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Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce questions candidates on the economy

Candidates in this year’s territorial election have no doubt been bombarded with question after survey after request of their time about their positions on all sorts of subjects.
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The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce asked candidates running in the capital a series of questions on the state of the city’s economy and how they would improve it. Photo courtesy of Daron Letts

Candidates in this year’s territorial election have no doubt been bombarded with question after survey after request of their time about their positions on all sorts of subjects.

One of those groups that put questions to the candidates was the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and the results are in.

The chamber put eight questions ranging from work experience to economic diversification to all candidates running in Yellowknife. A total of 13 legislative hopefuls responded from six of the seven ridings in the city.

Adrian Bell, the chamber’s president, said the questions were based on the chamber’s priorities.

“Having a majority of the candidates respond shows an interest in engaging with the business community,” he said. “We realize that they’ve received lots of requests and they pick and choose what to respond to, but it’s important that they get back on these issues.”

It’s no secret that the business community in Yellowknife has been struggling mightily for the last little while. It’s a problem that’s only been made worse following the evacuation this past August.

Bell said it’s a very challenging time for small businesses in the city.

“It’s a huge risk for people to become entrepreneurs and we’re seeing a high turnover,” he said. “That’s why we wanted to get them on the record and hold those who are elected accountable.”

Bell specifically pointed to the first question of the survey: What in your experience and background makes you the right person to shepherd the NWT’s economic development through the next four years?

He said that question was asked because the chamber wants to see who has a proven track record.

“Anyone can have ideas, but you take a look at the individuals and their resumes and see how they’ve gotten things done,” he said.

It’s also a way to see how people can work together, he added.

“We saw examples in the previous assembly where people didn’t work well together,” he said. “New blood is good, but you need collaboration in consensus government in order to make it work.”

Bell said the chamber isn’t endorsing any one candidate over another because the chamber will work with whoever is elected.

You can see a full list of answers at the chamber’s website.