Legislative Reports: Northwest Territories

Article excerpt

The Third Session of the Fourteenth Legislative Assembly reconvened on October 31st, 2000. On November 3rd, Jane Groenewegen, Minister of Health and Social Services, introduced Motion 9-14(3): Legislative Assembly's Declaration on Family Violence. The Motion resolved:

That the Members of the 14th Legislative Assembly declare their intent to address the issue of family violence through their personal commitments to help stop family violence through their own actions and leadership; and further support a collective commitment of the 14th Legislative Assembly to work in partnership with communities and their leaders to help "lift the silence" surrounding family violence and create caring supports for people experiencing violence; and furthermore the 14th Legislative Assembly invites all northern leaders, including leaders of aboriginal governments and organizations, municipal governments, trade unions, boards, agencies and societies, to adopt the principle of zero tolerance of family violence in spirit and in practice.

The Motion was carried unanimously.

During this sitting, ten Bills received Royal Assent. In addition, Bill 13, Hotel Room Tax Act, received Second Reading and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Governance and Economic Development. The Bill would establish a tax on the price of accommodation at hotels, motels, lodges and other such establishments. It would set out a procedure to register operators to collect the tax. The Bill would also set out enforcement provisions to ensure the tax is paid, collected and remitted in accordance with the Act and the regulations. Public consultations are currently underway.

The Legislative Assembly also struck two Special Committees before the House was recessed on November 16th.

The Special Committee to Review the Official Languages Act is chaired by Steve Nitah, MLA for Tu Nedhe. The Committee will conduct a mandatory 10-year review of the Official Languages Act, including an examination of the administration and implementation of the Act, the effectiveness of its provisions and the achievement of the objectives stated in its preamble. The Committee is empowered to make recommendations for changes to the Act.

The Special Committee on the Implementation of Self-Government and the Sunset Clause, is co-chaired by Sandy Lee, MLA for Range Lake and Jim Antoine, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. The Committee was created to consider matters under its authority that are impacted by the implementation of self-government in the areas of legislation, programs, services and finances and to provide advice and direction to the Government of the Northwest Territories. The Committee must also examine the Sunset Clause, which in Section 2 of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act provides that upon dissolution of the 14th Legislative Assembly the current electoral boundaries cease to exist. …