What were your main accomplishments during the last term?
First and foremost was devolution of land and water authorities. It’s not just about control over our land and water. Look deeper and you’ll see what it means for the relationship with our Aboriginal governments. Secondly, chairing the first national roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women was a source of great personal pride. The roundtable is another concrete platform from which to break the cycle of violence against women; something I’ve worked for my entire political life. Thirdly, increasing the GNWT borrowing limit to $1.3 billion is a critical step in addressing our infrastructure deficit.
What were things you hoped to accomplish that you didn’t?
Devolution is not complete. We must accelerate the full transfer of authority from the Federal government and develop a made in the north regulatory system. We need to be in full control of decisions that will enable other environmentally sustainable resource projects to move forward in a timely manner. Over the past several years we’ve invested heavily in schools, community facilities and airports; these are investments in the future of our people. However, we need to invest more in the future of our economy. Our infrastructure deficit is a major impediment to investment in exploration and development. Public infrastructure investments also create jobs that we need across the North.
What are the main issues you want to tackle if re-elected?
In a word: the economy. People want to know that prosperity, jobs and property values are secure for the long-term. I want that too. The Conference Board of Canada has identified eight new mine projects that it feels will come on stream over the next 10 years. We need those exports, jobs and resource revenues. We also need to convince our new Federal government to follow through on the election promise to increase the Federal Northern Resident Income Tax Deduction and index it to inflation so that it keeps up with Northerners needs.
Why should people vote for you again?
Leaders rarely talk about it, however, as I see it, we have issues before us and we need to shape solutions: population migration rates are troublesome; the cost of living is too high; resource investments have stalled; and the cost of energy is far too high. And our Senior Citizens and Elders need to have their concerns with the continuum of care and supplemental health benefits addressed. These are all matters that I pledge to address if re-elected. I’ve spent my entire career as a champion of the NWT and I will re-double my efforts to lead our territories to a new and better place.