This is page numbers 1311 - 1340 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 education.

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, Hon. Don Morin, Hon. Richard Nerysoo, Hon. Kelvin Ng, Mr. Ningark, Mr. Patterson, Hon. John Pollard, Mr. Pudlat, Mr. Pudluk, Mrs. Thompson, Hon. John Todd, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Zoe

--- Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Minister's Statement 91-12(7): Norman Wells Fire
Members Present

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is with a great deal of pleasure and relief that I am able to report to you today that the Norman Wells fire is controlled on the front toward the community of Norman Wells. The fire centre will be recommending to the emergency measures organization that they can begin plans to return people back to their homes.

Six crews with support from three helicopters, three caterpillars and various other equipment are in the process of completing what they refer to as a "cat line" which is built along the edge of the fire to ensure the fire will not cross into unburned forest if it flares up again. Because of the dry conditions and the low water table, it is likely the fire will continue to smoulder for a long time. My staff will continue to monitor the fire area for the rest of the summer, but after the edges are fully secured there will be no further action on the fire.

Again, I want to express my appreciation to all of the people involved in various ways in responding to the fire situation including community leaders, residents who were evacuated, fire crews, managers and supervisors, and all the people who stayed behind in the community to carry out essential services. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--- Applause

Minister's Statement 91-12(7): Norman Wells Fire
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mrs. Thompson.

Item 3: Members' StatementsRequirement In Repulse Bay For Vehicle To Transport Patients
Members Present

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Manitok Thompson Aivilik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The health centre in Repulse Bay is in need of a vehicle to transport patients. Currently, residents of the community have to rely on the hamlet community service trucks to transport them when they are seriously ill. Often, people are reluctant to call the service men in the middle of the night knowing that they have to work in the morning. A lot of times, seriously ill people are forced to travel by skidoo or four-wheeler and, in some cases, even by sled.

I am told that in the wintertime, patients who cannot walk to the health centre or airport are wrapped in sleeping bags and transported on stretchers in the back of pick-up trucks or on komatiks, with IVs attached to them. This is obviously not a safe way to move sick or injured individuals.

Mr. Speaker, the health centre was built with an attached garage so there is already a facility in place to house a vehicle. The local nurse would be responsible for the automobile to ensure that it is only used for medical purposes. I would urge the Department of Health and Social Services to act quickly so that the health and well-being of the residents of Repulse Bay is no longer placed at risk. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Item 3: Members' StatementsRequirement In Repulse Bay For Vehicle To Transport Patients
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mrs. Thompson. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Kakfwi.

Appreciation For Assistance In Fighting Sahtu Forest Fires
Members Present

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I wish to put on record my appreciation to the people of Yellowknife for the way in which they, on such short notice, took action to receive and make as comfortable as possible the people who were evacuated from Norman Wells last week, and the tremendous support that has come forward from the Mayor Dave Lovell and his counsellors. The way in which the entire operation was carried out is something to be very proud of. On behalf of the people of Norman Wells, I want to thank, again, the people of Yellowknife, the mayor and his council.

The people of Fort Norman have also expressed over and over again, their deep appreciation and gratefulness that they feel towards the people of Norman Wells for the support and the way in which they were also received by that community once the community of Fort Norman was evacuated. The community of Norman Wells; I want to put on the record, the impression that I had in spending three days with them last week, how well organized they were, how committed they were to the work they were doing, and my own observations were that although people were put under such pressure and stress for such a long period of time, they carried out their work so well, in spite of the difficulties that they encountered.

Max MeInyk, the mayor of Norman Wells, the council and the emergency measures organization there took care of Fort Norman and then themselves, in turn. I should also mention.

the chief of Deline, John Tetso, who was called literally on one-hour notice to receive over 370 people from Fort Norman. And who, in six hours, was able to receive that many people and house them.

Mr. Speaker, I request consent to complete my statement.

Appreciation For Assistance In Fighting Sahtu Forest Fires
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Sahtu is requesting consent to conclude his statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Conclude your statement, Mr. Kakfwi.

Appreciation For Assistance In Fighting Sahtu Forest Fires
Members Present

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and honourable Members. The people of Deline have also opened up their homes in their community to receive their friends and relatives. There have been literally no complaints or concerns that have come out of that community since they arrived in Deline, and it's all to the credit of the chief and council of Deline and the residents of that community.

I think something has to be said about the cooperation, effort and extra work put in by the RCMP in the Sahtu communities, and the excellent working relationship they had with each of the communities that I have mentioned: the nurses, the social workers, the extra people who were brought in by Health and Social Services. All have provided a great deal of support and help to those communities. They pitched in and did more than their share of work in Norman Wells, in Deline and Fort Norman, and, of course, here in Yellowknife.

It is not exactly over, but I have counselled all the people I've talked with that, surely as in any operation, there were a few hiccoughs. The emergency measures operations in Norman Wells, Fort Norman and here in Yellowknife may have suffered a few mishaps. Now is not the time to air those. There will bea full accounting, I am sure, of the operations that were carried out, and people will have ample opportunity to question the manner in which these operations were carried out. At this time, we must continue to support those people who were put in charge of these operations: Renewable Resources, throughout this operation; for myself, keeping in close touch with the operators and the superintendent in Norman Wells; the deputy minister of Renewable Resources; the Honourable Don Morin, who has provided excellent information and support has been a great comfort to myself; and, to many of the people who have asked for information. I'm sure we've assured the people in the Sahtu that the many questions they have about the conduct of the department, the policies that this government follows in firefighting, that there will be a day and a time to explain and to have questions aired in a proper manner. For that, there is confidence that people will see that things were done in the best interests of the people. Thank you, very much.

--- Applause

Appreciation For Assistance In Fighting Sahtu Forest Fires
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Deh Cho Women's First Nations Gathering
Members Present

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker, Members of this House. On Friday, June 9th, I was honoured to have been invited to address the Deh Cho women's First Nations gathering in Fort

Simpson which was held from June 9th to June 11th. The Deh Cho women addressed the serious undermining of the aboriginal people today with their eyes open and a determination to deal with our needs, having particular emphasis on youth and elders. Many symptoms were identified and addressed.

Certainly, these have been pointed out here, as in other forums. However, the Deh Cho women's First Nations gathering addressed many solutions within the power of the aboriginal community today. Much of the power to regain pride, to reinvigorate our elders and to calm our children comes from within ourselves and a reinstatement of our own beliefs in our culture and teachings. Men and women play an equal role in these issues, not to compete with each other, but to complement our collective strength and shore up one another's weaknesses. The members of the aboriginal community are the only ones who can participate in redefining itself. The role of government is to support this process, by helping communities incorporate their needs into viable planning and ensuring the protection of aboriginal rights in the future.

I would like to congratulate the efforts of the Deh Cho women's First Nations gathering and hereby will be tabling the resolutions passed during their deliberations at the appropriate time. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

--- Applause

Deh Cho Women's First Nations Gathering
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Water Safety
Members Present

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Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, I, too would like to add my support to what Mr. Allooloo had to say yesterday about water safety. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Department of Transportation and the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs for their upcoming public service announcement campaign on water safety.

I had the opportunity to participate in that in a small way, by reading a few lines that say: "Everybody enjoys the lakes and rivers in the north. Some people fish, others swim and many travel the waters by boat and by canoe. Lots of people don't wear their lifejackets and they risk their lives every day they go out on the water. Your family needs you, we need you, so please, make sure you always wear your life jacket." Now, that's the message that a number of us and, certainly, the departments are trying to get out. However, each year we still lose two or three people to water accidents, not to mention those who manage to escape by sheer luck. These need not happen, Mr. Speaker, if we observe a few simple rules:

1) Make sure you're familiar with water safety procedure;

2) Water and alcohol don't mix; and,

3) You always wear your lifeiacket and insist that all of your family and guests on your boat wear lifejackets.

A message that some of my colleagues in a different profession said I should mention is that you may look very macho to your friends and family but, to the RCMP and the coroners who are recovering you, you all look the same: you look dead. If you don't want that to happen, wear your lifejacket.

--- Applause

Water Safety
Members Present

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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