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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

Question 109-15(6): Role Of GNWT In Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Projects May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Let me say we have gone, again, a long way to saying to the federal government and the proponent that we want to be in the room when there are discussions going on, the results of which we may inherit at some point. Mr. Speaker, we were not aware that this meeting was happening, although we knew generally that these kind of discussions would be taking place at some time in the future. But in reference to the meeting that took place, we did not know of that specific meeting, Mr. Speaker. That is of concern to us.

Question 108-15(6): Contracts For Housing Construction Materials May 17th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I haven't had the opportunity to discuss this at any great extent yet with the president, but I will. I would certainly encourage the company involved to talk to the president and see if there is another creative way of doing this. It may be that there are enough units, for example, in a community that we could look at a different way of doing it where a local established business would be able to put in a reasonable price. Mr. Speaker, I would commit to speaking with the president and ask the company concerned to also do the same. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 108-15(6): Contracts For Housing Construction Materials May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Housing Corporation, over the years, has gone to great expense to try to deliver the housing in a way that is affordable, but is also done so that northern businesses have maximum opportunity to benefit from it. That's why in some cases we do the supply, ship and erect where it's all to one person. In some cases, it's labour only and we supply the material and in other cases, it's a combination of those.

Mr. Speaker, I am open to looking at how we do this in a way that is going to meet those smaller companies the Member is referring to that can't compete with the big companies yet want to benefit from this and do it in a way that keeps the price affordable. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 106-15(6): Recreational Land Availability Around Yellowknife May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't know if I will have a chance to do it today...

---Laughter

...but, Mr. Speaker, I will and we have committed to consulting with the Akaitcho and letting them know what we are doing in terms of the enforcement procedures. Hopefully we will have cooperation there.

Mr. Speaker, I also hope that DIAND will also follow a similar process as we are on their land because, Members know, we can only develop procedures and apply our legislation on Commissioner's land. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 106-15(6): Recreational Land Availability Around Yellowknife May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As Members have noticed, we have put out notices in the newspapers. It's also on the community channel, on the green...(inaudible)...we want people to know that if they are building something or they have something out there, they are going to have to show us that they have the right to be there. Mr. Speaker, we have started that.

Mr. Speaker, we will be posting notices on property where we are not able to identify someone with a lease or a title. We have to follow a process in there giving proper notice. Of course, it varies whether we find out who the owner or the occupant is. We will follow through with that. Where it is abandoned, again there is a process we have to follow to deal with structures that have been abandoned and

there is need for clean up of those. Mr. Speaker, I won't go into all the steps, but there is a procedure laid out that is very clear and we have developed that in cooperation with the Department of Justice.

Mr. Speaker, let me just say in closing, that we do want and hope to have the cooperation of the Akaitcho people as well as we begin the procedures of managing this. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 106-15(6): Recreational Land Availability Around Yellowknife May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was referring to trying to work with the Akaitcho negotiators, Akaitcho people, at the negotiation table. We tried that in 2004. It didn't go anywhere. So, Mr. Speaker, I am certainly open to having our negotiator consider raising this again when there is next a meeting at the table.

Mr. Speaker, beyond that, what we are prepared to do right now is put out enforcement procedures that we have worked out, give people warnings and give people notice that they have to show us that they have the right to be occupying the land they have. If they don't, then they are violating the law and will be dealt with accordingly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 106-15(6): Recreational Land Availability Around Yellowknife May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I can't speak for DIAND, for the federal government, but from our government's perspective, in 2004 we tried to come to an agreement with the Akaitcho at the negotiating table to have a policy that deals with unauthorized use of land. Mr. Speaker, at that time, the proposal we put forward was rejected and we have not taken it back to the table again.

Mr. Speaker, in the meantime, through Municipal and Community Affairs, we continue to work towards a policy for use of land and, as Members may have noticed, there have been ads in the papers this week warning people are they breaking the law. Thank you.

Question 105-15(6): Housing Complex For Deninu Kue Seniors May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. There have been discussions. The Metis have told us they are

meeting on the 24th, which is a week from today. They will give us that assurance.

Mr. Speaker, what we are trying to avoid is a situation we see in some communities where we have a seniors complex, it's only for seniors, and then we have empty units and then people looking for housing and they can't move into it because it's a seniors complex. We want to say let's be sensible about this, let's build it as a seniors unit, but if there are other people, make sure they can move in there too with priority given to the seniors.

Mr. Speaker, I will assure the Member that we expect to have a decision on the 24th. If there seems to be a problem with that, we will intervene and urge the Metis council to move this quickly. That's the only piece of information we need. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 105-15(6): Housing Complex For Deninu Kue Seniors May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have pretty well everything in place. The only piece of information we don't have is agreement from the Metis council that in the event we don't have seniors to occupy the units, that they would agree to have the units occupied either by a single person or by a couple based on a waiting list, Mr. Speaker. So if we get that one piece of information so there is no misunderstanding down the road, and this project is ready to go. As I said, the meeting is being held next week and I don't see any reason for any delay beyond that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 105-15(6): Housing Complex For Deninu Kue Seniors May 17th, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This project has not been put on the back burner. Mr. Speaker, it changed from some singles housing and some housing for families to a six-plex for seniors at the request of the seniors.

What that does, Mr. Speaker, because of the limited amount of housing, is it does limit the options for single people and for families and has housing dedicated for seniors. We asked the seniors whether in the event there weren't enough seniors to occupy all of the new six-plex units at some point in the future, would they make the units then available to other singles or couples based on a waiting list. Mr. Speaker, the Deninu Kue First Nation, the seniors' society and the community council all replied that this was not a problem for them. We are only waiting now for the Fort Resolution Metis Council to give us the green light. I understand they are meeting on May 24th and the project is a go. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.