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 34: Tlicho Land Claims And Self-government Agreement Act October 3rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to waive Rule 69(2) and have Bill 34, Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement Act, referred to Committee of the Whole.

Bill 34: Tlicho Land Claims And Self-government Agreement Act October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand to support this bill. I think this bill is something that the Tlicho people are looking forward to. They've worked on it for a long time. As you know, there was a ratification vote in June where over 80 percent of the people wanted this, and that's the majority that wanted this self-government legislation to go forward. I know it's unfair of me to ask my colleagues to push it through as fast as they can, but still this is the wish of the people.

The other thing that I'd like to add is that there has been a lot of consultation out there over the 12 years. There have been draft documents that were shared with the Cabinet. Cabinet has full knowledge of all those documents that have passed through them. We've seen some of them. I've shared some of the documents with the Special Committee on Self-Government so they know what we're going to be looking forward to. But those were all just drafts. They couldn't discuss it or make decisions on it because they were just a special committee on the sunset clause, which sort of affected the self-government area, and that was one of the reasons it was put there.

So I have to say I support this and that later on today I will be seeking unanimous consent to move it into Committee of the Whole so we can speed it up as much as we can to the wishes of the Tlicho people. Thank you.

Motion 18-14(6): Expression Of Gratitude To Clerk David M. Hamilton For Dedicated And Exemplary Service October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also strongly support the motion and I'd like to just go back and say that everybody else in this House, when we were new here, we had no one to go to, we went to him. You can tell by going to his office, the rug is very worn.


It's almost white from so many going into his office. He really helped us when we first got here. I'd like to thank him for that. I'll give you a good example of how much he meant to this House. When the Board of Management got the word that he was going to resign we had to make a decision on whether we should accept his resignation or not. At that time we said, well, we discussed that he had a lot of knowledge and he had experience and he was a walking encyclopedia. So I said, well, we'll accept his resignation on only one condition. That he leaves his head here because that's where all the knowledge is.


Anyway, I'd like to thank David for leaving us with a lot of knowledge. Thank you.


Revert To Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize the Dogrib chiefs and staff and all my constituents, friends and relatives up in the gallery. Thank you.


Question 373-14(6): Alcohol And Drug Treatment Services In The North Slave October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Minister for putting more money into the Dogrib region and throughout the North. If we are not going to deal with the issues and we're just simply pouring money into there for the sake of pouring it, then we're not dealing with any of the health issues that are related to addictions. I would like to ask the Minister, if he can put as much effort into this addictions strategy as he did in the Midwifery Act. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 373-14(6): Alcohol And Drug Treatment Services In The North Slave October 3rd, 2003

Thank you Mr. Speaker. We know addictions are one of the main problems and in his answers he gave yesterday it seems that he knows the problems. He says we do not have any pat answers. We are pouring an enormous amount of resources into treatment of the health issues related to this. So he is already telling us all the health issues are related to addictions, but he is not willing to put any facilities in the North. What is the Minister's job? Is it to create more health problems and not deal with it and just keep answering the same questions saying no bricks and mortar? Thank you.

Question 373-14(6): Alcohol And Drug Treatment Services In The North Slave October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In answer to my colleague, Mr. Braden, yesterday, the Minister said what we've attempted to do over the last few years is focus attention at the community level with the increase in social workers and the money. As we know, in light of the information we have, by creating...(inaudible)...we have increased child apprehensions and breaking families apart because these social workers are not addiction counsellors. I would like to ask the Minister, is he going to do anything, like bricks and mortar, for services in the North Slave? We already have one in the South Slave. Can he do something for the North Slave?

Question 373-14(6): Alcohol And Drug Treatment Services In The North Slave October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Health and Social Services, the Honourable Michael Miltenberger. Mr. Speaker, I know the Minister is saying that his department will not build treatment centres, but we see in the South Slave the only addiction centre in the entire territory is having internal problems. If nothing is resolved, then there would be no treatment facilities in the North, our people would have to go south for treatment, away from families which creates problems in itself. I would like to ask the Minister, what is his plan to provide treatment services if the dispute with the staff in Hay River creates a shut-down? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Addressing Alcohol And Drug Addiction In The Nwt October 3rd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On Tuesday my colleague, Mr. Braden, drew attention to the dwindling number of facilities to address alcohol and drug treatment in the Territories. As part of his response, the Minister of Health and Social Services stated that "we will spend all the money we have and the millions and millions of dollars to deal with the issue of addictions and the results of the ravages of alcohol. But really and truly, the fundamental choice is how do we get people to make that personal choice so that we can in fact deal with the prevention at the community level."

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to point out that, despite the Minister's words to the opposite, we have not even come close to spending all the money we have to deal with addictions. In reality, the government is scrambling to fund addiction workers, never mind providing prevention programs or facilities. There is, by no stretch of the imagination, a serious effort to address addictions in the territory.

Mr. Speaker, the next point I would like to address is the Minister's comment that the fundamental issue is the personal choice people make to drink. I agree, but I think there is more to this story.

Let us compare creating a healthy lifestyle to learning to read. When a person wants to learn to read, he doesn't just pick up a book and that's the end of the story. Even though he has made the choice to read, he needs to learn some basic skills; things such as the alphabet, how letters are strung together to make words and so forth. Similarly, someone might want to live a healthy lifestyle but they need help in learning how.

In my region, people have been asking for years for help in dealing with their addictions. To simply say it's your choice, don't drink, would be like telling someone to just pick up a book and start reading. It just doesn't work.

Mr. Speaker, there have been countless studies done over the years. At the end of these studies, we learned what we knew before the studies were done: that addiction is the number one social problem in the Northwest Territories and people want help in learning how to create healthy lifestyles. Mr. Speaker, if we are serious about addressing it, I think we should find models of success. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Motion 15-14(6): To Rescind The Revised Business Incentive Policy, Carried October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also stand today to support the motion. Some of the reasons are not the same reasons as my colleagues, some are similar. In the year 2000-2001, I stood up in the House here and I made a statement saying that the BIP doesn't work, it is costing this government too much money. I mentioned that we can build five houses for the price of four. If we didn't use the BIP, we could have better housing programs out there, affordable housing, we can really call it affordable then instead of paying the high costs that there is right now.

We have been paying for supplies through the years because of the BIP for social programs. A good example is education, health, these are for supplies and services. Those are the areas that need to be looked at and this BIP, which were not looked at. We need to look at those areas. It was already brought up before the House, it's on paper, it was totally ignored and there are so many things that should have been done but were not done by the department. Just standing up here and have everybody repeating it is just not going to do it.

What I want to say is that I support the motion and that the department should be looking at everything over again, take another run at consultations with the business community and the people that are going to be affected, the people in the communities, the public that is out there that are going to be paying for the higher cost of living in the North. Mr. Speaker, I say I support the motion.