This is page numbers 1041 - 1073 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 violence.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Antoine, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Samuel Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Koe, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, Ms. Mike, 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

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Pudlat. Mr. Kakfwi.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I wish to raise a point of privilege.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Go ahead, Mr. Kakfwi.

Point Of Privilege

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege regarding comments made in the Hay River Hub column "On the Ledge" by Ms. Devine on April 25, 1995. Ms. Devine says the following, and I quote: "According to CBC, Kakfwi said he simply won't enforce the new law if it goes through, as is."

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Devine is mischievous and wrong. I did not say I would not enforce the new law. Ms. Devine has not spoken to me and is using a CBC reporter's comments and attributing them to me. I believe this is a lazy, irresponsible, lumpy, deadline-form of scribbling for journalism and she did not check her facts. In fact, it is not up to this government or myself, as a Minister, to enforce Bill C-68, should it pass. The federal Minister of Justice is also the Attorney General for the Northwest Territories. He has the responsibility for prosecutions in the Northwest Territories, he will have to enforce this law should it come into force.

Should we assume responsibility for prosecutions, the Minister of Justice, whoever it is, would have no choice but to enforce the law. This is, in part, why we're working so hard to seek amendments to this legislation before it is passed by Parliament. Thank you.

---Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Kakfwi. Good afternoon. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Kakfwi.

Minister's Statement 73-12(7): Firearms Legislation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, on February 27th of this year, this Legislative Assembly expressed concern about the negative impact on northern residents of Bill C-68, An Act Respecting Firearms and Other Weapons, and unanimously supported a motion to present those concerns to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs at its hearings in Ottawa. A subcommittee on gun control was formed for this purpose, consisting of the following honourable Members: Mr. Patterson, Mr. Antoine, Mr. Ningark, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, Mr. Arngna'naaq, Mr. Koe, and myself, as chairperson.

The Members of this subcommittee met on several occasions to develop our position and to settle upon an approach that would address the interests of all northerners who would be adversely affected if Bill C-68 is brought into force without amendments. Our approach to this issue focused on the concerns of northerners, in general, and aboriginal people in particular.

Our work, which was conducted in the true spirit of consensus government, resulted in the preparation of a brief on Bill C-68, which I propose to table later this afternoon. I will also table copies of the oral presentation I made on behalf of this Legislature. Mr. Antoine prepared his own submission and he plans to table this as well. As you will see, we endeavoured to put before the standing committee all of the concerns expressed by many of our constituents, as well as a review of the legal issues.

All Members of our subcommittee spoke and the position was well-received by the standing committee. While in Ottawa, committee Members met individually with several Members of Parliament, including our northern MPs, Mr. Anawak and the Honourable Ethel Blondin-Andrew, to discuss our concerns.

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we be candid among ourselves and with our constituents. The Government of Canada and the Minister of Justice have made it quite clear that they do not want to shelve this bill or entertain amendments of any consequence. In particular, they are committed to universal firearms registration. It is not going to be easy to change their minds.

While the presentation to the standing committee went well, it is only a beginning. It is going to take a lot of work from northerners and others who want changes, before significant amendments will be made to the proposed legislation. For the moment, however, we can take some comfort that we made an impact on the Members of the standing committee, which is an essential feature of any strategy to influence meaningful amendments to Bill C-68 and to minimize the negative impact of the proposed firearms legislation. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 73-12(7): Firearms Legislation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Construction Of New Recreation Complex In Inuvik
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Fred Koe Inuvik

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform Members of the developments relating to the construction of the new recreation complex in Inuvik. The recreation complex is a project that has been in the planning stages for many, many years and in the last few years, we've been able to move forward substantially, to the point where we're now starting to put nails in wood and get a building up.

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the substantial setbacks and demoralizing outcome of the recent Arctic Winter Games bid process, the people of Inuvik have taken new heart and new energy. They're confident that this government will take appropriate corrective action to ensure an effective and equitable selection criteria and process is developed so that all communities are able to bid on an equal basis for future Arctic Winter Games.

Inuvik has demonstrated that it is a community that possesses great initiative, complemented with a capable, competent and active volunteer base. A community-wide effort is now being made to ensure that there is successful fund-raising and timely construction of a new recreation complex for Inuvik. Once again, residents from the community have pulled themselves together to act and have committed themselves to achieving success for this project.

A new, revitalized volunteer fund-raising committee has been formed to oversee and coordinate fund-raising operations for the new recreation complex. A strong, broad-based fund-raising strategy is currently being implemented. They have a target to raise $1.4 million. The other $3 million required for this $4.4 million project has been identified and funds are currently being secured.

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Construction Of New Recreation Complex In Inuvik
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Inuvik is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Koe.

Construction Of New Recreation Complex In Inuvik
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Fred Koe Inuvik

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Virtually all community organizations are involved in the process and overwhelming support has been received to date. Schools are pitching in, the aboriginal organizations are involved, volunteer and community organizations are assisting, local businesses are rallying to provide support and services in kind, and large corporations are also coming on line as partners and contributors. I would like to thank the Government of the Northwest Territories for their full support and also all the other corporate and individual sponsors who have already contributed to this project.

Phase I of the construction is now under way. Last week, five truckloads of material rolled into town and the foundation work is now beginning. Tetlit'zheh Construction from Inuvik has been retained as the project manager. The shell of the complex will be erected over the summer and interior work will continue throughout the fall. Mr. Speaker, we anticipate having a skating party next Christmas to celebrate the grand opening.

Phase II is in the planning stages and, hopefully, will be under way fairly soon. Phase II is the construction of a multi-purpose community hall which would be an addition to the recreation complex. The town of Inuvik has already committed substantial financing to this phase and is trying to pull together the additional funding resources. With the support of the Minister of MACA and this Assembly, we expect to begin construction of phase II concurrent with Phase I. It is anticipated that if this happens, it will result in substantial savings in construction costs.

The community of Inuvik supports this project and we trust that Members of this Assembly will recognize, applaud and endorse the commitment, enthusiasm, resources and energy that Inuvik is enlisting in this project. Mahsi cho.

---Applause

Construction Of New Recreation Complex In Inuvik
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Koe. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Presentation To Federal Government Re Bill C-68
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will speak in my language. Yesterday evening, we came back from our trip to Ottawa. Several Members of this government went to make a presentation to the committee working on Bill C-68. Several Members went to Ottawa and we talked to them on Monday. The Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs consists of Members of Parliament working on the gun control legislation.

We had a conference with our Member of Parliament, Ethel Blondin-Andrew. She is not sitting on the committee, but we talked with her. The committee is gathering information about the bill. Monday was the first day that they sat and the Justice Minister, Allan Rock, spoke to the participants. We also had a conference with him. I feel that our presentation was good. Our Minister of Justice, Stephen Kakfwi, made a good presentation. I also gathered information from my constituents and made a presentation. I feel that the two hours we spent talking to them were good.

I feel that the federal government doesn't always think the same way as we do and so it will be hard to change their minds. Canada is a very big country. There are people living from Nova Scotia to BC and we don't all live the same way. Also, many people live in the cities. I am running out of time, Mr. Speaker. If it is okay, I would like to finish what I'm talking about.

Presentation To Federal Government Re Bill C-68
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

(Translation) The Member for Nahendeh is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Antoine.