Check Against Delivery
Welcome to NWT Night. It is a real pleasure to see so many people here tonight who recognize what my government knows; the NWT has huge mining potential, that if developed sustainably and economically, will drive prosperity for the NWT for generations to come.
I would like to recognize Premier Peter Taptuna and Premier Sandy Silver and thank them for joining us tonight. Our three territories have agreed to work together on a Pan-territorial strategy for Sustainable Development. I would also like to introduce my Cabinet colleagues, Ministers Robert C. McLeod, Caroline Cochrane, Glen Abernethy, Lou Sebert, Alfred Moses and of course, Wally Schuman, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.
I would also like to recognize Cece McCauley and congratulate her on her most recent award.
We are also joined tonight by our Aboriginal partners that made the trip to Roundup this year. The Government of the NWT is proud to work in partnership with Aboriginal governments in what is a world-leading co-management system that ensures the benefits of our land and resources are realized by all peoples of the NWT.
Many of you here tonight have also been long time partners with the Government and like all partnerships we have been through good times and bad. Believe me; i know firsthand the impacts of a global economic downturn on the NWT. Our government is looking for ways to responsibly reduce expenditures so we can make investments in much needed infrastructure that will help create jobs for NWT residents. At the same time, we are also looking at ways we can encourage more business and investment in the North.
We are balancing all of this with a commitment to not only minimize impact on small communities, but to actually increase investments. We are not proposing reductions without a plan or without a great deal of thought or without a great deal of negotiations.
We are working for the future, not just looking at one or two years from now.
My Cabinet and I know the value of patience, particularly when it comes to responsible fiscal management. We are looking to the long term future of the NWT and that is one of the main reasons why we are here at Roundup. We rely on mining in the NWT like no other sector. This is recognized in the mandate priorities of the 18th Assembly. I would point to the Cabinet Ministers in this room tonight and the Chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment and say this; we know the importance of mining for the north. It is part of our legacy and without a doubt, part of our future.
I have talked a lot today and i have also listened. Tonight, I would like to simply say, thank you for coming and for your continued interest and investment in the Northwest Territories.
I would also like to recognize the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce representatives here this evening and thank them for their interest in working with our Territories' business community.
As i said, all of Cabinet made the decision to be at Roundup this year because we believe it is time to reaffirms our commitment to the mining industry.
A healthy NWT mining sector will not only support jobs and business opportunities, but the health, social and economic development programs that are delivered by our Government
I want to assure you that the discussions we have had today will result in actions. We are going to take back what we have heard and find ways to translate it into improvements and growth for our mining industry, our economy and our territory.
I encourage you to connect with our Cabinet Ministers and the Chair of the Standing Committee tonight. We take pride in our openness and transparency as a government and we look forward to hearing from you.
I would now like to welcome the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Wally Schuman, to say a few words.