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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was going.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Thebacha

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 39% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Motion 54-17(5): Climate Change Planning, Carried October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’d like to thank the Member for raising this issue yet again here in a very clear way. As I indicated in the House, we are revising our Greenhouse Gas Strategy and we’re going to convert it to a climate change strategy. That document will be out in the next couple weeks as a discussion document. I can assure the Member that regardless of who’s in this House, in these chairs, the issue of climate change is going to continue to play a major role.

I would, as well, point out that in the last eight years, if you added the money we’ve spent on low water, not even counting the fires, but the money that we’ve invested into projects, into energy, into solar, into rebate programs, into biomass, we’d be well over $200 million. That is very, very serious investments. I agree that we have to have a long-term plan, but we cannot avoid, as well, the need to respond to things that we don’t control or we can’t really anticipate, like the magnitude of fire season, for example.

His motion is helpful. It brings attention to the issues. I just want to make the point, as well, that while we talk about it in this House, the Environment and Natural Resources, the government is at work on a climate change strategy. This motion binds or suggests that we somehow could bind the next Assembly through this motion. It will be there for advice and direction, of course, and when the incoming government is in place, they will look at all the work that’s been done as a government and determine what steps they’re going to take.

But I can assure the Member that his motion and the work he’s done in the last eight years have helped push this forward significantly.

As this is direction to Cabinet, Mr. Speaker, we will be abstaining from the motion.

Tabled Document 366-17(5): Inter-Activity Transfers Exceeding $250,000 For The Period April 1 To June 30, 2015 October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to table the following two documents, entitled “Interim Financial Statements of the Government of the Northwest Territories for the Year Ended March 31, 2015;” and “Inter-Activity Transfers Exceeding $250,000 for the Period April 1 to June 30, 2015.” Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 245-17(5): Transboundary Water Management Agreement Reached With British Columbia October 8th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to advise Members of this Assembly that our government will be signing a transboundary water management agreement with British Columbia for the shared waters of the Liard and Petitot basins.

This agreement, the second one to be signed with an upstream jurisdiction this year, is another step in ensuring the waters of the Northwest Territories remain clean, abundant and productive for all time.

Similar to the one signed with Alberta in March, this bilateral agreement with British Columbia was shaped by the input of Aboriginal governments in the Northwest Territories and incorporates many of the best principles and practices in water management today.

The bilateral agreement with Alberta covers the waters shared between Alberta and the Northwest Territories. British Columbia and Alberta are negotiating a similar bilateral agreement for their shared waters, including the Peace River.

The Northwest Territories - British Columbia Bilateral Water Management Agreement promotes a cooperative approach to the management of our shared water resources and establishes a framework for our governments to jointly maintain the integrity of our shared aquatic ecosystems.

The agreement addresses the concern of future upstream development in British Columbia as well as response to environmental emergencies and their potential effects on water quality, quantity and biological elements of our shared aquatic ecosystems.

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of great importance to our residents because of our close ties to the land and water and the significant dependency on healthy aquatic systems for food security, travel and economic growth as well as mental, physical, cultural and spiritual well-being.

The agreement will be signed in Vancouver on October 13th.

I want to extend my congratulations and gratitude to the many people who worked so hard to finalize this agreement, including our negotiating team and Aboriginal governments who provided support and input into our objectives and approach to negotiations.

Mr. Speaker, as Members of the 17th Legislative Assembly, we can be proud of our achievements in safeguarding our water resources through the signing of bilateral water management agreements with both Alberta and British Columbia.

It will be up to the 18th Legislative Assembly to keep this momentum going and provide the encouragement and support needed to implement the signed agreements and sign similar agreements with Saskatchewan, Yukon and Nunavut. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Bill 72: Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016 October 7th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Great Slave, that Bill 72, Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016, be read for the third time. Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded vote. Thank you.

Bill 72: Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016 October 7th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Great Slave Lake, that Bill 72, Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016, be read for the second time.

This bill makes necessary supplementary appropriations for operations expenditures for the Government of the Northwest Territories for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Bill 72: Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016 October 7th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Great Slave Lake, that Bill 72, Supplementary Appropriation Act (Operations Expenditures), No. 2, 2015-2016, be read for the first time.

Question 950-17(5): Crime And Bootlegging In NWT Communities October 7th, 2015

Thank you. This is a long-standing issue as well. The health budget is the largest budget in the territorial government and it’s the fastest growing. We put in millions, tens of millions of dollars a year in dealing with a lot of the damages caused by alcohol and alcohol abuse. So from a political optics point of view, I know the discussion has been there that we should take the money from liquor proceedings, fines and those types of things, to put them towards a special fund. That discussion is going to be ongoing, but at this point the money goes into consolidated general revenue and we continue to spend, as this House will know from the number of supplementary appropriations we do for health, significant amounts of our money on health care, most of it tied or a good chunk of it tied to the issues related to alcohol abuse. Thank you.

Question 950-17(5): Crime And Bootlegging In NWT Communities October 7th, 2015

Thank you. We continue to work with communities in terms of controlling the alcohol and the alcohol abuse. In some of the larger communities it becomes a very consuming part of the occupation of policing, but we do not have any people that police airports on a regular basis that have that authority to search and seize other than the RCMP if they’re there and are doing it through part of their regular business. Thank you.

Question 950-17(5): Crime And Bootlegging In NWT Communities October 7th, 2015

Thank you. The major concern was, of course, if a complaint was raised with a government service officer who would then file, then they would become party to an action that they may not in fact know that much about or may be caught up in an illegal proceedings that would make their job very, very difficult. So, are there ways to better be able to report? I think with new technologies, for example, coming down the valley if we have every community on fibre optic links and there’s better communications that people can phone. We had Safer Neighbourhoods legislation two Assemblies ago and there was an enormous debate over these anonymous lines, rat lines they were called and how they would work and how would you respond and how do you get people in and how do you deal with all the related issues tied to that type of approach.

So, is there need for further discussion? Clearly. We haven’t bent the curve on bootlegging and alcohol abuse, but we have to consider some of those other factors too. Thank you.

Question 950-17(5): Crime And Bootlegging In NWT Communities October 7th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Of course, we’re always prepared to revisit decisions. This is not an issue where there is one clear answer and it’s right or wrong. It’s the best way to do things. So we’re always interested in having that discussion.