North

Floyd Roland will remain Inuvik's mayor as he campaigns for MP

'There is no requirement for me to step down as mayor,' Roland said in an email Monday. 'At this time, while I am away from the office for campaign purposes, I will be using annual leave.'

25 days of annual leave will suffice for 78-day election campaign, Roland says

The N.W.T.'s Conservative candidate, Floyd Roland, says he will remain on the job as mayor of Inuvik, even though questions are being raised about whether he can both campaign and adequately serve as the town's full-time mayor.

"There is no requirement for me to step down as mayor," Roland said in an email yesterday. Roland was unavailable for an interview as he said he was campaigning and about to catch a flight.

"At this time, while I am away from the office for campaign purposes, I will be using annual leave."

As mayor, Roland gets 25 days of annual leave — enough to cover just a fraction of the 78-day federal election campaign, one of the longest in Canada's modern history.  

The N.W.T.'s incumbent MP, the NDP's Dennis Bevington agreed there's no rules that prevent Roland from running both as a candidate in a federal election and serving as a mayor, but Bevington says it would be hard for Roland to do both jobs effectively.

"As a candidate you're extremely busy," Bevington said. "And also as a candidate there's some concern around double duty as a politician."

Bevington expects this lengthy campaign to pull candidates away from their home bases for long periods of time.

"You've got 33 communities and most candidates would try to get to as many as possible. In some of the large communities, people expect you to do a lot of door-to-door."

Michael McLeod, the N.W.T.'s Liberal candidate, declined to comment on Roland's situation, but told the CBC that he's resigned from his territorial government job as a tourism development officer with the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, and taken a leave from all professional associations, organizations and boards that he sits on.

"Right now my full-time job is to campaign across the Northwest Territories as the Liberal candidate," McLeod said.

The town of Inuvik says they've double checked whether Roland can serve as mayor and run as a federal candidate with both their lawyers and the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

"He's allowed to have annual leave just like anybody else," said senior administrative officer Grant Hood. "He is a full-time employee of the town. He does have annual leave coming to him. If he wants to use that, he would be no different than any other employee using annual leave."

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