GNWT Committed to Water Smart Program

November 1, 2010
News Releases

November 1, 2010 - The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to ensuring the delivery of the Lifesaving Society Water Smart™ program in every community in the Northwest Territories over the next four years. The Program is intended to significantly reduce the number of preventable drownings each year associated with boat use and water activities in the NWT.

“Over the years, the Department of Health and Social Services has initiated numerous campaigns and programs, such as the Safe in a Swim Vest program, to ensure residents are safe in and around water,” said Minister of Health and Social Services, Sandy Lee. “We are pleased to partner with the Departments of Municipal and Community Affairs, and Transportation so that we can offer another program across the Territory.”

“Water activities are part of happy and healthy lifestyle choices for residents of the NWT,” said Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Robert C. McLeod. “By working closely with our sport and recreation partners and with community governments, we will be able to get the Program out to all of our residents.”

“For many of our people, being out on the water is part of harvesting and other traditional activities that are important to the way we live,” said the Minister of Transportation, Michael McLeod. “It is my priority and a priority of this Government to do what we can to reduce the number of people that we lose each year to preventable drowning deaths.”

Some of the activities that will be delivered as part of this commitment are:

  • Partnerships with local communities, community groups and individuals to improve boat and water activity safety awareness in each community;
  • Training for community trainers to deliver boat safety programs in participating communities;
  • Expert advice and support for communities wanting to develop shoreline swimming areas and aquatics programs; and
  • Awareness programs for individuals on and around the water to help them make healthy choices when it comes to lifejacket use, safe and sober boating, and planning for a safe trip.

The Departments of Transportation, Health and Social Services, and Municipal and Community Affairs will be working through the Healthy Choices initiative to coordinate their response to drowning prevention and boat safety awareness in the NWT.

For more information, contact:

Press Secretary
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302