Yellowknife South | Bob McLeod, Nigit'stil Norbert and Samuel Roland

After running unopposed in 2011, N.W.T. political stalwart Bob McLeod is facing two young challengers in Yellowknife South in the 2015 election.

Bob McLeod faces two young challengers in Yellowknife riding

Samuel Roland, Bob McLeod, and Nigit'stil Norbert are contesting the riding of Yellowknife South. McLeod has held the riding since 2007. (CBC)

After running unopposed in 2011, N.W.T. political stalwart Bob McLeod is facing two young challengers in Yellowknife South in the 2015 election.

The riding is high-density suburban, embracing middle- and higher-income housing in a newer part of the city. The district is bounded to the north by the neighbourhoods along Finlayson Drive North, to the east by Range Lake Road, to the south by the Kam Lake industrial area, and to the west by the city limits. Voter turnout here, when there are actually contested elections, tends to be middling.

The winner of this riding was acclaimed in two of the last three elections. Former cabinet minister Brendan Bell ran unopposed in 2003. Longtime civil servant Bob McLeod won handily in 2007 and was acclaimed in 2011. He then went on to become premier in the last assembly. He's running again in Yellowknife South and there have been rumours he'd seek an unprecedented second term as premier. McLeod himself has denied saying he'd run for a second term as premier.

McLeod is taking on 30-year old artist and activist Nigit'stil Norbert and 20-year old Samuel Roland, son of former N.W.T. premier Floyd Roland.

Bob McLeod

Born in Fort Providence before moving to Yellowknife in 1979, McLeod worked in the civil service for 28 years before entering politics. He's served as deputy minister in three different departments and was the secretary to cabinet during the 15th Assembly. First elected in 2007, McLeod served as a cabinet minister in the 16th Assembly, before becoming premier in 2011.

McLeod says the economy is still the most important issue facing the territory. He says reducing the cost of living, including energy should be a priority for the next government. He regards the N.W.T's devolution agreement with Ottawa as a work in progress and wants to help create a "made in the North" regulatory system for resource development. 

And it doesn't bother McLeod that he isn't acclaimed for another term: "I think everybody's pleased there's an election in the riding this time."

Campaign website

Nigit'stil Norbert

Yellowknife South candidate Nigit'stil Norbert. (submitted by Michael Aubry)
Norbert is the great granddaughter of chief Paul Niditchie of Tsiigehtchic, one of the signatories of Treaty 11. She lives and works in Yellowknife as an artist (she's a trained photographer) and activist. She's sat on the board of the Artist Run Community Centre and worked with Fracking Action North, the Status of Women Council of the N.W.T., and the Coalition Against Family Violence. Norbert says her campaign is an act of indigenous resistance.

She says her main concern in this election is the environment and what truly sustainable economic development would look like. She's concerned about the impact of fracking on the Northern environment. Norbert thinks the government has been far too closed to public scrutiny and pledges greater transparency from government. She also says mental health and addictions services haven't gotten the attention they deserve during the last government.

Campaign website

Samuel Roland

At 20, Roland is the youngest candidate running in the territorial election. His father Floyd was an MLA for Inuvik Boot Lake for many years and premier from 2007 to 2011. Roland the younger says he grew up in Inuvik watching his father on television and gained his early knowledge of politics from that experience. He's lived in Yellowknife for the last 12 years, and has worked as a security guard and mechanic.

Roland says the N.W.T. needs "economic stability" and promises to work on reducing the cost of living. He's calling for "smart investments" to create jobs for Northern residents.

Campaign Facebook page

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