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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 150-16(6): Use Of Petroleum Products Revolving Fund August 18th, 2011

There’s no $5 million fund. It’s, I think, $700,000 and there’s... Sorry. There’s $420,000 left in the fund.

Question 150-16(6): Use Of Petroleum Products Revolving Fund August 18th, 2011

The fuel subsidy is not always automatically applied. We try to utilize the fuel subsidy to lessen the impact when there is a fairly huge or large discrepancy in what was being charged for fuel from one year to the next. That’s the situation that we look at. It’s not an automatic issuance of the subsidy. We don’t provide subsidies

to every community. In some cases, in some years we don’t provide any.

Question 150-16(6): Use Of Petroleum Products Revolving Fund August 18th, 2011

We certainly can check. I believe any time there’s a price increase in the community, the community is notified along with the MLA. So that notification would have been made. We also notify and get permission from Cabinet to use the fund that is in the Petroleum Products Revolving Fund. The prices include product costs, transportation costs, sales commissions, any O and M costs for the tank farm, and our fuel is purchased on a different format than the private industry does. In many cases, such as Tsiigehtchic, there are, and have been, occasions where our fuel was the lowest in the region. It all depends. It depends on what the purchase prices are at the time that we buy it and what it costs to land it on the ground. We will certainly follow up and see if a subsidy was provided in the case of Tsiigehtchic.

Question 150-16(6): Use Of Petroleum Products Revolving Fund August 18th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We do have a Petroleum Products Revolving Fund that we use to soften the blow of any price increases and we have been using it. We use it in a lot of our communities. However, the petroleum products program is based on full-cost recovery. The costs are based on what it takes to purchase the fuel, deliver the fuel, and have somebody, an agent in the community be responsible for the community delivery.

Recognition of Visitors in the Gallery August 18th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would also like to recognize the returning officer from the Deh Cho, Phoebe Parent. She has, I believe, been the returning officer for every one of the three times that I’ve run for an election, so hopefully the fourth time will be the charm. Thank you.

Question 142-16(6): Road Conditions On Highways No. 1 And No. 7 August 17th, 2011

We are also trying to deal with the issues that are occurring on the Wrigley highway. We are, of course, being challenged this year with additional traffic due to the oil spill that happened along the pipeline route. We are discussing with the pipeline company to work with us, to partner up with us to address some of the issues that the road is receiving in terms of traffic volumes and heavy trucks on it. They have agreed, and I think we have an agreement. If we have not signed one, we will be signing one where we will try to jointly address some of the issues that are challenging that stretch between Simpson and Wrigley and in light of the additional traffic because of the oil spill.

Question 142-16(6): Road Conditions On Highways No. 1 And No. 7 August 17th, 2011

I’ll have to check, but I believe our maintenance cycles are the same. We’re being challenged by the age of the road. We’re being challenged by the effect that water and rain storms are having on our road. Also the huge challenge is the drainage, especially on Highway No. 7 is not done and is not up to par. We are having a lot of pooling of water in our ditches and it doesn’t seem to go anywhere. So that’s all being reviewed and those things need to be addressed.

But I will commit to the Member that I will discuss this with my officials to see if there have been any reductions. As far as I know, I don’t believe there are any reductions to the maintenance cycles.

Question 142-16(6): Road Conditions On Highways No. 1 And No. 7 August 17th, 2011

We are working on the very request that the Member has raised. We are conducting a full engineering assessment. We’re preparing a functional design on Highway No. 7. This will help us to develop the rehabilitation plan that’s needed. This will also determine the next steps for meeting the current and future traffic needs of that area.

I believe we’re all on the same page on this issue. There is still a lot of work, as I’ve stated before, that needs to be done before we have a final, complete design and plan with all the investment requirements in place.

Question 142-16(6): Road Conditions On Highways No. 1 And No. 7 August 17th, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We want that section of the highway to be a glorious piece of highway to drive. We have been working hard to accomplish that, given the age of the highway and the amount of work that’s going to be required to reconstruct that whole section of highway on both Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 7. I think we’ve been working quite well with the Member in his riding.

Highway No. 7 has seen the investment, or will see it by the end of this summer, of about $12 million that has been dedicated to that section of road. However, that’s far short of what it needs to be reconstructed. We’re probably a little over $100 million to do that whole section.

This road was not designed for high traffic volumes. It was not designed to handle the industry resource development that’s going to be coming forward in the next while. We have to always keep that in mind. As we construct portions of roads, we’re seeing failures in others, as water is a huge issue. Drainage is a problem. We have done a design and review of Highway No. 7. We’ve identified the weak spots on Highway No. 1 from Providence junction towards Simpson. There are six sections that need attention and we’ll continue to work towards that.

It was disappointing for myself, and I think everybody that travels that road, to hear that some of the chipseal that was done this past year and the year before failed. We have to address the causes. We don’t want to chipseal it until we are completely satisfied that the road base is solid and strengthened and we deal with the drainage issues.

There is a lot of work to be done. We continue to move forward. We think there is enough investment for this coming year and it’s going to require the next government to continue moving that forward.

Question 138-16(6): Dempster Highway Road Conditions August 17th, 2011

Yes, we could do that. That’s something that the Member has some desire to get some results from any potential differences. We’ll review it, and sit down with him and provide that information.