Where to watch, and question, NWT election candidates

Last modified: September 13, 2019 at 2:14pm

As the October 1 election date nears, Yellowknife voters will have several opportunities to hear candidates share their views in debate-style forums.

NWT political transparency website OpenNWT, with support from the City of Yellowknife, is organizing forums by constituency.

Each is set to run for an hour and a half, allowing voters to hear candidates respond to questions about local concerns in a debate-style event which will also be live-streamed.


Meanwhile, the NWT Chamber of Commerce and the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines are hosting a three-night candidates’ forum at Northern United Place.

Candidates from all Yellowknife ridings as well as neighbouring Monfwi and Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh are set to answer questions from the chambers on the cost of living, the state of the economy, and red tape. These three issues were identified as most pressing, the chambers said, in a survey of members.

An education-focused forum is set for September 25, organized by Yellowknife’s three school districts. The forum will allow the districts a chance to ask MLAs education questions relating to the Yellowknife region.

Dene Nahjo plans to host a series of forums focused on Indigenous issues for the Yellowknife candidates. Those forums have been rescheduled from September 17-19 to September 22-24, see new dates below.

And Alternatives North is hosting forums in association with the Federation of Labour, Ecology North, YWCA, and the NWT Status of Women Council, on September 17 and 18.


Scroll down beneath the Yellowknife dates, below, for forums taking place in other NWT communities.

As election season began in earnest this week, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce asked candidates to commit to recommendations in an election platform the chamber published on Tuesday.

The chamber also wants action on liquor licensing and regulation to create a “more reasonable” environment for the sale of alcohol in Yellowknife.

The chamber is asking candidates to commit to action on creating a redundant fibre line to Yellowknife, and to deal with underfunding of communities, land availability for city expansion, and a future polytechnic institution – which the chamber expects to be headquartered in Yellowknife.


Schedule of Yellowknife pre-election debates

  • September 10, 6-10pm
    Candidates’ forum at Northern United Place
    Frame Lake candidates (6-7pm), Great Slave candidates (7-8pm) and Kam Lake candidates (8-9pm)
  • September 11, 6-10pm
    Candidates’ forum at Northern United Place
    Monfwi candidates (6-7pm), Range Lake candidates (7-8pm), Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh candidates (8-9pm)
  • September 11, 7:30-9pm
    Frame Lake candidates’ debate at William McDonald Middle School Gym
  • September 12, 6-10pm
    Candidates’ forum at Northern United Place
    Yellowknife Centre candidates (6-7pm), Yellowknife North candidates (7-8pm), Yellowknife South candidates (8-9pm)
  • September 17, 7:30-9pm
    Kam Lake candidates’ debate at NJ MacPherson School gym
  • September 17, 7:30-9pm
    Yellowknife North candidates’ debate at Weledeh Catholic School gym
  • September 17, 7-9:30pm
    Alternatives North forum – Northern United Place
    Frame Lake, Great Slave, Range Lake, and Yellowknife Centre candidates
  • September 18, 7:30-9pm
    Range Lake candidates’ debate at Range Lake North School atrium
  • September 18, 7:30-9pm
    Yellowknife Centre candidates’ debate at JH Sissons School gym
  • September 18, 7-9:30pm
    Alternatives North forum – Northern United Place
    Kam Lake, Yellowknife North, and Yellowknife South candidates
  • September 22, 6:30-9pm
    Dene Nahjo Indigenous issues forum – Tree of Peace
    Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh, Great Slave, and Yellowknife North candidates
  • September 23, 6:30-9pm
    Dene Nahjo Indigenous issues forum – Tree of Peace
    Frame Lake, Yellowknife Centre, and Range Lake candidates
  • September 23, 7:30-9pm
    Yellowknife South candidates’ debate at NJ MacPherson School gym
  • September 23, 7:30-9pm
    Great Slave candidates’ debate at Sir John Franklin High School gym
  • September 24, 6:30-9pm
    Dene Nahjo Indigenous issues forum – Tree of Peace
    Yellowknife South and Kam Lake candidates
  • September 25, 6:30pm
    All candidates education forum at St Patrick High School gym

The Hay River Chamber of Commerce is also hosting a forum for the Hay River North, Hay River South, and Deh Cho districts on September 19 at the community hall, starting at 7pm.

The Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum for Thebacha candidates on September 9 at Roaring Rapids Hall, from 7pm till 9pm.

This page will be updated as information about additional debates in Yellowknife and other regions of the NWT is received.

Cabin Radio is also featuring extensive interviews with NWT election candidates. Bookmark our NWT Election 2019 homepage to follow our coverage.