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.

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Return To Written Question 24-12(7): Firefighters Hired To Accompany Pilots
Item 8: Returns To Written Questions

June 15th, 1995

Page 1357

Clerk Of The House Mr. David Hamilton

Mr. Speaker, Return to Written Question 24-12(7), asked by Mrs. Marie- Jewell to the Minister responsible for forest fire management concerning firefighters hired to accompany pilots.

Two companies were contracted to provide an experienced pilot to accompany the DC-4 crews. They are: Foulger Aviation Services of British Columbia; and, Ken Harvey Associates of Alberta.

The estimated cost of each contract is $10,000. These are per diem contracts, and the final costs will depend upon the length of time the pilots are required. One of the pilots had to leave early because of illness. The remainder of the training is being carried out by the other pilot.

The decision to hire these experienced pilots was in response to concerns raised by the UNW on behalf of the air attack officers. DC-4 captains with forest fire environment experience have been deployed to the DC-4s in the role of independent observer. The pilot accompanies the crew, provides assistance and direction, as required and until such time as the GNWT and Buffalo Airways jointly acknowledge crew proficiency in a forest fire environment.

The estimated time to complete the contract was two weeks. One crew has been approved for operations as of this past weekend, and the other should be approved this week.

Return To Written Question 30-12(7): Purchase Of Services From Northern Municipal Governments
Item 8: Returns To Written Questions

Page 1357

Clerk Of The House Mr. David Hamilton

Return to Written Question 30-12(7), asked by Mr. Patterson to the Minister of Public Works and Services, concerning the purchase of services from northern municipal governments.

Northern municipalities are not businesses and therefore are not eligible for benefits of the business incentive policy. Municipalities are forms of public government and, as a result, are restricted in their activities with private business.

Most, if not all, of the equipment municipalities rent out and supplies they sell were provided directly or indirectly by GNWT funding. Municipalities should not be provided the same preference as private companies who must finance their own assets.

Return To Written Question 30-12(7): Purchase Of Services From Northern Municipal Governments
Item 8: Returns To Written Questions

Page 1357

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. We'll take a 10-minute break.

---SHORT RECESS

Return To Written Question 30-12(7): Purchase Of Services From Northern Municipal Governments
Item 8: Returns To Written Questions

Page 1357

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 9, replies to opening address. Mr. Lewis.

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

Page 1357

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Lewis's Reply

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

Page 1357

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At the Ordinary Members' Caucus meeting this morning, Mr. Ningark, my colleague, asked me if I would be replying today. I said it would depend on how I felt this afternoon. Well, I don't feel that great, Mr. Speaker, I've had several late nights this week but I'm conscious that we are running out of time and we have very important business to deal with.

So to save time, Mr. Speaker, and to be as brief as I can be, I've taken the precaution of making a few notes. The danger of that though, Mr. Speaker is, like my colleague, Mr. Patterson, I may stumble around this short speech since I have great difficulty reading my own handwriting sometimes.

---Laughter

I know some people can relate to that. However, it is a discipline. Because, if I didn't have something written down, we could be here for a long, long time and I know nobody will appreciate that.

Mr. Speaker, depending on who is speaking and making a reply to the Commissioner's address, it can be a bit like driving the Mackenzie Highway: there seems to be no end to it. I know, though, that since Mr. Todd has become the Minister of Transportation, he's doing everything he can to eliminate that perception and making it into a smooth, pleasant drive so you don't think of it as a long, tedious journey.

---Applause

I spoke to him a few minutes ago, Mr. Speaker, and I told him that I would find some way of working his name into my speech, and I've just done it.

---Laughter

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

Page 1357

John Todd Keewatin Central

Thank you.

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

Page 1357

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

In making my reply today, I will not attempt to do what I threatened nearly eight years ago, Mr. Speaker, with my effort to get into the record books for the longest reply. I've replied to every Commissioner's address since getting elected but, by now, I'm in danger of becoming repetitive. The order paper, though, Mr. Speaker, is there to be used and I've used it to express my concerns and those of my constituents because, as an ordinary Member, that is the tool we have. For those people I irritate by using the order paper, I don't offer any apologies, because that's my job.

I would like to begin with thanks to those who have helped or supported me over my two terms in this Assembly, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I would like to thank Della, my wife...

---Applause Who has been a source of considerable support. I phoned her once I decided to speak today, and asked her if she would come across. She said that she has come across for many, many years in the past for many, many things that you want support for, but this afternoon, I have a commitment. She said she can't be here, but to please go ahead without her and she would see people tonight on the Norweta.

Mr. Speaker, when I woke up one Saturday morning about eight years ago, I told my wife I was thinking of running and she was both surprised and pleased. She knew that in my former life, I had been a jock, had travelled extensively and I had complained in those recent months of being sadly out of shape. Of course, she thought I meant jogging, not elections. She was amused when I corrected her. In fact, she cracked up and burst into gales of laughter. I thought, Mr. Speaker, that she was going to choke on this ludicrous idea that I would be running in an election and not do road work that I had done many, many years ago when I was a young man.

Immediately, although we were still half sleeping, she began giving me a list of the many political liabilities that I have. First, I don't smile enough. Like Mr. Kakfwi, I have never been to charm school, and I'm often accused of not being a barrel of laughs.

---Laughter

But that's something I compensate for in many other ways. I think a lot although I'm not, as I'm sometimes accused of being by Mr. Todd, a philosopher. That's the second time I've brought his name into my speech, Mr. Speaker.

---Laughter

I've also poor at remembering names, Mr. Speaker. Unlike some Members of this Assembly, I'm not a touchy-feely type who can weasel things out of people. The other liability I have, Mr. Speaker, according to this initial list by my wife, is that I had been a senior bureaucrat, one of the untouchables, the people so remote from the lives of ordinary, everyday citizens that I could never understand the feelings of the people who I would want to represent. Therefore, that was the biggest liability of all.

These are just examples, Mr. Speaker. As I said, it was a very long list that went on until quite late that Saturday morning. Eventually, of course, she gave up trying to get me to see the light but when I had officially committed myself, she became my closest advisor and greatest source of encouragement.

Mr. Speaker, I should like to thank also my children: Letia, Loyola, Lara and Lawrence. They are all talented, energetic and creative people. It is not always pleasant to be the offspring of an elected official. I'm grateful to them for their understanding and tolerance. I've been in public service for 32 years and I have not given the time a good father should. I promise to do better in the future because, even at my age, I believe it's never too late.

Prior to and during my terms of office, Mr. Speaker, I was fortunate to receive the help and support of many Yellowknife people. For five years, Eric Watt put together my constituency newspaper, The Blade. It was an excellent, amusing, innovative publication and very popular in the public service. Some constituents, Mr. Speaker, I found felt it was a little bit too lighthearted, perhaps, and I was having too much fun with it so I haven't produced it over the past few years. I would like to thank Eric Watt for his expert help and his good humour during the times we worked on that publication.

In two campaigns, Mr. Speaker, I've enjoyed the support of the Hinchey family, major contributors to the growth of Yellowknife for over two decades. I would like to thank Stefan Simek and Dana Ferguson of Ferguson, Simek, Clark for their early encouragement. I would extend my thanks to Seamus Henry of Raven Resources; to Tony Vane and Otto Stabel of Yellowknife Motors; to Allan Dunn and Dale Robinson; to Norman Mair and Mike Bell; to the staff of the Abe Miller Centre; to Dwight Noseworthy; and, to my many colleagues in the Department of Education, the Northwest Territories Council for Disabled Persons and the arts community.

Many of my friends helped and encouraged me over the years, Mr. Speaker. There is always a danger in naming names, since some may be left out; however, I owe special thanks to Merlyn and Joyce Williams. I've known them for more than 20 years and I value their friendship, encouragement and support. My main thanks, however, Mr. Speaker, go to the constituents of Yellowknife Centre who have elected me for two terms. I've tried my best to represent them and their interests in this Assembly. I've tried several, innovative ways of sampling public opinion on a number of issues. I've made many friends I would not have made if I had simply taken a nine-to-five job.

It's been an incredible experience and I've learned a lot from my colleagues in this place. In fact, we have all grown together. If there is anything I have dedicated my life to, it is being with people, to grow together, and realize the full potential that every human being has. I know that this short reply, Mr. Speaker, will sound like I'm saying a fond farewell to all of those who have touched my life over the past seven and a half years. All I have to say is this, Mr. Speaker; when the 13th Assembly meets -- and I don't think it will be an unlucky Assembly, Mr. Speaker, but there is something ominous about being a Member of the 13th Assembly -- in this Chamber next November, I shall either be sitting in one of these few seats in this Chamber at the ground level or one of those many seats in the gallery, ready to face another northern winter and this government.

To all Members, I would like to thank you for enriching my life, simply by knowing you. I would like to wish everyone seeking re-election best wishes on October 16th. Like my colleague, Mr. Pudluk, I would like to express my appreciation of the skills of Mr. Hamilton. He seems to be able to handle dozens of unrelated items simultaneously, the sign of a very able person. If, in my future life I were looking for somebody who I could afford to pay, he would be somebody I would certainly hire.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like my constituents to note that I have fought for the issues I've promised to fight for in this Assembly. The first is responsible and accountable government. The struggle for responsible government in the Northwest Territories goes back to 1870. We've come a long way but there's a long way to go.

The other issue has been economic development and the lessening of dependency on government. On the surface, these seem like contradictory ideas but they are complementary. People should have the kind of government they want but have to recognize that since it is theirs, they have to pay for it. As we all know, Mr. Speaker, affordability is the key to understanding the economics of modern government. Even to keep the level of programs we already have, we have to create more wealth. I've preached this sermon over and over again in this Assembly. Hopefully, the message won't be lost and it will continue to be repeated in future Assemblies.

In order to give Members an insight into the kind of person I am, I'm satisfied with the period of time that I've served in this Assembly doing what I could do and fitting into the gaps that needed to be fitted. I've found that throughout my life, Mr. Speaker, I tend to fight when I see a fight that needs to be fought, and I'm prepared to retreat when I figure it would be to the benefit of all the people. Retreat may be the name of the

game for some of us in the future, but that is an option that we all have to leave until another time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

Page 1359

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 9, replies to opening address. Item 10, petitions. Item 11, reports of standing and special committees. Item 12, reports of committees on the review of bills. Item 13, tabling of documents. Mr. Nerysoo.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 1359

Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to table Tabled Document 135-12(7), a letter from myself to M. Daniel Cuerrier, president of la Federation Franco-TeNoise, concerning meetings with Mr. Cuerrier and his legal counsel, dated June 14, 1995.

I wish to table Tabled Document 136-12(7), a letter from myself to Mr. Victor C. Goldbloom, Commissioner of Official Languages, Canada, regarding matters concerning the Federation Franco-TeNoise, dated June 14, 1995.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to table Tabled Document 137-12(7), a motion from the Beaufort/Delta Divisional Board of Education. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 1359

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 13, tabling of documents. Mr. Kakfwi.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 1359

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On behalf of the Premier, I wish to table two documents. I wish to table Tabled Document 138-12(7), the proposed Adoption Act and Tabled Document 139-12(7), the proposed Child and Family Services Act.

As the Minister of Justice, I would like to table two documents. I wish to table Tabled Document 140-12(7), the proposed Children's Law Act and Tabled Document 141-12(7), the proposed Family Law Act. Thank you.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 1359

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 13, tabling of documents. Mrs. Marie-Jewell.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 1359

Jeannie Marie-Jewell Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to table two documents. I wish to table Tabled Document 142-12(7), a letter addressed to Mr. Keith Dowling, who's the regional vice-president of the Union of Northern Workers, from Alex Carson, who's the Alberta district manager with respect to the labour program.

I also wish to table Tabled Document 143-12(7), a letter addressed to myself on Minister of Renewable Resources letterhead, signed for Mr. Morin. Thank you.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

Page 1359

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 13, tabling of documents. Item 14, notices of motion. Mr. Ningark.