This is page numbers 545 - 573 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 assembly.

Topics

Appreciation And Best Wishes
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 550

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Villeneuve. Members' statements. The honourable Member from Nunakput, Mr. Pokiak.

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

August 23rd, 2007

Page 550

Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today is the last sitting day of the 15th Assembly, so I would like to reflect some thoughts over what transpired over the past three and a half years.

When I arrived for MLA for the Nunakput riding three and a half years ago, I did not discuss my candidacy with my wife, Lucille, or my two sons, Bertram and Darren, because it was a spur of the moment decision. To be honest, I did not expect to be elected and representing...

---Laughter

To be honest, I did not expect to be elected and represent my constituents when elected. Mr. Speaker, becoming an MLA and representing your constituents can be a difficult job because we know we can't solve all the problems of our constituents. We can only lobby the government and colleagues to listen to our issues and concerns during

business reviews and hope they will include your projects into some budget planning process.

Mr. Speaker, as an example, I lobbied very hard to my colleagues to have an RCMP presence in Sachs Harbour. Although it took three years, the Minister of Justice eventually included this project into the business plan.

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

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An Hon. Member

Hear! Hear!

---Applause

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Two RCMP officers will be located in the office we'll be establishing in Sachs Harbour by 2008, although it's one year late.

I also lobbied very hard for the last three and a half years for an all-weather road between Tuk and Inuvik, but recently, over the past few months, to find $15 million over three years to construct the 22-kilometre access road from source 177 from Tuktoyaktuk just so that the community of Tuk can have year-round access to a gravel source. This morning, Mr. Speaker, I listened, with interest, when the deputy mayor of Tuktoyaktuk was interviewed by CBC and he is obviously very disappointed that this government could not commit any funding towards this project before dissolution of this government. The deputy mayor has spent a lot of time and effort in promoting the construction of the road. Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I hope that the Cabinet will make a strong recommendation to the 16th Assembly to add this as a high priority of the next government. Apparently, the Deh Cho Bridge at $150 million has precedence and we move forward because Cabinet considers this a national interest. Whose interest is it? Is it the Premier and Cabinet? This bridge, when built, will not serve the people.

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Okay, I have your time for Member's statement expired.

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Mr. Speaker, may I request unanimous consent to conclude my Member's statement? Thank you.

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

The Speaker Paul Delorey

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

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

Calvin Pokiak Nunakput

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, colleagues. Whose interest is it? Is it the Premier and Cabinet? This bridge, when built, will not serve the people in the Beaufort-Delta and the Sahtu regions. Once again we, in the Far North, are left out on major projects to connect us to the rest of Canada and we will continue to pay the high costs for fuel, oil and gas, et cetera.

Mr. Speaker, on other matters, I would like to thank Tim Mercer, Clerk of the Assembly, and his staff for all the support they gave me over the last three and a half years. To my honourable colleagues, it was a pleasure to meet, discuss, argue and eventually resolve issues through our committee deliberations.

Mr. Speaker, four Members have decided not to run in the upcoming 16th Assembly. To Premier Handley, Ministers Bell and Dent and our very own dean, Mr. Braden, it was a pleasure to know and work with you and I wish each of you well for whatever the future leads in your life.

To my wife, Lucille, sons, Bertram and Darren, my brother Charles Pokiak in Tuk, thank you for all the support you gave me over the last three and a half years. More importantly, Mr. Speaker, the communities of Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour. Thank you for having the confidence and electing me to the 15th Assembly to represent you. When I ran I said what is needed is you needed the confidence of your MLA to represent and speak on behalf of your interests and, more importantly, to keep in contact with constituents. I think I have accomplished that.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make one last effort and try to convince the Cabinet to fund construction for an access road to source 177.

---Laughter

Will they make a commitment today to fund this project? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Laughter

---Applause

Reflections On The 15th Assembly
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Pokiak. Members' statements. The honourable Member from the Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.

Listening To The Voices Of The People
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 551

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, being the last day of our sitting of this Assembly, we've still got another week of work yet before the writ is dropped and the Ministers still have their caps on as Ministers until we get a new Cabinet sworn in in October. Mr. Speaker, I was thinking about things to say to the Ministers last night and I was tossing and turning. Gee, I had a hard time to sleep, tossing and turning about what to say to the Ministers.

---Laughter

So I go up and I read a book and, Mr. Speaker, in the book that I read there was a quote there by the author and the author said when you become a leader, you lose the right to think about yourself. I thought about that, what does the author say? I remember an elder in Tulita saying when you become an MLA, you speak for us. You use your talents, your gifts, your passion and you say things for us, not for yourself. If you say things for yourself, your words are weak; but if you say things for your people, your words are strong and can support you.

Listening To The Voices Of The People
Item 3: Members' Statements

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An Hon. Member

Hear! Hear!

Listening To The Voices Of The People
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

So the Ministers, they represent all of us in the Northwest Territories.

Listening To The Voices Of The People
Item 3: Members' Statements

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An Hon. Member

Northwest Territories!

Listening To The Voices Of The People
Item 3: Members' Statements

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Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

You speak for us in terms of national, territorial issues that benefit all of the people in the Northwest Territories. I want to say that when this quote came up that it made so much sense.

As Ministers, I want to thank you on behalf of the people in the Sahtu for coming into my region for making some difference, making some impacts and having some sense of where the people in the Sahtu are coming from when

we come together in meetings, when you come to visit us at our homes. I know some Ministers came to some old people's homes and sat beside some old grannies or grandpas and sat and had tea with them and looked at them and talked with them, even had translators. The Minister, you know, this morning I went to see an uncle of mine in the hospital right now -- he's probably watching us -- and he said that the Minister made a good decision to support the moosehide tanning, he's supporting it. You don't know what type of decision you made for people in the Northwest Territories, for our culture.

Listening To The Voices Of The People
Item 3: Members' Statements

Page 552

An Hon. Member

Major.