Legislative Assembly photo



Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2003, as MLA for Sahtu

Won his last election, in 1999, with 61% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question O64-l2(2): Wording Of Plebiscite Question February 18th, 1992

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the question is going to be one that is put forward by the government. There will be some consultation -- but I am not certain what form -- with MLAs regarding the wording, and of course some input from the TFN as the organization in the Eastern Arctic that is promoting the plebiscite. Thank you.

Question O64-l2(2): Wording Of Plebiscite Question February 18th, 1992

Mr. Speaker, I am aware that a question to be placed on the plebiscite had been drafted some time ago. I am not certain that it has met with the approval of all people concerned. I would have to confirm that later. Thank you.

Ministers' Statement 7-12(2): Constitutional Conferences February 18th, 1992

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Major constitutional conferences have taken place across the country over the past five weekends to examine the federal government's 28 proposals for constitutional and institutional reform.

Each of the first four conferences dealt with a specific part of the federal package. As Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs, and chairman of this Assembly's special committee on constitutional reform, I attended the conferences, in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. With me at the concluding conference in Vancouver was the Hon. Dennis Patterson. Other Members of our special committee on constitutional reform attended some of the conferences including Ernie Bernhardt, MLA Kitikmeot; and Brian Lewis, MLA Yellowknife Centre.

Participants at the five events included Ministers and Members of Parliament, aboriginal people, bureaucrats, leaders of business, labour, special interest groups, and the so-called "ordinary Canadians."

Last weekend participants attempted to bring together the conclusions of the previous four conferences. A draft report was circulated and was the subject of discussion for the final day of the conference. This report is presently being redrafted. There are also indications that the federal government is intending to sponsor a sixth conference on aboriginal issues in Ottawa on March 14 to 15.

It is far too early to say exactly what impact this conference process will have on the current round of constitutional negotiations with Quebec, but I believe it could be and will be significant. Although the federal proposals cover far more than just Quebec's demands, the timetable for the current round is governed largely by the legislation in Quebec which requires the Quebec government to call a referendum on sovereignty by October of this year.

Mr. Speaker, your special committee on constitutional reform will table a more detailed report on these conferences and the national constitutional process once it has received the final report of the concluding Vancouver conference.

The five constitutional conferences were designed to blend with the work of the special joint parliamentary committee which will report on February 28th. The tabling of that report in Parliament will lead to a new phase in the constitutional process designed to achieve national agreement on a renewed federation.

No solution can be achieved however, without the involvement and consent of at least seven provinces/territories with 50 per cent of the population. Accordingly, the next round will require a process that will involve the provinces and territories together with the federal government in shaping amendments to our constitution which must have widespread support among citizens and governments. Thank you.

Question O167-12(1): Policy For Hiring Senior Staff December 18th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, in most cases the senior management positions are advertised and in some cases they are direct appointments, depending on if there are specific people targeted to fill these positions, where the relevant department would make strong recommendations to make direct appointments. In the case of deputy ministers there is a practice of identifying through cabinet and the Government Leader's office, suitable candidates, and approach them in that manner.

Question O166-12(1): Appointment Of Senior Civil Servants December 18th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, as I recall it is the Government Leader that does that on behalf of the Executive Council for deputy ministers. Other positions are filled through regular job advertisements.

Question O165-12(1): Deputy Minister Of Public Works December 18th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, it is the prerogative largely of the Government Leader to deal with the deputy ministers and to take the lead in filling these positions. I do not like to talk about individuals by name in the Legislature. I think there is a proper way to deal with issues like this, without personalizing it. I wish the Member would respect that as well.

Question O157-12(1): Government's Support Of Inherent Right Of Aboriginal Self-government December 18th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, no we have not. But it would be one of the items that we will be working on. I think the Western Constitutional Commission may have something to say about that as well. Ultimately the constitutional discussions that are taking place across the country may address that for us. I think ourselves we will probably go on the assumption that the right to self-government, whether it is stated to be inherent or not, will happen and as a government any constitutional and political government that we promote at the territorial and community level. We should keep that in mind so we do not have to start over again, in the event that these changes take place in the Canadian Constitution.

Question O157-12(1): Government's Support Of Inherent Right Of Aboriginal Self-government December 18th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, the answer is yes. The reason the statement was made the way it was yesterday is because we want to get beyond just the rhetoric and statement of principle and show that there is an actual process that we are contemplating to try to have these rights exercised with or without the constitutional entrenchment of that right in the Canadian Constitution.

Question O156-12(1): Follow-up Anderson Report December 18th, 1991

Mr. Speaker, I would have to get back to the Member on that as well.