Last in the Legislative Assembly March 1999, as MLA for Baffin South

Won his last election, in 1995, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Bill 2: Nunavut Statutes Amendment Act, 1999 March 23rd, 1999

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Keewatin Central, that Bill 2, Nunavut Statutes Act, 1999, be read for the third time.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 23rd, 1999

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With me are Legal Counsel, Rebecca Veinott, and our Legal Interpreter, Mr. Philip Melas.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 23rd, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Bill 7, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 1999, amends various statues of the NWT. It corrects errors or inconsistencies that have been identified in the ongoing statute revision project or that have been brought to the attention of the Department of Justice by members of the public or by the staff of the Department of Justice or other departments. In this respect, some changes proposed in Bill 7 consist of grammatical or spelling corrections to either the English or French version of the statute. Other amendments contained in Bill 7 relate to statutes or provisions of statutes that have not been proclaimed in force. The bill repeals sections 5, 6 and 8 of an Act to Amend the Jury Act. The matters dealt with in those sections, in addition to other matters, are addressed in the amendments to the Jury Act contained in this bill.

Most of the proposed changes to the Jury Act clarify the regulation-making powers so that procedural matters may be dealt with effectively in regulations. Bill 7 also repeals an unproclaimed 1992 act amending the Real Estate Agents Licensing Act. Departments responsible for the administration of the various statutes being amended by the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 1999, have each reviewed and approved the changes to the statutes under their authority.

The amendments are of such a nature that the preparation and legislative consideration of the individual bills to correct each statute would be time- consuming for the government and the Legislative Assembly. In order for an amendment to be included in the bill, you have to meet the following criteria:

a. It must not be controversial;

b. It must not involve the spending the public funds;

c. It must not prejudicially affect the rights of persons; and,

d.It must not create a new offence or subject a new class of person to an existing offence.

Mr. Chairman, in our view the amendments proposed in Bill 7 meet those criteria. My officials will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Question 24-13(7): Firearms Regulations Implementation March 23rd, 1999

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Alberta government is responsible

for the firearms regulations. They are applying to the Canadian government to appeal the firearms regulations and we will be involved, as well, with the Alberta government, as well as the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario governments, to oppose this bill. We are not familiar at this time exactly as to how far they have gone to date with this opposition to the new firearms regulations in Canada. It is through the Canadian Supreme Court that it will take place and the hearing has not been set. What the honourable Member has asked, the question, I am not familiar at this time and when I know, then I will be able to answer his question. (Translation ends)

Return To Oral Question 18-13(7): Update On Down Payment Assistance Program March 23rd, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a return to an oral question asked by Mr. Steen on March 16, 1999, on the Down Payment Assistance Program. Mr. Steen asked whether there was a residency requirement attached to the Minimum Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program (MDAPP).

Mr. Speaker, the objective of the MDAPP is to provide financial incentives to individuals or families, regardless of income, to become homeowners as a means of stimulating economic activity. The target audiences for this pilot program are NWT residents who lack the savings required for a down payment, those residents who may wish to move from one community to another in order to access employment or training opportunities and workers on rotational shifts who work in the NWT, but live in the south.

Mr. Speaker, because the NWT Housing Corporation is trying to attract these rotational workers to take up residence in the NWT, there is no residency requirement for this pilot program. If there was a residency requirement, Mr. Speaker, then these workers who earn a living in the NWT, but pay their taxes and spend their wages down south, would not be attracted to move up here.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 22nd, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chair. I am here with Mr. Richard Bargery, assistant deputy minister of the Division Secretariat, and Rebecca Veinott, who is our legislative council from the Department of Justice.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 22nd, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chair. I am pleased to be here today to review the Nunavut Power Utilities Statutes Amendment Act. This bill, its companion legislation, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation Division Measures Act, the Act to Amend the Public Utilities Act and the Northwest Territories/Nunavut Transition Agreement are the result of considerable discussions and negotiations regarding the future of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation. These negotiations included the GNWT, OIC, NTI and the Western Coalition.

The amendments being proposed in this bill are being proposed under the unique authority vested in this Legislative Assembly under section 76.05 of the Nunavut Act. These bills have been drafted in cooperation with the Office of the Interim Commissioner and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

This cooperative approach was formally confirmed with the reading of the Acting Interim Commissioner's letter of recommendation in the Legislative Assembly on March 16th. Formal notification of our consultation with NTI was confirmed with the letter from its President.

Madam Chair, main elements of this bill and the related Transition Agreement for the Power Corporation are the same as those being proposed in the Northwest Territories Power Corporation Division Measures Act.

As Minister Dent noted in his comments on Bill 4, this bill has also been introduced on two separate occasions, but we have been unable to proceed without final consensus on the transition agreement between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Fortunately, the parties have now resolved the outstanding issues and the agreement has been forwarded to the federal government for GIC approval.

Madam Chair, this agreement provides for an interim or status quo arrangement by retaining a single corporation to provide power in both territories for a two-year period. However, talk of status quo arrangement can be somewhat misleading. There cannot be a strictly status quo arrangement because under the provisions of the Nunavut Act, legislation will duplicate, thereby creating two power corporations. If this were to occur without a Transition Agreement in place, the Power Corporation in Nunavut would have operational staff, but no ability to deliver headquarters functions.

These legislative amendments and the Transition Agreement have been negotiated to allow for the continued operation of the existing power corporation in both territories for a two-year period after division. During the first year of the agreement, the government of Nunavut and the GNWT have the opportunity to pursue a lasting agreement on a shared power corporation. If no agreement can be reached, a further one year period has been agreed to that will allow for an orderly wind-down of the joint corporation and will provide the opportunity to build capacity at the headquarters level.

Nunavut will continue to be represented on the Board of Directors of the Joint Corporation with three members appointed on the recommendation of the Nunavut Minister.

NTPC staff currently working in Nunavut will continue as employees of the joint corporation during the transition period. The agreement also ensures that these employees transfer to the new Nunavut Power Corporation, if and when it is created, with all of their rights and benefits intact.

The agreement includes a methodology for the equitable division of the assets and liabilities, should the corporation divide.

Finally, the agreement includes a method for the allocation of dividends during the transition period based on the split of equity apportioned to each territory.

Madam Chair, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Acting Interim Commission, NTI and their hard-working staff for their efforts in working towards an agreement that ensures a safe, reliable and cost-effective power supply in both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. I would also like to thank the Western Coalition for their work during this process. Those are my comments, Madam Chair.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 22nd, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chair. I am here once again with Shawn Flynn of the Department of Justice and joining us is Mr. Gary MacDougall, Director of Legal Registries for the Department of Justice.