Hello, and Happy New Year Yellowknife North constituents!
It’s always nice to check off an item on your To-Do list. This past year we checked off a few items, and celebrated some small victories for Yellowknife North.
The longest standing matter was the issue of pedestrian safety for residents and tourists traversing between Niven Lake and downtown. That highway reminded me of that old arcade game called ‘Frogger’ – NOT safe! Now, we have a new multi-use path from the Niven Lake Trail to the Chateau Nova. From there a new sidewalk runs all the way into town. Plus, an illuminated crosswalk was installed for safe crossing across the highway from the Chateau Nova to the Legislative Assembly/Museum area. A big thank you goes to all the supporters of these improvements, and to the Department of Infrastructure for getting it done, as well as the City for taking on the maintenance. Indeed it is much safer now for pedestrians!
The second matter checked off the list was the abandoned barge at Rotary Park. There are many people to thank for support on this matter, but I want to personally thank YK North constituent Dave Kellett. Dave diligently kept this issue on the government’s radar until it was finally dealt with. The barge was pulled up out of the water last fall and will be removed when the ice is safe to drive on. Now we can all enjoy the view once again!
The last check mark is arguably the most important – because it’s about BEER! Our good friends Fletcher and Miranda Stevens at the NWT Brewing Company have been fighting hard since day one of starting their micro-brew business. They’ve negotiated red tape, permits, parking allowances, occupancy load and fire safety. Later on, it was about tax rates on their manufactured product, and a family-friendly license for certain hours of the day. The most recent obstacle was when they were forced to sell their product through the GNWT Liquor Warehouse and have purchasers pay an extra fee of $50 per keg. GNWT regulations and taxes were effectively making their product unaffordable to local businesses, compared to big-market product from southern suppliers.
So, under pressure from certain MLAs (cough cough), the Minister of Finance went to work to reduce the taxes, fees, and regulatory obstacles. At the end of the day it wasn’t about beer, it was about supporting entrepreneurship and small business, supporting manufacturing, supporting tourism, and supporting a diverse economy. My thanks go to the two champions who have fought that good fight—Miranda and Fletcher!
So let’s raise our mugs and cheers to small victories!