20170726_182947Thank you Mr. Speaker and welcome back. I’d love to say that it’s great to be here, but right now I empathize with all the kids who are back in school after summer vacation. That’s not because I don’t love the work we do in this beautiful Legislature, it’s that Hay River is just such a beautiful place to be in the summer.

Now, if you’re a geologist – or someone else who really loves rocks – then I’m sure Yellowknife is a great place to be in the summer. Personally, I prefer Hay River’s lush greenery, spending hot days on the long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches, watching eagles fish while canoeing down the East Channel, playing on our beautiful golf course with its stunning views, socializing and buying fresh local produce and fish at the Fishermen’s Wharf, taking day trips to some of the most spectacular places the NWT has to offer, and watching breathtaking sunsets over the Great Slave Lake.

On top of all that, the Hay Days Festival made its triumphant return this summer. The 5 day festival had musicians from across Canada performing in the streets and on the beach, and had art workshops for all ages and levels. Combined with the Canada Day long weekend, the airshow, events put on by the Town, tourism operators, and other local organizations, there were 8 straight days of non-stop activities and events. I commend all the volunteers and organizers made it all happen.

However, Mr. Speaker, I want to let my constituents know that it wasn’t all fun and games for me. I was in my windowless constituency office every day dealing with constituent issues and concerns, many of which I’ll be raising in the coming days.

I also made an effort to reach out to and meet with more local organizations, and over the summer I met with representatives from the Town, the Seniors Society, the RCMP, the Arctic Winter Games Committee members, the Friendship Centre, the Fishermen’s Federation, the Northern Farm Training Institute, the Rangers, and so on. I also met with local businesses, including retailers, manufacturers, farmers, fishermen, and more.

Because this job extends beyond the borders of the Hay River I also attended the Dehcho Annual Assembly in Fort Providence, the swearing in of the new Tłı̨chǫ Grand Chief, the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees conference, Opportunities North, and the signing of the MOU between the NWT and Alberta, where I gave Premier Notley the same sales pitch about summer in Hay River that I just gave you and invited her to visit.

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