Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Nunakput

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 19% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 828-18(3): Transitional Housing August 19th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's good to see that we are having meetings and having discussions about these issues. You know, action plans and follow-up as we move into the next government is very key. It's more of a comment than anything. I am just wondering what the Minister's plans are as we close up these last five days of this Assembly.

Question 828-18(3): Transitional Housing August 19th, 2019

I appreciate the response. I am a strong believer that, when Indigenous governments get funding directly from the federal government, I think we need to work with Indigenous governments and the Government of the Northwest Territories to ensure that we implement that funding properly so that it is not lopsided. There are a few examples out there, but I won't dig too far. Can the Minister give an update on the community housing plans, and will the idea of tiny homes be a discussion during these planning sessions?

Question 828-18(3): Transitional Housing August 19th, 2019

Look at my region. I believe there's at least one community that has a contract for the LHOs. I think programs like that seem to work for smaller remote communities. My second question is: how does the Government of the Northwest Territories implement services that are funded directly from the federal government to Indigenous governments across the Northwest Territories? I am going to use IRC and Housing, for an example.

Question 828-18(3): Transitional Housing August 19th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Earlier I spoke about transitional housing in Nunakput, and my questions are for the Minister of Housing: can the Minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation give an update on the transitional housing in the Northwest Territories? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Transitional Housing in Nunakput August 19th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have often spoken about the critical need for housing in my region. Today I would like to focus on a particular need for transitional housing.

Historically, transitional housing has been focused in our larger communities through organizations like Inuvik Transition House or the YWCA here in Yellowknife. Homelessness isn't a problem limited to the regional centres. Residents themselves have made their voice heard, calling for more transitional housing with options spread across the Northwest Territories.

The NWT Housing Corporation responded with the Northern Pathways to Housing Program, a five-year partnership with three communities to introduce new transitional housing units and fund ongoing case-worker support. The program is intended to help tackle homelessness in small communities specifically because even though public housing is typically the norm, some residents are unable to access housing. They are simply being left out in the cold.

Mr. Speaker, Northern Pathways to Housing is making significant headway on a serious problem. Unfortunately, it is not enough. Nunakput communities are not included, and neither are some of the communities that rely on ice roads during the winter shipping season.

Although the funding agreement between the Government of Canada and IRC has brought much-needed housing replacements to the region, that money did not result in additional units. Today we have current residents in need and many Nunakput residents looking for other options.

Mr. Speaker, this is an area that needs urgent attention. Looking at options for tiny homes in remote communities in the Northwest Territories should be on the radar of the Government of the Northwest Territories. As the fall arrives, we are still awaiting completion of buildings that had missed the shipping season last year.

In closing, I believe that we need to be planning two to three years in advance for remote communities who rely on ice roads in the winter and the barges in the summer and the fall shipping season. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 192-18(3): Bill 39: Environmental Rights Act - Preceding Clause 23, Defeated August 16th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We don't know what the priorities of this government are going to be or who is going to be here in five or six years. Mind you, we haven't even moved on to the next government. We have gone through mid-term reviews during a very busy time at this Assembly and noticing other Assemblies going through the same thing. We have four years to conduct our work.

At the same time, too, we are putting this on a government who will likely have very different priorities. Our situation with climate change and all that will be totally different then. I wouldn't say I guarantee, but I am sure that something like this will come up during those times in some significant cases with climate change and events around our territory with wildfires and all that.

I think that this is just putting on extra work to a government down the road, and I think that, from my point of view, Members or committees can decide to pull this up if they want to during that Assembly for that sake, knowing that it will get busier and busier as legislators, as MLAs representing our regions. I don't support this. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Committee Motion 190-18(3): Bill 39: Environmental Rights Act - Clause 18, Defeated August 16th, 2019

Yes, thank you, Mr. Chair. I am sitting here and I am reading this, and I am thinking: what about forest fires or other types of emergencies that will occur around the Northwest Territories? I am just using that as an example. I think adding something like this would just be another layer and likely slow the process if it involves infrastructure around some sensitive areas. I have an issue with this. For that reason, I won't support this. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 16th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to welcome former Chief Felix Lockhart, as well. I know Sandra was a good friend of ours, and thank you for being here, as well as my friend Arlene Hache. We've all had some good interactions in the 90s working together. Also to my high school friend Lesa Semmler. I'll maybe say this to both Lesa and Arlene. You know, Mr. Speaker, there are times when individuals help with the progress of government and self-governments, whether it be in health and wellness or other departments of the government, and in Inuvialuit, I'm speaking mainly, Lesa has helped Inuvialuit progress toward self-government, so I'd just like to recognize that and wish Lesa luck in the upcoming elections. Thanks for being here. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 178-18(3): tanding Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of Bill 42: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Products Tax Act and Bill 43: An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act - Government Response, Carried August 15th, 2019

Those were my concerns, Mr. Chair. You know, there are a lot of complaints about this, but, at the same time, you know, it's okay, but I do not like it. That is just the way it is. It's going to raise the cost of living, and I am sure the government and the Minister and his staff are doing the best to bring the costs down. Like you said, like everybody says, this is imposing. We cannot mistake this with anything else, any other programs that the government are putting out, but this is a bill in itself. I will support this, knowing that it's going to bring the cost of living up, but, then again, looking at the feds and what they are doing, it would be even higher as it stands right now, so I just want to point that out. Thank you, Mr. Chair.