Early election call catches some territorial parties off guard

The early election call has caught some riding associations in the territories off guard, with the Nunavut NDP and N.W.T. Liberal and Green parties yet to announce a candidate.

Nunavut NDP, N.W.T. Liberals yet to announce candidate, Libertarian joins race in Yukon

Doug Workman, vice president for the Nunavut NDP riding association, acknowledges that his party was caught off-guard by the early election call: 'we were hoping to have a candidate.' (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

The longest federal election campaign in recent history is officially underway, and the early election call has caught some riding associations in the territories off guard.

While candidates have been confirmed for the Conservative, Liberal, and Green parties in Nunavut, the NDP are scrambling to get their affairs in order.

The NDP have not yet confirmed a candidate, though Clyde River mayor Jerry Natanine has announced he is seeking the nomination.

"Certainly, we didn't expect [the early call]," said Doug Workman, the vice president of the NDP riding association for Nunavut. "We had heard rumours coming from Ottawa that it might occur, but by no means was our riding association ready for the call."  

Last week, former territorial MLA Hunter Tootoo was confirmed as the Liberal candidate for Nunavut. Conservative MP Leona Aglukkaq is seeking re-election, while Spencer Rocchi will run for the Green Party.

No candidate from N.W.T. Liberals, Greens

In the Northwest Territories, the Liberal Party has yet to announce a candidate. Last week, candidate Kieron Testart removed himself from the list, saying the party "cannot afford to wait any longer" to select a candidate. 

Two names remain in contention for the Liberal nomination: former Deh Cho MLA Michael McLeod, and Gail Cyr, of Yellowknife.
Former N.W.T. premier and current Inuvik mayor Floyd Roland will represent the Conservative Party of Canada in the upcoming election. (CBC)

NDP MP Dennis Bevington will run for re-election in the Northwest Territories, while former premier Floyd Roland has been named the Conservative Party's candidate. Territorial government budget analyst Bob Stewart has also announced his candidacy under the Libertarian Party of Canada banner.

The Green Party has also not yet announced their candidate in the Northwest Territories.

Libertarian joins race in Yukon

All four major Canadian parties have announced their candidates for the Yukon riding: Conservative MP Ryan Leef will seek re-election, while Larry Bagnell will run for the Liberal party. Whitehorse lawyer Melissa Atkinson will run under the NDP banner, while Frank de Jong will run for the Greens.
Whitehorse electrician Cory Laidler is the latest entrant in the race for Yukon MP. Laidler will run under the Libertarian party banner. (Twitter)

However, on Monday, a fifth candidate joined the field: Whitehorse electrician Cory Laidler will run in Yukon under the Libertarian banner.

On the party's website, Laidler says he's a proud atheist, and hopes to reduce over-regulation and red tape imposed on Canadians by government.

Candidates mostly set in Nunavik 

In Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou, NDP incumbent Romeo Saganash is seeking re-election. Pierre Dufour is running for the Liberals.

This week, Steven Hébert was announced as the Conservative candidate, while former Parti Québécois MNA Luc Ferland is expected to run for the Bloc Québécois, according to Radio Canada sources.

The election will be held on October 19. Elections Canada is expected to provide a list of confirmed candidates for all ridings on September 30.

With files from Sima Sahar Zerehi and David Croft


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