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

Acknowledgment Of Mackenzie Delta Constituents
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1402

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents to have the opportunity to have been their voice in this Legislative Assembly for the last four years. I have served two terms.

Mr. Speaker it's not often we get to thank the people who have put us here, but today I would like to do that, especially the elders, the youth, the community leaders and those people who we serve everyday. Mr. Speaker, without having that connection to the people we serve and having the ability to be able to contact them and help them out with their problems, their issues, and our community leaders have challenges along with us to assist them to improve the lives of those people who we serve. That is key. We are here to serve the people, not for them to serve us. It's an opportunity that one is blessed with to be able to do that.

Mr. Speaker, I have always strived to improve the lives of the people I serve in the Mackenzie Delta communities and to be able to stand here knowing that when I speak, I am not speaking for myself, I am speaking because someone has asked me to raise an issue, to make a problem either go away with the help of the Ministers on the other side and not just stand here and rant and rave day in and day out and hope someone is listening. Mr. Speaker, I think it's important that that opportunity we have to serve also means we, as a government, have to change the whole system. We have to ensure that we are listening as elected officials and that the government across the hall is hearing what we are saying.

Mr. Speaker, it has been a real honour to serve two terms in this House for the people of the Mackenzie Delta and deal with the challenges we have and the many we have ahead of us such as pipeline development, self-government arrangements...

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Acknowledgment Of Mackenzie Delta Constituents
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1403

The Speaker Tony Whitford

The honourable Member is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his Member's statement. Are there any nays? Mr. Krutko, you may conclude.

Acknowledgment Of Mackenzie Delta Constituents
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1403

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. Mr. Speaker, in the Mackenzie Delta, we are facing many challenges such as oil and gas development, pipeline construction and negotiations for a regional self-government agreement. Mr. Speaker, all that doesn't mean anything unless the individuals we represent in our communities can see a change or improvement in their lives and in not having to cope with the stresses that we, as a government, should be managing. In most cases, those are the issues that are raised in this House.

Mr. Speaker, the programs and services we deliver as a government are our responsibility to ensure that they are being delivered fairly, equitably and to all residents of the Northwest Territories, especially, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that we work for the benefit of all our people.

Mr. Speaker, with that, I'd like to thank my constituents again and I look forward to serving for another four years. Thank you.

Acknowledgment Of Mackenzie Delta Constituents
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1403

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Krutko. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for North Slave, Mr. Lafferty.

Honouring Commitments To The North Slave Region
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1403

Leon Lafferty North Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Premier made reference to the comment he made in Rae-Edzo. On August 25th, in front of the Prime Minister, in front of all the government officials and witnesses to the signing of the Tlicho land claim, he stated, if you take care of the Tlicho, the Tlicho will take care of you. The Premier went on to say that these words apply to this government in particular.

Mr. Speaker, these are strong words. Unfortunately, over the past four years I have seen numerous government studies, plans and reports dating back 10 years which have overlooked the North Slave riding. Some of these documents and studies include the highway strategy, Corridors to Canada document, the energy strategy, and the Health and Social Services action plan.

Mr. Speaker, last week in the House the Premier acknowledged my relentless pursuit over the past four years for improvements on Highway No. 3 and road access to the smaller communities in my region. Has Cabinet listened and responded? No. The highway is still in terrible shape and there are still no plans for roads to the small communities.

Mr. Speaker, there is an opportunity for the Premier to go beyond lip service with his reference to a strong partnership with the Tlicho. As this Assembly is winding down, transition documents are being created for the next Assembly. I urge the Premier to make sure that the best interests of the North Slave are considered by including in this document:

  • • plans for an addiction centre in the North Slave;
  • • policy changes for housing programs;
  • • changes to the highway strategy; and,
  • • the establishment of health service delivery standards throughout the North.

These are all areas which I have brought up. These are areas of ongoing concern. When he talked about the land claim, the Premier commented that the Tlicho have taken a bold step to say we were partnered with this government. I only hope that this government will walk with the people of the North Slave and ensure that they are included in government plans, strategies and reports. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Honouring Commitments To The North Slave Region
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1403

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Hay River North, Mr. Delorey.

Recognition Of Youth, Family And Constituency Assistant
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1403

Paul Delorey Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as this is our last time in this House together as Members of the 14th Legislative Assembly, and seeing as Thanksgiving is this coming weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to give well-deserved recognition and thanks to various individuals.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by giving thanks to our youth. We are blessed in Hay River with having some fine examples of youth excelling in their chosen endeavors. One fine example of this, Mr. Speaker, are the three young people from Hay River who recently participated in an extremely intensive Canadian Forces program called the aboriginal entry program.

Mr. Speaker, the three youths are Robert Lafleur, Brandon Starcevic and Angel Asels. Brandon has been accepted into the Canadian Navy and Robert has been accepted into the Canadian Army. Both Robert and Brandon are currently in the throes of their 10-week basic training program before they commence a three-year tour with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Mr. Speaker, I am a strong supporter of seeing our youths succeed. Therefore, I would like to recognize and thank them for their commitment and dedication and wish them continued success.

As all 19 Members of this House are aware, Mr. Speaker, our four-year terms of office are an arduous process and we couldn't possibly accomplish what we do without the tremendous support of our beloved families. Mr. Speaker, our family's constant support is what keeps us going. As I do in every day of my life, I would like to give enormous thanks this time to my wife, Davida; my daughters, Michelle, Monique and Katrina; and my son, D'Arcy.

Mr. Speaker, also at this time, I would like to thank and recognize a very special young lady who has been an enormous help to me over the past four years: my constituency assistant, Ms. Debra Mageean. She has been extremely dedicated to my office and has been a strong link between my constituents and myself, especially when I've been away on government business.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to close by saying that I have thoroughly enjoyed my four-year term of office here representing the interests of my constituents of Hay River North. I give thanks every day for their continued support and I look forward for the next month or so being in very close contact with all my constituents. Hopefully I will be here to represent them for another four years, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Recognition Of Youth, Family And Constituency Assistant
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

The Speaker Tony Whitford

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

Passing Of Elders In Tu Nedhe
Item 3: Members' Statements

October 10th, 2003

Page 1404

Steven Nitah Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my riding has lost quite a bit this past week. Yesterday, Marie Casaway - known as Marie-Louise, but better known as Granny - passed away in Lutselk'e. I spoke earlier in the week about a lady passing away in Deninu Kue. Combined, Mr. Speaker, we lost 195 years of life experience.

Marie was born in 1908 and when I was born, Mr. Speaker, just to give you an idea of how old this lady was, she was just collecting the old age pension. That was 36 years ago. She was a woman who had many children and many grandchildren and many more great-great-grandchildren. A woman who is known to our government because our government has been helping to pay for her care in the community. Members of my community in Lutselk'e did not want to send her to an old age home in Yellowknife or anyplace else. In that sense, Mr. Speaker, she became everyone's granny in Lutselk'e.

I'd like to celebrate her life with the Members. I will be going home tomorrow and celebrating in mourning her life with my community as well. A woman that stays with you that long has an effect on everybody in the community. Everybody called her Granny and it's not too often that you find a woman that lives long enough for everyone to adopt as their granny. It's a sad day for the community, for the region and, again, Mr. Speaker, we lost a wise old lady who helped many peoples, including many generations.

I'd like to officially thank her on behalf of my constituents in the people's House here today. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Passing Of Elders In Tu Nedhe
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Mahsi, Mr. Nitah. Condolences go the family of Granny Casaway. As a young social worker I had the pleasure of knowing her and learning from her advice way back in the 1960s. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Deh Cho, Mr. McLeod.

Fairness To Income Support Recipients
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Seeing as this is our last day I'd like to raise the issue facing our income support residents of the Northwest Territories and more specifically the disabled residents of the Northwest Territories one more time. That issue is the clawback of certain dollars in the support system that are intended for the disabled.

Mr. Speaker, these individuals currently have a program called the community living benefit program to assist in meeting their daily needs. This entitles them to income support, including $300 for their disability needs. Like any other income assistance recipients, all other income is deducted from their monthly payments. With the high cost of living in the North and after all the deductions, this leaves these people in a financial situation of poverty that's difficult to work your way out of.

Under the income support program, the allowable income without interference is $200 for singles and $400 for families on a monthly basis. Everyone has debts and other essential needs and these debts are not considered as basic need expenses. Consequently, these expenses are deducted from their monthly payments.

Mr. Speaker, also, all other federal and territorial funded programs are deducted from the recipients. Many of these programs are intended to address child poverty or career development. These programs become meaningless if they're not received by the very people they're targeted for. After reviewing an Alberta government guide for assured income for the severely handicapped, also known as the AISH program, which entitles the handicapped to medical and financial benefits, I see that in that province these benefits are assured if your disability impairs your ability to earn a living and is modified based on the severity of the disability.

Mr. Speaker, the Alberta government enables those in poverty to better their lifestyles by exempting certain incomes, such as Canada child tax benefit under the Canadian Income Tax Act; death benefits under the Canadian Pension Plan; land claim settlement payments; grants intended to enhance employability; and also allows an income of $400 for each child receiving maintenance.

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Fairness To Income Support Recipients
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you. The honourable Member is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his Member's statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays, Mr. McLeod. You may continue.

Fairness To Income Support Recipients
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. Mr. Speaker, in Alberta, these exemptions allow the families that are experiencing financial difficulties to get back on their feet without jeopardizing essential needs. It may also be the key to recipients relying less on income support payments.

Mr. Speaker, with the program we have in place compared to the AISH program, our disability assistance recipients fall short of their needs. I'm especially concerned for the disabled with terminal illnesses. They have to worry about finances that are not being covered under current benefits. Some don't qualify for any special benefits. Mr. Speaker, this government has to change their attitude towards the people on income support, especially towards our disabled residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Fairness To Income Support Recipients
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

An Hon. Member

Hear, hear!

---Applause

Fairness To Income Support Recipients
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1404

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.