Mayor Alty confirmed today council meetings will return to in person after the end of the UNW/PSAC strike and lockout.
Topics of discussion for the first meeting back include whether to declare a civic holiday for the afternoon of March 31, council’s Access for All Policy, and whether to host the 2026 Arctic Winter Games.
Mayor Alty says long-time residents of the NWT might remember that communities typically declare some afternoons off to celebrate spring carnivals.
“Historically in Yellowknife, civic holidays have been given to Yellowknifers to celebrate Caribou Carnival and Long John Jamboree,” Alty told MyTrueNorthNow.
Mayor Alty says giving a civic holiday for the Dene Spring festival is important for the city in light of reconciliation.
Council will also discuss the Access for All policy which was introduced in 2016. The policy allows residents at a certain income level and below to apply for free access to recreation facilities as well as a free bus pass.
“It’s been a great success and we’ve had lots of people come in every day to access this program, so we’ll bring the policy forward for council’s official adoption on Monday,” Alty said.
Another question on the agenda for Monday is whether to host the 2026 Arctic Winter Games.
“There is quite a large financial consideration if Yellowknife wants to host, Fort McMurray had to contribute about $5 million and it was the same with the next host so for the municipality it is a large cost.” Mayor Alty said.
The Mayor says Council was presented with the idea in January but the discussion was postponed until the end of March to allow council to ponder the idea thoroughly. The topic is on the table for Monday and will be officially voted on in April.