Status of Women Council of the NWT
Status of Women Council of the NWT

The Status of Women Council of the Northwest Territories has posed the following 3 questions to all of the MLA candidates in the 2019 territorial election and will post their responses as they come in.

Will you commit to identifying a Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan, to be developed by the Government of the Northwest Territories in collaboration with relevant partners and stakeholders, as a Priority of the 19th Legislative Assembly? Yes or no (100 word limit to written response)

The rate of police-reported family violence in the NWT is the second highest in the country; second only to Nunavut. The rate of family violence against children and youth is nearly four times the national average; 75% of these child and youth victims are female. Police-reported family violence against seniors is more than 19 times the national average and of these seniors, 59% are female. Intimate partner violence increased by 12% in the NWT from 2016 to 2017, with associated rates being 9 times higher than the national average and the second highest in the country. 80% of the victims of intimate partner violence in the NWT are female. (Source: Statistics Canada)

Please see below for responses from the MLA candidates:

Frame Lake - Kevin O’Reilly response: Yes and I had worked towards and supported this action by the 18th Assembly.  Family Violence is largely targeted at women and girls and causes trauma, injury and fear. It contributes to mental and physical health impairment and causes impaired brain development for preschool children who witness such events.  It prevents them from participating fully in community life.

 The strategy and action plan must consider the evolution of this problem in the context of the history of colonization and the multi-generational impact of residential schools. It should focus on safety and dignity of victims but also healing and reconciliation.  Men must play an active part.  We should also consider the lessons learned and best practices from other jurisdictions.

Great Slave - Katrina Nokleby response: Yes, I would prioritize the Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan as I believe this is one of the key issues preventing the NWT from thriving. Many women, children, and families are suffering as a result of abuse within the home. We need to address the key issues, including root trauma and addictions, as well as provide support and educational programming to begin healing our families.

Great Slave - Patrick Scott response: Yes. Family Violence Strategy and Acton Plan is essential if we as a community (Yellowknife) and NWT are to see healthier and safer places to raise our children. I strongly support prevention programs. Parenting skills workshops, special programs for young men and fathers/husbands are lacking, as are adequate supports for women and children when they face domestic violence. So, yes is my answer.

Kam Lake - Robert Hawkins response: Yes. Absolutely.  In the work I do as Executive Director of the John Howard Society, I far too often see the tragic life consequences to women and their families from incidents of family violence. Working to reduce family violence has been a passion of mine and I am committed as a professional and as a member of my community to deal with this critical issue.

Kam Lake - Kieron Testart response: Yes

Kam Lake - Cherish Winsor response: Yes. My platform includes a strategic territorial action plan to end family violence through community supports including expanding the shelter network, increasing road access to more communities and creating safe houses in all communities. This is a complex issue that requires a strategic, trauma-informed lens to identify the many ways in which the GNWT and other stakeholders can support victims and rehabilitate perpetrators. A strategy and action plan would help to align programs and identify gaps. This will also serve to support the National Inquiry into MMIWG Calls for Justice as part of the overall issue of violence against women.

Nahendeh - Mike Drake response: Yes. The statistics regarding family violence in the NWT is staggering and totally unacceptable. The statistics show women in the NWT are at higher risks than the national average. To tackle a societal issue of this magnitude requires not only collaboration of relevant partners and stakeholders but the commitment and leadership at the Territorial level to ensure a clear action plan is developed, including appropriate legislation. We need to do a better job of ensuring the safety and protection of victims of violence, implement support services to those that need it as well as strengthen and enhance the networks already established in the north. If elected to the Legislative Assembly, I agree to make family violence a priority and press for the development of a Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan for the NWT with the required resources to implement.

Nahendeh - Shane Thompson response: Yes, I would be willing to advocate for this strategy and action plan. As the GNWT starts working on developing this strategy and action plan, I would like the GNWT to start with:

  • Rising awareness of the problem of family violence and the impacts it has on our society. 

  • Help connect community residents to services and programs which are offered in their community regardless if it is a NGO or GNWT program.

  • Continue to build on the networks within communities that stand up against family violence. 

Range Lake - Hughie Graham response: Yes.

Sahtu - Daniel McNeely response: Yes. There is a huge need to build healthy families.  This was a mandate of the 18th assembly and must continue.

Thebacha - Don Jaque response: Yes. I will definitely commit to a family violence action plan. It is repugnant and barbaric that we need to have Women’s Shelters in our communities. Much of the violence in families is related to alcohol abuse. I quit drinking alcohol 12 years ago on principle because of the damage it does to families and Indigenous culture in the NWT. But there is more to this issue than alcohol. It is a complex one that includes poverty and other causes. I will happily commit to developing a Family Violence Action Plan as Thebacha MLA.

Thebacha - Louis Sebert response: Yes. Rates of family violence are truly shocking. We have excellent family residence shelters in five communities with excellent staff. We need to expand the shelter system to more communities. To deal with the underlying causes of family violence we should expand the use of programs such as A New Day and the D.V.TO. Court System.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Nadine Delorme response: Yes. I am a survivor of domestic violence. I escaped Ontario to NWT without my child in 2014. I had worked on a proposal for a sex assault unit, but a Minister did not feel the need for it. Is this a value that NWT wants to portray of system discrimination toward women and girls? I know there is a need for a comprehensive, holistic healing framework for a Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan using the CHA Factor (Collaborate/Heal/Activate). New Zealand recently passed a Bill allowing domestic violence victims paid leave while recovering and relocating. I shall ensure the GNWT creates a similar Act of Compassion.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Lila Fraser Erasmus response: Yes.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Steve Norn response: Yes. This is issue is very dear to me.  I have seen firsthand the terrible costs of Family Violence as a former Police Officer and in my current role as a Crown Witness Coordinator with the PPSC.   In my opinion, these disproportionate per capita numbers are the result of a combination of issues such as substance addictions and residential school trauma.

Alcohol and substance abuse are often the source of these problems and needs to be part of the conversation.  I propose to have a proper, fully staffed Addictions facility reintroduced in the NWT.   According to the experts, we have regressed enough as it is.   People suffering with addictions are still being sent south at a great cost to the taxpayer.  In my opinion, sober families are families that will be more likely to live in safe, loving homes. 

Yellowknife Centre - Julie Green response: Yes. It is time for the relevant partners to create an alliance to work on a Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan and provide oversight of its implementation. While the 18th Assembly’s mandate described family violence as a crisis (and it is), investments in prevention and treatment were not commensurate with the scale of the problem. More funding for shelters is welcome. Efforts on the “changing hearts and minds” front have been minimal. I made several requests to government to repeat the survey of family violence attitudes without success. I believe having more women MLAs advocating in this area will make a difference.

Yellowknife Centre - Niels Konge response: The short answer is Yes. Without a strategy and plan it is very difficult to address anything. This would be the first step in reduction of family violence.

Yellowknife North - Rylund Johnson response: Yes. A strategy and action plan which identifies the current gaps and necessary programming is the first step required. We must focus on supports for women and children who experience family violence including safe houses and assistance in navigating the protection order process. Additionally, we must increase rehabilitative programming aimed at those who commit domestic violence. This will be a key priority for me in the 19th assembly.

Yellowknife North - Jan Vallillee response: Yes. Family violence is a significant public health issue and research continues to indicate that a cross-departmental collaborative response would be the most effective way to address incidents and work towards nonviolence across the territory.  Establish a territorial death review committee to review intimate partner homicides as a way to advance our territorial responses to these events. Policy-makers need to work together to support women and children impacted by violence so that they can feel supported and safe to leave violent situations.  One example is addressing policies to ensure information is shared effectively and safely between departments, organizations and service providers to effectively collaborate in efforts to support women and children experiencing violence. Increasing the capacity (bed availability, therapeutic programming with qualified professionals) and accessibility of family violence shelters is another important step to supporting women and children in crisis. Policy-makers need to develop sustainable, evidence-based programs and strong judicial responses targeted to perpetrators. Education and awareness campaigns need to address the normalization of violence and strengthen an understanding of healthy relationships.

Yellowknife North - Cory Vanthuyne response: Yes. Violence against intimate partners, ex-partners and family members should be regarded with urgency and seriousness. Domestic violence is a complicated problem, but we can’t just throw up our hands and give up because the problem seems insurmountable. The inaction by the GNWT on these issues to date cannot be excused, but the time is now, on the heels of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry and other positive developments, to bring these human rights issues to the forefront and give them the attention and resources they demand.

Yellowknife South - Gaeleen MacPherson response: Yes.

Yellowknife South - Caroline Wawzonek response: Yes. I support having the Government of the Northwest Territories coordinate the development of a Family Violence Strategy and Action Plan that is lead by women. I believe this is an opportunity to bring together the many strong NWT-organizations working to promote gender equality.

A national family violence strategy and action plan is also overdue. Given the especially high rates of violence against women in the NWT, we have a vested interest to show leadership by developing our own strategy as well as by being a political voice on the national stage asking the Federal government to do the same.


Will you work to ensure the territorial government implements this Call for Justice in the NWT during the first year of the 19th Legislative Assembly? Yes or no (100 word limit to written response)

Considering the 2018 Auditor General’s Report on the Child & Family Services in the NWT, as well as the Calls for Justice, specifically 12.9, in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered indigenous Women and Girls which states the following:

“We call for the establishment of a Child and Youth Advocate in each jurisdiction with a specialized unit with the mandate of Indigenous children and youth.”

Please see below for responses from the MLA candidates:

Frame Lake - Kevin O’Reilly response: Yes.  I took the results of the 2018 Auditor General’s Report on the Child & Family Services in the NWT quite seriously and asked several questions of the former Minister.  I have consistently supported the recommendations of MMIWG and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  These studies investigated how we deal with Indigenous children in detail and came up with sound recommendation such as a Child and Youth Advocate in each jurisdiction, which I fully support. 

Great Slave - Katrina Nokleby response: Yes, I would support the creation of a Child and Youth Advocate position, an impartial 3rd party who could help clients and families navigate the system and secure the appropriate resources.

Great Slave - Patrick Scott response: Yes. A Youth Advocate will be an important element in the overall Strategy. Our youth have few support services in counselling and mental health. The recommendation of the MMIWG should be implemented in the NWT.

Kam Lake - Robert Hawkins response: Yes. Absolutely. I am experienced and have been successful in understanding the Legislative Assembly process and would be ready to help champion this in whatever way I could contribute.

Kam Lake - Kieron Testart response: Yes

Kam Lake - Cherish Winsor response: Yes. Again, my platform states that I will advocate for a Child and Youth Advocate to independently represent the rights of children and hold government accountable when programs and policies fail to meet their needs. As a jurisdiction with a large Indigenous population, I believe the Advocate should have a mandate for all children, not necessarily separate units based on ethnicity. The office of the Advocate will require sufficient funding and staff to appropriately handle their case load, once a benchmark is identified.

Nahendeh - Mike Drake response: Yes. The rate of violence against children and youth in the NWT at nearly four times the national average is cause for deep concern. The Child and Family Services Department of Health and Social Services received a damning report from the Auditor General of Canada, tabled in the NWT Legislature, October 2018 outlying serious deficiencies in the Department of Child and Family Services, some worse than a review conducted four years earlier. Approximately a thousand children per year, the majority of whom are indigenous are at risk because of these deficiencies. The Department responded by drafting a Quality Improvement Plan 2018 to 2020. This Quality Improvement Plan, although a good first step, needs First Nations involvement and oversight. Could we do more? I’m please to see the national inquiry commissioners provide guidance for us among their calls for justice. The report lays out what Indigenous people have understood for a long time. Concrete and systemic change must happen for indigenous women and girls, in fact, for all Indigenous people to enjoy the safety and security taken for granted by other Canadians.

Nahendeh - Shane Thompson response: Yes, I would advocate for the establishment of a Child and Youth Advocate in the NWT.  They need an advocate that will focus on their needs moving forward.  It is unfortunate, this has not happened yet.

Range Lake - Hughie Graham response: Yes.

Sahtu - Daniel McNeely response: Yes. I will support the continuation of recommendations as outlined in the auditor general report.  The measurements of success would be collaboration of stakeholders.

Thebacha - Don Jaque response: Yes. Infrastructure was the focus of the last assembly and little was done to enhance quality of life in communities (such as universal childcare). Programs in communities for Children and Youth ebb and flow depending on leadership and motivated volunteers. Continuity is needed along with a better understanding among leaders. Every effort must be made to stop the tragedy of young indigenous women as victims, including addressing the ravages of poverty and the dark side of social biases. As Thebacha MLA I would definitely support a permanent advocate as a cornerstone for programs for youth, particularly indigenous female youth.

Thebacha - Louis Sebert response: Yes. Our neighbouring jurisdictions have established Child and Youth Advocate offices providing individual advocacy for children and youth. We should establish a similar office.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Nadine Delorme response: Yes, I fully commit to entrenching several if not all of the Final Report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice within the first year of the Legislative Assembly. I am a 60s Scoop Survivor. I have suffered a ‘primal wound’ due to separation at birth. I have spent decades on a healing journey ‘My Odyssey: The Quest for Troy.” I am a child welfare advocate, speaking at a Solidarity March on Parliament Hill March 16, 2018. It would be an honour to entrench the Calls for Justice in the Legislative Assembly to ensure safe environments for women, children and families. I am ready to #Equalize for Forum!

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Lila Fraser Erasmus response: Yes.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Steve Norn response: Yes. Again, I believe our government at the Federal and Territorial levels are falling behind in terms of assisting our younger population. Sadly, many are victims of crime and do not know who to turn to and DO NOT trust the law enforcement community. Having a trained and competent Child and Youth advocate is something I will support.

Yellowknife Centre - Julie Green response: Yes. I made several statements in the House calling for a Child and Youth Advocate. First, children in care have rights, including the right to be heard and treated fairly. Second, the NWT has had an average of 1,000 kids in care each year for the last 10 years. Third, the Auditor General, in his 2018 report, noted serious failings in the provision of child and family services. We need someone whose primary job is providing oversight in this area. Finally, we are the only jurisdiction in the country without a child and youth advocate.

Yellowknife Centre - Niels Konge response: Again, the short answer is Yes. Children and youth need advocates who will work for them with their best interests in mind. I think this specific Call for Justice will help empower those who need it most.

Yellowknife North - Rylund Johnson response: Yes. This is a much-needed position that will assist in protecting those who are most vulnerable in our society. The lack of dedicated child and youth advocates in each community has resulted in unnecessary conflicts and more work for all those who work in the child protection field. The independence of such a position is critical such that they can ensure all decisions are being made are in the best interest of the child.

Yellowknife North - Jan Vallillee response: Yes. There are 231 calls for justice. My recommendation is to, once again, collaborate with appropriate NGO’s and arms length government branches. I think it would be far more viable to prioritize the 231 calls for justice so the most pressing issues are dealt with right out of the gate. Once prioritized, it is important to track the department or NGO actioning each call for justice item, make that readily available through regularly scheduled meetings. We must make sure all parties involved are aware of the other’s progress. There will be many instances where crossover between NGO’s is required. In order to prevent duplication and ensure everybody stays on track, monthly if not bi-monthly meetings to track progress must be held.

Yellowknife North - Cory Vanthuyne response: Yes. I support the creation of the position of Child and Youth Advocate. The 2018 Auditor General's Report on Child and Family Services confirmed the GNWT has made decisions that place the interests of children second to other considerations, resulting in the authorities not meeting key responsibilities for the protection and well-being of children, youth, and their families. The Auditor General emphasized the need for oversight. A Child and Youth Advocate would provide a much-needed voice to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. You may recall in our last session, that on behalf of Mr. Andy Young, I tabled a petition of around 370 signatures advocating for this position and I have now made it a priority of my campaign.

Yellowknife South - Gaeleen MacPherson response: Yes.

Yellowknife South - Caroline Wawzonek response: Yes. A NWT Child and Youth Advocate would support the government’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and ensure appropriate, accessible and accountable government services for youth and children, particularly those who are in the government’s care under the Child and Family Services Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. I believe this is an opportunity to take the best of the already existing models in almost every other province and territory while ensuring the mandate complements the work being done by the NWT’s Office of the Children’s Lawyer. To be successful, this commitment will require funding, coordinating with other child and youth services, and adequate staffing but I am confident that much can be accomplished within the first year of the 19th Assembly.


As a Member of the 19th Legislative Assembly, please identify three (3) concrete actions you will take to advance the equality of women and girls in the Northwest Territories? (150 word limit to written response)

Please see below for responses from the MLA candidates:

Frame Lake - Kevin O’Reilly response:

  1. I will support measures to increase the percentage of women representatives in the Legislative Assembly, in Cabinet, and other leadership opportunities.

  2. I will support measures that help create universal, affordable and high-quality childcare throughout the NWT.  This has been estimated to cost only $20-25 million per year but the returns will be significant for parents, especially women who will be empowered to enter the workforce.

  3. I will support fair bargaining and settlement of collective agreements as this is another way to ensure that the wage gap between men and women is made obsolete and eradicated.  Iceland has achieved the elimination of the wage gap and has shown this is possible.

Great Slave - Katrina Nokleby response:

  1. Continue to fund the campaign schools and other programs that advance leadership opportunities for young women and girls. Initiate an MLA mentorship program that brings young women into the Legislative Assembly to job shadow members and ministers and expose them to the workings of the territorial government.

  2. Implement a review of gender equality within the GNWT at all levels, particularly Senior Management, that outlines achievable goals and meaningful recommendations for improving gender parity within the government and its departments.

  3. Advocate for affordable and accessible daycare. Women are burdened by prohibitive costs for caring for their children and this keeps them from reaching their full potential.

Great Slave - Patrick Scott response:

  1. My wife and I have raised 6 daughters. I value equality for woman. Where gender discrimination is identified, I will advocate for change.

  2. I will call for universal daycare and after school care, so mothers have an equal opportunity to enter the workforce.

  3. I will engage and consult with the Status of Women’s Council to get advice and I am supporting the Council’s initiatives.

Kam Lake - Robert Hawkins response:

Thanks for the opportunity to list some priorities, but I would also like to say that any action I would undertake would only be after a deeply consultative process with representative women’s organizations and their membership. I would seek to understand before I sought to act. It is the respectful and right thing to do. That said, here are three concrete actions I would propose in such a consultation:

  1. Poverty Reduction - Through economic sustainability and growth such as micro-loans & economic development options that serve women’s interests.

  2. Political Engagement – Help further the connections of political engagement, involvement and activism.

  3. Housing & Social Supports – Ensure that accessibility better options and policies that support independence and empowerment.

Kam Lake - Kieron Testart response:

  1. I will continue to work tirelessly to implement the recommendations of the 2018 Auditor General’s Report on Child & Family Services here in the NWT.

  2. I will continue to work to ensure that the GNWT implements the Calls for Justice outlined by the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls.

  3. I will advocate for the creation of a permanent Premier’s Youth Council with balanced gender representation to ensure that girls have a seat at the table.

Kam Lake - Cherish Winsor response: As President of the YWCA NWT, I have advocated for the equality of women, girls and families at home and nationally over the past four years. From my online platform, I will advocate for:

  1. Affordable and accessible childcare to relieve the financial burden on families and allow more women to enter or remain in the workforce. This also supports women having more control over their own finances and personal circumstances.

  2. A comprehensive housing strategy that provides a strategic approach to ensuring all residents have adequate and affordable housing. This should be accompanied by a long-term plan to address homelessness, including the “invisible” homeless and those precariously housed, which are often women and children.

  3. A focus on community safety through the building of a territorial addictions treatment facility and implementing gender-specific safe consumption sites as a means of reducing harm to women who are suffering from addictions.

Nahendeh - Mike Drake response:

  1. I would lobby to implement an advancing or laddering system for women into senior management including the necessary supports and training.

  2. I would set targets, track performance, and hold leaders accountable.

  3. I would ensure the GNWT Women’s Advisory Division provides autonomous oversight and accountability.

Nahendeh - Shane Thompson response:

  1. Advocate for the GNWT to continue to improve and work on addressing gender-based violence.  We are still not doing enough to address this issue.

  2. Advocating for a sexual assault and harassment division to help deal with this issue.  From my understanding, vast majority of sexual assaults are not reported to the RCMP for a variety of reason.  We need to give women another place they can go to get help.

  3. Continue to advocate for all residents from the Nahendeh and NWT when issues are brought forth to me.

Range Lake - Hughie Graham response:

  1. ensure recommendations of the 2018 Auditor General’s Report on Child & Family Services are carried out by the 19th Assembly 

  2. per the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice, work in partnership with all levels of Government and Indigenous Peoples, to develop and implement a National Action Plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. 

  3. Implement a made in NWT solution for territorial addictions treatment facility that evolves into a world class Indigenous healing facility that treats people from all over Canada

Sahtu - Daniel McNeely response:

  1. Supporting the truth and reconciliation commission recommendations.

  2. Ensure equality of women and girls in the 19th assembly

  3. Support women in leadership at local, regional, and territorial levels.

Thebacha - Don Jaque response: Early in my career, my wife and I ran a group home for teenage girls. I also raised a daughter. From those I built an understanding of the needs of girls and young women and the challenges they face. In my 40 years running an NWT newspaper I advocated on numerous related issues - promoting participation in maths and science, separate phys-ed classes in middle school, the critical need in the North for midwifery programs and female doctors in communities. I helped for a time in a support role for the Taiga Girls Camps for teenage girls from small communities. In my role as an employer I sought out bright, capable women and trained them into advanced positions paying them equal to males I hired. Many were promoted to editor in my newspaper. will definitely continue to fight for the rights of girls and women as Thebacha MLA.

Thebacha - Louis Sebert response: There are several concrete actions that could and should take place in the 19th Assembly:

  1. Assisting organizations such as Dechinta Initiatives, Foxy, and the Y.W.C.A.

  2. Attempt where possible to reduce the pay gap between women and men.

  3. Support youth leadership programs particularly those that encourage women to enter fields where they are underrepresented.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Nadine Delorme response:

  1. First, revise all documents, bills, acts and legislature to reflect gender neutral titles – example: it shall not longer be Mr. or Madam Speaker but Honourable Speaker and ‘they’ and ‘them’ shall replace ‘he’ and ‘she’.

  2. Second, create safety forums for women and girls to just be able to ‘Just Be Me’ with mentorship programs and empowerment workshops.

  3. Third, I grew up in Ontario during the “I Consent” Movement in which women, girls, men and boys are taught the respect one has for one’s body, the safe boundaries met between persons and healthy sex education. This must be a priority for the NWT!

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Lila Fraser Erasmus response:

  1. I will commit to reviewing the hiring practices within the GNWT and ensure they effectively work towards the equality of women.

  2. I will ensure that the training of GNWT employees on Indigenous history includes that of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

  3. I will commit to putting forth a recommendation that the GNWT hold a Territorial Reconciliation Conference, which will include holding the GNWT accountable for the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission including those for Indigenous women.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh – Steve Norn response:

  1. To examine our current resources regarding shelters for women and children.  I would support having designated safe havens in each community.

  2. To review our foster care system in the NWT.  We have the highest rates in Canada in terms of addictions and abuse.  Our system is still putting our at risk youth in unhealthy homes.  We need to be more stringent in who can be trusted as foster families.

  3. To be more collaborative with the RCMP and agencies (e.g. Social Services) in addressing the abuse of children and women.  Especially in our smaller communities.

Yellowknife Centre - Julie Green response:

  1. I will continue to work on the recommendations from the Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly, including participation in campaign schools when invited.

  2. I will continue to advocate for more accessible and affordable child care so that women can make the choice to stay in the workforce after their parental leave is finished.

  3. I will continue to advocate for initiatives that make women and girls safer in their communities.

Yellowknife Centre - Niels Konge response: Gender equality is important for all people, of all genders, and is an indicator of health and well-being.

  1. When barriers are removed for women’s participation in the workplace the economy is strengthened.  So, I would propose the following:

    Supporting enhancements in the K-12 education system that would increase graduation rates

    Advance anti-poverty initiatives

    Supporting enhancements to day care as a way to ensure employment options for parents

    Strengthen prevention of gender-based violence

  2. Gender diversity in leadership roles boost business performance, so I would support:

    Gender equality in board appointments by the GNWT

    Equality in GNWT senior management

    Ongoing support for the Women’s campaign school

    I have been fortunate since 2018 to be on a city council that has gender equality, and I see the difference – the diversity of perspectives and approaches to leading makes for better government for all.

Yellowknife North - Rylund Johnson response:

  1. I will fight to implement the Calls for Justice as set out by the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls;

  2. I will support the ongoing efforts to increase the percentage of women in the legislative assembly such as the Campaign School for Women.

  3. I will advocate for universal daycare which in turn will give more women the choice to enter the work force on their own terms.

Yellowknife North - Jan Vallillee response:

  1. Continue with the Campaign School for Women and the Women on the Ballot sessions to encourage women of all ages, youth included, to get engaged in the political system. Without a gender balanced legislative assembly, we will continue to see the status quo. Women think and operate differently than men, so can help redirect the conversation. This is in no way meant to disrespect men. I think we can bring this to the high schools as well.

  2. We need to put positive messaging out to the media to show what girls and women can do to change society for the better. I would love to see Northern examples of powerful women, as well as World examples of powerful women. Messaging on social media where girls flock to most would be most impactful.

  3. Childcare is preventing many women from running for office, or accepting management positions due to the overtime hours required for these positions. We should ensure more women are allowed to work from home after school hours when needed, or when there are school holidays.

Yellowknife North - Cory Vanthuyne response: I supported the efforts of the 18th Assembly to increase women’s representation in office. In the 19th Assembly, I’d like to see our efforts directed more toward achieving systemic change that benefits all women and girls in the NWT. 

  1. We need to support a sustainable and viable women’s movement in the NWT. Our local women’s organizations tend to be undervalued, underrated and underfunded. Reliable and flexible funding would ensure the sustainability of their work.

  2. I support implementation of education and training in our school systems, the GNWT and the Legislative Assembly to raise awareness about gender violence and improve the way victims are treated and understood.

  3. I’d like to see a committee of MLAs established for the purpose of advancing gender equality. The Special Committee generated an important discussion that was long overdue, but targeted discussions about women’s issues must continue if we are to achieve lasting change.

Yellowknife South - Gaeleen MacPherson response:

  1. Once elections are completed, I would advocate for more female MLAs having roles in Cabinet;

  2. Work with other MLAs to ensure a thorough review is completed of the pay of women compared to their male counterparts within the GNWT; and

  3. Ensure more Women in Politics programs are held across the NWT, in particular in schools, to ensure that we build interest in politics in girls from a young age.

Yellowknife South - Caroline Wawzonek response: In addition to the two initiatives already identified above (an action plan to reduce violence against women and the establishment of a child and youth advocate), I would support the following:

  1. Identifying a plan to provide more available and affordable childcare spaces both for early childcare as well as school-age after care. Women are far more likely to be the parent who cannot fully engage in the workforce as a result of lacking childcare.

  2. Providing options for a restorative approach to justice processes that are trauma-informed and victim-lead. I believe we can strengthen the voice of someone who was a victim of crime.

  3. Continuing to increase cultural safety training for all government service providers in housing, income support, health care, social services, and justice. If services providers better understand trauma and the various forms of disadvantage women can experience, services may be provided in a more respectful and supportive way, enhancing women’s trust in the system and their overall willingness to seek these services.