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Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2007, as MLA for Great Slave

Won his last election, in 2003, with 65% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 42-14(2): Administration Of Student Financial Assistance Program February 25th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Education, Culture and Employment. It relates to the Student Financial Assistance Program.

I have heard complaints that cheques are not always deposited in a timely manner, and that students are unable to get notification that funds have been deposited. These two complaints were in the final report of the Ministerial Forum on Student Financial Assistance. They were also in a letter that was tabled in the House on Wednesday from the Northwest Territories Students Coalition.

Mr. Speaker, it makes a big difference to students if their funding does not reach them in a timely manner. When students have to resort to food banks, as some have because cheques were late, it does not reflect well on this program.

My question for the Minister is what steps has the department taken to ensure on time delivery and notification of funds? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to join my colleagues in recognizing the value and positive tone the Premier set in making his statement. I too have gathered a response that is favourable and supportive. I would like to reflect on something I think really stood out in the message, more than many of the other messages that have been delivered in this young Assembly and in previous Assemblies; the emphasis the Premier placed on Northerners' responsibility as individuals and families to make lifestyle choices that will make a difference in the quality of our society.

I have heard Mr. Kakfwi tell a story three times now, and I hope he tells it many more times. It is the story of the young lady in Tulita who had the courage to stand up in a public meeting and say that if all the well intentioned motives of politicians for self-government and constitutional development cannot help her people reduce the incidents of gambling, smoking, drinking or abuse, then it was not really doing much good.

I take that as a signal, Mr. Chairman, that really brings home what we do as leaders, and what our colleagues at other levels of government do as leaders to make a difference for someone in their community and the Northwest Territories. As small as it might be, that is something I try to ask myself everyday; what can I do or what have I done today that has made a difference to somebody?

Gaining better control of lifestyles and the things that hurt us are indeed things we should all be striving to deliver a stronger message to our people. We need to have them realize there is a responsibility there, and that there can and will be rewards for that. One of the most daunting things for me, coming in as a new Member, is to help turn the tide on the harmful things that are going on and are so well entrenched in our society.

My colleague for the Mackenzie Delta talked about the impact of the Klondike Gold Rush a hundred years ago, and that this is something that his people are feeling the effects of. We are dealing with things that are generational and go back centuries. Tobacco and alcohol have been around for a long time and we are not going to turn that tide instantly. It is frustrating for me, Mr. Chairman, that we hear requests from every community for more treatment centres and more funding to address these problems. We are treating the symptoms, not peeling off the layers and really addressing the foundations, which are choices individuals, communities and families make.

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Kakfwi addressed a number of things in his Sessional Statement. One area that was not fully touched on was the area of justice. I think one of the things that has continued to be destructive in our society is a clash of values between the European justice system. When an offence is committed, there must be a penalty. There has been some very interesting, encouraging work in aboriginal communities that demonstrates this is not a value the aboriginal culture share. There can be other ways of addressing this. One term is restorative justice. One aspect is when an offence is committed, the guilty person does not make restitution to the Crown in a courtroom, but rather addresses directly the victim, and tries to come to some terms where they can understand and continue to live with each other and for the criminal to turn their life around.

Mr. Chairman, the address made reference to an aspect to division and downsizing and I believe it said that it was behind us. I think one chapter is behind us, a very big one, the creation of Nunavut. But as we continue to evolve our systems of self-government, there will be other kinds of division and downsizing that this government will be dealing with. This will be to negotiate those areas the various regions of the Northwest Territories want to assume on their own.

Our workforce has been hurt by the process of division. A lot of that hurt could not be avoided. This was a very large, and in some areas a very clumsy, way of creating a new part of the country. I do not know if it has ever been done all that nicely or cleanly before. So we are going through that now ourselves.

I believe we have a continuing challenge to streamline our resources, to carefully look at where we have strengths and where we have some positions that have been vacated and need to be bolstered. I think we can do better with the cooperation of our workforce to fill in the gaps and have a streamlined, smaller government.

My constituents tell me we have a lot of boards, a lot of process, a lot of duplication in our government and in our companion governments as authority has been delegated. It has also been said that of the 42,000 people in the Northwest Territories, 42,000 of them have a veto. It is a wonderful thing for the individual to have so much influence in what goes on in the Territory. But I believe there is a fine line where leadership takes a second shift to the ability of people to make an individual difference.

They are looking for leadership and decision now. We talked about this as a result of some of the work we were able to do in Fort Providence. We have created an expectation that we have more work to do. Caucus has yet to come together to refine that job and give the government more specific direction. We will be doing that soon.

Ours is a unique government in Canada because we are still dealing with concepts on how we are going to evolve our democracy to share power and influence.

One of the most important things that this Assembly will deal with are aspects of the sunset clause, areas of sharing governance, of constitutional development and of laying the ground work for the future and continuing evolution of this government.

Caucus has more to do and we will continue that work over the course of the next few weeks and months. Thank you.

Question 30-14(2): Consultation On Speed Limit Change February 24th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I acknowledge that this is a positive step and certainly one that is within the realm of the department to take. I guess I would further ask for the assurance of the Minister that mixing up these speed limits for different kinds of traffic on the same highway is something that may result in a further level of danger. Is this something that the Minister could advise on, and that is the difference between speed limits for trucks and speed limits for other traffic? Thank you.

Question 30-14(2): Consultation On Speed Limit Change February 24th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister responsible for Transportation. Mr. Speaker, the announcement that was made today regarding a change in the speed limit on a portion of Highway No. 3 for trucks being reduced from 90 kilometres per hour to 70 kilometres per hour. My question is, was the trucking industry consulted on this change to see indeed if this is something that they also feel would assist in improving safety conditions? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Canadian Junior National Cross-country Ski Championships February 24th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At the risk of turning this into a sportscast, Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize that this week in Thunder Bay, Ontario, about 260 top junior athletes from across Canada are participating in the Canadian Junior National Cross Country Ski Championships at the Lappe Nordic Ski Club.

The ski team representing the Northwest Territories is composed of Sarah Daitch from Fort Smith and Yellowknifers Starr Stinson and Mike Argue, Seth Lippert, Ella Stinson, and Sheena Trembly. I am pleased to note that Mike, Seth and Sheena are constituents of Great Slave.

The results, after two days of competition, are Mike Argue with a gold medal in the pursuit race and a silver medal in the 15K classic race. Sarah Daitch of Fort Smith has earned a silver medal in the women's 10K classic race. In the overall standings, Mr. Argue is just one point out of first place in the junior men's division.

Mr. Speaker, in the 1970's the majority of the skiers on the Canadian National Team, led by Sharon and Shirley Firth of Inuvik, were from the Northwest Territories. Our colleague for Inuvik Twin Lakes, who represented Canada in international competitions from 1968 to 1972, was also a part of this tradition.

Cross country skiing promotes healthy lifestyles and is enjoyed by many for both pleasure and competition. I am pleased the Northwest Territories is represented by such a strong team. I know the Members here, and in particular the Member for Thebacha, want to join me in wishing our Northwest Territories team well in the remaining races. Mr. Speaker, we should also acknowledge the efforts of the coaches, the officials and the other volunteers who made these results possible for their contribution to a healthy lifestyle for everyone in the North. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

-- Applause

Motion 4-14(2): Appointments To The Standing Committee On Rules And Procedures (carried) February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

WHEREAS Rule 85 requires that Members be appointed to Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Deh Cho that the following Members be appointed to the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures:

  1. Mr. Bell, Member for Yellowknife South
  2. Mr. Delorey, Member for Hay River North
  3. Mr. Dent, Member for Frame Lake
  4. Mr. Handley, Member for Weledeh
  5. Mr. Krutko, Member for Mackenzie Delta

AND FURTHER, that the following Members be named alternates to the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures:

  1. Mr. Lafferty, Member for North Slave
  2. Ms. Lee, Member for Range Lake
  3. Mr. Miltenberger, Member for Thebacha.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 3-14(2): Appointments To The Standing Committee On Governance And Economic Development (carried) February 22nd, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to deal with the motion I gave notice of earlier today.

Motion 4-14(2): Appointments To The Standing Committee On Rules And Procedures February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I give notice that on Thursday, February 24, 2000, I will move the following motion: Now therefore I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Deh Cho that the following Members be appointed to the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures:

  1. Mr. Bell, Member for Yellowknife South
  2. Mr. Delorey, Member for Hay River North
  3. Mr. Dent, Member for Frame Lake
  4. Mr. Handley, Member for Weledeh
  5. Mr. Krutko, Member for Mackenzie Delta

And further, that the following Members be named alternates to the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures:

  1. Mr. Lafferty, Member for North Slave
  2. Ms. Lee, Member for Range Lake
  3. Mr. Miltenberger, Member for Thebacha.

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, I will be seeking unanimous consent to deal with this motion today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 6-14(2): Addressing NWT Resource Development February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister raised a very critical point, I think, in this situation, and that is our long-term goal to see the control of resources brought home here to the North. The role then, of the federal government and getting their ear on this desire and indeed this right that we have is important. What assurance can the Minister give us that Ottawa is any more serious this time about bringing control of northern resources into northern hands? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 6-14(2): Addressing NWT Resource Development February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Further to my Member's statement on the Diavik project and resource development in the North, my question is for Mr. Handley, the Minister assigned to represent the GNWT on the Diavik project. The difficulties experienced with permitting have sent a confusing and a conflicting message about the development climate in the Northwest Territories, Mr. Speaker. I feel the issue, for the long term, is one of confidence and communication. Can the Minister advise what the government plans to do to deal with the broader message, and it is a message, I think, of lack of confidence so widely expressed about the development climate in the Northwest Territories? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.