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

Motion 17-14(6): To Resubmit A One Rate Zone Application To The Public Utilities Board October 2nd, 2003

I give notice that on Monday, October 6, I will move the following motion:

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, that the Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation direct the corporation to resubmit their one-rate general rate application to the Northwest Territories Public Utilities Board so that meaningful discussion and consultation can take place amongst the people of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 360-14(6): Clawback Of The National Child Benefit Supplement October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to ask the Minister if maybe he can get consultation going with the communities and the people that are affected the most so that he will know if it is affecting them the most. Is it negative or is it positive? I'd like to ask the Minister if he can do that, consult with the people that are affected the most? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 360-14(6): Clawback Of The National Child Benefit Supplement October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said in my statement, some communities don't have employment; they have no choice but to be on income support. I'd like to ask the Minister, this Legislative Assembly has powers to change legislation, to change regulation, why can't the Minister create funds to have these two programs without taking money away from the people that need it the most? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 360-14(6): Clawback Of The National Child Benefit Supplement October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to ask the Minister, since your programs are very good, I would like to ask him, why can't he fund them separately without taking money away from the people that need it the most? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 360-14(6): Clawback Of The National Child Benefit Supplement October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, the Honourable Jake Ootes. In my Member's statement I noted that when federal Minister Jane Stewart was in Yellowknife in August, she encouraged the territorial government not to claw back the national child benefit supplement from people on income support. The Minister and his department have chosen to ignore the request from the federal Minister. I'd like to ask the Minister if you would allow people on income support to keep the national child benefit supplement? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 6: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize all my constituents from the North Slave.

---Applause

Clawback Of The National Child Benefit Supplement October 2nd, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in August of 2003, provincial and territorial Ministers met in Yellowknife. At that time, Jane Stewart, the federal Minister of Human Resources Development Canada suggested to the territorial government that people on income support keep the national child benefit supplement. This federal program was designed to combat child poverty, but if you live in our territory and receive income support this money is clawed back. The benefit would pay a low-income family with two children about $200 a month. The same amount is deducted from families on income support.

In my mind, this action by the territorial government defeats the very purpose of the federal program. This action penalizes the very children it is designed to help. For example, if a family earns $5 and receives the supplement, the children benefit. However, if a family receives $5 from income support because they are unable to find work in their community, the supplement is clawed back.

Many provinces, including Alberta, have recognized the flaw in this and are no longer clawing back the national child benefit supplement. I urge the territorial government to do so as well. I know that the Minister has stated that families on income support do not need the supplement because all their basic needs are met. This is debatable.

The Minister is also quoted as having stated that the child benefit was never intended to go to the people on welfare. Yet, the Minister is encouraging them not to claw the money back from people who rely on income support. On other occasions I have heard the Minister state that income support is a program of last resort. Mr. Speaker, in communities where there is no work, it is often the only resort.

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that we should be clawing back from children something that they are entitled to. Mr. Speaker, I will have questions for the Minister on this issue later. Thank you.

---Applause

Question 350-14(6): Single-rate Zone For Hydro Electric Power October 1st, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have asked this question on more than one occasion. I have all the questions and answers here and every one of the answers I was given was that once the energy strategy was completed, they would deal with the one-rate zone. It is now completed. Why can't they deal with it? Why can't the Premier and his Cabinet deal with it? Thank you.

Question 350-14(6): Single-rate Zone For Hydro Electric Power October 1st, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As the Premier well knows, we on this side of the House had input when he was elected to Premier for this Legislative Assembly. When we did that we expected him to work for all of us, for the whole Territories. But by disregarding some of our questions and some of the requests that people are making, he is not doing his job. I'd like to ask him again, will he do his job and give direction to the Northwest Territories Power Corporation for a one-rate zone?

Question 350-14(6): Single-rate Zone For Hydro Electric Power October 1st, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I understand the Premier thinks that this is a controversial issue but, as I have said before in the House, we are here for the people, we are representing everyone in the Territories and every day we are saying that we want to treat them and make sure they get all the same benefits. By continually disregarding requests from Members from this side of the House, we are failing the people in the North. I'd like to ask the Premier again, if they will, when will they do it? Is it after the election? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.