This is page numbers 581 - 608 of the Hansard for the 12th Assembly, 7th 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 communities.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Samuel Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Ms. Mike, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Hon. Kelvin 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 581

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Pudluk. Good morning. I have been informed that Her Honour, the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, is prepared to assent to bills. Mr. Clerk, would you ascertain if the Commissioner is prepared to enter the Chamber and assent to bills.

Assent To Bill 17

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

Commissioner Maksagak

Please be seated. As Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, it gives me pleasure to assent to the following bill: Bill 17, An Act to Amend the Nursing Profession Act. Thank you.

---Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Morin, your point of order.

Point Of Order

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, during a Member's statement, Mr. Pudluk requested an apology from myself to the unilingual Inuit-speaking elders in the communities who did not understand the translation because it was backwards. So, on behalf of the NWT Housing Corporation, I would like to apologize to those elders and unilingual speakers. Thank you.

---Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Nerysoo.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Sorry, Mr. Speaker. On a point of order, please.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Point of order, Mr. Nerysoo.

Point Of Order

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise a point of order concerning our practices for tabling documents.

Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, having read the unedited Hansard for March 8, 1995, it is clearly stated by the honourable Member for Thebacha that there are no rules for letters being tabled. I'm not certain, Mr. Speaker, if there is a necessity for rules, but I believe we have to establish practices in this House for the tabling of documents.

The honourable Member for Thebacha raised the issue of letters being tabled unsigned, during question period on Tuesday, March 7th, and her comments are contained on pages 1228 and 1229 of unedited Hansard. Mr. Speaker, at that time, it was indicated that letters do not have to be signed.

Mr. Speaker, I question whether this has been established as a practice or procedure of this House. Mr. Speaker, I also note that an unsigned letter was tabled on March 8th and again the issue was identified by the Member for Thebacha, that we have no rules on unsigned documents being tabled.

Mr. Speaker, I agree we have no rules or practice, but I feel that there should be. My point of order is to request you review the matter and provide a ruling on the practice of permitting unsigned letters to be tabled in the House. Mr. Speaker, in addition, you may wish to consider giving direction to the House on the types of documents and items that should or should not be tabled in the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Nerysoo. With regard to the tabling of documents, I still remember Members of this House tabling fish heads and sewage pipes, unsigned. Those types of things were tabled in this House. We don't really have a rule for the tabling of documents and I wish to hear from other Members their feelings with regard to the tabling of documents and unsigned documents. Until I hear from Members, I will reserve a ruling, and I would like to hear from Members on their feelings as this is important.

To the point of order, Mr. Nerysoo.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 581

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the point of order that I have raised. Mr. Speaker, it is my belief that we have a long history in parliamentary democracy about respecting the rights and privileges of Members and that is an important factor in our Assembly. But, I also believe there is a certain need for us to protect each other, not only from what general comments may be made, but also the way we conduct ourselves and how people see us in terms of protecting people outside this Assembly.

It is my belief, Mr. Speaker, that there is a certain amount of integrity that we have to uphold and part of that integrity is the way we treat each other and the citizens who we represent. I think a rule on a practice in this House so that can clearly articulate how we will protect each other and protect the citizens of our communities is important for us to adopt. I think, Mr. Speaker, your good judgement and advice is being sought in this particular situation, and I know you will consider this matter seriously and provide us with the appropriate leadership. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 582

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Nerysoo. To the point of order. Mr. Morin.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 582

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Prior to becoming a Member of the Legislative Assembly, I was a band counsellor and a counsellor with the Dene Community Council of Fort Resolution. So, I have some political experience at the local level. Even at the municipal and local political level of our communities, when people get letters from constituents or people they are elected to represent that are unsigned, they don't deal with them. They put them to the side because anybody can write anything about anybody or say anything about a citizen of the Northwest Territories, but if they don't have the responsibility to sign their name to a letter it shouldn't be dealt with.

I know that, as Members of this Assembly, we have a responsibility to work on behalf of all people of the Northwest Territories. When people raise an issue with me in my constituency, I take the concern down and try to work on it. But, I always look at the other side of the story, and you cannot do that if a person makes a complaint and you don't know who it is. So, it is better not to deal with it.

I don't think, in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, we should be dealing with hearsay or rumours if people don't have the respect to sign letters. There's no way that at any time in this House we should be able to table unsigned documents, especially if they are character assassinations. We shouldn't table those documents, out of respect. We all have to do our job and do it with respect to the public, and I don't think by tabling letters that are unsigned that we are showing respect for the public. Thank you.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 582

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

To the point of order, Mr. Patterson.