(Yellowknife) May 15, 2008 – The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Honourable Paul Delorey, and the President of the Union of Northern Workers (UNW), Todd Parsons, today agreed to a number of principles governing the conduct of rallies held in and around the Legislative Assembly building. The Speaker has agreed to allow the UNW to conduct rallies in front of the Legislative Assembly building on the understanding that:
· Participants will not obstruct or interfere with persons coming into or leaving the Legislative Assembly building;
· Vehicular traffic into or out of the Legislative Assembly precinct will not be obstructed;
· Rallies will not take place in the promenade area leading up to the main access to the Legislative Assembly;
· And, the formal proceedings of the Legislative Assembly will not be disrupted in any way.
"The UNW has conducted many rallies at the Legislative Assembly building and elsewhere and these have always been peaceful and productive," noted UNW President Todd Parsons. "These types of rallies are an important way for us to communicate our message and our concerns to the public and to the decision makers. I am pleased that we have been able to establish a set of principles that will allow us to continue to be active at the political level while at the same time ensuring the democratic process can play out."
"Rallies and public demonstrations are a sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy," stated Speaker Delorey. "It has always been my practice to encourage people to come to the Legislative Assembly and to participate in the democratic process. I am pleased that the UNW and the Legislative Assembly have been able to find common ground and a way forward that meets the interests of both parties."
For further information, please contact:
Hon. Paul Delorey, Speaker
Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
P: 867-669-2234 or toll-free 1-800-661-0784
Todd Parsons, President
Union of Northern Workers