This is page numbers 6827 – 6882 of the Hansard for the 17th 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 assembly.

Topics

Appreciation For Social Programs Committee Colleagues
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Moses. Mr. Dolynny.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand before you with my last statement in the House with some bittersweet retrospectives. Before I do, I want to commend my colleagues here today for their reflective and, indeed, moving comments and, sometimes, stories.

It is without question that some sentiments today might invite a certain cynical rejoinder, particularly as one may observe the sometimes cacophony of our oral question period or view the potential toxicity of our political arena. Certainly, and with fondness, I still retain a great respect and a reverence for this institution, which is the centrepiece of democracy and a cradle for our northern way of life.

For the first time ever, I was able to shepherd my way with an arsenal of parliamentary instruments at my disposal, from motions, petitions and oral questions, that have helped me advance the public good. Some of this good took many forms, and here are just a few Mr. Speaker: As a policymaker and legislator, I’m especially proud of convincing a need of the rewrite of the Human Tissue Act and, on the eve of a private member’s bill, I thank Cabinet for bringing it forward themselves. We are anxiously and patiently waiting for the new organ donor program to come online very soon.

Overseeing the resurrection of the responsibility of the public purse in the review of public accounts is a milestone to which all members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations should be proud of. As a chair of that committee now, it is indeed an honour.

Finally, our 11 official languages make us unique in culture and spirit. It is with this reverence that inspired me to speak four of those languages in the House: Tlicho, North Slavey, South Slavey and, of course, French.

There are many more milestones than time would allow and I would like to do them at a later time.

Of course, none of this parliamentary work would have been possible without the commitment and care of those around us.

For Mr. Grant Pryznyk in my constituency office, to the professional and personal legislative personnel from the security detail to the library staff to the technical staff to our Pages to research staff and to House and committee clerks, to all I say thank you very much.

Now a word to my family.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

October 8th, 2015

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Now a word to my family, who are first in my heart and mind. It is with admiration and commitment and care my wife, Cindy, has provided me all these years in my political trenches. She is my rock, Mr. Speaker.

I started this journey with two young boys. Now one of them is in university and the other is about to leave the nest. So to Tanner and Bronson, who might be listening in, you’ve been a source of humbling support and I thank you.

This building is not just a place where I work; it has been my home, where my colleagues have become my family. We are losing two family members who are not seeking re-election. So to Mr. Bromley and Ms. Bisaro, we do wish you well and thank you for your guidance.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, it has been a privilege to serve this Chamber with you and to serve the people of Range Lake. This is not farewell but merely goodbye for now. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Dolynny. Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Blake.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

[Translation] Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker. I would like to say a few words in my language as I am trying to pass on some of my thoughts. I’d like to thank each one of my colleagues in the House today. I try to speak as much as I can on behalf of my people within the Mackenzie Delta. I know I haven’t spoken very often; however, I’d like to try to speak as much as I can within the 17th Assembly.

I wish you all the best of luck in the November election. For those who are going to be putting your name back in the hat, I’d like to wish you all good luck. [Translation ends]

Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for allowing me to make this statement in my Gwich’in language. I want to thank my colleagues for making my first term serving the people of the Mackenzie Delta so exciting and quite the learning experience. I have overcome many battles and I have learned so much more, working closely alongside each of you.

As we go our separate ways and end the 17th Legislative Assembly, I wish each of you safe travels and good luck in the November elections.

Thank you again. I look forward to working closely with each of you in the coming years.

In closing, I would like to thank my constituents of the Mackenzie Delta for this honourable opportunity to serve as their Member of the Legislative Assembly.

Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Liz Wright, my constituency assistant in Fort McPherson; and also my contact in Aklavik, Michelle Gruben. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Blake. Member for Deh Cho, Mr. Nadli.

17th Assembly Buzzwords
Members’ Statements

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to take the opportunity to thank two colleagues who are retiring. It’s been an honour to serve with Mr. Bromley and Ms. Bisaro during this term. I’ve learned a lot from them and it’s been a privilege.

In a statement to their constituencies, I know they’re not seeking re-election, but you’ve placed two very honourable people who have effectively done their work and represented their constituency to the best of their ability. They have been remarkable models, in terms of trying to model my work, and I really thank them. It’s been truly an honour to serve with them.

Also, with the colleagues here, mahsi, and the staff as well. It’s been a growing experience for the past four years.

I just wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the buzz words of the 17th Assembly, so with your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, I wanted to read my statement.

I have learned a great deal as a Member of the 17th Legislative Assembly. Our verbal jujitsu with Minister Miltenberger and other Members has expanded my vocabulary and given new meaning to words and concepts I thought I understood. I offer a quick piece of this not so brave new world.

I’ll begin with the words yes and no. Simple, eh? Not so fast. It is very common for yes to actually mean no. For example, when Cabinet said yes to Regular Members’ persuasive arguments to boost its health promotion budget ever so slightly, it actually meant okay, but no, we will not spend that money anyway. Was there money available? Yes. Was it put to good use? No. I now pin promises to my desk here with six inch nails from now on.

There’s a fancy term, “fiscal restraint.” That is a close relative of the word no. But the meaning of fiscal restraint has at least 150 shades of grey. In the rare air of the Cabinet room, fiscal restraint is good for a million dollar pop in a supplementary appropriation, normally called extra dollars. Good for, say, five new positions in communications for the Department of Executive right out of the magician’s hat.

Fiscal restraint of an entirely different shade is at work when Members try to get nurses, health workers, alcohol and addictions counsellors, social workers, wellness workers and policing to our small communities. The vacant jobs are the very stuff of fiscal restraint.

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

17th Assembly Buzzwords
Members’ Statements

Michael Nadli Deh Cho

There’s money in the budget for some of them, just no bodies in the jobs. So, big savings of a very perverse sort. Big savings that cost our people and our government.

As you can see, fiscal restraint can also mean shameful neglect. Having had some of the boundaries of my comprehension stretched so far, no wonder I came to believe, thanks to my colleague from Nahendeh, that the seven deadly sins were all related to the perpetually pot-holed and pot-marked Highway No. 7, along with many other sins of deadly fiscal omission. So I thank the Member for correcting me with his e-mail the other day. It seems that a handful of the seven deadly sins actually apply to the Inuvik-Tuk Highway.

I cannot leave this topic without a few words about the oft spouted, ever nebulous devolve and evolve. Seductive. Devolve and evolve. Oh yeah, it sounds great. Devolution is going be good because it really means evolution, almost like revolution. The kind it takes to truly recognize Aboriginal rights, including control of our land, and I’ve worked all my life for that.

I thought and thought about these words, devolve and evolve. I’ve dreamt about them at night. Finally, one day, walking down the boardwalk in Zhatie K’oe, it came to me. The meaning of devolve and evolve is just a spin-o-rama of hogwash. It comes out of the machine all neat and dry and sounding sweet. Devolve and evolve. It’s just the same old federal government bunk. It will be up to the Members of the 18th Assembly to recast these words. We have not lived up to the heady promise of devolve and evolve.

Just one more thing. I don’t mean to be harsh. As Members, some of us facing election and some not, we’re all about to devolve and evolve in a more meaningful way. Let us all do it right. Let us stand by our deeds and be measured by them.

I wish you well, colleagues. I’m glad all our judo has been verbal. To my constituents, mahsi, mahsi cho, thank you for helping me. Thank you for standing by me through thick and thin. That has been the real meaning.

17th Assembly Buzzwords
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Nadli. Mr. Yakeleya.

“i Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair”
Members’ Statements

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today my Member’s statement is going to be consistent with my Member’s statements in the last 12 years. I’m going to do a Member’s song following the song from the legend George “Awesome” Jones. The title is “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair.”

Mr. Speaker, I don’t need your rocking chair, but it would be nice to get medicare, such escorts for our seniors’ care. No questions asked, our health care. I’ve still got politics in my veins. So does Michael and Jane.

---Laughter

This grey hair doesn’t mean a thing. I do my rocking in the hills, mile 222 to Norman Wells. My body is old, but it’s not frail. I ain’t seen you on the Canol Trail. Retirement don’t fit my plans just yet. I’m getting on, but I don’t project. They make rules on how to frack. Sounds good to me, I might just come back.

I don’t need your rocking chair, but it would be nice to get medicare, such as escorts for our seniors’ care. Until we get a road to the Sahtu, I’ll see you and you’ll see me before someone releases it to CBC.

I ain’t ready for retirement yet, and I don’t need unanimous consent. It may take a little longer, but I’ll get there.

One more verse, Mr. Chair.

At the liquor store in Norman Wells, no restrictions on how much they can sell. We wrote a bill and got it through and it’s in the books. Hey, no more dirty looks.

Now, no, I don’t need your rocking chair. It would be nice to get medicare, such as escorts for our seniors’ care. My eyes are good, and so are my ears. I’m coming back for four more years.

---Applause

Mr. Speaker, an Inuit needs a Frigidaire like I need your rocking chair.

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank some people, so I would seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

“i Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair”
Members’ Statements

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

This being the last session of our Assembly, I want to thank the people in the Sahtu for the privilege of serving them for these number of years. I also want to thank the support and staff through my role as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Ms. Lorraine Bezha, who has been there to support me through thick and thin. I also want to thank Mr. Andrew John Kenny, my confidant and elder who stood by me through some very hard times in my personal life.

Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank my two colleagues who are leaving us and taking on a different role in their lives. Although Mr. Bromley and I at times do not agree on points of issues, I respect the gentleman and I wish him well. After all, we all want the same thing, but we’re just coming from a different process of how to get it. So, I thank him for the opportunity of working with him.

I also want to wish well my colleague Ms. Bisaro for her work and her steady eyes that were not off task. When we’re off task, she gets us back. So, I ask Ms. Bisaro to take care of herself and look after herself. It’s been an honour to sit and work with you.

Also, with our staff that we have before us that guide us through this whole process through our office. Number one, number one people to work in the books. Number one to work with us.

Lastly, to my family, my wife and my son and my family members, I really appreciate what they have done for me so I could do this work here. They made sacrifices, whatever it took them, so I could stand here and work on behalf of my people.

I do want to say to my people in the Sahtu, they have allowed me to be their voice for the last 12 years and it’s a very sacred privilege I hold for them.

I want to wish, as my colleague Mr. Menicoche said, all the other Members around here well in your life. Look after yourself. I got a little tear coming down because when I first became elected – Mr. Speaker, I know I’m running out of time – my mom said, “I never thought in my dreams my little baby boy would become an MLA. Never in my wildest dreams,” she said, “I’ll see my son be in a situation like this.” That’s why I think about her and this is why I wear this coat. She made it along with my aunties, to honour her for the love that she’s given us. With strict discipline, she brought us up to live a good life and sometimes we don’t listen to our parents.

So, I just want to say that to my colleagues here across the table, it’s an honour. We had a lot of work and, you know, you’re like us. I want to say good luck to the people who are going to put their names into this row here. May God bless you. You are called and I wish you well. It’s an honour, Mr. Speaker, to stand here and to say that.

To my wife and to my son Chase, I love you. Like some of the Members said, in my heart you walk with me. I want to say to the elders in the Sahtu, thank you so much for allowing me to carry your voice in the last four years. Mahsi.

“i Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair”
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. Mr. Ramsay.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It has been an honour and a privilege to continue to serve the constituents of Kam Lake, this House, its Members and the residents of the Northwest Territories. I want to wish everybody good luck and best wishes as the end of the 17th Assembly comes to close, especially my colleagues Ms. Bromley…

---Laughter

Ms. Bisaro and Mr. Bromley.

A bit of a Freudian slip. There’s never been any jokes about that.

But all kidding aside, I wish both of my colleagues all the best in your retirement. It’s been a pleasure to work with you both. I know the constituents in both Weledeh and Frame Lake have been very well-served with both MLAs.

I also want to thank very much my support staff in my office upstairs: Ryan Strain, my executive assistant; Corinne Kruse, my executive secretary; and I want to thank Mrs. Groenewegen for allowing me to share the services of Ms. Wendy Morgan. Wendy’s been a great constituency assistant and I want to thank her very much for her work.

I also want to thank all the staff at the Department of Justice and the Department of ITI, especially deputy ministers Peter Vician and also Sylvia Haener for all the work that they put into supporting my position here as Minister.

Mr. Speaker, others have mentioned it and we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs if it wasn’t for the love and support of our families back home. For me, I just want to say a special thanks to my wife, Michelle, my kids, Malachi, Elijah, Adeline, and now Donavan, and for all the love and support that they give me. Really, I wouldn’t be able to do the job without the support of my wife, so thank you very much, Michelle.

Thank you very much, again, to the constituents of Kam Lake. They put their faith, their trust in me to do the job here at the Legislature on their behalf, and I’m certainly looking forward to getting back out on the election trail and talking to all the constituents in Kam Lake again during the election campaign.

So, with that, Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for your role here in heading up the Legislative Assembly. It’s been a pleasure to work with you. The Board of Management, my Cabinet colleagues and everyone, I wish everybody all the best and Godspeed. Thank you.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Mr. McLeod.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This being the last day of session for the 17th Assembly, I thought it was a good opportunity to stand up and give some thank yous and some highlights of the last four years. I can’t believe how quickly, I think a couple Members mentioned, the last four years have gone. It seems like we were just getting sworn in and now we’re out the door.

Some highlights for myself personally in the 17th Assembly was being a witness on behalf of the Government of the NWT to the Gwich’in signing on to devolution. Speaking of the induction ceremony for Sharon and Shirley Firth’s induction into the NWT Sport Hall of Fame was also another highlight, and officially opening East Three School. I mean, that was a fantastic and exciting time for myself, for the people and students and Inuvik.

Finally, as a witness on behalf of the government to the Inuvialuit Self-Government Agreement-in-Principle was another fantastic highlight.

I, along with the rest of my colleagues, would like to wish Mr. Bromley and Ms. Bisaro well in their retirement. I’ve had fun working with you, and, Bob, I was just kidding about you being left out in the Delta somewhere.

---Laughter

You will have lots of time to explore the Delta now and I’ll come look for you. Our support staff, as Mr. Ramsay mentioned, make doing our job a lot easier, from the staff here at the Legislative Assembly, who have been mentioned a few times, to the two constituency assistants that I’ve had, Leah Ipana and Krysten Cardinal and executive secretary Daylyn Kakfwi. Mr. Rob Collinson is a great source of advice. I call Robert my Jiminy Cricket. He keeps me on the straight and narrow. Robert said, “We have to let committee know,” and I say, “I don’t want to let committee know.” He says, “No, we have to.” I say, “I know we do. I’m just playing with you.” It gets him going. He’s been a great help in my career as a Minister. I appreciate that.

It’s been said on a number of occasions about our constituents. It’s been an honour to represent the constituents of Inuvik Twin Lakes the last 11 years. We don’t always get the results we wanted, but we continue to work through the issues. I look forward to the opportunity, if they are willing, to represent them again for the next four years.

To my colleagues, again, it’s been…

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted