CANDIDATE ANSWERS: Kieron Testart, Kam 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?The NWT’s carbon tax plan is deeply flawed and fails to serve as an effective means of action against climate change, doing the bare minimum of mitigation while lacking effective legislative oversight and public involvement.
    Kieron Testart, incumbent MLA candidate for Kam Lake

    I voted against the tax in the 18th Assembly and I continue to stand opposed to a regime where unelected officials are solely responsible for designing the tax scheme without the input of MLAs or the public.

    While regime change in Ottawa may scrap the federal carbon tax, it will not change the NWT tax – only MLAs can make that decision. I support a revised carbon pricing plan that is informed by the public and addresses the real emissions concerns arising from industrial processes that are responsible for more than 75% of NWT GHG emissions.

    I personally favour a carbon market for the NWT that would allow industry to trade credits with established markets in Quebec and California and reduce the economic burden on Northerners and their communities. I am committed to fight against climate change and to position the NWT as a leader for climate adaptation and mitigation, but I also believe in tax fairness and transparency which will require major changes to the NWT carbon pricing regime.

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

    A major focus of my platform is on moving our economy forward with new stimulus spending, incentives for growth and major taxation reform.
    I believe the best way to improve the economy is by putting more money into the pockets of Northerners and strategic spending in local economies that keeps dollars in our communities.If elected I will work with the next government to develop a Northern Living Tax Benefit, a regular cash payment provided to resident Northerners based on income. This benefit will positively impact all communities with increased local spending and lower the cost of living for working families.Local economic growth and job creation can be achieved by closing the $41 million municipal funding gap and transferring all uncontested public lands to municipal governments. New funding will create more than 200 jobs and new land will create new growth and economic development. I will also continue to advocate for lower businesses taxes and new tax credits that encourage investment and innovation.Scrapping the small business tax will invest $2.3 million dollars into our Northern business community and a targeted system of tax incentives will encourage business to reinvest in their operations and create more jobs in the private sector.
  3. Would you support an Indigenous-based addictions treatment centre in the Northwest Territories?

    Yes. All addictions treatment options in the NWT must be culturally appropriate and clinically sound. The Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation has proven success in offering this kind of support to Northerners in need of help and I support continued invest in these opportunities for community wellness.
    My platform also calls for the creation of brick and mortar treatment facilities to provide medical detox and managed alcohol programs in the NWT, without requiring patients to be sent to Southern Canada.While the NWT might not be able to support a full clinical treatment centre at this time, I am confident our community has the capacity to support these new clinic treatment options and the next government should invest in these proven solutions.
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Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. He came from Prince Edward County, Ont., and obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Working in Yellowknife, he covers education-based stories and general news but has also taken other beats in the past, including city hall and entertainment. He is a champion of the printed word and the importance of newspapers. As a board member of the United Way NWT and Rotary True North, he believes in the importance of civic engagement and community building. He spends his spare time with his boxer Sharona. Simon can be reached at (867) 766-8295 and editorial@nnsl.com.

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