This is page numbers 1341 - 1373 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

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

That is correct. You are correct. He had 55 seconds left in his time slot. Mr. Koe, general comments.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Fred Koe Inuvik

I just want to make some general comments on the act. On pages 1 and 2 -- I think it's referred to as the preamble

-- I would like to make some comments before we get into more detail on the clauses.

There is a section in the preamble that refers to the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the lives of students. These are key words used to impact the life of a student, but I do not believe the act itself can set the rules in respect of these issues.

Paragraph three goes on to say that education is a partnership between parents, students, educators and government; but in the act, the act tends to set a lot of limitations and restrictions on the development of these aspects for a student. So I just wanted to say that all the partners in education must focus on the development of the student with as much leeway and as much freedom as possible. We can't continue to restrict them and set restrictions and limitations on the system.

The whole area of rights and freedoms of aboriginal people is another area that I'd like to mention. My colleague, Mr. Antoine, mentioned the various clauses that relate to rights, freedoms and languages as set out in the Constitution Act, 1982.

I would like to ask a question and get clarification for the record. Does section 35 of the Constitution Act include all the land claim agreements that have been settled to date?

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Koe. Ms. MacPherson.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Law Clerk Ms. Macpherson

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, it does. Section 35.(3) of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides that treaty rights includes rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may be so acquired. That would include rights, as they existed in 1982, and those that may be acquired as negotiations commence.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Ms. MacPherson. Mr. Koe.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Fred Koe Inuvik

The other area is that there are a lot of negotiations going on now, so where would any future agreements come into play? Does section 35 cover future agreements, say the Dogrib or Treaty 8 entitlements? Are they covered under section 35?

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Koe. I believe Ms. MacPherson did answer that but, just to clarify, we'll refer back to Ms. MacPherson.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Law Clerk Ms. Macpherson

Yes, Mr. Chairman, for the record they would include future land claim agreements.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Ms. MacPherson. Mr. Koe.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Fred Koe Inuvik

Mr. Antoine raised a question that the only place that we refer to section 15, the equality issue; sections 23 and 25 dealing with language; and, section 35, is in the preamble. Would it be feasible to have a similar clause referring to these sections, or at least section 35, included somewhere in the act itself? Why isn't that specific clause included in the act itself?

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Koe. Mr. Minister.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Mr. Chairman, the preamble is part of the act. It clarifies the basis on which we will interpret the application of the act and, as such, section 15 and 23 that the honourable Member is referring to has to form the basis of the application of the administration of education.

We're not in the business of defining what those rights are; we're making certain that we apply them accordingly. The problem is that there are a number of things that have to be done yet to continue to define those rights: whether or not they are court cases, negotiations, redefinition of treaties, or other arrangements, like new policy changes that take place. All of these will have a bearing on the applications that are in the preamble.

We can not change the definition of section 35, 25, 15, or 23 because we don't have the authority to amend the Constitution of Canada. Those arrangements are reached between the parties and are defined accordingly in court proceedings. Every change that occurs is applicable under our legislation because we are the administrators. However, the trustees still remain the federal government and they have the final obligation to ensure that we have an ability to live up to the agreements that are reached between the parties, whether they are aboriginal people or the Francophone-speaking community in the Northwest Territories. Or if individual rights expand, then we have to consider that in the administration of education programs and services in the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Koe.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1366

Fred Koe Inuvik

Mahsi, Mr. Chairman. The other issue that was raised earlier by my colleague from Yellowknife dealt with the language issue, specifically French, and Mr. Antoine raised the issue of aboriginal languages. Some of the documents leading up to this new act state that we're trying to make the act fit in line with the Canadian Charter and also with the new Northwest Territories Officials Languages Act. We say in the preamble that students may receive their education in one of the official languages of the Northwest Territories Act. I believe we're trying to recognize language rights for aboriginal languages

that would be similar to those provided for French and for English minorities.

There's some concern that maybe in the act that may not be fully achieved. When we get to the specific clauses, especially dealing with aboriginal languages, there seem to be restrictions on what can happen when we deal with aboriginal languages. I would like some comment from the Minister on this aspect of aboriginal languages.

Committee Motion 69-12(7): To Amend Clause 1 Of Bill 25, Carried
Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1367

The Chair Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Koe. Mr. Minister.