August 11, 2023

Your Weekly Newsletter

NWT Chamber of Commerce member and former president Hughie Graham of North of 60 ATCO Frontec tees off from the unique 14th hole at the Yellowknife Golf Club at the 2022 NWT & Nunavut Construction Association's tournament. Graham’s post-pandemic beard catches the sunlight as he spots where his ball lands. This year, the NWT Chamber’s tourney returns after a pandemic pause with FORE! The Chamber on Friday, August 18.

Photo/graphics by James O'Connor


(and non-golfers, who want to support the NWT Chamber)

The NWT Chamber has three events on tap over two months. It's a lot of work for staff, the Executive and those Directors who are pressed into service, but hopefully will be of enjoyment and benefit to our members and the business community as a whole. The events require support, so please read down a bit and find one (two, or three) you can get behind. Registration links can be found on our Events Calendar on our website.

>> FORE! The Chamber 2023

The NWT Chamber’s golf tournament is back on track to be annual again after a pandemic pause. 

To ensure the August 18 event at the Yellowknife Golf Club sets itself up for success, we are relying on the generosity of our returning sponsors and are also eager to make some new partnerships as well.

This year’s event is called FORE! The Chamber as net proceeds from sponsorships and entry fees in our 50th anniversary event will support our non-profit’s activities, as our budget did take a hit during the pandemic.

For non golfers who want to support the NWT Chamber — and even show up and hang out for the reception — you can sponsor a hole. Your ED is a non-golfer, so his own freelance company is sponsoring a hole! (Yes, I need to be working the event, but I do support the NWT Chamber!)

It's time to let the Clubhouse caterers know how many mouths there will be to feed. And we have some sponsorships to sell. All the info is on the sheet below and you can then register and pay on our website's events page.

A percentage of our net revenue from the golf tourney will also be donated to Skills Canada NWT, a non-profit, nationally affiliated organization with a mission to engage Northwest Territories youth in the exploration of skilled trade and technology careers.

>> CanArctic Business Mission

For the first time, the U.S. Commercial Service in Canada is bringing an American business mission to Yellowknife.

The CanArctic Business Mission at the end of the month will be comprised of 10 to 15 U.S. companies specialized in developing solutions in dual-use infrastructure, energy and power generation, mining exploration and remediation, and mental health and healthcare.


It has also been confirmed that U.S. Ambassador to Canada David L. Cohen will join the Business Mission, the agenda for which is still being finalized.


The Aug. 30 event — which will offer follow-up opportunities the next morning, Aug. 31 — will provide a networking program to facilitate new connections and strengthen existing ones between U.S. and Canadian Indigenous groups, government organizations and business groups.


“The NWT Chamber agreed to participate in this event as it works in correlation with our primary mission to develop opportunities for our members and the private-sector as a whole,” says Newton Grey, the non-profit’s president, adding that in addition to the conference and networking, the American delegation also plans to patronize local businesses and explore the North Slave region.


The CanArctic Business Mission at Chateau Nova will focus on business briefings and panel sessions featuring representatives from the municipal government, GNWT, and Indigenous development corporations. Additionally, the program will provide an opportunity for the U.S. delegates to showcase their solutions and demonstrate how they can be applied in the North.


There is no charge for NWT entities to attend the event at the Chateau Nova Hotel in Yellowknife, however space could be limited depending on response and early registration is requested. Transportation or accommodation costs are the participants’ responsibility.

American companies are registering now, but also want to see who they will be meeting before making the trip to the North!

Canadian companies can easily register by visiting the NWT Chamber’s event page. And as there is no special pricing for this free event for Canadian companies, register using Member or Non-Member Portal.

>> 50th Anniversary Conference & Dinner: Blueprint for Building a 

Stronger NWT

The NWT Chamber of Commerce plans to celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a day-long conference and dinner at the end of September.

The 50th Anniversary Conference & Dinner: Blueprint for Building a Stronger NWT on September 29 at the Explorer Hotel will feature several speakers from across Canada, plus an emerging sectors panel with innovative NWT entrepreneurs, a late afternoon reception with a NWT Business Trivia game, a buffet dinner and a few short speeches.

The final agenda of the event is just being finalized today, but two speakers can be announced here: 

  • Matthew Belliveau, Senior Research Associate, Conference Board of Canada, speaking on the group’s Indigenous Ownership research series that explores the challenges Indigenous communities face acquiring equity in major projects, and the best practices that industry, governments and lenders can use to support this pursuit; and
  • Tina Varughese, who explains how successful organizations understand that being able to communicate cross-culturally in workplaces with increasing numbers of immigrants leads to enhanced productivity, performance, and employee engagement. 

Much more information on 50th Anniversary Conference & Dinner: Blueprint for Building a Stronger NWT will be released starting Monday morning, including how to register for the event.

Insights sought by Canadian Chamber for Small Business Week


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is planning for Small Business Week (October 15 to 21) activities and wants to highlight the small-and medium-sized businesses that fuel our economy.

"We are looking for new business owners and more seasoned pros who can share their insights as part of our social media campaign — we want to hear from both ends of the spectrum,” stated Jennifer Hagen, Managing Director for Content Strategy for the national chamber.

"What have they learned that they can share with other entrepreneurs? And, what inspired them to become an entrepreneur?

"We hope to share as many tips and as much inspiration from SMEs as possible. We will also connect the dots to you, the chamber community that assists their journey to success."

How it works? An online form can be filled out by August 31. Once received, all submissions from across Canada will be sorted through and some will be contacted for more info and a photograph.

It would be great to have some representation from the NWT, so please consider making a submission with your ideas that could help inspire another businessperson during Small Business Week.

Questions? You can email: [email protected]

Canada Announces New Recognized Employer Pilot Program (REP)

The Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) will help to reduce the administrative burden and simplify the hiring process for repeat Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program employers who demonstrate a history of complying with program requirements.

Most employers need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they can submit a work permit application to hire a temporary foreign worker. An LMIA confirms that there is a need for a temporary foreign worker and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.

To participate in REP, states Employment and Social Development Canada, employers must have a minimum of three positive LMIAs for the same occupation over the past five years from a list of occupations that have been designated as in-shortage and supported using Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) data.

Employers who become recognized will gain access to LMIA validity periods of up to 36 months, and, if required, simplified LMIA applications to hire additional workers in the future.


As the Territorial General Election approaches, there will be a lot of debate over Aurora College’s transformation into a polytechnic university and where to locate a new main campus. This really is a territory-wide issue, despite the new campus being located in Yellowknife.

To take the biz community’s temperature on the topic, where should the main campus be built?
Tin Can Hill on the shores of Yellowknife Bay
The grounds of the NWT Legislature on Frame Lake
Re-purpose vacant downtown buildings on no lake


"Inuvialuit have long been sidelined from participation in the management of offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the Western Arctic. Today, this comes to an end."

— Duane Ningaqsiq Smith, Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, on the signing of the Western Arctic – Tariuq (Offshore) Accord between the IRC, Government of Canada, the NWT and Yukon. He continues:

"Under this Accord, Inuvialuit are now equal partners in decision-making about resource development in the offshore areas of our homeland. This Accord recognizes the paramountcy of our Inuvialuit rights under the IFA and ensures that a share of resource revenues, opportunities and benefits rightfully flow to Inuvialuit communities. This is an important step in our continuing journey toward self-determination and reconciliation.”

"Young workers are the future, both of our communities and of our union."

— Josee-Anne Spiroto, PSAC North's Regional Executive Vice-President, states in a NNSL column. She continues:

"It’s more important than ever that we understand their struggles and the obstacles they face. We must stand in solidarity with them.

"The 'labour shortage' which employers talk about should be a wake up call that they need to change their approach towards workers. It should also be a call to us as union members and leaders to take action."

"I am delighted that we will be significantly increasing our renewable power generation with the largest solar power plant in Canada’s northern territories at the Diavik Diamond Mine."

— Angela Bigg, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Diavik Diamond Mine, announcing the largest solar power plant across Canada’s territories, featuring over 6,600 solar panels that will generate approximately 4,200 megawatt-hours of carbon-free electricity annually for the mine. She continued:

"Through its wind-diesel hybrid power facility, Diavik is already a leader in cold climate renewable technology and this important project reinforces our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint."

"There is nothing to compare like before."

— Raemee Kwong, Tour Agent Consultant for Yellowknife company Aurora Dream Tours tells NNSL, estimating the company is getting about 30% of the clientele it did before the pandemic.

"If we can have sort of a flying warehouse that flies up on hybrid electric power, that doesn't need the infrastructure on the ground necessarily to deliver its payload, we can dramatically reduce the cost of goods in the North by flying them up on an airship."

— Canadian North President and CEO Michael Rodyniuk tells CBC after signing a memorandum of understanding with the France-based company Flying Whales, which has an office in Quebec.

"If we can have sort of a flying warehouse that flies up on hybrid electric power, that doesn't need the infrastructure on the ground necessarily to deliver its payload, we can dramatically reduce the cost of goods in the North by flying them up on an airship."

The next NWT Chamber Board meeting is August 16 at 11am in-person or Zoom

You can now find the archive of the NWT Chamber's newsletters here


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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