CANDIDATE ANSWERS: Arlene Hache, Yellowknife Centre

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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?

    Arlene Hache, MLA candidate for Yellowknife Centre

I would not vote to repeal the carbon tax but I would definitely vote to reduce income taxes to offset the carbon tax. There is nothing wrong with taxing things that we as a society want people to wean themselves off of over time, like cigarettes and carbon.

But if we are simultaneously collecting the same tax on the thing we want them to do more of (like working and creating employment) then we are just paying lip service to the idea of a consumption tax and are actually engaged in a cash grab.

Efforts to combat climate change and mitigate its impact must value Indigenous Traditional Knowledge as well as scientific expertise. It will require partnerships across governments; with non-governmental organizations, including industry; and with the public. A 2017 Auditor General Report found that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources did not fulfill its leadership role and meet its commitments on climate change.

The Department did not identify the risks to the Northwest Territories posed by climate change, establish a territorial strategy to adapt to climate change, or provide departments and communities with easy access to the information needed to take action to address climate change impacts. As the MLA for Yelllowknife Centre, I would press the department to prioritize climate change with community organizations taking the lead.

 

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

A strong riding, like a strong community, is one that is economically resilient.

At the same time, we must also increase the resiliency of households and businesses by bringing down the cost of living.

I’ve spent my entire working life advocating for people. I am eager to put my shoulder to the wheel and use my advocacy skills to help increase the resiliency of Yellowknife Centre businesses and households.

If elected on October 1st, I will focus on the following key areas:

  • Supporting tourism and boosting retail activity by investing in a bricks-and-mortar visitor services centre.
  • Not only will I wholeheartedly support the establishment of a polytechnic main campus in Yellowknife, I will work to ensure that it is located in our downtown. The economic and community-building impacts of such an investment would be game-changing.
  • We must follow in Yukon’s footsteps and support innovation centres and small businesses that tap into the sharing economy – it’s time to unleash the creative energy of our entrepreneurs.
  • The downtown business community needs a voice so that it can take more control over the decisions that are affecting it. I will work with all levels of government and the downtown business community to create a new organization to represent downtown businesses.
  • Airport Improvement Fees and the recently increased Land Transfer Fees are just two examples of new taxes that are little more than cash grabs. Together they contribute to the “death by a thousand cuts” that is straining Yellowknife household budgets. If elected I will work to repeal these new taxes.
  • Renters in Yellowknife are extremely vulnerable to increasing rents, especially given the near-monopoly situation in our rental housing market. I will fight to introduce rent stabilization legislation to prevent unfair rent increases in the future.

 

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

I am an advocate of funding Indigenous-led services, especially when it comes to designing and delivering options that respond to trauma and addictions experienced by Indigenous people.

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