This is page numbers 673-724 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 2nd 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 thanks.

Topics

Increased Sole Source Contracting Limits
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Nahendeh.

Trout Lake Traditional Place Name Change
Members’ Statements

Shane Thompson Nahendeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I stand in front of you and our fellow colleagues to speak about one of the communities I represent.

Mr. Speaker, in 1796, the Northwest Company established a post on Trout River. However, it did not become an organized community until the late 1960s. Trout Lake is one of the most remote, beautiful, and traditional communities in the Northwest Territories. The residents are very proud of their culture and language. Approximately 70 per cent of the residents between the ages of 15 and 39, and 100 per cent of residents ages 40 and up speak their traditional language of Slavey.

Mr. Speaker, the community of Trout Lake is governed by Sambaa K'e Dene Band chief and council. As in the past, hunting, fishing, and trapping are still part of their daily lives. According to the 2015 NWT Bureau Stats, approximately 85 per cent of the community still hunts and fishes, approximately 48 per cent of the population traps, and approximately 47 per cent of the population produces arts and crafts. As you can see by these numbers, these percentages, you can guess that consumption of country food would be high, and you're right. Eighty-five per cent compared to NWT's average of 26 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, for the past 23 years that I've worked with the community, now representing them, September is a time for the community fall hunt. Mr. Speaker, it's amazing watching the community pack up and go out on the land for the number of weeks. It is about tradition, sharing knowledge, family, and community time.

What I find amazing is this community has continued to grow in population since moving to the region. I witness the population grow from 70 residents to 110. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say the community has done well, has done a good job increasing the territorial formula financing for the GNWT.

Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to inform this House the Executive Council has approved the change of the name of the geographical place and community known‑‑named as Trout Lake. Mr. Speaker, the change in name from Trout Lake to Sambaa K’e will take effect on June 21st, 2016. Mr. Speaker, Sambaa K’e means Place of Trout in Slavey.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to congratulate the Sambaa K’e First Nation chief, council, and residents for doing all the hard work to request returning their traditional name to the community. As well, I'd like to thank the Minister of Education, Culture, and Employment for his recommendation and Executive Council for approving this. Mr. Speaker, there is this first step of the community as they work to bring back our traditional names in the surrounding areas. In closing, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to give a big round of applause for the community soon to be named Sambaa K’e. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Trout Lake Traditional Place Name Change
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Mackenzie Delta.

Acknowledgement Of Skills Canada Participant And Mackenzie Delta Page Gordon Papik
Members’ Statements

Frederick Blake Jr. Mackenzie Delta

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The mandate for Skills Canada National Competition is to encourage and support a coordinated Canadian approach to promoting skilled trades and technologies to youth.

Mr. Speaker, this is the only national multi‑trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country. Every year, more than 500 young people from all regions of Canada come together at nationals to participate in over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions. Students must compete at our local, regional, and territorial events to gain their place, to represent the Northwest Territories at the Skills Canada National Competition.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate one of my constituents, Gord Papik, who in fact is already in the House working as a page representing the Mackenzie Delta. Gord competed and placed in regionals and territorials. He moved on to nationals in Moncton, New Brunswick where he demonstrated workplace safety.

Mr. Speaker, upon returning home to Aklavik, Gord had one night's sleep after which he boated to Inuvik to get on a plane to travel here to Yellowknife to work as a page. Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating Gord.

Acknowledgement Of Skills Canada Participant And Mackenzie Delta Page Gordon Papik
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. That's what you call dedication. Members' statements. Member for Nunakput.

Condolences On The Passing Of Lucy Dillon
Members’ Statements

June 16th, 2016

Herbert Nakimayak Nunakput

Quyananinni, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I just wanted to pay respects to one of the Elders in Tuktoyaktuk. Lucy Dillon was born in 1951 in Kittigazuit in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region to Kelly and Rosie Ovayuak. Lucy was the fifth oldest of 11 children. She attended the Anglican school in Aklavik, Stringer Hall in lnuvik, and Akaitcho Hall in Yellowknife.

After moving back home to Tuktoyaktuk, she began a career working as an administrator. She worked at that for years before she embarked on a new direction in her career. She worked as a secretary for Mangilaluk School for several years. From there, she moved to the wellness side of community service, where she spent many years with the GNWT, Mr. Speaker. She eventually worked for the Regional Wellness Division of IRC at the community level.

Lucy was common‑law to Eddie Dillon and they eventually married in 1972. They had five beautiful girls together and adopted a son. She was diagnosed with colon cancer and went through the treatments. She had a tumor removed after complications from cancer treatment. On June 14that 1:00 a.m., Lucy peacefully passed away at home with family by her side. All five girls and her 16 grandchildren and four great grandchildren gathered in Tuk. Rest in Peace Lucy, as you are in a better place now. Quyananinni, Mr. Speaker.

Condolences On The Passing Of Lucy Dillon
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Our condolences and prayers go out to the family as well. Members' statements. Member for Kam Lake.

Public Legal Education And The Closure Of The Court Library
Members’ Statements

Kieron Testart Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in almost every province and territory, organizations have been set up to provide essential legal information to the public at large. These non‑profit and non‑governmental groups believe that citizens cannot fully understand, much less exercise their legal rights unless they are informed and understand the laws that affect them. These groups differ from a lawyer's office or a legal aid clinic by providing general information on the law rather than legal advice for specific problems.

Mr. Speaker, I was curious about public legal information in the NWT, and through the Canadian Bar Association, I was directed to a defunct page of the Department of Justice here in the Northwest Territories. I would like to advise the Minister, if I may, that the department ought to address this before it's more than just a curious MLA trying to find information.

Luckily, Mr. Speaker, Google exists, and it directed me to the Northwest Territories Legal Services Board. Although it has no website, when I called their number, I was redirected to Legal Aid, which is by no means responsible or expected to provide public legal education. I wasn't giving up so easily though, Mr. Speaker, and Google, rather than the information provided by the Department of Justice for the public, came through again.

The Law Society of the Northwest Territories is the governing body for all lawyers in the Northwest Territories, and thankfully, also provides some resources for public legal education. All these dead ends shows that this territory lacks the public legal education provided in almost every other jurisdiction, but at least we have the law library, or not.

Recently, the Department of Justice announced plans to close the territory's only law library by the end of this fiscal year, and I quote from the Minister, "it is just not economically responsible to keep it open."

Mr. Speaker, no library was ever opened to be economically advantageous. They exist as a resource for the public to expand its knowledge and awareness through having free and easily accessible sources of information. Libraries are important, a law library even more so, and if the government goes through with this policy, the NWT will be the only province or territory without a physical law library. Mr. Speaker, I want to ensure accessible, free, and public legal education and information is available to Northerners, and I will have questions later for the Minister of Justice. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Public Legal Education And The Closure Of The Court Library
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Sahtu.

Environmental Remediation Sites Along Great Bear Lake
Members’ Statements

Daniel McNeely Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, my statement is directed to the Minister of Lands in regards to the remedial cleanup opportunities along the shores of Bear Lake. As the public would know, there is a number of old mine sites that have taken a long time for their remedial cleanup, and as a part of devolution, I think these need to be concentrated on. The flip side or the other opposite side of the remedial cleanup opportunities is the economic wealth that it would generate.

During the slow economic, idle times now, what better way than to review the environmental land management system and do an audit. If so, if maybe there is one underway that could be utilized and expedite this a little bit faster. Later on, I will have questions for the Minister. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Environmental Remediation Sites Along Great Bear Lake
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Yellowknife North.

Increased Sole-Source Contracting Limits
Members’ Statements

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the need for the government to support our small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Northwest Territories. We have spoken at length in this Assembly about the need to diversify the economy, to support Northern entrepreneurs, and to make sure our government's spending supports our growing private sector.

To that end, we have business incentive programs to support Northern businesses which face higher costs, and we have policies and regulations that make sure that our businesses and entrepreneurs can compete fairly for government jobs and contracts.

Similar to my colleague, I am concerned with some recent changes in the government's policy on sole‑source. Mr. Speaker, in the interests of timing and efficiency, some contracts are allowed to be offered without tender or negotiation processes, in other words, sole‑sourced. In the interests of fairness to all potential bidders, those contracts are limited and conditions are applied.

Mr. Speaker, the Financial Administration Manual sets conditions under which sole‑source contracts can be awarded. They are allowed only if delay in purchasing would be harmful to the public interest, or if only one supplier is available. Recently, Mr. Speaker, the Minister changed the conditions and brought in major increases in the allowable amounts for sole source contracts. The maximum value of sole‑sourced contracts for goods and nonprofessional services was increased from $5,000 to $25,000, the limit for professional services was increased from $25,000 to $50,000, and the limit for architectural and engineering professional services was increased from $25,000 to $100,000.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I received an email from a small business constituent who seems to have been directly affected by this change in policy. The company was awarded a contract with a value of $10,000 in 2012. This year, a similar contract was sole‑sourced to another agency, which was not even a business. This change in sole‑source practice without consultation does not fit our commitment to transparency, Mr. Speaker. The awarding of such a contract does not fit with our support of the small business sector, and the sole source of a contract for which there is more than one local supplier does not seemingly meet with the conditions of the sole‑source policy. Mr. Speaker, it may already be time for change of the sole‑source policy. Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, I'll have questions for the Minister of MACA. Thank you.

Increased Sole-Source Contracting Limits
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members' statements. Member for Frame Lake.

Adherence To The United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples
Members’ Statements

Kevin O'Reilly Frame Lake

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. On May 10th, Canada finally removed its objector status to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and announced its unqualified support for the declaration. In ratifying its acceptance of the 46 Articles of the Declaration, Canada takes on responsibility to uphold and implement the wide variety of goals and actions itemized in the Declaration.

Canada's action follows more than eight years after GNWT unanimously endorsed the Declaration by resolution of this Assembly on February 19th, 2008. The federal announcement marks the beginning of a long process of harmonizing Canada's laws with the standards set in the Declaration, and improving the country's relationship with Indigenous peoples.

The federal government has announced its priority commitment to a renewed process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. I'd like to draw Members' attention to one of the Declaration Articles in particular, Article 19, which says: "States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with Indigenous peoples concerning through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them."

A recent Dene Nation media release says, "the challenge is to find a mechanism to include Indigenous peoples in the Northwest Territories and their governments to work jointly with GNWT to determine priorities for spending." Very true.

Mr. Speaker, last week, our Premier co‑chaired the inaugural Federal‑Provincial-Territorial Indigenous Forum in Ottawa and was Chair of its Aboriginal Affairs Working Group. Media reports indicate that the declaration was a major agenda item. I will have questions for the Premier on the substance and outcomes of those meetings. The declaration in its extraordinary new requirements for investigation and action creates obligations for our own government. GNWT was a leader in 2008 in embracing the Declaration. We have a leadership seat at the national forum dedicated to achieving the aspirations of the Declaration.

This government is also turning its attention to things such as new post‑devolution legislation and regulation for managing our natural resources. In developing new resource management systems, it is not clear how we will meet our own obligations under the Declaration. I will have questions for the Premier later today. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Adherence To The United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples
Members’ Statements

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Members’ statements. Member for Deh Cho.