Energy independence high priority, Green candidate says

John Moore, the federal Green Party candidate in the NWT.

John Moore, the federal Green Party candidate in the NWT.

John Moore is running for the Green Party because he says the environment is the defining issue of his generation.

Moore, 21, was born and grew up in Toronto before heading east to study philosophy at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia according to his biography on the Green Party website.

He’s spent about five months in the North so far, and has been working as executive director of the Inuvik Youth Centre and with the Inuvik fire department.

Limited resources have prevented him from mounting a territory-wide campaign. He used a friend’s Aeroplan points to book a flight from Inuvik to Yellowknife. However, he said people have become much more interested in what has to say since arriving in the city this month.

During two all candidates forums held there last week, Moore appeared to know figures and information about his platform without having to refer to notes, while other federal candidates used notes or binders of information in front of them.

“Especially after the two debates, I think people are picking up and really connecting with these ideas,” Moore told The Hub.

He said the primary issues for the territory in the campaign are food security and energy independence. After talking with two MLAs representing Hay River, he said that’s the case here as well.

“There are some big moves there toward biomass and more domestic production of pellets. I think NWT would benefit massively from that and would benefit from leadership in Ottawa,” he said.

Moore has cited the re-establishment of the Kelowna Accord and mental health as some of the other top issues in the campaign.

The accord, a series of agreements between the former Liberal government, provinces and territories and aboriginal organizations, was not implemented when the Conservative government came to power. It sought to improve education, employment and living conditions for aboriginal people.

“Often times people have no idea that this was even introduced, and even less about what it’s content was,” he said.

Limited financial resources and the territory’s size make campaigning in a riding such as this one harder, he said. Moore has taken to social media to campaign where others typically focus on door-knocking.

He said he’s recently been able to borrow a vehicle, which he told The Hub on Oct. 11, he hopes he can use to come visit Hay River before the election.

When he began the campaign, he didn’t have high expectations. He hoped he could double the party’s share of the popular vote compared to its results in 2011.

Eli Purchase received 472 votes, or more than three per cent of the vote share, as the party’s candidate in the last federal election.

Since arriving in Yellowknife he said he’s been getting more media coverage and people have been reacting favourably to his message.

“Who knows what’s going to happen,” he said.

Advanced voting was held Oct. 9 to Oct. 12. Election day is Oct. 19.

There are four candidates seeking to represent the territory in Ottawa. Former premier and former Inuvik mayor Floyd Roland is the Conservative candidate, former MLA Michael McLeod is running for the Liberals and incumbent NDP MP Dennis Bevington is seeking a fourth term.

This is the final of four stories taking a look at each of the candidates in the election.