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.

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Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Braden. Item 9, replies to Opening Address. The honourable Member for Range Lake, Ms. Lee.

Ms. Lee's Reply

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

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Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's been an honour to serve as MLA for Range Lake for the last four years. This being the last day, I would like to just offer some personal comments.

It's hard to believe this is the last day since we stepped into this building, and myself as a Member. I remember making my first statement. It was called Voices of People, and I was trying to express my desire and need to make sure that the voices of my constituents were heard in this House through me, but also expressing my commitment to hear the needs and voices of people that my colleagues represent in this House. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, no other statement has gone through five or six drafts since, because we usually haven't had time to do that since then.

Mr. Speaker, I've done a lot of things in my life, I believe; really interesting things. I've had great jobs that paid pretty good money and gave me lots of responsibility. But usually after about three years I'm ready to go into different things and look for new challenges. There's always something that was just missing in whatever I was doing, so I usually changed jobs or went back to school for something new. But in this job I've been here for more than three-and-a-half years, and I can really feel that I can say that I've just begun to flatten out the learning curve maybe about a year ago. I've made a point of thinking about this job...I guess you think about this job all the time, but more so in the last few days because it is time for reflection and so on. As I'm making this statement I hope that the people will just be patient and listen to some of the statements here.

I think what's really challenging about this job is there is a lot to know in this job. We all walk in here as generalists and not specialized in politics or not specialized in any area. I don't think the special knowledge of any one area is required or expected, but there is certainly a lot to know, a lot of people to get to know, lots of issues, not just in Yellowknife but all of the Territories and lots of history behind the issues, conflicting agendas. So there is a lot to learn there, there's no question about that.

What is most interesting about this is that you need to know what you don't know. You need to know what you can do and what you can't do, what brick walls you can climb, what brick walls that you want to bang your ahead against and which ones to ignore or just blast away with everything you have and which ones you want to climb up. I think that's what is so challenging about this job.

Mr. Speaker, I think what I have found in this job that's making me want to use what I have learned the last few years and will continue to do so and I will be seeking re-election and support from my constituents and should I be lucky enough to come back and have support from my constituency, I do believe I would be able to use this experience. What's really special about this job is it not only allows you, but it demands that everyone put everything that we have into this job. It's not a job, it's really a way of life and it's a real commitment to do something. It really asks all of us of everything, everything in our head, everything in our heart and, on top of that, almost all of our time. What I mean by this job asking us to use everything in our head is what we know, whether we get it from formal education through schooling or we get it from our work experience or by doing things and having people teach us, but I do believe what's in our hearts that this job demands of us is what we learn from our life experiences. That doesn't come with a degree in this or a diploma in that. It really is about being called upon to use our compassion and asking us to connect with the people that we are here to serve. It's asking us for the ability to put ourselves within the shoes of everyone. It's about asking us to empower others to do things for them and to help them to do what we need to do.

So, Mr. Speaker, I know you've seen a lot in this House and we certainly have had down moments. It's hard to remember those because we are on the last day and we have to remember all the good things, but there is no question we've had some very tough issues, very dark moments in and out of this House. I know that no matter what was happening in this House, what kept me going really was the ability to make a difference in one person's life on a very small scale, on a very small thing and probably for somebody who doesn't even vote or somebody who doesn't really know what it is that I do or someone who isn't aware of all the political issues. They come to you because you are their MLA or they have heard your name somewhere and they tell you their problems and if you could do anything to help them, then you know you've made a difference, you've done your job and you've used your power of the office to make a difference. You use whatever you can find in your head and your heart to look at an issue, to look at a person's problems and help in some way.

In many ways, Mr. Speaker, this job reminds me a lot of being a lawyer and that's one thing I can think of because that's what I was doing beforehand, but I have said this to a lot of people, this job is a lot like being a lawyer, except I don't have to send a bill at the end and people don't get upset with you.

There is only one non-personal statement I want to make today because I don't want to have a whole list of things that I have done or not done or good things because I believe we will be soon enough on the campaign trail and we will be able to go to the people and have discussions and have them judge our actions and words and our performances here.

A lot of what I have said and done is on my Web site and I am told the latest stats on it are about 800,000 hits. I am creating a new site for my campaign and I have been advised that I have saved about 62 megabytes in my existing site and I am not sure what that means because I am not very computer inclined, but an average CD has about two megabytes, so I have enough stuff to fill about 60 CDs. So if anyone wants to read it, everything I have done and said is in there.

Mr. Speaker, back to what I wanted to say, one political statement I want to make is I hope to see more women coming into this Assembly in the next or future assemblies. I would like to see a day when it's not an issue that I am a woman MLA because I don't believe any of my colleagues that come to my house as an MLA ever get asked what is it like to be a man in an Assembly.

This must be election time because I am getting lots of calls from people and media asking what do we do to get more women in and how do we help them out. I don't really have the answer to that, but I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, I have never been anywhere where there are less women as equal colleagues than in this place. I come from a family of very strong women. I was brought up by a single mom with two daughters and the three of us are very strong, very disciplined and strong-headed. I had the guidance and support of a grandma and very strong aunt. So I was very used to having very strong women in my life. All throughout school, I went through business, politics and law which might be considered non-feminine areas of study, but I never felt out of place in being a woman.

In my work experiences in government offices, I never felt out of place being a woman even though I worked in a number of non-traditional areas. I remember being in a court one day, Mr. Speaker...I must say my second year of law school at Dalhousie was the first year where there were more women students than men students. I know that the med school that year had a lot more women students. The doctors in town, a lot of them are women. When I was practicing law, I do remember distinctly being in court where I looked around the court chamber and I noticed that the Supreme Court judge was a woman, both lawyers in the chamber were women, the court clerk was a woman and there was another staff member in the chamber. Almost every player in the room were women and I remember feeling very natural about that.

I remember also feeling like what would it be like for me to sit here as a woman lawyer if everyone in the room was a man or that I was treated any differently because I was a woman.

Mr. Speaker, I have no answer as to whether or not we would improve the House if we had more women, but I do know it would make a difference and it would be a different House. When I first got here and went to a meeting of all the MLAs, there were 11 of us because I belonged to a non-Cabinet committee and my woman colleague from Hay River South was sitting in Cabinet at the time, so she was not part of the 11. I was the only one and I looked around and I had never gone to a meeting like that where there were 10 men. I felt a bit out of place, I must say. I remember a male colleague saying to me you don't really think we would treat you differently because you are a woman. Probably not. But I said to him how would you feel like it if you came to work everyday as an MLA and you were sitting there with 10 other women? His face kind of brightened up and he said I can see your point there.

I do believe people want to vote for women. They want to have a choice to vote for women with all things being equal. We can't get more women in here unless more women run for the jobs. I would like to really encourage women to run and stand for the office because I believe women have everything they need to do this job and gender is an important component of the way we define ourselves. I have said this many times in this House, I have a little bit of history in this place where I have sat in this Assembly for over 20 years and there were times when aboriginal rights and aboriginal issues were represented by non-aboriginal people. No matter how sympathetic non-aboriginal people might be to aboriginal issues, we don't do that anymore. We expect that aboriginal people have the rights and the place to advance their own agenda and to speak on their own behalf. I do believe it's only by having more women in this House that we can have the diversity of women's issues and we can have public policy and public laws being made in a way that represents the entire society that we are here to represent. I would really like to encourage women to run and people to help women win.

Mr. Speaker, that is about the only political statement I want to make. I want to spend the remaining time thanking and recognizing the people that I have had the privilege spending time with over the last four years.

I would really like to thank the staff at the Legislative Assembly. I think in one of the speeches, I think it was by the Law Clerk to David Hamilton, Katherine Peterson made an analogy that this Chamber reminds her of a restaurant where everybody is sitting around enjoying a quiet dinner, but in the backroom there is the chaos of trying to put the meals together. I have not heard anything better describing the situation here. I think when people look at this House and look at us, they see us being very orderly and organized. There are a lot of systems in place to make sure the meetings go well, but that's certainly not the case. There are lots in the back and lots of people who support us and give us advice. I really want to thank all the staff in the Legislative Assembly. We have already made a statement to thank Mr. Hamilton. I don't think we realize how changed a place this is going to be when we come back. He's not here now, but we will learn to live without him, I am sure, because we have to.

I would like to thank a number of personal staff I have had, and I have had lots of them. I first had the help from Jean Wallace who helped me my first year. I had Marilyn Pirker. There was Steve Dunbar, Ryan Chenke, Tammy Slaven, Darren Campbell, Brett Talbot and Vivian Squires.

Mr. Speaker, I am just wondering if I could say a few things about my personal way of doing work here. I have a little bit of a personal policy of not socializing too much with the people I work with. I find this to be a very serious job and I often wonder what the Members of this House think of the way I do things. We get along just fine, but I want them to know that I look at every one of them and I find them very, very interesting. Years down the road when our political issues are done away with, I think we will make very good friends. We are friends now, but I don't think there's anything as intense and complicated as the relationships we are expected to have in this House. I want to thank all the Members for giving me support and the time that we were able to spend together. Also I think I want to say the same about the staff. I am not one who has lots of personal chats and personal socialization with the staff, but I want them to know that I really respect the work that all of them do in helping us to do our job.

Mr. Speaker, I am trying hard not to get too emotional because I must say to you I have not seen so many men cry as I have in the last few weeks saying good-bye in this House. I know this is a very emotional place. Deciding to run for political office is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made and having been here for awhile, I can see that deciding to leave politics might even be harder to do. It's such an unusual thing putting your name out there to run for political office and then to know when you want to leave office.

I just want to specially recognize the four people who are leaving us. Not only will there be a huge hole put in the middle of this Chamber with Mr. Hamilton leaving, but the departure of Mr. Ootes and Mr. Antoine, Mr. Kakfwi and yourself, Mr. Speaker, I think we will feel the impact in the next Assembly, should I be so fortunate to be back.

Mr. Speaker, for Mr. Ootes, I didn't really know him that well before I came here. I do remember a brief encounter with him when he was running a magazine. He really is an old-fashioned gentle soul. He came here with the government over 30 years ago. I know that I am really going to miss his presence here. Someone said to me they wanted to compliment the good work Mr. Ootes did. They said to me, I know you don't like him, but I think he did a really good job. I got really alarmed because I do not want anybody to think that I do not like Mr. Ootes. If I was ever hard on Mr. Ootes in this House, that was to pursue my work, but it wasn't anything personal or that I didn't like him. I was just taking my job too seriously sometimes. I have to give Mr. Ootes credit for managing to keep his head down and keep moving in all of the storms that have swirled around us in the last few years. I want to give Mr. Ootes credit for always giving me a fair hearing. Whenever I go into his office and I want to talk to him about an issue for my constituent or a change in one of the millions of things I have asked for, he always has time to listen to you and give you a fair hearing. That's really important. More importantly, being a senior Yellowknife Member, I have really relied on him to go and talk to him about the highs and lows of being a Yellowknife Member and talking about issues and getting history from him. I really appreciate that. I want to wish Jake and Marg a very happy semi-retirement and a great next hurrah. I hope he's near here and I just want to thank him.

The next people I want to recognize is Mr. Antoine and Mr. Kakfwi, who are going to leave us after today. These two leaders, I believe, have been an enormous model of aboriginal leadership in this House for a very long time. I remember many days when I would be sitting across from these gentlemen and I would be looking at them. They remind me of warriors and it's interesting that Mr. Kakfwi mentioned that in one of his statements. I hope that even though they are departing us, they will watch over us and they will pray for us and help the next Assembly.

I remember when I first met Mr. Antoine. He came in as a new Member in his jeans and shirts and I remember that he didn't have a suit to wear. I remember him walking into my office asking for something because I used to work for the Members. He was young and brash and he had a full head of hair. I was working in another capacity and I had a chance to travel with him and we spent time in a sweat lodge at the Navajo First Nations. It's sad for me personally to see the experience he's gained over the past 12 years, that he will be leaving that behind and I know it's been a difficult decision for him and it's his own to make and I will certainly miss his presence. If there was anything that Mr. Antoine taught me it's the power of a handshake and a smile. He walks into a room and he never, ever forgets to shake the hand of everybody in the room. That right away breaks the ice and creates an environment for dialogue. I think that sort of represents his style and his way of leadership. I will miss that very much. I have heard a lot from him. He's a constant diplomat. He likes to build consensus and he really knows how to keep his feelings under control. Goodness knows, in many meetings we've had, we've had some heated debates.

I know he was offered a part in North of 60 one time, Mr. Speaker, and I realize that show is not on anymore, but we've seen actors turning into politicians, so maybe politicians turning into an actor might be a career he might consider in his homeland of Nahendeh.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kakfwi I want to recognize. I don't think I can say anymore about what's been said in the local and national media. I remember hearing his statement in the House. It was a little bit of a surprise statement because I didn't know that that was coming. I went home and turned on the national media and there it was in the headline that he wouldn't be seeking re-election.

So I am not going to do the whole profile, but it's often said that he's a misunderstood leader in the North, but I am confident that history will judge him as a leader of vision and conviction and one who made a real difference for the Northwest Territories. He's been a pillar of leadership in this House for the last 16 years. For me, for almost all of my adult life here, he has been in this Assembly. I think that everyone should recognize that you couldn't turn the heads of large multi-national organizations or the federal government or work on major issues that he has and make a difference unless he had the conviction and power to do that. Mr. Kakfwi has that. He has shown us that and I do hope that he'll be in our presence in the future to give us the benefit of that guidance and leadership.

Often, Mr. Speaker, in this job, I don't think that achievements that you make in this House or outside of this House or as a leader are really felt until five, 10 or 15 years down the road. I think what we do here is important, what difference you make here in one day is important, but a lot of how we are judged will depend on how our issues are judged, five, 10 or 15 years down the road.

I would like to personally thank Mr. Kakfwi for giving me personal advice and guidance over the three-and-a-half years. We've had very calm and collected talks and we've had lots of other heated debates. I have argued with him, I have certainly let him know about lots of my views on things, but throughout it all, he's always had an open mind and wanted to understand where I was coming from. I have really relied on that and wanted to thank him very much. At the beginning, I got so excited about every single issue, whether it was in this House or in his office, I would go and rant and rave to him about one issue or another. I felt like he was looking at me as a kid trying to tell me what to do, but over the years of working, he's come to understand my passion and conviction about the issues I am working on and I have really learned to understand the sensitivity he has for the underdogs and the sensitivity he has for women leaders. He's one who knows who can see the big picture while you are mired in the small issues of the day. I want him to know that I've really appreciated his leadership over the three years. I've learned a lot. I was there when he was going through some really tough times. We've been served well. He's just a young man. I know he's been here for 16 years, but he has a lot more to go. It's our loss, but I know there will be lots of other opportunities for him to serve and I look forward to seeing him and working with him in that other area, whatever that might be I have no idea.

Mr. Speaker, I'm just going to end my statement by saying something about you. Since you announced you were not going to seek re-election I have thought about this a lot, but every time I try to put it down it sounded like a eulogy and I didn't want to do that because nobody is dying here. I don't think the end of political life is death. In fact, I think the end of political life is probably just a new beginning, and a great beginning, I'm sure.

So I don't really know how to do it when talking about you, but maybe I should just start by saying you are one truly special human being. I'm sure when I say that, I say that on behalf of everybody in Yellowknife and all of the Territories.

I don't think I'd be out of place to say that you are one person who has been given special gifts from God. For that, you are a gift to us. Your gift is your unbelievable ability to connect with anyone from any background, in any setting. I don't know another person who has this kind of connection. I know your assuring presence in this House will be missed and it's a loss for the new Members who will come into the House or the existing Members. I don't want to make an error in that. I have to be careful about that.

Mr. Speaker, Yellowknife and the NWT is a community of diverse culture and background. No matter who I talk to, whether it's in Yellowknife or the many places in the NWT where I've been with you or in my travels, they all feel that they know you. They know that you are one of them. They know that you're their friend and you have especially been a strong friend of the visible minority communities in Yellowknife, whether they be the Filipino community or Vietnamese community or the African community. I know you have friends from everywhere -- in Fort Smith all the way to Tuktoyaktuk and Sachs Harbour. I don't think I could go anyplace in the Northwest Territories where somebody doesn't know you and like you and love you and know that you're a special person.

Another gift that I must say about you is that I don't know anybody else who has done more varied things. I think in your resume it's recorded that you're a social worker; you've worked in government; I've already said that you do weddings and funerals; you've been a coroner; you're an auctioneer. I always thought that people are gifted in certain ways. We're supposed to be better off using one side of the brain than the other. For example, I'm not good at math. I think I'm better at English than math. But you're a gifted person in that you seem to be able to work on all sides of your brain.

I know that before you became a social worker you must have had another life or something because, as you know, I've had the opportunity to work with you way before I came here. I need to thank you for giving me the opportunity when I was 25 to work as assistant to you as the Minister. That was quite a job and I remember not being able to sleep, worried about whether I could do this job or not. In those years we travelled. I had the opportunity to travel with you to many places. I'll never forget driving to Fort Providence and you telling me a story about every telephone pole and every rock and every highway you built and the colours of the different roads. The road to Fort Providence has never been the same since I had that conversation with you because I have to notice everything on the way.

I remember driving back from Fort Providence when I became a Member and we were coming back from our Caucus meeting and a lot of Members flew back, but we decided to drive back. It was 10:00 at night, pitch black outside, and there were at least 10 northern lights in the sky. I remember you saying that the red lights on those northern lights is a special light and you should feel very lucky about it.

I remember being in Inuvik and you were telling me that you built the corridors for the utilidor in Inuvik. I'm thinking you built houses in Fort Smith, roads in Yellowknife, corridors in Inuvik. You really are a man of the NWT with very special gifts and...

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

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An Hon. Member

He built the North.

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

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Sandy Lee Range Lake

Well, I know you're going to get four more years if you decide to run again. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I probably couldn't do you justice for all you are and all that you gave and all the appreciation that people have for you. I just made a little attempt at it. I do want to wish you much success. I know a lot of good things will come to you because there are a lot of people who are wishing you well. You have that special gift and I know you have a lot to give and that there will be opportunity for you to do so. I hope that's okay that I will end it here.

I just want to end my statement by thanking special people in my life. My mother, Tae Jeong Lee, whose second language is English, can't always understand exactly what's going on in this House and what I do and say. She's proud of me nonetheless and cheers for me all the time and makes sure that I'm fed and taken care of. I want to thank my mother for giving me the opportunity and love to be everything I am. I'd also like to thank my partner, Dave. As everybody has said, this is a very tough job and you need the support and love of everyone. I've certainly been given that. I want to thank my family. I want to thank all the Members, all the staff and thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Item 9: Replies To Opening Address
Item 9: Replies To Opening Address

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Ms. Lee. Unfortunately, recall only recalls people out of the House, not back into the House, you see.

---Laughter

Item 9, replies to Opening Address. Item 10, petitions. Item 11, reports of standing and special committees. Item 12, reports of committees on the review of bills. Item 13, tabling of documents. The honourable Member for Sahtu, Mr. Kakfwi.

Tabled Document 106-14(6): Letter From President Of Kapami Cooperative Regarding Power Rates In Colville Lake
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

October 10th, 2003

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Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a letter from the president of Kapami Cooperative in Colville Lake, Barbara Blancho. It's a letter regarding the difficulties of dealing with the extremely high power rates in Colville Lake.

Tabled Document 106-14(6): Letter From President Of Kapami Cooperative Regarding Power Rates In Colville Lake
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Kakfwi. Item 13, tabling of documents. Item 14, notices of motion. Item 15, notices of motion for first reading of bills. Item 16, motions. Motion 21-14(6), Censure of the Minister of Health and Social Services.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

WHEREAS the stated mission of the Department of Health and Social Services "is to promote, protect and provide for the health and well-being of the people of the Northwest Territories;"

AND WHEREAS residents in small communities do not have access to the same level of health and social services programs as residents in large communities;

AND WHEREAS services vary between health authorities meaning that some residents are being better served than other residents by virtue of where they live;

AND WHEREAS services available in small communities can be restricted to emergencies only or withdrawn completely with very short notice due to staff shortages;

AND WHEREAS some of those staff shortages are related to vacancies or training and can be anticipated and planned for;

AND WHEREAS only providing emergency medical services has serious health consequences for the very young and the very old who need access to preventative health programs;

AND WHEREAS preventative health programs such as diabetes clinics, well baby clinics and other preventative programs are essential to the continued health and well-being of a community;

AND WHEREAS many smaller communities do not have access to such core programs as mental health and alcohol and drug workers and cannot begin their road to recovery without such assistance;

AND WHEREAS one of the foundations of the Canadian health care system is universality and the Department of Health and Social Services and its subordinate health authorities are choosing to ignore this principle;

AND WHEREAS the Minister and the Department of Health and Social Services are ultimately responsible for the provision of these services to the Northwest Territories residents;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for North Slave, that this Assembly hereby censures the conduct of the Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger, Minister of Health and Social Services, for the lack of attention paid to the residents of small communities in the delivery of health care programs and services and in particular for inaction and failing to address the inadequate delivery of services in many smaller communities.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. There is a motion on the floor. The motion is in order. To the motion. Mr. Krutko.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I don't make this motion lightly. Right now, Mr. Speaker, we have communities where basically only emergency services are being offered. In this day and age of technology and also having the ability to find large amounts of money that we put into delivery of health care by way of buying equipment and operational budgets that come forth from the cost of administering health boards, we are still finding emergencies in our small communities. Core programs aren't even being provided.

In a lot of our small communities, we have high rates of cancer. A lot of our patients want to come back home and be with their loved ones for the remaining days that they have. Because of lack of programs which are offered in large communities, such as palliative care programs and having assistants to help people cope with these illnesses, it is an essential program that should be delivered in all communities.

I've raised many issues over the last week in this House dealing with alcohol and drug workers, closures of our health centres and also looking in particular at the standards that this government sets. In this House, we just went through a supplementary appropriation. We approved an expenditure of over $2 million to 13 specialists. For me, nothing's been done to deal with the problem we know has been there year after year after year; closures of our health centres, especially during the summer season when a lot of nurses go on holidays. For some reason, we still have this crisis. I called Aklavik yesterday and I called Fort McPherson today and apparently they're still on emergency service watch where you phone the health centre and get a recording.

I think we as a government, as the Minister responsible for dealing with health care in the Northwest Territories, he's ultimately responsible to ensure that those dollars that are expended or given to health boards are spent in the areas that they were addressed to be spent on. I raised the issue of alcohol and drug programs in communities which have been vacant going on two years. Yet when the community asks where that money is, they're told sorry, the money's been spent and you don't have those resources at your disposal because someone else spent it on your behalf.

I feel it's critical that our communities have the health centres operated like any other central service in our communities, like our schools, like our municipal offices. We have a lot of people that I know of that have approached me and also during the Minister's visits, who have broken down in tears because of finding out after the fact that they now have cancer and they know their days are numbered and they knew months, if not a year ago, that there was something wrong. They continued to go into our health centre and were told that they either have a case of arthritis or they give you some other argument without any second opinions being offered by specialists.

I feel that this government has to deal with this problem as every other emergency. We had an emergency here in Yellowknife because 13 specialists threatened us to quit if we didn't pay them the 38 percent increase that they asked for, to the tune of $2.8 million. Yet we swallowed that.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what happens if we post this poster in Yellowknife and mention to the residents in the larger centres that, sorry, for the next two months you're only going to receive emergency services and if you want services you have to call a 1-800 number, but we're only going to deal with emergencies. We're not offering any clinical services or basic care services for our elders. I think it's important as a government that we take the time to realize we have a problem here.

For us to basically continue to fund millions of dollars to health authorities that have not lived up to their obligations under the Canadian Health Act, lead our universality problems right across Canada. Anywhere you go in Canada you can have access to these programs. Yet these dollars are not making their way into our communities.

I think that, probably being the last act of this government by way of this motion, that we don't ignore the problem whether it be defeated or not. This problem will not go away. This problem is out there and it has to be dealt with, either by this Minister or the next Minister, this government or the next government. But this problem has to be dealt with by this House.

My colleagues in this House, I'd like to ask you to seriously consider how you vote on this matter because I think this also affects the care in other communities. We've heard from my colleague from Hay River with the problem of trying to get medical services there. Medical services are being eliminated and moved elsewhere without very much thought of what that affect does to your communities besides the small communities.

I feel that we as a legislature have to take note that the amount of money that we spend on health care in the Northwest Territories, with the notion that it's improving, yet we have health centres that are basically closed to emergency services only. I feel that we as a government have to do something on this matter and deal with it forthright. It's not only affecting my riding, it's affecting every other community in the Northwest Territories. Core programs are essential to community health and well-being.

I'd just like to, in closing, ask my colleagues to seriously think of the consequences of not doing anything on this matter and continuing to ignore a very serious problem that we have in the Northwest Territories. Thank you.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. To the motion. The honourable Member for North Slave, Mr. Lafferty.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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Leon Lafferty North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also stand to support the motion. I also have reasons to support the motion to at least make a point to this government that although they say they've done a lot of good things, they've failed in some areas. That area is in health. There are other areas, it's just that we didn't have enough time in this House to put more censures out there. We could pretty easily censure the whole Cabinet, but it's the last day of the House.

This government here has been throwing money out towards diamonds, oil and gas. We're also funding large communities for parks, boat launches, marinas, you know? Who in the Northwest Territories except the largest centres can afford to have a marina for boats over 30 feet? If they can have a boat over 30 feet, they should be able to afford their own boat launch or boat marina. Yet we throw money into it. This government is doing that.

We don't have any health centres in some of the communities in the Northwest Territories. We don't have any addiction centres in the North Slave. The only addiction centre in Hay River is in dispute with its staff and there's going to be nobody helping the North one day. These are the things that are happening. We have communities that have laypersons working there. They can't deal with emergencies. Emergency situations have to be phoned into Yellowknife. Sometimes when you phone Yellowknife to see if you can get a medevac they say, well, you have to go to your authority. When they go to the authority, the authority says you have to go to Yellowknife. They get the run around and sometimes there's an emergency situation that nobody can help them with. A Member tries to intervene, but then he can only go to the Minister. The Ministers turn their cell phones and phones off at midnight, I think, because they don't answer the phones when you phone them.

I'd like to say this is a good motion. I think my colleagues in one way or another have already run through some of the issues. Maybe not health, but they can see this government is throwing a lot of money out there for economic development and, as you know, economic development creates social problems. We are not putting any money into that area. Sure, we have these conferences, we have the social agenda, we have all these things going on, all these meetings, but if you can't give somebody a place where they can help themselves then it's sort of worthless.

I know some people we hear are trying to help people in shopping carts. They've got all their materials in shopping carts going room to room in their offices. In this time and day of technology and all the money we're throwing around, I'm sure we could throw a little bit towards promoting health.

Another area that is a great concern of mine, we've gone through family acts and we've gone through the child and welfare acts where we're trying to promote healthy families. We see the frontline workers out there are apprehending children without trying to help the families stay together. We put the act in and then the employees at the frontline are just going against the act. They're sending our children south without telling us. I'm sure glad this self-government act is coming in now. At least we have control over the people that we are governing.

Because of this and because of all the negative things that are happening and we're just throwing money towards...How do you put it? Take from the poor, give it to the rich. That's what we've been doing the last few years. Sure, it looks when you stand up and say, well, we're putting this much money into Yellowknife, this much money into Yellowknife, this much money into Yellowknife. It's repetitive. We see that. We leave this House and we're hoping the Minister will make a statement that there's going to be a new addiction centre in the North Slave to help the people north of the lake. It still hasn't happened. But we see money is being spent. Millions of dollars in supplementaries go into other areas, but what are we doing for the families out there? We are not doing anything.

So because of the lack of help for the small communities and the poor management that we have, I'm supporting this motion and I hope my colleagues can at least support this motion because one day they might be in the same situation. Then they're going to want support from this side of the House from the smaller communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Mahsi, Mr. Lafferty. To the motion. To the motion. The honourable Member for Tu Nedhe, Mr. Nitah.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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Steven Nitah Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I, too, will be supporting this motion. I support it for the very simple reason that universality of health care delivery is important and we don't have universality in the Northwest Territories. We need to standardize all our health centres. We don't have that. We had four years and the Minister of Health and Social Services has been very good at public campaigns and putting out commercials telling people to stop smoking.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not arguing the fact that smoking does cause health problems. Mr. Speaker, that's not the only reason why people have health problems in the Northwest Territories. It seems, since the Minister got elected to the position, that's been the core message coming out of the department. You clean up your own act before we'll help you, seems to be the message.

Mr. Speaker, I, as a representative of the people who elected me, don't agree with that message and only that message. I know we put a lot of money into the Department of Health and Social Services. That budget has risen by a considerable amount since we got elected to this House, but the standard of delivery hasn't seemed to improve. We put a lot of money into the administration, but we're not putting nearly enough into the programs and services and frontline delivery systems.

For that reason I'll support this motion because I want to send a message not only to the Minister, but the whole department. Over the next four years they have to clean up their act. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 21-14(6): Censure Of The Minister Of Health And Social Services, Defeated
Item 16: Motions

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

Mahsi, Mr. Nitah. To the motion. The honourable Member for Thebacha, Mr. Miltenberger.