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Assembly Briefs:
Pull up your socks

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 04/05) - Almost a month into the current session of the legislative assembly, things are getting mighty chippy from the regular members' benches.

Not to be overshadowed by Hay River South MLA Jane Groenewegen and Kam Lake MLA Dave Ramsay's poor assessment of certain cabinet ministers, Range Lake MLA Sandy Lee put in her two cents Monday.

Of Health and Social Services Minister Michael Miltenberger, Lee said he has so many different studies underway that, "we need to keep him in his job for at least 10 more years before we see any kind of results."

Her vitriol went on to include everybody else on cabinet from Finance Minister Floyd Roland to Michael McLeod, minister of Transportation and Municipal and Community Affairs, whose "head should roll" for giving a seismic study permit to the Yellowknives Dene without informing the City of Yellowknife.

"I expect the ministers to pull up their socks and do a better job," said Lee.

Good year for trapping

Brendan Bell, minister of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, said the government's new plan that includes bonuses and guaranteed advances for trappers is paying off in a huge way.

He told the legislative assembly Tuesday that NWT trappers raked in $1.2 million last year -- a $250,000 increase over previous years.

"All indications point to another good year for trappers," said Bell. "The trend is expected to continue with the growth in demand in the Asia Pacific market."

The NWT fur market includes pelts harvested from marten, beaver, sealskins and lynx.

Healthy food, healthy kids

Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins wants the government to create legislation banning the sale of junk food in NWT schools.

"We know the kids don't do well if they're not fed," said Hawkins in the legislative assembly, Tuesday. "We know they miss a lot of school if they're not fed well and healthy living is important."

In his response, Health and Social Services Minister Michael Miltenberger said he didn't know what the government needed to enact legislation banning junk food in schools.

"It's a policy issue, it's an education issue, it's a political will issue," said Miltenberger.

"We're moving on those areas to see if we can capitalize and get other areas to follow on the lead that Inuvik has taken."

The Beaufort-Delta Education Divisional Board of Education already has a policy banning the sale of junk food, as do the education authorities in Yellowknife.