Is bureaucratic mediocrity holding the NWT’s economic future hostage?

On EDGE: Opinion The announcement from the GNWT regarding its “draft” protected areas strategy apparently caught the resource industry by surprise. Predictably, industry representatives complained and we were treated to the spectacle of the industry crying “we were outnumbered!” No surprises there – the North isn’t a safe place for resource companies. With a few

Urban Rocks: Why Blasting Shouldn’t Be The First Option

Rock outcrops are the primal foundations on which Yellowknife has grown, playing a major role in how we live and move across the landscape. Yes, there are plenty of rock outcrops starting just outside the city, but we’d be wise to value our remaining neighbourhood rocks, for historical, architectural, geological, spiritual, and community reasons. Since the arrival of

50/50 Plan Nosedives: Here’s Why

Chances we’ll ever see this in downtown Yellowknife seem highly unlikely Have you ever, in a moment of whimsy, purchased a velvet shirt, maybe with stripes, or perhaps some snazzy sequins, only to realize upon sober second thought that you’re never actually going to wear the thing and you’ve lost the receipt?  In the end,

Refugees and the NWT: Two Crises, One Solution

OPINION Before I arrived in Yellowknife from Toronto the idea of settling on the shores of Great Slave Lake was an alien concept to me. Little did I know the city would end up being the perfect landing spot for a city boy looking for a job and a place to call home. Yet after

The NWT Needs An Independent Auditor General

Without independent verification, what the GNWT has in place is essentially a system of self-reporting In the run-up to the Territorial election, there’ll be lots of talk about attracting development, lowering the cost of living, saving the environment — and what campaign speech would be complete without the obligatory commitment to transparency and accountability? It may

Solar Power: A Reality Check

Money won’t flow to solar while the GNWT shields consumers from the new normal by running up long-term debt After a decade of spending on solar energy, the territorial government can point to a score of installations scattered from Yellowknife Bay to Sachs Harbour that together produce a bit more than 200 kilowatts a year. The largest,

The New Normal: Behind the GNWT’s $30 Million NTPC Payout

On the surface of things, Wednesday’s announcement that the GNWT is kicking $29.7 million over to NTPC to cover the costs associated with low water in the Snare System is a story about the effects of climate change and a government making the tough choices needed to fight it. That’s certainly the narrative the government is selling: “Despite tight

Put YK’s Empty Offices to Work

I started reading about dying downtowns across Canada back in the ’80s. Developers built large strip malls on cheap land on the outskirts of cities. Residents tired of poor parking, traffic and multiple-stop errands readily gravitated to the new massive malls with their infinite free parking and one-stop convenience. Marquee anchor tenants and specialty shops

Ticket for the Gravy Train

The federal election, so far, has been all about the money: $90,000 paid to quiet Mike Duffy, and locally, a $14 million promise from the prime minister’s to chip-seal 68 km of road to Dennis Bevington’s home turf in Fort Smith. Questions from testimony at Senator Duffy’s trial followed Stephen Harper all the way to

Winning Third Place: McLeod’s Liberal Nomination

Gail Cyr didn’t stay long after the votes were counted Saturday and Michael McLeod was declared winner of  the NWT Liberal party’s nomination for the October 19 federal election. “What’s the point in staying? I’m going to enjoy a fish dinner,” Cyr said and drove away, leaving McLeod, who got 83 votes to her 23,

Big Questions: YK Needs More Info About the Winter Games

There were more asks than answers when the Canada Winter Games Committee met at City Hall this Tuesday, most of them aimed at the money question: how much will they cost, and who will pay – now and in the future. The committee will meet again on August 20, and once more before the municipal

GNWT Bends Child Care Rules: Small Upside in Problematic Program

Give the baby some (non-taxable) money Another turn in the saga of the somewhat questionable Conservative Universal Child Care Benefit, announced with much fanfare in Ottawa last week: the GNWT is now bending rules to prevent retroactive payments from hurting low-income residents more than helping them. In a press release sent out Friday afternoon, Premier Bob McLeod pointed

Lobbyist Registry Flop: More Info Please

The new-era website, featuring the Premier The territorial government rolled out its new-look “flagship” website last week, with the same fanfare it devoted to its first-ever report of meetings between cabinet ministers and lobbyists — which is to say, it was done in stealth mode. The website refresh —  “the beginning of a new era for

Exposed: Unreported Death In Street Community Raises Questions

In the winter of 2013-14, Patricia Stewart, a woman of about 60 from Fort McPherson, was found frozen to death underneath the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre. The space underneath the building was, and still is, a popular sleeping spot for the street community. It’s well-covered and there’s a heat vent that keeps you relatively warm.

Liberty!… Maybe? CIty’s Democracy Case Flawed

A pricey, ill-considered charge over the barricades? The City of Yellowknife fights for democracy. It’s a nice sentiment. And at first glance the City’s freshly launched legal battle to get more representation for Yellowknife in the Legislative Assembly seems both laudable and reasonably likely to succeed. After all, Yellowknife has roughly 47 percent of the NWT’s

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