The Moose in the Room: YK vs. the NWT is a Smokescreen

There was just enough room for both lawyers and spectators in the small courtroom assigned for a brief hearing this afternoon, setting the date for a legal showdown between the City and the GNWT over electoral boundaries for the November 23 territorial election. Urged on by a handful of citizens who are party to the

The pains of my Yellowknife summer withdrawal

As I watch the sun set at 9:30 p.m., enveloping Fredericton in a thick, humid darkness, a single tear rolls down my cheek. Really? No, not really. But my heart does break a little, seeing that sun pack it in for the day so early. It’s my first summer in the south after three in

High Energy Bills: Carbon Tax, NWT-Style

Don’t worry about referendums on fracking, effectively regulating emissions, or even limiting ministerial travel. The GNWT’s got an ace in the hole in its battle against climate change: high energy prices. “Previous studies have indicated that our high energy prices already create an effective carbon pricing mechanism by leading consumers to make efficiency upgrades or

Northern Properties’ GNWT Deal is Great. For Them

An NPREIT joint: Fort Gary Apartments It’s a sweet deal that Northern Property REIT has negotiated with the territorial government. Under the agreement, the GNWT will pay $1.6 million this year to rent 75 apartments, most of them in Yellowknife, for families on the waiting list for public housing. The territory’s largest landlord, NPREIT complained

Labels Don’t Matter: ITI’s Fish Branding is a Flop

Happy couple: Man and Great Slave Lake Trout The territorial government’s branding campaign for fresh fish from Great Slave Lake has yet to catch on with fishermen, retailers or consumers in Yellowknife. The Co-op identifies Great Slave Lake as the source of whitefish and trout in its display cases – but doesn’t use the label Industry

Can Art Save Downtown?

According to EDGE’s Google analytics, you probably won’t read this. Stories about arts and culture, the data shows, are one of the least likely to receive your click. And yet, in May, when the City of Yellowknife polled citizens about what should be done with its recently purchased lot on 50th Street and Franklin Avenue (the 50/50

Keeping It Clean: Lobbyist Registry Must Go Further

Dirty windows: new lobbyist reporting rules still aren’t transparent Amid the flurry of business during the Legislative Assembly’s frenzied final week before summer vacation, there was tabled a small item by the government that mostly escaped media notice. The GNWT issued its response to the assembly’s February motion calling on the government to establish a

Words Count: Learning How to Discuss Mental Illness

What we call mental illness can sometimes be a skill Try as I might to be impeccable with my words, there are times when they fail me so utterly I consider changing professions… something where context, precision and nuance don’t matter. Where two syllables won’t make a person feel degraded, or devalued. Ditch-digger might do.

Yellowknife Shouldn’t Get to Vote on Sahtu Fracking

On EDGE: Opinion You’d be forgiven for thinking that the year 2100 is impossibly far off. Virtually everyone reading this will be dead, or at best a sentient floating head in a jar. The G7’s pledge this week to achieve full decarbonization by the next turn of the century might sound like the leaders of

What’s The Opposite of Election Fever?

The last time I wrote about this fall’s federal election, the Liberal Party was flying high in national polls, the NDP was sputtering and the Conservatives had their reliable third of the electorate locked up. That was four months ago. Things are a bit different these days. In case you hadn’t heard, the NDP is

Alberta Ho! What the NDP’s Orange Sunrise Means for the NWT

It’s important to avoid over-inflating the effect of Rachel Notley’s new socialist utopia The initial shock of the NDP’s win in Alberta this week is wearing off, although the phrase “Alberta’s NDP government” is going to sound weird to all of us for a while. Regardless of what you think of the NDP, it’s not

Go Your Own Way: Nothing Much for the North in Harper Budget

It was fun while it lasted. In previous budget years, the North has enjoyed favoured status, reaping specific policy goodies nestled in each document: $300 million for housing here, a new economic development agency or research centre there. These are not insignificant line items. And they’ve generally been accompanied by handfuls of smaller initiatives that

The cost and benefit of adding YK MLAs

Now that the territorial government has set the date of the next election, it’s time to turn to electoral boundaries and the City’s legal challenge, which has been gestating behind closed doors since last October. Evidently it’s sensitive stuff, not to be shared with voters and taxpayers, so sensitive that councillors who work for the

Dodging the Carbon Pricing Bullet

The tentative return of spring brings with it another round of high-profile confabs on climate change. This week it’s the Quebec summit on climate change, which brought together provincial and territorial premiers and environment ministers. All three territories are represented at this meeting, and issued a joint communique Monday, proclaiming that their governments are bringing a “Northern

Privatizing Power

The cynics among us might describe politics as the delay between the identification of a problem and the action taken to do something about it. You might forgive NWT electricity customers for feeling that way after NTPC’s most recent rate hike went into effect April 1. Despite months of churning debate over the NWT’s cost

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