This is page numbers 39 - 64 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 1st 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 agreement.

Topics

Recreational Opportunities For Youth In Tu Nedhe
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker…(English not provided)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

I have been talking in my language about the need to provide recreation opportunities for the youth in the communities of Lutselk’e and Fort Resolution. Youth in the larger communities have an opportunity to be involved in a number of activities. Opportunities for our youth in the communities I represent are limited. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, one of the problems that smaller communities’ councils have in meeting the needs of the population is in making those hard decisions on how to spend money that is provided by the territorial government.

Giving the communities the power to set their own priorities and plan for their own infrastructure need is a noble concept in empowering the communities. However, Mr. Speaker, I would argue that the amount of money that flows to the communities that I represent is barely enough to deliver the programs that they are required to do, let

alone build infrastructure that could keep the youth out of conflict with the law.

Mr. Speaker, the youth in my communities need youth centres to hang out in; places where they could access programs and services like tutoring or study help while being supervised in a safe, sober environment. MACA has come up with the money for a youth centre in Lutselk’e, but the youth centre in Fort Resolution is still not operational. I believe that if we keep the youths' minds and bodies busy with sports, academics and social opportunities, they will be less likely to get into trouble.

The government has a responsibility to future generations. The New Deal, in my mind, downloads the decision-making process on funding for infrastructure to the communities, thus making them the bad guys instead of the Government of the NWT. This works for larger tax-based communities who have the ability to leverage money from banks to complete needed infrastructure projects in a timely manner. Smaller community means smaller block funding, smaller pots of money, meaning that it would be unlikely the bank would get involved with those communities.

Later on today I will have questions for the Minister of MACA on the adequacy of block funding in smaller communities and just what the department is doing to help the community meet their needs, infrastructure needs in relation to youth. Thank you.

---Applause

Recreational Opportunities For Youth In Tu Nedhe
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Great Slave, Mr. Abernethy.

Government Support For The Voluntary Sector
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In 2005, the 15th Assembly released a declaration on volunteering

which demonstrated the government’s commitment to work with organizations that represent the diversity of the voluntary sector and support the voluntary sector through active partnerships and leadership on such programs as the NWT Volunteer Support Initiative, which is the VSI, and the related finance action group.

Volunteering in organizations within the voluntary sector supports community wellness and helps all northerners build the kind of communities that we all want to live in, for both families and individuals. Through the voluntary sector, people have had the ability to come together, take action, and come up with solutions to the common problems that improve the quality of life for all residents of the Northwest Territories.

The sector is broad and includes voluntary organizations which support the arts and culture, actively engage youth and adults in organized sports, and provide social programming to northerners in need and/or crisis. The sector includes organizations that are purely volunteer-based, as well as non-government organizations which employ staff in order to provide administration and respond to the wishes of their membership. All add to the strength of communities. Given the nature of the sector, organizations within it are able to respond to community and individual needs far quicker than the government.

As part of the government’s declaration, it was recognized that helping others is a shared tradition of northerners and that open, informed, and sustained dialogue with the NWT voluntary sector was, and is, required between the sector and government. As such, in compliance with the government’s commitment to support the voluntary sector, the GNWT appointed the Minister of MACA as the Minister responsible for addressing voluntary sector issues and accounting for the NWT VSI. Unfortunately, although MACA has done some work with the Volunteer Support Initiative and the finance action group, the sector continues to struggle and their ability to provide services to meet local needs and advocate for the marginalized and under-represented individual groups and their cause is being compromised.

Many of the organizations within the sector feel that the lack of progress may be related to the lack of the GNWT staff dedicated to this area, as well as the lack of government-wide approach on supporting the sector itself.

May I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement?

Government Support For The Voluntary Sector
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

The Member is seeking unanimous consent to conclude his statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays. You may conclude your statement, Mr. Abernethy.

Government Support For The Voluntary Sector
Item 3: Members’ Statements

November 27th, 2007

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The catch is now figuring out where I was. Alright.

Further, they feel that some of these challenges may be overcome by assigning the responsibility, mandate and accountability for implementing the government’s commitment to the Executive under one Minister.

Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon I’ll be asking the Premier some questions regarding the effectiveness of having the responsibility for the voluntary sector under the Department of MACA and how the government intends to move forward in order to provide the support committed to the voluntary sector in March 2005. Thank you.

---Applause

Government Support For The Voluntary Sector
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Abernethy. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Free-Roaming Bison Near Fort Liard
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Mr. Speaker…(English not provided)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak about the ongoing problems with buffalo in Fort Liard. The community of Fort Liard has had serious concerns about the free-roaming buffalo in and around their community. The buffalo roam right through town and through the schoolyard. They are in the middle of the roads. They destroy people’s gardens and yards. We are just lucky that nothing has happened to any children and no one has been hurt. The airport is there, Mr. Speaker. The safety is at stake because animals roam right through the airport runway and they’re not even scared anymore being chased away, and there’s a high risk of passenger safety.

Mr. Speaker, this issue is not new, since I started bringing it up in the 15th Assembly. The community and residents

have not seen adequate action and the community of Fort

Liard has been looking for solutions to their bison problem. The government has been there. Action plans were developed. But what’s still missing, Mr. Speaker, is the action.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources committed in its framework for action that the Deh Cho communities develop a bison management plan. This plan is supposed to address the expanding population and also public safety concerns of my constituency. Last year, in June, the department even reported that they have project teams in place that will develop a bison plan for the Liard herd by the fall of 2007.

Mr. Speaker, fall of 2007 is coming to an end, yet the community of Fort Liard is still struggling with the same bison problems without a management plan. I urge the Minister to take immediate steps to rectify the bison problems in Fort Liard before an unavoidable tragedy happens. Mahsi cho.

---Applause

Free-Roaming Bison Near Fort Liard
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Frame Lake, Ms. Bisaro.

2008 Arctic Winter Games
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I’d like to take this opportunity to profile an organization of benefit to all NWT residents. Forty years ago, two far-seeing and forward-thinking northern leaders had an idea for a sporting event for northern athletes. With the assistance of Alaska Governor Walter Hickel, then-Commissioners Stuart Hodgson of the NWT and James Smith of Yukon developed the idea into a concept and the Arctic Winter Games were born. The very first Arctic Winter Games were held in Yellowknife in 1970.

Members should all be aware by now that Yellowknife and the NWT will be invaded in a few months as the Arctic Winter Games return to Yellowknife for a 20th anniversary

games and homecoming celebration hosted by the 2008 Arctic Winter Games Host Society.

The games have grown considerably over the years from 500 participants in 1970 to 2,000 in 2008, from three jurisdictions in 1970 to nine in 2008, from only northern North America in 1970 to the northern world in 2008. There are five Canadian contingents: one from Alaska, the one from Russia in the area of Yamal, and Greenland, and the Sami of Finland and Norway.

The catering contract for these upcoming games provides for 23 meals for 2,200 people for eight days. During the week of March 9th to 15th , 2008, not only will Yellowknife’s

population swell by the number of participants, but the games will bring in 200 or more media, 500 or more VIPs and corporate sponsors, and anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors and spectators. About 2,500 volunteers, both local and visitors, will ensure that the games go off without a hitch.

The NWT will showcase the athletic and cultural talents of our young people. The economy will boom for several weeks as Yellowknife’s temporary residents spend their money in the NWT economy. Our young people will strive to do their best, have new experiences, meet new friends,

meet old acquaintances, and the benefits to our communities from this event are absolutely undeniable.

So, Mr. Speaker, I say to all Members of this House, and indeed to all northerners, that this unique celebration of northern sport and culture is one which is best enjoyed when immersed in it. I encourage all Members to take part…

2008 Arctic Winter Games
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Ms. Bisaro, your time for your Member’s statement has expired.

2008 Arctic Winter Games
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

I seek unanimous consent to finish my statement, please, Mr. Speaker.

2008 Arctic Winter Games
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The Member is seeking unanimous consent to conclude her statement. Are there any nays? There are no nays. You may conclude your statement, Ms. Bisaro.

2008 Arctic Winter Games
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I encourage all Members of the House to take part in these 20th Arctic

Winter Games as a volunteer. It’s easily done. Go on-line to the Arctic Winter Games website -- www.awg2008.ca -- or, better yet, join the Host Society in a volunteer drive this weekend. You can get a taste of the games Saturday at the Multiplex. You can meet the 2008 Host Society members. You can see Foxy the mascot in action, and you can sign up right there to be a volunteer.

As has already been referenced, the voluntary sector has been invaluable to our communities and ultimately our economy. I urge you to become a part of that sector; be an Arctic Winter Games volunteer. I look forward to volunteering with my Member colleagues on March 9 to 15. Thank you.

---Applause

2008 Arctic Winter Games
Item 3: Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, Mr. McLeod.

Provision Of Wheelchairs For Quadriplegics
Item 3: Members’ Statements

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, providing a quality of life to the residents of the NWT so they can become independent, self-reliant individuals has to be a priority of the 16th Legislative Assembly. Mr.

Speaker, on November 15th , I had an opportunity to meet

in Inuvik with some families of people that are confined to wheelchairs, quadriplegics. As I sat there listening to their concerns and the frustration that they had with some of the programs, lack of services and lack of support, I felt their frustration, Mr. Speaker. I truly felt their frustration and when constituents have that and they come to you, it is something that you have to bring forward.

Coming out of that meeting, I planned on speaking to a certain individual in particular and the challenges that she faced being confined to a wheelchair for the last four years. I had documentation that I was going to bring forward to present on her behalf. But, sadly, Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, this individual passed away. I feel, Mr. Speaker, like I owe her and her family…I have to bring their concerns forward because we have other quadriplegics living in Inuvik. I feel like I will let them down if I don’t bring their concerns forward.

Mr. Speaker, as a government, we have to listen to the concerns of the people. The only thing that I know of that is written in stone is the 10 commandments, Mr. Speaker. Everything else can be changed. If it is programs that have to be changed, if wording has to be changed, then I think we should be flexible enough to change them. If the delivery of the programs is the problem, then that might be something we may have to look into, Mr. Speaker, to make sure that the delivery of the programs is benefiting those across the Northwest Territories, not just in Inuvik.

We have made a commitment, and I will make it my personal commitment to these families that I will continue within the next four years to bring their issues forward and have their issues heard. Cabinet, you have made that commitment to hear these issues and between you folks and us on this side, we should be able to address these issues, because the bottom line is the well-being of the residents of the Northwest Territories. It has to be our top priority and nothing else. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause