Chamber holds successful AGM

The Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that its annual general meeting was a resounding success. Twenty-six people, representing a cross-section of local businesses and government departments, attended the evening event on May 12 in the Ice Breaker Lounge.

The highlights of the evening were the presentations by guest speakers Transportation Minister Wally Schumann and President Richard Morland of the NWT Chamber of Commerce. The extension of the Mackenzie Valley Highway was the focus of Schumann’s talk and of the questions that he fielded afterwards from the crowd.IMGP0972

“I am the new champion of the Mackenzie Valley Highway, but I am only one person,” he said.

Schumann stressed the importance of having everyone, including residents, local governments and the Chamber, lobby for federal funding for the project. Having been to Ottawa three times already, Schumann said he’s seen the amount of pressure that is being brought to bear to have the infrastructure money be spent on other projects across the country. At a minimum, Schumann said he’d like to see the Bear River Bridge build, but at the end of the day the territory wants the highway.

Schumann also touched on the Chamber’s advocacy to have the hours of the MV Lafferty extended.

“In the climIMGP0977ate we are in fiscally there is no way we can do it,” he said.

In his speech entitled, “Our North, Our Challenges, Our Possibilities,” Morland looked at the challenges businesses face in the North and what can be done to overcome them. Morland also spoke about the role of the NWT Chamber of Commerce. The job of the Chamber is to gather common threads from the regional chambers and assemble them into two or three clean, crisp advocacy issues that can be lobbied to the territorial and federal governments, he said.

As part of the annual general meeting the yearly election for the board was also held. The Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2016/17 board includes Kirby Groat- President, Ted Grant- Vice-President, Colin Munro- Secretary/Treasurer, Angela Fiebelkorn- Past-President, and Pat Rowe, Ria Letcher and Ronne Blauel- Directors.

The new board is eager to continue on the Chamber’s work and identify new advocacy issues and projects in Fort Simpson.

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