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

Petition 9-13(6): Naming Of The New Western Arctic December 8th, 1998

Petition number two contains 206 signatures from the community of Fort Providence.

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

Petition number one has 132 signatures from the Hay River Reserve.

Item 10: Petitions December 8th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday I tabled three petitions from the Deh Cho constituency. Mr. Speaker, with your permission I would like to table all three of these petitions since all three documents involve the same subject matter.

Member's Statement 248-13(6): Rae-edzo Friendship Centre Executive Director December 8th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to announce to this House that the Rae-Edzo Friendship Centre has hired a new executive director to oversee their operations. Bob Richardson is a long-time northerner who has lived in Rae-Edzo for the past 35 years. He brings with him many years of public administration and government experience that will no doubt help him in his new capacity. Bob started his duties as executive director in December 4, 1998, and is looking forward to seeing the Friendship Centre reviving the open door policy that makes all Friendship Centres a welcome place to come and visit and have a cup of coffee. I am told he has many new ideas that will help bring the Friendship Centre in as a place for all residents. He want residents to come and visit and feel they are at home. Also, he wants everyone to know that the door is always open so, feel free to drop in and have a cup of coffee and delightful conversation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 228-13(6): Violence Against Women December 7th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to talk about violence against women. Mr. Speaker, yesterday we witnessed a memorial for the 14 young women who were murdered in Montreal nine years ago. Every year since this tragic event took place, people across the country have taken part in the memorial service. It is good to remember all the tragic events that have taken place as a result of women being abused. The reason I say it is good to remember these events, those who are affected, this affects women every year across our country.

I see changes coming, in my community, young people are changing. They do see the wrong that some have done. Young adults, men and women, are also changing. They see that there is no need for any form of violence against other people. Support groups are helping both men and women to heal, however, change takes time.

By supporting memorial services like we saw yesterday, and by talking to the community, we can realize change. This is a very serious problem that affects all of our lives. We must keep striving to protect, and educate, so that, one day, we will cure this terrible problem. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters December 4th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Discussion on Conflict of Interest Report. I have reviewed this report, as we all have, and it grieves me to think that the Member from Tu Nedhe may have betrayed his position and the people of the Northwest Territories.

We voted for him as Premier because we had confidence in him to do the job, and to do it well. Mr. Morin is the Member for Tu Nedhe, his riding is one of the smallest ridings in the Northwest Territories. As a result of this fact, I believe, this has provided the Member with a good working knowledge of what was, and is, needed in the smaller communities of the Northwest Territories. If it were not for his knowledge and working experience of the smaller communities, we may have not seen decentralization and devolvement of the programs we have witnessed over the course of this Assembly.

Mr. Morin had the vision needed to encourage small communities to take on responsibilities that previously were only provided by a central government, quite often not for the betterment of the community residents. It was also through Mr. Morin's actions that today we have a more receptive government dealing with land claim settlements. Mr. Morin has guided us through very difficult times. When we first started, this Assembly had a large deficit with no real direction. We also had division looming in the background, and again, no real direction to follow. Through his leadership, the smaller communities across our territories have become more responsible. At the same time, we have been able to produce a surplus in the books, as well as host many interesting and innovative issues. Mr. Morin cannot be forgotten for this.

We have this report that shows he may have used his position for personal gain. In the report, it states eight different events that he has gained from personally. I have thought long and hard, as to what we must do to this Member and what else this Assembly can do to reverse the negative effect his perceived actions have had on the Government of the Northwest Territories, as well as the entire Northwest Territories.

This is very serious. It is the first time in Canada's long history to have a Premier resign as a result of a conflict of interest inquiry. This will be a black mark that this Assembly will be remembered for, which is unfortunate considering we have done many good things during this Assembly. We should be proud of these accomplishments. We have a surplus. This alone, was a great effort and all regions have been affected. We have provided for a relatively smooth transition leading towards division. Both of these are very difficult tasks. We took it on and now we are realizing the efforts we put in.

To get back to the report at hand, Mr. Morin had been wrong with his actions; however, I feel that his advisors were equally as wrong by not providing him with the correct and professional advice that they were hired for. If Mr. Morin would have been advised at the very beginning of this exercise, he more than likely would not have wasted all the resources we have spent to date.

According to the report, it states he has been found guilty of violating five different sections of the Conflict of Interest Act, on eight different and separate issues. I feel the Commissioner has done her job to the best of her ability and has provided us with a very good and honest opinion. It is now our job to accept or reject this report and move on with the other many issues that we have. As for any further reprimand, in regard to the Member for Tu Nedhe, I feel we cannot go any further than what has already happened. Through the Member's own actions, he has done the honourable thing by resigning from his position as Premier and that is what the conflict of issue stems from. I do not think it is prudent to go any further. It appears that his riding supports Mr. Morin and his residents have the final say. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Question 257-13(6): New Down Payment Pilot Program December 4th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Regarding the Minister responsible for the Housing Corporation's statement, regarding the New Homeownership Pilot Program for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, that he alluded to. Is it geared mainly to purchase a new homeownership along side, the same statement, this morning he alluded to, across the Northwest Territories, there are approximately over 250 private homes sitting empty and he alluded to say let us give the people a chance to buy these homes. What I am trying to get at is that maybe the Minister is telling us that this program is only intended to, or not intended to buy new homes, or is it intended to buy used homes? I would like to have the Minister's clarification on this, please. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 214-13(6): Need For Speech Therapy Services December 4th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Some time ago my colleague, Mrs. Groenewegen, and myself referenced the need for speech therapists within the remote communities of our territories. Recently in Rae Lakes they opened a daycare centre to help single working mothers with a facility to take their children to during working hours. Now that this facility is opened and people are using it, the community has discovered that many of these young children need speech therapy.

This, of course, is easier to say than actually trying to solve these children's problems. In order for a child to get therapy they must travel to Yellowknife. Once in Yellowknife they must attend therapy for a week at a time. Of course, this is an ongoing thing so every couple of months a parent must drop whatever work they are doing to bring their children into Yellowknife to spend a week in therapy; then go back to the community. To most people this is a very expensive solution to their children's problem and most cannot support this option.

This government must find a better solution. We need therapists out in the smaller communities to address this now, not later in life. It is very important for a child's development that they grow with the ability to talk properly.

I feel Rae Lakes is taking a step to assist in this problem by providing a daycare centre which will help these children to, hopefully, develop better communications skills by being in a group setting that will allow for them to learn form one another. However, we must go further. This is a huge problem across the North. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 194-13(6): Highway # 3 Reconstruction December 3rd, 1998

Mr. Speaker, today is the day many of us in Rae-Edzo and Yellowknife have waited for, for many years. As we heard earlier from the Minister of Transportation, today is the signing of the contract to start construction on Highway 3 from the Frank Channel bridge to Stagg River. This project is the start of the reconstruction of one of the worst sections of highway we have in the Northwest Territories. Although this project is slated as a many year project, we are starting and that is the main thing. I would also like to add more good news, this project will also be done by two local Rae-Edzo companies, Nishi-Khon/SNC Lavalin, and Arny's Construction in partnership with Pelly Construction. As one can imagine, not only will these two local companies benefit, but there will be spinoff benefits to a number of local companies in Rae-Edzo.

This project will also provide a number of jobs and training opportunities for Rae-Edzo. These include drilling and blasting, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers and surveying, supervisory training, as well as other important jobs. This is very important for my community, we are currently experiencing a 43 percent unemployment rate. I look forward to seeing my residents working on this important project and developing positive working skills that will assist them for the future. I would like to congratulate these three companies for their successful bid to improve Highway 3 and bringing badly needed employment to my community. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery December 2nd, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize my constituency members in the gallery. There are 23 students from grade 11 and 12 from Chief Jimmy Bruneau High School of Rae-Edzo, along with their supervisors and teaching volunteers, Odile Haesselin and Jerry Moran, teachers, and Frankie Cansell, the bus driver. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.