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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?
    Robert Hawkins, MLA candidate for Kam Lake

    At this point, the federal law is in place and until the next election is decided, it is impossible to speculate what will happen next.

    That said, I, like many Northerners, am concerned about the impact climate change has been having, and the fact is, I agree more can be done.  However, I am equally concerned that the roll-out of the federal carbon tax was simply more than the everyday NWT family and business can handle because of the significant cost of living northerners already have.

    We are well positioned to take immediate and progressive steps by updating heating sources to all public buildings, offer expanded incentive programs directly to homeowners & businesses through energy efficiency upgrades and through the federal infrastructure program. We could expand the Taltson Hydro dam to help reduce the usage of diesel.

    Are there ways to revisit this problem, to reach the same goals? I think so.
    I say this because I don’t believe the last government looked hard enough at the other options through renewable technologies that would have helped the NWT make a positive impact, such as solar and wind. All of these can be supported with federal dollars through their infrastructure programs.

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

Tap into the federal infrastructure programs that are directed to help northern and remote locations.  The NWT government could pursue infrastructure that expands roads and hydro.

More specifically:

    • Expanded Fiber Optic lines– Better and reliable access to communications technology will help business and families.
    • Taltson Hydro expansion – This will directly help families and businesses struggling with the cost of living.
    • Road infrastructure development – Which will directly support industry expansion in mining, and community access.
    • Tourism Expansion – This supports local spending and industry growth.
    • Population Growth to the NWT – an expanded population base will support spending in the local economy directly, including a larger federal investment transfer.
    • Land Access – Support the access to lands for the City of Yellowknife, so that housing and business development can take place.
  1. Would you support an Indigenous-based addictions treatment centre in the Northwest Territories?Yes I do and I believe that treatment programs need to be culturally appropriate and supportive.At the same time, the NWT still has an immediate need for a detox centre, including long-term supports for aftercare treatment.These further steps will help individuals get through their post-treatment period, so they will have the best chance of success when they work to return to their lives and families.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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