This is page numbers 431 - 457 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 area.

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. Richard Nerysoo, Hon. Kelvin Ng, Mr. Ningark, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 431

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ng. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Ms. Cournoyea.

Minister's Statement 28-12(7): Ministers Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 431

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Don Morin will be absent from the House today to travel to Edmonton to attend to matters relating to the conflict of interest inquiry. The Honourable John Todd will be absent from the House today to meet with the chief executive officer of the Northern Stores in Rankin Inlet. Mr. Todd will also be absent from the House Monday, March 6th and Tuesday, March 7th to attend a prospectors' and developers' conference in Toronto.

Mr. Speaker, I will also be absent from the House Monday, March 6th and Tuesday, March 7th to attend the prospectors and developers' conference in Toronto and on Thursday, March 9th to attend the Pauktuutit annual general meeting in Inuvik. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 28-12(7): Ministers Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 431

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Lewis.

Achievements Of Ronnie Hauck
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 431

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I walked to work this morning with a young man who I have known since he was 15 years old. He is now 32 and his name is Ronnie Hauck. He's a person with very special abilities and special challenges. A few years ago, the Abe Miller Centre assisted him in setting up a courier service out of the centre. About a year ago, I asked Mr. Todd to assist in helping Ronnie to set himself up as an independent courier service. He learned quite a bit about Ronnie and he was very impressed with his achievements.

I'm happy to say that on April 1st of this year, Ronnie will achieve the independence he's been trying to achieve since he was a teenager. In many ways, Ronnie's success is an example of what we would like to achieve with our entire economy. We are a very small population and we shouldn't depend only on mega projects to be our major economic saviour. In the long run, Mr. Speaker, it will be the hundreds of small businesses that will sustain us because they, themselves, will be sustainable.

This seems like a small issue, Mr. Speaker, but if we are successful in many small projects, the economic impact could be very significant. I would like to make this statement today in the absence of Mr. Todd because I would like to thank him for his attention and assistance in this matter, but do not want to see him blush.

---Laughter

So, perhaps this can be passed on to him. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Speaker's Ruling

Achievements Of Ronnie Hauck
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 431

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. I would like to provide my ruling on the point of order raised by Mr. Lewis on March 2nd which is contained on page 988 of unedited Hansard. The point of order raised by the honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Lewis, was in regard to comments made by the Member for Thebacha, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, surrounding the use of unparliamentary language by Mr. Lewis.

The point of order raised by Mr. Lewis was that Mrs. Marie-Jewell, in her comments as contained on page 987 indicated, and I quote: "Mr. Speaker, I did not appreciate those comments then and I still don't appreciate them. In fact, those comments are unparliamentary." In her comments earlier, Mrs. Marie-Jewell quoted from remarks that Mr. Lewis had made during his Member's statement given on February 20th, which is contained on pages 433 and 434 of unedited Hansard. The Member for Thebacha also added her own interpretation of Mr. Lewis' comments, and I quote again from page 987 of unedited Hansard: "He even said that the people of Yellowknife feel that Members who support the idea of a spring election are guilty of sleazy tactics."

In reviewing the comments made by Mr. Lewis in his Member's statement surrounding the use of the word "sleazy," I think it is important to actually read the whole statement to understand the context in which the word "sleazy" was used. I would like to quote what was said by Mr. Lewis, contained on page 434 of unedited Hansard, and I quote: "Any move to have a spring election very soon would be seen as opportunism and an attempt by MLAs to catch the opposition with their pants down and would be seen by many of the people of Yellowknife as completely sleazy tactics."

I have considered the matter. The use of a word or words that are intended to convey a direct imputation on another Member or on the House, itself, is of course out of order and unparliamentary. In considering the matter, the chair considered the words of the Member that lead up to the use of the word that appeared to offend Mrs. Marie-Jewell. I find that in this situation the Member for Yellowknife Centre did not make a direct imputation with the use of the word "sleazy," therefore, Mr. Lewis does have a point of order. Mrs. Marie-Jewell.

Achievements Of Ronnie Hauck
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jeannie Marie-Jewell Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, I, too, reviewed Hansard last evening and recognize that Mr. Lewis did not refer "sleazy" toward us as Members. Therefore, I would like to withdraw the quote with regard to these particular words as being unparliamentary. Thank you.

---Applause

Achievements Of Ronnie Hauck
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Point of privilege, Mrs. Marie-Jewell.

Point Of Privilege

Achievements Of Ronnie Hauck
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 432

Jeannie Marie-Jewell Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, I rise under rule 20 concerning a report that was on CBC radio this morning.

Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, I did file the required statement with you that was on the news report and I would like to quote it. The particular area that I would like to quote is Giles Penney's report, "...it was an unpleasant struggle with frequent pleas to the Speaker." And particularly to the reference where he stated, "Thebacha MLA, Jeannie Marie-Jewell, started out saying she wanted to have an election in June. But, before she finished talking, she was asking the Speaker to rule on MLA Brian Lewis's comments from February 20th when the Yellowknife Member used the word "sleazy"."

Mr. Speaker, I feel that CBC, once again, are reporting incorrectly. It was in fact Mr. Lewis who raised the point of order as we have just discussed this issue. Once again, we find that CBC is reporting incorrectly and not focusing on the issue that was under debate and more on sensationalism. The CBC does no favours to the residents of the Northwest Territories in not reporting accurately the events of this Assembly. They are not giving them information that they want to be informed about.

I know, Mr. Speaker, that we can't do much about this, but I want to correct CBC for the record. Thank you.

Achievements Of Ronnie Hauck
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 432

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mrs. Marie-Jewell. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Whitford.

Survey Of Tourists Visiting Yellowknife
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 432

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good morning. Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism for conducting a recent survey of Japanese tourists here in Yellowknife. A survey of this nature will help Yellowknife and other regions to improve our northern tourism industry. Part of the story that came out says, "the untouristy city and warm and friendly people of Yellowknife drew praise from Japanese visitors in a survey." In fact, 71 per cent of the respondents said that they would recommend to their families or friends a visit to this city, and only three per cent said they would not recommend a trip here. I think if you look around at any time during the wintertime, you will see an awful lot of people from the Pacific Rim visiting our city. They're here to view the northern lights. One of the biggest attractions, Mr. Speaker, and I wish we could export some of it, is the cold. Forty below weather is also an item that tourists from the Pacific Rim areas like to experience for a short time, knowing they can come here and then they can go back where it's warm. But if we could only figure a way of exporting some of this cold weather, we would make a fortune. But they like it.

Also, Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with some of those surveyed who stated that some of the souvenir items are often too large and too expensive to purchase by the average tourist. It says that the price and size of the souvenir, gifts and arts and crafts are an area that the Japanese would like to see changed and improved. According to the survey, a number of the residents stated that these items were often too expensive or too large to purchase. I made those comments to Economic Development the other day during committee of the whole when we were discussing their budget.

Mr. Speaker, having been a tourist myself, I know very well that the size and the weight of items can often determine whether or not they are practical for me to buy and to carry home. An item may be beautiful, but if it is too big and too expensive to put in luggage, and weighs more than the tourist does and it costs much more than they can afford, tourists will probably end up leaving it on the shelves. They were interested in much smaller items.

Mr. Speaker, my time has run out. I seek unanimous consent to continue.

Survey Of Tourists Visiting Yellowknife
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Yellowknife Frame Lake is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Conclude your statement, Mr. Whitford.

Survey Of Tourists Visiting Yellowknife
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 432

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. Items of a smaller nature are probably much more attractive. That way people can take home a number of items for a number of family members on an equal basis. They like to have something for everybody, and we mustn't forget that they come from far away and it's often quite expensive to carry stuff like that home, especially if it's only part of a tour that they're doing here.

Mr. Speaker, I was really pleased to note that the friendly residents of Yellowknife scored so high with our Japanese visitors. Their friendly attitude is not something that any government department can create by legislation or even by increased funding. A city or town either has to be friendly and helpful to visitors or it will not succeed. They either have it or they don't have it, I guess is what I'm trying to say. It's a very important item for tourists.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the huge part that our residents have in making Yellowknife a tourist spot that so many of our offshore visitors come here to see. They're to be commended and so is Economic Development and Tourism for getting this kind of information to the public. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Survey Of Tourists Visiting Yellowknife
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 433

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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