Roles

Elsewhere

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for High Arctic

Won his last election, in 1991, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Bill 33: An Act To Amend The Legislative Assembly And Executive Council Act, No. 3 June 9th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to speak briefly on Bill 33. I believe what the Member for Aivilik stated earlier, that the communities are not trained in the doings of the government. NTI representatives stated that the representative of Parliament who represents Nunatsiaq said that he supported the people of Nunavut with regard to gun control. He was elected by the people but, because he is a Liberal, he feels he cannot go against the gun control legislation.

Although the Inuit are in support of amending parts of the gun control legislation, Jack Anawak was not able to say whether or not he was in favour of gun control. The Inuit vote for people who can represent them in the best way possible. There are a lot of people who are not in favour of gun control in the north, but the Members of Parliament cannot state whether or not they're in favour of the bill. Although Jack Anawak represents the Inuit, he cannot.

Today, I think people need to be trained and, perhaps, later they will have a better understanding of how to present themselves. If I was to ask people in my constituency about what they know about the bill, a lot of them would probably say that they don't know enough and that there's not enough consultation. Because of this, I cannot support this bill. Thank you.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents June 9th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Tabled Document 118-12(7) is a letter written by the hamlet of Grise Fiord to HGS Incorporated in Calgary concerning that company's closing and the Noice Peninsula. The hamlet is asking for some agreement to transfer equipment to Grise Fiord, signed by the hamlet mayor. Thank you.

Question 565-12(7): Payment For Accommodation At Kitikmeot Boarding Home June 9th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question will be directed to the Minister of Social Services. As I stated in my Member's statement, one of my constituents was refused accommodation at the Kitikmeot Boarding Home unless she paid to stay. The reason given was that her mother works for our government as a GLO. The GLO is not working full-time any more, thanks to the government. My question is, if the people who are employed are expected to pay at the boarding home, how much do they have to make a year before they start paying for their accommodation at the boarding home? Thank you.

Kitikmeot Boarding Home Costs For Constituent June 9th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to raise something that is of concern to me. Last winter, the GLO positions were cut in half to part-time positions; few ended up with full-time positions. Since those cuts were made, people are only working part-time so their income has decreased drastically. At this time, there is a problem. The daughter of a woman who is a GLO is in Yellowknife and I believe it was yesterday that she tried to move to the Kitikmeot boarding home but she was told that she would have to pay room and board.

She was told that, since her mother works for the government and is a GLO, she would have to pay room and board. She couldn't stay at that boarding home when she found out she had to pay. Her mother's income has decreased and this is a big problem. Right now, she's house-sitting for people who are on holidays. She is all alone and her mother worries about her. She doesn't know what to expect, all alone in that house. I'm sure this will create a lot of problems.

A lot of people work as GLOs and most of them work part-time. This will have a big impact on the future. I just wanted to make that comment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Report 11-12(7): Report On The Review Of Bill 25 - The Education Act June 8th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Under the terms of the proposed act, accommodation in another community will be provided by the education body in that community, as the Minister directs, if grades 10 to 12 are not available in the student's home community. Members were concerned about how much freedom of choice students actually have in deciding where to go for senior secondary schooling. Presenters also felt students should be restricted to districts within the division and the cost of funding the accommodation should be the responsibility of the home district authority. Additional concerns in this area were problems with students changing districts in mid-year and responsibility for foreign exchange students attending our schools.

The Minister pointed to the senior secondary schooling policy as the document which addresses these concerns. Members will be watching the implementation of this section to determine whether, in fact, the concerns are actually addressed.

Treaty Rights And Choice Of Education

There were discussions about treaty rights to education and any limitations on choice, particularly in the western communities. An acknowledgement of treaty rights is included in the preamble to the bill. While committee Members were sympathetic to the concerns raised by presenters, until treaty and other aboriginal rights are clearly defined, there is no way to include it in this act. To try to include it would imply a resolution and definition of these educational rights which is not the case.

Registration

Some concern was raised in the eastern communities regarding the registration date clause in the bill. It required that students must be registered by the first day of school. During committee meetings, the section was amended to allow for cases where families are out on the land and do not make it back to their communities by the first day of school.

Home Schooling Fees

The bill allows parents to be reimbursed for approved education costs relating to home schooling. As written, the section is optional at the request of the parent; they do not have to claim these costs but can if they wish to do so. In conjunction with a change made to the home schooling section of the proposed act, this addresses many of the concerns of the presenters on home schooling.

Kindergarten

Bill 25 originally proposed a floating kindergarten entrance age of five years within five months of the start of the academic year. While this provided flexibility, most presenters felt this was not the best way to set entrance to kindergarten and instead favoured a set date or a testing system. It was pointed out that with a floating date, children in different communities with the same birth date would have different access to kindergarten depending on the academic year adopted by their school. There were concerns about how this would work for children who move within the school year from a district where they weren't old enough to one where school started later and they were old enough for kindergarten or vice versa.

As a result of the public discussion, the proposed act was amended in committee meetings to have a set date of December 31st for the age of eligibility for kindergarten entrance.

Home Schooling

A new element being included in the proposed act is home schooling. There are a number of families across the NWT currently home schooling their children for a variety of reasons. The committee heard from many of these parents on approval of home school programs. The presenters felt strongly that, as long as their programs met general educational goals consistent with the NWT school system, they should not require program approval from the superintendent in their division. The committee agreed with this concern and, during committee meetings, amended the bill to delete the reference to superintendent approval.

Presenters also wanted the ability to register with a non-resident school board. However, the reason for registering is to allow for monitoring of home schooling and to provide any support the parents might want, such as partial access to school programs like drama. For this reason, the committee supported the provision that registration must be with a local board and not one unable to provide on-location support.

Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to ask my colleague from Natilikmiot, John Ningark, to continue with the report. Thank you.

Healing Workshop In Resolute Bay June 6th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to rise today and say that on May 11th, 12th and 13th there was a healing workshop in Resolute Bay, and it was mainly directed to the people who were relocated between 1953 and 1955 from Inukjuak and Pond Inlet. There was a healing workshop for those people. It was not directed to just those particular people, but there were other people who were also invited up to our community.

During the workshop, the participants who were involved numbered 40 to 50 people. It helped a lot for those who were sexually assaulted when they were much younger, and the people who were relocated to Resolute Bay. Both those types of people held a healing workshop, even though it was only for three days. The people who assisted with the workshop came from other communities. I wish to thank those people who were courteous enough to assist with the workshop. The people realized what kinds of problems existed back then.

Those three days were very meaningful, and the people were able to return to their communities healed. If this kind of workshop continues in the future, then it's less doubtful that we would have a better future. Those people who have thought about committing suicide were also involved at that workshop. I am sure the number of suicides would decrease if those kinds of workshops were held in the communities, because they are supported from different communities and this was very helpful. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Question 487-12(7): Number Of Firearms Officers In Nwt April 27th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If a person is applying for a firearms licence where they can present it to the RCMP, that person has to be only in his community; or, if he happens to be living in another community, does he have to go back to his community to honour that application? There are about four or five pages you have to fill out and get a money order and also a photo. Does a person have to be in his community to turn that application in to the RCMP? Thank you.

Question 487-12(7): Number Of Firearms Officers In Nwt April 27th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I apologize, I didn't indicate which Minister I was asking the question of. Supplementary, Mr. Speaker. If there's only going to be one officer in Yellowknife, is there going to be somebody to talk to native people who don't speak English, in case they have questions about applying for firearm acquisition certificates? Thank you.

Question 487-12(7): Number Of Firearms Officers In Nwt April 27th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm starting to lose my voice too, I think, like my colleague who is sitting too close to me.

---Laughter

Mr. Speaker, I was wondering about the firearm control legislation. Starting January 1st, owners will have to have a firearm licence to replace FACs. Point seven indicates that the chief firearms officer will be in Yellowknife. Are there going to be any firearms officers in the different regions or is that going to be the only one? Thank you.

Bill 32: An Act To Amend The Legislative Assembly And Executive Council Act, No. 2 April 26th, 1995

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'll make my comments very brief on this subject. We know what the content is of the bill because we have seen it. I have been a Member for a long time and we've introduced a lot of bills and amendments to bills. First of all, I would like to say that amendments that we pass are for the people of the Northwest Territories, even though everybody might not agree with them. A lot of times we hurt our constituents when we pass or amend bills. For example, there was a wildlife amendment that said people who own dogteams were not allowed to feed their dogs within 12 miles. This was a big burden on some communities.

We pass bills that are not agreeable to our constituents. It would be us who would have to be blamed because we pass bills even though our constituents might not agree with them. I would like to deal with the bill. I also support the second reading of the bill. I'm not saying that on the third reading I will vote on it. We have to understand the intent of the bill; how it should be written so we can make amendments to it when we're dealing with it before third reading. Maybe we might even agree with the intent of the bill after it's amended.

We have a lot of bills in front of us and we all know that they're not all beneficial to our constituents. I support the second reading of the bill so we will fully understand the intent. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.