Friday was yet another busy day in our Yellowknife schedule, but it was definitely one of my favorites! Following a lovely evening at a tapas restaurant with YK government officials, we woke up the next morning and headed off to the legislature to meet with David Brock. David is the Chief Electoral Officer for Yellowknife, and because we had previously met our own CEO Greg Essensa in orientation it was particularly interesting to get his perspective on things. There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the possibility of changing riding boundaries in YK, which would result in either more or less members being party to the legislature; while this may not seem like a big deal, in a legislature of 19 it can make quite a huge difference. What was particularly cool about David was his personality. He had such a young and fresh perspective on politics which was really inspiring to listen to. Many will say that I loved the fact that he was a fellow Mustang, but this is not my Western bias speaking. He really was a great guy and we really enjoyed meeting with him!
After meeting with David we had to book it into two taxis to get to the Buffalo Airways hangar in good time. Meeting us at the hangar was Phila Fyten, who we had previously met when we went to visit the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories. Luckily for us, she knew many of the folks at the Buffalo Airways hangar and was able to get us an awesome tour of the venue with Phil! For those of you who are unaware, the Buffalo hangar is where the TV show “Ice Pilots” is filmed. When we were taking our tour we actually got to see them filming an episode of the show; a massive Aurora army plane was in the hangar needing to be fixed and they were filming the process. Everyone knows my affinity for all things military, so I was clearly off the wall excited when we got to see this baby. But really there was something there for everyone: souped up sports vehicles, biplanes, emergency rescue planes, commercial planes, aircraft pieces, etc. And for all you animal lovers out there, there was even a loose cat and dog who are a veritable staple around the hangar. If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend taking a tour around Buffalo Airways if you can. Everyone was so nice to us, and you don’t have to be an expert on planes to enjoy it.
After our tour we went back into the city to have a nice Thai lunch before heading to meet an official from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s “Contaminants and Remediation Directorate”. There was a bit of a mix-up when we arrived, but luckily another official was able to speak with us about the Great Mine in Yellowknife and was able to provide us with some interesting literature about mine clean-up. Once we finished our meetings, we were free to do whatever we liked with our final afternoon in YK. Some of us bought souvenirs or toured the city, but I was happy to go along with Lauren, Beth, Gill and Anthony to do some fun cross-country skiing (or should I say cross-country falling).
Our week in Yellowknife was truly a once in a lifetime experience! We want to thank everyone who took the time to meet with us and make us feel welcome while we were in the NWT. An especially huge thanks goes out to Gail Bennett who planned this entire amazing trip for us. Without her, we would not have had such a great time or have gotten to meet so many cool people.
Thanks for reading everyone!