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Nakimayak and Blake Jr to defend NWT seats in election

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Northwest Territories MLAs Herb Nakimayak and Frederick Blake Jr have both confirmed they intend to stand for re-election this fall.

Nakimayak replaced Jackie Jacobson as MLA for Nunakput in 2015. Sonny Blake has represented the Mackenzie Delta district since 2011.

Nakimayak's first term in office included handling the failure of barge resupply to communities he represents, such as Paulatuk.

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"Look at the shortfall of MTS and how volatile something like that can become over a year, the negative social and financial impacts," Nakimayak told Cabin Radio on Wednesday, referring to the territorial government's Marine Transportation Services – which is responsible for barge resupply.

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"There are things like that," said Nakimayak, "that I'd like to continue to work with." He gave medical travel policies as an example of issues his region needs to confront in the next four-year assembly.

Blake said "a lot of changes still need to be made" as he declared his intention to seek a third term representing Aklavik, Fort McPherson, and Tsiigehtchic.

"One of the biggest concerns I get is housing – lack of housing. We really need to get buy-in from the federal government to increase our housing stock, because we can't really do it on our own without proper funding," he told Cabin Radio.

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Blake also wants to see the Mackenzie Valley Highway extended to Inuvik as soon as possible, believing it will create a significant economic boost for the territory.

He's telling constituents he has worked to create new employment in the district, and fought to minimize cuts in the region in recent years.

Cabin Radio will feature extensive interviews with NWT election candidates beginning at the start of September, when nominations officially open. Bookmark our NWT Election 2019 homepage to follow our coverage.