One of the many packages dropped off anonymously to women across the territory, thanks to the NWT Wine Ninjas campaign. Photo courtesy of Catherine Provincial.

Costumed residents have deployed across the territory to deliver anonymous care packages to to women in need of a pick-me-up. Hay River resident Catherine Provincial founded the NWT Facebook group after seeing similar initiatives across the country.

“I just thought it would really uplift people,” she said. “Women – we’re social creatures. I thought it would really brighten people’s days.”

Members wishing to receive parcels from strangers sent their addresses to the Facebook group and recipients are then chosen at random.

While remaining anonymous is the point, Provincial said, one exception took place when a group of NWT wine ninjas came together to drop packages off for doctors Kami Kandola and Sarah Cook – two health professionals who have become household names in the North during the Covid-19 crisis.

Restaurants welcome ability to deliver liquor

The GNWT announced on May 8 that NWT restaurants and bars could start selling wine, beer and spirits for take-out and delivery without an additional off-premises extension to their licence.

The regulation changes are aimed at helping bars and restaurants stay in business and keep staff employed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yellowknife bar owners welcomed the change that would be good for them and for customers, Woodyard Brewhouse co-owner Fletcher Stevens said. Still, some business owners feel the GNWT should have made the announcement sooner.

“We have been requesting this change since the shut down and while I appreciate that it has been done, I do think it took way too long to be put in place,” said Jen Vornbrock, owner of the Monkey Tree pub.

The Business Resilience Working Group (BRWG), a sub-committee of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, has been calling on the GNWT to make the regulatory amendment since April and thanks Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek for fulfilling their recommendation.

Robin Mercer-Sproule Remembered

Accomplished multi-sport athlete and NWT sport hall of famer Robin Mercer-Sproule died on May 16 after an almost decade long battle with breast cancer.

Mercer-Sproule, 56, competed as a hockey goalie, a figure skater, a broomball player, a volleyballer and others.

Mercer-Sproule was inducted into the NWT Sport Hall of Fame in 2018.

Her final wish of raising funds for Stanton Territorial Hospital’s chemotherapy unit, took flight just hours before her death.

Robin’s Nest: One Branch at a Time, launched as a Facebook fundraiser on May 15.

In just two hours the campaign had raised $10,000. Four days later, Robin’s Nest had amassed $56,000, already more than a quarter to its $200,000 goal.

In the weeks leading up to her death, Mercer-Sproule wrote a thank you letter to her family, friends, former teammates and the community. “I AM A WINNER even if I lost the battle, I won because I never gave up,” she wrote.

Questions swirl over motion to remove Nokleby from cabinet

A motion to remove Katrina Nokleby, minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) was tabled on May 27.

Steve Norn, MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh, tabled the motion only a day after the assembly returned to its second session after suspending in March due to the pandemic. Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson seconded the motion.

A “Save Minister Katrina Nokleby” petition surfaced online the following day and had received hundreds of signatures by mid-afternoon.

“In this assembly, we were promised change,” said the petition. “We were promised that MLAs would work together. In unprecedented times, the NWT needs to focus on keeping the territory strong instead of petty political infighting.”


Natalie Pressman

Reporting courts and cops and general news, Natalie started with NNSL Media in 2020. Before moving to Yellowknife, Natalie worked as a community radio trainer in Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First...

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