Last in the Legislative Assembly March 1999, as MLA for Aivilik

Won her last election, in 1995, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 159-13(6): Pelly Bay Gymnasium November 5th, 1998

(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In response to the Member for Natilikmiot. I understand the question as I have received correspondence to the same effect. Perhaps the mayor of the community, Mr. Angutingnugiq of Pelly Bay, is the person I have to apologize to, first of all. I was supposed to visit the community this spring, but because of my work schedule, I was unable to do so. I did not get a chance to speak with him myself. I did speak with Doug Crossley, who has been to the community, from Cambridge Bay.

I understand they had a meeting in which the request for an expansion of the gymnasium is clear. The school had been built without a gymnasium. They currently use the gymnasium that belongs to the community or recreation authority. We are trying to make plans to make an extension, costing $1.5 million, which would make an attachment to the school. The people of that community find that gymnasium would be too small. The education board had been advised about this concern and funding was provided to that effect, but it was short by $952,000. The education board was aware of this concern and they offered $350,000, but no explanation was provided when they took that funding back. This is a concern and I plan on handing it over to the new government. I know it is a concern to the people over there. I plan to work again closely with the education board to address this concern. The money that was scheduled for a building has been earmarked for that gymnasium. I know their request has been for a bigger building and I will be speaking with the Minister of Education regarding that concern. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Translation ends)

Member's Statement 128-13(6): Passing Of Tooma Netser November 5th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I would like to inform this House of the loss of a close friend and respected elder during the summer of this year in Coral Harbour.

Mr. Speaker, Tooma Netser of Coral Harbour was born in September 1928 and passed away on June 10, 1998. He is sadly missed and deeply remembered by his wife, Annie, and their 11 children and many grandchildren. His children are Ajownik, Amaujoak, Joe, Nellie, Patrick, Leona, Dorothy, Jackie, Jake, Leonie and Jason. Mr. Netser and his wife had one other son, Albert, who passed away as a young man.

Mr. Speaker, Tooma Netser put in more than 20 years of service with the Department of Public Works before he retired. He was actively involved with his community and worked hard to make it a better place. During his lifetime, Mr. Netser was a dedicated mayor, he served as an outspoken and determined member of the hamlet council, he was an active board member of the HTA and the DEA, and was deeply committed to serving on the Special Committee on Suicide Prevention.

Mr. Speaker, Tooma Netser was very vocal about the needs of his community. He was regularly heard on the local radio talking about life skills, youth politics and harvesting practises. Mr. Netser firmly believed in community empowerment and emphasized that the skills of the local people needed to be developed so that they can become employed in their community. Finally, Mr. Speaker, Tooma Netser encouraged us to believe that we, as aboriginal people, are able to live and help our communities to become better places. Mr. Speaker , Mr. Netser was a wise and respected elder. The community deeply misses him and we will always keep his memory alive in our hearts. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Minister's Statement 53-13(6): Keewatin Search And Rescue Conference November 5th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, every year we suffer the loss of loved ones because of tragic events and accidents. The recent deaths in Pangnirtung make it clear that lives can be lost, even when coordinated search and rescue attempts are made. Mr. Speaker, search and rescue and emergency preparedness is a collective responsibility. Individuals, community and government organizations, and the RCMP all work very hard to save lives through coordinated and planned efforts. It is critical to have trained, community/volunteer search teams to help RCMP members carry out search and rescue operations.

I am pleased to report that the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs and the RCMP have designed a search and rescue training program for the regions. These training sessions help communities and residents respond to these emergencies. Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to report that the next search and rescue conference will be held in the Keewatin Region. MACA, the RCMP and the Kivalliq Inuit Association, are sponsoring the conference. It will be held in Rankin Inlet from December 15 to 17, 1998. Search and rescue personnel from Keewatin communities, RCMP officers, and representatives from federal and territorial agencies will discuss all aspects of search and rescue.

Mr. Speaker, this conference will allow participants to discuss ways to improve the general organization and management of local searches. They will also consider developing a strategy for the Keewatin region. We recognize that our efforts to help communities improve their local search and rescue operations could save lives. This is well worth the investment. It is an initiative the department will continue to promote. Through other promotions, such as public awareness and prevention initiatives, we also hope to save lives by reducing the number of search and rescue incidents required throughout the north. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Return To Oral Question 127-13(6): Water Quality In Mackenzie Delta November 4th, 1998

I have another return asked by Mr. Krutko on September 25, 1998, water quality in Mackenzie Delta.

Up to, and including 1996, in Aklavik, water quality during spring runoff was a concern due to the cloudy condition of the treated water. However, changes made since then, have increased plant efficiency and the plant now provides drinking water that meets water quality guidelines. Despite the upgrade to the water treatment plant and the regular monitoring of the water, concern still exists with the age, condition, and capacity of the plant. In response to these concerns, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is hiring an engineering consultant to assess the existing treatment plant and outline the need for replacement or further upgrading.

In Fort McPherson, the department has been working with the community's water planning committee to identify a new water source. Over the last twelve months, we have been monitoring water quality in the community with the specific goal of identifying a suitable and acceptable water source. On October 20, 1998, MACA and the Department of Public Works and Services attended a joint meeting of the hamlet and band councils in Fort McPherson to discuss a new water source. As a result of information and monitoring data that they have received, the council agreed to accept the Peel River as the community's year-round water source. A meeting is being planned for the middle of November with the hamlet and the band to discuss the P3 process and how it might be applied to this water supply project. Thank you.

Return To Oral Question 113-13(6): Clyde River Report To Maca November 4th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have two returns to oral questions. One asked by Mr. Enuaraq on September 24, 1998, accumulated deficit Clyde River.

Officials from the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs have reviewed the situation that led to the current accumulated deficit in Clyde River. In order to assist the community to address this situation, the department will hire a contractor to prepare a formal Deficit Recovery Plan. The recovery plan will help the hamlet eliminate its deficit.

The contractor will also investigate the hamlet's concerns about the impact that funding and expenditure levels are having on the hamlet's financial position.

Minister's Statement 48-13(6): Emphasis On Community Fire Protection November 4th, 1998

Mr. Speaker, last spring, I advised this House that there was a real need for change in the area of community fire protection. Unfortunately, this has been confirmed once again by major losses of the school in Cambridge Bay and the swimming pool building in Fort Good Hope.

Mr. Speaker, our fire loss statistics continue to be three times the national average. These high rates jeopardize the availability of reasonable insurance coverage, not to mention the risk to human life.

In only two years, eight major fires have led to losses in excess of $23 million dollars. Since May of this year, three more fires have resulted in a further loss of approximately $10 million dollars in damages.

Mr. Speaker, it is more critical than ever that significant changes to the current fire protection system be introduced. In its 1999/2000 Business Plan, the Department of Municipal and the Community Affairs is planning a number of strategic changes to improve conditions. We are well aware that communities play a critical role. Community fire departments must have the resources to effectively respond to fires.

Mr. Speaker, to respond to this need, MACA is reviewing its municipal funding criteria to make sure communities can properly finance their fire departments. MACA is also reviewing its fire equipment standards. MACA's officials are working with the NWT Fire Chiefs Association to develop fire fighter training programs for community volunteers and professional fire fighters.

A workshop for Regional Assistant Fire Marshals and Community Fire Chiefs was held in Yellowknife on September 11-17, 1998. I am pleased to report that approximately 50 people from communities across the territories were able to participate in this training. Community fire protection has been strengthened through their participation. Mr. Speaker, since most fires can be prevented, we will continue to work with the Fire Chiefs' Association to develop public education strategies to reduce the number of fires.

I am pleased to report that in addition to our "Learn Not to Burn" Program, the Juvenile Fire Setters Intervention Program has also launched to work with youth who may start fires.

Mr. Speaker, effective programs to deal with troubled youth must be more than just a priority of this government. It must also be a priority for communities, parents and families.

When lives and property are at risk, it is everyone's responsibility to help find solutions. MACA will continue to work with community governments, the Department of Health and Social Services, the RCMP and the NWT Fire Chiefs Association to address this growing concern. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Bill 8: An Act To Amend The Property Assessment And Taxation Act September 25th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Kitikmeot, that Bill 8, An Act to Amend the Property Assessment and Taxation Act, be read for the third time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 127-13(6): Water Quality In Aklavik And Fort Mcpherson September 25th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the problem in Aklavik and know that staff have been working on the issue with the community. I do

not have all the details here so I will take the question as notice. Thank you.

Minister's Statement 42-13(6): Annual Meeting Of The Ministers Responsible For The Status Of Women September 25th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the annual meeting of federal/provincial/territorial Ministers responsible for the Status of Women was held in Iqaluit, August 19th to 21st, 1998. Given the imminent creation of the Nunavut Territory, we were very pleased to be able to host this important event in Iqaluit. I am pleased to say that all the delegates enjoyed our northern hospitality and many of them stayed in Iqaluit for a few days after the meeting. Most of the delegates had never been to Canada's far north. For them, it was an experience of a lifetime, and something they will share with friends and family for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, the honourable Hedy Fry, Secretary of State for the Status of Women and I co-chaired this meeting. Together with the other Ministers, we addressed a number of issues that continue to prevent women from achieving full equality and the financial well being and security that is necessary for improving their economic status. We examined ways to recognize and incorporate the reality of women's lives in economic decision making processes, to eliminate barriers to equality for women, and to help women and girls make informed economic choices.

The Ministers and I also confirmed our commitment to end violence against women. We share a common vision of safe, healthy communities: a vision that embraces cultural, linguistic, and geographic diversity and also recognizes the particular needs of vulnerable groups. Mr. Speaker, the Ministers also agreed that the prevention of violence against women is a shared responsibility and that solutions will be best achieved through partnerships among individuals, groups and governments. To this end, Ministers will make a joint statement by December 6, 1998 reaffirming their determination to end violence.

Mr. Speaker, I made a very strong statement to the Ministers regarding violence in the family and violence against children and elders. I emphasized the extreme importance of being more inclusive when we talk about this item. Violence affects all members of the family. A strong family unit is a result of all members being mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. It is not just about the issues of the woman, the man or the child. It involves everyone. The Ministers understand and support NWT's position on this issue.

In addition to addressing priority areas such as violence against women, we discussed women's health and how we, as Ministers responsible for the Status of Women, can plan a key role in this area. Mr. Speaker, the meeting was very successful and I am indeed very pleased that we have the honour to host such an event. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Minister's Statement 40-13(6): Status Of Women Council September 25th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, since 1990, the Status of Women Council of the NWT has supported women in the north to reach their full potential. The council was established by the territorial government to raise awareness of women's issues. The Status of Women Council plays an important role in the development of northern communities. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is providing the council with $30,000 in additional funding.

This funding will provide the council with the opportunity to develop and deliver workshops to northern communities on:

-women and the role they can play in community development;

-increased participation of women in community leadership positions; and

-increased participation of women in decision making opportunities at the community level.

It is with these objectives in mind that the department is providing the council with training funds. The council is in a unique situation where they can deliver training through their extensive network of centres and volunteers across the north. Furthermore, the training project meets many of MACA's objectives towards developing communities, which include building local capacity, and facilitating community based planning, organizational development and effective leadership.

The Status of Women Council will contribute to the department's goal of community empowerment, by supporting women to be more active participants in the development of their community. Mr. Speaker, as the Minister responsible for both the Status of Women and the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, I am very pleased to be able to contribute to this worthwhile initiative. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.