This is page numbers 1 - 14 of the Hansard for the 17th Assembly, 1st 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 i'd.

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The House met at 1:44 p.m.

---Playing of Bagpipes

---Drum Prayer

---Prayer

Prayer
Prayer

Tim Mercer Clerk Of The House

Please be seated. Members, ladies and gentlemen, before we begin today, I would like to draw your attention to some important visitors in the gallery. I would like to welcome the Premier of the Northwest Territories and former Member of Inuvik Boot Lake, Mr. Floyd Roland.

---Applause

I’d also like to draw your attention to a former Member of the Legislative Assembly for the ridings of North Slave and Monfwi, Mr. Henry Zoe.

---Applause

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to draw your attention to two officers of the Legislative Assembly with us here today: Ms. Sarah Jerome, the NWT Languages Commissioner…

---Applause

…and Mr. David Brock, the Chief Electoral Officer for the Northwest Territories.

---Applause

It is my duty at this time to inform the House that the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories is not prepared to deliver an opening address until such time as you have appointed a Speaker. I will now open the floor to a motion for the appointment of a Speaker. Mrs. Groenewegen.

Motion 1-17(1): Election Of Speaker, Carried
Prayer

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Thebacha, that the Honourable Jackie Jacobson of the electoral district of Nunakput do take the chair of this House as Speaker.

Motion 1-17(1): Election Of Speaker, Carried
Prayer

Tim Mercer Clerk Of The House

The motion is in order. The motion is not debatable. The motion is carried.

---Carried

I will ask the mover and seconder of the motion to escort Speaker Jacobson to the chair.

---Applause

Motion 1-17(1): Election Of Speaker, Carried
Prayer

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

It’s pretty good here.

---Laughter

Thank you, colleagues. Today I wish to begin by welcoming everyone to the Chamber today as we open the 17th Legislative Assembly. I’d like to

extend my sincere thank you, on behalf of all Members, to the Dettah Drummers for their prayer song, to the Most Reverend Murray Chatlain, Bishop of the Dioceses of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, for leading us in prayer, and to Mr. Floyd Adlum of the NWT Pipe Band.

Honourable colleagues, I would like to thank you all for the trust you have placed in me by choosing me to serve as your Speaker for the 17th Legislative

Assembly. As the first Inuvialuit Speaker in this Legislative Assembly…

---Applause

…I accept this honour with both pride and humility.

It is important for me today to acknowledge the members of my family who have been such an inspiration to me throughout my political career and brought me to this place: my father, Jimmy Jacobson; and my uncles Buck Storr, the former mayor of Aklavik, my uncle John Steen, former Member in the 8th Assembly, and Vince Steen,

former Member in the 13th and 14th Assemblies.

Their thoughts and words will continue to guide me in my new role.

It is a great honour to represent the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. I commit to each of you that I will carry out the duties of Speaker to the very best of my abilities. I will work hard to uphold the rights and privileges of all Members and to help each of you to carry out your duties as Members of this Assembly. Most of all, however, I commit to uphold and protect the dignity of this institution in my actions and decisions.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank former Speaker, Mr. Paul Delorey, for his excellent counsel and guidance during the 16th Legislative Assembly.

I was fortunate to be able to watch and learn from Mr. Delorey. You can be sure I will be taking the knowledge and wisdom of those Speakers before me to guide me in my new role.

My first obligation is to preside over the House in a manner which will ensure that the rights and privileges of all Members will be upheld. I am committed to maintaining the order and level of decorum that will allow each of you to carry your duties to the best of your abilities.

Two of the most important and fundamental rights you have is the right to freedom of speech in your debates and the freedom from interference in carrying out your duties. I commit to do the best to uphold those rights for all Members, as well as the rules and procedures of this House.

I’d like to speak to my constituents of Nunakput. I’d like to thank you for allowing me to represent you for the second term of the Assembly. I’m proud to be the Speaker, but I’m equally proud to be the Member for Nunakput. I want to reassure you that I will be still voicing your concerns just as loudly in this Assembly, but you won’t be hearing me make Member’s statements or asking questions in the House. As the Speaker I have direct access to the Premier and the Ministers of this government, and you can be sure that they will be hearing from me about any of the concerns of my constituents. I’ll be there for you for the next four years. I’ll continue to fight for your best interests, like housing, health care, education, and always my favourite, the Tuk-Inuvik highway. In the coming days I hope to spend even more time in the communities of Nunakput, listening and talking with you all.

Colleagues, I’d like to take this time to express my thanks to my family. To my wife, Jenny, a true partner. She supports me in so many ways. I wish also to thank my children.

Any Member of elected office knows only too well the burden that we place on those at home. The support and encouragement of our family and friends is what allows us to continue to do the work that we do. We have to express our gratitude. We don’t express our gratitude often enough. So, to the family and friends, a heartfelt thank you.

The 17th Legislative Assembly is a new beginning

for some and an opportunity for others to continue the work we have already started. It is also an opportunity to make a difference. I pledge to support you in your efforts. I ask you, and will continue to ask, that you always treat each other in this institution with the dignity, respect and compassion that is rightfully so. I pledge that I will work hard to maintain the trust and confidence that you placed in me today.

Mr. Clerk, would you ascertain if the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable George L. Tuccaro, is prepared to enter the Chamber to address the Assembly.

I’ll ask you to rise for the entrance of the Commissioner and remain standing while the national anthem is performed by the Weledeh Catholic School Choir and the Dogrib Choir.

---Singing of O Canada

Opening Address
Opening Address

October 27th, 2011

George Tuccaro Commissioner Of The Northwest Territories

Thank you very much. Please be seated.

It is once again a pleasure and an honour for me to be in this House. I’m pleased to welcome you to the First Session of the 17th Legislative Assembly of the

Northwest Territories.

I would like to offer my congratulations to the returning Members, three of whom were acclaimed, and to the newly elected Members of this Legislative Assembly.

I would like to welcome all guests to the public gallery and those who are watching the proceedings on television.

I’d like to congratulate Mr. Jacobson on his election as Speaker. The Members of this Assembly will be well served by the good judgment and experience you bring to this vital position. I wish you the best and have every confidence you will be successful in your role as Speaker.

Members of this House will face many challenges during their four-year terms. My good wishes are extended to all Members and I’m confident that each of you will serve your constituents and the people of the Northwest Territories to the very best of your abilities.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the spouses and family members for the love and support you provide these Members. That is so important in the work that they will do for the people of the Northwest Territories.

I will offer you this, as I recall the very good work of the late Jack Layton: “Inspire to serve, and serve to inspire.”

I’d like to offer my warm congratulations to Gerry Kisoun of Inuvik who, on Monday, was appointed by the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable John Duncan, as our new 14th Deputy Commissioner of

the Northwest Territories.

---Applause

At this time I would like to acknowledge and thank Margaret Thom of Fort Providence, who served for

the past six years as Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories.

---Applause

We are looking forward to joining the rest of Canada in celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in 2012.

Mr. Speaker, before declaring open the First Session of the 17th Legislative Assembly, I’d like to

invite all Members and visitors in the public gallery to a reception in the Great Hall when the House adjourns, and I invite everyone to stay for the swearing in of the Executive Council at three o’clock this afternoon.

As Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, I now declare open the First Session of the 17th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, merci beaucoup, mahsi cho, quanani, koana.

---Applause

Opening Address
Opening Address

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Item 3, Ministers’ statements. Item 4, Members’ statements. Mr. Menicoche.

Appreciation To Nahendeh Constituents And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m very grateful and humbled to have been elected to my third term. The feedback and support I received from my constituents during the campaigning was invigorating. I thank them deeply for their kindness and encouragement. The wonderful people of Nahendeh reminded me why we do this job, and I am sure that my colleagues had similar experiences in their ridings. We must remember what we heard and learn as we get down to business.

It is true that I would have very much liked to serve as Premier or in Cabinet. I profoundly thank all Members and constituents who supported me in that effort. But to all my colleagues and friends in this House, I want to add that I’m very proud to have raised some important issues and received your serious consideration. This is how our system works and I am glad that I could contribute to its success.

I look at our new Cabinet and I feel good about it and I see that it reflects the collective wisdom of this Assembly. Of the six Members, three are Cabinet veterans. The other three are new to Cabinet, but they are experienced MLAs and gentlemen all. From my heart, I congratulate all the Members of our new Cabinet. I also thank the other candidates who provided us with such strong choices.

There’s no shortage of talent among the Regular Members. I am proud to count myself among them. Again, I see a great mix of experience and promising new voices in this House. I’ll look forward to working with you all in the next four years. Mahsi cho.

Appreciation To Nahendeh Constituents And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. The honourable Member for Monfwi, Mr. Lafferty.

Working Together In The 17th Legislative Assembly
Members’ Statements

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. [Translation] I would like to say something. I want to say thank you to all our visitors. You have to say thank you very much. I am representing Monfwi region and I would like to say thank you to all the people in that region, and we also have to remember the people that we sit with. But I am also married; I have a wife and children. I would like to say thank you to all my family and also I would like to thank my mother and my father who are in the audience. I also have a lot of Tlicho citizens in the audience. So I would like to say thank you very much for their support.

I hope that we will do well this year. We want to work together for the next four years. That is our job that we will be doing. From here and on, I would like for us to move forward in a positive direction.

In the North there are a lot of things that we’re worried about. In the North we have to support one another in order to accomplish a lot of these things that we have to work on together. We also represent 33 communities. So we have to support one another and work together. That is why we are here.

I’m so happy to be in amongst these MLAs here. They also have the same feeling; they want to support each other and to move ahead for the next four years in this House. So I would like to say thank you and I would like to thank all the visitors, our families and friends and all the Members. I’m so happy that we had a good opening with this 17th Assembly. Let’s move forward in a positive way. Thank you.

Working Together In The 17th Legislative Assembly
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

The Member for Tu Nedhe, Mr. Beaulieu.

Appreciation To Tu Nedhe Constituents And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. [English translation not provided.]

I’d just quickly like to thank the constituents of Tu Nedhe, Fort Resolution and Lutselk’e. Although I was acclaimed, it was due to the large support that I received from the people in both communities as I

went around to the communities, both communities several times over the last four years and essentially I guess almost campaigned for four years as my style was to go out and visit the people. It seemed the people responded well to that and I got, from what I see, almost unanimous support in the communities. So I’d like to thank them for their support. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation To Tu Nedhe Constituents And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Member for Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.

Appreciation To Sahtu Constituents And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, want to thank the constituents of the Sahtu for bringing me back to the Assembly here, to the House, to represent them.

First, I want to thank my cousin who ran in the same riding as I did, the campaign. My cousin and I grew up together. We come from a large family, a family that supports one another. I want to thank him and his wife and his children. I want to thank him on behalf of my family. I said in Tulita, when we put our names forward as candidates, the families are with you, the children are with you, and you, yourself, you do the work, but there’s people supporting you.

I want to thank all the Members here. It takes a lot to put your name out in public with other candidates and do the best job that you see and hear from your constituents and how you want to articulate your visions, your goals, your aspirations, to make the government work for them and be their government. For the people who came out and voted and for the people who looked to you and said yes, you are the one who can take my voice to the Assembly and to the government.

I think about the people in Colville, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, Deline and Tulita. They see us making a difference in their lives, the ones who are less fortunate, the ones who are having a hard time. They see us as a light and hope to make a difference in their life.

People in my region want a highway. That would save a lot of heartaches and would help us. They are looking for those types of initiatives.

The people in Norman Wells want to make sure they have stable fuel energy. Things like that, people bring to you.

I want to say congratulations to the Premier, the Cabinet, Mr. Speaker. Good luck. We want to work with you, and in a short couple of days we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of moving this government forward. I look forward to working with you over the next four years. Mahsi cho.