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Roles

Elsewhere

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

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

That is for one full-time position and one part-time position. Thank you, Mr. Chairman

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

That is for a full fiscal year. The position that was vacant was actually a

funded position as well, so when the position was filled there was no money transfer whatsoever because the position was already funded. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

That amount involves two people.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

There is a fair list of items that the Chief Electoral Officer deals with during the two-year period between elections. The Chief Electoral Officer always has to be ready and have things ready in case of a by-election. For example, in the 15th Assembly there were two by-elections

that the Chief Electoral Officer had to run. They also have a registrar of territorial electors that they maintain on a continual basis. They maintain voters’ lists. There is a legislative review response from the standing committee on the Chief Electoral Officer’s report that they have to work on. Training and form revisions in between elections to do corrections on. They also assist other jurisdictions with election issues. There is general training of elections officers as well that go on, on almost a continual basis. There are some strategic initiatives and Electoral Boundaries Commission and mapping. There is a fair bit of work that they do in between.

Some of the things that the Member has brought up, it would probably be better dealt with when meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer, whoever that may be, when they file their annual report in standing committee. If it is how they operate and that sort of thing and complaints on operations would probably be better dealt directly with the CEO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

In actual fact, there is only one full-time position at the Chief Electoral Office. There is a part-time position that also provides support to the Human Rights Commission or Human Rights Adjudication Panel. The only one full-time position that is associated with the Chief Electoral Officer is the DCO’s position. As far as the Chief Electoral Officer, at one time the duties were provided by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and ended back in the 13th or 14th Assembly. It was

at the recommendation of the then-Clerk of the Assembly, David Hamilton. It seemed very much as if the elections are running to have the Clerk do the elections and be responsible for elections. In a lot of cases they are returning Members. Because of the relationship between the Clerk and Members of the Legislative Assembly, the perception of being biased or whatever is quite strong. As well, lots of elections, there may be some complaints filed. If the Clerk was to find himself in a position where he is dealing with a complaint on a sitting Member, it could be a very…It was recommended by David Hamilton that those operations be separated. That is the way they are in every jurisdiction in Canada. Thank you, Mr. Chairman

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, the Chief Electoral Officer position is considered full time. It does have some degree, though, of…In the year leading up to an election and the election year and the year following for a two-year period, the Chief Electoral Officer is paid a full salary and is considered basically full time. In the two years in between elections, the Chief Electoral Officer position is reduced somewhat and the pay level is reduced considerably because of the reduced workload that is involved in the office. But the position is considered a full-time position.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As far as elections are concerned, the Chief Electoral Officer is only responsible for territorial elections, and municipalities control their own elections. As far as I know, band councils control their own elections as well. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I certainly do appreciate the kind comments that Members have made and the comments on different issues that we are preparing to take on.

With the paper issue, I know it’s been mentioned that it seems like a pretty high target of 80 percent. We are certainly not in a position where we want to try to eliminate all paper in the building or short change the amount of paper that Members need to do their jobs. However, we have already taken some steps and there are some areas where we can increase that number or get closer to that percentage target that we want by doing some very simple things here. There are areas where we use a tremendous amount of paper and we think we can eliminate a lot of that without affecting how Members do their jobs and their ability to do their job. So we will be working forward. Any of the initiatives that I have announced in the budget, of course, will only be attainable with the cooperation of all Members, and I sense that there is a willingness of all Members to head down these avenues that we are looking at and I really appreciate that.

I know it was mentioned that we are having the fall seminar for the CPA conference this year. I think that that is one of the paybacks. Sometimes we hear questions about what we get out of these parliamentary seminars and that kind of thing. I think they are very informative and important for us to attend. When we get an opportunity to host one of those meetings and bring outside politicians to the North and see how we operate and how our system of government operates, I think that is a very valuable vote for us and for the rest of the country, for that matter.

So, again, we are looking forward to being able to implement a lot of the things that I mentioned. Certainly I know that some of the Members here won’t be as easy to drop the pop as other Members. I don’t think it’s going to be a situation where we are going to have somebody at the door stopping people from bringing pop in the building,

but more or less that we aren’t going to be the ones supplying it for them.

I think with the cooperation of Members, I think we can go a long way towards achieving this goal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

Mr. Chairman, to my left I have Olin Lovely, director of corporate services, and to my right I have Tim Mercer, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters March 5th, 2009

Yes, I would, Mr. Chairman.