This is page numbers 401 - 429 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 election.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Samuel Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, 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 401

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Merci, Mr. Lewis. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Ng.

Minister's Statement 27-12(7): Arctic Winter Games
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 401

Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as Members know, my predecessor committed to pursue, on behalf of Members, several matters regarding the Arctic Winter Games and I wish to advise the Assembly of our actions on these matters.

Perhaps most significantly, arrangements are being made for a late summer or early fall meeting of elected officials from each jurisdiction participating in the Arctic Winter Games. The Honourable Richard Nerysoo, who represented the government at the Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie, had an opportunity to discuss the need and importance of such a meeting with the Ministers responsible from Yukon and Alberta. They have agreed such a meeting is appropriate, therefore, I will be writing each jurisdiction with suggested dates and locations for the meeting.

As several Members noted during the last sitting of this Assembly, this meeting is critically important to decide the future of the Arctic Winter Games and to ensure its purpose and objectives remain consistent with broad participation and the development of sports in the north. Our concerns with the future hosting of the games will be brought forward at this meeting.

As I confirmed in response to the Member for Inuvik, Mr. Speaker, all Members have been invited to provide me with suggestions for our NWT representatives on the Arctic Winter Games International Committee. I look forward to these suggestions and will carefully review this important decision to ensure the best representation possible.

Mr. Speaker, my predecessor did request, on behalf of the Member for Inuvik, a copy of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee's evaluation of the host bids for the 1998 Arctic Winter Games. This information was received and passed on to both the Member and the town of Inuvik. The deputy minister met with officials of the town in early February and confirmed that, in the department's opinion, the town of Inuvik had submitted a competitive bid and could not be faulted for their efforts.

Mr. Speaker, the Arctic Winter Games is the single largest sporting event in the north. Over 2,500 NWT athletes participate in competitions leading to selection of our NWT team. The future direction of the games has a major bearing on sports in the Northwest Territories and I will continue to pursue this matter with the priority it deserves and look forward to reporting further to Members on our progress. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 27-12(7): Arctic Winter Games
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ng. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Whitford.

Kidney Foundation Fund-raising Campaign
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 401

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to remind Members that the month of March is when the Kidney Foundation launches its month-long fund-raising campaign. This campaign is a vital service that the Kidney Foundation performs on behalf of all Canadians and, in particular, northern Canadians. It is especially important here in the north because we have too many residents who suffer from kidney problems of one form or another.

The Kidney Foundation is a national volunteer organization that relies only on the funds it is able to raise through donations. In fact, 50 per cent of the money that is donated goes into research, 25 per cent goes towards patient services and the final 25 per cent pays for public education and administration costs.

Mr. Speaker, here are some sobering statistics published by the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Every day, an average of seven or more Canadians learn that their kidneys are failing and that their survival will depend on either dialysis or a kidney transplant in the end. If a person needs a transplant, he or she will have to join a waiting list of some 1,900 other Canadians who are in need of healthy new organs. Last year, the Kidney Foundation was able to raise $121,000, and this year's goal for northern Canada is to raise $137,000.

I have a special interest in the Kidney Foundation because I know many northern people who have related illnesses. I also have constituents who suffer from a variety of kidney complaints. If it weren't for the Kidney Foundation, I'm not sure where those people would get the level of help that the foundation now offers them here. Unless or until our northern hospitals are equipped to handle kidney dialysis treatment, residents of the NWT will continue to rely on the Kidney Foundation's broad range of services.

These services provide information and referrals, financial assistance programs and a medically-supervised summer camp for youngsters, travel loans and special social events. In short, and to conclude, the Kidney Foundation tries to make life as easy and as normal as possible for patients suffering from kidney problems.

Mr. Speaker, I want to encourage everyone to make a real effort to support the Kidney Foundation. Canvassers will be going door to door during the month of March, especially March 1st to March 15th.

Sorry, Mr. Speaker, I thought I could conclude, but I wasn't able to. I seek unanimous consent to conclude.

Kidney Foundation Fund-raising Campaign
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Whitford. The Member for Yellowknife South is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Whitford.

Kidney Foundation Fund-raising Campaign
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, colleagues, Mr. Speaker. So, Mr. Speaker, I want to encourage everyone to make a real effort to support the Kidney Foundation. Canvassers will be going door to door during the month of March, especially from March 1st to March 15th. I know northerners will be as generous as they usually are. Let us help support those who need our help to help others. Thank you.

---Applause

Kidney Foundation Fund-raising Campaign
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. Ms. Mike.

Parks Canada Cutbacks
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker. We are all hearing about centralization as a result of the federal budget and the cost-saving measures being instituted across the country. Programs are being moved from regional centres to Ottawa and community programs are being moved to regional centres. I have also heard that Parks Canada will be pulling staff and resources out of its Nunavut district office in Iqaluit and moving them to Yellowknife. If this happens, the result will be substantial; a potential loss to Nunavut of employment, benefits, housing dollars and, most importantly, control and influence in the decisions that directly affects parks management in Nunavut.

My concern in the wake of the frenzied slashing of the budget, the Liberal government may have lost sight of their promise to consider first, the impact on people and related social costs of cutbacks and job losses.

Due to limited employment opportunities here in the north, it is even more important that federal government actions be consistent with their intentions to reduce the deficit in a manner that is compatible with putting Canadians back to work.

I would like to strongly encourage the Premier and the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism to continue in their efforts to obtain the relevant details and rationale for this move from the federal government. The people of Nunavut must be assured that every option was considered and that the residents who are directly affected by this reorganization are treated fairly.

I sincerely hope the federal government has fully considered the impact this move will have on the people of the Baffin region where a large part of the local economies are supported by visitors to our national parks and tourism. Qujannamiik.

---Applause

Parks Canada Cutbacks
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Pudlat.

Training For Northerners
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) I rise today to speak about employment. As we are all aware, we are having more and more difficulty receiving more money from Ottawa for various programs and government operations.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that there have been a lot of comments made here during this session at the Legislative Assembly. Mr. Speaker, I will use myself as an example; even though I don't speak English at all, I have been able to operate heavy equipment for many years. Mr. Speaker, right now, there are so many more requirements that have been placed upon people, in terms of education, certification, et cetera. Even though many of us have never received any formal education or training programs, we were able to operate various mechanical equipment.

Mr. Speaker, we are becoming very concerned as there are more government cutbacks. There are people who are already residents in the NWT; I think that if we are going to increase employment for these people, they have to receive training. Then there will be more local people taking on jobs that open up in the communities. I think that we should be pursuing this with more vigour in the future, so that our young people and our local residents are receiving the training and are being given the first priority to be hired when jobs open up in their communities and in the north. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Training For Northerners
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 402

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Pudlat. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Lewis.

Assistance For Kidney Patients
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is not Friday, but my colleague from Yellowknife South has reminded us all that the Kidney Foundation begins its drive today. I would like to recall for Members that probably the most famous person in the Northwest Territories with kidney problems was a man called Albert Johnson, who lead the RCMP on a merry chase in the 1930s. In the fall of 1931, Mr. Speaker, he went into the store in Fort McPherson and purchased himself a whole case of Dodd's kidney pills; a total of 550 kidney pills. I have often thought, when I read about this man, that although you had kidney problems, with the right kind of help you can do superhuman things. In fact, he proved himself to be a person who had tremendous physical resilience despite the fact that he had this impairment, this difficulty. I often thought that if he had not had that problem, they would probably still be looking

for him because it did slow him down a little bit. I just added this little bit of northern trivia, Mr. Speaker, to just remind us that there is a fund that is established to help people with kidney problems and it is possible to lead a good life with assistance. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Assistance For Kidney Patients
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 403

An Hon. Member

Hear, hear,

---Applause