This is page numbers 69 - 100 of the Hansard for the 15th Assembly, 4th 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 communities.

Topics

Members Present

Honourable Brendan Bell, Mr. Braden, Honourable Charles Dent, Mrs. Groenewegen, Honourable Joe Handley, Mr. Hawkins, Honourable David Krutko, Ms. Lee, Honourable Michael McLeod, Mr. Menicoche, Honourable Michael Miltenberger, Mr. Pokiak, Mr. Ramsay, Honourable Floyd Roland, Mr. Villeneuve, Mr. Yakeleya, Mr. Zoe

---Prayer

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 69

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

For the information of Members, the languages in which there is simultaneous translation today are Inuvialuit and Cree. The Chair recognizes the honourable Member for North Slave, Mr. Zoe.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

May 30th, 2005

Page 69

Henry Zoe North Slave

I rise on a Point of Privilege, Madam Speaker.

Item 1: Prayer
Item 1: Prayer

Page 69

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

What is your Point of Privilege, Mr. Zoe?

point Of Privilege
Item 1: Prayer

Page 69

Henry Zoe North Slave

Thank you. Madam Speaker, I rise today on a matter of personal privilege to inform the House and my constituents that it has been my honour and privilege to have been chosen by the people of North Slave to serve in three legislative assemblies. I have not taken this responsibility lightly. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my constituents for their support and confidence in me during the time I have been their representative in this House. I want to let them know that I have always had their best interests at heart.

Madam Speaker, spring is now in the air throughout the Northwest Territories. It is a wonderful time of the year and the longer days and the new buds on the trees reminds us all that it is time for reflection, new life and revitalization. Various events in my life, both personal and public, have given me cause for reflection this spring. Madam Speaker, I feel I need to make a fresh start in my life. I need revitalization and reflection. As I do so, my first priority is to ensure that the Tlicho people, my people, are represented in this House in the manner they need and deserve.

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to announce my resignation as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Slave effective immediately. To my colleagues in this House, I want to thank you for your friendship and support over the years. I am proud to say that I have served in this House with each and every one of you. I wish you good luck as you continue your important work on behalf of the people of this great territory.

To the Tlicho people, I wish you a joyous summer as you celebrate the implementation of our historic agreements. Good luck to all the candidates in the upcoming elections. I know you will serve our people with the best of intentions as we begin the next chapter in our period of history. Thank you. Mahsi cho.

point Of Privilege
Item 1: Prayer

Page 69

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Zoe. At this time, I am going to call for a 10-minute break and we will reconvene after that. Thank you.

---SHORT RECESS

point Of Privilege
Item 1: Prayer

Page 69

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

I will call the House back to order. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr. McLeod.

Minister's Statement 9-15(4): Graduated Driver's Licence Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 69

Michael McLeod Deh Cho

Madam Speaker, this afternoon, I would like to advise the Assembly that the Department of Transportation's Graduated Driver's Licence Program will come into effect as of August 1, 2005. The Graduated Driver's Licence Program will attach some new conditions to the process of acquiring a driver's licence for the first time. These conditions will encourage the novice driver to respect the responsibility involved in operating a motor vehicle safely.

When the 14th Legislative Assembly amended the Motor Vehicle Act for the strategy to reduce impaired driving in June of 2003, it also enacted amendments for a graduated driver's licence. Due to the fiscal restraint, the Department of Transportation deferred the introduction of this new program until now. This week, the department begins an information campaign to advise the public of the changes in the driver licensing process that will take effect this August.

Until now, there has been no minimum period of time that a person must spend learning to drive between getting a learner's licence and taking the road test for a full class 5 driver's licence. The Graduated Driver's Licence Program requires that a new driver must hold a learner's licence and drive under the supervision of a class 5 driver for a full 12 months before testing for the class 5.

Similarly, a new class 5 driver's licence is probationary for 12 months. In that time, the novice driver may not have more than one passenger with him or her in the front seat of a vehicle. New drivers are not permitted to drive with any amount of alcohol in their blood. The limit on the accumulation of demerit points for a mandatory licence suspension is 15 points for experienced drivers. For novice drivers, the limit is reduced to six points.

In a nutshell, those are the main elements of the Graduated Driver's Licence Program. They are not harsh or punitive. They are reasonable limitations to put on an inexperienced driver and consistent with the Graduated Driver's Licence Programs already in effect for some years now across southern Canada.

The value of the Graduated Driver's Licence Program is to emphasize for new drivers the skills they must acquire before they can operate a motor vehicle safely. Acquiring

those skills takes experience and gaining that experience takes time.

The motor vehicle is a sophisticated piece of technology and contributes to our freedom of mobility. Yet it can also be a dangerous and even deadly piece of equipment. With freedom comes responsibility. New drivers must learn to respect the motor vehicle. The purpose of the Graduated Driver's Licence Program is to provide an opportunity to learn that respect. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 9-15(4): Graduated Driver's Licence Program
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 70

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister of Health and Social Services, Mr. Miltenberger.

Minister's Statement 10-15(4): NWT Disability Awareness Week
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 70

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, today I wish to recognize the contributions and abilities of persons with disabilities. NWT Disability Awareness Week is from May 20 to June 4, 2005. The theme for this year's activities is "Celebrating our Strengths."

Madam Speaker, disability can affect any one of us directly or indirectly at any point in our lives. Some people are born with disabilities. Other people are disabled by an accident, illness or disease. Some disabilities are temporary, while others are life long. Some disabilities are visible and other disabilities cannot be seen. The important message is that we can focus on people's abilities, rather than define them by their disabilities.

The NWT action plan for persons with disabilities and the NWT disability framework, which was released in December 2004, guides GNWT services for persons with disabilities.

Earlier today, I had the honour of presenting an award on behalf of the NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities to Tammy Saunders of Yellowknife, a person with a disability, in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the field of disabilities within the NWT.

The NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities will be presenting two other awards to the mayor of Holman, Peter Malgokak; and Jacques Van Pelt of Fort Smith. These are two people that live with a disability who have been recognized by the NWT Council of Persons with Disabilities as having achieved and provided outstanding contributions to their communities.

Madam Speaker, I ask Members to join with me and thank all persons with disabilities in the NWT for their contributions and strengths, which are shared with friends, families and communities. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 10-15(4): NWT Disability Awareness Week
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 70

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. Item 2, Ministers' statements. The honourable Minister of Justice, Mr. Bell.

Minister's Statement 11-15(4): Corrections Human Resource Review Update
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 70

Brendan Bell Yellowknife South

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, in keeping with previous commitments to report progress, I would like to update the House on the implementation of the corrections human resource action plan, tabled in the House in December 2004.

In August 2004, corporate human resources began a review of the human resources challenges corrections was facing. Madam Speaker, by November 2004, a number of issues were identified which required priority attention. In response, the Department of Justice prepared an action plan and a team was established to begin the work immediately.

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to report that we have greatly enhanced communications with all levels of the corrections services by holding more frequent and comprehensive staff meetings, by piloting an internal electronic message system, and by ensuring that supervisors and managers meet with staff every day. We are creating staff committees to develop and monitor staff training, to implement a staff awards system and to edit our new newsletter. Also, we are working with corporate human resources to develop a comprehensive human resource plan that will incorporate the best practices we are diligently following.

We are continuing to make progress on our targeted action items, Madam Speaker, but have adjusted some of our original timelines to accommodate the consolidation of human resource functions across government and the ongoing negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement. Madam Speaker, we will continue to move forward on outstanding tasks, including improving our job descriptions, addressing vacancies, identifying a three-year training plan and enhancing our hiring processes.

I look forward to continuing this work and will table an update report on the corrections human resource action plan during the fall 2005 session. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

---Applause

Minister's Statement 11-15(4): Corrections Human Resource Review Update
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 70

The Deputy Speaker Jane Groenewegen

Thank you, Mr. Bell. Mr. Braden.

Motion To Move Ministers' Statements 1-15(4), 3-15(4), 4-15(4) And 5-15(4) Into Committee Of The Whole For Consideration, Carried
Item 2: Ministers' Statements

Page 70

Bill Braden Great Slave

Thank you, Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Nahendeh, that Ministers' Statements 1-15(4), 3-15(4), 4-15(4) and 5-15(4) be moved into Committee of the Whole for consideration. Thank you, Madam Speaker.