Roles

Elsewhere

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

Question 47-13(6): Status Of Economic Strategy September 18th, 1998

Oral questions. Supplementary, Mr. Miltenberger.

Item 1: Prayer September 17th, 1998

Thank you Mr. Evaloarjuk. Good afternoon, Members. Before we begin today, I would like to remind Members that today is the 47th anniversary of a historic event for the Northwest Territories and for this Assembly. On September 17, 1951, for the first time some Members of the Council were elected to office.

There were three Members elected in 1951 to represent the whole Northwest Territories. They were, Mr. Mervyn Hardie, representing the Mackenzie North constituency; Mr. James Brodie representing Mackenzie South and Mr. Frank Carmichael, representing Mackenzie West. At that time, there were also six appointed Members on the Council, as well as the Commissioner, Major General Hugh Young.

There have been many changes in this Assembly and in the Northwest Territories as a whole since 1951. Forty-seven years ago we began the process toward responsible government. For the last 47 years, Members of this and previous Legislatures have worked to ensure that all residents of the Northwest Territories are represented responsibly and effectively.

With the creation of two new territories, we will see many more changes and will continue to break new ground. As elected Members, we will remain committed to the principle of responsible government that is reflective of the interests of all northern residents.

If I may, it is appropriate today that we have in the gallery four of the 19 returning officers, who will conduct the first election for the Nunavut Legislative Assembly. They are in Yellowknife for training this week. They are:

Mona Autut, Returning Officer for Baker Lake - from Baker Lake

Nancy Kalluak, Returning Officer for Arviat - from Arviat

Jean Kaniak, Returning Officer for Cambridge Bay - from Cambridge Bay

Sarah Kidlapik, Returning Officer for Akullik - from Repulse Bay

Welcome to the Assembly.

--Applause

Orders of the Day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Kakfwi.

Item 1: Prayer September 16th, 1998

Thank you Mr. Ningark. Good afternoon to all Members and welcome back to the continuation of the 6th Session of the 13th Legislative Assembly. I would like to thank the Member for Hay River, in arranging for the Reverend Craig Pitts and Mrs. Dorothy Pitts to be with us today to perform our National Anthem as a piano duet. Even though we have not met since June, I expect Members had a very busy summer with their constituents, family and friends. I hope you are all well rested and ready for the many challenges and decisions that must be made in the coming months leading to the dissolution of the 13th Legislative Assembly late next year. Of course, in six months time we will be saying good-bye to ten of our colleagues from Nunavut.

Members have much to do in a very short time frame and we have a number of legislative initiatives that must be dealt within that time. This may mean standing down some of the normal processes for review. The stress created by the pressure of time constraints can lead to frustration, but it is my hope that we will continue to address issues in a respectful and honourable way.

Keeping in mind our tight schedule, when it comes to the operation of the House, I intend to be strict with the rules. For example, during question period I ask that both questions and answers be to the point. I will interject if this is not the case with either a Member or Minister. I know both sides of the House will understand the need for this as it will make for more productive use of the question period.

We have entered the last year of this Assembly. I know that we, as leaders, will put aside any personal issues to take up our responsibility to create a legacy for the future that the people of the north will be proud of. This is the challenge we accepted when we were elected to the 13th Assembly and it is a challenge we will meet in the days to come.

On the lighter side, I must offer my thanks to the Member for Yellowknife North, who has invited all members to lunch at the SmokeHouse in N'Dilo.

--Applause

Perhaps there will be more such invites to come. I want to thank the staff of the Legislative Assembly for all their hard work. I am hoping that over the next few sittings, with the help of the staff, some social and recreational events can be organized, so that staff and members can meet in a non-work environment. Perhaps if the media is not too afraid, one day we will continue the MLA-Media hockey challenge. I would also like to congratulate the Clerk of the Assembly, who celebrated his half-century birthday yesterday.

--Applause

Although, I would remind the Clerk, Mr. Hamilton, that I am still eight months his elder. Once again, welcome to the continuance of the 6th Session of the 13th Assembly. Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Morin.

Item 1: Prayer May 20th, 1998

Good afternoon. Welcome back to the Legislative Assembly. I ask Members to join me in sending our prayers to the community of Cape Dorset. On May 16th, respected elder Kovianaktuliaq Parr died in a fatal hunting accident. He was 68. It appears Mr. Parr decided to go hunting after seeing four people heading out to the ice floe. These men were not aware that Mr. Parr was coming to join them. It is common practice for older hunters to join hunting parties taking off from a floe edge. It has been noted that blowing snow-covered cracks in the ice along the ice floe. The crack Mr. Parr fell into was not far from shore which is usually a common sense trail at this time of year. It may be a comfort to those he leaves behind to know that Mr. Parr died doing what he loved best, hunting. I would like to offer condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Parr, on behalf of Minister Goo Arlooktoo, who was a close friend.

Mr. Parr will also be well remembered as one of the artists who created the original mace of the Government of the Northwest Territories. It is gratifying to know that Mr. Parr had the chance to see the completed mace when he, and the other surviving artists, came to view their creation at a mace ceremony at the Legislative Assembly last summer. It was a pleasure and an honour to have met Mr. Parr during both the Yellowknife and Cape Dorset mace ceremonies.

It should be noted that during this sitting the Pages used will be from across the north. Starting this week, the Pages will be made up of cadets. This year, NWT cadets will reach two significant milestones. This fall the army squadrons of Fort Smith and Inuvik will be celebrating their 35th anniversary, while the air squadrons of Iqaluit and Yellowknife will mark their 25th anniversary. I am sure all Members will join me in offering our congratulations to cadets past and present, for the superb work they have accomplished over these years and wish them good luck in the years to come. I would also like to remind Members of my challenge for them to join me, tomorrow afternoon, in a shooting competition against the cadets.

Again, I welcome Members back to the Legislature. I am sure we will have a productive and beneficial session.

--Applause

Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Premier.

Reply 4-13(5): Mrs. Groenewegen February 26th, 1998

Thank you. During the last week or so, Members have been naming individuals outside this House who cannot protect themselves. They also even mentioned some staff members who cannot respond to things that have been said in this House. I would like to remind the Members of a ruling that I made back in the 12th Assembly, which carries into this Assembly, regarding the naming of names and also in imputing motives. For the record, so that in the future when Members do ask questions and make statements, that they have to remember you cannot mention names of people who cannot respond to you. I have asked the Clerk's Office to draft something up. This is the concern I have with regard to the increasing concerns about references made to government officials and private citizens in this Assembly.

This is not the first time this matter has been an issue in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. On March 10, 1995, during the 12th Assembly, the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Nerysoo, raised on a point of order concerning a tabling of unsigned letters and the use of individuals names in the House.

At this time, I would like to remind Members of the substance of the ruling I made on that point of order, and I quote, "As Members are aware, the privilege of being protected from prosecution for what is said in this House is a fundamental and long standing right that has been tested and consistently upheld in many court cases. However, it has also been a long standing convention that the rights of individuals outside of this Legislature are protected. The privilege we have, as Members and as a Legislature, also carry with them a great responsibility to ensure that those outside this House are protected. The way in which Members conduct themselves individually and collectively reflects on the institution of the Legislative Assembly. The respect in which Members hold this institution is clearly evident. In order to uphold and enhance this respect, I will not permit comments, whether written or spoken, in this Legislature, that have the tendency to question the personal integrity of others outside the House or impute motives to those unable to respond or which have the impact of adversely reflecting on the character of those persons outside of this Legislature."

I intend to uphold the spirit and intent of this past ruling and would caution all Members to consider comments they intend to make with that advice in mind.

--Applause

Item 1: Prayer February 18th, 1998

Thank you, Mr. Enuaraq. Good Morning.

Speaker's Ruling

Before we start with the orders of the day, I would like to provide you with a ruling on the point of order raised by Mr. Roland on February 16, 1998, regarding a Minister quoting from a Cabinet document and Mr. Roland's request to have a Cabinet document tabled in the House.

By way of background, Mr. Roland argued that because it appeared Mr. Kakfwi made reference to and allegedly quoted from a Cabinet document, the Premier should be prepared to table the entire Cabinet decision in the House.

In presenting his point of order, Mr. Roland quoted from Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, sixth edition. He quoted citation 495(1), which reads:

"A Minister is not at liberty to read or quote from a dispatch or other state paper not before the House without being prepared to lay it on the Table."

First, I must indicate that I have reviewed the unedited Hansard which contains the comments made by Mr. Kakfwi on February 13, 1998, and cannot find a clear indication that Mr. Kakfwi was quoting from a Cabinet directive or a Cabinet record of decision. It would appear that his reference to a Cabinet Directive was, in fact, an excerpt from letters that had been sent to Sahtu leaders regarding the issue of Sahtu health service delivery. Those letters have subsequently been tabled before this House as Tabled Document 48-13(5). I view this particular question to be a moot point, and perhaps a question of terminology. However, as Cabinet documents, including Cabinet directives and Cabinet records of decision, are papers which this House cannot order to be tabled. In other words, even if a Cabinet document is referred to, it need not be tabled. I refer Members to Beauchesne's citation 446(2)(1) for further clarification on the protections accorded to Cabinet documents.

In addition, I wish to address the point made by Mr. Roland whereby he suggested that gaining access to all Cabinet documents relating to the Cabinet's decision on this issue is the only means to allow him to effectively represent his constituents in this matter. Firstly, I must reiterate that Cabinet documents are exempt from mandatory production by way of an order of this House. Secondly, only the specific document cited need be tabled and this, in effect, has been done as the relevant letters have been tabled. As Beauchesne's citation 495(4) states:

"Only the document cited need be tabled by a Member. A complete file need not be tabled because one document is it has been cited."

For these reasons, I rule that Mr. Roland does not have a point of order. The Cabinet, through the Premier, cannot be compelled to table Cabinet documentation relating to this issue. Thank you

Orders of the day. Item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Morin.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 4th, 1998

Thank you. Mr. Chairman, we have 31 positions of which we have currently six aboriginal and nine indigenous non-aboriginals, which is 49 percent.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 4th, 1998

Yes, Mr. Chairman. It is included in the budget.

Item 19: Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters February 4th, 1998

Yes, we can provide that to the Member.