Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, a lot of the work we have done in this House for the past couple of years has been related to division. Now with that work largely completed, it is refreshing to have the opportunity to focus on some of our pressing western issues.
So many times in the last few years we have heard from Members of Cabinet that the things that needed to get done could not get done, because of division. I have not done a count, but maybe I should, of the number of times I was told that changes to legislation could not be made. Not because they were not necessary, not because they were not in the best interests of the residents of the NWT, but because the Government had no time to focus on anything but division. I even heard this when I asked for changes to regulations, which are much simpler than amendments to an Act.
If I may quote some of the responses I received, I was told, at different times, "we are overtaken by the process of division... the overriding issues of division and other legislative priorities have resulted in a full legislative agenda... all the priority has been given to division-related issues and that is where the staff and the resources of this government have been allocated." Mr. Speaker, these were not acceptable answers before division and they certainly are not now.
I can give you some examples of the changes we need. The Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development is well aware of a small change that is needed to the wildlife regulations to allow Canadian Forces and DIAND personnel to enjoy the same hunting privileges as they have in other provinces. This is a small problem to fix, but it is very important to those officers who must be frequently transferred as part of their service to the country. The change would have a very small impact, but every time I bring it up I am told that it must wait for the comprehensive changes to the Wildlife Act.
Mr. Speaker, we have been hearing about these comprehensive changes for years. In fact, in looking back through Hansard I found that the government had apparently made commitments to review the entire Act as far back as 1991. I can go on, Mr. Speaker, the Labour Standards Act, for example, badly needs updating. Right now in the NWT, an employer and employee are not allowed to agree on the hours of work that best suits them both. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.