This is page numbers 1397 - 1454 of the Hansard for the 14th Assembly, 6th 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 tlicho.

Topics

Recorded Vote
Bill 34: Tlicho Land Claims And Self-government Agreement Act
Item 21: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1452

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you. All those opposed, please stand. Thank you. All those abstaining, please stand. Thank you. Mr. Clerk, may we have the results of the vote? Those in favour, 17; opposed, zero; abstaining, zero. The motion is carried unanimously.

---Carried

---Applause

Bill 34 has had third reading. Colleagues, before we rise from this last sitting of the 14th Assembly, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you for allowing me to serve as your Speaker for these last four years. It has been both an honour and the best experience of my career. As well, I especially want to thank my family, my mother, Amelia, my dear wife, Elaine, and the children, Warren, Blaire, Ian and my many friends and supporters whose love and confidence in me never diminished and made my work here possible and enjoyable. I have already announced that I will not be seeking re-election this November and, therefore, I wish to thank the constituents of Yellowknife South and Kam Lake ridings. I wish to thank the people of Yellowknife and the many people across the North for the privilege of serving in this Assembly as their representative.

These past 11 years for me have seen great changes and much good has come from our collective efforts. A lot has been done and I hope I have made a contribution to our North and our people in some way. There's still more to do and with our departure today, our challenge will be respectfully passed on to the next Assembly to those of you seeking election. I wish you good luck and best wishes.

I have also been asked to include at this time, on behalf of the many former Members who served in this House, a thank you to Mr. David Hamilton, our retiring Clerk for his 21 years of dedicated service to all the Members of this House. Without his skill, knowledge and commitment to our system of government and all Members and to me and my office, our job would have been more difficult. Thank you, David.

I wish to express my personal thanks and appreciation to all of the House officers, the Deputy Clerk, Mr. Schauerte; Clerks of Committees, Mr. Inch and Mr. Stewart; our Law Clerk, Ms. Peterson; and, Sergeant-at-Arms, Ms. Theede. I also wish to say thank you to my Board of Management whose excellent work on behalf of this Assembly and the elected Members is commendable and to the many young people who have served us as Pages over the years and made our Assembly a smooth, safe and efficient operation. I wish to personally acknowledge the contribution made and assistance given to me as the Speaker of the 14th Assembly by the Languages Commissioner, Ms. Fibbie Tatti; the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Mrs. Elaine Keenan-Bengts; and to the Conflict of Interest Commissioners, Mr. Ted Hughes and Ms. Carol Roberts.

Finally, a special thank you to my dedicated executive assistants over the past four years: Mrs. Barb Paquin, Sonia Golding and Sue Tkachuk. Their efficiency and organization has made my job this past term so professional, easy and the highlight of my career.

Thank you to all. Thank you. Merci.

Now, Mr. Clerk, I understand that his honour, the Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories is prepared to enter the Chamber to give assent to bills and to prorogue this session of the Legislative Assembly. Mr. Clerk, would you attend to and escort the Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories into the Chamber.

Recorded Vote
Bill 34: Tlicho Land Claims And Self-government Agreement Act
Item 21: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1453

Deputy Commissioner Mains

Please be seated. Mr. Speaker, Premier and Members of the Legislative Assembly, it has been almost four years since you first gathered as the 14th Legislative Assembly -- the first Assembly following division. It was a time to celebrate new beginnings and the start of a new identity for the Northwest Territories.

In your vision of a new Northwest Territories, I remember you identified and attempted to define "a better tomorrow" for all residents of the NWT.

A brighter, stronger future recognizable by its:

  • • vibrant and healthy communities;
  • • prosperous and diversified economy;
  • • strong and effective aboriginal and public governments; and,
  • • northern control of resources and resource revenues.

You set for yourselves an ambitious agenda to put in place the many elements on which this future would be built, then you rolled up your sleeves and went to work.

Your days in this Assembly were not without hurdles. Some of the issues you faced and addressed together were extremely difficult. But we all know that it is when challenges arise in the North that people and communities traditionally come together to seek strength in unity.

I believe that your at times frank and emotional discussions and debates regarding consensus government, accountability and openness have served to rebuild the integrity of government in the Northwest Territories and the confidence and trust of those who choose to serve in this legislature.

Your commitment to each other, to the people of the NWT and most importantly to the consensus on which this Assembly is based, has prevailed. As a result, you have been successful in achieving many of the elements of your original vision.

As you prepare to conclude your terms as elected leaders, I believe that you can look back collectively over this time of public service and see the cornerstones that you are leaving behind.

  • • You have established important partners -- with industry, with aboriginal and community governments and with new organizations such as the Intergovernmental Forum and the Aboriginal Summit.
  • • You have supported and encouraged the advancement or settlement of aboriginal land claim and self-government negotiations in almost every region of our territory.
  • • You have opened the door to development of our non-renewable resources. You have invested in our territory, our communities and our people to ensure that the benefits for this development will be fully realized.
  • • You have established the Northwest Territories in the national agenda as a very real leader in the future of Canada's economy.
  • • In recent months, talks with the federal government towards a deal on devolution and resource revenue sharing have also advanced.

There are a number of specific achievements that will no doubt serve as building blocks for future governments:

  • • the enactment of human rights legislation for the NWT;
  • • advancement of the Deh Cho Bridge project;
  • • the implementation of the protected areas strategy;
  • • the establishment of National Aboriginal Day as a territorial holiday;
  • • improvements to the territorial income tax system;
  • • the development of a social agenda;
  • • the certification of NWT diamonds and leadership in the development of a national diamond strategy;
  • • passage of legislation to allow midwives to practice in the NWT;
  • • contributions to the advancement of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline proposal;
  • • securing major investment dollars for infrastructure;
  • • passage of legislation to protect against family violence;
  • • a complete modernization of municipal governance legislation;
  • • passage of the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement Act;
  • • legislation to establish territorial recycling programs; and,
  • • increased health care funding for the NWT.

Your time in this Assembly has been productive. It has challenged you to work together, to make strong decisions, to take tough stands and to set aside your differences and positions in the interest of the people that you represent.

Under your collective direction as its first Assembly, Canada's "new" Northwest Territories has, in the last four years, emerged strong and unified and ready to take its rightful place in the federation and international community.

For years we sat here in the North and monitored the debates of federal and provincial governments. We listened, read and watched the analysis of southern media outlets and observed, with mild interest, the activities of our American neighbours. Very rarely did any of them address the issues that immediately concerned us.

Today, south of 60, in fact south of 49 and around the world, they are talking about Canada's Northwest Territories. From Alberta to Ottawa, Washington to Alaska and from Tokyo to Shanghai they are discussing our diamonds, our oil and gas, our pipelines, our northern lights, our alternative energy sources and, most of all, our potential.

In four years, the Northwest Territories has become a model for the nation building often envisioned and talked about by our national government.

We have shown that our region is one in which the territorial government can work realistically in partnership with federal and aboriginal governments. A region in which economic partnerships can and will flourish between southern, northern and aboriginal companies; where natural riches and resources can still be safely invested in the future and well-being of our people; and from which our nation as a whole will benefit. Your time in this legislature has created this momentum.

In a few weeks, many of you will be seeking a new mandate from your constituents; I wish you luck and thank you, on behalf of the people of the Northwest Territories, for your selfless offer to serve.

To you Mr. Kakfwi, Mr. Whitford, Mr. Ootes and Mr. Antoine, who will be seeking other ways of serving the Northwest Territories, I thank each of you for your many years of service and commitment to the people of the NWT and wish you well.

Assent To Bills

Now, as Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, I am pleased to assent to the following bills:

  • • Bill 19, Write-off of Debts Act, 2003-2004
  • • Bill 20, Forgiveness of Debts Act, 2003-2004
  • • Bill 21, Protection Against Family Violence Act
  • • Bill 22, Waste Reduction and Recovery Act
  • • Bill 23, An Act to Amend the Safety Act
  • • Bill 24, Midwifery Profession Act
  • • Bill 25, Municipal Statutes Replacement Act
  • • Bill 26, Youth Justice Act
  • • Bill 27, An Act to Amend the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • • Bill 31, An Act to Amend the Official Languages Act, No. 3
  • • Bill 32, Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 2, 2003-2004
  • • Bill 33, Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 4, 2002-2003
  • • Bill 34, Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement Act

As Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, I hereby prorogue this Sixth Session of the 14th Legislation Assembly. Thank you.

---Applause

---Applause

---PROROGATION

The House prorogued at 5:40 p.m.