Tuesday September 15 2015 7 ENVIRONMENT WILDLIFE Constituency Meeting All residents welcome. Please feel free to attend and raise any concerns or issues. For further information call the Constituency Office at 872-5511. Refreshments will be served. Hon. J. Michael Miltenberger MLA Thebacha will be hosting a Constituency Meeting on Monday September 21 2015 at 700 p.m. at the Northern Life Museum. BY CRAIG GILBERT DALI CARMICHAEL Floyd Roland holds his hands in the air at shoulder level and draws a V in the air. In front of a campre and with a brisk head- wind outside the Wood Buffalo Inn the for- mer Inuvik mayor and Northwest Territories premier and current Conservative candidate told about 20 people on Saturday night that the NWT is falling behind. It used to lead Northern Canada but has become a valley between the two mountains of the Yukon and Nunavut. Roland said he has believed the prime min- ister has the right plan for the country since he met him early in his premiership in 2007. Id never held a party membership card prior to meeting the prime minister he said after a short reside address. Its rare in the political world to nd somebody who will tell you like it is stick to the message and stick to what hes said to you and not come back with oh well. I found that refreshing. He said each region of the NWT has spe- cic concerns but that he is hearing about cost of living everywhere he goes. Im surprised that I hear a lot about the cost of living across the North he said add- ing job creation is also a common theme. Conservative leader Stephen Harper put down a small business platform plank on Sunday pledging to lower the tax rate for small employers from 11 to nine per cent over the next four years if reelected. He said the plan would give 2.7 billion back to 700000 small businesses over that period. Harper was in Hay River on Aug. 14 and pledged up to 16 million to surface the re- mainder of Highway 5 in Wood Buffalo Na- tional Park. Roland spent about four days in Fort Smith before heading back to Hay River himself then on to Yellowknife Monday. After resisting leaving ofce earlier this year he resigned as mayor of Inuvik on Aug. 17 to focus on the federal campaign. He said on Saturday he did so to avoid his campaign taking away from the town. Acting Mayor Jim McDonald has been at the helm since Aug. 17 and municipal elections in the NWT take place on the same day as the federal vote on Oct. 19. I said I was committed federally shortly after leaving the government of the NWT he said. A lot of people wanted me to run for mayor again but I felt I could serve the whole community and the Northwest Territories by stepping up to the federal plate. Grit pushes for infrastructure Parks funding Michael McLeod also made his way to the depths of the South Slave stopping in Fort Smith for the communitys Labour Day bar- beque and a meet and greet at the Pelican Rapids Inn. While in the town nestled atop Wood Buf- falo National Park McLeod announced the Liberal government would not only restore 25 million in funding cut from the budget of national parks but also increase science spending by the same amount to allow for early identication of ecological stresses. Theres been programs and staff cuts to all the parks across the country and we want to be able to reinstate that he said in an in- terview with the Journal. Our parks are important we need them to run year-round and we want visitors to come to our part of the country and view what we have to offer and we cant do it if the programs are under- funded under-resourced. The campaign promise ts in with the Lib- erals three-point plan. We want to create jobs by investing in the economy through infrastructure invest- ment McLeod said. We want to be able to put money into the pockets of the people through reduction in taxes and raising the taxes for the wealthiest one per cent. We also want to invest in the social infrastructure like affordable housing childcare space those type of things. Upon election Liberals would achieve these goals by taking on decits for up to four years and managing funds to increase money in the Building Canada Plan. The NWT government and the federal government have recently signed an agree- ment for 70 million for 10 years he said calling it a drop in the bucket. Our position is that we would increase the fund to make it workable so people can invest he said. I would like to see large infrastructure investments such as the ones Ive mentioned - the Mackenzie Valley highway the Tlicho roads extending run- ways for airports lower cost of living - as separate programming not coming from a program thats already too small and underfunded. McLeod also noted that he would ght to revive the Kelowna Accord an agreement which sought to improve education employ- ment and living conditions for Aboriginal peoples through governmental funding and alternative programs. Incumbent soapboxes for seniors Dennis Bevington the three-term New Democrat incumbent had a captive audience as he outlined planks in the NDP agenda that apply to seniors at the NWT Seniors Society AGM in Fort Smith Sept. 10 many related to the cost of living. He said he would push for an increase to the Northern allowance an equivalent to the fuel subsidy for apartment-dwelling seniors and a program to help build smaller more affordable and easier-to-maintain houses. A change to the very unfair GST which affects northerners disproportionately is also in the ethers as is a boost to the CPP which wouldnt cost the government anything and the guaranteed income supplement GIS which the NDP says it would augment by 400 million. Changing the age of eligibility for the OAS GIS to 67 is a repressive step that will leave more people in poverty he said. It doesnt need to happen we have the ability to deal with the OAS and GIS as they stand. The president of solar array installer Stand Alone Energy Systems which shares a building with Annas Home Cooking and his constituency ofce Bevington said there should be a federal program that reduces the amount of energy needed to live in the NWT. We need to build homes with smaller prop- erties that are easier to maintain new or retrotted houses that are efcient he said. In Tuktoyaktuk the cost of diesel fuel eats your entire GIS. Bevington also said a tax credit for care- givers would cost a lot less than putting a se- nior in a long-term care facility even if the extra help staves off the transfer for one year. Weneedtokeeppeopleintheirownhomes. Greens announce federal candidate Rounding out the candidates for this years federal election John Moore of Inuvik has been selected to represent the Green Party in the NWT. The volunteer reghter was formerly the executive director of the Inuvik Youth Cen- tre but recently decided to enter the politi- cal landscape. After receiving an invitation to run for the party and a conversation with a friend about the lack of focus on veterans af- fairsMooredecidedtothrowhishatinthering. He plans to run on a campaign based in social issues with goals of improving Indig- enous rights mental health and food security especially in remote communities. Exciting is denitely the right word to use Moore said of his candidacy. Its not some- thing I was expecting but its something Im happy to be doing. Campaign trail winds through Fort Smith PhotocourtesyofFloydRoland About 15 people including Thebacha MLA Michael Miltenberger met with Conservative candidate Floyd Roland during a reside campaign stop in Fort Smith Sept. 12.