A national perspective
Dowdall embraces federal PC platform, calling it his own

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 30/97) - Bob Dowdall is the political newcomer who's debut on the Northern political scene is the culmination of more than 20 years of waiting for the right moment.

This election, he said, was the right time.

Dowdall sees that people are ready for a different government, one that shares in the excitement of the future. "There's something happening," he said, "in the PC Party."

A long-time Yellowknifer with a keen desire to make life better for Northerners, Dowdall was chosen to represent the Progressive Conservatives because of what he calls their progressive thinking about the future.

He said the party is filled with young, educated, energetic people who can make a difference.

"I stand by their platform," he said. "I believe in smaller governments, smarter spending, better communication with aboriginal groups, and more openness in government -- less close-door meetings, less manipulation."

A Metis who has lived in the NWT for nearly 20 years, Dowdall has worked in several different sectors during that time -- 18 years in the mining industry across the country, 10 years managing GNWT tax programs and five working in small business.

He is also community-minded -- serving as president of Northern Addictions Services, spending a term with the Youth Justice Committee, and many years as a volunteer with minor and recreational hockey.

Throughout his campaign, he has been travelling across the Western Arctic, meeting as many constituents as he can.

During that time, he has stressed the issues focused on by the national PC Party. He has also tried to provide some Northern focus, but with the possible exception of Reform's Mike Watt, has relied more heavily on his party's national platform than any other candidate.

However he's also touched on a number of regional issues such as transfer payment funding, the failure of the federal government to resolve land claims, and getting industry to take an active role to lower unemployment rates.

"The Progressive Conservatives are committed to restoring (transfer payment) funding that has been taken away from the provinces and territories," he said at an all candidates meeting in Yellowknife last week.