NEWS BRIEFS: NWT Senate nominations open

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NWT

The Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments is looking to fill the NWT seat, among others, in its current applications review cycle, which ends in a month.

For this seat, the board will review applications submitted by April 3. Any applications received after that date will be kept for consideration in future opportunities, but those might be few and far between for the NWT, which has just one senate seat.

Anyone can apply online to be a senator, by filling out an application form, providing a CV and having three reference letters.

The seat was vacated last fall by longtime senator Nick Sibbeston.

– Tim Edwards

GNWT takes over medical travel

Hay River

The way medical travel services are delivered in Hay River is about to change.

The service, currently delivered by a contractor, will be taken over by the territorial government when the existing contract ends.

In the legislative assembly on Feb. 21, Hay River North MLA R.J. Simpson expressed concern about the current delivery of medical travel services, noting it is different than elsewhere in the territory for residents not covered by the GNWT’s benefit plan.

Glen Abernethy, minister of Health, said the government will move as quickly as possible to staff the new position, but recognizes it may prove difficult to do.

“We are going to be moving forward with creating a position in Hay River as part of the territorial health authority to provide consistent quality medical travel services in Hay River and the surrounding area,” he said.

Abernethy said the new person will also be fully trained, which could take up to six months.

– Paul Bickford

Dene national chief steps down

NWT

For the first time in more than 30 years, a new Dene national chief will be elected this summer.

Current chief Bill Erasmus announced last week he will not be seeking re-election when voters go to the polls this summer. The West Point First Nation of Hay River is hosting the Dene Nation’s summer assembly in July where a successor to Erasmus will be chosen. During his 31-year tenure Erasmus gained national recognition. In 1993 he received the Governor General Commemorative Medal for his contribution to Dene communities in Canada.

Currently, Erasmus is also chair to the Centre for Nutrition and Environment of Indigenous Peoples at McGill University in Montreal.

– Michael Hugall

Film commission to give award

Somba K’e/Yellowknife

The Northwest Territories Film Commission (NWTFC) will present its first-ever industry award at this year’s Dead North Film Festival in Yellowknife.

The NWTFC Best NWT Location Award will go annually to the filmmaker who selects the most unique, remote or fascinating location in the territory for a film. The award is designed to encourage filmmakers to explore new areas of the territory, and aligns with the NWT Film Rebate Program, which provides funding and added incentives for projects filmed outside of Yellowknife , the GNWT stated in a news release on Feb. 24, the.

The Dead North Film Festival runs from Feb. 28 to March 4.

– Paul Bickford