Former MLA, cabinet minister Patterk Netser to contest Iqaluit-Tasiluk
“We’ve been here for five or six years and we’re very much settled”
After sitting out for the past five years, Patterk Netser of Iqaluit’s all set to get back into the Nunavut legislative assembly.
Netser, a former cabinet minister and MLA for Nanulik, told Nunatsiaq News that he plans to file a candidate declaration for the Iqaluit-Tasiluk constituency.
“We’ve been here for five or six years and we’re very much settled. We really feel at home in this community,” Netser said, saying he now wants to contribute by serving Iqaluit.
Netser, a former resident of Coral Harbour, moved to Iqaluit in 2006 after MLAs chose him for a spot in the Nunavut cabinet, where he served as minister responsible for the Environment, Economic Development and Transportation, and Nunavut Housing Corp. portfolios.
But in 2008, he lost the Nanulik seat, by 32 votes, to Johnny Ningeongan of Coral Harbour.
Now he says he wants to offer leadership to Iqaluit residents on a variety of local and territorial-wide issues.
One is the education system, where he said “we need a decent foundation” for young people.
On infrastructure, Netser said he wants the Government of Nunavut to look at the idea of building access roads to places like Sylvia Grinnell Lake and Ward Inlet.
And referring to the Nunavut Trade Show, now underway at the Arctic Winter Games arena in Iqaluit, he said Iqaluit needs a dedicated conference centre where such events can be held without disrupting recreation activities at the arena.
“Iqaluit really needs a proper facility,” he said.
To help alleviate the food shortages created by the decline of the South Baffin caribou population, Netser said the GN should look at importing muskox from northern Quebec, where the animals are plentiful enough to allow a harvest.
And for GN workers, Netser said the government should look at the idea of increased northern allowance payments to help them cope with the cost of living.
He said he’s picked up candidate declaration papers from Elections Nunavut and will likely submit them Sept. 26.
Two other people have said they plan to run in Iqaluit-Tasiluk: Gideonie Joamie and Premier Eva Aariak, who until dissolution represented the old seat of Iqaluit East.
Watch for more candidate profiles during the territorial election campaign on Nunatsiaqonline.ca.