The Town of Norman Wells is running three mayoral candidates and 15 council candidates remain in the race. Since the closing of nominations, three candidates dropped out or were removed from the ballot.
The remaining candidates are Pascal Audet, Charles Beckingham, Jean Paul Bernard, William James Boyle, Paulie Chinna, Luc Erb, Anil Gonsalves, Jamie Kearsey, Carol Lorentz, Kyle Stephen Newhook, Alexis Peachey, Harvey Pierrot, Trevor Smith, David Wever and Loretta Wiley.
Candidates are hoping to revive local governance after the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs took over the elected council last year.
Since late 2017, administrator Allen Stanzell has taken the role of council and worked with staff to run the town and provide services.
The following candidates could not provide answers by press time: Pascale Audet, Charles Beckingham, Paulie Chinna, Luc Erb, Jamie Kearsey, Alexis Peachey, Harvey Pierrot and Trevor Smith.
Since nominations closed, Robert Greek, Stephanie Behrens, and Mark Wilhelmus Meulenbroek were removed from the ballot.
Jean Paul Bernard
Status: Running for council
Time in Area: Moved to Norman Wells in January of 2007.
Experience: This would be my first experience as a town councillor. Indirect experience would be my many years on the regional executive for my union as the local receiving officer, vice president and president and also as vice president north of the NWT Soccer Association.
Why Running: Having moved to Norman Wells in January of 2007 and having been a member of the Norman Wells Fire Department since 2011, I have seen firsthand, on many occasions, how the citizens of this community come together and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal. It is in this spirit of co-operation, that I have decided to run for council so I can be an active participant in helping the council of Norman Wells work together in planning for the long-term future for all community members, young, old and from all backgrounds.
What differentiates you from other candidates: I would like to believe that candidates share more commonalities than differences. We should be wanting to have the opportunity to be elected for the privilege of being a part of an effective and functional group that will have the needs of the community as their first priority. One characteristic about myself is that it doesn’t matter to me who is right but what is right. I am very receptive to ideas from all sources and my focus is on big picture solutions as opposed to quick fixes.
Top election issue: Focusing on building an effective team that is ready to listen to all members of the community to put together goals and objectives that will benefit the community as a whole is where I think we need to start. If elected, my focus would be on ensuring effective communication between council and the citizens of Norman Wells so that we are all on the same page.
This will hopefully increase engagement and input in the implementation of what the community deems their most pressing issues.
What does a healthy community look like to you: A healthy community is one that works together to ensure that everyone’s needs are being addressed. I’m not naive and believe that everyone can get everything that they want, but by working together, we can get as close as possible given the resources available.
William James Boyle
Status: Running for Council
Time in the area: 30 years
Family Status: Spouse, two daughters.
Experience: No previous council experience.
Why Running: I am hoping to help restore confidence in our town council, mayor and SAO. The residents of our town deserve open, honest, transparent and accountable people to speak on their behalf.
What differentiates you from other candidates: Mostly my years of living here. I have no other vested interests other than trying to make Norman Wells a better place to live and raise children.
Top election issue: Restoring confidence in our town council.
What does a healthy community look like to you: A place where people care about the upkeep of the town and where there are activities for youth. A community where emergency services are funded and trained to an appropriate level. A place that people are happy to call their home. I have always felt that Norman Wells was my home regardless of where I was in the world.
Status: Running for council
Age: 40 plus
Time in the area: Two years plus.
Family Status: Married with two kids.
Experience: First time candidate. I’ve got 15 years of experience in finance and IT.
Why Running: This is the common question asked by all. We have to remember that, not all candidates are running for the same reasons. I am not looking to be a career politician, rather its a natural progression for me involve myself with the community after having lived here for the last two years. Recently there has been lot of negative conversations about this town. I would to be part of the new council to bring some changes. I want to be a strong voice to deliver better results to the community.
What differentiates you from other candidates: I will not compare myself to other candidates. I will only speak for myself and what I can bring it to the council, if I get elected.
Top election issue: Good governance (creating three-way trust between town office, council and the people. Hiring and retaining talented employees, transparency, reopening child day care, council youth engagement, parks for children, landfill management and the minimization of plastic usage.
What does a healthy community look like to you: A healthy community cannot be created alone by the local government. It’s a collective effort of everyone, including residents, local businesses, volunteers, schools, health authorities and other organizations.
I feel fortunate to live in Norman Wells where you are connected directly with nature. There is so much to explore, experience and enrich. Having most of all these activities are run by the different organizations with the support of our local businesses and big-hearted donors. We cannot bring heaven to us rather we need to create heaven where we are. It’s in the hands of all, we are all responsible one way or the other.
Age: Not provided
Family status: Not provided
Experience: Over 30 plus years of volunteering on committees and boards I have learned to work well with others and I have the capacity for disagreement without being disagreeable. I recently sat on the newly established Norman Wells Daycare Society and was disappointed with the lack of support it received from the town. This is just one example of change I would like to work towards if I was elected.
Why Running: I am running for council because I have a strong desire to contribute and serve the community I love and call home.
What differentiates you from other candidates: I am a geek for bylaws and procedures, focusing on issues not personalities. I am a think big, hard working and success driven individual.
Top election issue: We need an updated short and long term strategic plan. It is critical for effective and meaningful change.
Kyle Stephen Newhook
Marital Status: In a long term relationship.
Time in Area: Over 8 years.
Experience: Operations manager for North-Wright Airways for over three years. 2018 Citizen of the Year of Norman Wells; Northern Air Transportation Association member and alternate board member and student council president for the Moncton Flight Collect Diploma Class.
Why Running: I believe the town requires a unique perspective and voice from an enthusiastic and goal driven individual such as myself. Sometimes we need a fresh pair of eyes and ears to solve the problem at hand. I work well with others and my current career path surfaces around problem solving. My love for this town is what inspired me to stay, I’d love the chance to represent it to further develop the town and inspire those who live within it.
What differentiates you from other candidates: Creativity, energy and adaptability set me apart from most people. I’m always looking for answers and I am a problem solver by design.
Top election issue: Budgeting and a well laid out future for the town are paramount.
What does a healthy community look like to you: A healthy community glows, especially when the people within it flourish. There’s an energy in the town that people can feel. When the town is down, the glow fades and people in the town can sense the distress. A healthy community has everyone from here and surrounding areas working together to make sure our future is bright.
Status: Running for council
Family Status: Married for 21 years with three beautiful Northern children.
Time in Area: I am an Indigenous woman born and raised in the Sahtu, lived in Norman Wells 25 years.
Experience: I have lived and worked in Norman Wells for many years, I have a strong voice and I have a strong desire to make positive change.
Why Running: I decided to run for councillor because I believe that when our community members come to me and express their concerns, they will be heard and I want our community to make changes for the better, especially for our youth and elders.
What differentiates you from other candidates: I am no different than any other resident or candidate. I just want to make a difference in our community by listening and bringing forward changes to bring unity.
Top election issue: Our youth, our elders and our community.
What does a healthy community look like to you? Truth, energy, compassion and unity.
Status: Running for council
Time in the area: Four years come January.
Family Status: Married with two young boys.
Experience: No formal experience on boards or committees.
Why Running: I’m young and I have new ideas and hopes for the community. I want to be a part of shaping Normans Wells for the future, whatever that might look like.
What differentiates you from other candidates: My lack of any preconceived opinions makes me open to learn and to do what is best for the community.
Top election issue: Norman Wells currently has limited emergency medical services. I would like to see if EMS is a viable service for our town.
What does a healthy community look like to you: A healthy community has diversity of business, a balanced budget, people willing to invest back into the community and citizens excited about the future. A healthy community should be a place where young people want to stay. It’s also a place where people can trust their local government.