Last in the Legislative Assembly December 1999, as MLA for North Slave

Lost his last election, in 1999, with 7% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Motion: 5-13(7): Appeal Of Supreme Court Decision On Electoral Boundaries March 24th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I will be voting in favour of this motion. As an aboriginal person, I am a strong supporter of the aboriginal organization. I have been here long enough and have been with the organizations since before the Indian Brotherhood was even formed back in 1968. Ever since then, I have been working with the Dene Nation and have seen the Metis Association formed. I have served on the Territorial Council back in 1970, 1975 and then got re-elected about 20 years later, and then I came to the House. However, I have a lot of trust at the community level, that I do trust all my leaders. In all those years that I have been absent from the political scene, I think I have trusted my MLA's and our MP's and our government, especially in my organization as well. I believe that the Metis Association has the right to voice themselves according to the Dene Nation. The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories does have the right to voice themselves as well. On behalf of the people within my riding, I have served that on behalf of my good judgment sometimes. I am not always in favour of the government's perception anyway, and in some cases I have voted against the government. The majority of the time, I think I have been in favour of the government's perception as well.

However, I think it is about time we have to come to some sort of solution; we try to get into the political solutions, however, I do not think we are getting anywhere in the end. The court had to settle the question for us now that we have to come back and have another motion to appeal. All along, like I said, I have been in favour and have worked along with my aboriginal organizations. With that in mind, I would be supporting this appeal motion and the best interest and best support of my aboriginal background. Whatever the outcome of this whole motion, I would imagine that the world will still be going and however the court will serve its purpose, I guess how things will prevail as of May. So I will be supporting this appeal of motion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 49-13(7): Negotiated Contracts Policy March 24th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Over the last while, Mr. Speaker, I have sat here and listened to my colleagues discussing the topic of negotiated contracts. I have a hard time

supporting a move away from the position that the government has taken on this.

Smaller communities see capital projects as a way to train local residents, develop good business practices and ensure that the local companies and residents get the most benefits that can be achieved, either by employment directly or indirectly with the communities own companies. In most small communities the following is true and I quote from a letter the Chief of Gameti, Henry Gon sent:

The process of negotiated contracts is essential to the survival of economic development in the smaller aboriginal communities. We rely on capital projects as our main source, and often the only source, of economic activity.

In larger centres there are many companies to bid on contracts and all have the expertise and staff to provide for the best prices to be submitted. I do not see the reason to allow for negotiated contracts in larger centres but the smaller communities are where the concentration of these contracts originally came from and that is where they should be used.

Our smaller communities should continue to be supported in their pursuit of economic development and self-reliance. Through negotiated contracts we are supporting these smaller communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 42-13(7): Lack Of Rcmp Highway Patrols Along Highway 3 March 23rd, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to discuss an issue that I have previously raised in this House, that being the lack of RCMP highway patrols along Highway 3. Mr. Speaker, as you may be aware, every year the traffic on this highway increases considerably. In the winter we have many trucks driving this road; in the summer we have more and more tourists coming north to explore our land. Currently, highway patrols are done on a very limited basis. While I understand the RCMP are dealing with the same problems we all face with limited resources, it is very important that patrols are made.

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the RCMP is currently looking at the possibility of setting up a permanent highway patrol section. I also understand that, if this goes ahead, these positions will be based in Hay River and Yellowknife. To this, all I can say is why not put these positions in the communities that are mostly affected by this road, that is Rae-Edzo and Fort Providence. If the patrols were located in those two communities, better response time could be realized if an accident occurred and it would be easier for patrols to take place on a regular basis.

I would also be interested to see a training program set up that could operate much the same as the Community Constable Program, whereby local residents could be trained to provide this valuable service. Currently, the Community Constable Program is proving to be a very good program and is viewed as a step toward community policing. By also having local residents trained to provide highway patrols, this could also be seen as a further step toward community policing. If the communities affected by highways can take on the responsibility to govern and patrol our highways, I believe a better system could be realized. Training at the local level can provide employment in areas of high unemployment, as well as provide a better understanding and relationship with the RCMP and the community. By working together, many opportunities can be achieved and this may be one area that the RCMP and the Department of Justice could look at.

In closing, I can only say that I fully support the RCMP in placing highway patrol staff in the smaller communities that are affected the most by the highway system, and to call for a training program to assist RCMP in providing this service. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 32-13(7): Electoral Boundaries Issues March 22nd, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome all of my colleagues back to this House. I hope everyone is well rested. Over the past few months, we have seen the election of Nunavut and the Premier and Cabinet selection for the new government, and I would like to congratulate all Members who will form the new Legislative Assembly.

For the west, we still need to resolve many outstanding and important issues prior to March 31, 1999. I believe one of the most important issues, of course, is the Electoral Boundaries. We have met numerous times to discuss this and are finally at the stage where we must decide once and for all. All through this process I have supported the idea of three new seats for the western Arctic; one for Yellowknife, one extra seat for North Slave and one possibly for Hay River or Inuvik. This has been my position and I would still lobby for this. To me and my constituents, we feel this to be the best solution.

However, this Assembly is now recommending increasing the number of seats to 19, and can say that there is support for this move, as it recognizes the need for more seats to accommodate the population breakdown in a fair and equitable manner. This is fine; however, once the seats are set for Yellowknife, Hay River and Inuvik, this reduces the representation by population argument considerably. This raises another question, that being, what about the North Slave? If we agree to give these extra seats to the three tax-based communities, this will leave the North Slave as one of the largest, if not the largest, constituency in the western Arctic with only one Member representing it.

As some may realize, the North Slave currently is in the first stages of a economic boom, which will bring many new residents to the area. I can see the 25 percent mark realized in the next few years very easily. When it happens, we will be under-represented. Does this mean we will have to go to court to force the government to allow an extra seat, or will there be a set criteria that will allow for extra seats to be added once the population has reached a set level?

This is a very real concern and, if an extra seat is not provided for North Slave now, I am sure that the need will come forward in the near future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 3-13(7): Appointment Of A Member To The Executive Council Of The Northwest Territories December 11th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

WHEREAS section 55 (1) of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act provides that there shall be an Executive Council of the Northwest Territories composed of persons, appointed by the Commissioner on the recommendation of Legislative Assembly;

AND WHEREAS there is a vacancy on the Executive Council due to the appointment of the Honourable Jim Antoine as Premier of the Northwest Territories;

AND WHEREAS the Legislative Assembly has elected one of its Members to serve on the Executive Council;

AND WHEREAS the Legislative Assembly desires to recommend the appointment to the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories;

NOW THEREFORE I move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Natilikmiot that the Legislative Assembly recommends to the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories that the Honourable Member for Inuvik, Mr. Floyd K. Roland, be appointed to the Executive Council/Cabinet of the Northwest Territories.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Motion 1-13(7): Appointment Of Premier Of The Northwest Territories December 11th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to deal with Motion 2-13(7), Appointment of a Member to the Executive Council of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 3-13(7): Appointment Of A Member To The Executive Council Of The Northwest Territories December 11th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I give notice that on Monday, December 14, 1998, that I will move the following motion:

Now therefore I move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Natilikmiot, that the Legislative Assembly recommends to the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories that the Honourable Member for Inuvik, Mr. Floyd K. Roland, be appointed to the Executive Council/Cabinet of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, at the appropriate time, I will be seeking unanimous consent to deal with my motion today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 4-13(7): Accomplishments Of The 13th Assembly December 11th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would first like to congratulate the new Premier-elect, Mr. Jim Antoine, and the new Cabinet Member, the Honourable Mr. Roland. I know they will work hard and provide guidance and vision for the future.

Mr. Speaker, as you are aware, three years ago we first came to this Assembly. Some of us were long-time Members and others like myself have been here previously , while others were new. We knew we had many tough issues to deal with. First and foremost we had the deficit to deal with, this affected us all, as well as our constituents. However, with the guidance of our previous Premier and his Finance Minister, we succeeded. We have also had many issues regarding division to deal with and again we have succeeded.

If it was not for the hard work of Mr. Morin and his colleagues, I am sure we could not have accomplished what we have in as little time we had. We should be proud of our work.

When we came to this house for the first time, most of us did not know each other. We have built friendships and good working relationships that will last for a long time. As the eastern Members get ready for their election and move out of this Assembly, I can say they will be missed. It has always been enjoyable to hear Mr. Picco give his rendition of the latest song he heard on the radio or to listen to Mr. O'Brien provide us with the latest joke of the day. Of course, I cannot forget my travelling companion and good friend, Mr. Ningark. As I call him brother John and I travelled to various areas of our country and it was always enjoyable to have his company.

This has been a very interesting and exhausting term, we have had our high points as well as our low points but we have survived and now can say that we have made history on many fronts and for the most part it gives me great pleasure. Over the last week we have dealt with many issues, some very troubling, but again we have pushed forward and provided the best results that we could have.

In closing, I would like to thank the Members from the east for their assistance and companionship over the last three years and hope for the best on their upcoming election and challenges ahead to realize their own territory. I would also like to wish my constituents in the North Slave along with all the residents of the country, a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 258-13(6): The Need For Full-time Fire Chiefs December 9th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise a concern that affects all of our smaller communities. Currently, in all our smaller communities, we have volunteer fire departments and fire chiefs. They do a very good job when called upon. Their work is often very difficult considering fire does not wait for anyone. It could happen in the cold of winter, at night or during the day. These volunteers drop whatever they are doing to try and save the house, school or any other building.

However, these departments need to have updated equipment and up-to-date knowledge on the science of fire. In order for the departments to operate efficiently, they need to have professional guidance. That is the reason I support the idea of having full-time, qualified professional fire chiefs in all the communities. Most people do not recognize the importance and knowledge a full-time fire chief can bring to a community. He can increase prevention and awareness of fire in the community. It would be his position to also train the volunteer department, as well as other interested individuals, wishing to volunteer.

In closing, I would hope the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs would consider this very important issue that affects all our communities and residents. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Petition 10-13(6): Naming Of The New Western Arctic December 8th, 1998

Petition number three has 28 signatures from the community of Kakisa.

The petition reads as follows:

We, the constituents of the Deh Cho in the communities of Fort Providence, Hay River Reserve and Kakisa wish to petition the Government of the Northwest Territories, and all Members of the Legislative Assembly, and request support for officially adopting the traditional name of Denendeh for the western Arctic after division on April 1, 1999.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.