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

Bill 32: Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 2, 2003-2004 October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd just like to ask the Minister what happens to the revenues we collect from sending our firefighters, our water bombers, out to BC, the United States, wherever there's fires? How much do we get in revenues this year from those kinds of fire suppressions?

Written Question 13-14(6): Aklavik Mental Health And Addictions Workers And Programming October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I seek unanimous consent to return to item 6, oral questions.

Question 400-14(6): Standardizing Health Services Across Communities October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. During his answer, the Minister referred to a number of communities. I have never heard those names mentioned in this House or any questions on lacking services, except for Hay River, and I know there have been issues there and it is justifiable to say that they do need help in upgrading their facility there, but shouldn't the Minister look at putting facilities in where there are none instead of just upgrading for the sake of upgrading? Thank you.

Question 400-14(6): Standardizing Health Services Across Communities October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is too bad we can't get any questions when the Minister doesn't answer your question. I'd like to ask him again, what is he doing for standardizing facilities in the Northwest Territories? He has given me answers on all of the other things except the facilities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 400-14(6): Standardizing Health Services Across Communities October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope the Minister is not talking about another study there about the information he is putting together. I'd like to ask him, he said in his opening introduction that there are actions to support people in taking care of themselves and improve support they receive from the health and social services system. How can you help people to help themselves if they don't have the facilities to help themselves in? I'd like to ask the Minister, when is he going to look at improving the health facilities in the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Question 400-14(6): Standardizing Health Services Across Communities October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Honourable Michael Miltenberger, the Minister of Health and Social Services. My question is on the status report, Action Plan 2002-2005. In it he says that they have identified communities and programs, but I see they have left out some of the things that were an issue in this House a number of times. I'd like to ask him, what is he doing to standardize health facilities and health care in the communities in the Northwest Territories? Thank you.

Adequacy And Consistency In Health Services Delivery October 7th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You have to excuse me if I slur my words here -- I had some dental work done -- especially when I'm going to be doing a speech on health.

In August of 2002, I had the pleasure of travelling with the Minister of Health and Social Services to a community meeting in Wekweti. At that meeting, community members pointed out the need for a health centre and a nurse within the community. They had concerns with the lack of a permanent nurse, and they pointed out that they had been asking for these services for a very long time. People asked also, and wondered why, there was no consistency in health care delivery standards. For example, some northern communities which are smaller than Wekweti have a full-time nurse and a health centre.

In response to these concerns, the Minister of Health and Social Services stated that there was a need for a standard level of health service delivery across the Territories, and that he would be working towards this. That was over a year ago, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the honourable Michael Miltenberger updated the House on the Health and Social Services System Action Plan which was released in February 2002. In his update the Minister stated that 36 of the 45 action plan items have been addressed by the department. He also stated that the remaining nine action items will be looked at within the next six months.

Mr. Speaker, I looked through this action plan and I was very alarmed that no mention was made of funding a community nurse or a health centre in Wekweti. Mr. Speaker, last December, the Minister stated that we in the Dogrib region would be getting two doctors and possibly another nurse as soon as they could be recruited. This announcement was great news to my people. Having access to local doctors and nurses would mean easier access to medical care, and less waiting time and travel away from home and loved ones. Mr. Speaker, I reviewed statements that the Minister has made during the past year on health delivery and I have not heard more on this subject.

Mr. Speaker, I will be asking him for an update on this matter later on in question period. Thank you.

---Applause

Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole October 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Bill 26 and Bill 21 and would like to report progress with three motions being adopted and that Bill 26 is ready for third reading and, Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of Committee of the Whole be concurred with.

Motion 17-14(6): To Resubmit A One Rate Zone Application To The Public Utilities Board, Defeated October 6th, 2003

Yes, off with their head, that's what we want to say. Why should the people be there if they're not doing their job? People are being canned for less than that. We saw it last year. They were trying to do for the people of the Northwest Territories. You guys can't do anything, get out of here. We'd like to keep the place where it is. That's what was said.

We have a document called "Towards a Better Tomorrow." What kind of tomorrow are we expecting for people who we're taking the money out of their pockets, taking the food out of their kids' mouths because we have to turn on an extra light because it's dark for 10 months of the year in some of the higher Arctic? It's not the same as being in Fort Smith. In Fort Smith you have more daylight than anywhere else in the rest of the Territories, and you have the lowest rate. What I'm trying to say here is let's be fair to everyone, but we aren't doing that.

Then it was mentioned that we have the strategy. Well the strategy, if you read it, all it says is conserve this, conserve, it's good for you. But some of these small communities have substandard homes. They don't have the quarter-million-dollar houses like they have in Yellowknife or Hay River or Fort Smith, with R2000 rating or whatever they call it. These people don't even burn one fuel tank a year. If you have a small community with a substandard home, you're burning three fuel tanks a year, and maybe six or seven cords of wood at the same time. These people are struggling in these communities. They turn on the fans in their home because it's too hot in Yellowknife sometimes. Look at the apartments that some of the people are living in. They have their windows wide open. They can't even open the door in some of the houses because it's so cold, and here we're saying it's okay, don't worry about them, just continue. You can't do that.

This study that they gave to us for the energy strategy was a lie, because the one-rate system was one good thing that the Premier said was going to be there. The Minister responsible for the Power Corporation said it was going to be in there. They promised it to us. Just like the BIP, they promised it to us. But they turned around and did the opposite. Turn off your lights. Turn off your lights. Your power won't go high, they say. How are you going to heat your home? Some of the larger centres like Yellowknife, Fort Smith and Hay River have a water system that you don't even need a pump. When you turn on your water tap and you get water, your pump doesn't even go on. If you go to a home in one of the smaller communities, you turn on the pump to get your water because that's the only way to get your power.

So why are we here? If we're going to be here just to pick and choose where we need to make legislation, then we're here for the wrong reason. We're here for everybody. Like I said when I first started speaking on this, we say it in our prayer every day before we start in this House. Maybe it's time to change the prayer. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 17-14(6): To Resubmit A One Rate Zone Application To The Public Utilities Board, Defeated October 6th, 2003

But I didn't do that, that was my mistake.

---Laughter

So, Mr. Speaker, one other Member said that we can't ignore the rules and the boards that were put in place. Hey, we did that last November. We canned a board. Cabinet canned a board because they didn't like the decision. Now we're saying well, we can't, we can't do anything with the new board. Well, look, we put them in there to do a job for the people of the Northwest Territories. If they're not doing that job, then they deserved to be canned. I say that. Their job was to make sure that the power rates were fair for everybody in the Territories. That was their job, to make sure it's all fair, but they haven't done their job. They should be getting their pink slips tomorrow.

---Interjection