Keith Peterson has had a hold on this constituency since 2004. Acclaimed in 2008, he’s facing two challengers this year.
Clara Evalik, 48, joined the Government of the NWT out of high school. Thirty years later, she’s a regional director with Nunavut’s department of health. “There was on-the-job training opportunities for youth back then,” she says. “I worked my way up.”
One reason she’s running in this election is to give young people similar chances at education and training. She’s also concerned about health and wellness: she’d like to see a cancer screening program, more mental health workers, and a greater focus on front line staff and the needs of communities.
Evalik is a former commissioner of the Nunavut Implementation Committee, past chair of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college training program in Ottawa, and a former board member of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
She grew up in Cambridge Bay and has spent most of her life there. She even speaks conversational Innuinaqtun. “I think there’s so much potential here. We just need to figure out how to work together.”
Fred Pedersen, 50, is originally from Kugluktuk and he’s spent his whole life between there and Cambridge Bay, where he’s served on both hamlet councils.
Pedersen studied business administration at Nunavut Arctic College. He’s currently the director of planning and communications for the Kitikmeot Inuit Association. He’s also worked with the Nunavut government in economic development and transportation and for municipal services under the Northwest Territories government.
He say’s he’s running in this election because Cambridge Bay is undergoing a mini-boom. “There’s a lot of projects coming up and I want to see if I can help the residents benefit from those projects.”
Pedersen says his biggest issues are food security, housing and transportation. He says he’ll use his experience working with hamlets, government and Inuit organizations to create partnerships to get things done.
Keith Peterson, 57, has called Cambridge Bay home since 1973. Before entering territorial politics, he worked for the Northwest Territories government and the Kitikmeot Corporation. He also spent four years as Cambridge Bay’s mayor, and two as president of the Nunavut Association of Municipalities.
Peterson first won this constituency decisively in 2004, beating a slate of first-time candidates. In 2008, he faced no challengers, and went on to serve as minister of Finance, Health and Social Services and later, Justice.
Now, Peterson says he wants to keep working “to improve the quality and standard of life in Cambridge Bay.” If re-elected, he wants to find a way to add services to the under-used health centre that opened in 2005. He also wants to work on solutions for housing and mental health services, and help people in the community take advantage of the business opportunities that come with mining.