Mr. Speaker, the employees of the Government of the Northwest Territories are dedicated to the work that they do and are committed to the success of their communities. Hundreds of employees spend countless hours giving back to their communities through volunteer work during their personal time.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this moment to recognize all of the employees who volunteer in their communities. How we take care of one another is what shapes the character of our communities and what makes the North unique and special.
In addition to their volunteer time, every year employees have the option to have donations for United Way NWT automatically deducted from their paycheques. Last year, employees contributed $150,000 to the United Way NWT through this campaign, which I am honoured to co-chair with Union of Northern Workers President, Mr. Todd Parsons.
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the start of the 2018 United Way NWT Employee Giving Campaign. The United Way NWT is a not-for-profit organization committed to building strong and healthy northern communities. Its role is to match community resources through these payroll contributions and to help get those funds to our territory’s areas of greatest need.
In many ways, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the United Way NWT share the same goals: we want to improve the lives of our people, build stronger communities, and create positive social change for the residents of our territory. The United Way NWT ensures that employee contributions stay in the territory and contribute directly to our residents and communities.
Every day, employees work to build a better territory. They show this commitment in their work, but also in their generosity through our workplace campaign. Through the employee payroll plan, employees, including myself and many of the people in this room, are doing their part to create caring communities by contributing to the United Way NWT and to the organizations that they support.
Some of the organizations who have benefitted from contributions from employees include the Inuvik Youth Centre, Dene Nahjo, the Hay River Soup Kitchen, the Rainbow Coalition, NWT Breast Health, Children’s First Society, and the list goes on.
Mr. Speaker, to put the power of this collective effort into context, one employee’s payroll contributions of 50 cents per work day was able to feed over 50 people at the Hay River Soup Kitchen in one month. A $2 per work day contribution of another employee allowed Yellowknife Cares to create weekend meal kits for 30 children in need.
Investing in the health and well-being of our people and communities, and building prosperity in the Northwest Territories are priorities of the United Way NWT and the mandate of this government. These goals are shared by many non-governmental organizations in our territory and by our employees. United Way NWT is working to achieve these goals through investment in three areas of focus, which are:
- From poverty to possibility,
- Healthy people, strong communities, and
- All that kids can be.
Next year, the United Way NWT is investing $170,000 to support non-profits in our territory to improve lives and build community in these three areas.
Mr. Speaker, I commend the efforts of United Way NWT and their board and volunteers for all their hard work as they continue to make a positive impact on the lives of many of our residents in need. Furthermore, I would like to thank the Government of the Northwest Territories employees for their continued generosity which is making it possible for the United Way NWT and our communities to achieve great success.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.