This is page numbers 4927 - 4952 of the Hansard for the 16th Assembly, 5th 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 work.


The House met at 1:36 p.m.



The Speaker Paul Delorey

Good afternoon, colleagues. Welcome back to the Chamber. Welcome to all our guests in the gallery today. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers’ statements. The honourable Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Lafferty.

Minister’s Statement 32-16(5): Education Hall Of Fame Inductees
Ministers’ Statements

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to advise this House that a ceremony was held today to celebrate the tremendous contributions that people across this Territory have made to education.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment launched the Education Hall of Fame some months ago, requesting nominations be put forward for those Northerners who made lasting and selfless contributions to education. Nominations poured in, Mr. Speaker, and 15 people were chosen from across the Territory. The 2010 inductees embody the commitment, diligence, creativity and passion that we want education to inspire in us all.

Of those distinguished people inducted into the Education Hall of Fame this morning, some are with us in the gallery. They are:

Mrs. Sylvia Boyer, a teacher from Hay River. Mrs. Boyer taught in the Northwest Territories for 31 years and describes education as her “life calling.” Mrs. Boyer retired in 2001 but still participates in school activities today.

Mr. Brent Kaulback from Fort Smith is the deputy superintendent of the South Slave District Education Council. Mr. Kaulback made an enormous contribution to aboriginal culture and education including as project coordinator of the South Slave Topical Dictionary, which records and preserves the language of the Katl’odeehche people.

Mrs. Toni Harker Auge, a teacher from Yellowknife. Mrs. Harker Auge taught thousands of children during a northern teaching career that began in 1971. Despite having retired in 2006, she remains an active and sought-after volunteer in the education field.

Mr. Chuck Tolley has filled many roles in the education world but is nominated for his contribution as superintendent of schools and for his reputation for integrity and sound judgement. Mr. Tolley spent his forty-year career in many northern communities and was nominated by his former colleagues in Norman Wells.

Mrs. Margo McLeod is a classroom assistant from Aklavik. She began her career at the Moose Kerr School in 1974 and is still there today. Mrs. McLeod participates in on-the-land activities and mentors many students in the aboriginal classes. Her four children and 15 grandchildren have all attended Moose Kerr School.

Ms. Miki O’Kane has been the campus director at the Aurora College in Inuvik since 1994 and has a genuine desire to make a difference to the people of the Beaufort-Delta and Sahtu regions. Ms. O’Kane was the force behind the new student residence and campus classroom expansion projects, as well as the procurement of the Mobile Trades Training Unit.

Mr. Michael Botermans is a teaching assistant and volunteer sports coach at the Chief Jimmy Bruneau School in Behchoko. He is much loved by the students he inspires; in fact, nearly 50 students came to the Great Hall today to see him inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mr. Botermans is an energetic and passionate coach devoted to his students.

One other person inducted today but unable to join us is Mrs. Irma Miron from Hay River. Mrs. Miron began teaching in 1943 and never missed a day of school. Her creative and expressive approach to her job enabled her students to take a real enjoyment in her classes. She will receive her award at a ceremony in Hay River later this summer.

We stand on the shoulders of giants. There are many great people who came before us who laid the foundation of good work and dedication upon which we build. We were very pleased to recognize

some of those people today with posthumous inductions into the Hall of Fame, and thank their family and friends for joining us here in the gallery. The posthumous inductees are:

Mrs. Elizabeth Mackenzie of Behchoko, a

pioneer and committed education advocate;

Ms. Alice Cambridge of Hay River, a respected and innovative teacher and community contributor;

Mrs. Anne Enge from Yellowknife, a

passionate advocate and school board trustee, the first aboriginal woman to complete a Grade 12 diploma;

Mr. Jerry Ruben from Paulatuk and Fort Smith, an insightful and compassionate teacher and avid sports coach;

Mr. John Miltenberger from Fort Smith, a

forward-thinking and empowering teacher who believed in a community-centred approach and that education is priceless;

Mr. Cliff King, a teacher and hockey coach from Inuvik whose inclusive approach to teaching ensured that no child was left behind; and

Mr. John Carroll, a teacher from Hay River, Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River who was a friend and confidante to all his students, remaining so long after he retired.

These are the first inductees into the Education Hall of Fame. They are a truly impressive group of people who inspire thousands of us to do more and believe in ourselves. I hope all Members of this Assembly will join me in honouring the inductees into the Education Hall of Fame and thank them for dedicating their life’s work to the students of the Northwest Territories.

Minister’s Statement 32-16(5): Education Hall Of Fame Inductees
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. The honourable Minister responsible for Health and Social Services, Ms. Lee.

Minister’s Statement 33-16(5): Joint Working Group On Supplementary Health Benefits Program
Ministers’ Statements

Sandy Lee Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On May 12, 2010, I presented the latest proposal on the Supplementary Health Benefits Program to the Standing Committee on Social Programs. From the beginning this program has been designed to ensure that all residents in the Northwest Territories can access supplementary health benefits. Our first priority has been to develop a range of supports not covered by the Canada Health Act, third-party insurance, or other federal or territorial programs.

Since then, the Members of the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning have presented specific items they would like the

government to consider before this program is implemented. I’m interested in reviewing those items and improving on the program we have presented.

As such, I’d like to announce today the creation of a working group of Ministers and Members of the Legislative Assembly to assist in this effort. This working group will use our government’s consensus approach to finalize the planning for and ensure a smooth transition to a new program. The group will consider, in part:

personal third-party coverage responsibility;

approaches to limit employer and/or individuals from dropping third-party insurance; and

the issue of accumulated high cost and a

capped threshold.

This working group will report to Cabinet and the Priorities and Planning committee in June of this year to ensure an implementation date on or before November 1

st, 2010.

Minister’s Statement 33-16(5): Joint Working Group On Supplementary Health Benefits Program
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Lee. The honourable Minister responsible for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Miltenberger.

Minister’s Statement 34-16(5): GNWT Traditional Knowledge Annual Report
Ministers’ Statements

Michael Miltenberger Thebacha

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Later today, on behalf of the Interdepartmental Traditional Knowledge Working Group, I will be tabling the Traditional Knowledge Annual Report for 2009-2010. The report is a collaboration between the departments of Education, Culture and Employment, Environment and Natural Resources, Municipal and Community Affairs, Public Works and Services, Justice, Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, Transportation, Health and Social Services, Industry, Tourism and Investment, and Human Resources.

ENR, as the department responsible for coordinating government-wide traditional knowledge initiatives, worked with the Interdepartmental Traditional Knowledge Working Group to compile each department’s traditional knowledge initiatives undertaken during the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Traditional knowledge is an essential component of program management within the Government of the Northwest Territories and we are committed to incorporating TK into the appropriate programs and services.

The GNWT recognizes the need to consider both traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge in the decision-making process and that the inclusion of TK is vital to the development of sound management plans and programs.

The integration of traditional knowledge into government decisions and actions is outlined in our Traditional Knowledge Policy.

The Traditional Knowledge Policy was first established in 1997 to promote and protect traditional knowledge and ensure it played a significant role in government programs and services. The policy defines traditional knowledge and knowledge and values which have been acquired through experience, observations from the land or from spiritual teachings, and handed down from one generation to another.

Mr. Speaker, we are proud to recognize the extent to which government departments have strived to include traditional knowledge in various programs and services. Education, Culture and Employment demonstrates its commitment to traditional knowledge by fully supporting culture and language-based education in early childhood education and in the school system. Traditional knowledge plays an integral role in Municipal and Community Affairs’ involvement in sport, recreation and community

Public Works and Services incorporated traditional knowledge when developing and updating the 2009 edition of Good Building Practices for Northern Facilities. Wilderness camp programming through the Department of Justice helps renew an offender’s connections with the land and their cultural values through various traditional activities.

Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations promotes, protects and uses traditional knowledge through land claim and self-government negotiations and government-to-government relations. Local people and elders provide the Department of Transportation with their traditional knowledge of the freeze/thaw cycle and permafrost locations, which proves invaluable when conducting road maintenance and repairs.

An Aboriginal Wellness Program and language interpretation services are just a few of the traditional knowledge initiatives offered by the Department of Health and Social Services. Industry, Tourism and Investment uses elder’s traditional knowledge in the creation of interpretive signs and displays in NWT parks.

Human Resources developed a framework for government-wide cross-cultural training to increase aboriginal cultural awareness and diversity in the workforce.

Mr. Speaker, these are just some of the programs and services provided by this government. Those departments not having direct responsibility for TK implementation supported the working group by providing advice and expertise while tracking the implementation of TK policy across the government.

The GNWT is dedicated to working with all Northerners to build a strong and independent North, taking advantage of the unique experience and knowledge all partners bring to the table.

The Traditional Knowledge Annual Report will update Member on our government’s progress in formally implementing traditional knowledge into our programs and services. TK will remain an integral part of government-wide operations. Mahsi.

Minister’s Statement 34-16(5): GNWT Traditional Knowledge Annual Report
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. Miltenberger. The honourable Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Mr. Bob McLeod.

Minister’s Statement 35-16(5): Small Scale Foods Program
Ministers’ Statements

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, the town of Norman Wells is known for many things: friendly people, a rich oilfield, the CANOL Trail and the scenic beauty of a place that lies on the banks of the Mackenzie River and at the foot of the Mackenzie Mountains.

What Norman Wells probably isn’t known for is that it was the potato growing capital of the Northwest Territories last year. In 2009 more than 10,000 pounds of potatoes were grown there and then distributed and sold in the Sahtu region.

And how did this come about, Mr. Speaker? Well, thanks to the commitment and efforts of local producers with contributions from programs delivered under the Growing Forward Program, a federal-territorial partnership focused on developing agriculture.

Today I would like to talk about a very successful Growing Forward Program: the Small Scale Foods Program. As the weather warms up and the snow disappears across the Territory, gardening initiatives are sprouting up across the Northwest Territories, from the Alberta/Northwest Territories border to the Beaufort-Delta. The Small Scale Foods Program delivered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is a major reason why.

This program is designed to establish market gardens across the Northwest Territories. It is now entering its fifth year in our Territory and 2010 is shaping up to be our busiest season yet. Activities are planned in 26 communities. Some of the work will result in new gardens being established where crops suitable for our northern climate, like carrots, turnips and, yes, potatoes, will be grown and harvested. In other communities, existing gardens will be expanded and in some cases new infrastructure will be added to improve yields and efficiencies.

Mr. Speaker, in the past our communities have relied on community gardens to provide nutritious, locally grown produce. The Small Scale Foods Program is reviving that practice.

The program is also in line with the vision of the 16th Legislative Assembly. It is more than just

gardening we are doing here. The Small Scale Foods Program is about promoting self-sufficiency and self-reliance. And it also aims to create economic diversity and to reduce the cost of living.

The success of the Small Scale Foods Program shows our work is producing dividends. By revitalizing community gardens in the Territory, Small Scale Foods Program staff and local gardeners are helping make our communities healthier, more vibrant and sustainable. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister’s Statement 35-16(5): Small Scale Foods Program
Ministers’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Item 3, Members’ statements. The honourable Member for Frame Lake, Ms. Bisaro.

Education Hall Of Fame Inductee Mrs. Toni Auge
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This morning I had the opportunity to attend the very first NWT Education Hall of Fame ceremony. I would like to credit the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for taking the initiative of developing an idea and establishing an NWT Education Hall of Fame. I am more than pleased to be able to use my statement today to acknowledge one of the 15 inaugural inductees, someone who is also a personal friend, Mrs. Toni Auge.


Mrs. Auge, now retired, had a teaching career which spanned 40-plus years and included teaching in her home country of New Zealand, at the Yellowknife Play School and at three Yellowknife Education District No. 1 schools: Mildred Hall School, J.H. Sissons School and Range Lake North School. Toni was the kindergarten teacher of Yellowknife. Parents would drive their kids across town to school because they wanted their child to have the wonderful experience of Mrs. Auge’s kindergarten class.

Over years of teaching, Toni has taught two and sometimes three generations of the same family. She has a great work ethic and she was and still is known for her empathetic character. Her teaching style has been described by colleagues as a very firm but fair policy in her classroom while making learning fun.

She was an education pioneer in many respects, someone ahead of her time. She taught by way of real life learning long before authentic learning was the buzz word in education. Learning in Toni’s class is all about making connections with the kids, with her colleagues, and with the parents. She had the respect of her peers and she was an inspiration to

teachers young and old. She, as well, formally mentored several beginning teachers.

Outside the classroom, Toni was always dedicated to her students and her profession. No matter where she worked, Toni was an integral part of the school and its activities. Since her retirement in 2006, she stays in touch with former students and teachers and has continued to be an integral part of the Yellowknife Education District No. 1 through any number of activities.

These days, Toni maintains her interest in young children through her grandchildren and their friends. Mrs. Auge is most deserving of the honour bestowed on her as an inaugural member of the NWT Education Hall of Fame. I offer my heartfelt congratulations and ask Members to join me in saying well done, Toni. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Education Hall Of Fame Inductee Mrs. Toni Auge
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The honourable Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Great Slave Lake Commercial Fishery
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It has been a long time that I stood in this House and talked about the commercial fishing industry on Great Slave Lake. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that our government, our Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment has seen fit to hold that consultation with the Fisherman’s Federation that resulted in the vote to begin the actions required to remove the Great Slave Fishery in the Northwest Territories from the purview of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. Mr. Speaker, it took a long time to get consensus amongst the fishers themselves. Unfortunately, we have seen this industry deteriorate from when about two million pounds of whitefish per year were being harvested from Great Slave Lake to now where we are lucky if we pull out 200,000 pounds of whitefish from Great Slave Lake.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, this was such a viable part of the economy of Hay River for so many years and we are looking forward to returning to that. This is healthy food on our doorstep. I don’t think there is enough market in the Northwest Territories, though, to absorb all of the fish. So of course the issue of marketing and the cross-border implications of exporting our fish are all matters that will need to be dealt with as we come up with a new plan for marketing the fish from the Northwest Territories.

But I would like to commend this Minister. As I said, this has been an ongoing area of concern for a number of years. It has hit rock bottom in terms of the amount of people who are participating in the fishery and the benefit we realize from this sustainable excellent food source, and I would like to commend this Minister of ITI for being the one

who put the vote to the fishermen and then the fishermen finding the courage to decide to withdraw even though they aren’t entirely sure and that it’s not clearly spelled out yet what the alterative is for them to harvest and market their fish from Great Slave Lake. I’m referring to Great Slave Lake, obviously, because I am from Hay River, but I know the fishery expands beyond Hay River. So I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Minister and I will have further questions about next steps going forward during question period. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Great Slave Lake Commercial Fishery
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Paul Delorey

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. The honourable Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.