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Roles

Elsewhere

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

Committee Motion 33-15(3): Recommendation To Consider Options For Regional Coordination March 8th, 2005

Mr. Chairman, I just had to make that point in terms of the comments of my colleague the Member for Sahtu raised with our Speaker. As you're well aware, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Dent has made a statement today on our official languages. This month is the month to celebrate that; the whole month of March. What I said is I agree with my colleague that it's imperative that we try to provide those services back again. I think it's warranted so the people of the Territories know that we're enhancing our own aboriginal languages, especially here in this institution. I think they have to see us taking the lead. Other departments are doing certain things. Different groups are doing different things in terms of promoting languages and I think our institution here should be the number one they look at because we're televised and it's in all homes across the Territories. Mahsi.

---Applause

Committee Motion 33-15(3): Recommendation To Consider Options For Regional Coordination March 8th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mahsi. (English not provided) Mahsi.

---Applause

Committee Motion 33-15(3): Recommendation To Consider Options For Regional Coordination March 8th, 2005

I was just going to remind the Speaker on what my colleague said about when we debated the Official Languages Act in Norman Wells. I spoke my language, and we had to shut down the whole House for the whole day before they got the interpreter. So the point I wanted to point out to the Speaker; I am sure he is aware of the rules that we have in place. He knows them better than I do, I think. If someone objects in a formal sitting on a point of order, we have to shut down the House in order for them to have that service available. I just wanted to note that, because it could happen. Although he indicated that there are people up in the gallery that can speak my own language, but it won't be translated. If other Members don't know what I am talking about, if they raise a point of order, they could literally shut us down or even ask a Minister a question during question period. The Minister would rise on a point of order and say, I don't know what he is saying. I just wanted to note that, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 33-15(3): Recommendation To Consider Options For Regional Coordination March 8th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just on the issue of language services that the Speaker indicated that we don't have a set schedule for the various languages. The onus is up to the individual Members to approach the Assembly to provide that service, but it causes a problem. We don't know when we are going to have a big delegation of our constituents in the House. You can't really predict. Sometimes, it is nice. If you see a large delegation in the House that you weren't aware of and you want to speak in your own language, the opportunity is not there for you. I wanted to speak in my language, but I couldn't because the interpreters weren't there. It is unfortunate. It causes me a great concern because sometimes, out of the blue, I feel like speaking my own language. I can't just say, okay, today, on this issue, I am going to speak my language. I don't work like that. It is the way I am feeling that day or, if I want to make a point to the government on a certain issue and I want to speak my language so that my people understand what I am trying to convey to the government, I would rather do it in my own language so they understand where I am coming from. It makes it difficult, Mr. Chair, to leave that onus on individuals. It would have been nice. I know maybe the previous government didn't provide that service, because of fiscal constraints and stuff like that, but we have a surplus. Maybe we can get more money so we can have our regular interpreters back again. I think it creates not only employment for individuals, but also helps us to speak our own language any time, rather than trying to have a schedule of services for languages. That is the comment I wanted to make, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 33-15(3): Recommendation To Consider Options For Regional Coordination March 8th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm going to rally through a whole bunch of issues. Maybe I'll start off with part of the discussions that have already taken place. Parking, Mr. Chairman; I think we need to improve that service, not only for Members, but for the general public.

I know that the Cultural Enhancement Commission will be looking into beautifying the outside and the inside and stuff like that. I'm sure I'll have an opportunity to give them some of my thoughts on how I see certain things to be done in terms of enhancing our cultural elements inside the building and outside.

On another issue, in regard to Pages, I think the responsibility should be with the Assembly. I know for accounting purposes I think some is being charged to Members' constituencies and then some to the general pot for their salaries and compensation for the kids getting paid. I think it should be coming out of the general pot from the Assembly.

In regard to staffing, Mr. Chairman, in terms of the number of affirmative action percentages here at the Assembly, it is very low. I would like to see what could be done in that area to increase our percentage in that area.

Another issue that really concerns me, I have even lost track now, Mr. Chairman, as to when I can speak Dogrib. I know that there's a schedule that was produced, but I haven't seen it for months. Different Members can speak their own language, but only periodically. It's not simultaneous as we had years ago where all languages were provided. So that concerns me, Mr. Chairman, especially when here we are promoting all of our official languages in the Territories and we're not using them in the House as much as we should be.

On another issue, Mr. Chairman, in regard to the Speaker's program. I know the Speaker's program, through his office, he used to travel to different communities, went to the schools and talked about the programs and what we do here maybe in a mock thing or as a general assembly in various schools. I recall the former Speaker doing that. They had their own little program in place where they would travel around and talk to students.

I'm not sure if those issues that I raised have been decreased or are being enhanced, Mr. Chairman. So if I could get the Speaker or his staff to maybe comment on the issues that I raised. Mahsi.

Federal Appointments To NWT Boards March 8th, 2005

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, we talk a lot in this House about the power that the federal government has over us in terms of the purse strings which they hold. However, Mr. Speaker, what we don't talk enough about is the power that the federal government has in the Northwest Territories when it comes to the appointees of federal boards and agencies.

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board are federally appointed as are the members of the Mackenzie Valley Impact Review Board, and this is to name only a few. The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water board, for instance, has three main functions. They process land use and water use applications, issue land use and water licences and, finally, they issue directions on general policy matters concerning the use of land or water or the deposit of waste. Mr. Speaker, this means that these boards are deciding what development projects go ahead and which ones don't. The appointees to these boards seem to have as much, if not more, power than our own elected officials. I think that these are the kinds of decisions that need to be made by the stakeholders and not by some federally-appointed body. By stakeholders, Mr. Speaker, I mean those people who have to live on the land and whose families have to live on the land and will have to suffer the consequences of the decisions they are making.

Mr. Speaker, when the federal Minister of DIAND is making appointments to a board, he or she has to think of what is good for the Northwest Territories. Mr. Speaker, I know these boards often include people appointed on the recommendations of the First Nations and also the Government of the Northwest Territories, but it is the federal Minister who has the final say. Mr. Speaker, it is the right of the aboriginal people of the Northwest Territories to be the stewards of their own land, but they cannot do this until the power to make decisions over land development rest in their hands and in their hands only. Mahsi.

---Applause

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery March 7th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize one of my constituents from Rae-Edzo, Mr. Peter Husky who is in the gallery. Welcome to the House. Thank you.

---Applause

Question 549-15(3): Expansion Of Rcmp Dare Program March 4th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to get a commitment from the Minister if he could, after he talks with the RCMP officials, implement my request as soon as possible. Thank you.

Question 549-15(3): Expansion Of Rcmp Dare Program March 4th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The reason why I am questioning the Minister and requesting this type of service for the small communities is that I don't believe that the good work that the RCMP is doing is not what the Minister is indicating. I believe that the smaller communities may be occasionally visited by the RCMP, but not on a regular basis. They don't thoroughly talk specifically about this problem we have with drugs. That is real. I would like to ask the Minister if he can provide for me, my riding and maybe other smaller communities also, statistics in regard to how many times the police have gone into our small schools to talk about drugs. Thank you.

Question 549-15(3): Expansion Of Rcmp Dare Program March 4th, 2005

Thank you. Mr. Speaker, the Minister indicated that they don't offer the DARE program in the smaller communities, but a similar program or when the RCMP are visiting the smaller communities, they do, occasionally, as he said, visit the schools to talk in general about drugs. But, Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the

RCMP would make this into a regular program and go into the various schools on a scheduled basis, so that the students at the various schools could really understand the ugly reality of drugs in general. I wonder if the Minister would undertake to see if these kind of scheduled RCMP visits to schools could happen within the smaller communities. Thank you.