Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize the accomplishments of 4 outstanding women from Hay River, and to thank them for going above and beyond to serve their community.

Carolyn Carroll is the principal of Harry Camsell Elementary School and Princess Alexandra Middle School in Hay River. This week she was recognized as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principles, along with 39 other principles from across the country, by The Learning Partnership, a national organization dedicated to publicly funded education in Canada. She’s been teaching in the NWT for 30 years, the last 20 in Hay River. Mr. Speaker, I’ve seen her passion for what she does, and how much she cares about the children, and I hope we can hold on to her for another 20 years.

Laura Rose is the driving force behind – and really the heart and soul of – the Hay River Soup Kitchen. For her work with the Soup Kitchen, she was recently awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada. This official Canadian honour recognizes exceptional volunteerism, and is awarded to those who have made significant, sustained, and unpaid contributions to their community. Rose has been managing The Soup Kitchen for 21 years, almost from its very beginning, and the enormity of her contribution to Hay River can’t be quantified. Our community is truly blessed to have her.

Jackie Milne is the president of the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River. She was recently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General of Canada. This award highlights remarkable achievements for exceptional deeds that bring honour to our country. Jackie has dedicated her life to restoring food independence in the North, by working to develop food production systems for our unique environment, and by training the citizens from across the North to not only farm, but to turn their farms into viable commercial enterprises that create local, sustainable employment. What she’s created has the potential to change how we think about food in the North.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’d like to recognize another principle from Hay River, Lynne Beck. She recently received the Ministerial Restorative Justice Award, from our own Minister Sebert, for her significant contributions to establishing restorative justice practices in her school as an alternative form of discipline. She  was nominated by her peers to acknowledge the positive difference and change for the better within the school through policies she has instituted. She recognizes that punishment does not work, so her policies focus on mediated conversations that result in concrete plans to move forward and restore the dignity of both sides in a conflict. And it’s been working, because in the last 2 years there have been zero suspensions.

Mr. Speaker, I hope the assembly will join me in recognizing these accomplishments, and thanking these women for their service to the community.