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Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2007, as MLA for Frame Lake

Won his last election, in 2003, with 63% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 190-15(6): Review Of Apprenticeship Programs August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, we've contracted for a review of the Apprenticeship Program in the Northwest Territories earlier this year and we're expecting to see a draft of the report in late September. So by this fall there should be a thorough review that will be available to the new government.

Question 187-15(6): Human Resources Duty To Accommodate Policy August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said, our policy speaks only to the duty to accommodate the employee and not the employee's family. Certainly we do have the opportunity, with the flexibility in the policies, for supervisors to recognize employee needs where they are able to accommodate. I'd be quite happy to ensure that the Department of Human Resources offers training sessions throughout the course of the next year to supervisors to make sure that they're aware of the requirements in the duty to accommodate and to also ensure that there's some discussion with supervisors around applicability of flex time. Thank you.

Question 187-15(6): Human Resources Duty To Accommodate Policy August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our policy refers only to the employees themselves. So according to our policy, the duty to accommodate wouldn't automatically extend to another family member. However, the government does have in its human resource policies the opportunity for flex time and, depending on operational requirements, the supervisors are able to work with employees and, if their operation will allow it, can...We can see employees are given different shifts or different hours in order to accommodate. So that is something that is already accommodated in our policies, but it has to depend on the operation and the operational needs of each unit. It's something that can be negotiated between the supervisor and the employee. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 187-15(6): Human Resources Duty To Accommodate Policy August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know whether or not it reflects what our human rights legislation says in terms of what is in our policy. It does refer to the human rights legislation and it says that the employers' obligation to accommodate stems from the human rights legislation. So it does refer to it and it says that it must reflect it. So we have a duty to accommodate our employees for their disabilities and if that's not happening, then clearly we would have an obligation to do that.

Question 187-15(6): Human Resources Duty To Accommodate Policy August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Under the human resource manual there is a clear definition of what is expected under the duty to accommodate and it is up to supervisors to work with employees to make sure that duty is actually delivered.

Question 186-15(6): Centralized Services For Seniors August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The government will work with the Seniors' Society to determine what is appropriate in each community and see how quickly we can move forward with that.

Question 186-15(6): Centralized Services For Seniors August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It would be a marvellous opportunity if we could find a way to have a person in every community to deal exclusively with seniors but, as the Members knows, we don't have enough of a demand in all of our communities to have staff available for such dedication. That's one of the reasons that we're looking at service centres, or government service centres in communities where programs like income security programs can be delivered. Hopefully, over time, we can expand the programming that they're able to deliver to include those services for seniors. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 186-15(6): Centralized Services For Seniors August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The government already has a 1-800 number that is delivered in conjunction with the Seniors' Society in order to make sure that seniors are able to access clear and concise information about programs that are available. As I have said, over the next few years we expect that this government will move to ensure that all of its front-line services are delivered through one-stop shopping in the communities. So I can commit to the Member that moving in that direction will be a priority for this government.

Question 186-15(6): Centralized Services For Seniors August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday in my statement about income security, the government's plan is to eventually move towards providing all of our social programs, if possible, through one office in all communities. It will take some time to get there, but eventually that would be the plan.

Appreciation And Best Wishes August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, it's the last day for oral questions for me in this House. Can you hear the sigh of relief?

---Laughter

Mr. Speaker, the last day as I work in this House I would like to reflect a bit on the past 16 years and first of all, though, pay tribute to my role models, and I had two; they were my parents. Both were very politically active. My mother was a tremendous organizer and backroom strategist; while my dad was the politician. I learned from them. I learned the importance of applying common sense, listening to constituents and the public, and communicating. They taught me the importance of integrity and a principled approach. Their training has stood me very well in my work here and I think would stand anybody well as they seek to do the job in our Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to very quickly extend some thanks. Again, I'd like to thank my constituents. It's been an incredible honour that they have chosen me for 16 years to represent them. I'd like to thank particularly my Cabinet colleagues for the last four years. It's been a very interesting and exciting time to be on Cabinet and be in government in this Assembly.

I've enjoyed working with the Members of the Assembly, some for four years, some for eight years, some for 12 years. Yes, Mrs. Groenewegen, some for 12 years. I know you're hoping to come back as the dean of the Assembly, but we'll see. I hope they don't call you the oldest Member as they have been calling me.

---Laughter

I'd also like to, again, thank the Assembly staff. They have done a tremendous job of making sure that we could do our work here in this House. My ministerial office staff and constituency assistants over the years and, again, particularly my family. I was really surprised to see my wife, Eileen, and son, Tyler, in the gallery today.

---Applause

I'm sure they came just to make sure that I didn't change my mind and announce that I was running again. I also thought I'd better mention it now, Mr. Speaker, because I know that my wife doesn't like to be recognized and I think she might sneak out before recognition of visitors in the gallery, so I thought I'd better say something now.

I'd like to wish all of my colleagues good luck, whether you're seeking re-election or retiring to other pursuits as I am. It's been fun working with everybody here; I really enjoyed it. Mr. Speaker, it's been an extremely interesting time to be in government, in this Assembly and I'm extremely thankful that I've had the opportunity for this public service.

---Applause