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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was know.

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2015, as MLA for Yellowknife Centre

Lost his last election, in 2019, with 23% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Motion To Receive And Adopt Committee Report 29-15(5), Carried October 8th, 2015

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, that Committee Report 29-17(5) be received and adopted by this Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion That Committee Report 29-15(5) Be Deemed Read And Printed In Hansard, Carried October 8th, 2015

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, that the remainder of Committee Report 29-17(5) be deemed read and printed in Hansard in its entirety. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Report 29-17(5): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to report to the Assembly Committee Report 29-17(5), Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure Report on Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing. We’ve agreed to read just the executive summary.

Executive Summary

Since the beginning of the 17th Assembly, the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure has worked steadily on the complex matter of hydraulic fracturing in the Northwest Territories, looking at horizontal hydraulic fracturing in particular. We have gathered information, undertaken study tours, monitored government strategic planning and kept abreast of developments in scientific knowledge and public policy. Most recently, we reviewed the proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Filing Regulations. Throughout, it has been clear that hydraulic fracturing is a matter of great significance to residents and the future of the Northwest Territories.

As knowledge and best practices respecting hydraulic fracturing operations, regulations and impacts continue to evolve, so does the committee’s understanding. As such, we agree that work must continue to the 18th Assembly and we contribute to the process with this report.

This report identifies six themes that have reoccurred throughout work:

1. complex or “wicked” problems;

2. a precautionary approach;

3. economic potential;

4. water;

5. the pursuit of global, local and regional knowledge; and

6. roles for residents.

It also makes eight recommendations in the following priority areas:

1. the proposed regulations themselves as well as

2. human factors;

3. monitoring;

4. natural environment;

5. reporting and disclosure;

6. waste management;

7. well construction; and

8. well suspension and abandonment.

Notably, many filings – or applications – requirements in place under the National Energy Board were eliminated in the proposed regulations, including requirements about water, environmental assessment and northern operating conditions.

We do not expect the GNWT to manage its new responsibilities exactly as federal departments and agencies have done, but rather that it would strive for a truly northern approach, one that includes fair and effective benefits for all residents honoured, enshrined Aboriginal rights and assured protection of air, human health, land, water and wildlife.

However, we would equally expect any territorial statutes and regulations, at minimum, to match, if not better, their federal predecessors.

As the work proceeds, decision-makers must be in continual support of the best possible knowledge, recognizing that regional and local knowledge are in particular demand. We recognize, too, that members of the public are typically well-informed and provided the GNWT with insightful views on a range of matters of public concern. Across all regions, while some residents speak in favour of development and the jobs it can bring, others also raise concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing, including the accessibility of benefits and the exposure to risk as well as the engagement of the process itself.

The GNWT has highlighted “four areas of interest to Northerners” within the proposed regulations. Yet, Northerners have called on the GNWT for much more than these. We continue to insist upon meaningful public consultation and we recognize that to provide all communities in all regions with opportunities into the future, the NWT needs both a diversified economy and an environment that will sustain present and future generations. This will be challenging work, certainly, but with great rewards.

We look forward to the work of the next Assembly and our successor committee, and we encourage all residents to review the committee’s report and recommendations, including the research summary on hydraulic fracturing and filing regulations tabled on June 4, 2015. All these are available online at the Legislative Assembly website.

That concludes the presentation of the executive summary of the committee report on horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

Motion To Receive And Adopt Committee Report 26-17(5), Carried October 8th, 2015

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Nahendeh, that Committee Report 26-17(5) be received and adopted by this Assembly.

Motion That Committee Report 26-17(5) Be Deemed Read And Printed In Hansard, Carried October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know a lot of people are disappointed we didn’t read it in whole, but it’s now on the record in Hansard.

Motion That Committee Report 26-17(5) Be Deemed Read And Printed In Hansard, Carried October 8th, 2015

I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Nahendeh, that the Committee Report 26-17(5) be deemed read and reprinted in Hansard in its entirety.

Committee Report 26-17(5): Standing Committee On Economic Development And Infrastructure Report On Transition Matters October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I wish to report to the Assembly the Committee Report 26-17(5), Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure Report on Transition Matters.

Question 957-17(5): RCMP Prisoner Transport Policy October 8th, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the information and I certainly look forward to it coming before the dissolution of this Assembly, because I’ll have to wait until next term, if things all go well. In all fairness and in all seriousness, I’m asking for an evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the Government of the Northwest Territories paying RCMP to do this as an overtime job, an extra duty job, finding a couple of them, when we could be using our own resources internally through the sheriff’s office, so an evaluation and a little bit of a strategic look needs to be done on this. It’s not just I’ll go look and get the numbers. Will he be willing to do an evaluation on this possibility?

Question 957-17(5): RCMP Prisoner Transport Policy October 8th, 2015

Well, if the Minister is not sure it happens, I can tell you, I was in a plane recently and there were two RCMP officers shepherding an inmate from a court duty in Alberta back to the Northwest Territories. I do know it happens. I’ve seen it personally, and I’ve seen it personally from my experience working at the correctional centre many years ago, that I know that they do this duty occasionally.

What I’m asking for is: Is the Minister willing to do an evaluation of the resources on that particular matter that evaluates the cost effectiveness of taking RCMP off the street, from providing policing, responding to crime and investigating crime, to considering putting the sheriffs into that particular role? They do it in other regions such as all the provinces across Canada. Why can’t we consider the same type of functionality of our sheriff’s office?

Question 957-17(5): RCMP Prisoner Transport Policy October 8th, 2015

I know that that’s probably normally the case that the corrections services does that one, but there’s also interjurisdictional travel that is required by shuffling inmates back and forth or other types of similar situations, and we bring the RCMP off duty and they have to find folks to wear that duty outside of normal operating hours, and that affects the RCMP, and everyone complains in this community that they’re unable to get more RCMP on the ground doing the job that they do, and they certainly do so well.

When it comes to interjurisdictional transfers of prisoners and usages of those types of resources, would the Minister investigate the possibility of using the sheriff’s office? If they don’t have the resources, bolster the resources appropriately, because it’s cheaper for us to afford a few extra hours as the sheriff doing that duty than it is taking an RCMP off the street.