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

Question 208-13(7): Union Representing Nunavut NTPC Employees May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Minster for that information. Mr. Speaker, we all know that presently the Union of Northern Workers are negotiating with the Power Corporation for a collective agreement for their union. We are

also aware, Mr. Speaker, that if an agreement is reached, the opportunity for the employees to have different representation will be gone for some period of time. Other than the membership of that union, not accepting a contract or dragging their feet on that situation, are there any other steps that the workers can take to force this issue for consideration of a change to the NWT Public Service Act? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 208-13(7): Union Representing Nunavut NTPC Employees May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, as we all know, the Power Corporation is presently staying together and what one government does can potentially affect the other as regard to Power Corporation workers. Could the Minister advise this House that, if in fact, the Power Corporation workers represented by the Nunavut government settle for a higher wage, how will that affect the costs that will be born by western consumers, Mr. Speaker? Thank you.

Question 208-13(7): Union Representing Nunavut NTPC Employees May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my next question to the Minister is, were the western members of the Power Corporation, the unionized western members of the Power Corporation, advised that this would happen? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 208-13(7): Union Representing Nunavut NTPC Employees May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my questions to the Minister responsible for the Power Corporation, the Honourable Mr. Dent. Earlier on today, I had asked the Minister some questions regarding Power Corporation unionized employees in the west, and we had established through that discussion, Mr. Speaker, that, in fact, the Power Corporation employees in Nunavut are represented by a different union. Could the Minister tell me what process did the Nunavut employees use to approach the Power Corporation or whoever they approached to be represented by a different union? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 203-13(7): NTPC Employee/management Negotiations May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank the Minister for all that detail he provided. There was just one little part that he left out. If I could refresh his memory, part of the question I asked was, does the Minister still feel that out of the 130 members who are in the west, that 108 of them signing a petition would be an overwhelming majority of people requesting the Minister's consideration of this? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 203-13(7): NTPC Employee/management Negotiations May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister had informed me in the House, I believe this week, that in fact there was one short from a majority of the membership of the Union of Northern Workers Power Corporation workers, that there was one member short of the majority. If, in fact, the Power Corporation workers, for the Power Corporation in Nunavut, are being represented by a different union, would the Minister still say that a majority of the western members wish to choose who represents them, of the 117 workers, 108 signed that petition in the west? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 203-13(7): NTPC Employee/management Negotiations May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could the Minister tell me who is representing the workers? What organization is representing the workers at those negotiations, the east and the west? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 203-13(7): NTPC Employee/management Negotiations May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my question is to Mr. Dent, the Minster responsible for the Power Corporation, and we will leave it at that today. Mr. Speaker, in my statement, I talked about some of the employees, or I should say an overwhelming majority of the employees in the west, who have a request in to decide which union represents them. The Minister responded previously that the Public Service Act did, in fact, conform to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Speaker, I would also point out that of the seven Members who heard that case, four of them were in support that the actual agreement did conform to the Charter of Rights and three were opposed to that. It is certainly factual that it does conform to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My question to the Minister is, could he tell us if there are negotiations presently going on between the Power Corporation workers and the management? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Item 5: Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Mr. Mike Mandeville in the Legislative Assembly. He is one of the NWT Power Corporation workers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

--Applause

Member's Statement 172-13(7): Union Representation For NWT Power Corporation Employees May 13th, 1999

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise again today to talk about the desire of unionized workers employed with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation to be able to choose the Union to represent them.

Since my last Member's statement on this subject, further information has come to light. There are 117 unionized employees represented by the Union of Northern Workers who are employed by the Power Corporation here in the west, in the Northwest Territories, presently. Mr. Speaker, of those 117, 108 signed the petition requesting legislative changes to the Public Service Act that would allow them to choose their own union representation.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make it emphatically clear that I have nothing against the Union of Northern Workers. What I am against, Mr. Speaker, is legislation that dictates whom a class of workers must be associated with. Although the Public Service Act has been challenged and found to be constitutional by the courts on this issue, I might suggest to my colleagues that there is such a thing as legally right and morally wrong.

Further research, Mr. Speaker, has indicated that the Transitional Agreement between the Governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories on the operation of the Power Corporation, has also entrenched the Union of Northern Workers as the Union that must represent all unionized power workers employed by the Power Corporation in the two territories for the life of the Transitional Agreement.

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that even if there is success on a joint Power Corporation for the two territories that the unionized employees in Nunavut will have no desire to be represented by a union based in Yellowknife. So you see, Mr. Speaker, we will have to deal with this issue sooner or later, in conjunction with, or in opposition to, the Government of Nunavut.

Mr. Speaker, I see this as the first of many problems that will no doubt surface in the months to come over issues relating to division. Our ability to operate as an independent Assembly, and enact our own legislation for our own constituents, has been compromised by the need to reach an agreement with Nunavut on the future of the Power Corporation. I would ask the Members to consider whether or not this constitutes responsible government. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.