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NWT Greens postpone selection of candidate

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The Green Party in the NWT says it's postponing selection of a candidate from its two-man shortlist until June at the earliest.

Members of the party had been due to choose either Paul Falvo or Will Gagnon on Friday.

However, the local party said it needed more time to follow national Green Party regulations and fully form an Electoral District Association.

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No candidate will be nominated before June 9, a local party representative said.

The change came ahead of a forum on Friday designed to showcase the two prospective candidates to members.

Lawyer Falvo, appearing by phone, and Ecology North employee Gagnon both made short speeches and addressed a range of questions from around a dozen people in attendance.

The party said on the night it has roughly 50 people eligible to choose the eventual Green candidate.

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Former Yellowknife city councillor Falvo, noting he was twice successfully elected to that position, said he was "doing this ... for the future," identifying climate change, food security, and "establishing a diversified local economy in a world that is turning away from fossil fuels" as his priorities.

Gagnon told the audience: "I have a lot of eco-anxiety, and the only way to tame it is to really do something about it.

"I was looking around for who's going to run and people were like, 'Will, why don't you run?' This is why I'm running," he said, highlighting carbon pricing and food security as key issues.

Questions from the floor focused on how Greens in the NWT – witnessing breakthroughs elsewhere, such as in a recent federal by-election in BC – could capture the territory's attention.

One participant, saying they had heard local Conservatives plan to send their candidate to all communities, wondered how the Green hopefuls could effectively reach out across the NWT.

Another asked what the Greens' "edge" could be in the forthcoming federal election, which is scheduled for October 21.

"The issue," said Falvo, "is that there's going to be a cost to addressing solutions to climate change – but there's a cost, potentially an even bigger cost, to not addressing it.

"As we know, we in the North are going to be affected by climate change faster than other parts of Canada. But often, it's people who can least afford it. People are struggling to put groceries on their table and provide for their families already.

"We have to be sensitive to that fact. I think what a Green MP from the Northwest Territories can bring to the national party is awareness of the differences in the North."

With files from Sarah Pruys.