Last in the Legislative Assembly December 1999, as MLA for Deh Cho
Lost his last election, in 1999, with 37% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Item 13: Tabling Of Documents September 10th, 1999
Thank you. Tabling of documents. Item 14, notices of motion. Item 15, notices of motion for first reading of bills. Item 16, motions. Item 17, first reading of bills. Item 18, second reading of bills. Item 19, consideration in committee of the whole of bills and other matters. Item 20, report of committee of the whole. Item 21, third reading of bills.
Before closing this final sitting of the 13th Legislative Assembly, I would like to take a few moments to make some closing remarks. Unless for unforeseen emergency, this will be the last time we sit as Members of the 13th Legislative Assembly and as I said earlier this week, the last four years have not always been easy and that the Members of this Assembly have probably faced more difficult situations than any previous Assembly.
The next time we meet, at least those of us who are successful in our bids for re-election, will be in the 14th Legislative Assembly. The first of a new millennium. Not only will the 14th Assembly take office in a new year and century but it will also be with a new mace and other symbols and with plans for a new coat of arms and flag set to be unveiled. These are truly historic times. It is only the start of a new journey for the people of this great land.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish each of you well in the coming months and offer my best wishes to those of you who are seeking re-election. To those of you who are not running or are not re-elected, I wish you the best in the future.
Each of us leaves here today with our own personal memories and sense of accomplishment. However, I hope you have fond memories of the past four years and know that you did the best you could to represent the people of the North.
Before closing, it would be remiss of me if I did not offer, on behalf of all Members, our thanks to the staff of the Government of the Northwest Territories and to our professional people in the communities including the nurses, teachers and social workers who tirelessly provide a most valuable service. A special thank you must also go to the staff of the Legislative Assembly for their hard work and efforts in the last four years. We have been well served by the clerk and his staff here at the Legislature, and I am sure Members of the 14th Legislative Assembly will see the same professionalism.
On a personal note, David Hamilton has worked tirelessly on division and our thanks must go to him not only from the Western Arctic, Denendeh, but also from Nunavut. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.
I would also like to thank my constituency assistants. The first one that I had was Mr. Mark Dickie, who is now working for a reformer and Mr. Ben Nind who is presently my constituency assistant, who I hope does not work for a reformer.
A very special thanks goes out to our families, who have also had to endure the last four years with us often not being home for family events. I would like to express my personal thanks to my other half, my partner, my friend, my wife, Alphonsine, and my children and grandchildren for being there for me when I needed the support. I certainly needed that.
As Arnold Schwartzeneger says, I will be back. Wherever the trail takes you, may you travel it safely and God bless. Mahsi cho.
Item 1: Prayer September 10th, 1999
Good morning. Before we get underway this morning, I would ask the Members' indulgence in allowing me to say a few words. Being Speaker of the 13th Assembly was a privilege and an honour. The role of Speaker is at times challenging and rewarding, not to mention confusing and exasperating. Sometimes I felt that I was nothing more than a well paid daycare worker.
I seriously doubt that some of you would have ever played well together.
As Speaker, I have had limited opportunity to comment on the goings-on in this building, with the end of this Assembly and being a Friday, I would like to offer up some humorous comments on you my colleagues, and I hope, my friends.
The honourable Member from Hay River, Mrs. Jane Groenewegen, was one of two women to serve the residents of the Northwest Territories during the life of this Assembly. She may never be a member of the so-called old boys club by virtue of her gender, however she sure made a dent on the clubhouse door.
I have always envied that she does not have to wear a tie.
The Honourable, hello to the wife and family back in Inuvik, Floyd Roland, has survived his first term, and he is right, it is a growing process, although he is now somewhat grey, he still has the same enthusiasm as he did four years ago. For Mr. Roland, two words, Grecian Formula.
I have been a Member of this Assembly with the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi longer than either of us care to admit. I have seen him crack more jokes and smile in this Assembly than all of the others we have served in.
I no longer think of striking a match off him as I walk by.
You see, Mr. Erasmus, you can get away with things when you are subtle. It probably helps that I am still Speaker and would not think of ruling myself out of order. I would ask the Members to join with me to congratulate our colleague from Yellowknife North on his successful acquisition of a multitude of wardrobes over the last four years. I am sure that the late Mr. Jim Evoy would have been proud of you.
In regard to the Member from Mackenzie Delta. What can we say in regard to David Krutko.
What can we say about David Krutko in this Assembly? He is probably the only MLA in the history of the British Parliamentary system to stop proceedings by virtue of his choice of ties. Keep on trucking, David. And David, I apologize for some of the "Mickey Mouse" rules around here.
My oldest and dearest friend, the honourable Member for Nahendeh, Jim Antoine. Imagine the Premier for the Northwest Territories coming from the Deh Cho. Some might argue its like making Lucien Bouchard Prime Minister.
Work hard and have fun in Japan, we need more tourists. And you are right, the Northern Lights are better in the Deh Cho.
Mr. Henry, the honourable Member from Yellowknife South. It would be very easy to stick in a Dairy Queen joke here. However, I hate standing in lines.
Two scoops for a job well done. You have been a calming influence in this Assembly when tempers ran short. I thank you.
The Honourable Vince Steen, you scared us with that little heart attack you had. I knew, however that you were just too ornery to let a little thing like that set you back.
It seemed like two weeks later you did become a Cabinet Minister. Amazing. I thank you for your wisdom, common sense and selective hearing;
we needed them around here.
The honourable Member from Thebacha, Michael Miltenberger, is finally breathing the rarified air of Cabinet and eating all the shrimp rings his heart desires.
All's well that ends well. I might suggest a flak jacket before you return for the election in Fort Smith. Do not forget the back way out of this building.
The Member from Yellowknife Frame Lake has got his wish and is now in charge of all the marbles. The Honourable Charles Dent as Minister of Finance will work hard to ensure the future of the Northwest Territories fiscal health. He will make the hard choices. No politician down south would have the guts to increase the price of booze three months before an election.
A tireless promoter of northern solutions for northern problems, Donnie Morin, worked hard for the people of the Northwest Territories. Tough choices were made and implemented under his stewardship and he deserves our thanks. The teflon Don will be back, I hope, and the North will be better off because of it.
The Member from Yellowknife Centre, or as I like to call him the master of the indignant sound bite, Jake Ootes,
certainly showed the rest of us what a bit of media savvy could do. Vince McMahon and the WWF could use a man like you. Fight the good fight, Jake. Do not eat all the grayling.
The Member from the North Slave, James Rabesca, was another calming influence around here. The only thing phoney about James is his plastic hip. Best wishes always, James.
In closing, I will need a couple of volunteers to help me carry my cowboy boots out to my vehicle, please see me after Session. I thank the Members for their patience and allowing me to thank you and to have some fun.
Orders of the day, item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Dent.
Item 2: Commissioners Address September 7th, 1999
Good afternoon and welcome to the opening of the eighth and most likely the final Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. I would like to remind Members and guests that after the item, recognition of visitors in the gallery in the orders today, the Commissioner has invited us to a reception in the Great Hall.
Before we begin the business of the House this afternoon I would like to make a few brief comments. First I would like to thank the Dettah Drummers and Father Pochat from Rae-Edzo for joining us today to celebrate the opening of the final Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly.
As I said, this is probably the last time that the Members of this Legislature will open a new Session and I think we all need to take a few moments to think back on where things were four years ago and where we are today.
I hope that when each of you looks back you think about the accomplishments of this Legislative Assembly and feel proud to have been a part of it. As the dean of the House I think it is safe to say that never before have Members of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly had to deal with the difficult and emotional issues that the Members of this House have.
Upon entering the House we were immediately confronted with the prospect of a $150 million projected deficit and the need to get it under control to ensure that the two new Territories, the new Northwest Territories and Nunavut, started off on solid financial grounds. Some of the decisions we have had to make were unpopular and had adverse impacts on the people and communities within all our constituencies; however, I think we also have to recognize that these decisions, no matter how unpopular and unpleasant, had to be made. Just think where we would be today if we had not taken the steps we did.
Division is now behind us but the past several months have proven to be emotional ones with the electoral boundaries issue and discussion on how many Members should be elected in the December 6, 1999, election. I know that this issue is still with us; however, we need to remember that we must move forward and build a strong Northwest Territories. It is important that we, as elected leaders, demonstrate to our constituents that we are working cooperatively together for the common good and this will be a key goal for future leaders. Mahsi cho.
I wish to advise the House that I have received the following message from the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories:
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I wish to advise that I recommend to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, the passage of the Supplementary Appropriation Act, No. 2, 1999-2000, during the Eighth Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly.
Yours truly, Dan Marion, Commissioner.
Orders of the day. Item 3, Ministers' statements. Mr. Antoine.
Item 1: Prayer July 30th, 1999
Thank you, Mr. Rabesca. Good morning. Mr. Antoine, your point of order.
Point of Order
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is reviewing the way it funds community governments to run basic municipal programs and services. This review has been undertaken in partnership with the NWT Association of Municipalities and has involved elected community councillors and senior staff of a number of communities.
I have shared with Members some of the discussion papers that have been developed as part of the municipal finance review. These documents contain a number of proposals for changes to the way the department funds communities and we are anxious to receive comments on these proposals.
Plans are now being made for visits to communities to discuss these proposals. During August and September consultations will be held with community governments in every community in the Northwest Territories. As I have indicated, schedules for these visits are being arranged at this time.
In keeping with the partnership for reviewing the financing of community governments, MACA has established a number of regional consultation teams. Each regional consultation team will include a member of the NWT Association of Municipalities Board of Directors from that region and a senior administrative officer of one of the communities in the region, as well as senior MACA staff. MACA's regional superintendents are leading these consultation groups and they are contacting communities now to set up meetings with councils and their staff.
Mr. Speaker, consultations are a key part of the process in bringing change to the way we fund community governments. The steering committee for the municipal finance review will make its final recommendations to me as the Minister responsible, based on the input received from the consultation meetings held with communities.
I am informing Members of these plans for consultations, so they may participate in the meetings, which are scheduled in their communities. I look forward to sharing with you the times for these meetings when they are set.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Item 1: Prayer April 19th, 1999
Thank you, Mrs. Groenewegen. Good afternoon. I welcome all of you back to the House and I hope that you have had the opportunity to spend some time with your families and visit your constituencies during the break. I also hope that your travels were safe and that you found everyone in good health.
I would also like to welcome the Pages, staff and members of the public to the House today to hear the first budget address for the new Northwest Territories, as we know it now.
As we have all noticed Spring is just around the corner and it promises a summer of sunshine, open water and new possibilities. So Spring is the best season to present a new budget because it is the beginning of a new direction for all of us. As we begin this new direction, I would like to remind Members that we are working for all of the people out there who are on the land, in the communities, in the towns and in the city. In this House we are representing more than just our personal interests. We are elected to represent the views of our constituents regardless of colour, culture or creed and without prejudice or judgment.
As the Speaker, I remind Members that I will continue to be strict with the rules of the operation of the House. I also remind Members that we are to treat each other with respect and dignity.
But, before we begin, I ask all Members and the public to join me in offering our prayers to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Mr. David Hamilton, whose father passed away this weekend. Mr. Hamilton, we offer our thoughts to you, your mother and your family. Our prayers are with you as you travel tomorrow.
On that note, I would like to begin. I have received correspondence from the Deputy Commissioner. I wish to advise the House that I have received the following messages:
Dear Mr. Speaker,
I wish to advise that I recommend to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories the passage of Appropriation Act, 1999-2000, during the seventh session of the 13th Legislative Assembly.
Orders of the day. Item 2, budget address. Mr. Dent.
Motion 6-13(7): Amendments To The Rules Of The Legislative Assembly March 26th, 1999
Thank you. The Member for Yellowknife South is seeking unanimous consent to have this motion deemed to have been read in its entirety and printed in Hansard. Are there any nays? There are no nays. Mr. Henry, you have unanimous consent.
WHEREAS on April 1, 1999, the creation of Nunavut will reduce the membership of the 13th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories to 14 Members;
AND WHEREAS the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures has considered certain rules provisions respecting attire in the Chamber and Standing Committee structures in light of their applicability after March 31, 1999; NOW THEREFORE, I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Thebacha, that the rules of the Legislative Assembly be amended by:
Striking out that portion of Rule 12(9) that follows, "When in the Assembly, every Member shall be attired..." and substituting "... in traditional aboriginal clothing or in a manner that does not offend the dignity of the Assembly.";
AND FURTHER that Rules 85 and 85.1 be rescinded and the following adopted:
85(1) At its first sitting after a general election, the Assembly shall appoint a Striking Committee of three Members to report and recommend, with all convenient speed, Members to comprise the following Standing Committees of the Assembly:
On Government Operations
On Resource Management and Infrastructure
On Rules and Procedures
On Social Programs
and any other standing and special committees as directed by the Assembly.
(2) The Standing Committee on Government Operations shall:
a) Review issues which have government-wide implications;
b) Consider items and issues referred from other committees and the House;
c) Conduct the overview of the budget and the fiscal framework;
d) Consider the budgets and financial management of boards and agencies that are outside the responsibility of any standing committee, including the Office of the Legislative Assembly;
e) Examine the reports on the annual financial statements and public accounts of the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Report of the Auditor General;
f) Allocate to any other standing committee its examination of any estimates and any review of departmental performance;
g) Examine and consider the overall issues that affect the operation of the Government of the Northwest Territories relating to division.
(3) The Standing Committee on Resource Management and Infrastructure shall consider the following matters with respect to the Departments of Executive, Aboriginal Affairs, Financial Management Board Secretariat, Finance, Public Works and Services, Municipal and Community Affairs, Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development and Transportation:
a) Review legislation and policy proposals, multi-year business plans and budgets, bills, boards and agencies, and public accounts;
b) Review departmental performance; and,
c) Consider any other matter referred by the House.
(4) The Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures shall inquire into such matters as may be referred to it by the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker, or the Management and Services Board.
(5) The Standing Committee on Social Programs shall consider the following matters with respect to the Departments of Health and Social Services, Education, Culture and Employment, Justice, and the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation:
a) Review legislative and policy proposals, multi-year business plans and budgets, bills, boards and agencies, and public accounts;
b) Review departmental performance; and,
c) Consider any other matter referred by the House.
AND FURTHERMORE that Rule 87(1) be amended by adding "... with the exception of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, which shall consist of seven Members" after "... not more than five Members..."
AND FURTHERMORE that Rule 87(2) be amended by adding "... with the exception of the Standing Committee on Government Operations..." after "Each Standing Committee...";
AND FURTHERMORE that Rule 90(3) be rescinded and the following adopted:
90(3) The quorum of a committee shall be a simple majority of committee Members.
AND FURTHERMORE that these amendments shall come into effect and be deemed to be Rules of the Legislative Assembly on April 1, 1999.
Item 1: Prayer March 25th, 1999
As most Members know, Mr. Hamilton has worked tremendously hard for division and also on the work that was necessary for the elections to happen in Nunavut. The amount of time he spent away from home doing that and trying to also keep up with his duties here in Yellowknife. So there was a tremendous demand on Mr. Hamilton for the last one and a half years. It is very much appreciated. I forgot to give Mr. Hamilton his name tag. Mr. Hamilton.
Now, Mr. Hamilton and I have grown old in this Assembly. But I have grown old with another person here as well. Ms. Sheila MacPherson has always been an inspiration. As our law clerk she has been direct and truthful in her advice to all of us. Her laughter and easy smile have been the bright spot on many a dark day. She is very much respected by the Members of this House and we know that she has a great love for her home of Iqaluit but we are grateful that she is going to remain with us here for the near future.
On behalf of all Members I would like to present Ms. MacPherson, my dear friend, with a gift for her work over the years.
The present itself, there is also a book that I bought for Ms. MacPherson, out of my own pocket,
and it is called the Pleasure of the Crown. It is one of the best books that I have read on courtroom performance by governments in the litigation of aboriginal title. I think that it is fitting that it is presented to you. As well, Ms. MacPherson, you will notice that we have also included a pair of moccasins, if you would open it. I would like to let the Members know that in order to keep this as much a secret as possible I had to tell Mr. Hamilton I wanted Ms. MacPherson inside the chamber so I can present it to her and I told Ms. MacPherson I wanted her here because I had a present for Mr. Hamilton. It was sort of like trying to disguise everything. Anyway, there is a pair of moccasins in there. There is an old saying about walking in the shoes of another person. With this pair of moccasins we recognize your commitment to the Assembly, and we appreciate the fact that you have listened to all of us and have walked in all of our shoes over the years. Mahsi Cho.
There are also two people sitting on either side of the chair, the clerk's sealskin chair, who deserve our recognition. As Clerk of the Committees, Mr. David Inch, has served this House well. He started in the Assembly on April 4, 1994. He was born and raised here in the North. His interests, work ethics and his helpful hints have been both welcome and appreciated in his time here. Mr. Inch has kept the committees running smoothly and the information and arrangements for all matters have always been in place. For that we thank you. Mr. Inch.
The other individual is Mr. Doug Schauerte, our Deputy Clerk. I have known him since he first started and I have seen him adopt an aboriginal process of education in his role, which is learning by doing. As an aboriginal Member I have been impressed by his progress and I would like to say that I still maintain that hands-on learning achieves more than academics. On behalf of the Legislative Assembly, I would like to present you both with these gifts in appreciation for the work which you have done to help us reach this point.
And now to our Members from Nunavut.
In 1965, the first aboriginal Member, Abe Okpik of Iqaluit, was appointed to the Council of the Northwest Territories. In September 19, 1966, the first elected aboriginal Member from the Northwest Territories took his seat in the Government of the Northwest Territories. His name was Simonee Michael and he was elected from the constituency of the eastern Arctic. All Members in this Legislative Assembly, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, from the east or from the west, from the High Arctic or from the South Slave, have followed in Mr. Simonee Michael's footsteps.
I would like to recognize these Members from Nunavut now and have them come up and accept these special gifts from the Legislative Assembly. The Honourable Goo Arlooktoo, MLA for Baffin South ,and Mr. Levi Barnabas, MLA for High Arctic.
Mark Evaloarjuk, MLA for Ammituq; Honourable Kelvin NG, MLA for Kitikmeot; Mr. Kevin O'Brien, MLA for Kivallivik; Honourable Manitok Thompson, MLA from Aivilik; Honourable John Todd, MLA for Keewatin Central.
Recognizing those Members who are not here: Mr. Ed Picco, MLA for Iqaluit; Tommy Enuaraq, MLA for Baffin Central. A special thank you goes to my friend and the Deputy Speaker of this House, John Ningark, MLA for Natilikmiot.
On behalf of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories, I wish all of you well and I thank you for your many years of service in this Assembly. It has been a long journey with a happy ending and we look forward to many successes under your continued leadership in Nunavut.
I now ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to raise the Mace and declare this House in Order.
Please stand. Thank you. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Arlooktoo.
Item 1: Prayer March 25th, 1999
Thank you, Ms. Thompson. Good afternoon. Before we proceed with the orders of the day, I would like to make a special announcement. If the Members would allow me I would like to make it as informal as possible so that we can allow some pictures to be taken.
Members of the Legislative Assembly, clerks, Pages and members of the public in the Speaker's gallery; I would like to break with tradition today and ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to lower the Mace. Please stand.
Please be seated. I have asked the Mace to be lowered so that we may recognize this special moment. There is a tradition, that when we are in the House we concentrate only on House business. But today is different. Because today is the last day we will all be sitting in this House. Tomorrow, the Members from Nunavut will be leaving. They are going to prepare for the Nunavut celebrations in Iqaluit and some will take their place in the new Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
And I think that it is fitting to take a moment today to recognize that this is the end of a very long journey. I would also like to mark this moment with the recognition in this House of some people who have made all of our jobs easier.
When I first became a Member of this Assembly on October 16, 1983, I was new and young,
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The Clerk at that time had started his job on March 3, 1983, only seven months before I got elected. He quickly became respected for his advice and personality. As the Clerk of this Assembly, Mr. David Hamilton has been the guardian of all of our affairs. He has been an advisor, coach, counsellor, referee, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother and grandfather to all of us.
I have worked with Mr. Hamilton now for 16 years and naturally, as the Speaker, I rely on his continued good judgment for all activities. With division one week away, it would be a shame if we did not honour our own because there are a lot of deserving staff, but the recognition must first go to Mr. Hamilton for his years of service to this Chamber.
So, Mr. Hamilton, on behalf of all of the Members of both Territories, I would like to express our gratitude and thanks for all of your work and present to you a gift, which reflects our appreciation. Mr. Hamilton.
Item 1: Prayer March 22nd, 1999
Thank you, Mr. Barnabas. I would like to welcome all Members back to the House. There is a lot of work to be done in the next nine days, so I will keep my opening statement short.
My comments today refer to the message read by her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, on March 8, which is Commonwealth Day.
"Music is the theme for Commonwealth Day this year. Of course, people of different generations tap their feet to quite different beats. But for all of us, young and old, music is an essential part of life; for parties and entertainment; for ceremonies and celebrations.
For music knows no difference of language, no national boundaries. And because it has become such as important part of our cultural lives, it is a universal means of communicating with each other. The variety of music indicates our diversity, its common tones and harmonies bring us together, just like the Commonwealth.
In 1999 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth. Fifty years ago, in 1949, India became the first republic with its own head of state to be a member of the Commonwealth. That paved the way to memberships for many countries, especially from Asia and Africa, all sharing links of history, a belief in democracy, and a will to work together. Today, the Commonwealth includes over a quarter of the world's population, spanning differences in race, creed and language, but sharing the same aspirations toward a better future. This November, the leaders of the Commonwealth states will gather in South Africa for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting where they will discuss the challenges of the new millennium, as well as celebrating the Commonwealth's achievements in its life so far.
Let us then, in this anniversary year, look both backwards as well as forwards as we mark Commonwealth Day. While we continue to enjoy our favourite music, either by making it or listening to it, let us also celebrate the vigour and creativity that the next generation will bring to their music making. That is just one of the bonds that all the young people of the Commonwealth will share together on this special day. This is from the message from the Queen.
Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Todd
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