Our Minister

The Honourable Wally Schumann

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Delivered October 3, 2017 Mr. Speaker, since 2013, September 30th has been marked as Orange Shirt Day, a day for all Canadians to remember the survivors of the residential school system. Organizers chose an orange shirt as the symbol for that day based on a story told by Phyllis Jack Webstat, a survivor of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, BC. In her story, Ms. Webstat tells of having the shiny, new orange shirt her grandmother had given to her being taken away on her first day at residential school. We remember residential school survivors and their families on all days but especially on September 30th because it was around this time of year that children were taken from their homes to residential schools. It is also a time when schools have the opportunity to implement their inclusive, anti-bullying practices and policies for the coming year, setting the stage for education and learning about the impacts of residential schools that continue to echo today. Mr. Speaker, we are living in a new world where the need for reconciliation with Indigenous people is receiving more attention than ever before. We welcome this attention in the Northwest Territories, where approximately half of our population is Aboriginal, many of whom are survivors of residential school. Our government has been proud to lead the way in forging new relationships with Indigenous people and has made dealing with the legacy of residential schools a priority, including introducing a mandatory residential schools curriculum in 2012.  We also remain committed to implementing the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mr. Speaker, Orange Shirt Day is a reminder of the often troubled relationship between Indigenous people and the wider Canadian society, including governments, churches and schools. Repairing those relationships in a territory where many of us – including myself – have had experience with residential schools, will be critical to creating strong, healthy and inclusive communities. Orange Shirt Day took place on Saturday, Mr. Speaker. As we did not sit on that day, Members are proud to be wearing orange in the Chamber today out of respect for the survivors of residential school and as a symbol of our commitment to reconciliation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
YELLOWKNIFE (July 11, 2017) – NWT residents are being asked to provide their views on how the Northwest Territories will safely regulate cannabis and to comment on proposed principles to guide how the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) addresses cannabis legalization.  Residents can provide their views through a new website launched by the GNWT this week. The new website provides NWT residents with information about the legalization of cannabis and its implications for the NWT.  The website will serve as a resource to keep residents informed of changes throughout this process. It also contains a public survey to make it easier for NWT residents to voice their opinions and provide feedback. The information collected on the survey is anonymous, and responses gathered will help shape the legislation for the NWT. The GNWT will also be holding community meetings to hear from residents and is currently finalizing plans for meetings to take place in September. Information on community engagements will be posted on the website as soon as it becomes available. The GNWT knows that the issues surrounding cannabis matter to Northerners, and is committed to hearing from NWT residents before drafting new legislation. The information gathered online and at the community engagements will guide the GNWT as cannabis legislation is developed for the NWT. The Government of Canada’s plan to legalize cannabis by July 2018 requires the GNWT to take immediate action to develop and implement measures to control the sale and distribution of cannabis, the minimum age for purchase and consumption, drug-impaired driving, workplace safety, public consumption and more. The GNWT is committed to having effective measures in place to protect the health and safety of residents and communities, and wants to hear from Northerners on the best ways to do it. To view the new website visit and to contribute to this process and have your say visit our online survey.  Residents can also contact the GNWT by email at  
YELLOWKNIFE (March 28, 2017) – On April 1st, the Department of Transportation will be increasing 229 fines under the Northwest Territories Motor Vehicles Act regulations. The decision comes in an effort to make territorial roads safer for motorists, pedestrians and other users of the highway system.  Some of the violations that will result in an increased penalty include the following: Failure to wear seatbelt: increased from $115 to $172 Failure to stop for school bus: increased from $115 to $402  Failure to stop a vehicle at a red light: increased from $86 to $172. The Department continues to conduct public awareness advertising campaigns during the year in an effort to educate the travelling public and reduce the number of incidents on NWT public roads and highways. For a complete list of the new fines, please see the Summary Convictions Procedure Regulations that can be found on the Department of Justice website at: For more information, please contact Greg Hanna, Communications Coordinator, at 867-767-9082 ext. 31046 or
YELLOWKNIFE (March 28, 2017) – The Department of Transportation (DOT) is pleased to announce the expansion of online services offered to Northwest Territories (NWT) residents, by adding driver’s licences and NWT identification card renewal services. The new services will result in less time spent by residents at Driver and Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices across the territory, and reduce the need to travel to other communities for those residents who don’t have a DMV office where they reside. This will also have a positive impact of the ability of DMV offices to serve other clients, by decreasing wait times and making for a more enjoyable client service experience. Other online services currently provided by DOT include vehicle registrations, commercial carrier permits, booking driver’s examinations, as well as e-notifications to clients who had requested email renewal reminders. For more information please contact Ioana Spiridonica, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at 867-767-9082 ext. 31042 or
YELLOWKNIFE (March 20, 2017) – Minister of Finance, Robert C. McLeod announced today that the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has begun the formal procurement process for the Tłı̨chǫ All Season Road (TASR) by releasing the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain an all-season road to Whatì. The RFQ is the first stage in a competitive selection process to procure the TASR through a Public-Private Partnership (P3) in accordance with the GNWT’s Public- Private Partnership Policy.  The RFQ invites interested parties to submit responses indicating their interest in, and qualifications for, the TASR project.  This includes an assessment on the technical and financial capacity to undertake the project.  Based on the responses to the RFQ, the GNWT intends to select a shortlist of up to three proponents to be invited to participate in the next stage of the procurement process, the Request for Proposals stage, pending a decision on the environmental assessment for the project. To ensure that interested parties have a full and complete understanding of the P3 process and the project, and are able to provide their best submissions of qualifications for the project, the GNWT will hold a Project Information Session (Industry Day) on March 29, 2017, at the Explorer Hotel in Yellowknife. Quotes “Construction of the Tłı̨chǫ All Season Road is a priority of the 18th Legislative Assembly.  The project is a critical piece of infrastructure that will result in significant benefits for the Tłı̨chǫ region and facilitate growth for the NWT economy.”-Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance “In addition to resulting in a lower cost of living in the area, and responding to ever increasing challenges generated by climate change, this project also has the potential to create a solid, reliable job market for our residents.”-Wally Schumann, Minister of Transportation Quick Facts The project is comprised of the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a 97km all-season gravel highway from kilometer 196 of Highway 3 to the community of Whatì. Related Links Public Private Partnership Policy   Media inquiries:Charlotte DignessMedia and Communications CoordinatorDepartment of ExecutiveGovernment of the Northwest TerritoriesTel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11092E-mail: