Lovell praises Antoine speech
Address gives 'direction, purpose'

Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 05/99) - Yellowknife Mayor Dave Lovell is giving high marks to Jim Antoine in light of the premier's televised address to the territories Tuesday night.

"It was very, very, very good," he said Wednesday morning. "I think it was the right speech, at the right time and in the right place."

"We have to have a feeling of leadership in the (territorial) government at this time."

"He's given us a sense of direction and purpose."

Lovell had particular praise for Antoine's pledge to continue efforts at wrestling more control over the NWT's resources and taxation from Ottawa.

"The GNWT manages high-cost programs such as social assistance, transportation and forest fires -- just like the provinces," Antoine said. "Yet we still do not have jurisdiction over oil and gas or minerals."

Lovell said Antoine was "bang on" in this part of the 12-minute address.

The mayor also said the GNWT has been a source of a lot of bad news in recent months and it was high time someone took time to point out there have also been a lot of accomplishments by the government since it was elected in 1995.

A variety of other local leaders either couldn't be reached for comment or admitted they had not watched the speech when contacted by the Yellowknifer for reaction.