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Communities building communities

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Monday, May 10, 2010

HAY RIVER - Hay River will be rolling out the red carpet this week for community representatives from all over the NWT.

From May 13-16, the town will host the 44th annual general meeting of the NWT Association of Communities (NWTAC).

Over 130 representatives - from 24 of the 27 member communities in the association - are expected to attend the AGM, making it one of the largest in recent memory.

"It's very exciting for us to be able to host such a significant number of people," said Mayor Kelly Schofield of Hay River.

NWTAC president Gordon Van Tighem, the mayor of Yellowknife, said the annual general meeting is a chance for communities to get together to share ideas.

Van Tighem said a wide variety of issues will be discussed.

Among the many topics on the agenda are political development in the NWT, federal infrastructure funding, and preparing communities for an aging population, to name a few.

"It's also an opportunity for people to meet with the cabinet members that show up," Van Tighem said, noting some communities might not see them as much as others.

This year, five territorial cabinet members are scheduled to attend the AGM - Michael Miltenberger, Sandy Lee, Robert C. McLeod, Michael McLeod and Bob McLeod - along with Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington.

Basil Stewart, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will also be in Hay River. Stewart is the mayor of Summerside, P.E.I.

Schofield said the AGM will help bring NWT communities closer together.

"I'm really looking forward to the interaction," he said.

The AGM will also feature an Info Fair on May 14 & 15 with exhibitors from 11 organizations, including the Mackenzie Gas Project.

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