This is page numbers 885 - 912 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. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Samuel Gargan, Hon. Stephen Kakfwi, 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

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ningark. Good morning, Members. It is my understanding that the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories is prepared to give assent to bills. Mr. Clerk, would you ascertain if Her Honour, the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, is prepared to enter the Chamber to assent to bills?

Assent To Bill 18

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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Commissioner Maksagak

As Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, it gives me pleasure to assent to the following bill: Bill 18, Northwest Territories Energy Corporation Limited Loan Guarantee Act. Thank you.

---Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I've taken an interest in medication, health, economics and, of course, accountability. Today, however, my statement is about health, Mr. Speaker.

This is a letter from the University of Toronto addressed to me from Tom Rohan, professor in the Department of Preventative Medicine.

"Every year thousands of Canadians develop diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The conditions appear to be related to the way in which people live, our eating and drinking habits and exercise patterns. Therefore, it is thought that by modifying our diet and lifestyle, it might be possible both to prevent some of these diseases and to allow us to live more of our lives in good health.

"Researchers at several Canadian universities, Alberta, BC, Toronto and Western, presently carry out jointly one of the largest studies to date to investigate the effects of eating patterns and other lifestyle factors on future health. The study, called the Canadian study of diet and lifestyle on health, has been coordinated by the Department of Preventative Medicine at the University of Toronto. In order to carry out the study, we must recruit approximately 100,000 adults from across Canada. Our purpose in writing to you now is to see if you would be willing to be a participant."

Being a good democrat and believing in participating in the life of this country, then, of course, I need to get some advice from Members. This is the crucial paragraph, Mr. Speaker.

"To participate, all that you need to do is complete the two questionnaires, one dietary and one lifestyle, which accompany this letter and to place a few strands of your hair (including the roots) in the small envelope marked "hair" and some cuttings from each of your toenails in the small envelope marked "toenails." Then, seal the questionnaires and the small envelopes in the large addressed envelope and mail them back to us. Postage has been prepaid.

"It is estimated that it will take you one hour to complete the questionnaires. Please be assured that the information you provide will be treated completely confidentially."

I have about 12 seconds, Mr. Speaker. I need unanimous consent to complete this statement because I need some advice.

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, there has been a tremendous amount of concern expressed over the last three years, especially over the last three months, about who owns the patent for recreating each individual that we are through DNA. So, my dilemma is this: being a good democrat and wanting to participate in a health survey, I would, in fact, be giving to somebody who I don't know, my genetic make-up so that some time in the future, I could be recreated...

---Laughter

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Some Hon. Members

Oh no!

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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An Hon. Member

One is enough.

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

So I have a dilemma because I really believe in health and I think the Canadian health establishment is incredibly good. We have some of the best medical research going on in this country, in the world, Mr. Speaker. But, as an individual, I worry about the ownership of my genetic make-up. I wonder whether I should send this to somebody, giving somebody else, voluntarily through this letter, this information, clippings from every one of my toenails. And by the way, I do

have some. My nails are kind of gone, but my toenails are still intact. My hair is receding and I can't afford to give up very much of it.

So, I would like to ask for some advice over the next day or two about whether, in fact, I should be a good democrat and participate to help advance science in this country, or whether I should be cautious and not give up the means by which I could be recreated some time in the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Laughter

---Applause

Canadian Study Of Diet And Lifestyle On Health
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Passing Of Abigail The Pig
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

I have to make one, Mr. Speaker, because it's Friday and especially now that you're in the chair. Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak about a death in my constituency and a setback for agriculture and farming in Baffin Island. Mr. Speaker, Abigail of the Arctic, Bill Mackenzie's pig, not to be confused with other swine...

---Laughter

...died this past week. I wasn't referring to any honourable Member, Mr. Speaker.

---Laughter

I have spoken before in this Chamber about Abigail, much beloved by the children of Iqaluit and Apex, nurtured and cared for for seven and a half years by Bill Mackenzie, Esq., the lord of Apex Hill.

---Laughter

She was a Hampshire pig, 700 pounds at her prime, given to Bill by his friend and neighbour, Marcel Mahe, as a 21-pound piglet as a surprise birthday present. Bill tells me that he knows it was utterly foolish for him to have kept the pig and cared for Abigail over the years because it cost him a fortune. In fact, friends of Bill, notably Mr. Bryan Pearson, tell me that the cost of food, hay and labour for caring for Abigail of the Arctic over the years has been calculated at $240,000. Just recently, in fact, Bill arranged to ship in tons of fish scrap from the Pangnirtung fish plant for Abigail.

I know that, for Bill, looking after Abigail was a labour of love and he took good care of her. Many Inuit children would otherwise have never been able to see a live pig. Mr. Speaker, Bill was always terribly offended whenever anyone suggested that Abigail should become bacon or pork and I've been asked by several honourable Members who were providing condolences to me about Abigail's death whether Abigail had been eaten this week. I told my honourable friends that if they knew Bill Mackenzie, they would know that even asking that question is an insult to Bill and his beloved pet pig.

So, in the Scottish tradition, she was cremated last week on the slopes of Apex Hill in a spectacular funeral pyre with the aid of more than a few sealift pallets and some stove oil and the remains were buried in a simple Presbyterian ceremony.

Bill tells me that to live almost eight years is notable for a pig, especially a pig in the Arctic. In fact, he noted that most pigs don't usually get the opportunity to live past their first year. Abigail's passing was noted by Peter Gzowski on Morningside yesterday by millions of listeners.

I would like to inform Members that there are still animals at the Mackenzie country estate: 50 pigeons; Billy Boy and Ma'Mselle, two goats; and many dogs. Bill Mackenzie continues to be a much-loved and respected resident of Apex Hill. His friends say that Bill was a little more subdued than usual this week but Bill tells me he will carry on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Passing Of Abigail The Pig
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Ballantyne.

Environmental Assessment Review Panel
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Michael Ballantyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I want to talk about the EARP. As you know, it is in the process now of hearings on the BHP project. Members may recall that the panel was born in some controversy, there were a lot of delays. Finally, after much soul-searching, the federal Minister appointed four people. The four people, as Members know, are Letha McLaughlin, Walter Kupsch, Jessie Sloan and Cindy Gilday.

I remember after the announcements were made public, I got a lot of criticism from a lot of people about most of the members on that board. I heard major criticism from environmentalists about some people on the board, I heard major criticism from the Chamber of Commerce members and the mining industry about other people on the board. I made a speech to a fairly large crowd at the Chamber of Commerce a couple of months ago, and what I said there is something I think is necessary to repeat again.

At the end of the day, the board has been chosen. The people on the board all have extremely good credentials and there is a fair philosophical balance on the board. I'm proud of the fact that in my constituency live two members of that board, both Cindy Gilday and Jessie Sloan are from Yellowknife North and I want to publicly give a vote of confidence to both of them. They are both well-qualified, well-experienced people. The way the make-up of the board ended up was with three women of the four members on the board. That is major step forward for the Northwest Territories, to have a majority of women on a very, very important board.

Each member of that board should be judged on their own qualifications, on their own experience. At the end of the day, we are going to judge them on the product that they deliver. From everything I have heard, the hearings are proceeding very well. There seems to be goodwill among the members. I have every confidence that each member will be objective, will bring their experience to bear. My major message here today, the same message I gave to the Chamber of Commerce, is we have a good board, they are doing well, let them do their job.