Hay River mayor wants more devolution jobs
The territorial government still doesn't know how many people will have to be recruited to fill jobs after devolution, but Hay River's mayor says the town is not being given its fair share of new positions.
About 260 jobs are expected to be created in the process next year. But so far, only 52 of them are slated for communities outside of Yellowknife, half of which are already filled by federal workers.
Hay River Mayor Andrew Cassidy says that's just not enough to go around.
"On one hand the government says they're supportive and looking for ways to provide opportunities in the regions, but when the numbers start to come out, you see that that doesn't seem to be the case at all," Cassidy said.
He says a number was never promised, but the town was angling for up to 40 new jobs. He says he plans to put pressure on the town's two MLAs to make sure people in Hay River are able to find jobs post-devolution.
"It's incredibly frustrating, we don't have the same robust economies and industry investment that some of the other regions do," Cassidy said. "A little bit of support from the [government] would be great, it would help shoulder some of the load."
Shaleen Woodward is overseeing implementation of the devolution agreement. She says she hopes most federal employees will continue their jobs with the territory.
"We have done devolutions in the past, there was the health transfer, also airports and we've certainly found in the past that a large proportion of employees end up joining the GNWT," she said. "That certainly has helped us ensure that continuity of service."
Woodward says the territory has already been working with Aboriginal Affairs to ensure they aren't duplicating jobs when hiring new people. She also says the territory plans to send out information and have employees dedicated to helping the public navigate the new system.
Human Resources also has more staff helping with the recruitment process. Woodward adds that any jobs will come with competitive salaries and benefits.