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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was going.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Hay River North

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 916-17(5): Employment Opportunities For Post-Secondary Graduates October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As a follow-

up to my Member’s statement, I will have

questions to the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. As I indicated, and the Minister has indicated in the past that they are working to link with HR, has the Minister had any success in linking and contacting students with jobs that we potentially have in the Northwest Territories? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Employment Of Post-Secondary Graduates In The NWT October 2nd, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As this government has committed to growing the population of the Northwest Territories over the next few years, one of the areas that I talked about in the past is our link between the students who are going out to schools and the Department of HR. We have a disconnect there. I think that we should be able to communicate with those students and link them to jobs before they’ve even completed their education.

Hay River has a great couple of students right now. Mr. Lance Crook is finishing up his education, a doctorate, and he’s in Hay River doing some training. We also have R.J. Simpson, who has finished his degree in law and is looking for the GNWT to do articling. He’s having difficulties finding a position.

The problem we have is that exact thing. Why is Mr. Simpson coming back to the Northwest Territories now to get an articling position? Shouldn’t we have already






assistance that that was what he was doing? Shouldn’t we have talked to HR and the Department of Justice and linked this together so Mr. Simpson and other students have an opportunity to come back? The problem now is he’s considering, do I stay in the Northwest Territories or do I go south where I can actually get a position? We should have linked that in his first and second year of school, to HR, to the department he will potentially be working for. Why is there a disconnect?

I know the Department of ECE is looking to create this checkbox so HR can communicate with Justice and everybody else. There is definitely a disconnect with our GNWT. We need to find that link and we need to make sure all our students come back. We are paying for that student financial assistance. We should maximize that opportunity. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Report of Committee of the Whole October 1st, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, your committee has been considering Tabled Document 281-17(5), Northwest Territories Capital Estimates, 2016-2017, and would like to report progress. Mr. Speaker, I move that the report of Committee of the Whole be concurred with. Thank you.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

So, in saying that, our communities, are we given a lump sum at the beginning of this Build Canada? I know in Transportation we’re doing it over a period of time, 10 years. Obviously, we’re not getting a lump sum

that we can hand it out to all the communities at the beginning, are we? Or are we getting a percentage over 10 years and I think it’s 15 percent? Are we getting 1.5 percent every year or are we getting the lump sum 15 percent and it’s going out to communities right away?

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

Just for that clarification, let’s say

a community was getting $100,000 a year. Every tenth year they could build a project for $1 million. Is that correct in my assumption?

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

Like I said, using this funding they would be able to get into Build Canada. So my next question on Build Canada, would they be able to, if a community is not using it, would we be opening up that complete pool to the surplus towards the end of the year? Like, obviously communities, I would think the largest centres will have big demand. So, will they be able to apply later, once a community…or is there a cut-off where communities won’t be able to use the money, will we open that surplus let’s say?

I know in my experience at ITI, sometimes with the contribution funding it was allocated to regions, but after a certain period of time the money went into a territorial pot and everybody could use it just so that the funds were used. Is there a plan to do that or are we just going to let that money lapse or is it carrying forward to other communities?

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

With that Building Canada, is it application-based or is the money being divvied up amongst communities per capita case-plus? Are we doing a case-by-case application-by-application base?

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

I appreciate that. I think the Minister kind of moved into the next question that I have. This funding that we’re providing here isn’t tied to any Build Canada. Can they use this funding as their equity for Build Canada applications and projects? Can I get that clarification? Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

That was my same questioning along those lines is with the Association of Municipalities. We got together last night and obviously they’re concerned with some of the way this capital budget seems to be locked in forever. Obviously, they are seeing pressures. Obviously, the cost of living is going up, the cost of contracting. I would assume that that number is probably light at $24 million. I know Hay River has a lot of infrastructure pressure

right now, and that’s not only


hat they’re using currently with our funding, but gas

tax money and they’re still seeing deficits and it’s going to take them probably 10 or 15 years. They could probably just about eat up this whole budget and not touch the whole deficit that they have.

The bigger communities are seeing more and more people coming there. There are more and more regional pressures from different communities. I think we need to really strongly look at this as a funding arrangement and how we deal with the regional centres that are seeing pressures. We have a lot of people who come from outside the community. We appreciate that for the economy, but a lot of our facilities and infrastructure are used by

those people. Not only our physical structures and physical buildings but our emergency services and all that type of stuff, medical services. We have a whole bunch of pressures from the surrounding area and I would assume similar to regional centres throughout the territory.

Like my colleagues, I’d like to stress that we can’t lock this in. There has to be at least a CPI index to that to get to some point where we’re seeing an increase to it, because at these levels the communities are going to keep falling farther and farther behind and it gets more and more burdensome on the taxpayers

and it’s not

necessarily fair because not all the usage is being done just by the taxpayers. I’m not sure if in the review they actually looked at that regional concept of regional usages. Can the Minister indicate to me whether they did that?

Consideration in Committee of the Whole of Bills and Other Matters October 1st, 2015

I’m just wondering: for future

considerations, do we have any major large capital projects over the next, let’s say, three years that we have currently slotted, or will we just continue to do small capital projects.