CANDIDATE ANSWERS: Caroline Cochrane, Range Lake

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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?

My understanding of the carbon tax was either the GNWT implement their own or the federal government would impose theirs on us. If the next federal government decides the carbon tax is not the right way to go, I will fully support repealing it.

Caroline Cochrane, incumbent candidate for MLA of Range Lake

We do however need to be a large part of finding and implementing innovative solutions. We are warming faster than southern Canada so we need to have adaptation strategies and disaster mitigation in place to deal with risks as we are already seeing the impacts of climate change, especially in our more Arctic communities.

I support implementing alternative energy, energy retrofits, and energy standards and supporting communities across NWT to put these in place. We need to use energy efficient practices and adaptation methods in new infrastructure and future development. I also believe a polytechnic university will provide the education, research, and employment opportunities for northerners to put forward solutions for us by us. Initiatives like the Guardians program protect our climate through land and water stewardship, and I support listening to our communities and residents, as well as sitting on national and international bodies to continue implementing best practice strategies that address climate change.

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

We need to diversify the economy and capitalize on opportunities from different sectors. The GNWT needs to put a stronger emphasis on promoting and supporting small businesses, the arts sector to take advantage of the opportunities in tourism. We also need to work closely with our business community/associations and all levels of government to capitalize on existing and potential opportunities in this market.

The mineral resources sector still contributes significantly to our direct and indirect GDP, and supports many families and businesses across the north. Our largest mines are closing but we have lots of untapped potential. We need to move forward with the work to have our regulations in place that will address the need for responsible mining and help boost investor confidence.

I also believe that the Polytechnic university and investing in education is critical to expanding opportunities, trades-oriented learning, and fostering the knowledge economy, so that northerners have the qualifications to access the opportunities that will be available.

Finally, we need a long-term strategic plan developed with stakeholders with a comprehensive list of short-, mid-, and long-term goals with measurable outcomes and concrete actions.

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

Yes. I think we already have great support in place with the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Center and we have had on the land camps held for people to seek wellness and healing. As well as a treatment centre, I would like to see a withdrawal management program brought back to the NWT for people that wish to change their lives and need immediate assistance. I definitely support more work in this area and continuing it in a more comprehensive way that reaches more of the residents

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