Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was public.

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Kam Lake

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 23% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Committee would like to consider Committee Report 34-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 45: Corrections Act; Bill 45: Corrections Act; Committee Report 29-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment Report on the Perceptions Held by Northern Businesses toward the Government of the Northwest Territories' Procurement Processes; and Committee Report 32-18(3): Standing Committee on Economic Development Committee Report on the Process Used for Devolution Legislative Initiatives. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Question 840-18(3): Single-Use Plastics Ban August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My final question is: is the department prepared to provide a leadership and kind of a central support role for municipalities as they seek to solve their waste management issues and the coming single-use plastic ban? Is that something the department can do? Thank you.

Question 840-18(3): Single-Use Plastics Ban August 21st, 2019

I reflected on the Minister's recent statement on the new strategy, the waste strategy that is coming out, and I think there are a lot of good details in that. How is the department adapting to the lack of recycling facilities? My honourable friend from Nahendeh raised this, as well. Could the department's regional offices, through ENR regional offices, be used as collection points for recycling? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 840-18(3): Single-Use Plastics Ban August 21st, 2019

I know this is somewhat forecasting, but we have a federal intention. I guess my concern is for the many businesses who are currently using plastic knives and forks, food services, for example, that they're going to be hit with a lot of costs when this happens. Has the government considered that problem? Are they working with industry to help transition them into this new reality, whether it will be a single-use plastic ban?

Question 840-18(3): Single-Use Plastics Ban August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member's statement, I talked about how one of the issues raised around sustainable was the single use plastic ban that the federal government intends to bring forward across the country. I'm just wondering if the Minister responsible for, I believe, Environment and Natural Resources in this case has had any discussions with his federal counterparts on how the single-use plastic ban will impact the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize two of my constituents who have joined us today, Ms. Caitlin Cleveland and Ms. Elsie DeRoose. Thank you for being here today and taking an interest in our proceedings.

Waste Resource Management and Single-Use Plastics Ban August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I rise on a multifaceted issue that several constituents have brought to my attention: single-use plastics and the sustainability of our economy and environment. Earlier this year, the federal government announced its intention to ban single-use plastics by 2021. This would be following suit to many jurisdictions around the world which have been responding to the appalling amount of plastic waste clogging waterways, polluting lands and water sources, poisoning our food, and killing marine life en masse.

I am happy to see that the GNWT has announced the beginning of the process to address waste reduction through the recently published Waste Resource Management Strategy and Implementation Plan. I hope that the next Assembly will continue to advocate and take a lead in the process of banning single-use plastics and other waste management strategies. The capacity to achieve this already exists locally in the NWT. Some vendors have already begun using compostable take-away containers, and I feel we should investigate other northern solutions to this problem. I also feel that we should be incentivizing this shift in behaviour by providing cash incentives and supporting waste management projects in our private sector.

For example, the Vuntut Gwitchin people from the community of Old Crow, Yukon, began down this path in 2012 with the commissioning of a waste-to-energy facility. Since 2014, the facility has been operating and cleanly destroys up to three batches of 1.5 tonnes each per day of waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

This is but one part of the solution to the multifaceted problem of waste management that we face as a society. The GNWT can also take on a leading role on this matter. We have ENR offices all throughout our territory which could be used as collection points for recyclable materials. We can incentivize the use of compostable over single-use plastics, and we should be banning products like Styrofoam.

There are already a lot of people and groups around the world working on these issues. Conferences are held regularly. There is funding available from Ottawa and from philanthropic NGOs. I hope that we will all do our part to try to clean up our world and set a clearer path forward for future generations and ensure that the transition to a single-use plastic ban is done in a way that supports our private sector and supports those who are most concerned about this, individual families, households, business community, Indigenous governments, small communities who lack access to recycling facilities. We need a real plan that brings those resources to bear and ensure that we have a sound waste management system before this ban comes in place. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

Bill 42: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Products Tax Act August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Northerners expect real climate change leadership, and that means a plan that works for the NWT. The plan that is being proposed by the GNWT that is central on Bill 42 does not achieve that goal. Only one model of carbon pricing was explored and developed without adequate legislative oversight or public engagement.

Although I support some form of carbon pricing in principle, such as a cap and trade system, I cannot support this plan that leaves unelected public servants responsible for new taxes and rebates without approval by Members of this House, not to mention the significant flaws with the plan as it was laid out and has already been thoroughly debated by this honourable House.

With so many decisions being pushed off to the next Assembly, there is no reason, apart from political pressure from Ottawa, why carbon tax can't wait another four months. Premier Kenney, our Premier's new ally in pursuing the NWT's agenda on the national stage, stood up to the federal government when he received a mandate from Albertans. That's what the people voted for in Alberta, and now they have received an extension until January 1st. Yet we stand down as soon as one email is sent from one political staffer.

Mr. Speaker, Northerners deserve a better plan than this, and I will not be supporting this bill. Thank you.

Committee Motion 236-18(3): Bill 34: Mineral Resources Act - Amend subclause 116, Carried August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I move that the chair rise and report progress. Thank you.

Committee Motion 234-18(3): Bill 34: Mineral Resources Act - Amend subclause 111(4) to add (4.1) and (4.2), Defeated August 21st, 2019

Thank you, Chair. The intention of this motion is to be consistent with other pieces of Territorial legislation. The sole example is the Petroleum Resources Act. This same provision exists there. It allows opportunity for the public to review regulations as they are published and to provide them with an opportunity to comment. This is something that we heard from civil society, from industry, and from Indigenous organizations, as well. I think it is important that we give the public the opportunity to weigh in on these regulations.

As this is a consistent theme that we have heard throughout the review of these bills, this, I think, is a good amendment to have, and it is consistent with the PRA, as well. The government did not see fit to amend the PRA to remove this provision. Although it is a federal artefact, it is one that was retained. All this is, is making it consistent with the PRA. I encourage Members to support it. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would request a recorded vote at the appropriate time. Thank you.