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 146-13(6): Rae-edzo Municipal Funding Formula November 9th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I again would like to raise a concern that I have brought forward many times during this Assembly. That being, the problem of the current Municipal Funding Formula for the community of Rae-Edzo. Time and time again, I brought this forward in this House with the department of MACA saying are view is being done to solve the many problems my community is having. However, to date nothing has changed. The department even went to the point of promising extra funding to ensure the problems were being taken care of, however, this funding has not been given to the community. When will this review be completed? How long does my community and others have to wait before we can say that all communities are treated fairly and equitably?

Rae-Edzo has worked very hard with the department to identify the problem areas. The hamlet has made every effort to ensure a good working relationship has developed, but they cannot continue to be delayed any longer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 172-13(6): Funding Assistance For Rae-edzo Airstrip November 6th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Minister for giving me a good response, it is something the community wants to hear. However, in my earlier statement this morning, I have alluded to the Capital Plan Project and the future, if the Minister is prepared to include anything in the future capital projects on this very important initiative regarding the Rae-Edzo airstrip. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 172-13(6): Funding Assistance For Rae-edzo Airstrip November 6th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Earlier today, I discussed the success of the Rae-Edzo airstrip considering a lack of support this government has provided. At this time, I would like to ask the Minister responsible for the Department of Transportation, the honourable Mr. Antoine, if he is prepared to assist the community by providing necessary funding for resources to stockpile material needed to complete the design of this very important initiative? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 135-13(6): Construction Of The Rae-edzo Airstrip November 6th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to inform this House that despite the lack of support from this government the Dogrib Rae Band has continued the construction of the Rae-Edzo airport. Mr. Speaker, with very limited resources the Dogrib Rae Band is training 20 people in the use of heavy equipment operation. Aurora college and 20 other government agencies have refused to provide support for a project which is probably more successful in training operators than many courses offered by the college. These young people are being trained to work in the construction industry by working long hours, six days a week. I am very proud of the work that has been done by these trainees. Mr. Speaker, unless the airstrip is completed and employees working at the mines are flown directly to their home community of Rae-Edzo, it will continue to be difficult to retain all these people who have to travel through Yellowknife before they get home. Experience has shown that unless employees are flown directly to their home community, social problems will increase. Mr. Speaker, the airstrip being built in Rae-Edzo will bring business opportunities to the community. It is not the intent of this project to compete with the capital city, as honourable Members from Yellowknife have expressed. Rae-Edzo has an unemployment rate of approximately 43 percent and my constituents feel that the residents of Yellowknife will also benefit from the airstrip. Studies have shown that 80 percent of the incomes earned in Rae-Edzo are spent in Yellowknife.

Mr. Speaker, the work completed on this project has already

saved this government a significant amount of money. The Dogrib Rae Band is prepared to arrange the funding for this project if it can obtain a commitment from this government to include the airstrip in its capital plan. Mr. Speaker, unless funding can be found to stockpile material and complete the design work this winter, the project will be unable to continue next year. Will the Department of Transportation provide interim funding for this work? When will the project be included in this government's capital plan? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Written Question 5-13(6): Project To Reconstruct Highway 3 November 5th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The road between Yellowknife and Rae has been a safety concern for many years. I understand the Department of Transportation will soon begin construction to pave and realign this portion of the highway. Mr. Speaker, my written question is:

1. How much money has been allocated to this project?

2. Over how many years will this project be undertaken?

3. How much money will be spent in each of these years?

4. Who are the contractors and for what portion of the contract have they been hired for?

5. Will local preference be taken into consideration when contracts are awarded?

6. Who will be taking the right of clearing of the highway?

7. Will the Department of Transportation use some principles it used for the residents of Fort Providence, such as local aboriginal negotiating the right of way work on a portion of the highway nearest to the community?

8. Will the majority of services be done by local businesses?

9. Will heavy equipment operators with journeymen tickets be given first preference in hiring?

10. Will the GNWTs share of the benefits of this project remain in the north, in the communities that are affected by this project?

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 166-13(6): Invitation To Meet With Rae Lakes Residents November 5th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct my question to the right honourable Minister for MACA. Regarding revisiting the community of Rae Lakes, I guess we have made some attempt in the past regarding the trip to Rae Lakes. I was wondering if the Minister would be able to have time to visit the community of Rae Lakes to explain the community's problems and concerns in the community of Rae Lakes? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 164-13(6): Invitation To Meet With Rae-edzo Residents November 5th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct my question to the honourable Minister of Housing, Goo Arlooktoo, regarding the visit and recent public meeting they had in the community, that the community had confusion over the housing policy as it is. They wanted to know whether the Minister would be able to come to the community. I was asked to ask the Minister if he will be able to have time to come and meet with my constituency members from the Rae-Edzo community. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 127-13(6): Roads To Resources Initiative November 5th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to look into the future. I would like to express my constituents' concern over the comments that my colleague, Mr. Henry, made yesterday during his Member's statement. Mr. Speaker, as you may recall, Mr. Henry was rather adamant about the fact that his road to resources would start from Yellowknife and basically follow the existing route. I, on the other hand, feel this is not the most prudent or feasible solution. I would also like to thank the Mayor of Hay River for his comment and his vision of the future.

Mr. Speaker, for years Rae-Edzo has been in the shadow of Yellowknife. We have never lobbied to take anything away from Yellowknife, we have always been very good, cooperative neighbours and have watched Yellowknife grow and prosper. Now we have an opportunity that could benefit my entire region. If this road were to start from Rae-Edzo, badly needed jobs would be the first benefit. Secondly, it would allow for further expansion of our airport facility by establishing docking yards and storage areas, which of course would also create employment for our residents. Thirdly, by ensuring a good route to the Lac-de-Gras area we could also ensure that our smaller communities of Wha Ti, Rae Lakes and Snare Lake would receive benefits from employment and possibly by the fact that these communities could be connected to this road, which of course would provide a better way of life than is currently available to these residents.

As one can see, Mr. Speaker, by using Rae-Edzo as a starting point, the benefits are considerable. Now I ask, who benefits from having this road start from Yellowknife? I would venture to say a few businesses at the most or nothing else. I feel it is time for the rest of the NWT to reap some of the benefits that are available and not just Yellowknife. Let us share the wealth to benefit the entire western Arctic and not just a few businesses in Yellowknife. I also hope that my other colleagues will give us the much needed support to ensure this very important project benefits as many people as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Member's Statement 104-13(6): Comments On Western Governance September 25th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to comment on the Premier's statement of Wednesday, September 23, 1998. It was good to hear his words of support for aboriginal self-government. However, our aboriginal groups must be assured that indeed this is true. You see, Mr. Speaker, we have all heard this before. We have heard that

this government supports the aboriginal groups' position on self-government, but in reality when the doors are closed the senior officials representing this government are actually contradicting our Premier's words. Is it not the Premier and Cabinet that are making policy and directions for this government? How can we have a government that operates on two positions for the same issue? This government must demonstrate to the aboriginal groups that indeed it does support self-government, not just say so in public then turn its back on its own people. In order for this government or the one to come after division, to operate effectively it must be clear to all parties that we do indeed support this very important motherhood issue, not just pay lip service. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Question 110-13(6): Inequitable Funding To Rae-edzo September 24th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. During my Member's statement today, I referred to the continued frustration both the Hamlet of Rae-Edzo, and myself have experienced regarding the inequitable and the way the Department of MACA has treated the hamlet funding problems. It is our hope that this issue would be solved for the release of the municipal funding review report that is currently being developed, however this report is still not tabled and probably does not consider the problem my community is experiencing. With this in mind, I would like to ask the Minister of MACA when will this report be available? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.