This is page numbers 1197 - 1228 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 education.

Topics

Members Present

Mr. Allooloo, Mr. Antoine, Hon. Silas Arngna'naaq, Mr. Ballantyne, Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Mr. Dent, Hon. Samuel Gargan, Mr. Koe, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Marie-Jewell, Ms. Mike, 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

Thank you, Mr. Whitford. Our prayers are with the people. Good afternoon. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize eight young adults who have been serving as pages during this sitting. They were hired under the summer student program. The first one is Deegah-Yah Tatti, who is taking law enforcement; Colin Allooloo is going to RCMP college; Sheila Wong is taking architecture; Shane Poluk is taking business administration; and, Rosemary Mercredi is taking the teacher education program. She is over there. We also have Kylie Healy who is taking a Bachelor of Social Sciences; Sylvia Laviolette who is taking academic studies and Shelly Shiels who is taking secretarial arts. Did I say your name right? Shiels, sorry. So, those are our pages. Welcome to the Assembly.

---Applause

Orders of the day, item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Arngna'naaq.

Minister's Statement 82-12(7): Fort Norman Forest Fire
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Silas Arngna'naaq Kivallivik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to provide an update on the forest fire at Fort Norman.

Since this fire started two days ago, firefighting crews, both on the ground and in the air, have worked day and night to try to control the fire and protect the community. In spite of best efforts, the fire is now very close to the community.

Because of the dangerous conditions, all ground firefighting crews have been pulled off the fire. Helicopters are still dropping buckets of water. As soon as the visibility improves, the large air tankers will resume efforts to protect the community.

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the MLA for Sahtu, Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, and the Minister responsible for forest fire management, Honourable Don Morin, went to Norman Wells to meet with people who have been evacuated from Fort Norman and to look at the fire situation.

Early this morning everyone who was not needed to fight the fire was evacuated from Fort Norman. I take this opportunity to express support for those individuals who are fighting the fire and for those who have been forced to leave their homes temporarily.

Mr. Speaker, the hot and windy weather is expected to continue. As the weekend approaches, I want to remind everyone that the whole western Arctic is extremely dry. If possible, people who are out on the land should avoid having any kind of open fire. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 82-12(7): Fort Norman Forest Fire
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Arngna'naaq. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Ms. Cournoyea.

Minister's Statement 83-12(7): Ministers Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Nellie Cournoyea Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say once again that the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi and the Honourable Don Morin will be absent from the House today to review the forest fire situation in Fort Norman. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 83-12(7): Ministers Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Nerysoo.

Minister's Statement 84-12(7): Canada/nwt Infrastructure Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Richard Nerysoo Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Canada/NWT infrastructure program is a two-year program designed to support the development and renewal of local infrastructure and to create training and employment opportunities. The agreement includes the commitment of approximately $5.4 million in Government of the Northwest Territories funding and an equal amount in federal contributions. Tax-based municipalities are also expected to contribute up to an additional $1.6 million, which would increase the total funding for infrastructure projects to over $12 million. The funding is divided between communities based on the number of working-aged people who were not employed in each community during the 1994 labour force survey. Minimum and maximum levels of funding for communities have been established.

This helps to ensure that smaller communities receive at least a minimum level of support even though their actual allocation based on the formula would be less. The program is being administered at the regional level by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment. Regional superintendents, in cooperation with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, have distributed information about the program to qualifying groups and organizations.

Local governments, band councils, designated land claim organizations, and public and private organizations were invited to participate by establishing community coordination groups in order to review, set priorities and recommend community proposals for funding. Every effort is made to encourage community consensus on proposals recommended for funding.

To date, Mr. Speaker, the co-management committee consisting of federal and territorial representatives has convened four times to review proposals. The meetings were held on November 9 and 30, 1994 and February 17 and March 31, 1995. A total of 61 proposals valued at nearly $6.8 million were approved from 35 communities in six regions.

Twenty five long-term and 290 short-term jobs have been created by these projects. All proposals which are reviewed received an environmental impact review and must demonstrate that any required ongoing operations and maintenance costs will be provided by the project sponsors.

Ongoing meetings of the co-management committee are scheduled as the need arises to assess submissions. As well, regions are encouraged to continuously advertise the program and solicit proposals from communities which have not spent their allocations. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 84-12(7): Canada/nwt Infrastructure Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mrs. Marie-Jewell, your point of privilege.

Point Of Privilege

Minister's Statement 84-12(7): Canada/nwt Infrastructure Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Jeannie Marie-Jewell Thebacha

I have a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, thank you. Pursuant to Rule 20(1), and with your permission, I would like to rise on a point of privilege to clarify a matter that was, once again, reported on the 7:30 and 8:30 newscasts on CBC Mackenzie.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in committee of the whole, I withdrew a motion regarding the recommendation of a plebiscite question that should be put to the people of the Northwest Territories on the matter of raising the legal drinking age from 19 to 21 years. CBC failed to report the fact that the motion presented was withdrawn and instead stated that other MLAs voted against the plebiscite. Mr. Speaker, all Members are aware that there was no vote to hold a plebiscite. Once again, CBC has failed to report the accurate proceedings of this Assembly.

As I said yesterday in my point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, the media has the responsibility to report accurately comments and proceedings of this Assembly as their interpretation and reporting are of importance with regard to informing the public of what is happening in this Assembly. I want to advise the House of this issue and trust CBC in the future will make every effort to report accurate proceedings and comments and not sensationalize issues. Thank you.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 84-12(7): Canada/nwt Infrastructure Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mrs. Marie-Jewell. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Koe.

Protection Of Porcupine Caribou Herd
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Fred Koe Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to make a statement about recent disturbing events which will impact the north slope caribou calving area. Currently, the United States government is trying to come up with a budget for the next five years. United States President Clinton has submitted a proposal to Congress, who are now in a process of deciding where the money will come from to fuel that budget.

This proposed budget includes a new revenue item where about $1.4 billion will come from the selling of oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the so-called 10-02 lands, the Porcupine Caribou herd's calving grounds.

Mr. Speaker, the Gwich'in of Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories are very dependent on the Porcupine Caribou for cultural and economic survival. We are now in a situation whereby, once again, we have people in the south who are not directly impacted by the decision they make, making a decision about an area that is crucial to the lifestyles of northern peoples. The Gwich'in have depended on this caribou herd for hundreds of years.

For the US government to realize the $1.4 billion in revenues, they must remove the current bans on development of these disputed areas. The Gwich'in are adamantly opposed to this. As far as I know, the Canadian federal government also established a position in 1987 which supports that the 10-02 lands be protected. Apparently, this was confirmed in 1993 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Andre Ouellett.

The United States President, Bill Clinton, also claims to protect the 10-02 lands and used this as part of his election campaign.

Protection Of Porcupine Caribou Herd
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Koe.

Protection Of Porcupine Caribou Herd
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Fred Koe Inuvik

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Protection Of Porcupine Caribou Herd
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

---Agreed