Last in the Legislative Assembly December 1999, as MLA for Tu Nedhe
Won his last election, in 1995, with 68% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think it is up to this committee, but we have all that work done and we could share it with you to show how much we are willing to work with you and allow you, instead of ourselves taking all of the glory, we would allow the government or give the government the opportunity to introduce an amendment so that it shows the people in the Northwest Territories that we are fully committed to moving ahead and looking for a political solution and we are all working together.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one last question on clarification. In order for any constitutional or electoral boundary commission to be established and in order for it to be of any substance, your government would have to adjourn the presentation of Bill 15 introducing an amendment to sunset this bill. Will you be doing that today? Thank you.
When decisions are made and they are decisive, sometimes names change. Instead of lame duck, maybe it should be muddy duck once decisions are made. In all seriousness, Mr. Premier, this is a critical issue for the western Northwest Territories. I know how busy you and your Cabinet Members are, but at this time in our history we have to be focused. We have to move ahead and we have to give some assurances to our small communities prior to the next election. We have to do everything possible. That is why we are here. I do not speak for the Standing Committee on Government Operations, but if we can help in any way, we would be willing to do that to work on a political solution. I know you have a process in place right now where you do have our chairperson involved with yourself, your Minister of Finance, but if you need more help, then we would be willing to do that. It is something that has to be addressed.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Will you commit to this Legislative Assembly that this is the highest priority for your government and the highest priority for yourself as Premier to try to work out a political solution and consult with those aboriginal groups and other stakeholders?
Thank you. How soon will the government be able to get back to the committee on an approximate time schedule to nail down how you are going to proceed on this issue from tomorrow until the end of the life of this Assembly?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One of the recommendations the committee made on this bill is to pass legislation on the 2-2-2 make-up of the Executive Council. The government felt that would be better done through convention. When you are consulting with the stakeholders of the Northwest Territories - we have only heard the opinion of the general public at our public hearings that supported this - will you also consult on that issue of 2-2-2, whether it should be in legislation or it should be a convention of the House, and reconsider that as well?
Just for clarification once again, Mr. Chairman. I know none of us can foretell the future, but indications are that people are looking for a political solution to Bill 15 and a companion document in order to ensure that there is a process in place to establish a new constitution for the western Arctic as well as electorial boundaries. In order to do that it means, just like we have said in our committee report, that the government has to consult, has to go and talk to the people, the stakeholders, to put this together to bring the legislation forward. I am hearing that the Premier, on behalf of his government, is totally committed to doing that, to putting that effort there. This is what I would like to know now. You know what the life of the 13th Assembly is. There is a date. What it is, I forget, but I do know that it is possible to have a Legislative Assembly sitting as late as late September, possibly early October. I am not quite sure of the dates. Are you willing to support a legislative sitting at the latest possible time in the life of this Assembly in order to get the consultation done and the legislation done, if possible?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. What the Premier is saying is that he is committed to working with the stakeholder groups to come through with a political solution in the life of this 13th Assembly. He will make all the necessary efforts to bring back legislation in the fall sitting.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. When you are dealing with the Aboriginal Summit and the stakeholder groups, because of the time constraint, the government has to be fairly focused and the aboriginal governments have to be paying attention to this issue as well as being focused. Also, in order to get these people to all talk about a political solution, this being one of those, there would have to be proper resources put there to assist them to come to the table. Have you thought of that at all?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just for clarification, Mr. Premier, on your opening remarks, you had talked about now that the recommendations of the committee's report are formal motions in committee of the whole in the past that you will be immediately going out to the stakeholders to consult on moving ahead on the Constitutional Electoral Reform Commission, so that would start immediately? Will that start immediately? We do have a time frame that there is a session being scheduled for late September sometime. In order for this Assembly to deal with that, we would have to start immediately, consulting with the stakeholder groups.
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