Arlene Hache, a longtime NWT champion of social justice, and incumbent Julie Green are set to face each other in Yellowknife Centre in this fall’s territorial election.
Hache, who received the Order of Canada a decade ago and has been a well-known women’s rights activist in Yellowknife for years, announced on Monday her intention to run in the district.
This will be the fifth time Hache contests a seat in the territory’s legislature, having unsuccessfully stood in the 1987, 1991, 1995, and 2011 elections – the latter two in Yellowknife Centre.
Most recently, in 2011, she was defeated by Robert Hawkins, who took 56 percent of the vote to Hache’s 41 percent.
Hawkins was subsequently defeated in 2015 by former CBC broadcaster Green, the incumbent in Yellowknife Centre, who announced last month her intent to seek re-election.
Hache and Green have both dedicated significant portions of their careers to helping organizations that improve the lives of vulnerable people in the NWT.
Announcing her intention to run on Monday, Hache said: “Not only have I dedicated my life to working with Yellowknife’s street-entrenched community, I myself lived on the streets of Yellowknife. I know what it takes to help people lift themselves out of poverty and regain their sense of self-worth.”
In a news release, Hache focused on concerns about safety in Yellowknife’s downtown.
“Responses to the escalating violence in the downtown core have been well-meaning but largely miss the mark. The sense of community I and others have known has been replaced by fear and dread,” she said.
Hache added territorial leaders had, in her view, “chosen to ignore the fact that we … have issues of violence, victimization, aggression, and lack of safety. I have watched our territorial leaders put blinders on and, simply put, Yellowknifers deserve better.”
Green, who announced her bid for re-election in June, said at the time she had “worked hard for my constituents, all Yellowknifers, and residents of the Northwest Territories to improve outcomes on a wide variety of issues.” She listed affordable housing, junior kindergarten funding, and a “push for binding arbitration to avoid a public sector strike” as some of her first-term accomplishments.
Green said she would, if re-elected, continue to champion affordable and accessible housing, fight government fee and rate increases, try to make investments in clean energy more affordable, and aim to build investment in the likes of tourism, food production, manufacturing, and construction.
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.