This is page numbers 977 - 1013 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 chairman.

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 977

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mahsi, Mr. Whitford. Good afternoon. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Todd.

Minister's Statement 66-12(7): Northern Accord
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 977

John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, Members will be aware that for the past several months this government has been in discussions with all aboriginal groups in the Northwest Territories, in an attempt to reach a common position on the devolution of the legislative authority for oil, gas and minerals from the federal government to the GNWT.

I must inform Members that yesterday these discussions reached a serious impasse, regarding the definition of aboriginal rights and self-government within the northern accord document, that threatens this process.

Mr. Speaker, the aboriginal groups have put forward a position that attempts to define self-government within the northern accord document.

Throughout these discussions, it has been our view that while we recognize the linkages between constitutional development, including the northern accord, and self-government, they remain two separate and distinct processes.

The northern accord is, primarily, an economic agreement that will allow the Government of the Northwest Territories and, pending agreements between aboriginal groups and Canada, aboriginal claimant groups, and future aboriginal governments the ability to raise revenues from mineral development.

At the same time, we have recognized the importance of current and future self-government negotiations in this process. We have been committed to proceeding with the northern accord discussions in a manner that does not, in any way, abrogate, derogate or prejudice any aboriginal and treaty rights, including any future agreements reached between aboriginal groups and Canada. We have proposed to include wording within the northern accord that not only protects, but promotes the opportunity to negotiate agreements with the federal government on matters covered by the northern accord.

We believe this position is fair and, in fact, enhances the ability of aboriginal claimant groups and First Nations to begin

negotiations with the federal government on the self-government issues.

The Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs is prepared to meet with all of these groups to discuss in more detail this government's position on aboriginal self-government.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. This government is being faced with fiscal restrictions and federal cuts that will significantly erode our financial base and fundamentally affect our ability to deliver essential services to people in all regions of the Northwest Territories. At the same time, the options available to raise revenues to offset these cuts are limited.

Northerners cannot afford significant increases in taxation or service charges. Revenue generation from resource development is our best opportunity to raise revenues and retain a financial base that will allow us to meet the increasing demands for services in all of our communities.

I note that the protection of our fiscal base is of fundamental importance as it will be from this fiscal base that the resources to finance all future government that may eventually be formed from the existing Northwest Territories will have to come from.

Mr. Speaker, I remain committed to continuing these discussions in an earnest and genuine attempt to find a solution to this impasse. Although we have reached this impasse, I am still prepared to work towards the May 31st deadline that was set by all parties in the process. I hope during that time we can develop a common northern position that we can bring forward to the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, if there is no resolution to these discussions at that time, I will have to go forward to Cabinet with the options available to determine a course of action. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 66-12(7): Northern Accord
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 977

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Arngna'naaq.

Minister's Statement 67-12(7): Snow Machine Trip To Coppermine And Return
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 977

Silas Arngna'naaq Kivallivik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Department of Renewable Resources' mandate involves working closely with those pursuing traditional aboriginal lifestyles. Our field officers in smaller communities

work with local harvesters to responsibly manage our resources.

I would like to inform the Members of an innovative approach recently undertaken by Renewable Resources to facilitate contact between community harvesters and senior management staff. A snow machine trip from Yellowknife to Coppermine and return was undertaken during the sessional break. On March 15th, the deputy minister of Renewable Resources, Mr. Joe Handley, and four others left Yellowknife by snow machine and travelled to Deline, then across Great Bear Lake to Hornby Bay and to Coppermine.

They then travelled back to Yellowknife via Contwoyto Lake through Lac de Gras area, reaching Yellowknife on March 27th. They were accompanied and guided along the way by many people from the various communities to which they travelled.

This trip proved an excellent way to meet people who live in smaller communities, and especially those who depend on the land for their livelihood. These people now know our senior departmental staff understand at least a small amount about what it's like to be out on the land.

Grand Chief Joe Rabesca and the other Dogrib chiefs met with the group in Rae Lakes, checked their equipment and clothing, went over the travel plans and arranged a guide for them to Deline. Moise Rabesca provided accommodation for a night at his outfitting camp headquarters at Rae and loaned some equipment he felt they should have. Walter Bahya and his family travelled from Deline to Hornby Bay, guiding the group across that huge lake and over dangerous pressure ridges. Walter is quite proud that his wife is the first Dene woman to have travelled to the Hornby Bay area, probably since the turn of the century, at least. Colin Adjun, Stanley Klengenberg and Josh Hunter guided the group from Hornby Bay to Coppermine. Bobby Algona, a Coppermine hunter and trapper born and raised in the Contwoyto Lake area ensured the group was able to make the trip from Coppermine to Contwoyto Lake.

Mr. Speaker, this trip provided an opportunity to meet with outfitters like Moise Rabesca and Gary Jaeb, with the Dogrib chiefs, with HTA members and generally with people from the communities. The meetings were informal and relaxed, which is the way we do much of our business in smaller communities.

It was unfortunate that my schedule prevented me from participating in this trip. I know the people in the communities were pleasantly surprised to see a deputy minister travelling by snowmobile over such long distances. This trip allowed staff to visit remote locations; to demonstrate their understanding of travel on the land; and, was completed at less cost than if the staff had simply flown directly to Coppermine without managing to visit the camps in between.

This innovative approach to fostering better relations between the department and communities was an overall success. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 67-12(7): Snow Machine Trip To Coppermine And Return
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 978

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 2, Ministers' statements. Ms. Cournoyea.

Minister's Statement 68-12(7): Tabling Of Community Wellness Directions Document
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 978

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, today I will be tabling "Working Together For Community Wellness: A Directions Document," on behalf of the Ministers of the social envelope.

Mr. Speaker, northerners have said they need to have more control over health and social services programs. The community wellness strategy will give them more control. People in the communities know what their problems are, and they know how to solve them. Under the community wellness strategy communities will identify their own priorities and develop their own strategies for achieving wellness.

The document being tabled today is part of the ongoing work in developing a community wellness strategy. It will guide the government and the communities in their work to change the way health and social programs are planned and delivered. A completed community wellness strategy with a specific plan of action and implementation schedule will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly in the winter of 1996.

But community wellness will continue to be a government priority in 1995-96. A community action fund of over $3 million will be made available to communities and non-governmental organizations during this time. This money will help fund new and existing community wellness projects that cannot be funded through other programs.

The community action fund will be available only until the final strategy can be implemented, and will give priority to projects in:

-family violence;

-early intervention services for children and families; and,

-training for care givers.

Work on the final strategy will be ongoing in 1995-96. A working group drawn from the social envelope departments will coordinate strategy development. A community wellness steering committee of deputy ministers will oversee their work and continue monitoring other wellness issues. As well, regional community wellness conferences are planned for 1995-96. These conferences will provide further direction for the development of the strategy.

Working Together for Community Wellness:

A Directions Document provides our departments, the residents of the Northwest Territories and non-governmental organizations with a blueprint for the community wellness strategy. It is the joint effort of the departments of Education, Culture and Employment, Health and Social Services, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs, Justice, Municipal and Community Affairs, the NWT Housing Corporation, and representatives from community and cultural groups, aboriginal organizations, women's groups and non-governmental organizations across the NWT.

Hundreds of people have helped make this document possible by taking time to guide us in the right direction. Their input and collaboration made this new vision possible. Let us now continue in that direction and make that vision a reality.

Mr. Speaker, general release of the English and Inuktitut document will take place shortly. A French translation of the document is now under way. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 68-12(7): Tabling Of Community Wellness Directions Document
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 979

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Minister's Statement 69-12(7): Appearance Before The Federal Committee On Gun Control Legislation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 979

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I have an emergency statement. We have been advised late this morning that the Subcommittee of Caucus will appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on Monday, April 24th from 7:30 pm until 9:30 pm. We will share the time with the Yukon government.

As Members know, Bill C-68, on respecting firearms and other weapons, has been sent to the Parliamentary committee for hearings. Hearings have been scheduled from April 24th to May 19th, when it is expected that the committee will report to the House of Commons and the House of Commons will deal with the bill before it recesses for the summer.

Unfortunately, no other groups from the Northwest Territories have been selected to appear before the committee. We will ask the chairman of that committee to reconsider this decision. However, since we won't know immediately if other presentations will be accepted, it will be important for Members to encourage groups who have concerns regarding this bill to send us their concerns and the information immediately.

To that end, Mr. Hamilton's office, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, will once again advertise widely on how to reach the Assembly and the Members directly. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 69-12(7): Appearance Before The Federal Committee On Gun Control Legislation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 979

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Minister's Statement 70-12(7): Provincial/territorial Ministers Of Health Conference
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 979

Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the provincial/territorial Ministers of Health meeting in Vancouver.

As Members know, the health system across the country is undergoing reform and undergoing change. The recent cuts to health care funding and the impact those cuts will have on our national system of publicly-funded medicare was the main concern of Ministers attending the meeting.

Because of this, there is an urgent requirement for the federal government to work collectively with the provinces and territories to define the level of health care which will be provided to Canadians, and to establish a strong partnership designed to maintain uniformity of health services across the country.

In addition to the issue of medicare, the Ministers also signed off the master agreement on the Canadian blood supply program. This agreement completes an initiative began in 1991 and provides an administrative framework for the management of Canada's blood supply.

Mr. Speaker, a number of other significant health issues were discussed at the meeting.

These include the management of health issues in a national context, a physician resources management strategy, the national forum on health, the Krever Inquiry and the growth of private health clinics in the provinces.

There was also discussion on the need for the federal government to take action to control costs in areas such as drug pricing and the need to identify and eliminate duplication between federal, provincial and territorial programs.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories intends to play an active role in the discussion on national health issues, particularly as they relate and impact on health delivery in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 70-12(7): Provincial/territorial Ministers Of Health Conference
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 979

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Fire At Sanikiluaq Air Terminal
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 979

Kenoayoak Pudlat Baffin South

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to make an announcement to my colleagues about what happened yesterday morning in Sanikiluaq. The airport terminal at Sanikiluaq experienced a fire yesterday. According to what I have heard, no one was hurt in the fire and also, Mr. Speaker, I've been told that this was an accidental fire. But, Mr. Speaker, the airport terminal in Sanikiluaq cannot be used until they get a new one. I heard that the Department of Transportation and DPW are currently working to determine what needs to be done with the building. I'm happy to announce, Mr. Speaker, that no one was hurt in the fire but I wanted Members to know that the airport terminal in Sanikiluaq burned down yesterday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Fire At Sanikiluaq Air Terminal
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 979

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Ballantyne.