This is page numbers 721 - 753 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 housing.

Topics

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 722

Roy Erasmus Yellowknife North

Mr. Speaker, I do not see any reasoning in Mr. Dent's words. Just because a person feels he has a point of order, it does not mean he has a point of order. He actually has to have one. I have not heard any actual reasoning why it is a point of order, but I have agreed I will take it out. I will say bump on the log then, okay. My whole point was not a racial slur. It could have been anything that could not listen. A wooden Indian cannot listen because it is a piece of wood. That is all I said. If you read my words, that is what it means, so I will say a bump on the log.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

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Speaker

Thank you. To the point of order. I will make a ruling on that point of order as soon as we have copies of the Hansard on this short debate. I would like to have it done before we go too far into the business of the House, so I will make my ruling as soon as possible. Orders of the day, item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements, Mr. Krutko.

Member's Statement 200-13(7): Recognition Of The Establishment Of The Aboriginal Sports Circle
Item 3: Members' Statements

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I would like to thank the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs for his Minister's statement yesterday in regards to an Aboriginal Sports Circle being established. I find it is long overdue that we have come to a point where we have established an organization to develop the youth in our communities. Mr. Speaker, almost 32 percent of our population is under the age of 14. Mr. Speaker, one of the biggest problems we have in our communities is the self-esteem of our youth and the younger people not having the resources to partake in sporting events, or not being able to have the opportunities that you have in the larger centres by way of having resources to basically compete at the territorial and national levels. Also not having the resources to have coaches and resource people in the communities to assist them to develop that self-esteem and move on in regards to themselves, to be competitive, to develop their emotions, their mental state, and also their physical state.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is more than just establishing an organization. We have to be able to have the resources for these organizations to do the work and to ensure that they are funded to be able to carry out their responsibilities. I, for one, fully support this initiative. For myself, I have been involved in cross-country skiing, I was on the NWT ski team for five years at which it was probably one of the best times of my life development from the small community of Fort MacPherson and travelling to national events in Alaska, Quebec, Ontario and also the northern part of the United States. With that I would like to thank the Minister for his efforts and to continue to strive to work along with the Aboriginal Sporting Circle for them to develop and find the adequate resources to move on and be successful in what he is trying to do. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 200-13(7): Recognition Of The Establishment Of The Aboriginal Sports Circle
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Speaker

Members' statements. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Member's Statement 201-13(7): Studies To Improve Northern Health Care Systems
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jane Groenewegen Hay River

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest challenges facing our government today is how to preserve what is right and to fix what is wrong with our health care system. This government has spent vast sums of money on studies on how to improve our health care system. Study after study, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on consultants. In fact, in the last two Assemblies it is in the millions of dollars.

Mr. Speaker, we have seen a plan to address critical needs shaping our future. A strategic plan for health and wellness, community wellness, working together for community wellness, a directions document, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services strategic plan or otherwise referred to as Med-Emerg Study. The Med-Emerg Study alone cost this government $780,000. Now I understand that there is another initiative underway, the Forum on Health and Social Services. In the last government, we also had a similar forum coordinated by a special committee on Health and Social Services. People all over the Northwest Territories were able to add their input through over 200 workshops, meetings, and other public events. We should, by now, know what we want.

Mr. Speaker, every dollar that we spend on consultants' workshops, meetings, travel and committees is another dollar that we take away from our health services. After all these studies, I think we know what we need and what we want to do. Mr. Speaker, I know that we can work together to solve this problem and find a northern answer to this very northern challenge. I ask both sides of this House to proactively work on this problem. I suggest that we start by using the data that we have already gathered and spend proposed funding for further studies on taking care of our people. Study time is over, Mr. Speaker, and it is time to get down to work. It is good to seek input from other people, but, as leaders, I think that the people expect us to stop asking questions at some point and start answering them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 201-13(7): Studies To Improve Northern Health Care Systems
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Speaker

Thank you. Members' statements. Mr. Ootes.

Member's Statement 202-13(7): Economic Potential Of NWT Forest Resources
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Good morning, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, over the last couple of days, I have spoken about economic issues, specifically those sectors where good potential exists for increased revenue generation. Forestry is one economic sector that deserves more attention. When most people think of lumber resources in western Canada, they think of the softwood forests of BC or the hardwoods of northern Alberta. Few people realize the potential in the Northwest Territories. NWT spruce and aspen, as well as Jack pine and birch cover 61 million hectares in the NWT. The commercial harvest of sawlogs in 1996-97 was about 190,000 cubic metres with a value of $21 million. It is estimated that a sustainable annual harvest of 500,000 cubic metres of spruce and pine saw logs is possible. That translates into a potential commercial value of $55 million. In other words, we could easily double the annual harvest in sawlogs. Then there is still the commercial potential of lumber, finished woods, and furniture products. In 1995, the housing sector investment in the NWT was over $60 million. With such a strong demand

for building materials, there is a strong market potential for locally produced lumber. Almost 70 percent of the NWT forest products sold in 1996 went to southern markets, and the majority of this was in the form of raw logs and rough lumber. Raw log harvests and exports may be economical, but it produces only limited northern benefits. What we need to realize is that the NWT forest industry has the potential for more than just rough lumber.

Value-added industries can be developed in veneer and particle board manufacturing and furniture-making, to give several examples. Demand for NWT forest products is high and is expected to remain so. What we need is better inventory and a strategy for value-added industry and support for private enterprise in this area. More extensive and better detailed forest inventories would provide the information investors need in order to build on the economic potential of the NWT forest sector. Sustainable development of the NWT forest sector is dependent upon industry, community and government working together. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 202-13(7): Economic Potential Of NWT Forest Resources
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Speaker

Thank you, Mr. Ootes. Members' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Member's Statement 203-13(7): Comparison Between Politics And Hockey
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, since it is Friday and I am trying to make sense of what has been happening to me here in this House in the last few days, again in the House as MLA for the last eight years and holding different offices and coming from being a chief formerly and coming from the Dene politics side of life, I just wanted to try to make some sense of what has been going on here in the House. As well as having played a lot of hockey in my young days and still occasionally lace it up for a few old-timer games, and some charity games, I start comparing politics to full contact hockey, knowing that when you get into the game, you know you are going to get hit and you know that you have to keep your head up and that you have to make sure that when you go into the corners, you watch out for elbows and but-ins and so forth. I think that has been happening here in the last few days.

There are some in this House who refer to this team here as, somebody was making reference to a duck. I would like to say that I would prefer to be known as the Mighty Duck Team rather than the Lame Duck Team. I am confident that there is the name that some of the Members are referring to in their remarks. As well, I looked at the opposing team and just recently an old pro from this team got traded to that team, so he has a lot of tricks and a lot of talent, and he seems to fit pretty well with a couple of the players on the other side, and they have been playing pretty good together. However, we have to keep on going here. We still have this day left, and I just wanted to say that we will keep our heads up and the other side keep their heads us. I would also like to thank you, Mr. Speaker, since you are the referee, you know all the rules and all the old tricks that players often use, as well as the skates in the crease when you score, that sort of stuff. I would like to thank you for making sure that not much gets by you. With that, I would like to thank you. Mahsi.

--Applause

Member's Statement 203-13(7): Comparison Between Politics And Hockey
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Speaker

Thank you, and thank you for the compliment. Yes, I am old, so I should know all the old tricks. Members' statements. Mr. Rabesca.

Member's Statement 204-13(7): Negotiated Contracts For Housing Units
Item 3: Members' Statements

July 30th, 1999

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James Rabesca North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on what my communities are receiving as a result of negotiated contracts for the construction of housing units. We have heard many times, over the life of this Assembly, that negotiated contracts should not continue. They do not provide the benefits of lower cost, for example, that tendered contracts possibly can achieve. I have argued, as have some of my other colleagues, that these types of contracts should remain as they do indeed provide many benefits to the smaller communities. In my region, all of our communities have negotiated construction contracts with the Housing Corporation and are starting to work or awaiting materials.

As I have said many times over, these contracts do provide badly needed employment and training opportunities in the smaller communities that have high unemployment and rates in low education levels. The residents want to work, and this is a great way to get residents working and at the same time, provide good quality homes that are also needed badly in our communities. With this, I encourage this government to continue with these types of contracts for our smaller communities so they can continue to provide the residents with employable training. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 204-13(7): Negotiated Contracts For Housing Units
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Speaker

Members' statements. Mr. Henry.

Member's Statement 205-13(7): Acknowledgement Of The Yellowknife Association For Community Living
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Seamus Henry Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize an organization in Yellowknife who provide a valuable community service. Mr. Speaker, the group I am speaking of is the Yellowknife Association for Community Living. This association advocates with and on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Northwest Territories. In 1963, the first group of parents formed the association to seek support for their children. Since then, this association has grown and now supports individuals, families, and children in three communities in the NWT. The association is a member of the Canadian Association for Community Living and is represented by board members and self advocates at the national level.

The emphasis in the programs is first and foremost on the community inclusion. The Abe Miller Program provide opportunities for integrated training and employment of 24 people with intellectual disabilities. The Employment Support Services supports 19 people in employment in various businesses and government in Yellowknife. The Summer Café, which is operated by clients of Abe Miller, offers delicious luncheons in a pretty outdoor setting next to the Abe Miller Building.

The recently developed Literacy Outreach Centre is a partnership with Aurora College and offers individualized reading, writing, spelling, and math programs. People with and without disabilities are included in this program. The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Program is guided by the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Community Team made up of a variety of community agencies, health professionals, families, and government. The project promotes awareness about the prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome and offers support to families. Workshops have been developed to provide information to schools, families, and the general public.

As you can see, the Yellowknife Association for Community Living is a very much active group within our community and continues to be so through the many dedicated individuals who provide their time and energy to see this group succeed. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my fellow Members join me in recognizing this association and their clients and the many people who volunteer their services to this organization. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 205-13(7): Acknowledgement Of The Yellowknife Association For Community Living
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Speaker

Members' statements. Mr. Miltenberger.

Member's Statement 206-13(7): Observations On Summer Session
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to take this brief opportunity, as this session winds down and as the high temperature debate de-escalates and the even flow of the politics of this House tones down, just to make the observation that we have dealt with some very difficult decisions here, that I think if we look carefully, we all want the same things. We agreed to just about all the goals we are trying to achieve. The heated debate tends to focus on the process of how we get there. As a consensus government, I think that we have managed once again to do the work that is necessary. This is a relatively rare sitting, as far as I am aware, sitting in July. As today is our last day, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all my colleagues a good break. I hope they all get time in their constituencies at home with their families. I would like to, Mr. Speaker, wish you a speedy recovery as well from your injury.

I think we always have to keep in mind that we are all here together for the common purpose and that as we leave here, this is a job that we are doing and it should not negatively affect, hopefully, the relationships and friendships that are here. I wish you all safe trips back home, and I look forward to gathering once again in September to deal with the remaining issues that we have before us as the 13th Assembly. I think that as we all look back, we should be able to take credit on a lot of the good work we have done. Thank you.

--Applause