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NEWS BRIEFS: Feds announce increase to labour market funding



Four million dollars will be added to the Labour Market Transfer Agreement which translates into $46 million over the next six-years.

In a public meeting at the Native Women's Association of the NWT on Wednesday MP Michael McLeod and Minister Caroline Cochrane celebrated the addition to the agreement and said it was a positive step to ensuring nearly 1,300 workers have the proper resources to succeed. Some of the agreement's focuses are on areas of pre-employment and training readiness, upskilling and academic upgrading.

Cochrane said this agreement is critical to the NWT, adding improving the labour market is a primary focus.

"These strengthened agreements will help employers to find and train the workers they need and assist individuals to access the skills upgrading programs and supports they need to secure employment and advance in the labour market," she said.

– Michael Hugall


Calls for wellness council nominees in NWT


The Department of Health and Social Services is calling for nominees to fill four spots on the Beaufort-Delta, Hay River and Yellowknife wellness council.

The wellness council is responsible for providing input which helps ensure communities have proper medical resources available to them, stated a news release from the press secretary.

The council helps inform policy and recently, has been responsible for providing insight which was instrumental in the building of a health centre in Fort Resolution. The deadline to nominate individuals for the wellness council is Aug 10.

– Michael Hugall


Pine Point Bridge to be reconstructed

Pine Point

A tender call has been issued this month for replacement of the Pine Point Bridge across the Hay River.

The work had originally been described as a rehabilitation of the bridge.

According to the information from the Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann, the highway truss bridge will be removed and replaced with an open-decked steel girder bridge with a concrete deck and the adjacent railway bridge will remain.

– Paul Bickford


Tsiigehtchic votes to end liquor prohibition

Tsiigehtchic/Arctic Red River

Tsiigehtchic voted to end its liquor prohibition June 11.

Larry Dally, senior administrative officer for the Charter Community of Tsiigehtchic, said council approved a motion to hold a plebiscite on the community's liquor restrictions late last year.

Right now, Tsiigehtchic is one of seven dry communities in the territory.

The vote was held earlier this month and the community voted in favour of lifting the ban on liquor.

Voters had three options: to lift the ban, to create restrictions for liquor within the community, or remain a dry community.

Dally said restrictions could be something like, anyone of legal age would be allowed to bring 60 ounces of liquor into the community over a seven-day period.

Twenty-eight votes were in favour of lifting the ban, 11 votes were in favour of creating restrictions, six votes were in favour of upholding the current prohibition and two ballots were spoiled, according to Dally.

He said he has informed the Northwest Territories Liquor Licensing Board of the vote. He said the next step is to hold another plebiscite within 90 days of June 11.

The second plebiscite will ask residents of Tsiigehtchic the question that won out – are you in favour of an unrestricted community?

If the majority votes yes, then Tsiigehtchic's liquor laws will follow regulations in the Northwest Territories Liquor Act.

The community's liquor regulations were last updated in 2007.

Dally said the change is arising because councillors felt the community wanted to reconsider Tsiigehtchic's liquor prohibition.

"(Councillors) had interactions with the community members and community members felt it was time to look at the current designation and hold a vote on whether it should be changed or not," he said.

"I think it was a collection of people in the community lobbying council to say it's time that this was reviewed. It was a joint effort by the members of the community."

Coun. Charlene Blake, said the community feels prohibition does not work.

"Bylaw didn't or couldn't enforce it and we don't have full-time RCMP here," said Blake. "In my opinion, people should be able to do as they please."

– Samantha McKay