R.J. Simpson: Three Phases and Upcoming Critical Milestones in the Transformation of Aurora College

Yellowknife — February 13, 2020
Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Mr. Speaker, this government has been tasked with transforming Aurora College into a polytechnic university. This work, which will span the 18th, 19th, and 20th Legislative Assemblies, is no small task, but I am here to tell you that we are well on our way. The transformation consists of over 200 projects and 2000 individual tasks. In order to be successful, we need to make the right changes, in the right order, and at the right time. To help keep things on track, the transformation is divided into three phases.

Phase 1 is focused on strengthening the foundation of the existing college, and preparing for transformation by ensuring we understand the detailed steps ahead of us. This is the phase we are currently in. Much work has already been completed in this area, much is underway, and there are some exciting and important projects that will be completed before the year is out.

This work will ensure that the College is ready to enter Phase 2, which is where the real transformational change will begin to occur. This will require wide ranging changes to the organizational structure of the College, a return to Board governance, and changes to the Aurora College Act to ensure that governance is truly at arms-length. These changes will allow us to meet and exceed the standards that the College needs to live up to in order to complete the transformation and become recognized as a polytechnic university. This final transformation will occur in Phase 3.

Transparency is the key to maintaining confidence and building trust, so in the coming weeks I will deliver three Ministers statements describing each of the phases in detail, so that we can celebrate the successes we have already had, describe next steps, and let everyone know how College staff, Members of the Legislative Assembly, Indigenous governments, and the public will be able to contribute to the decisions that are made moving forward. We cannot do this alone, Mr. Speaker, and we are not going to try to.

To keep the public better informed, we will be launching a new interactive web page, and a quarterly report to track progress and celebrate our successes. I will share these reporting tools with my colleagues and the public as they are released.

Mr. Speaker, the transformation to a polytechnic university is a critical step in the economic and social development of the territory. We are not just creating an institution; we are helping create the future of the Northwest Territories.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.