Sunday, 30 September 2012

NWT Mining Industry Challenges Yellowknife City Election Candidates

NEWS RELEASE NWT Mining Industry Challenges Yellowknife Election Candidates
Yellowknife, NT (September 25, 2012) – The NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines is issuing a challenge to candidates running for election in the October 15 Yellowknife election.
The challenge? Tell voters what you will do to grow and strengthen Yellowknife's economy by working with the minerals industry. Tell voters what your plans are:
•    To keep Yellowknife the Diamond Capital of North America;
•    To keep Yellowknife the exploration and mining capital of the North;
•    To sustain and even grow Yellowknife businesses that service the mining industry; and
•    To work with the minerals industry to bring new wealth to the City.
Initiatives to create wealth are important activities for Yellowknife candidates to think about. Leadership at City Hall can bring wealth not only to Yellowknife, but also to the NWT economy. New wealth that Yellowknife attracts could be reinvested to make Yellowknife a more attractive and economically strong community. New wealth can help keep our taxes attractive.
These are good times to think about our future. There are many projects and opportunities around which Yellowknife politicians and leaders can build a plan:
•    There are currently 6 NWT mining projects that are in, or have cleared, the environmental approvals processes. If they all become operating mines, they would spend about $2 billion in construction, over $500 million in annual spending to operate the mines, and provide over 1,000 new jobs. What can Yellowknife do to actively support and pursue these opportunities?
•    Just north of Yellowknife in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut are 5 projects that represent over $3 billion in construction investment, over $500 million in annual operations spending, and would provide 2,000 new jobs. Since Yellowknife's economy is intertwined with the Kitikmeot's, can Yellowknife partner with the Kitikmeot communities in supporting project success for mutual benefits?
•    In the face of these opportunities, we also know our world class diamond mines won't last forever. Should the City take actions to help sustain those operations?
•    The NWT Government has committed to creating a NWT Mineral Development Strategy to help build a vision for the future. Should Yellowknife have its own plan, or will the benefits just naturally flow to Yellowknife? Could Yellowknife leaders proactively support projects for mutual success?
We are asking all candidates to tell voters they think the health of our mining industry is important to the City. Tell voters your ideas on how you will work with the minerals industry to attract new wealth to the City. Your vision will be important to Yellowknife's economy and business success.
For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, please visit the website at or contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at Tel: 867‐873‐5281 or email:
Box 2818, Yellowknife, NT Canada X1A 2R1    Phone: (867) 873‐5281    Fax: (780) 669‐5681 Email:    Website:

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Working toward a poverty-free NWT - by Mary Lou Cherwaty, president of the Northern Territories Federation of Labour

NNSL Photo/Graphic
Working toward a poverty-free NWT

Labour Views
Mary Lou Cherwaty

Guest columnist
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Previous labour columns 

According to the United Nations report titled Combating Poverty and Inequality:

"The data suggest that although social transfers have reduced poverty in all high-income democracies, countries classified as social democratic (with high levels of unionization, centralized bargaining, strong party-union ties, and pacts) have been more effective in reducing poverty."

Unions do make a positive difference in people's lives!

In my first column of this year, I stated that, "It looks like 2012 could be a banner year for the Northwest Territories."

This was in reference to the Government of the Northwest Territories' commitment to developing an anti-poverty strategy for our territory.

Well, I am pleased to announce that at the end of last month, I had the opportunity to attend a round-table on poverty in Hay River with 27 other participants from across the NWT.

Participants represent municipal and territorial governments, aboriginal governments, labour, non-governmental organizations, and persons who have experienced poverty.

After three days of intense discussions, we collectively reached consensus on a draft vision and strategic priorities.

Keeping in mind our theme of a "poverty-free NWT," work also started on establishing guiding principles and overarching goals and objectives.

The group analyzed the results of the 2011 report titled What We Heard from Northerners about Poverty, the 2010 report from the No Place for Poverty workshop; as well as the strategies that exist in six provinces and Nunavut.

Presentations were made on poverty-related statistics, best practices, and the need to include a gender-based analysis to ensure that everyone benefits from the strategy.

Progress is being made in other jurisdictions to reduce poverty.

Poverty is an injustice to humanity; it is a violation of basic human rights.

Fighting poverty is not charity. As Nelson Mandela said: "like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural.

It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."

Members of the Poverty-Free NWT steering committee and the GNWT working group, and participants in the roundtable sessions are all committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders from across the NWT as we develop a plan to eradicate poverty in the NWT.

Our efforts will focus on the issues related to poverty such as supporting children and families, improving education and life skills, addressing the housing situation, and creating jobs that provide a healthy standard of living.

Roundtable participants will meet again in the fall to continue our work on the strategy.

All NWT residents will have an opportunity to provide their input through information sessions held across the territory.

Very soon, there will also be a GNWT webpage dedicated to anti-poverty efforts and a place where residents can post comments and suggestions.

While the goal is to present a draft plan to the 17th legislative assembly before the end of this year, ensuring that full consultation and collaboration are achieved is most important.

Even if the final product takes a little longer than forecasted by the premier, 2012 may just be the "banner year" I predicted.

  • Mary Lou Cherwaty is president of the Northern Territories Federation of Labour

Attendance at Canadian Art Galleries, Theatres, Classical Music Performances, Popular Music Performances, and Cultural Festivals

Factors in Canadian's Arts Attendance in 2010
An Analysis of Attendance at Art Galleries, Theatres, Classical Music Performances, Popular Music Performances, and Cultural Festivals
"...This report examines the dynamics of attendance at five arts activities: art galleries, theatres, classical music performances, popular music performances, and cultural festivals. In addition to an analysis of demographic factors, the report provides substantial information about cultural crossovers. The analysis of "cultural crossovers" examines whether participants in one cultural activity are more or less likely to attend other arts activities.
One of the key conclusions of the report is that many cultural activities have an influence on attendance rates at other activities above and beyond demographic factors. In fact, the analysis in the report shows that cultural experiences and exposure appear to be more important factors in arts attendance than demographic factors.
A person's cultural exposure can affect their likelihood of attending arts activities. For example, someone with less than a secondary school diploma was not very likely to visit an art gallery in 2010: only 20% did so. However, someone with the same level of education who attended a classical concert in 2010 was much more likely to visit an art gallery: 44% did so in 2010. The strength of the cultural crossovers is similar for each of the arts activities examined in this report.
Detailed statistical modeling, which attempts to isolate the effects of individual demographic factors and cultural crossovers, shows that many cultural activities are statistically significant predictors of attendance at other types of activities (keeping other factors constant, such as education, income, age, etc.). All of the cultural activities examined were positively correlated with each other, meaning that many cultural participants attend a range of different activities.
The statistical modeling found that, among demographic factors, education was a very strong factor in attendance at art galleries, classical music performances, and cultural festivals. Household income was a key factor in theatre and pop music attendance.
Previous studies have shown that a person's childhood arts education is an important factor in adult arts participation. Other studies have examined motivations, values and beliefs related to arts attendance. However, the General Social Survey did not ask respondents about these other potential factors, and, as such, they are not analyzed in this report...."
Download the full report here

Monday, 24 September 2012

Yellowknife city council candidate MacKenzie wants to deprive ex-inmates of mobility rights

Yellowknife city council candidate MacKenzie wants to deprive ex-inmates of mobility rights by forcing them out of city... Kate Wilson, with the Yellowknife YWCA, said "We cannot legislate or demand that people go, this is a free country, it's Canada. If I decide to go live where ever I want to go, so be it," said Wilson. Wilson also said that Yellowknife has more educational opportunities and counselling options than most communities.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wild morel mushroom harvesting in the NWT

Wild morel mushroom harvesting in the NWT by a Vancouver Island based company marketing throughout Canada
"...Untamed Feast is a Vancouver Island based company committed to the celebration of wild, gourmet mushrooms.  British Columbia has some of the most desired wild mushrooms in the world. We believe it's time for you to experience this fine food in your own kitchen.
All of our mushrooms are gourmet, edible species that cannot be farmed or cultivated.  They are gathered from secret, wild, remote forests, the old fashioned way; with high hopes, hard hiking, and years of experience. We dry our mushrooms the same day as the harvest in a large, mobile, commercial food dehydrator. We then market them to select retail locations and to the finest restaurants throughout Canada. Please contact us if you would like to be a vendor for our retail  products or are interested in wholesale orders for your business...."
Products for sale
List of their vendors
Article in MacLean's Magazine
CFax Radio Interview
Shaw TV Vic Farmer's market
Published on Sep 1, 2012 by untamedfeast
Episode 1 of 6: Northwest territories morel harvest 2012 "The Big Dirty" , wild morel mushroom harvesting
"The Big Dirty" Episode 2 , NWT morel harvest 2012
The Big Dirty episode 3, North west territories morel harvest 2012

Monday, 10 September 2012

@PMHarper @leonaaglukkaq @Nutrition_North numbers hard to swallow @nutrition_nord #CDNpoli

Nutrition North numbers hard to swallow
Nunavut News/North Editorial - Monday, Sept 10, 2012

The numbers are in, but they aren't saying much.

Nutrition North Canada has posted the breakdown of the dollar figures and weight of food and other products subsidized during its first 12 months, from April, 2011 to this past March.

Almost $54 million was allotted for Northern communities, with Nunavut receiving a total of 57 per cent of the budget, between $7 million and $8 million every three months. Eleven million kilograms of subsidized items travelled to Nunavut.

The message in all this data is that yes, there is money coming from the federal government to retailers, suppliers and country food processors.

The question is: How much of the $31 million in cash savings goes to Nunavummiut families?

There are only two more weeks until more changes come to Nutrition North. Then, the list of eligible food and non-food for subsidies will shrink. No more subsidies for canned fruit and vegetables, frozen pizza, rice, toothpaste or diapers.

This will mean more of Nutrition North's budget will be stretched across fewer items, focusing on the most nutritious, perishable food.

The prices of previously-subsidized items will rise and the number of affordable choices, in places such as Grise Fiord with a subsidy rate of $16/kg, will decrease as well.

Still, the number that matters most is how many families are going hungry because the cost of living is still too high.

That number governments cannot be allowed to ignore in all their praise for Nutrition North.


Nunavut Canada's Food Insecure Find Help, Community Through Facebook

From National Public Radio


We've been giving a lot of virtual ink to the problem of food insecurity lately — the challenges people face when they frequently can't put enough food on the table. And sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.

Take the city of Iqaluit, in Canada's largest territory, Nunavut, just a few hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle. There's no highway, so in the grocery store, a few slices of watermelon can cost $12, heads of cabbage can go for $28, and people sometime stretch cans of meatballs and noodles out for a week. Plus, it has become more expensive for the Native people — the Nunavummiut — to hunt the traditional foods that have sustained them for 4,000 years.

Featured on "Facebook Stories"


Can you imagine spending $12 for a just few slices of watermelon? In the Canadian territory of Nunavut, shipping costs continue to drive up the cost of food while residents slide further into poverty. Can community members use a Facebook group to solve the problem?

Leesee Papatsie stands in her kitchen, slicing whale and arctic char on sheets of recycled cardboard laid across the table. Her steady hand rolls a small curved blade, a traditional arctic knife called an ulu, in quick but calculated strokes.

Papatsie, a mother of five in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada's largest territory, calls her family over to eat, stealing bites for herself as she chops. Arctic char is one of the primary fish caught in the bays around the area – Papatsie prepares it raw, like the whale. Narwhal skin and blubber make up a dish called muktuk, a traditional Inuit delicacy that has a thick, rich taste, like penne noodles in butter. Today, her family dips it in soy sauce. Dried fish and muktuk are just a few of the "country foods" of the north and are part of the traditional diet of the Nunavummiut people that has sustained them for the last 4,000 years. This particular meal has a dual purpose: it's an edible homage to Papatsie's Inuit heritage and is one of the only ways to avoid soaring food prices at local stores.

Nunavut is the largest Canadian territory and the only one inaccessible to the rest of North America by highway. As such, the high costs of transportation drive up prices on any goods that aren't produced locally. That means it's staggeringly expensive to live here, which becomes obvious in the community's grocery aisles where four slices of prepackaged watermelon can cost upwards of $12 and heads of cabbage can climb to more than $28.

In early June, Papatsie created the "Feeding My Family " Facebook group to bring attention to the high cost of keeping food on family tables across Nunavut. It's since attracted more than 20,000 members who have organized protests outside of local stores, promoted a return to traditional diets and generated a global press cycle. "I'm worried about the kids that go to bed hungry," Papatsie says. "I worry about the elders going hungry. I'm going to keep going until the people start to stand up."