March 3, 2023


NWT Seniors Society executive director Karen Willy, left, takes notes during a group discussion at a recent engagement session to collect input from stakeholders Aurora College, to aid in preparing a 2023-2026 strategic plan as it transforms into a polytechnic institute. Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty, at right, was one of the approximately 35 business, non-profit and political leaders at the Jan. 17 event at the Union of Northern Workers building in Yellowknife.

Photo by James O'Connor

MLA: 'It seems the only business operators protected in public housing are drug dealers.'

From the 19th Assembly on March 2: Opportunities on horizon for law-abiding entrepreneurial public-housing tenants, after controversy erupted this winter.

MLA Caitlin Cleveland (Kam Lake):

"Entrepreneurship is a good thing for every NWT community. While some business ventures are large operations, so many more are small home-based businesses expanding our workforce and economic and social health.

"Housing NWT prohibits home-based business in public housing due, quote, 'to the fact that these homes are provided with subsidized rent.' But the rent is subsidized according to a person's income. 

"To say public housing tenants with self-generated income are not welcome removes a very viable sector of opportunity from NWT residents, particularly those living in public housing dominated communities. At this point, it seems the only business operators protected in public housing are drug dealers."  

Housing Minister Paulie Chinna (Sahtu):

"We are working with Education, Culture and Employment and looking at child-care businesses to be offered in public housing. We are going through establishing that policy right now. We will be working towards policies to acknowledge (other) businesses as well too. 

"That would be forthcoming. But it's something that I'm very much supportive of. I do understand that in smaller communities ... we need to start doing things differently."

EVIP puts the zip into EVs

The territorial government’s Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Program (EVIP) supports installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in public places, on-street, multi-unit residential buildings, workplaces, as well as in support of charging infrastructure for light-duty electric vehicle fleets in the territory.

The NWT EVIP provides up to 50% of the total eligible cost of a new electric vehicle charging infrastructure installation project, not exceeding $5,000 per connector for Level 2 charging infrastructure and up to $75,000 per charger for Level 3 fast charging infrastructure.

Funding and resources for this program — open to not-for-profit and for-profit Canadian entities — have been provided by the GNWT in support of the GNWT’s 2030 Energy Strategy, and by the federal Department of Natural Resources under the terms of the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

The program is accepting applications on a first come-first served basis until Dec. 1, or until funds are fully used. The projects must be completed by March 31, 2024.

Pro-eco politicians fiddle as carbon-laced coal burns

Below is a cautionary tale told by the Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) of how indecisive politicians can get in the way of the very type of development they should be eager to embrace


Record prices and the need for energy security are driving “huge momentum” for US liquefied natural gas (LNG) and new investment could reach over US$100 billion before the end of the decade.

Meanwhile in Canada ... the Haisla Nation and its partner Pembina Pipeline Corporation are on hold, waiting to see if they can spend CDN$3 billion to go ahead with Cedar LNG. 

The LNG development could "lift thousands of Indigenous people and our communities out of intergenerational poverty,” stated Karen Ogen, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance, a society of First Nations in support of responsible LNG development in BC.

BC’s Environmental Assessment Office completed its review of the Cedar LNG project application in November and referred it to the provincial and federal governments for a decision.

It was supposed to come within 45 days.

But that timeline has been extended.

With no deadline in sight.

The delay is "frustrating to say the least," Haisla Nation chief councillor Crystal Smith told CEC earlier this year.

World LNG demand is driven by growing Asian economies and the drive to reduce energy reliance on coal. The war in Ukraine has also forced European countries to find alternatives for Russian gas.

Read CEC's full story here.


Topic: Recession?

The Conference Board of Canada’s recession risk tracker shows a 94% chance that Canada could fall into a recession within the next 12 months.

However, just because a recession might occur, it may not necessarily mean it will be severe.

An economic slowdown would undoubtedly impact consumers and businesses alike, but households should get by relatively unscathed.

But, if the war in Ukraine escalates further, the global economy could face a major downturn.

Question: Are you taking any measures to protect your business from a predicted recession?


Does the impending return of Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Social Work and General Arts & Science Programs show the transformation of Aurora College

into a polytechnic university

is on the right track?

  • YES 90%
  • PERHAPS 10%
  • NO 0%


"The Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) Chiefs and Council affirm our sacred obligation to serve our people and our commitment to live balanced contemporary lifestyles with culture and traditions important to our community, to speak our traditional language, and to protect our natural resources and treaty rights."

— Thoughtful insight found in a YKDFN job posting for a new CEO. Deadline for applications is March 27.


NWT Chamber Member Edmonton International Airport (@FlyYEG) gets folks together for a group photo marking Employee Appreciation Day.

For more on the Black Business and Professional Association's visit to Yellowknife, see Cabin Radio's report.


Friday Futures:

The NWT Chamber's 2023 AGM and Luncheon will be held Thursday, April 13 from 11:45am to 1pm in Yellowknife at the Explorer Hotel. A video link for those who can't attend will be made available. NWT Finance, Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Caroline Wawzonek is a confirmed speaker. We are looking for some new board members, email Yanik D'Aigle, our Board President, if you are interested.

To celebrate the NWT Chamber's 50th anniversary this year, a major one-day conference and evening reception is being planned for the fall. Stay tuned for information.

The next NWT Chamber Board Meeting is March 15 at 11am in-person or Zoom



Inquire with the NWT Chamber's Executive Director about sponsorship and newsletter advertising opportunities. We also offer limited numbers of EBlasts to members each month and promoted social media posts can be arranged.

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