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Friday, January 30, 2015

Premier announces Mackenzie Valley study

Premier Bob McLeod announced the GNWT plans to undertake a feasibility study of an energy, transportation and communications corridor along the Mackenzie Valley to the Arctic Ocean at a reception in Ottawa on Thursday.

McLeod emphasized that the government is not proposing any specific project; rather it will be exploring the potential for new opportunities in conjunction with aboriginal governments.

- Cody Punter

New board to focus on mining investment

A new board is being established through the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) to promote mining exploration in the territory.

"The Mining Industry Advisory Board will be a great addition to help to develop a robust mineral industry in the NWT," said ITI minister David Ramsay. The board will be made up of five to seven members, all with direct experience in mining in the NWT, appointed by the minister.

- Elaine Anselmi

Spots available in energy workshop

The city and the Arctic Energy Alliance are offering residents a chance to understand their environmental impact, and their home.

The Get to Know Your House as a System workshop will be held on Feb. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Arctic Energy Alliance office.

The workshop will go over the components of energy usage in homes, including: building envelopes, space and water heating, ventilation and energy-using behaviours of occupants. The cost for the workshop is $10 and anyone interested is asked to register.

- Elaine Anselmi

Property assessment open house

The city is planning to host a property assessment open house at city hall on Feb. 18 and 19.

The city mailed out its assessments to property owners last week along with A Guide to Property Taxes brochure. Ratepayers who are unhappy with the assessed value of their property can appeal the assessment. Property owners have until March 9 to file a School Support Declaration or Assessment Appeal.

The open houses will run from 5 to 8 p.m.

- Cody Punter

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Caribou management agreement reached

Leaders of the GNWT, aboriginal governments and wildlife management groups have reached an agreement on management actions and the establishment of a mobile conservation area to protect the Bathurst caribou herd.

“Progress has been made in a number of areas to ensure the recovery and conservation of these barren-ground caribou herds for present and future generations, including support for the concept of a mobile caribou conservation area,” said Environment and Natural Resources Minister Michael Miltenberger in a news release Jan. 27.

Within the mobile conservation area, no harvesting will be permitted. The location will be updated weekly online. Leaders also agreed there will be a limited harvest of up to 15 bulls from the Bathurst herd for community ceremonial purposes, on a proposal basis.

Land-use talks planned

The Department of Lands will be holding a meeting in the village rec centre on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. to discuss recreational land use.

The department is reviewing the way it manages public land for recreational use and seeks public input on issues like recreational leasing, cabins and unauthorized occupancy.

Wildland fire meeting

There will be a public meeting in Fort Simpson Jan. 29 at the rec centre starting at 7 p.m. to discuss wildland fires.

The meeting is billed as a chance for residents to learn more about the 2014 fire season and about wildfire management.

About 3.4 million hectares of boreal forest burned last year, one of the worst fire years in decades.

Cabins not yet on capital budget

The Department of Health and Social Services says two health cabins will need planning studies before being placed on the capital budget for replacement.

"The Jean Marie Health and Social Services Centre and the Trout Lake Health and Social Services Centre is on our needs assessment list but it is not an approved project in the capital plan," stated department spokesperson Damien Healy in an e-mail last week. He said a planning study for the cabins would need to be undertaken. The earliest those studies could start is the 2015/16 fiscal year.

Healy wrote that the health department and Department of Public Works and Services is reviewing the condition of the Trout Lake facility to determine the requirements for submission into the 2016/17 capital plan. The Trout Lake and Jean Marie River Facilities are both leased facilities and not owned by the GNWT.

United Way doles out funding

United Way NWT announced its annual funding recipients for 2015 last week and three organizations from Inuvik were among the groups to get some of $91,500.

Children First Society, the Inuvik Homeless Shelter and the Inuvik Youth Centre all received the maximum $5,000 in funding.

Six pan-territorial organizations will also be injecting much-needed money into Inuvik programming, including Food First Foundation, Order of St. Lazarus, Foster Family Coalition, Northern Youth Leadership, NWT Breast Health/Cancer Support Group and the NWT Literacy Council.

Curlers miss playoffs at junior nationals

The Inuvik junior girls and boys curling teams wrapped up round robin play Jan. 27 at the Junior Curling Nationals in Corner Brook, N.L., missing the cut for the playoffs.

The McKay-Saturnino team finished 1-5 against some of Canada's elite junior squads.

In their first draw on Jan. 24, the squad lost to Nova Scotia, but recovered with a split the following day with a 7-6 win over New Brunswick and a loss to Prince Edward Island.

In their last three draws, Team NWT lost to Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the host team.

The boys squad, skipped by Matt Miller, went without a win in their six matches.

Check the Drum next week for an article on the girls experience at nationals.

Last call for tickets

Tickets for the Second Annual Masquerade Ball are still available for purchase, but are going fast.

The Midnight Sun Recreation Complex will be transformed into a night of mystery and intrigue Jan. 31 to help raise money for the Inuvik Figure Skating Club.

The evening includes dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing.

The dinner menu includes French onion soup, salads and main dishes of roast beef with vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy or spiced beef dip on a bun with au jus.

Super Bowl at Legion

The McInnes Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will be hosting football fans Feb. 1 for Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona between Russell Wilson's Seattle Seahawks and Tom Brady's New England Patriots.

Doors open at noon for the pre-game show with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. The Legion will have games and prizes to be won throughout the game.

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