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Wednesday February 17 2016 3 NORTHERNERS HAY RIVER INTERIOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT Operator School Call Now 1-866-399-3853 Housing Transportation Packages Available NO SIMULATORS JOB ASSISTANCE FOR LIFE NEVER SHARE MACHINES START ANY MONDAY GET TRAINED. GET WORKING. By CRAIG GILBERT The council of the Regional Municipal- ity of Wood Buffalo RMWB is whole again after Claris Voyageur won the seat once held by her late partner. Voyageur will represent Ward 2 which includes Fort Chipewyan Fort Fitzgerald and Fort MacKay. The by-election was called after councillor John Chadi died of bile duct cancer last November. He learned of the disease and its potential for tragic con- sequences shortly after the towns general election in 2013. He had represented Ward 2 for a decade. On behalf of council I extend our sincere congratulations to Ms. Voyageur for her win tonight. I look forward to welcoming her to public office Mayor Melissa Blake said in a press release. Voyageur received 173 of the 274 ballots cast defeating former Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation councillor Scott Flett. Voter turnout was 35 per cent. Voyageur has been the manager of the Ayabaskaw Se- niors Home for more than 28 years and a school board trustee and volunteer fire- fighter for more than 20 according to her campaign material. Voyageur has worked with Albertas land administrator to help local residents buy lots that they have been renting for a long period of time. Under the management of Wood Buffalo Housing for the past 10 years I have recog- nized the demands required in helping where and when I was needed to assist in the well being of our community working on budgets to present to the provincial government for years so budgets are my thing she said in an election advertisement. I always made sure I worked within the budget. She has also worked as a volunteer on a number of different community events such as the annual Fort Chipewyan fishing derby. Voyageur joins Brake and her Ward 2 partner Julia Cardinal along with Council- lors Phil Meagher Colleen Tatum Keith Mc- Grath Sheldon Germain Tyran Ault Lance E. Bussieres Allan Vinni and Jane Stroud on RMWB council. By CRAIG GILBERT Wally Schumann knows how to build on an opportunity. From an early career in auto body repairs to building a business from the ground up to entering cabinet as a rookie MLA Schumann has come a long way since moving to Hay River from Fort Smith more than three de- cades ago. Anytime it comes up in conversation where Im from I always tell them its probably one of the best places to grow up Schumann said of Smith. We have the best snowmo- biling around its probably the most beau- tiful scenic place in the whole Northwest Territories. At 22 years old opportunity knocked draw- ing him west to the South Slaves commercial and business hub. He worked on cars for 10 years and in 1998 founded Poison Graphics which began life as a repair shop for vehicles but quickly expanded and morphed into what is now the largest sign-builder in the North- west Territories. When he ran for MLA in Hay River South last fall Schumann said it was the endless possibilities that kept him and his wife Lori in the community and that he has dedicated part of his career to growing the town with sustainable local economic development. He was a director of the Hay River Chamber of Commerce a member of the NWT Chamber of Mines Aboriginal Participation Committee and a director for the NWT Manufacturers Association connections that undoubtedly helped him garner 47 per cent of the popu- lar vote and unseat five-term veteran MLA Jane Groenewegen who mustered 35 per cent of the votes cast. Schumann said working in auto body re- pairs taught him to listen and work with cus- tomers to meet their needs values he carried forward to other leadership roles including two years as the vice-president and two more as president of the Hay River Mtis Govern- ment Council. That experience in turn serves Schumann as he prepares to take his seat in the NWT legislature for the first official session of the 18th Assembly as minister responsible for Transportation as well as Environment and Natural Resources on Feb. 18. A lot of people dont understand the in- depth stuff that goes on at the Hay River or NWT Mtis Nation level Schumann told the Journal. You have MOUs memoran- dums of understanding with the GNWT so youre meeting with them youre negotiat- ing land and resource agreements with the federal government so you meet with fed- eral officials. Then I was fortunate enough to be the president where you start to deal with a lot of local issues so it was like being a mini-MLA. Human resources issues health issues business opportunities that sort of thing. Its pretty much like an apprentice- ship to come here. A prized accomplishment was hammering out a Mtis community wellness contribution funding agreement with the GNWT. Now he is on the other side and more than that has more to worry about than Hay River as one of six ministers on Premier Bob McLeods executive committee. That said Hay River is well represented in the legislature with one regular MLA in Hay River Norths R.J. Simpson and Schumann in cabinet. We have good people here helping us move along but theres lots to take in for sure whether youre an ordinary MLA or a minister especially with 11 new members Schumann said. I think coming into this when youre running is a little different than when you get here especially when you get on cabinet thats a whole different focus. Youre here to look after all the residents of the NWT now. There are six cabinet members and three of us are brand new to the process and brand new to government. Two of us went from private business right to cabinet. Its a dif- ferent experience for sure. Its been an in- teresting ride. Schumannwouldnotdiscusswhathewould see as priorities as Transport or Environ- ment minister. Ministerial mandates are to be dealt with early on in the legislative ses- sion that begins Feb. 18. In consensus government we all have to work together it doesnt matter where you sit in the room he said. The 18th Assem- bly is working hard to move things along for the people of the NWT and trying to make the best decisions we can that will affect everybody. Hay Rivers Schumann exchanges business-person life for government cabinet posts Voyageur wins seat on Wood Buffalo municipal council POLITICS MUNICIPAL PhotocourtesyofWallySchumann Hay River South MLA and cabinet minister Wally Schumann joined Premier Bob McLeod on a trip to Ottawa last week. He took part in an audience with the prime minister and looked on as McLeod was interviewed by Rosemary Barton on CBCs Power Politics.