Meet Yellowknife's municipal election candidates
17 people are running for seats on council; here they are, in their own words
Yellowknife's municipal election is right around the corner. CBC North asked each candidate for mayor and city council to tell us a bit about themselves, their priorities and why voters should tick their name. Here are their replies.
Responses are listed in alphabetical order.
Candidates for mayor
MARK HEYCK: I'm a born and raised Yellowknifer and grew up in the Con Mine area of the city. I attended McGill University where I studied history. I first ran for City Council in 2003 and served three terms. In 2012 I was elected Mayor. I'm deeply passionate about and committed to our community.
One of my top priorities is finding solutions to address homelessness in Yellowknife, and creating a safe downtown. I will also put an emphasis on economic development by working with businesses to identify opportunities for local economic development and diversification. Cost of living is also a priority, and we should address both housing costs and the cost of energy.
I'm experienced and have a proven track record of dealing with issues in an effective and balanced manner. I'm accessible and responsive, and I understand the importance that the Mayor's position plays as Yellowknife's voice on the territorial and national stage. I've put a great deal of emphasis during this term of office on improving our communication and engagement with our citizens.
JOHN HIMMELMAN: I am 52-year-old former bank manager who became a chartered accountant. I train year round to complete an Olympic distance triathlon each summer.
High housing costs have been caused by the city's active land management plan. It acquires land for free and sells it for large profits. The average two-bedroom rental in Yellowknife is $1,600 a month. In Whitehorse, it is $900. That difference of $700 ($1,600-$900) in the hands of families can change their lives. This is the difference I want to make.
Together you and I can undo the disconnect city hall has with the people and position Yellowknife to be the envy of other capitals.
Candidates for city council
REBECCA ALTY: I just finished my first term on council and I'm currently the director of communications and community development at AVENS – A Community for Seniors.
If re-elected, I'll be focusing on maintaining and improving our current assets and core services. We have roads, water and sewer, and parks that are in terrible conditions. Before investing in nice-to-have projects, we need to fix what we currently have.
During my past term on council, I've worked hard to educate myself on all decisions – by reading the memos, researching what other jurisdictions are doing, and talking to residents. I commit to continuing to work hard for all residents.
ADRIAN BELL: I've lived in Yellowknife for 32 years and I've been a small business owner since 1996. I'm the managing broker and owner of Century 21 Prospect Realty and I'm the current director of fundraising for the Long John Jamboree Society.
With one term under my belt I now believe we need to focus on five key areas: improving core services, better lobbying for strategic objectives, spending transparency and scrutiny, broadening our downtown strategy and improving accountability.
The last three years on council have been truly fulfilling. I work hard at it and I believe I'm effective at moving initiatives forward.
MARK BOGAN: I have lived in Yellowknife for more than 30 years and work as a support staff at the Safe Harbour Day Shelter.
When elected I will reduce frivolous expenditures; concentrate on the basics of local government; avoid adding to the high cost of living in Yellowknife; focus on repairing and maintaining roads, water and sewer; address the social problems of the downtown core; and, maintain a dialogue with our residents and push your concerns and ideas.
My aim is to show how Yellowknife is a great place to raise a family. As a long-term citizen I hope you will show your confidence in me on election day. Thank you.
LINDA BUSSEY: I have lived in Yellowknife for more than 19 years. I was a school board trustee for two school boards, board member or executive committee member of various cultural/social/sports organizations and I am current president of Yellowknife Crime Stoppers. I have invested time and energy in my community, and have proven to be dedicated and engaged. I raised my family here and plan to retire here.
I will defend a sustainable budget that reflects the needs of our community pursue implementation of a Housing First Project, advocate for supporting local businesses, and maintaining sport and recreation programs for all ages. I want to make Yellowknife a choice for retiring.
I deliver on my commitments; I am fiscally responsible and make communication a priority.
THOM JARVIS: I'm a long-term Yellowknifer who has an extended family history in this city going back to the '60s. I work in economic development as a developmental lender assisting with the creation and expansion of business across the territory with a focus on Métis and Dene entrepreneurs. I was a board member with the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and the Akaitcho Business Development Corporation.
There is a need to be extra diligent with the city's finances during this economic downturn. This will require a focus on core basic city responsibilities. We deal with a high cost of living and the city must be mindful not to exacerbate this situation with rising taxes and user fees. We also face some serious social issues that cannot be rectified by city efforts alone. Strong working relationships need to be cultivated between the city and the other levels of government to work together on these.
If elected, Yellowknifers can expect me to be mindful of their tax dollars and to strive to keep the city focused on core responsibilities.
NIELS KONGE: No profile or photo submitted.
MARIE-SOLEIL LACOURSIERE: I'm a long-term Yellowknifer, business leader, and francophone mother of five. I'm passionate about improving our city for future generations.
I'll ensure solid financial decisions at City Hall by putting my experience managing hundreds of millions in contracts to work. We must prioritize small business; the city shouldn't stifle entrepreneurs. Modern, smart taxation to incentivize downtown densification is also on my agenda.
I'll be doing this with more public input than ever by using IserveU. In me, Yellowknifers would gain the most experienced financial manager of the crowd and a dedicated mother who understands the challenges families face in our city.
- 61 years old, 35 years in Yellowknife
- married, 5 children, 2 step-children
- Educator/ former small business owner
- Awarded recognition for community volunteer work from Yellowknife/ Federal Government of Canada
- Priorities: Low income housing task force to seek a better efficiency format for the homeless
- Housing for seniors
- Reduce the cost of living through energy resources, taxes and streamline departments at City Hall.
DANE MASON: I love this place. I see public service as a duty, and will donate my council salary to Yellowknife charities that help make our city even better. I have a great deal of public sector experience, a master's degree in public administration, and a focus in risk management which I would like to bring to the table.
I want to get more Yellowknife voices involved in council dialogue and decisions through IserveU. I want to reduce spending that falls outside our core mandate, balance our budget, and put priority on road repairs, water and sewer, and delivering excellent client service.
My priorities if re-elected are not very exciting: focus our city's limited resources on our core responsibilities such as water, sewer, roads, waste, recreation and protection. Also the city needs to assist local groups and partnerships with providing additional services to address the downtown social issues.
JUGJIT MORE-CURRAN: I've been an HR professional in Yk since 2003 and more recently launched my own business. I'm also a community volunteer, donor and sport angler.
My top priority is reducing the cost of living and working in Yellowknife. I will also champion accountability, economic development, land and waterfront access, social safety nets, maintaining current infrastructure, and working with other levels of governments and aboriginal groups to advance our priorities.
I am diligent, professional, honest, dedicated, intelligent, practical and fair. Voters will get a councillor who supports both progressive change and fiscal responsibility if they mark an X beside my name.
SHAUNA MORGAN: I am highly active in this community, with a diverse range of passions and contributions: as accompanist for the Yellowknife Choral Society, a member of the garden collective, an advocate with Alternatives North, a Heritage Committee member, a piano teacher, and a participant in many sports leagues. I have managed the Pembina Institute's northern program, focused on renewable energy solutions for communities. I am trained in conflict resolution and facilitation of public participation.
My priorities are to lower energy costs for homeowners via green retrofits, to speed up progress on homelessness and affordable housing, and to ensure smart growth.
I bring fresh energy and skills in bridging diverse perspectives and meaningfully engaging people. I find creative solutions, break through impasses and get things done.
JULIAN MORSE: I am a proud Yellowknifer: having lived here since I was six years old, I am strongly committed to this city. I currently work in mining regulation, and I have extensive volunteer experience in the community.
If elected, my priorities will be working to reduce the cost of living, incentivizing business and downtown revitalization, alleviating homelessness, increasing accountability of administration, and developing and implementing a long-term vision for the city, with the goal of recruitment and retention of citizens.
I will bring new ideas to the table, and a strong voice for increasing Yellowknife's current and future prosperity.
STEVE PAYNE: I moved to Yk in 1996 from Newfoundland. I work as a teacher at YCS and own a local business.
I want to help make Yellowknife more affordable. I also want to work on a solution to help the homeless situation in Yellowknife.
I am invested in the north and I feel that I speak for the average person here. I talk to residents every day in my business and I hear their concerns. If voted in, I will be a voice for the people and make my decisions with the interests of Yellowknifers in mind.
ROMMEL SILVERIO: I'm a Filipino-Canadian and Yellowknife resident for nearly 20 years. I pursued education in nursing while holding multiple jobs. I now co-ordinate patient care at Stanton; the same place I started as a custodian nearly 20 years ago.
I'd prioritize pursuing increasing access to facilities and programs citizens need through targeted user fee elimination. Using IserveU, I will ensure accountability and public input. An innovative policing strategy to improve public safety is also a priority.
Yellowknifers' vote for me will support someone with team co-ordination skills and the drive to give back to a city that gave me so much.