This is page numbers 605 - 630 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 communities.

Topics

Members Present

Honourable Jim Antoine, Honourable Charles Dent, Mr. Erasmus, Honourable Sam Gargan, Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Henry, Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Krutko, 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 605

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Mr. Roland. Good afternoon and welcome to the reconvening of the Seventh Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly. I hope that you all have had a good summer so far with your family, friends and constituents. We have a lot of work to do in the week ahead and I ask Members for their attention to the matters of the House. I also will remind Members that I intend to be strict with the rules of this Chamber so that we can deal with the business at hand. I ask Members to be aware of their commitment to serve the people of their constituencies. And I ask each Member to treat each other with mutual respect. So, welcome to the reconvening of the Seventh Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly.

I wish to advise the House that I have received the following message from the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories:

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I wish to advise that I recommend to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, the passage of the Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 2, 1999-2000, during the Seventh Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly.

Yours truly, Dan Marion, Commissioner.

Orders of the day, item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Dent.

Minister's Statement 69-13(7): Six-month Safety Record - NWT Power Corporation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 605

Charles Dent Yellowknife Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good afternoon. Mr. Speaker, workplace accidents can be devastating. Not only is an employee affected - family, friends and fellow workers all share in the consequences.

Accidents can be prevented. However, it takes commitment, training and a strong sense of responsibility from both the employer, and the employees, to make a difference. I am very pleased to report that the people at the NWT Power Corporation have demonstrated they can make the difference.

On June 30, 1999, the corporation's 295 employees achieved a record of six months - over 400,000 hours - with no time-loss accidents. I am pleased to report that as of today, that record is now almost seven months. This is a very good turnaround from only five years ago, when there were 18 time-loss accidents during the year. Last year, there were only five.

The commitment of the board of directors to make safety the top priority and to put the resources behind their decision has been a major factor. I compliment them, the management and the safety managers of the NWT Power Corporation in the NWT and Nunavut for the excellent job they have done.

I know this Assembly will join me in congratulating the front-line workers, the line crews, the electricians, mechanics and other tradespeople who perform their duties safely every day.

Mr. Speaker, we are joined here today by members of the joint occupational health and safety committee in the gallery who I will introduce at the appropriate time.

Finally, I look forward to January 1st of next year when I am confident we stand a very good chance of achieving a full year - almost one million hours - of zero lost time at the NWT Power Corporation. Thank you.

--Applause

Minister's Statement 69-13(7): Six-month Safety Record - NWT Power Corporation
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 605

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you, Ministers' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Minister's Statement 70-13(7): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 605

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Michael Miltenberger will be absent from the House today to attend a funeral in Fort Smith. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 70-13(7): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 605

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

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

Member's Statement 173-13(7): Benefits Of The Negotiated Contracts Policy
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 605

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to talk a little bit about the history of the Government of the Northwest Territories. As Members are all aware, the Government of the Northwest Territories was moved north quite some time ago in the early 60's. At that time we had a commissioner by the name of Mr. Stewart Hodgson. He was the one who implemented and brought North the civil servants and set the government up in the Northwest Territories. At one point in my career, Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister of this country. One of the things that stands out in his mind, is when the

Northwest Territories had one elevator, he can remember it quite clearly when he was the Minister of Indian Affairs, but yet we had two elevator inspectors. That was caused by transferring the bureaucracy from one level to another.

What I would like to talk about a little bit today, Mr. Speaker, are negotiated contracts, the Business Incentive Policy, and the development of government by the people of the Northwest Territories. It seems like a long time ago now, Mr. Speaker, but it was not that long ago that the majority of the contracts in the Northwest Territories were tendered. I can remember quite clearly back in 1986 when we had a million dollar project in the riding of Tu Nedhe and when everything shook out of the wash, because it was tendered, a Yellowknife firm got it and the community and the riding of Tu Nedhe benefited less than one percent of the capital cost. That is one of the reasons the government of the day made the bold decision to start negotiating contracts.

They also made a bold decision of implementing a Business Incentive Policy. The government of the day had decided at that time it was a benefit to our communities to negotiate contracts. It is a benefit to the government to negotiate contracts. Everybody always hears why we have so little money left to spend on capital projects. The money that we do spend on capital projects should stay in the community. That same capital project money should be used to help train the community, help implement programs in the community, and help people grow in the community by carrying out their own projects. Mr. Speaker, this government in its wise decision has developed a policy on community empowerment. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Thank you.

Member's Statement 173-13(7): Benefits Of The Negotiated Contracts Policy
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 606

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

The Member for Tu Nedhe is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his statement. Do we have any nays. There are no nays. Mr. Morin, you have unanimous consent to conclude your statement.

Member's Statement 173-13(7): Benefits Of The Negotiated Contracts Policy
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 606

Don Morin Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank all the Members of the Assembly for allowing me to conclude my statement. This government has brought into existence the Community Empowerment Policy and this policy, Mr. Speaker, they work with communities so communities can take control of their own programs and services. Communities now take care of their health program delivery, their social service program delivery. Building of buildings is not that hard. Communities can do that as well. It is a benefit to this government for communities to negotiate contracts and for community members to build those buildings and community development corporations to build those buildings. There is no way that our community development corporations can compete against major cities and major communities like Yellowknife and Hay River. Our communities are very small, isolated, and we work within our own boundaries. We want to carry out our own projects, do them with our own people and do them well. I believe this government would benefit in the long run by continuing its negotiation policy and Negotiated Contract Policy with our communities. It would show good faith on this government's part by negotiating contracts with our communities.

I am quite aware, Mr. Speaker, that the Premier and many other Members of Cabinet have been talking about a new partnership, and that partnership must mean the carrying out of negotiated contracts as well. A new partnership does not mean that you abandon the development corporations in our communities. It is very important that we carry out our negotiated contracts in our communities and all people move ahead together in the Western Territories. Our capital budget is not designed for Yellowknife or the big centres alone. It should be designed for our communities as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 173-13(7): Benefits Of The Negotiated Contracts Policy
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 606

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Krutko.

Member's Statement 174-13(7): Property Appraisal Systems In Smaller Communities
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 606

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as we know most communities in the smaller ridings are classified as GTA communities. Mr. Speaker, a large part of the reason why GTA communities are such is because they do not have population or economic base to maintain, operate and manage municipal services on their own. However, whether or not it is suitable, this government must continue to maintain and operate the capital infrastructure in a lot of our communities but also the community has to retain certain hardships to maintain those programs. Mr. Speaker, it was recently brought to my attention that some appraisals of properties in the Mackenzie Delta communities have skyrocketed in regards to value. For an example, Mr. Speaker, the property that was originally appraised at $3,000 has now been appraised at $13,000. Although it might not look like much of an increase for some people, it is a major problem. It is a major problem for the people who do not have work, who are unemployed, who are trying to continue to maintain properties that have been in their families for hundreds of years and also who have lived in these communities for hundreds of years.

Mr. Speaker, the new appraisals are not realistic but such cause severe hardship on the people that call those communities their home. The hazards, to think about all the people such as our senior citizens, people who are on income support and those people who want to continue to maintain homes and property in their home communities. The appraisal system, which we adopted from the south, it belongs in the south. Our government is here to help the people who we represent and not drive them into hardship. Mr. Speaker, we need a northern solution to deal with northern issues. Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time I will be asking the Minister responsible for property increases and how the property appraisal system has been established and exactly what he can do about helping poor or small communities. Thank you.

--Applause

Member's Statement 174-13(7): Property Appraisal Systems In Smaller Communities
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 606

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members statements, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Member's Statement 175-13(7): Activities And Celebrations In The Hay River Area
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 606

Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the last time that we gathered here in this House was some time ago now. Since then has probably been the longest period of time that I have spent in my riding on a continuous basis since

coming here four years ago. There is a lot to be said for staying home and spending time with the people who elected you to represent them. It has been a great break but not in the sense of it not being busy because it has been very busy. Besides dealing with many issues and concerns and working on various ongoing initiatives, I have been able to visit with constituents and participate in community activities, activities such as Heritage and Canada Day festivities, celebrating the tenth anniversary of Woodland Manor, our seniors' care facility, congratulating NTCL with past and present employees at the reunion to commemorate their 65th anniversary, offering best wishes to Arlene Johns and Romeo Gonzales when friends, family and colleagues gathered to honour them for over 30 years of teaching in the North, attending the graduation of 27 fine young people from Diamond Jenness Secondary School, joining with Premier Antoine, Minister Miltenberger and Commissioner Marion in the opening ceremonies of the 1999 Territorial Track and Field Meet with almost 1,000 athletes, coaches and volunteers in attendance.

The Minister of Education was down to tour our facilities and meet with citizens concerned about education, as he said he would be. The Cabinet convened a meeting in Hay River in conjunction with their presentations at the Community Leadership Conference. The Government Operations Committee met in Hay River for the public hearing on Bill 15. This is just to name just a few of the activities so far this summer, and the remainder promises to be just as busy as I host a barbecue in honour of our seniors in recognition of the International Year of Older Persons with the help of the Commissioner Dan Marion on August 2nd. On August 11th, together with the Career Development Centre in Hay River, I will host the Ready for School Barbecue for students going out to post-secondary education.

The only problem with being home for so long is that it is hard to come back but once again, on Saturday afternoon, I made the trek back. We have had many visitors in Hay River over the summer, but we would always like lots more. If any of you are thinking of driving down, I would just like to tell you that Mr. Rabesca's road construction is not any obstacle and is proving to be very scriptural and, in fact, the crooked paths are being made straight. Mr. Gargan's bison, however, are still hogging the road with their usual stubbornness and disregard for humans trying to take advantage of that new speed limit on the highway. But when you are going by, when you are going through Enterprise, take note of Mr. Steen's beautiful new weigh scale which was just being paved when I came by. As I said, we are never too busy in Hay River for visitors. The golf course is green, the beaches are sandy, and the fish are biting. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 175-13(7): Activities And Celebrations In The Hay River Area
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 607

The Speaker Samuel Gargan

Thank you. Members' statements, Mr. Rabesca.