Roles

Elsewhere

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 1995, as MLA for Kivallivik

Lost his last election, in 1995, with 11% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question O61-12(1): Winter Roads In Keewatin Region December 11th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Transportation. The previous Minister of Transportation did a study on roads or highways in the Keewatin Region. What progress is being made in this direction? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Outbreak Of E-coli 0157, "hamburger Disease" December 11th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, there was a very serious epidemic in Arviat this summer. There were many people who were quarantined for many weeks at a time. The school was closed for the primary students for a number of weeks. All this was caused by a disease called E-coli 0157. The scientists or doctors who were doing the research were not able to determine the cause of this disease. They indicated that it was probably caused by the diet in the country foods they ate, and in the way they preserved this food. However, the people of Arviat have said, and still maintain, that it was caused by the water supply in the community.

Mr. Speaker, to this day the water supply in Arviat comes from a still pond. In making this statement, I would like to make the Minister responsible for Public Works as well as the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs aware of this problem in Arviat. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Ministers' Statement 2-12(1): And Tabled Document 3-12(1) December 10th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have read a large portion of this document. I have not completed reading it but I do like what I have read. I do hope that we will be able to work at implementing at least portions of this document. I believe that a good majority of the people here, the MLAs here, like what they read in this document and when people of the Northwest Territories see this, or have gone through this document, they will also like the idea.

My immediate concern is that the communities which would like to enjoy the abilities they will be given under this document, will be given the time to go through the document to see whether they even approve of the document. At this point, the cabinet has been formed in a very similar structure as recommended by this document and that has been done on the assumption that the majority of the MLAs here will agree with the report. The other concern that I have is the pace at which these programs will be implemented has to be considered, and have to believe that the Government Leader has indicated that it will be at a pace which will be acceptable to a good majority.

Mr. Chairman, the Government Leader has also indicated that portions will be implemented and others will not be implemented. I understand there will be a committee formed on the implementation of these programs. I would like to know, and maybe it does not have to be answered now, but I would like to know how our involvement in this implementation will impact -- how our participation in the implementation of this will be addressed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Committee Report 2-12(1): Report Of The Standing Committee On Legislation December 10th, 1991

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. At various points during the 11th Legislative Assembly, certain fundamental shortcomings were made apparent in the process used by the House and its committees to review and enact legislation. Most significant among these was the fact that the standing committee on legislation most commonly reviewed proposed legislation as draft bills submitted by the government as confidential documents for in camera consideration behind closed doors. The opportunity for the people of the NWT to review and provide input into their government's legislative initiatives was extremely limited as a result.

There were several logistical difficulties as well, particularly with respect to ensuring that the standing committee on legislation received draft legislation six weeks in advance of the first day of the session in which bills were to be introduced. Time pressures were created by the need to deal with bills before short sessions prorogued. In camera debates in the closed standing committee meetings often left issues unresolved so that Members could deal with them as public matters during committee of the whole consideration and raised questions about the efficiency of the committee's role in the legislative process.

Frequently, concerns were raised about the 11th Assembly's process for dealing with Private Members' bills, primarily with respect to difficulties in adequately considering input from the cabinet and from the public. At the same time, Mr. Speaker, procedures for reviewing statutory regulations were not well established. Through committee reports and Ministers' statements, both ordinary Members and the Executive Council recognized that clearly the legislative process during the 11th Assembly had to be improved.

At its meeting on January 17, 1991, the 11th Assembly standing committee on legislation passed a motion to research alternative strategies for dealing with bills. While an unprecedented legislative workload during the final session and the dissolution of the House precluded final completion of this project by the 11th Assembly, Members of the current standing committee on legislation considered the legislative process during a meeting on December 2 and 3, 1991, and have now completed the review initiated by their predecessors.

This report contains the results of that review and proposes significant changes to the manner in which the 12th Legislative Assembly should undertake the review and passage of bills into law. A discussion paper is appendixed to our report to provide further details into the proposed revision of the legislative process.

At its meeting on December 3rd the standing committee on legislation agreed that the following principles should be adopted to guide the House in its consideration of legislation for the people of the NWT:

1) A central purpose of the Legislative Assembly is to achieve the passage and amendment of any and all territorial statutes necessary for the public interest and for the practise of good government. Legislation must be fair to all and framed in a durable, practicable and understandable fashion.

2) The process developed for review and passage of proposed legislation must reflect the consensus nature of the system of government embraced by the people of the NWT and should be sensitive to the diversity of people throughout our jurisdiction. This means that among Canadian parliamentary bodies the legislative process of the NWT Legislative Assembly will have unique qualities arising from the distinct social and political characteristics of our jurisdiction.

3) All people of the NWT have a direct interest in the body of legislation which governs their respective pursuits. Accordingly, the public should have a voice with regard to both the principle and substance of any proposed law. The process followed for the passage of legislation must allow ready public access and input into the consideration given proposed amendments and new statutes by the Members of the Legislative Assembly.

4) Persons who speak one official language of the NWT should have opportunities to participate in the legislative process equal to those who speak any other official language.

5) The process used by the Legislative Assembly for the review and passage of legislation should be carried out in the most effective and cost efficient manner possible.

8) Within the Legislative Assembly, the wishes, priorities or decisions of any one standing or special committee are not to be considered paramount to those of any other standing or special committee.

9) It is both the privilege and the responsibility of the Executive Council to maintain exclusive jurisdiction over the drafting and preparation of government bills. Similarly, it is the prerogative of the Executive Council to assign relative priorities to any initiatives on its legislative agenda and to exercise its own discretion over when to give notice of their introduction to the House.

With these principles in mind, it is proposed that the 12th Assembly establish two separate tracks for dealing with proposed legislation. Track one, standard legislative procedure; track two, the tabling of legislative action papers. Each track will serve a different legislative process.

Motion To Move Committee Report 2-12(1), Report Of The Standing Committee On Legislation, To Committee Of The Whole, Carried

Mr. Speaker, that concludes this report by the standing committee on legislation. I move, seconded by Mr. Brian Lewis, the honourable Member for Yellowknife Centre, that the report of the standing committee on legislation on the review of the legislative process for the 12th Legislative Assembly be received by the Assembly and referred to the committee of the whole. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Community Elections December 10th, 1991

The hamlet elections were held yesterday in the communities of Baker Laker and Arviat, as well as the election for the Keewatin Inuit Association. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate those people who were elected to those respected councils. At a time when the people in the NWT are looking for a change, we, as Members of this Legislature, are responding to their requests by taking the report, "Strength at Two Levels", seriously. I only hope that the implementation will be at a pace that is acceptable to the communities.

I would also like to congratulate those people who were elected to the community education councils in my constituency of Baker Lake and Arviat. They play a very important role in the NWT because education is the first step in the development of any country or community.

I know those people who were elected will work in the best interests of their respective communities. I made it a commitment during my campaign, Mr. Speaker, to work together with the community organizations and will gladly give myself to the people and the organizations of Baker Lake and Arviat. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

---Applause