Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2003, as MLA for North Slave

Lost his last election, in 2003, with 25% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 16-14(2): Rae Edzo Municipal Funding Levels February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, the Honourable Jim Antoine. The formula funding agreement between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the communities has recently been reviewed. Recommendations were made to make some changes to the formula to make it more fair and equitable.

In the case of one of the municipalities I represent, Rae Edzo, funds are provided by Municipal and Community Affairs to provide basic municipal services. These services include general government services, building maintenance, recreational services, and community planning.

Community governments are required to provide these services under the Hamlet Act and Chartered Communities Act. In the case of Rae Edzo, it is pointed out in one of the documents that "unique community features are not always addressed by the funding formula." The example that was given was the dual communities of Rae Edzo.

Mr. Speaker, I am worried that unless an agreement is reached which recognizes the unique situation of this twin community, the two communities will split and apply for funding separately. In this time of tight budgets, I think that it would be more cost effective to reach an agreement. Would the Minister commit to examining this issue?

The Unique Communities Of Fort Rae And Edzo February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as a new Member, I would like to make a statement about the unique community I come from.

Rae Edzo is a one-of-a-kind municipality in the western Arctic. It is the largest hamlet in the Northwest Territories and consists of two communities connected by 16 kilometres of road.

The communities can be seen across the lake from each other. In the winter, the communities are connected by four and a half kilometres of winter road, and relatives reside in both communities.

The local municipality in Rae duplicates services in both communities. But the residents of Edzo are concerned about the level of services provided. The community of Rae Edzo is growing. With the addition of an airport, service needs are changing.

At the appropriate time, I will be asking questions concerning the need for funding services in Rae Edzo. Thank you.

Petition 2-14(2): Improved Alcohol And Drug Services In The North Slave Region February 22nd, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition dealing with the matter of improved alcohol and drug counselling services in the North Slave region. Mr. Speaker the petition contains 610 signatures of North Slave residents. Mr. Speaker, the petitioners request that increased alcohol and drug counselling services are needed in the communities of the North Slave region. Thank you.

Question 5-14(2): Funding For Addictions Services February 22nd, 2000

In The Final Report of the Ministers' Forum on Health and Social Services, it was pointed out that treatment far from home is less effective than the healing of whole families in the community. One of the goals identified by the Dogrib Addiction Strategy is to have people who speak their language, people who know their customs and traditions, people who are proud of their culture and heritage, people who are guided by their Dogrib beliefs and spirituality.

This strategy states that every individual and every family in the Dogrib communities have been and are affected by addiction problems. I am sure you can appreciate the importance of having treatment provided which best meets the needs of the clients. Can the Minister indicate whether she is receptive to establishing a treatment centre in the North Slave?

Question 5-14(2): Funding For Addictions Services February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question will be directed to the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding addiction funding. I received a letter from the Minister this morning stating that funding is available to clients with different needs to access other types of addiction treatment in the south, that being people who cannot receive the treatment they require in the North. I would appreciate clarification about what kind of funding is available for people to attend treatment in the south.

Addictions Counselling Services February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I will be tabling this petition at the appropriate time. It contains 600 signatures reflecting the concerns of the people within my constituency in regards to addictions. Thank you.

Addictions Counselling Services February 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today I would like to take the opportunity to bring forward an issue that is of great concern to my riding, the North Slave, and the Territories as a whole. That issue is addictions. The issue is not new yet the way we address it as a government needs to reflect that we are listening to our people and that we are prepared to deal with it.

Last week, the honourable Minister responsible for Health and Social Services, Jane Groenewegen, released The Final Report of the Minister's Forum on Health and Social Services. It was accurately subtitled, "Let's Get On With It." I do not think there were any surprises in this report. It stated that substance abuse in the Northwest Territories needs to be dealt with more effectively. I would like to thank Mrs. Groenewegen for releasing this report and for her written commitment and assurance that she is willing to work with me and the Dogrib Community Services Board to support the work underway within my constituency to address the issue of addictions.

I would also like to thank the Dogrib Community Services Board for their work in developing the Dogrib Addictions Strategy. Their work began in 1998 and they have created two documents.

"Stories From Our Youth" is a collection of 200 stories by children within the Dogrib communities of Rae Lakes, Rae, Wha Ti and Snare Lakes, about how community addictions have affected their lives.

Another document they produced is "For The Sake Of Our Children," which includes a vision statement of what people hope to achieve in the Dogrib communities - a world where addictions do not rule their lives and trouble their communities. They see families that are strong and healthy, where people respect and support one another. Elders are listened to. Parents are aware of their responsibility to guide their children. Children listen to the counsel that is provided by their parents and their elders. They see people who speak their language, northern customs and traditions, are proud of their culture and heritage and who are guided by the Dogrib beliefs and spirituality. This vision can become a reality and the first step is to effectively address the issue of addictions within the Dogrib communities.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge Bobby Dryneck, a constituent who took the initiative to go door to door in Rae, collecting signatures in support of treatment for alcohol and drug addictions.

Mr. Speaker, I will be tabling this petition. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

Thanks To Family, Supporters And Colleagues January 19th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will speak in my own language.

(Translation begins) Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to congratulate the Speaker of the House, the Commissioner, and all of the Ministers who have been elected to the Assembly, as well as all the other Members of the Legislative Assembly.

We all live in the Northwest Territories. When one is in trouble, we are all in trouble. In Gameti, Wha Ti, Wakweti and Behcho Ko, I would like to thank all the people who have elected me to sit in this Legislature. I would like to say thank you to my family, my wife, my children and all my friends who have worked very hard during the campaign to have me sit here at this time.

When I was in the communities talking to you during the campaign, I said I was going to visit the communities as much as I can.

When we enter a political position like this, we do not always understand everything. We have to teach ourselves. We have to be able to work together in this Assembly. I would like to thank everyone here.

(Translation ends)

-- Applause