Mayor Kandis Jameson is feeling positive – although not offering a lot of details – following a meeting in Hay River on Feb. 18 between the town and Premier Caroline Cochrane and her cabinet.

Jameson said town council was very pleased with the opportunity to discuss issues directly with the premier and ministers.

“We’re very optimistic going forward because most of our priorities are aligned with the priorities of the 19th Legislative Assembly,” she said.

The mayor said the meeting went very well, and she is hoping that “some good stuff” comes out of it.

Premier Caroline Cochrane and her cabinet recently met with representatives of the Town of Hay River. Those at the Feb. 18 meeting in Hay River included, left to right, Deputy Mayor Robert Bouchard; Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Paulie Chinna; Education, Culture and Employment Minister R.J. Simpson, who is also the MLA for Hay River North; Finance Minister and Justice Minister Caroline Wawzonek; Environment and Natural Resources Minister Shane Thompson; Mayor Kandis Jameson; Coun. Brian Willows; Premier Cochrane; Coun. Keith Dohey; Health and Social Services Minister Diane Thom; Coun. Emily Chambers; Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River; and Infrastructure Minister and Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Katrina Nokleby.
Photo courtesy of Town of Hay River

Jameson declined to talk in specifics about the discussions, since it was a closed-door meeting.

“I’m not going to talk directly to issues, but I will tell you that the funding gap is one of the issues that we discussed with them, some land issues, and those are their priorities, as well,” she said. “I can’t speak directly to them just because we were in camera.”

Another issue discussed was the town’s application for disaster assistance to help pay the cost of responding to the landfill fire in March of 2019.

“That issue was discussed under the funding gap and how we’re already shorted X amount of dollars, and then we have an incident that is unforeseen and unbudgeted,” said Jameson. “That can throw a real kerfuffle into things.”

Another item of discussion is the town’s Community Plan, which has been waiting since last summer for approval from the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

“The majority of stuff that you’ve heard frustration with our council would have been (discussed),” said Jameson. “Given the opportunity to bring it forward, obviously we would.”

The mayor declined to respond when asked if any agreements were reached at the meeting.

“Usually, something is going to come out of it, whether it’s an agreement to meet again in regards to certain issues or whatever,” she said. “There’s always some takeaway in these types of meetings.”

The mayor said it was “absolutely” good to have the opportunity to meet the premier and her cabinet.

“Any opportunity to speak directly with our premier or with our ministers, you’re not going to miss that kind of opportunity,” said Jameson, adding that she is very optimistic about working with them. “There’s some great minds on her cabinet. And by working together that’s when stuff happens, especially when we’re all on the same page.

“We’re aligned with their priorities, and moving forward I’m very optimistic about what is going to happen in the North and what’s going to happen in Hay River.”

While in Hay River, the premier and her cabinet were taken on a tour of the pavilion nearing completion at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Premier Cochrane was unavailable for comment during her visit to Hay River.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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