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

United Nations Association "a Sense Of Belonging" Diversity Project
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. May I seek unanimous consent to finish my paragraph? Thank you.

United Nations Association "a Sense Of Belonging" Diversity Project
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

United Nations Association "a Sense Of Belonging" Diversity Project
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just want to say this model UN will simulate the activities of various UN bodies and be a significant opportunity to help northern youth realize their own sense of global citizenship.

I commend the work of UNA-Canada and Centre for Northern Families and I ask this House to do the same and recognize them in the in the audience later. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

United Nations Association "a Sense Of Belonging" Diversity Project
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Kam Lake, Mr. Ramsay.

Operation And Management Of The Department Of Human Resources
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to discuss some issues today surrounding the operation and the management of the Department of Human Resources. Recently, there have been two well-known incidents where the Department of Human Resources have had some very serious issues to address. The first, Mr. Speaker, was the breach of PeopleSoft last winter where employees' private information was available to others on PeopleSoft. This was known to staff of Human Resources. However, they failed to inform the Minister that there was a security breach in the software. This took place for about a month. I would like to know if the Minister or the Premier have taken any action on disciplining those involved in not telling them the truth.

The Audit Bureau has conducted a review of the security of the PeopleSoft system and it is supposed to be available some time by the end of this month. I would like to know if Members will be able to get a copy of this report before we all leave for the election.

The second item I want to highlight is the recent upgrade to the human resource information system known as PeopleSoft. I thank the Minister for his correspondence on this issue that we received lately but, again, I just don't believe that the Minister is getting the full story from Human Resources on what happened on that go live date of July 3rd. The company Answerthink was contracted to carry out the project. The problem is, Mr. Speaker, the contract was terminated on the exact same day, July 3rd, that the system went live. Would it not make sense to have a contractor who is responsible for the upgrade ready, willing and able to provide support after that go live date? There was no opportunity to fix it without the contractor there. Why was Answerthink not around? Who made that decision, Mr. Speaker? How many people went without a paycheque because of the failure of that system? In speaking to Answerthink directly, Mr. Speaker, they are in the process of coming back to Yellowknife to do some more work. They don't know anything at all about the Government of the Northwest Territories withholding any money in unpaid invoices.

Mr. Speaker, these two incidents highlight some very deep concerns that I have that this department is being mismanaged and that the Minister and the Premier continue to avoid dealing with the concerns that they have heard from Members of this House. The department, Mr. Speaker, has turned into a sweatshop, with senior employees routinely working hundreds of hours of overtime every month with no extra remuneration and no recognition. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Operation And Management Of The Department Of Human Resources
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

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. Ramsay.

Operation And Management Of The Department Of Human Resources
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As you can understand, this is very hard on employees. While this is happening, others are being targetted for dismissal. With the suspension comes stress. Mr. Speaker, the whole environment that that department has just turned into is a very sour place to work. Some of the comments I have heard are, "You have to watch your every step." "I feel intimidated every day I go to work." "If things don't change at Human Resources, I will be leaving Yellowknife." These statements, Mr. Speaker, send off alarm bells for me. They should also wake somebody up across the floor that it is time we took the incidents, employees' concerns and the clients' concerns seriously and take steps to fix the problems at Human Resources. Mahsi.

---Applause

Operation And Management Of The Department Of Human Resources
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Aurora College Completion Ceremony
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 498

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, education is one of the most important issues we deal with in the Northwest Territories. Education is the key to our future. It is the key to the future of a lot of people across the Northwest Territories. Mr. Speaker, earlier in the summer, I had the opportunity, as we do most summers at the end of the school year, to attend the graduation ceremony of Grade 12s. We also get to attend the Aurora College convocation ceremonies. It always gives us a great deal of pride to attend these and see a lot of people going through the program.

One of the most important events that I like to attend, Mr. Speaker, is the Aurora College completion ceremony that is held in Inuvik. A lot of people there have dropped out of the school system. They haven't been in the school system for awhile. They decided to go back and probably get an education because, nowadays, you need to have your education. They understand that. That is the one I think that I am most proud of. I am very proud of these people because I know a lot of them. They have been out of school for awhile. They raised families. I have seen a

few of them have gone on to college and are actually starting to do quite well now. They are going to get their diplomas and degrees. These are a group of people that I am quite proud of.

Mr. Speaker, we still have some issues that I have brought up before on the Student Financial Assistance program. I noticed in the Minister's statement, he was talking about the benefit levels going up, depending on the cost of living. I am hoping that this applies to the student financial assistance where a student is going to school up North where there is a higher cost of living as opposed to a student going down south. The cost of living is a lot lower. If I read into this, I am hoping that has changed because of this formula he is talking about. That is something I think is quite important, because education is the future of our territory. It is the future of a lot of our people. It gives me a lot of pride to see more and more of these people continuing on with their education and getting better lives and better jobs. Eventually more people will continue on this course and we will all become quite self-reliant. This is going to help the Income Support Program too, because you will move more people off this program and starting to look after themselves like they should. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Aurora College Completion Ceremony
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 499

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Thebacha, Mr. Miltenberger.

'water Is Life' Conference In Fort Smith
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 499

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I just spent the last couple of days attending the Water is Life Conference in Fort Smith. There were 400 delegates that registered for this conference. They came from across the Mackenzie River basin. We had representatives from the Sahtu, the Deh Cho, Akaitcho, South Slave, North Slave, all across northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. We had the grand chief from the Deh Cho, the grand chief from the Sahtu, the grand chief as well from the Tlicho. The issue is very clear that there is an abiding interest in what is happening with the water, and fear that things are not all and well when it comes to that particular resource, the resource that gives us life.

Mr. Speaker, the elders have met. The general registrants were meeting today, but the message has come from every corridor that there is concern, that there are things happening to the water, that there are resource development projects especially in Alberta that are having enormous impacts downstream in the Northwest Territories, and the need and the call to aboriginal governments and the concerned stakeholders as well as the territorial government to take the steps necessary to better protect the water and the land. We cannot sustain the kind of development, the untrampled development. We have no idea of cumulative impact either in Alberta or in the Northwest Territories in terms of all the resource development that is on the drawing board or are currently in place.

The fundamental concern is for the future generations, the ability to actually drink the water out of the lakes and rivers, that there is going to be wildlife available for the children and the future, that the communities will, in fact, be able to continue to live on the water.

There are going to be recommendations coming out of this conference. I hope they are very clear and strong. I carried the message that there is going to be a new government that is going to be in place here in six weeks and that the issue of the environment is going to become centre stage and have to be tied very closely to any economic strategy. We need that balance. People want to see that balance. That is going to be what the people tell us, I believe, from what I have heard so far at this conference. I look forward to those recommendations. I would like to thank the Akaitcho chiefs for organizing this and all the organizers that made this possible. Thank you.

---Applause

'water Is Life' Conference In Fort Smith
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 499

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. Members' statements. The honourable Member for Nunakput, Mr. Pokiak.

Renovations To The Ulukhaktok Arts And Craft Shop
Item 3: Members' Statements

August 22nd, 2007

Page 499

Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Ulukhaktok is a picturesque Inuvialuit community located on the western part of Victoria Island. To the east lies Cambridge Bay and Nunavut.

During the COPE land claim negotiation, as a member of COPE I recall landing on the main street of a community for intense land claim discussions. But, more importantly, I remember the community rushing out of their homes to meet the plane with smiles and open hands ready to shake and hug the delegates as they arrived.

Mr. Speaker, the people of Ulukhaktok have depended on their traditional skills for many years. Today they continue to enjoy their traditional pursuits of hunting for caribou, muskox, seals, polar bears, and fishing for the most coveted prize of all, the Arctic char. I say coveted Arctic char because the people of Tuktoyaktuk rely on our families and friends from Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour for this fish delicacy.

Mr. Speaker, today the people of Ulukhaktok depend on the jobs created by the hamlet, territorial and federal governments and recently the importance of recreational sports hunting and carving. There is one activity that the people of Ulukhaktok would like to continue and pursue, is the...(inaudible)...and printmaking.

A few years ago, the people of Ulukhaktok, especially the elders, were renowned for their printmaking all over the world. Mr. Speaker, in May, a report and update that repairs were done for the building related to the water and sewer repairs and the heating system of the Ulukhaktok Co-operative arts and crafts shop. These repairs were paid for by BDIC. The people working in the arts and crafts shop were very happy about these minor repairs. Mr. Speaker, in order to make the people of Ulukhaktok try and become self-reliant, this government must invest more funding to complete the repairs of the building. The Minister of ITI visited and saw first hand the arts and crafts shop, and he knows very well what needs to be done to repair the building, most specifically the printmaking and carving shop. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the economic development officer for the Inuvik region for his dedication to this project. He continues to work with the department and the people in Ulukhaktok, the chair and CEO of IRC and the MLA, for their support.

Mr. Speaker, as MLA for Ulukhaktok, I fully support the project for the repairs so that the people of Ulukhaktok can once again show their artistic talent...

Renovations To The Ulukhaktok Arts And Craft Shop
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 500

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Mr. Pokiak, your time for Member's statement has expired.

Renovations To The Ulukhaktok Arts And Craft Shop
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 500

Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I seek unanimous consent to complete my statement. Thank you.