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'They're arrogant'

Andrew Rankin
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 20, 2010

INUVIK - An Inuvik councillor said the NWT Power Corp. showed "outright arrogance" when it temporarily revoked funding for the upcoming Petroleum Show.

"They're arrogant, and you can write that," said city councillor Vince Sharpe. "They've shown nothing but arrogance toward the Town of Inuvik and bad faith."

On Tuesday, April 11, the Inuvik Chamber of Commerce held a meeting attended by businesses, councillors and residents. A Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) employee was also in attendance.

At the chamber meeting, Mayor Denny Rodgers gave a summary of council's discussion with the Power Corp. on April 26. At that time, council questioned Power Corp. operations and criticized the utility provider's rates, hiring protocols and efficiency.

During the meeting, Coun. Terry Halifax said if the corporation keeps raising costs, Inuvik would be forced to disconnect from the grid and come up with its own electricity source.

When Rodgers told those attending the chamber meeting of council's discussion with NTPC, it resulted in a number of criticisms of the Power Corp.

Rodgers said he was later told by Petroleum Show organizer Larry Peckford that NTPC spokesman Mike Bradshaw called the day following the chamber meeting to pull $5,000 in funding it had already pledged to the event.

Peckford declined to speak to Inuvik Drum about his discussion with Bradshaw.

Bradshaw said the whole thing is a misunderstanding. He said he called Peckford last Wednesday morning because he needed to review its funding package.

"I needed some clarification on the package," he said.

Bradshaw declined to explain what he meant by clarification.

Rodgers disputes that claim.

"They did pull the money, they can say what they want," he said.

Sharpe, who didn't attend the meeting, said he thought the change was the result of criticism of the Power Corp.

"It's pretty obvious that that's the reason. Pretty bad they would act in such a childish way."

Rodgers also said NTPC reversed its decision to pull its funding when he met with Bradshaw in Hay River at the NWT Association of Communities annual general meeting from May 13 to 16. The pair had previously arranged to have a meeting dealing with a number of topics.

Bradshaw said they talked only briefly on the topic at the meeting.

Although disappointed by the incident, Rodgers said he wants to move on.

"We want to work with the Power Corp.," he said. "It's important to us and our residents."

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