ludy Pudluk High Arctic

(Translation) Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to use my Member's statement today to familiarize Members of the House to the throat singing duo known as Tuujat. Tuujat is made up of two cousins, Madeleine Alakariakaluk of Resolute Bay and Phoebe Atagutaluk of Inoucdjouac. The duo performed last weekend at the annual True North concert in the Yukon.

I was informed by George Tuccaro who was master of ceremonies that they were given thunderous ovations for their traditional throat singing and old age aya-ya songs. According to Mr. Tuccaro, they stole the show.

These two cousins met for the first time six years ago, when they were 12 years old. They have performed ever since and sometimes had to rehearse through long-distance telephone calls. Tuujat is a source of pride to myself and the youth of High Arctic. I want to give the suggestion to the government that they should be included in partnership agreements, similar to the one that was signed with Susan Aglukark. They have become excellent ambassadors of the Northwest Territories and an example for other young people. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Throat Singing Duo "tuujat"
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

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

The Mackenzie River Basin
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Madam Speaker. The Mackenzie River Basin, or in my language the Deh Cho Basin, is the largest water basin in the world. It covers about 20 per cent of Canada. The Deh Cho Basin has a lot of industrial economy upstream. The products of the economy flow downstream to the Northwest Territories where people are more dependent on a traditional life-style and more careful with what they do to their environment.

There are many things which impact upon the basin as the Deh Cho runs towards the Arctic Ocean. There are ten pulp mills discharging waste into this water. Municipalities along the basin also flow the water through their sewer and storm systems. In the provinces there are run-offs from farm chemicals and industrial waste, which also impacts on the water quality.

On March 22 of this year, I attended a meeting of the Mackenzie River Basin Committee and the First Nations representatives. Although this committee has been meeting for ten years, only in the past few months has there been any involvement of First Nations. There were chiefs from the western provinces and the Northwest Territories at this meeting. They passed a resolution indicating the strong desire to be more involved in the committee. The resolution indicates that the existing water management regimes, established by the western provinces and proposed master and bilateral agreements, do not adequately address the rights and interests of the First Nations people.

First Nations groups should be active participants in the management of the basin and signatories to the master agreement in their own right. The resolution also states that the federal government should enter into negotiations with First Nations regarding the development of a master agreement. First Nations does not want to kill the agreement. Instead, they want to enhance it by bringing the contribution of the First Nations people who have always worked and lived with respect for water and the land.

Water is a precious resource to all people. However, to aboriginal people the river has always played a crucial role in who we are and how we work with the land. The Deh Cho River is important to those who live along it. Northern people are concerned about the quality of the water in the mighty Deh Cho. Those who use the water have noticed changes in the past few years. These changes showed themselves through the wildlife which relies on the water. An example is fishermen are finding that the fish have deformed fins and deep sores in them.

Madam Speaker, I urge the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the First Nations in their bid to be an integral part of the Mackenzie River Basin Committee. Mahsi.

---Applause

The Mackenzie River Basin
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Jeannie Marie-Jewell

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Aivilik, Mr. Arvaluk.