Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for Mackenzie Delta
Lost his last election, in 1995, with 28% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I certainly concur with the honourable Member. I think if we read the clause in total, it indicates that now a Minister has the ability to investigate, which we didn't have previously. The investigations, which include consultations with trustees, the community and those involved, will determine whether the education body is exercising it's powers as defined in this act. Part of that includes the responsibility for managing resources, people, structure and programs. We would make sure that is clearly the case and I think the legislation is clear that there are some investigations that need to be done prior to those decisions being made. Part of the regulations may clarify what the roles and processes are, as well.
Thank you. I understand the question now. What this allows the Minister to do is to ensure that the education body is carrying out its public responsibility and, in some instances, they may not be doing that. The communities may determine that the people are doing the right thing, but the investigation may reveal that that is not, in fact, the case. The information has to be made available to the community so they can make that determination, where it is in the interest of the community to receive that information. There are situations where other factors could come into play -- where there is legal action, etcetera -- and we would have to be concerned about that.
The other thing is, even if the Minister were to dissolve the education body, it would really be up to the electors to make their own decision after a Minister takes action with regard to those seeking re-election. It is really no different, I think, from the municipal election process and the investigation and dissolving powers in that legislation. That's the basis on which we're dealing with this. Unfortunately, our experiences as an Assembly have shown that there are circumstances where we have to use this type of power. It's the matter of the protection of the public interest. We're also ensuring that public funds are spent properly.
I'm just trying to think here because there are two aspects that we have to consider; one to deal with the matter of investigation where previously the Minister did not have the ability to carry out investigations, which was necessary or which was shown to be necessary in certain circumstances so that we may determine whether or not there is a need to dissolve a divisional education council. Having said that, obviously the investigation would identity the issues, the problems and who might be responsible or what would be the basis for the concerns being raised, and the remedy as well. It gives us the option first, to move to dissolution.
There's a bit of a problem, though, because you have to understand that the divisional board, itself, is really a representative group of the division and you can't really say they are elected on a regional basis; they are selected by the districts. So, while they are representing the communities, they are not elected on a regional basis. The other thing is, the investigation would also include input from the community, which was not there previously.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I move that clause 103 be amended by repealing proposed subsection (2) and by substituting the following:
(2) The Minister may accept or reject a petition and shall respond to the petition within 90 days of receiving it.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I can advise the honourable Member that DEAs are not responsible for private schools. I can be very clear about that. On the other hand, there certainly can be two district education authorities; one for a public school and one for a denominational school, similar to that of the experience here in Yellowknife, for instance.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, it's our intention to maintain the divisions as they are. It is clear that as we go through the act, you will see that we're giving more responsibility and more authority to the divisions, as well.
Thank you. One for each district.
No, we define district as communities, that's how we address it. There may be other circumstances, but generally speaking, that's what it is for, communities.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The NWT Act articulates very clearly that those are the two religious minorities.
Thank you. Section 89.(1).
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