In the Legislative Assembly


Historical Information Seamus Henry is no longer a member of the Legislative Assembly.

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

Question 8-13(8): Feasibility Of Transporting Natural Gas September 6th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask further questions of Mr. Kakfwi, Minister responsible for Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. It is following up on some questions that were asked earlier by my colleague, Mr. Erasmus, regarding pipelines to the capital city. Mr. Speaker, I would also request the Minister, and I realize that he is reasonably new in this portfolio but previously, a number of years ago, there are studies, and I believe the department would have them where it looked at the possibility of bringing natural gas to Yellowknife from the Cameron Hills area. Bringing natural gas to Yellowknife was economically feasible, all but one thing, getting it across the Mackenzie River at Fort Providence. In an initiative that I proposed in the life of this government was to build a bridge across the Mackenzie, and it will come at some

stage. Mr. Speaker, the one way to get that across the Mackenzie would have been to build a bridge and support it on the site of the bridge.

I would ask the Minister to maybe take a look in his department if those studies are still available. My question to the Minister, along the same lines, Mr. Speaker is, bringing natural gas to the community of Inuvik was not a feasible project. That project, rightfully so, was subsidized by the department. The project was subsidized by the department, but the installation for homeowners is also being subsidized to make it feasible. The Minister had told us, in his statement, that I believe the residents of Inuvik were getting $1,350 per conversion to convert homes, so obviously it was not a feasible project. There was the money initially injected into it to make it feasible. So all these things have been supported by the government, the initial money to get the project off the ground and secondly, some money for homeowners to have this project installed in their homes. I am wondering if the Minister would consider subsidizing a similar project for the city of Yellowknife, which would make it potentially feasible under those conditions to have natural gas brought into Yellowknife. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 5-13(8): Consultation On Natural Gas Conversion Project September 6th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister did reiterate all the positive points and they are, in fact, positive points about this type of development. I am wondering, would the Minister commit to having his department officials sit down with the parties, say the small business people, who will be affected by this to see if there are opportunities through the department that these parties can be involved in the same roles, suppliers of energy resources, if they can find some role to be involved with this particular gas project so that they are not negatively impacted? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 5-13(8): Consultation On Natural Gas Conversion Project September 6th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to Mr. Kakfwi, the Minister responsible for Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development. Mr. Kakfwi made a statement in the House today regarding the Inuvik Natural Gas Conversion Program and he informed the House that the department had provided initial funding for research in the project. He also talked about the initial cost of conversion of some of these projects. Mr. Speaker, I would like to make it clear up front, I do not have the concerns of the major oil companies at heart when I ask these questions. I am more concerned about the small business people, in particular the individuals in Inuvik that are presently supplying other kinds of fuel to homes. I think the department and the Minister should be commended for the reduction in greenhouse gases that this type of project will contribute towards, but I am just wondering how or has there been any consultation with the present fuel suppliers in Inuvik, the small business people who have large investments in the community who right now stand to lose substantially because of another government subsidized program bringing an alternate source of energy. My question to the Minister is, Mr. Speaker, was there any consultation or is there any plan to assist the business people who stand to lose because of the government support of this particular gas project? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Motion 44-13(7): Termination Of Planning For New Yellowknife Correctional Centre July 30th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, sometimes I think, when sitting in this position over here, that some of us on this side of the House continually live in la-la land. In the last session we have voted for an additional $5 million for education. We want more money put into health care. Yet we spend money like it is going out of style. We went on a travelling road show with Bill 15, and here we have an opportunity to save money by the government taking an action and re-evaluating somewhere where they can save $4 million, yet we want to stop a project because the government takes a good initiative. Certainly not from my perspective. I have heard three apologies from the government, and I am certainly willing to accept that. I would like to see it happen more often that if there is a mistake made, people are big enough to apologize. I do not see it as major circumstances for this government to take the action that they did, and I certainly will not be supporting this motion. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Member's Statement 205-13(7): Acknowledgement Of The Yellowknife Association For Community Living July 29th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize an organization in Yellowknife who provide a valuable community service. Mr. Speaker, the group I am speaking of is the Yellowknife Association for Community Living. This association advocates with and on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Northwest Territories. In 1963, the first group of parents formed the association to seek support for their children. Since then, this association has grown and now supports individuals, families, and children in three communities in the NWT. The association is a member of the Canadian Association for Community Living and is represented by board members and self advocates at the national level.

The emphasis in the programs is first and foremost on the community inclusion. The Abe Miller Program provide opportunities for integrated training and employment of 24 people with intellectual disabilities. The Employment Support Services supports 19 people in employment in various businesses and government in Yellowknife. The Summer Café, which is operated by clients of Abe Miller, offers delicious luncheons in a pretty outdoor setting next to the Abe Miller Building.

The recently developed Literacy Outreach Centre is a partnership with Aurora College and offers individualized reading, writing, spelling, and math programs. People with and without disabilities are included in this program. The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Program is guided by the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Community Team made up of a variety of community agencies, health professionals, families, and government. The project promotes awareness about the prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome and offers support to families. Workshops have been developed to provide information to schools, families, and the general public.

As you can see, the Yellowknife Association for Community Living is a very much active group within our community and continues to be so through the many dedicated individuals who provide their time and energy to see this group succeed. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my fellow Members join me in recognizing this association and their clients and the many people who volunteer their services to this organization. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Committee Motion 43-13(7): To Amend Clause 7 Of Bill 19 July 28th, 1999

Madam Chairperson, I too would like to, as mentioned in the report, compliment the Minister and the government for their responsiveness to the Ordinary Members bringing this type of legislation to reality. It will certainly bring a lot of certainty to people in the territories and municipalities also. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Committee Motion 43-13(7): To Amend Clause 7 Of Bill 19 July 28th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. The Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Resource Development reviewed Bill 20, the Municipal Statutes Amendment Act, on June 28, 1999. The committee would like to thank the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs and his officials for presenting the bill.

Currently in the Northwest Territories, there is no offence of trespassing on the property of another, unless the trespass involves damage to property or theft, is done at residential premises at night or otherwise constitutes an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

This bill proposes to amend the Charter Communities Act, the Cities, Towns and Villages Act, and the Hamlets Act, to enable municipalities to make bylaws to prohibit trespassing on private or public property if the municipality considers it necessary.

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs developed this bill at the request of the ordinary Members of the 13th Legislative Assembly after consultation with the Northwest Territories Association of Municipalities.

The committee expressed concern that most communities may not have the necessary resources to effectively enforce municipal trespassing legislation. The Minister replied that his department would provide assistance to communities to ensure trespass bylaws are reasonably enforced.

Further, the committee was concerned enforcement methodology may vary from community to community. Enforcement may be made by peace officers in some communities. In other communities, enforcement may be made by a representative of the property owner. The Minister replied that the department would provide guidelines to the communities to ensure enforcement methodology is consistent.

Finally, Committee Members expressed concern that the rights of claimant groups may be compromised by the proposed municipal trespass legislation. The Minister and his staff explained that the terms of any land claim agreements will always prevail over municipal or territorial legislation.

Madam Chairperson, following the committee's review, a motion was carried to report Bill 20, Municipal Statutes Amendment Act, to the Assembly as ready for the committee of the whole.

Additional comments or questions of Members may be posed as we proceed. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Committee Motion 38-13(7): To Amend Clause 2 Of Bill 15 July 28th, 1999

Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I will be voting against this motion and Madam Chairperson, if this bill passes and the amendment that is proposed, if this passes I think the first thing this government should do is authorize a review of whether or not this or any government can put a time limit on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms granted to every citizen in Canada. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Question 255-13(7): Dogrib Agreement-in-principle July 28th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, on the cost to implement this agreement, at whatever time it is finalized, it has been communicated by this government that it is the responsibility of the federal government. Has this government had any feedback on that comment that it is their fiduciary responsibility to fund the implementation of these agreements and not a GNWT cost? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 255-13(7): Dogrib Agreement-in-principle July 28th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad to hear that from the Minister, and I encourage the Premier to advise the House and the people of the territories of whatever mechanism is put in place to receive that input. My second question, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier is, is there a timetable set for the continuation of trying to reach a final agreement on this claim? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.