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Premier not endorsing brother in election

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Monday, August 24, 2015

Premier Bob McLeod said he is not, at least at this point, officially endorsing his brother Micheal McLeod as he runs for the Liberals in the federal election.

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Bob McLeod: Premier says he won't endorse brother for now.

McLeod has written to all four major party leaders to find out their stance on NWT issues and said his support federally will depend on what he sees in the responses from the leaders.

"My brother has been in politics longer than I have. He is a seasoned politician and he's got a tough job ahead of him for the next 10 weeks or so. There are a lot of issues we can't discuss because of confidentiality but we have a lot of things other than that to discuss when we get together," the premier said.

McLeod said he does not anticipate telling any of his constituents who to vote for federally but did not close the door to it either.

"I haven't yet. I know that previous governments have found it difficult to remain neutral but we'll see how it goes with this campaign."

On the territorial front, McLeod was not willing to say he has a specific goal of remaining premier after the territorial election on Nov. 23.

"There is no process for running for premier. You have to get elected first. That's my first consideration is to get re-elected as MLA for Yellowknife South. If I am elected I will confer with my colleagues and see where it goes," McLeod said.

Roland resigns as Inuvik mayor

Floyd Roland, Conservative candidate in the federal election, has resigned as mayor of Inuvik. Roland, a former NWT premier, told Inuvik town council of his decision on Aug. 17.

In an e-mail to News/North, Roland stated his resignation came earlier than he had anticipated.

"I wish to focus my energies full-time on the federal election campaign," stated Roland.

"It has always been a great honour to serve the people of Inuvik, first as a town councillor, then as an MLA, minister and premier and more recently as mayor," Roland stated.

"I hope I will have the great privilege to continue to serve the people of the NWT as their Conservative Member of Parliament after the fall election."

Roland took a week of vacation from the mayor's chair earlier this month and campaigned with Conservative leader Stephen Harper in Hay River on Aug. 14. He initially said he would remain mayor while campaigning.

Inuvik's senior administration officer Grant Hood said there was nothing legally stopping Roland from remaining mayor while he campaigned for federal office.

He added there was no pressure from town employees for Roland to resign but said he couldn't say if there was any pressure from council.

Inuvik deputy mayor Jim McDonald will be the acting mayor until the municipal election on Oct 19, the same day as the federal election. Roland's voice was still on the outgoing voice mail message on Aug. 21, when News/North called the mayor's office in Inuvik.

Libs replace communications director

The flow of information to News/North from the Federal Liberal Association of the NWT has improved dramatically after the association named a new communications director earlier this month.

Former association president Kieron Testart is now the media liaison for the party in the NWT.

Former candidate takes over

Testart, who ran for the Liberal candidacy in the territory until stepping aside and supporting eventual winner Michael McLeod, replaced Christina Dawn Monroe.

During her time as communications director Monroe blocked a News/North reporter from the NWT Liberal Association Twitter account.

That action followed a tweet that suggested that dealing with reporters in Yellowknife was like "trying to teach chickens the laws of gravity."

It is not entirely clear why Monroe was replaced but it did occur after News/North drew to the attention of federal communications director Olivier Duchesneau in Ottawa her derogatory tweet and Twitter blockages.

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