Legislative Assembly photo

Roles

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly October 2011, as MLA for Deh Cho

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 193-16(6): Extending Cell Phone Services To Fort Simpson Airport August 24th, 2011

I think I already committed to doing that. I’ll say it again; we will follow up with the Member and gather the information that we think is required and relevant to the situation, and get back to the Member.

Question 193-16(6): Extending Cell Phone Services To Fort Simpson Airport August 24th, 2011

We certainly can engage with the folks that provide the service in Fort Simpson to see what is required and to see what we have in terms of inventory that may be suitable for an expansion or to allow for the booster to be mounted on.

Right at this point we don’t have it in our budget to buy a tower. Having said that, I’m not sure we would invest in a tower that involves communications. I can certainly commit to the Member that I will have a discussion with my officials and we’ll maybe sit down with the Member and get whatever information he’s got to have that discussion with NorthwesTel or whoever the provider is in Fort Simpson.

Question 193-16(6): Extending Cell Phone Services To Fort Simpson Airport August 24th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don’t believe that there have been any formal requests through our department to look at expanding the cell phone services. It’s not an area that we, as Transportation, would be responsible for. We worked, however, with other organizations such as the Aboriginal Sport Circle and other people who want to see that service expanded, even in the city of Yellowknife. They’ve come forward and accessed program dollars from, I believe, federal coffers and been able to put boosters and things of that nature so service is available at the airport.

I don’t believe we have had a request. We certainly haven’t reviewed it at my level. Thank you.

Minister’s Statement 51-16(6): Deh Cho Bridge August 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise to inform Members that later today I will table a document titled GNWT Response to Standing Committee on Government Operations CR 1-16(6): Report on the Review of the Auditor General of the Northwest Territories Deh Cho Bridge Project – 2011.

The standing committee made seven recommendations in this review. I want to assure Members that the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is acting on all of them. This is detailed in our written response to the standing committee. In brief, the government has finalized a

P3 Policy for alternatively financed projects. The Department of Transportation has addressed inspection and maintenance requirements for the bridge. We will ensure that a qualified authority certifies that the Deh Cho Bridge meets the Canadian Highway Bridge Code in all respects.

The GNWT and advisors on the Deh Cho Bridge have reviewed current best practices for the inspection of long-span truss bridges, as recommended by the standing committee. We have concluded that a catwalk is very expensive to construct with a price tag of $6 million. It requires its own maintenance and rehabilitation, and benefits only the one bridge.

The catwalk also raises security and vandalism concerns. The preferred option is an under bridge inspection truck, which is commonly used in British Columbia and Alberta for inspections and repairs. It is considerably less expensive and can be used on all bridges in the Northwest Territories. It will provide access to all parts of the bridge, including the bearings, lock-up devices, cables and expansion joints.

As I have previously stated, the GNWT has established a highly competent project management team including risk assessors. The team has developed a risk matrix that is updated regularly and reviewed as part of the monthly project meetings. We are satisfied with our efforts to manage risks as we complete this major piece of transportation infrastructure to connect communities.

Mr. Speaker, the GNWT will continue to keep Members and the public fully apprised of all aspects of the project. As requested by the standing committee, we will provide a revised construction schedule and the cost of construction when that information is formally available. We expect that the truss work, north and south A-pylons and cables will be installed by the end of the year. Work on the grouting, curbs, bridge rails, and paving on the bridge deck will be completed in the 2012 summer construction season. After the project is completed, the GNWT will do an analysis of the project, including total project costs and lessons learned. This will assist the GNWT with future large infrastructure projects.

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General’s performance review has taken a considerable amount of time and effort to ensure her team had access to all relevant information. I am satisfied with the results. Our focus is now on completing the construction of a high quality, safe bridge that will serve the residents of the Northwest Territories for many decades to come. Mahsi cho, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 16: An Act To Amend The Motor Vehicles Act August 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, that Bill 16, An Act to Amend the Motor Vehicles Act, be read for the third time.

Bill 15: An Act To Amend The Deh Cho Bridge Act August 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Inuvik Twin Lakes, that Bill 15, An Act to Amend the Deh Cho Bridge Act, be read for the third time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters August 22nd, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With that clarification, I think that’s what we were looking for.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters August 22nd, 2011

Mr. Chairman, there was a reprint and I don’t believe that was the same document that was just referenced. If we could have Mr. Ian Rennie talk to the issue.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters August 22nd, 2011

Mr. Chairman, I believe there were a number of motions for amendment.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters August 22nd, 2011

Mr. Chairman, we’re trying to find the reference that the Member is making. He’s asked two questions about talking and removing promotion of hands-free alternatives. I’d like to point out that that’s something we will look at removing. I think it’s a good point that the Member is making and we certainly, by way of providing exemptions, are not intending to promote any type of hands-free electronic devices. However, we recognize in some cases, such as winter roads, that is the only communication device available. So we will be looking very carefully on how and what type of devices can be used.

For the most part, most people, including the truckers and residents, are using LAD phones, which are hard wired and don’t require a handheld operation. So we certainly will take the Member’s advice and follow up on both of his comments, and remove the reference to promotion and carefully scrutinize what devices are allowed.