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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was land.

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Thebacha

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 6% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I am pleased to be here today to discuss Bill 58: Justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act. This bill proposes to make targeted and necessary legislative amendments to acts that support the justice system in the Northwest Territories.

This bill amends various statutes administered by the Department of Justice to:

  • repeal provisions of An Act to Amend the Children's Law Act and amend the Children's Law Act to establish a recalculation service;
  • amend the Coroners Act to clarify the responsibilities of the Chief Coroner and coroners in respect of inquests and authorize the release of the body of the deceased if an investigation is complete;
  • amend the Evidence Act to add provisions in respect of the admissibility of electronic records, and repeal provisions that allow the court to refuse to admit photographic film prints into evidence;
  • add an updated definition for "prime rate" to the provisions of the Judicature Act relating to prejudgment and post-judgment interest;
  • add a reference in the Jury Act to exemptions from jury service contained in the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act;
  • increase fee rates in respect of the registration of certain instruments and caveats under the Land Titles Act;
  • amend the Public Trustee Act to establish a mechanism for the disposition of unclaimed property;
  • amend the Residential Tenancies Act to provide for the appointment of a chief rental officer, adjust provisions relating to service and the giving of reasons, and allow regulations to be made in respect of fees for services provided; and
  • amend the Retirement Plan Beneficiaries Act to provide for the discharge of the administrator of a plan.

Overall, this bill contains a number of measures to improve access to justice and service delivery, which the government believes will significantly assist residents of the Northwest Territories.

Of particular note, the changes to the Children's Law Act will improve the process for recalculating support order amounts payable under both that act and the federal Divorce Act. This will make it easier for parents to obtain changes in the amounts payable under support orders to better reflect current circumstances. These amendments will allow the government to implement this long-awaited service by the end of 2019.

In addition, the proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act will help address the processing times for orders. Members of this Assembly and the public have stated many times that the timelines faced by those relying on the hearing process set out in legislation are too long. Contributing to the delays are certain requirements set out in the existing legislation, including the requirement to provide written reasons for every order.

I would be pleased to answer any questions that Members may have regarding Bill 58. Thank you.

Tabled Document 481-18(3): Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 773-18(3): Third Party Sexual Assault Reporting August 12th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table the following document entitled "Follow-up Letter for Oral Question 773-18(3): Third Party Sexual Assault Reporting." Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 58: Justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act June 6th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River South, that Bill 58, Justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act, be read for the second time.

This bill amends various statutes administered by the Department of Justice to:

  • repeal provisions of An Act to Amend the Children's Law Act and to amend the Children's Law Act to establish a recalculation service;
  • amend the Coroner's Act to clarify the responsibilities of the chief coroner and coroners in respect of inquests, and authorize the release of the body of the deceased if an investigation is complete;
  • amend the Evidence Act to add provisions in respect of the admissibility of electronic records, and repeal provisions that allow the court to refuse to admit photographic film prints into evidence;
  • add an updated definition for "prime time" to the Judicature Act;
  • add a reference in the Jury Act to exemptions from jury service contained in the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act;
  • increase fee rates in respect of the registration of instruments and caveats under the Land Titles Act;
  • amend the Public Trustee Act to establish a mechanism for the disposition of unclaimed property;
  • amend the Residential Tenancies Act to provide for the appointment of a chief rental officer, adjust provisions relating to service and the giving of reasons, and allow regulations to be made in respect of fees for services provided; and
  • amend the Retirement Plan Beneficiaries Act to provide for the discharge of the administrator of a plan.

This bill also deals with other matters of minor, noncontroversial, and uncomplicated nature in several of these statutes. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 776-18(3): Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Plan June 6th, 2019

This work will require some time, but it does remain a priority. Understandably, the focus of the department has been on the development of the new act. With the passage of the act, the attention of the department will turn to successfully implementing this work, including the development of new regulations. This work is already under way. Thank you.

Question 776-18(3): Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Plan June 6th, 2019

Yes. Based on what we heard, the regulations will be revised to lower the fees related to the processing of access to information requests. The changes being contemplated are: firstly, decreasing the initial fee for general requests from $25 to $10; secondly, providing for 10 free hours of processing for general requests; thirdly, maintaining the charge of $27 an hour for general requests after the initial 10 free hours; decreasing costs of photocopy charges to 10 cents per page; and maintaining personal information charges of $25, but increasing the number of free pages from 100 to 200.

Of course, the ATIPP regulations will continue to allow public bodies the discretion to waive fees where they present financial hardship to the applicant.

Question 776-18(3): Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Plan June 6th, 2019

Generally speaking, it is expected that the majority of amendments proposed are expected to come into force by April 1, 2020. The department will need to work with other departments and public bodies to prepare for the implementation of the new provisions and provide training as is necessary. Planning for this work has already begun and will remain a priority for the department.

Question 776-18(3): Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Plan June 6th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The comprehensive review of the ATIPP Act involved extensive consultation with GNWT departments, public bodies, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, as well as the public. Feedback received during the course of these consultations, including the IPC's extensive submission, and recommendations identified by the standing committee were thoroughly considered and informed the development of the bill. The amendments will serve to address a number of concerns raised through the comprehensive review of the act. The focus for the department will now be on implementation. I agree with the Member opposite that this legislation is excellent legislation, worked on every a very long period of time by Members of this House and the public.

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery June 5th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to recognize two constituents, Michelle Brown and Sheila Kindred, 2019 Education Hall of Fame inductees. Thank you.

Bill 30: An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act June 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Hay River South, that Bill 30, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act, be read for the third time, and Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded vote. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion to Amend Committee Motion 142-18(3), Withdrawn June 5th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I will not be supporting the amendment. I think that the initial motion, which was arrived at after a good deal of discussion, is appropriate to our situation. I think that it is a good first step, again, arrived at after a great deal of discussion.

As has been mentioned by Ms. Green, there are some concerns that, should the amended motion pass, it could incentivize candidates to spend the maximum amount and could favour candidates with the financial means to spend the most funds.

I think that we have taken the right step here. I think that the amendment is a bridge too far, so I will not be supporting the amendment. Thank you.