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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

Congratulating Cabinet And Thanking Constituents November 22nd, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Congratulations on your election. Congratulations also to the Premier and Cabinet. At this time, I'd like to thank my constituents for electing me to this position. It's an honour and I will serve them well.

At this time, I would also like to recognize a former MLA, Mr. Richard Nerysoo, who has served 16 years to the people of the Mackenzie Delta.

---Applause

I would like to thank him for that. I would also like to recognize the other leaders in the communities who serve on hamlet councils, settlement councils, bands, Metis locals and in the other activities that go on within our small communities. Thanks to the people who serve at the present time and the people who have served in the past.

We have some big issues in front of us over the next four years and I'm glad to see that the people we have here have endorsed the idea of working cooperatively and working with regard to the issues that are facing us. The main issues that we have in front of us are the question about division, the constitutional development process that is happening in the West and also the outstanding question of aboriginal claims that have not been settled and those that have.

The biggest issue we have to face is the deficit. I would like to say that it's going to be a challenge to deal with the deficit, but we also have to keep in mind the have and have-not communities. From the statistics that we've looked at, it would seem that the biggest impact will be on smaller aboriginal communities that do not have an economic base with regard to an industry such as oil, gas or minerals. The biggest impact that we've seen, especially in the aboriginal communities, is with regard to the fur question.

We have to somehow stimulate the economy so that everybody benefits, not just in the larger centres, but also in the smaller communities by looking at things such as economic opportunities in the non-renewable resources; looking at using natural products such as caribou meat, fish, forestry products and also look at the tourism potential that we have in the North.

One thing that I would like to make the House aware of at this time is that from the Gwich'in perspective, we are also facing an international problem that you may not be aware of; that's the question about the 10-02 lands in Alaska. We have, for thousands of years, depended on the Porcupine Caribou herd, whose calving grounds are in the Arctic National Refuge in Alaska. The Gwich'in have been fighting this battle for a number of years and it's presently in the hands of the President of the United States. That is an issue that is close to our hearts and has to be resolved for the protection of the Gwich'in culture and lifestyle.

I would like to thank my colleagues who have supported the initiatives that we are working on. I see that there will be a change in this government and a change with regard to how we do business. I look forward to working along with you over the next four years. Thank you.

---Applause