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Health, housing top Josh Campbell's list in bid for Nahendeh MLA

Josh Campbell, economic development officer for the Fort Simpson Métis Nation and 16 year NWT resident, is running for MLA in Nahendeh this fall.
Josh Campbell, economic development officer for the Fort Simpson Metis Nation, is planning to run for MLA in Nahendeh.

Josh Campbell, economic development officer for the Fort Simpson Métis Nation and 16 year NWT resident, is running for MLA in Nahendeh this fall.

He said that he is still assembling his team for his campaign but he did say what his platform was about and gave three things he sees as a priority.

One of the main focuses for his campaign is to increase affordable housing in the riding.

“People in Fort Liard, Nahanni Butte, Trout Lake, Wrigley, Jean Marie River, and here in Fort Simpson, have all told me resoundingly that there’s definitely a lack of affordable housing and that was increased after the flood two years ago,” he said. “We have to put roofs over people’s heads, especially in the weather that we have here, hot and cold, rain, shine, whatever.”

Second, he said that he wants to boost health and supports for mental health and addictions.

“I’m not sure why the current government is so dead set against a treatment facility or a detox.

“We live next door to the neighboring territory of Yukon. They have a smaller population than us, their capital city is smaller than Yellowknife and they have a Sarah Steele Building, a detox facility.”

He said that the problem of alcohol abuse got even worse throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and afterwards as well.

“We are losing our youth, we’re losing the future to drugs and alcohol abuse.

“They’re killing our young people, they’re asking for help, and all this government can say is ‘no, we’re not building a facility.’ It’s criminal.”

He suggested that some of the money that’s being made by the territorial government from alcohol and marijuana sales should be spent to treat its people.

The third item for his campaign is to enhance strategic investment in Nahendeh infrastructure.

He said that the cost of living needs to be reduced and said that the construction of a bridge in Fort Simpson to create the Mackenzie Valley highway would be helpful for that and the resources to create it are already there.

“Industry has told the government, both the federal and territorial, that the oil, gas and mining, all those things are there.”

In the news release announcing his intent to run, he stated that he was committed to keeping his political aspirations separate from his day job. During an interview, he said that if he won the election, he would he would help his employer find a replacement for his position.

News North asked if his interest in politics was spurred by his background in journalism and he said that he was always interested in politics and shared an anecdote to make his point.

“When I was three years old, growing up in rural New Brunswick, my mom and my grandmother took me down to the hair salon, they’re getting their hair done and the hairdresser cut my hair that day, and he said, ‘Okay, Joshi, what kind of hair cut would you like?’

“Without batting an eye I said I wanted a hair cut like Brian Mulroney. My parents and my grandmother almost fell over because I think they were liberals.

“They couldn’t believe it.”