This is page numbers 1945 - 1984 of the Hansard for the 15th Assembly, 3rd 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 program.

Topics

Committee Motion 46-15(3) Recommendation To Conduct A Comprehensive Review Of The Elections Act, Carried
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1979

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Committee Motion 46-15(3) Recommendation To Conduct A Comprehensive Review Of The Elections Act, Carried
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1979

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you. There is no further business before the committee, so I will now rise and report progress.

Committee Motion 46-15(3) Recommendation To Conduct A Comprehensive Review Of The Elections Act, Carried
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1979

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Can I have the report of Committee of the Whole, please. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

Page 1979

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Committee Report 12-15(3) and would like to report progress with four motions being adopted, and that Committee Report 12-15(3) is concluded. Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of Committee of the Whole be concurred with. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

Page 1979

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. Do we have a seconder for the motion? The honourable Member for Weledeh, Mr. Handley.

Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

Page 1979

Some Hon. Members

Ohhh.

---Applause

Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole
Item 19: Report Of Committee Of The Whole

Page 1979

The Speaker Paul Delorey

The motion is in order. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

---Carried

Item 20, third reading of bills. The honourable Minister of Justice, Mr. Dent.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1979

Charles Dent Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Weledeh, that Bill 17, Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act, be read for the third time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1979

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Dent. The motion is in order. Mr. Menicoche.

Point Of Privilege

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1979

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out a point of privilege. Yesterday, on March 9, 2005, in this Legislature during Committee of the Whole debate, I believe that inappropriate amendments were made to a bill that affects my ability to do my job to represent my constituents. I was unable to send this bill back to the responsible standing committee for proper public debate to engage our institution of participatory consensus government. This bill has changed significantly. The Minister added five amendments to a bill of 10; very irregular, and made a new reference to the Wildlife Act which is not an amendment but is an addition. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1979

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. Before I rule on the point of privilege, I will allow Members to speak to the point of privilege. Ms. Lee.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1979

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe that I have shown in the past to take very seriously any points of privilege that are raised. I do believe that they are very important and it is one of the privileges of being here, to raise those points, and I respect that very much.

I do want to respond for the sake of the debate here, just to respond to the point being raised. Mr. Speaker, I think it is very serious when anyone raises questions about whether we are giving the public the proper input into our legislative process, and those should be raised whenever there are questions asked and they should be properly answered to. I just want to say that in this case I don't think that it's true that the public have not had a chance to look at this bill or the intent of this bill, Mr. Speaker.

This bill was introduced in the House last October. The public hearing process of this was advertised in mass media throughout November. I know that the Social Programs committee held at least three public hearings on it, and the amendments, I know are troublesome for some and I appreciate that there are some points that are changing the nature and the substantive scope of the bill but, in my view, I believe those changes that were made are very much in line with the preamble of the bill which was introduced and read and accepted by the House, and I don't believe those amendments made in Committee of the Whole yesterday changes that.

So I do respect the right of Members to raise a point of privilege. I do want to add my point to this debate, and that is that I don't believe in this case that the assertions being made are true. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I await your decision.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1980

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. Do any other Members want to speak to the point of privilege? Mr. Braden.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1980

Bill Braden Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, appreciate any Member's contention that there may be a point of process and an interference with the public's access to what we are doing here. In this case, I do not feel that we have breached that trust.

The purpose of the bill, when it was introduced last fall, was quite clear to me, Mr. Speaker, that it was designed to be a survey, if you will, or an inventory of all of our legislation to catch the areas and definitions regarding spouses or references to particular genders that would not be consistent with Canadian law, and we are compelled to follow that. So even though, as the Member quite correctly pointed out, there were some new provisions brought in in a couple of acts, it was very consistent with the spirit and intent, and I think the impact of the bill will, in fact, result in more people having obligations and benefits returned or restored to them no matter what their gender.

So I think the amendments that were brought forward by the Minister were positive and certainly in the spirit of the bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act
Item 20: Third Reading Of Bills

Page 1980

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Braden. To the point of privilege. The honourable Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.