Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for Baffin South

Lost his last election, in 1995, with 10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Member's Statement Extending Apologies To Constituents And Mlas June 5th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today on a very important issue regarding an incident a week ago. First of all, I would like to apologize to my colleagues here in the Assembly for the incident that happened one week ago. I sincerely apologize. Also, it was a great embarrassment to me for the unfortunate thing that happened. But, Mr. Speaker, as for my constituents of Lake Harbour, Cape Dorset and Sanikiluaq, I want them to hear from me that I apologize deeply for what happened. I don't want to put my constituents down, but I did and that is very unfortunate and I sincerely apologize. Even though that might be the case, my representation of those communities will not be altered as I have done in the past. I sincerely regret the incident that happened and I want to apologize to my constituents. That will not stop me from my deliberations in this House.

As a Member of the Legislation committee and also the Public Accounts committee, I wanted to rise today in this House. It will be up to those two committees whether they want to keep me on those committees, or if they want to let me go from those committees. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Need For Medical Services For Out-of-town Patients April 25th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand today with regard to patients who have to travel to other communities to be treated. Mr. Speaker, I usually don't pay much attention to the workers in the hospitals, but there is still need for more services available for patients who travel to see the doctor. When they go to the hospitals there are many people who are stranded. I know they are well taken care of, but there are more services needed for people who are transient. There is a need for more services available. Children and adults are usually waiting for flights and going to and from communities. We should worry more about the services for these patients in the hospitals; not just interpreters, but an escort service should be provided for these patients in the hospitals. This is my concern, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Fire At Sanikiluaq Air Terminal April 12th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to make an announcement to my colleagues about what happened yesterday morning in Sanikiluaq. The airport terminal at Sanikiluaq experienced a fire yesterday. According to what I have heard, no one was hurt in the fire and also, Mr. Speaker, I've been told that this was an accidental fire. But, Mr. Speaker, the airport terminal in Sanikiluaq cannot be used until they get a new one. I heard that the Department of Transportation and DPW are currently working to determine what needs to be done with the building. I'm happy to announce, Mr. Speaker, that no one was hurt in the fire but I wanted Members to know that the airport terminal in Sanikiluaq burned down yesterday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 457-12(7): Study On 1994 Tuberculosis Outbreak In Cape Dorset April 11th, 1995

(Translation) Mr. Speaker, I have a question directed to the Minister of Health and Social Services. In my constituency, particularly in Cape Dorset last year, there was an outbreak of tuberculosis. People were being shipped to southern hospitals for treatment. I would like to ask the Minister of Health and Social Services whether they have done

studies with regard to TB outbreaks in Cape Dorset. I know that, Mr. Speaker, the nurses in the community of Cape Dorset assisted as much as they could with the resources that were available to them and we appreciate what they have done. However, I would like to know if the Department of Health and Social Services has done any studies with regard to the tuberculosis outbreak that occurred last year. The people of Cape Dorset would like to know why there was such an outbreak. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Congratulations To Kenojuak Ashevak On Aboriginal Achievement Award April 11th, 1995

(Translation) Mr. Speaker, I stand today to make a Member's statement and I would like to thank Kenojuak Ashevak who is my constituent. She got an award and I congratulate her for that. When I was a small child, she started making drawings. I know this isn't the first time she has been given an award but, Mr. Speaker, she was given an aboriginal achievement award and I know that she was called Kenoayoak Pudlat on CBC and I just want to clarify that she is not me. She is someone else. They made a mistake. They always make a mistake with my name. I would just like to thank my constituents and to congratulate this woman for getting an award. Thank you.


Question 417-12(7): Minister's Receipt Of Recommendation Re Legal Interpreting Program April 6th, 1995

(Translation) Supplementary to my question, Mr. Speaker, to the same Minister. Why were the recommendations not followed by the Minister?

Question 417-12(7): Minister's Receipt Of Recommendation Re Legal Interpreting Program April 6th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, have a question to the same Minister, the Minister of Justice. I understand that recently an independent committee reviewed the legal interpreting program and wrote to the Minister of Justice strongly advising that this program not be cut. Did the Minister receive these recommendations that the program should not be cut? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Reductions To Legal Interpreting Program April 6th, 1995

(Translation) Mr. Speaker, I'll be speaking with regard to the legal interpreting program being quashed. This is a very useful program for having interpreters in the courts. There are many people with a first language other than English. This course was going to be very useful to the justice system in the Northwest Territories, but we have learned that this program is going to be eliminated. We use interpreters quite often, and the legal interpreting program is going to be eliminated. In the justice system, we require interpreters at all times. I have quite a few problems if this program is going to be eliminated, and I will be asking questions with regard to this program to the Minister of Justice.

Bill 1: Appropriation Act, No. 2, 1995-96Committee Report 4-12(7): Report On The Review Of The 1995-96 Main Estimates April 5th, 1995

(Translation) Mr. Chairman, regarding Health and Social Services, regarding capital planning; first, I would like to say the patients who have to go through regional or southern hospitals for treatment are treated very well and that is the least we can do for them.

I would like to say that in the east one of our problems is, for the smaller communities, only small aircraft are able to land there. Some communities are accessible by larger airplanes. A lot of times patients that have to go out for treatment have difficulty returning home because other patients are using the same aircraft. This has been a major concern in the smaller communities for patients who have to go out.

The other concern is -- we are aware of this ourselves -- that these people do not travel on their own; that is a necessity for them to go out for treatment. I know that many of the same people go out because I travel a lot. I have seen many patients who have gone out for treatment who have difficulty returning home. I wonder what the problem is. I am not too sure about the reasons they seem to get bumped off of scheduled flights. It seems that there are no problems when they can get a seat on an airplane. We feel really sorry for the people who are unable to get home because they have no seat on the aircraft. I don't know if this is a problem elsewhere, but there have been a lot of problems in this area up to now. There are patients who are not there of their own making and are not able to get home when they should. Perhaps the Minister is aware of that or she may not be. I think that you should know the problem in this area so that you are aware of how patients who go out for treatment from their home communities are handled and treated. I think that we should be very sympathetic towards these people. Sometimes we feel sorry for them when they become unhappy because they are homesick when they are unable to go home. It is very sad to see these people. I would just like to say something about that further.

Also, in the Baffin, especially Sanikiluaq, Yellowknife is used as a major centre to treat these people. As well, the Kitikmeot Boarding Home is used by those patients who have to come in. I would like to say again that these patients are not here just because they want to come here; they are here out of necessity. I think that there should be Inuktitut services or translation services made available for that dialect at the Stanton Yellowknife Hospital. I think that there should be a telephone available with an interpreter in a language that they can understand. In the Baffin region there is Inuktitut available at the hospital all the time to answer any questions or enquiries, and translation services in that hospital. There are many other centres in the south that are used by northern residents. I think there should perhaps be a toll-free number or a number to call in our own language, Inuktitut, available in all major centres. I think there should be one made available at the Stanton Yellowknife Hospital. I don't know if there's one now or if there are plans to have one, someone who can answer questions in Inuktitut, because I know that Stanton, as it is at the present time, will continue to be used to treat other people from other regions, mainly the Inuit-speaking people, and there has to be someone looking after the patients who do come in.

We are very thankful that the Kitikmeot Boarding Home is available to be used by patients who come in, but even in the Inuktitut language we have many different dialects. A lot of times we can communicate but there are some problems that may occur especially for people who don't often get out of their own regions. There may be an interpreter available as needed in the Kitikmeot Boarding Home or at the hospital but I think there needs to be an improvement in this area because many people from Sanikiluaq have travelled to Yellowknife for treatment. It seems that we had a tuberculosis problem in Cape Dorset and there were many people travelling out for treatment. They were having trouble getting out of airports going into boarding homes or hospitals. I don't know what services you have about where to call or who to call in case there is no one from the hospital to pick them up. That is part of my concern.

The other concern that we have is in the social services area. When there is a death of a relative in another community, or if there is a serious illness of a member of the family, I know that there is one airfare that can be paid for a close relative to go to that community. We feel that there should be more than one airfare for a relative to go to that community for a funeral or to see a person who is terminally ill. This is a very serious concern for people from small communities who have no employment opportunities and want to fly out to see a dying relative or attend the funeral of someone who has died. When you are travelling from Cape Dorset to Lake Harbour, it is very expensive to fly between those two communities. I would like the Minister and his officials to think about this in the future. This is one of the major concerns in my constituency, whether or not Social Services can provide more than one airfare ticket to go see a dead relative or a terminally ill person.

I will stop at this point, Mr. Chairman, so that my points are understood more.

Awarding Of Contracts To Northerners April 5th, 1995

(Translation) I rise today regarding the people who are awarded contracts. I'm sure in the future, whether it's in the winter, summer or spring, contracts will be available. A lot of people who are certified in whatever fields, should also be considered to be awarded contracts. It's getting very difficult to get full-time jobs and there are people who are finishing their training in trades and the number is increasing in the Northwest Territories. The contracts that are awarded wouldn't go out of the Northwest Territories if they were given to the people in the north. We're in a restraint situation in the north, those people should be considered.

Mr. Speaker, those trades people who are qualified can also employ local people and train them at the same time, which is

beneficial to the north. I would like this to be given more consideration. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.