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8 Tuesday June 30 2015 POLITICS FIRST NATIONS Town of Fort Smith spring cleanup program will be finished at the end of June. It is FREE so please take advantage Take your refuse to the curb call Town Hall 872-8400 and municipal crews will come to take it away for you. If you want to haul loads of refuse or garbage to the dump all tipping fees have been waived. In addition to cleaning up our community this spe- cial program is offered to encourage fire abatement. Fire season is upon us and we all have to do our part. This is your chance to Fire Smart your yard. Remove any flammable debris Take away any brush and small trees if you are close to the forest edge If you want to burn Be aware of fire hazard levels. Contact Town Hall to see if burning is allowed. Be careful with cigarette butts. Help make our community safer Find details on evacuation routes procedures directions check lists and preparedness on the first page of the Town of Fort Smith website under Emergency Info. For advice on how to Fire Smart your yard so your home is safer call Daniel Allaire Manager of Forests for the South Slave Region at 872-6425. THE END IS NEAR By MEAGAN WOHLBERG In a unanimous vote last Friday members of the annual Dehcho Assembly in Fort Simp- son decided to reject the GNWTs unchang- ing land claim offer and sit tight for what they hope will be a new federal and territo- rial government this fall. We had a lot of people comment on where do we go from here and people just outrightly rejected the territorial governments most recent offer because there hasnt been any movement on that said Herb Norwegian grandchiefoftheDehchoFirstNationsDFN. Members of DFN met in Fort Simpson last week for three days to discuss the status of Dehcho Assembly rejects government land offer their land claim negotiations with Canada and the GNWT which have been plagued by a lack of movement since January when the territorial government presented its rst and nal offer from which it has not budged. Theres been quite a bit of talk about get- ting the territorial government back at the negotiating table and now again theyre tell- ing us that we should be telling them what is our position Norwegian told the Journal on Friday afternoon. So the assembly just went out and basically said to reject that offer. That offer would give DFN either own- ership of 33488 square-km of land with both surface and subsurface title or 37500 square-km of land with only surface title plus 17.78 per cent generalized interest in all subsurface oil gas and minerals or a mix of the two based on a split of estate where the quantum of surface title land is greater than the quantum of land with subsurface title. The Dehcho are looking for more land. Based on comparisons to the Tlicho which was offered 39000 square-km of surface title Norwegian said an equal deal for DFN based on their higher population count should amount to around 50000 square-km. Earlier this month Norwegian and DFNs negotiating team headed to Ottawa to restart talksattendedwithsomeoptimismafterDFN and the GNWT nalized an agreement on conduct throughout the negotiations prom- ising talks would be in good faith. But Norwegian said there was zero move- ment again from the government on its one and only offer. They never did respond to what we pre- sented he said. Its an ongoing thing. Its not any different that what we have on record for the last couple of years. The GNWTs offer continues to be based on the regional breakdown within the origi- nal Dene-Mtis claim discussed in the 1980s in which the Dehcho is allotted a 24.5 per cent stake of the land quantum based on population. Adjustments were made to re- ect the departure of the Katlodeeche and Acho Dene Koe First Nations from the pro- cess. According to the GNWT the offer is bigger than the Dehchos expected share of the Dene-Mtis claim. With little indication that the Crowns offer will change Norwegian said DFN plans to hold out until the upcoming federal and ter- ritorial elections scheduled for this fall to see if a change in leadership might lead to a more amenable negotiating position. We have to sort of anticipate what kind of government is going to surface at the end of October and then decide on how were going to deal with it he said. If its going to be a Mulcair NDP or another crew within the territorial government that comes up with a totally new thing theres a whole series of things like that that come into play. By MEAGAN WOHLBERG After years of frustration as an opposition MP a chance at an NDP win has reinvigo- rated NWT MP Dennis Bevington to throw his hat in the ring one more time in this falls federal election. ImadeadecisiontorunandImveryhappy about it looking forward to the election and to bringing something different to this coun- try Bevington told the Journal. Ive got lots of experience in Parliament. If we are going to change the government if theres a change in government I think its good to have someone there whos very ex- perienced with how Parliament works and how to put forward Northern issues to a new government especially a government that in- cludes my party - or is my party. The MP had been on the fence about run- ning again this time around but the federal New Democrats who have stood apart from the Liberals and Conservatives on a num- ber of contentious issues over the past few NWT MP will run again as NDP surge in the polls months have seen a surge in the polls since an orange wave toppled the 47-year conser- vative dynasty in Alberta earlier this year. Projectionstakenfromanaggregateofrecent opinion polls suggest the NDP could win 130 seats in the House of Commons - 11 more than theConservativesand44morethantheLiberals. Ivebeennineandahalfyearsinopposition toaConservativegovernmentandIvebeensup- portedbypeopleformanyyearstodojustthat but now it looks like we have a good chance to haveachangeandtoseesomethingdifferentin Ottawa Bevington said. Its a three-way race andIthinkwehaveagoodchanceofbeingpart ofthenextgovernmentsothatswhatImlooking atreallywhenIcametoadecisiontorunagain. If re-elected Bevington said his focus will remain on the cost of living for Northerners as well as climate change renewable energy and the environment. The conditions of living in the North are still so difcult he said. Thats where any politician has to put a lot of their focus. Its one thing to talk about natural resource de- velopment but weve had that in the North- west Territories for the past decade and we still see our population declining our health conditions are very serious we see greater in- equity in the population in terms of income and prosperity we still need massive invest- ments in human and physical infrastructure. Natural resource development is very im- portant but its not a panacea for all the is- sues we have. Those are issues that govern- ments have to tackle. CurrentmayorofInuvikandformerNWTpre- mier Floyd Roland has already announced his candidacyfortheConservativePartyintheNWT. TheLiberalshaveyettoselectacandidate.So farWesternArcticLiberalsAssociationpresident Kieron Testart is a nominee and former NWT MLA Michael McLeod is considering running. Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins had intended to run but withdrew his nomination earlier this year. POLITICS FEDERAL PhotocourtesyofDennisBevington NWT MP Dennis Bevington will seek re- election in this falls federal election.