Paulie Chinna: New Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Name and Identity

Déclarations et discours de ministres

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Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise again today to announce the completion of another step in the strategic renewal of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation.

Mr. Speaker, in a few short days, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation has been operating in the Northwest Territoires for 50 years. In 1972, when the territorial law creating the corporation was passed, a different Prime Minister Trudeau was in Ottawa, and his first child Justin had been born only a few months earlier.  Canadian musician Neil Young was topping the charts with the song “Heart of Gold”.

Mr. Speaker, although 1972 may have been a good year for music, as I have stated to this House before, as a government we need to change to keep up with the times.

The strategic renewal of the Housing Corporation calls for a review and refresh of the identity of the Housing Corporation.  I am thrilled to stand before you to announce the changes resulting from that work.

First, beginning April 1, 2022, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation will be known to the public as Housing NWT.  This new name better reflects the new mandate, and communicates to our clients, our partners and our staff what we are about.  We are not a business in the usual sense. We are part of an integrated social support network.

Second, Mr. Speaker, the visual identity of the corporation will change.  The Northern Lights are an image that all residents are familiar with and fond of, creating the feeling of connection between this land and the people who occupy it.  An image of the Northern Lights will replace the very traditional NWT shield logo surrounded by the elements of a house, that has represented the Housing Corporation since its earliest days.

The new visual identity and name will be implemented on a phased basis beginning April 1st  in order to economize on costs.

Mr. Speaker, while we turn a page with this anniversary and the renewal of the Housing Corporation, we should also acknowledge and celebrate its past successes.  This is an opportunity to reflect on where the corporation came from, and where it is going in the future.

The list of former board members of the Housing Corporation reads like a short course in the modern history of the Northwest Territories. Board members included Nellie Cournoyea, Stephen Kakfwi, and Jim Antoine, all of whom went on to become Cabinet Ministers and Premiers of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, in reflecting upon this storied past, Housing NWT will be organizing a series of activities to connect with our employees, past and present, throughout the NWT.  I hope that my colleagues in this House will have the opportunity to join in some of these activities and to offer their thoughts and encouragement as we continue with the strategic renewal.  I ask the public to stay tuned to print and social media for further details.

Mr. Speaker, these changes to the identity of the corporation, and reflections on the past, are a small but important symbolic step as we renew the corporation to meet the next 50 years.

I look forward to updating this House on further actions in the renewal in the coming months.

Mr. Speaker I do not have a story of how I first landed or relocated here to the Northwest Territories. I have lived here all my life. I can reflect on the evolving of housing in the North and I can see the effects and the need for adequate affordable housing. These terms are political terms but being a Dene women from Fort Good Hope and in a settled land claim area, I have had the benefit of hearing from the elders and previous and current leaders.
The message is clear: listen to people, and do so with respect. Don’t let the politics misguide you and remember to look after the people of the North.

Mahsi to the people of the North for all the information collected. Mahsi to the my colleagues for identifying housing as the number one priority. Mahsi to the staff of the NWT Housing Corporation for their commitment to continuing this historical work.

Mahsi, Mr. Speaker