| British Columbia
| Northwest Territories
| House of Commons
Although it was a quiet autumn at
the legislature, there was considerable anticipation and speculation about the
date of the upcoming general election. Both the Fall and Spring were given
equal credibility. However, speculation about a Fall election ended on October
31 when the Premier announced that the House would begin its 6th Session of the
35th Legislature on December 1, 1994.
In August, the Clerk's Office was
busy hosting the annual Professional Development Seminar of the Association of
Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada. The Seminar was attended by clerks from all the
Canadian jurisdictions as well as clerks, as observer delegates, from the
United Kingdom, Alabama, Arizona and Indiana. The Seminar consisted of two full
days of business sessions on procedural and administrative matters related to
parliamentary institutions. Professor Paul Thomas was the guest speaker and
spoke on parliamentary reform.
Restoration and Celebration
The major activity that is
occurring at the legislative building is the refurbishing and restoration of
the outside of the building. The foundations of the four large entry staircases
have all been reconstructed and reinforced for the first time since their
construction 75 years ago. The dirt and mildew that has built up over the years
is being cleaned off the Tyndall stone surface and the brass statues found all
around the building. The front columns of the building and the roof atop them
are also receiving reconstructive work. The total cost is expected to be $11
million. The complete work is expected to take another four years with a break
next year for the activities and events celebrating Manitoba's 125th
A 21-member committee, struck by
the Premier, made up of Manitobans from all across the province, is planning
the activities and celebrations to take place throughout 1995. Two of the key
dates will be May 12th, the date that The Manitoba Act received Royal
Assent and July 15th, the date that the Act was proclaimed, 125 years ago.
Another Member of the Legislature
has resigned her seat since the last session, creating a total of two vacancies
out of the fifty-seven seats. Sharon Carstairs resigned as the member
for River Heights upon her appointment to the Senate in September.
Judy White, Clerk of Committees, Manitoba Legislative
With the House in a period of
adjournment, the following are some of the activities currently in progress.
The Special Committee to Appoint a
Child, Youth and Family Advocate has received over 200 applications from across
the country for the new officer of the legislature. Chaired by Jim Beattie,
the Committee will review applications and conduct interviews during November
The powers and responsibilities of
the Child, Youth and Family Advocate are contained in a governing statute. The
Advocate is authorized to investigate complaints about the provision of
designated child and family services provided by government, and can initiate
an investigation in the absence of a specific complaint. He or she can conduct
administrative reviews and mediation, and make recommendations about
legislation and policies respecting services for children, youth and families.
The Advocate also may make agreements with ministries and community groups
regarding the provision of advocacy services to children, youth and families.
Following its interviews, the
Committee is mandated to unanimously recommend to the House a person for the
six-year term of office which can be renewed.
Social Credit MLA Harry DeJong
announced his resignation from provincial politics, effective November 1, 1994.
A former mayor of Matsqui, he has represented the constituency of Abbotsford
since 1986, and from 1990-91 was Minister of Agriculture in the Vander Zalm
Legislative Comptroller Ian
Fraser retires on November 18, 1994. Having served in that capacity for
nearly six years, Mr. Fraser has been an integral part of the legislative
precincts: aiding in the preparation of Assembly budgets, reviewing the
expenses of members and staff, and providing administrative and financial
advice to caucuses and Assembly offices. Prior to 1989, Mr. Fraser was the
Comptroller for the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary and held various other
positions in financial administration in government. During that period, he
also administered the various financial programs of the Legislative Assembly.
The Social Credit Party held a
leadership election by mail-in ballot on November 4. Two candidates vied for
the post, with real estate appraiser Larry Gillanders emerging victorious.
Interim Social Credit leader and long-time MLA Cliff Serwa declined to
run for the post. He is the only Social Credit member currently sitting in the
The Reform Party of British
Columbia (as distinct from the federal Reform Party) is also in the midst of a
leadership campaign. Four people have announced their candidacy so far, one of
them MLA Jack Weisgerber, a former Social Credit MLA and cabinet
minister. He is facing a challenge from Reform Party president Ron Gamble
and two other private citizens. A mail-in vote for party members will be held
Through the Assembly's Local Area
Network (LAN), members and staff now have access to Internet, using the program
MOSAIC. This program allows users to access databases, information utilities
and computer bulletin boards from around the world.
Craig James and Neil Reimer, Committees Branch
Although the House rose on June 23
and did not return until October 31, most of the Standing Committees were busy
holding public hearings on government bills or continuing work previously
started. One committee investigated the conduct of a cabinet minister. All of
the committees that dealt with legislation were unable to complete
clause-by-clause review during their allotted time and plan to continue when
the House returns.
In August, the Standing Committee
on the Legislative Assembly conducted an investigation into allegations of
breach of the Premier's Conflict of Interest Guidelines made against the
Minister of Housing, Evelyn Gigantes. The allegations were in connection
with her attendance at a meeting with the Board of a non-profit housing project
in Ottawa on Friday, June 17, 1994. Chaired by NDP member Ron Hansen,
the Committee heard testimony from twelve witnesses who appeared during the
The Committee decided that it would
allow independent Legal Counsel, Eleanore Cronk, to draft the Report and
subsequently agreed that it would adopt the draft as the majority report of the
Committee. The Committee had planned to table the Report late in the week of
August 15, however, a local newspaper published a story about the contents of
the still confidential Report. The Committee tabled the Report later that day.
The Report concluded that while the
Minister did not breach most of the Premier's Guidelines, aspects of her
participation at the June meeting constituted a breach of the Fundamental
Principles set out in sections four and five of the Guidelines. It went
on to say that this participation had the potential to lessen public confidence
and trust in the integrity of the government and in the administration of
The day after the Committee tabled
its Report, Premier Bob Rae announced that he had accepted Ms.
Gigantes's resignation from Cabinet.
Also in August, the Standing
Committee on General Government, chaired by Liberal member Mike Brown,
considered Bill 171, An Act to revise the Crown Timber Act introduced by
the Minister of Natural Resources, Howard Hampton. The bill replaces the
Crown Timber Act and seeks to provide for the sustainability of Crown
forests. The Committee had a full agenda holding public hearings throughout
Northern Ontario in Sault Ste. Marie, Espanola, North Bay, Kapuskasing, Thunder
Bay, Fort Frances and also in Toronto.
During the second week of
September, the Committee met in Toronto for clause-by-clause consideration of
the bill. Further review will continue in the Fall.
Over a period of three months -
August, September and October - the Standing Committee on Social Development,
chaired by Liberal member Charles Beer, held extensive public hearings
on Bill 173, An Act respecting Long-Term Care. Over 230 oral
presentations were made to the Committee in seven cities of the Province.
Bill 173 was introduced by Health
Minister, Ruth Grier, on June 6, 1994; providing for the approval and
regulation of agencies for the delivery of a wide range of community services
to people in their homes and in other community settings as an alternative to
institutional care. The bill also provides for the designation of multi-service
agencies for a specified geographic area and gives these agencies the
responsibility for ensuring the equitable provision of specified community
services to those who need them. Bill 173 sets out a Bill of Rights to persons
receiving community services and deems each service provider to have contracted
to respect and promote those rights. The bill also amends various statutes
dealing with long-term care including the Ministry of Health Act to
provide for the establishment and functions of district health councils.
The Committee commenced
clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 173 in the last week of October; and
will continue in the Fall.
The Standing Committee on Resources
Development held public hearings on Bill 165, An Act to amend the Workers'
Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act during August
and September. The purpose of the bill is to make changes with respect to
vocational rehabilitation services and programs under the act; to make changes
to the structure and duties of the board of directors of the Workers'
Compensation Board; and to change references to "industrial disease"
to "occupational disease" among other things. Chaired by NDP member Mike
Cooper, the hearings were held in Toronto, London, Sault Ste. Marie and
Ottawa. The Committee started clause-by-clause consideration of the bill,
however did not complete it and will also continue in the Fall.
In September, the Standing
Committee on Government Agencies chaired by PC member Margaret Marland,
deposited with the Clerk of the Assembly the Report on Agencies, Boards and
Commissions (No. 20). The report contained the Committee's findings and
recommendations with respect to the operation of the Workers' Compensation
Board, the Ontario Food Terminal Board, and the Ontario Human Rights
Commission. The Progressive Conservative members on the Committee issued a
dissenting opinion to the report on the Workers' Compensation Board.
The Committee continued its
scrutiny of intended appointees to Ontario Government agencies, boards and
commissions. Two weeks were spent reviewing the operation of the Ontario
Council of Regents for Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, and the St.
Lawrence Parks Commission.
During the month of September, the Standing
Committee on Administration of Justice dealt with Bill 163, The Planning and
Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act referred by the House in late June
1994. The Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ed Philip said that the bill
set out the Government's initiatives for reform. The Government's intent is to
streamline the planning and development system, to give municipalities greater
authority and accountability, and to provide better environmental protection in
land use matters. Bill 163 is a result of the planning reform work started by
the Commission on Planning and Development Reform in Ontario, known as the
Sewell Commission and the work of the Municipal Conflict of Interest
Chaired by NDP member Rosario
Marchese, the Committee spent three weeks conducting public hearings in
Toronto and locations throughout Ontario. The Committee travelled to ten cities
- Niagara Falls, London, Chatham, Midhurst, Oshawa, Peterborough, Napanee,
Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Ottawa - in as many days. Interest in the legislation
came from many groups including municipalities - both planners and elected
officials, developers, environmentalists, private citizens and various
ratepayer associations. Over 200 groups/individuals provided input on the
proposed legislation during the public hearings.
When clause-by-clause review of the
proposed legislation began, several hundred amendments had been tabled by all
three parties. The committee did not complete its review during the four days
allotted in the recess and continued when its regular committee meeting days
commenced on October 31.
Although the Standing Committee on
Estimates does not normally meet during a recess, it was authorized by a motion
in the House to meet to consider the Estimates of the Ministry of Transportation,
the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Northern
Development and Mines. The Committee is chaired by PC member Cam Jackson,
and its terms of reference is to examine the annual spending estimates and
programs of the various ministries.
Just prior to the review of the
Estimates of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, the Minister, Shelley
Martel, was found by the Information and Privacy Commissioner to have
violated Ontario's privacy rules after disclosing personal information about a
taxpayer. The final report of the Privacy Commissioner was released the day
before the Minister was to appear before the Estimates Committee, thus the
Estimates Committee became the first available forum to question the Minister about
the privacy violation. Ms. Martel later resigned her position as Minister of
Chaired by Liberal member Joe
Cordiano, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts continued its work
arising out of the 1993 Annual Report of the Provincial Auditor. Among the
issues into which the Committee held hearings were Young Offender Services,
Institutional Services, Curriculum Development and Special Education. The
Committee prepared Reports to the House on each of these issues, containing its
observations, opinions and recommendations, and will be tabling them when the
When the House resumed on October
31, Speaker David Warner informed the House of the following vacancies
in the membership of the House by reason of resignations over the recess: Zanana
Akande, NDP; Donald Cousens, PC; Murray Elston, Liberal and Will
The House is expected to sit until
December 8, according to the parliamentary calendar. In the new year, the
Premier is expected to announce an election date as the Government is currently
in its fifth year in power.
Donna Bryce, Committee Clerk
House of Commons
Since the House resumed sitting in
mid September, legislative activity has centred on consideration of measures
aimed at restructuring several departments. The committees will be called upon
to play a key role in important upcoming debates.
The work of parliamentary
committees will be critical in terms of defining major orientations with
respect to social programs, foreign policy and national defence.
The Standing Committee on Human
Resources Development is holding consultations on a major working paper on the
future of social programs. Several reform proposals will be examined and the
work of the committee will have a significant effect on the formulation of
future reform proposals.
The Special Joint Committee on
Canada's Defence Policy submitted its report to the House at the end of October
and the Special Joint Committee on Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy will table
its report in mid November. These reports will serve as a basis for setting out
government policy directions in these two areas. In short, these parliamentary
committees will help to formulate the policies that will shape Canada in the
The Standing Committee on Finance
has begun its consideration of budget policy proposals in preparation for the
next budget. In accordance with the Standing Orders of the House, the Committee
is slated to present its findings in December.
The House adopted the twenty-eighth
report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs which
established priority usage of committee rooms.
For the first time since the
beginning of the Thirty-Fifth Parliament, Speaker Gilbert Parent named a
Member on September 30, 1994 when Gaston Leroux refused to withdraw some
unparliamentary comments that he had made.
With the adoption of the
twenty-fourth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs,
the House replaced the daily publication of the Votes and Proceedings by
the weekly publication of Journals.
Private Members' Business
With respect to private members'
business, no specific measures were adopted, although several interesting
proposals were made. Sarkis Assadourian sponsored Bill C-229, An Act
to amend the Elections Canada Act. Passage of this bill would have meant
that any party wishing to be recognized as a national party under the law would
have to nominate candidates in at least seven provinces that have, in the
aggregate, at least fifty per cent of the population of Canada. Moreover, the
party would have to field candidates in at least half of the electoral
districts in each of these seven provinces. Since the bill was not a selected
item, it was dropped from the Order Paper.
Randy White (Fraser Valley West) sponsored Bill C-245, An
Act to amend the Financial Administration Act and the Auditor General Act
(review of budget speech). The purpose of this bill was to ask the Auditor
General to order a review of the budget speech and to report on the
reasonableness of the estimated revenues used in the preparation of the budget
speech. This bill was also dropped from the Order Paper.
Lastly, Louis Plamondon
tabled a motion respecting the funding of political parties. In his motion, he
called upon the government to limit the right to contribute to a federal
political parties to individuals and to limit the amount of their contributions
to $5,000. A recorded division was held, and as is customary for private
members' business, it was a free, roll call vote. A considerable number of
Members voted and the motion was defeated.
Death of a Member
Gaston Péloquin, a Bloc Québécois MP, died accidentally on
September 1 last. This vacancy brings the number of seats held by Bloc
Québécois Members to 53, one more than the Reform Party.
Board of Internal Economy
Don Boudria, who was appointed Chief Government Whip,
will now sit on the Board of Internal Economy. Further to his appointment as
Secretary of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food, Fisheries and Oceans), Fernand
Robichaud will no longer sit on the Board.
André Gagnon, Procedural Clerk, Table Research Branch
As had been anticipated when the
Senate adjourned for the summer last July, one of the first items of business upon
the resumption of its sittings was the message from the House of Commons on
Bill C-22, the Pearson Airport Bill. The message stated that the House did not
agree to the amendments adopted by the Senate. Originally, this bill had sought
to cancel the contract that had been signed between the previous Government and
a consortium of private developers and to exempt the Government from any
liability for lost profits. When the bill was considered by the Senate before
the summer adjournment, several amendments were adopted that substantially
altered the bill's contents. Basically, the amendments cancelled the contract
only from the date of the bill's introduction in the House of Commons last
April and restored the right of the contractors to sue for monetary damages
through the courts.
The Government in the Senate
proposed a motion on October 4 that accepted the position of the House of
Commons and stated that the Senate did not insist on its amendments. Following
the remarks on the motion made the next day by the Government Leader, Senator Joyce
Fairbairn, the Opposition Leader, Senator John Lynch-Staunton
proposed an amendment to have question of the motion and the message of the
House of Commons referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional
Affairs. The amendment was adopted and the question is now before the
Other legislation considered by the
Senate included Bill C-25 that amends the Canada Petroleum Resources Act
in order to extend the boundaries of the Norman Wells oil field. The bill was
not controversial and it was introduced and read a second time following a
brief debate on October 4. It was reported back October 25 without amendment
from the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources
by the Deputy Chairman, Senator Colin Kenny, and received third reading
and passage the same day.
Another non-controversial item of
legislation, Bill-42, an Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts, was
quickly referred to a committee after a short second reading debate. In moving
the second reading motion, Senator P. Derek Lewis explained that the
purpose of the bill was to update certain features of the criminal code as it
related to the justice system. Speaking on behalf of the opposition, Senator Jean-Noël
Desmarais, indicated support for most of the changes and proposed several
others that he hoped would be included in future legislation.
The courts were also the object of
another parliamentary proceeding, in this case a question of privilege. On
October 5, Senator Anne Cools raised a question of privilege alleging
that she had been prevented from fulfilling her obligation to attend a sitting
of the Senate last June because she had been compelled to be present in a court
proceeding in which she had appeared as a self-represented litigant. The
Senator accused the court of breaching the privileges of the Senate through its
insistence that she appear before the court on a day when the Senate was
sitting. The Senator also charged the court with violating the privileges of
the Senate through its practice of serving her by fax within the precincts of
Parliament. After reflecting on the matter, the Speaker ruled on November 15,
1994, that the Senator had raised an important issue, but it could not be accorded
priority of debate because it had not been raised at the earliest opportunity.
The Speaker also noted that the Senator was pursuing the matter in the Court of
Appeal and that the Senate might consider the advisability of intervening on
behalf of the interests of the Senate.
Committees remained active during
the summer and into the autumn and several reports have been presented to the
Senate during this period. Of these, the most notable were the reports of the
two Special Joint Committees, one on Defence Policy and another on Foreign
Policy. Among the key recommendations of the first report tabled on October 28,
1994, was that Canada should maintain a multipurpose, combat-capable armed
force and that Canada should affirm its commitment to its military role in the
U.N. The Committee also recommended that there should be a reduction in
personnel at headquarters. In addition, the Committee supported a reduction in
the number of fighter aircraft maintained by the armed forces, but an increase in
the procurement of armoured personnel carriers and search and rescue
helicopters. Such an increase should be used to aid Canada's role in
The Special Joint Committee
Reviewing Canada's Foreign Policy which was co-chaired by Senator Allan MacEachen
and Jean-Robert Gauthier, MP tabled its report on November 15, 1994. Among the
main recommendations in the report are:
the promotion of a rules-based
multilateral trading system and the targeting of trade development efforts to
smaller businesses and to new market opportunities;
the promotion of Canadian culture
and learning as a fundamental dimension of foreign policy;
to expand the definition of
security and to support more specialization of the armed forces to better
support peacekeeping operations;
a reformed foreign aid program
designed to target assistance more effectively to meet human development
a strategy for managing the complex
relationship with the United States, including better use of multilateral
a strengthening of foreign policy
linkages with sustainable development and human rights.
The Bloc québécois and the Reform
Party issued dissenting opinions on the Report.
On October 27, 1994, the
Sub-Committee on Veterans' Affairs tabled its Report entitled Keeping Faith
- Into the Future. On November 22, 1994, the Senate Committee on Banking,
Trade and Commerce presented its Report of the reform of financial institutions
following the collapse of Confederation Life.
In its wide-ranging pursuit of
information on the subject of assisted suicide, the Special Committee on
Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide heard testimony from a number of Dutch experts
through a video-teleconference, the first to be conducted in the Senate.
When the Senate resumed sitting October
4, it welcomed three new senators - two from Quebec and one from Manitoba. The
first to take the oath after the proclamation of his appointment had been read
out was Senator Jean-Louis Roux, from Montreal, a noted actor of stage
and television. He was followed by Senator Lise Bacon, the former Deputy
Premier of the province in the last administration of Robert Bourassa.
The third Senator welcomed that day was Sharon Carstairs, the former
provincial leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba.
This ceremony was repeated again at
the end of the month, October 26, when another new senator was introduced. This
was Senator Landon Pearson, an advocate of children's rights, who
replaces Senator Royce Frith, recently appointed High Commissioner to
Two additional Senators were named
on November 23, 1994. They were Jean-Robert Gauthier longtime Member of
Parliament and John Bryden. Mr. Gauthier served as the Member of
Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier since 1972. He was Chief Whip in Opposition from
1984 to 1990, and Opposition House Leader from 1990 to 1991. He has served in
numerous positions as Committee Chair, Opposition Critic and Parliamentary
Mr. Bryden is a former Deputy
Minister of Justice in the provincial government of New Brunswick. From 1970 to
1980 he was Senior Partner in the Fredericton law firm of Bryden and Arsenau.
From 1980 to 1987 he was President, C.E.O., and later Chairman of Paperboard
Industries of Toronto. From 1988 to 1989 he was Commissioner of Economic
Development in New Brunswick, and from 1989 to 1991 he was Chairman of the New
Brunswick Liquor Corporation. Since 1992, Mr. Bryden has been President of his
own management consulting firm, J.L. Geddes Enterprises Limited, in Bayfield,
Two days after welcoming Senator
Pearson, the Senate bade adieu to Senator Robert Muir who retired
November 10 upon his seventy-fifth birthday after thirty-seven years of
membership in the Senate. On September 18, PEI Senator Heath Macquarrie
retired after a long career in Parliament. He was followed on November 26 by
Newfoundland Senator Jack Marshall, a long-time parliamentarian and
defender of Canadian Veterans.
Charles Robert and Serge
The thirty-fourth Legislature
adjourned on July 24, 1994 when Lieutenant Governor Martial Asselin
prorogued the National Assembly and ordered general elections to be held on
September 12, 1994.
The final results of the election
were as follows: 77 Parti québécois MNAs elected; 47 Liberal MNAs elected and 1
Parti action démocratique MNA elected. Overall, 81.7 per cent of eligible
Quebecers cast ballots, with the popular vote split as follows: 44.7 per cent
for the Parti québécois; 44.36 per cent for the Quebec Liberal Party; and 6.45
per cent for the Parti action démocratique du Québec.
In an unprecedented turn of events,
voters returned to the polls in the riding of Saint-Jean when a judicial
recount ordered after the initial election showed that the Parti québécois and Quebec
Liberal Party candidates had garnered the exact same number of votes. A second
election was held on October 24, 1994 and the Parti québécois candidate emerged
victorious with a 532-vote plurality. It should also be noted that an election
petition was filed in the riding of Bertrand.
On September 26, newly elected
Premier Jacques Parizeau unveiled his 19-member Cabinet. At the same
time, he introduced his government's 14 regional delegates who also serve as
parliamentary assistant to the Premier.
Among the most recent
inter-parliamentary activities in which Quebec parliamentarians participated,
mention should be made of the attendance by a four-member delegation and by the
Secretary General of the Assembly at the 40th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Conference held in Banff in October.
In addition, in early November, the
National Assembly took part in the Regional CPA seminar in Ottawa, the theme of
which was "Parliamentary Government in an Age of Restraint". The
Quebec section was in charge of the panel session on Internal Economy
Committees: A Comparative Perspective.
On October 12, 1994, Gérald
Godin, a parliamentarian respected both for his involvement in politics and
for his work as a poet, passed away following a lengthy illness. Mr. Godin was
elected in 1976 as a Parti québécois MNA and had only recently retired from
active politics prior to last September's election. During his career in
government, he served as Minister of Cultural Communities and Immigration and
as Minister responsible for the Application of the French Language Bill.
Jean Bédard and Nancy Ford, National Assembly Secretariat, Quebec
Members took a break from their
summer recess to return to Yellowknife for the visit of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Prince Philip on August 21, 1994.
Speaker, Jeannie Marie-Jewell, hosted a one-hour ceremony at the
Legislative Assembly building, which included a nationally-televised speech and
dedication of the Chamber by the Queen.
When the Sixth Session resumed on
October 5, members received some bad news about the government's financial
situation. Cuts in federal funding for social housing and a costly forest fire
season meant the government had gone from a predicted balanced budget to a
deficit of $35 million. Despite that, Finance Minister, John Pollard,
announced that the level of spending for capital projects in 1995-96 would be
maintained at about $195 million, about 25% of which will be spent to meet the
housing needs of NWT residents.
In response to the release of the
capital budget, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance, Jim
Antoine, urged the government to focus more of its attention on social
development issues rather than economic development matters.
Nineteen bills were passed during
the five-week session. Among them.
Aboriginal Custom Adoption
Recognition Act: sets out a
single procedure to obtain recognition of an aboriginal custom adoption;
Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act:
provides the public with the right to access information held by government and
controls the manner in which the government may collect and use personal
information and establishes the office of an Access and Privacy Commissioner;
Guaardianship and Trusteeship
Act: provides for the court
appointment of the guardian to make decisions on behalf of an adult who is
incapable of independently managing his or her personal care or health care and
for the court appointment of the trustee for an adult who is incapable of
independently managing his or her financial affairs;
Mine Health and Safety Act: emphasizes the duties and responsibilities
of persons engaged in mining, including owners, corporate directors, mine
managers, supervisors and workers to ensure occupational health and safety.
In an unusual move The Public
Utilities Act was voted down by members in Committee of the Whole. The bill
would have given the Public Utilities Board the power to recover a portion of
its actual operating costs from each utility.
Members also debated an Electoral
District Boundaries Commission report which recommended realigning the
boundaries of several constituencies to conform with the boundary to divide the
Northwest Territories. The changes will become effective in time for the next
territorial general election, expected to occur in October, 1995.
The five-year term of Commissioner,
Daniel Norris, ended during the Sixth Session. Norris was the first
northern-born, aboriginal Commissioner of the Northwest Territories.
Acting Commissioner, Helen
Maksagak, prorogued the Sixth Session on November 10 and welcomed the
members to the opening of the Seventh Session on November 14. Within three
sitting days, the government had introduced 14 bills. They will be reviewed by
a Standing Committee before the Seventh Session reconvenes on February 15,
Paul Jones, Coordinator, Public Information