Running for MLA of Inuvik Boot Lake has been on Diane Thom’s mind for several years now, so she decided that this would be the year where she would finally enter the race.
“I’ve worked in community development for a number of years, and I’ve worked with different government at the territorial and federal level,” said Thom, who serves as the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC)’s chief negotiator for the Inuvialuit Self Government agreement.
“There’s a lot of opportunities for policy changes that would ensure programs and services are delivered – properly and correctly – for all residents of the NWT,” she said.
In addition to strengthening partnerships between various community governments such as the Town of Inuvik, the IRC and the Gwich’in Tribal Council, she said that if she’s elected, she would also work towards decreasing the cost of living and enhancing local amenities.
“I feel like there’s a lot of things that can change within government. There’s opportunities in economic and tourism, health and wellness,” she said. “A lot of government jobs are being moved to bigger centres, and it’s really affecting the people in Inuvik.”
She added that communication is important to her, so she said that she hopes to work closely with local community governments to help keep jobs in Inuvik, and “to really understand what’s good for the people in Inuvik.”
“Even in my role now as a self government negotiator, I go into the communities and explain updates and where we’re at. It gives me an opportunity to really work with deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers to learn about some of the things happening in the region,” she said. “Understand a little bit more in-depth about what government is doing for residents in the Beaufort Delta.”
In terms of why she thinks she’s fit for the position, she said that it’s the education that she’s received, as well as her experience in working with various community groups, that makes her a strong candidate.
“I’ve been doing a little bit of homework of what’s the role of the MLA, what the different structures and committees are,” she said. “Just really trying to get myself familiar and informed about what it means to be an MLA.”
With the territorial elections just a couple months away, she said that she’s excited to begin campaigning in September.
“I feel that at the end of the day, I want people to vote for someone who they feel is capable and has the ability to make things better within government,” she said.