This is page numbers 833 - 910 of the Hansard for the 14th Assembly, 5th 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 chairman.

Topics

Members Present

Honourable Roger Allen, Honourable Jim Antoine, Mr. Bell, Mr. Braden, Mr. Delorey, Mr. Dent, Mrs. Groenewegen, Honourable Joe Handley, Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Krutko, Mr. Lafferty, Ms. Lee, Mr. McLeod, Mr. Nitah, Honourable Michael Miltenberger, Mr. Roland, Honourable Vince Steen, Honourable Tony Whitford.

-- Prayer

-- Singing of O Canada in Dogrib

-- Applause

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

June 18th, 2002

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Good afternoon, colleagues. First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to the students of the Weledeh School Choir, under the direction of Celia Boyd and Brenda Mullin, for singing O Canada in Dogrib.

-- Applause

This choir will be singing our national anthem again on Friday at the Somba K'e Park to help us launch the O Canada CD. The O Canada CD is a souvenir edition of our national anthem in four of our official languages. Later in the year, a final version of the CD will be produced in all 11 of the official languages of the Northwest Territories. The CD will be distributed throughout the Northwest Territories to communities and to schools and will be available to the general public.

The O Canada CD project has been a project of this Legislative Assembly in partnership with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, National Aboriginal Day, the Living History Society and the Office of the Languages Commissioner.

On Friday, June 21, the CD will be officially launched at the National Aboriginal Day festivities in the Somba K'e Park in the presence of Her Excellency, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. If you are in Yellowknife on Friday I would like to invite you to attend this event, which starts at 1:00 p.m.

We are very proud of this initiative and, once completed, it will be the first recording of our national anthem in all of the official languages of the Northwest Territories. I would like to acknowledge all of the people who have worked so hard on this project, especially the staff in my office and the Clerk's office, and a sincere thank you to them for a job well done.

-- Applause

Once again, a great thank you to the students of the Weledeh School Choir for introducing the first version of our national anthem in Dogrib.

Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister responsible for the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Mr. Antoine.

Minister's Statement 59-14(5): National Aboriginal Day
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker, and good afternoon everybody. I would also like to thank the Weledeh singers for O Canada, the first time it was ever sung in Dogrib in the Legislative Assembly.

(Translation not available)

Mr. Speaker, since we do not have an interpreter today, I just wanted to repeat and say that six years ago, the former Governor General of Canada, His Excellency, the Right Honourable Romeo Leblanc, declared June 21st as National Aboriginal Day. This day was intended as a day that Canadians could celebrate the diverse culture, heritage and history of aboriginal peoples and the many and varied contributions they have made to the development of Canada.

Last year I was very proud to have been a part of the decision made by the Members of this Legislative Assembly to pass the National Aboriginal Day Act making the Northwest Territories the first jurisdiction in Canada to recognize this day as a formal statutory holiday. By doing so we reinforce our commitment to bring people and cultures together to celebrate the many contributions of the Dene, Metis and Inuvialuit in the development of the North and our country.

Mr. Speaker, demonstrations of the pride that the residents of the Northwest Territories have in the rich and diverse culture and heritage of our aboriginal people will be on display across the Territory on June 21st. Due to the tremendous efforts of volunteers and community organizations, communities throughout the Territory are planning celebrations and events that showcase aboriginal music, dance, displays, artwork, traditional food and games.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is pleased to have provided funding to community and aboriginal organizations to assist with these celebrations. We are also providing communities with t-shirts, posters, pins and other promotional materials containing the Northwest Territories National Aboriginal Day logo. Members will recognize the logo from the flags that have been placed on their desks and the beautiful banners that are flying on either side of the Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs is also contributing to the O Canada Project being produced through good work of the Office of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The O Canada Project is a CD that will contain our national anthem sung in all of the official languages of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, June 21st, National Aboriginal Day, is a day for all people of the Northwest Territories to come together in celebration. I ask all Members to join me in encouraging the people of the Northwest Territories to get out and participate in National Aboriginal Day activities in their communities. Let us make this an historic and successful day. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Minister's Statement 59-14(5): National Aboriginal Day
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Mahsi, Mr. Antoine. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister responsible for Youth, Mr. Allen.

Minister's Statement 60-14(5): New Mandate/secretariat For Youth Minister
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Roger Allen Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sure all Members would agree that our young people are our future. As Minister responsible for Youth, I work to support all young people in the NWT. Today I would like to speak about two new initiatives that confirm the Government of the Northwest Territories' commitment to youth.

Mr. Speaker, the first initiative I would like to speak about today is the establishment of a firm mandate for the Minister of Youth. This mandate was recently approved by Cabinet and has five major focus areas: • The development and delivery of programs specifically targeted to youth, including grants and contributions; • The recommendation to Cabinet of strategies affecting youth, including overall government action plans for youth; • Advice to departments and Ministers on policy objectives and programs originating in other departments and agencies that affect youth; • Executive Council representation on youth matters raised in this House; and • Executive Council representation on youth matters to external agencies and at federal/provincial/territorial meetings.

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister responsible for Youth I promote youth issues to youth organizations, the public and government. This new and specific mandate clarifies my responsibilities and will directly enhance my ability to represent youth in a more coordinated and effective way.

There is another initiative I want to talk about today, Mr. Speaker, and that is the establishment of a Youth Secretariat within the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. This unit will assist in the delivery of this mandate. I look forward to working with MACA and the youth organizations on a number of projects under development at this time. These include the Youth Corps Pilot Program to be established in each region to test various program models. The results will serve as the basis for a summary report to Members on the youth corps concept and for recommendations on the future of the program. The Youth Contribution Policy has been established to provide contribution funding to various smaller youth development projects and the commitment to assist the NWT Youth Association with costs associated with its 2002 annual general meeting in Fort Simpson.

These initiatives demonstrate the Government of the Northwest Territories' commitment to helping develop strong, capable youth in the NWT.

Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would like to say that I look forward to working with our youth, MACA, the Members of this Legislative Assembly and our partner youth organizations in the coming year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Minister's Statement 60-14(5): New Mandate/secretariat For Youth Minister
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Nunakput, Mr. Steen.

Minister's Statement 61-14(5): Fire Core Training Certification Ceremony
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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Vince Steen Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, 15 of our community fire fighters and GNWT assistant fire marshals have been training to receive professional certification as firefighters or fire fighter instructors. I am pleased to announce that they have now completed, or will shortly complete, this training and will be certified by the National Fire Protection Association. As Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, I would like to congratulate these fire fighters on their success.

Mr. Speaker, it took these people three years of hard work and personal sacrifice to do this. Several of these people will now form a core team of fire fighter instructors who can deliver training programs to community fire departments here in the North. The rest of them will be able to take the new skills they have learned back to fire departments in their communities. This will help improve fire protection services in communities across the NWT.

Mr. Speaker, if I may take a moment, I would like to talk about how this training program was developed. The emergency services division of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs partnered with the Alberta Fire Training School to deliver facility-centred and community-centred training that will work in the North.

Through this partnership, the department trains personnel to nationally recognized fire fighter and instructor standards. This will provide a core of professional fire fighters in community fire departments. Instructors certified through this process will be able to conduct additional training throughout the NWT. This program has been designed so it can be delivered in the most remote location.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is committed to protecting the safety of all NWT residents. Helping community fire departments and fire fighters receive professional training will help us reach that goal. Today at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, we will have a ceremony to recognize the 15 fire fighters who have recently received training. I hope you will all join me this evening to honour these people. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Minister's Statement 61-14(5): Fire Core Training Certification Ceremony
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Tu Nedhe, Mr. Nitah.

National Aboriginal Day
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 835

Steven Nitah Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am going to make my statement in Dene, Denesuline Chipewyan, which is on channel 4 for my colleagues to listen in on.

(Translation not available)

National Aboriginal Day
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

If I might interrupt for a minute, Mr. Nitah, to inform the Members that the interpretation is on channel 2. You can continue and we will reconvene the clock. Mr. Nitah.

National Aboriginal Day
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Steven Nitah Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today, on Friday we will be celebrating Aboriginal Day and we will be given a holiday. I am happy to see this one day put aside for us. We the Dene in the Northwest Territories, (Translation starts) we are celebrating our traditions from this country, and that is why we have one day given to us. The way we help people, the way we live on this earth as a people, our traditions and our cultures, it is like putting it all together.

They give us one day, our day, for aboriginal people in the Northwest Territories, for all the aboriginal people. It is counted as Aboriginal Day. The way we work with each other when we had other cultures come amongst us, we all helped each other. That is how we survived. That is how we got here.

It seems like sometimes they walk over us, but in one day, we will all get together again, aboriginal people. We have Aboriginal Day for that. I am thankful. Last year we talked about it in here, and that is how we reached a decision. For today, five of us are sitting in here and the way their language is used in this Territory, we work on it, for us to use our language to deliver service.

People have been appointed to work on this language committee and we have a report. We have given it a name, One Land - Many Voices, is what this document is called. It is a report on how far we have come in terms of language, in terms of the stories, in terms of how people use the language. It is for everyone in the Territories to look at. Five of us are on the committee and we worked on this. Everyone, all the people, white people, everyone.

This Friday, on National Aboriginal Day, everyone should celebrate positively. We should have a look at how far we went, all the accomplishments that we made and we should feel thankful on this day. As for that, I feel very thankful. I hope everyone has a great day and enjoys the day. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Translation ends)

-- Applause

National Aboriginal Day
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Mahsi, Mr. Nitah. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Hay River North, Mr. Delorey.

Preferential Treatment For Yellowknife
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 835

Paul Delorey Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, on a number of occasions, I have made statements in this House about the city of Yellowknife, and described it as being something that is probably not found on a map of the Northwest Territories. These statements were not made, Mr. Speaker, to discredit any of my colleagues representing this wonderful city, or the city itself. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, as a Member from outside of Yellowknife looking in, I might even say that I envy my colleagues. Not because they live in Yellowknife, Mr. Speaker, but for the job that they have and the issues they have to address.

It is very seldom that we hear these Members stand up and practically beg this government for funds to provide minor or even major projects that keep this city growing. On the other hand, Members from outside Yellowknife are constantly requesting more funds. My underlying message or concerns, Mr. Speaker, stem from this government and the federal government's apparent willingness to support projects and/or initiatives for Yellowknife over other communities in the North.

Very often I hear or read about grants received by Yellowknife organizations under the banner of being an NWT organization. It is great that organizations such as these receive grants. However, Mr. Speaker, my concern is that few of these grant funds ever leave the city of Yellowknife. In some cases, they are used to hold meetings or conferences in the city, which further benefits the city from these funds. Not many of us can expect an announcement such as the one that was made by DND to put $1 million towards a full-sized gymnasium to complement the twin pad arena.

Another example, Mr. Speaker, is a recent e-mail I received in my office as part of a mass e-mail that was distributed by the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. Mr. Speaker, RWED was seeking support for and studying the possibility of developing a convention centre here in Yellowknife for the future. Mr. Speaker, I might also add that RWED spent $25,000 of public funds to have a study completed on the feasibility of having a convention centre in Yellowknife.

Mr. Speaker, I was taken aback to read in one of our local papers that the study stated the estimated cost of $9,168,000 would be subsidized wholly or in part by government as an enterprise business to stimulate local economy.

Preferential Treatment For Yellowknife
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Mr. Delorey, your time is up. Mr. Delorey.