Vince Sharpe has been a town councillor on-and-off since 1978, has lived in Inuvik for 50 years and owns his own local construction company, Just Call Vince – and now he’s running for mayor.
Up until August, Sharpe was still a town councillor. He was dismissed from the position due to $700 in unpaid dumping fees at the landfill, which he says happened because he forgot to read the notices sent by the town.
He’s running for mayor because he’d like to see stronger leadership in Inuvik.
“I’ve got seven or eight terms on council … and I know good, strong leadership is about taking care of the community,” he said. “I’ve lived in this community for the last 50 years, and I know what the community needs – I’ve been around the block a few times.”
Sharpe said first and foremost, he would like to tackle the Ikhil gas well, which he says doesn’t have more than a year left in it.
He said he will do this by supporting the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation’s (IRC) effort to bring a new source of gas to Inuvik.
IRC recently completed a feasibility study looking at developing natural gas in the Beaufort Delta region, and Sharpe says should he be elected, he will continue to work with and support IRC in its endeavours.
Sharpe said he would also like to address the shortage of public housing in Inuvik by lobbying the territorial and federal governments.
“They just tore down nine public housing units … and we have 200 people waiting on the waiting list for public housing,” he said. “We have a severe shortage of housing and we need to do something about it, and it starts with bringing it to Yellowknife and Ottawa.”
He said he’d also like to install more solar panels on the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex.
“We put up $250,000 worth of solar panels up, but we could get $1 million worth of solar panels on that building,” he said. “If we do that, we’d be saving about $150,000 a year in electricity costs. To me, that’s a no-brainer.”
Sharpe said if elected, he would prioritize transparency with the public and the media.
“Every time someone runs for mayor, I hear them say the same thing – that we’re going to have an open and transparent council, and we’re going to tell you what’s going on, but that never happens,” he said. “You’re not going to get any (bull) from me, you’ll get it all straight up, whatever is going on. You’re not going to get lied to, that’s just the way I am – anybody will tell you that. I’m not going to hide behind the bushes and the flowers.”
He said he will ensure he is communicating with the public regularly, perhaps through a bi-weekly newsletter.
“That way we can let people know what’s going on, even if there’s not much going on, we can communicate with the people,” he said. “I tell people the way it is and how it is, that’s my style.”
When he’s not working, Sharpe said he enjoys boating and spending time at his cabin.
The other mayoral candidate is Natasha Kulikowski.