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Town of Fort Smith Press Release - Feb. 10, 2020



February 10, 2020 For Immediate Release

The Town of Fort Smith calls on the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) to reinstate an independent Board of Governors for Aurora College and to appoint an independent Commissioner to oversee the transformation of post-secondary education towards a polytechnic university for the Northwest Territories.

For this transformative process to truly work, the diverse views and perspectives of all residents and communities need to be involved in the evolution of Post-Secondary Education for the benefit of NWT residents. The Department of Education does not demonstrate an understanding of how a competent post-secondary institution functions, under a Board, and at arms-length from government interference.

The Town of Fort Smith is bringing forward a motion to the Northwest Territories Association of Communities Annual General Meeting in Inuvik on February 27 - March 1, 2020. The Town is seeking the support of other NWT municipalities to ensure independent oversight, increased transparency, and more accountability in the transformation of post-secondary education, which is critical to the success and vitality of all NWT communities.

Mayor Napier's Quotes:

"Then-Minister of ECE, and now Premier Caroline Cochrane stated the need for the Government of the Northwest Territories to recruit a senior manager with national post-secondary experience to lead the transformation process and a commitment to get the best person in the country to help move us into a polytechnic university. With the Premier's office firing the President last week, after one year on the job, they have wasted a considerable amount of time and tax-payers money."

"The Town of Fort Smith has lost confidence in the Department of Education, Culture and Employment's ability to manage the transformation of post-secondary education in the Northwest Territories. Last week it became clear that ECE does not have the credibility or capability to manage this initiative effectively. Over the past few years, there has been a revolving door of College Presidents, Education Ministers, strategic planning processes, and reviews. There has been no progress, and there appears to be no real plan in place to achieve the goal of a polytechnic university."

For more information please contact:

Mayor Lynn Napier,

Town of Fort Smith

PO Box 147 Fort Smith, NT X0E 0P0



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