Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Community-run radio stations are a lifeline for most remote settlements in the Arctic. They rely heavily on these stations to provide them with local, national and international news. For many people, especially unilingual Inuit, the radio is the only source for news and information.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has been an important player in ensuring that even the smaller communities have basic radio service; however, in many of these communities, the equipment is outdated and, as a result, there are frequent interruptions in service. The company contracted to keep these stations operational and to repair equipment has a local contact person in most communities who has received basic training on the equipment by the contractor. However, Mr. Speaker, the training provided is so basic that often the individual is not able to make even basic repairs. Locating parts for such old equipment and delays in shipping can often lead to a community having to go without radio service for weeks, sometimes months.
I realize that delivering such a service to a small community is a complex and costly venture, but if the Government of the Northwest Territories is going to remain involved in funding these stations, better coordination is needed to ensure that the best possible service is provided. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.