Reflections on the Mid Term Review

According to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, a week is a long time in politics. That makes the two years since the 18th Legislative Assembly was elected an eternity. During the campaign, accountability and transparency were much-discussed issues, and voters made good their desire for change by electing an unprecedented 11 new MLAs, including me. … Read more

My Response to the Open Letter on Downtown Issues

Here is my response to the open letter received regarding issues in the downtown:   RE: Open Letter on Downtown Issues Dear Mr. Seiler: Thank you for your letter of February 9, addressed to myself, other political leaders and media. As you point out in your letter, there have been repeated requests for action to … Read more

Premier: please explain how the new health deal meets our needs

The Health and Social Services budget is the largest in the GNWT at $414 million for this fiscal year and – incredibly – it’s not enough to meet existing and future health needs. The NWT health and social services budget has been growing at an average of four per cent a year since 2011-2012. It’s … Read more

Roads Aren’t a Good Investment

Today the federal and territorial governments announced their plan to spend tens of millions of tax-payer dollars on a 97 kilometre all-season road from Highway 3 to Whati. Ottawa will pay up to 25 per cent and the territorial government will pay the balance of the estimated $150 million in a public-private partnership. I realize … Read more

No End in Sight for Poverty in NWT

Several national anti-poverty advocacy organizations released reports in November. The news for both Canada as a whole and the NWT is pretty grim: both nationally and in the NWT, one in five children live in poverty, food bank use is going up and so is use of emergency shelters. The latter point was starkly confirmed … Read more

Celebrating a Year In Office

I was elected MLA for Yellowknife Centre a year ago today. Thank you to those who supported me during the campaign and since then. And if you weren’t a supporter or you weren’t sure about my interests and abilities, I hope you are coming around. I have been working hard – both inside and outside … Read more

Happy National Housing Day 2016

Today, November 22, is National Housing Day in Canada. For many, that’s hardly a reason to celebrate. There are about 600 people/families on the waiting list for social housing in the NWT, a number that is stubborn and persistent. Some of these people are homeless – the City of Yellowknife’s “Downtown Metrics” reveals a 14 … Read more

Help for the most vulnerable is taking too long to arrive

An application to the office of the Public Guardian is a last resort for people who are without family or friends and who don’t have the capacity to make decisions about their own health and well-being. Most of us will never have to call the Public Guardian, but young adults who have aged out of … Read more

The Lessons of Ft. McMurray

I spent several hours watching TV this week, trying to absorb what was happening in Fort McMurray – and I’m sure many of you did too. It was hard to comprehend a fire that went from relatively benign to burning down whole neighborhoods in the course of a half a day. I worked for the … Read more

Homelessness Roundtable–A Missed Opportunity

A group of community leaders met in Yellowknife for two days last week to discuss homelessness downtown. The mayor, the commander of the RCMP detachment, the business people who comprise the Homeful Partnership, the City’s Community Advisory Board (on emergency and transitional housing), executive directors of sheltering agencies and deputy ministers of GNWT social services … Read more