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Court News and Legal Links

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Lawyer removed from murder trial

The lawyer for a Ndilo teen, charged with second degree murder, has been removed from the case. Judge Shannon Smallwood ruled in NWT Supreme Court yesterday that Niko Homberg could have a conflict of interest because he once represented a key Crown witness in the case and it would not be appropriate for Homberg to cross-examine the witness.

The woman had previously testified that she had shared confidential information with Homberg when he was her lawyer. Smallwood ruled the accused must now retain a new lawyer. The woman, who is charged in the stabbing death of Daniel Faine on Sept. 14, 2013, is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 8.

- John McFadden

Dominion Diamond head takes medical leave

The Dominion Diamond Corporation, owners of the Ekati diamond mine, has announced that Robert Gannicott, the chairman and CEO, is taking a medical leave of absence.

In a news release, the company states that Gannicott is to undergo an important treatment which is expected to continue until mid-February. It also stated current lead director Dan Jarvis will assume the role of acting chairman and Brendan Bell, executive vice-president, will assume the role of acting chief executive.

- John McFadden

Police warn drivers after idling cars stolen

RCMP is reminding drivers that it is illegal to leave vehicles running and unattended with the keys in the ignition.

The warning comes after police reported that two idling vehicles were stolen Tuesday evening. The Mounties say the two suspects were allegedly intoxicated. Police say one of the vehicles was observed downtown on Franklin Avenue, travelling at a slow rate of speed. The stolen vehicle ran into a stopped vehicle before striking a parked vehicle and a parking meter downtown. Police say they are continuing to investigate.

- John McFadden

Geoscience forum to convene next week

The 42nd annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. On Monday, an ice-breaker mix-and-mingle event is planned from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Black Knight Pub.

- Daron Letts

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Health centre takes stage

A public meeting will be held next week to discuss the proposed sites for a new Fort Simpson Health Centre.

The meeting comes two months after community leaders said they wanted more information from the government about the future of the health centre.

The GNWT has been conducting a planning study looking at how to replace the existing health centre, which was built in 1972 and expanded in 1999 to include a long-term care centre.

During a visit to the village on Monday, Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger said the project is on the government's list of priorities.

The meeting will take place Nov. 26 in the village recreation centre starting at 7 p.m.

It will involve a presentation of the site options by the Department of Health and Social Services and Department of Public Works and Services, followed by a question and answer period.

Addictions Awareness Week events continue

There are still several activities planned in Fort Simpson for National Addictions Awareness Week, which runs from Nov. 16 to Nov. 22.

There will be a circle walk and chili lunch at Thomas Simpson School at noon on Thursday hosted by the Deh Cho Friendship Centre.

On Friday, Open Sky will host its coffee house with an open mic jam and refreshments at the recreation centre starting at 7 p.m.

A pancake breakfast will be held Saturday at the rec centre from 9 a.m. to noon.

Premier, MLA to tour region

Premier Bob McLeod and Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche and Transportation Minister Tom Beaulieu will tour the Deh Cho region over four days early in December, holding meetings with various local officials.

The three will go to Wrigley Dec. 8, then head to Jean Marie River and Trout Lake on Dec. 9 before they are back in Fort Simpson for a 7 p.m. public meeting.

The next day they fly to Nahanni Butte and Fort Liard where they will hold a public meeting and supper at 6 p.m.

On the final day, they return to the village and tour the schools.

Christmas bazaar

The sights and sounds of the holiday season will kick off Saturday in Fort Simpson.

The John Tsetso Memorial Library annual Christmas bazaar takes place on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Youth council meets

The new Gwich’in Regional Youth Council is scheduled to meet for the first time this weekend.

“Over the last eight months, a bunch of youth along with myself have worked on a proposal that went into the Gwich'in annual general assembly this past August,” said Jordan Peterson of the Gwich'in Tribal Council. “The proposal was to establish a new youth council and on Aug. 21 it passed at the assembly with all delegates voting in favour of the council.”

The inaugural eight-member council includes two members from each community, who will serve until March 31, 2016, said Peterson.

"The mandate of the youth council is to help protect, enhance and maintain the Gwich’in culture, language and practices, to give input when needed at all levels of the Gwich’in government, to be a voice for the unheard youth in all Gwich’in communities and to build knowledge and understanding of the priorities and issues affecting each (Gwich'in Settlement Area) community.”

Comedy trio cut

The trio that makes up the group called Inuvik Comedy and its North of Normal program idea is out of the running for top spot in the CBC Comedy Coup contest.

Brandon Larocque, Brendan Callahan and Dez Loreen got the news Nov. 11 that their troupe hadn't made the top 15 teams still competing for a $500,000 prize to produce a half-hour TV special for the network.

The team had made it to the top 55 list before being eliminated in the selection process.

Internet problems

There is no word on what's caused a persistent Internet and cellphone disruption in the region for more than a week.

Many people and businesses around Inuvik have been experiencing intermittent connection problems, with some dealing with outages that have lasted days.

Northwestel public relations said it's unaware of any problems in the region, although staff members with the technical support department said they had been receiving calls. The problems continued into the evening of Nov. 17.

Christmas fair coming soon

Christmas won't be too far off when the annual Christmas Art, Gift and Craft Fair organized by the Great Northern Arts Society rolls into town. The show kicks off on Nov. 21, and continues until Nov. 23 at the Midnight Sun Recreation Centre.

It's one of the premier destinations to do a little early shopping for presents, and one of the biggest events of the fall season in Inuvik.

Admission is free, although the society is asking patrons to bring a non-perishable donation for the Inuvik Food Bank.

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