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Floyd Roland named N.W.T.'s Conservative candidate in federal election

Floyd Roland, mayor of Inuvik, has been officially chosen as the Conservative candidate for the Northwest Territories in this fall’s federal election by the Western Arctic Conservative Association.

Inuvik mayor was the only person to file nomination papers

Floyd Roland says a multi-use facility could be a legacy from the Arctic Winter Games useful for recreation and concerts. (CBC)

Floyd Roland has been officially chosen as the Conservative candidate for the Northwest Territories in this fall's federal election by the Western Arctic Conservative Association. 

The confirmation comes a month after Roland, the current mayor of Inuvik and a former premier of the N.W.T., filed his nomination papers.

He was the only person to seek the Conservative nomination, and was chosen following an interview by a candidate selection committee late last week.

Roland was not available for comment Monday. 

Former premier brings 'baggage'

Roland's term as premier was not without controversy. He admitted to having an extramarital affair with a deputy assembly clerk. Some regular MLAs at the time expressed concerns about the clerk potentially sharing information discussed during confidential, non-cabinet committee meetings. 

Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, a Yellowknife-based writer and consultant, thinks that chapter of Roland's career may follow him to the polls. 

"I think the Conservatives having a candidate with that kind of baggage and background, trying to win the hearts of individuals in the N.W.T., is going to be an uphill battle," she said.

"Yes, he probably has name recognition. But is that name recognition positive? Probably not."  

Other parties trail in selection of candidates 

At a May 23 meeting of the riding association's board of directors, Roland spoke about "the need to address the N.W.T.'s transportation and energy challenges as well as the importance of working together to get local priorities both heard and addressed," according to a post on the association's website.

"He said the N.W.T. needed to ensure its only MP is a member inside the ruling party as it's the best way to get our needs on the federal agenda."

Last week current N.W.T. MP Dennis Bevington announced he will seek the NDP nomination in order to retain his seat in Parliament. The territory's NDP riding association says it hasn't put out a call for nominations yet.

Kieron Testart and Gail Cyr, both of Yellowknife, are the only two people who have filed nomination paperwork with the N.W.T. Federal Liberal Association. The association has not set a date for choosing its candidate.

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