Building partnerships is what Terry Testart will aim to do if he’s elected as a councillor in this fall’s municipal election.
Testart has held various roles with municipal and Indigenous governments over the last two decades, including 15 years as the senior administrative officer in Tuktoyaktuk. Now he hopes to use that experience to connect the City of Yellowknife with different strategic partners to address public needs.
“I want to improve collaboration with stakeholders. I personally plan to have quarterly meetings with First Nations. I plan to have quarterly meetings with business and social organizations, and quarterly public meetings, almost like an MLA does for constituents,” said Testart.
Testart said he believes that every resident of Yellowknife would be his constituent as there is no ward system in the territory’s capital.
While he plans to engage with third parties, Testart also said he would use his experience with council administrations to guide the way that he would work with other councillors.
“I can provide guidance to new councillors who maybe don’t understand processes and understand the programs. I think I understand Yellowknife to make common sense decisions,” said Testart.
Testart wants to examine different approaches to revitalizing the downtown core. He believes that following the lead of other cities that have recently reinvigorated their downtown, such as Edmonton, is the key to bringing business back to Yellowknife.
“I’d like to look at other models and I know there are other cities that have seen some success,” said Testart. “I would certainly look at Edmonton’s good neighbour program… they’ve revitalized several of the older communities. Looking at that program, I can remember walking around Edmonton in the ’80s feeling a little uneasy and now you can go downtown and it’s vitalized.”
Testart, father of Kam Lake MLA Kieron Testart, said he would take “a fresh look” at infrastructure and social issues in the city. He would consider turning 54 Avenue and 52 Avenue into one-way streets to create a loop around downtown in an effort to cut down on rush hour traffic, he added.