Wally Schumann

MLA Hay River South

Category: News and Announcements (page 1 of 5)

New ‘X’ Gender Option Now Available on NWT Driver’s Licences

News Release

YELLOWKNIFE (December 11, 2017) – Residents of the Northwest Territories (NWT) now have the option to display an ‘X’ in the sex section of driver’s licence and identification cards issued by the Department of Infrastructure.

This change helps to ensure services offered by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) are inclusive and respectful of transgender, two-spirit, intersex, and non-binary residents.

To change the gender identifier on a driver’s licence or identification card, residents must fill out an application or renewal form and visit an NWT issuing office. There is no additional fee or requirements for residents to make this change.

 

Quotes:

“As one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to offer a third gender option on identification documents, the GNWT is committed to inclusivity and the fair treatment of all residents. Today’s announcement will make it easier to obtain government identification that matches one’s gender identity. We remain committed to ensuring individuals across the north are empowered and feel safe in the communities they call home.”
Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure

“It is so important for the GNWT to be moving in the direction they are because it impacts many lives for the better. To be able to hold Government issued ID that reflects and respects the individual which it identifies is so valuable. Being able to have an X on my ID gives me the respect and autonomy I deserve, and while there is still a long way to go as far as rights and inclusion is concerned, this is a great step forward for the GNWT.”
Lane MacIntosh, President, Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife

 

Quick Facts:

  • ‘X’ is a standard accepted by the International Civil Aviation Organization Standards, which promotes consistency among travel documents
  • This change helps the GNWT meet the diverse needs of residents, and is consistent with the Vital Statistics Act.
  • The GNWT does not have authority over how other organizations/ jurisdictions recognize or accept the gender X option.
  • INF continues to work with the Department of Health and Social Services to allow for Indigenous fonts and diacritics, such as the glottal stop, on driver’s licences and identification cards. This is a complex and difficult process as changes will affect multiple information systems.

 

Relevant links:

Drivers and Motor Vehicles (DMV) Online Services

 

Media Contact:

Greg Hanna
Communications Coordinator
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: 867-767-9082, ext. 31046
www.gov.nt.ca

The Government of the Northwest Territories proposes a way forward for the legalisation of cannabis in the NWT

YELLOWKNIFE (NOVEMBER 24, 2017) – Minister of Justice Louis Sebert released the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) proposed plan for legalizing cannabis in the NWT today. This is an important step in designing a system that will provide controlled access to a safe supply of recreational cannabis for NWT residents in order to maintain the health and safety of residents and communities across the North.

The Cannabis Legalization in the Northwest Territories: The Way Forward report provides an overview of the GNWT’s proposed approach on the matters for which the GNWT is responsible, including: minimum age, possession limits, public smoking, the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis, impaired driving, workplace safety and public education. The Way Forward report takes into account input received through the cannabis public engagement process, as well as other important factors, including inter-jurisdictional considerations, coordination with enforcement partners, practical and financial implications for implementation in the required timeframe and current research on the health impacts of cannabis.

The GNWT plans to introduce legislation for the consideration of the 18th Legislative Assembly in the February/March sitting, in order to meet the federal deadline of July 2018. The GNWT looks forward to working with Standing Committees to ensure the necessary legislation is developed and reviewed according to normal processes prior to the federally-imposed deadline.

The GNWT will continue work to develop the policies and programs necessary to address the legalization of cannabis in the Northwest Territories.

 

Quote:

“Our government is working to make sure the NWT is ready with a framework for regulating recreational cannabis when the Government of Canada makes it legal in July 2018. We know this issue matters to Northerners and that is why we have made public engagement a priority and will continue to keep residents informed throughout this process as we work with the Members of the Legislative Assembly to ensure we have the appropriate laws, guidelines, policies and programs in place to achieve an orderly management of legal cannabis by July 2018.

Louis Sebert, Minister of Justice

 

Quick Facts:

  • The proposed minimum age for the possession and consumption of cannabis for NWT residents is 19 years.
  • Adults 19 and older will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in a public place. Adults will also be allowed to grow up to 4 plants per household for personal use.
  • Adults 19 and older will be allowed to smoke cannabis in their homes. Public smoking of cannabis will be prohibited in certain areas in order to protect others from second-hand smoke exposure.
  • The NWT Liquor Commission will be responsible for the importation and sale of cannabis in the NWT. Initially, NWT residents will only be able to purchase cannabis through liquor stores or by a mail order service run by the NWT Liquor Commission.
  • NWT communities will have the option to hold a plebiscite to prohibit cannabis, similar to the options currently available to restrict alcohol.
  • The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) will be responsible for reviewing occupational health and safety regulations and consulting with employers, labour groups and workers to ensure that any changes or additions adequately address impairment issues.
  • The GNWT will set up new sanctions for drug-impaired driving.

 

Relevant Links :

GNWT Cannabis Legislation homepage

Cannabis Legalization in the Northwest Territories – What We Heard

 

Media Contact:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator

Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories

Phone: 867-767-9140  Ext. 11092

Fire Service Merit Awards – Congratulations to the Hay River Fire Dept and Captain Terence Fischer

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YELLOWKNIFE (October 11, 2017) – Each year, the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, recognizes members of the NWT Fire Service for their work in protecting our families and homes from the threat of fire by presenting the annual Fire Service Merit Awards.

 

NWT Fire Service Merit Awards are granted based on nominations from community members and fire chiefs, to honour and recognize individuals and community fire departments for their significant contribution to fire safety and fire service across the territory.

 

The 2017 award recipients are:

 

  • Hay River Fire Captain Terence Fischer – for his bravery, dedication and contributions as a mentor and leader;
  • Hay River Fire Department –for their commitment and dedication to the residents of Hay River through fire department programming and services that they provide locally, and their regional support.

 

Recognizing the contributions and achievements of fire fighters is an important part of promoting and recognizing the NWT Fire Service. Community fire departments provide vital education and protection services that contribute to sustainable, vibrant, and safe communities.

Buffalo River Bridge Update

Located at km 55.7 on the Fort Smith Highway (Highway 5), the Buffalo River Bridge is undergoing rehabilitation until November 30, 2017. Restrictions are currently in place and have been updated as of Tuesday, October 10.
NEW RESTRICTIONS THROUGH NOVEMBER 30, 2017:

  • Single lane of traffic only
  • Width restriction of 3.0 meters
  • Height restriction of 4.2 meters
  • No overweight loads allowed
  • Intermittent road closures up to 30 minutes can be expected
  • Please observe the reduced speed limits within the construction zone.  Double fines will be applied.

Vehicles exceeding legal width, height or loading allowances are required to adhere to the pre-approval authorization process at all times. For any further information please call the road information line at 1-800-661-0750

 

Statement on Marine Transportation Services – Oct 3rd

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is nearing the successful completion of its first season delivering Marine Transportation Services to communities on the Mackenzie River and Arctic coast.

The delivery of essential goods by tug and barge to our communities on Great Slave Lake, the Mackenzie River and the Arctic coast sustains the vital services that our communities rely upon.  Since early July when the first tug and barge tow of the season departed Hay River, GNWT Marine Transportation Services has successfully delivered all of the critical petroleum products and deck cargo to all scheduled communities and clients, and has met all of its commercial marine charter commitments.

This season, Marine Transportation Services registered and reactivated six tugboats, transported more than 37 million litres of fuel and carried more than ten thousand tonnes of deck cargo to communities and industry clients.  This cargo includes diesel fuel, jet fuel, gasoline, construction materials, prefabricated housing units, heavy equipment, vehicles, and consumer goods.  At the GNWT Hay River Shipyard, they completed maintenance work on Canadian Coast Guard vessels that provide critical support to navigation and shipping on NWT waters.  Substantial charter work was also accomplished for large industrial clients.  In this way, Marine Transportation Services supports small and large businesses, industrial operations and stimulates economic development in the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, Marine Transportation Services also provides important employment opportunities to residents, supporting the development of a strong northern workforce. For the 2017 season, the Department of Infrastructure engaged a marine crewing contractor to recruit and employ capable personnel to operate GNWT Marine Transportation Services.  At the peak of the season, more than 140 people were employed, and 60 of those employees were Northwest Territories residents.  In addition to the employment generated, MTS has purchased more than $2.6 million dollars in goods and services from Northwest Territories businesses so far this year.

Mr., Speaker, this is a challenging business. To achieve these successes during its first operating season, Marine Transportation Services overcame many obstacles, including the challenge of moving the vessels necessary for community resupply from Inuvik to Hay River at the beginning of the season; and addressing several years of deferred maintenance of the tugs, barges, shipyard and terminals.  High water levels in the Mackenzie River delayed the Canadian Coast Guard’s buoy and navigation aid setup; and delays in supplier shipments of cargo fuel resulted in temporary delivery delays to two communities.  The Government of the Northwest Territories will use the lessons that we have learned this season to implement strategies to enhance our operations in future years.

Drawing upon this experience, we are developing a long-term business and operating model for Marine Transportation Services; one that will best use business revenues to stabilize costs of essential marine services and enable the success of future operations.

Mr. Speaker, our investment in Canada’s northernmost inland shipyard and in this tug and barge fleet signals that we value and support the Mackenzie River as a corridor for commerce and transportation.  At the Port of Hay River, the most northerly connection of the continental railway system meets Canada’s longest river. A reliable shipping route for generations, the Mackenzie River is the northernmost link of an intermodal supply chain that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Beaufort Sea and beyond. The Mackenzie River is truly our marine highway to the Arctic Ocean. Continued improvement of marine operations in the territory depends upon investment in infrastructure, such as landings and wharves; channel maintenance through dredging; and improved charting and navigational aids.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is pursuing opportunities for funding that may be available through initiatives such as the federal Oceans Protection Plan to improve the state of marine infrastructure in the territory.  The Department of Infrastructure has developed a list of priority marine infrastructure that requires improvement and has identified opportunities for investments to increase the safety and efficiency of marine operations. These include improvements to port and shipyard assets, intermodal facility improvements, harbour dredging, dock repairs, and maintenance at ferry landings and at all marine-served communities.

Mr. Speaker, we will build upon the success of the 2017 season. The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to ensure that residents who rely on marine transportation services will get essential goods at a reasonable cost, and get them without fail, while making strategic investments in marine transportation, creating jobs, and stimulating the economy of the Northwest Territories.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MTS Yarding Tug Kakisa working in the Hay River Harbour

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Draft Energy Strategy released for public feedback

YELLOWKNIFE (September 25, 2017) – The Department of Infrastructure is releasing the Government of Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Draft 2030 Energy Strategy for public comment.

The GNWT is seeking public input to the Draft 2030 Energy Strategy. Instructions for feedback can be found on the Departmental website at www.nwtenergy.ca

The Draft 2030 Energy Strategy sets out the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) long-term approach to addressing the affordability, security and sustainability of energy supply and energy use in the NWT.

For more information, please contact Peter Lennie-Misgeld, Senior Analyst, Energy Policy and Planning, at 867-767-9021 ext. 32015, or email Peter_Lennie-Misgeld@gov.nt.ca.

For media inquiries, please contact Catherine Boyd at 867-767-9082 ext. 31042, or by email Catherine_boyd@gov.nt.ca.

Mission Accomplished! MTS Tug HenryChristofferson alongside semi-submersible vessel Osprey in the Beaufort Sea. ConocoPhillips is happy!

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ITI Office is Moving to New Location

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It’s time to HAVE YOUR SAY on how mining and exploration is governed in the NWT as we start public engagement on our first-ever Mineral Resources Act.

 

 

News Type:
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (August 2, 2017)The Northwest Territories is one step closer to developing mineral legislation that reflects the unique circumstances of the mineral sector in the North, and is seeking input from northerners into the development of a Minerals Resources Act.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) has begun public stakeholder engagements on the development of the Territory’s first homegrown mineral legislation, and has launched an interactive engagement tool to help solicit feedback.

Recognizing the significant role that mining and exploration has played in shaping the NWT’s economy, a discussion paper on the Mineral Resources Act, aimed at sparking conversation and gaining input, has been released and is available online. The nine focus areas of the engagement document were identified through extensive preliminary research and will help guide stakeholder and public feedback.

An interactive online engagement platform has been launched to collect valued public and stakeholder feedback, and in-person meetings and information sessions will also be held across the NWT beginning in late summer and fall 2017.

Feedback collected will help inform the development of a Bill designed to make the NWT mining sector more competitive, while respecting the rights and traditions of Indigenous peoples and the need for sustainable land use.

The GNWT encourages Indigenous governments and organizations, industry stakeholders, interest groups, and members of the public to have their say through ITI’s public engagement portal.

The development of the Mineral Resources Act (MRA) is a commitment under the Mandate of the Government of the Northwest Territories 2016-2019 and is a concrete step towards achieving the priority of improving coordination and effectiveness in resource management systems while recognizing traditional knowledge, land claims agreements and devolution.

Quote:

“Mining and exploration directly or indirectly employs nearly one-in-10 NWT residents and generates nearly a billion in annual economic activity. It is our duty as a government to ensure this industry is governed with clear legislation designed to maximize the benefits of responsible resource development to ensure a strong future for this foundational industry. We have an opportunity to create a leading-edge Act to assure our competitiveness on the global stage for years to come.”

Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick facts:

  • NWT mining is currently governed by the NWT Mining Regulations. This is mirrored from federal legislation passed down during Devolution.
  • These regulations will be absorbed and altered as part of the proposed legislation
  • The proposed legislation will be designed to govern:
    • Mineral rights
    • Benefits to residents (i.e. royalties)
    • Reporting on mineral types and locations
    • Rules for staking claims and maintaining mineral leases
  • The MRA will not alter or replace any other federal or territorial laws and regulations already governing mining and exploration in the NWT. The MRA will not affect requirements and processes already set out under the Mackenzie Valley Resources Management Act.
  • Dates for in-person meetings and information sessions are still being finalized. To stay up-to-date on dates, visit ITI’s public engagement website and social media handles.

Related Links

Media Contact        

Mike Westwick

Communications Officer

Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Government of the Northwest Territories

Mike_Westwick@gov.nt.ca (link sends e-mail)

1-867-767-9202 ext.63039

 

 

 

 

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