This is page numbers 357 - 395 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 highway.

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Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

April 27th, 1999

Page 362

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. Mr. Speaker, we heard the other day that the NWT Development Corporation Act stipulates that there must be a minimum of seven board members appointed at any one time. On Friday, the Minister for the NWT Development Corporation said that it was not really a breach to have less than a full board, that Members have resigned because of division, so the board has less than the minimum required. When he was asked when there last was a minimum of seven board members, he indicated he did not know so he took the question as notice.

On Monday, in reply to another question, he said that there had only been five board members since 1996, which of course we all know is less then seven. There had been only five board members since 1996 even thought the staff had brought this up several times. What he was saying, is that since he is the person responsible for appointing board members, is that he had refused to adhere to the act for at least two years. He deliberately disregarded the act where it says there are supposed to be seven board members, so what I would like to ask the Minister is, who advises the Minister which parts of the act to adhere to and which parts to disregard? Thank you.

Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, Mr. Kakfwi.

Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the board members of the Development Corporation are appointed by the Commissioner, Executive Council. My job as a Minister is to politically ask Members of the Legislature to forward names for consideration by Cabinet for appointment to the board. I have been doing that since my appointment to this portfolio, and Members have not always come up with names. We have waited, sometimes months, for good names to come forward. The president of the Development Corporation, in my view, is the chief executive officer of the Corporation and it is the president that has been advising me over the last few years when we have not had a minimum of seven appointed. Each time that was done, letters were sent out to Members of the Legislature asking for nominees to be put forward.

My understanding is that a breach is considered, at least by the legal advice I have received to date, perhaps too strong a term. Not complying with the act is much more my preference. So we have not been complying with the act in making sure the minimum of seven were, but there is absolutely no doubt there has been a concerted effort on my part to make sure the Executive Council was able to comply with the act by trying to advance names, by soliciting names from Members, and by sending letters out. That has been, in summary, what we have been doing. It is my view that Cabinet is responsible for ensuring that the board is properly constituted at all times. It is not the prerogative of the president or myself as a Minister to advance names, appoint names without politically seeking the support and nominees from the Members of the Legislature, and we also require that the Cabinet endorses and appoints those members. Thank you.

Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I had asked the Minister who advises him on which parts of the act to adhere to and which parts to disregard, but he disregarded that question and did not answer it, so what I will ask him now, is what criteria he uses when he wants to disregard an act that governs his department or Crown corporation that he is responsible for? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Kakfwi.

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there is no intent on my part as a Minister, no intent on the part of Cabinet, not to comply with the act as it is set out. There is no intent whatsoever, thank you.

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Erasmus.

Supplementary To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister indicated there was no intent to disregard any part of any act. At this time then, I would like to ask the Minister if he wants to inform us of any other parts of the NWT Development Corporation Act that he is currently disregarding.

Supplementary To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Mr. Kakfwi.

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, if the Member is fishing then I do not think it is the responsible way to go. If there is something specific that he wishes to ask me about, I would be quite happy to try and answer the question. Members of the Legislature should be aware that following concerns by the auditor general, the Financial Management Board, in February, directed that I undertake an operational audit of the Development Corporation. That is underway at this time, it will be conducted and we will look at the way the Development Corporation has operated in the last few years, since there are major concerns with the auditor general that need to be addressed. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 362

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Oral questions. Final supplementary, Mr.

Erasmus.

Point of Order

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 363

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise on a point of order. The Minister had indicated that I am fishing. I do not stand here today with any fishing gear in my hands. I stand here asking him questions and replies to the answers he is giving us. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 363

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Are you going to come up with your point of order? Mr. Erasmus.

Further Return To Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On Nwt Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Question 132-13(7): Vacancies On NWT Development Corporation Board Of Directors
Item 6: Oral Questions

Page 363

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I had intended to mention that the Minister is inferring motives that I am simply fishing. I am simply asking questions in response to the answers that he is providing and that is all I am doing. Thank you.