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

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1975

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. Does the committee agree?

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1975

Some Hon. Members

Agreed.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1975

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Agreed. Then, we will do that after a short break.

---SHORT RECESS

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1975

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

I call Committee of the Whole back to order. We have one item before us. General comments. Mr. Braden.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1975

Bill Braden Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. I am going to briefly set the context of our committee, Madam Chair. Before I get into that, I would like to recognize in the gallery today our Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Glen McLean.

---Applause

Madam Chair, the Rules and Procedures committee accepted on behalf of the Legislative Assembly, the report of the Chief Electoral Officer earlier last year. Accordingly, we took the report to the public for a response. Two public hearings were held and the views of Members were sought into four recommendations that were put forward. There were some very constructive ones on the overall impact and quality and calibre of elections and how we can better use our system to help with election events. One of those recommendations, Madam Chair, was to look at sharing our resources and the office of the Chief Electoral Officer with community governments to help them run their governments.

Madam Chair, we also have a recommendation before us to join up the CEO's office along with Education, Culture and Employment and develop a web-based educational site to promote the way elections work and how important they are, especially directed, Madam Chair, at young people.

The CEO brought forward the recommendation that the Elections Act itself should undergo a comprehensive review and consolidation. It is a piece of legislation, Madam Chair, that has been amended and tweaked several times over the course of the years. Some things are getting a little out of sync and a review is warranted.

But, Madam Chair, the most prominent recommendation is that the NWT should go to a fixed election date as something that would level the playing field among candidates. That would bring more stability and predictability and consistency to the way government runs and the way elections are going to be run. This is indeed the first of these four committee motions, Madam Chair, that have already been read into the record at a different point in our orders, Madam Chair. So I'm prepared to move these motions for committee's consideration and debate. So that will end my remarks, Madam Chair, and I look forward to see if other Members have any general

comments before proceeding with the motions. Thank you.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Braden. General comments. Mr. Villeneuve.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

Robert Villeneuve Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just want to commend the CEO for coming out with a good comprehensive report and some good recommendations on the elections procedures and the option that the office of the CEO can assist municipalities and First Nations local governments in their elections procedures so that they are in accordance or in line with what the government practices.

I just wanted to mention something about the fixed election date. I know there was some discussion about whether a fixed election date should be established or whether it's an item that hasn't been really agreed to by the majority of the Members. I'm pretty open to establishing a fixed election date for every four years so that people will know when the elections are coming about. I think it just makes the process a little more fixed and people will know what to expect and when it's going to happen every four years. Just to the motion or whichever motion that the Member wishes to bring forward, I would support the motion which is titled the first Monday in November. Other than that, that's all I have to say. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Villeneuve. General comments. Mr. Ramsay.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Madam Chair. I'll keep my comments brief.

---Applause

I'm in agreement with the Member for Tu Nedhe for the first Monday in November. That's my recommended choice. I think having a fixed election day will certainly be good not only for the Members that are here but for any potential candidates that are out there. If we have a date set, I mean, we all know, having run in campaigns before, it's a lot of work. The more lead time you can give somebody, the better off they'll be. So it's good. It's better for the process generally and I say the first Monday in November. The other reason I'm in support of that is in campaigning in October is a little bit difficult in some places, but I'd rather campaign in October than September. September in the far northern constituencies is a little bit more troublesome. So the first Monday in November, Madam Chair. Thank you.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you. General comments. Mr. Yakeleya.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Short one, Madam Chair. The first Monday of October is the one I'll be supporting due to the weather situation up in the region. The first week in November is not good for campaigning and elections and the ice fog and all that. So the first Monday in October is something that I prefer to go with in our region. November is not something that I will be supporting. Thank you.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. General comments. Are there any further general comments? Mr. Villeneuve.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

Robert Villeneuve Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Madam Chair. Just to reiterate my support for the first Monday in November, I guess just so that all Members are aware that I know September 1st hunting season opens and usually goes right to the middle or toward the middle of October. So that's totally out of line with what NWT residents would expect. Everybody is out on the land, and unless we can get the polling stations out on the land then I would go for the first week in October, but I still stand by the first week of November. Thank you.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

Page 1976

The Chair Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Villeneuve. General comments. Mr. Zoe.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters

March 10th, 2005

Page 1976

Henry Zoe North Slave

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I'm sure reluctant to support anything at this point in time pertaining to the committee report discussing this particular issue. I understand that the committee has solicited in the papers, I believe, and I'm not sure if they did radio broadcasting and stuff like that to have public input, but at that time my understanding is that there was no public input except from the Chief Electoral Officer that made the report. The recommendation that he made was the first Monday in October to have a fixed date for election. I feel uncomfortable at this time to say I like the idea of having a fixed date, but the date itself is the problem I have right now. I would strongly suggest to Members if we could solicit or go back to our constituents and seek further consultation, because it hasn't been that long since this report has been dealt with and it could wait until our next sitting, which is in May.

During that session, we could deal with it and give us ample time to go back to our constituents and seek their advice or suggestions as to which way we should go. It is unfortunate, Madam Chair, that a lot of people are busy. For instance, my region has been busy with our land claims and self-government legislation in Ottawa. Although this is important, their priorities were someplace else. Since those items are sort of concluded with and we are working on something else, I am sure that they will take a look at this issue and make some sort of suggestion to me so that I can speak on their behalf. I hope that Members would reconsider dealing with this at this time and maybe deal with this whole issue at our next sitting in May. That is my comment on the issue at hand. Thank you.