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Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Nahendeh

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 14% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Appreciation For Constituents, Colleagues And Supporters October 8th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I, too, just want to talk a bit about my past 12 years as the MLA for Nahendeh. I’ve stood up in this House on behalf of them, being the people’s voice and raising their many concerns and those of my six communities. Despite my colleagues saying my favourite two words are Highway 7, but if you go to Hansard, my favourite word is actually “communities,” because I’m the MLA with the most communities. I have six.

It has been an honour and privilege to serve my constituents and I thank them very much for the confidence that they have shown in me during my third term in the 17th Assembly and for the past 12 years. I believe I have carried out my duties as MLA for Nahendeh with energy, commitment and dedication, and that I worked hard to bring their issues to the attention of our Cabinet, our Ministers and to this House and that I responded promptly to their calls for requests for assistance.

This November I will be asking the voters of Nahendeh to use my experience to serve them and ask for their vote for a fourth mandate. I want to assure them that I will continue to be available, reliable and approachable.

We have seen many improvements to our community services and infrastructure. For example, Highway No. 7. The people and our communities are telling me already there is much more to be done: improve health delivery, more housing, lower the cost of living and settling the Dehcho Process.

In closing, once again I want to thank the voters and residents of Nahendeh for allowing me to serve you. With your continued support, I will use my experience to make a difference in the next government.

I want to say happy retirement to my colleagues Bob Bromley and Ms. Wendy Bisaro. Good luck to my colleagues in the upcoming election and all the MLA candidates who will be putting their name forward.

Motion 50-17(5): Medical Travel Policy, Carried October 7th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise today, I’ll be supporting that motion. One of the things is that Members on this side of the House have been awaiting the review of the Medical Travel Policy and I’m sure the Minister will have heard that during his travels to all our constituencies that people raise concerns about medical travel. Even though this motion is quite specific and it may seem costly and expensive, but it’s just about that frustration of our people moving around and it’s another symbol that Members on this side of the House cannot wait for that review. But I think for me it only serves to let government know we’ve got to get this work done. We all know elections are coming and I’m sure that all the Members who will be running again as MLAs will certainly hear medical travel being heard.

Once again, the motion calls for three months’ time to start working on it. I know the bureaucracy is not running for re-election, so I would just let them know as they continue to work on the medical travel review that this particular portion be included as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 944-17(5): Fort Simpson Access Road Streetlights October 7th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Certainly the priority areas for this access road have some residential houses, but the longer access towards the Four Mile subdivision, maybe they can look at that as well, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Question 944-17(5): Fort Simpson Access Road Streetlights October 7th, 2015

It’s probably correct that the Village of Fort Simpson contacted the department officials to identify certain locations and I’m up here in the House today to ensure that we move forward with those. I think there are about three sites there, so if the Minister can confirm that the department is working with the Village of Fort Simpson to install at least three new LED street lightings on that access road. Thank you.

Question 944-17(5): Fort Simpson Access Road Streetlights October 7th, 2015

To be specific, yes I’ve been asking the Minister about installing some street lighting on the access road that goes from our 6 kilometre, the Wild Rose subdivision, down onto the Four Mile subdivision, and that’s been a safety concern raised by the residents, most particularly in the last couple of years, with more and more bears being in the community and it being very dark at night.

I’d just like to ask the Minister, has he been contacted by the Village of Fort Simpson with regard to identifying exactly where street lighting should go? Thank you.

Question 944-17(5): Fort Simpson Access Road Streetlights October 7th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to ask the Minister of Transportation some questions with regard to working with municipalities and street lighting on the highway system.

I would like to ask the Minister: What type of program does the Department of Transportation currently have to assist with the street lighting on our NWT highways and close to municipalities? Thank you.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery October 7th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I’d just wanted to take pride in our Page Program that allows us to bring students who are younger and from smaller communities like Fort Simpson. Today I wanted to recognize two Pages from Fort Simpson. First of all, my nephew Allan Menicoche, and Aaron Antoine. They’re both here in the gallery. I just want to say that you guys represent well.

Also, thanks to my chaperone, Ms. Jasmine Hardisty, for taking care of them this week.

Mental Health Programs And Services In Nahendeh Region October 7th, 2015

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to speak about the mental health services in the Nahendeh region. It’s often hard to talk about, but there’s never any shortage of tragic and painful things going on in our communities.

Addictions-related problems keep surfacing in part because of things that the residential school legacy left behind. Residents need more help if they’re going to recover from things like drug and alcohol abuse. People need to heal from the painful things that happened.

I understand that the report on the new Mental Health Act will be tabled today. There’s certainly been a lot of talk about it on the this side of the House. One of the things that the standing committee found is how many front-line positions are vacant across the Northwest Territories. That’s a concern in my region where residents of Fort Simpson, Fort Providence and Fort Liard have gone for long stretches of time without access to mental health workers. In Nahanni Butte, Trout Lake and Wrigley, help is even thinner on the ground.

Limited funding is a concern. A $10,000 program for Trout Lake gets 50 percent of it used for air travel alone. This must also be reviewed and addressed.

We’re all hoping for a brighter future with a new Mental Health Act. Later, during the session in Committee of the Whole, we will hear about how the updated act will benefit the people of the Northwest Territories, and I look forward to those discussions. Mahsi.

Question 933-17(5): Contract Related To The Deh Cho Bridge Construction October 6th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Yes, Rowe’s did the work, and like any other contractor agreement, even if it’s verbal, they should be paid. That’s what I’m asking the Minister. Why have they not been paid to date?

Question 933-17(5): Contract Related To The Deh Cho Bridge Construction October 6th, 2015

The Minister doesn’t address why they weren’t paid. He says everybody else has been paid, and that’s a well-known fact, but the referees that analyze this situation, look at all the claims – there were, I think, about seven or eight of them – and for the most part there were only two acceptable, and those are the referee’s recommendations.

I’d like to ask the Minister to seriously consider these recommendations despite keep going back to the books of a failed company, ATCON. The government took over the project and came to this House for more money. Why can’t we pay all the contractors that are due?