Monday, 17 June 2019

Justice for NWT Extended Health Benefits

"... On June 13, 2019 the NWT Autism Society met with the Minister Responsible for Health and Social Services and Persons with Disabilities and brought forward important information regarding the Extended Health Benefit. The paper pointed out how the program, in its current format, is inherently a violation of the Charter of Rights because it limits itself to a short list of disabilities. The NWT Disabilities Council supports this as this is an issue that affects all people with disabilities whether you have current health coverage or not and throughout the Territory. We ask that you, as one of our over 700 members, take the time to read the information in the link below and to send the email, as requested to your MLA or all the MLAs. Thank you for your support
NO person should have to choose between a home, food to eat or their health! We ask that you join us in this call to action!
See this link for more information..."
and see the CBC article at
Denise McKee
Executive Director.
NWT Disabilities Council
5102 50th Avenue
Lower Level of the Scotia Centre
Yellowknife, NT
Tel: (867) 873-8230 Toll Free: 1-800-491-8885
Fax:  (867) 873-4124
website: ..."

"...Justice for Extended Health Benefits
The Extended Health Benefits for Specified Disease Conditions Program is operated by the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services. This program provides comprehensive supplementary health coverage of medical travel, medical equipment, medical devices, and prescription drugs for persons with chronic medical conditions and disabilities in the Northwest Territories. The current implementation of this program is discriminatory because benefits are only made available to residents if they have one of 50 specific diagnoses recognized by the Department of Health and Social Services. This means that some people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, such as residents living with Autism whose disabilities are not recognized, cannot access the program. This is discrimination under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because distinctions are being made on the basis of the type of disability people have, not on their actual needs. We are seeking immediate action to eliminate discrimination and for the Department of Health and Social Services to address other important gaps in the provision of supplementary health benefits, including that fact that the NWT has no supplementary insurance for medical travel, medical equipment, medical devices, dental care, vision care, and prescription drugs available for low-income residents.
Check out our full position paper or summary paper to learn more about this issue, our recommendations and how you can take action! ..."
Full Report
Summary Page & Advocacy Info

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Gravity Racers "YK Grand Prix" 2019

Gravity Racers "YK Grand Prix" 2019 #RaceToInclusion

"...Well another Grand Prix has come to an end and the cars have been collected, trophies disbursed and clean up done. Please take a look at our sponsors and support those local businesses and organizations that support our community. Proceeds from this year’s race go to help provide the support for children to be able to participate in summer camp.
Next year this portion of School Draw will be under construction so we are looking for a new location, if you have an idea for a location that you think would be good for the race please post . As well, share your favourite pics from the races and tag them #racetoinclusion.
Due to the high demand this year, if you wish to be placed on a pre- register list for next year, please contact the office 873-8230 or email Until next year, have a great summer!..."
Denise Mckee NWT Disabilities Council May 26 2019 at 7:31 AM via
NWT Disabilities Council
Suite 116, 5102 50th Avenue
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 3S8
(867) 873-8230

Thursday, 25 April 2019

"928 people waiting for public housing in N.W.T., conference hears"

928 people waiting for public housing in N.W.T., conference hears

A bit of a perspective on "...928 people waiting for housing..."
As of 2019, the population of the NWT was 44,598.*

Mársı | Kinanāskomitin | Thank you |

"... Apr 25, 2019 - In total, the N.W.T. has 928 people waiting for housing, the majority of which are looking for one-bedroom units. [...]
People in 'substandard housing and sometimes very overcrowded conditions,' says Nihtat Gwich'in Council [...]
Carnogursky said the federal government is showing a willingness to work with the North on the housing crisis.
"We need to take advantage of this opportunity and act on it."
No federal ministers
About 100 people attended the two-day conference, including chiefs and mayors from at least 24 of the N.W.T.'s 33 communities.
There were also representatives from across Nunavut and Yukon, federal organizations and the housing industry from across Canada.
N.W.T. Housing Minister Alfred Moses said they invited a "couple" of federal ministers to the conference.
"They're not here," he said. "I would've really liked to have seen them here for them to listen to how we are dealing with rural and remote issues.
Moses said this is the first time there's ever been a conference on housing that's united leaders from across the North, and not just stakeholders.
"This conference is about hearing what the issues are in the communities and with our Indigenous groups," said Moses.
He also highlighted the N.W.T.'s Community Housing Support Initiative, which is a government program that works with community groups toward affordable housing.
Moses said going forward, he hopes to see this conference continue annually in one of the three territories.
"We are creating Northern solutions for Northern housing problems." ..."

"... Seniors who live alone and rent are NWT's worst-off – report - The first-ever report into a living income for seniors in the Northwest Territories suggests many of those who live alone, or who are renting, may not have enough cash to make ends meet. March 17, 2019 Four communities featured in the study: Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, and Inuvik.  ..."

"... 'From scratch': Colville Lake man building log home amidst housing shortage - Kyle Tutcho, 28, is laying out logs and preparing blueprints as he gets ready to build his home Mar 06, 2019  ..."

"... How Fort Good Hope is faring as it tackles a housing crisis Mar 05, 2019 After 2 years of work, the challenge is to keep up momentum after early successes  ..."

"... 2019 NWT Community Survey to include large housing component Jan 08, 2019  8th survey beginning this month will also include questions on language, employment and education  ..."

"... Oct 03, 2018 - N.W.T. anti-poverty strategy failing, say social justice groups - Denning added that, over the past 10 years, she has seen major developments in terms of expensive condos, but very little to combat the lack of affordable housing.
Denning said she was referring to a fire that destroyed public housing units in Yellowknife two years ago. On Tuesday, another fire destroyed 33 units at Rockhill Apartments in Yellowknife, all of which were used to house women and families while they find permanent homes.
The need for housing is even more desperate in smaller communities.
According to the anti-poverty strategy, almost a third of the houses in small communities are either in need of major repairs, too small to accommodate the number of people living in them, or costing occupants more than 30 per cent of their income...."

"... Homelessness, food insecurity on the rise in the territory, says NWT Poverty Update - Thursday, Sep. 27th, 2018 - The main conditions of poverty have worsened since the territorial government released an action plan aimed at tackling them three years ago, says anti-poverty coalition Alternatives North.
The local social justice coalition released its NWT Poverty Update on Thursday, showing that the number of households on income assistance in the territory has increased by 19%  between 2009 and 2016, five years after the territorial government released a strategic framework and three years after it released an anti-poverty action plan.
Even after the government raised the minimum wage from $12.50 to $13.46 an hour in April, the wealth gap between the territory's richest and poorest residents remains. The NWT Poverty Update states ..."

"... Woman 'appalled' by empty federal housing in Hay River - Federal government spends roughly $4,000 per year to maintain each vacant unit Nov 07, 2018  ..."

"... No housing assistance for N.W.T. family of 6 living in 1-bedroom suite  Jun 07, 2018  ..."

"... Dene Nation 'not happy' with distribution of $600M in funding for on-reserve housing Nov 12, 2018  ..."

"... New housing complex in Aklavik aims to tackle homelessness Dec 11, 2018  4-plex opened last week as part of territorial government's Northern Pathways to Housing program  ..."

"... New public housing units open in Inuvik Sep. 6th, 2018 In co-operation with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) and support from the federal government's Housing Initiative funds, a public housing six-plex has been developed and is now ready for occupants.
The NWTHC-IRC partnership was formed under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) as part of the two organizations' commitment to improve housing conditions in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) and provide economic development and training opportunities for NWT residents in the ISR.
The NWTHC through its community agent, the Inuvik Housing Authority will begin immediately
filling the units with Public Housing program participants. ..."

"... N.W.T. Housing Corporation to dispose of 101 public housing units - 'We will end up replacing these units once they are taken off our inventory,' says CEO Jan 11, 2017 The N.W.T. Housing Corporation has 101 empty public housing units it plans to sell or demolish over the next two years — all former rental units that require substantial repairs.
In total, the corporation has 2,400 public housing units across the Northwest Territories and is required to dispose of old stock before it is allowed to build new units.
'We put a unit on the surplus list if it is beyond its economic life and the cost of repairing would be so high that a replacement would provide a better long term value,' says Tom Williams, president and CEO of the N.W.T. Housing Corporation. ..."

- - - - - -
* As of 2019 the population of the NWT was 44,598.
"... Bureau of Statistics publishes Northwest Territories population estimates based on figures provided by Statistics Canada. These New stats releases include information on components of population change for the Northwest Territories (births, deaths, and migration) along with population figures for Canada, the Provinces and Territories...."
"... The Northwest Territories (NWT) is the only jurisdiction in Canada that names nine (9) official Aboriginal languages along side English and French through its Official Languages Act. The Act recognizes that many languages are spoken and used by people of the NWT and is committed to the preservation, development and enhancement of Aboriginal languages. The NWT Official Languages Act recognizes eleven (11) languages:  Chipewyan (Dëne Sųłıné Yatıé), Cree (Nēhiyawēwin),  Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey (Sahtúǫt'ı̨ne Yatı̨́), South Slavey (Dene Zhatıé), Tłı̨chǫ, French, and English.
Of these languages, nine (9) are Aboriginal and belong to three (3) different language families: Dene, Inuit and Algonquian/Cree. ..."

928 people waiting for public housing in N.W.T., conference hears

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Darrell Chocolate, Artist – NorthwesTel 2019 NWT Directory Cover Art Unveiling

Darrell Chocolate, Artist
"Serene Fall Season"
NorthwesTel Directory Art Unveiling video
Monday, February 25, 2019

With ...
Deneen Everett
Executive Director
Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce
 #21 4802 50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT X1A 1C4
 867. 920.4944
John MacDonald
Assistant Deputy Minister
Paul Gillard
VP Business Markets

"...Darrell Chocolate spotted the vista he wanted to put onto a canvas while out taking photos around Old Town in the fall.

"The sun was just starting to rise up, you could see the clear sky. It was a bit of a brisk wind that morning and you can see it in the waves in the painting. The background you can see the fall leaves, the orange, yellow leaves and in the foreground you can see the pine trees," he says. "That kind of captured my eye to put it on a painting."

He finished 'Serene Fall Season' two weeks before the submission deadline for a NorthwesTel contest where the winner would be featured on all of the NWT's phone books. With his busy life – raising five children and working as a mill operator at the Ekati Diamond Mine – Chocolate says he forgot about the submission until he got the call that he had won...."

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Public Meeting - Aurora College Foundational Review Starts at 12:41 Recorded: Thursday, October 25th

".... Public Meeting on the Aurora College Foundational Review – The Standing Committee on Social Development [held]  a public meeting with the City of Yellowknife on the Aurora College Foundational Review. Mayor-Elect/ Councillor Rebecca Alty, Councillor Julian Morse, City Administrator Sheila Bassi-Kellett and City Director of Policy, Communications and Economic Development Kerry Penney will be in attendance. ..."
Starts at 12:41 Recorded: Thursday, October 25th

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Pot tourists: Japanese, South Korean citizens banned from using legal pot in 🇨🇦 Canada

Sure do hope the Aurora tour operators have their staff and client pot policies well and firmly in place...

Bong arm of the law:
South Korea says it will arrest citizens who smoke weed in Canada

"... "Weed smokers will be punished according to the Korean law, even if they did so in countries where smoking marijuana is legal. There won't be an exception," said Yoon Se-jin, head of the narcotics crime investigation division at Gyeonggi Nambu provincial police agency, according to the Korea Times.
South Korean law is based on the concept that laws made in Seoul still apply to citizens anywhere in the world, and violations, even while abroad, can technically lead to punishment when they return home. Those who smoke weed could face up to five years in prison.
South Korea strictly enforces drugs laws even for small amounts, and celebrities caught smoking weed are often paraded in front of media for apology tours. Officials work to project an image of a "drug-free nation" and only about 12,000 drug arrests were made in 2015 in a country of more than 50 million people.
However, details on how police would test those returning from 🇨🇦 Canada remain hazy. Experts suggested enforcement would focus more on drug traffickers than casual users.
"South Korea can't screen everyone who visited a foreign country, but the police maintain a blacklist that leads to certain individuals being supervised," said Lee Chang-Hoon, a professor in the department of police administration at Hannam University in Daejeon. "But the police are more concerned with the transportation of marijuana into South Korea, and the police messaging shows they are anxious about tackling this issue in the near future." ..." 

Japanese, South Korean citizens banned from using legal pot in Canada

October 23, 2018 "... Purchasing and possessing marijuana in Canada will no longer land you in legal jeopardy here – but if you have a passport from South Korea or Japan, you might still get in trouble.
Citizens of those two countries are being warned that they could face legal consequences at home, if they use cannabis in Canada.
The South Korean justice system claims extraterritorial jurisdiction, meaning the country's laws apply to all South Korean citizens even when they are outside the country. [..]
 "Please be aware that if you [purchase, possess or transport cannabis] … you will be penalized for committing a criminal offence," the embassy said.
The country's foreign affairs ministry had warned earlier this year that any South Korean citizen caught with marijuana could face "serious legal consequences" even after the drug was legalized in Canada. Travellers from Canada and their belongings would likely face increased inspections attempting to enter South Korea, the ministry warned. [..] The Consulate-General of Japan in Vancouver issued a similar statement earlier this month, saying Japan's laws banning the purchase of cannabis "may be applied not only in Japan but also in foreign countries." ..."

Cannabis IQ:
A visitor's guide to smoking legal marijuana in Canada

- October 17, 2018  "...Visitors to  🇨🇦 Canada can now legally enjoy marijuana during their stay. But that doesn't mean smokers can hotbox the Great White North. Pot tourists might be disappointed with the legal marijuana laws in Canada, where local, provincial and federal laws can restrict or ban the use of cannabis in certain areas. [...] Retail sales of recreational cannabis could approach $6.5 billion by 2020, according to an industry analysis released by CIBC in May. That would make it worth more than anticipated spirit sales and nearly as much as wine sales. However, the report did not include tourism-specific estimates.
The Canadian government has not released estimates on the potential value of pot tourism.
Canada will likely draw a "significant number of international tourists" interested in buying legal marijuana, according to a report from Marijuana Business Daily, a Colorado-based cannabis industry publication...."

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Target tourist demographic from China tends to be affluent, experienced travellers between 45 and 65 years old.

"... Yukon's target demographic from China tends to be affluent, experienced travellers between 45 and 65 years old. [...]

Anderson says small groups of independent travellers are the demographic Tourism Yukon is targeting in its strategy.

"We do see some younger travellers from the China market, from mainland China itself but it tends to be in that kind of 45 to 65 target demographic. Which is perfect for us, they generally are a little bit more affluent, they're usually well educated and a bit more established by then. And they're experienced travellers," he said. [...]

Anderson says Tourism Yukon is in the process of evaluating how much the industry can grow, while still maintaining sustainable development. He says Tourism Yukon has just created a tourism development strategy, which tackles the question of how much growth is too much. [...]

The majority come for winter based tourism, but not exclusively, says Robin Anderson, the global marketing manager for Tourism Yukon.

"We're excited about the growth opportunity that China represents," says Anderson.

Anderson says Canada, the United States, and Germany remain the primary markets for Yukon tourism, while China became an emerging market about three years ago. However, that may soon change, especially with 2018 being celebrated as Canada-China year of tourism by the two countries, says Anderson.

"China is the holy grail in a way, especially for North American provinces and territories, and states that are on the West Coast ... It is a massive market and so even a tenth of a percentage point of the travelling market out of China is a huge number of travellers." ..."