Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for Nunakput

Won her last election, in 1991, by acclaimation.

Statements in the House

Question 630-12(7): Inequities In Division Process June 16th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I believe that we had hoped, as a government, that the constitutional development process would have taken care of some of those so-called inequities. As well, we thought that the aboriginal groups would also utilize the Western Caucus to feed into the process as well.

Mr. Speaker, I realize there are concerns out there about the perceived inequities, and I believe that because of the varying and diverse opinions of several groups in the western territory, it is difficult to get a consensus on what should be fed into the process.

Mr. Speaker, I realize that this is an outstanding issue. It's my intention to try to look to some type of formula that would take care of the problems that are expressed. Mr. Speaker, we have had some general discussions on how we can accommodate or try to do a better job in involving the varied western interests in the process.

I believe it is one issue that I had intended to discuss with Mr. Irwin again. It is not an issue that has not been discussed with him. As Mr. Irwin has stated to me, we have give him a better plan of action so that he can evaluate just where the various groups in the western Arctic or the Mackenzie valley can come together on some very important issues.

So, Mr. Speaker, I know that this is an outstanding issue and we will try to address it as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions June 16th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have a return to an oral question asked by Mrs. Jeannie Marie-Jewell on June 9th with regard to the request for extra assistance to fight Sahtu forest fires.

The Fort Smith Forest Fire Centre regularly receives offers to purchase or lease additional aircraft for firefighting purposes. However, if additional aircraft are required during the season, the forest fire centre will first determine if these can be charted from local air carriers and if not, will issue a request for assistance from other jurisdictions through the mutual aid resources sharing management agreement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 97-12(7): Absence From House To Meet In Iqaluit With Prime Minister And Host German Chancellor Kohl June 16th, 1995

As well, Mr. Speaker, tonight I'll be travelling to Iqaluit for a number of important functions which will involve two world leaders.

On Saturday, Iqaluit Mayor Joe Kunuk and I will officially welcome German Chancellor Kohl to Iqaluit and Nunavut. The Chancellor, who will be joined by Prime Minister Chretien, expressed an interest in visiting the Canadian Arctic following the G-7 meetings this week in Halifax.

In addition to their presence in Iqaluit, the Chancellor and Prime Minister will visit Cape Dorset on Sunday, and Pangnirtung on Monday. Baffin Central MLA, Rebecca Mike, will be in Pangnirtung during their visit.

Mr. Speaker, both world leaders will have the opportunity to meet residents of all three communities; to spend some time on the land; and, according to the Prime Minister's office, to view Inuit art and meet some of Nunavut's world-famous artists.

Chancellor Kohl has expressed a particular interest in Inuit art. On Sunday evening, the Government of the Northwest Territories will be hosting a dinner for the Chancellor, Prime Minister and a number of guests from Iqaluit.

Mr. Speaker, Members should also be aware that I will take this opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister to discuss a number of territorial issues. I will travel back to Yellowknife on Monday and will be present in the House on Tuesday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 96-12(7): Minister Absent From The House June 16th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the Members that the Honourable John Todd will be absent from the House today to attend meetings in Rankin Inlet.

Question 623-12(7): Enforcement Date Of Aboriginal Custom Adoption Recognition Act June 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, as I earlier indicated to the Member and Ms. Mike, the deputy minister and I are discussing with two very well-known workers within the system who have been involved with this type of work before to see if we can give them a special assignment to deal with these outstanding issues until we get the custom adoption act in place.

I hope, as I have also previously indicated, that I will give an update on just who they are as soon as possible, within the next week. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 623-12(7): Enforcement Date Of Aboriginal Custom Adoption Recognition Act June 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, just to give an outline on where we are, what the plans are and the target dates; we're now ready to establish a registry at headquarters complete that by June 30th. The target date to prepare an information kit for communities in the process of recruiting, appointment and training and for the payment of fees is by September 30, 1995. The target date for selection of the Adoption Commissioners is November 30, 1995. Training for Adoption Commissioners will take place by December 31st.

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, while we are going through the process and the steps that have to be taken, the department and I are trying to work out an interim measure where we can take care of some of the areas where people want quicker action and to try to look after the backlog that presently exists. So, although we have to go through the process and take these steps, we still feel we should assign a couple of people just to deal with trying to get some of the outstanding backlog completed.

Mr. Speaker, I hope we can stick with our targets and get the job done, and I'll make a further report on just how far along we are in our ability to meet all our targets and to have the act completely enforced, called and in action. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 620-12(7): Status Of Birthing Centre For Baffin Region June 15th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The issue of birthing centres is an ongoing discussion that we're having with all the health boards across the Northwest Territories. The Baffin health board is completing their needs assessment as it relates to a new hospital, and also taking into consideration what is going to be available at the community level in the health centres.

This has been an ongoing discussion, Mr. Speaker, and we have not neglected to bring to the attention of the Baffin health board the honourable Member's interest in having some kind of clear direction on birthing centres. Certainly, the department is in support of attempting to keep families closer to home or in the communities. I know that the evaluation of the Rankin Inlet Birthing Centre has shown that there's great value in this, and that the idea should be incorporated in the health needs studies that are presently taking place, not only in Baffin, but in other regional health centres. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 618-12(7): Status Of Aboriginal Custom Adoption Recognition Act Implementation June 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, this work is presently being done. I will have to take the question as notice because I don't know right at the moment exactly where the kit is at. As I said, Mr. Speaker, it has taken a little longer than expected to get the work concluded. However, I will make a report on that and, in the meantime, we will try to accommodate some of the initiatives that are moving ahead of the process and the policy, Mr. Speaker.

Question 618-12(7): Status Of Aboriginal Custom Adoption Recognition Act Implementation June 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, given the fact that to have the act implemented would take a bit of time, and recognizing that people want to move ahead and get the outstanding problem areas resolved, what we are doing in the short term is bringing together a couple of people presently in the department and giving them assignments so we can help these people along.

The implementation of the Aboriginal Custom Adoption Act Recognition will just take a little bit more time; however, we realize the urgency of some of these matters and I will be prepared to appoint two people who will take on the task in the interim, probably by Monday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 4: Returns To Oral Questions June 15th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have a further return to an oral question. The question was asked by Mr. Koe on June 7th. Mr. Koe asked when the official languages handbook will be ready for distribution.

The GNWT remains committed to the completion of the official languages policy and guidelines. In order to complete this task and given the changing fiscal reality of the GNWT, two rounds of consultation with GNWT departments, boards and agencies affected by the proposed official languages policy and guidelines were necessary.

The proposed official languages policy and guidelines are currently being translated.

Language groups will be consulted on the proposed official languages policy and guidelines throughout the summer. Following this consultation, the policy and guidelines will be finalized. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.