Devon Hodder, a financial adviser for TD Canada Trust, says he plans to diversify Yellowknife’s economy if he is elected to city council.
Could you please introduce yourself for anyone who may not know who you are?
“I’m a born and raised Yellowknifer. I’ve been here 22 years. My parents came here in ‘97 from Newfoundland. This is my home. I’ve never lived anywhere else. I’m currently working as a financial adviser while studying for a bachelor of commerce online. I currently live downtown with my girlfriend and my dog.”
What do you hope to change if you’re elected?
“I hope to diversify the economy. We’re entering a critical time here with the mines closing. I think tourism investment is lacking. I would like to continue work on the ‘growing our own food plan’ and the arts plan.
“Our downtown certainly is in a dire state. I live and work downtown, and I walk down 50th Avenue every day. I’m no stranger to issues downtown. I think we need to take a collaborative approach with the GNWT and really look holistically at what we can do to address the social issues.” Hodder said.
“The current system of the day shelter is clearly not working. I think we need educational programming, employment opportunities, detox programs, and I would like to see a treatment centre somewhere in Yellowknife.”
Why have you chosen to run now?
“I think we’re entering a critical time, and now’s as good a time as ever. I think this (upcoming) council has a lot of work to do, and I hope to be part of a lot of that work. I’m willing to put in the work. I’m invested in Yellowknife. I own property here. I’m born and raised here, going to school here. I want to make sure that we have someone in office that is willing to put in the work.”
What are some of your must haves?
“Fiscal responsibility, regaining our residents’ trust, being transparent, diversifying our economy so that when the mines close, Yellowknife’s not left holding the bag, downtown revitalization, continuing to work towards reconciliation, and really bridging the gap between council and the community. I think this council and previous councils have not really communicated as effectively with the community as they should have. I would hope to change that.”
How do you believe the trust of residents was lost?
“I think one perfect example is Tin Can Hill, signing the MOU (memorandum of understanding) with very little consultation with residents. And after the GNWT essentially dropped it on their desk with no time to talk to residents to see what everyone wanted, to see what their thoughts were. I would like to see more consultation with community to see what everyone else wants to do instead of just blindly making decisions.”
Are there any other comments that you would like to add?
“With the mines closing and the state of our city, we’re entering a critical time. I really encourage all Yellowknifers to cast their votes wisely. Vote for council candidates who are willing to put in the work and get things done.”