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.

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Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, I will be recognizing people, many of whom are in the gallery today. It’s been a huge privilege to represent the people of Weledeh and the people of the Northwest Territories, people who have my utmost respect and good wishes.

I would like to thank you all for the faith you have placed in me to speak on your behalf for the past eight years. Being your MLA has brought me closer to people and their issues and the struggles we all engage in to provide for healthy families and communities.

While I came into this position through concerns for the land, of which I am a student, I was soon engaged in the health, social and economic concern of the people in communities and the relationships between all of these. It is the interconnectedness of all issues that I have tried to emphasize with my colleagues and that I have strived to have recognized in any solution we propose.

I thank all those Ministers and their staff who have helped with so many constituency issues. Their willingness to try to look deeper and seek systemic solutions to those issues that arise all too frequently is much appreciated.

I thank the government and my colleagues for supporting more in-depth looks into policy options that prevent problems and attack underlying issues, rather than just symptoms.

The people we surround ourselves with are critical to achieving our goals. I would like to recognize the amazing Weledeh constituents who I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past eight years, particularly Mr. Craig Yeo for fully half of my years in office. They have all left their mark and contributed to my work as scribes and sounding boards and to compassionate attention to myriad constituency issues. For those seeking a great CA, by the way, in the 18th, I suggest they give Bob Wilson a call.

My office neighbour, MLA Bisaro, has been a supportive colleague through my eight years and provided a fine example of the high standards we all strive for.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot say enough about the NWT Legislative Assembly’s outstanding Clerk, research, corporate, library and security staff that have supported us in our work. Completely dedicated, patient and thorough, they have been inspirational and enabling, and I thank them for their exceptional service.

Mr. Speaker, as usual, I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Bob Bromley Weledeh

My wife, Marianne, in the audience today, has made many sacrifices and contributions to support my work. It is with the greatest love and appreciation that I say thank you, Marianne. I could not have done this without you.

Mr. Speaker, to you and all my colleagues in this Assembly, I say a big mahsi and onwards.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Member for Hay River South, Mrs. Groenewegen.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the words of our deputy clerk, Mr. Schauerte, “day last.” When he starts our meetings he says that. Day last of the 17th Legislative Assembly and day last of 20 years in this Chamber for me.

Mr. Speaker, I’d like to also make some thank yous. To my colleagues first, who are the mosaic and the diversity of the Northwest Territories and who bring that to the work here that we do together in the Legislative Assembly, I’d like to thank them.

To my colleagues who served in the Cabinet during the 17th Legislative Assembly, thank you for the extra hours and time that you’ve put in. It has been a pleasure to work with you and you have been most attentive to concerns we bring to you.

I’d also, especially today, like to mention our Minister of Finance, Minister Miltenberger, who came to this Chamber at the same time as I did in 1995. He does look after the money, but he is also a man with a heart and I have gone to him on numerous occasions with stories of constituents that needed a little extra compassion from this government, and he has responded. He is a get ‘er done kind of guy. I’d like to thank him.

To yourself, Mr. Speaker, serving as your Deputy Speaker, thank you for that opportunity. You must have given me all of five minutes in that chair in the last four years.

To my two colleagues who will not be returning, Mr. Bromley – and I always tell him this in private and I’ll say it in public today – he thinks a little differently than I do and he made me think outside of the box and always brought a different perspective than what I might have normally concluded or gone to. I’d like to thank him.

To Ms. Bisaro, the other half of the women’s caucus – the caucus of two – for her professionalism. I would say without Mr. Bromley and Ms. Bisaro’s contributions in committees, things would have been a lot different. They were extremely diligent. I always tell Ms. Bisaro that when she speaks, she speaks amazingly. She doesn’t have any filler words. It’s just solid material and I enjoyed listening to her speak here in the House.

I would like to thank my colleague Mr. Bouchard from Hay River North. I’ve mentioned this before, but I didn’t know Mr. Bouchard very well before we came to this Chamber together four years ago. It has been indeed a great pleasure to get to know him so well and to work so closely with him. I have particularly enjoyed his wonderful sense of humour.

If I can seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement, I’ll tell you one funny story about that.

---Unanimous consent granted

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Jane Groenewegen Hay River South

Like I said, sometimes things get a little tense around here, but Mr. Bouchard does have a wonderful sense of humour and I’ll just tell you one little incident. We were co-chairing a constituency meeting and I wanted to say something kind of off the record. I said to the whole audience – there were 100 people there – “So, if I can just take off my MLA hat for one minute,” and he turned to me in front of these 100 people and said, “You cannot take off your MLA hat at your own constituency meeting.” He put me right in my place. Of course, I laughed because, I mean, that’s just the kind of comment that he would make.

To both of my assistants, Orlanda Patterson, who works in my Hay River office, I’d like to thank her for her four years. She’s been an amazing support there. To my other constituency assistant who is here in the visitors gallery today, Wendy Morgan, who has been with me for 17 years. I can say categorically, without any hesitation, that I could not have done my job without Wendy’s support. We are a team and people know us as a team and I cannot thank her enough for everything that she’s done to support me in every way possible.

To my family, my husband, Rick, is here in the visitors gallery today. He is my biggest supporter. On those cold mornings when it’s 40 below and you have to get onto that Buffalo flight and I complain and whine, he goes, “Hey, sweetie, you wanted this job. Get out there.” And once I go through the front doors, I’m fine. Sometimes it’s just getting on that plane and getting here in the morning. But Rick has been an amazing support.

To my daughter, Jillian, who is also in the visitors gallery, who was six years old when I was elected. So maybe she doesn’t have much memory of her mother other than as an MLA. It’s been wonderful to have her here in Yellowknife for the last 14 years and somebody to come here at the other end. I don’t think I could have done this. I would have been lonely without her here.

I also wanted to thank my other two children, Jeffrey and Jordan. Jeffrey stood up at our 35th wedding anniversary and said, “I had an unconventional upbringing. My parents are not sentimental. They never look back and the most interest for them is yet to come.” You know, that is kind of true. We’re always in the moment. We’re always moving forward and that kind of sums up the way we are. I would also say I’m very proud of my son Jordan, who is away, finally, at RCMP depot right now down in Regina and not here to be with us today.

So to all of my colleagues, I wish you all the best. This is a rare, rare opportunity for community service. I hate the word “politician” and I hate the word “power.” We’re all here as servants of the people and it’s not about us, it’s all about them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. Member for Hay River North, Mr. Bouchard.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

October 8th, 2015

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s been four years since I got up here and I think I was nervous the first time. It’s been a steep learning curve. I’ve been learning lots as a first-time MLA.

I’d like to thank Jane for all the hard work.

Obviously, we like to thank our constituents for all their support, even those ones who challenge us. Those who challenge us make us work harder as MLAs to answer those hard questions, take those hard questions to the floor here, take them to our Cabinet. So, a big thank you to all of them.

I’d like to thank my constituency assistant, as well, Myrtle Graham, back in Hay River.

My other constituency assistant, Wendy Morgan, who is everybody’s help. I think she’s helped everybody here, Mr. Speaker. She puts a lot of work in. She helps a lot of people in the Northwest Territories.

I’d also like to encourage everybody to come out and vote, both in the federal, municipal and territorial elections. The federal and municipal is October 19th and our territorial election is on November 23rd. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bouchard. Member for Nahendeh, Mr. Menicoche.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

Kevin A. Menicoche Nahendeh

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I, too, just want to talk a bit about my past 12 years as the MLA for Nahendeh. I’ve stood up in this House on behalf of them, being the people’s voice and raising their many concerns and those of my six communities. Despite my colleagues saying my favourite two words are Highway 7, but if you go to Hansard, my favourite word is actually “communities,” because I’m the MLA with the most communities. I have six.

It has been an honour and privilege to serve my constituents and I thank them very much for the confidence that they have shown in me during my third term in the 17th Assembly and for the past 12 years. I believe I have carried out my duties as MLA for Nahendeh with energy, commitment and dedication, and that I worked hard to bring their issues to the attention of our Cabinet, our Ministers and to this House and that I responded promptly to their calls for requests for assistance.

This November I will be asking the voters of Nahendeh to use my experience to serve them and ask for their vote for a fourth mandate. I want to assure them that I will continue to be available, reliable and approachable.

We have seen many improvements to our community services and infrastructure. For example, Highway No. 7. The people and our communities are telling me already there is much more to be done: improve health delivery, more housing, lower the cost of living and settling the Dehcho Process.

In closing, once again I want to thank the voters and residents of Nahendeh for allowing me to serve you. With your continued support, I will use my experience to make a difference in the next government.

I want to say happy retirement to my colleagues Bob Bromley and Ms. Wendy Bisaro. Good luck to my colleagues in the upcoming election and all the MLA candidates who will be putting their name forward.

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Menicoche. Ms. Bisaro.

18th Assembly Priorities
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday I covered the good, the bad and the ugly. Today I want to take this last opportunity to speak to the House and use the prerogative that comes with my age to provide some advice to the Members of the 18th Assembly.

This Assembly has accomplished a lot, in spite of my negative comments yesterday. Work has been done, reports have been written, action plans developed, and I don’t want that work to get lost, so I will again subject the House to my views about what the 18th Assembly needs to follow up on.

• First – and these are in no order of importance – the promised junior kindergarten review report and the recommendations that may come with it.

• The promise of an energy efficiency act.

• Universal daycare report and actions that should be taken with that.

• The Aurora College report and actions that are contained therein.

• Dechinta and College Nordique requests for inclusion in secondary school legislation.

• Mental Health Act report recommendations and the Mental Health Act regulations.

• Child and Family Services Act review and the recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General regarding the child and family services.

• The Social Issues Committee of Cabinet’s Anti-Poverty Action Plan must not get lost.

• The Our Elders: Our Communities report on seniors’ needs to be followed up on.

• BDIC has had a program review. Were any actions taken on that?

• Hydraulic fracturing regulations consultation. It must continue. It must. There must be consultation.

• Health and Social Services recent quality assurance review and action plan that is apparently coming from that. Make sure it comes.

• The Program Review Office work. Ensure that reviews are received and considered by committee.

• Population Growth Strategy. Monitor the results and keep the government’s feet to the fire on that.

• The Justice Action Plan regarding corrections from the Office of the Auditor General’s report.

• The Education, Renewal and Innovation Strategy and Action Plan.

• The Early Childhood Development Strategy and Action Plan.

• Health and social services authorities amalgamation. Monitor it and make sure it happens correctly.

• The Health Information Act implementation. Monitor it and make sure it happens correctly.

• Ensure there’s a review of royalty regimes and taxation.

• Find a way to get Heritage Fund legislation amendments done.

• ENR and Lands have promised assessments for developments.

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement. That’s also not unusual.

---Unanimous consent granted

18th Assembly Priorities
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thanks again, colleagues.

• ENR and Lands have promised assessments for the developments that we have within the territory to chart the unknowns. Make sure that they’re done.

• ENR and Lands have promised securities for those developments and liabilities to make sure that those happen and that we get the money that is deserved in order to clean up.

• Climate Change Plan. The development of a Climate Change Plan is necessary.

• Health and Social Services has promised us a Pharmaceutical Strategy.

• The Human Rights Commission has done a wonderful review of the Human Rights Act. We need to make sure that amendments are followed through on.

• Justice needs to bring forward legislation for an ombudsman, please.

• Health and Social Services is promising Medical Travel Policy and Program changes. Follow up on those.

• Education infrastructure and schools is lacking and the need to find some solutions to the court case, which has been ongoing forever.

• The Mineral Development Strategy and the Economic Opportunities Strategies. Those are both well developed, but we need to monitor the actions that are going on in them.

Some of these are well developed; some of them just need monitoring; some are in development and need watching to make sure they happen. Some of them need to be developed. It’s a long list and it only covers my personal recollections of what needs to be done.

To the 18th Assembly I say, it’s a lot of work to do it right, but please roll up your sleeves and get ‘er done.

Finally, I’d like to say some thank yous that I didn’t include yesterday at my peril. Thank you very much to the staff of the Assembly. Mr. Bromley said it extremely well. All of the staff here are excellent and they have made our job, my job, our job much easier. To you, Mr. Speaker, thank you for your support. To my CAs, I’ve had three in the course of my eight years here and all three of them have been excellent support and excellent help for the work that I do.

Lastly, although not least, to my family and my friends who have provided support. I don’t have much family here, but I certainly have friends here and some of them are in the gallery and they have been extremely supportive and have made my job a lot easier. So, thank you all.

18th Assembly Priorities
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, Mr. Moses.

Appreciation For Social Programs Committee Colleagues
Members’ Statements

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A team is a group of people linked in a common purpose. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort, which allows each member to maximize their strengths. Each member helps other members realize their true potential and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond his or her limits. Nothing could be more true of a team than the members and the staff of the Standing Committee on Social Programs.

I’d like to use my last Member’s statement to acknowledge such a good group, a strong group, a compassionate group of individuals that I’ve had the very honour to work with for the last four years.

Back in 2011, five members and two staff went to Hay River to work on our priorities, work on our transition document from the 17th Legislative Assembly, not knowing where we were going to go, what was going to be laid before us. Five different personalities from different backgrounds coming together.

When we look back on the four years that we’ve been together, we’ve accomplished a lot. I was very fortunate and honoured to chair this committee and I just want to thank each and every one of them and all the staff that have helped us throughout those four years, for their dedication and their commitment not only to the work that we do but to people, the residents of the Northwest Territories.

I just want to let people of the Northwest Territories know that these individuals made a lot of sacrifices. They have family members back home here in Yellowknife and they have a lot of late nights, early mornings. This past year we put on a lot of kilometres on three significant bills to make sure that we have the best bills possible that are going to be reflective of this government, but for the residents of the Northwest Territories. I just want to let residents know that these five individuals sacrificed a lot on your behalf.

Many times, as a chair of the committees, I’ve heard a lot of times we can’t give this report its undue process. We can’t not look at the legislation before us. We need action, we need commitment and we’ve got to keep going. On that note, I’d like to ask to conclude my statement. Thank you.

---Unanimous consent granted

Appreciation For Social Programs Committee Colleagues
Members’ Statements

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

On many occasions as I chaired this committee, Members and individual Members said, “We need to keep on going.” A lot of times there were very huge documents, 20, 30 pages, eight o’clock at night, working through the late hours just to make sure that we got the work done for people of the Northwest Territories.

Just to highlight a few: the Anti-Poverty Strategy, the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, Education Renewal and Innovation. A lot of pressure and effort was put on the Department of Education to work on that. A huge one: Early Childhood Development; and also some very significant acts. Most recently, the Mental Health Act was a lot of commitment on behalf of committee. Child and Family Services Act, which has gone through so many different governments, but this government got ‘er done with the work, and hard work, from committee. As well, the Health Insurance and Health and Social Services Administrations Act. That was a big one that was completed this past year. Although we couldn’t do it all in four years – it would’ve been nice – we did do a lot. I want to let committee know, you guys all did a great job.

Mr. Speaker, four years ago the reason I chose to run for this position was to create a strong voice for the people who I represent. I did that to the best of my ability. What’s stronger than a single voice? Five strong voices, and that’s what I had the opportunity to work with as my first term in the Legislative Assembly and, once again, Standing Committee on Social Programs.

I want to also say the success of that committee, and probably the only committee other than P and P within this government, was we had the two women representatives in this 17th Legislative Assembly working on this committee and I think that’s why we got a lot of work done this session, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

I’d also like to acknowledge all the NGOs, the stakeholders, all the compassionate residents who have offered input into our bills. The work that we’ve done, we couldn’t have done it without the input that they provided us. We can only do so much, but with their input, they just make the bill stronger and the work and the efforts give us motivation to continue.

As usual, it takes two to tango, so I’d like to thank the Executive Council. I know there are Ministers who came before committee on many occasions. I know that sometimes it wasn’t always pleasant, but you know what, we had to ask the tough questions and have some of those debates to make sure we did what was best for people of the Northwest Territories.

I’d also like to thank, one last time, my parents for their support through these four years, as well as some great friends. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.