Beverly Caribou herd extinct After numbering in the hun- dreds of thousands the Bev- erlyCaribouhaveallbutdisap- peared in the span of 20 years. See page 6. MacPherson injured in playoffs Fort Smith native Shaun MacPhersons Mount Royal University Cougars made the semi-nals but he is listed day-to-day with a lower body injury. See page 12. SEA ICE DISAPPEARING ACT It has been a wacky winter in the Arctic. See page 9. A funny thing happened on the way to Inuvik Advanced Medical Services drove two new ambulances up the Dempster Highway as they took over EMS delivery in Inuvik. See page 11. Bending over backwards for education Special events were held across all three Aurora Col- lege campuses during their annual winter college week. See page 8. 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 February 24 2016 Vol. 39 No. 41 By CRAIG GILBERT On the rst Pink Shirt Day since a student at JBT Elementary School in Fort Smith was injured in a bully- ing incident in October NWT Com- missioner George Tuccaro brought the healing power of music. Principal Cora America told the Journal before our press deadline Feb. 22 that Tuccaro planned to play two anti-bullying songs at a morn- ing assembly at the school Feb. 23. Pink Shirt Day is Feb. 24 in Canada. In the fall our school had issues withsomebullyingandeversincewe havebeentryingveryhardtoresolve andaddressAmericasaid.Werst connected about him visiting before Christmasandconrmedlastmonth. Erasebullying.ca describes bul- lying as any pattern of unwelcome or aggressive behaviour often with the goal of making others uncom- fortable scared or hurt. It is al- most always used as a way of hav- ing control or power over their tar- get and it is often based on another persons appearance culture race religion ethnicity sexual orienta- tion or gender identity. America said the schools sta teaches models and practices PROS Commissioner sings on anti-bullying day principles making sure every action reects Pride Respect Ownership and Safety. We want the kids to take respon- sibility for their actions she said. Its about how they conduct them- selves in the school out in the com- munity and when they visit other places on eld or sports trips. The anti-bullying assembly will also feature a presentation by the JBT student leadership team a performance about kindness by Janet Bells Grade 3 class and an original rap by Grade 9 PWK High School student Jomei Newkirk. A dierent time Fort Smith elder Jane Dragon was a counsellor at PWK High School for 10 years. She said bullying was not an issue when she was grow- ing up because parents were more involved. When I was a kid we were never bulliedshesaid.Parentsdealtwith it. I remember one time my cousin toldmetobringhisbookshomeafter school.Itookthemhomebecausehe usedtobebadshelaughed.WhenI camehomeItoldmygrammawhyI waslateandatsuppertimegrandpa said to me never never carry Joes books home. Let him do it. He must have talked to my uncle because Joe neveraskedmetotakehisbookshome again Things like that used to hap- penandyoudealtwithitrightaway. She said with parents more in touch with their kids and one an- other things never went out of hand like it does today. Ifeelsorryfortheteenagerstoday because they have to deal with so much she said. In Fort Smith we werent2600atthattimeandevery- body knew everybody. It didnt mat- terwhatnationalityyouwereyouall grew up together. There was no such thing. Thats how you were raised. She recalled Sister Sarrazin a teacher and a nun who ran a de- facto after school program for the teenagers at the time. Wedidnthaveroadsatthattime we didnt have TV we used to hang outwiththeCrusaderschurchstu Dragonsaid.Wehadanunthatused toteachhighschoolandwewouldgo overthereintheeveningfromsevento nine.Sheusedtocomeinandhelpus withwhatevereverydayoftheweek. Dragonwonderedaloudwhethera memberoftheFortSmithSeniorCiti- zensSocietywouldbewillingtoopen uptheirroomatthefrontofthetowns recreation centre and play a similar role for teens today. She said during her time as a counsellor she treated the children as if they were her own. Children should always turn to somebody before it gets too much she said. I dont know I havent been in the school for a while. They always turned to me and I talked to the other kid but I think now its dierent like I see it dierent. I nd even being with the FOXYs they have lots to deal with and they grow up too fast. I mean we didnt grow up too fast. I feel sorry for the teenagers today because they have to deal with so much. Jane Dragon Fort Smith elder Riders from Hay River and northern Alberta revved their engines and trekked all the way to the rst-ever Fort Smith Snow and Ice races held at Four Mile Lake Feb. 20-21. Snowmobiles 4x4s side-by-sides and dirt bikes tricked out with ice studs could be heard for miles around as they roared around the lake-top track. PhotoDaliCarmichael 2 Wednesday February 24 2016 POLITICS FINANCE NEWS BRIEFS Premier tables 130 commitments in 18th Assembly mandate Tabled in the legislature Feb. 18 the new mandate for the NWTs 19 MLAs aims to improve transparency lower the cost of living invest in education and community wellness andrespondtoclimatechangewith130commitments.They includeimplementinguniversalaordablechildcare help- ingseniorsageinplacetakingactiononthecrisisoffam- ilyandcommunityviolenceandfocusingonmentalhealth and addictions by ensuring that services are delivered lo- cally with culturally-appropriate methods. Separate res in Yellowknife TworesinYellowknifecausedmorethan100000dam- age last weekend. According to the citys re department the rst blaze gutted a mobile home about 14 kilometres from the city limits on Highway 3 Feb. 19. No one was in- jured. The second re at Coyotes Bar and Grill was re- ported at 447 a.m. Feb. 21. The cause of the re which was contained to the back of the structure by reghters is unknown. Damage is estimated to probably exceed 100000. The scene has been turned over to the NWT Fire Marshalls Oce. Canadian Rangers hold live ring range in Yellowknife Thursday Morethan200membersoftheCanadianRangersdescended on the NWT capital for Exercise DENE RANGER Feb. 22- Mar.1.Theeventincludesasmanyas50Rangersconducting a live ring range at John Bay about 12 kilometres south of Dettah from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 25. It will also feature Rangers patrolling more than 1400 km from nine com- munities around Great Slave Lake and home again facing harsh winter conditions as they navigate northern terrain whileassertingCanadassovereigntyenroutetoYellowknife. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. Ph 867 875-5100 Fax 867 875-5155 Avalon Cat Hair - long Size - medium Gender - female Avalon is a very loving and beautiful cat. She is spayed and is up-to-date with all her shots.If you think you have a home for a Avalon please call the shelter at 872-5543. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. Ph 867 875-5100 Fax 867 875-5155 E-mail infowescleannwt.com web www.wescleannwt.com Avalon Cat Hair - long Size - medium Gender - female Avalon is a very loving and beautiful cat. She is spayed and is up-to-date with all her shots.If you think you have a home for a Avalon please call the shelter at 872-5543. Please leave a message at 872-5543 for details. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES LTD. Ph 867 875-5100 Fax 867 875-5155 E-mail infowescleannwt.com web www.wescleannwt.com Avalon Cat Hair - long Size - medium Gender - female Avalon is a very loving and beautiful cat. She is spayed and is up-to-date with all her shots.If you think you have a home for a Avalon please call the shelter at 872-5543. SpayedNeutered Up-to-datewithroutineshots House trained MinnieFemaleAdult Grey and white Looking for a new home Minnie was a very scared shy cat when she first came in. She had been kept in a bedroom and was not socialized. She has come a long way but will require some patience to gain her trust. She is a great cat just not good with other animals. Contact us to talk about the back-up communications and IT solutions that are right for you. CasCom is proud to support the staff and students of AURORA COLLEGE as they work to build a better future for the Northwest Territories. By CRAIG GILBERT The GNWTs dire nancial picture came into focus Feb. 19 as Finance Minister Rob- ert C. McLeod announced he needs to nd 150 million to avoid budget decits. McLeod said in the legis- lature the governments - nances would go into the red if that cash is not found over the next ve years. Unlesswebringourspend- ingintolinewiththemoneywe arebringinginwewillhaveto startborrowingjusttofundex- istingprogramsandservices hesaid.Thatsbadscalpolicy and cant be sustained. He blamed the weak NWT economy and low commod- ity prices for starving pub- lic coers. Weneedtosupportgrowth anddiversicationintheNWT economy with investments now he said. Promoting economicgrowthandincreas- ing the tax base is important for the long-term health in own-source revenue. How- everunlesswemakechanges in expenditure management we will not have the fiscal resources to make strategic economic investments let alone sustain current pro- grams and services. He said the salaries for se- nior managers and excluded GNWTemployeeswillbefro- zen for the next two years. Northern transfers partially restored Welcome news came out of Question Period in Ottawa last week as federal Finance Minister Bill Moreau said most of the funding bound for Northern Territories lost in an accounting shue will be forthcoming after all. still faces a situation where its expendituresaregrowingfaster thanitsrevenuesaccordingto the nance minister. Not good enough Tory MP Conservative Fort McMur- ray-ColdLakeMPDavidYurd- inga issued a statement ex- pressing his concern the par- tial replacement would cause unduehardshiptoNorthern communities. He called on all Northerners to send their concerns to Morneaus oce. In the North everything costs more because goods government is going to have a hardtimeplanningifthingsof this nature can happen. The reductioninTFFfund- ing was not caused by an ac- counting mistake but rather by a routine review built into the agreement between the territorial governments and Canada. Federal transfers form the bulk of revenues for all three territorialgovernmentsabout 70 per cent of the budget in Yukon and NWT and 80 per centinNunavut.Therearesev- eral factors in the calculation that can aect the amount is- suedinagivenyearincluding population growth or decline GDP changes tax rates reve- nue collection from the North compared to the rest of Can- adaandgovernmentspending. The numbers used reached as far back as 1981 McLeod said theTFFsystemshouldbeable toreachbackacoupleofscal years but no farther. Inthiscasetheimpactwas made as a result of the new calculations in government spending which really is out- side of our ability control he said. Its not a population decline or growth that caused it its the sum of all spending byallgovernmentsinCanada which was pegged at a certain number historically but with the new technology and abil- ity to electronically calculate moreaccuratelythatestimate haschangedtoalowernumber which impacted us. McLeodsaidthesolutionwas arrived at relatively quickly in large part because of the syn- ergy of having the NWT pre- miernanceministerandhim- self as MP working together. It really brings the sense of urgency or importance to the forefront and makes it a priorityforthefederalgovern- ment he said. I was really happywewereallabletofocus in on this issue and make the case that this was something we needed to resolve. Finance minister unveils 150-million budget gap Morneau said 67 million will be distributed to the governments of Yukon the Northwest Territories and Nunavut with 24.1 million of it destined for the NWT. Northwest Territories Fi- nance Minister McLeod rst identified the issue which wouldhavereducedthe2015- 16transfertotheNWTby34 million in a meeting with Morneau last December. McLeodtoldtheJournalon Feb. 16 that the GNWT wel- comed Morneaus commit- ment to introduce legislative amendments to improve the stability and predictability of federal Territorial Formula Financing TFF payments to thethreenorthernterritories. Were appreciative of the factthattheyrestoredsomeof theTFFnancingsothatwas good news he said. While youdlikethe34million24 million is still pretty good. The GNWT had already in- cludedpartialrestorationofthe TFF in its scal planning and often have to be own in or delivered by ice roads he said. The distance between communities also drastically increasesthecostofproviding adequategovernmentservices. While continuing to shun the resource sector in the North alongwithallotherregionsof CanadatheLiberalsarepull- ingthecarpetoutfromunder the territorial governments. LiberalNorthwestTerritories MPMichaelMcLeodsaidinan interview hours after the an- nouncementthattheTFFissue has loomed large for North- erners and that he has been workingoncreatingawareness about it since learning about the unpredicted outcome of a review by Statistics Canada. So when the minister re- sponded today and indicated they had come up with a way moving forward on a bet- ter system that really made me feel good he said. We alsoneedtorecognizeweneed an agreement that allows for predictability. The territorial Unless we bring our spending into line we will have to start borrowing. Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod Wednesday February 24 2016 3 SPORTS AND RECREATION CANADA WINTER GAMES www.rmwb.ca IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR PROPERTY OWNERS ASSESSED PROPERTY VALUE PROPERTY TAX RATE PROPERTY TAX BILL x The Property Assessment Notices for the 2016 tax year will be mailed on Monday February 29 2016 to all Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo property owners. Property Assessment for the 2016 Tax Year reflects market value as of the legislated date of July 1 2015. If you would like to discuss your Property Assessment Notice or you did not receive your Property Assessment Notice please visit www.rmwb.ca or call 780.743.7900 and ask to speak with an Assessor. Assessors will be available 830am to 430 pm Monday to Friday. If youre still concerned with your Property Assessment Notice after speaking with an Assessor you can address your concerns with the Clerk of the Assessment Review Board accompanied by the appropriate filing fee between February 29 and April 28 2016. Additionally Council will set the 2016 tax rates in May. Property Taxes are determined by applying the appropriate tax rate to the assessed value shown on your Property Assessment Notice. 2016 Property Tax Notices will be mailed in early June. By DALI CARMICHAEL Yellowknifesplayforthe2023CanadaWin- ter Games likely met its end at a Feb. 16 coun- cil meeting where councillors unanimously announced their intent to vote against the bid. The final vote took place in a council meet- ing held the evening of Feb. 22 after the Jour- nals publication deadline but councillors strongly indicated they were not in favour of the multisport event. A lack of ready infrastructure economic instability in the territory and uncertainty over the territorial governments involve- ment in the Games were key factors cited in each of the councillors decisions. I do not support the games for many rea- sons of which many of my colleagues brought up including budget concerns lack of com- munity support as well - for me - the plan to not remotely host any alpine events said Councillor Niels Konge. The bid is shaky with the lack of an alpine hill decreasing the attractiveness of the proj- ectaddedcouncillorRommelSilverio.Weare also not on firm financial footing. The lack of a firm commitment from the GNWT to kick in 26 million in Athletes Village funding is an extremelytroublingfinancialitem.Theeconomy right now is not in a good shape where mines areclosingandshuttingdown.Wealsoneeded to look not just at preparing for the CWG but also after the games what are the implication to the Citys budget for all the infrastructure that was build for the games. The Games were also discussed in Fridays Legislative Assembly session where Munici- pal and Community Affairs MACA Minister Yellowknife city councillors reject winter games bid Robert McLeod took questions from MLA and former Yellowknife city councillor Cory Vanthuyne who has been an ardent sup- porter of the games. It is understood that a Games bid by the City of Yellowknife would require the GNWT to support its share of the operational infra- structure requirements as per the standard Canada Games tri-party agreement McLeod said. If the City makes a bid GNWT will mo- bilize our departments to come up with po- tential financing models to meet the GNWT funding obligations. He noted that the seven-year timeline lead- ing up to the games would allow for some flexibility to come up with the necessary funding to support our part of the Canada Winter Games. If the city decides to proceed with the bid ... the NWT Housing Corporation is prepared to enter and negotiate a 7030 cost split on the construction of an athletes village that will meet the needs of the Canada Winter Games and the NWT Housing Corporation for public housing. Given the expected in- crease in the number of seniors this would I do not support the games for many reasons including budget concerns and the plan to not remotely host any alpine events. Niels Konge Yellowknife city council also be a project that would benefit the se- niors in the NWT as well. Councillor Julian Morse said he and a ma- jority of the constituents he had consulted would rather see the funds funneled into community infrastructure projects includ- ing a new pool downtown revitalization and addressing issues with homelessness sooner rather than later. If youre going to invest 50 million about the Canada Winter Games thats money that you cant spend somewhere else Morse said. Henotedthattheterritorialgovernmentslack ofhardfinancialcommitmenttothegameswas indicative of a chronic struggle to split funding between Yellowknife and NWT communities. I thinks its obvious to say that the Canada Winter Games would benefit more than just Yellowknife if they came up but the territorial governmentisfarlesslikelytohelpthecitywith the funding for these sorts of things precisely because of the political situation here that the communities often fight funding for Yellow- knifehesaidnotingthattheYukonterritorial government had provided a majority of money for the 2007 Whitehorse CWGs. Theres this attitude that Yellowknife gets too much and for a thing as big as the Canada Winter Games theres no way we could have done it without the territorial government. VanthuynesaidtheWhitehorsegamescame with a 120-million price tag but the positive economic impact was massive. He said visi- tors spent nearly 9 million during those two weeks according to an independent economic impactstudyandmanyofthemindicatedthey were likely to return in the near future. The numbers game Those figures just werent good enough to convincecouncillorstovoteinfavourofthebid. When Whitehorse hosted the games they had more than 1800 visitors of those 1800 visitors only 250 were people that traveled to the games that werent participating Morse said. Now thats not to say that influx of peo- ple wasnt good for the economy at the time but I think that it shows that the case that the games are putting forward for tourism I think that stands on pretty shaky ground. The next opportunity for Yellowknife to host the multisport event wont be until 2049. Councillors said they are hopeful that Yel- lowknife and the territory as a whole will be in a better position to host the national- level games in the future. I do hope that in the future there is a push for a Canada games but we would have a much easier time supporting a sum- mer games bid as I believe that we either have or could build all the facilities that are required to host all the sports in a summer games said Konge. Talk to instructors see our new video- conferencing system in action and learn how a Business Administration or Office Administration education from Aurora College can set you up for a bright future. See what the School of Business Leadership can offer you When Monday February 29 400-600 PM or Thursday March 3 500-700 PM Refreshments provided Interested in a career in Administration Finance Economic Development or Management Where Thebacha Campus Room 212 Fort Smith For more information 867-872-7500 or infoauroracollege.nt.ca Applications will be accepted 4 Wednesday February 24 2016 The Northern Journal is an independent newspaper covering news and events in the western Arctic and northern Alberta. 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 donnorj.ca Editor...................................................................................... Craig Gilbert 867-872-3000 ext.24 newsnorj.ca Reporter........................................................................ Dali Carmichael 867-872-3000 ext.25 reporternorj.ca Comptroller........................................................Jessica Dell 867-872-3000 ext.20 webnorj.ca Advertising............................................................................ 867-872-3000 ext.26 adsnorj.ca Administration.............................................Jeremy Turcotte 867-872-3000 ext.26 adminnorj.ca Production Manager.......................................Sandra Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.22 sandranorj.ca Graphics.........................................................Paul Bannister 867-872-3000 ext.27 graphicsnorj.ca 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 verified. 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. EDITORIAL LETTERSTOTHEEDITOR 2013 CCNA BLUE RIBBON CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2013 C M C A AUDITED Advertising Deadlines Display ad deadline is Thursday at 400 p.m. Classified ad deadline is Thursday at 500 p.m. Email adsnorj.ca Subscription Rates Prices include GST. 47.25 in Fort Smith 52.50 elsewhere in Canada 105 in the USA overseas 164.30. The Northern Journal acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund CPF for our publishing activities. ISSN No. 0707-4964 This is not really about pipelines. It is about leaving the oil in the ground. Act now or face a violent reaction Thus far pipeline debates have focused on immediate dangers including the potential for explosions or ruptures versus the ben- efits of job and wealth creation specifically in Alberta. Obviously pipelines are an eas- ier safer smarter way to transfer oilsands bitumen than railroad tanker cars that pass through urban centres. This is not really about pipelines. It is about leaving the oil in the ground. It is about the clear and cumula- tive detrimental effect taking fossil fuels out of the ground is having on the planet. LastmonthwasthewarmestJanuaryonre- cord ever. The rate at which polar ice is melt- ing is increasing dramatically. The monster cyclone that just hit Fijiastormof alifetime had wind gusts up to 300 kilometres per hour. Severe weather seems to be the new normal. Evidencecontinuestomountthatthegreen- housegaseffectstemmingfromtheuseoffossil fuelsisindeedthemainculprit.Ourplanethas beenbenignandaccommodatingtoourspecies for so long are greed and ignorance changing that making it into a hostile place What kind of world will we leave our childrens children A background sense of concern is growing. We do not have the luxury to slowly transition from the use of fossil fuels to accommodate the shareholders of industry. It is becoming obvious in peoples minds that immediate and drastic action is needed. There is no political appetite for drastic ac- tionanywherehowever.EventheTrudeauLib- erals swept into power in part on the promise of action on climate change now seem almost complacentinthepostCOP21worldwheretheir extra-largedelegationattheclimateconference in Paris late last year led the way in promoting a bold plan. Esoteric debates over cap and trade versus a carbon tax and whether or not tobolstertheoilindustryinAlbertaareallthat is happening across Canada. How can the Liberals be leaders in climate change when they have so many campaign promises to fulfill so little money to work with a faltering economy regional and pro- vincial demands and huge expectations from different groups of Canadians They simply cant. The problem is similar everywhere yet with no concrete action from governments the level of concern will grow and that will turn into desperation. There have already been protests for several years some of them violent. The movement will expand world- wide as emotions amplify. Right now theres nothing we can do said a spokesperson for the Montrose 9 a US group fighting to keep fossil fuels in the ground by opposing a pipeline. Our elected officials are refusing to take action the reg- ulatory structure has been basically putting us in a time-out ... and we have no other op- tion but to turn to direct action. In a recent interview award-winning jour- nalist and Canadian socialenvironmental activist Naomi Klein mused that this has to be the way forward for opponents of climate change and the industries that are principally contributing to it. We find ourselves in this moment where there are no non-radical options left before us she said. Change or be changed right We cant do it gradually. Drastically reducing the central role of fre- netic consumption engrained in our culture adjusting our collective attitude toward reg- ulating corporations which since the 1980s have benefitted greatly from a free market philosophy among political decision-makers andinthesameveinchangingtherolemoney plays in politics and our political systems are all needed. In short we would have to change our guiding ideology says Klein. The time to deal with greenhouse gases by allowing companies to sell each other carbon credits or to declare an activity carbon-neu- tral because they bought a tree stand some- where else in the world is behind us. The same goes for the debate on which pipeline route or method of transporting oil is safe. The world is changing and not in a good way. Last year was the globes warmest on re- cord and 2016 is projected to follow that trend. Without drastic concrete action weaning us from fossil fuel dependence moving to new supplies of power from truly green sources direct action will escalate within a few years to violent protests on a large scale. This ramp- ing up of emotion with more and more people who have less and less patience until things snap is predicable. It happened in the 60s again during the Arab Spring and in every revolution. It takes a while until people get mad as hell and wont take it anymore but they eventually do. The tipping point is not far away. Any government ignoring this inevita- bility is naive andor foolish. Action is needed now and time is of the es- sence. If a tangible and serious move off fossil fuelsisnotimplementedsoonIslamicStateter- rorists will be the least of our worries. The de- structiveforcesofnaturecombinedwithgroups outraged over the lack of action on it are our coming crises and it is heading this way fast. Oil Respect Standing up for the Canadian oil and gas industry Editor The Canadian oil and gas industry is one of the most regulated and technologically advanced industries in the world. Each year it safely produces refines transports and distributes products from jet fuel to fertilizer while providing well-paying jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues for all levels of gov- ernment. Yet despite these facts government policy and popular sentiment seem increas- ingly intent on marginalizing the sector and divesting from resource development. Ourindustryisbeinghithard100000oilfield sectorworkersareunemployedandthousandsof businessesareintrouble.CAODCsOilRespect campaign will defend the industry within the context of its national and international image economic benefits and global environmental impact. We will encourage Canadas leaders to fight for the Canadian energy industry. The goals of the campaign are simple To address the mountains of misinforma- tion and half-truths spread by opponents of oil and gas To give regular people who support the industry a voice so they may join the na- tional discussion Toremindthepublicmediaandgovernment that the affordable energy from oil and gas developmentpipelinesrefiningandprocess- ingisoneofthemostimportantreasonswhy developed countries like Canada enjoy such high standards of living. The oil and gas industry is accustomed to the ups and downs of commodity prices. Ours is a cyclical industry and we know that oc- casionally we will go through periods of low prices job losses and consolidation. In this latest downturn however were facing more than normal industry swings. Oil workers arent just losing their jobs families are losing their homes and busi- nesses are going bankrupt. But as bad as all of this is its not new to our sector. What is relatively new however is the very well- publicized and very misinformed criticisms coming from celebrity activists media elites some politicians and environmental radicals. And whats worse all of this is coming at a time when the price of oil is at 13-year lows. We know how the 500000 people who owe their careers to this sector feel. In fact we believe a silent majority of Canadians sup- port the oil and gas industry and they under- stand its importance in their lives. So we are building a campaign to allow these people to speak up and to be heard. Oil Respect will challenge Canadian gov- ernments to stand up for Canadian oil and gas workers and companies already meet- ing much higher environmental standards than those imposed on other jurisdictions. Oil Respect will ask every industry sup- porter to sign petitions for pipeline access and speak up for government policy that at- tracts and retains investment rather than discouraging it. Finally Feb. 13 2017 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Leduc 1 oil well and with it the modern era of oil and gas production in Canada. Oil Respect is asking federal and provincial politicians to celebrate that day as Oil and Gas Awareness Day a symbolic gesture of respect for the positive contribu- tion this industry has made to the lives of so many Canadians. Find out more at www.oilrespect.ca. Mark Scholz President Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors A memorial service was held Feb. 19 at the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly for former Commissioner Stuart Hodgson O.C. who died Dec. 18 at 91. Pictured above NWTs current Commissioner George Tuccaro and former Commissioner Tony Whitford carry a 1967 portrait of Hodgson who served as the NWTs first resident commissioner from 1967 to 1979. Behind them are Hodgsons son Eugene and grandson Evan. PhotobyBillBraden Wednesday February 24 2016 5 COLUMNS 15 Years Ago... WBNP says moose meat cant be handed out The superintendent of Wood Bualo National Park says the meat from the moose Ken Hudson shot in the park cannot legally be distributed to anyone in the com- munity. Josie Weninger says that if anyone from the WBNP oce gave the meat to anyone in the commu- nity charges could be laid under the National Parks Act. Issue February 20 2001 20 Years Ago... Status of Women hires executive director The Status of Women Council of the NWT named Sharon Hall as their new executive director on Febru- ary 6 1996. She will take up her position on Mar. 4. Hall is currently the interim executive director with the Constitutional Development Steering Committee. Issue February 20 1996 30 Years Ago... Anti-egg law to court The territorial government is going to court to chal- lenge a federal law that prevents the Hay River Dene Band from selling eggs in Alberta. The government will challenge as unconstitutional a section of the Farm Products Marketing Agencies Act. The act gives the Ca- nadian Egg Marketing Agency the power to set quotas on the interprovincial trade of eggs. Issue February 20 1986 ARCHIVES By DAWN KOSTELNIK April is the month that a large percentage of the com- munity spreads out on to the sea ice for the spring seal hunt. I have not gone out on a hunt yet. Kids are let out of school to participate and help on this hunt. Kids return to class after a week of sealing as adults with white circles around their eyes and black peeling skin on their cheeks chins and noses. Inuit have fairer complexionsthantheDeneon the Mackenzie River. Spring sunshine gets magnied and reverberates o of millions of snow crystals these people are getting sunburned and frost bitten at the same time. The black peeling marks on faces are from frostbite or White Girl Playing games maybe a solid freezing. This happens when your face is ex- posed above the shield on the Ski-doo or you face into the wind on the Komatik. Protec- tion from the wooden goggles prevents the area around the eyes from getting sunburned or tanned. Games that Inuit play do not require much space or equipment. Neither of these are to be had when you live a nomadic life and exist in micro-confined areas dur- ing the winter. Snow houses known to most everyone as igloos were lived in during the winter months. Small confined spaces needed less to heat these people were green before there was a green. Hides of caribou and seals covering supporting bits of precious wood or big bones of large sea mammals serve as shelter in the short time when the snow is gone the summer cottage. Living without wood to construct shelter or to cook or heat your home takes much in- genuity. During the short months of summer there is little need or time for games. In the summer the world is awake and begging to be explored. The whole family including the very smallest of children has to contribute to gathering and harvest- ing fat seals caribou and berries to carry themselves through the next endless night of winter. There is barely enough time for so many projects that have to be done under a sun that cir- cles endlessly for a month. The endless night of winter is when people cooped up in a confined space need to entertain themselves the Inuit were masters at this. Their physical games hinged mainly on brute strength and endurance. A thong of caribou has a multitude of uses. It can keep your kamiks shoes on and prevent your mitts from being lost. Or it can be used to rip off your op- ponents ear in a game of tug of war. This is a simple concept. Loop the leather thong over your ear and your competi- tors ear then with all of the strength in you neck and head pull back until your competition yells the Inuit equivalent of uncle. Warn- ing this may not happen until there is a show of blood. Sometimes the thong slips. Everyone laughs and slaps each other on the back. There is a tie no one wants to feel bad for the losers. To be continued www.thewhitegirl.ca A traditional twist on Stop Bullying Day By SARAH PRUYS Ingenious as always Chief Sunrise Education Centre on the Katlodeeche First Nations Reserve is putting a Slavey spin on the anti- bullying initiative Pink Shirt Day by hosting Setsani Day instead. Setsani which translates to be a friend in Slavey has been a prominent theme in the school ever since the combined pre-Kindergar- ten-Grade 1 class released a conflict resolution music video with the same title in 2015 with the help of B.C. musician and videographer Rik Leaf. This year the school expanded on what being a friend means and has also been learning about random acts of kindness which is an international movement reminding peo- ple to be kinder to one an- other. It also fits well with this years Pink Shirt Day theme Kindness is one size fits all. Kindergarten-Grade 2 teacher Ashley Beck ex- plained that every class in the school studied the same book Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli which is the story of a lonely man whose life changes for the better because of his and others small acts of kind- ness. Classroom talks and activities based on the book led to students learning the importance of performing kind acts every day - not just when times are tough and their friends need help. The students have paid extra attention to recogniz- ing and performing acts of kindness. Any time someone performedanactofkindness they were given a pink slip to add to our giant love meter - a cupids arrow up on the wall in the hall Beck ex- plained. When they ll the love meter the teachers will perform an act of kindness for them. By Setsani Day the stu- dents aim to have completed 240randomactsof kindness or RAK for short. That works out to about one act of kind- ness per day per student over a span of two weeks. Staff are busy preparing to celebrate the completion of this goal with even more positive energy kind acts and fun - including a slid- ing party. It is about being kind to each other says Myccaella Jacobs-Sabourin a Grade 2 student when asked by Beck to explain what the past two weeks have been about. I helped people calm down when they were upset. Other students in the Kindergarten-Grade 2 class chimed in to add what kind actstheyhavecompletedover the past couples of weeks. I put the dishes away and I helped my friends sound out words said Claudia Fabian. Fellow classmate Dillon Clarke noted I helped my teacher put her boots on. I helped my family. I gave people hugs and kisses added Kairyssa Jacobs-Sabourin. With how popular Pink Shirt Day and random acts of kindnesshavebecomemaybe the school should copyright Setsani Day before it takes over the world too Northern Journal 2016 Join us online Like Northern Journal on Facebook and get the weekly news delivered to your feed FACEBOOK FEEDBACK From growing up in Fort Smith to growing his busi- ness from the ground up in Hay River new MLA and cabinet minister Wally Schumann has pursued bigger and better things for his career and his community. Hay Rivers Schumann exchanges business life for government posts 22 people liked and 11 people shared this. Making made-for-the-North nurses at Aurora College Ron Gwynne and Barbara Hood liked this. 6 Wednesday February 24 2016 A false conclusion i.e. concluding a sub- stantial numerical decline in caribou abun- dance did not occur when in reality it did is the more serious error because it may result in long-term harm to the resource states Adamczewski in the paper. Throughout his paper Adamczewski em- phasizes that a comprehensive understanding of the pressures on Northern caribou and the demise of the Beverly Herd in particular are challenged by gaps in data over time. Stud- ies were spotty with some periods as long as a decade where no comprehensive data was gathered on the herds status or population. His conclusions on herd impacts and behav- iour had to be drawn from diverse survey data and gathered evidence along with traditional knowledge hunter data and observations by others who frequent the caribou ranges. The previously held theory that the healthy herdhadmovedenmassenorthtojointheAhiak herdwasbasedmainlyoninformationcollected by tracking radio-collared caribou. Adamcze- wski included the tracking data from the col- lared caribou but also drew information from numerous other sources. Wilderness outfitter andwildlifebiologistAlexHallwhotraveledthe Beverly caribou summer range annually from 1971to2015wasoneofthepapersco-authors. Halls journal entries of his observations of caribou sightings over time had detailed evi- dence of the dramatic decline. From 1984 to 1996Halldescribedseeingcaribouanaverage of 19 days per summer. In the years following sightings declined to an average of two days per summer and then in recent years there werevirtuallynocaribousightingsatall-from thousands per day in the 1980s and 90s to one or two a day by 2007. In 2001 he observed a group of 20000 to 30000 animals that were mostly cows and saw only one calf per 30 to 50 cows. In the summer of 2003 he observed in a herd of 5000 or more about 90 per cent of them cows virtually no calves. Hallsinformationcoincidedwithotherbiol- ogists observations of exceptionally low num- bers of calves on the Beverly calving ground in 2007 2008 and 2009. That along with other integrateddataledtoAdamczewskisfindings. AftertheBeverlyherdsperiodofrapiddecline the small number of animals remaining in the calving grounds were in the company of still- healthynumbersofwolvesandbearsarelatively large number of very hungry predators. That was likely motivation for the remaining Bev- erly caribou to relocate and join another herd where they could find safety in numbers. The remaining small number of cow caribou prob- ablyjoinedthemuchmoreabundantAhiakherd whichofferedthebenefitofgregariouscalving wherebyallthepregnantcowstraveltogetherto aremotepartoftherangeawayfrompredators. That strategy along with safety in numbers is the main reason why barren-ground caribou herds can reach such massive sizes. Hall told the Journal that an additional reason the last Beverly caribou may have been driven from their calving grounds was helicopter activity associated with uranium exploration that was permitted there during those last few critical years. The Beverly Caribou Herds headlong Dramatic declines in many of the great Canadian caribou herds ThedisappearanceoftheBeverlyHerdisbad news indeed but the really bad news is that nearly all major Canadian migratory barren- ground caribou herds have suffered similar dramatic declines. For example the Bathurst Herd with its range north of Yellowknife was estimated at 470000 animals in 1986 and today is below 20000. It is believed further decline may well continue even without any hunting. Similarly the George River herd in northern Quebec once the largest herd in the world at around 800000 animals is now down to a meagre 10200 caribou and contin- ues to show a declining trend 2015 census. So far the Beverly Herd is the only one that has completely disappeared but in addition to what impacted the herds initially causing their mysterious and dramatic drop in num- bers all the herds occurring in the NWT are now in an extremely vulnerable state and con- tinue to face growing pressures from multiple threats. The impacts from humans appear to be the worst but the caribou have many oth- ers challenges. Industrialization and develop- ment disturb the animals and the roads they bring allow increased hunter access. Predators parasites disease and forest fires all impact the animals and some of those are magnified by the warming of the North brought on by By DON JAQUE The once massive Beverly Caribou herd that roamed the Canadian Barrenlands for hun- dreds perhaps thousands of years has van- ished from the planet and evidence recently published in the scientific journal Arctic by GNWT wildlife biologist Jan Adamczewski and his colleagues details the events that led to the herds demise in a period of less than 20 years. The herd was at peak numbers up to and during the early 1980s with a healthy pop- ulation of at least 276000 animals in 1994. In a Journal interview Adamczewski said the herd appears to have crashed in a very short period roughly 16 years starting in the late 1990s and by 2009 was but a remnant. The research paper states that most likely there was a true numerical decline in Bev- erly Herd size as death rates consistently ex- ceeded birth and recruitment rates. Today the Beverly herd is no longer identifiable as a distinct herd. Determining what actually happened to the last remaining animals in the Beverly Herd is the underlying purpose of Adamczewskis paper. It outlines in detail how it is most likely those few remaining Beverly caribou joined the neighbouring Ahiak herd 250 kilometres to the north along the Arctic Coast likely be- tween 2006 and 2010. His explanation is a refutation of a pre- viously held theory that the Beverly herd still with numbers above 100000 animals had simply relocated north and is now hap- pily ensconced as a subset of the Ahiak herd along the high Arctic Coast in the Queen Maud Gulf. Adamczewskis paper details how the previous theory was flawed. It also says reporting that a catastrophic decline in the Beverly Herds numbers did not take place could be harmful to caribou manage- ment generally. A recently published research paper shows th north to join the Ahiak Herd was actually in decimated after years with virtually no calv the major Canadian migratory caribou herd The exception is the Porcupine Herd that ran smoking gun to explain the catastrophic dr The disappearance of the Beverly Herd is bad news indeed but the really bad news is that nearly all major Canadian migratory barren-ground caribou herds have suffered similar dramatic declines. ENVIRONMENT WILDLIFE Wednesday February 24 2016 7 g rush to extinction climate change which is introducing its own new set of challenges for caribou. The catastrophic reduction in several of the herds happened at roughly the same time around 2000-2010 which may in- dicate a common cause. Adamczewski said the decline in all the herds is the result of high cow mortality and low calf productiv- ity with the two combining to produce low numbers. He said there is no known smok- ing gun pointing to cause however he says there seems to be a correlation between herd declines and high drought indices in their re- spective ranges across the Canadian North. Drier weather over a number of decades has caused vegetation to change in their ranges including impacts on the plants they feed on. The drought index was exceptionally high in 2014 the year of NWTs mega-fires which he suggests may be linked to poor summer feed- ing a low pregnancy rate the following win- ter and low calf production the next spring in a number of the herds. One herd that is not in decline and in fact seems to be growing in size is the Porcu- pine Herd in Alaska and Yukon. Its calving grounds are usually along the Alaskan north slope and it migrates south into Yukon to for- age in fall and winter. The herd had declined during the 1990s but then recovered and now has a healthy population. That region has not faced the same sustained high drought levels found in the ranges of the herds that are suf- fering further east. Adamczewski said the reduction in the size of herds also means a contraction in the size of the range they use. Their diminished range re- ducestheextentofsomeofthenegativeimpacts on them particularly if they winter in areas remote from settlements and infrastructure. He said that natural response may be a key factor in their survival and eventual renewal. One of the papers conclusions is that the disappearance of a large caribou population such as the Beverly Herd may be an excep- tional event and is considered a troubling signal for conservation. Although herds in the past have been known to recover from very low numbers Adamczewski told the Journal it is worrisome that the same fate suffered by the once mighty Beverly Herd which has now been wiped out may be in store for some of the other large herds in the NWT and Nunavut. His reports one tiny note of optimism rec- ognizes the possibility that should conditions improve in the future allowing the Beverly Herd to reconstitute itself the area of the calving ground in the vicinity of Beverly Lake in western Nunavut should be protected from development so it is waiting and available for the herds return. Caribou herd numbers across northern Canada Bathurst NWT 470000 in 1986 20000 in 2015 Bluenose-East NWT 118000 in 2000 38600 in 2015 Bluenose-West NWT 112000 in 1992 15300 in 2015 Cape Bathurst NWT 19000 in 1992 2300 in 2015 Beverly NWTNunavut 276000 in 1994 No longer exists Ahiak Nunavut 200000 in 1994 71300 in 2011 Qamanirjaq Nunavut 496000 in 1994 246000 in 2014 George River Northern Quebec Labrador 780000 in 1993 10200 in 2015 Porcupine Alaska Yukon 125000 in 1998 197000 in 2013 CourtesyofGNWTEnvironmentandNaturalResources he previously held theory that the Beverly Caribou Herd while still large and healthy moved ncorrect. A broader look at evidence shows what really happened is the Beverly Herd was ving until finally the few remaining animals joined the Ahiak Herd in order to survive. All s have similarly suffered dramatic declines in the last two decades and they too are at risk. nges between Yukon and Alaska which appears to be healthy. There is no known cause no rops in caribou herd numbers. 8 Wednesday February 24 2016 EDUCATION AURORA COLLEGE WEEK 16023LL0 College week lights up Aurora students across NWT Sebastian Pickles 11 and Leif Aubrey-Smith 9 enjoy some pretty hot but good chili at Aurora Colleges Thebacha Campus during the chili cook-off Feb. 17. PhotoCraigGilbert PhotoDaliCarmichael Student representative on the Aurora College Board of Governors left Olga Aviugana and B.Sc.N student Kiana Karimi Moosai cut the cake in Yellowknife. Sarah Tingmiak and Marjorie Elanik enjoy a laugh at an elders bingo at the Aurora College Aurora Campus in Inuvik. PhotocourtesyofJayneMurray PhotocourtesyofJayneMurray NWT Youth Ambassador Kyle Donovan demonstrated traditional Inuit games including the one-hand reach at Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith Feb. 16. Wednesday February 24 2016 9 Buffalo Express AIR Toll-free 1 800 465-3168 salesbuffaloairexpress.com www.buffaloairexpress.com Yellowknife - 867 765-6002 Hay River - 867 874-3307 Edmonton - 780 455-9283 WE SERVICE ALL POINTS IN THE NWT that are accessible by commercial aircraft. Ask about our TRUCK AIR EXPRESS RATESTruck Air Express trucks from Edmonton and Calgary and flies out of Yellowknife. WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES WESCLEAN NORTHERN SALES is the NWTs first choice for Janitorial and Industrial Supplies Flooring Paint and Wallcoverings Premium Wood Pellet Sales and Door to Door Truck Courier Service WESCLEAN 15 Industrial Drive Hay River NT Tel 875-5100 Fax 875-5115 www.wescleannwt.com Flooring Area Rugs Paint Window Coverings Janitorial Supplies W ESCLEA N N.W.T. HURRY IN Sale ends Nov. 27 Flooring Area Rugs Paint Window Coverings Janitorial Supplies interior design headquarters By CRAIG GILBERT A wacky winter over the Arctic Ocean has led to a serious shrinking of its ice stock. Arctic sea ice levels were recorded at their lowest level for any January on re- cord last month according to the Colorado- based scientists tasked with monitoring it. Its not really unexpected were losing the sea ice in all months Mark Serreze director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. You dont expect every year to see a new re- cord low thats just not going to happen because there is a lot of variability in that system variability you see around the planet. However it really did stick out I would say what we saw this past January because it was kind of a culmination of a whole lot of crazy things happening over the Arctic Ocean. Arctic sea ice extent during January av- eraged 13.53 million square-kilometres which is 1.04 million sq-km below the 1981 to 2010 average according to the centers data. This was 90000 sq-km below the previous record January low that occurred in 2011 and was driven by unusually low ice coverage in the Barents Sea Kara Sea and the East Greenland Sea on the Atlantic side and below average conditions in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. Ice conditions were near average in Baf- fin Bay the Labrador Sea and Hudson Bay. There was also less ice than usual in the Gulf of St. Lawrence an important habitat for harp seals. Sea ice levels were below average in Antarctica last month as well contrasting the record high extent recorded in January 2015. Data show February is well on its way to setting a record of its own with ice extent trending below 2012 the current record low for that month. Technically speaking it was caused by unusually high air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean and a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation AO an atmo- spheric circulation pattern in which the atmospheric pressure over the polar re- gions varies in opposition with that over middle latitudes for the first three weeks of the month. That led to low atmospheric pressure over the North Atlantic and to air temperatures as much as five degrees Celsius above normal over the Arctic be- fore the AO returned to normal in the last week of January. Data from NASA indicated that after 2015 the warmest year for the globe ever January saw the largest departure from average of any month on record. The heat though was disproportionately distrib- uted in the North pushing temperatures four degrees Celsius above the 1951-1980 average for the region. The director of the National Weather Service in Alaska told the Washington Post last week that state is experiencing its third-warmest winter since 1925. Much of the focus by climate scientists this winter has been on the strong El Nio. In the Arctic however the AO is a bigger player and its influence often spills out into the mid-latitudes during winter by allowing cold air outbreaks according to the center. How the AO and El Nio may be linked remains an active area of research. It was absurdly warm over the Arctic Ocean in January Serreze said. Id never seen something like that where it was so warm across all of the Arctic Ocean and Ive been doing Arctic research since the 1980s. Youre seeing that warmth in other areas too like Fairbanks Alaska which is way above normal temperatures this winter for example. Even in the early part of the winter really weird things were happening. He referred to a massive storm that took place near the end of last year between Christmas and New Years that pushed temperatures in the polar region close to the freezing point if not slightly above. The Atlantic magazine dubbed it the the storm that will unfreeze the North Pole. The storm was associated with the AO which pumped warm moisture-rich air way up into the Arctic. There are drifting buoys up there used for research and some of them showed that you got right up to the freezing point and here we are at the end of December at the North Pole he said. That reading would be close to 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for that time of year. Now has that ever happened before Maybe it did I dont know. Our ability to measure or ob- serve these things is certainly better than it used to be but it was an eye-opener. He said about a week earlier there was another pretty unprecedented storm off Svalbard an archipelago 800 km north of the Norwegian mainland at about 80 de- grees north latitude that caused a lot of havoc of its own including triggering an avalanche that killed one and sent nine others to hospital. So the record low sea ice is just a part of this fascinating story of whats been hap- pening in the Arctic this winter Serreze said. The Arctic alarm bells have been ringing for quite a while now. Some choose to ignore them but we see this inexora- ble change in the Arctic environment. Its nothing like it was 30 years ago up there in many respects. He recalled doing graduate research just south of Alert on northeast Ellesmere Is- land in 1982 studying the St. Patrick Bay ice caps a pair of caps near Discovery Harbour. We looked on the satellite data a while ago and theyve almost disappeared he said. Air photos of these things were taken in 1959 and compared to that year maybe 15 per cent of them is left. Thats one of those things that really bring it home for me. Those were my little ice caps I stud- ied them to death I knew every nook and cranny and now theyre going to be gone in a decade or two. Thats symptomatic of what were seeing up there. You cant deny what is happening. January sets record lows for Arctic ice levels ENVIRONMENT ICE LEVELS PhotocourtesyofNASAGoddardSpaceFlightCenter Scientists recorded the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice for any January on record last month. A whole lot of crazy things have combined to create weather conditions that are making even veteran researchers scratch their heads in disbelief. 10 Wednesday February 24 2016 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. 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Employment Opportunities ASPHALT PAVING COMPANY long established in Edmonton requires Salesman Foreman Workersforworkinthecity.Must have extensive experience with all aspects of paving equip- ment operation. 780-466-7763. LOON RIVER First Nation located 170 kilometres north of QUOTE OF THE WEEK Therefore it is our duty in this radiant century to... discover the source of fellowship and agreement which will unite mankind in the heavenly bond of LOVE. from the writings of the Bah Faith Slave Lake Alberta requires full-time permanent Commu- nity Health Registered Nurse. Graduation from accredited nursing school current CARNA registration immunization cer- ticate three years experience in public or community health nursing preferred. RAI assess- ment training considered asset. Benefits pension business vehiclesubsidizedaccommoda- tion available. Send cover letter resume CARNA registration RCMP Information Check and Child Intervention Check to healthloonriver.ca. INTERIORHEAVYEQUIPMENT SCHOOL.Hands-OnTasks.Start Weekly. GPS Training Funding Housing Available Job Aid Already a HEO Get certication proof. Call1-866-399-3853orgo to iheschool.com. SO008801 SO008801 3 wide version 3.75 wide version TAKE A MINUTE TO SAVE a life Every seven minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke. February is Heart Month. For more information visit heartandstroke.cahelp TAKE A MINUTE TO SAVE a life Every seven minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke. February is Heart Month. For more information visit heartandstroke.cahelp Wednesday February 24 2016 11 HEALTH AND WELLNESS LAND AMBULANCE Take part in this years translation activities and receive a language gift package Bring your answer into the Northern Journal or email adminnorj.ca. Niskipisim is Aboriginal Languages Month Sponsoredby TheNWTMtisNation TheMtisNation wouldliketoextendtheir sincerethanksforthededication ofthestudentsandstaff ofAuroraCollege. MakingourFUTUREbright WhatyouaredoingwillbenifitallNortherners Sponsoredby TheNWTMtisNation TheMtisNation wouldliketoextendtheir sincerethanksforthededication ofthestudentsandstaff ofAuroraCollege. MakingourFUTUREbright WhatyouaredoingwillbenifitallNortherners Brought to you by The NWT Cree Language Program and The NWT Mtis Nation By CRAIG GILBERT An ominous sign warns travellers of the dangers of heading toward the Arctic Circle there are no emer- gency medical services on the Yukon portion of the Dempster Highway. On Feb. 3 that was not the case as a pair of brand new ambulances made their way to Inuvik to enter service with theregionalhubsnewground emergencymedicineprovider Yellowknife-based Advanced Medical Services AMS. The handful of drivers who they came across in the ditch that day were no doubt relievedtoseewhatappeared to be two teams of paramed- ics happening upon them. Onevehiclethatwasinthe ditch was driven by a young girl it had literally just hap- pened recalled AMS presi- dentandCEOSeanIvenswho led the mini-caravan with a team of three employees. We pulled up and turned on the lights for safety since there was some trac on the road. We ended up digging her out of the ditch and helping her on her way. One of my other drivers asked her name and it turns out she was his daugh- tersbestfriend.Smallworld. About two weeks later on Feb. 15 AMS which provides air ambulance service for all of the NWT and western Nunavutaswellasemergency medical services to industrial operations nationwide of- cially took over the contract tooperatelandambulancesin Inuvik for the Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services Authority BDHSSA. The next day the new ground New ambulance provider lands in Inuvik crew and the existing air am- bulance team worked on their rst call together. The primary unit is a two- wheel drive Crestline Coach built on a van chassis. It was the demonstration agship unit the manufacturer used for promotional activities such as trade shows. The second ambulance is more rugged built on an all- wheel drive Ford F350 frame. We wanted our primary unit to be a typical city ambu- lance with all the comforts of a modern ambulance Ivens said. The F350 gives us the ability to operate in more rug- gedconditionsorbadweather sowecanstillrespondandnot be restricted as much. For the time being AMS is renting the old Blue Ice EMS ambulance bay for its ground operations but Ivens has plans to build within about 12 months a new combined facility including the air op- erations and an apartment for the paramedics to stay in while they are on-shift. That allows us to respond withinthecommunitywithin 90 seconds that is our goal Ivens said. In Inuvik we always have three people on-shift on the air side. On the ground side we have two people on-shift 247 with the ability to recall two more. In eect we can operate two ambulances if absolutely necessary. Weve hired ve people and Im happy to say theyre all local residents. They are all experienced andqualiedemergencymed- icalresponderstheentry-lev- el certication and primary care paramedics. At least some of them were recruited fromBlueIcewhichprovided ambulanceserviceinthetown for about 20 years. Blue Ice bid on the new 42-month contract but AMS submitted the highest-rated proposal according to Roger Israel director of nance and operations for the BDHSSA. The contract had run its course he said. We had done a couple of extensions on it but were forced to go out every so often to make sure were getting good value for our money. Its part of a standard process. The request for proposals RFP score considered sev- eral factors including past relevant experience pricing and whether the company is based in the NWT. Given the breadth of the service they are going to pro- videofcoursethatwouldgive AMS a higher rating in the methodology section of the proposal Israel explained. If you take away that kind of information though the restoftheproposalremained at the same calibre a very well-written proposal very detailed on service levels and providing a higher level of service than we had re- quested so of course that translates to a higher rating for them. Building capacity Education and profession- al development are central to the AMS business model. Five of the companys ap- proximately 80 employees are educators tasked with upgrading the skills of the medical sta. There is about 500000 worth of high-fidelity ro- botic mannequins that can do anything your body does in the AMS training lab according to Ivens. There are only a hand- ful of qualied people and most times they arent in the communities that we need he said. We created this model so theres a step- ping stone for people. To just jump right into the primary care paramedic PCP level youre talking almost a years worth of education and very little eld experience. We wanted to create capacity in the region. Ivens intends to expand that program and oer train- ing to community members and nurses who work at the various health centres across the NWT they serve with the air service. We want to help nurses get some certications they dont have access to in the community Ivens said. It also helps integrate them into what we do a little bit and that way when we do arrive for a medevac call they know whos coming and what to expect. Advanced Medical Services the new emergency medicine provider in Inuvik drove the towns two new ambulances up the Dempster Highway on Feb. 3 stopping to help motorists who had hit the ditch along the way. The company which already provides air ambulance service across the NWT intends to build a new base for its combined operations in the Arctic town and oer medical training to community members. PhotocourtesyofSeanIvens Advertising and marketing Book design Brochures posters Business cardsStationery Logo design Photography Promo material Signs Banners Stickers Magnets Wedding invitations Contact Cascade Graphics at 867 872-3000 or graphicsnorj.ca 207 McDougal Rd Fort Smith NT We offer a range of custom design services cascade graphics SPORTS AND RECREATION HOCKEY 12 Wednesday February 24 2016 6.8103 in x 6.3125 in By JOHN LYNCH Fort Smith native Shaun MacPherson and the Mount Royal Cougars are setting them- selves up for an epic battle they hope will re- dene their history. Over the weekend the Cougars knocked o the University of British Columbia Thunder- birds 7-1 and 3-0 to capture their best-of-three quarternal matchup in two straight games. This weekend the Cougars will face o against the University of Alberta Golden Bears for the rst time ever in the playos. The semi- nal series to be played in Edmonton goes Friday Saturday and if necessary Sunday. Last year the team knocked o the Sas- katchewan Huskies in the rst round of the playos before losing to the University of Calgary in the second round. The Cougars entered the playos on a high note. Their 17 wins eight losses and three overtime losses was good enough to give the squad third place in the regular season. The eight-team league also features the Universities of Lethbridge Saskatchewan Calgary Manitoba and Regina. Neither Le- thbridge nor Regina made the playos. We wanted to get into the playoffs that was our goal and we made it Cougars coach Bert Gilling said. Look we were even chal- lenging for a bye into the last week of the season. Now we are very happy and proud of our guys now and relish the opportu- nity to go up against University of Alberta in the semifinals. We know it is going to be tough but it is another milestone for our program. MacPherson injured in playoff tilt against UBC UnfortunatelyFridaysgameagainstUBCdid notgowellforMacPherson.Itwasnotknownat presstimewhathisstatuswillbeforthesemi-- nalseriesagainsttheGoldenBearsthisweekend. Shaun sustained a lower body injury in Fridays game that I did not know about until Saturday morning Gilling said. Right now he is day-to-day. MacPherson said a big goal for the team would be to get to the nal because that would guarantee them a spot in the University Cup Mar. 17-20 in Halifax. MacPherson nished the regular season with two assists in 25 games and an im- pressive 8 ranking putting him in seventh place among his 24 team mates on the roster. Even among top rookie scorers in the league MacPhersons plus-minus ratio would put him amongst the top six group when considering that statistic alone. That would be fantastic he said when talking about the possibility of heading east next month. MacPherson signed with Mount Royal last spring after nishing his junior career as captain of the Kindersley Klippers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League SJHL. Last season he had 10 goals and 26 assists in 52 games and was widely re- garded as one of the best defencemen in the SJHL in 2014-15. Gilling said MacPherson has continued to progress with his play and is seeing about 15 minutes of ice time per game. Some nights he has been getting a little more penalty kill time Gilling said. He is in the regular rotation and there is a feeling for his future growth with the team. In the other quarter-nal series the Uni- versity of Calgary Dinos defeated the Uni- versity of Manitoba two games to one and will now travel to Saskatoon this weekend to take on the University of Saskatchewan in the other semi-nal. PhotocourtesyofMountRoyalUniversity Fort Smiths Shaun MacPherson is day-to-day after suering a lower body injury in a playo game against the University of British Columbia on Feb. 19. His Mount Royal Cougars will face the University of Alberta Golden Bears in the semi-nals.