NWT Sunday briefing: Letters, weather and more

Last modified: September 3, 2022 at 1:09pm

Welcome to our Sunday briefing, the home of letters you write to Cabin Radio, a weather outlook, and some notes on the week ahead.

It’s been an extraordinarily busy week, and next week looks even busier. Some notes about that below. As a result, this top section of the briefing is relatively sparse while we focus on getting reporting out the door.

This week’s photo is among a few we’ve just acquired to spruce up (occasionally literally) the photography used to illustrate articles.


Nice to get out for the Santa Claus Parade in Yellowknife on Saturday. One of the first times the city has felt pretty-much fully back to normal in the past two years. Thanks to Sarah, Luisa, and Emmanuel, our broadcast crew on the night – live outdoor video in -20C is not always the easiest.

We appreciate you reading our work. If you value it enough to contribute a small sum each month, we gratefully appreciate all donations made through Patreon. — Ollie

✉︎ Letters

Cancelled surgeries

From Troy Bradbury in Fort Simpson:

With the recent news of Alberta Health announcing thousands of delayed surgeries, I wonder how this effects NWT health services?

Do we have numbers of NWT delayed and cancelled surgeries as well? If so, how are they working to alleviate the backlog?


Almost two years ago my health issues began, right when Covid-19 showed its face in Canada. During this process there have been many delays, short-notice appointments, and now no answers when asked: “When is my spine surgery?”

Do we have to keep relying on Alberta health services when it is clear they don’t have any control over their present situation? Is there an alternative?

I also ask the people that have not been vaccinated to please help me out. The longer you wait, the longer we have to suffer waiting for much-needed treatments.

Fire hall

We reported on Yellowknife’s quest for a new fire chief.


From Rob Leaver:

Might be a good opportunity for a new fire chief to reinstate the volunteer on-call firefighting program. This was another opportunity that was unfortunately taken away from the residents of Yellowknife who have interest in pursuing something of this nature.

Anyone who has a full-time job with financial commitments cannot justify leaving their job and spend thousands of dollars and time away from family to gain the necessary qualifications, with no guarantee of a position once qualified. It’s also just a good opportunity to volunteer.

We also received an extraordinarily opportunistic letter from a company that manufactures magnetic engine block heaters. If magnetic engine block heaters are something you think you might want in your life, here’s their website. They’re offering us one to give away to a loyal audience member… you tell me if you’re pumped enough about this and I’ll get back to them.

Send your letters to We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity.

☼ Weather outlook

Remember, we have the Yellowknife snow tracker on our homepage, showing the depth of snow each day compared to last year and the 30-year average. If you want to bookmark just the tracker itself, you can do that here.

Yellowknife: We’re still awaiting a real dump of snow. Warmer, and snowier, as this week goes on, up to highs of around -12C by Friday.

Inuvik: Temperatures around -25C all week. Again, snowier the later into the week we go. Particularly cold and clear on Wednesday.

Norman Wells: Temperatures dipping below -30C in the middle of the week. Snow arriving on Thursday and lingering.

Hay River: This week’s warm spot, with highs of -7C on Thursday and Friday. Snow sweeping through on Monday then returning later in the week.

Fort Smith: As with Hay River, a snowy Monday in prospect. Tuesday night will dip down toward -30C, but Friday could get up as high as -7C.

Fort Simpson: Wednesday will be sunny. Otherwise, a mix of cloud and snow all week with temperatures between -15C and -20C.

✐ Notes

The NWT legislature resumes sitting on Monday, a delay of a month or so brought on by Covid-19 in Yellowknife. There will be a lot to cram into the next few weeks – probably, but not definitely, including the vote on Steve Norn’s future. I say probably as the sole adjudicator’s recommendation (that Norn’s seat be vacated) must be voted on within 15 sitting days of the report being tabled (presumably Monday). There are only 12 sitting days coming up, so technically it could be February before a vote occurs.

Point Lake, the proposed Ekati expansion, has its public hearing all week. We’ll broadcast that live.

The NWT Geoscience Forum runs virtually from Wednesday to Friday.

The Northwest Territory Métis Nation’s annual general assembly is scheduled for Tuesday to Thursday in Yellowknife.

Don’t forget our guide to holiday markets.