Thursday, 31 October 2013

PRESS RELEASE: #Emergency Preparedness in the #NWT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vanessa Gastaldo <>
Date: 31 October 2013 09:25
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Emergency Preparedness in the NWT



31 October 2013


Press Release

Public meeting seeks input from residents on how
climate change affects emergency preparedness in the NWT.
Recommendations to go to Ottawa in February 2014.



During a two-day meeting in the Yellowknife area, residents of the Northwest Territories are being asked to share their thoughts, concerns and experiences on how climate change is affecting emergency preparedness in their communities.


"The only people who know the impact climate change is having on hunting, travelling and responding to emergencies on the land are the people that live there and experience it every day," says Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus. "This is their opportunity to speak up and tell us what they need to make it safer for them to do their jobs and live their lives."


The meeting is co-hosted by Dene Nation and Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and supported by the Arctic Athabaskan Council (which represents Athabaskans at the Arctic Council) and the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program, which aims to amplify northern voices in national and international decision-making.


The event begins on November 5 at the school gym in Ndilo (7:00 to 9:00 p.m.), where organizers welcome community members to come share their thoughts on what is needed for emergency preparedness in their communities. On November 6, participants are invited to attend a full-day of information sharing and roundtable discussion at the Chief Drygeese Centre in Dettah. The roundtable will begin at 9:00 a.m. Attendees will include: National Chief Erasmus, Chief Edward Sangris, Yellowknives Dene (Dettah), Chief Ernest Betsina, Yellowknives Dene (Ndilo), representatives from the Canadian Forces and the Government of the Northwest Territories. All events are open to the public and media.


"The more input we have, the more detailed an image we can create of the state of emergency preparedness in the Northwest Territories, both for ourselves and for those outside the NWT who are making decisions that affect our lives," says Cindy Gilday, co-chair of the Munk Gordon Arctic Security Program's emergency management project. "It is up to the people who live here to guide the discussions on what needs to change."


The findings of the meetings will be compiled into a report, along with those of similar meetings taking place in Nunavut and Yukon. Recommendations from all three territories will be presented at a national roundtable in February 2014.


"The eight Arctic states have signed an agreement to co-operate on search and rescue," says Thomas Axworthy, president and CEO of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, a partner of the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program. "But what is often missing from these discussions is a real understanding of what is going on in the communities. We are honoured to help support the discussions of those on the front-lines to determine what they need to be safe on the land and on the water."


For more information on roundtable events and for a detailed agenda, visit our website at:


- 30 -



For more information, or to arrange for an interview, contact:


Vanessa Gastaldo

Program Co-ordinator

Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program


Wednesday, 30 October 2013


InuksuitPeter's Point, KejiPeter's Point, Kejibreakfast rocksout & about the old nieghborhoodrock cut, much bigger than paper or scissor ones
out & about the old nieghborhoodthirsty friendParc de la Chute Montmorencymorning wander through the parkAn Inunnguaq at Horseshoe BendCornice debris inuksuk
Old Stones4000 foot InukshukProfessional photographyInuksuk and Black Tusk, Seventh HeavenInukshuk BeachInuksuit
inukshuk on the iceinukshukInuksuk (Stone Man) St. Lewis, LabradorInuksuk, on the Gravel Road, Labradorinukshuk

Inuksuit, a group on Flickr.

Inuit Art at its finest

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Faces of the #Bakken #Oil Patch: #Infrastructure problems #video via @prairiepublic #PBS

Faces of the #Bakken #Oil Patch: #Infrastructure problems #video via @prairiepublic
Faces of the Oil Patch describes the new visage of the oil patch—the areas in and around Williston, Watford City, Tioga, Stanley, New Town, Parshall, and Fort Berthold—in the words of the people who live and work in these communities. [and First Nations]

The 60-minute documentary shows us the towns that don't have the infrastructure to support the uncontrolled and dramatic growth, the ranchers who now view bumper-to-bumper traffic all day rather than the rare vehicle traveling along the two-lane horizon to horizon, and the oil workers who earn huge salaries but live in makeshift housing without hope of finding homes suitable for their families. The narratives and stunning video are woven together with visual images captured by noted still photographer Wayne Gudmundson to show everyday life and the changing vernacular landscape of northwestern North Dakota.
Most people have heard that it's "Rockin' in the Bakken," but what does that mean to the residents of the Williston Basin? Faces of the Oil Patch describes the new visage of the oil patch—the areas in and around Williston, Watford City, Tioga, Stanley, New Town, Parshall, and Fort Berthold—in the words of the people who live and work in these communities.

On Prairie Public's Radio and Television

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Yellowknife's #Giant #Mine Clean-Up: Will Reason Prevail? By Kevin O’Reilly #AlternativesNorth #YZF #NWT @rabbleca

RT @Northern_Clips: Yellowknife's #Giant #Mine Clean-Up: Will Reason Prevail?  Kevin O'Reilly #AlternativesNorth #YZF #NWT @rabbleca
"... Guest blog by Kevin O'Reilly, Alternatives North, Yellowknife. The Giant Mine operated at the edge of the city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, from 1948 to 2004. As the gold-bearing ore was processed, the mine generated a toxic by-product, arsenic trioxide – a proven non-threshold carcinogen. For the first three years of operations, the arsenic trioxide went straight up the stack and then came down on the surrounding land and water, killing at least one Dene child and local milk cows. The family of the dead child received $750 as compensation.
Rather than stop the toxic mining operation, the government gave tacit approval to storing the arsenic trioxide underground. There are now 237,000 tonnes of it stored in mined out areas and some purpose-built chambers. Picture a 10-storey building and then multiply that by 7.5 times. That's the amount of arsenic trioxide stored underground. It's probably enough to kill the entire human race several times over. Arsenic trioxide is very soluble in water and it is leaching out of the underground storage areas, although it is being pumped out and treated as part of the overall minewater management
The fate of the Giant Mine and the remediation plan now lies with federal and territorial Ministers. The reasonable next step is for the Ministers to accept the report and its recommendations, which would then become binding conditions on the project moving forward. If the report and its recommendations are rejected, the whole project goes off to a higher level of scrutiny that will include an evaluation of alternatives – something that no one really wants at this point. The Ministers could also refer matters back to the Review Board, but it's not clear what that would really do. The last option is to enter into a murky world of "consultations" to change or modify the report and its recommendations into something that the ministers will accept. We are now onwards of four months since the report was released. Will reason prevail?...."

Thursday, 24 October 2013

“A Conversation on #Community #Safety”: #Yellowknifers discuss Community Safety #YZF #NWT

"A Conversation on Community Safety":  Yellowknifers discuss Community Safety

On Oct. 3, the community of Yellowknife came together with representatives from GNWT Department of Justice, Yellowknife Health and Social Services, RCMP and the City of Yellowknife to hear people's concerns, and discuss ideas about ways we can make our community a safer place.

These are the transcripts of the session including opening statements from Minister of Justice, Glen Abernethy; CEO of Yellowknife Health and Social Services, Les Harrison; Commanding Officer RCMP Wade Blake; Yellowknife Inspector Frank Gallagher; and Mayor Mark Heyck.  The session was moderated by MLA, Wendy Bisaro.

If you would like to make any comments or suggestions after reading these transcripts, please forward them to

Results of “A Conversation on Community Safety”

by Wendy Bisaro - MLA Frame Lake
On October 3, 2013, citizens of Yellowknife came together with representatives responsible for public safety to discuss issues of concern in the capital city.
Community members who were unable to attend can access transcripts from the session   here. Further comments and suggestions for potential solutions can also be made at the links shown there.
As a followup to the October 3rd meeting on October 18th, I asked questions of the Minister of Justice about the Citizens on Patrol  (COPS) program. You can download my exchange with the Minister from Hansard here.

"... Citizens on Patrol (COPS)

by Wendy Bisaro - MLA Frame Lake
The Citizens on Patrol Program concept originated in Western Canada.
Here's how it works: ordinary citizens supplement police patrols to help reduce crime by keeping a neighbourly watch over their communities; patrols watch for any unusual and/or criminal activity, and report such incidents to the police for any necessary follow-up. Citizens on Patrol have neither the authority nor the mandate to make arrests, nor to take any action that might jeopardize their own safety or that of the public. The role of Citizens on Patrol is to simply observe and report. Source:
Yellowknife had an active COPS program about eight years ago but no longer. Do we need to resurrect it? Would you volunteer for the patrols? Send me your thoughts!
Click here to download my Oral Questions to the Minister of Justice about the Citizens on Patrol program and how GNWT might help it get restarted..."

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Evalyn Parry from Ft Simpson NWT: The bicycle as an agent of social change

Evalyn Parry from Ft Simpson NWT: The bicycle as an agent of social change

"Bicycles are a cheap, environmentally-friendly and fun way to get around, but over their history they have also proven to be part of important social movements.

Evalyn Parry explores the relationship between the bicycle and the women's movement in her new play Ride.

Click on the audio link below to hear her speak with Dave" ....  from Ft Simpson NWT

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Northwest Territories JOB POSTINGS

  New This Week:
  1. Municipal Enforcement Officer II - City of Yellownife
Yellowknife ( Date posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, October 25, 2013.

  Current Listings:
  2. Project Manager - Tlicho Community Government of Behchoko
Behchoko ( Date posted: Monday, October 07, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, October 18, 2013.
  3. Senior Administrative Officer - Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk
Tuktoyaktuk ( Date posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, October 18, 2013.
  4. Building Inspector II - City of Yellowknife
Yellowknife ( Date posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, October 25, 2013.
  5. Human Resources Officer - City of Yellowknife
Yellowknife ( Date posted: Friday, October 04, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, October 25, 2013.
  6. Senior Administrative Officer - Jean Marie River First Nation
Fort Simpson ( Date posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, October 25, 2013.

How to pay for the Stanton hospital renovations

Nunavut MLA worried about mounting $10 million owed to #NWT for health services

"... Quttiktuq MLA Ron Elliott says he's concerned about Nunavut's medical bills piling up when Nunavummiut travel to the Northwest Territories for health services.

As chair of the standing committee on government operations and public accounts, Elliott asked Nunavut's health minister Keith Peterson how much Nunavut owes the NWT for using the Stanton Regional Hospital in Yellowknife.

Peterson said he didn't have the numbers in front of him Sept. 10 at the legislative assembly.

But Elliott said that through his research he found the debt is "close to $10 million."..."

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

October 17th, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: Take Time on October 17th to Think Beyond Food Banks

Take Time on October 17th to Think Beyond Food Banks

3.8 million people in Canada cannot access the food they need.  Close to 1 million people use food banks each month.  Food banks are not a sufficient response. Surely we can do better.

This year on October 17th, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we propose that people think beyond food banks to solutions that address the root causes of poverty.  Set up as temporary measures in the 1980s, food banks have now become part of the charitable fabric of our society.  But do they end food insecurity?  They address an immediate need, but why are they still around 30 years later?

This becuase Canada does not have federal leadership on food security or a national poverty plan to end poverty.

This October 17th, we ask you to Chew on This! and look ahead to ending food insecurity for good.

Here is how you can get involved:

Chew on This!

October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and Dignity for All is asking food bank, meal program, shelter workers/volunteers and social justice advocates to add their voice and unique experiences to a call for a national poverty elimination strategy.  

Here is what will happen:

Volunteers will be handing out lunch bags to passers-by and politicians with the words "Chew on This" printed on the outside, and an apple and a postcard on the inside. The postcard will have stats/info about food insecurity and an option to sign and send it to parliament as a call for a national poverty elimination strategy. 

Where: Cities across Canada:

  • Whitehorse, YK
  • Victoria, BC
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Richmond, BC
  • Calgary, AB
  • Regina, SK
  • Windsor, ON
  • Hamilton, ON
  • Toronto, ON
  • Newmarket, ON
  • Ottawa, ON - including Parliament Hill
  • Halifax, NS

When: October 17, 2013. 11:30 am  – 1:30 pm

Who: Organizations, dedicated advocates and food banks staff/volunteers—from the sweet retired church ladies to the fiery students, and everyone in between. And YOU!

What can YOU do?  Help us promote the event to local media and get more organizations/volunteers to sign up.  For those who are based in Ottawa we have an online registration page here which will help us gauge numbers, assign sites, and send out final details closer to the date.   Or volunteer at an event and help hand out bags. Email us at the address below to be put in touch with organizers in your area.

Watch this website for more information.  Questions?  Email us at dignity [at]

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Concerns over transparency of #YZF #NWT's #GiantMine clean-up continue

RT @Northern_Clips: Concerns over transparency of #YZF #NWT's #GiantMine clean-up continue #NWTpoli #CDNpoli #environment #pollution


".... O'Reilly has been calling for independent oversight of the Giant Mine clean-up for years. As it stands, the same department that gets the final say on how to clean up the the mine also has to do, and pay for the work.

"Too many roles, too much potential for conflict in there," he says.

Now he's concerned because Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is getting internal input from the clean-up team on the report.

"Those folks, they've already had a kick at this project," he says. "If they're providing new information to whoever is going to be putting together the response for the minister, why can't anyone else see that?"


O'Reilly says it's an unusual case because typically a company proposing to clean-up a mine site would be separate from government. He says it is unclear how the two sections of Aboriginal Affairs are kept apart. Because of this, he says the clean-up team's assessment of the report should be public.

"Why hide it? Why not make it available. Everybody can look at it, put in their comments — views about it whether something is too expensive, costed too high or isn't feasible," he says. 

"I think it would help build public confidence that the best responses possible are coming out and people from the community have had further input into this, rather than just the project team itself." ..."