Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for Yellowknife Centre
Won his last election, in 1991, with 32% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It takes many kinds of people to make a successful government, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. We all know that Mr. Todd is a very creative, artistic and spiritual person. So, I would like to ask the Minister if he was able to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico, where a huge exhibition and convention on North American art took place in the month of May.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The proposed act recognizes a student's entitlement to access an education program in a public school, public denominational school, private school or through home schooling. This entitlement is limited by the age of the student, five to 21, by residency requirements, and by citizens.
The bill provides that, although a student over the age of 21 is not entitled to access, it is within the authority of the district education authority to offer an education program to students over the age of 21. The committee is supportive of an upper age limit of 21 as opposed to the previous limit of 19.
The committee heard many comments on the inclusive schooling section of the bill during the public hearings. As a result, during committee meetings, the entire section was amended. The section now ensures the right of all children to instruction in a regular classroom setting. Decisions on support services are to be determined at the local level and the limiting phrase "where practicable" has been removed.
Inclusive Schooling Funding
Many of the concerns with the inclusive schooling policy come from the issue of resources. Presenters said that the policy was sound but, if adequate resources are not provided to see it through, students are only being "warehoused," rather than educated.
The concerns with funding are twofold. First, the resources dedicated to special needs do not seem to be sufficient to implement the direction, as laid out in the policy and as implemented in the 1980s when students were returned to the north from southern specialist institutions. If the policy is to work, adequate resources must be provided. The second issue relates how divisional boards use the funding allocated for special needs. As one presenter said, "you can say every child has special needs," so resources originally intended for a specific group of children are now being used to address a much broader set of needs. Some Members saw part of the problem in the lack of definition for what the Minister means by special needs.
While the issue of resources cannot be addressed through the legislation, the committee believes that resources are crucial to successful implementation of inclusive schooling.
So, we have recommendation 2. The Standing Committee on Legislation recommends that the government evaluate the formula funding provided for inclusive schooling and the processes used by education bodies for allocating this funding among students, taking into consideration the inclusive schooling policy.
Mr. Speaker, I will now defer, through you, to the dean of the House, Mr. Pudluk.
Opposing Introduction Of NWT Sales Tax June 8th, 1995
Thanks, Mr. Speaker. This isn't a result of a formal constituency meeting but on my stroll through the streets of Yellowknife yesterday at noon hour and today at noon hour -- when I met my colleague Mr. Whitford who tried to claim my corner in the middle of the city -- I learned that one of the concerns that people have is this government has been thinking about introducing a sales tax.
I have tried to tell people that this is the last gasp of this government, there's nothing on the agenda, there is no legislation and no plans for this government to impose a sales tax in the few months that this 12th Assembly has left to live. I would like to point out though, Mr. Speaker, that all the great expectations of the goods and services tax imposed by the federal government some years ago have not produced the expected results and I would like to warn any future government that in our jurisdiction such a tax would really be regressive. Simply because, what happens when you put a tax on money that has already been taxed once in the form of personal income tax, what you are going to do is really reduce consumption, not just simply put money into the government coffers.
You are going to build up consumer resistance. They decide whether they are going to spend or not. Businesses get very upset when they see they have to charge ridiculous prices for things. You see sales where businesses say they'll swallow the GST and we won't have to pay that. It becomes a sales ploy or gimmick. We also have a very young population, Mr. Speaker. Older people like me have a fridge, a washing machine, furniture and all kinds of stuff because we've lived long enough and have earned enough money over a period of time to get the things we need to survive in our houses. But young people have to face a very uncertain future in terms of employment and the economy, and we should be very, very careful before we impose this kind of tax in this jurisdiction, given the kind of population we have, where half the people are below the age of 15. It is a population that really is very, very sensitive, a business community is just beginning to develop and I would warn any future government that it would not be a wise action to take. Thank you.
I move that we report progress, Mr. Chairman.
I withdraw my motion, Mr. Chairman. It's late in the day and I think people are going to get restless and annoyed. I'll just withdraw it.
I've done a second reading of the motion, Mr. Chairman, and I found another error which, if we're going to make a motion, should also be corrected.
And then there would have to be another amendment to change the other mistake, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I move that where the word "recommended" appears it should be made plural by the addition of an "s", and that the word "that" which appears before the word "liability" should be changed to the word "the."
I made a criticism, but I didn't make a motion, Mr. Chairman. I could make a motion, it that would help matters a little bit.
I don't want to be picky, Mr. Chairman -- it's late in the day to get on people's nerves -- but first all I believe that the word committee is singular. It's a singular noun and the verb should be "recommends" not "recommend," with an "s" after it. When we come to the body of that first clause, "in a way that reinforces that liability," 'that' doesn't mean anything. You don't know what it's talking about. I believe it should be "the" liability, not "that" liability. It just doesn't make sense. In English this sentence doesn't make sense; it's not a sentence. I would say that this motion, because it doesn't make sense, is out of order.
I could move a motion that we change it so that we have "recommends," with an "s", twice, where those words appear and that we replace the word "that" with the word "the." Then it would make sense and it wouldn't be out of order.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was very happy to be part of the effort by this government to lobby on behalf of the fur industry in April. I've been interested in the fur issue since 1987 when we first began to become very heavily involved in what was, for us, a major issue.
Since April, Mr. Speaker, I undertook, in cooperation with Mr. Antoine and the Department of Renewable Resources, to inform many of our students about the importance of this issue in Europe. We learned when we were there that the big impact that was taking place on European parliamentarians was the fact they got many letters from animal rights activists; many of them very radical, and they seemed to have a tremendous impact. So this afternoon, there will be a campaign begun in
the Northwest Territories where students, in fact, will look through a large package of information about the fur industry and will be writing to European parliamentarians giving another point of view about how important the fur industry was in the whole establishment of this great country of ours. It was the basis of our economy for so long. It matters an awful lot psychologically and culturally to the people of the Northwest Territories. They will, in fact, begin writing letters to these people to give them a different perspective. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
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