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Updated: 18 hours 44 min ago

Premier McLeod announces senior management appointment

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 13:45

YELLOWKNIFE (April 10, 2015) – Premier Bob McLeod today announced that Mr. Jeff Anderson has been appointed President of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC), effective May 11, 2015.

Mr. Anderson is a thirty-year employee of the NWT Housing Corporation and is currently Vice President of Finance and Infrastructure Services. Previous senior management positions Mr. Anderson has held with the NWTHC include Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accountant. His work with the Corporation has included developing a new formula funding model for local housing organizations reflecting updated roles and responsibilities, completing the planning and delivery of five seniors independent living facilities in support of Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) aging-in-place initiatives, and expanding the delivery of new public and market housing infrastructure in rural and remote communities.

“Mr. Anderson brings a wealth of experience and corporate history to his new position as President,” said Premier McLeod. “Addressing housing needs in NWT communities has been a priority for this Legislative Assembly and Mr. Anderson has been a key player in our progress on that file. I look forward to working with him in his new role as we continue to build sustainable communities across the territory.”

Mr. Anderson will replace David Stewart, who was previously named as the incoming Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

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

Two species added to the NWT list of Species at Risk

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 13:29

YELLOWKNIFE (April 9, 2015) – Environment and Natural Resources Minister J. Michael Miltenberger has listed Dolphin and Union caribou as a species of  special concern and northern leopard frog as a threatened species in the Northwest Territories (NWT).  

“Listing a species means a management plan or recovery strategy must be completed for it, ensuring it persists in the Northwest Territories,” said the Minister.  “Designations of these species are informed by independent assessments done by the NWT Species at Risk Committee and follow consensus agreements from the Conference of Management Authorities.”

 The Conference of Management Authorities now has two years to complete an NWT Management Plan for Dolphin and Union caribou and an NWT Recovery Strategy for northern leopard frog.

Management Authorities for these species met in January 2015 to develop a process for completing this work.

The term of each listing is 10 years.  Species can be re-listed, changed to a different status category or taken off the list at any time during this 10-year period.

 For backgrounder, click here. 

Media inquiries:

Judy McLinton, Manager
Public Affairs and Communications
Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel:  (867) 873-7379
Email:  judy_mclinton@gov.nt.ca
Website:  www.enr.gov.nt.ca

Fur Pieces donated to NWT schools to encourage traditional Arts

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 17:20

YELLOWKNIFE (April 7, 2015) – Students across the Northwest Territories (NWT) will get an opportunity for some hands-on learning when it comes to working with fur. The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is donating boxes of fur trimmings received through its partnership with the Canadian Fur Harvesters Association to NWT schools.

“We have seen the positive impact that traditional arts and crafts have in the Northwest Territories and this is an opportunity to instill, support and encourage these activities amongst our youth,” said Minister of ITI David Ramsay.

In addition to contributing to the preservation of culture, tradition and language in the NWT, the Arts sector can provide traditional artists with employment choices and income opportunities.

Donating the individual fur pieces discarded in the commercial preparation process ensures that no part of the fur goes to waste.

The fur is being shipped to 42 elementary and K-12 schools. This is the second year that ITI has provided fur pieces to schools and the department has asked that schools provide feedback to measure the level of interest.

ITI’s investment and support for the traditional economy and the NWT’s Arts sector is contributing to the realization of the 17th Legislative Assembly’s goal of a diversified economy in all communities and regions.

Media inquiries:

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

Thaidene Nëné moving towards establishment

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 18:30

ŁUTSEL K’E, NWT (April 1, 2015) – The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation (LKDFN) are working with other Aboriginal governments towards the establishment of a “made-in-the-North” approach for Thaidene Nëné (thai-den-eh-nen-ay).

Thaidene Nëné is a beautiful cultural landscape with unique geography and rich wildlife populations, and encompasses a number of key ecological, cultural and recreational features, including the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, NWT. It is also rich in economic opportunities. Given its numerous values, a unique northern approach to planning, conservation, and management is being discussed for the area under consideration.

“Thaidene Nëné is one of the first post-devolution initiatives to feature a made-in-the-North approach to finding balance in a unique area with competing values,” says Minister of Environment and Natural Resources J. Michael Miltenberger. “The idea is to have a combination of territorial and federal designations and related governance arrangements as a way to maximize benefits and keep as much of the area as possible under the control of NWT residents.”

Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation has been in negotiations with Parks Canada for many years and reached extensive common ground on a number of areas, but not on a national park reserve boundary. Parks Canada has agreed to step back while the Government of the Northwest Territories discusses mutual objectives and builds a common northern position with Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation and other Aboriginal governments. This, in turn, will contribute to constructive discussions with Parks Canada. As the northern position is developed, Parks Canada will be engaged to make sure all parties move forward together to build consensus.

“The proposed conservation areas, including those for the national park reserve, will respect Aboriginal and treaty rights,” says Minister Miltenberger. Existing commercial tourism and recreational access to the area for non-indigenous residents and visitors to the NWT will also continue, allowing us to share our “Land is Life” vision, which recognizes that land sustains and nourishes us spiritually, culturally, physically, economically, and socially. Territorial legislation will be amended to permit non-indigenous residents to continue to enjoy the Northern lifestyle.”

The study area – over 33000 square kilometers surrounding and extending beyond Artillery Lake and the East Arm of Great Slave Lake – is currently protected by territorial land withdrawals while the future uses of this land are being considered. On April 1, 2014, the Government of the Northwest Territories was devolved responsibility for land, water, and resource management and has taken a lead role in actively engaging with Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation and Parks Canada on the establishment of Thaidene Nëné.

A fundamental priority of the Government of the Northwest Territories since devolution is to streamline negotiations through collaborations with Aboriginal governments to reach timely decisions that consider ecological, social, cultural, and economic values and ensure maximum benefits to current and future generations. The Thaidene Nëné process is one of the first examples of this new approach. The GNWT and LKDFN are working to finalize an approach for Thaidene Nëné by the summer of 2015. As discussions proceed, a process will be implemented for public input from all interested parties.

 

Media inquiries: 

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

Statement by Minister Valcourt and Premier Bob McLeod on First Anniversary of Northwest Territories Devolution

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 18:26

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (April 1, 2015) – The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Premier Bob McLeod of the Northwest Territories joined residents of the territory in celebrating the one year anniversary of Devolution.

“It is a pleasure to mark today an important milestone in the history of the Northwest Territories,” stated Minister Valcourt. “One year ago today, on April 1st, 2014, the Northwest Territories Devolution Act came into force, marking the final step in the territory’s devolution process.”

Devolving responsibility of land and resource management from the federal government to the Government of the Northwest Territories was a challenging, complex exercise. We owe our thanks to the thousands of people, from First Nations communities, federal and territorial employees, legislators at all levels, and Northerners themselves, whose contributions helped to make Devolution a reality.

Devolution has given Northerners more control over their own economic and political destiny by placing decision making about land and resources in Northerners’ hands. It is increasing the prosperity of the NWT by giving the territorial government the power to collect and share in resource revenues. Through a unique revenue sharing plan, it also opens up tremendous opportunities for the five regional Aboriginal organizations and four First Nation communities that have joined the Devolution Agreement to benefit directly from the responsible development of the region’s resource potential.

Northwest Territories Devolution is an important element of Canada’s Northern Strategy. Its completion and ongoing success will help to ensure the Northwest Territories remain an attractive place to invest, work, grow and live for generations to come.”

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod also celebrated this milestone, stating “Devolution was one of the most significant steps in the ongoing political evolution of the Northwest Territories made in my lifetime. Gaining northern control over decisions on land and water that directly affect NWT residents and their future was a priority for the people and Legislative Assembly of the NWT for decades. I am pleased to have been a member of the government that made it a reality in partnership with the Government of Canada and our Aboriginal Government partners.

We have spent our first year managing the transition and beginning to exercise our new authorities on behalf of NWT residents. Moving decisions about protecting our environment and responsibly managing the pace, scale and intensity of resource development closer to home and placing more power in the hands of Northerners will allow us to support a strong Northern economy and create jobs and opportunities for our people.”

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Minister’s Office
Emily Hillstrom
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
819-953-1160

Premier’s Office
Roya Grinsted
Communications Officer
Government of the NWT
867-669-2308

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.aandc.gc.ca/subscriptions.

Proposed new Hydraulic Fracturing Filing Regulations support GNWT commitment to balanced and responsible development

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 12:30

YELLOWKNIFE (April 1, 2015) – The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is proposing new regulations that set out the filing requirements for companies planning hydraulic fracturing operations in the NWT.

They require industry to meet additional requirements related to baseline surface and groundwater information, public disclosure, air quality, and enhanced reporting.

Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay says the GNWT is committed to making improvements to the regulatory system that reflect northern priorities and provide greater certainty to industry.

“These enhancements are part of a made-in-the-NWT approach that balances our commitment to protecting NWT lands, water and wildlife with resource and economic development that can provide opportunities and self-sufficiency for our people and their communities,” he said.

The GNWT has launched a period of public engagement and discussion on the proposed regulations to allow NWT residents to learn more about the intended changes and to ensure that they reflect northern views and priorities.  Officials will visit nine NWT communities in the next three months.

Until the GNWT enacts its own regulations, established National Energy Board filing requirements continue to apply to applications for hydraulic fracturing in the NWT.

“The process of applying for permits is not changing,” Minister Ramsay says. “Our territory has a proven, integrated and co-managed regulatory process that ensures the investments we make in managing our natural resources provide balanced and considered returns in the health of our land and its people and the strength of our economy.”

Today’s announcement reflects and supports the stated goals of the 17th Legislative Assembly: an environment that will sustain present and future generations and a diversified economy that provides all communities and regions with opportunities and benefits.

A consultation schedule and a copy of the proposed regulations are available at ITI’s website.
Backgrounder on Proposed Regulations.
Backgrounder on Environmental Assessment Coordination.
Backgrounder on Monitoring and Research.
NWT Regulatory System at a glance.

Media inquiries:

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

Angling highlighted at North Slave Regional Tourism Workshop

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:02

YELLOWKNIFE (March 31, 2015) – Fishing lodge owners, operators, and day-trip angling guides from across the territory were in Yellowknife last week to discuss plans to revitalize the angling sector in the NWT.  The workshop hosted by the GNWT’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) and NWT Tourism focused on the need for a new approach to marketing and diversifying the NWT’s long standing reputation for world-class fishing adventures.

Tour operators had an opportunity to share input and to review research conducted by ITI and NWT Tourism.  While the angling sector has seen a decline in recent years, tourism visitor numbers and spending in the NWT are increasing.  Growth in the angling sector will be dependent on attracting a broader demographic of visitors and developing new products. Workshop participants discussed prospects for expanding current markets and breaking into new ones, including young adventurous travellers.   

“The health and abundance of our fish stocks, clear waters and pristine wilderness distinguish the NWT experience from those of our competitors,” ITI Minister David Ramsay said. “Our Territory’s competitive edge is that we can offer more than just fishing.  Increasingly, visitors want the opportunity to enjoy scenery and wildlife and participate in outdoor adventure and cultural activities.  NWT fishing lodges and establishments are well positioned to fill this market demand – and more – with a full inventory of attractions that are unmatched or to be found anywhere else.”

Those attending the workshop also met with officials from various GNWT departments which inspect lodges for such things as employment standards, fire codes, waste disposal, fuel storage and food handling.  Overall, feedback from the operators indicated that the workshop was very useful, and there was strong consensus to hold this event on an annual basis

 

The NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy highlights the importance of growing and broadening the NWT’s tourism product and the 17th Legislative Assembly’s goal of a diversified economy that provides all communities and regions with opportunities and choices.

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

NWT parents invited to participate in iPad Mini pilot project

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 11:02

YELLOWKNIFE (March 31, 2015) – The Government of the Northwest Territories invites parents or primary caregivers of babies born between April 2014 and April 2015 to apply to participate in the testing phase of the iPad Mini for New Parents project being launched by Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) today.

Between early April and end of May 2015, 100 iPad Minis will be distributed across the NWT as part of a project to support early childhood development by providing new parents and primary caregivers with innovative tools and information, one of the actions identified in Right from the Start, the NWT framework and action plan for early childhood development.

“The NWT children are the future of our territory, and we want to work with new parents to provide the best opportunities and foundation right from the start,” said Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) Jackson Lafferty.

All information provided on the iPad Minis has been recommended by Northern Elders, leaders, parents and families, and early childhood consultants, and has been verified by experts.

Feedback from pilot project participants will be used to measure the usefulness of the apps, resources, and functionality of the iPad as a tool for new parents. The full distribution phase of the project will be launched in early fall after pilot phase evaluation.

“These iPad Minis are a helpful information tool for new parents and primary caregivers, offering practical information and innovative apps,” stated Minister Lafferty. “With this tool, we are able to provide access to information about parenting using a familiar medium, at the time it is needed.”

In 2013-14, the Departments of Health and Social Services and Education, Culture and Employment tabled the Right from the Start: A Framework and Action Plan for Early Childhood Development in the Northwest TerritoriesThese documents include commitments and areas for action, aimed at providing innovative outreach programs and services for families and children; to ensure that no one is left behind.

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

 

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline McKinnon

Education, Culture and Employment

Tel: 867-920-6222

Email:  jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca

NWT Minister of Education hosts sessions on innovation in Aboriginal education

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:01

BANFF, AB (March 27, 2015) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty hosted sessions on new and innovative approaches to education in the North at the 5th International Summit on the Teaching Professions (ISTP) in Banff, Alberta on March 29-30, 2015.

On March 28th, Minister Lafferty took part in discussions surrounding the critical changes that we must make to ensure that education is relevant and equitable for Aboriginal students.

On March 29th, Minister Lafferty  co-led, with his New Zealand counterpart, the Honourable Heike Parata, a session on innovative approaches to Indigenous education, one of five seminars available to an estimated 350 delegates from dozens of countries around the world.

Minister Lafferty was accompanied by a delegation of territorial educators – many of whom are Aboriginal and several of whom are recipients of national or NWT awards for excellence in education.  For more on ISTP click here for a backgrounder.

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
Phone: (867) 920-6222
Cell: (867) 446-6002
Email: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca

Regional Tourism Stakeholder Conference puts focus on communities

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:55

HAY RIVER (March 27, 2015) – Raising awareness of the economic and social benefits of community-based tourism was the focus of a two-day Regional Tourism Stakeholder Conference last week in Hay River.

Over 30 community government representatives and 10 tourism operators from the South Slave and Dehcho Regions attended the conference. The event was hosted by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) and Northwest Territories Tourism (NWTT) and was supported by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

“In the 2013/2014 fiscal year we saw visitor numbers increase by 20 percent,”said ITI Minister David Ramsay. “Encouraging and supporting community-based tourism initiatives will help to create opportunities for NWT residents and businesses, and provide more options and activities for travellers to experience.”

“The conference enabled participants to provide us with input into the development of our five year marketing strategy and into our work now underway to refresh the Spectacular NWT brand,” said Cathie Bolstad, Executive Director of NWT Tourism. “It also gave us an opportunity to take participants through some real recent examples of our partnership with communities, airlines, hotels and tourism operators in an effort to turn community festivals and events into a spectacular NWT experiences and to discuss ways of measuring the success of our collective marketing investments on these partnerships.”

A variety of speakers shared examples of community tourism success stories, marketing activities, and developing tourism packages. Discussions centered on themes of connecting visitors with local people, uncovering home-grown attractions, and involving youth in tourism. Additional workshops have been held in Délįnę, Yellowknife and Inuvik.

Through its development of community-based tourism programs and infrastructure, ITI is working to realize the 17th Assembly’s goal of creating a diversified economy that provides all communities with opportunities and choices.

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 energy functions to be consolidated in PWS

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 16:55

Yellowknife (March 26, 2015) – On April 1st 2015, the Government of the Northwest Territories will be consolidating energy related functions within the department of Public Works and Services (PWS).

The new energy activity will be comprised of functions currently in the departments of Public Works and Services, Environment and Natural Resources, Industry, Tourism and Investment and the Northwest Territories Energy Corporation that deal with energy policy and planning, research, programs and project delivery.

“By bringing together all energy related activities in one department I am confident that we will strengthen our ability as a government to deliver energy projects and programs,” said PWS Minister Tom Beaulieu. “Our ability to research and implement ways to be more energy efficient and develop renewable energy projects focused on reducing costs for Northerners will be greatly enhanced under this new structure.”

The consolidated energy activity will be responsible for government-wide energy activities that include:

  • energy policy and planning;
  • developing and implementing alternative and renewable energy projects; and
  • fuel services which will deliver the Petroleum Products Program.

“As we designed our organization to manage the new responsibilities we received through devolution, energy was one area where we saw some opportunities for improvement,” said Premier Bob McLeod, Minister for New Energy Initiatives. “Consolidating the GNWT’s energy functions is a way for us to strengthen the organization and find creative and effective ways to address high energy costs and lower the cost of living for NWT residents and businesses.”

Existing positions were combined to create the new energy activity and the consolidation will be cost neutral. As an established branch of government dedicated to NWT energy issues, the energy activity will focus on opportunities to further reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the use of renewable energy technologies. The establishment of a consolidated energy activity in PWS is consistent with the 17th Assembly’s goal of effective and efficient government.

Please click here to view the backgrounder.

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

Public input sought to develop the NWT Oil and Gas Strategy

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:16

YELLOWKNIFE (March 26, 2015) – The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) invites residents of the Northwest Territories (NWT) to provide input into the development of the NWT Oil and Gas Strategy through an online survey.

“The NWT Oil and Gas Strategy will provide a plan to develop the territory’s vast petroleum resources in a safe and responsible manner while encouraging lasting economic growth and opportunities for the people of the NWT,” said ITI Minister David Ramsay.  “To ensure the priorities of all communities are reflected, I encourage the public to provide their input and help us shape the future of the petroleum industry in this territory.”

The NWT Oil and Gas Strategy is expected to be released in July 2015.  The online survey is available until April 30, 2015 at http://www.iti.gov.nt.ca/infopage/nwt-oil-and-gas-strategy

The development of an NWT Oil and Gas Strategy will help to diversify and strengthen the NWT economy, a key priority of the 17th Legislative Assembly.

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

Fly fishing television show provides tourism exposure for NWT lodge

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 16:38

YELLOWKNIFE (March 24, 2015) – Millions of households across North America will get a glimpse of the excellent fishing opportunities and spectacular tourism adventures available in the Northwest Territories (NWT) on the popular television show, The New Fly Fisher.  The show featured Hearne Lake Lodge in an episode that first aired on March 21, 2015 on the World Fishing Network (WFN) and will continue to air on other networks later this year.

“The Northwest Territories is home to pristine waters and trophy-size fish. Opportunities like this help to strengthen the sport fishing tourism sector and spread awareness of what this territory has to offer,” said Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) David Ramsay.

ITI provided funding for the project through the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) policy.

The New Fly Fisher is broadcast across Canada and the United States on numerous networks including PBS, WFN, Wild TV, Rogers and CTV Two.  This was the first time The New Fly Fisher had filmed in the NWT.

The NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy highlights the importance of exposing the NWT, its residents, adventures, and stories through film and television.  Such investments increase interest in those looking to visit, and possibly move to the NWT and support the 17th Assembly’s priority to strengthen and diversify the NWT economy.

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

Nearly 85% of decentralized positions staffed

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 11:50

YELLOWKNIFE (March 24, 2015) – Figures released today show that the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has successfully filled 108 of 128 positions decentralized during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years. Another 22 positions scheduled to be established during the next two fiscal years are currently vacant.

“Increasing employment opportunities where they are needed most by decentralizing positions is a priority for this government,” said Minister of Finance J. Michael Miltenberger. “New jobs in communities will improve services to those communities and strengthen their economies. These positions will make our government more effective and efficient by providing more services closer to the people who need them.”

The initiative to increase employment opportunities in communities outside of Yellowknife includes measures to transfer existing positions, as well as to establish new positions. Decentralization is being phased-in to allow the GNWT to consider opportunities to establish positions outside Yellowknife as part of implementing devolution.

The phased approach also helps the GNWT ensure that impacts on current staff are minimized. Of the 150 positions already identified for decentralization, 122 were vacant when the decision to transfer or establish them was made. These numbers were confirmed in a document tabled during the most recent sitting of the Legislative Assembly.

The GNWT will continue to look for opportunities to establish positions in NWT communities by systematically reviewing its programs and services to identify any that can be located in other communities. All proposals for new positions will be systematically reviewed to determine whether or not they can be located in another community as part of ongoing business planning.

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

Of the 150 positions identified as part of the decentralization initiative in a report tabled in the Legislative Assembly on March 9, 2015:

122 were vacant at the time they were approved to be decentralized.

128 of the 150 decentralized positions relate to fiscal 2014-15 or previous year, of these 128:
108 of these positions are staffed (84.4%)
20 of the positions are vacant (15.6%)

22 of the 150 decentralized positions were approved to be decentralized in future years:
15 positions in 2015-16
7 positions in 2016-17
As such, all 22 of these positions are currently vacant

Premier McLeod announces senior management appointment

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 11:48

YELLOWKNIFE (March 24, 2015) – Premier Bob McLeod announced today that Mr. David Stewart has been named as Associate Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) effective May 11, 2015 and will assume the position of Deputy Minister of ECE on August 1, 2015. Mr. Stewart will be taking over from current Associate Deputy Minister Dana Heide and current Deputy Minister Gabriela Eggenhofer, who are both retiring in coming months.

“Mr. Stewart is an experienced senior manager and leader who has contributed positively to the success of the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in his current position,” said Premier McLeod. “I look forward to working with him in his new role this spring.”

Mr. Stewart is currently the President of the NWT Housing Corporation, where he has been responsible for leading the implementation of Building for the Future, the GNWT’s strategic framework for addressing housing needs. Work has included significant improvements to public housing rent scales, homeownership programs, supports to low- and moderate-income residents in private market rental housing and assistance for homeless people. During his tenure, the NWTHC made significant investment in improving the quality of the public housing stock, started construction on five new seniors independent living facilities, and contributed to the construction and opening of Lynn’s Place, a women’s safe housing building in Yellowknife. His previous positions include Assistant Deputy Minister of Executive Operations with the Department of Executive and Territorial Statistician.

Mr. Stewart will work closely with outgoing Deputy Minister Eggenhofer and Associate Deputy Minister Heide to ensure a smooth leadership transition at ECE. Ms. Eggenhofer is retiring on August 1st, 2015 after 25 years with the GNWT. Mr. Heide is retiring on June 5, 2015 after 25 years of service.

“Ms. Eggenhofer and Mr. Heide have dedicated their careers to helping build a strong, healthy Northwest Territories,” said Premier McLeod. “I have enjoyed working with both of them over the years and thank them for their service to the people of the NWT. I wish both of them well on the next phase of their lives.”

Ongoing succession planning and progressively developing its staff are part of the GNWT’s commitment to ensuring a strong public service that is positioned to effectively manage and deliver the government programs and services the people of the NWT rely on.

A replacement for Mr. Stewart at the NWTHC will be announced in coming weeks.

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

MLAs view progress on Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 10:43

MLA Bob Bromley, Speaker Jackie Jacobson, Minister of Transportation Tom Beaulieu, MLA Robert Bouchard, SCEDI Chair Robert Hawkins, and Merven Gruben of E. Gruben’s Transport take a photo by one of the many bridges being constructed on the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway. 

INUVIK (March 20, 2015) – Members of the Legislative Assembly, regional leaders and media received a first-hand view of progress on the 120-kilometre all-weather Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway project this week. Minister of Transportation Tom Beaulieu hosted a two-day visit to construction sites near Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk for the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Members of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure, community leaders from the Beaufort Delta area and the media.

“We’re very pleased with the contractor’s progress to date as well as their commitment to local employment, training, safety and quality under difficult conditions,” said Minister Beaulieu. “We will review the project when the construction season ends in May, and are satisfied right now that the project is proceeding as planned and look forward to opening the highway on schedule in 2018.”

As of March 1, 2015, 602 people were employed to operate and maintain the heavy equipment and support vehicles, supply and operate the work camps, and manage all aspects of the project from engineering and design, to monitoring the construction area for signs of wildlife.

“It’s really something to celebrate, knowing over 70 percent of the workforce is comprised of residents from the Beaufort Delta and NWT communities,” said Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and MLA for Nunakput Jackie Jacobson. “That is a substantial contribution to meeting this Assembly’s priority to create employment opportunities where they’re needed most.”

Standing Committee Chair Robert Hawkins says, “It’s remarkable to see how efficiently crews are able to move material from the pits out to the embankment site.  Watching these massive rock trucks arrive every 13 to 16 minutes, and knowing they operate 24-hours per day, seven days a week makes it easier to understand how they’ve successfully moved almost 2 million cubic metres of material.”

The Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway project is made possible through a strategic partnership between the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories with each providing funding of $200 million and $99 million respectively. Investing in strategic infrastructure that will support sustainable economic development is part of the GNWT’s plan for realizing the 17th Legislative Assembly’s vision of a unified, environmentally sustainable and prosperous Northwest Territories.

Media inquiries:
Roya Grinsted

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

Alberta and the Northwest Territories announce bilateral water management agreement

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 17:35

Alberta and the Northwest Territories have signed an agreement to protect the integrity of water flowing downstream from Alberta to the Northwest Territories.

Edmonton (March 18, 2015) – The Alberta-Northwest Territories bilateral water management agreement commits both governments to co-operatively manage water resources. The agreement focuses on aquatic ecosystems in the Mackenzie River Basin, the longest and largest river system in Canada.

“Water is a vital resource that knows no boundaries. We are committed to ensuring Albertans and our neighbours in the Northwest Territories have access to a healthy and sustainable water supply, now and in the future.”

– Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta

The agreement will help ensure water management plans take an adaptive management approach that determines what actions should be taken and when based on scientific monitoring. It will also respect the jurisdiction of governments and ensure water is collaboratively managed for the benefit of the environment, people and the economy.

“Sustaining and protecting the environment is a critical part of our government’s balanced approach to creating jobs and economic opportunities through responsible development. We welcome Alberta’s partnership and shared commitment to a healthy environment supporting healthy, prosperous people.”

– Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories

“We all share the responsibility of ensuring that our water supply remains healthy, secure and sustainable. Alberta and the Northwest Territories are committed to working together to ensure that our shared water resources are protected.”

– Kyle Fawcett, Alberta Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

“Today’s agreement is a historic first that incorporates many best practices in water management and includes the input of Northwest Territories Aboriginal governments, who were integral to informing our objectives and approach to negotiations. We worked hard on it with Alberta and look forward to using it as a foundation for future bilateral agreements under the Master Agreement.”

– J. Michael Miltenberger, Northwest Territories Minister of Environment and Natural Resources

The Alberta-Northwest Territories Bilateral Water Agreement supports the Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement, Alberta’s Water Conversation theme of managing industrial water use, and the Northwest Territories Water Strategy.

Related information


Media inquiries

Parker Hogan
parker.hogan@gov.ab.ca
780-643-9134
Press Secretary
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

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

Kátł’odeeche First Nation signs NWT Devolution Agreement

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 14:16

YELLOWKNIFE (March 17, 2015) – The Kátł’odeeche First Nation (KFN) has become party to the Northwest Territories Devolution Agreement. KFN Chief Roy Fabian joined Premier Bob McLeod and Mark Strahl, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, for a signing ceremony at the Legislative Assembly’s Great Hall yesterday.

“The Kátł’odeeche Fırst Natıon has decided to enter into the Devolution Agreement as it does not affect our Treaty or Aboriginal rights, allows us to better negotiate an ongoing relationship with the Government of the Northwest Territories on land and resource management matters, provides us with an equitable share of resource royalty revenues, and ensures our direct participation in the Intergovernmental Council on Land and Resource Management,” said Chief Fabian.  “As an independent First Nation government, we want to be at the table when matters affecting our traditional lands are being discussed.”  

“I am very pleased to have the Kátł’odeeche First Nation join as a party to the agreement,” said Premier McLeod.  “I welcome the leadership demonstrated by the KFN and Chief Fabian in recognizing the benefits devolution will bring to their members and all NWT residents and taking this step with us today.”

“On behalf of our Government, I wish to welcome the Kátlodééche First Nation to the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement,” said Parliamentary Secretary Strahl. “Devolution underlines our Government’s commitment, as set out in Canada’s Northern Strategy, to work with Northern and Aboriginal partners to build a strong and prosperous North. We look forward to working with the Kátlodééche Nation, the eight other First Nation signatories to the agreement, and the Government of the Northwest Territories, to continue to encourage responsible, sustainable investment in the Northwest Territories that will benefit communities today and for generations to come.”

With this announcement, the KFN has joined the Acho Dene Koe and Fort Liard Métis Local #67, the Deninu K’ue First Nation, the Salt River First Nation, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, NWT Métis Nation, Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated, Gwich’in Tribal Council and Tłįchǫ Government as parties to devolution along with the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories.

Media inquiries:

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

Chief Roy Fabian
Kátł’odeeche First Nation
Tel: 867-874-6701

Emily Hillstrom
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Tel: 819-997-0002

Three NWT schools receive GNWT funding for youth resiliency

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 14:56

YELLOWKNIFE (March 16, 2015) – Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty has announced funding for three NWT schools to both pilot and enhance existing youth resiliency programming.

Diamond Jenness Secondary School in Hay River and K’álemì Dene School in Ndilo were awarded $50,000 each to enhance their existing resiliency programs. Helen Kalvak Elihakvik school in Ulukhaktok was awarded $50,000 to pilot a new resiliency program for their students.

“Building resiliency in youth makes them stronger and better able to deal with challenges in their lives,” said Minister Lafferty. “Resiliency programs help youth connect to the community and culture they live in. This encourages positive relationships, develops leadership skills and strengthens that young person’s identity and well-being.”

Schools across the NWT were invited to apply for the funding through a proposal process. Applicants were asked to address selection criteria such as articulating the goals of their program, how their program would bring the school and community together, and identify its cultural relevance to the students. Program coordinators from the three schools will work together with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) to monitor and evaluate program success as they are delivered through to June 2015. Careful evaluation of the program’s success in these select schools will inform possible further expansion of resiliency programming across the territory.

“Research tells us that culturally relevant resiliency programs see the most success,” said Minister Lafferty. “Resiliency depends on strong relationships with others and the community youth live in. That means a resiliency program in Hay River would be different from a program in Ulukhaktok, for example.”

Resiliency programming is part of the NWT Education Renewal initiative, a comprehensive effort to make improvements to the territorial school system over the next ten years. The Education Renewal Framework commits the GNWT to do its part to ensure student wellness and the development of a positive sense of identity are promoted and embedded in school experiences, programming and environments. The skills developed through resiliency programming will help students identify and access resources that are most relevant and culturally meaningful for their well-being.

For more information on resiliency and resiliency programming, and on the NWT Education Renewal initiative, please review the backgrounder and visit www.ece.gov.nt.ca.

Media inquiries:

Amber George
Communications
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Tel: (867) 920-3059
Email: amber_george@gov.nt.ca

Improving Employment Success for NWT Residents

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 15:59

YELLOWKNIFE (March 13, 2015) – More than 160 delegates attended the first Skills 4 Success Symposium, held on March 10-12, 2015, to discuss how skills and postsecondary education strategies can better align with NWT labour market needs and demands.

“When I travel throughout the North, I see incredible potential, talent and desire in NWT schools and communities,” said Minister of Education Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty. “While there has been measurable progress in the past 15 years, we still see major gaps in education and employment. It is too often the case that people do not have the necessary skills to fill available jobs. Skills 4 Success is one way our government will help ensure NWT residents develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes for employment success.”

The Symposium brought together governments, educators and trainers, industry, employers and engaged citizens from across the NWT. The input from the three-day symposium will inform the Skills 4 Success 10-year strategic framework being developed by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to set out new direction for adult and postsecondary education and skills training in the NWT.

The Skills 4 Success Initiative will seek to improve employment success for NWT residents by closing skill gaps for in-demand jobs and more effectively responding to community, employer and industry needs. Skills 4 Success is taking a systematic look at adult and postsecondary education, and skills training programs, supports and pathways.

“Skills 4 Success has connected all the players – post-secondary, secondary, trades training – to the labour market and the needs of employers,” said Mike Bradshaw, Executive Director of the NWT Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a road map for employment and fully supports the Economic Opportunities Strategy. Every jurisdiction in the country should use this as a model and do the same.”

For more information, visit www.skills4success.ca.
For a Backgrounder, click here. 

Media inquiries:
Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Education, Culture and Employment
Tel: (867) 920-6222
Email: jacqueline_mckinnon@gov.nt.ca

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