NWT Association of Communities Election Questions and Answers

The Northwest Territories Association of Communities (NWTAC) sent all MLA candidates in the 2019 NWT Election 6 questions about issues important to the communities of the Northwest Territories.

A $40 million shortfall still exists for community governments. What is your position on the funding formula for community governments and the significant shortfall not being addressed over the past five years?

The shortfall of funding affects every resident on the NWT.  When communities cannot meet their obligations because the GNWT hasn’t provided adequate funding, then ultimately cost escalate as maintenance falls behind and new needed initiatives are ignored.  I support the 2014 recommendations.  GNWT needs to step up to the plate and follow its on recommendations.

What steps will you take to ensure that communities funding shortfall as identified by MACA is addressed and do you commit to prioritizing funding?

I am willing to call on the Minister of MACA to immediately revise the funding formula.

Homelessness, mental health and addictions are serious issues in the North. Are you willing to work to ensure these issues get addressed and potential solutions put in place in a timely manner?

Homelessness is at a crisis stage.  We haven’t built specific housing for the homeless since 2011 when I last ran for a seat in the Legislative Assembly. It was the primary issue then as it is today.  Person suffering homelessness also suffering from other issues, particularly addictions and mental health.  Regrettably we have closed our treatment centres and done little to train and hire mental workers.  It’s time to develop new addictions and mental programs.

How do you think communities can prepare for the climate change crisis that is presently occurring in many communities and what is your position on the Territorial Government finding solutions and taking a leadership role with funding?

Climate change requires funding support to maintain existing infrastructure and developed more appropriate new infrastructure that are designed to tolerate ongoing changes.  We also need residents to understand the causes and empower them to make lifestyle changes to lessen the impacts.  I do not have specific answers on what step communities should take, other than being proactive at learning and planning of the mitigation of impacts.  Ongoing collaboration and consultation at all levels of governments is needed.

What are your views on the issue of the early childhood education deficiency in the NWT and how it relates to post-secondary success of students and do you support an Auditor General Review of the education system?

Early childhood educations starts with parenting.  Their are few resources for parents to learn and discuss parenting skills and techniques.  We need to develop appropriate parenting resources.  Access and affordable Daycare and after school care are huge challenges in every community.  I support universal care and  revising  the operating regulations to ensure safety and better availability of day care.  But better access comes with trained individuals who can provide safe well run environments.  We must develop programs and make them easily accessible to community members.

The 2018 Federal Budget affirmed that its expectation is that a 25% portion of the revenues from cannabis excise taxes provided to the Territory and Provinces be transferred to municipalities and local communities. What is your view of the GNWT deciding that there will be no revenues passed on to the municipalities from the Territorial Government?

Typically taxes are collected by one jurisdiction and then dispersed.  If the financing formulas are adjusted to meet the needs of the communities, then the tax dollars that go into general revenues are being redistributed.    The amount of communities receive is the key issue, not what pot it comes from.

If you have any questions or concern about my responses to the NWTAC candidate questions, I encourage you to contact me.

Leave a comment