Bob McLeod – Recognizing employees’ contributions to devolution

Mar 12 2014

Premier Bob McLeodMr. Speaker, in a little more than two weeks, the Government and Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories will be taking on new responsibilities for public lands, water and resources. For the first time, Northerners will be able to pass laws and make their own decisions about how our environment is managed and protected and our resources are developed. As we have acknowledged many times in this House, this is an historic occasion in the ongoing evolution of this territory.

We sometimes forget, Mr. Speaker, that history does not just happen, history is made. As we open an important new chapter in the history of the Northwest Territories, I would like to recognize the many hard working public servants who have made that possible and so made themselves a part of the story of our territory. We would not be where we are today without the commitment, dedication and efforts of these employees who have spent many years, in some cases, advancing the cause of Devolution.

Today we are joined by many of those employees in the Visitors’ Gallery and on behalf of the Government of the Northwest Territories, I want to thank you all.  We have been well served by your efforts and your commitment to our future. 

In addition to core staff, many other employees in departments have supported devolution implementation work, and my thanks goes out to them as well. It has truly been a team effort and one where each person has played a critical role in achieving our overall goal.

Many Government of the Northwest Territories employees not directly involved in devolution implementation planning have also played an important role by supporting their colleagues who were more closely involved. They have kept the home fires burning Mr. Speaker, and we are appreciative of their commitment as well.

Almost a year ago we set up, with our devolution partners, 14 working groups to guide the work necessary to bring devolution to the Northwest Territories. Those working groups included 85 Government of the Northwest Territories staff, working either full-time or part-time on this project.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories has never undertaken a project of this magnitude.  It has only been achieved because of outstanding leadership, great dedication and a lot of determination. The success of our implementation planning speaks to our ability as a jurisdiction overall to manage our own affairs, to be responsible decision makers and to serve the people of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Speaker, the hard work of devolution negotiations is behind us, the hard work of implementation planning is almost behind us as well. What is in front of us Mr. Speaker, is the future, a prosperous future and we have our dedicated employees to thank for that.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.