Julian Morse is seeking his second term on council. Morse is a proud life-long Northerner, having lived in Iqaluit from the age of two, before moving to Yellowknife and making it his home since he was six years old.
After studying political science at the University of British Columbia, Morse moved back north and completed his diploma in Environment and Natural Resources Technology at Aurora College in Fort Smith.
Since 2011 he has been employed as a regulatory officer at the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. An active volunteer in the community, Morse has served on the Community Justice Committee, the Folk on the Rocks board and as president of the Somba K’e Paddling Club. He also previously served as constituency assistant to MLA Bob Bromley, whose mentorship influenced many of his own thoughts on political representation and decision making.
In his years in Yellowknife, Morse has had numerous occupations, including projectionist/usher at the Capitol Theatre, bartender, Bell Mobility salesman, plumbing and carpentry apprentice, forestry technician, fisheries technician and policy analyst at Municipal and Community Affairs.
Morse lives in Yellowknife’s historic Latham Island neighbourhood with his husky Jake.
To Morse, filling in a pothole is about more than meeting a basic duty to maintain the roads.
It’s about improving infrastructure and attracting tourists and new residents, he told Yellowknifer.
“There’s a wider vision to consider when we look at different (infrastructure) projects in the city and that’s something I want to put a better lens on.”
Morse is particularly proud of the city’s investments in road and sewer improvements.
“It’s resulted in some short-term grumbling, but maintaining the infrastructure of the city is probably our most important task,” he said.
Though he acknowledges there is still more work to be done, Morse is pleased with steps the city has taken to address homelessness.
Since 2015, the city has helped fund a street outreach van, which gives free rides to people who need them, established the sobering centre and adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness.
On council, Morse has been the most vocal proponent of bringing a university to Yellowknife, and pushed to get a university feasibility study included in the 2018 budget.
He once said a Northern university is the “single biggest untapped piece of potential that this city has.”
The city has avoided a major property tax hike for the last eight years.
On taxes, Morse believes small, incremental increases over time are necessary, but that decision-makers must ensure they are using resources efficiently.