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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

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

If he does, I would support that particular Minister. Thank you.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

Mr. Chairman, I think that's the problem. I think six months is a little too long before somebody...By the time six months is up, it could be fire season and they could be going into fire fighting or something, or getting seasonal employment during the summer at a lodge or someplace else. If somebody gets on stream in November and then after April, they will qualify in May, during the seventh month. But if they do find employment, particularly in May for fire fighters who may be on income support during the winter, I disagree and I'm not in favour of the way it's being administered now. I think six months is a little too long. I wonder if the department could look at that component of income support, and maybe lower it to perhaps three months, as the Minister first suggested but then he was corrected by his DM, and it's six months now. I think that's a little too long in order for you to qualify for clothing. What are you going to do for six months if you have a lot of kids and they're just living day to day and not getting new clothes for their kids for six months? Thank you.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

It appears to me that the survey wasn't done for the last little while. It appears that the amount of money that the people who are on income support weren't receiving adequate funding for their food and clothing. Mr. Chairman, my understanding is that a lot of these people, especially single-parent families, particularly for clothing, it's not done on a monthly basis when they get their income. Is it done only once or one time? That seems to be the problem, Mr. Chairman, because if you qualify for income support and it happens to be in May, you don't qualify for clothing. That seems to be a problem in various communities across the North. Could I ask the Minister if I'm correct in that area, where the clients are eligible for clothing? Thank you.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So all these income support workers at the community level have different rate structures pertaining to food, clothing, et cetera.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

Finally, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to ask the Minister with regard to income support, when was the last survey done to determine the rates that are currently in income support pertaining to food and clothing?

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

Madam Chair, could I ask the Minister, I think his department is the lead, about the total amount of money that our government is putting forward with our partners.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

Thank you, Madam Chair. I'd like to thank the Minister for his answer. In my Member's statement, I encouraged the government to increase or maintain that current level, and although they are decreasing $300,000 from the business component where they were budgeting for literacy so business could apply for it, we would have been better off if we increased or enhanced the council's funding in that respect. But I'm quite happy that the level of funding is not going to be decreased for the council initiatives for next year.

Madam Chair, another area I wanted to touch on was with regard to the funding that I think comes out of this section; I could be corrected. It is for the initiatives where we have joint partnerships with industry, federal government and ourselves pertaining to the mining initiatives. I'm not sure if it's ASEP. Is that the one that is currently funded under this section, where we put in money with the federal government and with industry to do all the mine training where we trained 800 miners, I think it said, at one time. Is this the area that the money is coming out of? I couldn't find the section that falls under that in this section, Madam Chair. Thank you.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 24th, 2005

Thank you, Madam Chair. Under the section advanced education and careers, I believe there are grants and contributions for literacy. As Members would note, I made a Member's statement relating to literacy funding. I note, Madam Chair, under the details, that literacy funding has gone down substantially for this current year. I'm wondering why the department has cut the literacy funding to the tune of before $400,000 versus what we currently. For me, Madam Chair, I think it's very essential and from my understanding from the Literacy Council that oversees literacy in the Territories, they are doing a lot of good work, they've done a number of campaigns and they've been very successful and this type of funding shouldn't have decreased. Why has the department decreased the funding for literacy? Thank you.

Barriers To Homeownership February 24th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, these people have no alternative solution except those available through the NWT Housing Corporation. The core need for North Slave, excluding Yellowknife, is an astonishing 35 percent. We need to address these numbers.

Mr. Speaker, these are just a few scenarios as to what is happening out there with the countless policy barriers to homeownership. My people are being backed up against the wall. The Housing Corporation is supposed to be encouraging and supporting clients' homeownership for high-income public housing tenants, rather than overwhelming them with countless policy barriers to homeownership.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know of one person who would not want to own their own home. I think that anyone paying rent equal to a mortgage would rather pay into something that they own. Mahsi, thank you.

---Applause

Barriers To Homeownership February 24th, 2005

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Today, Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to focus on a serious issue in my riding, and that is the transition from public housing to homeownership. The current NWT Housing Corporation policy on homeownership programs is creating an impossible environment for people to become homeowners.

Mr. Speaker, many of my people are employed with the diamond mines. According to the rent scale increase policy, anyone working at a diamond mine basically has no alternative but to consider homeownership. With household income, their rent will go through the roof with the new rent scale. Until such time as they find alternative solutions, they will be paying the maximum allowable rent for their unit; a huge increase in cost for them.

On the other hand, Mr. Speaker, if they owe arrears, they have to pay that off, on top of paying the high rent on their public housing unit before they will be considered in good standing with the corporation and eligible for a Homeownership Program. Sounds confusing, doesn't it?

In addition, Mr. Speaker, many people in my riding, because of their employment, were able to purchase trucks, skidoos, et cetera, for travel and hunting. These people didn't realize that these payments would put them in an undesirable situation of carrying a high debt load. Because of the impact on their net worth, banks won't even look at them for financing and, depending on the corporation's calculations, neither will they.