GNWT to re-examine rehab followup

December 17, 2017 - NWT

The territorial health minister joined several MLAs for a tour of the addictions facilities with which the GNWT is partnered, to get a better understanding of what NWT residents experience going south for addictions treatment and what they need when they come back home.

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City approves pilot to allow cafes, restaurants to add sidewalk patios this summer

Twist Resto-Lounge and Fuego International Restaurant were the recipients of a $30,000 facade and site improvement grant in 2009 that allowed them to build their patio. - Nicole Veerman/NNSL photo
May 24, 2017

Book answers home buying questions

May 23, 2017

Much ado about arsenic and why are we only getting around to the lake warnings now?

May 22, 2017
Bryce Styan shows off a deadly dangerous, toxic and terrible, entirely inedible walleye from Martin Lake. Fortunately, we had the good sense to release it after taking this picture. Mike W. Bryant/NNSL photo
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No one wants A New Day

May 22, 2017

Ombudsman legislation ‘slow going,’ says MLA

NNSL file photo Minister Louis Sebert said last November in the legislative assembly that a new website on ministerial travel expenses and meetings would be up and running within the next month, but it is still in the works. NNSL file photo
May 22, 2017

Off-site contamination from Giant Mine worries residents

May 22, 2017

Students collect directories, raise green funds

Students and teachers from Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, seen here with Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern and Northwestel general manager for Nunavut Bertrand Poisson May 17, collected 515 directories for recycling as part of Northwestel’s annual directory recycling program in Nunavut. photo courtesy Michel Albert
May 22, 2017

Habitat for Humanity selects family of five for a new home

May 22, 2017

Iqaluit – Habitat for Humanity Iqaluit has selected the Ipeelie-Qiatsuk family for a new home to be built in Apex beginning in mid-June. Construction is scheduled to be completed in December.

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QIA and Baffinland Iron Mines agree on workplan for Mary River

May 22, 2017

Atlantic walrus risks extinction, says committee advising federal minister

Walruses lounge on sea ice between Iglulik and Hall Beach in October 2014. photo courtesy of Jay Williams
May 22, 2017

Families struggle to find graves of loved ones taken South with deadly tuberculoisis

May 22, 2017

Six-week countdown to Alianait and stellar mix of Southern and Northern stars

May 22, 2017

Indigenous children in care

May 22, 2017
In this week’s labour column, PSAC North regional executive vice-president Jack Bourassa pressures the federal government to improve foster care for indigenous children across Canada. Above, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a town hall to answer questions in Yellowknife on Feb. 10. NNSL file photo
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Family Centre finds new, temporary home

May 19, 2017
Janette Morris, director of child and youth services with the Yellowknife YWCA, stands in the Rockridge Apartments building unit that’s now home to the Yellowknife Family Centre, a drop-in space for young families.
Shane Magee/NNSL photo
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Harry Potter’s sport of quidditch takes off in Yellowknife

May 19, 2017

Kavanaugh Bros donate labour, new dumpster to SPCA

May 19, 2017
Jessica Davey-Quantick/ NNSL photo
Rocky Billotsoton pauses in his cleaning to give Slush, one of the dogs at the NWT SPCA.
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Minister grilled on open government

May 19, 2017
Louis Sebert, the GNWT minister responsible for transparency, listens during a meeting at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre on Wednesday about the creation of an open government policy. Shane Magee/NNSL photo
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GNWT seeks bidders for J.H. Sissons planning study

May 19, 2017

Michael Black sentenced to 10 months in jail after hot knife attack on woman

Judge Bernadette Schmaltz dismissed charges against Lloyd Thrasher Monday, who was charged with possession of stolen property in relation to a theft at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre last year. NNSL file photo
May 19, 2017

Making carbon pricing work for Northerners – Michael Miltenberger

May 18, 2017

Michael Miltenberger, former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Finance.The national carbon price is coming.

The new, federally mandated levy on greenhouse gas emissions comes into effect next year, setting a minimum $10 per tonne of emissions beginning in 2018 and rising $10 each year to reach $50 per tonne in 2022.

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Sahtu beneficiaries ‘are deeply concerned’ bringing lawyers in to challenge leaders

May 18, 2017

Some beneficiaries of the Sahtu Trust have retained lawyers and written a letter to Premier Bob McLeod, the latest development in a conflict that has included allegations of mismanagement of the trust by the board that oversees it.

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Demand grows for after-school programs

Students at St. Joseph School YWCA Afterschool Program Sydney Morris, left, Jack Bragg and Sara Morris on May 18. The program is already full for next year at St. Joseph and J.H. Sissons School and has 42 students on the waitlist across the city. Emelie Peacock/NNSL Photo
May 18, 2017

Preparing for the forest fire season ahead

May 18, 2017
Eight new Air Tractor 802A FireBoss Amphibious Water Bomber aircraft have arrived in the territory over the past several weeks.
photo courtesy of the GNWT
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Nothing to see here, move along please

May 18, 2017

James O’Connor is editor of News/North

It’s a beautiful time of year in the Northwest Territories. Spring is here, the snow is pretty much gone and the ice is melting as fast as a cube in a California cocktail.

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Arviat Arctic Co-op leader promotes values while performing duties

Arctic Co-operatives president Kono Tattuinee enjoys a cup of coffee while thinking over his plans for his fourth term in Arviat this past week. Photo courtesy of Gord Billard
May 17, 2017

Naujaat cadets take part in first mandatory expedition

Seven Naujaat cadets attended silver star training at Birds Hill Provincial Park near Winnipeg earlier this month. Standing from left, Cpl. Beatrice Kaunak, Cpl. Kurt Ignerdjuk, Capt Lloyd Francis (commanding officer), Master Cpl. Ernie Inaksajak, Cpl. Jonah Allianaq and Master Cpl. Lou Kopak; and kneeling from left, Master Cpl. Ron Sivanertok and Master Cpl. Anderson Putulik. Photo courtesy of Lloyd Francis
May 17, 2017
Naujaat cadet Cpl. Beatrice Kaunak sets up camp during silver star training at Birds Hill Provincial Park near Winnipeg earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Lloyd Francis
Naujaat cadet Cpl. Beatrice Kaunak sets up camp during silver star training at Birds Hill Provincial Park near Winnipeg earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Lloyd Francis
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MLAs hear from Yellowknife school boards

Yellowknife MLAs have met with the city's three school boards ahead of a legislative session set to start next week. The second assembly session this year will convene May 25. Up for discussion is Bill 16 which, if passed, will change the kindergarten age from five to four years, bring in junior kindergarten for all schools in the NWT, and reduce the minimum instructional hours for Grades 1 through 12 to 945 hours. Ahead of the session, city MLAs met with the Yellowknife Education District No. 1, Yellowknife Catholic Schools and Commission scolaire francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest over the past two weeks. Both Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (Yk1) and Yellowknife Catholic Schools will implement junior kindergarten in the fall and the French school board will continue its junior kindergarten class which started last year. Leadership at all three boards indicated funding for inclusive schooling and aboriginal programming is still an issue. Yk1 superintendent Metro Huculak said his district has a good working relationship with the Department of Education, Culture and Employment and he is confident the department, together with the health department, will be able to find a solution to the inclusive schooling funding. Catholic Schools board chair Miles Welsh said while junior kindergarten is being portrayed by the government as fully funded, it is still missing important funding for inclusive schooling and aboriginal language and culture programming. This is a concern shared by Yvonnne Careen, superintendent of the french school board, noting the cost of care is higher for younger students. On inclusive schooling, both Kam Lake MLA Kieron Testart and Yellowknife North MLA Cory Vanthuyne said they would push for full funding for inclusive schooling in junior kindergarten. “It's important to me to make sure that the inclusive schooling aspect of junior kindergarten is fully funded,” Vanthuyne said. “Because I'm also an individual who grew up with a learning disorder and needed particular attention, special education requirements, myself when I was going through the education system.” Testart also noted the importance of funding aboriginal programming for junior kindergarten. Schools will also be adjusting to reductions in instructional hours if Bill 16 is passed. Vanthuyne and Testart are in favour of this portion of the bill, yet as it is a pilot project Vanthuyne stressed the importance of including means of monitoring and measuring its success. Whether funding for buses for junior kindergarten students will be provided by the GNWT still remains to be determined. School boards are surveying parents registering their children for junior kindergarten on whether they require bus services. So far, 15 junior kindergarten students will require the service at Yk1, Huculak said, adding he doesn't expect more than 25 will need it. The french school board has 12 registered students for junior kindergarten so far, but does not yet have the numbers of students who require bus service. The Catholic schools have 15 students who will require the service so far. All three districts indicated some sort of solution is needed, regardless of what is decided in the legislature. “If the bussing isn’t provided we have to make some decisions on that as well, because not everybody can get their kid to school at the drop of a hat,” Welsh said. For Testart, bus service is less of a priority than inclusive schooling. He said the pricetag given by the bus company is very high and he estimates the junior kindergarten students using the service in Yellowknife won't be more than 60. “If the act says schools need to do this, we need to provide the bussing service, then that changes completely,” he said. “Then we have to find the money right because it’s a legal requirement to do so, but at this point if there’s no legal requirement to do so then I don’t think that’s a top priority to do so.” Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly declined to comment for this story and told Yellowknifer he will share his position on education issues in next week’s session of the legislature. Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green also declined to comment.
May 17, 2017

Mackenzie River breakup predicted for May 24

May 17, 2017
Dustin Whalen, a physical scientist with Natural Resources Canada, is predicting breakup in Inuvik to occur around May 24-28. He says this year looks to buck the recent trend of earlier breakups. Last year’s breakup began May 16. photo courtesy of Dustin Whalen
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Union hopes for speedy fire department changes in Yellowknife

May 17, 2017
John Fredericks, the city’s fire chief, speaks to councillors about a plan that would make changes to the fire department over the coming years. Ten members of the firefighters union decked out in red shirts also attended the meeting. Shane Magee/NNSL photo
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Finally, some entertainment at Inuvik town council – Inuvik Drum editor Stewart Burnett

May 17, 2017

Stanton suspends lobby policy for homeless

May 17, 2017
Florence Wedzin hugs her friend Anthony Paul Blackduck while they warm up in Stanton Territorial Hospital’s lobby on Dec. 13, 2016. Both of them said at the time that they took advantage of a new policy at the facility where homeless people were allowed to stay overnight in the lobby as long as they follow the rules. NNSL file photo

 

Homeless individuals will no longer be able to seek shelter in the lobby of Stanton Territorial Hospital starting May 21, although health officials say they are working on “next steps” for supporting those people.

In anticipation of warmer weather, Stanton Territorial Hospital is planning for the closure of the pilot warming initiative,” stated David Maguire, spokesperson for the NWT Health and Social Services Authority, in an email to Yellowknifer.

Maguire said the decision was made by Stanton’s chief operating officer – currently Les Harrison – and added the program was always intended as a pilot initiative during the winter months.

It is our hope that the establishment of a safe ride and sobering centre program in the near future will help to ease the pressure created when clients who are intoxicated or seeking shelter from the cold weather present at the emergency department,” stated Maguire.

But the GNWT still has yet to establish a sobering centre.

Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy said in March his department was having trouble finding a suitable location downtown for the facility.

It is still unclear how close the GNWT is to securing a space.

In March, the city also announced it was putting the brakes on a safe-ride program until it has access to a van and the sobering centre was up and running.

Stanton hospital began allowing homeless individuals to seek shelter in its registration area last November after Colin Goodfellow, the hospital’s chief operating officer at the time, sent an e-mail to staff about the idea.

He said the hospital would provide food and water to people who are not in need of medical care, but who have nowhere to go after homeless shelters have closed or are full for the night.

Homeless individuals were allowed to stay in the registration area as long as there was no fighting, no bothering of patients and no begging.

Intoxication would not be tolerated either, the e-mail stated.

Goodfellow is no longer the chief operating officer at the hospital as of April, although the reasons for his departure are unclear.

The lobby policy caused frustration among some people represented by the Union of Northern Workers (UNW).

In January, UNW second vice-president Marie Buchanan expressed concern about staff and patient security.

Frank Walsh, UNW Local 11 president representing more than 500 union members at Stanton, said some staff brought concerns forward about the lobby policy over the winter, but the employer, union and labour relations dealt with them.

We talked through the problems that were brought forward in a meaningful fashion and everyone seemed to agree … this is a good thing for the homeless in Yellowknife,” Walsh said. “But I can’t emphasize enough that it probably could have been rolled out a little better.”

He said there could have been more involvement from the union and employees before the policy was implemented.

But I think overall, if we’re reaching out, we’re helping people – particularly people in our own community – I don’t think it could be deemed a failure by any means,” he said, adding hospitals are in the business of helping people. “Nobody froze to death.”

Walsh said the policy served its purpose over the cold winter months, but understands the policy could be revisited in the future.

It’ll be on our agenda certainly to discuss for the future,” he said.

 

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Liquor bylaw passes; support for detox centre grows

May 17, 2017

An obligation to look out for each other

Natasha Kulikowski, left, and Michelle Lennie host an information booth about work safety at the Inuvik Regional Hospital Friday, May 12. The event was part of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo
May 17, 2017
Natasha Kulikowski, left, and Michelle Lennie host an information booth about work safety at the Inuvik Regional Hospital Friday, May 12. The event was part of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo
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Floating an idea of a floating capital

May 17, 2017
Columnist Walt Humphries has an idea to drive tourism to the North – a floating capital city. Instead of the capital headquartered in Yellowknife, the legislative assembly could be hoisted onto a barge and could float from community to community every year. Read on to find out why Humphries believes this is a win-win-win situation.
NNSL file photo
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Cabinet peppered with questions from community level politicians around NWT

May 17, 2017
Twin Lakes MLA Robert McLeod, right, sits on a panel of cabinet ministers during the final session of the Northwest Territories Association of Communities conference in Inuvik last weekend. 1805meeB1.jpg<br /> Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo<br />
Twin Lakes MLA Robert McLeod, right, sits on a panel of cabinet ministers during the final session of the Northwest Territories Association of Communities conference in Inuvik last weekend. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

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Ulukhaktok youth wins outstanding volunteer award

May 17, 2017
Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo
Nigel Koplomik, from Ulukhaktok, stands with Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, with his outstanding volunteer award in the youth category.
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Annual Sachs Harbour jamboree a hit

May 17, 2017
photo courtesy of Doreen Carpenter
Community members frolic during the annual jamboree in Sachs Harbour. From front to back in front, Chelsey Elanik, Dustyn Gully, Adella Carpenter and Doreen Carpenter compete in a test of team balance and coordination
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East Three students prepare for track and field championships

May 17, 2017
East Three Secondary School teacher Colin Pybus demonstrates how students should position themselves when throwing the shotput. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo
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Sheila O’Kane receives outstanding volunteer award

May 17, 2017
Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo
Sheila O’Kane, middle, stands with Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs Caroline Cochrane and Premier Bob McLeod. O’Kane received an outstanding volunteer award.
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‘Performance is my life’, says Rankin Inlet’s Kuuri Panika

Kuuri Panika of Rankin Inlet performs on the APTN television Inuit-language current-events talk show Qanuq Isumavit earlier this year. photo courtesy Kuuri Panika
May 16, 2017
Kuuri Panika of Rankin Inlet performs at the Puvirnituq Snow Festival in March.<br /> photo courtesy Kuuri Panika
Kuuri Panika of Rankin Inlet performs at the Puvirnituq Snow Festival in March.
photo courtesy Kuuri Panika
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Layoffs follow visitors centre closure

May 16, 2017
Kyle Thomas, president of the Northern Frontier Visitors Association, says he’s at the end of his rope dealing with relocation of the visitors centre.
Shane Magee/NNSL photo
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Catholic school district worries over extra JK costs

May 16, 2017

Millions of dollars of water, sewer and paving projects set to start in Yellowknife

May 16, 2017
A teen skateboards along Franklin Avenue past a stack of pipes that will be installed as part of water and sewer construction work on the street this summer.
Shane Magee/NNSL photo
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RCMP: use the media to warn, gather information from the reading public, please

May 16, 2017
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Youth run the territory for a day

Emma Willoughby, left, representing Great Slave, Aidan Allan representing Yellowknife South, Myha Martin representing Inuvik Twin Lakes and Lisa Boutilier representing Hay River South stand during a vote for a motion to train teachers across the territory on youth mental health on Thursday, May 11 at the Government of the Northwest Territories legislative assembly. Emelie Peacock/NNSL Photo
May 16, 2017

by Emelie Peacock

Northern News Services

Young, passionate and well-spoken, students from across the territory took their seats at the legislative assembly on Thursday, May 11 for a Youth Parliament session.

Thursday was the culmination of a week of drafting and discussing motions, meeting with MLAs and getting a firsthand look at the democratic process. Nineteen youth in grades nine and 10, each representing one region of the territory, took part in the 15th annual Youth Parliament.

For many of them, the issues they advocated for hit close to home. Angus James Capot-Blanc from Fort Liard, representing Nahendeh, gave an impassioned speech on the mental health crisis in his community.

“It is spreading fast and it’s affecting mainly the youth in the communities, which is pretty sad because that’s our next generation,” he said during a break in Thursday’s session.

Myha Martin, a resident of Inuvik representing Inuvik Twin Lakes, described how elders are suffering from cultural loss and addictions, something she wants to solve by creating more work and travel opportunities throughout the region.

The effects of travel costs for remote communities was a huge concern for many of the youth, including Kyran Alikamik from Ulukhaktok. “I just think it’s very unreasonable,” he said of the $4,000 cost of airfare from his community to the territory’s capital. Another danger Alikamik warned about is drug trafficking and consumption, in particular substances laced with fentanyl .

For Alikmak, the experience of territorial politics weighed heavily on him. “I’m experiencing it right now and I’m sitting on the chairs and I feel like there’s a lot of pressure. I can make a decision but that can also influence others decisions, right?” he said. “Me making decisions for a quite large population is too much pressure for me, a little too much.”

While Alikmak said Youth Parliament has made him realize politics is not for him, others plan to continue after this experience. Capot-Blanc said politics is one of his passions, along with playing music, singing and repairing things.

A list of the students who took part in Youth Parliament from May 8 to 12. Photo courtesy of Government of Northwest Territories.
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