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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

Point Of Privilege September 29th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, rise in support of Mr. Dolynny’s point of privilege. For four y

ears we’ve governed ourselves as an

Assembly sharing as much information as we can. Having that announcement in the media without prior Member or committee involvement is a huge oversight of the way we’ve been running. I really feel that there was a misapplication of guidelines and procedures that we govern ourselves by in this case.

I don’t know why it is, but it seems to have happened more than once in the last month. Thank you.

Question 867-17(5): Provision Of Health Care In Nahendeh June 4th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The residents, when I go there, speak loud and clear. In Slavey they say...[English translation not provided.]…and also they say…[English translation not provided.]…which means they’re not helping us and they’re not caring about us. That’s why they go into Fort Nelson.

If I can ask the Minister one last question, Mr. Speaker, can our health care care for these people in the smaller communities? There’s got to be a core issue there. Can we find out what that is? Mahsi.

Question 867-17(5): Provision Of Health Care In Nahendeh June 4th, 2015

I think the Minister touched briefly about one of the core issues. The core issue is that they’re being turned away from the health centres; they are being given aspirins and they don’t have the confidence to say… In fact, in a couple of cases – the Minister was there – we heard residents just say, “Okay, fine. I’ve got a sick child. I’m going to Fort Nelson to get my sick child’s needs taken care of.” That shouldn’t be, Mr. Speaker. Our health care system should pay attention to all of our constituents who are out there, take care of their needs, identify what exactly is the problem and that’s what I’m getting at. I’m talking about that they should be getting referred over to Fort Nelson for quicker attention and for their health needs. Thank you.

Question 867-17(5): Provision Of Health Care In Nahendeh June 4th, 2015

I think the Minister’s talking about someone who wanted to privately do it, but what we’re talking about is residents not having any confidence of using our health care in those smaller communities and it’s sad to say that, standing up here today. But the residents want to have an arrangement with BC Health and I think one of the barriers was the electronic medical records, so we’ve got that now.

I was wondering if the Minister can move forward with making an arrangement where residents of Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte can go to Fort Nelson for their health care needs. Thank you.

Question 867-17(5): Provision Of Health Care In Nahendeh June 4th, 2015

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. I just want to follow up on my Member’s statement talking about getting agreement with the BC health authorities to benefit the residents of Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte. I’m recalling a similar discussion with the former Minister of Health and Social Services and I would like to ask questions of the current Minister of Health and Social Services.

Will the Minister commit to making an invoicing agreement with the BC Health Authority? Thank you.

Provision Of Health Care In Nahendeh June 4th, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I’ll be extending my statement.

---Laughter

Between May 5th and May 8th, I accompanied the Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs on a tour of Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte. I would like to thank the Ministers for their attention to issues in the Nahendeh region.

Residents of Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte talked quite a bit about their desire for an agreement with BC Health. There are several reasons. For one thing, some of my constituents have lost confidence in the NWT health system, so much so that they would rather incur their own costs of travelling across the border.

Unless our health system improves its capacity to provide services and timely diagnosis for patients, these residents will continue to put their trust in BC Health, and that’s a shame.

Another reason is the practical matter of distance. It’s just a two-hour drive from Fort Liard to Fort Nelson, while the drive from Fort Liard to Fort Simpson is about three hours, and I want to say it is on Highway No. 7.

Other factors include convenience and costs. It is not uncommon for Fort Liard residents to be flown 800 kilometres all the way to Yellowknife, but this is an inconvenience to the patient and expensive when the same services can be provided in Fort Nelson.

This is the third time since 2013 that I have stood in this Legislative Assembly to ask for an agreement with BC Health. I believe it would help Nahendeh residents and probably lower the overall cost of health care in my region.

At the appropriate time I will ask questions of the Minister of Health and Social Services. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link Concerns June 3rd, 2015

Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker. My observation is that our current government prides itself on thinking big but often forgets its duty to also think small. All too regularly our small communities are an afterthought when this government plans its big projects such as the Mackenzie Valley fibre optic line. My colleagues across the floor sold this 80-some million dollar project to me and other Members partly on the benefit it would bring to the small communities along the route such as Wrigley. There were promises that a fibre optic line would serve those communities with faster and cheaper Internet, better service and health centre and better learning in our schools. Yet, even as this line is being dug into the ground in the Mackenzie Valley, the government has not publicly laid out its plan for small communities along the route. I haven’t heard about any construction opportunities for them either.

Communities in my riding are concerned about this lack of planning and communication, in particular Wrigley. It’s a sensitive matter. I suggest the government be proactive. In April, Wrigley’s leadership announced withdrawal of their support for the fibre optic line. Land claim issues and lack of progress on the Dehcho Process are big factors in that, but it is a much easier decision to pull support when the government does not see the benefits of this fibre optic project.

Of course, “big picture” interests do see the benefits: the European space industry, federal government departments, big companies like Ledcor, which is building the line, and NorthwesTel. I would like to see some small thinking and see it very soon.

Let’s see some business opportunities and jobs in the small communities along the route of the fibre optic line. Let’s see the details on how the line will serve our health centres, schools, local governments, businesses and homes. Think small.

Like Highway No. 7, this will be my next favourite two words to this government: think small. The result might be bigger than they think. Thank you very much.

Committee Motion 119-17(5): Delete $516,000 From Directorate Activity, Department Of Executive, Defeated June 2nd, 2015

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. Much of our discussion over this item and these communications positons is about due process. Myself, I do feel that this could have been better addressed in the business plan and not at this late stage, so I certainly will be supporting this motion for deletion of this item under consideration.

Tabled Document 256-17(5): Liidlii Kue First Nation Band Council Resolution On Hydraulic Fracturing Tabled Document 257-17(5): Dehcho First Nations Resolution On Total Ban On Hydraulic Fracturing June 2nd, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I have two documents to table. The first is the Liidlii Kue First Nation November 12, 2013, band council resolution calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracking in Liidlii Kue traditional territory. As well, I’ve got the resolution number two from Dehcho First Nations calling for a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Dehcho First Nation traditional territory.

Question 854-17(5): Hydraulic Fracturing Baseline Studies June 2nd, 2015

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In the information sessions there was talk about a Section 35 consultation, which means consulting with Aboriginal organizations. This summer finds us with our annual assemblies. What are the plans for the Section 35 consultations with Aboriginal organizations? Mahsi.