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Last in the Legislative Assembly May 2005, as MLA for North Slave

Lost his last election, in 2007, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

point Of Privilege May 30th, 2005

Thank you. Madam Speaker, I rise today on a matter of personal privilege to inform the House and my constituents that it has been my honour and privilege to have been chosen by the people of North Slave to serve in three legislative assemblies. I have not taken this responsibility lightly. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my constituents for their support and confidence in me during the time I have been their representative in this House. I want to let them know that I have always had their best interests at heart.

Madam Speaker, spring is now in the air throughout the Northwest Territories. It is a wonderful time of the year and the longer days and the new buds on the trees reminds us all that it is time for reflection, new life and revitalization. Various events in my life, both personal and public, have given me cause for reflection this spring. Madam Speaker, I feel I need to make a fresh start in my life. I need revitalization and reflection. As I do so, my first priority is to ensure that the Tlicho people, my people, are represented in this House in the manner they need and deserve.

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to announce my resignation as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Slave effective immediately. To my colleagues in this House, I want to thank you for your friendship and support over the years. I am proud to say that I have served in this House with each and every one of you. I wish you good luck as you continue your important work on behalf of the people of this great territory.

To the Tlicho people, I wish you a joyous summer as you celebrate the implementation of our historic agreements. Good luck to all the candidates in the upcoming elections. I know you will serve our people with the best of intentions as we begin the next chapter in our period of history. Thank you. Mahsi cho.

Item 1: Prayer May 30th, 2005

I rise on a Point of Privilege, Madam Speaker.

Motion To Amend Bill 17, Defeated March 10th, 2005

...in our May sitting. On that same issue, I wonder if the government also would consider having their Members having a free vote on this. Thank you.

Motion To Amend Bill 17, Defeated March 10th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will be supporting the motion brought forward. This bill is a very sensitive issue and, as my colleague has indicated, I think we should go back to our aboriginal and municipal governments, get their input, and from the general public again. It doesn't hurt to wait three months and get reintroduced...

Bill 17: Modernization Of Benefits And Obligations Act March 10th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I concur with my colleague from Nahendeh and the comments that Mrs. Groenewegen has made also. I believe that the process that's been outlined by Mr. Yakeleya. I just want to make a couple other points. Although Ms. Lee has indicated that they follow the normal routine and follow a process of putting advertisements out so they can have general public input, I don't think they've gone far enough, particularly on such a sensitive issue as this particular bill is. I think they should have gone a little bit more in consultation with aboriginal and municipal governments. Then that way we could have had more serious input into this particular bill. I think my colleague here has a point of privilege.

Committee Motion 44-15(3) Recommendation To Review The Sharing Of Resources Possible For The Ceo To Assume Administrative Responsibility For Municipal Elections, Carried March 10th, 2005

To that effect, Madam Chair, I would like to move that the committee recommends that a review be undertaken to consider the efficiencies and sharing of resources that could occur with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer assuming the administrative responsibility for elections of community governments under the Local Authorities Election Act.

Committee Motion 43-15(3): Recommendation To Establish The First Monday In October As The Fixed Date Of The General Election, Carried March 10th, 2005

Madam Chair, the report also discussed that a review be undertaken to consider the efficiencies and sharing of resources that could occur with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, assuming the administration responsibilities for election of community governments under the Local Authorities Election Act. I think this review should happen. Let them take a look at it and see if we can incorporate to see if it can be done.

Committee Motion 43-15(3): Recommendation To Establish The First Monday In October As The Fixed Date Of The General Election, Carried March 10th, 2005

Thank you, Madam Chair. Although my previous comments said maybe we should wait until the next sitting in May to discuss this, I just was thinking about the process. This gives the government direction. If we give them direction, then hopefully they will start working on developing the required legislation or make amendments to the various legislation. That's just a first step. Then once the bill is developed, it will go through the process, go back to committee and they will have public hearings. At that time, if they want the date to be changed, we will have a good, healthy debate and maybe we will have more public input at this time. Therefore, I will be supporting Mr. Roland's motion.

Item 18: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 10th, 2005

Thank you, Madam Chair. Madam Chair, I'm sure reluctant to support anything at this point in time pertaining to the committee report discussing this particular issue. I understand that the committee has solicited in the papers, I believe, and I'm not sure if they did radio broadcasting and stuff like that to have public input, but at that time my understanding is that there was no public input except from the Chief Electoral Officer that made the report. The recommendation that he made was the first Monday in October to have a fixed date for election. I feel uncomfortable at this time to say I like the idea of having a fixed date, but the date itself is the problem I have right now. I would strongly suggest to Members if we could solicit or go back to our constituents and seek further consultation, because it hasn't been that long since this report has been dealt with and it could wait until our next sitting, which is in May.

During that session, we could deal with it and give us ample time to go back to our constituents and seek their advice or suggestions as to which way we should go. It is unfortunate, Madam Chair, that a lot of people are busy. For instance, my region has been busy with our land claims and self-government legislation in Ottawa. Although this is important, their priorities were someplace else. Since those items are sort of concluded with and we are working on something else, I am sure that they will take a look at this issue and make some sort of suggestion to me so that I can speak on their behalf. I hope that Members would reconsider dealing with this at this time and maybe deal with this whole issue at our next sitting in May. That is my comment on the issue at hand. Thank you.

Motion 31-15(3): Performance Audit Of The Workers' Compensation Board March 10th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, will be in support of this motion. I did experience calls from my constituents pertaining to WCB. It is very difficult, Mr. Speaker, just to try to get information, especially for MLAs to try to get information on a specific client. I had an opportunity -- I even tried to go through the Minister's office, Mr. Speaker -- to try to get details as to where this client was or how he was being treated.

I just needed general information. I listen to both sides, this is the WCB's rationale and the client and what he has to say, and then I determine how I should deal with this as an issue. I even had to get written permission from the client just to get information, documents from WCB, and it took ages. Little things like that shouldn't be happening.

I am glad the Member for Great Slave has put this motion forward, so that the Auditor General, through an operational audit, can come up with recommendations on how to streamline all these little things that clients are encountering. Again, also with employers; they are paying enormous rates, as the Member for Range Lake has indicated. I am looking forward to the Auditor General's report on this issue. Thank you.