This is page numbers 1525 - 1578 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 language.

Topics

Development Of The Cooperative Movement
Item 3: Members' Statements

June 22nd, 1995

Page 1527

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Throughout the Northwest Territories, one of the major economic developments over the last 30 years has been the development of the cooperative movement. Much of the credit goes to the federal government who saw that this made sense in the kind of jurisdiction that we have.

When I was a young boy, Mr. Speaker, everybody shopped at the co-op in our village. It was locally owned, all the employees were local, all the dividends went to local people, all the staff and management and everything was local, and people had a great attachment to it.

It's been a terrible battle for the co-op to get itself established in the Northwest Territories despite the sense that it made, simply because there was another huge corporation that had been here for 350 years: the Hudson Bay Company, who fought like fury to stop it from getting a foothold. Many of the people who worked for that company remember the battles they had with local co-op people who were trying to provide competition with this monolithic force, which was at that time based in London and Europe.

Mr. Speaker, now that the Hudson Bay Company really doesn't operate in the Northwest Territories, we should not have opposition any more to this kind of development. I believe that our government should recognize what it has done, it's achievements and importance to northern people and we should find in our hearts enough sympathy and understanding to provide the kind of support that this operation needs if it is going to survive into the future.

I shall be asking the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism some questions about this later. Thank you.

Development Of The Cooperative Movement
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1527

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 3, Members' statements. Ms. Mike.

Manufacturing Of Northern Products
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1527

Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Two weeks ago, I asked a question in this House about the origin of the sealskin products passed out by the Minister of Renewable Resources during his department's O and M budget presentation last March. In his opening comments on the Renewable Resources budget on March 3, 1995, the Minister stated, and I quote from page 1064 of the unedited Hansard:

"In the eastern Arctic, we have been working hard to promote the sealing and fishing industry. This past year, in cooperation with Economic Development and Tourism, we researched consumer interest in seal and sealskin products. In 1995-96, we are working with the Broughton Island tannery and residents on the pilot project to produce and market these examples of high quality products. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to pass out some samples of products that are being produced. Mr. Chairman, we are providing seal pelts to the tannery through the fur pricing program." This all sounds very promising, Mr. Speaker, but I am concerned that it does not seem to be consistent with what the Minister was telling me in response to my question of two weeks ago. He indicated he was aware that the sealskin products were merely prototypes made by a southern company as a demonstration of the kinds of products that could be made in the NWT. However, the prototypes have Minnguq Sewing Group labels on them, despite the fact that Minnguq was not aware of their existence.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that the Minister assures us that there is active promotion of sealskin products and even a pilot project involving the Broughton Island tannery, the information I have indicates this is not the case. I have heard that there are plans being made to initiate a production line of products under the Minnguq name but the Broughton Island tannery, which is in dire need of work, is not a part of the picture.

Mr. Speaker, it doesn't make any sense to me that this government spends considerable amounts of money on the fur incentive program and other renewable resource...Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to continue by Member's statement.

Manufacturing Of Northern Products
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1528

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Baffin Central is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Ms. Mike.

Manufacturing Of Northern Products
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1528

Rebecca Mike Baffin Central

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and my colleagues. As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, it doesn't make any sense to me that this government spends considerable amounts of money on the fur incentive program and other renewable resource and economic development programs and, yet, when an opportunity comes along, our northern processors are left out in the cold. More must be done, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that this government and agents of this government continue to pursue economic development initiatives within the Northwest Territories, we should continue to market our products nationally and internationally, but they must be made in the north by northerners and all the benefits must flow to northerners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Manufacturing Of Northern Products
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1528

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

25th Anniversary Of Buffalo Airways
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1528

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, good morning; and good morning, colleagues. Colleagues, I rise today to extend congratulations to a truly northern aviation company celebrating 25 years of service to northerners and to maybe set the record straight about a company that people across the north have come to rely on for hauling everything from foodstuffs, personal mail, mining companies, trappers, fishermen and little league baseball players, who either fly free or at a minimum cost. That company is Buffalo Airways.

---Applause

Congratulations to a company that draws positive international recognition for it's operating standards, standards proven to be so exceptional that leading insurance companies offer prime rates, providing an opportunity for this government to save millions of dollars over the next five years.

---Applause

Congratulations for a level of expertise demonstrated by a professional staff hand-picked by the company's president Mr. McBryan. Congratulations for building a reputation that's unbeatable for the quality of service and the degree of respect offered each and every customer. Congratulations to a company that northerners recognize for the Buffalo green that stands out so well against our snow-covered runways.

Here's a genuine northern company with a history that started at a small mining camp north of Yellowknife in 1946, a history that began in the imagination of a five-year-old boy playing on the shores of Gordon Lake, where he lived with his parents. At a time, Mr. Speaker, when toys were in short supply, young McBryan's toys were a couple of wooden airplanes that his father meticulously carved from the trunk of a jack pine tree, a territorial tree.

This, Mr. Speaker -- what I'm holding in my hand -- is the flagship of the Buffalo fleet as it's known today. This is a little airplane, the first airplane of the fleet, which would eventually become the larger Buffalo airplanes of today. In 1970, a young bush pilot showed up in Fort Smith with an Aztec, the first instrumental flight-rated airplane for hire in that community.

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to continue.

25th Anniversary Of Buffalo Airways
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1528

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Yellowknife South is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Whitford.

25th Anniversary Of Buffalo Airways
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1528

Tony Whitford Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. In 1970, a young bush pilot showed up in Fort Smith with an Aztec, the first instrumental flight-rated airplane for hire in that community. Over the years, Mr. McBryan became a sincere friend and supporter of the trappers around Fort Smith. Indeed, in many cases, he was their lifeline back to civilization after months in the bush. Whether or not the trappers had the money to pay for the service, McBryan hauled them out to their trap lines, gear and all, including their dogteams, and then picked them up at the end of the season without fail.

That same Aztec doubled as a Bird Dog aircraft during the fire season and maintained a base in Fort Smith for medevac service for the rest of the year. It did not go south, Mr. Speaker. During that 10-year period, Buffalo Joe, as he became known, was called on to fly so many medevacs that in one instance, he had a mother from Fort Resolution give birth to her 11th child in the back of the Aztec, and she named the boy after the pilot -- Joe.

The little company was eventually sold to a young bush pilot that he had trained, the late Billy Burke of Fort Smith, who bought the float plane operation and renamed it Loon Air. During those years in Fort Smith, Mr. McBryan entered into a partnership with a couple of southern boys who eventually migrated back home and sold their partnership shares to McBryan who became the sole owner and operator of Buffalo Airways, as we know it today. The company continued to grow from a couple of float planes to a DC-3 service, combined with a small fleet of helicopters. Buffalo today now owns the largest operating fleet of DC-3s in Canada, if not in all North

America. And this is a model of one of their airplanes, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

My colleague brought a cod head here one time, so I thought a model airplane wouldn't be so bad.

---Laughter

Long-time northerners will easily recall that Buffalo Airways has already provided 15 years of solid service to the forest firefighting industry at its base at Fort Smith and at Fort Simpson. Furthermore, Buffalo Airways has always been a leader in the support, hiring and training of young northerners wanting to enter the aviation industry. Pilots have come up through the training ranks and are held in such high regard in the industry.

Today young pilots, bubbling with more ambition than DC-3s and DC-4s can contain, have gone on to fly in the big leagues with the international airlines on jet planes. Mr. Speaker, I take great pride in being a Member of a government that is willing to demonstrate support for northern entrepreneurs. I am proud to be part of a government that is confident enough to take the necessary steps to ensure that millions of northern dollars will stay in the north. Indeed, a reputable northern company built, according to the dreams of a little northern boy, who used to play on the shores of Gordon Lake with wooden airplanes, who now owns real ones.

I rise today to point out the positive aspects of a genuine northern company that is caught up in the cross fire of a political battle that is taking place in this House and is detracting from the true meaning of northern entrepreneurship. I ask this House to joint me in extending congratulations to Buffalo Airways, a genuine northern company celebrating 25 years of quality aviation services. Thank you.

---Applause

25th Anniversary Of Buffalo Airways
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1529

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Evolution Of Government System
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1529

Michael Ballantyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For the last day, I thought I would talk a bit about the need for increased cooperation amongst the elected leaders of the Northwest Territories. I think the misunderstanding we recently had between the aboriginal leaders and our Legislative Assembly brings home a plight, at least to me, that we probably have to rethink how we approach some of these things.

Any misunderstanding that has happened is definitely not the fault of any individual Minister or of this government. I think our government can be quite proud of the fact that we have better relationships with aboriginal organizations than any government in the country.

However, times are changing quickly. The reality is that the regional land claims have given constitutional status to many of the aboriginal organizations. The division legislation has given legislative status to organizations such as NIC and self-government discussions have raised expectations and, at some point, many aboriginal organizations will be lost in the Constitution of Canada. That is a reality.

Another reality is that public government in the Northwest Territories has a legislative base. It has a very strong elected mandate and it is supported by a large number of people in the Northwest Territories and it isn't going away.

The third reality is we have a strong history in the Northwest Territories of community governments, mayors and chiefs, and our communities are well respected and are taking on new responsibilities. So unless we come up with some new structures in our government, we are inevitably going to head towards clashes. I think we will see that more and more unless we look at changing the way we do business here in the Legislative Assembly. The present system is too rigid to deal with these new realities. There is no doubt in my mind that there is going to be a lot of frustration in self-government negotiations, a lot of misunderstandings, as well as frustration in the division negotiations. Unless we find mechanisms where people can work out these problems, we are going to end up fighting amongst ourselves. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Evolution Of Government System
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1529

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Yellowknife North is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Conclude your statement, Mr. Ballantyne.

Evolution Of Government System
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1529

Michael Ballantyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think now, when Mr. Pollard and the government are putting together the transition document, is the time to think about some of these things. If we don't do them, the results could be quite disastrous.

Next time, we should look at institutionalizing regular meetings of Cabinet with aboriginal/municipal leaders. There have to be regular opportunities for aboriginal/municipal leaders to meet with the Legislative Assembly and with committees of the Legislative Assembly. The next government should follow the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance, to have a separate intergovernmental affairs secretariat and aboriginal affairs secretariat, and we should look at setting up some bureaucratic structure that includes bureaucrats from aboriginal organizations that meet on a regular basis.

Unless there is a free flow of information some formalized mechanisms to work out problems and strategize, inevitably we will be turning on ourselves. I think the future of the Northwest Territories will depend on increased cooperation and problem solving amongst all the elected leaders of the Northwest Territories. It is my own feeling that we are not going to have the luxury to be able to fight amongst ourselves. There is too much at stake. At the end of the day, either we hang together or we are going to be hung separately one by one. Thank you very much.

---Applause

Evolution Of Government System
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1530

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Appreciation Of Constituents, Colleagues And Staff
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1530

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker, or as my eastern colleagues would say, qujannamiik, uqaqtii.

---Applause

Mr. Speaker, you see, I have learned something in this House in the last four years.

---Laughter

(Translation) Mr. Speaker, I will be speaking in my language. It seems that today will be the last day we will be meeting. So if all goes well, we should be finished our meeting today. We are representing the people who have elected us into office. Our term is just about over. I hope we have worked well for people who have elected us. I would like to thank you for being the Speaker. In your term of being an elected official with the territorial government, you have learned the system of the territorial government, so I feel you have done the job well.

Four years ago, when we asked the Minister...I hope I work well with the people who are elected as Ministers. At the time, she said yes. Today I would like to thank the Premier. In the four years that I have been an MLA, I hope I have worked well for my constituency. I would also like to thank the Ministers who I have worked with. I would like to say thank you to her for working well with the Minister. When I questioned the Ministers and also asked for things, I feel I worked well with them. I would also like to thank the Ministers from the past. There are many things that we still have to work for in the future, whoever is in government after us.

Mr. Speaker, my time has run out, so if it is okay with everyone, I would like to continue my speech.