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Crucial Fact

Last in the Legislative Assembly September 2019, as MLA for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Won his last election, in 2015, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Question 800-18(3): Alcohol Sales and Reduction of Bootlegging August 13th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That is exactly what I was thinking of: a legislative change. I think that going to the communities and having the communities vote on this type of thing sometimes works, sometimes doesn't work. People are upset over those types of decisions, but I was thinking of making a legislative change saying that an individual person can only purchase a certain amount of alcohol in a day. The limits could be adequate for most people who are using alcohol, but certainly not adequate for bootleggers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 800-18(3): Alcohol Sales and Reduction of Bootlegging August 13th, 2019

In Iqaluit, recently, they opened a beer-wine store, and they put some restrictions and limits on the amount of wine and beer that can be purchased by an individual, I think, like, 24 cans of beer and maybe four bottles of wine, or a combination of something. In our liquor stores, we also have that added hard liquor.

I was wondering if we should start to think about putting restrictions on the amount of alcohol an individual can purchase in one day. I know that, sometimes, these programs or ideas backfire. Preventing people from getting alcohol sometimes doesn't work. However, I think that preventing people from buying cases and cases of alcohol might work.

I would like to ask the Minister if his department could start looking at restrictions, dealing, again, with individuals that are directly involved, like the councils and the liquor store operators, but to start looking at ways of restricting the amount of alcohol an individual can buy in one purchase.

Question 800-18(3): Alcohol Sales and Reduction of Bootlegging August 13th, 2019

In my Member's statement, I spoke of the City of Yellowknife having discussing on operation hours of the liquor store. I think that the initial concept was that they would reduce the amount of hours, and it was, I think, rejected by council. I would like to ask the Minister if his department could have some form of dialogue with the City. It is quite possible that the best way to combat bootlegging with operational hours would be to have the liquor store open longer so that people don't go and feed the bootlegger, that they are able to go to the liquor store most hours that they wish to.

I am not advocating that the liquor store be open 24/7, but maybe something with more hours would have the people who are looking for alcohol go to the liquor store as opposed to supporting bootlegging.

Question 800-18(3): Alcohol Sales and Reduction of Bootlegging August 13th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. In my Member's statement, I talked about alcohol impacts on our communities. I would to ask the Minister of Finance some questions on some of the items that I thought might help, hours of operation for liquor stores and purchasing limits. I would like to ask if the Minister or his staff can begin discussing the hours of operations with the communities that have liquor stores, to see if they are amenable to looking at hours adjusted, with the thought of combatting bootlegging. Thank you.

Prevention of Alcohol Bootlegging August 13th, 2019

Marsi cho, Mr. Speaker. Alcohol is a big issue in our communities, including regional centres and Yellowknife. In the last government, I was the Minister of Health and Social Services for two years. I could not believe that we were spending well over a million dollars a day in that department.

As I travelled to the communities, I asked the nurses what they thought were the biggest cost drivers in their communities. In almost all cases, they said alcohol.

I believe the causes of alcohol abuse in small communities, some of the causes, can be attributed to bootlegging. Mr. Speaker, I think it is time for us as a government to look at ways of preventing bootlegging from running a thriving business at the expense of our citizens.

Recently the City of Yellowknife discussed liquor store hours. Maybe there is merit in looking at changing liquor store hours one way or the other. Maybe you have liquor store open hours longer that will have the customers go to the liquor store instead of a bootlegger, or maybe we shorten the hours, I have not thought about that fully, to get away from the bootleggers, or maybe we shorten the hours. I do not know what it should be, but it certainly should be reviewed, Mr. Speaker.

The one thing our government may want to look at is the restriction on the amount of liquor that a customer can buy. A person should not be allowed to buy cases and cases of hard liquor, take them home for after the liquor store hours are closed, and then they have it for resale. We put restrictions on the purchase of cannabis and the possession of cannabis. I think we can do the same with alcohol. We must find a way to prevent the bootleggers from going to the liquor store and buying all kinds of alcohol, and everybody knows it's for resale, without affecting the average citizen who wishes to go to the liquor store and buy some wine or some beer or even some hard liquor for themselves, for their own consumption in their homes, so we must find a happy medium. Allowing bootleggers to buy unlimited amount of alcohol from liquor stores is not correct, and that should be stopped. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This also applies to a refinancing. Now, if you are not switching houses, but the market value of your house is down, now in addition to having less ability to take money out of the market, there is this fee. I was wondering if the Minister has looked at the frequency of that type of transaction as opposed to just looking at the buy-and-sell transaction where many people go to use their houses for equity in order to purchase other things, buy other things around that are needed, that may not be, or even maybe renovating their own homes. When the unit is refinanced, there is a fee paid in there. What type of impact is that having directly on the people who are refinancing their homes?

Committee Motion 161-18(3): Standing Committee on Social Development Report on the Review of Bill 40: Smoking Control and Reduction Act and Bill 41: Tobacco and Vapor Products Control Act - Government Response to Recommendations, Carried August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a question for the Minister. I am wondering why at this point, in market communities at this point, the market has gone down a bit. I think in Yellowknife you can witness that. There are the properties that were, they were trying to sell some properties. You just look at all the realtors' sites and there has been a huge drop in the market. In Yellowknife, there has been a drop in the market, a significant drop in the market, which, of course, affects everything. The market value of people's properties gives them the ability to borrow, gives them the ability to participate in the economy. Just as the market is kind of going down and has been going down for a couple of years, a few years, I would say, this additional tax is added to it.

I would like to ask the Minister, he wasn't the Minister, I think, when things were going up sharply: what type of advice did he get from the government at this point to put this type of fee in just when the market is on a downturn? Thank you.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. The first order of business would be Committee Report 23-18(3), Report on Bills 40 and 41. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair. We have no problem dealing with the reports first. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Committee wishes to consider Bill 40, Smoking and Control Reduction Act; Bill 41, Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act; Bill 54, Standard Interest Rates Statutes Amendment Act; Bill 57, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act; Bill 58, Justice Administration Statutes Amendment Act; Committee Report 21-18(3), Report on the Review of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Annual Reports of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories; Committee Report 22-18(3), Report on the Review of the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 Annual Reports of the Office of the Languages Commissioner of the Northwest Territories; and Committee Report 20-18(3), Report on the Review of the 2017-2018 Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission Annual Report. Thank you, Mr. Chair.