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Kugluktuk candidates for mayor state their objectives

Voters in Kugluktuk will return to the polls on March 5 to choose a mayor and four hamlet councillors after a December election was voided due to translation issues.
The three candidates for mayor were offered the opportunity to provide constituents with some background information and the agenda items that they want to pursue.

Phillip Evaglok
Occupation: Retired miner
Family status: A father of three and a grandfather to seven
Political experience: Served as a hamlet councillor in the early 1980s
Why are you running for mayor? I'm a residential school survivor. Kugluktuk's been home all my life. I'd like to try and make a difference for my community. I love my hometown. I'd like to bring in jobs. If I become mayor, we'd be open for business. I'd like to have a swimming pool and I'd like to help schoolkids to get some stuff for their school programs so they can go to Arctic sports and Arctic Winter Games.

Valerie Kudlak Miyok (Meyok)
Age: 42
Family status: Mother of four children
Political experience: Began when I was a youth in 1980s, student councils; former Kalvik Youth Group; Kakayak Daycare board; Aboriginal Head Start board; minor hockey; chair of the Kugluktuk Housing Association; vice, secretary treasurer and member on various volunteer boards. I sat on hamlet council for a few terms from 2000-2007; sat on the Kugluktuk Heritage Committee for my terms on hamlet council
Why are you running for mayor? As many of you know, I have just recently returned home after almost 10 years of being away. I have been working for the Dept. of Health as a casual manager of administrative services/ medical travel. I am pretty much aware of the issues our community is/has been experiencing and believe we can become more proactive, effective and accountable. I strongly believe together we can achieve and strive for our community goals by communicating and working collectively. I know our community has so much potential. Plan ahead for our future, develop for our future and include our elders, as we need to share our young and old knowledge and language. I have pride in our beautiful community and know that we are capable and have the potential to achieve so much for our future residents. I hope to be your voice for our community. Together we can achieve.

Ryan Nivingalok
Age: 35
Occupation: Housing maintenance foreman
Family status: Married with five sons
Political experience: Served the past term as mayor; I've been on council for around 12 years; deputy mayor twice; a member of search and rescue since I was 16
Why are you running for mayor? We've been working on a 24-hour long-term care centre for a while. I'd like to get that completed. I've made sure the hamlet operated without a deficit for the past three years. We're having surpluses and our reserves are building. The hamlet is in as good a position as it's been in in a long time. Trying to bring jobs to the people of the town is key. We have proved to the GN and federal government that we're ready to get more services for our community needs. With carbon tax pricing legislation in Canada coming into effect this year, we need to be prepared for the potential impacts on the community.

About the Author: Derek Neary

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