After the deadline to file nomination papers for the Nov. 23 election passed on Oct. 30, the Northern Journal sent candidates these four questions:
- Why are you running?
- What are the issues facing your riding?
- Why should voters cast a ballot for you?
- What do you do in your spare time?
Below are the responses received by our press deadline on Nov. 16. Answers have been edited for length and presented in hopes to help voters make an informed decision. We prioritized ridings for which we received all or most candidates’ responses.
Kam Lake (Yellowknife)
David Ramsay, incumbent
- I am running in this election because I feel that I can continue to make a difference in how our territory develops. It has been an honour to serve in the Legislative Assembly the past 12 years and being there to help my constituents continues as my primary goal.
- The most important issues from my riding are the cost of living and doing business.
- I have an established track record as a reliable, accessible, and hard working MLA. I am educated, experienced and have built solid relationships with leaders around the territory and throughout Canada.
- In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my wife Michelle, my children Malachi 8, Elijah, 6, Adeline, 2, and Donovan, three months. I also play hockey and golf.
- I want to give back to my community and bring an ambitious and optimistic vision to the next Legislative Assembly. I’ve made listening to the concerns of Northerners my number one priority and I will be a strong voice for Kam Lake.
- Northern businesses operating in Kam Lake are feeling the strain of high operating costs and limited competitiveness in Northern markets as our economy continues to decline. Kam Lake residents, like all Northerners, are also concerned with the dramatic increase in our cost of living in recent years, the serious problems stemming from addictions, poverty and homelessness affecting Yellowknife and the lack of economic opportunities in the North.
- My experience as a public servant, single parent and someone who lives and works in the North gives me a clear understanding of the most important issues to Northerners. Most importantly, I have a real plan that will deliver results for the residents of Kam Lake.
- I enjoy film and community theatre and I am a big supporter of the arts. In 2008 I was the lead actor in an independently produced short film in the NWT called Teenage Wasteland that was screened at several film festivals in Canada.
- I am a longtime resident of Fort Smith (31 years), have served the community in several capacities: lawyer, town councillor for 14 years, part-time instructor at Aurora College and believe I could make a positive contribution as a MLA.
- Cost of living, cost of power, government transparency, future of Aurora College.
- I have a wide experience in dealing with community issues most recently as deputy mayor.
- Reading and tennis.
Michael Miltenberger, incumbent
- I am running for a sixth term because there are still important things to get done in regard to program services, budgets, legislation and the environment, all of which are important to Fort Smith.
- Continued delivery of high quality services, strong economy, building of key infrastructure facilities like the women’s goal and the fire centre. Also key is the balance between the environment and development.
- 20 years as MLA, 14 years in cabinet, strong possibility of being returned to cabinet and 20 years of dedicated service to individuals, the riding and the NWT as a whole.
- Golf in the summer, walk and read.
- I have skills, experience, tenacity and the ability to bring resources together to get things done. I would love to serve my community, bringing new ideas and energy to the role of MLA.
- Fort Smith is facing critical issues that need action and leadership. The college is vital to our economy, but too often the classrooms sit empty, making it vulnerable to the growing demand for a university in Yellowknife. The local economy needs to be broadened and strengthened – depending only on government positions that may be gone in the next round of cuts is not the way to assure a positive future.
- My focus would be community first and governance in Yellowknife second. I would work closely with Fort Smith Town Council, with monthly meetings and common goals, along with Métis and First Nation governments. I would facilitate cooperation with the town of Hay River, between MLAs, town councils and other leaders to bolster the economies of both communities – to use the wasted power at Taltson Dam to bring down power rates and to pave Highway 5 to enhance tourism – working together to build a strong South Slave economy.
- My free time is spent volunteering on projects that enhance the quality of life of Fort Smith residents. I brought the TransCanada Trail here and set up the downtown park. I moved the ski club to its current location, set up the trail system there and continue to work on it to this day. I served on the college Board of Governors and was on the design team for the academic building. The creation of the research centre was my idea, as was the college store so that the student council could have a source of revenue.
- I am running in this election because real positive change is needed. I see a lot of social issues that need addressing here in YK and I know with my business education, work experience and innovative ideas that I can help them. I also have to try to change a law or two that has the potential to negatively affect home owners.
- Homelessness, work-related barriers, barriers to start up business, the Con head frame which I have a plan to save, the harbour plan, food security, fracking, water, the high cost of living in which I have some ideas for each household to help them reduce a couple of bills. I also have a couple of ideas for the federal government on how they could reduce some of their costs and how to increase the overall GDP.
- I have done many different jobs in my lifetime. Some of them are: cement truck driver at Giant Mine working on the stabilization project, haul truck operator, eight years of experience as an HEO for BHP and NUNA, archeologist assist, security guard, curator’s assistant, roofer, data entry clerk, safety supervisor at the Beaulieu mine clean up, fiberglasser, drywalling commercial/residential buildings, a mover, roughneck at Norman Wells, labourer, maintenance man at camp antler for free when I was 12 and 13 years old. I also have a business diploma and a little over a year of credits towards my degree in business at Athabasca University.
- I spend my free time with my kids, I always take them to the parks and play with them.
- Having served Yellowknifers for two terms as a city councillor and having contributed to a number of non-profit boards and volunteering for many local charities as well as operating two small business, I have reached a time in my life where I want to be involved in the process of effecting positive change. As a 38-year resident of Yellowknife and a 22-year resident of Yellowknife North I want to be the representative that protects my neighbours’ best interests. I have a passion for helping others and I believe I can help set our territory on the right course for a better future.
- Residents rank healthcare, the health of their families, neighbours and those in need as generally the biggest concerns. Folks at the doors have told me they believe government has a key role to play in building supportive environments, but also in helping northerners help themselves. I think they prioritize these issues because without our health, we can’t take on the many other issues we are facing with the economy, cost of living and the environment.
- As Northerners, it’s important that we unite in a common vision for a great territory. With your support, I want to lead the NWT into a prosperous future, capable of facing new realities while valuing our past accomplishments and the richness of our diverse history and culture. I want to see us pursue new opportunities and initiatives. I believe there is a better way and with your guidance I will demonstrate leadership and confidence in managing our future and I will be profoundly committed to the pursuit of a sustainable quality of life for all while protecting our pristine environment.
- In my spare time I enjoy playing golf in the summer and curling in the winter. I travel when I can and enjoy reading books on history. I also spend quite a bit of time on hikes with my dog at Tin Can Hill or out on the trails near V Lake.
- I never thought I would ever run. It was never in my personal plan but I was prompted to action this year because I found myself complaining a lot about the lack of leadership in the Legislative Assembly and an inability of Members to be able to work together to move the NWT forward on fundamental issues. In my family we have always said, “shut up or put up.” In other words don’t complain unless you do something about it.
- The key issues that we have identified are also territorial in scope – cost of living; diversification of our economy to move out of the boom bust cycle and depending on resource extraction projects; protection of our land, air water and wildlife; catching up to the lack of housing; investing in education as well as in the arts and cultural sector; health/wellness street smart programming; transparent governance and keeping Northerners in the North.
- I trust the voters in Yellowknife North. They are intelligent, articulate, active, well-travelled and forward thinking. They will recognize a strong platform that works for protecting not only their own issues but those that are of concern for other constituencies. They are concerned about protection of the environment, diversifying our economy, investing in renewable and sustainable energy, strengthening our multicultural identity, investing in health, wellness and education and celebrating effective and transparent leadership.
- My time is always full with travel adventures with my partner, engaging in activities with my children, spending quality family time on the land. I also share a creative printmaking space, still am active in professional theatre and spend as much time as I can cooking in the kitchen.
- My children, family, my northern friends and neighbours are my priority. Therefore, I would like to become an MLA to be more active and involved in the decisions affecting our livelihoods, especially in the YK North area. In the 47 years that I have lived in the riding, I have seen how the uncertainties of change, political priorities and choices to important issues can greatly affect our life plans and neighborhoods. I can relate first-hand, as a single parent to the demanding challenges of raising a family in the North. Further, I have many years professional experience in Public Service, including 30 years with the GNWT and eight years on the YK2 school board.
- Constituency residents have expressed a wide range of significant issues to me including affordability, the effects of climate change, population growth, government consensus. However, of primary concern is cost of living and having the economic means (especially for low-income earners) to be able to access and afford adequate shelter including mortgage, rent, fuel, power, maintenance and the nutritious food to feed and sustain the person and family’s well-being. It is important for growth and development to have the revenue base to support infrastructure, programs and services that will attract and encourage people to remain, such as our retired seniors and students off to school outside, to remain and live here. We need to encourage responsible economic development from the mining sector, which is the backbone of our economy; promote and support small business; expand opportunities to develop our own food sources; reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses; and, offer more support for education/training for trades and professional development in order to increase local capacity.
- Like most of you, I am concerned about the costs and our government’s ability to make the right decisions that will ensure us a good quality of life and sustainable future for our family, self, friends and neighbours. We only have a limited amount of resources available to allocate between all the competing priorities during the life of the 18th Assembly so we need to ensure that whatever is done, the work continues to build on the positive foundations established by previous Assemblies. The core government foundation right now is crumbling. There is disenchantment and it is said to have become dysfunctional. We need again leaders to start repairing that fractured foundation of consensus based on trust, integrity and accountability.
- I make an effort to take time to reflect on the many things I have been blessed with and especially make some time available for family (including my dog) and dear friends who have been so giving with their support.
- I’m running because there is a lot at stake. Living in the Northwest Territories, it is obvious to me that people are hurting. They are trying to do the right thing: to work hard and care for their families. But too often this is not enough. Too many are struggling to keep up with rising costs, while others are battling the realities of addictions and homelessness.
- Building a healthy community, including Housing First projects with mental health and addiction supports, affordable housing, especially for seniors and a ‘University of the North’, based in Yellowknife. Creating clean energy jobs by enabling homeowners to access low interest loans for energy retrofits to lower heat and power bills; aggressively investing in renewable energy generation, including solar, wind and biomass, and; supporting creative financing for northern mines to build clean energy infrastructure.
- Because I have designed a blueprint to address our challenges. We can transition to strong local economy by investing in clean energy jobs, building healthy communities, and supporting a responsible mining sector alongside small and local businesses. The transition to a strong local economy is not only about reducing our cost of living and building a sustainable economy; it is about improving to quality of life and protecting the land, air and water for families in Yellowknife North.
- What is free time?
Frame Lake (Yellowknife)
- I have always believed in giving back to my community. In my 10 years as Executive Director of Skills Canada NWT, I have travelled throughout the NWT and spoken to residents about their needs. As MLA, I can influence positive change for everyone in the NWT.
- I have heard concerns about government accountability and service, cost of living including cost of energy, homelessness, education, and balancing economic development with environmental protection. I believe these issues are not unique to my riding but are also important for Yellowknife generally and much of the NWT.
- While there are many important issues across the NWT, my priorities are education, health care – especially supports for mental health and addictions – and balanced, responsible economic development. I also work hard, do my homework, and always strive to be better.
- When I am home in Yellowknife, I enjoy taking my dog, Oliver, to places where he can play with other dogs. I also enjoy reading, photography, movies, gardening, sailing, doing home renovations, as well as woodworking (although I don’t have much time to do it).
- I’m running because I see too many problems that are persisting with the current approach to government. Things are being done in ways that are not in the best interests of Yellowknife and NWT residents. It’s time for a fresh approach.
- The key issues in my riding are decreasing the cost of living, creating jobs and improving the economy, and increasing educational opportunities for children and adults. (I want to) support healthy living, healthy people and healthy families (and) protect our environment.
- Because I will be able to influence change in programs, policies, and procedures. I know how the GNWT operates very well through my experience as an MLA and 12 years as a GNWT senior manager, including four years as Assistant Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. I am also on a first name basis with just about every MLA, which will make it easier for me to build consensus on things we may want to change.
- Read, exercise, spend time outdoors, eat healthy food, learn about healthy habits and pursuits, play, and help people who contact me for assistance.
- This is an important time for residents of Yellowknife and the NWT. Devolution has empowered us to make significant decisions that will determine the future of the North. Renewable energy can reduce the cost of living and create jobs. Let’s build a northern economy for the 21st century – and bring everyone along.
- Reducing the cost of living, retaining the benefits of resource development, diversifying our economy and homelessness. Investment in renewable energy, strong oversight of the new Stanton hospital, reviewing how we manage resources, support for diversifying our economy and Housing First are all part of my platform.
- I have lived in the Frame Lake district for 24 years, 30 years in Yellowknife. I have political experience from serving on Yellowknife City Council 1997-2006. My work experience with Aboriginal, federal and territorial government agencies on land use and resource management will serve me well as an MLA. I have a strong track record of working together with diverse interests and achieving results like the Giant Mine Environmental Agreement. I have also volunteered with Alternatives North, Ecology North, Wade Hamer Hockey League, and Canadian Crossroads International (international development).
- Avid gardener, hockey player, photographer and postal historian.
Range Lake (Yellowknife)
- Like many of us, I am worried about the high cost of living, unstable economy, implementation of devolution and land claims, lack of community resources and climate change. I also believe the GNWT needs more transparency and constituents need more say in GNWT decisions. I bring a strong background in financial and business management, policy development, and a knowledge of social issues and current best practices.
- Knocking on doors has been very enlightening. I have been keeping track of each person’s concerns and as such the most cited issues are cost of living (people are concerned with the high costs to live in Yellowknife and many talk of moving), support for children and youth (parents are concerned with the lack of services and the cost of childcare), the future of the mines (many residents are worried about the future of the mines and the need to find ways to entice people to stay/move here) and education (concerns have varied from the implementation of Junior Kindergarten to the need for more post-secondary education).
- I have proven leadership skills in business and financial management as well as over 15 years managing non-profit social organizations. I believe my professional skills will be an asset in assisting our government to prioritize issues of concern, develop and adhere to a long term strategic plan, and ensure that we are able to maintain a balanced budget.
- Running a non-profit agency does not allow much free time. But during the warmer months, I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors. I love gardening, landscaping, and renovating our home.
Daryl Dolynny, incumbent
- I believe people are looking for those with experience and confidence to deal with issues affecting our everyday way of life. I am seeking a second term, so that I may continue to advocate with common sense, for those areas important for ALL NWT residents.
- Like I am sure no different than anywhere, many of my Range Lake residents are concerned about our stagnant economy and are unsure of our fiscal health. This has translated with equal distress to the lack of good paying jobs and a cost of living that is outrageous. In essence, many are considering the greener pastures in southern Canada. Then if you add the issues of health care, education, homelessness, addictions, transparency and a more accountable government into the mix and now you have a full recipe of misery.
- Ensuring our future requires the right leaders and I believe I can build a better tomorrow.
- Nothing is free on the perpetual “Honey-do” list at my house.
Robert McLeod, incumbent
- Because I have a passion for the community of Inuvik, the experience I’ve gained in the past 11 years has positioned me to where I can be a benefit to Inuvik.
- Cost of living, utilities are very high and unfortunately costs are passed on to the consumer. Most people want to and can work so we need to continue to push for opportunities for our business community.
- Because they know that I will continue to work hard for the community, they also know that I am committed to do whatever benefits Inuvik and its residents.
- What little free time I have is spent with my grandchildren and going out on the land.
- I’m running in this election for our people of Inuvik, for far too long we have been sitting and seeing no change. We need new ideas and people that will face the issues head on to see results.
- Cost of living, education, economy, poverty. We need more opportunities for our people to grow and be successful.
- Because I care about the people of Inuvik and I want to see change just as bad as they do. The future is now.
- I like to visit with family and travel the land and waterways. Hunt to provide for my family and others.
- I believe that we should have the best representation at the table, and if someone feels they have something to offer, they should come forward. I believe I possess the skills necessary to convey the concerns and questions of the riding.
- Education, child care and housing are issues that affect us all. As a community we need to make sure there is support for families and the people who want to live in Inuvik.
- I hope people see the difference I can make at the Legislative Assembly. I want them to give me a chance to make a change and shift our government into a new age, where I will lay it all on the table and advocate for the people who live in the North.
- I spend a lot of time with my wife and daughter, I make short films and comedy shorts when I can. I enjoy being on a computer, designing graphics, or playing video games.
- I am running for election because I feel I am capable and confident to be of service to the people of the Sahtu.
- The key issues in my riding are business opportunities, creating employment, self-sufficiency, alcohol and drug treatment centre, Mackenzie highway, high cost of living, youth program and services and caring for our Elders.
- Voters should vote for me because my residency is in the Sahtu, fluent in the North Slavey Language, extensive rounded work experience in the private sector.
- I really do not have any free time … I fold my brochures, make telephone calls to voters, agencies, organizations and businesses to make an appointment to meet with me and preparing and planning for my next trip to one of the Sahtu communities.
- I am a committed, honest, open communicator who listens to people and makes responsible decisions for the better of all people, water, land and animals, I intend to ensure that Sahtu needs are understood by my colleagues, and help them understand that strong Sahtu can benefit the social, economic and cultural well being and prosperity of the whole NWT.
- Roads and transportation infrastructure, wellness and social issues such as housing, responsible development of our natural resources and building a vibrant diverse economy.
- I am a team-builder and a strong voice for positive change in our government. My experience working with leaders, youth and communities has prepared me to help align Sahtu priorities and come together to speak with one voice for all people in the Sahtu. The NWT is only as strong as each of its regions. You can count on my heart, energy and experience to unite and build a stronger North.
- Coach soccer and traditional games, hunt and spend time on the land with my family.
- I felt the timing was right to run for territorial politics. Residents were concerned with having representation that is accountable, reliable and responsible to their needs.
- One of the key issues is the Deh Cho Process negotiations. It is in everyone’s vested interest to reach a final deal that is satisfactory to the people of the Deh Cho. This will prove beneficial economically to not only the Deh Cho people but also for the whole of the territory. Another key issue is to address the youth population as they face tough times and more so than any other age group in finding employment, training opportunities and stability within a community. One other key issue is the establishment of a First Nations Spiritual Healing and Rehabilitation Centre. This is a must-have for the Northwest Territories.
- I am strong-willed – sobriety going on 10 years – and am passionate about addressing issues that are of concern to the residents of my riding.
- First and foremost are my five beautiful grandchildren that keep me on my toes and the lasting memories to be cherished.
Hay River South
Jane Groenwegen, incumbent
- I’m running again because I have a long standing relationship with the constituents of Hay River South and many asked if I would run again. I want to invest the experience and abilities I have gained as MLA back into my community again.
- Support for education, cost of living, continued and expanding health and social service programs and service, support for our economy through things like dredging, continued support for the renewable resource sector, biomass and green energy, equipping people with the tools to affect their cost of living.
- I vote for me is a vote for experience and a vote for a person who has proven to be visible and active in the community, very approachable, and responsive to the concerns and issues of my constituents. I have a very diverse background which makes it easy for me to quickly understand issues.
- I don’t have a lot of “free” time, but when I do, I like to spend time with my family, my five grandchildren who all live in Hay River now.
- I am grateful to have been able to raise a family and grow a business in what was once one of the most exciting communities for economic growth in the North. Sadly, economic decline and social stagnation is hurting our businesses, families, elders and youth. I want to lead Hay River back on the road to prosperity.
- Businesses and families are struggling to get ahead. We need to jump-start economic growth initiatives, revamp the shipping sector, and raise the federal tax exemption to bring more business, better jobs, more residents and top-notch services into the region.
- I have strong leadership experience as Past President of the Hay River Métis Government Council, a strong business background as owner of Poison Graphics, and a proven record of supporting educational, cultural, health, sport and recreational initiatives in my community.
- I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I don’t have much free time. When I’m not working, though, I like jet boating and spending time with my family at our cabin.
Hay River North
Robert Bouchard, incumbent
- The past four years as MLA for Hay River North has been a steep learning curve for me. I find the job very challenging, and extremely rewarding as well. I believe that we have worked on some good initiatives; midwifery program, decentralization of GNWT jobs, new fish plant, regaining extended care beds.
Over my four years I see that there are a lot of areas that still need to be improved in our government. We need to be more responsive to the public and their needs.
- Dredging – Ensuring the Hay River waterways are open for business; Economic Development – continue to support and develop manufacturing, tourism, and the fishing industry; Team Work – Hay River’s two MLAs must be a team and we must work as a team with Town Council, Education Authority, Chamber, Persons with Disabilities Council, and all great community organizations.
- As I indicated there are many issues with our territorial government. Our government has to be more responsive to our public. Now that I have one term under my belt I feel Hay River needs representation on cabinet and we cannot afford to start over.
This next Assembly will have tough choices. We have a lot more work to do and I am committed to continuing to work for Hay River.
- I enjoy golfing and camping in the summer. My camper is positioned right on the shore of the Great Slave Lake where we get to watch the sunset. Snowmobile in the winter. I am always keen to be around with friends and family.
- I am running because I recognize our town’s potential and I want to help us live up to it.
- The most common concerns I hear from residents are the lack of economic opportunities, the lack of rental housing, and the cost of living. The only ways to resolve these problems are by growing our economy and population to spur development and competition. We also have to foster economic innovation by promoting new industries, such as biomass, manufacturing, and agriculture.
- As a lifelong resident of Hay River, I know our town’s potential and its challenges. Along with my legal background, I will bring new energy, a fresh perspective, a spirit of cooperation to the Legislature, and work tirelessly to make your voices heard.
- First off, I am not running for the position but in my opinion I am applying for the position of Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Nahendeh riding. Like most jobs worth having you need to apply for the job and that is what I am doing. I want the job of representing all the people of the Nahendeh for the next four years.
- For the past four months, my team and I have been talking to people from across the region about their issues. The issues that “matter to me and the voters” are health, education, youth, homes, community and the Dehcho Process and Fort Liard Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement (topics are discussed in more detail on Thompson’s election Facebook page).
- Voting for me, you will get integrity, honesty and experience. With over 23 years as a public servant (working with First Nations governments) I have a passion for government accountability.
- Spending time with my family (children and grandchildren) and friends to energize myself for the next day.
Kevin Menicoche, incumbent
- The voters of Nahendeh are very happy with my work and encourage me to represent them again in the 18th Assembly. My 12 years of experience will benefit the riding.
- Having the Dehcho process moved to the AIP stage will ensure certainty and allow our communities to benefit from those that want to use our lands. Transportation infrastructure is critical, we must have great roads and airports.
- I have always been approachable, a good listener and ensure your concerns are followed up on.
- When free time is available, I love spending time with my spouse and step daughter.
- I’m running because I want to be part of the positive change I know the residents of Nahendeh are looking for. I believe a MLA assumes a position of trust, service and accountability. I am driven by a strong sense of personal and social responsibility and have a proven record of getting things done.
- I’ve spent time travelling the region and have become aware of the issues facing this region. Insufficient housing, low literacy levels, lack of infrastructure.and economic development to name a few.
- My background includes post secondary studies in education and aboriginal governance. The majority of my work experience has been in education and management. This work experience has taught me the importance of strong leadership, fiscal responsibility and working collaboratively to achieve a common goal. I’m an educated Dene woman who has has grown up in this region, therefore, know the people, the issues and challenges. I also speak Dene Zhatie.
- It’s the right time in my life where I can take my career in public service to the next level. My wife is pursuing a culinary arts profession; my children are mature enough to be more independent.
- We are in an unsettled area, therefore there is less certainty towards resource development, and perceived benefits such as employment and training. We need to bring clarity to the process, some form of closure, and begin the implementation process. I remember very clearly the 21 Common Ground Principles presented by Peter Russell which preceded the Dehcho process in 1999.
- Did I mention I was committed? I have a proven track record, recently working with teachers, principals and district education authority in Fort Simpson to re-introduce shop class in the high school. Also with the DEA I invested over 100 hours into re-writing the DEA policy handbook.
- Spend time with my family and close friends work on projects and hobbies. I also like to watch some late night TV or listen to music oldies from my era and some new stuff as well.
- It’s time for change in leadership at the territorial level. Nahendeh means “Our Land,” because of devolution the upcoming 18th Legislative Assembly will have more power and authority on decisions over our land and resources. We need leadership that will be a strong voice for the land and the people.
- Outstanding Treaty Rights and Responsibilities through the Dehcho Process and the Liard Land Claim and self-government negotiations, infrastructure – roads, homes and energy – healthcare and education.
- I’m a proud member of the Líídlíí Kue First Nation with over 13 years of northern media and communications experience. I have a broad and extensive knowledge of the issues of the communities, region, territory, nation and internationally. I have built a working network of leaders and community people while working in news and broadcasting. I will listen and be the strong voice for the people.
- I spend time with my family at home and on the land. I coach and officiate basketball at the youth and adult levels. I volunteer with Dene Nahjo and try to learn the Dene drum.
Bob McLeod, incumbent, premier
- People want to know that prosperity, jobs and property values are secure for the long-term. I want that too; for my family, for my neighbours in Yellowknife South and for everyone in the NWT. It has been a pleasure to serve the people of Yellowknife South for eight years and the NWT as premier for the past four. We have accomplished a great deal over the past term.
- The key issues in Yellowknife South are not dissimilar to those in most ridings. People worry about the economy. The Conference Board of Canada has identified eight new mine projects that it feels will come on stream over the next 10 years. We need those exports, jobs and resource revenues. As those projects come on stream we need to ensure that territorial residents are the first ones to get the jobs. To do that, we need to ensure that they have the necessary skills. So we need to strengthen our education system, work with business and labour to build and deliver the best skills training possible, because when global commodity markets rally, we are standing ready before an unprecedented opportunity, not just for the territories, but for the entire country.
- We have unfinished business. Devolution is not complete. We must accelerate the full transfer of authority from the Federal government and develop a made in the north regulatory system. We need to be in full control of decisions that will enable other environmentally sustainable resource projects to move forward in a timely manner. I commit that I will work tirelessly to improve the economy and the very real conditions we all live with in Yellowknife South and throughout the NWT should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected on Nov. 23.
- I golf; it’s a game you don’t have to be good at to enjoy. I have a walking regime; six kilometres per day. I spend as much time as possible watching my two grandsons participate in a lot of sports and extracurricular activities.
- I am Gwich’ya Gwich’in from Tsiigehtchic and come from a long political legacy of chiefs and public servants within my family history. I grew up inspired and strengthened by the land, culture and activists and environmentalists that served to protect it. I am running for election primarily as an act of Indigenous resistance. I’ve gained strength and a powerful voice from movements like Idle No More, and I believe it is now my opportunity to bring real change to the Northwest Territories as well.
- Residents are concerned about the high cost of living and ways that we can address skyrocketing prices. People are worried that we need to seek alternatives to fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy like wind, solar and biomass. Residents also want to have peace of mind that there is an economic future for the Northwest Territories as diamond mines continue to close over the next 20 years.
- The past four years of government have left far too many questions unanswered, with decisions made behind closed doors and little to no accountability. I stand for an open and transparent alternative, where proper consultation goes into every decision we make in the 18th Legislative Assembly. Voters who are frustrated with the lack of public input should cast their vote with me to bring back open dialogue and consultation to our government. My platform is based on three important concepts of open government: accountability, community and transparency. If voters believe in these vital concepts, I hope I have their vote Nov. 23.
- I use art as my platform for researching and finding solutions to complex and difficult issues such as colonization and residential schools – and how education, art and culture can heal our nation and the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous communities.
- It’s time for a new vision and new energy in Yellowknife Centre. It’s time for change. Yellowknife Centre is located in the heart of the city, our territorial capital (but) there’s a general malaise that undermines the Yellowknife that I used to know as a vibrant, thriving and caring community.
- At the door, I’ve heard about the need to revitalize downtown by finding solutions for the homeless population by providing them with supported housing. I’ve heard about how the high cost of living, especially power and heat and daycare, are making Yellowknife unaffordable for one-income families and seniors. I’ve heard that people are not satisfied with the level of accountability provided by the government and they would like to talk about the consensus system.
- I have the skills, experience and leadership ability to work as part of a team to solve the problems raised by voters. After I left CBC, I was a key participant in the development of the anti-poverty strategy and action plan. I have business experience too, as co-owner of McKenna Funeral Home. I have been on the boards of Yellowknife Housing Authority, United Way NWT, Northern United Place and the City of Yellowknife’s social issues committee.
- I love to be outdoors, especially at my cabin, on my snowshoes and skis in the winter, in my kayak and swimming in the summer. I am an avid reader and knitter. I made a great Indian dinner.
Glen Abernethy, incumbent
- As a lifelong northerner I am committed to the North and want to see it grow into a prosperous, vibrant, culturally rich region with opportunities for anyone who wants them.
- Over the last two weeks I have visited a large number of homes in the Great Slave riding. The topics that have been repeated the most are: mental health and addictions services and the requirement to develop, resource and implement a comprehensive youth and adult mental health strategy; limited economic development and the need to conclude land claim negotiations throughout the NWT to create opportunities; the cost of living throughout the NWT and a need to work with stakeholders to identify and implement initiatives to help reduce those costs.
- Over the last eight years I have taken action on issues important to residents of the Great Slave riding and the NWT. I could not have been successful without working closely with all MLAs, stakeholders, and community members. This means a commitment to listening to all sides of an issue, answering questions, encouraging understanding, and recognizing and respecting differences of opinions.
- Away from politics I enjoy spending time with my family, playing bass guitar in my band The Committed, and sailing on Great Slave Lake in my boat Jacmar II.
- I am a current MLA representing Tu Nedhe now. I am a strong representative for the constituents of TuNedhe.
- Employment, cost of living, lands and natural resources, addictions and mental health and governance.
- I speak an aboriginal language fluently, I represent all issues presented to me by the people. I have a lot of experience in helping the people of my riding and throughout the NWT.
- In my free time my spouse and I spend a lot of time going out a cabin that we share, snowmachining and boating.