Municipal leaders in town for AGM

Over 140 delegates are expected to attend this week’s Northwest Territories Association of Communities (NWTAC) annual general meeting in Hay River.
NWTAC CEO Yvette Gonzalez said delegates from 23 of the association’s 27 member communities have registered to attend the meeting, which begins tomorrow and runs until Monday. As of May 4, 145 delates have registered – including 85 elected officials (mayors and councillors).

“This is one of the largest numbers we have had in some time, attending this AGM,” she said last week.
The meeting will begin with an elected officials workshop tomorrow.
“It’s sort of an opportunity for them to focus on a couple of areas,” Gonzalez said. “We’re going to be doing financial awareness, legal responsibilities and governance.”
Gonzalez said a draft resolution on conflict of interest will be debated by NWTAC members on Saturday between 4 and 5 p.m. The Town of Hay River has submitted a resolution calling for amendments to the Conflict of Interest Act as it applies to Government of the Northwest Territories employees who sit on municipal councils.
A number of GNWT ministers are also expected to attend the AGM, including Environment and Natural Resources Minister Michael Miltenberger, Health and Social Services Minister Sandy Lee, Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Robert C. McLeod, Transportation Minister Michael McLeod, and Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Bob McLeod.
NWTAC intends to introduce the Community Builder Awards at the AGM.
“It’s designed around recognizing the dedication of elected officials in communities,” Gonzalez explained, stating that a lifetime honourary membership will also be handed out to an individual “who has worked hard for communities and with the association of communities.”
Guest speakers include Basil Stewart, the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Lew Voytilla of NT Hydro; and comedian Dave Hemstad, who will provide some comic relief at the banquet and auction on Friday night, as well as during a “Mental Health” break on Saturday afternoon.
Delegates will also hear about a new federal government program, New Horizons for Seniors on Sunday morning, Gonzalez said. The program provides grants of up to $25,000 for projects that encourage elders and seniors to share their wisdom, skills, and experience with their community. Gonzalez said there will also be an update on the Public Service Capacity Initiative (PSC), which was introduced during last year’s AGM.
This year’s AGM will also feature an Info Fair – an event designed to provide federal and territorial government agencies, private businesses and organizations with an opportunity to promote themselves and network with delegates.
“This is such an opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “It’s the only annual event where you will have leaders from all of the communities.”
The first info fair was held in Hay River in 1998. Subsequent info fairs have been held in Inuvik in 2003 and 2009 and Hay River in 2004.