This is page numbers 6245 - 6300 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 agreed.

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Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Am I understanding the Speaker correctly when he says that this is still being assessed against her mandate? Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Paul Delorey Hay River North

Yes. We’re going to go over with her the list of initiatives that she had proposed and maybe try and give her a hand in identifying which ones fit within her mandate and encouraging her to take on a lot of initiatives that promote her office and what she can do for official languages that fit within her mandate.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Mr. Chairman, wouldn’t it seem reasonable, if I may ask, that she would know what her mandate is and be asking for money that would fall within it first rather than coming to the Assembly

and asking for money and figuring out how it fits later. Wouldn’t that seem reasonable? Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Paul Delorey Hay River North

We’re working with her. She was hired as an independent Commissioner of the Assembly, but we’re going to work with her and we want to give her the funds to be able to do the work that she should be doing as the Commissioner of Official Languages. We’re going to be working with her; however, it’s her role to take on her own mandate because she’s an independent Commissioner, so we can’t tell her what to do but we want to work with her.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

I’m just trying to understand this. I’m listening to the Speaker’s answers carefully and I guess I can appreciate that there’s an expansion of accessibility information component in this, accessibility about her role that she needs to promote. It sounds like the money is being asked without a plan, that’s all. Perhaps maybe if the Speaker can paint a sense of assurance that it isn’t just can I have more money. That there will be plan attached to this type of money sounds a little better. I mean, it really sounds like she’s asked for money and will figure it out later. I’m sorry if I’m hearing it incorrectly. It’s not intended to be heard incorrectly, but that’s what it sounds like. I mean, why did the Speaker not suggest coming up with a business plan and then we’ll assess it against the money? I mean, wouldn’t we do that against the departments through an FMB process? Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Paul Delorey Hay River North

We looked at her whole budget request and identified some areas where we thought that the request that she was wanting to initiate was maybe outside of her mandate, so some of the initiatives that she had -- and I don’t have a list of them right in front of me here -- the initiatives that she had proposed to want to take on, some of them fit clearly within her mandate, so that’s what we want to do, is help her out with the ones that are identified as fitting within her mandate and giving her the money to do it. We had lots of supports from Members that want to give her more money so that she can promote her office and work within the official languages and the other languages board. It’s kind of a definition of where her role fits in with the other language boards in the Territories.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

That’s fine. Will that information be passed on to Members in that particular case to find out what the money is attributed to? Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Paul Delorey Hay River North

I missed that last question that the honourable Member had.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair David Krutko

Mr. Hawkins, can you repeat your question?

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

Thank you, Mr. Chair. That’s fine. I’ll just repeat it. Will Members be informed as to what the business plan, sort of, attachment of

activities would be attributed to the $100,000 and, if so, when? Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Paul Delorey Hay River North

Thank you. The Official Languages Commissioner will report to the Assembly, of course, but we can do that once we meet with the Languages Commissioner.

I might just mention that the budget for the Official Languages Commissioner used to be a lot higher but that office was very quiet for a lot of years and we have somebody now in that office that’s really wanting to promote official languages and her role in it. So when she requested the funding, we were more than happy to give her some more money to promote that office and we’d like to see the Languages Commissioner do a lot more with official languages. I will commit, once we get the plan and the initiatives that she’s willing to move forward, to report back to Members.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

If I understood the Speaker correctly when he said he’d get back to Members, I assume that won’t be in the next annual report. I assume that will be in a timely way once that clarification is made.

Mr. Chairman, one other thing worth of note, and again, it just jumped off the page listening to the request for additional money, although I don’t have the report in front of me here, it’s in my office, I do recall off memory, in some manner or form, that the latest Languages Commissioner’s report is painting a picture of lack of interest in the traditional language and she points that out. We haven’t had a chance to question her before committee to find out exactly what she’s done, but she did state quite clearly in her report that the state of languages, there seems to be a low interest when she attends the assemblies and puts the questions to that about traditional languages. After reading that section a couple weeks ago, it’s sort of sitting here in a weird position now that they’re asking for more money. On the one hand she’s saying there seems to be no interest in official languages but we need more money. I mean, this might not be the right forum to deal with it, it just seems odd. I just wanted to make sure I said that, but if the Speaker can reaffirm that we’ll get the commitment on the $100,000 business plan and clarification as to what that is when it’s done in a timely way, I’d appreciate that. Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

March 1st, 2011

Paul Delorey Hay River North

Yes, we can look at doing that. When we met with the Official Languages Commissioner, in presenting her budget there was also concern raised of why there’s a lack of interest. I think that she made it quite clear that she thinks that there’s a lot of room for education and educating the public about what the role of the Official Languages Commissioner is and how the public can issue complaints and that sort of thing. We buy fully into her thoughts about the ability to be able to promote her office and educate the public,

maybe, as to what her office can do for them. But we will commit to getting back to the Member on the plan going forward.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

Robert Hawkins Yellowknife Centre

I’ll accept that. I just want to lastly say that it’s sad. I wish they were linked. Although it’s a sad case and we have to make sure that as it isn’t, we have to define it that way, but the Languages Commissioner isn’t in the education business of language. I can’t figure out why. It’s just the way it’s written, but I look forward to seeing the detail the Speaker has said he’d send. Thank you.

Committee Motion 39-16(5): Defer Consideration Of Health And Social Services Department Summary, Carried
Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters

The Chair David Krutko

Thank you, Mr. Hawkins. General comments on the Legislative Assembly.