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Robert Hawkins announces he’ll run again this fall

Robert Hawkins is seen in a supplied image.
Robert Hawkins is seen in a supplied image.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Robert Hawkins declared as the three-time MLA made public his campaign for a return to the legislature this fall.

Hawkins was the MLA for Yellowknife Centre from 2003 to 2015, when he was defeated by now-incumbent Julie Green in a two-way contest. This year, Ambe Chenemu has announced he’ll run in Yellowknife Centre. Green has yet to publicize any plan to seek re-election.

Hawkins says he will pursue practical solutions that aren’t currently being explored on issues like the cost of living, the NWT’s new polytechnic university, and the state of the territory’s healthcare system.

“People are talking about, ‘Well, we want to work harder on the cost of living,’ but they’re not saying anything and there’s no commitment. I’ve got some good ideas. I’m going to suggest we put a freeze on the two-percent payroll tax. That will put real cash in everyday people’s pockets,” Hawkins said on Friday.

He also wants to eliminate what he calls “micro costs,” such as the cost of renewing your vehicle registration or paying for a fishing licence.



More broadly, Hawkins says he will advocate for moving the proposed Yellowknife polytechnic campus from Tin Can Hill to the capital site (the area of the museum and legislature), and will attempt to tackle what he says are the territorial government processes getting in the way of more housing being built.

“I like to think I’ve got some real-world experience. I served 12 years as an MLA and three years on city council. Over the last eight years, I’ve run my own business, Apex – I do property, pests and a whole bunch of other odds and sods. I’m on the ground every day trying to employ people and get jobs done,” Hawkins said.

“I’ve been running an NGO, the John Howard Society, for the last six years and I can see how NGOs struggle day to day, carrying the burden, the weight of government.

“At the end of the day, I call it kitchen-table economics, because people need real-life experience.”

Polling day is October 3. The election period begins a month earlier, at which point prospective candidates can submit their paperwork and confirm they are running.