This is page numbers 435 - 466 of the Hansard for the 13th Assembly, 4th 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 chairman.

Members Present

Honourable Jim Antoine, Honourable Goo Arlooktoo, Mr. Barnabas, Honourable Charles Dent, Mr. Enuaraq, Mr. Erasmus, Mr. Evaloarjuk, Honourable Samuel Gargan, Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Henry, Mr. Krutko, Mr. Miltenberger, Honourable Don Morin, Honourable Kelvin Ng, Mr. Ningark, Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Ootes, Mr. Picco, Mr. Rabesca, Mr. Roland, Mr. Steen, Honourable Manitok Thompson, Honourable John Todd

Oh, God, may your spirit and guidance be in us as we work for the benefit of all our people, for peace and justice in our land and for constant recognition of the dignity and aspirations of those whom we serve. Amen.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 435

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Roland. Good afternoon. Mr. Antoine.

Point of Privilege

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 435

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege under Rule 20(1).

During question period yesterday, I responded to a number of questions relating to the consultation process for the development of a constitution for the western territory. At the time, I told Members that we would be conducting extensive consultation in the communities aimed at ensuring every citizen, who wishes to have input, would be given the opportunity to do so.

I also stated that, while we have not finalized the process that would be involved in this consultation, we would not only be taking forward the main options outlined in the Partners in a New Beginning document, but we also plan on presenting additional information on the other models of government discussed by the Constitutional Working Group.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a point of privilege on this matter because of how my comments were interpreted and reported in the news media. While reports on the CBC radio this morning stated accurately that we will be conducting extensive consultation, it was incorrectly reported that we would only be taking the one model forward.

To repeat my comments from yesterday, as reported on page 693 of the unedited Hansard, I stated:

"We have asked our officials to take a closer look at these two other models and come out with some information on those two. Yes, we hopefully will be bringing more information to these consultation meetings in relation to the other two models."

Mr. Speaker, as Members know, this is a sensitive and emotional issue for the people of the western territory. For that reason, I felt it was vital that I stand up today to repeat my remarks and confirm that we will indeed be taking more than one model forward in order to guarantee and generate a healthy and productive discussion.

Mr. Speaker, I state again, for the record, the intent of this public consultation process will be to gather additional input and ideas towards the development of a final model that we could then take forward to the citizens of the west for ratification and, eventually, as a recommendation to the federal government. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 435

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Enuaraq.

Community Justice Conference
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 435

Tommy Enuaraq Baffin Central

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and good afternoon colleagues. Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk a bit about a Community Justice Conference that is going to be happening on the dates of February 18, 19, 20 and 21. The Community Justice Conference is going to be held in Cape Dorset and my communities of Pangnirtung and Broughton Island have been invited to go to that conference, and also myself.

Mr. Speaker, I would like the communities of Pangnirtung and Broughton Island to know that, as much as I would like to be at that conference, I feel that it is my duty to be here in Yellowknife during the budget process. Mr. Speaker, I would like them to know that they have my full support, even though I am not going to be there on those dates. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Community Justice Conference
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 435

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Enuaraq. Members' statements. Mr. Barnabas.

Levi Barnabas High Arctic

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this government talks about how important it is for people to be educated. It is really important for the people in my area as they get ready for Nunavut. If we want people to be ready for jobs, they need more than Grade 12. They need to go to college or university. This is very hard to do, especially for the people from smaller communities. They have to leave their homes and families; they have to travel long distances; they have to get used to a new community.

Mr. Speaker, one thing we do to help people to improve is through financial assistance. The government gives students support with grants and loans. We offer a good level of financial help compared to other places in Canada. However, even with this support, it is very difficult for students. They do not have enough money. We encourage people to go to college so they can get a good, decent job. Often, they do not have a job before they go to school. This means that they do not have extra money saved up. With the high cost of living in places like Iqaluit, the student financial assistance does not go very far. Many students and their families have very little money while they are trying to go to school.

Mr. Speaker, we need to encourage people to improve their education. It is too hard for them or their children. They want help in order to go to school. People have enough trouble now with the funding available. We cannot afford to reduce the assistance for the people to attend college and universities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Miltenberger.

Resource Sector Employment Opportunities
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

Michael Miltenberger

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As we grind our way through the budget for 1997/98, I intend to become very focused on the material contained within that relating to the government. I want to just remind people of an issue, that we cannot ignore, that relates to the economy. The economy that we are all so worried about, not only in the west, but in the east.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is very important that as we look at the second year of the budget reduction plan, we have to continue to focus attention, as well, on another problem that we have to deal with. We are soon going to be the recipient of many more jobs than we have people for. I am talking about the jobs that are going to be coming to us in the resource sector, in the mining sector and, most recently I think with the upsurge of development, in the oil and gas sector up the valley.

The Minister's committee on mine training, I think, is a step in the right direction but there is a light there for us, a goal for us to strive for. That is to try and make sure that we get some training in place now, not just for the two mines of BHP and Kennecott who are now at the table and are to be commended for their commitment, but for all the other areas, like the east and like the petroleum industry, where the majority of the professional jobs will be brought in from the south.

I think it is a position that other jurisdictions would like to have and that is the fact that we are going to have more jobs than we have people to fill them. I think it is something that the Minister, this House and the Government Leader should be keeping in mind and pushing very hard with the industry, with education, in all the planning we do. It is a way to turn the focus away from the gloom and pessimism that now confronts us as we try to slog through this budget. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Resource Sector Employment Opportunities
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. Members' statements. Mr. Krutko.

Initiatives To Construct Curling Rinks
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

David Krutko

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In regard to the whole subject of community empowerment, community wellness and also dealing with the whole idea of the cuts that are related to infrastructure in communities to date the Fort McPherson community, as well as Tsiigehtchic, do not have curling rinks. The curling rink for Fort McPherson was in the budget three years ago with a price tag of $710,000. To date, it has been slashed from the budget and redistributed to other areas.

These types of initiatives are needed in the communities to allow individuals, who are on social assistance or welfare, to get back into the workforce and feel that they are part of the community by developing community infrastructure, by sharing sweat equity, also, by working along with interest groups that will go out of their way to raise funds, by whatever means they have through bingos, lotteries, et cetera. This government also has to contribute to that process. At the appropriate time, I will be asking the Minister of MACA if this initiative is possible within this government.

-- Applause

Initiatives To Construct Curling Rinks
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Members' statements. Ms. Thompson.

Cbc Radio Inuktitut Language Services
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

Manitok Thompson Aivilik

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize the valuable contribution CBC radio makes in getting information out to the Inuit. With division quickly approaching, it is very important that people hear what is happening in their own language. Even though we, the MLAs of Nunavut, stay in Yellowknife during the session, we are able to listen to the news in Inuktitut through CBC from Nunavut. We also listen and hear what other leaders are telling our constituents.

I would also like to thank all the constituents that take the time to call their MLAs and tell us what they have heard if we miss some news items. Lately, constituents have been calling us about comments made by Jose Kusugak and John Amagoalik regarding MLAs' roles in division. I would like to thank the CBC staff and the Inuit who have worked on the constituents for helping inform us.

Cbc Radio Inuktitut Language Services
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Members' statements. Mr. Ootes.

Release Of Book On Flyfishing In The Nwt
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 436

Jake Ootes

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to say a few words about a member of my constituency named Chris

Hanks, an enterprising sportsman and author. Chris is a well-known archaeologist and anthropologist. His field work has taken him into the settlements and on to the land with the people of our territory. Along with his notebooks and excavation kit, he frequently packs a fishing rod and takes advantage of sporting opportunities most of us only dream of. As a result, he has acquired a vast catalogue of memorable fishing stories. About two years ago, Chris started compiling these stories for a book. The book is now finished and I am happy to report that the first copies of Fly Fishing in the Northwest Territories of Canada are beginning to arrive in Yellowknife. They should be available in the stores shortly. Mr. Speaker, Chris' book has appeal beyond the angling audience. His stories are spiced with details of wilderness travel, natural history and the people of the north. Fly Fishing in the NWT will find favour with anyone who enjoys the outdoors and it will give a little boost to our tourism industry, no doubt.

I would also like to note this book was published without government assistance. Chris appraised his material, identified an audience, and found a publisher who served that audience. I believe that there are many northerners who could follow this example. People want to learn about our lives up here. We have no reason to be shy. Chris' example shows we can find audiences and create marketable products without having to go to the government for help. I would like to finish by extending my congratulations to Chris first, for completing his book which is no mean feat in itself. Second, I want to thank him for demonstrating that a little confidence and imagination can go a long way. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Release Of Book On Flyfishing In The Nwt
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 437

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Members' statements. Mr. Picco.

Representation On Behalf Of Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 437

Edward Picco Iqaluit

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to speak first in Inuktitut. In 1983 I arrived at Hall Beach and worked for the Hudson's Bay. Then, I worked in Broughton Island, and then I was employed by the Arctic College. In 1992, my wife and I moved to Iqaluit and I would like to say hi to my in-laws (Translation ends) Nunavut is my home. My three children were born in Iqaluit and my wife was born at a spring camp near Clyde River.

-- Applause

Representation On Behalf Of Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 437

Edward Picco Iqaluit

All are beneficiaries of the Nunavut land claim and they are the reason that I entered politics to help provide a better future for their life in Nunavut. I am proud to represent Iqaluit in this House and have tried to represent all my constituents equally and fairly. Representing my constituents' interests has at times caused some conflict between me and other Members in this House, but our vision of the Northwest Territories both east and west is the same. We, as elected Members in this House, have tried to come to terms with reductions, deficits, and forced growth. I have not been home since the 15th of January, and I will not get home until the first of March. Here we have to focus on creating two viable territories while still remembering those at home. I have tried

to focus my attention and highlight the social and economic areas we need to address before division. These include better housing, and good jobs, better health facilities, and increased support to community wellness programs.

Mr. Speaker, Nunavut is my home and I look forward to the end of this month so I can get home to go out caribou hunting with Jerry Ell, and my friends, take the family out to Tare Inlet for picnics and sliding.

-- Applause

Representation On Behalf Of Nunavut
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 437

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Picco. I forgot to mention yesterday that in this House we do have simultaneous translation, and so when you have that, the Members speak too fast and the translators cannot keep up with you. You could lose part of your statements that you make.

If you try to beat the clock this may not allow the translators to translate all your statement. I would like to ask the Members if they could speak slowly and if you need more time, I am sure the Members will allow you that time. But the translators are having problems because Members are speaking faster than usual at times. Thank you for your cooperation. Members' statements. Mr. Roland.

Measures Needed To Prevent Fas/fae
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 437

Floyd Roland

Floyd Roland Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to send greetings back to my home community, my wife and children in Inuvik.

-- Applause

Measures Needed To Prevent Fas/fae
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 437

Floyd Roland

Floyd Roland Inuvik

It has been a while. Mr. Speaker, recently in Inuvik there has been a study done on a number of the students in Sir Alexander Mackenzie School, the elementary school. It was found that there is an alarming rate of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects. In this day, the government is reducing its budget and trying to take care of our people in the Territories. I would like to know what we are doing as a government to try and address the problem that we have that is going to be coming up behind us in our youth.

They say 21 percent of the youth in SAMS school are affected by this. This is just Inuvik. How is it in the rest of the Territories or what is the number in the rest of the Territories? Is this government trying to address this? If this is the showing, we have approximately a quarter of our population that is coming up behind us that are going to be into the system, into health care, into education, and so on and so forth. Are we doing anything to try to address this now or are we going to be blown over when it comes to these people going into the system and requiring help? What are we doing to try and prevent this?

I am going to be asking the Minister responsible for Health and Social Services, later on, some of these questions because I believe that we, as a government, need to start addressing some of these issues. As we have talked about forced growth, we are going to have forced growth coming up. If we do not address this, I think that we are going to find ourselves in a similar situation in years to come, trying to deal with things after the fact, and trying to chase the problems with money which we have proven as a government does not work. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Measures Needed To Prevent Fas/fae
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 438

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Roland. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery. Mr. Picco.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 438

Edward Picco Iqaluit

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the House today I see Mr. Bert Rose, a long time resident of the Northwest Territories and Iqaluit and a good educator, now working with the Nunavut Implementation Commission.

-- Applause

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery

Page 438

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Welcome to the Assembly. Recognition of visitors in the gallery. Mr. Krutko.