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Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2007, as MLA for Nunakput

Lost his last election, in 2007, with 12% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 16th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just have one quick question with regard to the Minister's opening remarks regarding authorities; for example, the RCMP. Is there any authority you are looking at that can be included? Thank you.

Access To Paulatuk Gravel Source August 16th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. During a visit in Paulatuk, I had an opportunity to meet casually with the mayor, council and residents of Paulatuk. An issue the mayor, council and public raised is the completion of a 35 kilometre plus access trail from Paulatuk to Rat Lake gravel source and the recent erosion problem that has occurred in Paulatuk. The erosion problem seems to be occurring all across the Beaufort because of climate change. I guess one can argue this fact.

Mr. Speaker, the previous MLA, the late Mr. Vincent Steen, was instrumental to work with the mayor and council of Paulatuk in accessing funds for the start of the access trail to Rat Lake. The hamlet, with the assistance of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, have worked together on this project for the past seven and a half years, which I understand was funded $50,000 annually towards this project.

The hamlet informed me that they are now at a point where they cannot continue this project because they require assistance for further funds to construct a bridge so they can gain access to the Rat Lake gravel source.

Mr. Speaker, at this time, I would like to applaud and thank the Hamlet of Paulatuk and MACA in working together to try and reach a much needed gravel source for municipal requirements. At this point in time, I would be

disappointed if the Department of MACA and Transportation decided not to continue and fund and complete this project. Completion of the access road to the Rat Lake gravel source will address the long-term needs for the Hamlet of Paulatuk.

Mr. Speaker, the hamlet is requesting assistance from the Department of MACA and Transportation to complete the access road to Rat Lake. They are requesting that these two departments sit down with the council to discuss and design in which to complete this access road.

In closing, it is encouraging to see the Hamlet of Paulatuk and the government departments have such a close working relationship on this project. I would continue to encourage the government to continue working with the Hamlet to find funds to complete this access road. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

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

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I guess the only reason I was asking is just yesterday I received an advisory that Paulatuk was under advisory for boiling water. So I was just wondering. By the time they hear about that, I wonder if the chief health officer put the advisory out. Thank you.

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

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just had a quick question in regards to the public health warning. How soon will the chief public health officer get a warning from a community outside of the region that have bigger regions when there is a health warning to be imposed? Thank you.

Question 124-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Gravel Source Road Access August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I understand that there is a framework in place here now, but I think this government is spending a lot of money in other places outside of the Beaufort-Delta. I would like to advise the Premier and the Minister that any considerations for giving to the Beaufort-Delta in terms of capital infrastructure funding and I encourage him because he's the funding source of access road to source 177. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 124-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Gravel Source Road Access August 15th, 2007

Thank you. Yes, it's been since February 2007 and we're now in August, like I say right now. It's been a long time to finally find out how that money can actually be spent, the $25 million infrastructure fund. I'd just like to ask the Premier I guess, he indicated that it should be shortly, once the Department of Justice reviews that, so can he give an indication to this House on whether they will expend that money between now and October? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 124-15(6): Tuktoyaktuk Gravel Source Road Access August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the Premier's sessional statement today he indicated how his government is working on new critical infrastructure projects throughout the territory, including the all-season road to the Arctic Ocean. As I indicated in my Member's statement today, Mr. Speaker, there's been a lot of discussions with the Premier between the mayor, the deputy mayor and myself with regards to accessing funds up to $50 million for access to the road to source 177 from Tuk. I'd like to ask the Premier at this time, has he heard anything from the federal government on how this money can be spent? If so, will that include allocating $50 million to source 177? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tuktoyaktuk Gravel Source Access Road August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker and colleagues. A lot of time and money has been spent to meet and discuss a source to access to source 177. Let's take what was discussed and move forward and find and allocate the money to construct the access road.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues for their continued support, patience and encouragement in allowing me to raise the issue about access to source 177. The Beatles had a hit song in the mid-'60s called a Long and Winding Road. In comparison, the access road to source 177 is only 22 kilometres and a mere cost of $15 million. Compare this cost to the cost of the proposed construction of the Deh Cho Bridge. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Tuktoyaktuk Gravel Source Access Road August 15th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today once again to raise the important issue of this government to allocate $15 million to construct a 22 kilometre access road from granular source 177 to Tuktoyaktuk.

---Applause

The access to this granular source is needed because the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk needs to address their municipal requirements such as repairs to the main roads, paths for new housing, erosion of private homeowners for repairing and upgrading their driveways. I have been in politics for

over 30 years and can now say, with confidence, the people of the Beaufort are ready for the access road and for the all-weather road between Tuk and Inuvik, a distance of 80-plus kilometres. I have mentioned the Tuk-Inuvik highway because the location and access to gravel source 177 is an alignment with the proposed Tuk-Inuvik highway.

Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Floyd Roland, the Minister of Finance, in his budget address in February, indicated the federal government will include $25 million for the next seven years for our infrastructure requirements. We are now in mid-August 2007 and there has been no indication from this Cabinet on how this money will be spent. Why? Mr. Speaker, why can't this government find it in their heart to make a decision to allocate $5 million annually for the next three years from the identified infrastructure fund of $25 million to a project that will address the long-term future for the residents of Tuktoyaktuk? By allocating capital dollars to a project such as a 22 kilometre access road from source 177 to Tuk, it will be prosperity for local and regional businesses, employment and training opportunities. I mention training because funding could come from the Department of MACA, DOT and ECE, and can be applied to conduct a heavy equipment operators course to build a road.

Mr. Speaker, discussions to date, discussions for locating access to granular sources has become a priority for the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk. They have asked in numerous meetings of the Premier, the Minister and the deputy minister of Transportation, MLA, mayor, deputy mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, the chair and CEO of IRC, the chair of the Tuk Community Corporation and the previous DIAND Minister, that they allocate $15 million for a three-year period towards the 22 kilometre access road to granular source 177. Mr. Speaker, I request time to conclude my statement. Thank you.

Committee Motion 7-15(6): Development Of Family Services Committees In Communities, Carried May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that this committee recommends that the Minister direct the department and authorities to continue with ongoing activities and to design and adequately resource a plan to develop child and family services committees in the communities and that this plan be presented to the Standing Committee on Social Programs as part of the 2009-2010 business plan. Thank you, Mr. Chair.