After years of frustration as an opposition MP, a chance at an NDP win has reinvigorated NWT MP Dennis Bevington to throw his hat in the ring one more time in this fall’s federal election.
“I made a decision to run and I’m very happy about it; looking forward to the election and to bringing something different to this country,” Bevington told the Journal.
“I’ve got lots of experience in Parliament. If we are going to change the government, if there’s a change in government, I think it’s good to have someone there who’s very experienced with how Parliament works and how to put forward Northern issues to a new government, especially a government that includes my party – or is my party.”
The MP had been on the fence about running again this time around, but the federal New Democrats, who have stood apart from the Liberals and Conservatives on a number of contentious issues over the past few months, have seen a surge in the polls since an orange wave toppled the 47-year conservative dynasty in Alberta earlier this year.
Projections taken from an aggregate of recent opinion polls suggest the NDP could win 130 seats in the House of Commons – 11 more than the Conservatives and 44 more than the Liberals.
“I’ve been nine and a half years in opposition to a Conservative government and I’ve been supported by people for many years to do just that, but now it looks like we have a good chance to have a change and to see something different in Ottawa,” Bevington said. “It’s a three-way race and I think we have a good chance of being part of the next government, so that’s what I’m looking at really when I came to a decision to run again.”
If re-elected, Bevington said his focus will remain on the cost of living for Northerners, as well as climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
“The conditions of living in the North are still so difficult,” he said. “That’s where any politician has to put a lot of their focus. It’s one thing to talk about natural resource development, but we’ve had that in the Northwest Territories for the past decade and we still see our population declining, our health conditions are very serious, we see greater inequity in the population in terms of income and prosperity, we still need massive investments in human and physical infrastructure.
“Natural resource development is very important, but it’s not a panacea for all the issues we have. Those are issues that governments have to tackle.”
Current mayor of Inuvik and former NWT premier Floyd Roland has already announced his candidacy for the Conservative Party in the NWT.
The Liberals have yet to select a candidate. So far, Western Arctic Liberals Association president Kieron Testart is a nominee and former NWT MLA Michael McLeod is considering running. Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins had intended to run, but withdrew his nomination earlier this year.1 comment