This is page numbers 1374 - 1400 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 assembly.

Topics

Supplementary To Question 634-12(7): Reinstatement Of Bird Dog Officers During Investigation
Question 634-12(7): Reinstatement Of Bird Dog Officers During Investigation
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1384

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 6, oral questions. Mr. Patterson.

Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1384

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister responsible for the Financial Management Board Secretariat revenue cops section. Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister is aware -- and I wanted to wait until this day to bring this up because it is Friday -- that a constituent of mine is very upset that tobacco police from the FMBS revenue section went to Montreal and obtained food invoices from a Montreal food order supplier and used these invoices to send a staggering $498 bill for taxes on cigarettes they found purchased in Quebec in this food order. My constituent says that this was done without regard for his privacy and was with complete disregard to his integrity and decency. How could this have happened? Thank you.

Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1384

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Minister responsible for the Financial Management Board, Mr. Pollard.

Return To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1384

John Pollard Hay River

Mr. Speaker, the tobacco cops are not with FMBS; they are with Eric Nielsen, chief of tobacco police over at the Department of Finance.

---Laughter Mr. Speaker, there were a number of issues raised with regard to this particular Tobacco Tax Act by various people. I have had brought to my attention that there were people who were believed to be circumventing the Tobacco Tax Act in the Northwest Territories, and consequently, we were losing revenue, something that I am not willing to allow to happen, Mr. Speaker.

I think that there are some people out there who are good and upstanding citizens who really didn't know that they were evading the tax because they were placing tobacco orders through food orders, so we brought it to their attention that they should start to pay the tax and also that they should pay us for the tax on the products that they brought in before we snooped in their food hampers which is, I think, how they refer to it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 6, oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Patterson.

Supplementary To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

June 16th, 1995

Page 1385

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think the Minister knows that my constituent and his wife are very concerned that the government and the Minister now have knowledge of what he and his wife eat, drink and smoke. He says, in his letter to the revenue section, that he feels his rights and freedoms have been infringed, that he hasn't been treated with the respect that any law-abiding citizen of the NWT deserves and that he feels violated.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister what he would recommend I should tell my constituent, to make him feel better about having been violated by the Minister and his officials? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Pollard.

Further Return To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

John Pollard Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I note that the Member asked what he should tell his constituent so that he can feel better. The Minister of Health tells me that the first thing to do is to stop smoking.

---Laughter

Mr. Speaker, I am taking seriously the constituent of Mr. Patterson who has claimed that we have snooped into his food orders and that we now know what he and his wife eat, drink and smoke. I am asking the department to respond to this particular constituent, because it is not our intention to violate people's privacy or to pry into their private lives.

But we do have a law on the books that allows us to determine if we are losing revenue by people -- shall we say -- smuggling tobacco into the Northwest Territories, albeit innocently without the knowledge that they should be paying these taxes, Mr. Speaker.

It is not our intent to offend or to pry into people's private affairs, and I will have the department respond to the particular constituent and explain our point of view. I hope that he or she is able to understand our point of view. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Further Return To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Supplementary, Mr. Patterson.

Supplementary To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the Minister, in the spirit of consensus government and promoting good relations between ordinary Members and Cabinet Ministers, if the Minister would kindly agree, in responding to my constituent, not to send excerpts from Hansard where the MLA from Iqaluit made certain strong statements about the need to collect late tobacco taxes from Quebec. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Laughter

Supplementary To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Pollard.

Further Return To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

John Pollard Hay River

I don't recall the Member making those statements. I might not have been in the House that day, Mr. Speaker.

---Laughter

---Applause

Further Return To Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Question 635-12(7): Investigation Into Illegal Import Of Tobacco
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 6, oral questions. Mr. Antoine.

Question 636-12(7): Assistance To Seniors Reporting Income
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Health and Social Services, and it has to do with elders. Mr. Speaker, we have great respect for our elders. They have lived long and hard in this harsh country, and we've come to respect them. One concern that I hear in the communities from elders is that elders who are on pensions and who trap or do a little bit of work have their pensions cut back because of the work. With the prices in some of the small communities being so high, it is very difficult to make ends meet even if they have a full pension and their pay for their trapping. So, in many cases, elders, when they do trap, have to use somebody else to sell their furs. I think Members here understand this situation in most of the smaller communities.

Recently, I have been told by elders that because they helped the band with young kids out on the land, their pensions were cut back. I would like to ask the Minister if her department has looked at the policy that controls this funding to the elders, and, if the department has looked at it, could she inform the House what has been done to date to try to help our elders out? Thank you.

Question 636-12(7): Assistance To Seniors Reporting Income
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 1385

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Ms. Cournoyea.