Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Great Slave

Won his last election, in 2015, with 79% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 16-16(1): Transfer Of Volunteerism To The Department Of The Executive November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This question is for the Premier. Given that the voluntary sector is diverse and provides support to all areas of a community, there is merit in having the mandate for supporting the voluntary sector transfer to the Executive. Currently with MACA, the mandate is for sport, recreation and youth, and does not give them the knowledge, expertise and whatnot to reach out and address issues of voluntary groups such as justice and arts and whatnot. As Premier, would you commit to supporting the voluntary sector creating a clear and logical singular point of contact and allocating the responsibility for supporting this sector to the Executive? This will send a message that the GNWT values the voluntary sector and is committed to voluntarism and developing an open, informed, sustainable dialogue with the NWT voluntary sector.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Government Support For The Voluntary Sector November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The catch is now figuring out where I was. Alright.

Further, they feel that some of these challenges may be overcome by assigning the responsibility, mandate and accountability for implementing the government’s commitment to the Executive under one Minister.

Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon I’ll be asking the Premier some questions regarding the effectiveness of having the responsibility for the voluntary sector under the Department of MACA and how the government intends to move forward in order to provide the support committed to the voluntary sector in March 2005. Thank you.


Government Support For The Voluntary Sector November 27th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In 2005, the 15th Assembly released a declaration on volunteering

which demonstrated the government’s commitment to work with organizations that represent the diversity of the voluntary sector and support the voluntary sector through active partnerships and leadership on such programs as the NWT Volunteer Support Initiative, which is the VSI, and the related finance action group.

Volunteering in organizations within the voluntary sector supports community wellness and helps all northerners build the kind of communities that we all want to live in, for both families and individuals. Through the voluntary sector, people have had the ability to come together, take action, and come up with solutions to the common problems that improve the quality of life for all residents of the Northwest Territories.

The sector is broad and includes voluntary organizations which support the arts and culture, actively engage youth and adults in organized sports, and provide social programming to northerners in need and/or crisis. The sector includes organizations that are purely volunteer-based, as well as non-government organizations which employ staff in order to provide administration and respond to the wishes of their membership. All add to the strength of communities. Given the nature of the sector, organizations within it are able to respond to community and individual needs far quicker than the government.

As part of the government’s declaration, it was recognized that helping others is a shared tradition of northerners and that open, informed, and sustained dialogue with the NWT voluntary sector was, and is, required between the sector and government. As such, in compliance with the government’s commitment to support the voluntary sector, the GNWT appointed the Minister of MACA as the Minister responsible for addressing voluntary sector issues and accounting for the NWT VSI. Unfortunately, although MACA has done some work with the Volunteer Support Initiative and the finance action group, the sector continues to struggle and their ability to provide services to meet local needs and advocate for the marginalized and under-represented individual groups and their cause is being compromised.

Many of the organizations within the sector feel that the lack of progress may be related to the lack of the GNWT staff dedicated to this area, as well as the lack of government-wide approach on supporting the sector itself.

May I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement?

Motion 8-16(1): Appointments To The Striking Committee, Carried October 19th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

WHEREAS it is required by Rule 85 that the Legislative Assembly shall appoint a Striking Committee of five Members to report and recommend, with all convenient speed, Members to comprise the standing committees;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, that Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Robert C. McLeod, Mr. Menicoche, and Mr. Ramsay be appointed to the Striking Committee of this Assembly.

Motion 7-16(1): Rules Amendments For The Standing Committees Of The House, Carried October 19th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to deal with the motion I gave notice of earlier today.

Motion 8-16(1): Appointments To The Striking Committee October 19th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I give notice that on Monday, October 22, 2007, I will move the following motion: Now therefore I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, that Mrs. Groenewegen, Mr. Hawkins, Mr. Robert C. McLeod, Mr. Menicoche and Mr. Ramsay be appointed to the Striking Committee for this Assembly. Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, I will be seeking unanimous consent to deal with this motion today.


Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 18th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize my parents, Dick and Loretta Abernethy, as well as a good family friend, Ian Gilchrist and an individual who helped me on my campaign, Kathryn Carriere. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Appreciation To Great Slave Constituents And Supporters October 18th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thanks to everybody in the gallery for being here today. Mr. Speaker, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents for their confidence in me. One of my goals both during and prior to the campaign was to listen to the people of the Great Slave riding and the North to learn what issues were important to them. I am now excited to move forward and work with the Members of this House on these very important issues and in the best interests of all people of the Northwest Territories. I’d also like to thank the people who helped me with my campaign for MLA, in particular Jacqueline McKinnon; Trudy Samuel; my sister, Susan Abernethy; my parents, Dick and Loretta Abernethy; Bernie Bauhaus, who was my official agent; and, last but not least, Kathryn Carriere.

I’d also like to acknowledge the other candidates of the Great Slave riding: Mr. Mark Bogan, Chris Hunt, Beaton MacKenzie and Doug Ritchie. They are all very passionate about the NWT and I hope that they continue to be involved in both the community and the North.

In closing, I want to send a message to the new Premier, to the Ministers, to the Speaker and to all Members of the Legislative Assembly: I’m really looking forward to getting to work with all of you and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work, knowing full well that getting elected was just the beginning. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.