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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 60-14(2): Mackenzie River Crossing At Fort Providence February 28th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I said in my Member's statement, the ice roads to the north are useless without the ice crossing in Fort Providence. Can the Minister assure the House that the engineering study presently being used to construct ice crossings at Fort Providence will be sufficient to meet the demands of an anticipated increase heavy truck traffic will bring?

Question 60-14(2): Mackenzie River Crossing At Fort Providence February 28th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can the Minister inform the House whether he would consider a highway patrol office presence in Fort Providence when the ice bridge is in operation?

Question 60-14(2): Mackenzie River Crossing At Fort Providence February 28th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member's statement today, I outlined some concerns I have with the ice crossing in Fort Providence. The Minister responsible for Transportation has taken steps to ensure that the highway is not damaged by heavy truck traffic by reducing the speed limit for transport trucks between Yellowknife and Fort Rae. I assume that the study that recommended the speed reduction also recommended extra highway patrol to ensure compliance. My question for the Minister, Mr. Speaker, is has the Department of Transportation undertaken any studies on the anticipated increase in heavy truck traffic as a result of further mining development? Thank you.

Fort Providence Ice Bridge February 28th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I would like to speak about the ice crossing at Fort Providence. Mr. Speaker, as a resident of and the MLA for Fort Providence, I have an understanding of what this ice bridge means to the economy of the North and to the people I represent.

We were extremely lucky there was not a major environmental catastrophe with the recent incident of the fuel-transport truck breaking through the ice. We all know the truck should not have been on the ice crossing, as there was a weight restriction. I also know the long hours and the hard work the highways department and their contractors put into getting the crossing ready for heavy traffic. They worked 16-hour days getting the crossing ready, and deserve our appreciation.

However, people have to sleep, Mr. Speaker. They cannot be there all of the time. That is why there was no one there to prevent the truck from crossing. Mr. Speaker, this incident made me think of the strains the vast increase of heavy transport traffic due to increased mineral activity must be placing on the ice crossing. I know from personal observation the first reaction of drivers who have never been on an ice road is to close their eyes and drive as fast as they can until they reach terra firma.

We all know the strain this places on the approaches. We all know this shortens the seasons. The reality is the transport companies have to hire drivers who have northern experience to meet the tight deadlines the short ice road season imposes.

Mr. Speaker, from what I understand, the trucking companies and the ice road builders north of Yellowknife do a good job ensuring no one drives too fast on the ice road. If you show up too early at your destination, you get fired. It is very simple and probably very effective.

However, Mr. Speaker, there is no such enforcement at the ice crossing in Fort Providence. The highway patrol passes through on their regular patrols, but there is no regular presence to deter speeders or monitor the crossing. I believe this must change.

The situation is getting worse as more mineral properties move into the construction and production phases of their operations. The ice crossings going north from Yellowknife are useless if the ice crossing at Fort Providence has to be shut down early because the approaches are blown. We need an enforcement presence to ensure this does not happen.

I have engineering and policing concerns regarding the ice crossing at Fort Providence that I will be following up with the Minister responsible for Transportation during question period. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 44-14(2): Limits On Access To Student Financial Assistance Funding February 25th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Can the Minister explain why fundamental treaty rights of aboriginal people is being limited by time? The right to education is a fundamental, basic right to which aboriginal people with treaty status are entitled to. I do not see how it could be time-sensitive.

Question 44-14(2): Limits On Access To Student Financial Assistance Funding February 25th, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, regarding the proposed Student Financial Assistance Program changes. Mr. Speaker, I am concerned with the length of time students are able to access grants. Will the proposed changes cap the length of time the aboriginal students can receive funding?

Question 17-14(2): Aboriginal Languages Fund February 23rd, 2000

Mr. Speaker, languages are an integral part of the aboriginal cultures of the Northwest Territories. What does the Minister plan to do to preserve, enhance and promote aboriginal languages in the Northwest Territories?

Question 17-14(2): Aboriginal Languages Fund February 23rd, 2000

Would the Minister inform the House which aboriginal people where involved in the negotiations?

Question 17-14(2): Aboriginal Languages Fund February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Would the Minister inform the House as to whether or not there were any aboriginal people directly involved in the negotiations of this funding?

Question 17-14(2): Aboriginal Languages Fund February 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. The Deh Cho Tribal Council has publicly stated that the aboriginal languages in their region is in a crisis situation.

The Government of the Northwest Territories and the federal government have signed a cooperation agreement on languages. In this agreement, there will be $1.6 million allocated to the provision of French language services. The agreement further supplies $1.9 million for aboriginal languages.

The Deh Cho region has been allocated $250,000 of this money. Mr. Speaker, this amounts to $25,000 per community when you divide by the ten communities in the whole of the Deh Cho region. This is not enough money to preserve, promote or enhance our aboriginal languages.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister how the amounts of $1.9 million for aboriginal language activities and $1.6 million for French language activities were determined?