This is page numbers 303 - 319 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 corporation.

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 303

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Antoine. Good morning.

Speaker's Ruling

Before we proceed with the orders of the day, I wish to provide my ruling on point of order raised yesterday by Mr. Morin regarding comments made by Mr. Kakfwi in which Mr. Kakfwi made reference to the names of private citizens as well as some current public servants.

I have reviewed the unedited Hansard from yesterday. As well, I have reviewed previous Speakers' Rulings in this area and I would like to quote from a ruling I made on February 26, 1998. I would like to quote the key portion of that ruling without repeating it in its entirety, and I quote:

I will not permit comments, whether written or spoken in this Legislature, that have the tendency to question the personal integrity of others outside the House or impute motives to those unable to respond or which have the impact of adversely reflecting on the character of those persons outside of this Legislature.

As I have stated, I have reviewed the unedited transcripts from yesterday and I cannot find any instances where Mr. Kakfwi made comments which may have questioned anyone's integrity, imputed motives or adversely reflected on the character of any person outside of this Legislature.

Therefore, I rule that Mr. Morin does not have a point of order. However, it is always important that Members uphold the spirit and intent of past rulings in that regard and once again I would caution all Members to consider comments they make with this advice in mind. Thank you.

--Applause

Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Minister's Statement 43-13(7): Ministers Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Michael Miltenberger will be absent from the House today from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to participate in a conference call between the federal/provincial/territorial Ministers responsible for Social Policy Reform.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to advise Members that the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi will be absent from the House today from approximately 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to speak about the Economic Strategy at a meeting of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce in Yellowknife. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 43-13(7): Ministers Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Member's Statement 118-13(7): Anniversary Of Signing Of Gwich'in Land Claim
Item 3: Members' Statements

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today regarding the Gwich'in people and the Gwich'in tribal council and the Gwich'in land claim agreement. If people do not know, today is the Gwich'in holiday in which April 22, 1992, is when the Gwich'in comprehensive land claim agreement was signed by the Gwich'in tribal council and the Governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada in Fort McPherson. Since then, Mr. Speaker, a lot has happened regarding the land claims proceedings in which they have established land claim institutions, they have provided the Gwich'in with a land base and certain land management rights and they are also presently negotiating the self-government agreement process. As well, they established institutions under those claims regarding the Gwich'in Cultural Society, the Tl'oondih Healing Society and Raven Resource Councils in their communities. One thing that I have noted, Mr. Speaker, in this House where I have made a lot of statements on behalf of the constituents I represent and also the land claim groups, the Inuvialuit and the Gwich'in, where I find that there is still is a lot of work to be done to ensure those land claim agreements are implemented and carried forth.

Mr. Speaker, I made comments in this House about the Tl'oondih Healing Society, the question about economic measures of the Gwich'in land claim agreement, participation in the Inuvialuit agreement and also certain rights that pertain to the aboriginal organizations to be involved in what this government does regarding economic changes in this government and the question about the Northern Accord process.

Mr. Speaker, I stand here proud to be a Gwich'in but also proud of the success that has been made to date by the Gwich'in Tribal Council and the people of the Mackenzie Delta and especially the Gwich'in leaders that have brought the land claim to where it is today. There is still a lot of work to do, Mr. Speaker, so I challenge this government to continue to work hand in hand with this organization. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 118-13(7): Anniversary Of Signing Of Gwich'in Land Claim
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Ootes.

Member's Statement 119-13(7): National Volunteer Week And Community Service Awards
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 304

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is national volunteer week, April 18th to the 25th, and volunteers are the backbone of many community organizations here in the Territories. I understand that we have over 2,000 organizations and in Yellowknife alone there are some 300. Together these agencies create more that 400 jobs and contribute an estimated $13 million to the economy. There is a message here for the government, Mr. Speaker, these agencies for the most part cannot exist without a coordinator, someone to recruit, train and supervise the volunteers. Without coordinators the agencies are severely hindered in their ability to operate. Yet when government revenues fall, paid coordinators are often the first to be eliminated. Volunteers pick up the slack and fill the gaps in the social system left by government budget cuts. Government must learn to appropriately value the voluntary sector here in the north.

This Sunday, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make reference to the community service awards that will be presented during ceremonies at St. Patrick High School here in Yellowknife. Some 36 volunteers will be honoured, 12 youth volunteers will be singled out, four corporate citizens will be recognized for their outstanding contributions. I extend thanks to all the dedicated community minded people who volunteer their time and service to the north. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 119-13(7): National Volunteer Week And Community Service Awards
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Rabesca.

Member's Statement 120-13(7): Congratulations To Students In Aurora College Metalworks Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 304

James Rabesca North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the ten students that took part in the Aurora College Jewellery and Metalwork Program. Yesterday they showed the public what they have achieved. Unfortunately I was not able to attend their show, I do understand that it was a great success and a few items they made were sold. This alone would make these students feel proud of their accomplishments.

They have worked very hard over the last few months learning this very interesting and rewarding skill. As the Minister stated yesterday, if funding is available this program will continue. I certainly hope that we can find the dollars needed for this as it seems to be a very good program and I am sure the students would like to work with diamonds in the near future.

In closing, I would again like to congratulate these ten students for their hard work and dedication. I am positive they are proud of their work and dedication. I am positive they are proud of their work, as we all are. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 120-13(7): Congratulations To Students In Aurora College Metalworks Program
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Henry.

Member's Statement 121-13(7): Amendments To Labour Standards Act
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 304

Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, sometimes progress can be very slow when it comes to enacting legislation. In my Member's statement of April 13th last, I spoke of the need to change or enact several pieces of legislation. One such piece is the Labour Standards Act. In some ways, Mr. Speaker, I have come full circle in regard to the Labour Standards Act. I have sought and received the support of two previous Ministers of Justice to enact changes to this legislation. I had first approached, Minister Ng, and then Minister Arlooktoo. I also questioned the Minister responsible for regulatory reform, Mr. Kakfwi. Mr. Speaker, this House even supported a motion I presented over a year ago to review and amend the Labour Standards Act as it pertains to commissioned employees. I have also written letters to both the Ministers of the day in an attempt to respond to concerns from both employees and employers alike.

Mr. Speaker, amendments are badly needed to this act. Employees affected are commissioned employees such as real estate agents, waitresses and waiters, taxi drivers, salespersons, hairdressers, as well as the employers of these occupations, to name a few. I had been told by Mr. Arlooktoo a review had been done on this act. My motion of February, 1998, requested that the government bring these amendments before the Legislative Assembly for consideration at the fall sitting last year.

In June of last year the Minister of the day, Mr. Arlooktoo, indicated his department was planning to have the necessary changes go through the committee process and the House as part of the bill last fall. October was to be the month, Mr. Speaker, but that never happened. All Members who have been working for legislative change know the process can be all but exhausting and to say the least frustrating, but I vowed to follow this through, Mr. Speaker. Later today I will be questioning the Minister of Justice, Mr. Kakfwi, about amendments that are needed to the Labour Standards Act and I sincerely hope that he will honour the commitments made by previous Ministers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 121-13(7): Amendments To Labour Standards Act
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Member's Statement 122-13(7): Appreciation Of Cabinet Performance
Item 3: Members' Statements

April 23rd, 1999

Page 304

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it is Friday, but I want to assure you that I am very serious about what I am going to say. We are a smaller group here now. It has been quite a transition. This has been our first real session since there have only been 14 of us in the House. I would like to say that I am very much appreciating the way in which the Cabinet has been dealing with the questions, even with a smaller group we are going a full hour in question period

--Applause

and I very much appreciate the sincerity with which this Cabinet is handling questions from this side of the House. I see it being done without any kind of posturing or mind games or shenanigans or anything and I have had opportunity already to compliment Mr. Roland last week on how far he has come already in the short time that he has been the Minister, in the way in which he has been handling the questions.

I also noticed in today's Yellowknifer that Premier Antoine had a brunch in Edmonton with 75 northern students that were attending post-secondary training down there and gave them some good advice with respect to their education, returning to the north, staying in schools, and so I just wanted to make this comment because I am observing these little things, and we have a lot of work to do here in the west and I wanted to very much appreciate my colleagues on the other side of the House today. Thank you.

--Applause

Member's Statement 122-13(7): Appreciation Of Cabinet Performance
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Erasmus.