This is page numbers 321 - 355 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

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Miltenberger.

Minister's Statement 44-13(7): Towards Excellence: A Report On Education In The Nwt
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, when we spend money on education, the goal is to ensure children and adults are better educated, more self-reliant, and ready to take advantage of employment opportunities. We need good information to evaluate the result of our actions. The Department of Education, Culture and Employment is increasing the amount of blue chip information available on its programs and services. This information is used for assessing program results, making programming decisions and to account to the public for activities. Given our limited resources, we need to measure the true value to northerners of the services we provide or support.

Later today, Mr. Speaker, I will be tabling Towards Excellence: A Report on Education in the NWT. This handy little document provides a profile of education from kindergarten to grade 12. The report covers a broad range of topics from school achievement indicators to educator information, from high school statistics to enrollment numbers. Information recently requested by Members of this House, such as the increase in student completion rates, can be found in the report.

While this is the second report of its kind, it is the first that provides information from a western NWT perspective. Work is currently underway on gathering the numbers of 1998-99. The department plans to update this information every two years. Mr. Speaker, reliable information is critical to good decision making and to public accountability for dollars spent. Towards Excellence provides the Department of Education, Culture and Employment with baseline information that we will use in our strategic and business planning. Over the next few years, we will revise and refine our information needs to develop a set of indicators which will effectively capture the results of efforts by the department, DECs, DEAs, schools and culture and heritage communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 44-13(7): Towards Excellence: A Report On Education In The Nwt
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 125-13(7): Support For Aklavik Plumbing Business
Item 3: Members' Statements

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today my statement is regarding an individual, a young man, who is an entrepreneur who is trying to start up his own plumbing service in Aklavik, KLR Plumbing Services of Aklavik. This young individual has worked his way up to receiving his tickets in plumbing and gas fittings and just lately he wrote his exams to become an oil-burner mechanic, that will be recognized interprovincially. Mr. Speaker, this individual has made an attempt to establish a career path for himself and also to supply a service to the community of Aklavik. Mr. Storr has made every attempt to establish a business in Aklavik. The last business in Aklavik that sold plumbing supplies and also the service to help people with their furnaces and their stoves and their plumbing fixtures was Mr. Dennis Pascal who has moved to Tuktoyaktuk and no longer offers that service.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Storr, who has taken on himself to establish his business and has registered through the BIP process, is still having problems selling his business and his services to this government. Mr. Speaker, the service that is presently being provided, is provided out of Inuvik. This is an extra cost, because the individuals have to fly to Aklavik to do these services on behalf of this government on an as and when needed contract by this government, yet the individual that lives in that community cannot get work with this government. Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time I will be asking the Minister a question on the BIP process and why is it that individuals who live in the small communities who establish their businesses are not getting work with this government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 125-13(7): Support For Aklavik Plumbing Business
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Rabesca.

Member's Statement 126-13(7): Super Soccer Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

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James Rabesca North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention a great event that will take place over this coming weekend in the City of Yellowknife, this of course is the annual Super Soccer Tournament. As we all know this tournament has grown from a few local and regional teams to include teams from all across the two territories. This is a great event that brings many young people together for the purpose of having fun, visiting old friends and making new ones and

participating in the sport they love.

For the past many years the teams to beat have been the Rae-Edzo teams, and I would suspect that this year will be much the same. Rae-Edzo has a very active indoor soccer organization. The youth start playing at a very early age and continue into adulthood. In fact, during the month of May, a team will travel to Germany to compete in a number of tournaments and hopefully come home victorious. It takes great dedication from the coaches and players to continually provide such a good calibre of players.

The community of Rae-Edzo has very good coaches that are very dedicated. These I would like to thank. Without their support and the support of others across our territory we would not have this type of competition, and our youth would not have these types of opportunities. In closing, I encourage all the parents to make an effort to attend this weekend's tournament and show support for our children. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 126-13(7): Super Soccer Tournament
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Ootes.

Member's Statement 127-13(7) Government Contracting Procedures
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to speak today about government contracting once again and make reference to a letter I received from the Premier on March 16th, in which he stated that the FMBS had assembled a committee of senior management from several departments. This committee was tasked to develop a government-wide directive on negotiated contracts. That task force was to come forward with a report by March 31. In the House I asked the Premier if he would expand the task force, or the committee's mandate, to include requests for proposals and to make the report available to stakeholders for input. Mr. Speaker, I would like to make some reference to a number of areas here. Invitations to tender were used by the government for many decades and other governments as well. In recent years we have made more use of requests for proposals. In 1997-98, the report that I have, indicates that RFPs totalled $20 million and in 1998-99, through half the year, the total was $55 million.

Invitations to tender, Mr. Speaker, is an easy system. It is awarded on price only and it is opened in public and everybody knows the rules. But that is not so with RFPs. One of the difficulties that may be perceived in this is when small to medium companies bid and they bid unsuccessfully on RFPs after a while they become discouraged, because they do not have the resources to go after this like the larger companies. They may drop out from submitting RFPs. The feedback to proposers is also an issue, Mr. Speaker, the companies receive no feedback and the whole RFP process is based on a criteria sheet, called a rating schedule and it has six criteria, but the cost of the RFP, when awarding it is only 25 percent of the amount. Proposers are not given access to the rating sheets. Price by successful proposals are not revealed. This begs the question, are we turning contractors off because of our system and how do we know we are getting value for our dollars? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 127-13(7) Government Contracting Procedures
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Member's Statement 128-13(7): Rejection Of General Hunting License Application
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to direct my Member's statement to an issue of a constituent that has been raised to me in Hay River and I have received a copy of a letter. What I would like to do is just read some excerpts of it. I do not want to identify the person that I will be pursuing this on behalf of, but I would just like to read some excerpts of a letter because I was very moved by what I read. This is how it goes.

Because I am native, I was born native. I was raised by elders in the bush. I am a bush man. I can hunt, trap and fish. These skills among others I have been chosen to carry on and pass on to others, but I need a licence to sell fur and hunt. I choose to make my living in the bush of which there is still plenty. I have been trying to attain this licence for the past eight years now. I do not take UI or social assistance. I was taught not to impose on others. I have my own back and I make my own living. I have learned to have a great respect for the land and for all peoples, but I also respect myself and do not allow others to use me as a floor mat. I am old enough and prepared to give it a go. I was taught never to lie or steal. If you people only help me attain my general hunting license I would not feel like such an outlaw of which I am not. I do lots of charity work with children and elders and people in town and in the bush. I have no education to brag about, but I have my Ph.D in the bush. I make my living travelling around now doing odd jobs and playing fiddle music for people, but I am planning on trapping next winter on my own. I have a very low income and I have my income tax receipts to prove it. I am ready for a career and I want to pursue trapping. I know I have the right to live in the bush. I am a native of Cree descent. My grandparents were bush people, Treaties who made their living hunting and trapping. I am a bush man, I am free and I will fight for my rights and the rights of my native brothers whatever the cost may be.

Mr. Speaker, this letter is signed by a young man, a constituent of mine in Hay River. I have not read all of it, but I was very moved by it because this is a young person who has lived in the north for many years and has a dream and a desire to live on the land and he is right, of which there is plenty. We look at some of the difficulties that young people are running into and I think it would behoove this government to seriously consider when we can help young people pursue an ambition and an aspiration such as this without being caught up in rules and red tape. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause.

Member's Statement 128-13(7): Rejection Of General Hunting License Application
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Morin.

Member's Statement 129-13(7): Mr. Red Mcbryan's Eightieth Birthday Party
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On Saturday evening I had an opportunity to go to Hay River and attend the 80th birthday of Mr. McBryan. Mr. McBryan came to the Northwest Territories in 1937 and they had a celebration in Hay River for him. He has been on the town council since 1962, I believe. He is one of the longest standing, sitting members in the municipal council in the Western Territory sitting on the municipal council, whether it be mayor or councillor for 30 some years, I believe. He is also very involved in flood watch in Hay River. He is very involved in the community, volunteering for many things and I would just like to say a Happy Birthday to Mr. McBryan of Hay River and I hope for many more birthdays. I would like to thank the town of Hay River for the invite down there to help them celebrate Mr. McBryan's 80th birthday and many years of service for the community of Hay River.

We heard many, many good stories that evening in Hay River, funny ones, as well as very serious ones. I always have a lot of respect for elders no matter what culture they come from, we owe them a lot. They have done a lot for the north. Mr. McBryan has done a lot for not only Hay River, but for the Northwest Territories in general and I know that Mrs. McBryan will be watching the Legislative Assembly today and, I hope for her that my tie is acceptable and I am standing as straight as I can and, with that, the best of luck to the both of them. Mahsi. Thank you.

--Applause

Member's Statement 129-13(7): Mr. Red Mcbryan's Eightieth Birthday Party
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Erasmus.