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:

  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?
  2. How do you as an MLA intend to improve the economy?
  3. 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?

NWT has a role to play in responding to the climate crisis. NWT has a small population and Canada does as well, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The price on carbon is a federal initiative.

Julie Green,, incumbent MLA candidate for Julie Green

The Premier and Cabinet made a key mistake in not negotiating the backstop with Ottawa.

Those who did came away with lower taxes, nuanced industrial targets and rebates that extend to municipalities and First Nations (eg. Yukon, Newfoundland and Labrador).

A price on carbon has worked in other jurisdictions (eg. BC) to reduce emissions without a negative impact on the economy. If the next federal government repeals the carbon tax, it will only delay the vital need to accelerate the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy.

Such a move would be an unacceptable failure of leadership.

 

  1. How do you as an MLA intend to improve the economy?

Invest in infrastructure that supports tourism, specifically a visitor centre in Yellowknife, plus new and expanded campgrounds and parks throughout the NWT. It’s time to strengthen efforts to support businesses to create new tourism products so that visitors have more choice and will plan to stay longer.

Invest in the retrofit economy. A $22 million dollar annual investment in retrofits will provide a nine per cent return on investment, specifically decreased fuel and electricity costs, decreased greenhouse gas emissions and increased employment of 87 people.

Invest in infrastructure to support the introduction of universal child care. Standards for child care centres are difficult for non-profits to meet and new construction is usually beyond their means. Government should include child care spaces in new school builds and retrofits. There are so many benefits to this investment including improved school readiness for children, employment for child care staff and assisting parents to return to the workforce after parental leave.

 

  1. Would you support an Indigenous-based addictions treatment centre in the Northwest Territories?

The GNWT has a solid relationship with four southern addiction treatment centers so that residents have both choices and immediate access. A total of 181 people accessed treatment last year.

The people I met from the North at the treatment centres in December 2017 were satisfied with their experience. Past northern-based treatment centers have failed due to the inability to attract and retain addictions treatment professionals. The weak link in treatment is after care, especially in communities outside of Yellowknife which does not have the good fortune to have the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation camp.

An on the land camp in Fort Smith piloted with Alberta-based Poundmaker’s Lodge provides a model for strengthening the continuum of care.

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