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Updated: 17 hours 31 min ago

GNWT and NWTAC Partner to Host Community Government Conference and Meetings

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 15:24

YELLOWKNIFE (May 5, 2015) – The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) and the Northwest Territories Association of Communities (NWTAC) have partnered to host the 2015 Good Governance Conference and NWTAC Annual General Meeting in K’atl’odeeche from May 6-10, 2015.

“Working with our partners at the NWTAC has allowed us to build a week filled with valuable opportunities for learning, leadership development, networking and important planning sessions for community governments,” said Robert C. McLeod, Minister of MACA.

“To partner with MACA and the fifth Good Governance Conference enables all NWTAC AGM delegates to compound the benefits of attending, and take valuable knowledge back to their constituencies,” said NWTAC President Charles Furlong. “Both organizations are committed to supporting our communities, and by working together we achieve more, connect more effectively, and provide the best possible service to our members.”

The Good Governance Conference is held biennially and supported by the GNWT and partner organizations, including the NWTAC and the Local Government Administrators of the Northwest Territories. It provides workshops, presentations, and opportunities for community government representatives to share best practices. The theme of this year’s conference is “Leading by Example”.

The NWTAC AGM is the yearly opportunity for community leaders to gather in the spirit of collaboration, information sharing and addressing key issues together. This multi-day event includes presentations, an information trade show, the passing of resolutions and diverse opportunities for delegates to liaise with elected officials and representatives from government and industry.

 

For more information, contact:

David Maguire
Communications and Website Advisor
Municipal and Community Affairs
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: 867-920-3092
Email: david_maguire@gov.nt.ca

NWT Association of Communities
Shannon Crawley
Communications & Policy Coordinator
Tel: 1-867-873-8359
Toll Free: 1-866-973-8359
Email: shannon@nwtac.com

Report of the 2014 Fire Season Review now available

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:04

YELLOWKNIFE (May 5, 2015) – A report on the review of 2014 Fire Season Review was released today by Minister of Environment and Natural Resources J. Michael Miltenberger.

“The extraordinary extent of the 2014 fire season, with 385 fires, $56.1 million in cost and impacts on about 3.4 million hectares of forest resource, warranted a thorough review to determine lessons learned and identify areas where improvements can be made to our fire operations policies, practices and procedures,” said Miltenberger.

Key lessons and areas for improvement were identified and grouped into six themes: public engagement, safety, human resources, fire management strategy/policy, operations, and procurement and financial resources. Task teams were established to provide further analysis and identify actions to be completed this year in the three priority areas of safety, public engagement and human resources.

The review resulted in 27 key actions and associated timelines the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) will follow to make on-going operation improvements and address lessons learned from the 2104 fire season.

“While we responded effectively to the challenges of a difficult fire season with no serious injuries or fatalities to firefighters, residents or visitors,” added the Minister, “we recognize the need to constantly improve our operations to meet our mandate of protection of human life, property, natural and cultural resources from wildfire.”

A copy of the 2014 Fire Season Review Report can be found here. 

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Cabinet Communications
Government of the NWT
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

NWT businesses recognized with Frozen Globe Awards

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 18:02

YELLOWKNIFE (May 1, 2015) – Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) David Ramsay congratulates BBE Expediting Ltd. and Global Storm IT for being recognized with Frozen Globe Awards at the 2015 award gala held Thursday in Iqaluit. Annie Steen of BBE Expediting Ltd. in Yellowknife accepted the award for Best Aboriginal Business and Kirby Marshall of Global Storm IT took home the award for NWT Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Frozen Globes are presented annually by Up Here Magazine to businesses operating in the NWT, Nunavut and the Yukon.  The Government of the Northwest Territories Department of ITI is a major sponsor of the event.

“The North can be a challenging place to run a business, but each of you is proof that it is not only possible to run a business in the north; it is possible to create and operate  successful, highly-respected and award-winning businesses,” Minister Ramsay told nominees prior to presenting the NWT Entrepreneur of the Year award.

In total, 22 NWT businesses garnered 26 nominations for awards this year. Ten NWT businesses were finalists.

“The GNWT is working to create and support a climate in which NWT businesses can succeed,” Minister Ramsay says. “The prevailing theme of striving for business excellence fits with our commitment to provide quality programs and services that promote and support NWT residents and their businesses and contribute to a diversified economy and prosperous, self-reliant territory for all residents.”

In October 2014, the GNWT adopted the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy focussed, in large part, on advancing supports for NWT businesses and developing a growing, stable and attractive entrepreneurial environment. The partnered development and implementation of this strategy reflects the 17th Assembly’s priority to strengthen and diversify the NWT economy.

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Communications Officer
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

GNWT donates to the Canadian Red Cross’ relief efforts in Nepal

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 13:01

YELLOWKNIFE (May 1, 2015) –  On behalf of all residents, the Government of the Northwest Territories has made a $25,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross’ emergency response efforts in Nepal. The Red Cross is providing emergency assistance following a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck near Kathmandu, Nepal, causing widespread devastation.

“Northerners have consistently shown their compassion in times of crisis around the world,” says Premier Bob McLeod. “The Government of the Northwest Territories is proud to support the humanitarian relief efforts of the Canadian Red Cross in Nepal.”

Canadians are encouraged to support people impacted by this disaster by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund at www.redcross.ca or by calling 1-800-418-1111.

The Government of Canada has announced that it will match individual donations and monies raised specifically for Nepal until May 25th. Further information is available from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Cabinet Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

Ingraham Trail cabin lot ballot draw information package now available

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 12:58

YELLOWKNIFE (May 1, 2015) – Anyone wishing to learn more about the lots available in the upcoming Ingraham Trail Cabin Lot Ballot Draw may download a copy of the lot information package from the Department of Lands website: http://www.lands.gov.nt.ca.

In March, Minister of Lands Robert C. McLeod announced that recreational leases for 22 lots located in existing surveyed subdivisions along the Ingraham Trail would be made available this summer in an open ballot draw. “This responds to concerns and interests we heard during the Recreational Land Management Framework public engagement and helps to address public demand for recreational leasing in the Ingraham Trail area,” said Minister McLeod. “The department is hiring an independent draw master to conduct an open and transparent ballot draw on July 27th, 2015 as part of our ongoing commitment to managing land in the NWT responsibly.”

The information package now available includes:

  • Lot locations, including maps, coordinates, lot descriptions and fees
  • Ballot draw eligibility criteria
  • Ballot draw and leasing process
  • General tips and considerations

In addition to the information package, the Department of Lands website also has maps of the available lots, important dates regarding the application and draw process and outlines the lease fees for the available lots.

The ballot draw process is designed to be open, clear and transparent and to allow all NWT residents that meet the minimum age requirements to enter the draw. The process was developed after careful review of the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Land Use and Sustainability Framework, the Recreational Land Management Framework public engagement and the goals and priorities of the government.

To address any public concerns about the process, the Department of Lands is hiring an independent draw master to administer the draw.  Information on how to enter and the name of the draw master will be made available on Monday, June 29th, 2015 on the Department of Lands website. A non-refundable $100 ballot entry fee must be paid for all entries.

The department encourages residents interested in entering the draw to review the eligibility criteria and visit the lots to decide their lot preferences. Some lots are water access only, so please plan ahead, be safe and be respectful of the environment and the existing lessees.

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Cabinet Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories
Telephone: 867-669-2308
E-mail: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

 

Background

A two-stage ballot draw will be held on Monday, July 27th, 2015 in Yellowknife.  For each ballot drawn, the draw master will randomly draw a lot selection position number that will be attributed to that ballot.  The ballot holder that is attributed position number one (1) will be the first to select a lot during the lot selection meeting, followed by position number two (2), and so on, until position number 22.

Ballot numbers drawn and the lot selection position drawn will be posted at www.lands.gov.nt.ca.

If an applicant’s ballot is drawn, he or she, or the proxy identified on the ballot application, must attend the lot selection meeting on Wednesday July 29th, 2015 at 10:00 am in Yellowknife.

The 22 vacant cabin lots are located in six pre-surveyed subdivisions. Two leases are on Reid Lake, seven on Tibbitt Lake, five on Peninsula Lake, one on Pontoon Lake, six on Prelude Lake and one on Madeline Lake. The release of these cabin lots will resolve some of the immediate pressures for recreational leasing while supporting the important work on the Recreational Land Management Framework. The remainder of the Recreational Land Management Framework Focus Area along Highway 3 and the Ingraham Trail remains closed to new recreational leases.

Environmental factors and public feedback gathered through consultation on the Recreational Land Management Framework were carefully considered in the decision to make the lots available. None of the lots are within the areas withdrawn through the Akaitcho Interim Measures Agreement and the GNWT continues to discuss land management and other matters with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program launched

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 11:11

YELLOWKNIFE (April 30, 2015) – Northwest Territories (NWT) youth now have an opportunity to gain industry skills and hands-on experience by working directly with mentors in the NWT’s tourism industry.

The Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program, launched today by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, will match NWT students and young professionals with experienced tourism operators and entrepreneurs and, where possible, result in full-time employment in the NWT’s exciting tourism sector.

“The Northwest Territories has a talented tourism workforce with knowledge, skills and insights to share,” says Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay. “The Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program will provide youth with learning opportunities and valuable work experience while strengthening the capacity of our tourism industry for the future.”

The Youth Mentorship for Tourism Program is a pilot program for 2015/16 and is delivered under the Tourism 2015: New Directions for a Spectacular Future plan.  It is divided into two streams: industry awareness and path to employment. Funding is available to both mentees and mentors who choose to participate.

By fostering a climate of mentorship and learning, ITI is building a strong and sustainable future for the NWT, a priority of the 17th Legislative Assembly.

Mentee and mentor application forms, as well as additional information, are available at: www.iti.gov.nt.ca/ymp

Media inquiries:

Drew Williams
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 920-8696
Email: drew_williams@gov.nt.ca

GNWT and IRC sign Intergovernmental Agreement

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 13:12

INUVIK (April 29, 2015) –  Premier Bob McLeod met on Monday with Chair and CEO Nellie Cournoyea to sign the Intergovernmental Agreement on Programs and Services Cooperation and Coordination between the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

“This Agreement will formalize the GNWT’s government-to-government relationship with the IRC and identify areas of cooperation for improving programs and services in the Inuvialuit Settlement Area.” said Premier McLeod. “We are committed to working together as partners for the benefit of the Inuvialuit.”

“Inuvialuit have battled for appropriate and effective delivery of government programs as far back to the beginning of residential schools.  IRC is looking forward to implementing this Agreement that clearly identifies Inuvialuit priority programs, projects and improvements to program areas.” said Chair and CEO Nellie Cournoyea.

The Agreement is for a four year term and commits IRC and GNWT elected leaders to meet at least once a year to consider a range of topics including:  health and social services, culture and language, income support, housing, economic development, and policing and justice.

For more information, contact:

Roya Grinsted
Media Relations
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-669-2308

Bob Simpson
Acting Chief of Staff and
Director of Intergovernmental Relations
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
867-777-7040

Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court and PARTNER program expand to Hay River

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 16:15

HAY RIVER (April 28, 2015) – The Domestic Violence Treatment Option (DVTO) Court has expanded to Hay River effective April 27, 2015.

Designed as an alternative court for people who have been charged with violence against their partners, the DVTO Court allows people to accept responsibility for their behaviour and enter the specialized Planning Action Responsibly Toward Non-Violent Empowered Relationships (PARTNER) program. Ultimately, the Court and PARTNER program have the potential to help many people break the cycle of domestic violence and learn how to make productive choices as they go forward in their relationships.

“This is another step we are taking to work with people to break the cycle of domestic violence” said Minister of Justice David Ramsay. “Through the support of the judiciary and our partners we are providing this valuable program to the residents of the Hay River area. We look forward to continuing our work to eradicate domestic violence through ongoing collaborative efforts like this.”

Residents from Hay River, the Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Enterprise who are a low risk for reoffending are all eligible to be considered for the Hay River DVTO Court and PARTNER program. People who have been charged must admit responsibility for their actions and be willing to make changes in their lives through the eight-module PARTNER program. They remain under court supervision and return for sentencing by the DVTO Court Judge at the end of the program.

The Hay River and area program reflects collaborative efforts between the judiciary and the RCMP, Public Prosecution Service and criminal defence lawyers, as well as the Departments of Justice and Health and Social Services.  The DVTO Court has been operating in Yellowknife since 2011.

Media inquiries:

Sue Glowach
Senior Communications Advisor
Department of Justice
Tel: 867-920-3130
Email: Sue_glowach@gov.nt.ca

New recipes promote Fresh Fish from Great Slave Lake

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 13:49

YELLOWKNIFE (April 27, 2015) – Jiggling Lemon Trout and Poor Man’s Lobster are two of the seven new recipes available in Hay River and Yellowknife stores this week for residents shopping for Great Slave Lake fish. 

The promotional recipe cards are a part of a broader Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) initiative to strengthen the commercial market for NWT fish.  They were selected from almost 100 submitted by residents in January as part of a promotion celebrating the launch of the Fresh Fish from Great Slave Lake brand. 

“Our fish is among the best tasting fish in the world,” says Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay. “We are working with NWT fishers and the NWT Fishermen’s Federation to find ways to get the word out and expand the export and domestic markets for this NWT product. Increasing local awareness and demand is a critical first step.” 

The following recipes are being added to existing displays where Fresh Fish from Great Slave Lake is sold. 

  • Blackened Great Slave Lake Fish Fillets – Barry Davenport (Yellowknife)
  • Golden Fish Cakes – Todd Sasaki (Yellowknife)
  • Coconut and Red Curry NWT Fresh Fish Fillets – Krista Ingram (Yellowknife)
  • Jiggling Lemon Trout – Joanne Rozestraten (Yellowknife)
  • Poor Man’s Lobster ‎- Doris Caudron (Hay River)
  • World Famous Whitefish and Clam Chowder – Beatrice Lepine (Hay River)
  • Trout ‘n’ Toppings Fillets – Jean Carter (Hay River)  

The seven new recipes will appear alongside those of recognizable NWT residents like Alex Debogorski, Leela Gilday, Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck and the Snowking. 

By generating new income streams for the NWT commercial fishing industry, promoting import substitution, and lessening dependence on export markets, the GNWT’s Fresh Fish from Great Slave Lake marketing initiative is working to realize the 17th Assembly’s stated priority to strengthen and diversify the NWT economy. 

Media inquiries:
Drew Williams
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications 
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Tel: 867-920-8696
Email: drew_williams@gov.nt.ca

Minister announces exemption to Temporary Foreign Worker Program for employers in Yellowknife

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 13:43

YELLOWKNIFE (April 27, 2015) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty announced that Yellowknife employers have been exempted from restrictions on temporary foreign workers in the food services and accommodation and retail trade sectors by Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Pierre Poilievre. 

Since ESDC overhauled the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in June 2014, employers in regions with unemployment of 6% or higher were deemed ineligible for the TFWP. This included the NWT, with an approximate unemployment rate of over 7%.

“As Yellowknife has a much lower unemployment rate, currently at 3.8%, than the rest of the territory, it has unique labour market realities and specific workforce needs that I communicated to ESDC,” said Minister Lafferty. 

Yellowknife is the administrative and business centre for the territory, providing critical goods and services to the NWT, and where the majority of employers operate.  Due to the low unemployment rate in Yellowknife it is very difficult for many employers to recruit and retain qualified workers to sustain and grow their business. 

“To ensure employers in Yellowknife continue to have qualified workers when there are no available qualified Northerners and other Canadians,  having access to the TFWP is a critical mechanism to help them fill critical labour shortages and sustain their workforce,” said Minister Lafferty. “I am pleased that Minister Poilievre recognizes the unique needs of Northern employers. This demonstrates the importance of effective partnership between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada.” 

For detailed information, please visit: www.ece.gov.nt.ca or www.immigratenwt.ca.

Backgrounder: Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – June 2014

Media inquiries:
Jacqueline McKinnon
Education, Culture and Employment
Tel: 867-920-6222
Email: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca

 

Surface Rights Board members announced

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:52

Yellowknife (April  23, 2015) – Five members have been appointed to the new Surface Rights Board in the Northwest Territories by Minister of Lands Robert C. McLeod. Louie Azzolini, Elizabeth Wright, Danny Bayha, Darrell Christie and Mike Vaydik were appointed effective April 1, 2015, each to a five-year term.

The Surface Rights Board will hear applications when a negotiated agreement relating to land access and compensation for that access cannot be reached between parties in the Gwich’in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Môwhì Gogha Dè Nîîtåèè (commonly referred to as the Tłįchǫ Settlement Area), Inuvialuit Settlement Region (NWT portion), and waters overlying those areas. The board will also resolve disputes relating to land access and compensation in unsettled areas.

“Giving Northerners a bigger say in decision making is what devolution was all about,” said Minister McLeod. “These members are all NWT residents and bring a wealth of Northern experience and knowledge to the new board. Establishing this board and a fair process for dealing with land access issues will increase public confidence in the territory’s regulatory system and certainty for investors.”

The board will spend the next year working to establish bylaws and administrative functions and adopting necessary regulations to be able to carry out operations starting April 1, 2016.

The board is established under the Surface Rights Board Act, territorial legislation that mirrored federal legislation, as required by the Devolution Final Agreement which came into effect on April 1, 2014. Establishing the board is another milestone in the Government of the Northwest Territories’ ongoing implementation of devolution and contributes to achieving the 17th Legislative Assembly’s priority of building a strong and sustainable future through implementing the Devolution Final Agreement and working with our partners to ensure responsible stewardship through our land and resource management.

More information about the board members is available here.

 Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Cabinet Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories
Telephone: 867-669-2308
E-mail: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

Bob McLeod’s remarks on Borrowing Limit Increase at Legislature Press Conference

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 15:31

(Check against delivery)

Thank you, I’m pleased to be here this morning with my colleague Minister Miltenberger to speak about the good news presented in yesterday’s federal budget.

Achieving an increase to the borrowing limit was one of the priorities that all Members of the 17th Legislative Assembly agreed to at the beginning of our term.

Through our government’s engagement with the Prime Minister and federal Ministers, we have been successful in achieving two increases to the borrowing limit during this government. First an increase to $800 million in March 2012, and now a further increase to $1.3 billion.

An increased borrowing limit marks the continuing evolution of the Government of the Northwest Territories. It is recognition that mature governments must have fiscal flexibility so they can carry out effective planning for the future and better manage the territorial economy. It is also recognition of the prudent fiscal management that has characterized this government for many years.

An increased borrowing limit is not an invitation to begin spending without a solid fiscal plan, and it is not more money to spend on ongoing operations. We are not running up the credit card bills to pay for consumer goods.

What we are talking about is borrowing prudently to make strategic investments in territorial infrastructure that will help support the growth of our economy and address the cost of living. Like a home improvement loan, we are talking about potential borrowing to make investments that will increase the value of our economy and our territory.

We also aren’t talking about spending this money right now. The Government of the Northwest Territories does not have this money earmarked for any new projects already, but it will improve our ability to plan going forward. Those plans will be developed using our normal processes and will include consultations with Members of the Legislative Assembly and other stakeholders.

We are also pleased to announce that Finance Canada has agreed to look at the way that it calculates debt for the purposes of the borrowing limit. They have agreed with an argument the Government of the Northwest Territories has made for many years that self-liquidating debt might be excluded from the debt limit.

While details on how this will be applied are still being determined, this is another piece of good news that will improve the Government of the Northwest Territories’ ability to plan and undertake projects of territorial significance.

I have said many times that the North has great economic potential. Yesterday’s announcement by Minister Oliver confirms that Canada shares our positive economic and fiscal outlook. I’d like to thank the Minister and Prime Minister Harper for their continued commitment to the North and its residents. I look forward to working with them in partnership to continue building a strong, prosperous Northwest Territories that will provide jobs and economic opportunities for all residents, in all communities and regions.

Thank you.

GNWT pleased with increased borrowing limit

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 14:08

YELLOWKNIFE (April 22, 2015) – The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is pleased with the Government of Canada’s decision, announced in yesterday’s federal budget, to increase the federally imposed borrowing limit to $1.3 billion from $800 million.

“Building a strong, prosperous Northwest Territories that provides jobs and economic opportunities is a priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories,” said Premier Bob McLeod. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that the Government of Canada shares our belief in the economic potential of our territory and is committed to supporting the aspirations of its residents.”

“This increase in our borrowing limit gives the Government of the Northwest Territories increased flexibility to invest in much-needed infrastructure that will support the responsible development of the NWT and its economy and bring down the cost of living for communities and residents,” said Minister of Finance J. Michael Miltenberger. “We are pleased that the federal government has recognized both the positive economic outlook for the territory and our disciplined fiscal management.”

The GNWT has not yet determined what new projects it might undertake, but has previously stated that strategic investments in transportation and energy infrastructure that will support long term economic growth and address energy costs are priorities. Decisions on new investments will be made as part of the GNWT’s normal planning processes and will include discussions with Members of the Legislative Assembly and other stakeholders.

“We also understand that future increases to the borrowing limit will consider the degree to which our debt is self-sustaining,” said Minister Miltenberger. “This will ensure that the GNWT’s prudent borrowing practices are reflected in the borrowing limit amount and should allow for additional flexibility to pursue Legislative Assembly priorities going forward.”

The increased borrowing limit does not change the GNWT’s current fiscal strategy, which is aimed at aligning expenditures to available revenues in a time of flat revenue growth.

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Cabinet Communications
Government of the NWT
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

GNWT to hold public meetings on NWT transportation strategy

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:52

YELLOWKNIFE (April 21, 2015) – The Department of Transportation is following up with NWT residents on priorities for an NWT Transportation Strategy at upcoming public information sessions in regional centres.

“The NWT Transportation Strategy 2015-2040 will guide improvements to the NWT transportation system over the next 25 years,” said Minister of Transportation Tom Beaulieu. “Transportation services are very important to our communities and businesses and we want to ensure that residents see their priorities for the future of transportation captured in the strategy.”

Public input has been important in developing an updated 25-year transportation strategy for the NWT. Work to gather input included public meetings, online and written surveys and face-to-face interviews with NWT political leaders, transportation stakeholders and the public. In February 2015, Minister Beaulieu tabled a public and stakeholder engagement report that summarized the input and committed to seeking further input on a draft transportation strategy this spring.

“Over 500 respondents answered our online survey last fall,” said the Minister. “I encourage residents to participate in the upcoming information sessions to share their views on how to further improve our transportation system.”

The public meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Fort Simpson – Thursday, April 23  (7:00 p.m. at Nahanni Inn meeting room)
  • Fort Smith – Tuesday, April 28  (7:00 p.m. at Pelican Rapids Hotel meeting room)
  • Hay River – Wednesday, April 29  (7:00 p.m. at Ptarmigan Inn Hotel meeting room)
  • Norman Wells – Wednesday, May 6  (7:00 p.m. at the Legion Hall)
  • Inuvik – Thursday, May 7  (7:00 p.m. at the Permafrost Room in the Mackenzie Hotel)
  • Behchokǫ̀ – proposed for May 12 (date, time and location to be confirmed)
  • Yellowknife – proposed for May 13  (date, time and location to be confirmed)

Making strategic investments in transportation infrastructure will help reduce the cost of living for NWT residents and support ongoing responsible economic development in the territory, contributing to the 17th Legislative Assembly’s vision of a strong, prosperous Northwest Territories.

Media inquiries:

Roya Grinsted
Cabinet Communications
Government of the NWT
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

Aerial adventure series showcases NWT’s Arctic coastline

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 17:01

YELLOWKNIFE (April 17, 2015) – A Smithsonian Channel television series is profiling the unique and spectacular landscape that residents along the Arctic coast call home. 

Now in its fourth season, Canada Over the Edge is an aerial documentary series exploring Canada’s borders and coastlines. Each hour-long program features high-definition footage and interviews with residents about their communities and history. 

“There is no place as beautiful as the NWT,” says Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay. “Shows like this encourage people to visit and see our territory for themselves, to go fishing, view the aurora and learn about our culture and geography.” 

The footage was shot last summer in and near Paulatuk, Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik, including the Inuvik-to-Tuktoyaktuk Highway route. It showcases the NWT’s wildlife, landscapes, and traditional practices.

The program is also promoting the contrasts and beauty of the NWT as a production destination for feature films, documentaries, commercials, television programs and still shoots. 

The NWT Film Commission provided assistance with logistics and regional contacts. The Commission’s mandate is to maximize economic opportunities for NWT residents and businesses participating in the film and media arts industry, and to promote the NWT as an ultimate production location. 

Canada Over the Edge airs Sunday nights and online at the Smithsonian Channel’s website. 

Upcoming shows include: 

  • April 19: Episode 46 (Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik)
  • April 26: Episode 47 (Inuvik to the Beaufort Sea)
  • May 3: Episode 48 (Inuvik to Eagle Plains)

The NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy highlights the importance of exposing the NWT, its residents, adventures and stories through film and television.  These investments further serve to strengthen and diversify the NWT economy, a priority of the 17th Legislative Assembly. 

Media inquiries:
Drew Williams

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Tel: (867) 920-8696
Email: drew_williams@gov.nt.ca

Minster salutes NWT Chamber of Commerce at AGM

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 13:49

YELLOWKNIFE (April 17, 2015) – Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay congratulates newly-elected President of the NWT Chamber of Commerce Kevin Diebold and the new Board of Directors and looks forward to working with them on shared priorities, including  important discussions to address ‎ pressure points impacting the NWT private sector. 

“Devolution has opened the door to new ways of improving and advancing the NWT economy,” Minister Ramsay said.  “The energy, experience and guidance of President Diebold and his team are well suited to carry the interests of NWT business and our economy into the next year.” 

In a meeting with the new Board this week, Minister Ramsay committed to continuing important conversations with NWT business representatives on the need for population growth and large scale development; the evolution of our regulatory system; and means to address the high costs of doing business in the North.

 In an address to the Chamber, Minister Ramsay highlighted a list of over 25 projects and initiatives advanced in the last year to grow and strengthen the NWT economy. 

“Tangible, shovels-in-the-ground economic benefits are implicit in almost every strategy the GNWT is advancing,” Minister Ramsay said. “Your government has a vision – a picture – of an NWT rich in resources and economic opportunity – populated by self-sufficient communities and driven by vibrant healthy and successful residents and businesses.” 

Minister Ramsay also congratulates Kevin Hodgins, who was recognized Wednesday as the NWTCC’s Business Person of the Year, and  Curran and Associates for its award as Business of the Year. 

The GNWT and NWT Chamber of Commerce continue to work in partnership with the NWT Association of Communities, Northern Aboriginal Business Association and Canada’s Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) to implement the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy.  The strategy’s objectives of diversifying the economy and increasing employment opportunities where they are most needed are both priorities of the 17th Legislative Assembly. 

Media inquiries:
Drew Williams

Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Tel: (867) 920-8696
Email: drew_williams@gov.nt.ca

Four NWT communities see fuel price reductions

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 13:49

YELLOWKNIFE (April 15, 2015) – Residents of Trout Lake, Délįne, Tulita and Nahanni Butte will enjoy reductions to fuel prices thanks to a successful winter resupply season. 

The four communities are served by the Petroleum Products Program of Public Works and Services (PWS), which was able to purchase fuel products at the lower rates currently reflected in the market. Working with its transportation partners, PWS was able to arrange for efficient transportation to winter resupply communities and pass on savings of between 3 and 18 cents a litre to the communities. 

“The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to taking advantage of available opportunities to lower the cost of living for NWT residents,” said Minister of Public Works and Services Tom Beaulieu. “Through the Petroleum Products Program, we want to reduce fuel prices wherever the market allows it and pass those savings on to residents.” 

On March 27, 2015, heating fuel, diesel and gasoline prices dropped in Trout Lake, gasoline prices dropped in Délįne and Tulita, and heating fuel and diesel prices dropped in Nahanni Butte. 

Government of the Northwest Territories energy functions were consolidated within the Department of Public Works and Services on April 1, 2015. The Petroleum Products Program is one program delivered by the Energy Function of PWS, and provides essential fuel products to 16 communities in the NWT where the private sector does not.  

“The consolidation of energy functions will help us focus on ways to address the cost of energy in our communities,” said Minister Beaulieu. “Renewable energy solutions and energy efficient technologies will be a main focus going forward so that our government can better support residents in their efforts to reduce the high costs of living in the Northwest Territories.” 

Additional price reductions are expected in the coming weeks for other winter resupply communities that receive petroleum products through Public Works and Services. 

Media inquiries:
Jhillian Adams
Senior Policy Advisor/Communications Coordinator
Public Works and Services
Tel: (867) 873-7445
Email: jhillian_adams@gov.nt.ca


Backgrounder – Fuel Price Changes

Community Price before March 27 Price on
March 27 Total reduction Délįne (Gasoline) $1.78 $1.60 -$0.18 Trout Lake (Heating Fuel)

Trout Lake (Diesel Motive)

Trout Lake (Gasoline) $1.75

$1.90

$1.74 $1.66

$1.71

$1.62 -$0.09

-$0.19

-$0.12 Tulita (Gasoline) $1.87 $1.76 -$0.11 Nahanni Butte (Heating Fuel)

Nahanni Butte (Diesel Motive) $1.64

$1.86 $1.61

$1.75 -$0.03

-$0.11

Online reservations for NWT campgrounds open tomorrow

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 11:58

YELLOWKNIFE (April 14, 2015) – Residents and visitors can begin booking their favourite Northwest Territories (NWT) campsites at nwtparks.ca beginning at 10:00am tomorrow.

The GNWT’s online reservation system allows campers to select and book campsites in 16 campgrounds across the NWT.   In addition to listing campsite costs and power options, the online reservation system includes campground maps, photos and recommended unit sizes to facilitate a smooth and hassle-free booking.

NWT campgrounds are extremely popular and campsites fill up early – especially for popular weekends. Over 900 reservations were made on the day the reservation site went live last year and 2,200 prospective campers visited within the first hour.

Over 8,000 permits were sold during the four-month 2014 camping season.  Almost half of all permits were sold to campers from outside of the NWT.

Most NWT parks open on May 15, 2015.  The GNWT communicates up-to-date parks information throughout the season on the NWT Parks website and Facebook page.

Media inquiries:

Drew Williams
Manager, Public Affairs and Communication
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Tel: (867) 920-8696
Email: drew_williams@gov.nt.ca

Northern Premiers Bring Northern Perspective to Quebec Climate Change Summit

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 18:24

QUEBEC (April 13, 2015) – The Premiers of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut are bringing the interests of Northerners to the April 14th Quebec Climate Change Summit.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, NWT Premier Bob McLeod and Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna jointly acknowledged the significant investments all three territories have made in emissions reduction, cleaner energy production, technology and innovation and that the North has special circumstances of growing regional economies, rural and remote communities and sparse populations. They also pointed out that Canada’s Northern Territories have a minor impact on overall greenhouse gas emissions but climate change has had a significant effect on Northern communities.

Approaches in the North to achieve Canada’s climate change goals must be conducted in a way that does not significantly impact Northern costs of living, undermine food security or threaten emerging economies, Premiers agreed.

“Canada’s North faces many challenges including vast distances, small populations and a very high cost of living,” said Premier McLeod.  “Given our changing climate and the need for both long term and short term action, the Territories are focusing on both adaptation and mitigation.”

Because they are experiencing climate change in a profound way, the three northern territories are working together to develop strategies to adapt to changes in the North. In 2011 the Northern Premiers adopted the Pan Territorial Adaptation strategy and continue to collaborate through the partnership established. Balancing mitigation with adaptation is essential.

“All three Territories are making investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner energy production, technology and innovation,” said Premier Taptuna. “We also need to ensure the economic opportunities are created for our residents, which means supporting balanced, sustainable development.”

“We can still make positive changes in green energy while supporting new and growing northern economies,” said Premier Pasloski. “Achieving our climate change goals must be done in a way that does not significantly increase the already very high Northern cost of living. “

The Northern Premiers are pleased to participate in the Quebec Summit and will continue to be an active partner in discussions around climate change mitigation and adaptation, while respecting the need for each jurisdiction to pursue the path that best meets its unique circumstances.

Media inquiries:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca

Roya Grinsted
Communications Officer
Government of the NWT
867-669-2308
roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

Yasmina Pepa
Office of Premier Taptuna
Government of Nunavut
867-222-0961
ypepa@gov.nu.ca

Premier McLeod and Minister Miltenberger attend Climate Change Summit

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 16:20

YELLOWKNIFE (April 13, 2015) – Premier Bob McLeod and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources J.  Michael Miltenberger will participate in the ‘Sommet de Québec sur les changements climatiques’ in Québec City tomorrow.

“The Summit will be an opportunity to discuss the impacts of climate change in the North and share the work that is being done to mitigate and adapt to these impacts,” said Premier McLeod.  “I am looking forward to working with other provincial and territorial Premiers and Ministers to find ways to foster a low-carbon economy and address issues related to energy and climate change.”

Providing a Northern perspective on climate change in this national forum is important, as the North is experiencing some of the fastest warming of any region in the world. The exponential impacts of climate change on the North combines with factors like the high cost of energy and limited infrastructure to present challenges to the sustainability of rural and remote Northern communities.

“Sustainable communities are an important priority for our government,” said Minister Miltenberger. “We will continue to support mitigation and adaptation efforts to ensure NWT residents can live affordably, enjoy good health, economic opportunities and a healthy environment.”

The Northwest Territories has committed to reducing emissions and has been successful in reducing emissions from government operations by 30 percent between 2005 and 2011. Switching to biomass to heat public buildings has been a large part of this strategy and the NWT is now proportionately the highest user of biomass energy in Canada.

Recent assessments show we remain on track to meet our current greenhouse gas emission target of stabilizing emissions from all activities in the NWT at 2005 levels by 2015.

For backgrounder on NWT Energy click here. 

Media inquiries:
Roya Grinsted
Communications Officer
Government of the NWT
Tel: 867-669-2308
Email: roya_grinsted@gov.nt.ca

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