Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today marks 201 days until the next election, six months until a new government takes its place to set the priorities for the 19th Legislative Assembly. It is also the last day of our winter sitting. We have passed the last operations and maintenance budget and set the course for the final stretch of this Assembly.
This government has made progress on many issues: mental health programs, housing, 911, an office of the ombud. These past weeks have demonstrated that this government is willing to move, if it is only on the terms of the Cabinet regardless of the consensus of Regular Members.
This government's seemingly number-one priority has been to make political expediency its goal over allowing the necessary time for effective and properly consulted, considered, vetted, and then and only then implemented legislation.
There have been many changes to precedent in the 18th Assembly; our first two-term Premier, a formal mid-term review, a mandate for the government, and now the size and complexity of the bills before committees that is also unprecedented.
This government's work of setting up new regimes for control over this territory's land and resources must not be rushed. It is far too important to the economy, for future generations, and for Indigenous Nations that this House not rush to the finish line and claim "mission accomplished" just in time for the writ to drop on September 1st.
I have no doubt that there would be room for compromise, for compromise lies at the heart of the democratic process, but the rules of this institution give Ministers an absolute veto over any proposed amendments. This, combined with a rushed committee review process, will directly impact the effectiveness of Members to bring improvements to complex and lengthy bills.
Cabinet has the deck stacked in its favour. They are the banker, they are the dealer, and they have ensured they hold all the best cards up their sleeves. I believe my honourable colleague from Yellowknife Centre framed our current situation best in a recent Facebook post: "Consensus is out the window, replaced with a government overloading committees so they can check commitment boxes. [...] This is not how good legislation is made. [...] In a consensus government, wouldn't the government work with committees to achieve that end? Not in this consensus government."
Mr. Speaker, politics is about people; the people who are elected to this House and the people we all serve. Northerners or Members want a better government; they only need to take action to achieve it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.