Friday, 30 December 2011
Audio of interview available for download at
1. So, what "on-line activities" did you track during the elections this year?
All the candidates Twitter and Facebook accounts
in both the federal and territorial elections
as well as their (if they had 'em) their blogs and websites…
I wanted to see what new media communication the candidates would bring to bear on the runs… how they would handle the voters.. if they would dialogue with the voters or just spew the standard press releases…
As of December 30th, 2011
Seniors Forum Live stream video had 122 video views http://mediamentor-circumpolar.blogspot.com/2011/09/seniors-all-yzf-candidates-for.html
Chamber of Commerce forum videos http://storify.com/northern_clips/yellowknife-chamber-of-commerce-election-forum-201 had 977 video views
NWT Election form now NWT Politics & Society https://www.facebook.com/groups/NWT.elec.17/
had 180 members during during the elections and now has172 with over 2000 posts on many different issues of concern to the citizens of the NWT
The Election time, NWT style article on http://rabble.ca/news/2011/09/election-time-nwt-style had 1200 readers and the live stream videos of the Northwest Territories, Status of Women Council of the NWTs held an All Yellowknife Candidates Forum on September 26, 7 p.m., at Northern United Place had 839 viewers. http://rabble.ca/rabbletv/program-guide/2011/09/features/nwt-all-candidates-debate
2. From your perspective, what stands out for you about this year's elections?
Well two things…
The first being that there was so many candidates using social media..
In the federal race… all candidates had Facebook and twitter accounts…
some with new accounts set up for the election… and others with established pages… same with webpages or blogs….
Same in the territorial race… except in that race.. some candidates did not have an on-line presence at all… that's to be understood.. some communities lack the connectivity and surfers to make it worthwhile …
Second surprise in both races was number of candidates using new media who did not seem to get the would idea that its a two way street and its the give and take that's the key…
3. How does that change things?
We're a big territory.. that's not news…
What may be news to some is that for the first time in our electoral process Twitter and Facebook let the voters of the NWT personally participate in the debate … air the issues… and start the building of a territory wide consensus on those issues…
and those voters..
like students at university and others living down south
or those out of their communities and at Aurora College in Ft Smith or Inuvik
were also able to participate… hear the issues and think about their votes…
using Hashtags #NWTpoli #NWTleg #NWTelec17
4. During the territorial election, you started the NWT ELECTIONS FOR THE 17th assembly Facebook group.
What were some of the issues that people wanted to talk about?
Now called NWT Politics & Society Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/NWT.elec.17/ the group has about 180 members during during over 2000 posts on many different issues of concern to the citizens of the NWT
Direct election of the premier… or at least a change in the way its done now..
Poverty, housing.. the road to Tuk..
The Hache / Hawkins issue
The Turner / Daryl Dolynny issue
pretty much the same topics that you might have see on CBCNorth or in the newspaper… the major difference being that this was the voter talking.. not the pundits… not the journalists.. it allowed the people to voice their opinions on topics of their own choosing
FOLLOWUP : Who would you point to for both 'active' and 'inactive' on-line campaigns?
in Yellowknife Centre, Hawkins and Hache have both been on Twitter since 2009… but the differences are amazing… with Hache the scoop and depth of her posts gave and still give us an insight into her character, concerns and interest… Mr Hawkins just touted his campaign and its minutia with little if any opinion or sense of his character
Bea Lepine - Candidate for Hay River North MLA still has 244 members of her Facebook group… and had more during the election…. she did an excellent job of dialoguing with those voters and also continued in traditional campaign methods… in her personal account she has 424 friends.. she lost...
But her main opponent Robert Bouchard's personal page (all he had during the election) lists 434 friends… he won.. wit little on line interaction…
But I think the best examples are from the Federal campaign…
Our former Health Minister, Conservative Sandy Lee, had a very professionally run Facebook and Twitter accounts… but it was evident that's all they were… press photo after press release and little or no interaction with the voters… In fact after asking a simple question about why Ms Lee had not answered the NWT Status of Women's questionnaire on he Facebook page…. one of her staffers from Inuvik banned me from the page telling me "That page is there for Sandy's supporters" only… and the same question asked via Twitter never received a reply.. Of all her Facebook postings I seem to remember only two or three that were not posted by her staff…
On the other hand..
The Green Party's Eli Purchase, the Liberal's Joe Handley and the NDP's Dennis Bevington were all… very much more open and forthcoming… with many postings from not only supporters by others who asked questions… and got answers…
It was refreshing to see that Eli Purchase was doing his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube videos himself… and there was the feeling of hearing his personal opinions and stances on the issues…
So to for Handley and Bevington….
So what I am saying is the Facebook and Twitter are excellent ways for a voter to test the waters… to find out about a candidate's interests and character during an election… and afterwards… if they are well used by the politician… they let the voter keep track and keep in touch with them during their mandate...
5. So, what does all this tell you about how connected (as in our on-line presence) we are as a territory and where we are going?
Well … our connectivity will improve… there is no doubt about that…
both to the internet and to our politicians… both the federal and territorial election campaigns have, I think, firmly established that social media are important tools of communication in our democratic society… and are here to stay..and in a region of the size in the NWT… the most important thing is that they give the voter back the power (if we ever had it) to build and establish the oft talked about consensus and then to mandate our politicians to carry out the consensus of the people's will...
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Only Nunavut is higher.
Fortunately Yellowknife does not rate in the top 100 cities.
|Crime severity index|
|Rank||Province or Territory||Population||% from Canadian average||Rank (violent crime)||Rank (non-violent crime)||% change since 2005*||% change since 2000*|
Northwest Territories, Canada
Overall Rank #2
Population: 43,759 Website: www.gov.nt.ca
Rate per 100,000 population:2.3Canadian rate per 100,000 population:1.6
Percentage difference from Canada:40.7%
Rate per 100,000 population:402.2
Canadian rate per 100,000 population:65
Percentage difference from Canada:518.5%
Rate per 100,000 population:68.6
Canadian rate per 100,000 population:10
Percentage difference from Canada:585.8%
Rate per 100,000 population:54.9
Canadian rate per 100,000 population:89.1
Percentage difference from Canada:-38.5%
Breaking and entering
Rate per 100,000 population:1629.4
Canadian rate per 100,000 population:577.2
Percentage difference from Canada:182.3%
Rate per 100,000 population:507.3
Canadian rate per 100,000 population:271.7
Percentage difference from Canada:86.7%
Maclean's obtained annual crime data from Statistics Canada for municipal police services serving the nation's 100 largest populations, each encompassing a city or town of at least 10,000 people. Using 2010 rates per 100,000 people for six crimes—homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, vehicle theft, robbery plus breaking and entering—in each area, Maclean's calculated the percentage difference from the national rate. The overall crime score ranking for the 100 communities was created in consultation with StatsCan, using its Crime Severity Index (CSI) score and calculating the percentage difference from the national CSI score. Maclean's calculated the ratios by dividing population of the area by the raw number of crimes. Maclean's uses the names of the individual police services as used by Statistics Canada as the "city" name; some are edited for space.
Saturday, 17 December 2011
MINISTER’S STATEMENT 20-17(1): MEETING WITH FEDERAL JUSTICE MINISTER ON BILL C-10 HON. GLEN ABERNETHY
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011 YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES
MINISTER'S STATEMENT 20-17(1): MEETING WITH FEDERAL JUSTICE MINISTER ON BILL C-10
HON. GLEN ABERNETHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to update the House on discussions I had with the federal Minister of Justice, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, yesterday. The purpose of this meeting was to bring the concerns of my colleagues regarding Bill C-10 to the Minister and to discuss how best to mitigate the impacts of the bill on the Northwest Territories.
The Parliament of Canada has the right and responsibility to pass national legislation in respect to criminal justice that can significantly affect all the provinces and territories. The motion passed just last Friday by this Assembly details some of the concerns that we have about this bill, and how it may affect our residents and our institutions that respond to crime. But we must be mindful of the fact that Bill C-10 is the latest in a string of federal bills aimed at addressing crime. Since 2006 there have been 18 crime and public safety bills that have gone through Parliament, many of which are now law. These initiatives have had a cumulative impact on our services here in the Northwest Territories.
For the record, Bill C-10 bundles nine bills that were introduced in the previous Parliament into one large piece of legislation. The bill covers everything from sexual offences and drug crimes, to compensating victims of terrorism and eliminating pardons for some offences. The bill also introduces new offences and mandatory minimum sentences, imposes higher penalties and restricts the use of conditional sentences.
We anticipate the changes in sentencing will affect our corrections system where we may see more or see increases in the number of adults in custody as well as more youth in pre-trial and sentence custody. There may also be pressures on our courts and on our Legal Aid Program as more people may contest charges due to the increased penalties.
Additionally, the new legislation may place more demands on our victim services. There may be increased pressures on our community justice programs and will continue to try to deal with matters outside of the court system wherever possible.
Minister Nicholson and I had a positive discussion, recognizing the unique concerns we have in the Northwest Territories. We agreed that we will continue to work together on a number of fronts including: diversion options, potential options for alternative courts, victim services, Aboriginal justice and youth justice.
I extended an invitation to Minister Nicholson to come visit one of our small communities here in the North to see daily life firsthand. He was open and receptive to the invitation.
We will be continuing our discussions with Canada to develop concrete approaches to mitigating the effects of Bill C-10, and work with our northern counterparts in Nunavut and the Yukon to promote our common interest and to share the best practices. We look forward to further discussions with all Ministers of Justice at the FPT Ministers of Justice meeting at the end of January. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr. Abernethy.
Friday, 16 December 2011
Indigenous Storytellers Invited to Apply
Program dates: February 27 – March 10, 2012
Application deadline: January 13, 2012
Hi-Rez Storytelling is a program designed to support emerging to mid-career Aboriginal filmmakers and new media screen-based writers and producers. During the course of this unique two-week residency at The Banff Centre, participants will develop a project they bring with them to the program, write for multi-platform environments, and learn digital strategies that provide a continuum for contemporary storytelling forms.
Hi-Rez Storytelling will provide one-on-one mentorship and guidance with outstanding faculty and guest speakers. At the end of residency, participants will leave with a developed story, plans for production, and fundraising and/or pitching plans. Participants may be storytellers of any genre who want to explore how to tell and visualize their story, and who wish to explore an Indigenous esthetic in storytelling and interactivity.
Scholarship and financial aid to cover 100 per cent of the program fee is available. Travel costs will be the responsibility of the participants.
How to Apply
Self-directed Residencies for Aboriginal Artists
Achieve your artistic vision. The Banff Centre offers self-directed residencies for Aboriginal artists, enabling the time and space for focused work and providing the freedom to conceptualize, create, research, or complete a project.
Aboriginal Arts self-directed residencies are open to writers, composers, singer-songwriters, dancers, choreographers, screenwriters, and playwrights. Residencies can be of any duration and artists can apply to come any time.
For more information about Hi-Rez Storytelling and Aboriginal Arts Self-Directed Residencies, please contact:
Kathy Morrison, Program Manager
The Banff Centre
Box 1020, Station 21
Banff, AB T1L 1H5
A Place for Artists
The Banff Centre puts the needs of artists above all else, providing time and space for inspired creativity and intense productivity (plus bacon and dessert every day!)
Watch The Video
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Deadline for Applications: Jan 31, 2012
Job Title: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Company Name: Open Sky Creative Society
Contact: Ryan Good (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Occupation: Visual Arts & Crafts - Administrator
City: Fort Simpson
Province/State: Northwest Territories
Education Level: University (Undergraduate)
Languages: - English
Type of Work: - Full Time - Part-Time
Start Date: Feb 22, 2012
Deadline for Applications: Jan 31, 2012
Prefered Method(s) of Application: By E-Mail: email@example.com
By Phone: 867-695-3005
Job Description Wage: $25.00/hr
Hours: 25 – 40 hrs/week
This position is dependent on the availability of funding levels therefore hours and terms of contract are somewhat variable.
• Implement the OSCS's programming and administrative operations in consultation with the Board of Directors.
• Research, write and submit operating, project and special grants.
• Research and identify new funding opportunities
• Liaise with funders and prepare project final reports.
• Participate in the curatorial process for the OSC Gallery
• Work with independent contractors where necessary to meet the society's needs (ie. Website development, accounting, graphic design, festival contractors, etc)
• Perform general administrative management activities including correspondence with press, artists, applicants, OSCS members and partner organizations in the Dehcho Region & beyond.
• Coordinate the annual Open Sky Festival
• Research and formulate community outreach strategies. Coordinate performance coffee houses, seasonal workshops & special events.
• Manage & schedule volunteers
• Develop and revise ongoing biannual budget projections & maintain accurate financial records.
• Assist in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies and events
• Network and liaise with advocacy groups & networks locally, provincially, and nationally
• Maintain a clean, well organized, safe working environment
• Self-motivated and able to work independently.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Previous administrative experience
• Knowledge & sensitivity of Aboriginal cultural practices (Dene & Metis of the Dehcho)
• Confidence in the handling of artworks and installation of exhibitions
• Effective interpersonal skills and the ability to work in partnership with the OSCS Board, committees, artists, volunteers, partner organizations & community members
• A strong working knowledge of PC computer applications (word, excel spreadsheets, adobe InDesign).
• Ability to work comfortably with A/V Technology
• A certificate in arts administration or a post-secondary degree in business admin/visual arts/visual studies/museum studies and/or demonstrated experience in artist-run centres, not-for-profit organizations, public/private galleries or museums or equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Proven experience working with budgets, researching and writing government & foundation grants
• Previous management experience
• Fundraising and Public Relations experience
• Experience working for the non-profit sector
• Experience working with indigenous cultures
Application must include:
1) A cover letter outlining your experience and interest and relevant skills as they relate to an artist run centre and your views and previous experience regarding volunteerism
2) A current CV
3) Names of three references with contact information
Submissions via email with "OSCS Executive Director" in the subject line should be delivered to:
We will review all applications, but only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Potential candidates will be contacted after the Christmas break.
Open Sky Creative Society
Fort Simpson, NT X0E 0N0
©2011 George Lessard December 2, 2011
Subject: CRTC opens Canada's North to
local telephone competition
From: "CNW Portfolio System"
Date: Wed, December 14, 2011 11:14
To: "Portfolio E-Mail"
CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
Government of Canada Transmitted by
CNW Group on : December 14, 2011 11:00
CRTC opens Canada's North to
local telephone competition
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Dec. 14, 2011 /CNW/ -
Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) announced that it is opening Canada's North to local telephone
Residents in many parts of the Yukon,
Northwest Territories and Nunavut will have the option to choose from
competing telephone service providers as of May 1, 2012.
"For the first time, many northern residents will be able to choose
an alternate local telephone service provider," said Leonard Katz,
the CRTC's Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications. "Competition will be
introduced as soon as possible to bring choice and innovative options to
In its ruling, the CRTC has also denied
Northwestel's request to raise by $2 the rates for residential and
business local telephone service. Such an increase is not justified at
this time and is inconsistent with the current regulatory regime.
Moreover, the CRTC found that Northwestel has insufficiently invested in
its network despite its strong financial performance during the past few
years, and is concerned that the company's aging infrastructure is
affecting the quality and reliability of its service.
must provide, within the next six months, a plan detailing how it will
modernize its network. This will form the basis of the CRTC's
comprehensive review of Northwestel's infrastructure and services over
the next two years.
"We are disappointed that Northwestel,
which has until now been the sole provider of local telephone service in
the North, has not made a greater effort to improve its services,"
Mr. Katz added. "Many communities have been plagued by service
outages and certain features are not widely available to customers.
Northern residents deserve to have access to reliable and high-quality
services comparable to those offered in the rest of the country."
During the next two years, the CRTC will closely monitor the
situation in the North as local competition is implemented.
Today's decision follows a proceeding that included a public hearing that
was held in Yellowknife, N.W.T., on October 4 and 5, 2011.
Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-771
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-302
Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245
Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
TDD - Toll-free
# 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
are available in alternative format upon request.
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications
Commission - More on this organization
Government of Canada Government of Canada -
More on this organization
CNW Group Ltd is pleased to offer a personalized e-mail service
providing you with news and information from Canada's foremost public and
private companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. This
free service lets you select the companies you are most interested in
tracking and delivers their news releases directly to your personal e-mail
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Arctic Studies Center invites papers and presentations for
"Inuit Health: Illness Experience & Healthcare Delivery" session
Session organizer: Andrew Hund, M.A., Ph.D.
18th Inuit Studies Conference
October 24-28, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Deadline for abstract submission: March 1, 2012
This session welcomes papers and presentations addressing the subjective experience of health and illness in Inuit communities; Inuit responses to health and illness (traditional and western); the societal, cultural, political, economic forces as well as environmental circumstances that threaten Inuit health and enhance or diminish the delivery of healthcare. Empirical and theoretical papers from various disciplines, such as medicine, public health, anthropology, social work, sociology, psychology, etc. addressing Inuit health and illness in the circumpolar regions are welcome. Service professionals working on practical public health, clinical, and mental health programs as well as Indigenous/Inuit contributors are strongly encouraged to participate.
How to submit a proposal for the "Inuit Health: Illness Experience & Healthcare Delivery" session.
Please send 200-250 word abstract with title, speaker(s) biographical information, brief background of research project (if any), and presenter(s) name, address, and e-mail address to the session organizer: Andrew Hund, M.A., Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2012.
There may be possible travel stipends for three categories of prospective conference participants: 1) early career scientists; 2) students; and 3) Indigenous/Inuit contributors. These funds (if available) are intended to provide modest assistance with offsetting the costs of air travel, hotel and conference registration fees for outstanding conference participants and contributors traveling from across the north to attend the ISC 18 in Washington, DC.
If this session is not of interest, please note the 18th Inuit Studies Conference, 2012 will be held in Washington, DC, from October 24 to October 28, 2012, and located across the Smithsonian campus on the National Mall. Due to its location, the conference will cover a broad spectrum of topics, including climate change and indigenous people; international cooperation in the Arctic; roles of Museums and museum collections in preserving Inuit languages, heritage, and culture; governmental programs in the northern regions and their interactions with local communities and Inuit cultural/political institutions. The website is: http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/ISC18/
International Participant Information: We invite those who work all over the Arctic to participate in the ISC 2012. If you are not a US citizen and you require a visa to attend the ISC 2012, we urge you to begin the visa application process now. U.S. regulations require security checks for most visitor visa applications, resulting in a review process that may take three months or more.
Regulation Affecting Some International Travelers: U.S. legislation mandates that visitors eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program receive an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding their airline bound for the U.S. This Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is managed by the Department of Homeland Security. Travelers without the ESTA authorization will not be permitted to enter the United States (see www.DHS.gov).
Deadline: December 20, 2011
The Canadian Women's Foundation will select approximately 25 programs focused on delivering programs to girls between the ages of 9 and
13 that are using one or more of the following approaches: leadership /empowerment; physical activities/sports; science/math/technology; media literacy; financial literacy; and/or Aboriginal culture and teachings.
Girls' program grants will range from $25,000 to $40,000 annually for a four year period.
Eligible organizations: Incorporated, non-profit organizations with a registered charitable number, First Nations or other organizations sponsored by a qualified donee.
More information and grant applications available at http://www.canadianwomen.org/girls-fund-grants
Saturday, 3 December 2011
December 2, 2011
For Immediate Release
Arctic Co-operatives Limited Launches New Northern Images Website
WINNIPEG, MB – Arctic Co-operatives Limited is proud to announce the launch of its newly redesigned Northern Images (NI) website - www.northernimages.ca
The new website has been specifically redesigned to enhance the overall customer experience by improving the ease of navigation, optimizing photo views and providing e-commerce capabilities. The site also contains feature areas and special promotions.
Arctic Co-operatives Limited (ACL) is a service federation owned and controlled by 31 community-based co-operatives in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Its art marketing arm, Northern Images (NI) is dedicated to supporting and promoting the artists and products of Arctic Canada.
ACL purchases art from co-operatives and takes full responsibility for the marketing of the art. Each piece is tagged for authenticity and artists are paid a fair price for their product. Working exclusively with Inuit and Dené artists, ACL/NI promotes their art and distinctive culture to collectors around the world.
Northern Images supports and promotes northern artists and their products by marketing Inuit and Dené arts and crafts in galleries located in Churchill, Inuvik and Yellowknife. These galleries offer a breath-taking selection of authentic sculptures, prints, books, jewellery, giftware, northern apparel and hand-made crafts.
Traditional Inuit art captures the beauty, truth and spirit of Canada's Arctic. Authentic hand-crafted sculptures tell the stories of the imaginations and memories of a truly unique people. Prints and drawings depict the wildlife, landscapes, history and culture of our northern neighbours.
Northern Images is one of the largest retailers of Inuit and Dené arts and crafts in Canada.
For more information, contact:
Art Marketing Division
To arrange an interview, contact:
Canadian Film Institute and International Polar Year Seek Films that Focus on Arctic and Antarctic Regions
The Canadian Film Institute (CFI), in partnership with the International Polar Year (IPY) Federal Program Office, is officially seeking entries for the Polar Film Festival. The two-day moving image event is a featured presentation of the IPY 2012 Conference: From Knowledge to Action, held April 22-27, 2012, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
The Polar Film Festival will celebrate the rich diversity of the Polar Regions, as well as examine the many challenges and world-wide implications they face in the 21st Century and onward. As a follow-up to the IPY Film Festival presented by the CFI in 2009, this event highlights the efforts of filmmakers from around the world who approach the Polar Regions from many different industries, research interests, artistic sensibilities, and political perspectives.
The CFI welcomes all films that explore issues and activities of particular relevance to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Any genres of film and video practice - documentary, research, industrial, fiction, activist - from all Polar Regions are encouraged for submission.
Video submissions can be mailed directly to the CFI as a playable DVD or Blu-Ray disc. Digital entries may be submitted via direct download link, or any common digital media format such USB drive or DVD-ROM. Entrants are asked to include production credits, digital stills, director bios and filmography, contact information, and other relevant materials with their submissions.
The submission deadline is January 31, 2012. Please send all submissions to:
CANADIAN FILM INSTITUTE
2 Daly Avenue, Suite 120
Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2
The public is encouraged to forward this Call for Entries to relevant producers, filmmakers, researchers, and other parties who may be interested. Please contact CFI Programmer Jerrett Zaroski at email@example.com for any questions and further information.
About the IPY 2012 Conference
Occurring at a pivotal time for the environment of our planet, the International Polar Year (IPY) 2012 Conference draws international attention to the Polar Regions, global change, and related environmental, social and economic issues. From Knowledge to Action will bring together over 2,000 Arctic and Antarctic researchers, policy- and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non- government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The IPY 2012 Conference will contribute to the translation of new polar scientific findings into an evidence-based agenda for action that will influence global decisions, policies and outcomes over the coming years. More information on the conference can be found online at http://www.ipy2012montreal.ca.
About the CFI
The Canadian Film Institute (CFI) was incorporated in 1935 as a federally-chartered, non-governmental, non-profit cultural organization. It is the oldest film institution in Canada and the second oldest film institute in the world. More information can be found online at http://www.cfi-icf.ca.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Improved telecommunications will transform Nunavik’s health delivery
The Tandberg "intern" will be Nunavik's tele-health connection to medical specialists in southern Quebec.
KUUJJUAQ — Don’t be surprised if you run into a doctor in Nunavik who looks almost like a robot, is about five feet tall, and has wheels for feet, a bar for a back, computer screen for a head and a camera for a hat.
It’s just one of the new “interns,” made by a company called Tandberg, which will make their appearance in community clinics and hospitals throughout Nunavik, said Wayne Labadie, the co-ordinator of information services for Nunavik’s regional board of health and social services.
They’ve already arrived at Kuujjuaq’s Tulattavik hospital and at the Inuulitsivik hospital in Puvirnituq, where they’re the most visible signs of changes in the delivery of health and social services in Nunavik.
The audio-visual hook-ups that are part of the tele-health carts or “interns,” as they’re sometimes called, will give each nurse or doctor in Nunavik instant access to the McGill University Health Centre — and their video conversations about patients will take place in real time on the screen.
The new system will provide more efficient access to laboratory results, quicker access to emails and the Internet, and, by March 2012, everyone in the health system will be able to consult electronic clinical records.
As a result, Labadie told counsellors Nov. 28 at the Kativik Regional Government meeting in Kuujjuaq, there will be less risk and better follow-ups for patients.
The improved telecommunications system is due to a five-year contract worth $9 million from Quebec’s Department of Health and Social Services with the KRG’s Tamaani Internet service provider.
And, after 18 months of preparation, the new and improved telecommunications system for health and social services facilities in Nunavik is ready to roll out.
Called the Nunavik Telecommunications Network, the new system uses the same satellite network and local infrastructure as Tamaani.
But the new network will be separate, more secure, and provide the bandwidth needed by 29 health and social services points around Nunavik.
Youth Protection will see its own “locked-down,” secure system within the new network.
Monday, 28 November 2011
The Frozen Eyes Photographic Society is officially launching a special Northwest-Territories-wide photographic leadership development program for NWT youth with an ability and interest in photography. Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage's Youth Take Charge program, this new initiative is looking for 12-15 youth from across the territory.
The project consists of two phases. The first is a professionally instructed week-long workshop in Yellowknife March 18-25. This course will further introduce students to the art of photography and help build their portfolios. In the second phase, participants from the first workshop will travel to a community other than their own to work with a Frozen Eyes mentor and help run a photo workshop for local youth while sharing their knowledge with their peers. The best images from these workshops will be used in a travelling exhibit of NWT youth photography to be shown in northern and southern communities and online.
Interested participants between ages 13 and 19 are required to submit a portfolio by January 16, 2012. Applications should include 5-10 digital photos (jpeg format), a resume, a reference and a brief letter describing why the applicant is interested in participating in the programme.
FEPS was initiated in 2007 after a group of Yellowknife artists developed a photography mentorship program for the Arctic Winter Games. Since forming a society in 2008, FEPS has generously received funds from BHP Billiton Canada, the NWT Arts Council, the City of Yellowknife and now the Department of Canadian Heritage. These funds allowed the group to hold photographic workshops with youth in communities across the NWT, as well as exhibits in Toronto and at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. The hope is participating youth leave equipped with confidence, leadership skills and a strong knowledge of the technical and creative sides of photography.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact
Frozen Eyes Photographic Society
Box 20087 Yellowknife, NT
Sunday, 27 November 2011
NWT needs cash- debt of "$380-million is paying itself off through the territorial housing & power corporation..." Miltenberger
Bob McLeod, a former industry minister who was appointed premier last month under the territory's cooperative style of government, has spent much of his career pushing for the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline. His territory needs it now more than ever.
The government is near its federally imposed debt limit, facing an infrastructure crunch and is anxious for a deal on "devolution," which would hand province-like control over resources and land down from Ottawa.
In short: the NWT needs cash, and a massive pipeline would be a boon.
"We're in negotiations with Finance Canada. In the meantime, we're going to manage our way through this," NWT Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger said. "We're on the right side of 575. And we have enough flexibility left to make it through this fiscal year."
Of the debt, $380-million is paying itself off through the territorial housing and power corporation, he said, leaving the territory in an enviable position, if it had control over its resource revenue. A devolution deal would add $60-million to territorial coffers per year, a significant figure for a sprawling region of 43,000 people. "A borrowing limit is important, but devolution for us is really the next step in our political evolution," Mr. Miltenberger said...."
Saturday, 26 November 2011
|Homelessness in Yellowknife: An Emerging Social Challenge |
Homelessness in Yellowknife: An Emerging Social Challenge. Nick Falvo. Published by the Canadian Homelessness Network Research Press. 2011.This report provides a brief overview of characteristics and potential causes of homelessness in Yellowknife. The report then outlines several programs to alleviate this social issue in the city. Finally, recommendations are given on policy affecting homelessness.
The homeless population in Yellowknife is overrepresented by aboriginals living in the city. It is also more likely that homeless persons have predisposing risk factors such as a psychiatric diagnosis, heavy drug or alcohol use, and have inadequate job skills than the general population. Roughly five percent of individuals in Yellowknife experience homelessness at some point in their lives; comparatively, this percentage is approximately one percent nationwide. There is a general consensus among policy makers that unemployment, lack of affordable housing and inadequate social assistance benefits are major factors for homelessness. Conditions in Yellowknife are consistent with the aforementioned.
Program responses to homelessness can be categorized into: emergency shelters, transitional housing, supported independent living homes, independent living support, and public housing. Emergency shelters provide temporary relief and are one of the least desirable types of housing in terms of living conditions and sustainability. Pomeroy states that the average annual cost to support one person at an emergency shelter is $13,000 - $42 000 (as cited in Falvo, 2011). The crowded living conditions within these shelters have been associated with adverse health consequences. Between 2007 and 2008, a Tuberculosis outbreak cost the public health care system approximately $500 000. Furthermore, valuable healthcare resources were allocated to contact people who may have had come in contact with infected clients at the shelter.
The YWCA operates two transitional housing units: one for households with children (Rockhill Transitional Housing) and another for women (BETTY). The Salvation Army provides one of the main transitional housing units for men-the Bailey House. Yellowknife has three supported independent homes run by the YWCA. These homes have 24 hour on-site staffing and house residents who receive social assistance and $1500 for income support.
The third type of housing program is independent living support, where YWCA staff attend private homes to provide assistance to individuals in need. Support staff may assist with administering medication, groceries, appointments, and social activities. Yellowknife also has a public housing program which allows low-income individuals to pay rent that is geared to their income.
Yellowknife receives funding from three tiers of government for its homelessness programs. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) invest $417 000 in federal funding, three quarters of which have been used to develop the Bailey House. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) allocates $700 000 of its funds to the YWCA for its homelessness programs. The DHSS provides $ 125 000 in the form of the Homelessness Assistance fund. The GNWT also has a Small Communities Fund which grants $200 000 to small communities to start their own programs to relieve homelessness. Municipal assistance is given in the form of complimentary legal services, financial administration assistance, relief of permit fees and some property taxes for the Bailey House, and a donation of land on which the Bailey House was built.Policy Considerations
Several policy recommendations were outlined in this report. The first recommendation is to form a Homelessness Secretariat. Responsibilities of the Secretariat include creating and monitoring regulations for emergency shelters and collecting and maintaining standard statistics related to homelessness. Along the lines of the first recommendation, the report calls for emergency shelter standards. For example, ensuring there is a minimum number of staff at each shelter at all times and forming procedures on how to handle special circumstances, such as clients with Tuberculosis.
In order to ensure that funds for homelessness programs are effectively utilized, the report emphasizes the importance of members of the Yellowknife Homelessness Coalition to clearly communicate individual intentions within the group. Moreover, the GNWT minister of Health and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) need to create more affordable and supported housing. In a study done for the National Secretariat on Homelessness (as cited in Falvo, 2011), Pomeroy compares costs on various program expenses in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver, and found that it is significantly cheaper to provide supported or public housing compared to emergency shelters.
The report also suggests the Minister of Health and Social Services be responsible for establishing a program to address the substance abuse issue that is clearly linked to homelessness. A managed alcohol and needle exchange program are two examples of health programs that may benefit Yellowknife.
A weakness of this report is that it did not describe potential shortcomings related to the research methodology. An example of this is when the author states that only 21 out of 49 informant interviews were used for the project, but does not explain why.
This report is useful for those interested in a summary of the homeless situation in Yellowknife. It also provides policy and program ideas on how to deal with homelessness in areas with similar social demographics.
Reviewed by Darlene Lau
References:Pomeroy, Steve. (2005) The Cost of Homelessness: Analysis of Alternate Responses in Four Canadian Cities.Prepared for the National Secretariat on Homelessness.
Friday, 25 November 2011
JOSLYN OOSENBRUG, CBC: Now there are about 2,500 public housing units across the Northwest Territories. Many of them are in desperate need of repair and so the waiting list for housing keeps getting longer. Now new research out of Carlton University shows the housing situation is only going to get worse unless there are some drastic changes to the system. Nick Falvo is the lead researcher on the study that was published in this year's edition of How Ottawa Spends, released by Carlton University's School of Public Policy and Administration. Falvo teamed up with the Centre of Northern Families' Arlene Hache to take a closer look at the state of public housing here in the Northwest Territories and both Arlene and Nick join me this morning in studio to go over some of the details. Good morning to you both.
FALVO: Good morning.
HACHE: Good morning.
CBC: So, Arlene, let's start with you. You approached Nick right, to do this research? Why did you want to take a closer look at public housing here in the North?
HACHE: From our perspective public housing is the number one issue in terms of how families and people are directly impacted around homelessness and of family breakdown and people giving their children to child welfare because they can't even keep a home. So we were really interested in partnering with the Carlton University to take a more in-depth look at the history of housing in the Northwest Territories, where the resources are, who should be contributing and of course the federal government is on their way out of giving any money to the Northwest Territories. So we wanted to really lay the foundation for the GNWT to be able to persuade the federal government to stay committed to housing in the North, and we wanted to also look at the policies of the GNWT and barriers that are there in terms of people keeping their house or getting into housing, and that's another sort of big unanswered question.
CBC: So, Nick, can you paint us a bit of a picture? What is the picture of public housing here in the Northwest Territories?
FALVO: Well the picture of public housing here is a bit like housing in the rest of Canada, but there's a very important difference and that is that in the North it is very expensive to build and maintain housing and there are three main reasons for that. One is that there is a considerable amount of poverty, especially in small communities. Second, building costs are higher in the North, especially on the Arctic Coast. Third, utility costs are considerably higher in the Northwest Territories than in the rest of Canada. So for all three of those reasons it is quite expensive to build and maintain a unit in the North. So the role of the federal government is very important in terms of social housing nationally, but it is especially important in the North largely because of those cost factors.
CBC: And why are we hearing that so many of the public housing units here are in such poor condition?
FALVO: I think a key reason is the ongoing cost involved. So, for example, when public housing is built in the Northwest Territories there are capital costs, but after the capital costs are factored in there's still about 15 to $20,000 a year needed by the government to maintain that unit, to pay for things like utility costs and it's an expensive undertaking, households are stretched far more here than in the rest of Canada. So one of the factors is that when something needs to be fixed it is expensive to fix it and there's a real cost issue involved there.
CBC: And does that mean that our more remote communities are in a tougher spot?
FALVO: Absolutely. The research finds that when it comes to households living in crowded conditions and households living in houses that need major repairs, the smaller communities are hit much harder than the regional centres and even the regional centres are hit more than most parts of Canada.
CBC: And, Arlene, what about in terms of accessibility to housing? You said that was one of the other elements that you looked at is the access that people have to the public housing system. What did you find?
HACHE: We find that there are specific policies in place that prevent people from getting into housing or maintaining housing. One of the policies, for example, is if you owe money to any housing authority you can't get into any housing in small communities because it's all controlled by the housing authorities. So some of the debt that's owed is as a result of damage that was done to units in spousal violent relationship. So that debt is carried for 20 or 30 years and that person is never able to get back into housing. So we wanted to look at some of the ways that we can shift those policies a little bit so that we can, you know, really take a look at the prevention of evictions from low cost housing.
CBC: Now in terms of the federal government's role, the government has cost sharing agreements with the Northwest Territories and over the last five years or so we see more federal funding go to the North towards housing. So why isn't this enough?
HACHE: I think that that commitment by the federal government in terms of finances to the North for housing was significant, but not nearly enough either to even begin to scratch what we need in the Northwest Territories. The other thing is the territorial government has, more than any other province or territory, really committed dollars to housing. So our own territorial government has shown that kind of commitment. So that's pretty impressive to me. I'm not so impressed about the policy type things, but in terms of real commitment around housing, they've been there and more recently they've really tried to take homeownership units that didn't work out and really struggled to make that subsidized housing and they've told us that those units are full or will be full really soon. So from what I can tell the GNWT is maxing the most that they can, making sure people are in housing. So that's great, but it doesn't change the fact that we have major issues around people not being able to find a house.
CBC: Nick, how big is that gap between what the territorial government needs in order to be able to provide housing for people and what is actually there?
FALVO: Well I'll put it this way, traditionally in Canada you've got the federal government leading social housing and this started in earnest in the early 1960s and generally the federal government would spend at least 50 percent of the costs involved in housing and often substantially more. This is across the provinces and territories. It stopped announcing new ongoing funding for social housing in the early 1990s and some of these more recent announcements, they're one-off announcements, they represent substantial amounts on an annual basis, but they're one-off and they're not putting in place a permanent program. So now we've got these operating agreements that have been in place for decades that are starting to sunset and by 2038, as I'm sure you're aware, these run out completely. So right now each housing unit that exists is in need of about 15 to $20,000 a year a public housing unit to an operation and maintenance. When the federal contribution runs out and they run out on different agreements every year, that unit is very vulnerable. They're vulnerable all across Canada, but especially in the North where the federal commitment is that much more important.
CBC: Now I'm wondering, the Northwest Territories government is trying to get out of providing public housing and they're trying to move away from that and move into home ownership. So is that part of the solution?
HACHE: I think it's a part of the solution, but it's unrealistic because unemployment and poverty in the communities is a huge factor and there's really no evidence that the resources are there or the support is there for people to succeed in homeownership. So a part of the question for me is looking at did homeownership in the communities succeed and if it didn't why didn't it and there's a number of people that just could not manage financially, you know, maintaining their home and looking after the monthly operations of the home. So I think it's simplistic and not wise to just focus on homeownership. So that's a fairly frightening prospect when you're looking at the fact that people don't have jobs and how can they own their own home then, and if you look at, you know, the situation in Yellowknife, the homeownership concept in Yellowknife didn't even operate because you really couldn't buy a home for the cap that they were giving you. So having programs available and whether or not it actually works is a totally different question.
CBC: So, Arlene, what do you see as a solution or a part of the solution for this dilemma?
HACHE: Well I think that that's why we wanted to partner so desperately with Carlton University to really take an in-depth look at that so we don't get lost in really simple talk about what the solutions are. I think that it's a very complex situation. I'm interested in looking at a process whereby we can look at the debt people have in housing and take a look at maybe a system where women who have experienced violence and the debt is related to that, have that debt weighed. They do wave huge amounts of money in my view for business enterprises that go down the toilet, but they don't do that for people who owe amounts of money for housing. So I want to look at a range of things and I'm hoping Carlton University can help us really drill down into what the real solutions will be. They did come up with some recommendations.
CBC: Okay and, Nick, we've just got a couple of seconds, but if you can just tell us briefly what some of the things are that our government can look at?
FALVO: I think for one thing it's absolutely crucial that the federal government step up and recommit to housing. This is not the time for the federal government to be moving back and allowing agreements to expire. It's the time for them to be recommitting, but also homelessness is primarily a territorial responsibility and last spring in May Arlene and I released a research accord looking at homelessness, focusing on Yellowknife as a case study, but making recommendations for the Territory as a whole. Those recommendations have not been acted on and we're looking to the Government of the Northwest Territories to act on those. Men at the emergency shelter in Yellowknife still sleep one foot apart from each other every night at the same shelter where there was a tuberculosis outbreak just a few years ago. So we'd like to see the Government of the Northwest Territories act on that.
CBC: It's a huge scope of a problem. So I look forward to a lot more discussion on this in the future. Thanks to both of you for being here.
HACHE: Thank you.
FALVO: Thank you.
CBC: And that's Nick Falvo and Arlene Hache. They're the authors of a new paper on public housing in the Northwest Territories that's going to be officially released at noon today. It's published in this year's edition of How Ottawa Spends, a publication of the Carlton University's School of Public Policy and Administration.
Government-Assisted Housing in the Northwest Territories and the Role of the Federal Government, Nick Falvo, How Ottawa Spends
Use it or Lose It: The Conservatives' Northern Development Strategy, Frances Abele, How Ottawa Spends
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Deadline is January 9, 2012, and it's open to all Canadian aboriginal artists.
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival may have only just ended, but already organizers are thinking ahead to 2012.
Teaming up as last year with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), imagineNATIVE is soliciting proposals from aborignals artists for "innovative interactive digital media projects," the two organizations said in a November 21 release.
Works from any digital medium and genre are welcome, from interactive documentary to mobile media, interactive animation and photo essay, data visualization and physical installation.
One of last year's selections, De Nort, is in pre-production in Winnipeg, the groups said. It documents life on a northern reserve and will debut at the 13th annual imagineNATIVE, October 17–21, 2012, in Toronto.
"We're thrilled to be renewing our partnership with imagineNATIVE and deepening our connection with artists in the aboriginal digital media community," Cindy Witten, director general of the NFB English Program, said in a statement. "It's a fantastic collaboration, bringing together imagineNATIVE's curatorial smarts and commitment to the digital arts and our role as a creative laboratory working with talented artists to explore the creative application of technology to interactive storytelling."
ImagineNATIVE and the NFB will pick one submission for production. The NFB will be the creative and administrative producer, and imagineNATIVE will provide creative input, the release said, with the project being presented at imagineNATIVE 2013. Budget for the project must fall between $30,000 to $50,000.
Deadline is January 9, 2012, and it's open to all Canadian aboriginal artists. Download submission details here.
Monday, 21 November 2011
WAMP http://www.wamp.ca/ is accepting treatments/script proposals for short videos. Pitch Your Idea.
To provide an opportunity for beginner and intermediate media-makers to learn more specific elements of independent media production, while producing a first work.
To promote video production within the NWT and provide means for members to produce independent Media artworks.
Submission Deadlines: December 7th, February 7th, May 7th, August 7th
Ideal Shoot Dates: March, June, September, December
WAMP will be accepting short video scripts and treatments to produce! The selection committee will select 4 short videos to produce that either incorporates one of the four seasons thematically or is produced during one of the four seasons in the NWT. Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate artistic merit and/or a well-developed unique story.
Where appropriate, efforts will be made to pair the awarded script/ filmmaker with a suitable mentor for the production as well as provide opportunities where WAMP members can help out and gain experience working on a video project. Productions with additional support from other organization or funding sources will be encouraged to apply.
Successful applicants will receive:
$1 000.00- Honorarium
$500.00 – Project expenses
$1 000.00 - WAMP Production Credit towards equipment rentals for the project.
Projects will have 2 months to be completed.
Purchase of equipment is an ineligible expense.
Contact Jeremy at WAMP for more information and to submit a script or treatment.
Jeremy Emerson - Executive Director
Western Arctic Moving Pictures Film Society
4916 49th street (basement of Northway bldg]
PO BOX 2487
Ph: (867) 766-2586
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
'...At the bottom of the list were Alberta (C-), the Northwest Territories (C), the Yukon (D+) and Nunavut (D)... The report expected those at the bottom of the list to improve their standing in the coming years, especially in the Northwest Territories, where an "ambitious review of its water laws" is underway...."
Waterproof 3 - Canada's Drinking Water Report Card
Download the Report:
3 page summary of Waterproof 3
Download the pdf file
National Press Release
"...the Northwest Territories [...] provide[s] a statutory right to make a complaint about drinking water concerns that must be investigated...."
"...In 2006, all jurisdictions required accredited labs to test water samples. this year, the number fell to 12 as the Northwest Territories no longer requires water samples be analyzed at accredited labs.
In 2006, every jurisdiction except Newfoundland and Labrador, new Brunswick, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut had operator certification programs. This year, only Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories lack operator certification programs."
"...Another fail for the federal government
Federal management of water — for places like first nations reserves, military bases and federal parks — still fails to meet basic benchmarks for safe consumption. in this report card, we find that the federal government is failing in almost every aspect of water protection, even though it should be setting rigorous standards for allowable contaminant levels in our drinking water...."
Canada's federal government gets another 'f' for its poor drinking water protection record, which continues to worsen.
• no progress has been made on the legislative front and there has been little improvement in the quality of water for first nations communities.
• drastic budget cuts virtually guarantee that environment Canada will continue its inability to properly monitor water quality,
as described in a recent auditor general's report. http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_cesd_201012_02_e_34425.html
• some drinking water improvement funds are available only to municipalities that engage in public-private partnerships...."
"...Conclusion - in previous editions of this series, our findings led us to conclude that the biggest risks to drinking water came from gaps or deficiencies in the frontlines of drinking water protection — the laws, programs, policies and personnel directly responsible for delivering safe and clean drinking water.
But now the gravest threat, according to our research and analysis, is that improvements to these frontlines may be undermined by other forces, including pollution from constantly-evolving contaminants, government cutbacks and climate change. each of these factors alone makes a compelling case for why governments must introduce comprehensive and legally-binding plans to protect water at the source — before it reaches our treatment centres and distribution systems.
We possess the capacity to improve our health and our children's health, and we believe Canada can rise to the challenge...."
Northwest Territories Waters act, sC 1992, c 39, s 4, online:
Northwest Territories Min. environment and natural resources,
NWT Water stewardship: a plan for action 2011-2015 (May 2011), online: http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/ documents/content/nWt_Water_strategy_action_plan.pdf
The Legislative assembly has passed a motion recognizing a fundamental right to water. All waters are vested in the Crown.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Selling "Authentic Northwest Territories Souvenir Items"
"Authentic" Northwest Territories License Plates?
"Authentic" Luggage Tags?
"Authentic" Souvenir Pins?
"Authentic" Folding Maps?
No NWT "Souvenir" at http://webstore.spectacularnwt.com/ seems to be from or made in the NWT...
So what makes them "authentic"?
Seems to me that there are enough artists and craftspeople in the the NWT designing and creating products that can be easily produced (if not already being produced) in large enough quantities to meet the needs of this site that Northwest Territories Tourism cannot have a viable excuse for not marking real work from real citizens of the NWT...
Even it that's not so... they could be licensing the production of items from existing work...
Goodness me, they are not even selling "Ragged Ass Road" or "I Break for Ptarmigan" bumper stickers... nor a single book from an NWT author... Not a single photograph from a photographer.... Not even a single print of an original painting from an NWT artist...
Friday, 11 November 2011
Accepting your True Winter Tales between November 2nd and 20th.
On November 2, 2011 11:42 AM
The CBC Book Portal...
Can you smell it in the air? Before long, winter will be here... As delighted - or dejected - as you may be by that statement, you must admit that Canadians feel passionately about the season. You either love it, or you hate it. And whether you were born in the snowy depths of a Manitoba blizzard, or immigrated to Toronto and saw your first snowfall only as an adult, everyone in this country has a personal story to share about winter.
And we want yours...
This November, Canada Writes is hosting a Winter Tales Writing Challenge (in association with the Canada Council for the Arts and The Massey Lectures).
And we've got $1,000 to give away!
We are looking for you to send us your true winter stories. Did something special happen to you on that last day of school before Christmas break? Did you find yourself oddly missing the cold that one year you lived abroad? How about any peculiar events that transpired during the great Quebec ice storm of 1998?
We will be accepting your True Winter Tales between November 2nd and 20th. All submissions must be between 400 and 500 words, and sent electronically through our contact form.
There is no fee to participate. And only one entry per person is permitted. Read the full rules and regulations.
The Winter Tales Writing Challenge will be judged by author and essayist Adam Gopnik. As this year's Massey Lecturer on the subject of winter, Adam's already in the "winter zone" and ready to read your best cold-weather tales.
The winner of our Winter Tales Writing Challenge will receive a $1,000 cash prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. The winning story will also be prominently featured on the Canada Writes site.
Questions? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
They are concerned about proposed fracking in the Norman Wells area.
A/Chief Executive Officer
Dene Nation/ AFN NWT
- - - - - - - - - -
Shale oil play emerges in Canada's Mackenzie Valley
A shale oil play is starting to emerge in the Mackenzie Plain and Franklin Mountains areas of the Central Mackenzie Valley in Canada's Northwest Territories.
Holding leases in the area are Husky Oil Operations Ltd., ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp., MGM Energy Corp., Shell Canada Resources Ltd., and Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Ltd. The leases lie generally from 60 km northwest to 180 km southeast of Norman Wells along the Enbridge pipeline that ships crude from giant Norman Wells oil field to Edson, Alta.
The drilling targets of the new play are the Canol-Hare Indian and Bluefish shales of Devonian age. MGM Energy said a geochemical review indicates that the shales are comparable to many of those being developed elsewhere in North America.
No fracking way!
As conventional natural gas supplies diminish, energy corporations are looking for new ways to get at trapped reserves. Hydraulic fracturing – more commonly known as "fracking" – is a process where sand, water and chemicals are blasted into rock formations such as shale, coal beds and "tight" sands to gain access to trapped natural gas deposits. This injection process creates cracks in the rock formations and allows the gas to flow up the well.
Communities across Canada are asking questions about fracking as more and more projects as the industry continues to grow both in the United States and in Canada. Serious health and environmental questions are being raised about the effects of fracking on groundwater, drinking water and on people's health.
The truth is not a lot is known about the long term dangers and effects of fracking. The federal government and provincial governments have yet to establish regulations and safety standards that would protect people and drinking water sources. While natural gas is often referred to as a transition step away from more energy-intensive oil, fracking for "unconventional" gas – gas that is difficult to get to – is not a climate solution. Any energy resource that sacrifices water protection and threatens people's health and environmental safety in such significant ways should be halted.
We need the facts about fracks
The Council of Canadians opposes fracking because of its high carbon emissions, its high water use, and the dangers it poses to polluting groundwater and local drinking water. People living in communities where fracking projects are underway have reported water pollution, "burning water," where water from household taps catches fire due to residual methane gas from fracking operations, and health concerns. We are calling for a nationwide stop on fracking.
Natural gas fracking reviews launchedCBC News
Posted: Sep 23, 2011 11:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Sep 23, 2011 11:42 AM ET
The federal government is launching two reviews of a controversial natural gas drilling practice known as fracking, to address concerns it may be damaging to the environment.
Fracking releases natural gas from shale deposits deep underground by blasting large volumes of fresh water, sand, and chemicals into the rocks at high pressure.
What is fracking?
- Hydraulic fracturing, or "hydro-fracking," is a form of natural gas extraction in which a pressurized mix of water and other substances is injected into shale rock formations or coal beds to release trapped natural gas.
- A fluid mixture of water and chemicals is injected under high pressure deep underground, creating or widening fissures in the rock.
- Then, sand or other solids, often ceramic beads, are pumped in to keep the fissures propped open so that methane gas can escape from pores and fractures in the rock.
"We also need to know a great deal more...about this. What I'm trying to do now is accumulate the best scientific information about [it] to make sound decisions," said Kent.
An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK's Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains?
Marcellus Shale contains enough natural gas to supply all US gas needs for 14 years. But as gas drilling takes place, using a process called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," toxic chemicals and methane gas seep into drinking water. Now experts fear that unacceptable levels of radioactive Radium 226 in gas development waste.
Fracking chemicals are linked to bone, liver and breast cancers, gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory, developmental as well as brain and nervous system disorders. Such chemicals are present in frack waste and may find their way into drinking water and air.
Waste from Pennsylvania gas wells -- waste that may also contain unacceptable levels of radium -- is routinely dumped across state lines into landfills in New York, Ohio and West Virginia. New York does not require testing waste for radioactivity prior to dumping or treatment. So drill cuttings from Pennsylvania have been dumped in New York's Chemung and other counties and liquid waste is shipped to treatment plants in Auburn and Watertown New York. How radioactive is this waste? Experts are calling are for testing to find out.
New York State may have been the first state in the nation to put a temporary hold on fracking pending a safety review, but it allows other states to dump toxic frack waste within its boundaries.
With a gas production boom underway in the Marcellus Shale and plans for some 400,000 wells in the coming decades, the cumulative impact of dumping potential lethal waste without adequate oversight is a catastrophe waiting to happen. And now U.S. companies are exporting fracking to Europe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM
"...How much water is used during the fracking process?
Generally 1-8 million gallons of water may be used to frack a well. A well may be fracked up to 18 times.
What fluids are used in the fracking process?
For each frack, 80-300 tons of chemicals may be used. Presently, the natural gas industry does not have to disclose the chemicals used, but scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.
In what form does the natural gas come out of the well?
The gas comes up wet in produced water and has to be separated from the wastewater on the surface. Only 30-50% of the water is typically recovered from a well. This wastewater can be highly toxic.
What is done with the wastewater?
Evaporators evaporate off VOCs and condensate tanks steam off VOCs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The wastewater is then trucked to water treatment facilities.
What is a well's potential to cause air pollution?
As the VOCs are evaporated and come into contact with diesel exhaust from trucks and generators at the well site, ground level ozone is produced. Ozone plumes can travel up to 250 miles. ...."
GASLAND TRAILER - (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize - Best US Documentary Feature - Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010.
It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.
But what comes out of the ground with that natural gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.
My Water's On Fire Tonight (The Fracking Song) http://youtu.be/timfvNgr_Q4
My Water's On Fire Tonight" is a product of Studio 20 NYU (http://bit.ly/hzGRYP) in collaboration with ProPublica.org (http://bit.ly/5tJN). The song is based on ProPublica's investigation on hydraulic fractured gas drilling (read the full investigation here: http://bit.ly/15sib6).
Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat
CAN YOU DO THIS WITH YOUR TAP WATER?
December 06, 2010 BBC World News