Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Inuvik Boot Lake

Won his last election, in 2015, with 89% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 2-17(2): Doctor Shortage In Beaufort-Delta Region February 7th, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just in reference to my Member’s statement earlier, all the good work that the government has been doing in terms of dealing with our Aboriginal governments. I’d like to follow up with raising a concern that’s been brought forth to our Minister of Health in regard to the lack of doctor services, long services from doctors in the community of Inuvik. The Minister stated at our Beaufort-Delta leadership meetings that it is the number one priority to get doctors in the region, and that was on January 10th ,

I believe, he made that comment. I’d just like to ask the Minister what has his department done since making those strong comments in addressing this issue for the shortfall of services in the Beaufort-Delta Health Authority. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery February 7th, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to recognize my constituency assistant Maia Lepage, who is here doing some business this week and learning the ins and outs of the trade of the Legislative Assembly to make our office back in Inuvik more efficient, proficient and more successful in the work that we do for the people of Inuvik. Thank you.

Beaufort-Delta Regional Leadership Meeting In Inuvik February 7th, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On January 9 to 11, 2012, leaders of the Beaufort-Delta met in Inuvik to discuss matters that are important to them and the people that they represent. I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank the Premier and all of his Cabinet for coming to Inuvik and listening to those concerns, and sitting down and discussing important matters with the leaders of the Beaufort-Delta region. It shows good promise that we’re going to be building on our future strengths, working with the governments and working with the departments to make sure that people of the Northwest Territories and the Beaufort-Delta region are able to succeed and live a healthy and safe lifestyle.

I also want to commend the Cabinet on all the work that they’ve been doing over the last few months in visiting with all the Aboriginal leadership and governments across the Northwest Territories. I also look forward to bringing up these concerns that were brought forth by the leaders in the Beaufort-Delta region in this session and future sessions, to make sure that these issues and concerns are met and do not fall on deaf ears, and that action is taking place to ensure that the people of the Beaufort-Delta region do succeed and that their concerns and needs are met.

My Voice, My Choice Youth Anti-Drug Campaign December 15th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We were fortunate enough and very privileged enough to see the launch of a new campaign, a unique campaign to combat the alcohol and drug problems that we have in our communities. The My Voice, My Choice campaign that was launched today in the Great Hall was something that was very interesting, and I was really happy to see that launch and be part of something in the whole scope of things that the departments and government have been working on for years, and that’s in the area of prevention and working to educate our youth and our community members on making healthy choices.

One of my programs, when I first got into the workforce, I was asked to do a keynote address to a bunch of youth. I was only about 23 at the time. My keynote address was on the power of choice. I was speaking to about 300 youth and I told them the best choices that they can make are their own.

Everybody has a very unique power and that power is the power of choice. Don’t ever let anybody make those choices for you. Stand up and make your own decisions and make sure that they’re positive, healthy choices. Today in the Great Hall I was really fortunate and very happy to see that the youth across the NWT stood up and are making the choices on their own merits.

Earlier this week I made a Member’s statement reassuring the youth that the government has not given up on them. Today the youth reassured me that they’re working in the best interest for themselves and the future of the Northwest Territories and becoming leaders of tomorrow today. That’s one of the statements that one of them said, was we have to start today and not tomorrow. Very strong words coming from youth and something that this government should follow in the next four years so that we can move forward for the people of the Northwest Territories.

At this time I would like to thank and commend all the departments that had something to do with this, all the hardworking staff that you guys oversee and support, and all the hard work that they have been doing over the last few years to make sure the government runs very smoothly and works for the best interest of the people of the Northwest Territories; more importantly, the hardworking staff and volunteers and community members that implement these programs. Just as importantly, the youth for embracing these programs and moving forward with it.

Speaking of youth, I’d like to commend all the hard work of our Pages from Inuvik Boot Lake: Vanessa Lennie and Karly King Simpson.

I, too, would like to wish the people of the Northwest Territories a safe and very happy and merry Christmas.

Motion 19-17(1): Completion Of An Anti-Poverty Strategy, Carried December 14th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, stand before the House today in support of the Anti-Poverty Strategy. In terms of getting that strategy put forward, you know, if we’re talking about discussion papers, we’re talking about developing the strategy and bringing our groups together. We know what the problems are. Let’s start working on them now. We know what the underlying issues are that are leading our people into poverty. Let’s work on them now.

The governments have some really good initiatives. The departments have some really good initiatives.

Let’s tackle those underlying issues now so that we can start working on mitigating some of this poverty that we see in the Northwest Territories. We have a lot of good working people out there, a lot of NGOs that have been putting a lot of hard work, energy and efforts forward that it shouldn’t go unnoticed, and today we should start working on that strategy and getting those development papers forwarded. But within the departments we should look at ways we can do a little bit of work together to start working on this Anti-Poverty Strategy and not wait for that discussion paper to say, hey, we have the paper now. Let’s go to work.

Let’s do it now. Let’s start working within our departments. We are all doing a good job, but get those underlying issues and get those little problems solved. We know what they are right now. I don’t think, I know, coming from Inuvik, we have a lot of hardworking people there as well. We find the issues in our community. The communities come together and address those issues. We have a lot of concerns back home. We have a hard, strong working group of individuals there, as well, that tackle the problems. I feel that we can do that across the Northwest Territories as well. I am really glad to see this motion brought forth in the House today. I do support it.

As a government and as leaders and community leaders, we are all here for one purpose, and that is to help those people that have a hard time helping themselves and speaking for those people that can’t speak for themselves. We have to move forward on this and work with government. Even though the Anti-Poverty Strategy is not put in place right now, we still have to commend the government and all the hardworking people across the Northwest Territories for the little bit of efforts, the hardworking efforts, the energy that they have been putting in place already, and recognize that, and applaud them and continue to support them towards this Anti-Poverty Strategy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 65-17(1): Increased RCMP Presence In Remote Communities December 14th, 2011

In my Member’s statement I talked about how the people of the Northwest Territories got to become empowered and speak up against the drug dealers and the bootleggers in the community, but at the same time they also need help from the GNWT and the services that we do provide. I wanted to ask the Minister of Justice if there was a policy in place that would allow RCMP officers and canine units to do more police checks, not only on the roads but in the airports doing bag checks as well as in the cargo and the transportation systems. I am not sure how well those are being looked at right now. Is there is a policy in place that provides those kinds of checks? Thank you.

Question 65-17(1): Increased RCMP Presence In Remote Communities December 14th, 2011

With this government we are doing a lot of discussions and priorities around economic development. There is a growing trend that we see most often is when a lot of business happens in part of the country or in this case the Northwest Territories if the oil and gas coming up. Previous, when we had our little oil and gas boom around early 2002-03, there was an increase in drugs that wrought the community, and the same thing here in Yellowknife. Having that presence is very valuable and by looking into our investments into the Beaufort-Delta, I want to confirm with the Department of Justice if they are going to be bringing increased canine units or increased RCMP services there. The time to start taking action is

now for years to come and not deal with it when something happens. I want to make sure that there is a plan in place starting today, so we can offset those in years to come. Thank you.

Question 65-17(1): Increased RCMP Presence In Remote Communities December 14th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question today is for the Minister of Justice. We look at some of the underlying factors that lead people into poverty and sometimes it’s not necessarily the case of their fault; it’s, rather, an outside source. And in this case I’m talking about the drug dealers and the bootleggers in the communities that continue to feed off of the weaknesses and the addictions that people have in the communities. My question today is for the Minister of Justice. What are their plans to increase the RCMP presence in the communities

and whether or not they are looking at increasing their RCMP canine force by including possibly another member in that area for the north region of the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Empowering Communities To Be Strong And Healthy December 14th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My Member’s statement today reflects on something that results in poverty. It results from the drug dealers and the bootleggers that continue to keep our people hostage in the community and don’t give them a chance to succeed or strive to live a healthy, normal life like most of us do.

The drug dealers and bootleggers in our communities don’t have any morals. They don’t have any compassion for the people. All they care about is the dollar that goes in their pocket, feeding off people’s weaknesses and their addictions. What the government needs to do is develop more funding and more programs that will help people become empowered in the community so that they can speak up and take action against the drug dealers and get them out of the communities, and the bootleggers out of the communities, and allow them to live healthier lifestyles. Everyone has brothers, sisters, family members that are going through addictions, going through problems based on somebody else’s monetary gains. That needs to stop.

In terms of poverty, when somebody does get addicted and they are battling addictions, they do lead to having less money to make the daily services that they need to survive and have a healthy lifestyle.

Today I wanted to empower the people of the Northwest Territories and the people in the communities to stand up against these drug dealers, talk to your politicians, talk to your community members, talk to the RCMP officers. Use the Crime Stoppers website to get these guys out of your communities, and start living a healthy lifestyle and getting out of these poverty situations that we are talking about here today.

It is a different approach to poverty, and it is a healthy approach and it is a strong approach that

can empower our people to be stronger as one and have a stronger territory in the end. GNWT can look at also helping out by giving services; for instance, having more road checks on the highways that access into the Northwest Territories, as well as doing more checks within the cargo services provided at the airports as well as doing more bag checks at the airports as well. We need to take this stand and get the drug dealers out of our communities so that our people can live a healthy and normal lifestyle. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 62-17(1): Health Promotion And Prevention Funding December 13th, 2011

I know the current policy within the Health Promotion Fund that is regulated through the Department of Health and Social Services, one

of the policies is anybody who receives funding for a project cannot get funding for any subsequent years for the same project even though the project may have made significant differences in the lives of Northerners throughout the Northwest Territories. Will the Minister commit to revising that policy, re-evaluating it and making the necessary changes so that the projects that we do have across the Northwest Territories that make those positive changes can continue to get funding for subsequent years?