Ryan Fequet, who has a master’s degree in conflict resolution, says he will be asking the tough questions if he’s elected to city council.
Could you introduce yourself for anyone who may not know who you are?
“I moved up to Yellowknife in 2007 from Ontario. I’ve since met my wife and life partner up here and we’ve had two young girls, ages three and five. I’ve served on over three dozen boards and committees on the local, territorial and national level. I work full time as the executive director for the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board, which is an administrative tribunal that’s created by modern day land claims and regulates resource development.”
What do you hope to change if you’re elected?
“My experience and skill sets are focused around strategy and asking the tough questions. I recognize that working with organizations to help them have effective boards is really about making sure you ask the right questions. I hope that the decision making that the council has to take in the next term, if I’m elected, would be more informed.
“Once a decision is made, we need to actually communicate that to the residents of Yellowknife… and also ensure that there’s reasonable implementation dates. For example, the recent building code bylaw was updated in May this past year, and it’s left some contractors who had already ordered supplies with materials sitting on the ground that they now can’t install. That’s unreasonable, unacceptable. Why are we hurting people who live in (Yellowknife)? There should be a transitional period for those things to come into effect.”
Why have you chosen to run now?
“I’ve recently retired from serving 15 years on the Canada Soccer Board and my current term as the president and chair of the Yellowknife Daycare Association will be up in March. So I have time now.
“As my kids get a little older, and my five year old daughter walks to and from school downtown, and is increasingly scared or asking questions about the situation downtown where there’s people who are not doing so well and don’t have the support they need, it really hits home when I have to answer those questions… about how important it is to look after our neighbors and take care of each other. Running for council is something I can do (to help the community).”
What are some of your must haves?
“I think we all are experiencing the cost of living increases that are taking place. Whether it’s making it easier for low-income families to get the all-access pass for recreation and transit facilities, or businesses not having to go through the administrative burden of renewing a licence every year, or a policy framework that allows residents to know what tax increases are generally coming… all of these things can provide some confidence to folks that the city is actually doing things to proactively try to not cripple people from all these increasing costs.”