Thank you, Mr. Speaker, honourable colleagues. Mr. Speaker, I believe that we need to move beyond playing around with what government should look like in favour of concentrating our energies on what government should do. The Nunavut government design may be of great interest to lawyers, consultants, and political academics. However, I find it surprising, given clear evidence of extra-ordinary forced growth pressures on spending, particularly in the social envelope, that we continue to spend so much time on how to elect a Premier and whether we should have two Member constituencies.
Mr. Speaker, I believe we need to focus on the painfully obvious indicators of unstable social conditions such as poor health status, extreme housing needs, high rates of suicide, substance abuse, violent crime and incarceration. These issues are the ones which will end up managing or consuming us if we choose to ignore them. Mr. Speaker, I do not want anyone to take my comments to mean that I am not serious about the need to deal with government design.
For example, I support the principal of decentralization, but I do so based on an expectation that plans for decentralization must be based on models that are not only effective, but are also affordable and efficient. I am less concerned about the number of departments created than I am about whether proposed plans will result in a government capable of delivering the programs and services that are essential to people in our communities. Mr. Speaker, without good planning and long term fiscal security, we will find it difficult to achieve that fundamental objective. I believe if we separate related departments, particularly in the social envelope, we will be moving backwards rather than forward.
In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to summarize by saying, yes, let us reach a consensus on a government design for Nunavut, but more importantly, let us not forget that our priority, our ultimate goal and our responsibility as leaders is to ensure that the new government can effectively deliver affordable programs and services to our constituents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.