Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to recognize the members of Team Northwest Territories who represented our territory at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, British Columbia from February 13 to March 1. The 139 athletes, coaches and mission staff were from 11 communities in the Northwest Territories including Aklavik, Deline, Fort McPherson, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, N’dilo, Sachs Harbour and Yellowknife.
They participated in the sports of badminton, biathlon, cross country skiing, curling, hockey, figure skating, judo, shooting, speed skating and squash. I know that each and every one of them trained hard and did their very best to represent the NWT and their communities at this premier national event. I would like to make special mention of Brent Betsina of N’dilo, who brought home the silver medal in Judo, the NWT’s first medal at the Games since Brendan Green’s win in 2007.
Mr. Speaker, I am also pleased to report that the City of Yellowknife and officials from MACA were in Prince George to gather information related to the consideration of a bid by the City to host the 2023 Canada Games. Earlier this year, Mayor Mark Heyck and I launched a public process to inform and advise the citizens of Yellowknife of the benefits that hosting the Games could bring to the City and the NWT. The Mayor is also leading a task force to develop a business case for City Council’s review that will examine what resources will be needed to successfully host the Games. I am looking forward to assisting and expressing our Government’s full support for hosting the Games in Yellowknife.
Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories will also be hosting the 2018 Arctic Winter Games. Just last month the Arctic Winter Games International Committee visited Inuvik and Hay River / Fort Smith to review bids from those communities.
These will be the first Arctic Winter Games held outside of Yellowknife since the 1978 Hay River – Pine Point Games.
I am confident that regardless of the community that wins the bid, the real winner will be the sport community and youth in our communities. Ensuring NWT residents are able to participate in and experience these important multisport games is one way we are supporting healthy educated people in communities across our territory.
In closing Mr. Speaker, I want to thank and recognize the parents, coaches, managers, sport officials and Sport North staff and volunteers for their tireless work in preparing our Canada Games team. I also want to thank and recognize the City of Yellowknife, the towns of Hay River, Fort Smith and Inuvik and the communities in those regions supporting the 2023 and 2018 Games events.
Thank You, Mr. Speaker