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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 136-15(6): Sahtu Wilderness Camp For Youth August 16th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. First, let me thank the Member for his work in seeing this camp become a reality. In the 2006 winter season, the Member worked very hard with Charlie and Laura Tobac to encourage them to put forward an application to develop such a camp. In the 2006 season, we had a six-week program. In the 2007 winter season, we did the same. We are looking forward to similar programs as we go into this year into the winter program. We bought the equipment and we are lending that to the camp facility and then storing it in the off season. It is working very well. We are working with inmates. The inmates have reported that it has been very successful for them in helping them with some of their programming needs. So, by all accounts, this has been a success; a success that we hope that we can replicate in other regions of the territory. I know the next government is looking forward to working with other Members and committee to roll this out in other regions. I know we have plans currently underway in the Tlicho region. I thank the Member for his encouragement and want to acknowledge that much of his work was the impetus behind this. Thank you.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 15th, 2007

Mr. Chairman, with me today is Mark Aitken, director of legislation division. Thank you.

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 15th, 2007

Mr. Chairman, the purpose of Bill 11, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2007, is to amend various statutes of the Northwest Territories for which minor changes are proposed or errors or inconsistencies have been identified. Each amendment included in the bill had to meet the following criteria:

  1. a) It must not be controversial;
  2. b) It must not involve the spending of public funds;
  3. c) It must not prejudicially affect rights;
  4. d) It must not create a new offence or subject a new class of persons to an existing office.

Departments responsible for the various statutes being amended have reviewed and approved the changes.

Most amendments proposed in Bill 11 are minor in nature and many consist of technical corrections to a statute. Other changes have the effect of repealing certain enactments or statutory provisions that have expired or have otherwise ceased to have effect. The amendments are of such a nature that the preparation and legislative consideration of individual bills to correct each statute would be time consuming for the Government and the Legislative Assembly.

I will be pleased to answer the committee's questions. Thank you.

Question 127-15(6): Development And Management Of Canol Heritage Territorial Park August 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, we will talk to the committee, as I have mentioned. Obviously, we would prefer that the people entering the park use other means that weren't as disruptive. I understand that the Premier and the Member were on horseback. I applaud them for that. I think that is a very good step. I also understand that there was some walking going on, Mr. Speaker.


That is a rumour. Yes, we will take a serious look at this. There will be a response and some follow-up and I will get back to the Member. Thank you.

Question 127-15(6): Development And Management Of Canol Heritage Territorial Park August 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure at this point whether ATVs are allowed in any area of the park in any capacity. I will find that out. We will discuss this with the committee. I think we need to ensure that protection is upheld, as the Member has pointed out, and, as we establish these rules, criteria and this plan to protect the park, we will do a communications plan to make sure that everybody in the region and anybody coming in from outside the region knows the rules of being able to enter the park. It is obviously very vast. It is hard for us to police and protect in that manner, but we can work, I think, with committee members and community members as well to ensure that they're vigilant and on the lookout for anybody who may be creating problems in the park. Thank you.

Question 127-15(6): Development And Management Of Canol Heritage Territorial Park August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad the Member has brought this to my attention. I am not sure what measures are in place for protection now. I guess interim protection until the park is established. I will enquire about that and we can have that discussion with the committee. I take the Member's point. We want to make sure that we are protecting that very fragile ecosystem. Thank you.

Question 127-15(6): Development And Management Of Canol Heritage Territorial Park August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to applaud the Member and the Premier and others who took that opportunity this summer to trek through the Canol Trail. I believe they have one segment left next summer. I am sure we can have a reunion to see that last third completed. Mr. Speaker, we are certainly moving forward to see a territorial park created there. Of course, there are land transfer issues, DIAND. There is a park committee that has been set up to watch over that and handle that administration. There are a number of steps here. I don't have the latest in terms of the discussion with the committee, but I can tell you we are addressing some of the issues related to clean-up of some contaminated sites and other things, ensuring that that is conducted by the federal government. So there are a number of steps here. I will provide more information for the Member as I get an update. Thank you.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize a Yellowknife South resident, Amy Hacala, in the gallery. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 28-15(6): Gahcho Kue Rough To Support NWT Secondary Diamond Industry August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, colleagues. I am pleased to inform the House today that the Government of the Northwest Territories and De Beers Canada have reached agreement regarding the provision of rough diamonds from the proposed Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine, currently in the environmental impact review process.

The agreement will ensure continued support for our secondary diamond industry by making available 10 percent of diamonds by value from the proposed Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine for sale to approved NWT diamond manufacturers.

To ensure the continued integrity of our government certification program, our agreements with De Beers also include provisions that will allow us to monitor the sorting process for these diamonds.

This deal, together with the Snap Lake arrangements confirmed in February of this year, reflects the continued commitment of De Beers to the Government of the

Northwest Territories value-added diamond manufacturing program.

Mr. Speaker, approximately 100 people are currently employed in various aspects of this emerging secondary industry.

Our secondary diamond industry is contributing to our region's exports of manufactured goods enhancing economic diversification. Other benefits include increased revenue for the local retail jewellery industry and tourism spin-offs.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the government is collecting revenues associated with trademark royalties and authenticity certification. Over 20,000 certificates were issued in 2006-07 for diamonds mined, cut and polished in the NWT. It is estimated that we will issue approximately 24,000 certificates in 2007-08.

This agreement, Mr. Speaker, is a testament to the partnership approach that we are taking to build our northern economy.

I would like to commend De Beers Canada for their support and investment in this unique and challenging economic environment, in which we are building a sustainable local and growing diamond cutting and polishing industry.