NWT Days a Force Majeure

Yellowknife, Feb 05, 2013 – NWT’s presence in the nation’s capital is at an all-time high. “We met with decision makers, opinion leaders and allies who are in a position to help shape our future. I’d say it was the most successful, if not the most important, advocacy initiative in memory,” says Hughie Graham, President of the NWT Chamber of Commerce.

The Northwest Territories’ delegation met with federal cabinet members, five standing committees, the Canadian Polar Commission, and Perrin Beatty, CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The CCC is currently advocating two NWT policies on the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic link and the Mackenzie Valley Highway and is in discussion with the NWT Chamber about the creation of a Northern Business Council.

Seven priorities provided the focus for meetings. Most are aligned with the priorities of the NWT Chamber, such as Infrastructure (Mackenzie Valley Highway, Power), Regulatory Reform and Devolution. The Mackenzie Valley Highway is a 1.8b$ project segmented into manageable pieces like the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk portion, given environmental approval on January 31, 2013, and a Wrigley-Norman Wells portion.

“We’re beginning to get back on the investment radar screen and all of these improvements will create the certainty that investors need,” says Graham. “We have a lot of work to do, but after NWT Days in Ottawa, I firmly believe we have more traction than we’ve seen in a long time.”
One area of traction is evident in the progress of the pending Devolution Agreement after more than 11 years of negotiations. The agreement-in-principle calls for $26-million from the federal government in one-time transition costs, as well as annual funding for the delivery of land, water and resource management programs ($65-million in the first year), and a net fiscal benefit consistent with the equalization program for provinces. In 2012, that amount would have been $65-million.

NWT Days also showcased Spectacular NWT. “Hundreds of VIPs attended gala events and were blown away by our tourism attractions, operators and capacity,” says Graham.

“Nothing gets done very fast without partners,” says Graham. “We have resource projects that will contribute to the national economy as well as our own. This is our time and NWT Days brought it all into focus in the nation’s capital.”

For more information contact:
Mike Bradshaw, Executive Director
NWT Chamber of Commerce
867 920 9505

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Angela About Angela

Hi, I am Angela Fiebelkorn, President of the Fort Simpson Chamber. You can contact us at fscofc@gmail(dot)com or call 867-695-6538.