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Good afternoon everyone.
It’s a pleasure to be here to welcome you to the 48th Yellowknife Geoscience Forum.
To begin, I would like to recognize the partnership between the Northwest Territories Geological Survey and the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines that makes this event possible each year.
The Government of the Northwest Territories is also happy to be a contributing sponsor each year. The GNWT understands the importance of this event and is one that I have been actively participating in since my arrival in Yellowknife just over a decade ago – so I am especially pleased to be here today as the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.
It’s been a couple weeks since I was sworn in as Minister for Industry, Tourism and Investment and to say we’ve hit the ground-running would be an understatement.
From tourism, to film, and now mining, geoscience, and petroleum, it’s been a whirlwind tour of our economy from an entirely new perspective than I ever experienced in the private sector. Already, though, it has confirmed to me something that I have always known to be true.
At every turn, the NWT economy is characterized by immense potential. But, in order to realize this potential we need the solid foundation of resource development with geoscience research at its core. Mining, in particular, will give us the economic strength to build out vibrant, diverse local economies across-the-board.
I am a professional engineer by trade. My career has been built working alongside resource companies, geologists, and other professionals in this sphere. I am proud of the relationships and experiences I have gained because of this and look forward to bringing those perspectives to the table in Premier Cochrane’s cabinet.
Having participated in this conference from the other side of the podium, I know that there is no shortage of knowledge information and new ideas in this room today.
I look forward to – not only connecting – but reconnecting with many of you. So please don’t be shy. As a Cabinet, we will be making ourselves available to chat with a Coffee with Cabinet event tomorrow and I urge each of you to come say hi.
As our work as a new government begins, I’m looking forward to hearing as many perspectives as I can on how we can achieve our shared goals of economic prosperity and progress in the Northwest Territories.
These, obviously, are early days. But I can tell you this.
Our government’s priorities line up with your priorities. The advancement of our economy through mining and exploration is forefront.
We support the idea of investing in geoscience to better understand our land — and the potential that lies beneath its surface.
I am also the Minister of Infrastructure and can assure you I am also committed to building the bridges, roads, and energy infrastructure needed to advance resource development and create economic development.
As the GNWT develops specific commitments for the next four years, and as we deliver on our agenda through it all, I want you to know my door is always open. We succeed most when we work together.
That’s really what this conference is all about. It’s an opportunity for us to come together, share knowledge, and showcase our local industry.
For those of you joining from out of town, thank you for making your way to Yellowknife and thank you to our local representatives. The commitment each of you to our territory and our shared goals is valued.
I hope you enjoy the week, the great lineup of presentations and events in store this year.