Roles

Elsewhere

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 417-14(6): NWT Housing Corporation Policies On Rental Arrears October 9th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the honourable Roger Allen, Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation. In my Member's statement and in committee meetings we have held in the past, I have mentioned that there are many people who are earning a good income. They're able to maintain a home on their own, but they don't qualify for these programs because of the arrears they have. I would like to ask the Minister, would he be willing to make changes to the housing policies so that persons with arrears could be rolled into their mortgage and they would be able to take advantage of some of the programs that he is initiating? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 6: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 9th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Too bad I only get 30 seconds. I can't name them all. I would like to recognize my family: my mother, Margaret Lafferty; my partner, Cecilia Desjardins; my daughter, Tara Lee Lafferty; and all my constituents, aboriginal leaders from the North Slave. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

NWT Housing Corporation Policy On Rental Arrears October 9th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation listed the achievements made by this department over the past year. It is true that there have been many worthwhile housing projects that have been worked on and that are still in the works.

In terms of my region, housing concerns continue to be the number one issue. With the development of the mines, employment opportunities are opening up. With these jobs, people are earning good money. However, it is not unusual for people to have outstanding arrears.

If a person is in government housing and is working, 25 percent of their gross paycheque goes to their rent. Mr. Speaker, I'm sure all Members are aware that there is a big difference between gross wages and take-home pay. With 25 percent of the gross wage gone and with the arrears on top of this, the situation is bleak. A class of people known as the working poor is being created. People can't catch up with their debts. As a government, we need to figure out how to help people who are working and who are able to maintain a home, but do not qualify for housing programs because of their arrears.

One suggestion I would like to put forward is that if a person who is working has earned enough money to maintain a home, we should include their present arrears in their mortgage. By doing this, we don't ignore the debt, but it is a chance for people to unload the burden of bad credit into payments they can manage.

Mr. Speaker, it was only last week that the Premier stated that the economy of the Northwest Territories is the envy of the rest of Canada. Let's make sure that the people in the North benefit from this prosperity. Mr. Speaker, this government can help by making sure that its housing policies support the reality of our new North. Thank you very much.

---Applause

Committee Motion 142-14(6): To Amend Clause 17 Of Bill 31 In Proposed Subsection 25.5(1), Carried October 8th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move that clause 17 of Bill 31 be amended by deleting proposed subsection 25.5(1) and by substituting the following:

25.5(1) An aboriginal languages revitalization board is established comprised of at least one member of each of the Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tlicho language communities.

Committee Motion 139-14(6): To Amend Clause 8 Of Bill 31 In Proposed Subsection 12(2), Carried October 8th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move that clause 8 of Bill 31 be amended by deleting proposed subsection 12(2) and by substituting the following:

(2) Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tlicho may be used by any person in any court established by the legislature. Thank you.

Committee Motion 138-14(6): To Amend Clause 5 Of Bill 31 In Proposed Section 4, Carried October 8th, 2003

Thank you. This was a request from the Dogrib leaders and upon speaking to their chief negotiator I was given advice to go ahead with the name change. I think at one time they may have written a letter to the committee suggesting that this name be changed in the future.

Committee Motion 138-14(6): To Amend Clause 5 Of Bill 31 In Proposed Section 4, Carried October 8th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move that clause 5 of Bill 31 be amended by deleting proposed section 4 and by substituting the following:

  1. Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tlicho are the official languages of the Northwest Territories.

Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole October 8th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, your committee would like to report progress and, Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of Committee of the Whole be concurred with.

Question 401-14(6): Community Infrastructure Needs In Rae October 8th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm glad the Minister's department is looking at supporting the community. As we all know, there are no mechanics in some of these small communities and the costs are higher than usual to maintain equipment. I'd like to ask the Minister if his department is willing to budget the communities according to the expenditures that they're forecasting. Thank you.

Question 401-14(6): Community Infrastructure Needs In Rae October 8th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said in my statement, sometimes the department makes decisions without telling the communities. I'd like to ask the Minister if his department can just go ahead and purchase the equipment without going back to them? Thank you.