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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

Revert To Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 23rd, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A case in point is going back in a time, it's sort of a person thing that I had with what happened back home when I was campaigning.

Something happened to one of my sons there and the nurses couldn't diagnose what the problem was. It took up to about three days before they finally decided to have a conference between themselves to decide exactly what the problem was. I was lucky that they realized it was an emergency, because the individual ended up with appendicitis. By the time he got to Inuvik, it burst. In that case I'm just wondering, I think the nurse-in-charge at that time should have made a decision in regard to the problem. I'm just wondering, are the nurses-in-charge or nurses capable of diagnosing these kinds of situations. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Revert To Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 23rd, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm going to speak about the nurse-in-charge in the communities. I'll give you a case in point; back in Tuktoyaktuk we have four nurses and one nurse-in-charge. My question is in regard to the authority that the nurse-in-charge may have in regard to making emergency situations where a patient may need to be medevaced. I don't know if it's the right section, but that's my question. How much authority does the nurse-in-charge have to decide when a medevac needs to take place? Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Revert To Item 20: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 23rd, 2004

Thank you, Madam Chair. Just a couple of general comments for the Minister, Madam Chair. I'm glad to see that he's going to maintain the existing programs and services we have in place now. I remember bringing up a Members' statement sometime back in December or January when I talked about escorts for elders, and also about translations when they travel outside of the communities. I'm sure hoping that your department can continue these services for people outside of the smaller communities.

I am also wondering, Madam Chair, about the recruitment process for the registered nurses in the communities. I know it's a difficult process, but I sure hope your department can recruit the necessary health care workers we need in our small communities, because we know they do get overtired, as I stated some time ago.

Another comment; I think also with regard to mental health workers for the smaller communities, when they do come into our communities they should have all the training culturally and get to know the people well.

Madam Chair, with regard to the comment made by the Minister about DIAND's two percent ceiling. Again that's just another one to deal with. If DIAND says that's going to be the limit, that's the cap we have to deal with.

Looking in the newspaper which I read a couple of days ago, where the Premier talked about health and social services contributions, that we're trying to get from the federal government. Where do we go from there if we can't get the money from the feds? Are we willing to give that responsibility back to the feds? Again it's something we have to talk about. These are just some general comments I'm making, Madam Chair. Thank you.

Maximizing Pipeline Employment Benefits March 23rd, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. During the election campaign, I spoke to my constituents about the need for preparation for the proposed Mackenzie gas pipeline. The pipeline discussions have been on the agenda for a number of years in the Beaufort-Delta, and many of my constituents are concerned about the training that will be available. Many of our young people need to be prepared for the anticipated influx of jobs, which will come with the pipeline. The Department of Education should take the lead role in ensuring our young people are trained for the many jobs to come, even though some of these jobs may be really short term.

Mr. Speaker, in my community of Tuktoyaktuk, there are two buildings that can accommodate 100 or more people. These buildings can be used as a training base for people in the Beaufort-Delta region. Mr. Speaker, by utilizing one of these buildings, it would bring people from the Beaufort-Delta region into one community that can accommodate training for our young people. Courses for consideration for training in the Beaufort-Delta for residents are welders, heavy equipment operators, heavy duty mechanics, power engineering, and housing maintenance.

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the Department of Education and Aurora College to consider utilizing one of the camps in Tuktoyaktuk as a sub-base for training to get our young people ready for the pipeline and other potential projects that will come down the road, such as the potential mining opportunities around the community of Paulatuk. Aurora College considers sitting down with the two owners of the buildings in Tuktoyaktuk to negotiate a contract to utilize the buildings for training. It is time for the government and all of its partners to take action to address the training needs of the people of the Beaufort-Delta. The community of Tuktoyaktuk has the infrastructure to meet that training need. All we need now, Mr. Speaker, is the foresight to rise to the challenge. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Committee Motion 3-15(3): To Delete $120,000 From The Financial Management Board Secretariat Budgeting And Evaluation Re Foregone Interest, Defeated March 22nd, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am glad to see you will continue the studies for the Peary caribou. I hope it's in Sachs Harbour. I know they are having a hard time over there, so my general comment is the people in Sachs are concerned about the numbers of declining or increasing Peary caribou. RWED has done a number of studies over the past four years to find out exactly what is happening with them.

The Peary caribou is very important to both to Sachs and even Holman. I was visiting sometime back when John Nagy, one of your workers, made a speech to Holman and Sachs that some of the studies were happening. It's unfortunate; at the time they still don't know what was happening in my riding. Hopefully one of these years RWED can find out exactly where the Peary caribou are. It's good to see the study goes on. It's unfortunate that the people in Sachs at the present time are only allowed one caribou per household, so they are in dire straits and would like to know what's going on with the Peary caribou. Hopefully one of these days we will know exactly what is happening with the Peary caribou.

I think it would be interesting to find out from your department and to give some assurance to people in Sachs that one day they will be able to get the numbers that they require for subsistence.

Again, it's good to see they are going to continue to support the muskox harvest because it is vital for them. It's an economic base for them, although minor and small. That's money they can have for a small community like Sachs. It's important your department continues something like that. These are some of the general comments I have. I may have some questions later. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.

Item 21: Report Of Committee Of The Whole March 19th, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Bill 1, Appropriation Act, 2004-2005 and Committee Report 1-15(3) and would like to report progress with one motion being adopted and, Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of Committee of the Whole be concurred with. Thank you.

All-weather Highway To Link Tuktoyaktuk To Inuvik March 18th, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My Member's statement is in regard to the Tuktoyaktuk-Inuvik highway.

The Department of Transportation conducted an extensive consultation process, review and study on highway strategies along the Mackenzie Valley and came out with a report in October 1999. In the report, the department looked at three routes for the Tuktoyaktuk-Inuvik highway. In the report, the department agreed that PWC-77 alignment was the most logical route to link Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik. This route is approximately 140 kilometres. The residents of Tuktoyaktuk expressed overwhelming support.

Mr. Speaker, given that the in-depth consultation and study is complete and the fact that there is overwhelming support in the Beaufort-Delta region, my constituents of Tuktoyaktuk are prepared to move forward on making this road a reality. The report indicates two approaches the government may take if the projects should proceed. Given that building new highways is the responsibility of the federal government, the report has discussed the option of a community construction approach. This option is to build one kilometre of road per year. It would contribute to the economic development of the region and provide training for equipment operators and heavy duty mechanics.

Taking the community construction approach would jumpstart the project by using GNWT and community resources. This approach can provide a mechanism for local access to exist in government training and business development programs, creating regional economic development with a highway construction focus.

The department should also continue to work with the claimant groups to explore their role in more detail. Any equity participation by the three groups may augment and enhance the government-sponsored activity.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I believe a community construction approach is the best option for the Department of Transportation to build the Tuktoyaktuk-Inuvik highway. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Item 6: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery March 17th, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize Debbie Raddi, SAO for Tuktoyaktuk. Also, Jackie, self-government from Sachs Harbour. Eddie Dillon was here earlier. He is the Chair of the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation. He is gone I think, but he was up there earlier. Also, my CA, Marilyn Cockney. Thanks.

---Applause

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery March 16th, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize my wife, Lucille Pokiak, my oldest son Bertram, and my youngest son Darren. Also my CA, Marilyn Cockney and her husband Archie Chicksi. Thank you.

---Applause