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Media Statement: R.J. Simpson Sworn in as Premier, Sets Course for a Prosperous and Collaborative Future

Press Release

R.J. Simpson issued the following statement today after being elected Premier of the Northwest Territories (NWT):

“I am honoured that members of the 20th Legislative Assembly have placed their trust in me to be the next Premier of the Northwest Territories. Excited to lead our territory at such a critical time, I look toward the next four years with hope, confidence, and urgency to get things done.

“I would like to congratulate MLA Shane Thompson on being elected Speaker of the House, and MLAs Caroline Wawzonek, Lesa Semmler, Lucy Kuptana, Vince McKay, Jay MacDonald, and Caitlin Cleveland on being elected to the Executive Council.

“In my eight years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, I’ve learned that collaboration is the best way to effect real, positive change. By working with fellow Members of the Legislative Assembly, Indigenous governments, community leadership, and public servants across the territory, we can propel the NWT towards a brighter, better future where residents, communities and economies prosper.

“As the 20th Assembly works to develop a new mandate to guide the territory into this prosperous future, it’s essential that we build upon the accomplishments of the last Assembly. We must continue the work of the Council of Leaders, collaborating with Indigenous governments to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We must also continue to advance land claims and self-government negotiations, which will improve the quality of life for residents in communities across the NWT while flowing more money into the territory.

“As a lifelong NWT resident, I am immensely proud of our beautiful land and the vibrant communities, cultures and languages that shape it. As Premier, I will do everything I can to ensure residents have access to programs, services and opportunities that will enrich their lives and the communities in which they live. To achieve this, our government will need to take immediate action to address significant challenges like inadequate housing, mental health and addiction issues, labour shortages, impacts of natural disasters, and the rising cost of living.

“I look forward to a busy four years, working alongside Cabinet members, various levels of government, Indigenous leadership and stakeholders to help build a territory that meets its full potential and fosters the happiness and health of residents, their families and future generations.”


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