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

Member's Statement 185-13(6): Passing Of Pierre Wedzin December 2nd, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I have the unfortunate responsibility to inform this House of the passing of one of our great traditional elders. Today, Pierre Wedzin of Rae-Edzo passed away after a long illness. He has been a very respected member of the Dogrib region and a traditional medicine man for the area for many years. He lived a very traditional life style and knew the importance of teaching the traditional ways to our younger people. His family is very large with a total of 86 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His family enjoyed his kind and gentle ways and I am sure he will be missed greatly. To his family and friends, I would like to, on behalf of this Assembly, send our condolences. He is a great man and will be missed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 172-13(6): Electoral Boundaries Discussions November 13th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on the reaction that our vote last evening has produced. For years, Yellowknife has had the opportunity of being the capital of the NWT, as well as the centre for many mining companies. They have positioned themselves to the point that now it is difficult for any community to gain any economic benefits for their own residents.

Last evening we had a vote that passed by a slim margin, saying Yellowknife does not need any more seats in this House. The people in the gallery at that time felt betrayed and the MLAs in this House were very frustrated. I think the realization and perception is that Yellowknife is always getting everything, why do they need more representation in this House?

Currently, Yellowknife has four seats, unlike the rest of the ridings in the NWT these four seats really represent the whole of Yellowknife not just the single riding, as is the case in all the rest of the ridings. Why does this city need more?

Recently, my community and myself started lobbying for this road to resources to be built out of Rae-Edzo. Yellowknife came to the meeting saying we all needed to compromise to see this project through. I agree with this, however, for Yellowknife to compromise it means Yellowknife would end up with this road. The mayor of Hay River supported this road to start in Rae-Edzo and was shot down by a MLA in Yellowknife wondering how the mayor could even consider this idea.

In reality Yellowknife is a fine city and we are privileged in having this city represent us as the capital of the NWT and the new western Arctic. However, I feel that if the new western Arctic is to succeed and prosper, Yellowknife must realize there are many other communities and residents in the western Arctic and they must be heard. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters November 12th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a short comment on the commission report. Mr. Chairman we have read this report with great interest. Some of us felt disappointed in the fact that our requests are not considered at this time. We also feel disappointed that the report made reference to the presentation that the Mayor and the Chief of Rae-Edzo did during the consultation process of the Boundaries Commission. As I am sure everyone read, my community and regions are supporting the idea of having one more MLA for Rae-Edzo itself, and one for three outlying communities. I believe this is a very good option due to a number of factors.

Firstly, the population of Rae-Edzo is approximately 1,662, which makes the community the fifth largest community in the western Arctic. The differences of community development between Rae-Edzo and the outlying communities are vast. Rae-Edzo currently has a fairly good infrastructure with basic upgrades to the overall system being required while the other communities are in their early stages of development. The needs of the people in Rae-Edzo compared to other communities are very different. Over the course of this Assembly and during my predecessor's term in office, many times there has been conflict between lobbying for something that is needed in Rae-Edzo and at the same time lobbying for something needed in the communities. When only limited dollars are available for one project, I then must make a decision as to which community should get what they are after.

It makes it unfair for MLAs to ensure all the residents are treated equally and fairly. I believe that Rae-Edzo is large enough to require its own MLA and over the next few years can see Rae-Edzo expanding considerably. In Yellowknife we do not have one Member lobbying, representing his or her own constituency in their ridings but rather have four MLAs represent the whole Yellowknife. With this in mind, I support an addition of two more seats to be distributed outside of the Yellowknife area.

I would like to comment that this has been a difficult job for the commission and would like to congratulate the commission for the hard work and time that they have put into this document. It is a very hard thing to decide what region should or should not get an extra seat. In closing, I would like to thank the commission for the good job they have done, but not too satisfactory a structure to some of us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Member's Statement 162-13(6): Wha Ti Road Project November 12th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I would like to inform this House of the project the community of Wha Ti has been working on for the last two years. Over the past two years, the community has contributed approximately $142,000 with the Department of Transportation also contributing to the construction of the 30 kilometre road that goes from Wha Ti to Lac La Martre Falls. This road will provide a number of opportunities to the community and its residents. To date all the work has been done by the residents, which has created badly needed employment in a very high unemployed area.

This road will allow residents easier access to firewood for their homes where currently, it is very difficult to get at.

There are also a number of areas along this road that have been identified for picnic areas which will develop in due course. There will also be access to Lac La Martre Falls, an area with great tourism potential, a historical and traditional site that has been used for generations as a transportation route to Rae-Edzo. Other developments will also take place along this road, one example would be a developed boat-launching area at the Falls. By developing this road, it will continue to be used and developed into a more permanent area for all other surrounding residents to use and enjoy. I fully support this initiative and it is good to see communities taking forefront on their own developments. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 204-13(6): Formula Funding For Rae-edzo November 10th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In response to the return to an oral question by the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Ms. Thompson, can the Minister clarify the amount of additional funding provided annually to the community of Rae-Edzo? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 154-13(6): Meeting Of Western Members On The Airport Project November 10th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I hosted a meeting between the Western MLAs and the community of Rae-Edzo. This meeting was mainly to start a dialogue to gather support for my colleagues for the Road to Resources and other important initiatives that my community is working on, which of course, includes the airport project. At this time, I would like to thank the honourable Charles Dent, Mr. Roy Erasmus, Mr. Michael Miltenberger, Mr. David Krutko and Mr. Seamus Henry for attending this meeting. Listening to my constituents' concerns regarding this very important issues. Throughout this meeting the word compromise was said over and over.

On that note, it was agreed that in order for the Road to Resources project to go ahead, all parties must work together to ensure this project is a success. It is with this feeling of compromise, we will be planning another meeting of this type, which will also include members from Detah, N'dilo and Yellowknife. In closing, I again would like to thank my colleagues and members of my community for attending the start of a process that will benefit the whole North Slave region. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Question 191-13(6): Roads To Resources Study November 9th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I stated on November 5, 1998, in my Members' statement, regarding the new initiative on the road to resources, I would like to ask the Minister responsible for the Department of Transportation, the honourable Mr. Antoine, to give us an update on the progress of the transportation study, particularly regarding the future road north to the mining areas? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 182-13(6): Review Of The Municipal Funding Formula November 9th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Same question to the Minister of MACA. As you can imagine, my community of Rae-Edzo is becoming very frustrated with many promises that MACA has given. I stated in my Member's statement earlier today, the department has promised extraordinary funding to offset the cost of associated various promises with the funding formula. My supplementary question to the Minister is, when will the hamlet of Rae-Edzo receive these dollars? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 182-13(6): Review Of The Municipal Funding Formula November 9th, 1998

The question Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister responsible for Department of MACA, as I have many times over the past two years, when would the review of the municipal funding formula be completed? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 182-13(6): Review Of The Municipal Funding Formula November 9th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister responsible for MACA, as I have many times over the past two years, when will the review of the municipal funding formula be completed? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.