Norman Wells election forum focuses on economy, education

About 30 people gathered at the Legion in Norman Wells Thursday to hear the platforms of Judi Tutcho, Yvonne Doolittle, Paul Andrew and Danny McNeely — all vying for the seat previously held by Sahtu MLA Norman Yakeleya.

Paul Andrew, Yvonne Doolittle, Danny McNeely and Judi Tutcho all vying for seat

About 30 people gathered in the Norman Wells Legion Thursday to hear from the four candidates running for the Sahtu seat in the N.W.T. legislature. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

The economy and education were two main topics at a forum for Sahtu MLA candidates last night in Norman Wells. 

Judi Tutcho says education is key. (Kate Kyle/CBC)
About 30 people gathered at the legion to hear the platforms of Judi Tutcho, Yvonne Doolittle, Paul Andrew and Danny McNeely — all vying for the seat previously held by MLA Norman Yakeleya.

"If there are no jobs, please go to school," says Judi Tutcho, who believes education is key to building a future workforce.

She's calling for more trades training in Sahtu communities so people are armed with new skills when industry returns.

Danny McNeely says young people have to see themselves in jobs. (Kate Kyle/CBC)
The Central Mackenzie Valley, a region with rich oil reserves, is bracing for a second winter without oil exploration.

That's meant layoffs at local businesses and people wondering how long this latest slowdown will last.

On the campaign trail, Paul Andrew says people he has met are saying devolution is not enough — land claims need to be settled.

Yvonne Doolittle says education has to happen early. (Kate Kyle/CBC)
"Once that's out of the way we can really start working on economic development in the N.W.T. The Dehcho and Akaitcho have to be settled. The GNWT has a legal obligation to ensure they do that properly."

When it comes to education, Yvonne Doolittle says education promotion needs to happen early.

"Easier to build a strong child than [fix a] broken adult and it costs less."

Paul Andrew says land claims need to be settled. (Kate Kyle/CBC)
She says parents need more supports to get their kids to school each day.

Danny McNeely, who admitted last night he was a Grade 9 dropout, says young people have to see themselves in jobs. Infrastructure projects like the proposed Mackenzie Valley Highway could do that.

"We need a project to help inspire individuals to be an engineer or be a teacher."

All candidates agreed an all-weather highway would boost the economy, but there's still no timeline for that proposed project.


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