Voters in the NWT riding of Mackenzie Delta should not hold their breath while waiting to hear what candidate William Firth has to say about the issues ahead of the Nov. 23 territorial election. In an email response to News North's questionnaire seeking his stance on important territorial issues, Firth stated “I don't believe in adding my voice to any of the issues at this time until after the elections are held.”
That line would remind some people of former Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell. She gave a statement during the federal election campaign in 1993 which a reporter reduced to her having said that “an election is not a time to discuss important issues.” News North reached out to Firth and gave him an opportunity to expand on his philosophy and explain how he expected people to vote for him if they do not know where he stands on the issues. He he not responded as of press time.
Another Mackenzie Delta candidate was anything but shy about discussing the issues. Norman Snowshoe said that addressing the cost of living in the region is among his main priorities.
“The residents of the communities are paying huge hydro and water bills and there was no explanation about the hikes. There was also an increase in fuel prices without any explanation. We have a lot of people in the region who work hard and pay a huge amount in bills that's not comparable to the rest of the territories,” Snowshoe said. “I'm running to better the livelihood for the residents of the Beaufort Delta.”
Snowshoe said he is focused right now on getting elected but feels that if he does get in, that he would be a good candidate for a cabinet position.
Also running in the Mackenzie Delta riding is incumbent Frederick Blake Jr. who said that housing and education are among his top election priorities. he has done a good job of standing up for the people in the riding.
“My platform is to represent the people of the Mackenzie Delta and bring forward and concerns or issues that we have in the communities. They are different from each community. I work well with the other MLAs and the community leaders,” Blake said. “I'm approachable and my main priority is the Mackenize Delta. That is the way I have been operating for the last four years.”
The fourth candidate running in Mackenzie Delta is former MLA and cabinet minister David Krutko who retired from politics in 2011. He said he came out of retirement to run in this election because he feels he can still make a difference.
“Seeing the situation in the communities...it's pretty dismal and I just can't stand by. I still have something hopefully to offer. We have to shift the focus back to stabilizing our communities and ensure the well-being of people is being taken care of,” Krutko said. What we've seen is too much time and energy on these mega, major projects without realizing that we're taking away a lot of the resources and the potential of a lot of communities. We've got to put the focus back on the people and the communities.”