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Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2007, as MLA for Tu Nedhe

Won his last election, in 2003, with 24% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 193-15(6): Role Of Human Resource Officers In Staffing Processes August 23rd, 2007

Just with the human resources officers' roles in the hiring, I know that in the interview process I've heard some constituents coming back to me after their interviews and a lot of them are saying that basically the whole emphasis on their applications to these positions are placed on the interview. Some people get nervous doing interviews; they don't do so well.

Ninety percent of the recommendation to hire is based on the interview, Mr. Speaker. R‚sumes, cover letters, very little emphasis is placed on review of those. I just want to ask the Minister why isn't there a 50/50 split between your interview and your r‚sume and your cover letter and your reference checks? Mr. Speaker, thank you.

Question 193-15(6): Role Of Human Resource Officers In Staffing Processes August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just with the role of the human resource officers when it comes to filling these staffing positions, I just want to ask the Minister why the human resource officer holds all the authority in the hiring of new positions here in the GNWT and will only take recommendations from supervisors, any managers, et cetera? Why is all the authority for hiring only in the hands of our human resources officers? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 193-15(6): Role Of Human Resource Officers In Staffing Processes August 23rd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'll look forward to what the Minister comes back with when he revisits that issue. Just on the affirmative action issue, I just want to ask the Minister how is he going to ensure all people that are possible employees or future employees of the public service, that all the human resource officers in all the regions interpret and understand the human resources policies, especially when it relates to affirmative action, that they all understand and all interpret this policy all the same? I've been hearing conflicting stories about different human resources officers are having different views and opinions and interpretations of affirmative action in our human resources manual. Thank you.

Question 193-15(6): Role Of Human Resource Officers In Staffing Processes August 23rd, 2007

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. My questions are to the Minister responsible for Human Resources while we're on the topic of revisions of the human resources policy manual. I know the human resources process for staffing GNWT positions places a lot of authority in the hands of the human resources officers, Mr. Speaker, and on a lot of occasions I've gotten feedback from some supervisors that are included in an interview with possible candidates for a position in the GNWT, only to find out that they don't have any say in who gets hired at the end of the day. All this authority still sits in the hands of the human resources officers. During the interviews, these officers are also in these interviews with the supervisors and they have just as high a point rating system as the supervisors, especially when technical questions are coming up that the human resource officer may not be fully aware of in a lot of departments but still have the same amount of weight as a supervisor in giving a rating to the candidate. I just want to know if the human resources manual can be revised to give supervisors a say in who they hire and more emphasis on their ratings on point ratings when they're doing some technical analysis, technical questions, during the interviews? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Appreciation And Best Wishes August 23rd, 2007

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I'd just like to use my last Member's statement here today to express my gratitude and appreciation to the many people I've worked with here during my tenure here in the 15th Assembly. Firstly, I'd like to thank my constituents of Tu Nedhe for electing me in 2003-2004 to undertake the very important and challenging task of representing their interests in this unique system of consensus government we have here in the NWT. Secondly, thank you to all of my colleagues here in this House for all of the wonderful experiences and advice on leadership and politics that they have provided me over the last four years; some good and some not so good. Mr. Speaker, I have to point out that the level of respect and dignity that everyone shows to one another in this Assembly is second to none, and I appreciate everybody for that.

I have to also mention the excellent work and work ethic that the Legislative Assembly staff have continually upheld without reservation as we, as an Assembly, could not function without. Many thanks to them for that. I would also like to thank the support staff: the EAs, the CAs, and all the secretaries that have come and gone. Also, all the Members and Ministers for all their support, cooperation and the serious consideration that they provide to resolving the many concerns and issues that are brought to their attention by NWT residents through their MLAs.

Last but not least, Mr. Speaker, I really have to thank my family and the many friends for their continuous support and encouragement that they have shown me for the past four years. I am deeply indebted to them for that and for showing me how the love of a family member, a husband, wife or partner, or just a hug of a child, can make all of this politics seem so trivial, but at the same time so very important to everybody in our pursuit of happiness.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to wish Members who are not pursuing re-election all the best in whatever pursuits that they have and wish all the Members that are seeking re-election, like myself, good luck and I look forward to continue on working with you all in the next Assembly in this fast, exciting, growing economy here in the NWT that I always call home. Thank you.

---Applause

Committee Motion 23-15(6): Refer Bill 7 To The Standing Committee On Social Programs, Carried August 22nd, 2007

Mahsi, Madam Chair. I also want to state my support for the motion that's on the floor right now for referral to the standing committee for all the good reasons that all of my colleagues have stated here today. So I'll just be brief with expressing my reasons for support.

One, most importantly being that the general public in the NWT is not really ready for this type, or prepared, I guess, for this type of legislation to be thrown on them along with the new Liquor Act and all other kinds of legislation that we've been passing here in this House. However, I have to really commend the Minister of Justice also and just as much gratitude has to be brought to the Social Programs committee for putting this type of report, a comprehensive report that it is, together to address the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act and the extensive consultative process that they went through to get this report together. I really have to commend everybody for all their work. Just to let it be known that I don't think all this work is going to be in vain because we're just referring it to the next Assembly and just like my colleague Mr. Ramsay has stated, the chair, that the 16th Assembly will be putting something in place that will address the issue of drug abuse and substance abuse here in the NWT. I do agree with him that we do have to take some action. It's a definite no-brainer that we know that, but I don't think we can take actions that will infringe on basic human rights of freedom and liberty here in the NWT and I think this is what the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act will do now as it stands.

I hope, and I'm confident, that the next Assembly here will put this Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act very high on their priority list. I'm sure a lot of Members here in the House will be returning and this is one piece of legislation that will be right at the top with the other ones that we have referred back and haven't even brought to the House yet. With that, again, I'd just like to say that I do support the motion here today and I do support the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, but not today.

---Laughter

I hope to see something, I hope it's tweaked, it's revamped, and fine-tuned, and the public is well aware of what they're going to be supporting or not supporting. We've got to get more information out there before this legislation comes back to this House for passing in this House. I think the general public in the NWT will let us know when it's time to do that. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Question 181-15(6): Traditionally-tanned Moosehide Program August 22nd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Like I said, it is a great program. I think the government could really do a lot of expanding on this whole traditional economy support with caribou antlers and hides. But I just want to point out to the Minister that we have a lot of different types of caribou here in the NWT like the barren-ground and the woodland and the mountain caribou which are pretty much...There are a lot of mountain caribou and they are very big pieces of game. They are almost as big as moose in some areas here in the NWT. I just want to ask the Minister if his department would really seriously consider that a lot of people like in the Deh Cho area and the Sahtu area that do rely heavily on mountain caribou and woodland caribou would be considered as being compensated for their hard work and their traditional tanning of caribou hides, which is just as high quality as moose to artists and artisans here in the NWT? Thank you.

Question 181-15(6): Traditionally-tanned Moosehide Program August 22nd, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have a pilot project on the go here. I would like to see caribou introduced under this program just for the fact that caribou are going to be traditionally harvested anyway. I think this would put more information in the hands of the Department of ITI on who is harvesting and how many are being harvested. I think that information will be critical when the wildlife boards come back with caribou harvesting quotas and changes to regulations that we have in the caribou issue. I know there are no dollars set on how much they are going to be buying the hides for, tanned or untanned. All of these things have to be put in place. What has the Minister's department basically budgeted for this program that is going to include moose only? What is the budget on that? Thank you.

Question 181-15(6): Traditionally-tanned Moosehide Program August 22nd, 2007

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. I have a question to the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment with the introduction of the Traditionally-Tanned Moosehide Program. I think it is a great initiative that the department has introduced here. It is great that the government shows support to our traditional economy. I would like to ask the Minister if the traditionally-tanned caribou hides have been considered under this initiative also, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Recognition Of Deninu High School Graduates August 22nd, 2007

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to use my Member's statement today to recognize and congratulate seven students from Deninu Kue who have successfully completed high school and will be celebrating their graduation next month in Deninu Kue. The reason why they hold the graduation ceremonies in September, Mr. Speaker, is that the community and the school wants to ensure that all those who are marching down the aisle in the graduation ceremony have received notice that they have successfully passed all necessary courses required to graduate without any doubt. Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that this is the largest graduating class that has come out of the Deninu School ever since it has been built.

---Applause

I look to the future with optimism and excitement seeing more high numbers of grads coming out of our school system at the local levels thus having even more students from smaller communities with an opportunity to continue on with their higher education. That being said, Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Jessica Sanderson, Stacy Lafferty, Destiny Lafferty, April Lizotte, Alma Mandeville, David Cardinal and Calvin Lizotte, Jr. on their graduation from Deninu School.

---Applause

I wish them all the best in their future endeavours and encourage all to become the best that they can be. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause