Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to announce that the Government of the Northwest Territories has, for the fourth year in a row, been chosen as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2016. This recognition by the Globe and Mail and Mediacorp Canada Incorporated distinguishes organizations that strive to include women, Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peoples in the workplace. Receiving the award places the GNWT among an exclusive group of Canadian employers who have demonstrated a commitment to create a workplace where all employees feel comfortable, valued and ready to achieve their full potential.
The Government of the Northwest Territories defines itself, in part, by its commitment to building a public service that is representative of the population it serves. By way of example, as a goal of the NWT Public Service Strategic Plan, 20/20: A Brilliant North, the GNWT has undertaken a host of initiatives to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce. Key among these initiatives are:
Mr. Speaker, when we are able to draw on the talent and wisdom of a workforce that represents the population it serves, we are better able to understand and meet the needs of residents of the NWT. A diverse workforce in an inclusive environment will improve both individual and organizational performance and result in better value and service to residents and other stakeholders. Being chosen as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers again this year is a testament to the importance the GNWT places on a public service that reflects the diverse make-up of the North. While there is still more work to do and indeed we must ensure sustained commitment on this front, this recognition is positive confirmation that, government-wide, we have made real progress toward eliminating barriers to employment for all Northerners.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.