This is page numbers 1355 - 1396 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

Members Present

Honourable Roger Allen, Honourable Jim Antoine, Mr. Bell, Mr. Braden, Mr. Dent, Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, Mr. Krutko, Mr. Lafferty, Ms. Lee, Mr. McLeod, Honourable Michael Miltenberger, Mr. Nitah, Honourable Jake Ootes, Mr. Roland, Honourable Vince Steen, Honourable Tony Whitford

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 1355

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Please be seated. Colleagues, before we begin, if you haven't already noticed, we do have a full visitors' gallery today for the very important matters that are before the House. I would like to draw your attention to and welcome Grand Chief Joe Rabesca to the gallery, along with many people from the Dogrib Nation.

The grand chief has also asked me to advise the Members who are here that they have interpreters and there are receivers, so you can hear in Dogrib as well. Because the gallery can only seat so many, there's a television set just outside the gallery for those who have not been able to find a seat. There are also rules that you must abide by. Please no clapping of hands in the gallery and please remove your head gear and no cell phones. The Sergeant-at-Arms will enforce that very strictly. No cell phones, please.

After all of that, welcome.

---Applause

Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Ootes.

Minister's Statement 106-14(6): Effective Behaviour Support
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1355

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, schools are more than books and buildings. Schools are places where students, teachers and staff spend much of their time. Schools are places where children should learn and grow and excel. Schools should be welcoming places. Regrettably, this is not so for some children. Taunting, teasing and bullying damages and can traumatize a child. Just a word can compliment, they can also hurt. I'm sure all Members will agree that this sort of damaging behaviour has no place in our schools.

I would like to speak on some actions that educators from across the Northwest Territories are working on to address this issue.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, over 100 educators, representing schools from each of the divisional education councils in the NWT, met in Yellowknife to work with Dr. Terry Scott, an internationally-renowned behaviour specialist, to learn about effective behavioral support.

Effective behavioural support is a school-wide system designed to prevent disruptive behaviour by all students, including those who exhibit chronic behaviour problems. EBS is being used in schools throughout Canada and the United States, and since 2001, in a number of schools in the Northwest Territories.

Under the EBS system, teachers provide students clear behavioural expectations, social skill instruction, acknowledgement and corrections. About 90 percent of students respond well to this program, others need additional help and support.

EBS schools have behavioural teams that work with teachers and parents to develop individual action plans for these at-risk students who have repeated behaviour problems. With the school and family working together, the behaviours taught at school can be reinforced at home, providing consistency for the children and support for the families.

Through the EBS system, all staff share responsibility for the behaviour of students in classrooms, as well as in common areas like hallways or the playground.

Mr. Speaker, this system is not a quick fix. It takes three to five years to develop and implement the systems and to see results, but I am pleased to announce, Mr. Speaker, that we are now seeing results.

One example is Mackenzie Mountain School in Norman Wells. Staff members report on the positive behaviours of students and celebrate them through their Gotcha Program. Student behaviour has improved and students feel more content and secure at school. Teachers are proactive and enthusiastic.

We want to build on the current success of EBS in our schools by providing out-of-school support for families and communities through programs like Second-Step Positive Discipline or Restitution, which are also being effectively used.

Schools that have been involved with EBS are in the South Slave, Sahtu and Dehcho divisional boards, Yellowknife Education District No. 1 and Yellowknife Catholic Schools. In addition to teams from these boards, we are pleased that the Dogrib and Beaufort-Delta divisional boards also participated in training this week.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased and proud to bring this positive news to the Assembly. Please join me in acknowledging the efforts of these school teams to make the schools in the Northwest Territories safer, happier, more productive and bully-free. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

----Applause

Minister's Statement 106-14(6): Effective Behaviour Support
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1355

The Speaker Tony Whitford

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

Minister's Statement 107-14(6): Water Licence Contribution Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1355

Vince Steen Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, our communities face a wide range of challenges each and every day and the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs strives in a number of different ways to support community governments in dealing with these challenges. To this end, I am very pleased to advise Members of this Assembly that Municipal and Community Affairs has established a water licence contribution program to provide assistance to community governments that are going through the process of renewing their water licences.

Requirements for water licence applications have become more rigorous and as a result, community governments are challenged to adequately meet them. We are all keenly aware of the importance of safe water sources and systems in the post-Walkerton world. In order to limit liability, land and water boards are seeking greater assurances regarding the safety of the overall system. This, in turn, results in a requirement for specialized expertise including engineering and technical services.

Several communities that are going through the application renewal process have approached the department to seek assistance and support. Although communities are responsible to budget and plan for all aspects of providing municipal services, the new requirements have in some cases caught communities off guard when their planning has been based on outdated expectations. Municipal and Community Affairs have assisted communities on a case-by-case basis and, at the same time, have recognized that this is the shape of things to come. Many community governments will face the same challenges when their licences come up for renewal and they must go through the new application process.

Therefore, through internal departmental reallocations, Municipal and Community Affairs have established the water licence contribution fund. Community governments can apply for financial support in accordance with the eligibility criteria that are outlined in the department's water licence contribution policy. Community governments are eligible to receive funding under this policy during years when their water licences are up for renewal, and there is a requirement for considerable research and technical work needed in order to meet application requirements. In addition, community governments will be able to apply when unforeseen measures are required by a regulatory body in order to comply with licence requirements.

Mr. Speaker, this initiative supports the intent of the draft framework for managing drinking water quality in the Northwest Territories, which has been prepared by the departments of Municipal and Community Affairs, Public Works and Services, Health and Social Services and Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that my department is able to provide community government with this additional type of support and I look forward to working with all of our partners to ensure the safety of the water supply for all Northerners. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

----Applause

Minister's Statement 107-14(6): Water Licence Contribution Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1356

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Steen. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Antoine.

Minister's Statement 108-14(6): Activities Of The Ministry Of Aboriginal Affairs
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1356

Jim Antoine Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker, over the last four years, the Government of the Northwest Territories, through the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, has pursued a fast packed and ambitious agenda. I will take this opportunity to highlight the key achievements during the term of the 14th Legislative Assembly.

The mandate of the ministry is to manage and coordinate the participation of the Government of the Northwest Territories in all lands, resources and self-government negotiations. The ministry is also responsible for negotiating and developing implementation plans and providing strategic advice on aboriginal relations at a territorial and national level.

Mr. Speaker, one of the most symbolic achievements of the Legislative Assembly over the last four years was the implementation of legislation that recognizes the special meaning of National Aboriginal Day for the people of the Northwest Territories and establishes June 21st as a statutory holiday in our territory. The Northwest Territories is the first jurisdiction in Canada to take this step. By passing this legislation, we acknowledge the values, traditions, languages and cultures of the Dene, Metis and Inuvialuit that have helped define who we are as Northerners and residents of this territory.

I believe that the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has maintained this spirit in all its work over the last four years. We have worked closely with aboriginal people and other governments to achieve the vision of the 14th Assembly. We have built mutually respectful and cooperative partnerships with aboriginal governments and we have seen the benefits of investing in these relationships. As well, we have participated in negotiations that resulted in key milestones and sat at several lands, resources and self-government negotiating tables.

Two final agreements and two agreements-in-principle are in place and we have made major progress with negotiations at a number of tables during the last four years. Currently we are negotiating or finalizing agreements with many aboriginal groups. These groups include the Tlicho, the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit, the Deline First Nations, the Deh Cho First Nations, the Akaitcho First Nations, the Northwest Territory Metis Nation and the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Denesuline. We have just begun the process of negotiating a self-government agreement with Tulita.

The Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, the Government of Canada and the GNWT recently signed the Tlicho agreement in August. We have been working intensely on taking the necessary steps towards implementing the agreement. Mr. Speaker, after almost 10 years of negotiations, this is truly an historic agreement. It is the first combined land claim and self-government modern-day treaty in the NWT. Most recently we have begun the process towards implementation. The Tlicho settlement legislation is currently before this House.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada and the community of Deline signed the Deline self-government agreement-in-principle on August 23rd, setting the stage for final agreement negotiations. This agreement is the foundation for the first self-government agreement in the Northwest Territories at the district level. Mr. Speaker, after seven years of negotiations, this is the second agreement-in-principle completed within the life of this Assembly.

On April 16, 2003, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada and the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit signed the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit self-government agreement-in-principle for the Beaufort-Delta region. As the first standalone regional self-government agreement that combines the inherent right of two aboriginal peoples towards self-government, this achievement is truly unique.

Mr. Speaker the first final agreement we signed during this Assembly was the Salt River First Nation treaty land entitlement in June 2002. This agreement established the first reserve in the North since the Hay River Reserve. The Salt River First Nation receives over $83 million and reserve land in and around Fort Smith and in Wood Buffalo National Park.

By working in close cooperation with the Aboriginal Summit, we have taken a step closer to the self-sufficiency and prosperity that the transfer of administration and control of public land and resources will bring to our territory.

Mr. Speaker, a framework for the devolution agreement was initialed in July 2003. This is an important step in the process. It demonstrates the parties' agreement on how negotiations will take place, the scope of the negotiations and the target dates. The framework agreement will serve as a roadmap for negotiations. The next step is an agreement-in-principle and the final stage will be the devolution transfer.

Mr. Speaker, the milestones I have just outlined are the major achievements that the Members of the 14th Assembly can be proud of. I am encouraged by the progress we have made over the term of this Assembly, and I look forward to continued progress in the negotiation and implementation of lands, resources and self-government agreements in the Northwest Territories.

In closing, I would like to commend the staff at the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs for their hard work and commitment to achieving the goals set by this Assembly. Mahsi cho.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 108-14(6): Activities Of The Ministry Of Aboriginal Affairs
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1357

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, Mr. Ootes.

Minister's Statement 109-14(6): Release Of GNWT Response To "a Vision For The Arts In The Nwt"
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1357

Jake Ootes Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to announce that later today I will be tabling the Government of the Northwest Territories response to the recommendations of the NWT Arts Strategy panel, "A Vision for the Arts in the NWT."

Mr. Speaker, art and artistic expression, in all its forms, enriches our lives and our communities. It is an important part of life, not only socially and culturally, but also economically.

Recognizing this, Education, Culture and Employment and Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development established an NWT Arts Strategy Advisory Panel in 2002. Made up of representatives from the private and public sectors, as well as non-governmental organizations, its mandate was to identify needs, current opportunities and gaps in support to the creative arts and cultural industries.

Mr. Speaker, we must acknowledge the care, time and efforts of the advisory panel. This group managed to hold consultations in every region across the territory. In addition, Mr. Speaker, we must acknowledge the dedication and commitment to each of the panel's co-chairs, Suzan Marie and Sonny MacDonald. It was, I believe, their passion for the arts that ensured the panel's success.

In advance of tabling our response, I would like to highlight the seven themes identified in the panels report: stakeholders partnership; communication and resources; programs and services; raw materials and equipment; markets and marketing; education and training; and, infrastructure.

Our response to this report identifies actions, both planned and taken, by the departments of Education, Culture and Employment and Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. Those already taken include:

  • • increased support to the NWT Arts Council by doubling the contribution budget to $280,000;
  • • increased funding to the Support to Northern Performers program by doubling the budget for a total of $71,000;
  • • the creation of an additional seat on the NWT Arts Council;
  • • indication of a process to develop a booklet entitled Jobs in Heritage, Culture and the Arts that will provide labour market information to artists seeking opportunities in the arts;
  • • designation of a headquarters staff person in RWED to focus on arts and crafts development effective September 2003;
  • • initiated the process to develop an arts merchandising system that will ensure that the art of the territory is recognized for its quality and authenticity; and,
  • • reviewing resources in preparation for the development of an NWT arts curriculum for kindergarten to Grade 12.

Mr. Speaker, both departments recognize that a lot of work has yet to be done in this area. One of the first steps is the development of a coordinated implementation plan between the two departments.

With the development of a coordinated implementation plan, it is our hope that the already vibrant arts sector in the Northwest Territories can flourish even more through further GNWT action and supports.

Mr. Speaker, the arts will play an increasingly important role in the cultural and economic health of our territory. We are looking forward to being able to further our support and assist artists, craftspeople and the cultural industries as they work in their communities enriching the lives of all residents of the North. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 109-14(6): Release Of GNWT Response To "a Vision For The Arts In The Nwt"
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1357

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Premier.

Minister's Statements 110-14(6): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

October 9th, 2003

Page 1357

Stephen Kakfwi Sahtu

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Joe Handley will be absent from the House today and tomorrow to attend the federal/provincial/territorial Finance Ministers meeting in Ottawa. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statements 110-14(6): Minister Absent From The House
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 1357

The Speaker Tony Whitford

Item 2, Ministers' statements. Item 3, Members' statements. The honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Krutko.

Education And Training For Northern Resource Development
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 1358

David Krutko Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We all look around and see all the developments that are happening in the oil and gas sector, the mining sector, the diamond industry and now some $85 million of federal funding to improve our infrastructure in the Northwest Territories. Mr. Speaker, it's important to realize that the biggest challenge we face in the small communities is just trying to achieve the basic minimums of getting those opportunities and taking advantage of the oil and gas sector jobs or maintenance jobs on our highways. We are now looking at the construction of a pipeline. We have to have the people who meet the requirements and qualifications by way of educational training programs.

Mr. Speaker, one thing we seem to strive for is just try to maintain enough dollars to keep our adult education learning centres open, so people can either take upgrading or programs to improve their education levels so they can take advantage of these training programs.

Mr. Speaker, on the pipeline alone, we are looking at almost 2,500 to 2,800 jobs needed to conclude that major project. Mr. Speaker, in the diamond industry, you are looking at many jobs in the mines, yet we continue to have social and economic projects in our communities because of the standard of living we have in our communities. A lot of it is has to do with literacy and people not having the minimums to take the programs out there to give them the tools to be equipment operators, welders and work in maintenance jobs. As a government, we have to look at ways of using our program dollars with our infrastructure funding that we have to complement the projects that are going to come down the road, so that we have the numbers, we have the people in place to take advantage of those jobs. We are going to need 700 just as heavy equipment operators. Do we have enough bodies out there to fill those jobs? We might not have them today, but in the next three or four years, we could have enough people trained and enough people with their tickets that when this pipeline is built, we have people on the ground to do it.

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

Education And Training For Northern Resource Development
Item 3: Members' Statements

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The Speaker Tony Whitford

The honourable Member is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Mr. Krutko, you may conclude.