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

Tabled Document 7-14(2): Public Service Annual Report, 1996 And 1997 February 23rd, 2000

As well, I wish to table the following report entitled Public Service Annual Report 1996 and 1997. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Tabled Document 6-14(2): 45th Annual Report Of The Northwest Territories Liquor Commission February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have two documents to table today.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document entitled 45th Annual Report of the Northwest Territories Liquor Commission. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 20-14(2): Solution To Financial Problems February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, we have a working group, set up by deputy ministers, that is looking at a number of issues. The exercise is ongoing and as I mentioned earlier, we are looking at our main cost drivers, at procurement practices, at the capital budget, at energy consumption and generally how we do business and what things are costing us money. That exercise is ongoing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 20-14(2): Solution To Financial Problems February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, we expect in this current year, 1999-2000, to have a deficit. I expect that in 2000-2001, we will likely look at another deficit. I do not think it is going to be possible in the short term to see a balanced budget in the next fiscal year. I think we can take some important steps to working towards a balanced budget in the longer term. I do not see how that would be possible right now. We will do everything we can to keep the deficit well under control and we will certainly try not to hit that wall. We have made that commitment. Thank you.

Question 20-14(2): Solution To Financial Problems February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said yesterday, I can reassure you we will do everything in our power to make sure we do not hit that wall. We also have to look at the short term, and we are. If we are going to balance our budget, there are only two ways of doing it. Either we cut expenditures or we find new revenues. We are always open to finding new ways of cutting expenditures.

We are going through a process of reviewing our operations across the government. The departments are working on it. They are looking at everything from capital plans to procurement practices to the way we do business. They are asking is there any money we can save in our current operations? We are looking at the long term, in terms of how do we re-adjust ourselves as a government, what are some potentials for new revenues and what are some ways of doing business differently.

As I said earlier, we want to work in participation with other partners, and we certainly want to discuss a lot of this with the other stakeholders, particularly the aboriginal leaders, before we get into any detail on it. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 2-14(2): Budget Process February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it has been five short weeks since 19 MLAs of different backgrounds and viewpoints were sworn in to form the 14th Legislative Assembly. In that five weeks, these new MLAs have held their first session, met with the DIAND Minister, resolved a strike, and grappled with the potential delay of a mega-project. They also found the time to hold a week-long strategic planning and priority setting workshop, to organize and install their standing committee system and to hold a two-day Cabinet strategy session.

Mr. Speaker, busy as the last five weeks have been, it is going to get even busier. There is an urgent need to complete our initial orientation and planning discussions and move on to consultation and decision making. There are fiscal, economic and social crises that must be dealt with. And there are several early conclusions we have already reached.

The first conclusion is that we cannot do what needs to be done without first building trust and effective partnerships with aboriginal governments, with the federal government, with industry and with all other Northwest Territories stakeholders.

The second conclusion is that there is no short term fix to most of the issues we face. These issues developed over a long period of time and solving them will take the education, understanding, acceptance and participation of a lot of people. In some areas we have already made progress and plans are ready, but more needs to be done and, as the Report of the Minister's Forum on Health and Social Services suggests, we need to get on with it.

The third conclusion we have reached is that without new sources of revenue our ability to get the job done is going to be severely limited. We need to secure the resources needed to achieve our goals. Otherwise we will end up tinkering around the edges of our economic and social issues while they only get worse.

Mr. Speaker, based on these early conclusions we have developed an initial plan of action.

The government will immediately request meetings with aboriginal governments and the federal government to discuss common issues and solutions.

In March, 2000 the government will bring in its full budget for fiscal year 2000-2001. This budget will be designed to move forward on a few of the early decisions of the 14th Legislative Assembly and it will ensure we do not exceed our borrowing limits or, in any avoidable way, worsen our fiscal situation or create a fiscal crisis.

Over the next few months, priority will be given to working through Caucus to complete the development of the 14th Legislative Assembly's goals, priorities and strategies. This work will need to be performed in close consultation with aboriginal governments, and with other Northwest Territories stakeholders. Once completed in May or June, this agenda of the 14th Legislative Assembly will be publicly tabled and discussed. The directions established by the new agenda will guide further government initiatives this year and the development of business plans and budgets for the 2001-2002 fiscal year.

Mr. Speaker, this is an ambitious timetable. For it to succeed, we will need to be focused in our work and we will need the participation and contribution of many parties. But that is what operating in a consensus system is all about. We are all in this together and we must all be part of the solution.

-- Applause

Bill 3, An Act To Amend The Financial Administration Act February 22nd, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Thursday February 24, 2000, I will move that Bill 3, An Act to Amend the Financial Administration Act, be read for the first time.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 2, Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 3, 1999-2000 February 22nd, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I give notice that on Thursday February 24, 2000, I will move that Bill 2, Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 3, 1999-2000, be read for the first time.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Supplementary Question 10-14(2): Timing For The 2000-2001 Budget February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do not have the paper in front of me right now. I can provide that information to the Member. Thank you.

Supplementary Question 10-14(2): Timing For The 2000-2001 Budget February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Direction has been given on preparation of the business plan for the three-year period. The direction with regard to preparation of main estimates for the year 2000-2001 budget has not been given yet. We are awaiting further clarification of priorities and directions. Thank you.