Roles

Elsewhere

Last in the Legislative Assembly December 1999, as MLA for Yellowknife South

Won his last election, in 1995, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Need For Additional Speech Pathologists February 16th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Communication is an integral part of our society today. New technologies are developed every day, therefore the ability to communicate is critical in our world. Most of us communicate through the use of speech; however, many members of an important segment of society -- school-age children -- have difficulty with speech and language. Fortunately, there are trained specialists who can work with those children. Currently, the Stanton Regional Hospital has two speech pathologists on staff. These pathologists have to service the entire Western Arctic. The two pathologists cannot keep up with the workload. The previous government promised an additional three pathologists to assist with that workload. Sadly, the additional pathologists to date have not been hired.

Mr. Speaker, in these times of fiscal restraint I recognize it is difficult to expand services such as this. However, the problem remains. Our school-age children who are experiencing speech difficulties are not receiving the care they require and continue to be a large financial drain on the territorial budgets through incarceration of those particular individuals.

A group of concerned parents are interested in starting a speech pathology clinic -- I may have to go there myself.

---Laughter

To do so they would require government funding. Ideally, this funding could come in the form of coverage by the NWT health care for services rendered.

We often say our children are our future. By ensuring they are given the tools with which they may be successful, we will be making an investment in the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Minister's Statement 1-13(2): Sessional Statement February 15th, 1996

I would like to start off with comments that I have made numerous times at Caucus meetings when it was realized that there would be a requirement for cuts. I reiterated a number of times that I would support cuts as long as they were done fairly. That commitment still stands. I think from initial documents that I have received, at first glance, it appears that it is not very fair looking; certainly not for the community that I represent. So I would be looking for a lot more balanced approach and fairness, because the people of the Northwest Territories will accept the cuts that are coming as long as they are seen to be fair and they are fair. So from the initial documents I've seen, I believe there is still quite a bit of work to be done in that regard.

On comments with regard to balancing the budget, I certainly would be in favour of balancing the budget in the first year. I would welcome any comments from any individuals who can show me how I can spend more money than I take in. I would suggest that this government should not be conducting business in any other fashion. Don't live beyond your means. I think we have seen the negativeness of those particular attitudes over the last few years and it has contributed greatly to the situation we find ourselves in today.

Overall, I was pleased with the Premier's statement. Some comments I will make regard specifics that the Premier had mentioned. They have been referred to earlier and I would like to add a different sort of twist to them. The Premier has suggested; make no mistake, we will have to be aggressive with mining companies so that northern workers replace southern workers. I would encourage the Premier to be encouraging the peoples of the North to get out and take those jobs and not be demanding that the companies do everything to create them. I believe there's an obligation for people who require a job to get out and more encouragement should be put to people to take the jobs which are rightfully theirs. They're living in this Territory. So rather than hammering the investors who come to the Territories, let's us do our part. We need to train a workforce to make people employable by companies.

With regard to the comment about the independent advisors, I had not thought of it but I certainly support the idea that many times a profit is not recognized in its own land. I would suggest looking around the House. There may be sufficient input that you may want to talk to who can produce a northern advisory built and made in the North.

I think something that can go a long way to attracting jobs, as you've talked about, is a Territory -- as in our case -- with a balanced budget, balanced books and also keep taxes at reasonable levels to encourage developers to come. We will be able to benefit down the road from a northern accord, the taxes that those jobs generate and the business spin-offs that will be created from it.

I see the exercise that we're presently in as a great opportunity for the Territories. In the past number of years, we have had some bad habits that have to be corrected. We've had the bad habit of spending more than we have taken in a lot of times. I welcome the opportunity to get a little more creative. Hopefully we can rid of some of those bad habits, get our house in order, be in excellent shape to encourage the investment and also to take advantage of being creative when we are spending. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Question 26-13(2): Annual Mackenzie Bison Hunt Regulations February 15th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again, my question is to Mr. Kakfwi. I'm not sure whether I heard you saying that we could anticipate no changes to this hunting season. I believe I heard you saying that. If you could clarify the accuracy of that. Also, as a suggestion for input, the communities of Ndilo, Rae and local communities in this particular area including Yellowknife, I would suggest running an advertisement in the newspaper, having a public meeting with your officials to have input to find out from your department officials what areas they are presently working on and what they would be proposing to make changes to. If I could have an answer to at least your comments earlier. I had understood you had said there would be no changes to the hunting regulations for this hunting season. Can you clarify that? Thank you.

Question 26-13(2): Annual Mackenzie Bison Hunt Regulations February 15th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Renewable Resources, Mr. Kakfwi. I would like assurances that no changes have been made to the current regulations regarding the annual Mackenzie bison hunt for this current year. Also, that no changes will be made to those regulations without all northerners having the opportunity to have input into the process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Potential Diamond Mine February 15th, 1996

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Five years ago, the idea of North America's first diamond mine being located here in the NWT was a mere dream. Today it appears that such a mine is a definite possibility and one that I feel that this government, from the Premier's remarks yesterday, supports.

Before this mine can proceed, it must meet with the approval of the Environmental Assessment Review panel appointed by the federal government. This week the panel is here in Yellowknife, hearing views of many different people. Many of the presenters are northern residents sharing their ideas from technical, cultural, environmental and social points of view. Northerners are recognizing the potential of the possible diamond mine, but also reminding us of the importance of our land, the wildlife and the environment.

The panel has also heard from groups outside of the Territories; in particular, my attention was drawn to the comments by a member of an Australian environmental group advising northerners who to listen to and what to believe. As I listened to the remarks, Mr. Speaker, I kept thinking of others who have told northerners what is best for them; in particular, the North has struggled as a result of those in southern Canada and in Europe who know better than us about the fur industry, about what is humane and what is not humane. These groups or individuals have taken trapping as a way of life from many northerners and cannot be allowed to influence northerners regarding a potential economic means to survive in the event of a complete ban of fur products.

Mr. Speaker, while the experiences of others can be valid, we live in a unique part of the world and have unique ways of doing business. I believe the environmental panel, which includes northerners, will focus on the concerns and issues of northerners, rather than advice from those in other parts of the world who think they know what is good for us.

I hope the panel will make recommendations which will help northerners and BHP build a long and prosperous future together, one which will benefit the people of the Northwest Territories as well as the company. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause

Motion 14-13(1): Appointment Of Independent Commission On MLA Compensation, Carried December 14th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

WHEREAS the last comprehensive independent review of Members' and Ministers' salaries, allowances, benefits, expenses, indemnities and per diems was conducted in 1987;

AND WHEREAS the Legislative Assembly is of the opinion that it is timely to undertake another comprehensive independent review;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for Yellowknife North, that the Legislative Assembly hereby appoints Mr. Joel Fournier, Ms. Anne Crawford and the Hon. Jim Bourque as the Commissioner on MLA Compensation to review and inquire into the salaries, indemnities, allowances and benefits of Members, Ministers and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly;

AND FURTHER, that the commission shall:

1. Establish principles relating to remuneration for Members, Ministers and the Speaker, which take into consideration the diverse geographic and economic factors which may impact on MLAs' ability to carry out their duties;

2. Conduct a review of the existing salaries, indemnities, benefits and allowances to determine the appropriateness of the amounts provided;

3. Conduct a review of the legislated pension benefits provided to MLAs and make appropriate recommendations concerning the level of benefit;

4. Evaluate the relative pros and cons of a straight salary versus a combination of salary and extra indemnities for MLAs and make appropriate recommendations;

5. Review and recommend the procedures Members shall follow to account for allowances, disbursements and other payments;

6. Develop a statement of purpose for the constituency work expense allowances including recommending permissible spending criteria, and to express an opinion on the adequacy of the current levels of these allowances;

7. Recommend the manner for adjusting from time to time Members', Ministers and Speaker's salaries, indemnities, allowances and benefits and other payments;

8. Review and recommend a compensation system that is simple, straightforward, easily understandable, fair and accountable; and,

9. Review any other matter that the commission considers relevant respecting allowances, disbursements and other payments.

AND FURTHERMORE, in conducting its review, the commission shall take into consideration the diversity of the constituents across the Northwest Territories;

AND FURTHERMORE, the commission shall seek public input as an integral and essential part of the review process;

AND FURTHERMORE, the commission shall report with its observations and recommendations to the Speaker by March 1, 1996, and the Speaker shall cause the report to the tabled in the Assembly without delay if the Assembly is in session, and, if the Assembly is not in session, within five days after the beginning of the session.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents December 14th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I apologize for getting a little ahead of myself. Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent to deal with Motion 14-13(1) today.

Item 13: Tabling Of Documents December 14th, 1995

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I seek unanimous consent to deal with Motion 14-13(1) on MLA compensation today.

Motion 14-13(1): Appointment Of Independent Commission On MLA Compensation December 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I will give notice that on Friday, December 15, 1995, I will move the following motion: Whereas the last comprehensive independent review of Members' and Ministers' salaries, allowances, benefits, expenses, indemnities and per diems was conducted in 1987;

And whereas the Legislative Assembly is of the opinion that it is timely to undertake another comprehensive independent review;

Now therefore I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Yellowknife North, that the Legislative Assembly hereby appoints Mr. Joel Fournier, Ms. Anne Crawford, and the Hon. Jim Bourque as the Commission on MLA Compensation to review and inquire into the salaries, indemnities, allowances and benefits of Members, Ministers and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly;

And further that the commission shall:

1. Establish principles relating to remuneration for Members, Ministers and the Speaker which take into consideration the diverse geographic and economic factors which may impact on MLAs' ability to carry out their duties;

2. Conduct a review of the existing salaries, indemnities, benefits and allowances to determine the appropriateness of the amounts provided;

3. Conduct a review of the legislated pension benefits provided to MLAs and make appropriate recommendations concerning the level of benefit;

4. Evaluate the relative pros and cons of a straight salary versus a combination of salary and extra indemnities for MLAs and make appropriate recommendations;

5. Review and recommend the procedures Members shall follow to account for allowances, disbursements and other payments;

6. Develop a statement of purpose for the constituency work expense allowances including recommending permissible spending criteria, and to express an opinion on the adequacy of the current levels of these allowances;

7. Recommend the manner for adjusting from time to time Members', Ministers and Speaker's salaries, indemnities, allowances and benefits and other payments;

8. Review and recommend a compensation system that is simple, straightforward, easily understandable, fair and accountable; and,

9. Review any other matter that the commission considers relevant respecting allowances, disbursements and other payments.

And furthermore in conducting its review the commission shall take into consideration the diversity of the constituents across the Northwest Territories;

And furthermore the commission shall seek public input as an integral and essential part of the review process;

And furthermore the commission shall report with its observations and recommendations to the Speaker by March 1, 1996, and the Speaker shall cause the report to be tabled in the Assembly without delay if the Assembly is in session and, if the Assembly is not in session, within five days after the beginning of the session.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 7-13(1): Appointments To The Standing Committee On Resource Management And Development, Carried November 23rd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, this is regarding the appointments to the Standing Committee on Resource Management and Development.

WHEREAS it is required by Rule 85 that a Standing Committee on Resource Management and Development be appointed;

NOW THEREFORE I MOVE, seconded by the honourable Member for High Arctic, that the following Members be appointed to the Standing Committee on Resource Management and Development:

1. Kevin O'Brien

2. Mark Evaloarjuk

3. David Krutko

4. Jake Ootes

5. James Rabesca

AND FURTHER, that the following Members be named alternates to the Standing Committee on Resource Management and Development:

1. Tommy Enuaraq

2. Roy Erasmus

3. Edward Picco