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 1: Prayer October 3rd, 1996

Good afternoon, members. Before I proceed with the orders of the day, I would like to make a ruling regarding the point of privilege made by the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi.

On October the second, 1996, the member for Sahtu, the Honourable Stephen Kakfwi, raised a point of privilege that his right as a member would be infringed upon by another member tabling documents and petition that originate from his constituency. Mr. Kakfwi, in stating his point of privilege, indicated that tabling documents and presenting petitions from his constituency would be his duty and responsibility to do as their elected representative. In reviewing the unedited Hansard of the documents that the member from Hay River had tabled, which were the basis for the point of privilege by Mr. Kakfwi:

The first document tabled numbered 69-13(3) was a resolution of the Native Womens Association on the naming of the new western territory. The second document that was tabled by the member for Hay River, was a resolution from the Dene National Assembly of the Dene nation. The member for Hay River, Ms. Groenewegen, was in a process of tabling a third document, which according to the unedited Hansard, was a resolution from the Deh Cho First Nations Assembly. Mr. Kakfwi noted in his point of privilege that it would not be proper for another member to table a document that originated from another members constituency.

The documents in question however, were both from organizations that cross a number of members' constituency boundaries. Thus, are not specific to one constituency. I indicated in my ruling on the point of order, which was also raised by Mr. Kakfwi, that a member has a right to table any document provided that it does not contain any improper language and meets the normal procedural rules applied to tabled documents.

Specifically under rule 43: "A member may provide to the House any document which may be in the public interest." The point before us is not an infraction of the rules or of a members privilege. I am of course, not at liberty to comment on how members decide amongst themselves to bring issues or documents to the floor of the House. In this case, I rule that Mr. Kakfwi does not have a point of privilege, and the member from Hay River can, at the appropriate time, table the document she started to table yesterday if the member wishes to do so.

Orders of the day, Ministers' Statement. Mr. Kakfwi.

Item 1: Prayer May 28th, 1996

If Members will permit, I would like to make a few comments, in my own language, before we all leave here in the next few days to go home to our families and communities. As you know, I am not the oldest Member in years, but here in the House, I do have the honour of being the longest-serving Member.

--- Applause

I was first elected many, many years ago in the general election of 1983.

(Translation) At that time, I came into what was then the 10th Legislative Assembly with a dream to change the world and the way we do things. I had a vision that I would make a difference and would not be like all the other Members. I would open the doors to make the Assembly more culturally relevant to the people it is supposed to serve. I think, as I look around the Chamber today, after 13 years of service in this Assembly, a lot has changed; mostly for the better, but some things still need a little work.

When you elected me as your Speaker, I looked around this Chamber in November last year and saw many much younger, eager faces and of course, several returning Members who looked as young as ever. As a newly elected Assembly, we faced many difficult issues that even the more experienced Members could not have imagined. I see now that, after the first seven months of this Assembly, some of you are looking a little bit tired, and a little bit older, yet as eager as ever to do the best you can for our people. Even I have developed a bit of grey in my hair.

I feet that you all have come a long way in developing a new system of doing business in this House and its committees, especially in establishing a new relationship with the Premier and Ministers. (Translation ends) I would, however, like to make a brief comment on the conduct of business in the House. Members have learned the rules as you have gone along and, for the most part, have understood the reasons for our rules and why we must have them to assist with the orderly and efficient conduct of business. I do note, however, that the use of unanimous consent to complete Members' statements must be a record. In order to curb this trend, I will be issuing you each a stop watch so over the summer you can time yourself talking to the animals in the wilderness...

--- Applause

... as you get ready for the fall session.

On a more serious note, being a Member of the Legislative Assembly takes its toll on our families. We are away from home for long periods of time and we sometimes forget that day-to-day life goes on outside this building. As many of you have expressed, on a number of occasions in the House -and particularly our friend from Inuvik who I note has not said 'hello" to his family for some time -without the understanding, support and love from our families, I don't think that we would be able to carry on. I am sure you will all agree that they deserve our heartfelt thanks.

--- Applause

I know we will not be recessing until tomorrow, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a safe journey home and wherever your travels take you over the summer, I hope you come back refreshed in October to once again take up the many challenges facing us as the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. Mahsi cho.

--- Applause

Orders of the day, item 2, Ministers' statements. Mr. Antoine.

Committee Report 1-13(3): Standing Committee On Government Operations Report On The Review Of The 1996-97 Main Estimates May 27th, 1996

If the transfer was something like the health transfer or the forest transfer, then it would be negotiated.

Committee Report 1-13(3): Standing Committee On Government Operations Report On The Review Of The 1996-97 Main Estimates May 27th, 1996

Mr. Chairman, the total cost for elections is paid by the federal government. The cost here is to maintain a small office and have a person on contractual arrangement to operate that small office.

Committee Report 1-13(3): Standing Committee On Government Operations Report On The Review Of The 1996-97 Main Estimates May 27th, 1996

Mr. Chairman, we don't have any funds allocated for this year regarding the paving program for the Legislative Assembly site. We will have a capital estimate for next year, 1997.

Committee Report 2-13(3): Standing Committee On Infrastructure Report On The Review Of The 1996-97 Main Estimates May 27th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have with me Mr. Hamilton, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to present the 1996-97 budget for the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly is requesting an expenditure of $9.414 million, which includes a capital budget of $45,000; included in the budget are cost reductions in the ongoing areas of running the Legislative Assembly. Reductions have been made in the Hansard production and printing, catering and security services, janitorial services and audio recording. Mr. Chairman, the committee will also note that there has been a reduction of 4.8 person years, decreasing the permanent staff complement from 33.8 to 29.5.

Mr. Chairman, the budget before you has been streamlined and contains only those items that are of a non-controllable nature and those approved by the Management and Services Board. The budget, Mr. Chairman and colleagues, has no room for movement as every dollar has been assigned. The budget does reflect the seven per cent reduction to all Members' indemnities which was passed by the House earlier this year. It should be noted that there will be further reductions to the budget of this Legislative Assembly to reflect the removal of the three per cent supplementary pension plan. Once the pension acts have been amended as reflected in Bill 10, Budget Measures Implementation Act, 1996-97, and an actuarial evaluation has been completed, I will be in a position to reduce our budget further. At that time, I will bring forward a negative supplementary request implementing the savings that have been calculated.

Mr. Chairman, I am sure Members would be interested to note that the television coverage of TVNC of this Legislature is the most watched program of all programs across the TVNC network. I submit, Mr. Chairman, that, while we have streamlined our language services in the House, we are still broadcasting our sessions in nearly all of our official languages. In fact, we have been requested to expand our coverage to include Committee of the Whole and standing committee meetings. I am encouraged by this as it is always hard, with such a large geographic constituency, to have the electorate see and hear what we, as their Members, are doing.

Mr. Chairman, the Legislative Assembly is unique within the territorial government, but we must continue to recognize and respond to factors such as fiscal restraint, division and the changing nature of government which affects all departments.

However, it must be also remain separate and distinct from the overall government structure in order to fulfil its roles as the legislative body accountable to the electorate. Mr. Chairman, changing the way we do business to improve efficiencies in consensus decision-making will have a constant impact on our operational environment over the next three years. I am concerned that we must be ready for division as a legislative body. To that end, I will continue to ensure that this Legislative Assembly and the Clerk's office is positioned to offer support, training, advice and whatever assistance is requested or required to address a variety of issues. Such issues include electoral boundaries establishment; elections; and, the initial placement of trained personnel for management organizations, for the two Legislatures in 1999. That concludes my remarks. Qujannamiik.

Item 1: Prayer May 24th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Rabesca. Before we get into the orders of the day, I would like to recognize in the gallery, Vital Manuel. Vital Manuel was born in Inuvik on December 17, 1973, to Denise and Thomas Manuel. They are his parents and now live in Fort Good Hope. Vital was raised in Fort Good Hope but attended school in Inuvik and Yellowknife, as well as his home town. He has been in a wheelchair all his life, but it hasn't slowed him down one bit.

Vital is very musical and often uses spoons to keep up with the music played on the fiddle by his father, Thomas. Vital now makes his home here in Yellowknife attending the Abe Miller Centre where he works with ceramics. As a courier and xeroxing important documents, he lives independently with a friend in his own apartment. Many of you have seen Vital in a wheelchair on the streets of Yellowknife riding up and down, greeting his friends and running errands.

During the winter months, he is often seen in 40 below weather riding his wheelchair to the Legislative Assembly, where he works for the MLAs three days a week. Vital has asked that Steven Kakfwi be recognized for the support and guidance and for the job he has provided to Vital.

He also wants to acknowledge his parents and family for their assistance and love throughout his long climb to independence. Vital has made a special cross for the Legislative Assembly. One day while visiting the Legislative Assembly, he asked the security guard if he could look into the House, when he noticed that there was no cross to guide the MLAs on behalf of the communities, so he promptly set to work to make this special gift. Vital is here with us today. Mahsi cho, Vital.

--- Applause

Item 20: Report Of Committee Of The Whole May 22nd, 1996

Question is being called. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.

--- Carried

Item 21, third reading of bills.

Speaker's Ruling

Before I ask the Clerk to give the orders of the day, I have a ruling with regard to a point of order made on May 21, 1996, by Mr. Krutko. On May 21st during oral question period, this debate is contained on pages 1185 to 1188 of unedited Hansard. The Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Krutko, was in the process of asking an oral question to the Minister of Justice on funding for the Beaufort/Delta legal services clinic. The Member for Mackenzie Delta had asked his initial question and had completed one supplementary question. On being recognized for a second supplementary question, the Member, Mr. Krutko, in the Chair's opinion, made a statement and there was no question contained therein.

The Chair indicated, and I quote from page 1187 of unedited Hansard: 'Thank you. There was no question there." The chair then went on to remind Members about their preambles to supplementary questions.

The Member for Mackenzie Delta, Mr. Krutko, then raised a point of order and, once again, I quote from page 1187 of unedited Hansard: "Mr. Krutko: I think there was a question." At that time, I indicated to the Member that he could ask a question to the Minister, but what I had heard was a statement. At the conclusion of the Member's questioning of the Minister of Justice, I reminded Members that questioning a ruling of the Chair is not allowed and that I would review the Hansard to see whether the Member did challenge the Chair. I have reviewed the unedited Hansard and find that indeed the Member did not pose a question and that my ruling that he had made a statement was correct. The Member, by raising a point of order, did challenge the chair.