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Tuesday September 2 2014 5 READER COMMENT 15 Years Ago... Mountie charged A member of the RCMP stationed in Fort Simpson has been charged with fraud over 5000 and theft under 5000. The accused is Cst. Merle Carpenter 37 a 15-year veteran of the force. The charges stem from a three-month investigation carried out by the G Divi- sion Commercial Crime Section. Issue September 6 2000 20 Years Ago... Lutsel Ke school late starting Due to behind-schedule construction Lutsel Ke stu- dents returned to their studies on August 29 a week later than usual this year and will continue a week later in July. The fresh air intake system at the school has been under renovations all summer. Issue September 6 1995 30 Years Ago... Snowdrift meeting best yet The third meeting of the South Slave Regional Council held in Snowdrift last Wednesday and Thursday was by all accounts the most productive and the best so far. The Snowdrift meeting was the rst for the new SSRC executive director Bernadette Unca of Fort Resolution. Issue September 5 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 brand new 20.8 kW solar array got ofcially off the ground last week in Little Buffalo a northern Alberta community of around 350 with 80 panels now power- ing the communitys new health and wellness centre. Little Buffalo solar project powers local health centre Anthony Punko More communities need to be doing this and more like geother- mal heating and cooling wind power just keep the birds away as we dont want to kill any planting gardens and recycling. Bear sightings prompt GNWT to close Hidden Lake Territorial Park parking lot Myrtle Graham Glad to see this park closed give these guys a chance to fat- ten up before their winter snooze Editor Wehaveseriousissuesinthe Northwest Territories. First and foremost is the economy its shrinking and theresnothingonthehorizon tosuggestthatsgoingtochange anytimesoon.DeBeersGahcho Kueprojectisunderconstruc- tionandDominionsJayPipeis inenvironmentalassessment butthesetwoprospectivemines willnotreplacetheemployment loss created when one of our larger diamond mines ceases operations. Moreover there are no new mine projects of any scale on the horizon. Exploration in- vestmentscontinuetodecline. In2014companiesspent31.5 million trying to nd new de- posits in the NWT. Thats 53 percentlessthanwasinvested in the Yukon and about one- thirdofexplorationinvestment in Nunavut. Withoutseriousexploration investments there are no new discoveries. We simply arent attracting the level of invest- ment required to surface new mine projects. The reasons according to theFraserInstitutesSurveyof The North a hotbed of issues Global Mine Executives Our regulatory regime is too onerous and unpredictable We have an infrastructure decitthatsignicantlydrives upthecostofexplorationand project development and We still have unsettled land claims. All of which leads to inves- tor uncertainty. Given the choice and they have the choice mining companies will invest where conditions are more favourable. Werearesource-basedecon- omy. We need our elected of- cials to get focused on the im- pediments listed above thats theirjob.Otherwisetheeconomy continues to shrink and with it employment federal transfers and tax revenues. Beyondattractingnewinvest- mentthemostpressingissueis outmigration. Governmenthas the ability to tackle this chal- lenge on two fronts lower the tax burden and put incentives inplacetoattractnewresidents. Regrettably neither territorial nor municipal governments have lifted a nger. All of these conditions alongwiththecostoflivingand operating in the North are driving people and businesses out o f our territories. From Jan. 1 2014 to April 1 2015 more than 700 people left the Northwest Territories a popu- lationdecreaseof1.7percent.In YellowknifeInuvikHay River andFortSmithourfourlargest centerstheoutmigrationrates are tracking the same pattern. One would reasonably as- sume that outmigration rep- resents a major risk for both levels of government. The im- pactonfederaltransferstothe GNWT is 30000 per person peryear.The15monthsofdata described above will result in a 2.1 million reduction in transfers at a time when we need every penny. Outmigration also puts mu- nicipal operations at risk as towns attempt to collect grow- ingrevenuerequirementsfrom a shrinking pool of taxpayers. Business people across the NWT know it. Outmigration isnt just about people leaving itsalsoaboutbusinessowners closingupshopandmovingto lower-cost jurisdictions. Hay River has not been immune to this trend with decreasing businesslicensesoverthepast 36 months and at best static population growth. We cant afford to lose any more. Andeveryoneknowsweneed aresults-orientedenergystrat- egy. Electricity costs are dam- agingtheeconomyandhurting everyone. We face some of the highest energy costs in North America. We need our elected ofcials to stop talking about the problems and start talking about solutions. Against this worrisome backdrop we have a general territorial election upcoming in November. Theres much to think about. We need to pull together and make the right things happen. We have se- rious issues in the NWT. We need serious-minded people to resolve them. Brian Willows BrianWillowshaslivedinFort SmithYellowknifeInuvikand primarily Hay River for more than 40 years. He and Mary- Ann are the proud parents of ve children and ve grand- children all born in the North. Willows is the former Chief Operating Ofcer of the NWT Power Corporation. By DAWN KOSTELNIK Grab her quick grab her she runs fast I twist and turn the fur rips on my long parkie. NO I break away and run for an opening in the crowd I sprint for the narrow escape route. Some- one knows my tactics a leg is stretched out and I am tripped. With a hard whoosh the air is knocked out of my lungs as I hit the road I feel like a giant st has slammed into my gut. I lay on the fro- zen ground gasping like a glaze-eyed sh out of water cant catch my breath cant breathe but worse...they have me They whoop and holler in victory. ComeonKabloonah white eyes its your time we have you now might as well give up little girl. We got you Youcantgetawayfromuswe haveyougoodsayyerprayers Are you ready Itwistandturntryingtoes- capemycaptors.Ihavepulled myarmsoutofthesleevesand into my parka. This is worse I am now in a strait jacket of my own device Funny how thathappens.Onetwothree White Girl High fashion four. With every count I am slammed to the ground. Iamreminiscentofablanket at a blanket toss. Hands have secured me at every possible inch they take no chance that I will squirm away. My knee- caps and elbows feel like they are broken. My back and butt have lost feeling thank God. Twelvethirteenandonemore forgoodluckIsitalmostover please let it be over No now we have the pinch to grow an inch routine. Bee bites begin myarmsandlegsareexposed toharshanddeeppinchesthat arebeebitesnotstings.Ohjoy andHappyBirthdaytomeIlay in pain on the road long after they leave. After school I had tried to deek out the emergency exit and make a break for home. No such luck they spot me. Some ratnk ratted me out. In Coppermine this is the glorious tradition of birth- day bumps Some damned white man initiated the Inuit to this part of their culture and they expanded upon it Noonewantstoacknowledge their birthday because of the trauma. Ihopethistradition got lost along the way some oldwaysaremuchbetterletgo. This is not part of a birthday celebration that I remember withpleasure.Ihurtfordays. To be continued