Yanik D’Aigle, the Conservative candidate in the NWT for the upcoming federal election, expects a close race.
“I do expect right now for it to be a three-way race,” he said, explaining that it will involve himself and the candidates for the Liberals and the NDP.
“Residents really are lucky to have some solid candidates who want to represent the North,” he added, noting it takes courage and a lot of work to run.
“I just hope that I edge up against those other candidates and come out with the win,” he said.
D’Aigle noted that the NWT has not been represented by a Conservative for over 30 years.
“We’re not being heard,” he said. “Ottawa, the feds, they’re not listening to us. And I’m just providing an opportunity to change the status quo, to try to make sure that they’re feeling heard and make sure that they are being heard by Ottawa.”
D’Aigle, who grew up in Toronto, has lived in Yellowknife with his family for seven years, and has worked in the financial sector.
“We love the North,” he said. “It’s absolutely a wonderful place.”
D’Aigle said he heard a number of issues while campaigning in Hay River, which he visited on Sept. 19.
Those issues include such things as the cost of living, taxation, the environment, dredging of the Hay River, the carbon tax, and red tape in hiring foreign workers.
“And then last but not least one that came up fairly frequently as well was affordable housing and housing opportunities as a whole,” he said. “Just being able to get people into a home to live in seemed to be a key issue.”
Throughout the NWT, he has also heard about the need to settle land claims and concerns about the economy.
D’Aigle is confident there is a solid level of support in Hay River for the Conservative Party.
“Based on the feedback and the people that I talk to, there seems to be a lot more support, at least compared to the previous election,” he said. “Ultimately at the end of the day, that’s only going to really be decided on Oct. 21st. But I do hope that the voices and the comments that I hear really translate to the polls. So I’m pretty confident that the support is there.”
D’Aigle said he can bring a new perspective as an MP.
“I’m not a career politician by any means,” he said. “I’m somebody that’s coming in with a whole bunch of professional experience.”
D’Aigle is unsure how the brownface/blackface scandal of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might affect voters in the NWT.
“It’s going to affect people in completely different ways, and I can’t be in someone else’s shoes to know how it’s going to impact them,” he said.
Plus, he noted there are a lot of unanswered questions on how it will reflect on the national and even the world stage.
D’Aigle is planning to return on Oct. 15 for a few days of campaigning in Hay River and surrounding communities.