Dozens of northern leaders to attend 2019 Vancouver mining conference – by Hilary Bird (CBC News North – Janaury 28, 2019)

6 out of 7 N.W.T. cabinet ministers will be attending the 4-day conference

Dozens of leaders from across the North are in Vancouver this week for one of the country’s largest mineral development conferences. The Association for Mineral Exploration’s 2019 Mineral Roundup begins Monday.

Six out of the seven Northwest Territories cabinet ministers will be attending the four-day conference, as well as several of their staff members.

Forty leaders from the territory’s Indigenous groups will also be in attendance. N.W.T. MLA Cory Vanthuyne will also be attending as the chair of the legislature’s Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment.

The N.W.T. government has come under fire in recent years over the cost of sending dozens of delegates to the conference. In 2018, the territory spent nearly $280,000 to send dozens of cabinet ministers, MLA’s, staff and Indigenous leaders to the event. That number was up from $193,000 in 2017 and $137,000 in 2016.

This year the N.W.T. government is paying for 12 Indigenous leaders to attend the event, two from each region in the territory. The remaining 28 Indigenous leaders will be covering their own costs. The government has yet to release how much it will be spending on the conference this year.

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