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Dr. OConnor red suddenly from post in Fort Chipewyan The doctor who raised the alarm about high rates of cancer downstream from the oilsands was let go from his position on Friday. See page 2. Fort Smith secures top spots at Grande Prairie soccer event Fort Smith athletes brought home a haul of medals and top-place nishes from a re- cent soccer tournament in Grande Prairie Alta. See page 20. NWTAC PICKET Fort Smith Fort Simpson and Inuvik skip meetings due to strike. See page 7. Jiggers gather to perform traditional Mtis dance Students from Fort Resolu- tion and Fort Smith joined together for a special jigging concert last week celebrating local traditional dance. See page 19. GNWT announces new funding model for communities The NWT government is looking to ll the scal gap for communities by moving to a needs-based funding approach. See page 6. V IS IT W W W .N O R J.C A A national award winning independent newspaper serving northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories since 1977 1.00 May 12 2015 Vol. 39 No. 2 Alberta NDP win Notley pledges energy reform partnership with First Nations By MEAGAN WOHLBERG We did make a little history to- gether tonight didnt we In the understatement of the cen- tury - or at least of the 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule in Alberta - NDP leader Rachel Notley accepted her new role as premier of Alberta Tuesday night after sweep- ing the former conservative strong- holdtoinstallamajoritygovernment. The New Democratic Party went from just four to 53 seats during the election May 5 sweeping all 19 Ed- monton ridings and taking 14 of 25 seatsinCalgaryalongwithnumerous ridingsthroughouttheprovinceprevi- ouslyconsideredbasesforthePCparty. Newly installed leader of the Wil- drosePartyBrianJeanwillbeheading the ofcial opposition with 20 seats while the incumbent PCs - whose leader former premier Jim Prentice resignedafternarrowlywinninginhis riding - have been denigrated to just 11 seats in the legislature. The Liber- als secured a single seat. An end to boom and bust Notleys NDP capitalized on a splintering in the right sparked rates to phase out coal power and to scale back pipeline lobbying ef- forts focusing instead on expand- ing domestic reneries. Still she reached out to big busi- ness in her victory speech Tuesday our economy and to secure a more prosperous future for every Alber- tanineverycommunityNotleysaid. Together we need to start down theroadtoadiversiedandresilient economy to end the boom and bust roller coaster ride weve been on for far too long. It wont happen over- night.Butwemuststartandwewill. The new premier also said she would be partnering with the rest of the provinces on the need for a national approach to the environ- ment and an energy plan that builds bridges and opens markets instead of giving us a black eye. Though committing to work with Notley the energy sector was quick to roll out dire warnings for inves- tors on Wednesday morning pre- dicting a possible stock selloff and stall of investment in the oil patch duetoanNDP-createduncertainty in the wake of an oil price collapse. See Promises on page 3. by the fall in oil prices with prom- ises of energy reforms that would diversify the resource-dependent economy and give a fair share of future revenues to Albertans. Those promises include a boost to corporate taxes from 10 to 12 per cent to review provincial royalty night pledging partnership and hoping to avoid the corporate back- lash that has sabotaged other NDP governments in Canada. To Albertas job creators great and small in the energy sector and ineverysectorourgovernmentwill be a good partner with you to grow Together we need to start down the road to a diversied and resilient economy to end the boom and bust roller coaster ride weve been on for far too long. Alberta Premier-elect Rachel Notley PhotocourtesyofKeyanoCollege Keyano College instructor Maureen Clarke left and health care aide student Cecilia MacInnis attend a celebration of learning at the schools Fort Chipewyan campus on May 1. For photos of the event and of last weekends Fort McMurray convocation ceremony head to page 10. 2 Tuesday May 12 2015 HEALTH WELLNESS DOCTORS NEWS BRIEFS New deputy minister appointed to NWT Human Resources NWTPremierBobMcLeodappointedBronwynWattersas new deputy minister of Human Resources last week. Wat- ters is a long-time Northerner with a 35-year career in the publicservice.SheistheformerdeputyministerofJustice and has held senior positions in Education Culture and Employment as well as Health and Social Services. Wat- ters replaces Shirley Desjardins who resigned earlier this month. Her predecessor Sheila Bassi-Kellett was ousted from the role last August. Suspicious vehicle offers candy to young boy in Yellowknife YellowknifeRCMPareonthelookoutforthedriverofasus- piciousvehiclewhoreportedlyofferedcandytoayoungboy at around 100 p.m. on May 8. The vehicle was reported as either a van or SUV possible Nissan and red in colour. The male driver reportedly offered a lollipop to the child near the intersection of Taylor Rd. and Phinney Ct. The child knew to run home and report the incident to his parents. RCMP are asking parents to remind their children not to talk to strangers. Six sent to hospital after rollover near Behchoko RCMP are looking for more information on a single motor vehicle collision that took place in the early morn- ing hours of May 10 near Behchoko. The vehicle rolled several times before coming to a stop in the ditch. All six adult occupants were transported to the Behchoko Health Centre. Two were discharged and four were sent on to Stanton Territorial Hospital for further assessment. Alcohol may have been a factor. Fort Smith Mission Historic Park Community Garden TIndustry ourism Investment Fort Smith Mission Historic ParkMission Historic Park Community Mission Historic Park or 867-872-6439 To reserve space please contact Presley Beamish at Doctor who raised alarm about rare cancers in Fort Chip red by board By DALI CARMICHAEL An internationally rec- ognized doctor known for known for raising the alarm about high rates of rare can- cers occurring downstream from the oilsands has been red from the communitys local healthcare facility. Dr. John OConnor has provided a host of medical services as an on-call phy- sician to the community of Fort Chipewyan for over a decade but on May 8 re- ceived notice from the local health authority terminating his services with the Nunee Health Board Society. I was just sent an email by the Nunee health direc- tor on this Friday afternoon past OConnor said noting that the email said his service wouldnolongerbeneededef- fective immediately. I wasnt given any reason and it was just like bam after 15 years of a very good relationship. Theletteralsoindicatesthat OConnor has no authority to speak to or represent the Nunee Health Board Society in any way or to any other individual party or entity. While Alberta Health Ser- vices also has a signatory on theletteraspokespersonsaid it was Nunees decision to re OConnor and the provincial health authority was simply backing up its division. I e-mailed back asking why and I got no response whatsoever.Itwasveryweird very abrupt - stunned would be an understatement as to how it felt OConnor said. Wed had absolutely no is- sues no anything. We had a dialogue going and Ive never had a complaint about me or whatIwasdoingnorIshould say did that staff. The cur- rent staff in place has been there probably about three years and Ive had a great relationship with them. Its never been any issues at all it just landed on my lap and I dont know why. OConnor is unhappy with the situation and said he isnt the only one. A lot of people in the com- munity have been in touch a lot of very angry people wanting to know what hap- pened including staff at the nursing station who are very angrybecausetheyhadnoin- dication he said. I was told by them that they were told a study for a year in Fort Chip andtheyconrmedthatthere was a 30 per cent higher rate of cancers among the rare cancers and suggested the health study be done. The study to OConnors knowledge has not been completed yet. Just because he isnt work- ing in Chip doesnt mean hes ready to stop advocating for the community he said trav- eling to gatherings across the PhotoJackDanylchuk Dr.JohnOConnorsayshewillcontinuetoghtforthecommunityofFortChipewyanevenifheisnotworkingasaphysicianthere. that its time for a change. If they didnt want my service or it was an issue or what- ever there are phone lines. Its just like being kicked in the face and then the kicker runs away. In 2007 Health Canada led four complaints of mis- conduct against OConnor claiming he was causing undue alarm with his claims that rare cancer rates were higherinthenorthernAlberta community than many other places in Canada. I spent some three years defending my licence to prac- tice medicine which I did successfully he said. That was just in Fort Chip trying to gure out why the cancer numbers were as they were back then theyve since es- calated. Health Canada com- plained that I was raising undue alarm in the commu- nity he said. The Alberta cancer board in 2008-09 did world to spread awareness about the little hamlets can- cer problem. Im usually invited to speak or if Im at a gathering itself I might be called up OConnor said. If Im called about Fort Chip I generally respond if I can because the community needs justice it needs advocacy. Despite the situation OConnor said he would re- turn to work in the commu- nity in a heart beat. Id love to know why he said. I told them easily that I would come back any time and be on call for free like Ive offered over the years because I love the commu- nity. After 15 years its not an onerous task at all. The Alberta Health Ser- vices reserved comment when contacted. The Nunee Health Board Society did not return calls from The Journal. I told them easily that I would come back any time and be on call for free like Ive offered over the years be- cause I love the community. After 15 years its not an onerous task at all. Dr. John OConnor Tuesday May 12 2015 3 POLITICS PROVINCIAL GNWT Employment Open House Join Us across the NWT Thursday May 14 2015 10 AM 4 PM Recruiters will be on location to review your resume and offer tips to strengthen your application for employment. Find out how to apply for GNWT jobs. Get information on the GNWT competition process. Learn about GNWT employment programs such as internships and summer student opportunities. There will also be departmental representatives on hand to discuss various GNWT careers programs services and initiatives. Come see us at the following locations Yellowknife - YK Centre Lower Level across from Gourmet Cup Fort Simpson - Deh Cho Human Resource Service Centre 9602-100 Street Fort Smith - Fort Smith Human Resource Service Centre 83 Breynat Street Hay River - Hay River Human Resource Service Centre 209 62 Woodland Drive Inuvik - Inuvik Community Corporation 102 MacKenzie Road Norman Wells - Sahtu Human Resource Service Centre 1B Raven Road Behchok - Tlicho Human Resource Service Centre Nishi Khon Building Visit gnwtjobs.caopenhouse for more information. Continued from page 1. Most like the Canadian Association of Pe- troleum Producers indicated now is not the time for a government to be raising taxes or royalty rates for a struggling industry. As of late Wednesday morning Albertas energy stocks were already down two per cent as a whole on the Toronto Stock Exchange with Cenovus stocks falling the most at four per cent. Oil prices were up however on Wednes- day - climbing to around US61.50 a barrel for the rst time since they plummeted to below 50 in December. While that has injected some hope into energy producers industry is preparing for a slow recovery to levels that would allow further expansion in the oilsands. Produc- tion is expected to remain below last years levels for the rest of the decade. Working with indigenous neighbours partners Though much has been said of the po- tential impacts an NDP government will have on Albertas energy sector Notleys win could also rebuild relations with First Nations and Mtis in the province and put an end to the string of lawsuits around lack of consultation surrounding the provinces oil operations. To Albertas indigenous peoples the trust we have been given tonight is a call to be better neighbours and partners Not- ley said in her victory speech. Im looking Promises to work with indigenous neighbours partners forward to consulting with you and learn- ing from you. Among the many promises made to Al- bertas indigenous population the first priority made is to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and enshrine it in provincial law. NDP win Northern reactions We are looking forward to meeting with her to discuss new ways to repair and reinvigorate relations between our two governments and to continue the discussions on areas where we had made previous progress. I would also like to con- gratulate the premier on having 24 of her new MLAs as women. It has always been important to me to advocate for women and especially an inquiry into our missing and murdered indigenous women...While Those declared rights include the right to free prior and informed consent on all re- source projects. Notley has also promised to repeal and re- place provincial legislation around Aborigi- nal consultation which she said was passed without consulting First Nations. The NDP has also promised to work with the federal government on a number of mat- tersincludinglandclaimsresolutionaccessto safe drinking water and a national inquiry on missingandmurderedindigenouswomenand girls and to improve representation of indig- enous culture and history in Alberta schools. PhotoDavidCournoyer NDP leader and premier-designate Rachel Notley made history last week ending a 44-year Conservative reign in Alberta. this is an exciting result as First Nations people we must manage our expectations. Premier Notley has a tough road ahead of her as she takes the reins of this new government. The complex problems that we face as First Nations people cannot be solved overnight and we need to give her and her government some time. What we can do is commit to working with Ms. Notley on the issues that we face and to- gether make some progress. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation ACFN are ecstatic with the results of the last nights election ushering in a new NDP majority government in Alberta. It is clear that Albertans also want change and we are encouraged this government will take the time to do the proper assess- ments that evoke that change. As First Nations we are optimistic to nally have a government that recognizes and re- spects indigenous rights and territories and look forward to sitting at the table with this new government to nd effec- tive ways to implement and respect Ab- original rights across multiple sectors. While the ACFN have raised multiple is- sues over the years relating to land man- agement environmental health and edu- cation we are nally looking forward to possibly resolving our concerns through a meaningful working relationship with the NDP government. Alberta is a huge energy producer and with that our major concern is with its tar sands sector where bitumen processes af- fect us downstream as toxic contaminants ow through the Athabasca River. In her victory speech Notley said Alberta needs to diversify its economy with a strong focus on the environment. We are encouraged by that so the Dene Nation lends the new government its support. TheNorthwestTerritoriesandAlberta share many close ties and common in- terests. Ms. Notleys interest in sustain- ablegrowthandeconomicdiversication alignswithourownandIlookforwardto working with her to advance the shared interests of Albertans and Northwest Ter- ritories residents. I wish her all the best as shepreparesforhernewroleaspremierand lookforwardtocontinuingourjurisdictions ongoing work to create prosperity and op- portunitiesforourpeopleandforCanada. Treaty 8 Grand Chief Steve Courtoreille Mikisew Cree Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus NWT Premier Bob McLeod 4 Tuesday May 12 2015 The Northern Journal is an independent newspaper covering news and events in the western Arctic and northern Alberta. 2013 CCNA BLUE RIBBON CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2013 C M C A AUDITED The Northern Journal is published weekly by Cascade Publishing Ltd. Printed at Star Press Inc. Wainwright AB. Publisher................................................................................. Don Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.21 Editor.........................................................................Meagan Wohlberg 867-872-3000 ext.24 Reporter....................................................................... Dali Carmichael 867-872-3000 ext.25 Comptroller ..................................................... Dixie Penner 867-872-3000 ext.23 Advertising.............................. Heather Foubert Hay River 867-874-4106 Administration............................................Jeremy Turcotte 867-872-3000 ext.26 Production Manager ......................................Sandra Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.22 Graphics........................................................Paul Bannister 867-872-3000 ext.27 Letters to the Editor Policy The Northern Journal welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and include a phone number so the author can be veried. Names will be withheld on request in special circumstances where the reasons are determined to be valid. The Journal reserves the right to edit letters for length libel clarity and taste. Opinions expressed in letters and columns are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. Advertising Deadlines Display ad deadline is Thursday at 400 p.m. Classied ad deadline is Thursday at 500 p.m. Email Subscription Rates Prices include GST. 47.25 in Fort Smith 52.50 elsewhere in Canada 105 in the USA overseas 164.30. EDITORIAL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Consensus government must be improved A more democratic robust form of government par- ticularly one that holds the current government more to account and forces it to perform well is possible within the consensus gov- ernment framework. The Alberta election was a great example of the party system functioning as it should a cornerstone of democratic reform and gov- ernment renewal. The trouncing of the Al- berta PCs by the NDP was about a tired self- serving political dynasty getting the heave- ho replaced by an alternate leader with new energy who captured the imagination and trust of the Alberta electorate. Almostalllong-servingrulingpartiesbecome stagnant in time and a good house cleaning is routinely needed. The party system recog- nizes that need and by design provides a wait- ing alternative that promises to be capable in taking over the reins of government. The consensus government system in the NWT and Nunavut is missing that important characteristic. When a government loses its mojo lacks creative thinking has no vision or worse becomes corrupt there is no ready replacement no viable hopefully attractive alternative within the design of consensus government - as it is now. That means there is no option for renewal. That is a problem. Nunavutisonly16yearsoldandstillevolving asanentity.Itisstilllearninghowtogovernand manage its jurisdiction. The woeful state of its correctionalsystemparticularlytheovercrowded BafnRegionalCorrectionCentrewhichissaid to be so bad it is unsafe for inmates is but one example. Its aging community power plants and the need for costly replacements will likely emergeasacrisisinthecomingdecade.Sufce tosayreworkingthedesignofitsconsensusgov- ernment system is not Nunavuts rst priority. The NWT has a depth of maturity in gov- ernment operations but its consensus style of government is still developing and needs rening particularly on these two issues 1. How the premier is elected 2. A renewal mechanism should the govern- ment become stale and needs to be removed. The process by which the premier is elected in the NWT is both a constriction to democracy and less robust in terms of the evolution and improvement of the gov- ernment than it could be. In the party sys- tem the leader and hisher political follow- ers if they have their act together have an enunciated vision of how the future under their direction will unfold often backed by a political philosophy that rationalizes that vision. That is completely missing in the NWT where the premier is selected by fel- low MLAs after a speech that follows a few days of lobbying. The premier has no require- ment to offer up a vision to the populace no description of what will be aspired to in the future nor a revelation of the character or direction hisher government will take. Im- portantly there is a lack of process in that election no running the gauntlet over time so candidates are challenged forced to de- velop and rene their vision improving it as they go. The lack of any participation of the public in the premiers election is a par- ticular aw. Secondly if after a period of time the pre- mier and hisher government becomes un- popular there is no mechanism for replace- ment. There is no optional new government ready and waiting to transition into place. The benecial side of party politics which offer the opportunity for systemic renewal is completely missing. Those issues need to be addressed. This is not a criticism of the current government. It is a point of principle. The NWTs consensus system and Nunavuts as well needs to be improved. Though a party system would not work in either case with such small popula- tions and seems in both cases the majority of residents prefer the consensus model a more democratic robust form of government par- ticularly one that holds the current govern- ment more to account and challenges even forces it to perform well is possible within the consensus government framework. The status quo is not acceptable. What is needed is a constitutional conference a symposium where Northerners are brought together and the evolution of the means and methodology by which people are governed in the NWT are discussed. A consensus might be reached on how the mechanisms of government can be improved but the shar- ing of ideas alone would make the exercise worthwhile. A footnote If an effort is to be made for consensus government to evolve and improve in the NWT please do not allow or especially solicit southern academics and experts to come and tell Northern residents how to evolve our future government. Northerners are amply intelligent and capable of coming up with their own solutions. Albertans have immediate expectations Editor I vividly recall former Saskatchewan NDP Premier Allan Blakeney stating When youre out of touch youre out of ofce following the Spring of 1982 shellacking the NDP re- ceived at the hands of Grant Devines Pro- gressive Conservative party. I also recall Brian MulroneyKim Campbell not say- ing that when they should have after their crucixion in the 1993 fall federal election and the Liberals never saying that no mat- ter how badly they have been beaten here and there throughout the last 75 years. It would have been impossible for hyper-ar- rogant Pierre Trudeau to even think such let alone mumble it. Maybe thats the lesson for the Alberta PCs. They were out of touch. Although the elec- torate seldom articulates itself in such a way its axiomatic in politics that out of touch usually means out of ofce and that the electorate is never wrong. I also think that the attractiveness of NDP leader Rachel Notley was underestimated by her opponents the media and virtually ev- eryone else. She was impressive right from the get go. However attractive and bright shining as she and her colleagues may be now it will not be easy for them to stay that way as they try to meet their constituencies expectations amidst the very serious eco- nomic challenges currently facing Alberta. Its also going to be tough for them to purge the entrenched ultra-right wing thinking they will find in government departments. Theyll need more than four years and that may be longer than the predominantly me- first-right-now Alberta electorate is ready to remain patient. Listen for grumbling to start in about six months. Dennis Hall Saskatoon PhotoDonJaque Prospective Parks Canada reghters Melanie Jewel and Aaron Lepine run over ob- stacle ramps carrying 25 kg 55 lb hose packs in the Fort Smith Curling rink last week part of reghter tness testing being held in communities across the NWT as incident management teams prepare for what is predicted to be a hot dry and intense re sea- son. From left Wes Steed of Environment and Natural Resources ENR Katie Ells- worth of Parks Canada and Jordan Salazar in the middle shout support and offer water while Louie Beaulieu on the right also from ENR tracks progress. The reghters also had to carry a 28.5 kg 62.5 lb simulated water pump and pull a 56 kg 123.2 lb sled do- ing numerous laps with each all part of the national standard training and certication needed to be a Type 1 exportable initial attack reghter with Parks Canada. Firefighter fitness testing Tuesday May 12 2015 5 COLUMNS 15 Years Ago... Plane has trouble landing An airplane had trouble landing last week at the Fort Smith airport. A Beech 99 aircraft operated by North- western Air Lease Ltd. experienced landing gear prob- lems while landing at Fort Smith in the early afternoon on Friday. Two air crew members were the only occu- pants of the plane and neither reported any injuries. Issue May 9 2000 20 Years Ago... NWTel drops rates Lower long distance rates for Northerners are in the cards following NorthWesTels announcement of a new long distance savings plan earlier this week. The CRTC-approved plan called Teleplus is already up and running and open to to both residential and commer- cial customers. Issue May 10 1995 30 Years Ago... Postal shufe The Fort Smith post ofce and court house building has a new owner. Prodel a local rm that purchased the beleaguered building last year has in turn sold it to a former town resident Gelindo Berton of Italy. The build- ing was plagued with maintenance problems including a leaky roof and a frozen heating pipe that rained water onto the post ofce. Issue May 9 1985 ARCHIVES Northern Journal 2015 Join us online Like Northern Journal on Facebook and get the weekly news delivered to your feed FACEBOOK FEEDBACK A new study from the University of Alberta shows that the lichen eaten by caribou herds along the Arc- tic coast is being contaminated with mercury from the marine ecosystem. Mercury-containing caribou lichen on Arctic coast Nancy Vail This is what the elders have been warning us about Recent exploration at the Prairie Creek mine located within the Nahanni National Park Reserve shows the potential for mining operations to last much longer than originally identied in an early pre-feasibility report. Expected Prairie Creek mine life double initial estimates Patricia Sepp What happened to no de- velopment in Parks By DAWN KOSTELNIK Thisisenougheffortknock knockknockingonthedoor webegintosneakbacktowards home. Oh there you are Someonethoughttheysawyou at the emergency exit. Come along now. Mr. Adams with a British accent that comple- mentshisdeniteheadmaster attitude will be my teacher. He puts up with no nonsense and has directed us directly to where we should be going. My brothers are sent to theirnewclassesrespectively. WithhishandonmybackMr. Adams propels me into the class and announces This is a new student her name is Dawn. I expect that you will make her welcome to our class. I raise my eyes slowly from the oor and cautiously look around the room trying nottomakedirecteyecontact. WOW there is an assort- ment of kids in here. Eskimo kids and white kids all mixed up some are looking directly at me and are smiling. Their eyesaresmilingaswellnotjust their mouths. I notice a few of thepinchersintheclassbut thereareonlyafew.Holythis classisbiggerthanourw-h-o- l-e school in Fort Good Hope. Imeanthewholeschoolfrom beginnerstoGrade6.Thereis onlyGrade6and7inthisclass. Ihadencounteredthepinch- ers when people came to welcome us to our new home and community two days be- fore. While shaking my hand and smiling at me en masse some of the welcoming com- mittee had managed to inict morethanafewbitingpinches. Thesehadleftmyarmsandlegs covered in little black bruises. I had refused to acknowl- edge the attack knowing that this is a challenge to nd out exactly what kind of stuff I am made of. Sneaky mean little bullies. The pinches get harderandharderwithoutany responsefromme.Istandmy groundtheycantgrabhand- fuls of my skin without being noticed. I look them all right intheeyenowtheyareafraid theydontknowwhattomake of me this is good. Whatareafewbitingpinches that leave little black marks compared to the bloody noses andbeatingsthatIdhadinthe past This is disconcerting to mehowever.Thepeopleonthe Mackenzie River were direct. There was no way that they would smile and pinch they would walk right up to your faceandtellyouthattheydidnt likeyou.Itcouldthenturninto a bloody nose but you knew whereyoustood.Icantellyou that the double talk of white society still bafes me. Why would anyone say one thing and do another This is verystrange.Thereisnohonour in this duplicity. How can you everknowwhoyourfriendsare To be continued White Girl From Indians to Eskimos By LONE SORENSEN Aseitheraneworseasoned gardener it is very important toworkonincreasingyoursoil fertility. Soil is a living thing and it needs to be healthy so it can support plants to grow strong and big so they can ll your stomach. Soil has many partstoitshealthandworksin a way that is similar to how a community works. The more parts that work in harmony the more vibrant and fertile it will be. Last week I talked about giving to the soil the equal amountofgiveandtakeprin- cipleandlearningaboutwhat yoursoilneedsbyusingahome gardenerssoiltestingkit.You need to take a look at what is happeningornothappening in your soil. Plants need food nutrientsforhealthygrowth. NitrogenPhosphorusandPo- tassium N P and K play an importantroleinplantgrowth justasvitaminsmineralscar- bohydrates and protein do in your health. IlikeusingtheRapiTestSoil Test Kitbecauseitis inexpen- sive and has an easy-to-use capsule system. Everything is colour coded including the results. This gardeners home testing kit will not tell you ev- erything that is going on in your soil but it will give you the good idea that you need to do some work rst. Onceyoundoutwhatyour soil is lacking you can bolster itbyaddingfertilizer.Youcan ndorganicfertilizeronlineor perhaps in your community. Youcanlookatthe3numbers that all fertilizers have for instance 10 5 1 . These numbers always describe N P and K in that order so if you nd that your soil is de- cient in N and K for instance you can nd fertilizers that are higher in those numbers. Soil test instructions Totestthesoilingardenbeds where you will plant shrubs perennialsvegetablesorfruit digdown4incheswithatrowel andtakeasmallsampleatthat level. For lawns annuals and houseplants take a sample 2 or 3 inches below the soil sur- face.Removeanygrassweeds rootsrocksandthelikebuttry toavoidtouchingthesoilwith yourhands.Inalargeareatake severalsamplesbecausesoilcan vary.Dontmixthesamplestest themeachseparately.Placeeach Gardening with Lone More about soil How to use a home test kit soilsampleintoacontainerand let it dry naturally. When it is dry use the trowel or a spoon to crumble it nely and mix it thoroughly. The pH tester is the green one in the RapiTest package. Take off its cap making sure thecolourchartisinplace.Fill one of the capsules to the soil line with a soil sample. Hold the capsule horizontally over thetestchamberseparatethe halvesofthegreencapsuleand pour its powder into the test chamber. Use the dropper to adddistilledwatertothewater ll line. Put the cap back on and shake thoroughly. Allow the soil to settle for about one minuteandthencomparethe colourofthesolutionwiththe pHchart.Thisiseasiestifyou holdthetestuptothelightbut not direct sunlight. The ratio for nitrogen phosphorus and potash soil tests is 1 part soil to 5 parts distilled water. Put this mix- ture in a container and shake or stir for at least a minute to mix thoroughly. Then let it sit undisturbed until it settles whichmaytake30minutesto 24 hours depending on soil type. The clearer the solution the better although cloudi- ness wont affect the tests ac- curacy. Take the cap off the test you wish to make and take out a correspondingly coloured capsule. Using the dropper ll the test and ref- erence chambers to the ll mark with solution from your soil sample. Use only liquid avoid disturbing the sedi- ment. Hold the capsule hori- zontally over the test cham- ber separate the halves and pour the powder into the test chamber. Put the cap on and shake thoroughly. Allow the color to develop for 10 min- utes then compare it with the color chart. Repeat the test for all three soil elements. Keep this kit out of reach of children and pets and away from animal feed stored in- doorsincleandryconditions. Avoid touching the powders and wash your hands thor- oughly after making the tests. Soil testing info from httphomeguides.sfgate. comrapitest-soil-tester-in- structions-71198.html. Lone Sorensen is the founder of Northern Roots andhaslivedandgrownfood in Yellowknife for 27 years. 6 Tuesday May 12 2015 POLITICS MUNICIPAL By DALI CARMICHAEL The GNWT is revamping its community government funding system and after over a yearofvigorousconsultationwithtownsacross the North moving to a needs-based model has proved to be the popular option. HowthedepartmentofMunicipalandCom- munityAffairsMACAshoulduseitsmoneyto close an annual 40-million funding shortage forcommunitieswasoneofthemostanticipated discussionstotakeplaceatthe2015NWTAsso- ciationofCommunitiesannualgeneralmeeting held at the Katlodeeche reserve outside of Hay River last weekend. The current system is based on distribution formula funding comprised of four elements population a community infrastructure indi- cator the type of community governance and the Northern cost index. However with no ex- istingrecordstocalculatehowmuchinfrastruc- ture each community had the outcomes of the formula were sometimes skewed meaning the funding was not properly allocated. Aspartofafundingreviewongoingsince2014 a working group comprised of representatives from17NWTcommunitieshasbeenstrivingto develop a comprehensive list of infrastructure in each oftheterritoryscommunities.Theser- vices covered on this list include water sewer solid waste and protective services as well as recreationservicesandsupportforlocalgovern- ment operations. MACA is considering adding friendship centres to the list. With this list completed the group was able toquantifythescalgapmadeupofashortfall of 23.4 million for infrastructure alone plus a gap of 7.6 million to deliver programs and services andan 8.4-million hole in thepotfor water and sewer management. Alreadyforthe20152016yearthat40-mil- lion gap has been lessened by 3 million said Tom Williams deputy minister for MACA. The dip came as a result of this years annual submission for forest growth. Its a step in the right direction Williams said but there is still a long way to go. Current funding for community infrastruc- ture operations and management sits at about 106.4 million though the calculated total need is closer to 145.2 million according to the working group. Rightnowwithallofourseniormanagement weretryingtogoouttoeverycommunitytogive amoredetailedsummaryof...whattheoutcomes wereforthecommunitypublicconstructiondata factssaidGraceLau-amanagerofcommunity nancial services for MACA. We were able to get some cost data for our growth and our in- frastructure.Thisiswhatwehavebeenmissing from our current funding formula. The working group is recommending the GNWT take an indexing approach to the up- dated model so that funding levels are indica- tive of the cost of living. Inadditiontoeliminatingthefundinggapthe group hopes this new model will be more open andtransparentforitsstakeholdersthecitizens. One of the really big targets that we had is we wanted to have a method that was easily explainable easily understood and transparent so everyoneknowswherethenum- bers are coming from everyone can see better data to these values. We havent made a lot of change to water and sewer funding - we have made some criti- cal updates to the cost estimates - but another important change for this is the addition of the solidwastemanagementLau-asaid.Thisisan areathatwehaveanincreasingfocuson.Itsre- allycostlyforourcommunitygovernmentsand were aware how much its costing for landlls wereawareoftheneedforproperlandllmain- tenancesotheadditionofsolidwastemanage- mentandtheenvironmentalstewardshipfund is an important update to our funding review. MACA has also secured approval from the GNWTtoupdatethefederalinfrastructurefund- ingfromtheGasTaxandBuildingCanadaallo- cations to provide more support to communi- tiesthatneeditallowingthemtohaveapositive impact on a wider array of infrastructure. This change is expected to be implemented in 2016. Getting feedback from the communities has been important to the process said Eleanor Younganassistantdeputyministerforregional operations with MACA. Therewasalotofsupportthatthismodelal- lows us to identify costs that are appropriate to communitygovernmentsforcoreservicesbutit doesnt take any of the decision-making away shesaid.Itstillallowsyoutomovethatmoney aroundtoyourprioritiesanditgiveabasiclevel ofcomfortthattheamountofmoneyshouldbe able to provide the basic services that you have within your mandate. Mostcommunitiesexpressedsatisfactionwith theproposedmodelthoughasmanyas10com- munities are unhappy that they stand to have their funding either cut or frozen depending on how the new model is implemented. Under the proposed needs system they are currently receiving more than their fair share. One of the things that the premier commit- tedtolastyearwasthatwewouldntseeareduc- tionintheGNWTfundingthecapitalfunding but we also know that to implement this were going to need to nd new sources of funding Young said. That is something that we have to workwithintheGNWTscalframeworktog- ure out how to do that. Thelasttimethecommunityfundingapproach wasalteredwasin2008withtheimplementa- tion of the New Deal for the NWT. Theworkinggrouphopestohavetheneeds- basedmodelfullydesignedandreadytoimple- ment by the 18th Legislative Assembly. Once it is approved it will likely be phased in over several years. MACA announces new funding model for communities Shortages needs-based funding model addressed at NWTAC AGM PhotosDaliCarmichael Assistant deputy minister for regional operations with MACA Eleanor Young left MACA deputy minister Tom Williams and manager of community nancial services for MACA Grace Lua-a present the ndings from a municipal funding policy review conducted over the last year. Over 100 delegates representing 26 of the NWTs 33 communities attend the NWT Association of Communities AGM on the Katlodeeche First Nation reserve near Hay River. Tuesday May 12 2015 7 POLITICS LABOUR It can be harmful to you and the environment and can cost you a lot of money. Help prevent an unnecessary spill The Homeowners Guide to Oil Tanks is now available. Visit or call 867-873-7654 for a free copy 128-364A NNSL NJ An Oil Tank Spill Can Be a Nightmare By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Delegates from Fort Smith Fort Simpson and Inuvik refused to cross the picket line to attend the NWT As- sociation of Communities NWTACmeetingslastweek on the Katlodeeche First Nation KFN reserve near Hay River. The annual gathering of municipalleadersfromacross the territory was targeted by striking town workers in Hay River even after the event was moved across the river and onto the reserve. Fort Smith Mayor Brad Brake said he and SAO Keith Morrisonhadbeenhopingfor a resolution to the labour dis- pute in order to attend but ultimately made the decision not to cross the picket line. Thetownissettonegotiateits workerscollectiveagreement within the next few months. Respecting a picket line is not unheard of and there are a number of other commu- nities that are not attending andarerespectingtheunions picket line by not crossing Brake said. The Town of Fort Smith would like to see an amicable resolution to this labour dispute. Brake and Morrison did attend the concurrent Good Governance Conference hosted by the department of Municipal and Community Affairs however which was not picketed. Fort Simpson also chose not to send delegates to the meetings out of respect for the striking workers. The council feels that it would not be appropriate to attend as the Village of Fort Simpson is still in negotiation with the union members in Fort Simpson as well said acting SAO Beth Jumbo. Inuvik was also unable to attend the NWTAC meet- ings partly due to the strike. Though one councillor who wasscheduledtoattendcould not make it due to a personal issue Mayor Floyd Roland and SAO Grant Hood decided to stay home because of the labour dispute. The mayor...discussed the situation with council and it was felt while we support the NWTAC and their objectives it was felt to remain neutral and not to attend Hood said. One of the delegates from Yellowknife who planned to attend the meetings also bowed out due to the strike. I decided not to cross a picket lineprotest city councillor Phil Moon Son an- nounced last week via Face- book.Itwasaveryverytough decisionafterlotsofpersonal reection and evaluation. Yellowknife councillor Bob Brooksattendedthemeetings alone on behalf of the city. Despite some controversy 26 of the associations 33 member communities sent delegates to the annual gen- eral meetings in one of the largest turnouts ever. Repre- sentatives from Tuktoyaktuk were unable to attend due to a funeral in the community and said reports of their ab- sence being linked to the strike were untrue. Hay River was initially supposed to host the meet- ings but NWTAC decided to move the gathering to the reserve in order to remain neutral with respect to the strike. The NWTAC is grateful that KFN is an alternative as it means that the eco- nomic benefit to the area for things like hotels trans- portation catering and pa- tronage of local businesses will not be compromised said NWTAC spokesperson Shannon Crawley. We are doing our very best to respect the disputing parties to hold a success- ful meeting and continue to support all 33 member communities as is our or- ganizational mandate. The event which is an op- portunity for community- appointed representatives to collaborate meet with gov- ernment ofcials and pass resolutions about territo- rial issues was expected to bring as much as 120000 into the community. Around 30 municipal em- ployees have been on strike in Hay River since Feb. 9. The workers are demand- ing a larger wage increase in their expired three-year collective agreement than the town will offer. Several attempts at ne- gotiation have failed and a recent request from the union for binding third- party arbitration was re- jected by Hay Rivers town council. Because most essential services are contracted out recreation has been hit the hardest by the work stoppage. Fort Smith Fort Simpson Inuvik skip picketed meetings PhotocourtesyofPSAC-North Striking municipal employees in Hay River establish a virtual picket line on route to the NWTAC AGM outside of town on the Katlodeeche First Na- tion last week. The strike actions deterred delegates from Fort Simpson Fort Smith Inuvik and one from Yellowknife from attending the meetings. 8 Tuesday May 12 2015 INDUSTRY COMMUNITY-BASED Congratulations There are lots of decisions to make after graduation. We hope that coming back to the NWT after college or university is one of them. C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Journel 2015 grad small.pdf 1 572015 52714 PM By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Organizers behind the first Localizing Our Economies forum this month in Yel- lowknife are hoping the gathering will foster greater environmental social and economic sustainability in communities through the Northwest Territories. The three-day forum set for May 21-23 in Yellowknife is being co-ordinated by Ecology North and will focus on land energy and for- est resources food security and community empowerment with discussions exploring the practical applications of how to create local economies that benefit and are driven by communities. The cost of living is such an issue across the NWT and the environmental issues that we have are becoming so dire that theyre closing down options for people over time and also increasing our costs for our fami- lies and communities and governments said Weledeh MLA Bob Bromley who brought the idea forward to Ecology North with NWT MP Dennis Bevington earlier this year. Were just hearing so much about other better ways to go that can start to reduce those things and at the same time provide a local capacity to lower the cost of living Bromley said. Research done by the Massachusetts In- stitute of Technology shows that the number of jobs per million dollars of investment in smaller-scale local sustainable economies is between three to five times that compared to those generated by large resource extrac- tion projects where techniques are becom- ing more automated. Bromleysaidfocusingonwaysbywhichcom- munities can generate their own food and en- ergy resources will support peoples economic livelihoods outside of the boom and bust cycle that characterizes the resource sector. We all need a healthy economy and yet its got to serve the environmental and social side. So we see a huge opportunity through localizing our economies to contribute to all three of those he said. The forum will include sessions on building localized economies with guest economists Diana Gibson and Dave Thompson from the Parkland Institute. Other sessions will take a look at whats already being done in the NWT thats of- fering solutions. One on food production harvesting and distribution will include the Northern Farm Training Institute the Yel- lowknife Farmers Market commercial fish- ers and Aboriginal harvesters. Another on alternative energy will include talks from local engineers the Arctic Energy Alliance the Diavik wind project biomass company Energy North and other renewable energy businesses. Municipal leaders will also be speaking along with Bevington and Bromley and members of the Sahtu Renewable Resources Board Dene Nahjo Tides Canada Canadian Boreal Initiative and the Lutsel Ke Dene First Nation. Bromley hopes to see recommendations emerge from the forum that can be shared with territorial community and Aboriginal governments. Were trying to focus on the positives Bromley said. Theres some real opportuni- ties here that we need to be following up on. The event will take place at the Tree of Peace friendship centre. Efforts are being made to livestream the forum online to allow for dis- tance participation. Local economies forum to focus on sustainable NWT communities PhotoKimRapati The Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River will be one of the many presenters at next weeks local economies forum in Yellowknife May 21-23 at the Tree of Peace centre. Tuesday May 12 2015 9 INDUSTRY OIL GAS Speak to an Agent today Phone 867-874-2101 Fax 867-874-3386 CONGRATULATIONS AURORA GRADUATES Insurance Specialist 62 Woodland Dr. 105 Hay River NT X0E 1G1 Insurance Specialist 62 Woodland Dr. 105 Hay River NT X0E 1G1NWT Mtis Nation KWAYASK KITOTEN YOU DID IT Miyo Atoskewin Aurora Graduates Good Work Aurora Graduates P 867 872-2643 F 867 872-5225 NWT Mtis Nation NWT Cree Language Program By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Global oil prices may be down but that isnt stopping the NWT from encouraging compa- nies to invest in infrastructure now to prepare for the eventual market rebound. IndustryTourismandInvestmentITIMin- ister David Ramsay was in Houston Texas last week to pitch the territorys resources to at- tendeesoftheOffshoreTechnologyConference. Thoughadmittingthecostofdoingbusiness intheNorthisaboutashighastheresourcepo- tential he said decades down the line the ter- ritorywillbepoisedtobecometheworldsnext stable energy source. The world is looking for a reliable supply of energy resources to meet a growing demand. TheArcticoffersoneofthebestnewandstable sources of energy on the planet Ramsay said noting that partnerships with Alberta and B.C. will be key to opening up the territory. TheNorthwestTerritoriesisthekeytoopen- ingwesternCanadatointernationaloilandgas investorsexplorersandproducers.Weofferthe next economic frontier and the foundation of soundeconomicexpansioninvestmentattrac- tionjobcreationandfutureprosperityhesaid. In his speech to delegates Ramsay spoke of the massive potential of the NWTs oil and gas reservesbothonandoffshoreforfutureenergy needsinNorthAmericaandtherestoftheworld. Based on geological analysis by both the U.S. Geological Survey and our own advisors the Arctic waters off the Northwest Territories The next economic frontier Minister promotes NWT offshore oil in Texas havetheoilpotentialtorivaltheGulfofMexico Ramsay boasted. The Amauligak eld just off ofournorthernshorelineisthoughttocontain up to 250 million barrels of oil. Accordingtoa2009reporttheestimateddis- coveredmarketableoilandgasisbetweennine He said the NWT is open for business. We offer a gateway to the Arctic Ocean Ramsay said. We are ready to talk to socially and environmentally responsible companies thatwanttoworkandinvestwithustodevelop our resources build our economy unlock our potential and bring our resources to hungry markets around the world. and 10.4 trillion cubic feet evenly distributed betweentheMackenzieDeltaandBeaufortSea. Currently 10 companies hold over 3 million hectaresinleasesintheBeaufortSeaalongwith numerousdeclaredsignicantdiscoveryareas. ThoughtheGNWTattainedpowersovermost onshore oil and gas in the NWT the National Energy Board continues to regulate offshore. Ramsaysaidaccesswillincreaseastheterri- tory works on developing its combined energy communications and transportation corridor along the Mackenzie Valley. That includes the proposed Mackenzie bre-optic link highway and pipeline projects. MapcourtesyofAANDC Ten companies hold over 3 million hectares in oil and gas leases in the Beaufort Sea along with numerous declared signicant discovery areas. TheNorthwestTerritories is the key to opening western Canada to international oil andgasinvestorsexplorers and producers. ITI Minister David Ramsay 10 Tuesday May 12 2015 By DALI CARMICHAEL Waves of giddy graduates accepted their degrees and diplomas from Fort McMur- rays Keyano College in a series of convoca- tion ceremonies held last weekend. The graduates donned their mortarboards and lled the Keyano College Theatre dur- ing an afternoon ceremony on May 8 and a morning ceremony the next day. About 180 students attended the convoca- tions though a total of 665 students grad- uated over the course of the past academic year. The grads hailed from over 42 programs spanning all four Keyano College campuses. Keyano College recognizes the hard work and dedication it takes each student to achieve post-secondary credentials said Dr. Kevin Nagel president and CEO of Keyano College. Today we celebrate that success and congratulate the class of 2015 as they become college alumni. We wish our graduates the best of luck in their lifes learning journey. Early learning and child care diploma holder Valerie Varnell who excelled in her program with a 4.0 GPA was named the 2015 valedictorian and awarded the 2015 Governor Generals Academic Medal. Its an honour to represent the gradu- ating class as we celebrate everyones hard work and achievements she proclaimed in a speech to the graduates and their sup- porters. This is an event that we will carry with us on whichever path we may choose in our lives. This is truly my favourite day in our academic year. It marks the culmination of what we at Keyano College have set out to do said Catherine Koch vice president academic. Our graduates today become the leaders of the community and workforce tomorrow. Early celebration of learning in Fort Chipewyan Previous to the convocation ceremony Keyanos Fort Chipewyan campus hosted a celebration of learning on May 1 where all students were recognized for their accom- plishments in academics. In particular Sheldon Gibot who received his general high school diploma was hon- oured with the Bella Martin Award. As well Georgette Bruno an academic foundations student was given the Academic Founda- tions Personal Achievement Award for her hard work and determination. Keyano College grads converge at weekend convocation ceremonies EDUCATION GRADUATION PhotoscourtesyofKeyanoCollege Teri Villebrun left the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation community employment coordinator examines Mavis Randhiles new health care aide certicate in Fort Chipewyan. Sisters Nepin Dashcavich left and Tristan are lled with glee over Tristans new high school general diploma at Keyano Colleges Fort Chipewyan campus. Students at Keyanos Fort McMurray campus wait to receive their degrees diplomas and certicates. Keyano College CEO and president Dr. Kevin Nagel with valedictorian Valerie Varnell. Tuesday May 12 2015 11 By DALI CARMICHAEL The nal batch of Aurora Colleges class of 2015 greeted their mentors and friends while dressedinbluerobeslastFridayattheAurora Campus convocation ceremony in Inuvik . Eighteen students from the Beaufort Delta and Sahtu regions collected their degrees diplomas and certicates the evening of May 8 marking the schools nal convoca- tion event of the season. The event took place at Inuviks Midnight Sun Recreation Complex. Students repre- senting the schools of Arts and Science Business and Leadership Education and Aurora College students cross the stage in Inuvik Health and Human Services crowded to- gether as they awaited their turn to nally collect after months or years of hard work. Deputy Commissioner of the NWT Gerry Kisoun addressed the graduates as did Inu- vialuit Regional Corp. CEO and the evenings keynote speaker Nellie Cournoyea. Environment and Natural Resources Tech- nology Program graduate Edwin Amos was named valedictorian of his class and also re- ceived the Board of Governors BOG Student Leadership award. Amos was rewarded for both his strong academic standing and his willingness to help others in his positions as the president of the Student Association and a regular volunteer. SeveralothermembersoftheAuroraCam- pus community took home BOG awards. Tif- fany Dwyer was honoured with the Instruc- tional Excellence award after three years of going above and beyond her duties instruct- ing at the School of Developmental Studies. Multiple people were named for the In- novation and College Improvement Award. Matthew Dares manager of Technology De- velopment with the Aurora Research Insti- tute was honoured for his talent. The Sahtu Distance Education Team made up of Katie MacRae Anna Gillingham Marilyn Brown JerryHuculakSueDrozdaNancyNorn-Len- nie Jennifer Waterhouse and Sherri Burke received the same award. Each of the indi- viduals was noted for playing an important role in ensuring the success of the program. Nellie Gruben executive assistant to cam- pus director Sarah Tilley was given the Ser- vice Quality award. Bella Charlie also accepted the UNW Local 29 Staff to Student Legacy Award while Dor- othy Koe was awarded the Aurora Cup. PreviousceremoniesforAuroraCollegestu- dentstookplaceinFortSmithandinYellowknife. EDUCATION GRADUATION PhotoscourtesyofAuroraCollege Dr. Diane Reed left vice president of Education and Training hands off the Instructional Excellence award to Tiffany Dwyer an instructor in the School of Development Studies. Trudy Kogiak marches up to the stage to collect her personal support worker certicate. The Aurora Campus Class of 2015 takes a shot as they wait to walk on stage before proud supporters in Inuvik at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex on May 8. 12 Tuesday May 12 2015 JUSTICE MISSING PERSONS Do you want a Perfect Wedding Cascade Graphics can help. Talk to us about invitations decorations personalized accessories and other unique touches. Cascade Graphics . 207 McDougal Rd. Fort Smith NT 867-872-3000 ex. 20 By MEAGAN WOHLBERG RCMP are looking to speak with hunters trappers or anyone else who has been out on the land to help locate a man who is thought to have gone missing between Fort Smith and Hay River last fall. Brian Boucher of Fort Smith has been missing since Oct. 25 2014 and is believed to have been travelling from Hay River to Fort Smith in his 1998 Ford F150 truck NT license plate 331317 on that day. InvestigatorsfromtheRCMPsMajorCrimes Unit conducted an area-wide search on Satur- day May 9 between Hay River and Fort Smith and into northern Alberta with the assistance of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Operation. But RCMP say they need the publics help in locating the missing man particularly land-users who may have come across Bouch- ers missing truck. Tips from the public are among our best investigative tools. We encourage anyone with any information to please speak with us said Sgt. Eric Lane of the Northwest Territories RCMP Major Crimes Unit. Boucher of Mtis descent is described as 6 feet tall and 150 pounds with short black hair brown eyes and a light complexion. Anyone with information on the where- abouts of Boucher or his vehicle is asked to call the Hay River RCMP at 867 874-1111 or contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222- 8477 click on submit a web tip text nwtnutips to 274637. Remember that you can remain anonymous through Crimestoppers. RCMP ask land-users to locate missing Fort Smith man PhotocourtesyoftheRCMP Fort Smiths Brian Boucher was last seen Oct. 25 2014. Tuesday May 12 2015 13 JUSTICE SEXUAL ASSAULT CONGRATULATIONS KEYANO COLLEGE GRADUATES On behalf of Regional Council and the residents of Wood Buffalo I would like to congratulate the 2015 graduating class at Fort Chipewyans Keyano College campus. Now more than ever education holds the key to unlocking your potential and by successfully graduating from Keyano College you are closer than ever to achieving your dreams. I wish each of you continued success as you embark on the next chapter of your life and the very best in your future endeavours. Mayor Melissa Blake By DALI CARMICHAEL A pilot charged with sexual assault will have to await the territorial courts decision next month after his trial was left unresolved last week. The accused Alejandro Cabeza Cepero of Fort Smith faces one count of sexual as- sault in connection with an incident that took place last August. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. The incident occurred after a night of drinking both at a local bar and at several residences. At the end of the evening Cepero walked the complainant home. At his request the complainant allowed him to sleep over with the option of staying in a spare bedroom or on the couch as Ceperos residence was lo- cated in a different part of the community relatively far away. Some time after that Cepero allegedly en- tered the complainants room at which point the alleged assault took place. Fearing for her safety the complainant con- tactedafriendwiththeintentofreceivinghelp noting that she felt unsafe. The friend arrived shortly after Cepero had left the residence. The complainant was known to Cepero previous to the incident in question. The Crown is arguing the defendant should be found guilty based on the corroboration of facts testified to by various witnesses as well as the candid testimony of the complainant. Cepero who had also been drinking stated he did not believe his memory had been af- fected by alcohol though his memory had some lapses. The Crown called his testimony careful and calculated. The defence is arguing honest mistaken belief in consent noting that alcohol and earlier interactions throughout the evening led their client to believe the situation was consensual claiming the intent for the crime was not proven. Defence also stated the com- plainants testimony was not corroborated as multiple witnesses testified to having gaps in their memories. The complainant also admitted to having memorylapsesasaresultofimbibingthenight of the event but in her testimony denied giv- ing consent. She testified to repeatedly telling Cepero no during the alleged incident. Cepero is an employee at the Fort Smith- basedairlineNorthwesternAirLease.Hehas remained employed with the company while awaiting trial. He does not have a previous criminal record. Neither Cepero nor his counsel offered com- ment on the case. Adecisiononthecasewasdeferredafterpre- sidingJusticeGarthE.Malakoerequestedmore timetoconsiderthepresentedevidence.Adeci- sion date will be set on May 12 in Yellowknife. Fort Smith pilot faces charges of sexual assault PhotocourtesyofFacebook Northwestern Air Lease pilot Alejandro Cabeza Cepero of Fort Smith is facing charges of sexual assault. 14 Tuesday May 12 2015 Minimum wage rate in the NWT The Honourable Jackson Lafferty Minister of Education Culture and Employment is pleased to announce that effective June 1 2015 the minimum wage rate in the NWT will be 12.50 per hour. For more information please visit By DALI CARMICHAEL Finding out he had cancer during his first week of college was one of the most unfor- tunate events to take place in Neil Ander- sens life. The freshman engineering student then 18 had just moved from his home town of Fort Smith and settled into his dorm room at Grande Prairie Regional College when he found out he was suffering from an aggres- sive form of testicular cancer. Now 22 Andersen feeling healthy and looking forward to moving onto his next life stage. However he wasnt always optimistic about his circumstances. Soon after his diagnosis was confirmed An- dersen was forced to drop out of school and return home for treatments. He immediately underwent surgery to remove the tumour but after two months of active surveillance doc- tors noticed the cancer had returned. Andersen started nine weeks of chemother- apy in November of 2011. He and his family followed a gruelling schedule flying to and from Yellowknife for treatments almost every week. Instead of attending classes or working a full-time job Andersen would spend up to eight hours a day receiving chemotherapy for up to three days in a row. Luckily territorial health care and his parents health insurance covered a majority of the associated costs. You wouldnt wish chemo on anyone even if you dont like them Andersen said de- scribing his experience with the treatment. Its just something that no one should have to go through. Andersen stopped his treatments just after Christmas on Dec. 28 2011. However his healing journey was not close to being fin- ished. In January 2012 he developed pneu- monia and as a result a lung infection. His right lung eventually collapsed and today about a quarter of it is scar tissue. The pain didnt stop there. In April of 2012 Andersen underwent a diagnostic surgery to examine why his lymph nodes had not shrunk to a pre-cancerous size. They aver- age lymph node is about 1 cm thick his were 1.5 cm enough for doctors to be concerned about the cancer spreading the start of a teratoma tumor or the development of scar tissue. Luckily it was the latter. But as a re- sult of that surgery Andersen developed an incisional hernia which had to be operated on in the winter of 2014. A path to recovery Andersen has not yet been declared can- cer-free though he is well on his way. He has had no recurrences over the past three years and once he hits the five-year mark he will earn the coveted title. He still has an ulcer that could be related to the multitude of pain medication he has taken over that last few years but otherwise he is fit happy and optimistic. Meeting Andersen one would never guess what he has been through. By nature he is relaxed and easygoing. The survivor said his perspective on life has been altered by his experiences. It changes your outlook on life your opin- ions especially at such a young age when youre ready to go out and tackle the world and you get sucker-punched by your health so to speak he said. Its kind of like well Im here. Ill take a look at my priorities because you have that extra time on your hands. You appreciate everything that little bit more. Andersen said the experience had an im- pact on his family as well. I feel like the immediate family dont know how to help. Everyone wants to help but its awkward because its never like What can I get for you its always like How are you feeling How are you doing Its like well Im doing shitty. They cant really help you. It would make them feel helpless I imag- ine because its something that you have no control over he said. From a parents perspective it would be like What did I do wrong But its not their fault at all its just science. Following his chemo treatment Andersen grew out his naturally blonde curly hair for several years. In late 2014 he chopped off his mop and donated it to be turned into a wig for another cancer patient. After not having hair for so long I wanted to do something productive with it while I still can grow hair he said joking that some baldness does run in his family. Now a first-year apprentice electrician with the Northwest Territories Power Corp. An- dersen isnt sure hell be able to grow out his hair for donation again but as he settles into adulthood - even looking into purchasing his first house - he looks forward to helping out cancer organizations in new ways. Cancer affects everyone thats just the way cancer is. If youre not singled out by it itll be affecting you in other ways whether its a relative grandma sister - its so unpre- dictable he said. I like to think that later in life Ill be able to to give a little more back but Im just trying to get on my own two feet after my ordeal. Young cancer survivor on the road to recovery HEALTH WELLNESS CANCER PhotosDaliCarmichael Neil Andersen during his grad in 2011. PhotoPaulBannister Fort Smith Relay For Life committee raises over 10000 at Uncorked gala Beckie Linaker left and Andrea Steed get their numbers out ready to bid for the next item. Janine left and Sue Fryer sample some wine and food pairings. Volunteers Katie Ellsworth left Lynda Thickett Brittany Scott Lana Courtese and Courtney Kaeser serve up a selection of wines scotches and mouth-watering appetizers. Jane Peterson one of the event organizers does her best Vanna White impression while taking bids for some amazing auction items. HEALTH WELLNESS CANCER FUNDRAISING Tuesday May 12 2015 15 ENVIRONMENT WILDFIRES Miss Stache is a sophisticated and cute little lady. Isnt she just precious If you brought her home shed be so happy and give you cuddles. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. FemaleAdult Black and white mix Looking for a new home Christian Leadership Training Revival transformation personal work evangelism life in the spirit being of service to God teaching fellowship love power seeking God. If these words excite you PRAY about joining us at SALT this fall on campus full time part time or from a distance. Make the NT a centre of REVIVAL AND TRANSFORMATION. Call 867-872-8151 and ask for SALT or mail us at SALT co Box 1101 Fort Smith NT X0E 0P0 By MEAGAN WOHLBERG With last years record-breaking wildre season and forecasts for another hot dry summer in the NWT the territorial govern- ment is looking back at what it can do better this re season and in the future. The department of Environment and Nat- ural Resources ENR released its report on the 2014 re season last week put together after 24 open houses in communities across the forested part of the territory and con- sultations with community and Aboriginal governments. Its the rst time the department has cho- sen to conduct such a thorough review of its re season and is indicative of the extraor- dinary events of 2014. Though the NWT should experience close to 245 res per year supported by an annual budget of 7.5 mil- lion severe drought conditions in 2014 made that level of support a drop in the bucket with a total of 385 res costing 56.1 million and impacting 3.4 million hectares of forest. Of the 93 operations to protect private property last summer including cabins and wilderness lodges two were considered sig- nicant losses. Though the overall consensus was that ENR respondedeffectivelytothechallengesof2014 which saw no serious injuries or fatalities to reghters residents or visitors the review did nd areas with room for improvement. The report lists a number of priority areas to address moving forward this year with a focus on better communication with the public improved safety protocols and more supports for its reghters. Public engagement The report notes a clear need for the de- partment to do more to ensure organized and proactive communication with the pub- lic media and stakeholders throughout the re season with specic focus put on GNWT re management policy operations practices and limitations. Special note is made of the need to encour- age more communities and property owners to FireSmart their values at risk. There is a public expectation ENR will be able to protect all property at all times which simply isnt possible in an extreme re season according to the report. ENR now plans to assign a single depart- mental spokesperson on re-related issues who will provide the media with weekly and or daily updates as needed and daily up- dated re maps will also be available online. The department also plans to make post- season reviews an annual event and to NWT fire season 2015 Communication safety and workforce upgrades underway aggressively promote the FireSmart pro- gram across the NWT through open houses informational sessions and media campaigns. More support for reghters The length of last years re season taxed crews on the ground and led to a recent re- view of the way crews are deployed and what more needs to be done to support human resources. It is often said that a forest re may be fought from the air but is actually extin- guished on the ground. This on the ground work is undertaken by people people that are often far away from homes and families and are typically working in very difcult con- ditions the report states. It is with this in mind that the departments review looked at the area of Human Resources. Inputs re- ceived from all engagement activities pointed to ENR increasing its support of the people involved in this important program. To start emergency reghters EFFs will be getting a pay raise for the 2015 re season to encourage recruitment. ENR is proposing to increase EFF pay rates to the same rate as GNWT casual positions. As of 2016 ENR will also be transition- ing to a different crew structure. Currently the department has 28 ve-person Type 1 wildre crews. That will be changed to 36 four-person crews. The department is also investigating the pros and cons of using contract crews as op- posed to GNWT-staffed crews to ght res with recommendations to be put in place by September 2015. And prior to the 2015 season starting the department will be developing and maintain- ing a list of all trained GNWT personnel who canbedrawnuponintimesofneedwhenENR resources are already stretched to their max. There will likely be new positions hired as well including three re technicians two seasonal warehouse staff and a communica- tions and public education specialist. Safety upgrades Though there were no serious injuries or deaths during the 2014 season the review found that ENR needs to create a systematic and comprehensive process for managing safety risks and modernize safety practices especially considering the stress and fatigue experienced by employees last year while on long-term deployments. While no actual injuries resulted there is concern about the type of analysis done after- wards what was learned and how incident re- ports and the lessons learned are managed and communicated internally in ENR and to relevant outside agencies the report states. Some upgrades will be done in time for the 2015 re season including incident reports and risk analysis of incidents and commu- nication protocols. Other elements will be nalized through expert assistance over the course of the sum- mer with plans to have a completed Safety Management System in place by April 2017. Thefullreportcanbefoundonlineat http PhotocourtesyofKellyPennycook-EnvironmentandNaturalResources Last years massive re season in the NWT prompted a review and a number of systemic changes to communication human resources and safety protocols moving forward. Say it in 25 words or less for only 3.50 Extra words are 20 centseach.Businessclassifieds are 10 for 30 words and 25 centsforeach additionalword. E-mail your advertising to or fax it to 872-2754 or call 872-3000 ext. 26 FOR SALE FIREWOOD. Cus- tom cut sizes - split green dry bagged. Wood Gasification Outdoor wood boilers. Delivery from Fort Smith to Hay River Yellowknife. 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Layer quota is available for qualied individuals or companies who wish to enter the egg industry in Alberta to be issued in allotments up to 1500 birds. Information and application packages are available for interested parties online at httpeggs.ab.caindustryNew- Entrant-Program. Questions can be directed to Egg Farmers of Alberta Phone 403-250-1197 ext 0 e-mail The deadline for applications is Thursday June 25 2015 at 400 p.m. BECOME AN EGG FARMER Egg Farmers of Alberta is excited to announce the activation of our 2015 New Entrant Program. Layer quota is available for qualied individuals or companies who wish to enter the egg industry in Alberta to be issued in allotments up to 1500 birds. Information and application packages are available for interested parties online at httpeggs.ab.caindustryNew-Entrant-Program. Questions can be directed to Egg Farmers of Alberta Phone 403-250-1197 ext 0 e-mail The deadline for applications is Thursday June 25 2015 at 400 p.m. 12345 12345 3 wide version 3.75 wide version Create a career for yourself with Morgan Construction and Environmental Join a winning team of experienced Heavy Equipment Operators for current and future projects within Alberta. Our primary projects include building roads oilfield leases and pads. Successful Candidates will have the following 5yearsofworkexperienceasaHeavyEquipmentOperator supportingheavycivilearthworksactivitiesGPSexperienceis anasset. CSTSStandardFirstAidH2SAliveGroundDisturbanceIIclass5 driverslicense. PhysicallyfitMustbeabletosuccessfullycompleteafitnessto workandpre-hirealcoholanddrugtest. Create a career for yourself with Morgan Construction and Environmental Join a winning team of experienced Heavy Equipment Operators for current and future projects within Alberta. Our primary projects include building roads oilfield leases and pads. Successful Candidates will have the following 5yearsofworkexperienceasaHeavyEquipmentOperatorsupporting heavycivilearthworksactivitiesGPSexperienceisanasset. CSTSStandardFirstAidH2SAliveGroundDisturbanceIIclass5drivers license. PhysicallyfitMustbeabletosuccessfullycompleteafitnesstoworkand pre-hirealcoholanddrugtest. Pleaseapplyfaxto780-960-8930 oronlineat Please apply fax to 780-960-8930 by email to or online at 18 Tuesday May 12 2015 SPORTS RECREATION HOCKEY FORT SMITH RESIDENTIAL SPRING CLEAN-UP will take place throughout May and June. Residents may have large items washers dryers refrigerators etc. and yard work debris collected by the Town FREE OF CHARGE from the curb side only. Smaller items must be boxedbagged. Trees must be limbed and cut to 4-foot lengths. All items must be placed at the property roadside. Please seperate different types of refuse. No vehicles will be collected. Tipping fees at the Landfill are waived for residential customers for the duration of the Spring Clean-up. No household hazardous waste such as propane tanks batteries paint used oils etc. will be collected. No construction materials such as demolished buildings or construction sitesprojects at residential locations will be collected. To register please visit or call the Town Office at 872-8400 with the following information Name Residence Address Materials to be picked up Contact phone numbers FOR INFORMATION ON HOW BEST TO FIRE SMART YOUR YARD CALL DANIEL ALLAIRE AT 867-872-6425 Come TO MONSTER RECfor INOVATIVE PRODUCTS and SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. 926 MACKENZIE HIGHWAY HAY RIVER NT Phone 867-874-2771 Toll Free 1-866-327-0717 By JOHN LYNCH Fort Smiths Shaun MacPherson has achieved yet another accolade. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey Leagues SJHL top scoring defenceman recently com- mitted to attend Mount Royal University in Calgary on a hockey scholarship starting in 2015-16. Typically such scholarships cover tuition and fees. MacPhersons 2014-15 team the Kinders- ley Klippers was eliminated from the SJHL playoffs by the Notre Dame Hounds a month ago. The Hounds lost in the league nal to the Melfort Mustangs who in turn are in Por- tage La Prairie Man. this week competing in the Royal Bank Cup the national junior A championship. I talked to other schools too but I really liked Mount Royals coaches Bert Gillings and Chase Fuchs MacPherson said. I am doing open studies for the rst semester and I will see what that inspires me to do. Mount Royal competes in Canada West with universities in Manitoba Alberta Sas- katchewan and B.C. I always wanted to play at this level MacPherson said. It was something I wanted to do. Former Kindersley coach Rockie Zinger connected MacPherson to Mount Royal coach Gillings said. As the season went on we were tracking Shaun Gillings said. Our assistant coach watched him and really liked what he saw. His skill level the way he handled the puck and started plays - that is what we needed. A former college turned university Mount Royal was recently elevated to full Canadian athletic university status. We just completed our third year of Can- ada West Gillings said. This extends to all university sports at the school. It gives the athletes exposure to not just Alberta but the whole country. Prior to this when Mount Royal was a college they competed in only Alberta. Fort Smith hockey player lands scholarship Filephotos Fort Smiths Shaun MacPherson white 25 takes on the Humboldt Broncos during a regular season game last year. Tuesday May 12 2015 19 Traditional Mtis dancing celebrated at jigging concert Fort Resolution students join dancers in Fort Smith for special event PhotosMeaganWohlberg Deninu Schools nest Keaden Balsillie Jude Simon and Jordon Boucher perform the challenging and fast-paced Orange Blossom Special to a delighted crowd last Thursday evening in Fort Smith. Cassidy Giroux a Grade 6 student at JBT School in Fort Smith presents jigging teacher Lois Firth-Lafferty with an appreciation award. The Grade 6 Bourke jiggers of JBT School perform a traditional square dance for the crowd on Thursday evening at the JBT gym. The 45 Sinclair class of JBT School performs the Sash Dance a traditional Mtis dance where a sash is woven symbolizing co-operation and unity among Mtis folk. Guests of honour Marie-Jose Dandeneau of St. Boniface Man. and Manitobas two-time ddling champion Michael Audette perform some traditional tunes for the crowd to end the night. ARTS CULTURE JIGGING SPORTS RECREATION SOCCER 20 Tuesday May 12 2015 Visit Diggerz Powersports online at 2 Aspen Road Hay River NT X0E 0P0 867 874-3224 OUR BIGGEST SALE TO DATE HUGE SAVINGSALL WINTER CLOTHING IS 35 OFF NEW NON-CURRENT SIDE BY SIDES STARTING AT 8999 THATS 4500 OFF MSRP NEW NON-CURRENT FULL SIZE ATVS STARTING AT 5499 THATS 3500 OFF MSRP ALL WITH FULL WARRANTY SPRING INTO SAVINGS By DALI CARMICHAEL The 2015 soccer season started on a high note for NWT school-aged players as they dominated at their rst tournament of the year in Grande Prairie Alta. Students from PWK high school and JBT elementary were determined to shine at Er- nies Rock Around the Clock annual soccer tournament over the weekend of May 1 a goal that proved successful with most teams nabbing top-three spots in their divisions. PWKs U13 girls team impressed as they snagged the rst place spot in their division. The girls really played well and improved over the course of the weekend said coach RogerVailwhohasbeentrainingsomestudents since September and others since February. With only two lines they worked very hard. In their rst game the girls beat out an older team from Fort Liard who ended up coming in second place. These girls we very physical and our team heldtheirownVailsaid.Theyweredenitely our toughest competition. Even with a small bench our girls were able to run hard games. The team was assisted by male goalie Ryan Schaefer who blocked shots with grace. He did really well Vail said. Hes not big in stature but he played large all weekend. The PWK U16 girls team didnt fare as well as their younger counterparts but they did ght just as hard. We were placed in a U18U16 mixed divi- sionsaidcoachAllieMcDonald.Despitehav- ingtoplayagainstolderandmuchlargerboys thegirlsplayedamazing.Theyworkedtogether as a team and showed tonnes of improvement from the beginning of our season. Theladiesmightnothavetakenanymedals but were still able to shine on the eld espe- cially in a game against the male-dominated team from Fort Resolution where they set up some spectacular goals McDonald said. ThePWKboysdidnthavetheirownteamthis year though 10 players showed up to ll in gaps onotherparticipatingteams.Sevenofthoseplay- ers will be attending tryouts over the May long weekend for the NWT Western Canada Games teambeingheldintheWoodBuffaloregionthis summer said Vail the groups assistant coach. Up-and-comers showing potential Both teams entered in the tournament from JBT dominated in their divisions. The JBT Cubs Red mixed U12 team stole rst place while the White team nabbed the bronze medal. Ernies Rock Around the Clock soccer tournament invites teams from the NWT Alberta Saskatchewan and British Colum- bia to come together in Grande Prairie every year. The 2015 event saw a total of 21 teams 16 of which hailed from the NWT. Fort Smith teams clear the way to victory at Grande Prairie soccer tourney PhotosAllieMcDonald The PWK U16 girls team are all smiles on the pitch despite failing to nab any medals in their tough category. The PWK U13 girls hoist their stand-in goalie Ryan Schaefer who blocked some amazing shots and helped the team win gold.