The GNWT spent more than $45,000 bringing the Northern message on climate change to the recent United Nations “COP26” conference in Scotland.

Two MLAs and two senior staffers attended the event at an estimated cost of $45,235.26, according to cabinet spokesperson Trista Haugland.

“The ‘budget’ for the trip is based on the travel authorizations for each of the travellers,” Haugland said. “Travel authorizations are estimated costs. The final costs will be available when each traveler submits their expense reports and receipts.”

The delegation this year included Environment and Natural Resources Minister Shane Thompson, Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby, Shawn McCann, deputy secretary of Indigenous and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Cory Doll, manager of Climate Change and Air Quality with the territorial government.

Haugland said the breakdown in costs for all four delegates included $27,595.76 for air, ground and incidental transportation, $12,489 for hotel/lodging, $5,150.50 for meals and incidentals.

Thompson and Nokleby flew business class while McCann and Doll flew economy. Haugland said the federal government paid the registration fees for the NWT participants.

Indigenous representation

Haugland said the territorial government said that there was no Indigenous leadership from the NWT, but there were First peoples from elsewhere in Canada as part of the the country’s overall delegation.

“NWT Indigenous governments did not attend COP26,” Haugland said. “The NWT was a very limited member of the Canadian delegation, and there was separate Indigenous representation.

“We were disappointed to hear that there was no Indigenous government representation from the NWT.”

“The department is currently looking into the costs of previous COP events attended, and will provide more detail as soon as we have it,” Haugland said.

During the delegates’ time at the conference, Haugland said participants took part in numerous events but most deliverables from the conference aren’t expected to be made public right away.

“The GNWT participated in bilateral meetings, engaged in plenary discussions with conference participants and took media requests,” she said.

“The minister also did a daily briefing with the Simon Fraser University Canadian Cities at COP26 briefing.

“The department will be sharing conference learnings internally, and Minister Thompson will be following up with federal ministers to discuss future opportunities for collaboration.”

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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  1. Business class on tax payer dollars. Too good for the cheap seats. They should have to make up the difference.