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Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly October 2011, as MLA for Mackenzie Delta

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 13% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Minister's Statement 1-13(2): Sessional Statement February 15th, 1996

Thank you, Madam Chair. With regard to the Premier's statement, I support a large majority of what was said. There are comments in there that I basically feel have to be supported fully by everyone here, especially with regard to the question about not cutting in only one area. I think in the larger centres looking at the smaller communities that have not had the opportunity to manage themselves in the past, they have always been sort of dictated to from the top down. I think it's now time through this process of empowering communities and allowing them more responsibility, to say how those communities operate by ways of block funding and streamlining government. We need to allow the administration of a lot of these programs and services to be done at the community level, not from the top down. I think that's what we're looking at here to save revenues and consider cutting the deficit. But we have to look at it in the context of how we can save, not in the context of what am I going to lose. I think we have to look at it in the context of not winners and losers, but looking at a new way of governing the Northwest Territories.

We've had a system in the North for the last 30 years which was brought from Ottawa and imposed on people in the North who lived up here all their lives. We have been stuck in a situation especially from the smaller communities where you have band councils, settlement councils and hamlet councils. But there seems to have always been the clash between the aboriginal groups; the imposed government structure within those communities. I think this gives us the opportunity now to work collectively in the community formulating one central government system so that everything basically flows from one level; that your administration costs will be down with regard to how they conduct the meetings in the community without have to run through three or four different agencies. You'll be basically dealing with one group.

The same thing with the northern accord and the other issues that relate to aboriginal people. I think you have to look at that in the context that we have always had two levels of government here. We had a government that was in charge of band councils -- basically, Indian Affairs out of Ottawa -- and we had another government which was in charge of municipal affairs and communities. I think we have to look at a way of dealing with problems in the communities which always seem to be handed off from one responsible authority to another, especially if it's a federal issue such as a health issue in which basically the individual is usually stuck in the middle wondering where to go from here. With regard to what was imposed by the Premier in his presentation, I support it fully but I think people have to also realize that we cannot get back into the mould of saying well, if I'm going to lose, I'm not going to support this. I think we have to look at it in the context that this is change and change is basically for the betterment of all people in the North; we can't just look at the larger centres versus the smaller centres but have to look at it in the context of how government is going to be moulded to operate in the North for the betterment of everybody. Thank you.

Question 28-13(2): Streamlining Ui And Social Assistance To Assist In Upgrading February 15th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Education with regard to the problem of individuals receiving UI and then they want to better themselves by attending programs through Arctic College. There seems that there is a problem when you try to move ahead to get the skills to go into other areas and get off UI/social assistance. It seems like there is a real barrier there for individuals who want to move ahead. They either get cut off of UI or they are put in the situation where they have to go back to Social Services and go through that system. There is no clear direction that has been spelled out to simplify a lot of these problems that we have a lot of our clients running into. They make an attempt to better their lives by getting educated and moving into a sector in the workforce. Unemployment is high in the smaller communities and usually the UI process takes so long to get to begin with, by the time you are in the system, you are looking at a few months down the road.

I wonder if the department has made an attempt to look at streamlining with the federal government with regard to social assistance, UI and the Department of Education so it isn't so difficult. That way they wouldn't be penalized for making an attempt to proceed to move ahead in life. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 13-13(2): Transporting Deceased Registered Indians From Southern Canada To Home Communities February 14th, 1996

The question I was looking at, Mr. Speaker, is with regard to people who are deceased due to cancer, a disease or what not. I think that was what I was basically relating my question to.

Question 13-13(2): Transporting Deceased Registered Indians From Southern Canada To Home Communities February 14th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is with regard to the whole question not of residency, but the question about bands, being a registered Indian based on a band list. If you're registered anywhere in Canada, you have to be associated with a band. I think it may not have been taken into consideration when that program was cut out because we do have a lot of people who are registered, either through land claim agreements or through a band list, as registered Indians to a band in Arctic Red River or Tsiigehtchic or Fort McPherson or Aklavik. I'm saying that I think that should be seriously considered when we make the statement that these people are not residents of the Northwest Territories, but technically they are because they are registered under a band list. I think that has to be seriously looked at.

Question 13-13(2): Transporting Deceased Registered Indians From Southern Canada To Home Communities February 14th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Health and Social Services with regard to the matter of members of bands who are registered Indians under the band list may live in southern Canada for educational reasons, health reasons or what not who may have passed on. Basically, the cost of transferring people back to their communities for burials seem to be a real concern to a lot of my members, especially in the Mackenzie Delta. A lot of people have been moved to southern institutions with TB and other things in the past; in which, they may reside there, but the family is originally from places like Arctic Red, Fort McPherson or Aklavik. We would like to know if the Minister can look into revisiting this issue with regard to transferring people's bodies from southern Canada for burial in the North who are registered Indians.

Fire At Fort Mcpherson School February 14th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In the early morning hours of January 9th, the Chief Julius School in Fort McPherson was destroyed by fire. The Fort McPherson RCMP and volunteer firefighters were called to the scene immediately but could do little to stop the blaze. Apart from being the community's only school, this building also housed the museum. It had a number of Dene artifacts, some dating back to the 1800s. The total loss has been estimated at between $7 million and $8 million.

Since the time of the blaze, the community of Fort McPherson has rallied amongst themselves. Various community buildings now double as classrooms; such as, the hamlet office, band council, Gwich'in tribal office, the youth hall and the church. The school housed approximately 240 students of which, 220 students are presently attending school in Fort McPherson and 20 of the students are presently attending school in Inuvik.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the communities across the Northwest Territories and southern Canada that have offered their assistance. And I would like to congratulate the residents of Fort McPherson for their ability to mobilize during a time of crisis.

Although the community and the school system have done an excellent job dealing with this crisis, I'm sure the Minster and Members of the House are as eager as I am to see a new facility up and running as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 15-13(1): Support For Western NWT Constitutional Development Process December 14th, 1995

WHEREAS the Constitutional Development Steering Committee (CDSC) was formed to design, implement and guide the process of developing a constitution and structure of government for the new western territory, which will be created upon division of the NWT on April 1, 1999;

AND WHEREAS it is imperative that the western constitutional process continue in order to ensure the development, ratification and implementation of appropriate structures of government for the western territory by April 1, 1999;

AND WHEREAS on April 27, 1995, the 12th Legislative Assembly endorsed the 12 draft principles to be used as the basis to guide the western constitutional process;

AND WHEREAS this continues to be an urgent matter of major political significance in the western NWT;

AND WHEREAS the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Hon. Ron Irwin, has indicated that he has postponed his decision to provide support until the 13th Legislative Assembly has considered its approach to gaining public support for changes to the structure of government for the new western territory;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Iqaluit, that the Legislative Assembly strongly endorses and supports the continuation of the CDSC process to ensure ongoing public consultation and discussion and progress on the development, ratification and implementation of a proposal for a constitution and structure of government for the new western territory;

AND FURTHERMORE that this Assembly recommends that the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories continue to provide an appropriate level of funding to the CDSC to conclude the western constitutional process.

Thank you.

Motion 16-13(1): Appointment Of Deputy Chairpersons Of Committee Of The Whole December 14th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I seek unanimous consent to deal with Motion 15-13(1) on support for the western NWT constitutional development process today.

Bill 1: An Act To Amend The Borrowing Authorization Act December 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to deal with my motion to support the western Northwest Territories constitutional development process today.

Motion 15-13(1): Support For Western NWT Constitutional Development Process December 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Friday, December 15, 1995, I'll move the following motion: I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Iqaluit, that the Legislative Assembly strongly endorse and support the continuation of the CDSC process to ensure ongoing public consultation and discussion and progress on the development, ratification and implementation of a proposal for a constitution and structure of government for the new western territory;

And furthermore that this Assembly recommends that the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories continue to provide an appropriate level of funding to the CDSC to conclude the western constitutional process.

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time I will seek unanimous consent to deal with this motion today.