Few new faces elected in N.W.T.
The 17th N.W.T. legislative assembly is going to look a lot like the 16th, minus one cabinet minister.
All incumbents who ran for re-election won on Monday night, with the exception of former transportation minister Michael McLeod, who lost his Deh Cho seat to Michael Nadli, a former grand chief of the Dehcho First Nations from 1997 to 2003.
The other four fresh faces were elected in ridings where there were no incumbents.
In Inuvik Boot Lake, Alfred Moses narrowly edged out Chris Larocque by just five votes for the seat vacated by former premier Floyd Roland. Moses received 216 votes, Larocque, 211. Grant Gowans received 63 votes, and Paul Voudrach, 18. A recount is automatic if the difference in votes is less than two per cent of the total votes cast in the district.
Moses, 34, said his priorities as MLA-elect are education and health care.
"We’re going to make Inuvik a better place," he told his supporters Monday night.
"It’s time that the people start living a healthy lifestyle, and rise up from the living conditions that they’re in, and we’re going to make things a lot better here in Inuvik."
In Mackenzie Delta, Frederick Blake Jr. won the seat with 190 votes. Taig Connell finished second with 150. Eugene Pascal received 127 votes, Joanne Mary Clark, 89, and Glenna Hansen, 66.
The biggest challenge facing this assembly is getting a fair deal on devolution, Blake said.
"There's lots of people who don't agree with it," he said.
"We need to get everyone onside. A lot of land claim groups have the opportunity to have their own devolution agreement and I think we need to work on that and move forward as a territory."
In Hay River North, Robert Bouchard took the seat vacated by former Speaker Paul Delorey. Bouchard received 363 votes, Roy Courtoreille, 265, and Beatrice Lepine, 133.
Bouchard, who runs a snow removal company in Hay River and is an auctioneer, said it was a tense evening watching the results come in.
"The first poll came in from Vale Island, which we know our opponents were strong in that area, and they both beat us," he said.
"We came in third in the first poll. The second poll we got ahead by a couple. We kept gaining, and in the fourth poll we basically sealed our victory. It was probably the most dramatic way to win."
Daryl Dolynny won Yellowknife's Range Lake riding with 277, which was former health minister Sandy Lee's seat. He won against David Wasylciw, who picked up 210 votes. Beaton MacKenzie got 167 and Norman Smith got 64.
Yellowknife's Frame Lake once again had the lowest voter turnout in the territory. The turnout was even lower this year at just 25 per cent. In 2007, that number was 45 per cent.
Miltenberger, Lafferty re-elected
The two remaining cabinet ministers who weren't acclaimed were re-elected. In Fort Smith, deputy premier Michael Miltenberger kept his seat in Thebacha, garnering 333 votes. Former Fort Smith mayor Peter Martselos took 187 votes, and Jeannie Marie Jewell took 126.
In Monfwi, Jackson Lafferty, minister of Justice and Education, Culture and Employment, kept his seat with 739 votes. Bertha Rabesca Zoe received 600 votes.
In Sahtu, Norman Yakeleya won with 435 votes compared to Rocky Norwegian's 299. Yakeleya said he will put his name in for premier.
In Hay River South, Jane Groenewegen won by 126 votes over Marc Miltenberger. She received a total of 465 votes, compared to Miltenberger's 339.
In Nahendeh, Kevin Menicoche kept his seat, receiving 411 votes compared to 117 for Bertha Norwegian.
In Nunakput, Jackie Jacobson kept his seat with 312 votes compared to Eddie Dillon's 199.