This is page numbers 1135 - 1164 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 report.

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, Ms. Mike, 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
Item 1: Prayer

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Merci, Mr. Lewis. Good afternoon. Orders of the day, item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Ng.

Minister's Statement 78-12(7): NWT Association Of Municipalities - Agm
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Kelvin Ng Kitikmeot

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the NWT Association of Municipalities held their annual general meeting in Iqaluit, April 28th to May 1st.

Representing the GNWT at these meetings were the Premier and myself, as well as MLAs, Mr. Dent, Mr. Ballantyne, Mr. Zoe and Mr. Patterson. Our representation speaks to the importance the GNWT places on the role of the NWT Association of Municipalities as a collective voice for matters of concern to municipal governments.

Also in attendance at the AGM were Member of Parliament, Mr. Jack Anawak, senior representatives of the RCMP, Federation of Canadian Municipalities representatives, special guests from Goose Bay, Labrador, as well as a number of senior GNWT public servants.

The NWTAM is made up of 47 member municipalities and the association is proud to point out that they are the only provincial/territorial association with 100 per cent membership of eligible municipalities. Forty member municipalities were represented at the association's 1995 AGM, an excellent turn-out.

A highlight of this year's AGM was a two-day planning session on municipalities and the criminal justice system. Municipalities are concerned that they have the best possible local policing and protection. Discussions were far ranging on the possibilities for integrated and coordinated local policing.

As Minister of MACA, I had the opportunity to officially invite the association's participation in our review of municipal legislation, which I announced in this House on April 27th. We also agreed to the association's participation in a review of certain aspects of the municipal capital assistance policy (MCAP), particularly the formula for community ability to contribute, which determines the required levels of community contributions to capital projects.

Elections were held for the new executive of the association and I would like to congratulate Mayor Dennis Bevington of Fort Smith on being elected president of the association for the coming year.

---Applause

I would also like to congratulate other Members of the newly-elected board of directors:

Mayor Charlie Furlong, Aklavik; Mayor Joe Kunuk, Iqaluit; Mayor Garry Hubert, Fort Liard; Mayor Tabitha Kalluk, Resolute Bay; councillor Peter Kritaqliluk, Arviat; Mayor Dave Lovell, Yellowknife; Mayor Tom Zubko, Inuvik; and, councillor Vern Tordoff, Hay River. Mr. Speaker, this list attests to the representativeness of the association and its unique position as a voice for municipal governments in the NWT.

I wish to thank the association for their invitation and their hospitality. The staff of the association were helpful and always accommodating. I look forward to working with the association's board of directors and their president in the coming months. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 78-12(7): NWT Association Of Municipalities - Agm
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ng. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Patterson.

Misrepresentation By Firearms Task Force
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yesterday I expressed my outrage at the sham consultations undertaken in my constituency by the federal firearms task force. Several things said by the members of that task force to my constituents were disturbing to me. Firstly, the federal representatives told my constituents that they were committed to consulting on section 110(t) of the proposed Firearms Act. They also stated that the detailed consultations will happen this fall. The implication was, don't worry if you're feeling a little

rushed today, there will still be lots of time to obtain your input this fall.

Mr. Speaker, section 110(t) allows for the making of regulations: "respecting the manner in which any provisions of this act or the regulations applies to any of the aboriginal peoples of Canada and adapting any such provision for the purposes of that application." Mr. Speaker, the federal Minister of Justice has already stated publicly in introducing this bill to the House of Commons committee that all the substantive provisions of the bill will apply to aboriginal people and that, in effect, the regulations will only allow for minor modifications in how the bill is implemented in aboriginal communities.

One example that federal officials trot out regularly is that an aboriginal person may be appointed to be a firearms officer for the purposes of registering firearms in a community. As if any aboriginal person would want that job. Compulsory registration will still be required of every firearm. The regulations may allow a local person to get the job instead of a bureaucrat.

It's very important that our people understand, Mr. Speaker, that this bill amends the criminal law. It is very clear that the criminal law cannot be amended by regulations, certainly not in the manner being suggested by the task force. It's also very important that our people know that the federal government intends to ram this bill through the House before the summer recess. According to Mr. Rock's timetable, the new bill will be law by the time the firearms task force comes back to consult my constituents this fall.

When these officials told my constituents they'd be further consulted in the fall, they did not point out that, according to their agenda, it would then be too late to make any substantive changes to the bill.

May I have consent to briefly conclude, Mr. Speaker?

Misrepresentation By Firearms Task Force
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The honourable Member for Iqaluit is seeking unanimous consent. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Please proceed, Mr. Patterson.

Misrepresentation By Firearms Task Force
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Dennis Patterson Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Members. It will be under two minutes tomorrow, I promise.

What matters, Mr. Speaker, is what is put in the sections of the main bill now before the House of Commons, not what minor administrative changes are made in how the bill is implemented in our aboriginal communities through regulations. This distinction was not spelled out by the firearms task force when they were in my constituency and that is why I called their so-called consultations a fraud.

Mr. Speaker, what the task force is saying to us is: trust us, but everything they are doing indicates that they absolutely cannot be trusted. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Misrepresentation By Firearms Task Force
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Support For Nova Construction
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it's very unusual for an ordinary Member to take issue with comments made by a colleague in the Ordinary Members' Caucus. We try to stay together and work together in harmony. However, the Member for Iqaluit is continuing to question the credentials of a Yellowknife businessman, and I hesitate to use his name because it's been used so many times in this House and he hasn't been able to defend himself.

But, on my initiative, I phoned him yesterday because I'm getting a little tired of hearing his name being batted around in this place with no one rising to defend him. By the way, he doesn't need a defence, but I feel an obligation to point out that Mr. Mike Mrdjenovich, in fact, is a local businessman who has contributed significantly to the progress of this city. I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that although piles of information have been given to the Member for Iqaluit about the operation of Nova Construction, I would like to give you a bit more information to show you what this business means to the city of Yellowknife and to the people of the Northwest Territories.

Last year, the company paid municipal taxes, $208,206; land lease, $86,403; the Iqaluit office, $82,981; expenses of the Yellowknife office, $588,032; the economic impact of all the work undertaken by this company - $7,176,079; salaries of eight full-time people in the complement in the offices, $279,000. In other words, roughly $9 million a year is the economic impact of this company in the Northwest Territories.

The total capital investment in the Northwest Territories is $35 million. We are always on about capital. We need capital. We need to grow.

This man, in fact, attracts money and activity. He is revitalizing the downtown core. In fact, the crappy -- I don't know if crappy is a bad word, Mr. Speaker -- but there were two unsightly buildings right next door to the Member for Iqaluit when he lived on that street. They have now been torn down and there are going to be beautiful new buildings right near the old arena. Everybody should be happy to know that.

Support For Nova Construction
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1136

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

---Agreed

Support For Nova Construction
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Lewis, your time is up. Mr. Lewis, are you seeking unanimous consent to continue?

Support For Nova Construction
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

I am seeking unanimous consent to continue, Mr. Speaker.

Support For Nova Construction
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

---Applause

Support For Nova Construction
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1136

Brian Lewis Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is very unusual for me, Mr. Speaker, to ask for consent to continue a statement, but what I want to say I believe has to be said, because I have listened for a long time now and have been tempted to say

something. This man doesn't live in my constituency. However, he is a Yellowknife businessman, and somebody should do something.

Numbers? You want numbers so that you can call this gentleman. I will give you a whole bunch: 873-1910; 873-1577; 873-1505; 873-1602; 920-7121; 920-7131; in area code 819, 979-2554; in area code 403, 920-7141...There are two fax numbers: (819)979-2575; and the one I just referred which was 920-7141.

However, I also have listed on this paper, underlined in green, the personal number of Mr. Mrdjenovich, and because that number is confidential, I will tell the Member what it is if he wants to have it. But since it's an unlisted number, I am not at liberty to give it in this House today.

In fact, that's the problem. The problem is that he's a low bidder, and when you have that kind of competition, other people get upset. I know that in Iqaluit, for example, some people can charge $2,200 for a one-bedroom apartment and this man charges only $1,500, so people get upset by that kind of competition. They don't like it, and it comes to the floor of this House without people being aware of why people are trying to do something to undermine the credentials of this individual.

So, Mr. Speaker, now that we have all the facts on the floor, I hope that this man whose name has been dragged through this House on so many occasions will be allowed to get on with the things that he does well which are to build and build them efficiently and effectively so that the people of the Northwest Territories get value for money. Thank you.

---Applause