Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Sahtu

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 34% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Bill 61: Appropriations Act (Infrastructure Expenditures), 2020-2021 August 23rd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I support this bill, as mentioned in our vetting yesterday in Committee of the Whole, looking at the bill. I mentioned yesterday, and I'll mention today, and I'll just give one example. I don't want to go through the whole document.

There is a capital cost allowance for a new school in Colville Lake. You have two buildings. This government is supporting education by establishing a new institution there, a new building, with the help of the community leaders, who will help design and agree on the colour of the building. Right now, you have bookshelves dividing classrooms, and the students are told that they have to whisper, so that they are not interrupting their neighbouring classes. Those are just examples that I have witnessed there.

There are many allowances. We have acts, we have policies, and I have every confidence than this government has scrutinized, balanced, and put forward a legitimate, sound capital plan. I agree with the capital plan. I agree with all of the benefits that it is going to produce, as the Minister said yesterday. Building the school, for example, in Colville, the community will prosper by the paycheques of the father hammering the nails on the building that will house education for their students.

I support this bill. Mahsi cho. I think that we can carry on and conclude. Thank you.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 23rd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to recognize the Chief Electoral Officer and staff, Nicole Latour, and the Sahtu returning officer, Michael Erb, and also recognize my former CA and my current CA. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly August 23rd, 2019

I'm hoping that I'm trying to capture a lot here. That's why the opposition is just smiling. Nevertheless, I think we made a change, and I hope, I'll just summarize, but I'll go back home and mention that to the leadership. I thank everybody, and thank the former Members who brought us advice when we became newcomers to this Assembly. Mahsi cho.

Reflections on the 18th Assembly August 23rd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, colleagues. In the area of health, there were a number of problems that was brought to my attention, and I have come to realize that this job is really not what it may seem to be on the audio. I, many of times, thought about that when I had seen my predecessor on audio, wondering what do they do outside of that. Now, I've seen it from the inside, and I can really say and respect the colleagues who set aside time from their life to work for the people. In that regard, I've grown to respect all Members of this House, and recognize the continued support from the staff of this House, and the staff from the departments that make them look good.

In the area of the health department, there were a number of suicidal challenges based in...

Reflections on the 18th Assembly August 23rd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, want to make closing comments as we conclude our last sitting day and recognize a lot of people out there, and a lot of accomplishments that I'm hoping that I have made, and contributions to fulfilling the platform that I sought out four years ago, and recognize the government's support for the people out there.

As an example, there are many social challenges in our remote communities, particularly having served the Sahtu in five communities without an all-season road. It really makes it a seasonal challenge to fill your grocery shelves, for example, and accessing a road trip. Those have to be scheduled.

I really support the recognition of the Sahtu leadership and the Sahtu residents, and I thank them for their support throughout the last four years. I also want to thank my family, who looked after our home while I was away. That gave me comfort to concentrate on the challenges to be addressed in this Assembly, to bring prosperous hope to the people of the Sahtu, and to the Territories, as well, with the number of highlighted resources pledged as identified in the Premier's statement today.

To give you some examples, here, in particular I campaigned on the Mackenzie Valley Highway and I was quite happy, I would say, or pleased this morning to reflect on what we've done in order to achieve where we are today in that regard. We've got a regional office in the Sahtu region, now, based in Norman Wells, bringing employee benefits and employee security to the region. The Department of Infrastructure did nothing but help to make that a realization, and realizing and continuing on with the services. Our government purchased some barges; now, I can feel free to go to the communities and say, "You've got a supply chain that would fill up your resupply of petroleum products in your homes." Mr. Speaker, I see unanimous consent to conclude my statement. Mahsi.

---Unanimous consent granted

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 22nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just want to comment on pages 41 and 42, the project listing. I see, as identified on there, there are a number of both government and joint program funding. I am glad to see that the Department of Finance, with the appropriate department, in this case Infrastructure, worked conjointly to access and exhaust as many options of financing as possible. In the spirit of partnerships and collaboration, as our Premier mentioned here, it is identified here on page 42 with the recent announcement between this government and the Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated to pursue jointly the environmental assessment for the Mackenzie Valley Highway, so I am glad to see and be part of the upcoming work for this capital. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 22nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I see on page 13 there are several schools that are identified in this budget and this department, the community of Cold Lake being one. I thank the Minister and the department and the government for allowing that capital cost to proceed ahead, here, after witnessing the buildings, and I just see it as not a need to continue treating our children that way, where they have to go to school behind bookshelves as dividers from one classroom to the next. From what I have been told by parents, they're told that their children have to whisper not to interfere with the neighbouring classmates. Then having to outside one building, to put on their warm clothes in the wintertime, and walk to the next building and do the same thing and undress, then finally sit down at their desk and focus again on their studies.

I look forward to our continued work and relationship with the community leadership and having them, as we had some initial discussions with the leadership, I told them in our recent education forum that we put together in Deline on July 4th, "It's your school, your building, and, in my view, I think you should work with the government through a partnership arrangement and participate in the design or even the colour of the building." They were quite happy to hear that and, in the same process, what I had mentioned to them was done to have input into the health centre design in the community of Tulita. So they were quite pleased and quite open to hear suggestions and, at the end of the day, everybody agreed it's your community school for your community children. Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 22nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I support this capital plan. In looking back at the first presentation made by the Minister to the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning on August 6th, in reviewing, as I mentioned in my Member's statement here today, the variety of expenditures and capital projects that this budget would support and also taking into account here the other investments made into asset upgrading programming, it makes me comfortable that there are supports for opportunities in the smaller communities and the communities that are impacted. I am encouraged by that and look forward to hearing in detail by the departments and working with the appropriate Ministers to ensure that benefits from these projects and ongoing O and M and upgrades to existing buildings are being done to the maximum participation by the local communities and region. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 22nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to recognize Yvonne Nakimayak, beneficiary of the Sahtu land claim, and recognize Chief Ed Sangris on his recent election victory and a mentor to my son, Arnold. Mahsi.

Reflection on the 18th Legislative Assembly and Government of the Northwest Territories Progress August 22nd, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Having a sound and stable fiscal strategy empowers our government to address new challenges while maintaining and improving programs and services delivery in a manner that produces positive outcomes.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories does an excellent job in promoting our diverse cultures, traditions, and natural resources. Strengthening working relationships with our northern stakeholders and federal counterparts is fundamental to better prepare a fiscal position in capturing and enhancing the opportunities that presents itself.

At the beginning of our term, we were faced with many challenges of realigning our fiscal position through making reductions and implementing revenue initiatives in order to be in a position to make investments as an Assembly. Upon our alignment of reductions and the red alert announcement, there was increased attention to the Arctic and, in particular, the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the Minister of Finance announced he will not be seeking re-election. Under his watch, designing and implementing a fiscal-balanced approach during this Assembly leaves me confident it was the right thing to do. Fiscal deliberations continued, mandate expenditures such as establishing an Ombud's office, and labour concessions. This continued fiscal strategy forged on concerns Northerners shared facing challenges, decisions that our fiscal strategic plan have worked as we have been able to make significant investments in programs and infrastructure during this Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, part of the results of these actions have been the development of this coming year's proposed capital plan that will invest $410 million in a variety of capacity-building initiatives and projects. This plan, and all the investments we have made during this Assembly, is something we all should be proud of. Mahsi Mr. Speaker.