Fresh haircut and a coffee
Northern News Services
Monday, August 31, 2015
The federal election campaign got a little cozy on Aug. 26 when Liberal candidate Michael McLeod held a meet-and-greet in the Gourmet Cup at the Centre Square Mall while just one flight above him Floyd Roland, the Conservative candidate, was getting his hair cut at Ragged Ass Barbers.
Neither candidate knew the other was in the same building at the same time. Roland was still in the barber's chair when McLeod's event ended. The two candidates did not physically cross paths.
Roland, who resigned as mayor of Inuvik on Aug. 17 to focus full-time on the election, said he has been busy campaigning in several areas of the NWT.
"I traveled down from Inuvik and connected to Fort Simpson, drove down to Fort Liard and to Nahanni Butte and Simpson again - had a couple of events throughout - got to watch a couple of handgames in Liard and now spending a few days in Yellowknife," he said.
The former premier was the first of the candidates to get his campaign office up and running in Yellowknife. The office, with Roland signs plastered all over the front windows, is almost directly across the street from MP Dennis Bevington's constituency office.
"You want to give easy access to folks who want to come in and say, 'Hi' and of course you want to be visible,"
McLeod talks water
Michael McLeod was not directly answering questions from reporters at his meet-and-greet event but he did talk informally about the Deh Cho Bridge in his hometown of Fort Providence.
McLeod pointed out that the water levels in the Mackenzie River at Fort Providence are so low right now that crossing the river with the old Merv Hardie ferry might have been next to impossible.
He had water on his mind as he headed to High Level, Alta. for the ninth Keepers of the Water conference this past weekend. It brought together indigenous people, environmentalists and concerned citizens to talk about water issues related to the Arctic Ocean basin and Northern waters.
Kieron Testart, who abandoned his plans to seek the NWT Liberal nomination to support McLeod, is now his official campaign manager. Testart said he has taken a leave of absence from his position as policy analyst with the NWT Justice Department to head up McLeod's campaign.
"We will be opening our campaign office in Yellowknife next week," Testart said on Aug. 27.
Camping and campaigning
You could say Dennis Bevington was "camp-aigning" last week as he added a little relaxation and recreation to his schedule when he camped while visiting the Deh Cho region.
He traveled through Fort Simpson, Wrigley, Fort Liard and Enterprise with his wife Joan and they expected to be in Hay River on Aug. 30.
"Somebody called a 78-day campaign," Bevington said in reference to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "We have time. It's a lot different than a 37-day campaign," he said, alluding to the fact that he has a little time to get some camping in. Bevington said he expected to have his campaign office open in the Centre Square Mall in downtown Yellowknife this past weekend or this week. He added that his election signs will also be up this week.
Great white where?
The Green Party of Canada is still insisting that it will be fielding a candidate in the NWT but has yet to announce who it will be.
However, the party might want to brush up on exactly what and where the NWT is. On Aug 21, Kirsten Strom, executive assistant to the party's director of communications, told News/North in an e-mail: "So far we have two candidates nominated in the NWT. There are ongoing nomination meetings in the remainder of the ridings."
She listed the candidates as Frank de Jung in Yukon and Spencer Rocchi in Nunavut. News/North asked Strom for clarification, noting the party did not have a candidate nominated in the NWT and that Yukon and Nunavut are separate territories. Strom had not responded for further comment as of press time.