• Advocacy & News

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  • COVID-19 Advocacy COVID-19 Advocacy

    To follow all of our COVID-19 related Advocacy - link

  • Written Submission - 2021 Budget Dialouges Written Submission - 2021 Budget Dialouges

    In addition to our virtual meeting, the NWT Chamber has submitted a written submission in regards to the 2021 Budget Dialogues.

    Thank you for this opportunity to allow the NWT Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback to the Budget Dialogues 2021. The NWT Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most broadly-based business organization North of 60, representing every NWT region. Working in association with the network of community chambers in Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Thebacha, and Yellowknife, the NWT Chamber represents members' interests across the NWT. For over 45 years, we have been the only pan-territorial voice of businesses across all sectors of the northern economy.

     

    The NWT Chamber would like to take this opportunity to reiterate some of the items that were highlighted in the consultation call on July 07, 2021. We have concerns and feel, as previously stated, the GNWT is only focusing on increasing sole source revenues vs. a balanced approach of increasing these revenue streams and reducing operating expenses.  As per "The NWT Economy, Where do we build from here?" a vast majority of the 101% job growth is all in the public sector. As per your graph, the 2008/2009 – 2020/2021 operating expenses (4.5%) have outpaced revenue (4.4%).

     

    Full Written Submission

  • Liquor Legislation Review - Written Submission Liquor Legislation Review - Written Submission

    In addition to having a virtual meeting with the Liqour Legislation Review panel, the NWT Chamber has also submitted a written submission:

    Thank you for this opportunity to allow the NWT Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback to the NWT Liquor Legislation. The NWT Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most broadly-based business organization North of 60, representing every NWT region. Working in association with the network of community chambers in Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Thebacha, and Yellowknife, the NWT Chamber represents members' interests across the NWT. For over 45 years, we have been the only pan-territorial voice of businesses across all sectors of the northern economy.

    The NWT Chamber would like to take this opportunity to reiterate some of the items that were highlighted in the consultation call on June 07, 2021, with our Board. We applaud the review to distinguish between the purposes of the review and, more importantly, what the Liquor Legislation is not to cover. That being said, we believe the items listed under "Out of Scope" do deserve a review but not through the liquor legislation.  

    As we all know, the GNWT is facing a sole source revenue decline. Thus, the review comes at a very opportune moment to adjust the legislation so businesses have a bit more freedom to operate and more importantly, not leaving valuable dollars and opportunities on the table. Making the sale/ distribution of liquor, whether through a private event, a fundraiser through a not-for-profit, allowing children into licensed establishments, or liquor delivery, enables the GNWT to create opportunities to grow their sole source revenues.

    Full Written Submission

  • Emerging Stronger Emerging Stronger

    The NWT Chamber issued a response to Emerging Stronger.

    Today, we are writing to you regarding the Emerging Stronger document that was released on May 31, 2021. The NWT Chamber of Commerce represents businesses across the NWT regardless of size, sector, and location. The NWT Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization North of 60, representing every region of the NWT. Working in association with the network of community chambers in Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Thebacha, and Yellowknife, the NWT Chamber represents members' interests across the NWT. For over 45 years, we have been the only pan-territorial voice of businesses across all sectors of the northern economy. We have identified the following as our working mandate to our membership and Community Chambers:

    1. To foster business development as the basis of economic and social progress in the NT;
    2. To work together with the Community Chambers, Territorial/Provincial chambers, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to propose & develop policy and advocate for legislative changes of benefit to the NWT business community;
    3. To serve as an avenue for professional business relations between our members; the business sector, and all levels of government;
    4. To offer business input to government legislation and policy formation;
    5. To create an NWT business climate of competitiveness, innovation, and profitability for member businesses of all sizes and sectors.

    In February 2020, the 19th Legislative Assembly released their mandate, which reviewed focus economically, socially, and financially. We found that much of the 19th Legislative Assemblies mandate matched the NWT Chamber's mandate in pursuing growing the NWT economy for all.  

    We applaud the 19th Legislative Assembly undertaking this review and acknowledging the wins and lessons learned. As every jurisdiction governing and attempting to keep their economy going through a pandemic is something that no one was prepared for nor could anticipate. 

    We would hope that there would be a more substantive direction on steps forward, based on lessons learned, and felt that there could have been detailed breakdowns of moving forward.

    Full Letter

    Mandate Report Card

  • Letter of Support for CDETNO - Women Strength through the Employment Program Letter of Support for CDETNO - Women Strength through the Employment Program

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce is happy to support CDETNO’s application for the Women Strength through the Employment Program.  This program is an unburned, client-focused pathway to short and medium-term employment for multi-barriered, racialized, and indigenous women in the North Slave region of the Northwest Territories. Up to 12 women will be supported across a spectrum of pre-employment readiness services, transferable skills training, and individualized wrap-around supports to obtain and retain employment within the hospitality and tourism sector. 

    Full Letter

  • Advocacy Win - Letter of Support for Gallery of the Midnight Sun Advocacy Win - Letter of Support for Gallery of the Midnight Sun

    Advocacy Win - Today ITI announced immediate changes to the PREP program to include galleries and restaurants: link
     

    The NWT Chamber issued a letter in support of Gallery of the Midnight Sun's letter to Premier Caroline Cochrane as well as Minister Caroline Wawzonek in regards to financial assistance for galleries and gift shops that have seen a significant decrease in sales due to the lack of tourists.

    We are writing in support of the email/letter that was sent to you from the Gallery of the Midnight Sun on June 8, 2021.  The NWT Chamber represents all businesses in the NWT regardless of size or sector, including many from the different arms of the tourism sector.

    A successful tourism sector is an accumulation of tour operators; accommodations; food & beverage and most importantly retail.  When visiting a new place, the number one item for tourists is a souvenir from the place you have visited.  And not a souvenir that was made in China. 

    In 2019 the retail sector was worth 4.4% of the NWT GDP, though it is showing signs of still remaining strong as per May 2021, which is a skewed statistic at the moment.  With the pandemic, many sports adventure stores, nurseries, and hardware stores are seeing huge booms due to the amount of additional excess spending money, NWT residents have from not traveling.  This increase provides the appearance that all retail sectors are booming when in fact our gift stores are struggling across the territory.  As much as local residents try to support them, we are a very small buying population with many items having a smaller price tag than big-ticket items such as skidoos, lumber, etc.  Not only has our gift stores lost a significant portion of their clientele but they have been unable to leave the territory to purchase or source inventory.  Though the borders are not closed, as privately owned and operated business owners, they can not afford to pay to keep their businesses closed for 14 days while in isolation.

    Gallery of the Midnight Sun Letter

    NWT Chamber's Letter of Support

  • SEED Review - Written Submission SEED Review - Written Submission

    GNWT - ITI did a review of SEED on Market Disruption and Equity.  The NWT Chamber provided a written submission on this review as well as completed the survey:

    Thank you for this opportunity to allow the NWT Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback to the Industry, Tourism, and Investment (ITI) department regarding the SEED Policy Review. The NWT Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most broadly-based business organization North of 60, with representation from every NWT region. Working in association with the network of community chambers in Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Thebacha, and Yellowknife, the NWT Chamber represents members' interests across the NWT. For over 45 years, we have been the only pan-territorial voice of businesses across all sectors of the northern economy.

    We appreciate ITI taking the time to review these two topics, Equity, and Market Disruption, as these are the two topics, we receive a significant amount of feedback on.  Though this review has been running since mid-March unfortunately the NWT Chamber was not advised until the week before the review was to be completed.  We appreciate ITI’s extension so that we could provide both a written submission and have at least our Board do the survey.

    Full Written Submission

  • Advocacy Win - Annual Barge Service to McLeod Bay, Great Slave Lake Advocacy Win - Annual Barge Service to McLeod Bay, Great Slave Lake

    Advocacy Win: Together with the NWT & NU Chamber of Mines and Northern Air Transport Association, the NWT Chamber advocated on behalf of private businesses in McLeod Bay in the East Arm who had lost barge service to have Marine Transport Services (MTS) extend their existing route to include these stops.

    We, the undersigned, are writing to you today in the interest of securing your support for Marine Transport Services (MTS), a crown corporation of the GNWT, to provide annual service to points in McLeod Bay Great Slave Lake.

    Traditionally bulk fuel and freight delivery to 5 destinations in McLeod Bay has been provided by East Arm Freighting. They have been providing annual barge service to this area for the last 40 years. Recently, East Arm Freighting has decided to no longer service the region primarily due to new regulations required by Parks Canada. This decision has caused a negative impact on the access to delivery service within the Park.  One of their primary destinations in the area is the fuel cache at Reliance, which now resides inside the National Park. Reliance is a long-standing, essential refueling stop en-route to the south-east NWT & the eastern arctic beyond. Currently, MTS is the only barge operator permitted in the National Park.

    Full Letter

    GNWT Press Release

  • Advocacy Win - Tourism Accommodation Sector Supplement Advocacy Win - Tourism Accommodation Sector Supplement

    Advocacy Win - Today, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) Caroline Wawzonek announced two new support programs for licensed tourism operators and licensed accommodation providers across the Northwest Territories (NWT). The two programs, the Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP) for tourism operators, and the Supplement for Tourism Accommodation Relief (STAR) Program for accommodation providers who meet the criteria, were developed to support two of the hardest-hit sectors impacted by the pandemic.

    PREP will assist licensed tourism operators with eligible fixed costs within the NWT at a minimum of $2,500 (to a maximum of $100,000). Home-based tourism businesses will be also able to access this relief funding.

    With licensed accommodation providers reporting significant drops in occupancy levels, the STAR program will provide financial assistance for eligible expenses in facilities with three or more rooms. Building on the support and critical partnership of the federal government last year, the two programs are available for application now and will provide support to these two sectors as they continue to look forward to traveling restrictions easing. 

     

    The NWT Chamber sent supporting letters to MP Michael McLeod and Minister Caroline Wawzonek on behalf of a member, The Explore Hotel requesting the consideration of a Tourism Accommodation Supplement program similar to the one introduced in Yukon in late 2020

    Letter to Minister Melanie Joly from the Hotel Association of Canada - link

    Letter to MP Michael McLeod - link

    Letter to Minister Caroline Wawzonek - link

    Response from Minister Caroline Wawzonek - link

  • Procurement Review Written Submission Procurement Review Written Submission

    Over the last 4 months, the NWT Chamber has been engaging its membership, the general business community, and Procurement Panel discussing the 10 questions raised in the Executive Summary.  We have fielded several written submissions, businesses in regards to their opinions on the 10 questions and their experiences with the current procurement process.  We also took the opportunity to speak with the Procurement Panel twice during this time.  

    Thank you for this opportunity to allow the NWT Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback to the Procurement Panel regarding the Procurement Review. The NWT Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most broadly-based business organization North of 60, with representation from every NWT region. Working in association with the network of community chambers in Norman Wells, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Thebacha, and Yellowknife, the NWT Chamber represents members' interests across the NWT. For over 45 years, we have been the only pan-territorial voice of businesses across all sectors of the northern economy.

    Government Procurement, whether it is the content of the tender document, the application of BIP, the evaluation criteria, and process, is one of the most addressed topics from our members. We applaud the Panel for taking on this very contentious topic and attempting to find a balance between supporting and growing the NWT business community as a whole and being responsible with the spending of public dollars. We would also like to thank the Panel for allowing the Board to speak with you on two occasions, February 17, 2021, and again on April 15, 2021, to share our comments and member's comments on all ten questions listed in the Executive Summary.

    Through our conversation regarding all ten questions, there were some common themes that provided the basis for our recommendations. Looking at our discussions and the themes that emerged allowed us to focus on four key questions and one additional topic:

    • Question 2: "How can the transparency of GNWT procurement and contracting data be improved?";
    • Question 3: "What constitutes an NWT business?";
    • Question 6: "What are your thoughts with respect to the key purpose of BIP and preferential procurement?"; question 8: "What ideas or input do you have with respect to the establishment of a GNWT Indigenous procurement policy?" and
    • Finally a lengthy conversation in regards to the downgrade in amount for sole-sourcing of general services that occurred during the review. "

    To review the full submission please the link

  • Budget 2021 Highlights Budget 2021 Highlights

    Earlier this week on Monday, April 19, 2021 the federal government released their first budget in two years.  This past year has seen unprecedented economic strain as we move through this pandemic.  Many businesses have had to pivot on a dime both in time and cash.  As fortunate as we have been in the NWT during all of this many businesses are still operating with restricted capacity but 100% of operating costs.  Though there are many opportunities for rebound in the new federal budget there were also a lot opportunities of relief missed.

    Overall, the 2021/22 Federal Budget provides the NWT with several opportunities to rebuild our economy providing the funding flows and flows through to those who need it.  We are disappointed that there was no specific relief funding for the food and beverage sector (F&B) which is one of the hardest-hit sectors during this pandemic and have had the most closures. Though there have been a few pots that the F&B could apply to, specifically the Northern Benefit Relief Fund (NBRF) this has actually created further losses for this sector as the federal government required them to operate on a month to month break even after 3 months of no revenue and no end of minimal revenue.  Funding pots like this need to request a business to operate on an annual break-even to avoid the evitable where many F&B had their small revenues earned over 3 months of a whole year, clawed back.

    Full Review

  • NWT Chamber Submission to NWT Housing Review NWT Chamber Submission to NWT Housing Review

    Thank you for this opportunity to allow the NWT Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback to the Standing Committee on Social Development regarding the NWT Housing Review – Homeowners and Private Landlords.  On behalf of our 110 members, 5 Community Chambers, and over 6,000 businesses in the NWT, we have been advocating for many of the stated questions.  Changes to homeownership and private landlords outside of Yellowknife are an excellent way to develop positive social outcomes and economic diversification for our communities.

    We are facing a real housing crisis in the NWT, one that is for all of us to solve, private industry included.  But we need a level playing field for the private sector to enter into the rental market.  Currently, the NWT Housing Corporation holds a monopoly on the rental market in every community in the NWT except Yellowknife.  There is no private company, regardless of size, that can compete with these rental prices and provide utilities at no cost. Currently, we have professionals in housing units as there is nowhere else to house them. In one community, you have had teachers living in the old age home.  These professionals are more than capable of paying fair market rent plus utilities. As we move towards settling land claims and self-government, there will be an even higher demand for professionals to move into our communities. Private industry has repeatedly attempted to purchase abandoned and derelict homes from either the federal government or the Housing Corp with minimal success. If so, they cannot afford the project as they can not compete with the market rent as dictated by the Housing Corp.  Norman Wells & District Chamber and ourselves have highlighted the issues and concerns in a letter from 2018 to then Minister Alfred Moses.  We have also included the rental rates per community which are nowhere near what market rates are.  This is a great example of private industry taking over the burden of liabilities for the Housing Corp as well as adding not only continued skilled labour, but a stream of economy into a community

    Full Letter

  • Deployment of Rapid Screening Deployment of Rapid Screening

    This morning the Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued the below letter to all Provincial and Territorial Premiers.  We are very pleased to add our signature to this letter as did every Provicinal and Territorial Chamber, we have also shared this letter with Honorable Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services

    Re: Deployment of rapid screening

    Dear Premiers:

    As Canada enters a new and more dangerous phase of the pandemic, our priority must be to protect the health of our population as we permit the safe operation of our economy. Achieving this goal will require close collaboration among governments, public health authorities, and other organizations, including businesses.

    The increasing rollout of vaccinations has brought hope to Canadians, but it will be several months before everyone who wants the vaccine is fully immunized. Until then, we need to aggressively implement a range of measures to break COVID-19’s transmission chain.

    Rapid screening, which enables people who may be infectious to be identified and directed towards a confirmatory PCR test, is critical to keeping the disease in check. Unfortunately, the use of this essential tool that can save lives and help the reopening of our economy has been slow and uneven across Canada. When millions of test kits sit unused in warehouses, they are not protecting Canadians or helping them resume more ordinary lives.

    Full Letter

    Government of Canada increases access to COVID-19 rapid testing for workers - link

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce response - link

  • Minimum Wage Letter Minimum Wage Letter

    Together with the Hay River Chamber of Commerce and Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, the NWT Chamber of Commerce has issued a letter to Minister RJ Simpson in regards to the recently announced increase to the minimum wage on September 01, 2021:

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce represents over 100 members and over 3,500 businesses of every size and sector throughout the NWT.  We are writing to you in regards to the recently announced minimum wage increase. 

    This past year has been devastating to businesses where most of them went three months or longer with no revenue and have now been operating at a maximum of 50% capacity. Based on recent comments by the CPHO and the GNWT, businesses can assume they will be operating in this climate for the foreseeable future. And while they have been operating in this manner, business' operating costs have had to be paid at the total amount and, in sometimes instances, at an increase.

    The NWT Chamber is concerned about the timing of this increase and the necessity of it.  Currently, there are only 400 individuals in the NWT that make minimum wage; over 200 are 18 and younger and the remainder are students, with a majority living at home.  Thus, there is no reasonable reason to increase the minimum wage while the country is still in the middle of a pandemic where businesses are barred from operating at total capacity. A majority will be affected by this increase, operating purely on subsidies and grants.  Many of these businesses relied on the Canadian Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to bring back as many employees as possible and grant programs like Northern Benefit Recovery Fund (NBRF) to cover operating costs.  Unfortunately, businesses that max $100k wouldn't cover off even two months' worth of operating expenses. Many are now having their grant proceeds clawed back because, in an already challenging year with only a few months of revenue, CanNor was only looking at monthly break-even, not annual.

    For the full letter - link

    Minister RJ Simpson's response - link

    NWT Chamber's Request to Delay Minimum Wage Increase to December/21 - link

    Minister RJ Simpson and Cabinet's Response - link

  • Letter of Support for Application to the National Trade Corridors Fund Letter of Support for Application to the National Trade Corridors Fund

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce gladly provided our letter of support to Minister Diane Archie, supporting the GNWT applying to the National Trade Corridors Fund for funding in regards to the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor including the replacement of the Frank Channel Bridge 

    Letter of Support - link

  • The Monkey Tree The Monkey Tree

    On January 27, 2021, the NWT Chamber issued a letter addressed to Premier Caroline Cochrane, cc'ing all MLAs, in regards to the recently detailed treatment by an individual Health Inspector by The Monkey Tree.  The NWT Chamber has several concerns as to how this one particular business and how the Food and Beverage sector, in general, is being treated.  From the feedback, we have been receiving from our members this is extremely troubling for the business community. 

    To view our full letter - link

    Response from Hon Premier Caroline Cochrane, Minister of COVID Secretariat - link

  • Pre Budget Consultation 2021 Pre Budget Consultation 2021

    The NWT Chamber along with all the provincial and territorial chambers signed the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Pre Budget Consultation letter.  The focus of the letter is workforce supply and demand matchup.

    As the Government of Canada continues to work our country’s collective way through the crisis, you can count on Canada’s businesses to help lead the way in economic recovery.
    To support the government’s commitment to support the creation one million jobs and restore employment numbers to pre-crisis levels, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and all provincial and territorial Chambers of Commerce from coast to coast to coast are submitting the Workforce Supply and Demand Matchup (WSDM) initiative as part of the 2021 pre-budget consultations.
    The WSDM is designed to help Canadians get back to work and support a resilient and inclusive economic recovery. It is a national, bilingual program that will be a collaborative game-changer in workforce ecosystems at all levels.

    Please see link for full letter - link

  • Federal Alcohol Escalator Tax Federal Alcohol Escalator Tax

    On April 01, 2021 the federal government is set to automatically increase the Alcohol Tax.  Escalator taxes set a dangerous precedent, increasing year after year without being voted on or studied by Parliament. It’s time we freeze this unfair tax and give Canadians a break. Did you know taxes make up nearly  50% of the price of each case of beer, 65-75% of each bottle of wine, and 80% of each bottle of spirits? And the federal government still wants to raise the tax on alcohol. #FreezeTheAlcoholTax and give Canadians a break. 

    We have sent a letter to Minister Caroline Wawzonek asking for her support in ensuring the escalator tax be frozen in the next federal budget, giving all Canadians a much-needed break via a letter to Minister Crystia Freeland. Full Letter - link

    Minister Wawzonek's response - link

    For more information on this please visit the Canadian Chamber's webpage - Freeze the Alcohol Tax

  • Open Letter re: COVID-19 Secretariat Open Letter re: COVID-19 Secretariat

    In response to the joint Press Release issued earlier this week from the GNWT and Business Advisory Council (BAC) regarding the COVID-19 Secretariat, we would like to assure our membership that the NWT Chamber has not changed its position on the COVID-19 Secretariat.  Where we agree that there needs to be efficiency and clarity in the GNWT’s response to this pandemic, we do not believe that additional funding is required to do so.

    The NWT Chamber believes many of the costs budgeted for the COVID-19 Secretariat could be better spent.  We have also taken the opportunities that have been granted to us to speak candidly to the Secretariat regarding this.  The sole-sourcing of the isolation centers needs to be rectified, as does the blanket covering of costs for any NWT resident who chooses to leave the NWT for vacation/non-essential.  This line item is more than half of the Secretariat budget.  No other jurisdiction, including Nunavut, blindly pays for their residents to isolate, which costs $4-5,000/resident, over 14 days that equates to $5,600 - $7,000/resident.  There also needs to be better enforcement of those abusing this system, which we all know is happening. 

    Full Letter

  • Call to Action - COVID-19 Secretariat Call to Action - COVID-19 Secretariat

    To date, the Premier has not responded to our original letter dated September 08th though we were advised we would receive a response by September 24th

    The communications on the COVID-19 Secretariat has been difficult to follow and figure out what is facts and what is not, the number of jobs; the percentage of jobs in Yellowknife vs communities; the cost; etc. All have changed almost daily. Bottom line is the GNWT has chosen to use our emergency state to spend this money for the COVID-19 Secretariat before it has been approved which is not right and goes against their pledge for better transparency. Wordsmithing to convince the NWT residents that these are not new jobs and the true monetary ask is irresponsible during this time.

    Our call to action is supported by NWT Tourism; NWT Manufacturers Association; and NWT & NU Chamber of Mines:

    When the COVID-19 Secretariat was announced, it was reported that “$36.1m is for wages only for 150 positions, of which 124 will be located in Yellowknife, and only 24 spread through Fort Smith; Hay River; Fort Simpson; Norman Wells, and Inuvik. 125 of those positions will include "members of the current compliance and enforcement task force, staff protecting the border at airports and highways, and isolation center employees and staff Protect NWT and its 8-1-1 hotline". link

    Based on their release, "19,043 self-isolation plans have been submitted since March 21 – of which 784 are currently pending approval, and since April 15, the 8-1-1 hotline has received a total of 2,281 calls from 29 communities, while 458 emails related to COVID-19 have been sent. Enforcement officials have issued 265 written and verbal warnings and 19 summary offense tickets". link

    To put this in perspective, if we repeat the same numbers over the following next five months, each employee will be tasked with 18 calls/each over the full five months and approximately an application a day/employee for the entire five months. Currently, anywhere from 10-20% of GNWT employees can not return to the office. This equates to 529 - 1,057 employees working from home.

    On September 24, Premier Cochrane was quoted as saying: "Like the programs and services, only 10 of the 150 positions required are new and, prior to the establishment of the Secretariat, we had 163 positions from across government working to deliver these services".  In the GNWT eyes, these may not be "new" hires, but the backfilled positions will be. During this time of uncertainty, we do not need politicians playing word games to justify an end.  The GNWT has indicated on multiple occasions in the media as well as in the Standing Committee of Accountability and Oversight, that the business community has asked for this Secretariat.  We have never asked for additional staff; or the creation of a new department.  We have repeatedly asked for clarification; consistency; collaboration; and a response within a reasonable timeframe as 2-3 weeks to answer an email is not reasonable. 

    To protect the NWT, we do not need more people to answer phone calls and emails. We need our HealthCare system bolstered as every other judication has chosen to do with their federal funding. We could save the territory $36m+ if we stopped paying for self-isolation centers for those residents who voluntarily left the territory for personal non-essential travel. We could be issuing more fines to those not complying to drive home the seriousness of our current situation. We could stimulate our economy if the GNWT invested even a fraction of this money into supporting our drowning sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and mining. There are so many more essential mandate items that this money can be spent on with a larger return than creating unnecessary middle management positions. As previously stated, it doesn't take money to return a phone call or respond to an email.

    The NWT Chamber is not naïve to think that it will be government employees answering calls and responding to emails that will flatten our curve. It will be our dedicated healthcare workers; and frontline staff that will be instrumental in our ability to flatten the curve.

    Our call to action is if your MLA has not already announced a constituency meeting before the sitting in October, ask them why.  Question your MLA on how they plan to vote on the approval of this funding that has already been spent and why they feel the permanent creation of these new jobs whether it's at the COVID Secretariat or backfilling, instead of transfer-in assignments and/or contracted term positions.

    Full Letter

  • COVID-19 Secretariat Open Letter COVID-19 Secretariat Open Letter

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce issued an open letter to all MLA's this morning in regards to the COVID-19 Secretariat and what $62.6m would do for the NWT economy if that money was spent on even one of the mandate items.  The letter was signed and support by:

    •  Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce
    • Thebacha Chamber of Commerce
    • Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce
    • Norman Wells & District Chamber of Commerce
    • NWT Tourism
    • NWT & NU Chamber of Mines
    • NATA (Northern Air Transport Association)

    Together we represent over 3,500 businesses across the NWT of all sizes and sectors.

    Full Letter

  • Letter regarding the COVID-19 Secretariat Letter regarding the COVID-19 Secretariat

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce has sent the below letter to Premier Cochrane with supporting signatures from the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, Thebacha Chamber of Commerce, and Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce

    The NWT Chamber has issued this letter after receiving several concerns from our membership regarding the money being spent on a new level of bureaucracy when several businesses in the NWT are struggling to stay open and being forced to wade through unnecessary red tape and delays due to inconsistent applications of rules and lack of response from the GNWT 

    Full Letter 

  • Joint Business Association Statement on the importance of a Coherent Privacy Framework Joint Business Association Statement on the importance of a Coherent Privacy Framework

    Today (09/11/20) along with 25+ business associations, joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to highlight the importance of a coherent national approach to privacy rules for Canadian businesses.  We look forward to continued collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Minister Navdeep S Bains to deliver on this important agenda - full letter

  • Protecting Canada's Arctic Interests - a Losing Battle Protecting Canada's Arctic Interests - a Losing Battle

    The NWT Chamber is very excited to announce that we have submitted a policy resolution to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's submitting committee.  On September 08, 2020, we were notified that our policy on Protecting Canada's Arctic Interests - a losing battle was approved to be debate and hopefully approved at the Canadian Chamber's AGM in October.  This policy was co-sponsored by Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and the Surrey Board of Trade - full policy

  • Location of Day Shelter Location of Day Shelter

    In support of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and Black Knight Pub; Overlander Sports & 974200 NWT, the NWT Chamber issued the City of Yellowknife a letter in regards to the location of the proposed Day Shelter full letter

  • Ongoing recovery of our restaurants and food service industry across Canada Ongoing recovery of our restaurants and food service industry across Canada

    The NWT Chamber, along with all the other provincial and territorial chambers, joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in a joint letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlining the struggles that our hospitality industry is facing and the importance they deliver to our economy. - full letter

    For more information on the movement please visit - Our Restaurants webpage 

  • Balancing Health and Economics Balancing Health and Economics

    Together with NWT Tourism; Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce; NWT & NU Chamber of Mines and NWT & NU Construction Association, the NWT Chamber has issued an open letter indicating that NWT businesses want a more balanced approach to protecting public health and supporting economic recovery - full letter

    July 09, 2020 - Premier Cochrane's response - full letter

  • Letter to Minister Miller and Minister Morneau requesting a roll out of Indigenous Business Supports Letter to Minister Miller and Minister Morneau requesting a roll out of Indigenous Business Supports

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce with support from the NWT Indigenous Leaders Economic Coalition and Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce; has issued a letter requesting our official ask to have the program(s) for Indigenous Business Support announced April 18th to be rolled out as soon as possible.

    Full Letter - link

  • Joint Letter to Washington Companies LLP Joint Letter to Washington Companies LLP

    Together with the NWT & NU Chamber of Mines and the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, the NWT Chamber sent a joint letter to Washington Companies LLP in regards to Dominion Diamonds Mines ULC - full letter

  • Joint Senate Submission Joint Senate Submission

    Together we are stronger through this difficult COVID-119 situation and we know this is a very difficult time for you.  Together the NWT Chamber of Commerce and NWT Tourism have been working collaboratively to advocate for the NWY business community.  Both of our originations are working together on your behalf pushing for programs and services that will enable you to survive and revive as we come through this unprecedented health and economic storm.

    Attached, is an issues document (click here) that we have been using together to identify gaps in federal programs and to provide poignant examples from the NWT.  We are using this docuemtn to speak and write to Parliamentarians, CanNor, GNWT, and most recently Senator Anderson's office.  Senator Anderson approached both of us to provide input to help the three northern senators understand NWT challenges and issues so they can be advocates in parliament for northern businesses at the Committee of Finance and on Social Affairs.

    If after looking at this issues brief, you have other examples of where federal programs are not working for your business, please get in you with one of us and share your examples.  We are committed to continuing to work on your behalf.

  • Letter to Premier Cochrane requesting immediate moratorium on commercial evictions Letter to Premier Cochrane requesting immediate moratorium on commercial evictions

    An urgent letter from Chambers of Commerce to Canada' Premiers Re: May 1 commercial rent payments

    Today the NWT Chamber of Commerce released an urgent letter to Premier Cochrane requesting a moratorium on commercial evictions due to the issues and gaps in the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance

    Our Full Release - link

    Follow up Letter issued May 07, 2020 - link

    Response to Premier Cochrane issued May 12, 2020 - link

     

     

  • Press Release: NWT Chambers response to the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions Press Release: NWT Chambers response to the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce/Stas Canada national survey on the conditions and impacts on businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Stats Canada released its national survey on the conditions and impacts on businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results were able to be drilled down by province and territories as well as by industry; employee size; private vs public and ownership style. The NWT Chamber of Commerce is appreciative of all who have responded and looks forward to utilizing this valuable data to better serve our membership and the businesses of the NWT recover from this unprecedented time.

    Full Release - link

     

  • Letter of Support for the Aviation Sector Letter of Support for the Aviation Sector

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce with the support of the Northern Air Transport Association, Thebacha Chamber of Commerce, and Norman Wells & District Chamber of Commerce has issued a letter to Minister Vandal in regards to the need for a financial relief package specifically for the NWT aviation sector 

    Full Letter - link

  • Request for Northern Relief Package Request for Northern Relief Package

    The NWT Chamber of Commerce with support from the Thebacha Chamber of Commerce, Hay River Chamber of Commerce, Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce, and Norman Wells & District Chamber of Commerce has issued a letter to Minister Melanie Joly requesting a Northern Relief package for all sectors of the NWT 

    Full Letter - link

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