This is page numbers 1 - 13 of the Hansard for the 14th Assembly, 1st 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 assembly.

Topics

Dealing With The Concerns Of Northerners
Item 4: Members' Statements

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Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to congratulate you and the Premier on being elected to your offices.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to use this, my very first Member's statement in this House, to thank the constituents of Range Lake for giving me a place at this table. Mr. Speaker, I am sure I speak for all Members in the House when I say what a singular honour and privilege it is to be elected by the public at large, and to be given the mandate to serve them in this Legislature.

As I walk through the halls of this great place of meeting, I hear the voices of my constituents, which guide me now and will continue to guide me throughout the days and months to come. I hear the voices of moms and dads talking about their children's education, of the teachers', doctors', and nurses' working conditions. I hear the voices of laid off Giant Mine workers talking about the fairness in the settlement of their pension and severance packages.

There are so many more voices, Mr. Speaker. Voices of small and large business owners and stakeholders, voices of women and men, youth, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, the weak and the sick, whose voices we must hear and act upon. Mr. Speaker, I understand my mandate for the next four years is to bring life to these voices and to work with my colleagues in and out of this Chamber to develop solutions to their concerns.

I also appreciate that behind you, Mr. Speaker, and the 18 Members of this House, sit 43,000 voices of our Territory, which also must come to life and be acted upon.

As I begin this task in earnest today, it is with a firm belief that it is our collective task to set the course of the path for our new Territory towards unity and prosperity, not necessarily because we have a common interest in all issues, but because it is in our common interest to work together for solutions. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Dealing With The Concerns Of Northerners
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Ms. Lee. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for Thebacha, Mr. Miltenberger.

Thanks To Constituents And Colleagues
Item 4: Members' Statements

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Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this is a very important day. A very good day for the Northwest Territories. I would like to congratulate you and the Premier-elect, as well as those Ministers who have been elected to Cabinet.

I would also like to thank all of the constituents of Thebacha for the honour they have placed on me, and of course, I would like to think good judgement, for electing me to this distinguished Assembly.

We have a lot of pressing issues and orders of business to deal with. I have had the pleasure of working with my colleagues around the table in the last couple of days. I would like to tell the people of the Northwest Territories I am very impressed by the depth of experience, enthusiasm, ability, interest and commitment to the jobs at hand. I know we will be very effective in the role we have to play working with our Cabinet colleagues to bring the kind of government the people of the Northwest Territories want and deserve. Thank you.

-- Applause

Thanks To Constituents And Colleagues
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for Sahtu, Mr. Kakfwi.

Thanks To Constituents And Family
Item 4: Members' Statements

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Congratulations on your election to the very important office of Speaker.

(Translation begins) It is an honour for me to stand today as the elected Member for Sahtu.

This has been one of the most significant weeks in my life. The events of the past three days have been the high point of my political career so far. They have also marked the beginning of a new journey for which I am honoured to have been chosen.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement I have received - for 13 years - from the people of the Sahtu and from my family. They have always supported me.

Politics is a tough business and all of us here need our families behind us to do our job well. I am blessed with a family that supports me with love and patience and I am profoundly grateful for that.

To my constituents, the residents of Fort Good Hope, Tulita, Deline, and Norman Wells, I extend my most sincere gratitude. They have given me the first and most important honour - that of serving them in this Legislative Assembly.

They have given me their trust. I will not take that lightly. It will be a daily measurement of my words and actions.

They have given me the support that I will rely on when I need to stand as a leader of this Assembly and the people of the Northwest Territories.

To those who helped to co-ordinate my campaign, to those who answered phones, distributed buttons, put up posters and went door to door or supported me in other ways, I must say thank you for supporting my vision of the North.

I thank all those who voted for participating in a democratic process that provides us with the freedom to choose our Territorial leaders.

I thank them for believing in me enough to have me represent them during this exciting new beginning for our Territories. I will do my best for all the people of the North. (Translation ends)

I would like to thank my wife Marie, who is here today, my daughter, Kyla, and my two younger ones who are in school today, Daylyn and Keenan.

A long time ago, I made an offer to my wife. I said I might not amount to much, but I have dreams and visions. They may not amount to much, but on the other hand, you might miss out on something exciting and beautiful. She took a leap of faith, and she is still with me today. She has put her job and career on the line, and I thank her for that.

I do not know what will happen to us. I hope something good comes of all of this. I have to remain optimistic and true to this dream and vision all of us have for a better future. Mahsi.

-- Applause

Thanks To Constituents And Family
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Kakfwi. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Thanks To Colleagues
Item 4: Members' Statements

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Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity with my first Member's statement of the 14th Legislative Assembly to thank my colleagues in this Legislature for showing the confidence to elect me to a seat in their Cabinet.

I am mindful of the principle that unto whom much responsibility is given, much is required. I approach this new task with a sense of humility when considering the awesome responsibility we have to positively affect the lives of our collective northern constituency.

We have a process of public democracy. A process which is the envy of many people of the world who are oppressed by dictatorships and often violent regimes.

Part of our public democracy affords elected Members to use the venue of this House to rise on the concerns of the constituents they represent. It also affords the government the opportunity to express what measures they plan to take in addressing those challenges.

If the debate that takes place on the floor of this House is stifled, the purpose of this forum is diluted. As I have stated before, the enemies of democracy are ignorance and apathy. We have the privileged opportunity of using this House as one avenue of keeping the electorate informed through our questions and statements. This in turn encourages their active participation through us as their voices on the issues affecting them.

I want to assure the new Members and veteran Members that I remain true to the view of a need for a well-organized, well-informed body of Ordinary Members to ensure the accountability and openness of this government.

Having said that, I trust you will appreciate that we are not miracle workers. We do not have magic wands. For some of us who are new, we are also embarking on a learning curve. In the 13th Assembly, we did not have the advantage of seasoned Members on our side of the House to observe and learn from.

When I started as an Ordinary Member, I wanted to take a course on the fine art of asking a question that will receive an answer. However, I assure the new Members there is no such course. By the end of my first four years, I thought I was starting to get the hang of it.

As our Speaker said today, we are a new and vibrant Territory, and we have a group of new and vibrant Members. Please be patient with me as I learn the fine art of answering the questions. In exchange for that, I promise not to embark on an effort to learn the fine art of answering a question by saying absolutely nothing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Thanks To Colleagues
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for Hay River North, Mr. Delorey.

Thanks To Constituents, Supporters And Family
Item 4: Members' Statements

January 19th, 2000

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Paul Delorey Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Keeping in mind the time factor and the majority of events unfolding here today, I will keep my comments short.

I would like to begin by congratulating you, Mr. Speaker, on your election to Speaker. I am sure you will do a wonderful job. I would also like to congratulate the Member for Sahtu, the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, on his election as Premier. I would also like to congratulate the other Members who were elected to Cabinet, especially my colleague the Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen, on her election to Cabinet.

I represent the riding of Hay River North, which is a very diverse riding. It has four very different and distinct areas. I feel I have a very strong mandate to represent this riding, which is a riding that is very politically minded, as was very evident with a 91 percent turnout at the polls on election day.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all of the people of Hay River North who voted for me on December 6th. The trust, confidence and support they have afforded me will not soon be forgotten. I would especially like to thank Mr. Harvey Smith, my campaign manager, Mr. Andrew Taylor, my official agent, and all my workers for the hard work they have done in my campaign.

To my family, my wonderful wife Davida, my son D'arcy, my daughters, Michelle, Monique and Katrina, without whose love, encouragement and support I would not be here today. Especially my daughter, Monique, who worked tirelessly throughout my entire campaign. At the same time, she provided the family support to look after my two wonderful grandsons, Logan and Cordell.

Thank you to all of the people from Hay River in the gallery for coming out today to witness the events unfolding.

I would like to thank Mr. David Hamilton and all the staff at the Legislative Assembly for the help they have provided to me and the other new Members.

Mr. Speaker, in closing I would like to say how delighted and privileged I am to join the team that forms this new government, the first government of the new millennium, the government of this, the 14th Legislative Assembly. Thank you.

-- Applause

Thanks To Constituents, Supporters And Family
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Item 4, Members' statements. I may have missed whether or not you indicated that you wish to speak, so please give me another cue. I am going down the list as I have observed them. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, Mr. Allen.

Thanks To Constituents, Supporters And Family
Item 4: Members' Statements

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Roger Allen Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your election as the Speaker. I would like to congratulate the Premier-elect, Mr. Stephen Kakfwi, who I will join in Cabinet.

I would like to recognize a student I went to school with, who is here in the gallery, and most importantly, I would like to thank my parents and my family for their support. There is a very important gentleman who lays in Stanton Regional Hospital with terminal cancer, my uncle Stan "Goo-Goo" Tyrell. He has played a great role in my life, and I think he should be well recognized for encouraging me to work harder and be competitive.

As I said many times over, if it was not for the people of Inuvik Twin Lakes I would not be here today. Their fine effort, hard work and dedication to shared beliefs led me to put my name forward for election. I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to them.

There are other people who are very influential in our thoughts and beliefs in running for the 14th Legislative Assembly and I would like to recognize them, even though they are not here today. Gord and Lori from Northern Alberta. My wife, Dorothy, who is investing her time going to school in Fort Smith. There are many others who I will not be able to name today, but I would like to publicly state that I appreciate their continued support.

I do not have much more to add, Mr. Speaker, but I would just like to say that I am pleased to be here. It gives me great privilege to be standing here in front of you making this short thank you speech. Thank you very much.

-- Applause

Thanks To Constituents, Supporters And Family
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Krutko.

Job Action By Teachers Outside Of Yellowknife
Item 4: Members' Statements

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and congratulations. At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of the Mackenzie Delta for electing me for another four-year term. With that, I would like to raise an issue which is on the minds of all people outside of Yellowknife; the teachers' strike and the impact it is having.

I think it is important for us to realize one of the most vulnerable groups in our society is our children. The children have put their lives in the hands of politicians, teachers and educators. We need to make sure the parents and the community as a whole have a role to play in the upbringing of our children.

We gave the teachers the right to strike and raise issues and concerns they have to ensure they are treated fairly. In saying that, I would like everybody to know the teachers outside of Yellowknife are impacted more seriously by issues such as isolation, shortage of housing, cost of living and other essentials which we may take for granted in a large centre.

I think we should focus on the most pressing issues. A lot of the issues that are coming to the table are political. They have to be resolved in this House.

We talk about class size. We talk about the lack of funding for special needs students. We talk about setting priorities. I find it awfully frustrating being in this House when we have an incident such as this strike. To have to make a decision between the education of our people and institutionalizing people in jails. We spend almost $80,000 a year to keep one inmate in jail, yet we say we do not have money to educate our children. I will continue to do what I do best, and that is raise issues.

With that, I would like to thank you all, and I look forward to working with you over the next four years.

-- Applause

Job Action By Teachers Outside Of Yellowknife
Item 4: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Item 4, Members' statements. The Member for North Slave, Mr. Lafferty.

Thanks To Family, Supporters And Colleagues
Item 4: Members' Statements

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Leon Lafferty North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will speak in my own language.

(Translation begins) Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to congratulate the Speaker of the House, the Commissioner, and all of the Ministers who have been elected to the Assembly, as well as all the other Members of the Legislative Assembly.

We all live in the Northwest Territories. When one is in trouble, we are all in trouble. In Gameti, Wha Ti, Wakweti and Behcho Ko, I would like to thank all the people who have elected me to sit in this Legislature. I would like to say thank you to my family, my wife, my children and all my friends who have worked very hard during the campaign to have me sit here at this time.

When I was in the communities talking to you during the campaign, I said I was going to visit the communities as much as I can.

When we enter a political position like this, we do not always understand everything. We have to teach ourselves. We have to be able to work together in this Assembly. I would like to thank everyone here.

(Translation ends)

-- Applause