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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 171-16(6): Programs To Address Distracted Driving August 22nd, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Member is correct; we had indicated that we would take on a number of initiatives to encourage people to leave their phone alone while they’re driving. It’s our goal to reduce the number of collisions in the Northwest Territories attributed to driver distraction. We have a number of objectives that we’ve set, and that is to have a large percentage of people acknowledging that distracted driving, driving with a phone or other electronic devices can cause harm, and that’s something they shouldn’t do.

We have also an objective to reduce the traffic collisions, by a small percentage, increasing every year. We also want to increase the use of seatbelts. We’ll do this by providing a number of messages. We’ve already started. We’ve sent out information to every house in the Northwest Territories. We will be taking out ads. We’re working with the Students Against Drunk Driving, with their public campaign. We’ll be providing them with some funding to do

some work on our behalf, or on behalf of this initiative. We’ll be providing public announcements.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Some of it is already ongoing and some of it will be coming forward.

Question 163-16(6): Extended Service Options For The Motor Vehicle Office August 19th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we have issuing offices in a number of our communities. We have a mobile issuing office. We have an office here in Yellowknife. They can contact any of those. They can contact our staff. They can go on the website or they can contact my office. We’d be happy to hear any concerns that members of the public at large may have. Thank you.

Question 163-16(6): Extended Service Options For The Motor Vehicle Office August 19th, 2011

As indicated, we reduced the waiting times by approximately 50 percent, so the average now is 21 minutes of waiting. It takes about seven minutes to process the documents. So it’s less than half an hour. We are happy with that. We think if we have electronic support through a kiosk or other means on line, that will improve. That’s where we’re working towards.

The Member is right; I’ve personally gone through the system. I think it took me 15 minutes to go through the system. I also checked with a couple of our staff that indicated -- they went through yesterday -- they waited five minutes. So it depends. I think there are peak periods such as Fridays and times in the year that there’s a high purchase of vehicles or renewals where there may be some congestion, but overall the service is pretty good. However, we’d like to improve the service here and across the Territories. In the Territories, we continue to move mobile systems, and that’s proven very successful also. Thank you.

Question 163-16(6): Extended Service Options For The Motor Vehicle Office August 19th, 2011

As usual, we are ahead of the Member.

---Laughter

We’ve already investigated what other jurisdictions are doing. The issues and suggestions he raises are very good ones, of course. It’s something we are considering. We need to do a number of things prior to accepting anything new. We need to overhaul our motor vehicle information system that is currently being used for issuing services. It doesn’t allow us to reconcile and line up with anything like the nature of a kiosk or even hooking up on line. So we anticipate that’s going to be done in the next while. We’d like to have a new system or an expanded system on stream and in place in the next couple of years. Of course, that’s going to be dependent on the amount of capital investment we will be able to obtain, but that is our intent.

Question 163-16(6): Extended Service Options For The Motor Vehicle Office August 19th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m glad to hear that the Member is not criticizing me for a change.

---Laughter

The Yellowknife driver and vehicle licensing office handles about 60 percent of all transactions that are required in the Northwest Territories. Over the last while we’ve done a lot of work in redesigning the office adding additional hardware. We’ve reviewed and improved the process. We’ve tried to get a setting that’s more comfortable for our clients and more privacy.

I think that has gone a long way in the last two years to reduce the waiting times to around 21 minutes with a processing time on average of about seven minutes. Most people can go in and out of the office and obtain their documents in less than a half an hour. With the Member suggesting we should have a kiosk like we have here at the airport in Yellowknife, we will certainly consider installing

something of that nature in the road licensing office. Thank you.

Question 162-16(6): Giant Mine Remediation And Realignment Of Ingraham Trail August 19th, 2011

Of course, the final costs will be dependent on the option that we choose, and the price could be fairly expensive.

However, we expect that the funding will be obtained from the GNWT’s Giant Mine Environmental Liability Fund that was previously established, and that’s probably where we’re going to draw the money from. Thank you.

Question 162-16(6): Giant Mine Remediation And Realignment Of Ingraham Trail August 19th, 2011

Right now the plan is to have all information gathered by the end of August, the final decision on realignment by the month of September, and start the engineering in the same month of September and into October. We want to have our tenders out for construction sometime in October/November and we’d like to have the construction start this year, the site preparation, and the stockpiling of gravel and crushing and work on the embankment next year. We’d like to have the road opened to the travelling public by the summer of 2012 and final servicing of the road by 2013. Thank you.

Question 162-16(6): Giant Mine Remediation And Realignment Of Ingraham Trail August 19th, 2011

First of all, we haven’t decided on a final route but I think that most people agree that route one is probably the option that meets most of the needs. It reallocates the road away from the mine site, it opens up new land, and it would provide, of course, for a completely realigned highway. That is, right now, probably a favourite. Thank you.

Question 162-16(6): Giant Mine Remediation And Realignment Of Ingraham Trail August 19th, 2011

Thank you. I appreciate the recognition of all the questions he threw in that quick question.

Mr. Speaker, we have been working on the realignment of the Giant Mine road. We’ve been working with the Giant Mine Remediation Team over the last while. We want to ensure that whatever option is selected meets their requirements for remediation. We’ve also been talking to various stakeholders, such as the City of Yellowknife, the YK Dene, and we’ve also requested public input on the three options that we put out for consideration. We intend, as the Member indicated, to take one more round of consultations -- that’s going on, I think, right now -- and have some results before the end of August, after which a final decision will be made on which route will be taken.

Not to answer the second question but just to give some information, right now the information that we have indicates that there is a preference to relocate the road completely away from the mine site, so

one of the options that does that will be considered. Thank you.

Congratulating The Graduates Of The Deh Gah Elementary And Secondary Schools August 19th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to honour the graduating class of Deh Gah Elementary and Secondary School. It gives me great pleasure to announce the Fort Providence 2011 high school graduates. They are: Ms. Megan Antoine, who will be attending Vancouver Island University; Ms. Veronica Bouvier, who will be attending Dawson Creek College; Ms. Shiana Sabourin, who will be attending Camosun College in Victoria; Ms. Kristy Tanche, who will also be attending Camosun College in Victoria; and Mr.

Ben Vandell, who will be attending Vancouver Island University.

Mr. Speaker, I also congratulate the families and community for their contribution to the success of these students. We all know it takes hard work, commitment, and perseverance to finalize this first milestone in a youth’s life. Youthfulness can bring many things such as distractions, both good and bad, and without family direction and community support, this can be a challenging task at times.

Ms. Veronica Bouvier knows this firsthand as an adult returning to school. Recognizing the value of a good education, she chose to return to school to complete her grade 12. This graduation is a testament to her commitment, and demonstrates to others the value of a high school diploma. When the task is shared between family, friends, and community, the goals achieved can be very rewarding, as proven by the achievements of these students.

Mr. Speaker, to the Deh Gah graduating class of 2011 I offer this: Celebrate this special day with pride and a sense of great achievement, knowing that many people share in your desire for a future filled with happiness and success.

Mr. Speaker, the community is holding the graduation ceremony today in the community hall and will be followed by a feast, a grand march, and a dance. It is with great regret that I won’t be there on time to take part in the festivities, but certainly will be around to personally congratulate each graduate over this weekend. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.