ISSUES

Cost of Living

The cost of living affects all of us and is a complex issue that will take a sustained, holistic approach to address.

Often, proposed solutions are no more than band-aids to help residents survive and don’t address the issues that cause our high cost of living. This is an important distinction.


My vision is for a thriving economy with residents who have the ability to earn a good income that allows them to do more than just “get by.” This is possible through strategic measures that focus on long-term solutions.

 

As your MLA, I will advocate for:

 


  • Advancing the resource extraction industry through strategic infrastructure, exploration and innovative technologies.

  • Supporting secondary and minor industries as a means of diversifying rather than replacing our current economic drivers.

  • Explore alternative energy options and advocate for federal investments to support energy infrastructure like the Taltson hydroelectric project.

  • Affordable and accessible childcare to relieve the financial burden on families and allow more parents to enter or remain in the workforce.

  • Business incentives and land access to stimulate production, increase the available housing stock and ultimately make housing more affordable for all families.

 
Housing and Homelessness

Affordable housing is one of the biggest issues affecting the most people in the NWT. There are currently 2800 public housing units with 900 individuals and families waiting for a unit. Charitable organizations provide additional housing stock and also have long wait lists. But that’s not the full story.

Many families and individuals who earn middleclass incomes are paying more for their housing than they should be. This dramatically influences their cost of living and causes families to choose unsuitable or unaffordable housing.
 
The GNWT’s Strategic Renewal for Housing is limited to supporting low income individuals and puts the onus on communities to support housing initiatives. My vision includes housing support for all residents through increased housing stock and a lower cost of living.


As your MLA, I will advocate for:

 

  • A comprehensive housing strategy that will provide a strategic approach to ensuring all residents have adequate and affordable housing.

  • A strategic long term plan to address homelessness, including the “invisible” homeless and those precariously housed.

  • Business incentives and land access to stimulate production and make housing more affordable for all families.

  • A guaranteed income program that reduces the administration of Income related programs including the requirement to apply for GNWT housing.

 
Mental Health and Addictions

Often, many of the social problems we are facing in the NWT like homelessness, addictions and poverty are related to poor mental health. By improving services that address some of the root issues, we can better support people as they seek help to lead productive lives.

As your MLA, I will advocate for:

 

  • A territorial addictions treatment facility with separate adult, youth and day programming areas. This Yellowknife facility will better address relapse prevention and remove the need to send people to southern facilities. We can provide this kind of holistic northern support without an increase in funding and better care for Northerners.


  • Actions specific to addressing mental health issues facing our youth including addictions, suicide, trauma, anxiety and depression.

  • Expansion of Child and Youth Care Counselors to all communities to better identify and support youth with mental health needs.

  • The inclusion of accredited degree programs in both social work and psychology as part of the new Aurora College polytechnic program offerings.

  • A strategic territorial action plan to end family violence through community supports including expanding the shelter network, increasing road access to more communities and creating safe houses in all communities.

  • Better tracking of all health supports and outcomes to allow for program improvements as they are needed.

 
Issues Affecting Children and Youth

Our children are our future and it is the responsibility of our government to provide them with the ability and opportunity to thrive. Right from birth, we can increase developmental outcomes and support families in their care taking role.

We have an opportunity over the next few years to drastically improve our Child and Family Services system and better care for and support children in care.


Our education system, while mostly positive in Yellowknife, isn’t as effective across the territory and it will take drastic measures to increase attendance and ultimately, graduation rates.


Our mental and health care systems are difficult to navigate and wait times are too long, leaving  many children without the support and care that they require. Programs and services for children should be easily accessible and available.


As your MLA I will advocate for:

 

  • Affordable and accessible childcare so all children can experience developmentally appropriate care in all communities.

  • A Child and Youth Advocate to independently represent the rights of children and hold government accountable when programs and policies fail to meet their needs.

  • The expansion of Child and Youth Care Counselors to all communities to better identify and support youth with mental health needs.

  • Reduced barriers and wait times for services intended for children