Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for Iqaluit

Won his last election, in 1991, with 60% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question O44-12(1): Escalating Costs In Legal Aid December 11th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member is absolutely correct that the legal aid cost sharing agreement with the federal government has been frozen at 1989-90 dollars, and we are facing a serious shortfall in the amount of money available for legal aid, compared with the demands on the system. I want to assure the Member and the House that I have given this problem priority attention. I had a chance to meet briefly with the Legal Services Board shortly after my appointment; they have now presented me with a report that they had commissioned on legal aid. I have also the benefit of the recommendations of the "Strength at Two Levels" report on that subject, and this week I am meeting with my department to consider what steps will be necessary in order to deal with these financial problems that the Member has alluded to.

I expect that I will have to make decisions soon in order to deal with the issue this fiscal year. Fortunately, I will have the benefit of this review that has been done under the auspices of the Legal Services Board and the "Strength at Two Levels" report to guide me in tackling the issue.

Today I do not know what can be done, Mr. Speaker, but I expect that by the end of the week the department will be making recommendations to me about necessary steps that will have to be taken, and I will keep honourable Members informed as those decisions are taken. Thank you.

Question O32-12(1): Site Of 1994 Arctic Winter Games December 11th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to giving honourable Members a full briefing about the significant preparations that are already under way by this small, but very enthusiastic, aboriginal community in Northern Alberta. I guess I am asking to take the question on notice. I do not know the precise answer to the Member's question, but I will get back with an answer to his question and also other information about the 1994 Arctic Winter Games and how the site came to be selected. But I understand that the community is already undertaking preparations to make sure the games are a success.

Question O32-12(1): Site Of 1994 Arctic Winter Games December 11th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, the Alberta contingent was involved in the Arctic Winter Games when it was held in Yellowknife in 1990. I believe that may have been the first time, I am not exactly sure.

Question O32-12(1): Site Of 1994 Arctic Winter Games December 11th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This will not be the first time the Arctic Winter Games are held South of 60. When Quebec was participating in the Arctic Winter Games, they were held some years ago in Shefferville, Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, I should first explain that the decision about the location of the Arctic Winter Games site is not actually made by the government -- perhaps the Member already knows that. In fact, the Arctic Winter Games are run by a corporation which is funded only in part by the government, and it is the corporation which runs the games and decides on the location. Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I understand that because we now have participation from Alberta in the Arctic Winter Games, from Northern Alberta, and because the sites for Arctic Winter Games do rotate from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is Alberta's turn to host the Arctic Winter Games after the forthcoming Arctic Winter Games this coming March in Whitehorse. Thank you.

Ministers' Statement 9-12(1): Mine Safety Act December 11th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, during the past week I have toured an underground mining operation and have spoken with labour leaders and mine management to hear their views and to let them know that the occupational health and safety of miners is an extremely important issue to our government.

As a result of concerns in this area, I am announcing today that the government has concluded that the proposed new mine safety bill tabled in the previous House will not go forward in its present form and that a new consultative process will be undertaken. The government still wants to have initial comments on the draft bill and regulations. Many interested parties have already given a great deal of thought to the tabled document, and we do not want their efforts to be lost.

Mr. Speaker, the new consultative process will take place under the auspices of a mine safety bill committee that will have an independent chairman who is knowledgeable in mining, two representatives from industry, and one representative each from unionized and non-unionized labour. We expect this committee to begin its work in January.

Good health and safety legislation must satisfy three requirements. It must be acceptable to workers; it must be achievable by management; and it must be enforceable by the regulators. To allow those directly affected by the legislation to participate in its formation will create a better climate for its administration and its effectiveness. I believe the establishment of this committee will meet these requirements. Work of the committee will hopefully lead to a new Mine Safety Act for introduction at the Assembly's fall session in 1992 or, at the latest, during its budget session in 1993.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to announce that interim amendments to the existing Mining Safety Act will be introduced at the 1992 budget session. These amendments, in part, flow from the coroner's inquest into the death of a miner in Yellowknife last year.

In conclusion, I am looking forward to working with labour and industry to develop effective new legislation to present to this House which will meet everyone's desire for a safe, healthy and productive workplace. Thank you.

Notice Of Motion For First Reading Of Bill 3: Adoption Of The French Version Of Statutes And Statutory Instruments Act December 10th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Thursday, December 12, 1991, I shall move that Bill 3, An Act to Amend the Adoption of the French Version of Statutes and Statutory Instruments Act, be read for the first time. Thank you.

Item 11: Tabling Of Documents December 10th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With your permission, I would like to table four documents. In accordance with the Statute Revision Act, I wish to table Tabled Document 4-12(1), Volume III, Supplement to the Revised Statutes of the Northwest Territories, 1988. I wish to table Tabled Document 5-12(1), The Northwest Territories Law Foundation, Ninth Annual Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1991. I wish to table Tabled Document 6-12(1), Northwest Territories Legal Aid 1990-91 Annual Report. Finally, Mr. Speaker, I wish to table Tabled Document 7-12(1), Annual Report of the Northwest Territories Workers' Compensation Board for the year ending December 31, 1990. Qujannamiik.

Question O31-12(1): Legislation To Protect Women In Divorce Cases December 10th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sure the honourable Member knows that the Minister of Justice previous to myself had commissioned a review of what are called "gender equality issues" relating to the justice

system. There is a special advisor to the Minister of Justice now doing extensive public consultation before submitting recommendations to the government on how women can be treated more fairly in all aspects of the justice system. I do expect that this very issue that the honourable Member has raised will undoubtedly be the subject of recommendations of the special advisor in this very important area of matrimonial property.

However, Mr. Speaker, to answer the Member's question shortly, succinctly, yes, I will be open to considering whether our legislation can be improved or new legislation can be developed to meet the concerns expressed by the honourable Member; and I will rely on advice that I expect to receive from the special advisor on gender equality on that issue.

Question O24-12(1): Membership On Workers' Compensation Board December 10th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have not enquired as to the ethnic origin of members of the Workers' Compensation Board, and I am not sure he is correct that there are no aboriginal members on the board, but I do not know for sure. His question as to Members of the Assembly being consulted in the process of dealing with the issue of definition of hunters and trappers for the purpose of WCB coverage, I would want to assure the honourable Member that I will consult Members of this Assembly as I deal with this issue, along with other Ministers of this government. I will keep Members informed and I will seek their views.