This is page numbers 241 - 272 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 chairman.

Topics

Members Present

Honourable Jim Antoine, Honourable Charles Dent, Mr. Erasmus, Honourable Sam Gargan, Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Henry, Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, 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 241

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Good afternoon. Orders of the day. Ministers' statements. Mr. Miltenberger.

Minister's Statement 37-13(7): Preparing Northerners For Work
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 241

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the proposed continuation of two very important programs that were mentioned in the Budget Address on Monday. Both of these programs help northerners gain the skills and work experience they need to be successful in the workforce.

One million dollars of the proposed funds will be used to extend the very successful Working Together program. This program is aimed at the more than 1,000 NWT students in post-secondary education and young people who are unemployed. Working Together dollars subsidize wages paid by employers in both the private and non-profit sectors. Over the past two years, more than 900 young people in the Western NWT have found employment in positions subsidized by the program.

Working Together has been a good partnership between government and the private sector. The jobs created under this program allow young people to get relevant experience that will help them when they are ready to look for permanent work. Mr. Speaker, it is proposed that the one-year community-based Skills for Work program will also receive $1 million. This program is based on the Investing in People program that ended on March 31 this year.

The Skills for Work program is intended to help northerners gain the skills to take advantage of the many job opportunities that we have. The proposed money will be used for pre-employment programs and will be managed through the department's regional offices. As well, support will be given to adult basic education, skills development and community job training that will be managed by Aurora College. The programs offered will be based on identified community education and training needs.

One component of the Skills for Work program worth special mention is the enhancement of training opportunities for special needs assistants. The need for more of this type of training was identified by the ministerial forum and during other work on the department's strategic plan. I am pleased that we may have some additional funding to put into this area of need.

The infrastructure to support these programs is already in place, so we hope to implement them very quickly. If the House approves the funding, the Working Together program will be available to employers by the end of the month. The Skills for Work program will be up and running in the near future as well.

Both of these programs are investments in our future and in our youth, Mr. Speaker. They are both important parts of our commitment as a government to ensure that northerners are ready and able to take advantage of the employment opportunities around them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 37-13(7): Preparing Northerners For Work
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 241

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Ministers' statements. Mr. Roland.

Minister's Statement 38-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Strategy
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 241

Floyd Roland Inuvik

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to update the Members of this House on the GNWT's ongoing efforts to recruit and retain health and social service professionals in the NWT. Mr. Speaker, we are all aware of the challenges we face with respect to the recruitment and retention of health and social service professionals in the north. This problem is particularly true with respect to nurses, who make up almost 85 percent of the health care workers in our health and social services system.

The NWT has unique needs when it comes to nursing professionals. Nurses are the first point of contact with the health and social services system for many northerners. Northern nurses must have specialized training and skills to provide the wider range of services expected of them. Nurses with the kind of training and experience we need are also being actively recruited by other Canadian jurisdictions. In other words Mr. Speaker, we are competing for a specialized pool of nurses who are in more demand than ever before.

Mr. Speaker, turnover and vacancy rates for nurses in the NWT are increasing, particularly in smaller communities. In the long term, high turnover and vacancy rates may result in decreased quality of care, increased workload for remaining staff and increased medical travel costs. We need a stable workforce to ensure that the quality of health care in the NWT is maintained. Mr. Speaker, this government recognizes that it must take action to protect the high quality of health care now provided to residents of the NWT. In Monday's budget speech, the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Charles Dent, announced it is proposed over the next two years, that an additional $3 million will be allocated to the recruitment and retention of nurses in the NWT. Incentives created with this funding will help us attract and retain nurses in the NWT. We will also use this funding to encourage more northerners to enter the nursing profession.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 38-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Strategy
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 242

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Ministers' statements. Mr. Steen.

Minister's Statement 39-13(7): Tuktoyaktuk Hamlet Council Invitation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 242

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, I wish to take this opportunity to thank the people of Tuktoyaktuk, the hamlet council and the recreation committee for inviting me to take part in the opening of the 1999 Beluga Jamboree on Friday April 9, 1999. It was an honour for me to take part in this event which was well attended by people from Inuvik and Alkavik as well. As Minister, I also had occasion to meet with the Mayor and Hamlet Council on a serious issue pertaining to the hamlets' main fresh water source.

I wish to assure the people and hamlet council that the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs officials will be working closely with them to resolve this concern to the satisfaction of the council and the department as quickly as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 39-13(7): Tuktoyaktuk Hamlet Council Invitation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 242

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Member's Statement 107-13(7): GNWT Support For Small Business
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 242

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my statement today is regarding the support of this government, especially in the Inuvik region and small communities and entrepreneurs in the communities who have made an investment to establish their businesses and also operate those businesses in those communities. Mr. Speaker, there is a high cost associated with running any business especially in a small community where you do not have a guaranteed economic base.

Mr. Speaker, I will use as an example, Storr & Sons of Aklavik, which is a family-owned business and was owned and operated by the late Buck Storr and now run by his son, Richard Storr. They have been in business for a number of years. They have served the community by small gravel hauls from Willow River in the Richardson Mountains, and have had the contract to maintain snow removal in regard to the winter road between Inuvik and Aklavik. Yet, Mr. Speaker, they find it harder and harder to get jobs and some opportunities for assurance that they can continue to operate and maintain their businesses in Aklavik, which they have to pay for the equipment that they purchase to ensure that they have equipment located in Aklavik, they have to have a building to house the equipment in Aklavik and they also have to be able to have some assurances for their employees that they will have work, to have a steady workforce in Aklavik. Yet, Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult for them to continue to maintain and operate this family business because of the question about competition from the larger centres, especially in Inuvik and also from outside the region.

Mr. Speaker, we have policies in place which are suppose to protect groups such as these small communities, but interpreting these policies they are more structured to regional projects than to community specific projects. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that we have to relook at the bid process and the contracting process we have in place. I have had a lot of concerns and complaints from other communities, especially in the areas of the aviation sector, who also are having problems to continue to operate their businesses because of not having some assurances that they should maintain their aircraft in small communities and keep them in small communities to supply these services I am talking about versus aviation which has been in place for a number of years in Fort Norman. These are some examples of how the Inuvik region has, we have to ensure that these policies that are in place are working to ensure that we do supply opportunities to our communities and to the individuals who have made a long-term commitment to our communities in regard to ensuring that the equipment is available, and also that jobs are available to our communities. At the appropriate time I will be asking the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development on this particular matter. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 107-13(7): GNWT Support For Small Business
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 242

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Members' statements. Mr. Ootes.

Member's Statement 108-13(07): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 242

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I feel, Mr. Speaker, that it is important for us to speak about reports that are issued by this government and especially when we do extensive community consultations. I feel that it is important for us as MLAs to address them and the questions in the House so that

there is public clarification on this. Mr. Speaker, yesterday I dealt with pupil/teacher ratios and resources to deliver new programs in relationship to the report on the Minister's Forum of Education.

Today I want to speak on teacher recruitment and retention. The Budget Address, which Mr. Dent announced the other day, provided for $3 million for a strategy to retain and attract health care workers. As in the health care area, we face a potential similar problem in the education field. Health has become a focal point and it is certainly needed, there is no question about that, but we must also address the education issues. Mr. Speaker, the 1990s have not been kind and good to teachers because there have been rollbacks of salaries and benefits and there are pressures to deliver more programs with fewer dollars. Like nurses, we face a similar potential shortage in teachers.

The Canadian Teachers Federation sees teacher shortages as the biggest issue facing the profession. It is not restricted to Canada. Great Britain has set up offices in various countries to recruit teachers including one in Canada. Nova Scotia graduates are being attracted to the United States, Great Britain, Asia and the Middle East. The forecasts indicate that there is going to be a very serious teacher shortage in Ontario. There is a supply and demand gap coming. Teachers are retiring, the forecast indicates 25 percent in four years and 50 percent in the next eight years. These are very serious implications for us here in the north, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to later, during question period, address some questions to the Minister about teacher retention and attraction. Thank you.

Member's Statement 108-13(07): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 243

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Members' statements. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Member's Statement 109-13(07): Long Services Awards To Hay River Teachers
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 243

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ootes has spoken in his Member's statement today about the serious issue of turnover rates in the ranks of northern educators. With increased pressures and diminishing resources for teachers to cope with, it may become rare in the future to see the kind of recognition which took place in Hay River last week.

A number of teachers and public servants were honoured at the 1998 Long Service Awards. I would like to make special mention of some of the teachers. A number received awards for five, ten and 15 years of service. Of course, this is an accomplishment and we appreciate all of our teachers in Hay River and the fact that solid, stable role models are still choosing education as a career. Mr. Speaker, I want to name the 20-year recipients: Robert White, Jennifer Turvey, Linda Hobson, Gladys Norwegian, Marilyn Carroll, Carol Grimm.

Support staff also play an integral role in the life of our schools so, it is important that we take note of the 20-year service awards that were presented to: Linda Atwell, Jun Lau-a, and also especially, Mabel Wright for 30 years of service. Mr. Speaker, if you think that eight staff members with 20 years service in a small community like Hay River is remarkable, let me tell you about Patricia Burnstad and Janet Fahl both receiving 25-year service awards.

Now we come to two of the institutions of education in Hay River; Mr. Peter Osted, and Mr. Romeo Gonzales, who were recognized for 30 years of service.

I have stated in this House before that Hay River has been extremely fortunate and when you add the combined years of teaching, the average number of years must be as high, if not higher, than most communities anywhere in Canada, let alone the Northwest Territories.

When we look at statistics in turnover rates in other communities, the national shortage rates, the increasing rate of burnout, combined with the recruitment efforts of the United States and the United Kingdom, we had better indeed take a very sober look at the resource we have in staff in northern communities like Hay River. If the pressures in the system in the north become too great, in years to come we will not be afforded the luxury of celebrating long service records such as we had last week. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 109-13(07): Long Services Awards To Hay River Teachers
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 243

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Erasmus.

Member's Statement 110-13(7): Territorial Youth Legislative Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 243

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to speak about the Territorial Youth Legislative Assembly that will be occurring here in May. Mr. Speaker, I suppose it is appropriate that we have put in place a training program for young legislators as we are trying to train people in other areas. The way this is happening, Mr. Speaker, is that all the schools that have grades nine and ten have been asked to submit two names of youth and the youth will be coming here to represent our MLAs and sit in our chairs, ask questions, be Ministers, the whole works.

Yesterday and today the Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife here did a trial run with our staff. The staff had gone to the schools, explained the process and worked with the students and they would like to thank the teacher that they worked mainly with was Yasemin Heyck.

Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity today to watch the grade seven and eight students in the House here and they made Ministers' statements and Members' statements, there were oral questions, there was a Speaker. It was very well done and I was quite impressed with some of the statements that were made on how to improve education in Mildred Hall, more field trips in education, the name of the Northwest Territories, they did not think too much of Bob either. Also, they thought it would be a good idea to have a better place to skateboard in Yellowknife. Under oral questions there were questions on a central hiring agency, royalties from diamond mines and those types of things. I am told that the youth had their own questions, although the staff did help some of them in formulating the questions. I was quite impressed with the young fellow, Michael Lane, who sat in my seat. He did a much better job than I. He asked a similar question to what I had asked a month ago about student jobs in the summer. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Member's Statement 110-13(7): Territorial Youth Legislative Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Yellowknife North is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his statement. Do I have any nays? Mr. Erasmus, you have unanimous consent to conclude your statement.

Member's Statement 110-13(7): Territorial Youth Legislative Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, colleagues. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, Michael Lane was sitting in my chair and he did a very good job asking questions about the student summer jobs and having a central agency for that. It was very ironic because about a month or so ago, the last time we were here, I had asked a very similar question to the Minister. Anyway, some of the students that I recognized from Yellowknife North were Dahti Scott, Aaron Norwegian, Alex Wah-shee and Carmen Braden, who acted as the Premier, and I would like to congratulate all the students on a job well done and we look forward to seeing the other students from the rest of the territories in May. Thank you.

--Applause

Member's Statement 110-13(7): Territorial Youth Legislative Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Morin.

Member's Statement 111-13(7): History Of Fort Resolution And The North
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to talk a bit about Fort Resolution, the oldest community in the western Arctic. As some Members know, Fort Resolution used to be the oldest trading centre and the most active one at the turn of the century. Fort Resolution was founded as a trading post, a Northwest Trading Company as well as the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and it grew also into one of the biggest hospital centres in the western Arctic. It had a major hospital there run by the Catholic church, as well as it had a major educational centre called residential schooling. As Fort Resolution grew, also the Northwest Territories grew, but its shift started to change from a fur type, renewable resource economy to a non-renewable resource economy.

For example, the gold mines in Yellowknife. When the gold mines in Yellowknife started up, the closest resources for timber were in the Slave River lowlands and in the Slave River Valley. Back in the 1930s they started logging and sawing in the Slave River lowlands, just outside of Fort Resolution, and the majority of the people working in those sawmills came from my community, Fort Resolution. In those days, Mr. Speaker, they had about five or six sawmills along the Slave River and Jean Marie River and they used to saw logs by hand with a crosscut saw and saw them up in the sawmills, load the barges by hand and bring it to Yellowknife for timbers for the gold mines here. They also supplied much of the lumber that built Yellowknife and that is in some of the older buildings in this community.

Consequently, Mr. Speaker, you do have the enjoyment of visiting elders in our community and every time you visit an elder they all talk about working in the sawmill. They all talk about doing that type of work to support their family, so you do have grandfathers that have worked in sawmills, you do have fathers that have worked in sawmills and now you have the sons that are working in the present sawmill in Fort Resolution. This is part of the culture of Fort Resolution, it is part of our history and we will continue to do that. The people of Fort Resolution are proud people and we all want to work for our dollars, none of us want to get welfare. So, in the end, Mr. Speaker, I came from Fort Resolution yesterday, I saw a yard full of logs and everybody was looking at hearing that headsaw fire up. Thank you.

Member's Statement 111-13(7): History Of Fort Resolution And The North
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Rabesca.

Member's Statement 112-13(7): Recognition Of Two Outstanding Constituents
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

James Rabesca North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I raise to recognize two very important residents of my region. Both Doreen Nitsiza of Wha Ti and Eddie Weyallon of Rae-Edzo are volunteer workers in their communities. Over the years both have worked very hard helping their communities to become a better place to live and raise a family. Over the years Doreen has volunteered her time and energy coaching and raising money for the volleyball team and has served with the Wha Ti Sport and Culture Association for many years. Eddie Weyallon has committed his time volunteering for the past 30 years, and has served under seven different chiefs as the Rae Band's head boss for organizing events and a role model for the younger generations.

Voluntarism is a very important part of all communities. If it were not for volunteers, most if not all carnivals, dances, bingos, community radio channels, community feasts and the list continues, would never take place. We need these generous people and I thought today I would recognize two of these very important members of our community and thank them for their hard work and dedication. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 112-13(7): Recognition Of Two Outstanding Constituents
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 244

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Item 4, returns to oral questions. Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Oral Question 58-13(7): Diamond Training Programs
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

Page 244

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a return to an oral question asked by Mr. Erasmus on March 29, 1999. The government has spent approximately $200,000 to train northern people at Sirius Diamonds diamond processing plant. Sirius Diamonds is currently in the process of setting up its new facility in the City of Yellowknife and will be making permanent job offers to seven of the candidates who started the initial training program. As well, we have been advised by Sirius Diamonds that ten additional job offers will be made to participants in the current Aurora College diamond pre-employment program. Thank you.

Return To Oral Question 58-13(7): Diamond Training Programs
Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions

Page 244

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Returns to oral questions. Item 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery.

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

Page 244

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Ms. Pat Thomas, who has been here many days trying to slug through the same stuff that we have. Thank you.

--Applause

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

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Recognitions of visitors in the gallery. Item 6, oral questions. Mr. Erasmus.

Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. It is partially in relation to the Minister's Forum on Education. Mr. Speaker, recently we have been hearing that people from Deline had wanted to be able to send their children to a school in Yellowknife, presumably because they felt that they could get a better education here. I have not really gotten any more information on that item, but did hear a news broadcast on that.

In the Minister's Forum on Education, there are several comments here that the grade extensions have come up with a modest increase in the graduation rate, but it certainly has not increased at the same rate as the participation rate. It goes on to say that high schools in many communities are only able to offer a narrow range of courses because they have fewer teachers and more limited range of subject expertise, and specialized resources for math and sciences are highlighted as inadequate. Also, opportunities are more limited in small schools for extracurricular activities such as competitive sports, and interesting learning opportunities outside the classroom, and other points are made. Mr. Speaker, what I would like to know is has the Minister had any time to consider this particular area of the Minister's Forum report and also, stemming from the Deline request?

Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger. Two questions.

Return To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in the House previously, we are working on the recommendations, we recognise that there are some big ones that are very expensive but there are others that we think we can come forward with a realistic plan for implementation. I have indicated that we intend to do that. I intend to be able to bring something forward when we gather in June that will show the result of that work with the department with the ministerial forum members and with the DEAs and DECs providing feedback. At this point I cannot respond specifically to that other than to say, all of these recommendations are being looked at and we are going to bring forward something for this House to look at. Thank you.

Return To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, does the Minister know if his staff have been able to verify whether the problems that have been identified by the parents and the teachers in the smaller communities, whether there is some truth to their claims? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I do not think that there is any question of anybody doubting what has been brought forward in terms of recommendations or feedback. The issue of adequate resources has been discussed quite thoroughly and will continue to be discussed quite thoroughly. The department is aware, as we all are, that there is a need for additional resources in a lot of the areas that have been highlighted in this report. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Would the Minister contemplate reopening such places as Akaitcho Hall for students to come to the larger centres, as it seems that even the community people themselves are asking for such a thing.? If things are born out the way they are told, would he consider such a move?

Supplementary To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The issue of re-opening of residential schools is a very complex one given the history. I think the Western Arctic Leadership Program, for instance, plays a valuable role, but at this point I am not contemplating at all the re-opening of Akaitcho Hall under any kind of condition. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Question 88-13(7): Grade Extensions In Small Communities
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 245

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Krutko.

Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

April 21st, 1999

Page 245

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I will direct my question to the Premier. It is regarding my Member's statement and the whole idea that we do have certain policies in place to assist businesses especially in the smaller communities. I mentioned a few examples, Storr & Sons in Aklavik, and I made reference to Ursus Aviation and also there are a few other companies that I would like to mention such as Tetlit'zheh Construction Ltd. and Ferguson Simek Clark. These are companies that have made an attempt to establish their businesses in the remote communities and in the regions. Mr. Speaker, some of these companies are finding themselves in a position of either having to move their business out of the Inuvik region or else consider closing down their business altogether. I think that for us to support our communities in the community business sector we have to ensure that these policies are there to assist them not to put a burden on them with regard to opening up the floodgates to allow companies to move in such as in the case of Ferguson Simek Clark, where they have had

to shut their doors and move back to Yellowknife.

I would like to ask the Premier exactly, the Business Incentive Policies, we have sole source negotiated contracts and site-specific contracts. Can the Premier tell me what is this government doing to ensure that there is some protection or mechanisms in place to ensure the business community in our small communities will be able to continue to operate in the future?

Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Premier.

Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the honourable Member is asking what this government is doing in regard to taking care of the business sector in the small communities. We have been separated from Nunavut for just 21 days. One of the elements of the Agenda for the New North is to focus and put our energies towards what we have here in the new Northwest Territories. In that line the Minister responsible for Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development is taking the lead role in the economic strategy that we are proposing here. We have already initiated that last year, in the fall, and he has the lead role in this case to pursue. It is a general bigger picture.

Before, when we were all together we still had the same policies, but now that we have our own jurisdiction to take care of we should turn our attention and focus on to what we have. We should have an assessment of what we have. We should look at what we have in all sectors, not only in the businesses that are in the smaller communities, but look at what we have in terms of resources like oil and gas, forestry, tourism, mining, diamond mines. We should look at the infrastructure we have in the communities and we should look at the people that we have, the human resources that we currently have in the Northwest Territories and have a good assessment of what is there now.

I think that the economic strategy will attempt to do this, to look at all the different issues. I think it will be a good forum to discuss all issues including the concern of the honourable Member who is asking what is this government doing to protect these businesses in the small communities and, now that we have our own territory, why do we not turn our attention and focus to look at and assess the total Northwest Territories, including what the honourable Member is requesting of this government. Thank you.

Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe the concern that I raise comes from the riding that I represent where I do have a lot of small communities and in some cases they depend on the contracts that do come out. Especially in the case of Aklavik where Storr & Sons are the only local contractor, yet they find it hard to compete with a lot of the bigger companies within the region. I feel that we have to somehow find a mechanism that we do recognize that there is a difference of maintaining and operating equipment in an isolated community such as Aklavik where you have limited opportunities. I would like to ask the Premier exactly how does he see the smaller communities being involved in this economic strategy to ensure that these type of contractors will have some protection in the future?

Supplementary To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, from my understanding of the economic strategy, the Minister will attempt to develop the strategy through the community level on up through the system. We would like to take that strategy and get the input from both the people and businesses at the community level and develop it from the ground up. That is the direction that this strategy will be attempting to pursue. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe we just spent around $750,000 on this economic strategy with a consultant that basically pulled it together for us. I hope we are not going to be spending more money to go out to try to fix something that we already know needs fixing. I would like to ask exactly, is there a way that there can be an internal review on the problems that I have encountered in the last number of months in my riding, especially from companies such as Storr & Sons, Tetlit'zheh Construction out of Fort McPherson, the band corporation in Fort McPherson? It seems like it is an internal problem with the department that manages or monitors these contracts. Is there a possibility of having this problem dealt with sooner rather than later, instead of having to wait for another review?

Supplementary To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the different examples the honourable Member is using in the request here are different instances that have happened over a number of months. I am sure that, knowing the departments that are handling this, there is probably a very good reason for why contracts were done the way they were done. Certainly we will look at it, get a briefing on each particular situation that the honourable Member is concerned about and, I am sure there is an explanation for the way each department has handled the particular issues that the honourable Member is raising at this time. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 246

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In regard to the review, there is, I believe, a case where Tetlit'zheh Construction is now having to try to resolve this case of the construction of the school in Fort McPherson. I thought this project was going to happen and now, from what I can make of it, they are having to go to arbitration because they cannot sit in the same room with the Department of Public Works in Inuvik. Can the Premier also consider looking at that issue?

Supplementary To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes.

Further Return To Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Question 89-13(7): Policies To Assist Small Business
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Ootes.

Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My questions will be for Mr. Miltenberger, the Minister of Education. Teachers today are facing increasing workloads and greater expectations from society. At the same time, they have been under pressure with decreasing salaries and less opportunities for professional development. Their issue is not just about salaries, Mr. Speaker. Teachers need to feel that they are valued and that their professional concerns are addressed. I wonder if the Minister could tell us, considering the situation of competing issues and competing jurisdictions for teachers elsewhere, such as the south, the provinces and other countries for that matter, how we are going to retain and attract teachers? My specific question is, what measures are now in place to retain and attract teachers?

Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is an issue of growing concern. The Member's question is in regard to what is currently in place. What is currently in place is the benefit package we have. The position we have as a government in terms of housing and recruitment that goes on through the boards and DECs is what is currently in place.

Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

I am sure the Minister will agree, and I realize he is in a tough position on this matter because it is dollar-related, to try and keep a happy workforce. I am sure it is very difficult, but the government is the government and they have to address these issues. I guess my next question, then, relates to what programs the Minister is initiating to remedy the forecasted potential teacher shortage and the dilemma experienced throughout the country? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the collective bargaining process has been initiated between the government and the NWTTA, which will speak to the issue of benefits and pay. I have met with the department on the issue of retention and recruitment and I am aware, as the Member is, of the trends across the country in terms of the shortage of teachers, the intense competition. I am also aware that the level of applications for positions in the north has dropped. We are also trying to find out why there has been a lowering, as well, of people applying to join the TEP program itself to move towards a teaching degree.

We are taking steps to try to find out, in terms of recruitment and getting people into TEP, into our own teaching programs. We are going to be looking at, as I indicated with the collective bargaining process, the social programs. Ministers are going to be meeting on Monday, hopefully, if it goes as planned, and one of the issues on there for across the government is the issue of housing for professions such as teachers and nurses, to see how we can, in fact, look at that. We are taking steps, we are very cognizant of this issue, we are aware, very clearly, what is happening with the professions of nursing and that we, if trends continue, could be heading in the same direction to the same degree. We would like to be proactive before we get to that level. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the Minister's effort in that area. I think it is a good indication of the concern by the government. Could the Minister also tell us if they will be addressing the issue of the wages and benefits package during the discussions or meetings that are scheduled? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The issue of wages and benefits will be dealt with through the collective bargaining process that is now underway between the government and the NWTTA and I am not in a position, because it is a bargaining process, to speak to that issue. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Ootes.

Supplementary To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 247

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There is an area, I believe, that the government can address and that is the area of working conditions. I wonder if the Minister could address the

issue of class sizes and the diversity of classes? I realize that may involve a money factor, but it is within the control of the department to be able to address the issue, certainly, and do some analysis. Can the Minister tell me if he will look at changing the working conditions? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the issue of working conditions, if my recollection is correct, is also referenced in the ministerial forum and relates, as the Member indicated, to pupil/teacher ratio and such. So, yes, that will be considered as we look at trying to move ahead on responding to those particular recommendations in the forum. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Question 90-13(7): Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Henry.

Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is to Mr. Miltenberger, the Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment. Mr. Speaker, I believe in the NWT we have among the highest pupil/teacher ratio in Canada, we have the highest level of special needs students in Canada, we have the highest level of illiteracy in Canada in our schools, we have the highest dropout rates in Canada and we have the highest suicide rates in Canada. Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister is, are those statements an accurate reflection of the situations that we have in our schools in the NWT? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe I received the same letter from Mr. Sims with the same issues outlined and while I cannot speak directly to each one, I have no reason to doubt them from the briefings we have had as a government and as MLAs in regard to the specific topics mentioned by the Member. I believe, yes, we lag behind every other jurisdiction in Canada in terms of those social indicators. Thank you.

Return To Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I understand from what the Minister says that we have received briefings in this House and in Caucus from various departments and particularly from the Department of Education that these, in fact, are accurate. I guess I would ask, I beg, I would implore the Minister and indeed all of the Ministers of this government if, in fact, you know a situation needs help like the areas I have outlined, would you please, if you have the spare $350,000 to spend, would you in future put it into something that can assist in these problem areas that we have instead of looking for spending the money that we do not have additional resources to fix, finding problems that we have?

Would the Minister commit to ensuring that he will not perform any additional studies until we at least fix the problems that we have identified already? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Very clearly, I share the Member's perspective, that I am now into, and I think we are now into, implementation and solutions as opposed to study. Being in a perpetual state of study and planning can only carry you so far and does get expensive. So, yes, we are not intending to do any further studies, we are now intending to come up with concrete plans of action. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Question 91-13(7): Education Conditions In The Nwt
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Morin.

Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Premier. In the hand out, the GNWT Budget 1999-2000, the Finance Minister states in there, and it is bolded and highlighted, there are no cuts to existing programs in the GNWT 1999-2000 Budget. Is this a true statement, Mr. Premier? Thank you.

Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Premier, Mr. Antoine.

Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, to the best of my knowledge. Thank you.

Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Morin.

Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sorry, I did not hear the answer. Maybe he could repeat it. Thank you.

Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine, would you like to repeat your answer?

Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. To the best of my knowledge, the statement that is in the brochure is correct. Thank you.

Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Morin.

Supplementary To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 248

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Also in the statement, the same statement, the Minister states "my priority as Finance Minister is to secure the financial tools the north must have to meet our future head -on and to succeed at making our vision for tomorrow a reality." Is part of this government's vision to make our communities more independent? Is part of this government's vision to make our communities benefit from their

existent knowledge? Is part of this government's vision to ensure that our small communities not only become more independent, but become more self-sufficient with what tools they have within that community? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. There were three questions asked. Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. I guess the answer is yes, that is the intention of this government is to attempt to use what we have in terms of resources to work with the communities to see what could be developed. Certainly we support all the abilities of the community to generate their own economy, to maximize the benefits that are in their communities in terms of resources. This is what we are saying. Certainly we would like to work with the communities to do that, but like I said earlier, we have just about 21 days since we had division.

We have to refocus on what we have in terms of our resources, in terms of the financial resources, in terms of human resources. What are the possibilities out there? We have to reassess what we have and once we know what we have and how we are going to do it, then we will move ahead with what we have. In the meantime, we will try to maintain what we have. That is the direction that we are taking at this time. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Question 92-13(7): Veracity Of Budget Statement
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Sorry, Mr. Morin. You did ask three questions. Oral questions. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Mr. Miltenberger should be very pleased that after so few days in Cabinet he is by far the most popular Cabinet Minister. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Miltenberger made a very categorical statement just a few moments ago in response to Mr. Erasmus' questions about grade extensions. He stated that he would have no intent of reopening Akaitcho Hall under any circumstances. Mr. Speaker, I think that grade extensions in communities where people want them and where they succeed is a noble goal and I am just amazed by the Minister's categorical dismissal of any consideration for students in small communities ever coming into larger centres again.

It is not difficult to figure out that you could not possibly offer the same options for courses and things like sports and extracurricular activities in a community of 400 that you could offer in a community of 7,000, just as Yellowknife with 17,000 may not offer all the educational extracurricular options of a community of 40,000 people. It is all relative to the population. I do understand that there is a community that is asking for the reinstatement of some form of what we had before. Certainly all the people in the north that I know that attended Grandin or Akaitcho, people who are 40-something and 50-something, you hear them speak of that particular educational experience in a very positive light. So my question is, I am curious why the Minister is so definitive in his denial of any consideration on the part of this government of such a program again? Thank you.

Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my recollection of what I said is that I am not contemplating, at any point, reopening Akaitcho Hall. I am not denying students from smaller communities the right to come to larger communities to go to school in other circumstances. Am I, as a Minister, thinking of resurrecting Akaitcho Hall in the magnitude that it was in its heyday with the cost and all the attendant issues now surrounding residential schools? No, I am not. Will there come a day when there is a huge ground swell of support in the Northwest Territories to resurrect residential schools like Akaitcho Hall, like Grollier Hall, like Breynat Hall. If that day ever comes and I am still alive to see it, then I am sure the government will take a serious look at it, but I can tell you at this point I am not interested in trying to revive the old system of residential schools. Thank you.

Return To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Supplementary To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I think the Minister would probably agree that there is a vast difference between taking a child of six or seven years of age away from their parents and picking them up at the beginning of the school year and dropping them off at Christmas. I think there is a vast difference between that scenario, as a residential school, than some of the high school options that we saw available in years gone by. Does the Minister have any statistics that show how grade extensions are doing? Do they work better in terms of achievement and graduation than children, say of the age of 16, going to a larger center and completing their high school in a larger center if that was their choice and their option? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Mr Speaker, I do know that the rates of students going to school has increased. Although graduation rates are not where we like them, grade extensions have shown an improvement in young people attending school and staying in school. I do not have the level of detail that the Member is requesting. I will commit to providing that information for her. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Supplementary To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 249

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, would the Minister be prepared to provide the House with evidence of increased attendance rates in the small communities where the grade extensions have been put in place? Thank you,

Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Yes, I would, Mr. Speaker.

Further Return To Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Question 93-13(7): Grade Extension Policy
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Erasmus.

Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. To follow up on the grade extensions, Mr. Speaker, some years back I had an opportunity to attend the Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith and take the business administration program. The courses that you could take were very limited. Two years later, I went to Lethbridge University. I took the same program but I could take all kinds of different courses. I had a very good selection of courses to take, better qualified teachers with masters, some with doctorates, whereas there had not been any in Thebacha College. I am not saying that is the case with the teachers, that they are better qualified.

However, I certainly see the similarity in the types of courses that they are able to offer in a small school in relation to some place like Yellowknife or even Fort Smith or Hay River, the larger schools. What I would like to know is, do we fund the Western Arctic Leadership Program in any way? Thank you.

Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Western Arctic Leadership Program has been existence for, I believe, almost eight years and was started by my colleague, Mr. Kakfwi, when he was Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. Yes, we do provide some funding to the Western Arctic Leadership Program to the tune of, I believe, $165,000 per year. Thank you.

Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Would the Minister indicate how many students go through this leadership program per year?

Supplementary To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I believe the number this year is 17. It ranges anywhere from about 14 to 19, depending on how many apply.

Further Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister indicate if the leadership program children are able to take a full range of courses such as you could find perhaps in Yellowknife and perhaps even maybe more than what you could take in Yellowknife or one of the larger centers? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the students in the Western Arctic Leadership Program attend school at P.W. Kaeser High School in Fort Smith and access the same educational courses that are open to all the other students in Fort Smith.

Further Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary. Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Why is the Minister condoning a second-rate education for the rest of the community children out there and making it available for only a very select few students, less than 20 per year? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not condoning second-rate education for anybody. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Question 94-13(7): School Extension Programs
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Morin.

Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question would be to the Premier, just to finish up the questioning I was asking earlier. As the Premier heard in my Member's statement, it was good to hear that the Premier said that one of the main priorities of this government is to keep what we have and commit to work with the communities. In my Member's statement, Mr. Speaker, I talked about all the knowledge and the tradition and the culture going back in Fort Resolution on the sawmill. I ask the Premier again, is that a priority of this government to work with communities such as Fort Resolution, with the existing labour and the existing equipment in that community, to ensure that that community becomes economically viable and that industry survives in the new Western Territory? Thank you.

Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 250

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Premier.

Return To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the situation in Fort Resolution in regard to the sawmill has been there for many years, and the people are dependent on the sawmill to put food on the table and gain employment. Certainly, we would like to continue to work with the community to make sure that this industry continues into the future. What we are attempting to do is, I think the Minister responsible has already contacted the chief and had some discussion with him in regard to the future of the sawmill. I think these talks are ongoing. The intention here is that we have to continue to work with the community to make sure that this whole industry survives and keeps on providing employment for the community. Thank you.

Return To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mr. Morin.

Supplementary To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is good to hear the Premier's commitment to the community of Fort Resolution. Also, I would just like to tell this Legislative Assembly, as well as the Premier, the community is totally committed to making this operation viable. Later on today, Mr. Speaker, I will be tabling the business plan in this House that was prepared by the NWT Development Corporation in conjunction with the community of Fort Resolution.

But also, Mr. Speaker, can the Premier advise myself if it is the practice, or can it be the practice of your Ministers, when you do have senior management going in to talk about the future of the economic well-being of any one of our communities and when you are talking about the major economic job provider in the community, that they can have at least the decency and the common courtesy to inform the MLA that their deputy minister is going into the community? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. I would like to apologize to the honourable Member if there has been an oversight, but I understand that there was a message left for the honourable Member prior to the deputy minister going in there. We will make sure that he gets contacted in person in the future before any such trip is arranged for talking about the sawmill in Fort Resolution. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mr. Morin.

Supplementary To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am watching the number of questions so I do not get out of hand. Mr. Premier, can I get a commitment from yourself as the Premier of this government to come to Fort Resolution and meet with the community as well as to see the logging operations and as well to see the Slave River lowlands where we have harvested in the past? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Antoine.

Further Return To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think this will be a very good time of the year to go into anybody's country, and I certainly will accept that invitation. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Question 95-13(7): Fort Resolution Sawmill Industry
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mr. Henry.

Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is to Mr. Steen, the Minister responsible for the Department of Transportation. Last December, my private Member's bill to amend the Public Highways Act and the Motor Vehicles Act was passed in this Assembly. The amendments allow the Commissioner, and therefore the Minister, to set maximum speed limits of more than 98 kilometres per hour on highways where appropriate. Mr. Speaker, I introduced that bill because of the number of concerns that I had received from people who drive the highway and also from the tourists that come up the highway. They feel that it is just a little long to be at 90 kilometres an hour, even though we do have a lot of scenery.

My question to the Minister is, has the department given some consideration or has the Minister given direction to the department to follow the wishes of this legislature in increasing the speed limit on the highway comparable to Alberta for that portion of the highway that would it be acceptable to that speed limit? In other words, Mr. Speaker, I am just talking about the portion from the border to Fort Rae. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Steen.

Return To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Member's question in regard to increasing the speed limit in reference to the motion passed in the House, the department is considering all aspects of the motion including the effects of increasing the speed limits on the highway. The department is including in the review the fact that there are buffalo on the highway, the fact that certain conditions of the highway are contributing towards accidents and the overall effect of increasing the speed limits on the general public. The department has advised me that they will have a report ready from the review early this summer. Thank you.

Return To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 251

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I can certainly see why it takes so long to upgrade the highway between Yellowknife and Fort Rae, if it takes that long to get a report read after some legislation has been presented in this House. My question to the Minister is, is there no way of speeding this up, Mr. Speaker? If this type of report waits until the summertime, the tourist traffic will be up, we will have more tourists that will be bringing a sad message down south that it takes too long to get to the north at 90 kilometres per hour where you have the same caliber of road

that you do in any part of Alberta. Will the Minister commit to putting a little flame underneath the department personnel that are working on this report and bring it back to the House in a more timely fashion? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Steen.

Further Return To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Member, the speed to respond seems to be related to the speed on the highway. So, I will commit to the Member, I will ask my department to see if it can speed this thing up to possibly have the speed limit increased or stay the same by the time tourist season starts. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Henry.

Supplementary To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Minister for that, I would also like it if the Minister as part of that report, could have some of the department personnel check to find out if there would be such things as buffalo on the highways in Alberta, too, where the speed limit is at 100 kilometres per hour. Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Steen.

Further Return To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, part of the things we have to take into consideration is, simply because people drive over the speed limit does not necessarily mean it is a safe speed limit. All aspects of increasing the speed limit will have to be considered, including the suggestion that by making it a lower speed limit is a safer speed limit, particularly for tourists during the tourist season. However, all these aspects that are related to increasing the speed limit will be taken into consideration and the department will respond and I hope by the tourist season, the start of the tourist season, which I presume is the end of May. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Question 96-13(7): Speed Limit On Highways
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Again, just to remind the Members regarding question period and one of the guidelines for questions is, a question must not be trivial, vague or meaningless or frivolous. So, just to remind the Members. Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Henry. Oral questions. Mr. Krutko.

Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger. The Minister, when he was on the opposite side of the House, was pretty supportive of a motion passed in this legislature which called for an increase in funding to the Department of Education and also the increase of teachers in our classrooms. Mr. Speaker, I have made comments in this House about the problem that we are seeing in a lot of our smaller communities in regard to the reduction of teachers in a lot of our communities and the large class sizes that we have in our schools, as well as the need to have materials available to the students in the classrooms, especially the ones attending the high school grades. My question to the Minister is, what is he doing to ensure the communities have adequate teachers to meet the demand in regard to the high increases in students in our classrooms?

Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my information is that they are projecting less than a 1 percent increase in enrolments across the territory. My Minister's statement today indicated that we have come up with, on a one-time basis, we are proposing to come up with $2 million, one for working with people, young students, and the other one for investing in people. The last few days, I have outlined the strategy that we are taking trying to address the issues in the ministerial forum to deal with issues. In the longer-term, if we ever do sign the Northern Accord and have increased revenues I will be jockeying for position with my much bigger, but hopefully not any stronger, colleague from Health and Social Services to make sure that we get access to much needed increases in revenues for our departments. Thank you.

Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think it is time that we basically start putting the money into action. We are seeing that there is large turnover of teachers in our schools because of the increased workload, the amount of stress that is on our teachers and also the students are not getting the education that they really require because of the increased number of students in our classrooms. I think it is imperative that we somehow streamline those numbers so that we could allow that we have a more regional-based class size than having class sizes where we are looking at 30 or 40 students in which one teacher is trying to control that. I would like to ask the Minister again, what is the department doing to basically offset those increases in our classrooms financially and also what support is being given to offset that problem?

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 252

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In addition to the items I just outlined in my previous answer, I had also indicated previously that I was not convinced that as a department and as the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, that we were as efficient and as effective as we could be. What I meant by that was, the government has changed and downsized in a lot of areas, but one of the things that I think has unfortunately remained the same is the amount of red tape and policies and procedures that are possibly somewhat superfluous at this point, but add to the administrative burden. The teachers are saying it is a major impediment to

them being able to their jobs better. That is another issue that the department is looking at to try to see is, are there ways to streamline our procedural policy requirements so that we can do the work we need, but make sure that we do not burden the teachers and the principals and DEAs and DECs with any more paperwork than is absolutely necessary, thus freeing them up to be doing what they should be doing, which is teaching the children. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with the Minister, I believe this department is top heavy and that basically the money should be going to our communities. I think that is where the money should be spent is in the classrooms to educate our students ensuring that they do get a quality education rather than having all this money spent basically for consultants and whatnot to go around and tell us what we already know in which the problem is, is that we do not have enough human resources in our classrooms to conduct the day-to-day operation maintenance of these programs.

--Applause

Will the Minister basically tell me when we will see an increase in the numbers of teachers in our classrooms?

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have just been going through the committee report on the Main Estimates. Very clearly, we have a number of choices before us. We have already pointed out that we are looking in the longer term for added revenues as one way to deal with this issue. The more immediate one is if this legislature decides that it is going to move substantial amounts of money from one area to education, then this legislature can do that.

The question is, what are we going to do, what areas are we going to identify so that we have a balance. It is all well and good to have a very well educated population, but if they are poorly housed and they are sick because there is not adequate health care and they are unemployed because there are no jobs, it sort of defeats the purpose. We have to strive for that balance and, once again, I will ask any direction and support and guidance you give in terms of identifying funding that should be moved within the government, I would be more than happy to seriously look at that. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr. Krutko.

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not too sure about my other colleagues in regard to the situation they find themselves in their classroom, but I know for a fact in my riding there have been a lot of teachers resigning because of stress, because of having to have this increased workload and it is having an effect on the education of the students in our small communities. I would like to ask the Minister, has his department basically put together a list of the number of teachers that have resigned in the last year because of the increased workload and the stress that they are under, and the communities having to deal with the problem of not having adequate teachers because of the resignation of teachers because of this problem that does exist in our communities?

Supplementary To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Member raises an important issue related to recruitment and retention. The turnover rate in teachers, it is my understanding, is approaching 20 percent and it is much higher than we would like. The other part of that issue is that the amount of people applying for teaching positions in the north has dropped substantially as well. In some cases down to almost 10 percent of what it was before. Yes, we are aware of those, we have those numbers. As to exactly why each teacher may have left, I do not know if we have those particular facts. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Question 97-13(7): Meeting Education Demands
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. In this House today, Mr. Speaker, the Minister announced $1 million for a program called, Working Together. He also announced $1 million for a program called, Skills for Work Program. There is $2 million. I realize that $1 million is directed at students coming back to the Northwest Territories to work and that is very worthwhile. An interesting point in the Skills for Work is that, and I read, "one component of the Skills for Work Program worth special mention is the enhancement of training opportunities for special needs assistants," I was just curious about where these special needs assistants that we are going to train are going to get jobs. Who is going to hire them considering that we do not have any positions open for special assistants and we have a tremendous lack of them in our classrooms?

Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Miltenberger.

Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 253

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as the Members will note, these are proposed at this point, they have not been approved. The plan is to leave some money to be available to put towards training special needs assistants and hopefully be able to find some of that money to deal with some of the issues raised in the ministerial forum. Thank you.

Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if the government does, I realize this is proposed, but if they do spend $1 million training special needs assistants or other adults for different areas, could I make a suggestion that perhaps our schools are sitting empty all summer. I know that people take their children to the south, they should bring them here to the north to Yellowknife to enrol them in remedial and special summer courses to get them up on par so they can catch up with their class for the following year, could I suggest that they might spend $1 million offering some remedial and summer classes in some of our schools over the summer months and train some of our special needs assistants on the job?

Employ some of our education, university students that are out taking education degrees and train some special needs assistants at the same time while offering a viable program to northern students who need to, for some reason, get caught up because of special needs or lack of special needs assistants in their classroom during the normal school year.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That is an interesting suggestion and yes, I will take it into consideration. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

With respect also to these programs that were proposed, I am wondering what is the vehicle or method by which the funds for these programs or made available are known in the communities? That is the communication strategy because again, if these programs were in existence before, I was not aware. Their achievements have not been touted in this House because I have not been aware of what they have accomplished in the past. What is in place in terms of a plan for making them known in the communities?

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the plan is to use, as I have indicated in the statement, the existing infrastructure. With Working Together, it will be delivered through the regional offices of advanced education. There are offices in, in the Member's case, in Hay River through her department with a wage supplement. The other ones will also be delivered through the regional offices and area offices and community offices. As well, there are already adult basic education programs being offered through different non-government organizations and they will just continue to be funded, as far as I am aware. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Question period is over. Your final supplementary, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Minister has agreed that he will look into the suggestion that I have made here today. Would he do this expeditiously? Would it be hopeful that we could have something like this in place for this year or is the timing too short? I notice in here it says that this program will be available to employers by the end of this month. If there is going to be any kind of shift in how this program is delivered, could we be hopeful of it being done quickly and any chance of it happening for this summer coming up? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Miltenberger.

Further Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if I understood the Member's suggestion, it was for basically a summer high school where students could pick up courses over the course of the summer prior to being able to get into university or other institutions. It is an issue that has been raised before. I will talk about it with the department. Whether we are able to, in fact, have something in place in such a short period of time, I do not know but we will give it our best shot and serious consideration. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Question 98-13(7): Employing Special Needs Assistants
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 254

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Question period is over. Item 7, written questions. Item 8, returns to written questions. Item 9,replies to opening address. Item 10, replies to Budget Address. Mr. Morin.

Budge Reply 2-13(7)
Item 10: Replies To Budget Address

Page 254

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it was very interesting to hear the Budget Address of the Minister, Mr. Dent. I would like to congratulate him on presenting his first budget. I would like to congratulate the Premier for appointing such a competent person to that position. You do have good support around the north, Mr. Dent, and I wish you the best of luck with getting your first budget through this House. That does not necessarily mean what you bring in will come out at the other end either, but we will try to work with this government to accomplish that.

The community of Fort Resolution has a long history of forestry industry, harvesting the white spruce timber along the Slave River since the early 1800's. Until the early 1960's there were sawmills and logging camps barged up and down the Slave River. Since the completion of the road from Pine Point in the late 1960's, there has been a permanent sawmill facility in Fort Resolution under various owners and management organizations until the Northwest Territories Development Corporation took over the business in 1994. In the past 30 years, two to three generations of residents in the settlement of Fort Resolution have either worked in the sawmill or logging operations at one time or another. Logging and sawmilling have been in this community for over 150 years. One hundred and fifty years, Mr. Speaker, and as part of the fabric of this community providing good, meaningful, longer-term employment for several generations.

Since the construction of the present sawmill, the financial performance of this sawmill has never achieved its potential for a small-scale forestry operation. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but they come down to four major factors. No comprehensive long-term business plan based on the available wood supply, lack of on-site competent management, over a 40 percent drop in lumber prices over the past few years, not unfamiliar to what we have been hearing of Yellowknife with the drop in gold prices. The lumber prices have dropped approximately 42 percent, and this government has chosen, at this time, to increase the stumpage fees at least a hundredfold, I believe it is, for this government's revenue from our sawmill in Fort Resolution reaches close to a quarter of a million dollars that we have to pay to harvest our own loss in Fort Resolution.

These four deficiencies have resulted in losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past, and the trend will continue unless there is a major change in the direction and operation of this company. With this trend, the Northwest Territories Development Corporation has only two appropriate financial options. The Northwest Territories Development Corporation has only two options available to them, Mr. Speaker. Support the following, the achievable business plan which I will table later today in this House, or wind down this operation for closure for good, putting the community of Fort Resolution residents completely out of any viable income.

Close or wind down the operation, those are the two options they have, Mr. Speaker, and I already have commitments from the Premier. We already have commitments from the Finance Minister, through his Budget Address, from the Premier earlier today in this House that the second option is not really an option of winding it down and closing it. They are committed to working with the people of Fort Resolution. They are committed to working with the people in the smaller communities to make their businesses viable, especially when it is the only economic activity that we have in the community. The socio-economic implications of closing this facility would be significant on the community of Fort Resolution.

In the past three years, Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited injected over $450,000 in payroll for local residents during the milling season. As well, logging and construction contracts and the forestry operations exceeded $600,000, most of which are awarded to local contractors. The loss of these dollars would have a devastating effect on their economy, of not only Fort Resolution, but also much of this money is being spent directly and indirectly in our neighbouring community, Hay River. As well, over $500,000 annually has been spent directly on supplies and services, most of this coming from our neighbouring community of Hay River. A total of over $1.5 million has been injected into the Fort Resolution and Hay River economies annually. Over the past three years, the continuance of this sawmill has been important to both Fort Resolution and Hay River, Mr. Speaker, and the South Slave region. I may add it is important, in general, to the whole Northwest Territories, the new Northwest Territories.

In recognition of the economic importance of Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited, the Northwest Territories Development Corporation recruited a general manager with expertise, background and knowledge to develop the existing asset base of Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited and to a profitable, sustainable company that would be a flagship community of forest operation in the new Northwest Territories. The role of this general manager was not only to run the day-to-day operations but to develop a viable business plan to ensure a long-term sustainable business. This business plan is a result of eight months of research into the internal operations of this company, as well as consultation with other individuals with the industry. To ensure that the investment in capital, operational cost, and marketing is appropriate for the economies of scale and geographic challenges this operation has, the result of this plan is a realization of this sawmill in Fort Resolution. This sawmill in Fort Resolution can be profitable, viable, and a long-term business that will be self-supporting within three years.

That, Mr. Speaker, is when I go back to the vision of this government. This government has a vision to ensure that we have the tools, to ensure that we have the things necessary as part of their vision to think longer term. That is what this plan does. It does not have a quick fix for tomorrow. It is not going to turn the sawmill around overnight, but they do have a vision, that is good to hear, that this sawmill can be turned around within three years and it could be a profitable, viable and long-term business that will be self-supporting within three years.

Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited and the community of Fort Resolution presently have the following elements to become a modest manufacturer of lumber and timbers and other forest products in the Northwest Territories: existing accessible long-term viable timber supply, sawmill plant and infrastructure. We have excellent road and transportation infrastructure, an experienced work force, as I mentioned earlier, experienced for generations, existent competent management. The limiting factors of this operation is the forest land base, the sustainable allowable cut available, over the long term, has not been determined. Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited presently has access to harvest or purchase 50,000 cubic metres of white spruce timber to April of the year 2000. With this licence, as well as future allocations, Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited plans to log and manufacture from 20,000 thousand cubic metres to 25,000 cubic metres annually, in between 3.7 million to 5 million board feet of lumber. Processing this volume with the existing sawmill equipment would see a large loss.

In order to improve the financial performance of Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited, the following objectives must be achieved: the sawmill must improve to ensure maximum labour efficiency, lumber recovery must be improved by at least 20 percent, smaller diameter logs down to six-inch stump must be utilized efficiently, the wood waste for the disposal must be reduced and managed properly, high product value must be obtained for the lumber and timbers.

Those are the tools we need, but that is also part of the vision of this government, the vision of the future. When we have a vision, we have to have that vision from one community to one community to one community. We just cannot think wide and high at this level. We have got to think of our communities out there that are striving to make a living and striving to make to make their economy work so we do not all end up back on welfare. People are willing to work, and it should be the government's job to make sure that they have the tools to work with.

Production levels will average 40,000 board feet of rough dimensional lumber per day from the sawmill and 50,000 board feet per day from the planer. Eighty per cent of this volume will be finished construction lumber sold into the northern market at a price above $390,000 board feet, FOB Fort Resolution. Sales projected in the first year will exceed $1.2 million, $1.8 million in the second year, $1.7 million in the third. Net income over that period is projected as follows: for the 1999-2000 cutting season, $325,960 in the hole; 2000-2001, $92,110 to the good; 2001-2002, $6,490 to the good.

Once you reinvest in other equipment in the mill to make it produce right, that will be the sales and that will be the profit this sawmill will make. This does not include the lumber and log inventory we have on hand and the Premier will have an opportunity to see that when he visits Fort Resolution in a very short period of time, but you can barely see the lake from the stack of logs in that yard. They have approximately 50,000 logs laying on the ground and the yard in Fort Resolution harvested by Fort Resolution people this winter.

The results of the financial performance will be the development and maintenance of 20 to 25 permanent seasonal positions in the sawmilling and planing operations and another 20 positions in the logging operations through contractors. As well, Great Slave Lake Forestry Products Limited will continually generate $1.5 million of direct economic activity from a local sustainable resource, from a local renewable resource. More importantly, the people in the community of Fort Resolution will have the opportunity to develop the skill base to operate and maintain a value-added forestry operation and continue the local sawmilling tradition.

Great Slave Lake Forestry Products Limited will also be manufacturing and selling a quality lumber product throughout the north, as well as going south. When we sell lumber to the south, we bring in new money to the Northwest Territories, Mr. Speaker. Also, by speaking to some of the residents and leaders in Fort Resolution, Mr. Speaker, the long-term plan has never changed. When we asked the Development Corporation to come into our community according to the legislation that set it up through this House, we asked them to come in and help us to get our sawmill up and running so that one day we can have it owned and operated 100 per cent by Fort Resolution residents, That plan is a part of the vision of our community in Fort Resolution. We are hoping to achieve that.

The forestry resources, one of the most critical elements in the success of the Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited, is availability of a timber supply within the forest land base. Traditionally, the land base for this operation is in large diameter stands within Slave River lowlands. There has been discussion regarding the annual allowable cut available for this area and how sustainable the present cut levels are. However, there has been a comprehensive inventory to determine the true annual allowable cut at sustainable levels. Renewable Resources, forestry management division, and the Deninu Ku'e First Nation are scheduled to complete a forestry inventory by the year 2001. Although there will always be a large portion of the annual harvest taken from this area, this company must look for other potential sources of timber from other stands west of the Slave River and Fort Resolution, timber stands previously considered unmerchantable must be included in the land base in order to continually maintain a viable annual allowable cut. As a result the average log size will reduce over time.

This limited wood supply makes it imperative that Fort Resolution sawmill must effectively recover all available lumber from logs down to a six-inch stump and four-inch top. When we are talking about west of Fort Resolution, we are not talking Nahendeh, we are not talking Deh Cho, we are talking in our own area east of Big Buffalo River and west of Taltson River. That is where the Slave River lowlands lie and that is where our timber stands lie as well. We do consider them ours, Mr. Speaker. They are ours. That is our traditional lands and we will continually harvest from those lands.

At present, Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited retains a two year licence of 40,000 cubic metres. A total of 18,000 cubic metres will be harvested in 1999 and 20,000 cubic metres to be harvested in the year 2000. In addition to its own licence, Long Island Logging Limited is a holder of a licence for 10,000 cubic metres over two years, which are both aboriginal people from Fort Resolution. As well, the Fort Resolution sawmill is the only customer for logs within economic hauling distance, all logs from Long Island Logging Limited are purchased by Great Slave Lake Forest Product Limited. This guarantees 50,000 cubic metres of timber are available for the sawmill over the next two years.

Mr. Speaker, the overall harvest for the next three years is projected to be: 1998-1999, 23,000 cubic metres; 1999-2000, 25,000 cubic metres; 2000-2001, 20,000 cubic metres; 2001-2002, 20,000 cubic metres. Mr. Speaker, when we harvest this amount of wood, this government expects from our people in Fort Resolution, a cheque close to $250,000 to $350,000. Why is this government still requesting that type of cheque from the community of Fort Resolution through the Great Slave Lake Forest Products to harvest our own wood? There is no reforestation program in our area. That was a program implemented by the federal government that this government adopted. When you go to the office downtown here to get a service from the government, not too many people are expected to pay that type of money for a service. Those cheques alone that we have to produce for our stumpage, harvest our own wood, is killing our sawmill, Mr. Speaker. That dollar is there to be reinvested into our sawmill and it can make it go a lot farther and make it more economically viable. Even the British Columbia government, how big it is and how distant it is from the people, knew that. Even they reduced the stumpage fees in order to make their forest industry more viable and I believe they did it in other places in southern Canada. I have asked that question before, Mr. Speaker, and I have never received an answer yet, except from the deputy minister of Renewable Resources, I will get back to you. I have never heard back yet, so that is one way we can make this thing more viable is by reducing those stumpage fees and reducing what you expect as a government to get from the people of Fort Resolution through the Development Corporation.

We have to do the logging different in our area, Mr. Speaker. With an annual harvest of between 20-25,000 cubic metres, the only economic, viable and environmentally acceptable harvest technique is hand falling with line skidders. The volume is not large enough to warrant economies of scale of purchasing faller bunchers or big machinery like that. All logging will be done where possible with the use of local contractors and local employees. Contractors in the Fort Resolution area only require the purchase of good used line skidders with an approximate value of $30,000, which can earn potential revenues of $53,000 in approximately three months. The objective is to encourage the development of skill of contractors and individuals in the safe and proper logging techniques. However, there is a limit of skilled loggers in the community of Fort Resolution. Mr. Speaker, the reason for that is the majority of our older loggers are now at retirement age and a new group are coming up and some of those young fellows have to be trained properly because the sawmill was down for some time and there was no continuation of that operation. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to continue on my reply to the Budget Address. Thank you.

Budge Reply 2-13(7)
Item 10: Replies To Budget Address

Page 257

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Yes, under Rule 35(4) Members are allowed 20 minutes to reply to the Budget Address. The Member for Tu Nedhe is seeking unanimous consent to waive this Rule 35(4). Do we have any nays? We do not have any nays. Mr. Morin, you have unanimous consent, but to remind the Members again that while we are in formal sitting to address the Members or the Ministers in their proper title and that means the honourable Member, not Charles. Just to remind the Members, okay. Please, Mr. Morin.

Budge Reply 2-13(7)
Item 10: Replies To Budget Address

Page 257

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will try not to do that any more, honourable Member, Minister of Finance, Mr. Dent. I thank the Members for the unanimous consent. Like I was saying, Mr. Speaker, we do have a gap in the logging end and in the falling and skidding for the simple reason the mill was down and we missed out in training some of our young people. The majority of the best skidder operators and the best fallers are at retirement age now and those are the people who worked many years in the bush. This part of the harvesting operation will retain, but it will still create 20 to 25 jobs for two and one-half months for local residents in the winter months. Great Slave Lake Forest Products Limited is, and will continue to utilize, soft log picker trucks to load, transport and unload logs for the licence area of the Fort Resolution sawmill. Mr. Speaker, these are soft logging trucks that have huge pickers on them that are a very high investment for people and logging companies out of Fort Resolution. They made that investment this year in December. The logging sawmill requested the companies in Fort Resolution to invest in these pickers, so people went out and did that. People actually went out and invested their own money in these pickers to bring these logs into the yard and they got paid. This was the first year of that operation, so hopefully it will continue so those people can recoup their investment as well.

You must understand that logging in the Northwest Territories is very difficult, very short period of time, and you have to make large investments to get any return on that money. The people of Fort Resolution are committed to this as well and they have proven that by investing dollars in equipment to actually go out and log. As well, as individuals I know that are long-term trappers have switched occupation and went and invested in skidders as well. We have also had, for the first time this year, a local contractor who went out and invested in equipment to build a winter road, and the Minister of Transportation can appreciate how much that costs, in order to put in winter roads and ice crossings and everything else and the investment of those people in that community. Once again, Mr. Speaker, the logging costs are projected at $41 a cubic metre and taking $10.30 per cubic metre for reforestation fees, that is what they are called, into consideration, the operational costs for logging is projected to be $30.70. Once we added $10.30 to it, that is one of the highest costs for logging in North America. The reason that is, is because of the stumpage fees. That is one of the main reasons and that is that reforestation, but they do not do that any more anyhow. But that is what we are paying this government for every metre, $10.30.

For those Members that know my area also can understand that the first 20 miles of getting in to any of the logging areas is just a floating bog and that has got to be some tough winter road building too, Mr. Speaker. It is one of the toughest areas to build winter roads in. Previously through this government, previous governments, we used to get roads to resources type funding and that was $25,000 a year outright grant to any company that had to put in winter roads to renewable resources and we managed to do that in the past.

Mr. Speaker, I could go on with this report for hours and hours. I think it would take me about two more hours to finish it. I am about one-tenth of the way through, but I did ask for unanimous consent and I asked for the Members goodwill to carry on and finish my statement. I do understand the rules of this House and I will not put the Members through two hours more of me reading this report. I will table it later in this House, but one thing I want is for it to be made very clear to the Members of this Legislative Assembly, especially to the Members of this government, is the sawmill in Fort Resolution is more than nuts, bolts and machinery. It is people, it is people's lives that this government has to make a decision on. There are not many choices. There is a clear path on how to recover. There is a clear path on how to make it work. It is up to you to take the right road. With that, Mr. Speaker, I thank you and I thank the Members in the House for allowing me to speak more than my allotted time. Mahsi.

Budge Reply 2-13(7)
Item 10: Replies To Budget Address

Page 257

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Yes, Members do have opportunities to address their concerns in this forum and

different committee of the whole past the Opening Address. Item 10, replies to the Budget Address. Item 11, petitions. Item 12, reports of standing and special committees. Item 13, reports of committees on the review of bills. Item 14, tabling of documents. Mr. Morin.

Tabled Document 30-13(7): Great Slave Lake Forestry Report And Business Plan, March 1999
Item 14: Tabling Of Documents

Page 258

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a document, Great Slave Lake Forest Report and Business Plan from March, 1999. This was given to me by the people of Fort Resolution. Thank you.

Tabled Document 30-13(7): Great Slave Lake Forestry Report And Business Plan, March 1999
Item 14: Tabling Of Documents

Page 258

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Tabling of documents. Item 15, notices of motion. Item 16, notices of motion for first reading of bills. Item 17, motions. Motion 18-13(7), Mr. Krutko.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 258

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker I would like to move a motion for support for Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi.

WHEREAS Roberta Vaneltsi is a resident of the Northwest Territories and is a person of Gwich'in heritage;

AND WHEREAS she is the mother of two children, namely: Roman Cerny, born May 5, 1986; and Petra Cerny, born January 20, 1989;

AND WHEREAS the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories issued a custody order on June 29, 1994, which granted joint custody to the parents of the two children, Roberta Vaneltsi and Petr Cerny, and which permitted Mr. Cerny to take the two children to the Czech Republic for a period of one year only;

AND WHEREAS Petr Cerny failed to return the children to Canada when scheduled to do so by Court Order;

AND WHEREAS Roberta Vaneltsi was subsequently granted sole custody of the children by an Order issued from the Supreme Court of the Yukon;

AND WHEREAS Petr Cerny has consistently disobeyed the Canadian Court Orders and has refused to return the children to Canada or to let the children travel to Canada for the purposes of visiting with their mother;

AND WHEREAS when the children were initially sent to the Czech Republic, the Czech Republic was not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the civil aspects on International Child Abduction;

AND WHEREAS Ms. Vaneltsi could not then rely on the Hague Convention to have here children returned to her;

AND WHEREAS the Czech Republic is now a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

AND WHEREAS it is every child's right to be able to visit with, and spend time with, their parents;

AND WHEREAS it is critical that aboriginal children be exposed to their culture and to their heritage;

AND WHEREAS the Courts of the Czech Republic have yet to make an order which would allow the children to travel to Canada to visit with their mother;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the Honourable Member for Hay River, that this Legislative Assembly supports the efforts of Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi in securing meaningful visits and contacts with her children, Roman and Petra Cerny, including visits to their home in the Northwest Territories;

AND FURTHER that the Premier and Executive Council are strongly encouraged to request the federal government to take all possible measures to assist Ms. Vaneltsi in being reunited with her children, including contacting the Government of the Czech Republic to express its strong concerns with respect to the fact that these children are being denied the opportunity to visit with their mother in Canada and are being denied their right, as aboriginal children, to be exposed in a meaningful fashion to their aboriginal heritage and culture.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 258

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. The motion is in order. To the motion. Mr. Krutko.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 258

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this issue has been around for a number of years. I have raised it in the House in the past. Basically I have asked for support from this government and also to ensure that we try to assist Ms. Vaneltsi in trying to regain her children and bring them back to Canada so that they can spend time with her. Mr. Speaker, this incident has been around for a number of years. Ms. Vaneltsi has made every attempt to her ability, using the judicial process she has obtained legal council, she has made attempts to travel to the Czech Republic to try to convince the court in the Czech Republic to allow her children to have access and visits to Canada to be with her. There has been a Court Order issued by this government regarding the question about the access of the children where Mr. Cerny refused to bring those children back to Canada. Yet, in the Court Order by the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, it clearly stated that he was only to have the children for one year. Also regarding the question about custody, Ms. Vaneltsi has received sole custody of the children in the Supreme Court of the Yukon, in which yet again that order has not been recognized, but now Mr. Speaker, the only avenue that Ms. Vaneltsi seems to feel she has to her ability to try to do something is a political process.

Ms. Vaneltsi has made every attempt to use the judicial process and I believe that it is these types of issues that ourselves as Members of the Legislative Assembly and also as people who have to protect the residents of the Northwest Territories in any way we can. Especially children. We have to find a political solution to this problem and I have made statements in this House in the past which have asked this government to intervene on her behalf. Yet she has not received any real meaningful support from this government in regards to representing her and her intervention with the courts. Also, she has made attempts to get the federal government, through our MP, Ms. Ethel Blondin-Andrew, and our Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Jean Chretien, where letters have been sent back and forth with no real positive outcome.

I am asking Members of this House, the Premier and Members of Cabinet, to strongly make an effort to bring Ms. Vaneltsi's children home back to Canada and the Northwest Territories where they belong. With that, Mr. Speaker, I call for the support of all my colleagues and Cabinet. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

To the motion. The seconder. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to speak in favour of Mr. Krutko's motion. I seconded the motion. I expressed in my Member's statement yesterday that I sympathize very much with this mother and her inability to gain access to her two small children, who are now residents of a foreign country, and it would appear that she has been caught up in a web of international rules and red tape and unfortunate circumstances from which I do not believe it is going to be possible for her to solve with her own resources. I do believe this is an instance where this government could bring its influence to bear in this situation and through contacts with the federal government and Minister of Foreign Affairs could help to see this situation resolved. I believe that is the kind of action that the last paragraph of this motion is calling for.

This is a very unusual case. You do hear of cases like this occasionally, we have all seen documentaries of TV programs when something like this happens, but this is an instance that is close to home in which we as a Legislature, I believe, should take an active role in resolving on behalf of a northern constituent. I think we should bring this to the floor of the public arena, I think if there is anyway we can draw national or international attention to this sad situation, I believe that we should do so. With that, Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say that these are the reasons for my seconding the motion and I would, as well as Mr. Krutko, encourage all Members, including Members of the Executive Council, to become involved in solving this problem as soon as possible. These children are growing up and as each year passes they are missing the influences and input of their mother. I believe it is a matter that should be dealt with as quickly and as directly as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. To the motion. Mr. Ootes.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am aware that Mr. Krutko has been working on this situation for at least the last three-quarters of a year. I recall he raised the issue in this House some time ago and he has spoken to us in committee and on an individual basis. I am very supportive of this particular motion. I think that certainly many people are affected by this, the mother and the children are extremely affected by this. I think that from a government standpoint, no doubt our Minister of Justice and also the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, can no doubt contact the federal Department of Justice and perhaps the Department of External Affairs to see what the problem may be, Mr. Speaker, to address this situation, to see what kind of help that can be provided to find some resolution to this.

It must be very aggravating for someone like Ms. Vaneltsi, and possibly her children, to be separated. Certainly our government in Canada can work on this and, as Mrs. Groenewegen has said, perhaps this needs to go into the public arena to be addressed. I know that Mr. Krutko has briefed us on this situation and pointed out that Ms. Vaneltsi has spent considerable time and money in an effort to deal with this. She has been to the Czech Republic to see if she could retrieve her children, all without success and no doubt with great aggravation. I am very supportive of this motion and will encourage the government to provide its support. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. To the motion. Mr. Morin.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, will vote in favour of this motion made by Mr. Krutko, MLA for the Mackenzie Delta, and seconded by the MLA from Hay River. Mr. Speaker, I think this is an injustice, that our government should do what it needs to do to try to correct. I believe that this whole issue falls in the hands of the federal government, who is our government as well, and they should be working on behalf of the Canadian citizens to try to retrieve these children from the Czech Republic. Mr. Speaker, that would be the most devastating thing to the mother of these children, to be separated from them. I just could not imagine how cruel that is to the mother.

Mr. Speaker, our government should immediately be in touch with our MP, who is our link to the federal government, as well as the Prime Minister. The Premier's office does have direct contact with the Prime Minister of this country to protect the citizens of our country. This lady is a citizen of Canada, she is a citizen of the Northwest Territories, so we should do whatever possible and as soon as possible to try to protect her rights, as well as the rights of her children. Mr. Speaker, I believe that our Member of Parliament, like I said earlier, plays a very important role and we should, through this motion, by passing this motion, giving her direction on what to do, as well as the Prime Minister of this country. I believe that the Premier, knowing him well, will action this once we have passed this motion in this House and will action it with proper action. Thank you.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. To the motion. Mr. Antoine.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 259

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to state for the record that the Cabinet is very sympathetic to the difficulties experienced by Roberta Vaneltsi. There are very few things in this world that are more powerful than the love between a mother and her children. Those of us with children here can all too easily put ourselves in her position and know the pain that she has probably been experiencing and enduring all this time here. I have been aware of this situation for some time.

Since the motion provides a direction to the Cabinet, the Ministers will be abstaining from the vote. However, it does not take away from the importance of the issue, and I want to ensure Members and the mover and the seconder and Members on the other side of the House and members of the public that we are very supportive as a Cabinet, and we will do whatever we can to assist in this very difficult situation. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 260

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. To the motion. Mr. Erasmus.

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 260

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, will be voting in favour of this motion. Mr. Speaker, it is unacceptable that someone could take a Canadian child, particularly an aboriginal person from this region, to another country and not return those children to the mother. We know that this is not an isolated incident, Mr. Speaker. This happens a lot of times, frequently. In fact, we see the posters in the stores. We go to Wal-Mart, you see some posters. You go to the drugstore, you will see posters of missing children. Often times there is another picture right beside that missing child and it is one of the parents who has kidnapped that child. This instance is basically the same thing. These children were basically kidnapped through the use of deception, taking advantage of the good will and the naiveness of Ms. Vaneltsi. The father of those children used the illness of his parents in the Czech Republic so that she would agree to allow those children to leave this country. When she was there, they did not come back. Not only that, he did not send the kids back either.

Ms. Vaneltsi has gone to the Czech Republic, Mr. Speaker. She has gone to courts there. Unfortunately, there was no assistance from our embassy and Canadian representatives at that time. She wound up with a lawyer, I understand, who could not speak English and with no interpretation in the courts. Mr. Speaker, this type of thing cannot be allowed to happen. This should not happen to a Canadian citizen.

We need to make sure that if she goes back there, she has every assistance available. Our Premier, our Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, needs to impress on Ottawa on how important it is. This does not only affect this one woman and her children. It is Canadian citizens all over the place who this should not be happening to. We do need to ensure that we can provide her with the greatest political assistance at as high a level as possible to correct this injustice. Other Members have spoken about how painful it must be, the love of parents for their children, and I cannot agree more. I simply cannot imagine it. Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, I will be voting in favour of this motion. Thank you.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 260

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

To the motion. Mr. Krutko, do you wish to make your closing statement to the motion?

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 260

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. Thank you, Mr. Premier. Like I said earlier in my statement, I think the only avenue that is left to Roberta is to go the political route. We have to find ways of ensuring that this becomes a public issue and also that people are made aware that this does not only happen in the larger cities or other places in Canada, this is happening right at home in the Northwest Territories. Ms. Vaneltsi is basically an aboriginal person from my home community of Fort MacPherson. She is a resident of the Northwest Territories. The same with her children, these children are aboriginal children with Gwich'in decent and they are also children of the Northwest Territories. I feel it is my responsibility to ensure that every effort is made by this government and by the Government of Canada that this injustice does not continue, that there be some arrangements made to ensure that she does have access to her children, and vice versa, her children to their mother.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people who have supported Ms. Vaneltsi so far and for Ms. Vaneltsi for standing up for what we can only say is a mother's will to try to get her children back. With that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to again thank the Members in regards to ensuring this motion is carried out and also to the government to do everything that is possible to do whatever we can to try to work at resolving this problem or this issue as soon as possible to reunite Ms. Vaneltsi with her children. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 260

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. To the motion. All those in favour? All those opposed? All those abstaining? The motion is carried. Thank you.

--Applause

Motion 18-13(7): Support For Ms. Roberta Vaneltsi
Item 17: Motions

Page 260

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Item 18, first reading of bills. Item 19, second reading of bills. Item 20, consideration in committee of the whole of bills and other matters. Bill 17, committee report 1-13(7) with Mr. Krutko in the chair.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

The Chair David Krutko

I call the committee to order. We are reviewing the Main Estimates. I would like to ask what direction the committee would like to take? Mr. Erasmus.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to do consideration of Bill 17 and Committee Report 1-13(7) at the same time and then continue with FMBS and then proceed to Aboriginal Affairs after a short break.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

The Chair David Krutko

Does the committee agree?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

--Break

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

The Chair David Krutko

I would like to call the committee to order. We are dealing with the Financial Management Board Secretariat. At this time I would like to ask the Minister if he would like to call his witnesses?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, please.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 260

The Chair David Krutko

Does the committee agree?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 261

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

I will ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to escort the witnesses in. Mr. Minister, would you like to introduce your witness?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On my right I have the Secretary to the Financial Management Board, Mr. Lew Voytilla.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments. We are dealing with the Financial Management Board Secretariat. Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just have some general questions. With division, there was a time leading up to division when we did a lot of work in relationship to negotiating the division of assets of the NWT Power Corporation and the Workers' Compensation Board and a question that I have, also in the area of handling the issue of division we had incremental costs to do this, has this government ever addressed those incremental costs with the federal government in order to accomplish division?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, that issue has been addressed with the federal government and I must regretfully inform the committee that we were unsuccessful at convincing them to reimburse us for any costs.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

If I recall there were substantial costs incurred. I wonder if the Minister could tell us if he has some indication of what the incremental costs might have been?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Member is referring to, for instance, the time the deputies and other staff would spend on this issue. It was tracked for a period of two or more years, but when it became clear that the federal government was absolutely refusing to even consider the issue for the last year or so, those costs were not tracked. We could certainly provide the committee with the information that we had up to the point that the tracking ceased.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess this is somewhat disturbing in that the federal government has been supportive of the creation of Nunavut and certainly spent a lot of money in the celebrations. We in the west and this government had to, at that particular time, absorb the cost of division which affected all programs throughout the Northwest Territories, including Nunavut at that time. Let me give you an example. If the incremental costs were $500,000, then legitimately we had to reduce our program funding by $500,000 somewhere that we could have devoted to our education programs and health and social services. I wonder if the Minister could tell us, is there an opportunity to readdress this with the federal government?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This argument has been advanced time and time again with the federal government, and it has been resolute in refusing to consider addressing that issue. It has been attempted repeatedly.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments. Mr. Ootes.

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Do we take the attitude of rollover and be dead or do we take the attitude of saying what is fair? After all, I think we did our part and Nunavut did its part. The federal government has certainly been very generous, no doubt in this situation, to create the new territory, but has it been fair to the Western Territory? I realize that this money at the time was for both territories, but you know we get affected by it. We are into a new fiscal year, we do have a new Finance Minister and I have a lot of confidence in him and I think if he were to address this situation again with Minister Stewart or Minister Martin, on the federal level, I am confident that he can be very persuasive with these two individuals. He is usually very persuasive with us here in the House. I am wondering if he can take the opportunity to somehow find some kind of loophole that would address this? Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the Member's comments about my persuasiveness. I will keep them in mind the next time he is after me for not living up to his expectations on some other matter. I wish that I could say there was some loophole that we could access, but all that we have to appeal to the federal government is the basis that there is a moral responsibility for them to reimburse us for the costs that we have incurred in this area. I would say that given that the expenditures are past history and the federal government is now saying this government managed it is a moot question at this point, I believe we would be seen as doing nothing more than whining if we persisted in pursuing the issue.

I would say that knowing I will have to approach the federal government to re-examine our fiscal relationship with them, it would be better to bite our tongues on this one and pursue this much more important change we need to see in our relationship with the federal government. I agree it is regrettable that we have had to incur these costs without reimbursement, but you have to choose your fights. The fight that I addressed in the budget speech is one that is more important for us to undertake at this point. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I certainly respect the Minister's comments of pick the fights and pick the fights that we can win. There is no question that that is the way to approach it. I will take that advice to heart, certainly that the Minister may very well have a very good point in that.

On another matter, Mr. Chairman, yesterday the Minister was kind enough to give me a letter on the Aurora Fund and it is very explanatory. First of all, it is good information and I am very appreciative and I am very glad to see the Minister respond quickly to this issue. I appreciate the more open approach and the attitude towards it. It really helps us because it had been a bit of a question how much information could be supplied. I think the Minister is working on that. Could the Minister tell me, the letter that he has supplied, is that available for me to distribute to the other Members?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Member is welcome to distribute that letter to other Members. For that matter, if this committee would like, I would be happy to have copies prepared by my office and sent to all Members of the committee.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. That would be appreciated by all Members. Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, I just have only two or three quick questions left on the Aurora Fund. Could the Minister tell us, I believe there is an investment advisor and fund manager. Is he paid a commission on the total amount of the money raised or the total amount of money loaned?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, could I ask that Mr. Voytilla answer this question as it is a little more detailed than my understanding right now?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Voytilla.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Voytilla

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The way that the fund manager is enumerated is laid out in the operating memorandums. Both funds, of course, had very detailed operating memorandums associated with them. They had to receive the federal government's approval. Those lay out the percentages that are paid to the fund managers for the functions they perform.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Voytilla. General comments. Mr. Henry.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have some questions of the liability of this government, which has diminished somewhat on the pay equity issue. I believe the Minister informed the House of an overwhelming number of government employees who were entitled to financial compensation under the pay equity issue that they have paid 80 percent of that out. Could the Minister advise this House as to the amount of the liability that is still the responsibility of the present Government of the Northwest Territories?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We estimate that 80 percent of the dollar value of the liability has been dealt with by the accepted offers.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Henry.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So, 80 percent of the money that the GNWT set aside has been accepted by the members of the public service that were entitled under the pay equity. Does the Minister have the numbers or percentages of employees that at least from the government's perspective, have been paid out? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We can provide both to Members of the committee. There is approximately $6 million that is still outstanding, with over $20 million having been accepted by employees.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General Comments? Mr. Henry.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Still within the pay equity situation, has the department or has the Government of the Northwest Territories dealt with concerns raised by excluded employees and the pay equity issue as it involves them? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, we have agreed to offer excluded employees the same offer as was made to unionized employees. There are some employee classifications which still have not been reviewed, so those offers cannot be made as yet. I have been advised that by the end of May, all of the employee classifications will have been reviewed and offers will then be sent to all those excluded employees that have not yet received them.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments? Mr. Henry.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think that is very forthright of the government to do that and I congratulate them for that. I think there was some question earlier on that maybe excluded employees would not have been included in this pay equity resolution issue, so I congratulate the Minister and the government for acting on the excluded employees' concerns. Can the Minister tell us if any further action on the part of the Government of Northwest Territories will take place, if any further action will take place on trying to resolve the issue with the outstanding employees who may not have up, until March 31st, accepted the Government of the Northwest Territories offer? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, we will be attempting to negotiate an agreement with the Government of Nunavut to extend the offer. We are hoping to have an answer within the next ten days or so and then perhaps we will be able to continue the program.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments? Mr. Henry.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

No question on that, Mr. Chairman, thank you. I believe the Minister had mentioned that there is still $6 million outstanding. Is that $6 million the government's estimate of the amount of money that it would take to resolve the pay equity issue for both Nunavut and the Government of the Northwest Territories? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 263

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The answer is yes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 263

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments? Mr. Erasmus.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 263

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, in the Report from the Standing Committee on Resource Management and Infrastructure, under Informatics there is an indication that the committee Members were concerned about Year 2000 compliance for government-wide systems, particularly those systems that manage and operate essential services such as power and fire suppression. Apparently the department assured the committee that a government-wide review was being undertaken to ensure Year 2000 compliance. Could the Minister indicate what has shown up from this review, are we safe, are we going to shut down January 1st?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I can say that all departments and the government as a whole are making good progress in ensuring that our systems are Year 2000 compliant and we will have everything in hand to ensure that systems do not fail. In fact, I am preparing to table a substantial document, hopefully next week, which will outline the state of affairs in government departments and the plans that are in place to ensure that everyone can be Year 2000 compliant. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Erasmus.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. How did the Minister propose to deal with his report? There are side conversations here and it is kind of hard to hear. Did he say he was going to table it or he was going to give us a briefing or how would he propose to distribute that information to the rest of the MLAs?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was planning to table the report next week. I would be happy to arrange a briefing for the Members of this committee if they are interested, to go through the details of the report and offer an opportunity for questions.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments? Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 263

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Voytilla provided a short answer to the question I had and I wonder if I could just pursue that for a moment. The Aurora Fund had a firm that, I believe it was Cornwallis Financial Corporation, they used to do the selling and marketing of the fund. I wonder if Mr. Voytilla can tell us if there is an ongoing cost of administering the fund? I do, while there are no employees, I do understand there is a fund manager and an investment, sorry it is called an investment advisor and fund manager. Could you tell us if there is a cost factor involved in that and how much approximately would that be?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

I will get Mr. Voytilla to answer that please.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 263

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Voytilla.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Voytilla

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As the Member pointed out, there are a number of cost components to the fund. The first one is, you have to pay somebody to market the notes and that is a cost of about $15,000 per note that we pay to our sales representatives. That was what we would have payed to Cornwallis Financial. Then once we get the funds in there is a whole bunch of other things that have to happen. First the funds go into an escrow account. They are held in trust and you have to pay a certain amount to your escrow account manager and in the case of the first fund it is the Bank of Montreal and it is the Pacific Western Limited on the second fund. Then once you are ready to convert those to notes, to finalize notes, then you get the actual $250,000 from every investor, you have to take it out of escrow account and put into an investment run by a Canadian investment manager. They hold their liquid assets for you until you are ready to lend them. There is a fee for that firm, as well, and in the two cases of the funds it is Arctic Financial Corporation that is paid a fee. That fee is usually based on a percentage of the funds that they hold or they transact.

Once you are ready to actually lend the money, then there are a number of other costs that are incurred. The first cost is a cost of receiving the loans, analyzing the loans, negotiating with the potential borrower and there is a fee, a flat fee, paid to the NWT investments manager to conduct that activity. Once the loan is issued, then there is an administrative workload associated with receiving the payments on the loans, making sure that the proper reporting is done to the federal government and to the board members themselves and, there is a fee paid to the NWT investments manager for that ongoing maintenance and management function and that is a percentage of the loans issued.

All of those costs are costs of administering the fund. We also, of course, as a company we have to have an audit, there is an audit fee every year. We have to have legal counsel involved in transacting many of these activities because, of course, they are very complex, so there is a local law firm, Gullberg, Weist and MacPherson, that do that for the funds and there is a fee that is paid to them for that.

There are a number of fees. The good thing is, of course, the fund is self-sustaining in that the interest proceeds from the lending covers all of those costs. Those costs have to be set in a way that allows the fund to recover them, but still be able to offer interest rates that are attractive to borrowers. There is quite an amount of, I call it self-discipline or tightness, in how much those fees are because if you have them too excessive you will not be able to lend at rates that are attractive. That is perhaps a long answer, but it lays out all of the various cost components involved in administering the fund on an ongoing basis.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Voytilla. General comments? Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

I appreciate that information and obviously, I presume this all comes out of the fund, that there is a component there to cover the cost and so forth. Could the Minister tell me if those individuals or the companies that were involved, have they all been involved in the approval process of the loans that have been made? For instance, the fund auditors, fund counsel, the investment advisor and fund manager, all been involved in each of the loans that have been approved?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am advised that in conjunction with the Loans Committee, the NWT investment advisor and fund manager would be involved.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Ootes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Is the Minister saying that he was involved, the investment advisor was involved in all of the loans?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Yes.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. General comments. What is the wish of the committee?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Some Hon. Members

Clause by clause.

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The Chair David Krutko

Clause by clause. I believe we are on page 2-35. We are dealing with the Financial Management Board Secretariat. Page 2-35, operations and maintenance. Directorate. Operations and maintenance, page 2-35. We are dealing with the directorate. Operations and maintenance, $5.176 million. Agreed?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Page 2-39, labour relations and compensation services. Operations and maintenance, $3.786 million. Agreed?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Page 2-41, government accounting. Operations and maintenance, $7.177 million. Agreed?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Page 2-43, government accounting, grants and contributions. Contributions, $4.082 million. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

The Chair David Krutko

Total grants and contributions $4.082 million. Agreed?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 264

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Page 2-45, budgeting and evaluation, operations and maintenance, $1.116 million. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

Audit bureau, operations and maintenance, $1.213 million. Agreed?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

Information item, active positions. Page 2-48. Agreed?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

Details work performed on behalf of others. Total department, $600,000. Mr. Henry.

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On this charge back, this is just the department's amount, this is not the overall government? I should ask the question, is this $600,000 just the department's charge back to Nunavut? That will be the question, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We are doing the payroll function. We will charge them for performing that function over the course of the year.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Henry.

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I believe I saw that this was to do with the payroll function, but I believe I saw other components of work that the department was performing on behalf of Nunavut. Could the Minister comment on that? Does he have an amount for the total department charge back to Nunavut?

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The secretariat is performing only this function for Nunavut.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Any comments regarding detailed work performed on behalf of others. Total budget, total department, $600,000. Agreed?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

Page 2-33, program summary. Financial Management Board Secretariat, program summary. Operations and maintenance. Mr. Erasmus.

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am not sure if this

is the place to ask, but one of the activity descriptions is self-government and I know that we had put some more money into self-government to make things more efficient and move things along a little faster. I was wondering if this move had actually resulted in self-government negotiations moving faster than they were prior to us putting money into it.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I cannot answer that question. Certainly staff from FMBS have participated at the tables and provided financial analysis and advice, we hope that has helped. I cannot say whether or not it speeded up the process.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Erasmus.

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If the Minister is not qualified to answer that, who is?

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would suggest that the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs would be the person to answer that question.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Page 2-33, operations and maintenance. Mr. Henry.

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Mr. Chairman, I found the particular amount I was looking at, I would appreciate an explanation from the Minister. He had talked about the $600,000 charge back for work performed on behalf of Nunavut. On the next page, under Revenues, Recoveries and Transfer Payments, there is a Nunavut computer system charge back of $2.2 million. Could the Minister give me some explanation or clarification of what that amount is in relation to the $600,000? Thank you.

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The Chair David Krutko

Does the committee agree to go back to that particular item?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That amount is a government-wide figure. Because we were responsible for coordinating all of the system's charge backs, it is listed here, but it is not all relative to this department. The amount is for every department of government.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Henry.

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

For greater clarification, the $2.2 million is that the total amount that we can expect in this present fiscal year to be receiving from Nunavut for all services that we provide? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Henry. Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Mr. Chairman, this amount refers only to computer systems charge backs. There are many more contracts with Nunavut for much more than $2.2 million. This amount refers just to computers.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Erasmus.

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. On that same page 2-50, which we are kind enough to go back to for Mr. Henry, there is an indication that we require $4,000 to handle NSF cheques. I hope those are not our cheques. Could we get an explanation of that please?

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Minister.

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Members will note that this is a page that lists revenues, so that is $4,000 in revenues that we see. That results from the $25 handling fee that the government charges every time we receive a cheque which is NSF.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. At this time, I would like to recognize the Mayor from Inuvik, George Roach and Councillor Don Greg. Welcome to the Legislature.

--Applause

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The Chair David Krutko

If that is the end of the questions, I would like to go back to page 233, operations and maintenance, program summary, $18.468 million. Agreed?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

Total expenditures, $18.468 million. Agreed?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair David Krutko

That completes the Financial Management Board Secretariat. I would like to thank the Minister and his witness. Mrs. Groenewegen.

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Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Are the P3 initiatives covered under FMBS, or will that come up later on? Did we miss that?

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The Chair David Krutko

I would like to welcome the Minister and his witness back to the table. Could you clarify that point of P3, where does it fall within your mandate?

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Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Financial Management Board Secretariat does the overall coordination for P3 projects within the government, but Members will find, in each department, an entry noting P3 initiatives within their budgets. Each departmental budget will contain the amounts for each specific project.

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. That is the end of the comments on Financial Management Board. I would like to thank the Minister and his witness. What is the decision of the committee? To move to Aboriginal Affairs, which is, I

would like to recognize the Minister in charge of Aboriginal Affairs. Mr. Antoine, do you have any opening comments?

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Yes, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to present today the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Budget as proposed in the 1999-2000 Main Estimates. Aboriginal Affairs is a small unit within the government, tasked with the responsibility for representing the government in land claims and self-government negotiations and in assisting our efforts to promote the political development of the Northwest Territories. To ensure the interests of government and residents are presented in these important negotiations, adequate resources must be dedicated to this task.

Over the last few years, the workload has increased as more negotiations have proceeded. The ministry has been restructured to do its work more efficiently and has recently added six new positions. Based on the current workload of Aboriginal Affairs, we are proposing a budget of $3.698 million representing 31 positions. The ministry has no capital budget and does not generate any revenue. Mr. Chairman, I can only reiterate, that as I have done in past years, the crucial and important nature of the work of Aboriginal Affairs in the further development of the Northwest Territories. I believe this budget will allow us to do so in an effective and efficient manner. Mahsi, Mr. Chairman.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. I am going to ask Mr. Ootes if he would please deliver the committee's overview of the budget. Mr. Ootes.

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Yes, I would like to present the Report of the Standing Committee on Resource Management and Infrastructure on the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. General comments. The mandate of the ministry is to protect, develop and promote the interests of the territorial government and the residents of the Northwest Territories in the negotiation and implementation of land claims, self-government and treaty entitlement agreements and in the political and constitutional development of the western Northwest Territories; and to develop and maintain mutually beneficial working relations with the Aboriginal leadership.

The Standing Committee on Resource Management and Infrastructure met on November 24, 1998, to review the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs' 1999-2002 Business Plan. Committee Members reviewed the Ministry's draft 1999-2000 Main Estimates on March 25, 1999. During both reviews, the committee noted that the creation of two new territories, issues of western governance, ongoing land claims negotiations, self-government and major demographic shifts have contributed and will likely continue to press the operating parameters of the ministry. The committee noted during their review of the Ministry's draft 1999-2000 Main Estimate a $53,000, or a 1.41 percentage, projected decrease in operations and maintenance expenditures for the ministry from its 1999-2002 Business Plan.

Committee Members concluded that the Ministry's projected decline in expenditures would likely negatively affect the government's ongoing attempts to incorporate the interests of stakeholders and residents in the ongoing and complex aboriginal and territorial political process.

Representation: A Balanced Approach.

The committee expressed concern during the review of the business plan that the government's approach to the resolution of land claim, treaty entitlement and self-government issues may not be fully balanced, ensuring representation for all residents of the Northwest Territories. Committee Members agreed that it is essential that a strong central government be espoused at all negotiation tables.

Operational Audit.

The committee in its review of the Minister's opening remarks from the review of the business plans noted that an operational audit was recently performed on the ministry. The committee looks forward to receiving a briefing of the operational audit that was recently performed on the ministry, subject to Cabinet protocols concerning the release of selected documents.

Status of Claims.

Committee Members continue to be concerned regarding the status of land claims in the Northwest Territories. During discussions with the Minister, Members requested an update of the progress on each claim to date.

That concludes the Report on Aboriginal Affairs, Madam Chairperson.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. At this time I will ask the Minister if he would like to bring witnesses from his department. Thank you, Mr. Antoine. The Minister would like to bring witnesses. Does the committee agree?

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Sergeant-at-Arms, would you please bring in the witnesses? Mr. Antoine, could you please introduce the witnesses for the record?

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. With me is Mr. Charles Overvold, to my left, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and we have Ms. Veronica Puskas, she is the senior financial and administration advisor. Thank you.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Minister Antoine. Aboriginal Affairs. Are there any general comments? Mr. Krutko.

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. With regard to the status of land claims and the negotiation process. In last year's budget there was an increase in allocation of funds so that we could fill positions within the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to speed up negotiations with regard to the different claimant groups who are presently negotiating because of the workload on the individuals who were working, along with the number of claims that have started in which you have got the self-government negotiation process and the land claims process. There was a treaty entitlement process, so I would like to ask the Premier exactly what has happened in light of the increase in those positions? Do they find that they are making more progress or have the negotiations been pretty consistent, which were moving at the same pace? Can the Premier tell us if that influx of funds and the number of increased positions in the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio has helped move these negotiations along and where are all these negotiations today?

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Mr. Antoine.

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, last year there was approval through the Legislative Assembly to increase the resources to the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, and it was greatly appreciated because the ministry at that time had limited resources and very few staff to deal with the number of negotiations going on at the same time. With the additional resources and we have gone through a hiring process, we have added more positions and the negotiations are a lot better. It did not necessarily speed up the process, but it certainly made the job a lot easier. Everybody that is involved in the negotiations are working very hard. There are a number of processes that are going on and we have been participating fully at all these different negotiations that have been going on in the last little while, but certainly the resources are fully utilized to enhance our position at these negotiating tables. Thank you.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Krutko.

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. The other part of my question was in regard to the progress of these negotiations and what state they are at. Are they close to completion or are they at the AIP stage or are they, with regard to the self-government agreements, pretty close to being finalized? With regard to some, can the Premier tell me exactly what stage are all these negotiations today?

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Mr. Antoine.

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I would like to ask the deputy minister, Mr. Charles Overvold, to reply to that question.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Overvold.

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Overvold

Could I just add to the first part of his question? Part of the problem we were having in negotiations is not enough depth to our negotiating team. We were having problems keeping up with the negotiations because both the federal and the aboriginal teams were very well resourced. They usually brought a team of five or six and from the territorial government we had one negotiator from Aboriginal Affairs and we would bring along a justice lawyer and maybe somebody from one of the departments that might be affected by that specific negotiation session. What we needed was more ability, more depth to our team, so we hired some assistant negotiators and that got us at least two people. We also hired some policy people so we could better prepare for sessions.

In terms of where we are at with negotiations in the Northwest Territories, the Beaufotr-Delta negotiations have been ongoing now for a couple of years. They are hoping to get an agreement in principle by this September. The Dogrib negotiations, as well, are fairly well advanced. There is a session coming up next week in Ottawa and the hope there is that we can come to an agreement in principle at the end of that session. There are some fairly major issues that have to be resolved, but we are very close. We are also negotiating with Salt River First Nation and a new band that was split off from Salt River, the Smith Landing Band in northern Alberta. Because of the split they have been putting a lot of emphasis on getting the northern Alberta band in Smith Landing up and running and what they have been trying to do with Salt River and the rest of Treaty 8 in the South Slave region and the Metis is to see if we can rationalize one process rather than negotiating with the Metis, negotiating with Salt River and negotiating with Treaty 8. See if we can get the groups together and develop one process. We are in a bit of flux in that one.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Overvold. Mr. Krutko.

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. One of the things I have seen in the last number of years is the whole idea of implementation of the land claim agreements that have been negotiated to date, the Inuvialuit with their agreement, the IFA, you have the Gwich'in and the Sahtu land claim agreements, but there seems to be a lot of problems in regards to implementing these agreements and understanding the different sections of those agreements. You have heard a lot of questions about the whole area of economic measures regarding the participation agreements in the Inuvialuit agreement. From the department's perspective, why is it that there seems to be such a problem regarding the interpretation of these agreements?

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Mr. Antoine.

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Madam Chairperson, I would like to defer to the deputy minister for a more detailed answer to that question. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Overvold.

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Overvold

Thank you. The economic measures chapter of the Gwich'in and the Sahtu agreements. There are only broad commitments to implement some broad principles in our economic development programs and strategies in legislation. It is very difficult to determine, you know, exactly what should be done. We did come to an agreement between Canada and the territorial government and the Gwich'in and with the Sahtu for their claim on an implementation plan for those chapters and we think we are living up to the implementation plan we agreed to. However, there are some disagreements. I think the aboriginal groups feel we are not doing enough and I believe we have made a commitment to sit down with you and see if we can work out those kinds of problems.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Overvold. Mr. Krutko.

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. In regards to, I use an example, there is presently an economic review with regards to economic programs and services in the Western Territory which was carried out, but in the Gwich'in land claim and Sahtu land claim agreement there is a section that relates to economic measures which clearly states that they shall be involved in any change of programs and services within the Government of the Northwest Territories or federal programs relating to economic opportunities or programs and services.

Why is it that the aboriginal groups were not involved in that review or the changes that are being made in this government to consider looking at new programs and services for economic measures?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Mr. Antoine.

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, there is no economic review that has been done. The only one that I know of is that there is an economic strategy that Mr. Kakfwi has taken a lead role in and it has not been done. We are just starting to get into it. It is a consultation process that he is starting on. Certainly everybody is going to be included. If there are provisions in certain land claims agreements that states that people will have to be consulted certainly we will do that. Everybody is going to be consulted through the economic strategy that Mr. Kakfwi is implementing and starting to consult with the people now. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Krutko.

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. In regards to the government programs and services where we seem to have a question about the constitutional reality of land claims and treaty rights, the question that we have now on the whole area of boundaries commissions, where now we are going to court. Does the department have a constitutional lawyer in-house or on hand to give us a fair representation in regard to what the legality of this department is to protect aboriginal rights in the Western Territory?

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, we do not have an in-house lawyer per se within the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. We have a Department of Justice that provides the lawyers and that is who we utilize. On occasion we do utilize certain individuals that have expertise in constitutional affairs. Thank you.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. I believe that Mr. Krutko's ten minutes for general comments are up. I have Mr. Erasmus.

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, I too am quite interested in the progress of the land claims to date. Unfortunately, I did not quite hear the comments on exactly how far along the Dogrib land claim is. Could we get another explanation of how far along they are in their land claims?

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Antoine.

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. The Dogrib Treaty 11 negotiation process is going along. About three weeks ago there was a session in Vancouver where treaty government tabled a chapter on self-government. We have progressed quite a ways along. There is another session that is slated, a negotiations session that is slated to happen next week in Ottawa. At this session, we were told they would like to cover all the major issues, hopefully, at that session. There is pressure by the Dogrib Treaty 11 to have an agreement-in-principle before the spring because they are saying that they wanted to bring something to their assembly this summer. There is a push on the part of the Dogrib to try to compromise and move along substantially at this negotiation session in Ottawa next week.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Erasmus.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, some time ago I had made a statement in this House that the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, who are in the Yellowknife North constituency, had a problem with the boundaries that are involved in the Dogrib Treaty 11 land claim, and that in fact the Dogrib Treaty 11 land claim boundary went so far that the communities of Detah and Ndilo actually are within the Dogrib Treaty 11 claimant area. When that area was instituted, it said on the maps that it was for the purposes of interim protection and to this date I do not think that area was made any smaller. In fact, I think it was made larger, if I remember correctly what some of the Deh Cho chiefs said, who were also concerned with the size of the claimant area. What I would like to know is, has there been a boundary established yet between the Dogrib Treaty 11 claimant area and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation area because both groups are trying to finish their claims or their treaty entitlement negotiations or whatever you call them?

The federal government policy indicates that these things are supposed to be negotiated and out of the way before things are put into place and, in fact, several years ago before the Nunavut claim was finished there had to be a boundary established between us and the Inuit in the east. A few days ago, two new territories came out as a result of that land claim and the boundary that was established for their claim was actually used to split the territories and come up with two new territories. If there had to be a boundary in between us and them at that time, it seems to me that there has to be a boundary established between these two First Nation groups. I would like to know if there has been a boundary established between Dogrib Treaty 11 and the Yellowknives Dene First Nations. Thank you.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, I have taken the concerns of the honourable Member very seriously when he first raised this issue in this House earlier on in the Legislative Assembly here and the instructions to our negotiators every time they go to the table and specifically even more strongly in the last session in Vancouver. Even prior to the last session in Vancouver I met with the grand chiefs and the forum chiefs of the Dogrib and among other concerns we raised the issue of the boundaries directly with them, saying this is going to be a political tough one for us if the boundary has not been resolved before you reach an AIP.

This was again raised at the negotiating table. I know there have been efforts put forward by the Dogrib Treaty 11 to talk with the chief in Ndilo here, as well as to representatives of the Dene in Deh Cho to try to resolve these two boundary issues. Specifically about the Ndilo and Detah people that are encompassed within the boundaries of the Dogrib Treaty 11, there was a meeting earlier today with the Grand Chief again on the negotiation issue there again. There again, I reiterated the concern that there should be some boundary arrangements prior to any agreement-in-principle and I understand from the Grand Chief, Joe Rabesca, saying that there was a MOU that was developed between Chief Fred Sangris of N'dilo and our own negotiator John B. Zoe. That is what I understand, but I do not know what the content of the MOU is. I do not know whether there is a boundary involved in the MOU, but since I do not know, I have to answer that there is no boundary that the Dogrib Treaty 11 and the Yellowknives Akaitcho agreed on to date. My understanding from what I have been told by the negotiators on the federal side is that the question of boundary must be dealt with before a final agreement. The federal government is still reluctant to divide up the North Slave region, so it is not a question of whether the Dogrib Treaty 11 want to draw a boundary. There is a question for the negotiating table, so the instruction to our negotiators coming up next week again is to further push this point. Thank you.

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Erasmus, your ten minutes is up. I have on the list for general comments, Mr. Krutko.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, my question to the Minister is that since this department is responsible for the negotiation of land claims and also responsible for aboriginal affairs, can the Minister tell me what role does Aboriginal Affairs play in the whole Northern Accord process? Are you involved in those negotiations or do you partake in the discussions on the accord because it is something that flows from the land claim agreements that was negotiated by this department at the time of the negotiations? What involvement does this department have in the overall Northern Accord discussions?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. This Northern Accord is also, the lead Minister is also Stephen Kakfwi, however the role the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs plays is that whenever there is any concern that has implications for aboriginal people, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is very much involved and working with the other departments in this area. Yes, we are consulted and we are involved in talking about all these issues that affect aboriginal people. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, a few years back there was an elder from Detah charged with hunting illegally and he was charged by this government. Renewable Resources laid the charge against him. His defence was funded by this government because he was fighting the case on his inherent right, his aboriginal right, to hunt. He was a Treaty from Detah. Does the Premier remember that case?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Yes. I remember that case.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, I commend the government for supplying the dollars for the defence of this elder on protecting his aboriginal right. Just recently, not so much of an elder, but a well-known Metis hunter in the Fort Smith region has been charged by the federal government for hunting in Wood Buffalo National Park. This gentleman went out and shot a moose and he went and told the park where he shot it, gave them all the meat, gave him his rifle, and he is defending himself to his inherent aboriginal right to harvest as well. When will your government be starting to help defend this gentleman?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, in this particular case we are familiar with the case. I am aware of it through the media, but I have not seen any briefing or any letters or anything in regard to this case on my desk, going through my desk or as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. I am not even aware of whether he has requested the assistance of the government. I think what we are kind of huddling here about is trying to see whether anybody at this table here has heard about it. I think the only thing I could say is that if he is requesting assistance, and certainly we have a process in place as a government through Legal Aid, for example, and perhaps in the Department of Justice there is some funding for court challenges and so forth. Certainly if there is some request coming forward we will certainly entertain it. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, it is good to hear and I, too, do not know if he has requested, as of yet. I know a bit about the case, but it is good to hear the Premier and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs say that, as before, where this government has stepped in to assist an aboriginal person to defend his rights they would give this aboriginal person serious consideration as well. As the Premier may know, he may as well save his time in applying for Legal Aid because that is not possible under the government's policy, the way it is. He would have to be destitute to even get it, so would it be through your Aboriginal Rights fund or do you have special dollars? Where would he apply, through your office or through Aboriginal Affairs or what?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. In the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs we do not have funding for that type of assistance, but perhaps there is something within the Department of Justice to help out in this regard. We are not familiar with that as well, so we will have to check on that, but certainly if there is a request

for assistance in this regard I think we should be able to try to accommodate that request. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, self-government and self-government policy, is there any further work being done on that policy today?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, we have a self-government policy that we changed last year and what we are doing is we are working very hard and working on this policy by developing negotiating instructions as we move forward at all the different tables we are at. We are developing instructions for our negotiators based on the policy that we have in front of us now. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, our government, this government, it refers to, let us say the federal government, the provincial governments, territorial governments, aboriginal governments, is that, it refers to aboriginal organizations in the communities as aboriginal governments and recognizes them as aboriginal governments, is that correct?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. There was a statement in the House, as you recall, a policy statement saying that this Government of the Northwest Territories recognizes the aboriginal governments in each community. Through negotiations we are developing the work that needs to get into complying with the policy statement that was made earlier in the House. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. We are referring to the aboriginal governments at the community level. Our government deals with provincial governments, federal government, foreign governments, aboriginal governments, all types of governments and we have Intergovernmental Affairs. I do not have the budget lying in front of me, but is there any necessity to carry on with a separate standalone department like Aboriginal Affairs where we could possibly save money by rolling that into the Executive and rolling it under into Intergovernmental Affairs because you are dealing with other governments? Has there been any exploration or look at possibly freeing up some dollars by combining that and tying it directly into Intergovernmental Affairs? Intergovernmental Affairs is normally held by the Premier's Office to show the importance of it. Would there be any work done to look at that so that Aboriginal Affairs would just automatically roll in through the Executive, into Intergovernmental Affairs?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you. There is no work on it, looking at combining it with Intergovernmental Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs, but at one point in time they were together and then they were split. They are both under my portfolio as responsible to the Executive as well, so certainly we could take a look at it to see what the possibilities are. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Mr. Morin.

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

They were combined before, so I guess it would not take that long to take a look at it. You would probably be able to give it an initial study to see the amount of dollars that you could save and within the period of time before this budget is passed in this House, like you have got two to three weeks, I believe? Would that be an adequate amount of time to take a look at whether or not it would be a cost-saving measure to this government to combine Aboriginal Affairs in with the Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Antoine.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Madam Chairperson, I do not think a couple of weeks is enough time to do it. I think something like that we need to take a real close look at it, look at the costs, the operation, the organizational structure, and so forth. As well, it has to go to Cabinet for approval to make the changes, so I do not think two weeks, the life of this session, would be long enough to do justice to looking at it and trying to do what the honourable Member is saying, to move ahead and make the changes. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Morin.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. How long would that take? Two months, three months? Your year starts April 1st. April, May, June, July?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Morin. Mr. Premier.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I do not know about the timing. This is the first time it has come up here and I do not think we have thought of doing that. I do not think it will be that much of a cost saving when you do that. I think it would be very minimal because, as you say, this Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs is very small. The Intergovernmental Affairs section of the Executive is even smaller. I do not think there would be very much of a cost saving even if we did that. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Premier. Mr. Morin, your time is up. General comments. Mr. Erasmus.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Further to the comments on the Dogrib Treaty 11 land claim, I am not that familiar with their actual claim. However, I am familiar with other claims such as the Sahtu and the Gwich'in and I understand that there are similarities such as water boards and land management boards, those types of things. If those things exist in the Dogrib Treaty 11 claim, then presumably the area over

which they are contacted and over which they have a great deal of influence is over the total area of their land claim, within their land claims boundary. What I would like to know is, are there such boards of management, water boards and land management boards in the Dogrib Treaty 11 claim?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Premier.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mr. Chairman, I would like to defer that to the deputy minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Premier. Mr. Overvold.

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Overvold

Yes, there is. It is an area of federal jurisdiction under the MacKenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Dogrib have agreed to the same types of boards that the Gwich'in and Sahtu have agreed to. I think there is only one difference and that is in the area of land use planning. Rather than fitting into a public system, the Dogrib are going to be able to do land use planning on their own land.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Overvold. Mr. Erasmus.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I proceed, I would like to move that we extend sitting hours until we conclude Aboriginal Affairs today.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Mr. Erasmus moves to extend sitting hours. The motion is in order. To the motion. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried. Mr. Erasmus.

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, those boards then, the water board and the land management boards and the wildlife management boards also exist, do those extend over the total land claim area that the Dogrib Treaty 11 have?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Minister.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the deputy minister to reply to that.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you. Mr. Overvold.

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Overvold

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, they would. Similar to the regional boards in the Gwich'in and Sahtu areas, the jurisdiction extends to the settlement area boundaries. The problem with the Dogrib is that there is no agreement yet on what this settlement area boundary will be. They have to negotiate a boundary with the Akaitcho group and with the Deh Cho group. The boundary is not settled yet. Whatever that boundary is, which has to be settled before the final agreement, that is the area of jurisdiction that these boards will operate within.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Overvold. Mr. Erasmus.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The jurisdiction will extend throughout the settlement area and from my understanding, is it their position that they cannot move that boundary line to have one between the two groups? I do not know how they are going to resolve this issue. If their area of jurisdiction has the total settlement area and they do not move that boundary to somewhere between them, then the Akaitcho people would have virtually no area of jurisdiction of their own. The current boundary goes right around the communities and, in fact, goes to the southern shores of Great Slave Lake. Right on the door step of Tu Nedhe. The chief from Fort Resolution, if he wants to go fishing or needs to get a permit, currently has to ask the Dogrib chiefs if it is okay. The government has to do that. That is how bad it is and that is how bad it will continue to be because if those boundaries are not moved, it is not only that it also includes the Deh Cho people. All the people are being told that the boundary cannot be moved.

There has to be a way to resolve this, but Mr. Chairman, I just want it made known that I do not feel that there is any way that this government can allow an AIP to be signed unless there is substantial movement or perhaps even an actual boundary being put in place which respects the neighbouring first nations, the Akaitcho Territories and the Deh Cho First Nations. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Erasmus. Mr. Premier.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think that was just a comment that the honourable Member was making. It was just a comment, so I will leave it at that. Thank you.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Mr. Premier, you can respond to a comment, I do not mind. General comments. Does the committee agree that we go clause by clause. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

We are on page 2-59, Aboriginal Affairs, operations and maintenance. $3.698 million. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Page 2-60, Aboriginal Affairs, grants and contributions. Grants, $300,000. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Contributions, $20,000. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 271

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Total grants and contributions, $320,000. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Detail work done on behalf of third parties, total department, $679,000. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Information item, active positions. Any questions? We will return to program summary. Page 2-57, operations and maintenance, $3.698 million. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Total expenditures, $3.698 million. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Just a small housekeeping item. Please turn to page 2-5, Executive, department summary. Executive, department summary, operations and maintenance, $30.334 million. Agreed?

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

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Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

Total expenditures, $30.334 million. Agreed?

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

I would like to thank the Minister and his witnesses. What is the wish of the committee? Mr. Erasmus.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I move that we report progress.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Chair David Krutko

The motion is in order. The motion is not debatable. Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried. I will now rise and report progress.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Good evening. The House will come back to order. We are on item 21, report of committee of the whole. Mr. Krutko.

Item 21: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 21: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Bill 17, Appropriation Act, 1999-2000, and committee report 1-13(7) and would like to report progress. Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of the committee of the whole be concurred with.

Item 21: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 21: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Seconded by Mr. Roland. The motion is in order. To the motion. Question has been called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried. Item 22, third reading of bills. Item 23, orders of the day. Mr. Clerk.

Item 23: Orders Of The Day
Item 23: Orders Of The Day

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Deputy Clerk Mr. Schauerte

Mr. Speaker, meetings for tomorrow morning. At 9:30 a.m., Government Operations Committee, and at 11:00 a.m., Management and Services Board.

Orders of the day for Thursday, April 22, 1999:

1. Prayer

2. Ministers' Statements

3. Members' Statements

4. Returns to Oral Questions

5. Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery

6. Oral Questions

7. Written Questions

8. Returns to Written Questions

9. Replies to Opening Address

10. Replies to Budget Address

11. Petitions

12. Reports of Standing and Special Committees

13. Reports of Committees on the Review of Bills

14. Tabling of Documents

15. Notices of Motion

16. Notices of Motion for First Reading of Bills

17. Motions

18. First Reading of Bills

- Bill 18, Loan Authorization Act, 1999-2000

19. Second Reading of Bills

20. Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

- Bill 17, Appropriation Act, 1999-2000

- Committee Report 1-13(7)

21. Report of Committee of the Whole

22. Third Reading of Bills

23. Orders of the Day

Item 23: Orders Of The Day
Item 23: Orders Of The Day

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. This House stands adjourned to Thursday, April 22, 1999 at 1:30 p.m.

--ADJOURNMENT