This is page numbers 495 - 544 of the Hansard for the 15th 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 going.

Topics

Further Return To Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 515

Floyd Roland Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I do believe we are aiming for near the end of September, but I'll have to verify that information. Yes, I will get that to the Member. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 515

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Roland. The time for question period has expired; however, I will allow the Member a supplementary question. Mr. Pokiak.

Supplementary To Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 515

Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Thank you. Does the Minister guarantee that by maybe October 1st it will be up and running? Thank you.

Supplementary To Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 515

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Pokiak. Mr. Roland.

Further Return To Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 515

Floyd Roland Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in my role as the Finance Minister I've had to sign different guarantees, but on this one specifically, because we will have to go out for a contract and get some renovations done, I can't guarantee it. However, our goal is to have it in place for the fall time. Thank you.

Further Return To Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Question 185-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Telehealth Equipment
Item 7: Oral Questions

Page 515

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Roland. The time for question period has expired. Written questions. The honourable Member for Great Slave, Mr. Braden.

Written Question 13-15(6): Benefits Provided To Income Support Clients And Persons With Disabilities
Item 8: Written Questions

August 22nd, 2007

Page 515

Bill Braden Great Slave

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

  1. Income support clients are covered for some benefits such as ambulance, dental and vision services, but some people with disabilities who cannot work and who collect CPP/disability pensions are not covered. Why does this discrepancy exist? Has or will this issue be addressed in the income support review?
  2. Our government provides supported living for persons with mental health and intellectual challenges, but not for those with physical disabilities. Enhanced home care services and other suggested living programs are needed. Has or will this discrepancy be resolved in the income support review?

Thank you.

Written Question 13-15(6): Benefits Provided To Income Support Clients And Persons With Disabilities
Item 8: Written Questions

Page 515

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Braden. Written questions. Returns to written questions. Before we go to the next order on the Order Paper, colleagues, the Chair is going to call a short break.

---SHORT RECESS

Written Question 13-15(6): Benefits Provided To Income Support Clients And Persons With Disabilities
Item 8: Written Questions

Page 515

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Back to the orders of the day. Item 10, replies opening address. The honourable Member for Yellowknife South, Mr. Bell.

mr. Bell's Reply
Item 10: Replies To Opening Address

Page 515

Brendan Bell Yellowknife South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity today to announce to my constituents that I won't be seeking re-election in the upcoming territorial election. I want to thank them for their support over the last eight years. It's been an absolutely wonderful experience for me; the most rewarding eight years of my life. Of course, a number of things, and Members know, Mr. Speaker, have happened to me in my personal life over the last eight years, very important things: I have been married, I have two wonderful children now and so it's an amazing time of change for me. Professionally, it's been absolutely stimulating, very rewarding and it's given me the opportunity to meet and work with some very exciting people. So it's been a great experience.

I have a number of people I would like to thank. Everybody in this building, who works in the building, I want to tell them how much I appreciate the staff, the efforts that they've made, the Members I have had a chance to work with and the friends I have made in this building both in the last four years and previous. I very much appreciate the chance to work with them. So it was a difficult decision for me to make, one I made with my family with a bit of a heavy heart because I like the job as much today as the day I was first elected. I am as excited about the job today as I was then, but there are a number of other things I would like to pursue, so I will be doing that.

Let me thank my family; my wife, Jill, my daughters, Emily and Madison. My little daughter Emily is now just getting to the age where she is starting to understand that I go off to work. I am sure my wife put her up to it, but she's been asking me daily for the entire week if I have retired yet.

---Laughter

So tonight when I go home, I can tell her that yes, in fact, I have retired and it seems a very strange thing to say; retired from territorial politics at this time. A lot of credit to my wife. As Members of this House know, much of your personal life, this job ends up being the focus of it. You end up being the centre of attention in the family, obviously not deliberately, but it just goes with the territory, and my wife has made a lot of sacrifices for me in this job. I very much love her for that and appreciate that. I am excited about the chance to spend more time with her, with my little girls, more pancakes on the weekends. They have been through a lot with us. There are many ups and downs, as Members know, in this job. More ups than downs, I must say, but they have been very strong through it all. It's difficult for spouses, Mr. Speaker. They never appreciate when they see things in the media or newspaper that they feel is unnecessarily critical of you. It's one thing for us to develop the thick skins that we all must and we all have, but it's entirely another to see our families go through that. It's been a great experience, as I say. I can't think of another job where I would have the ability to travel to all 33 communities in the Northwest Territories. That's been great. As a youngster, of course, I did sports and got a chance to travel a fair bit, but nothing like this and not meeting the kinds of people that I have met. I know my wife understands how important that was to me and has been very supportive of me the whole way through.

There are some staff people I would also like to mention. MaryAnne Woytuik has been with me eight years, first as constituency assistant and now upstairs in my office. I love her like family. She's wonderful and she's been very supportive and I will very much miss working with MaryAnne on a day-to-day basis.

Pietro DeBastiani, he's been great as well. Early on, he and I sat down and talked about what I thought the job that he was about to embark on entailed and what was most important to me. I said to him the most important thing to me was he work very closely with Members, ordinary Members, to deal with and solve problems on behalf of their constituents. I found it somewhat frustrating as an ordinary Member in my first term trying to deal with Ministers who were very busy, their office was very busy and I wanted to commit, between the two of us, that we would put Members' concerns as top priority and so that has been his first priority. I hope that Members have found that that has been a good experience for them. I know Pietro takes the concerns very seriously and works very hard for you.

The other thing I would like to say about Pietro is he's been very good to remind me that this job will go on, this government and the people will go on after each and every one of us is gone, but our families are critical. Striking that balance is critical. That's the most valuable piece of advice Pietro has given me and I thank him very much for that.

I would also like to mention Betty Anne Winsor who was my constituency assistant. She's been gone for about a year now and she was so good that I figured that I could never replace her adequately, so I just never bothered.

---Laughter

I miss her. She was wonderful for the constituency and did a great job. I appreciate all of her efforts.

To the departmental staff, I have had a few departments. I have gone through the change to ITI from ENR. Some of that was difficult, but I want to point to two people; my deputy minister who says, as I think all Members know and certainly Ministers know, you are only as strong as the team that you have, and that deputy minister is certainly a critical part of the team; Don Cooper with the Department of Justice. I think people across the Northwest Territories like Don, liked to work for him and that's why I think he's been able to assemble one of the strongest legal teams in the North and kept all of those people together for a long, long time. There is very little turnover in that department and people find it very rewarding to work for him and I have been the beneficiary of that and I think all of us in the Assembly have been the beneficiary of that. A lot of credit goes to Don for that.

Peter Vician, let me say that in this job meeting with industry, I have met a lot of CEOs of energy companies, a lot of CEOs of mining companies who are all very, very well paid, much better paid than we pay our deputy ministers. So I can tell you that I have not many of them who I think are more competent than Peter or who do a better job at doing their job than he does. He is an absolute professional and this government is lucky to have him.

Assembly staff, there have been a number of people through this building and let me say I appreciate all of your efforts over the years. I hope that, again, although Members are the focus of so much of what we do, I hope that I have been able to deal with you fairly. Member Miltenberger has commented often before on Members and how we tend to become "clicky fingered" I think is how he refers to it. That potentially may be inevitable. I hope that we haven't been with the staff and I want to tell them how much I value the work that they've done. Board of Management staff, first David Hamilton in my first term was instrumental in providing advice to the Board of Management. I was on that and had quite a role in dealing with a number of events on Board of Management. Katherine Petersen as well provided very good advice to that board. Now filling those shoes, and filling them ably, is Tim Mercer and Glen Boyd. I appreciate all the work they have done for that board that has taken a lot of my time over the last eight years. Myles Moreside, let me say, if I could point to one guy, the wheels could really fall off this place if Myles eventually retires and I suppose it's inevitable that he will, but I appreciate all of his work on behalf of Members.

My future, Mr. Speaker, there are still a lot of unknowns for me. There are a number of things I am interested in politically as I have alluded to. I won't deny that I will have an interest in that in the future, but more immediately I am looking forward to getting back into business. This is something that I have missed immensely. That has never been off my mind. I look forward to being able to pursue some of those interests in the near future. Who knows what the future will bring, but I want to just tell my constituents that I appreciate your support. It's been a

great experience for me, an eight years I will never forget. I want to thank you for that. Thank you.

---Applause

mr. Bell's Reply
Item 10: Replies To Opening Address

Page 517

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Bell. Replies to opening address. The honourable Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

mrs. Groenewegen's Reply
Item 10: Replies To Opening Address

Page 517

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will try to make this brief, but I didn't want to let the opportunity pass to share some of my reflections on work in this Assembly.

First of all, I want to say what an honour it is to serve the people of the North and particularly constituents of Hay River South. For as long as I can remember, I have had an irrepressible need to know what's going on and being involved in what's going on and contributing to the things I believe are worthwhile and valuable.

There are some things about this job that are challenging at times, but at the end of the day we can look back with some satisfaction at the results of what we've accomplished and how each and every Member has made a difference. I think sometimes we underestimate the influence that our varied background and life experiences bring when we come together to advance the aspirations and well-being of our constituents.

I am a 12-year Member now of this astute institution and this will be the pride of my r‚sum‚'s achievements, but, more importantly, I hope a season of leadership on behalf of a community and a group of people who, with me, call Hay River home. It's that interaction with those constituents that brings the most fulfillment for me. It makes all of those long drives, including the drive on Highway No. 3...

---Laughter

...and early morning departures to catch that flight to Yellowknife, leaving home and family, worth the effort. I never cease to consider it an honour when approached by a constituent to help them in some way. You need the patience to listen, the wisdom to provide counsel when asked for it, the knowledge to identify some potential solutions, and the skill to articulate the need or the idea to a Minister or your colleagues from whom you need support for results.

I believe that in spite of many challenges we continue to face in our territory, that the future of the North is very bright and I look forward to facing that future in this Assembly again should the people of Hay River choose to elect me again on October 1st. It's a unique opportunity to take a chapter in time and bring your efforts and experience to bear on the issues during such an exciting time here in the North.

I'll save all the winds for Hay River during this last term for the candidates' forum. I won't share that.

---Laughter

It's a long list though. I'd like to wish my fellow colleagues all the best in their future endeavours, whether that be in this arena or wherever their lives may take them and we have a close working relationship and that camaraderie in this setting creates a bond that will last long after we've walked out of these doors.

To the Members who have decided to move on, Premier Handley, Mr. Dent, Mr. Braden, Mr. Bell, it has been a pleasure. Mr. Dent told me after his reply to the opening address this week that he was going to mention that no matter which department he was asked to head, that I always picked on him.

---Laughter

---Applause

Let me assure him today, Mr. Speaker, that it was never personal and that I have the greatest respect for him and his lovely family. It was indeed a pleasure to have Tyler here in the Assembly as a Page last week and he should be very, very proud of his son.

Mr. Braden, I call him the walking thesaurus because, unlike my crisp and direct communications most of the time, Mr. Braden searches for the most appropriate word and sometimes in doing so uses three words in place of one.

---Laughter

To Mr. Bell, of course somebody who I have been close to during my 12 years, his eight years here in this Assembly, and certainly a bright and articulate young man with many good prospects for the future and I'm sure will go far. So keep an eye on Mr. Bell because in a term they use in the legal profession, let me say, he is absolutely top drawer.

To Premier Handley, who will have now more time to pursue things that he loves, and when you talk to him you have to believe that he loves his grandchildren and I'm sure he'll have more time to spend with them now than ever. I understand his wife's picked out a new motor home. So she will get some of that time that she will want to spend with him and won't have to share him with everybody else. At least for a little while, until he takes up something new.

To my seat mate, Mr. Ramsay, it's very lonely here on the far right.

---Laughter

mrs. Groenewegen's Reply
Item 10: Replies To Opening Address

Page 517

Some Hon. Members

Ooh.

---Applause

mrs. Groenewegen's Reply
Item 10: Replies To Opening Address

Page 517

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

I only have one seat mate and he's only slightly to the left, but I don't know who arranged the seating. I guess Mr. Bell is on the far right over there too. Anyway, it has been a delight to sit beside Mr. Ramsay. Again, an inspiration and I've enjoyed that very much.

I would like to also take this time to thank my colleague from Hay River North, the Honourable -- and we don't use that word lightly -- Paul Delorey, for the collaborative approach that we have enjoyed in representing Hay River together.

I would like to thank my wonderful constituency assistant, Wendy Morgan, for the past eight years. I can't even imagine what my job would be like without her support and assistance. We approach our work as a team and I

know the constituents of Hay River South appreciate her as much as I do.

As has been mentioned in more detail so eloquently by previous replies, the staff who support us here at the Legislature are incredible and, trust me, they do not have an easy job. Politicians are not without their idiosyncrasies and somehow they manage to accommodate all that. So thank you to them.

Lastly, I would like to thank my family for their support. My son Jordan and his wife, Kathleen, and my beautiful new granddaughter, Julianne; my son Jeffrey and his wife, Kandace, and my delightful grandson, Grayson, here in Yellowknife; and my daughter Jillian and her boyfriend, Jonny, who also live here in Yellowknife.

This past Monday, Rick and I marked our 30th wedding anniversary.

---Applause

I wasn't home, but we defer all these celebrations until later. Yes, it has been said that Rick Groenewegen deserves a medal. It's true. When I was just 18 years old I made three decisions that were major impacts on my life. One was to leave south-western Ontario and move to Hay River, Northwest Territories. Two was to bypass leaving the North to go home to pursue a post-secondary education. I did not do that. Three was to marry the first guy that I met in Hay River.

---Laughter

He was the first guy I met in Hay River. I didn't come here saying I would marry the first guy I met, but he was the first guy I met.

---Laughter

All decisions with which I am extremely happy. I have to say, as a Christian too, suffice to say that God is good and has been very good to me.

In closing, to my constituents, thank you for your confidence. To my colleagues, thank you for all and all the best to you in your future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

mrs. Groenewegen's Reply
Item 10: Replies To Opening Address

Page 518

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. Replies to opening address. The honourable Member from the Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.