Questions for NWT election candidates – Northern News Services

The questions are as follows:

What is your position on the carbon tax and would you repeal it if the Liberal government is defeated in the federal election?

I did not support the cabon tax. It’s not designed to change behavior and will have very little impact on mitigating climate change in the NWT. Northerners are already challenged enough by the costs of living because of where we live, in a cold, dark, harsh remote region of the country, we shouldn’t be penalized further for that. I would support repealing the clauses within the act that enabled a carbon tax in the NWT if the Liberal government is not re-elected.

How should the NWT play a part in combating climate change?

We have signed on to the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. We are obligated to meet territorial and national carbon emission targets, which means getting off of fossil fuels. By necessity, we have had to adapt to more efficient forms of energy. The GNWT is already investing in energy retrofits for our own asset upgrades and looking at projects like the Taltson Hydroelectric Expansion Project. The Arctic Energy Alliance budget has been doubled over the next four years to accommodate the increased demand of residents wishing to make energy efficient home improvements such as the installation of solar panels and biomass boilers. Even industry has stepped up. Just look at the Diavik windmill farm. And now we have carbon sequestration happening at the Gahcho Kue Mine. We need to keep up the good work and support more of these solutions.

How do you as an MLA intend to improve the economy?

Settle land rights and self government agreements. These agreements will be critical in strengthening the NWT’s economy. Canada, GNWT and Indigenous governments need to make a renewed commitment to finalizing all outstanding agreements so we can all move forward as a proud and prosperous territory. Support a polytechnic university in Yellowknife. The education piece is obvious, lets create a vision for becoming the hub for circumpolar education, innovation, technology and research. There are so many relationships and partnerships that can be built to support this vision. Millions of dollars are accessible through governments, philanthropy, other university’s, industry is a huge contributor to universities elsewhere. A polytechnic will help so many of our growing and base industries, tourism, mining, green energy, to name a few. A polythecnic can be a cornerstone for revitalization for the City of Yellowknife and create jobs and economic spin off. But will also allow the outcomes of the polytechnic to be the incubator for future creative minds, entrepreneurs and engineers, and the like…that’s where an economy truly comes from!

Would you support an Indigenous-based addictions treatment centre in the Northwest Territories?

I have advocated for such a facility in the last election and will support it again this time. I am happy to see that we are receiving significant funding ($8 Million I believe) from the GNWT and the Federal government for a Vulnerable Persons Centre in Yellowknife. This could be the type of facility that we could have addictions treatment at. We would have to make sure it is staffed with properly certified and trained professionals.

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