Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2007, as MLA for Yellowknife South
Won his last election, in 2003, by acclaimation.
Statements in the House
Question 172-15(6): Traditionally-tanned Moosehide Program August 22nd, 2007
Mr. Speaker, we will ensure it is. There's a lot of interest, as the Member can imagine, I think, inside the department, which is where this program was generated; a lot of interest from those who work both in ENR and ITI in making this successful. They are eager to get this rolled out for this hunting season which is why we are unveiling this program at this point. So we will be working with our regional staff to roll out the details, make sure hunters know that the program is up and running and available, and hopefully we can generate a lot of interest. Thank you.
Question 172-15(6): Traditionally-tanned Moosehide Program August 22nd, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We've had a lot of discussion around this program and I think there's a lot of interest in seeing this get off the ground. I understand, from some of the people who have some history in this government, that there have been attempts in the past to create and promote such a program. As the Member has indicated, we know that there are hides that are left to rot, and it seems a shame when we have so many people asking and inquiring about our crafts. I was just at the tourism operation at the border, spoke to the people there who are running the bureau there, and they were making the same case, that we just have this what seems an insatiable demand for traditional crafts and nowhere, really, to send people to find that. So we anecdotally know there's a demand. We want to work with the hunters and trappers, with the Metis, with the bands to ensure that we are marrying up those who can tan these hides with those who would produce crafts and ensure that there is a supply of crafts in communities. So, yes, we will work with all stakeholders. It's a pilot program but we're going to work across the regions of the NWT that have an interest in this and try to see if we can't revitalize crafts in the Northwest Territories. Thank you.
Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 22nd, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It gives me great pleasure today to recognize Ruby Trudel in the gallery who's a constituent of Yellowknife South and somebody's who's done some wonderful advocacy work for women across the Territories as it relates to breast cancer. She's raised a lot of money, created a lot of awareness, and what struck me in her work was how she felt that this money needed to be targeted specifically for women in the NWT and her work in that respect. I want to thank her, on behalf of the people of the NWT, for that good work. Thank you.
This pilot program will begin utilizing hide distributors in Norman Wells and Enterprise. These distributors, experts in assessing quality hides, will grade and purchase traditionally smoked and tanned moosehides from NWT producers and sell the hides to artists and craftspersons at the purchase cost.
Mr. Speaker, the traditional tanning process takes much time, skill and hard work, but we believe that establishing a guaranteed market for these hides will encourage more production.
This is a winning solution for both the tanner and the artist. The tanner knows that payment is forthcoming for their hard work and the artist is confident that cost-effective hides will be readily available to support their craft efforts.
This program continues to confirm the government's commitment to support our traditional economy and provide new economic opportunity for harvesters and artists in our smaller communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce the Traditionally-Tanned Moosehide Program, developed by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, to ensure the continuation of traditional tanning skills and the supply of quality materials for our northern artists and craftspersons.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following package of documents: Frequently Asked Questions about Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, as well as a letter from the Minister of Justice, Yukon, and the acting commanding officer of the RCMP "G" Division. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document entitled 2006-2007 Annual Report of the Legal Services Board.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document entitled Annual Report on the Activities of the Rental Office, January 1 to December 31, 2006.
Mr. Chairman, I could speak to a lot of this detail, but it's probably easier if Members had this in front of them. So what I'll do is make sure that you have copies of this information, you have the briefing note that I have in front of me, you can see who the meetings are with, who is on the list and we'll make sure that happens in the next half an hour here. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, thank you. No, I don't think it's too much to ask if committee could see the detail of this proposed trip. I'm certainly prepared to provide that. I indicated earlier that this was really focused on businesspeople and primarily they are the folks that are travelling. For instance, NTCL is very interested in some Chinese manufacturing opportunities, transporting modules down from Tuk and through the Mackenzie to the oil sands. Aurora Village and Aurora World will be present; obviously interested in diversifying their aurora tourism business from just Japanese. A couple of lodges, Watta Lake Lodge and Mackay Lake Lodge interested in, again, as we talk about nature-based tourism, ecotourism, adventure tourism and seeing if we can attract a Chinese market, and there are a few others, Mr. Chairman. I'm certainly prepared to come to committee, present the trip as proposed. The meetings and the itinerary is laid out. So I can certainly go through that with committee members. I think it's a very worthwhile trip given that time is of the essence given the pressure that our aurora tourism industry is under. So I'd be more than happy to sit down with committee members and talk about the trip program that we've built.
To the first question around the Tourism Product Diversification and Marketing Program, I have to apologize to committee for not coming back to committee after Cabinet approval late in July. We knew that there wasn't much time before the supp would see the House. We were on a very compressed schedule, but it was in fact committee's urging and questioning of me in front of committee and in the House about whether or not our Tourism 2010 targets were achievable given the pressure that we had seen that the consumptive tourism industry was under. There were questions and urging to broaden out and diversify and look at some of the nature-based tourism and take advantage of some of our obvious ecotourism advantages in the Northwest Territories. So we were trying to respond as quickly as we possibly could. I don't know if this will be, in the end, enough money. I think it's a very good start. I think future governments will have to assess and take a look at the targets and see whether or not we're meeting those, but I think, again, this is a good expenditure. It is in response to committee's urging both in the House and in front of committee and I only apologize that we weren't able to come back to committee after getting the approval in Cabinet and realized that the first you've seen of it was in committee and then this discussion on the floor of the House. So that certainly is my failing in that respect and I hope that you can see that the program is worthwhile though. Thank you.
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