Legislative Assembly photo



Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly October 2011, as MLA for Hay River North

Won his last election, in 2007, with 61% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Oral Question 116-14(2): Highway No. 2 Concerns March 23rd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My comments today are to the Minister responsible for Transportation, Mr. Steen. Mr. Speaker, I know there has been a lot of talk lately about our highway system, how badly our budget is stretched for highways and also the impact the amount of traffic on our highways is causing the system.

Coming from Hay River, I suppose it could be considered that we are the enemy of the North, as far as the highway access to our community. However, that in itself is a cause for concern. We keep stressing the amount of traffic going over Highway No. 3. I would like to suggest that all the traffic that goes over Highway No. 3 also goes over Highway No. 2, and what does not go over Highway No. 2 goes over Highway No. 1. Although there has been a lot of money spent on Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 2 and it is in reasonably good shape, I would hate to see it go without having anything done to it in the next ten years. By then, I am sure it will be worse than what Highway No. 3 is now.

There is a piece of highway within my constituency that I think has to be addressed. Highway No. 2 from Enterprise comes into the community of Hay River. I would like the Minister responsible for Transportation to tell me exactly where Highway No. 2 ends, if he could.

Oral Question 109-14(2): Dealing With Northwest Territories Agriculture March 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know question period is getting short, so I will be quick on this. I would like a commitment from the Minister responsible for Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, as to whether or not he could tell me, is there any money or specific plans to deal with the agricultural issue that I mentioned in my Member's statement, so that I could give some assurance to my constituents that the government is serious about looking at agriculture in this Session. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Need For A Northwest Territories Agriculture Policy March 22nd, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak briefly on the industry of agriculture in the Northwest Territories. It seems Mr. Speaker that we, as a government, are reluctant to place any priority on this industry. Agriculture, Mr. Speaker, in its many different forms, has been a part of the Northwest Territories for over a century. History tells us there is an ever-increasing growth in the production of foodstuff in the Northwest Territories.

People in the industry believe a large variety of high quality foods can be produced here and this, Mr. Speaker, can have a major impact on the amount of food we import.

The Territorial Farmers' Association has been actively promoting agriculture in the North for many years and strongly believes their biggest stumbling block is the government's lack of interest and commitment to the industry. Specifically, the TFA has been trying to get this government to develop an agricultural policy that would help them become players in the industry.

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, a draft policy was presented to this government which was not adopted. In 1997, the TFA undertook an economic impact study on the Northwest Territories agricultural policy which was presented to the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development.

Mr. Speaker, lack of an adequate policy and government support serve to restrict agricultural development. The TFA is determined to get this industry going and I urge this government to acknowledge the importance of legislating a policy to enhance the development of agriculture within the NWT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters March 21st, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Recognizing that I lack a fair bit of experience compared to some of my colleagues, I have to say that I share some of their concerns. Since I have been elected to this position, and at some of the meetings we attended when we were in Fort Providence, we heard a very dismal picture of the situation this government is in and how we have to watch our steps in this coming Session for avoiding the debt wall, as we call it.

Every time we have had a briefing in all different areas of government, there seems to be an increase in positions. I think I have counted at least 13 positions now that are being created at the Executive level. I have some concern that someday we are going to find out that we are really heading down the road and we are going to have to make some hard decisions. I am a little concerned that it is going to come at the cost of youth programs and social programs that we have out there.

We all share the enthusiasm and we all want the Territories to go forward and prosper, myself as much as anyone else. We are really looking forward to some good news from Ottawa. We have heard they are excited, and that is good news. We have also heard they have expressed not commitments, but an interest in putting money into government. That could possibly come in the form of training programs or major infrastructure work as far as getting ready for pipelines. That may not do a lot for our budget. I do not know if the Premier has any idea how many positions are actually being established and how many positions this government can actually sustain without putting excess strain on our budget.

Question 95-14(2): Arctic Winter Games Concerns March 21st, 2000

Would the Minister consider looking at that type of proposal for the games?

Question 95-14(2): Arctic Winter Games Concerns March 21st, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister partially answered my question, but I think we have to look at who is going to be hosting the games. Splitting the games up the way they are for the next games, it may open up an avenue where smaller communities such as Hay River, Fort Smith and...

Question 95-14(2): Arctic Winter Games Concerns March 21st, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The next Arctic Winter Games are scheduled to go in Nunavut and Greenland. There is already talk about dropping some sports from the games because they are unable to host them. One of the sports that is being considered to be dropped form the venue is the biathlon. The biathlon has been involved in the sports since 1974. It is a sport that has the potential to allow some of our smaller communities to participate.

I was wondering if the Minister could inform us if he indeed knows that this sport is being eliminated from the Arctic Winter Games?

Question 95-14(2): Arctic Winter Games Concerns March 21st, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The sexual charges that I mentioned, I consider them to be very serious. Although when I heard them on the radio, they were not a surprise to me.

I would like to mention the situation the junior girls curling team was put in the venue in Whitehorse. They were put in a school where it was an all female venue. They were in with female hockey players and female curlers. The security staff that was on duty in that school was all male.

To make the situation worse, my wife was the chaperone of our team and was very uncomfortable with the situation there. When any of the girls wanted to go to the washroom or the showers, they had to walk directly by the security desk at the front of the school. Having all male staff made for an uncomfortable situation .

Additionally, if I wanted to check with my team, I had to check with the desk. They would not let me pass that because it was all female. Yet the male guard that was down hall would walk right into the classrooms to check with somebody. It created a very uncomfortable situation.

I would like confirmation from the Minister that he will address that particular situation and look into how they could better that situation.

Question 95-14(2): Arctic Winter Games Concerns March 21st, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I stated in my opening remarks, there were some aspects of the Arctic Winter Games that did not shine such a positive light on the games, as did the statements that were made in this House so far. I would like to address a few of them with the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.

There has been concern in the House that we look at the Arctic Winter Games and the size they are getting to be and the problems associated with organizing the games.

I think we have reached a point with the Arctic Winter Games where there are very few centres that are capable of hosting the games. I would suspect Yellowknife would be a hard stretch to host the games and cover all the aspects, as was Whitehorse.

When we hear stories like two coaches, one from Yellowknife, Natasha McGage and Jack Keith from Hay River, who had their clothing stolen as well as wallets, personal effects and money simply because they did not have any security on duty at that time.

You hear stories about the games having a $100,000 budget for food and by midweek they were already $5,000 over budget. It really raises some questions as to the size of the games. I suppose we all heard about the sexual charges that were laid against a security guard at the games in Whitehorse.

There were a number of concerns within organizational meetings that the international committee, that sets most of the rules for the games, is very close to listening to remarks from other bodies as far as setting up the games.

I was wondering if the Minister could tell me what he sees as the Municipal and Community Affairs role in setting rules and regulations and organizational procedure for the games? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery March 21st, 2000

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize two former Hay Riverites, Pat Thomas and Georgina Rowe.

-- Applause