This is page numbers 171 - 185 of the Hansard for the 13th 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 work.

Topics

Members Present

Honourable Jim Antoine, Honourable Charles Dent, Mr. Erasmus, Honourable Sam Gargan, Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Henry, Mr. Krutko, Honourable Michael Miltenberger, Mr. Morin, Mr. Ootes, Mr. Rabesca, Honourable Floyd Roland, Honourable Vince Steen.

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 the constant recognition of the dignity and aspirations of those whom we serve. Amen.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 171

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Rabesca. Welcome back. Orders of the day. Ministers' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Minister's Statement 31-13(7): Report On Cabinet Planning Session At Cli Lake
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 171

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I would like to welcome all Members back to the Legislative Assembly. I hope everyone enjoyed the celebrations for the establishment of the two new territories on April 1.

Mr. Speaker, with division now past, the Cabinet held a strategic planning session at the North Nahanni Naturalist Lodge on Cli Lake to discuss the priorities for the new Northwest Territories leading up to the next general election. This session was our first opportunity to meet with our two new Cabinet colleagues, Mr. Miltenberger and Mr. Steen, to discuss the strategic direction of government and the development of a comprehensive vision for the Northwest Territories.

Discussions at Cli Lake focused primarily on the Agenda for the New North. In the past, Mr. Speaker, we have referred to this vision as the Western Agenda. Now that division is past, we have given it a more suitable name.

Mr. Speaker, the Agenda for the New North is comprised of five interrelated components. They are: governance, fiscal capacity, building our economic potential, sharing control of northern resources and improving social conditions. These components are equally important in the long-term development of our territory. In our view, they represent the pillars on which a comprehensive vision for the Northwest Territories will be built. At the Cli Lake meetings, Cabinet confirmed its commitment to the Agenda and for the need to include all residents of the Northwest Territories in its development.

Mr. Speaker, we all recognize that the Northwest Territories is facing many challenges, but we also see many opportunities. To make the most of these opportunities, we need to put aside our differences on individual issues and work together in the development of our territory. In the weeks and months to come, we intend to continue to build support for the Agenda for the New North by engaging the people and leaders of the Northwest Territories in a discussion of all its aspects.

Mr. Speaker, given the immediate importance of the issue, a substantial portion of our discussion at Cli Lake concerned the fiscal position of this government. The Minister of Finance will be addressing specific issues and initiatives when he presents the 1999-2000 budget on April 19.

However, it is important to note that we have heard the advice from Members of this Legislative Assembly and aboriginal and community leaders across the Northwest Territories, that we need to meet with northern leaders to better explain our fiscal position. Following the introduction of the budget we intend to meet with aboriginal and community leaders to discuss its details and the long-term fiscal outlook for this government.

Mr. Speaker, the remainder of the 13th Legislative Assembly provides a unique opportunity to build a comprehensive vision for the Northwest Territories. We invite all Members of this Legislative Assembly to take an active role in the development of this vision as we meet with our residents over the next six months. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 31-13(7): Report On Cabinet Planning Session At Cli Lake
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 171

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Ministers' statements. Mr. Dent.

Minister's Statement 32-13(7): Notice Of The Budget Address
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 171

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the House that on Monday, April 19, 1999, I will deliver the Budget Address. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 32-13(7): Notice Of The Budget Address
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 171

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Ministers' statements. Mr. Miltenberger.

Minister's Statement 33-13(7): Addressing Priorities In Education, Culture And Employment
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 171

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Mr. Speaker, as a new Minister with the Education, Culture and Employment portfolio, I would like to outline what I think we can accomplish in the time leading up to the next election. We intend to be proactive in addressing the many issues that face us. Although there is only a short time remaining in the term of this Assembly, there is still plenty of time to take some short-term action and to lay the groundwork for longer-term initiatives and changes.

In Education, Culture and Employment, there is lots to do and lots of good work we can build on. I intend to be constructively busy for the remainder of the term. Based on the results of the ministerial forum, the recent Education Conference and the other work around the Strategic Plan, there is much we can do. In the short term, Mr. Speaker, I intend to work with Forum members, DEAs and DECs to determine how to best move forward immediately on some of the non-monetary recommendations that came out of the Ministerial Forum on Education.

The social envelope needs to continue developing cooperative and collaborative approaches to common issues. I will be meeting with my colleagues in the social envelope to identify specific issues that we should be moving forward on. I am also hoping to work with the department and with other Ministers in the social envelope to bring some clarity to our efforts around supporting youth. The link between schools and the workplace is critical if we want to develop a northern workforce. I will be speaking later this session to how we want to strengthen that link.

There is already work underway on a broad approach to languages. I would like to see this work continue, resulting in a strategic plan to ensure the protection and preservation of our languages.

Mr. Speaker, in the long term, the strategic plan will provide guidance on our future directions. In developing the plan, the department has received input from a large number of NWT residents including students, parents and teachers. This feedback will help us ensure that our priorities as a department reflect the priorities of northerners. I look forward to working with the many partners in education on cooperative and innovative solutions as we continue to address the needs of northerners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 33-13(7): Addressing Priorities In Education, Culture And Employment
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 172

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Ministers' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Minister's Statement 34-13(7): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 172

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi will be absent from the House today. Mr. Kakfwi has been in Ottawa for the past few days to meet with the Honourable Jane Stewart on the Giant Mine issue and to meet with the Honourable Ralph Goodale on matters related to the diamond industry. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 34-13(7): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. Mr. Krutko.

Member's Statement 88-13(7): Passing Of Larry Sittichinli And Don Storr
Item 3: Members' Statements

April 13th, 1999

Page 172

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in this House with sadness to express my condolences to the people of Aklavik, especially the family and friends of both Larry Sittichinli and Don Storr.

Larry Sittichinli was the grandson of the late Lazarus Sittichinli, a respected elder and a person who played a major role in the assisting the RCMP with the famous Mad Trapper of Rat River. Larry was also an experienced bushperson. His funeral will be on Friday, April 16, 1999, in Aklavik.

Don Storr is the youngest son of the late Buck Storr and Jean. The funeral service for Don will be on Thursday, April 15, 1999, in Tsiigehtchic. Once again, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Larry's wife, Florence, and the rest of the family and to the Storr family and especially Don's common-law wife, Mavis Clark of Tsiigehtchic. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 88-13(7): Passing Of Larry Sittichinli And Don Storr
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Member's Statement 89-13(7): Stanton Regional Hospital Foundation Fundraising Campaign
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 172

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, In April, 1997, the Stanton Regional Hospital Foundation began a fundraising campaign for medical equipment. The goal was to raise $2 million over three years. Now, only two years later, the foundation has achieved its goal. The latest figures show that $2.4 million has been raised, and funds are still coming in.

There are some impressive figures, some 98 businesses made donations including some small family operations as well as big corporations. There were 28 groups such as non-profit societies, and community councils contributed and 348 individuals opened their wallets and cheque books. Donations were received from almost every one of the 36 communities the hospital serves.

People and businesses from every community were very generous, but there is one community that should be mentioned. During the November telethon 62 phone pledges were received from the community of Taloyoak. That is a notable achievement as there are only 65 phone numbers listed in the community, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank everyone for their donations and certainly Mr. Ningark would have been very proud in this House of his community.

The equipment the hospital can now purchase will save many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for this government on an annual basis. The foundation's success is the result of many dedicated volunteers. I want to thank them all for their tremendous efforts. In particular, thanks to Cappy Elkin, chair of the campaign committee; and Loretta Foley and Gerome Babyn, co-chairs of the telethon; foundation board members: Alan Hathaway, who is the chairman; Greg Merrithew, vice-chair; Bill Graham, Dr. Hassan Adam, Joe Auge, Ric Bolivar, Daryl Dolynny, John Ferguson, Richard Hardy, Margaret Hawkins, Gordon Van Tighem, Gary Walsh, Leslee Warren, Dennis Cleaver, and Carol Walsh. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 89-13(7): Stanton Regional Hospital Foundation Fundraising Campaign
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Members' statements. Mr. Henry.