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Friday, January 15, 2016

Man facing charges to challenge tourism act

A businessman charged with carrying out unlicensed boat tours on Great Slave Lake plans to challenge the charges on the basis that the relevant portions of the tourism act don't apply to him, according to his lawyer, Jay Bran. Wayne Guy is charged with conducting tourism activities without a licence after allegedly carrying out tours on the lake in his boat Aug.1 and Aug. 2 of last year.

- Evan Kiyoshi French

Sentence pending for lodge owner

Sentencing has been scheduled Feb. 22 for a lodge owner who pleaded guilty to removing a fuel tank on his property without a licensed engineer present - as required by Environment Canada.

Chummy Plummer, the owner of Great Slave Lake Lodge, is charged with removing an underground petroleum storage tank at the lodge in September of 2013.

Territorial court judge Bernadette Schmaltz told a courtroom on Wednesday she expects she'll apply the $10,000 fine as suggested jointly by Crown prosecution and the defence but she needs time to prepare her decision.

- Evan Kiyoshi French

Farmers market offers food for thought

The Yellowknife Farmers Market is hosting an event tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at Northern United Place to celebrate the launch of the city's new food charter. The charter represents a commitment from residents and the city to work toward greater food security and increase community participation and outlines a vision for the plan. There will be discussions, as well as music and food.

- Meagan Leonard

City's consumer price index rises

Yellowknife's consumer price index was 1.6 per cent higher in November 2015 over the previous year, according to recent information from the Newstats Bureau of Statistics. This was slightly higher than the national price increase of 1.4 per cent. Over the last year, Yellowknife prices of most major items such as clothing and food increased, 5.6 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively, while fuel fell and shelter, alcohol and tobacco remained consistent.

- Meagan Leonard

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mini-workshops promote creativity

The Open Sky Creative Society in Fort Simpson is hosting a series of mini-workshops beginning Jan. 19.

The workshops will take place on Tuesdays during Open Sky's regular craft nights from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Open Sky Gallery.

A two-part workshop on making beaded cardholders will be led by Louisa Moreau on Jan. 19 and 26.

Phoebe Punch will be leading the second mini-workshop on birch-bark basket making on Feb. 2, 9 and 16.

All of the mini-workshops are free and supplies will be provided.

Discussion engages Nutrition North

Carolyn Bennett, federal minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, paid a visit to Norman Wells on Jan. 9, where she met with NWT MP Michael McLeod and representatives of the Sahtu to discuss changes to the Nutrition North food subsidy program.

In a press release sent to media during her stay in Norman Wells, Bennett stated her department will be working with remote Northern communities to "ensure that the program is more transparent, effective and accountable to Northerners and other Canadians."

She committed to public engagement meetings in order to develop solutions "by Northerners for Northerners."

In the Deh Cho, Trout Lake is currently the only community eligible to receive Nutrition North subsidies. Nahanni Butte lost its eligibility when the federal Conservative government introduced changes to the eligibility standards.

Four for village byelection

When nominations closed on Jan. 8 at 3 p.m., four residents had filed their papers to stand as candidates in the upcoming byelection.

AJ Augier, Nelma De Oliveira, Michael Rowe and Lorna Beaulieu are all listed as nominees on the village's website. The byelection is set to move forward Feb. 4.

Senior administrative officer Beth Jumbo was appointed to be the returning officer by council.

Liidlii Kue actor makes Yellowknife debut

Actor Melaw Nakehk'o, from Liidlii Kue First Nation in Fort Simpson, appeared in Yellowknife on Jan. 8 for a screening of the Golden Globe award winning film, The Revenant.

In the film, which hit theatres Christmas Day, Nakehk'o stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

During the Yellowknife screening, which took place at Capitol Theatre, Nakehk'o also participated in a discussion panel about the movie.

Children First seeks assistance

The Children First Society went before Inuvik town council Jan. 11 to present a newly completed business strategy for the centre.

Society co-chair Mike Harlow said the centre's financial outlook is "not the rosiest."

Essentially, since the society has already cut staffing expenses to the bare minimum allowed by the licensing authority, without new money the centre will be forced to close its doors. Complicating the issue is the $10,000 a month the society owes the town, which Harlow said it is unable to pay at this time.

"We know our fees are out of reach for many families in the community. This is not by choice," he told council. "Enrolment numbers are back up – even a little higher – from last year's incident, and we can't reasonably take more children."

Council agreed to work to lobby federal and territorial governments on behalf of the society and also said an in-camera meeting would be scheduled to discuss the financial implications.

"It's a grave situation, no doubt," said Mayor Jim McDonald. "The town has a lot at stake, we're $3.2 million into it now. No one is going to win if we put it down now."

First baby of 2016

The Inuvik Regional Hospital welcomed the first baby of the year Jan. 5.

Axle William Max Gabriel Stewart Spencer was born to Katrina Stewart Jan. 5 at 3:53 a.m., weighing seven pounds, 12 ounces.

Hospital CEO Arlene Jorgensen said donations to the new mother and baby were provided by five businesses and the town.

Winter Games trials held this weekend

Trials for several teams headed to the Arctic Winter Games later this year will be held in Inuvik this weekend, including snowshoeing in Jim Koe Park.

Trials for the Arctic Winter Games team will also be taking place in the East Three School gym.

Students will also be travelling to Yellowknife for badminton tryouts this weekend.

Financial workshops offered

The Inuvik Chamber of Commerce is hosting free financial management skills workshops over the course of the next three weeks.

The sessions are geared towards people looking to better manage their small business, organization, or their own personal finances. They will be held at the Aurora Research Institute Jan. 14, 21 and 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.

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