Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Blizzard in Arviat Nunavut March 2013 vodeo

Blizzard in Arviat a video by Canadian Son on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Welcome to Arviat - Home of Susan Aglukark.
Blizzard in 1/8th of a mile in visibility.
-33° Celsius without the windchill.
Arviat, Nunavut, Canada.
This was Sunday afternoon in February 2012, I finished work and was walking back to town.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Budget to renew funding for homeless, with new focus on ‘housing first’

Budget to renew funding for homeless, with new focus on 'housing first'

The Canadian Press has learned that the federal budget will renew funding for homelessness, and likely set its programming in a new direction.

Current funding for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy is $134.8 million a year, but it is set to expire in 2014 — causing much angst to those who deliver the program since the population is so vulnerable.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is set to extend that funding beyond 2014, but is also likely to put the funding on a new path: an emphasis on "housing first."

It's a relatively new approach to helping homeless people that has saved governments money and had strong results for precarious populations.

Governments focus on housing the homeless first and foremost by giving, or heavily subsidizing, apartments or homes — no questions asked. Then, they bombard the residents with all the social support they need to maintain their household.

Traditionally, government funding has focused on shelters and addictions, with provision of housing often conditional on recipients dealing with their other problems first.

Over the past few years, Ottawa has funded groundbreaking research through the Mental Health Commission of Canada to figure out how much more efficient a housing-first strategy could be, especially for homeless people with mental illness.

The At Home/Chez Soi research has been delivering promising results, showing that with the proper supports, many mentally ill homeless people are able to not just stay off the streets, but also get the rest of their lives in order.

And over the long run, the cost to governments is much less than dealing with the perpetual crises that often bedevil homeless people: frequent hospital stays, moving in and out of shelters, and brushes with crime.

The At Home research is wrapping up this year, and provinces are widely expected to pick up on the findings. Several provinces and municipalities are incorporating the Housing First approach into their local programs, and it is becoming widespread in the United States.

At the same time, Ottawa is now signalling that it is convinced it is worth trying on a larger scale.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is a bit of an anomaly for the federal government, which under Prime Minister Stephen Harper has tried to move away from delivery of social programs and affordable housing initiatives.

The strategy supports local solutions to homelessness in 61 designated communities, mostly in big cities but also in rural and aboriginal communities. The program looks to co-operation with provinces, the voluntary sector and local governments so that everyone is on the same page and hashing out the most effective responses to homelessness.

@CBCNorth $100M for Nunavut housing announced in federal budget


Friday, 15 March 2013

Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC) Mentorship Program

Northern Arts and Cultural Centre Mentorship Program

The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre is receiving applications for the mentorship program until March 31st.

 A mentorship to develop the business capacity of the artist in terms of business planning, marketplace planning, promotional planning and bookkeeping.
A tangible marketing placement plan for where best to bring the product. Subsequent understanding of the marketplace showcases as they relate to festivals, soft seat venues and house concerts. Understanding the division between the different venues and what each of them expect in terms of presentation and organization.
A formal commission to develop a market ready product that is included in the NACC seasonal presentation or as a NACC sponsored special event within a year of the commission. This is also the first product that is mentored by the artist into the marketplace. Most of the artists coming from down south and part of NACC Season will offer either a master class or workshops to the artists part of the mentorship programs.
This program will support artists in two different levels: artistic and business support. In order to achieve professional goals, NACC will provide an office space to the artist.
All artists mentored by the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre are brought through this process on a 2 year cycle.
Download application for more information about eligibility and the program.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Majority of #NWT residents want plebiscite on #devolution agreement, poll


(March 14, 2013)—Alternatives North commissioned EKOS Research Associates, a reputable national polling company, to conduct a telephone poll of NWT residents on devolution of lands and resources management to the Government of the Northwest Territories.

EKOS asked residents across the territory whether "In your opinion should the NWT Government ask NWT residents to vote on whether to accept the proposed devolution deal with Ottawa before the deal is finalized?"

Results of the polling on that question indicate that 68% of NWT residents are in favour of a vote; 20% are opposed, and 12% are uncertain or undecided.

The full poll results will be released in the next week.
"These results demonstrate the need for the governments to involve all NWT residents in a meaningful discussion about devolution." said Kevin O’Reilly on behalf of Alternatives North.

Alternatives North is a social justice coalition based in Yellowknife for over 20 years. We are a registered non-profit society in the NWT. Alternatives North is interested in promoting a better understanding of devolution and the recently negotiated agreement, including an informed public debate.

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted by EKOS Research Associates using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI). Respondents were randomly contacted and completed an interview by telephone. In total, a random sample of 400 Northwest Territories adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The field dates for this survey are March 5-13th, 2013. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/-4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Media contact is:
James McKee, Senior Consultant,
EKOS Research Associates Inc.
(c) 416.459.8377
(p) 416.598.8002 ext 224

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Call for a #plebiscite on #devolution in the #NWT

Kevin O'Reilly posted this a little while ago...

"...MLAs Bob Bromley and Norman Yakeleya are bringing forward a motion in the NWT Legislative Assembly tomorrow as follows:

Now therefore I move, seconded by the honourable Member for Sahtu, that this Legislative Assembly recommends to the Commissioner that a plebiscite be held in the Northwest Territories on Monday, May 13, 2013, with the following question: "Should the Government of the Northwest Territories sign the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Final Agreement?"

Do you care about the future of the NWT? Do you want more information on the devolution deal? Do you want a vote on the devolution deal? Do you want an informed debate and discussion about what is in the agreement?

The GNWT has made parts of the so-called Consensus Agreement on Devolution available on-line at:

It's 120 pages and not easy going but here are a few highlights from my reading:
several important parts of the Agreement are not finished or made public at this point including an intergrovernmental agreement between GNWT and Aboriginal governments on how resources should be managed more efficiently (Schedule 5), or an implementation plan for devolution (Schedule 15);
the federal government retains decision-making over all aspects of environmental assessment (see s. 3.19);
the federal governmnent can take and use any lands and water for any energy project (see s. 3.38 and 3.40);
the federal government will provide GNWT $67.3 million to manage lands and waters (s. 9.7) but GNWT can spend the money on whatever it wants without proving the money was actually used to properly manage our resources; and
the GNWT does not commit to any particular use of new revenues from resource development so these funds could be used for infrastructure or paying down debt instead of being invested in our Heritage Fund.
While GNWT says there will be "unprecedented" public consultation, the Premier has said this is a "done deal" and that no changes will be made. A consultation plan has yet to be released for the 60 day period covering consultation. There will be a vote in the Assembly by our MLAs only in May or June 2013.

If you want a debate and a say on devolution, please contact your MLA tonight by phone or by e-mail and ask them to support the motion to be brought forward tomorrow on a plebiscite. This will allow time and space for a more informed discussion on one of the most important political developments in the history of the NWT. Thanks.

Kevin O'Reilly..."


Monday, 11 March 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

$10,000 funding for training & access to mentorship for young people aged 18-30, from underserved communities,

The TD Michaëlle Jean Bursaries

The TD Michaëlle Jean Bursaries were created, through a joint initiative between TD Bank Group and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, to provide funding for training and access to mentorship for young people aged 18-30, from underserved communities, who are using the arts as a tool to improve the quality of life in their communities.  Priority will be given to those who have specific action plans to share their learning and experience with others.

A maximum of 3 bursaries, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded each year.

In order to be eligible you must:

  • Be between 18 and 30 years of age
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Demonstrate experience of the impact of the arts in your underserved community/neighbourhood ("arts" are broadly defined to include all forms of creative expression)
  • Propose a new project or extension of an existing project that demonstrates using the arts as tools of social change in your underserved community
  • Have your project recommended by, and preferably supported by, a community association

How to apply:

Download the application form and fully complete all sections of the application. Download the application form here .

  • Attach letters of support from 2 people in your community who are familiar with your artistic work, volunteer or other work, or your role and impact in the community.  Include telephone and (if available) e-mail contact information, as we may wish to contact them in person.
  • If you wish, you may include additional information (no more than 500 words) about your project, your personal experience of disadvantage (eg. economic situation, family situations, etc.), or any special information not covered in the application form that you think we should know.

Applications will only be accepted by mail and must be received by Wednesday, May 15, 2013.  Sorry, no partial or incomplete applications can be accepted.

Mail your application, letters of support and additional information (if applicable) to:

Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation

143 rue Séraphin-Marion Street

Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5.

You will receive notification that your application has been received.

All applications will be reviewed.  A short-list of finalists will be notified and invited to present their project personally to jury members during a 10 minute in-person, Skype or teleconference interview in mid-June 2013.

Final bursary award recipients will be notified by June 30, 2013, and a special presentation will be made to them in September 2013 at The Power of the Arts National Forum at Carleton University in Ottawa.

For more information, call 1-855-626-8296.