Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my statement today falls in line with the questions that have been raised in this House about an increase in developing a brand new correction facility here in Yellowknife at a cost of over $30 million. Mr. Speaker, I find it awfully offensive at this time, after going through the cuts we made in this House in regard to having to cut alcohol and drug programs, closure of the Tl'oondih Healing Centre in my riding, Delta House in Inuvik, cuts to alcohol and drug specialists in our different communities, and also cuts to the youth initiatives that we have taken in this House. In regard to where we are going with this idea, it floors me. We talk about developing our youth, developing our communities, community justice, community wellness. We talk about community empowerment, taking care of problems in the communities at home in the communities. But here we are again, developing a major institutional structure to institutionalize the people of the Northwest Territories in bigger jail facilities, bigger young offender facilities.
Basically the people in the North have been institutionalized since they were born. Either through the hostel systems or the school systems, they were taken away from the communities. We had to go away to go to school. We are doing the same thing again with the youth of this territory by putting them in a facility, a joint facility at that, with criminals who are adults. That I question on the basis, is it constitutionally right for this government to be taking such an action knowing that there is the possibility of legal parameters that we may have to follow to realize that these individuals, these youth, have to be protected against other criminals? This government decides to go ahead and put two institutions into one, have the youth on the one side of the building and have the basically hard-core criminals on the other side. I just cannot get at where this government is coming from when they tell us, we are trying to help the communities take on more responsibilities and take on more control of what happens in your communities. You deal with your problems in your communities. We give you the resources. But what do we do? We take the resources away from the communities. We build more correction facilities and institutions, and then that is the answer for the people in our communities. Is it this government's way of running the government by taking everything away from the communities? Thank you.