Legislative Assembly photo

Roles

Elsewhere

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

Won his last election, in 2003, by acclaimation.

Statements in the House

Question 159-15(6): Jimmy Erasmus Seniors' Centre August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I understand that some of the work on the roof, first of all, is being done as we speak. I am not sure of the exact detail of where they are at with that. During the 2007-08 year, there will be a flooring repair or replacement. I understand that some of that work is currently underway, and then some work on crawlspace, some repairs to the sumps, some minor interior upgrades, and inspection upgrade of the heating and ventilation system as well as piping would all go on during the 2007-08 fiscal year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 159-15(6): Jimmy Erasmus Seniors' Centre August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It will certainly be the recommendation from the Housing Corporation to, number one, do those intermediate repairs that have to be done to keep the building serviceable for a five-year period, and second is to put forward, as part of the business plan, a request for the money to be able to get on with the planning of a new building. In fact, I expect the Housing Corporation will begin the consultation on the type of facility beginning as early as this year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 159-15(6): Jimmy Erasmus Seniors' Centre August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Pending approval through the business planning process, then the plan is to do the intermediate repairs and then get on with consultation on a new facility, getting an architectural engineer to work on the construction and completion by 2011. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 159-15(6): Jimmy Erasmus Seniors' Centre August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The engineer's report was received on August 1st. The recommendation from the engineer is that it would cost roughly 70 percent of a replacement building to completely renovate that one. He also commented that the site is not a good place for that building because of the elevation of that site. Mr. Speaker, the conclusion that he leads us to is that we should do immediate repairs and then plan for a new facility. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 156-15(6): Mackenzie Valley Highway August 20th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I think the question was, will we continue to lobby hard for it. Absolutely, we will. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that not only have we lobbied, but there's a lot of the private sector and aboriginal corporations who are also lobbying and looking at how this could be done. In fact, they're looking at a P3 project. Is there a parallel to be followed similar to the Deh Cho Bridge that would be able to do it? So, Mr. Speaker, these are things that we can't just keep talking about forever. We need to get on with doing them and, Mr. Speaker, I'll do everything I can to make sure that we keep lobbying on this. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 156-15(6): Mackenzie Valley Highway August 20th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, yes, I will bring it up. I'll bring it up right to the last day that I'm in office here, Mr. Speaker. It's my responsibility to do that and I will do it. Mr. Speaker, I believe that it is essential and that's why our government has spent millions of dollars building over 20 some bridges, why we're committed to building a bridge across the Bear River to extend the winter road, and eventually we'll build that into highway. But again, without our fair share of resource revenues, we're very limited in how fast we can move ahead with this. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 156-15(6): Mackenzie Valley Highway August 20th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, it's true that those discussions did take place with Imperial. Imperial agreed that, yes, that would make a difference. I have not seen their latest model for how they propose to build the pipeline, but they're afraid of having their pipeline attached to a highway from an environmental review side, so they've been a little bit reluctant to engage in that. But, Mr. Speaker, we presented that argument to the federal government as well and I can tell you that all of our economy is going to be dependent on good infrastructure some day. Thank you.

Question 156-15(6): Mackenzie Valley Highway August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish the federal government would just do it, because I think it's a good idea to do it. I think Diefenbaker started that. Prime Minister Diefenbaker started over 50 years ago. We've got to build infrastructure. We can't just keep studying these things. We've got to get on with it.

Mr. Speaker, I've had discussions over the past few years with the Prime Minister, with Minister Prentice, with Minister Cannon, anyone who would listen to us. Myself and the Minister of Transportation have both been strong advocates of it. So we need to get on with it.

Mr. Speaker, the one thing that the federal government has always tied major investment in the Mackenzie Valley highway to is the pipeline. We've got to keep our eye on that file as well, because I think that will provide the economic reason for a good highway down the valley. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 151-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Some of us believe it is our job in this Legislative Assembly, it seems, to just keep consulting and consulting and studying and so on. Some of us believe it is our job to do things. Mr. Speaker, we are going to do this. We are not going to every step of the way go out and get people's opinions again. We got people's opinions since 2002. We know we have a good deal. We know it is workable at the $6 a tonne in 2002 dollars or $6.75 today and something else in 2010 when it is completed. We know it is good for Yellowknife, the North Slave region and the mines. It is another important piece of infrastructure. We are going to go forward with this unless something really goes sideways on a final contract. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 151-15(6): Deh Cho Bridge Project August 20th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I just find it really odd that of all of the public infrastructure we build, the MLA would choose this one to say we need to have all of the facts. Are we going to have to do this every time we replace a culvert or pave or chipseal a piece of road? This is a piece of infrastructure. We don't do that often. We do our assessment. We run good government and we make sure that what we are doing is in the benefit of all of the people of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, I just don't understand the reluctance here. Mr. Speaker, do we talk to everybody? Yes, we have talked to everybody going back to 2002. We have talked to everyone about this. Now, as I say, we are not negotiating everything in public. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.