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Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2007, as MLA for Weledeh

Won his last election, in 2003, by acclaimation.

Statements in the House

Mr. Ramsay's Reply August 21st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I request unanimous consent to return to item number 5, recognition of visitors in the gallery.

Question 170-15(6): Construction Of Seniors' Housing Unit In Fort Resolution August 21st, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Some Members are suggesting that the Premier should test one, but I am not interested right now. Mr. Speaker, we are looking at them. I will have to get back to the Member on when we can have a review done, but, all joking aside, seriously, we are looking at them. They look like tubs that would be much more convenient for some seniors. I will let the Member know as soon as I can how soon we can get a definite answer. Thank you.

Question 170-15(6): Construction Of Seniors' Housing Unit In Fort Resolution August 21st, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member is obviously watching the same television channel I am. I have seen those premier bathtubs advertised for ever and ever. Ed McMahon calls them premier. They look very comfortable. They look very nice for people to step into. Mr. Speaker, I can say that the Housing Corporation is doing a review of those tubs to see whether or not they are what Ed McMahon says they are.

---Laughter

Are they really that good a product? If they are, then definitely we would consider them. I don't think they will eliminate the need for home care, but they will certainly help some seniors who have difficulty stepping into a regular tub. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 169-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 21st, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The cost of the bridge has gone up; there is no doubt about that. The cost to the public has not gone up. It is still $6, or $6.75. I don't know how many times I can repeat that. That has not changed. Mr. Speaker, why has the bridge gone up? How is it being managed? How are we dealing with all of this? We did a presentation to the committee on July 12th. I don't want to go through all of those pages, but I will give the Member a copy of it. That can help him to understand why it has gone up and how it is being handled.

Mr. Speaker, while the costs have gone up on the bridge, the costs of everything else has gone up too. Mr. Speaker, the number of tonnes going over that bridge has gone up and will continue to go up as there are more mines and other economic activity. Mr. Speaker, there are more people living on this side of the river. All of that is changing, but that doesn't mean that we have to change from $6 or $6.75 a tonne. That amount to the public is still the same as it was in 2002. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 169-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 21st, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier, the cost to the users of the bridge is $6 a tonne in 2002 dollars, or roughly $6.75 today and some other figure in 2010 when it is completed. Nothing has changed that. Mr. Speaker, I expect that, because nothing has changed, the Association of Communities will still take the same position they had before, because their costs have not increased relative to everything else that is going up, of course, in life and the cost of living in the North.

Mr. Speaker, let's go beyond communities. The additional benefit is to the mining communities. Mr. Speaker, that is essential. Now, Mr. Speaker, I have to say that even this fall, we are under pressure to operate the ferry 24 hours a day starting this fall in order to keep up with what industry needs coming across with the ferry. They are concerned. There is going to be a backlog of vehicles starting in October on the ferry. The ferry is not going to be able to keep up. So this is important to industry. It is important now. They need it not just for costing but also to be able to run their increased number of mines on this side of the river. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 169-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 21st, 2007

I am not sure I understand what is meant by who is our agent. We don't have an agent as such. The bridge is being built and is going to be owned by the Deh Cho Bridge Corporation for a period of 35 years. During that time, they will, as the Member has said, collect tolls and do the maintenance and so on.

During the construction, they are the ones who will sign a contract with the construction firm, Adcon, who is doing the building of the bridge. Mr. Speaker, when they sign the agreement this week, then it is for the beginning. The contractor wants to begin the construction this fall in order to complete it by November 2010. If he doesn't start this fall, then it pushes everything back next summer. So we have, as a government, given an additional $5 million advance to the Bridge Corporation to enable them to be able to sign on and start some of the work this fall. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 169-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 21st, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sorry the Member can't attend the celebration, but if he wishes to send a message, then I would be happy to deliver that on his behalf.

---Laughter

I say that most sincerely, because I think the people in Fort Providence that combine the community alliance would appreciate that from Members.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is not signing anything at the celebration, but there is a conditional contractual agreement. That is the term they use. It is being signed between the Deh Cho Bridge Corporation and the contractor at that ceremony. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 168-15(6): Deep Sea Port And Military Training Facility In Western Arctic August 21st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, without taking anything away from Nunavut or seeming to take things away from that territory, I will certainly lobby for the development of our capacity in the Western Arctic. I believe that any shipping that is going to happen through the Northwest Passage is going to have to be between Banks Island and the mainland. That is a relatively narrow body of water and it is an area that would be quite simple, in my view, to monitor.

Mr. Speaker, the other reason I continue to lobby for the West is because of the oil and gas and the interest by both United States, through Alaska, and our government on who owns what water in the Beaufort. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 168-15(6): Deep Sea Port And Military Training Facility In Western Arctic August 21st, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I have raised the merits of that port on the western end of the Northwest Passage and promoted Tuktoyaktuk as both a port for Arctic sovereignty reasons as well as economic reasons since it is in the centre of the offshore oil and gas. I raised it with the Prime Minister, with Minister Prentice at various venues that I have spoken at over the past months. I continue to believe it is a good proposal, one that we, as a territory, should continue to promote. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 166-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 21st, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think I already answered that one, but the GNWT has loaned the Bridge Corporation money to pay all of their costs up to now and will continue to do that to the point that the financing is in place for the bridge. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.