In what is now a five-way race in Kam Lake, Cherish Winsor has declared her intent to run.
The senior communications adviser for the Government of the Northwest Territories, president of the YK Food Bank and president of the YWCA said running for MLA is something she has always thought about.
The tipping point for her, though, was the Rockhill Apartments fire in October last year.
“After trying to navigate support for the organization (YWCA) after the fire through different levels of government, I thought at that point it was a bit difficult and the priorities were not where I would I thought they s
hould be,” Winsor said Tuesday.
“I think this is the time where I should be on the other side of the decision making.”
Winsor said she sees Kam Lake as her community, though she does not live in the constituency.
“My kids go to school there, I spend time there and it’s where I see people that are most like me,” Winsor said.
“I don’t feel I’m represented in the legislative assembly with the current MLAs and I think there are a lot of people who feel that way. I see a lot of those people in Kam Lake.”
When it comes to her priorities as a politician, Winsor said strong growth in the economy is close to the top of her long list.
“I’ve worked in mining before working in government,” said Winsor. “I understand that industry and the importance of it for the North and I think we really need to invest in mining, in strategic infrastructure, in exploration and innovative technologies.”
“It’s the past, it’s the present, it’s the future of the territory.”
Winsor also sees herself as a social issues candidate, which will set her apart from the competition in Kam Lake.
“That is my background, I was in sociology in school and it’s always where my focus has been,” she said.
Through her work with the Yk Food Bank and YWCA she said she has been focusing on food security, housing and homelessness which will be “huge parts” of her platform, along with focusing on collaborative consensus government.
Winsor notes that this election is the first time a woman has run for MLA in Kam Lake. Caitlin Cleveland has also announced her intent to seek the seat.
Winsor herself was a part of the Women on the Ballot workshops hosted by Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green.
“I’m really excited to see more woman running this year,” said Winsor. “I think women have to be at the table at every aspect of the table in our society, but in politics it’s so important because it’s a top-down system.
“It’s where the priorities in the whole territory are coming from, so if women aren’t included in that conversation, our priorities are being missed.”
She said she hopes that at least 30 per cent of elected MLAs this year will be women.
In the Kam Lake constituency, Winsor will be going up against incumbent MLA Kieron Testart, former MLA Robert Hawkins, photographer Caitlin Cleveland and business owner Abdullah Al-Mahamud.
Visit the NNSL Elections coverage page for the latest on the upcoming territorial elections on Oct. 1.