CANDIDATE ANSWERS: Cherish Winsor, Kam Lake

68

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?
Cherish Winsor, senior communications adviser for the GNWT and president/volunteer of the YK Food Bank, is declaring her candidacy to run in Kam Lake.
Photo courtesy of Cherish Winsor

The fact is that the GNWT was forced to create a carbon tax and I applaud the last assembly for their work in finding a reasonable solution. With that being said, I do not think that taxes deter behaviour and would advocate for alternative measures to reduce our emissions. The NWT is a small producer of harmful carbon emission but is warming at a much faster rate than areas further south. Our infrastructure, traditional food systems, and livelihood are all at risk.

Our most immediate efforts have to include investment in climate research to allow us to better understand what is happening.

Investing in cleaner energy projects like the Talston hydroelectric expansion project and the retrofit economy will help reduce our emissions and provide much-needed specialized employment opportunities. Innovation in infrastructure projects to ensure they withstand the affects of climate change is also a priority.

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

Mining is our economic driver with thousands of workers employed directly or indirectly within the territory and numerous businesses that support the industry. To ensure mining remains in our future, while also using the skills and capacity already available in the North, the number one priority to grow our economy must be to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects.

Through a focus on increasing the population and having the infrastructure to support them, we can increase government revenues and grow the labour force.

A higher population means higher revenues for the GNWT. The money we use to pay for government programs and services, investments and infrastructure, is a direct result of the number of people who live here. Out of this year’s $1.9 billion in revenues, $1.4 billion comes from federal transfer payments based on population.

The North has an abundance of mineral potential to pursue but we need the infrastructure in place and an investment in exploration to see the economic benefits become a reality. By taking action now, before our diamond mines close, we can avoid the fall-out impact of loosing our biggest industry.

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

I support a territorial addictions treatment facility with separate adult, youth and day programming areas. This Yellowknife facility will provide holistic treatment and focus on traditional ways of healing. Through culturally appropriate after care programming the facility will better address relapse prevention and remove the need to send people to southern facilities. We can provide this kind of holistic northern support without an increase in funding and better care for Northerners.

Addictions is a complex issue that requires levels of self-directed support. In addition to a territorial addictions treatment facility, I also advocate for safe consumption sites, especially for women, increased housing initiatives like housing first and expanded support systems like guaranteed income and integrated case management.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here