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Thread by @photoscotty: "All candidates are present and accounted for. Forum will start in about 10 minutes. Moderator Tod Ashton will make introductory rem […]" #haypoli #awgpoli

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All candidates are present and accounted for. Forum will start in about 10 minutes. #haypoli
Moderator Tod Ashton will make introductory remarks at 7:00, then each candidate gets 5 minutes to make an opening speech. Speaking order was drawn at random. #haypoli
9 candidates total are running for 8 council positions. Only 2 (Keith Dohey and Steve Anderson) are running for re-election from the previous council term. A third councillor from last term, Kandis Jameson, is to be acclaimed as mayor. #haypoli
Mayor-elect Jameson is now making an unscheduled speech. #haypoli
“I’m a Hay River kid that want to continue serving this town,” says Jameson. #haypoli
Jameson notes record tourism, new arena, AWG as highlights of last term. #awgpoli
Notes her 18 years on Hay River education authority before joining politics. Looking forward to Pine Point mine re-opening and other projects. #haypoli
Jameson finishes and now we’re ready for opening remarks. First up is Joe Melanson. #haypoli
Melanson says lots of economic opportunity. “It’s outrageous what’s happening in the town of Hay River.” Health care, education, new fish plant are all promising he says. Says it’s a great place to live and retire. Young people need jobs. They need placement after grad. #haypoli
Robert Bouchard is next. #haypoli
Bouchard: interested in making business thrive in the community. Served 4 terms as cllr in 90s and 00s. Also served as MLA. Says we need to promote Hay River for business and tourism. Need a piece of Yellowknife’s Aurora market. Power franchise is going to be challenge.
Bouchard: Need properties to sell. Selling land and increasing tax revenue keeps everyone’s taxes low. Need to find opportunities with GNWT. Says council needs “can do” attitude. #haypoli
Jeff Groenewegen is now speaking. #haypoli
Groenewegen: Hay River born and raised. Started career in health services, then became realtor and journeyman plumber and gas fitter. Says he has good grasp of public works and utilities. Says youth is a focus for him. Important to include diversity of views. #haypoli
Groenewegen: Volunteers are what make this community great. Great sport opportunities provided by volunteers. Wants to see greater focus on music and art in town. Town policy needs to reflect the needs of current residents and entice others to move here. #haypoli
Keith Dohey is next. He served on previous two councils. #haypoli
Dohey: Served on many committees over past 6 years. Was fundraising chair for AWG. Says he has more to contribute. Has learned a lot. Town is on the right track, but wants to see projects through. Purposely keeping opening to 2 minutes. Encourages everyone to visit Facebook page
Sandra Patterson-Lester is next. #haypoli
Lester: Moved here from California in 60s. Family have been farmers and run sawmill. Thought last Council was “marvelous”. Doesn’t think we need to build much more infrastructure. Need to work on facilities we have. We need new landfill site. #haypoli
Lester: Saw “marvelous” ways of waste disposal down south. Need to focus on housing. People tell her they want to build small homes but town doesn’t allow them to be built, except in old town. Need to let people build a house they can afford. #haypoli
Lester: Young and old people would be better suited to small houses. Finally, says we have to take care of the electrical franchise. #haypoli
Emily Chambers is up next. Born and raised in Yellowknife but moved to Hay River as an adult. #haypoli
Chambers: Happy to call Hay River home. After AWG and Fall Fair, has taste for serving community. Wants to be always accessible. Even though it’s new to her, says she will do her research and listen to all concerns. #haypoli
Up next is Linda Duford. #haypoli
Duford: Been dream to run for council. Worked at Back Eddy for many years, also works with youth through music. Admits she’s totally new with politics but is very excited. Happy that Jameson is to be mayor. Says every candidate excellent, shame one won’t get in. #haypoli
Duford: Now that Back Eddy is sold, will have lots of time to give back to community. Jokes she didn’t go to ‘purple school’ like other candidates, but went to blue school in Fort Simpson. Says she’s easy to get along with and will work hard. #haypoli
Steve Anderson (incumbent) is now up. #haypoli
Anderson: Been a privilege to be councillor for past 3 years. Also involved with service clubs, housing authority, AWG. “Hay River will continue to boom.” Wants to help make best decisions to lead community to prosperity. #haypoli
Anderson: Main goals are power franchise, land development, marine transport, fisheries, Aurora Pellets. Very proud of emergency services. Need to thank them for what they do. Need to work with GNWT to ensure highway rescue is properly funded. #haypoli
Proud of Polar Egg. Not in favour of reducing size of council. Would hurt the decision making ability of town he says. Thanks outgoing mayor Mapes and councillors. #haypoli
Brian Willows is up. Former NTPC COO and recently named Public Administrator of Hay River Health. #haypoli
Willows: Spent entire career working with NTPC. Has been involved in tourism and trade communities. Worked with soup kitchen and adult literacy. Number one issue is power franchise. Says he’s been working on this for a long time. #haypoli
Willows: New power franchise is going to mean more money in pockets of citizens. Development is going on. Need to build more houses to accommodate. Tourism has spiked, need to work with GNWT to capitalize. Hopefully we can keep them here. #haypoli
Willows: Need to deal with old town hall and firehall. In favour of hiring bylaw enforcement officer with extended responsibility to include safety and environment. #haypoli
That’s it for opening remarks. A short break now and then questions from the public. #haypoli
Moderator announces we’re going to forego closing remarks. Also, each public question will only be answered by 4 candidates. #haypoli
First question: Any ideas to make council meetings more audience friendly? (posed by Jane Groenewegen) #haypoli
Robert Bouchard: Council meetings not well attended. Have to better explain to public what we’re talking about. Difficult to make it interactive. #haypoli
Linda Duford Q1: Councillors need to take ownership in getting people interested. Youth groups are interested in politics, should be invited to meetings. Meetings in past she’s been to have been dry. #haypoli
Keith Dohey A1: Things generally start at committee meetings then move forward to regular meetings to vote. Worth a discussion but doesn’t have any idea how to do it. Would like to see meetings back on TV. #haypoli
Jeff Groenewegen A1: Not sure how to make meetings more accessible. Commends Dohey for posting info on Facebook. #haypoli
Sandra Lester A1: Years back, there used to be quick public Q&A before meetings. Might be a good solution to get more involvement. #haypoli
Q2: How do we expand recycling program, reduce waste going to the dump?
Emily Chambers A2: Agree we are behind the times on recycling. Need to do more research. Can work together as council to find better solution. #haypoli
Sandra Lester A2: Was pet project last time she was on council. Plan was to separate and ship south. Found out market for used paper in China disappeared. Don’t know where glass and plastic goes after it’s crushed. Landfill should be organic and put into lined pit. #haypoli
Steve Anderson A2: Had meeting during previous council with GNWT and Ecology North. Need to use environmental deposits collected to accelerate recycling programs. #haypoli
Joe Melanson A2: Many types of recycling. Need to tap into GNWT to see what funding we can get. Heard about tires being used down south to pave roads. #haypoli
Brian Willows A2: Any new landfill will be state of the art in terms of recycling. Said problem is scale of economy. It’s more expensive for us as a smaller town to pay for these programs. #haypoli
Q3: Other municipalities passed resolutions about cannabis use in public. Would you consider looking at precedents made in other communities? #haypoli
Bouchard A3: It’s overwhelming this is coming into force. Seems like a step back. Would prefer to restrict it as much as possible. Should be done like liquor licencing—only consumed in licenced areas. #haypoli
Duford A3: Has come on too soon. Doesn’t think any communities in NWT were ready for legalization. Key is education with youth. Agreed we should look at other communities. #haypoli
Dohey A3: Put forward motion a month ago to draft bylaw to prohibit cannabis use in public. Is supposed to be on next meeting agenda on Oct 23. Wants it treated like alcohol, only consumed in designated places. In the meantime, thinks it should be banned outright. #haypoli
Dohey A3: (clarifying, he thinks public consumption should be banned outright until bylaw is formed to address)
Groenewegen A3: Calls legislation “regressive”. Supports outright public ban on cannabis use. #haypoli
Lester A3: Annoys her the fact GNWT has liqour laws in place but relying on municipalities to create own laws. Doesn’t want it smoked anywhere in public. “Appalled” feds passed law to legalize. #haypoli
Anderson A3: Appreciates Dohey’s motion. Doesn’t want to see it in public places. #haypoli
Willows A3: One week from today becomes law of land (legalization). Ridiculous it’s left up to municipalities. Should be treated the same as alcohol. Would like to see GNWT make legislation for territory. #haypoli
Q4: How are you going to enforce cannabis bylaw without bylaw officer? #haypoli
Chambers A4: Reassuring that all candidates are on same page. Notes bylaw enforcement job is posted. Hopeful we can have someone looking out for people breaking the law. #haypoli
Lester A4: Liquor inspector should be the person who looks after consumption of cannabis. Again, doesn’t think muni should be responsible for “scrambling” to come up with bylaw. Every comm is going to have different laws now. #haypoli
Anderson A4: Enforcement is integral part of bylaw. One person can’t police whole town in regard to cannabis. Need to speak to RCMP. Don’t want to introduce bylaw and have nothing change. #haypoli
Melanson A4: Federal government should have set out rules. Shouldn’t be done in public. Going to need people to enforce laws, whether RCMP or bylaw officer. Going to be learning curve for entire country. Maybe we can learn from other places. #haypoli
Dohey A4: Without bylaw in place, limited as to what town can do. Council decided it was better to have something on paper before legalization happens. Bylaw is deterrent. You can tell someone smoking in public they’re breaking law. Should fall under liquor enforcement. #haypoli
Duford A4: Marijuana is already used in Hay River. The fact we are getting regulation is a step in the right direction. Need to work together with other municipalities to form consistent regulations. #haypoli
Question from Moderator Tod Ashton: What priority do you place on land development (residential) and where should it be? #haypoli
Willows A5: Wouldn’t be surprised to get us back to 4,000 people. Look at pellet mill and extended care. Not sure about mine development yet. New jobs require new housing. Housing is good for whole community including businesses. #haypoli
Bouchard A5: Population hasn’t increased much since 90s. People need options for land to develop. Need to have space to build new multi-family units. Lots of demand for rentals. Even without growth, people want to move up in housing. Need to make a plan. #haypoli
Duford A5: If government is willing to give us money we need to take it. Have to stay within reason. People say there aren’t places to buy or rent but there are—why aren’t they selling? #haypoli
Dohey A5: Seems we’re always right on the cusp of something big (cited Avalon Rare Metals project that was cancelled in Pine Point). There’s jobs coming that can’t be filled by people in Hay River. Hard to attract people from out of town if we don’t have land to develop. #haypoli
Q6: On beautification: What can we do with Highrise and trailer court? #haypoli
Groenewegen A6: Bylaws aren’t being enforced. Ties back into not having bylaw officer. Maybe need new laws. We all want our town to look attractive to visitors. #haypoli
Chambers A6: Agree those two areas have room for improvement. With help from beautification committee need to come up with plan. #haypoli
Lester A6: Have to make sure Highrise is safe. No bylaws that say owner can’t paint “pretty colors” or not sweep sidewalks. Not to determine whether issue is safety or just eyesore. Not something we can solve tonight. Trailer court has derelict buildings.
Lester A6: Those things are covered by bylaws. Need officer to enforce. Need inspectors to look at structures. #haypoli
Anderson A6: Highrise is “big black mark” on our community. Town has taken steps to deal with issues with building. No place for professionals to go when they come to our town. Trailer court needs to be dealt with, also other areas such as Ranger Apartments. #haypoli
Willows A6: Hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t agree Highrise is eyesore and concern. Only so much town can do. GNWT needs to step up. What do we do with people who live in Highrise? We don’t have enough housing to accommodate those who live there. #haypoli
Bouchard A6: Delicate dealing with private business. As MLS went to emergency measures meetings because of problems with fire alarms and sprinklers. Nowhere to put people if you had to move them out. Has issue with NWT fire marshal. Says he “stalks” events. #haypoli
Bouchard A6: Cites Pond Hockey not being able to use big tent anymore, but Highrise is still allowed to operate. #haypoli
Duford A6: Want to set up committee to contact other towns and communities to find solutions. Need to be delicate about criticizing people’s homes. Maybe create incentives to beautify properties. #haypoli
And we’re done!
Reminder: Election Day is Monday, October 15!
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(Correction: that should say “as MLA”)
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