Legislative Assembly Briefs
Northern News Services
February 11, 1998

Lahm Ridge timing

Last week the government explained it delayed extending the controversial Lahm Ridge Tower lease because it was assessing its office space needs in light of government downsizing.

But the explanation didn't sit well with everyone

"My understanding was that this plan was not approved until January of this year," Mackenzie Delta MLA David Krutko told Public Works Minister Jim Antoine Monday. "This plan wasn't in place at the time the lease was signed, in September last year."

Antoine told Krutko, the plan was worked on from January to July. "By July it was pretty clear which offices we wanted to let go and which we wanted to retain," said Antoine.

According to the chronology, the cabinet gave approval in principle to the plan in August.

Ootes says premier wrong

The premier was wrong to chastise members for asking questions about the Lahm Ridge Tower lease, said ordinary members' caucus chairman Jake Ootes Friday.

"As the premier said, we have institutions outside of this house for dealing with citizens' concerns," Ootes told the legislative assembly.

"I have the greatest respect for these institutions, but we have another process, one that goes back centuries," the Yellowknife MLA said. "It's called democracy."

Ootes said whether or not the government likes it, ordinary members will continue asking questions about the lease.

Pay delay

More than a year and a half after MLAs passed a motion directing the government to publish the salaries of high-ranking bureaucrats, the government does not know when, or if, those salaries will be released.

Responding to questions from Iqaluit MLA Ed Picco, Premier Don Morin said the justice department is developing an opinion on the disclosure.

"I am getting an opinion from justice, and I don't know whether (the disclosure of salaries) will give names and position numbers, or if it will even end up in the house," said Morin.