Legislative Assembly photo

Roles

Elsewhere

Last in the Legislative Assembly November 2003, as MLA for Kam Lake

Won his last election, in 1999, with 80% of the vote.

Statements in the House

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Mr. Chairman, we don't have any programs out in the communities other than the honourable Members and their constituency offices that they may or may not have and the equipment that they have. The business of the Legislative Assembly is in this building. Its investment is within the honourable Members, all 19 of them. That's as far as we can go with it at the moment. Every four years, we increase our staff considerably. We have some 360 people working for a short period of time to get all of the things necessary to conduct a proper and orderly election of the honourable Members every four years, but that's about the extent outside of the capital business.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the Member for his comments. If that's the direction that this House gives the board, we certainly would be pleased to entertain that kind of a suggestion. It is this House that approves the budgets and it would be this House that would authorize any kind of change such as have been suggested by all of the Members. If there is an increase in the Speaker's budget to bring in more Pages and to look after them by putting in the necessary stuff, if the House approves that kind of money, I am sure that that kind of a policy could probably be arranged. It's just that from past experience, perhaps not always the best teacher, but it seemed to have worked in the past and the Members were quite pleased with what they were doing, but times are changing. The board will take under advisement any suggestions made by the honourable Members to make the representation by Members and their constituencies more known in this House and to enhance cultural opportunities and the educational opportunities of young people in this House. The board will take direction from the House. Thank you.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The comments by the honourable Member are welcomed as they always are. The honourable Member will, for personal recollection, know that he's approached the board many times for dispensation on certain rules that affect everything from travel to housing. The board has always taken things into consideration when it's in the best interest of meeting the Member's needs and falling within the policies and guidelines as set up by this House. We aim to please.

The board would more than welcome any contribution the honourable Member would make by way of letter or presentations to the board to deal with specific issues. Accountability is an issue, I guess that's interpretable. We certainly are in the forefront of how we do things here. The public will watch how the Members conduct themselves and what we do for Members. Know that we are looking after the best interest of the people of the Territories. The Board of Management would certainly be happy to hear and read what the honourable Member would put forward to them.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The honourable Member's comments are appreciated and heard. I personally don't know of any review of the handbook that's taking place because I have always assumed and have been assured that it does follow the Legislative Assembly's policies. This is just a guideline to meet those particular policies. There are things that are perhaps difficult to deal with, but a simple phone call or a meeting of the administrative staff will certainly clear that. I don't think that we can operate without rules and guidelines. Those guidelines are there and have been modified since I first started in the Assembly and it makes it quite clear and oftentimes too clear.

If the Member has some particular suggestions that we could use to enhance that book or the transition to the next Assembly, we would certainly appreciate them and it would help us and the next Assembly make things more streamlined. But be assured that the policies and acts that have been set out by this House and the government are being applied and I don't wish to see that changed, smoothed out, yes. If there are some suggestions the honourable Member can make to help us, we certainly would entertain that.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the comments the honourable Member has made and I believe the Board of Management will take those considerations and deal with them. One of the elements in the succession plan is to recruit or actively seek out and recruit affirmative action people and put the training in place that will see them achieve what the honourable Member is suggesting. I think if you look at the workforce, it does reflect to a greater degree than probably is visible the affirmative action guidelines, the length of time people are here, born and raised in the Territories. We would certainly welcome more suggestions on how to improve this from the honourable Members as time goes by.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yes, those are good comments, and be assured that the board has already looked at succession planning and it will consider all of the things that the honourable Member has raised. It's already begun and we're just waiting for some feedback, and we certainly will take into consideration what the Member has put forward.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I heard the comments and the concerns of the honourable Member. I can assure him that we've given it our best shot over the past little while. We do have a good number of aboriginal people working within the building. The honourable Members have their choice of who they hire, as well, for their assistants, and I think they set the trend as well. But we follow the normal hiring practices here, and be assured that affirmative action is one of the things that we apply as is required. I'm not sure where we can go with that at the moment but, as positions come available, aboriginal people should be encouraged to apply. Then certainly the Affirmative Action Policy will be enforced and applied wherever it's necessary.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess I'm getting a bit concerned with the vision that some of the members are getting with what their responsibilities are, and talk of personal liabilities. I don't think that that was the intention of my comments. When I refer to liability as a responsibility of parental responsibility, you're bringing someone here and you're going to look after them. You're assuring the parents that you're doing that. I don't think it's a matter of them getting hurt and that you're going to be personally responsible. That's not the issue.

As far as the fairness is concerned; well, if the honourable Members don't think this is fair, then they should bring some recommendations to the Board of Management. We'll take that under advisement and see if we can come up with something. Currently we pay for the transportation of two students per year per member. We've gone that far. If the honourable Members wish to have this changed, then approach the Board of Management, make the recommendations to the Board of Management. The Board of Management, in its wisdom, will make its decision based on that and perhaps come forward with more money to do it.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think maybe the direction that we're going in is probably not quite correct. We're talking a lot of insurance as far as financial and this type of coverage. I don't think that's what I meant. I'm referring to the responsibilities that the member would assume, and assure the parents that they're going to supervise the young people who come here. They're going to take them under their wings, so to speak, and be more responsible for the moral part of it, for lack of a better term. They're going to get to bed on time, they're going to get up in the morning on time, they're not going to be rowdy or doing things that they normally wouldn't do.

I think that's what I was probably referring to, more than the sense of an accident happening. Youth who do come here as Pages are generally quite responsible. In the past, the supervision given by the honourable Members has never been that onerous. They've never had... Very, very few, in my recollection have ever been a problem. Perhaps getting them down to eat on time and getting them up in the morning to have their breakfast on time and to get down to the Assembly on time; those kinds of things are really incidental and they're minor inconveniences at best.

I think the direction that this is taking seems to be that is a tremendous load on the Member. I assure you it isn't. It could be seen by the community as being a very important part of young people's upbringing, and a very valuable contribution to the community by the honourable Members by doing something like this. I see the direction going in an area here where we're talking about insurance and stuff like that. That's not what I had in mind. It's the parental guidance that the parent has tasked over to the honourable Members, that they should be more than happy... I would be more than happy to take it on.

NWT Housing Corporation March 11th, 2003

Mr. Chairman, thank you. The honourable Member is correct. In the past -- and I'm going only on historical data here -- the Member would assume that responsibility. They would be happy to chaperone the students, to put them up in their own accommodations and to look after them, or in a hotel with a chaperone. I believe some of the honourable Members have had their constituency assistants travel with them, stay in a hotel with them, and they took on that responsibility. The honourable Members in the past have always enjoyed that kind of rapport with their young people. You know, this Legislative Assembly has made a lot of effort to involve youth in its programs, and we take great pride that we're going into our fourth year for Youth Parliament, which is recognized throughout the Commonwealth as being one of the forerunners in Youth Parliaments. It takes place in here every year. It is very well represented by students from across the North representing the honourable Members.

But for the Page program, historically, Members took on that responsibility, chaperoned the students or had their assistants do that, and the program seemed to have worked well.