Our editorial board has put together three questions for all MLA candidates and acclaimed members seeking public office as part of our coverage of the 2019 territorial election.
Over the remainder of the campaign, we will publish responses on our website.
The three questions are:
- What is your position on the carbon tax and would you repeal it if the Liberal government is defeated in the federal election? How should the NWT play a part in combating climate change?
- How do you as an MLA intend to improve the economy?
- Would you support an Indigenous-based addictions treatment centre in the Northwest Territories?
1. What is your position on the carbon tax and would you repeal it if the Liberal government is defeated in the federal election? How should the NWT play a part in combating climate change?
In such an event I would support repealing the tax and replacing it with a new NWT strategy to reduce our emissions developed with input from stakeholders including Aboriginal governments.
On a world scale our emissions are minute; as is, this tax won’t provide tangible measurable results but will add to our high cost of living. We will however experience effects. Those we can and must act on. Our limited resources should be directed towards mitigating these effects to lessen the impact on people and our communities. This will involve satellite and ground based monitoring of temperatures, water levels, erosion and soil conditions. Changes to building codes will be required.
2. How do you as an MLA intend to improve the economy?
The exploration and mining sector needs attention. Work must begin on streamlining approval processes as much as possible. A path forward has been laid out by the chamber of mines with their proposed NWT Resource Vision “Improving Investor Confidence” strategy. A coordinated government wide approach like this could be tailored for economic development in general. ITI has some programming geared toward assisting northern entrepreneurs such as SEED. These have yielded good results over the years. They need to be ramped up. Access to capital is the roadblock many small businesses and entrepreneurs battle to overcome. There is also much red tape that can act as barriers to entry. The Talston project needs to be pursued. The additional electrical capacity will take the strain off the existing system and provide room for future growth and expansion. BIP needs to be overhauled and modernized.
3. Would you support an Indigenous-based addictions treatment centre in the Northwest Territories?
I would be very supportive of such a measure. The cultural component is key to success as would be programs involving basic vocational preparation. Partnering with business to place some of the successfully treated would go a long way. People going through such treatments remain fragile. Aftercare to reduce recidivism would be essential. Leaving a treatment centre with nothing to do or a place to go can easily restart the process that led to the need for treatment. A holistic view would be required for success.
Much was learned from the former Hay River program.