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A submitted photo of Natasha Kulikowski. Natasha Kulikowski says “economy, economy, economy” will be what you’ll hear most from her campaign to become Inuvik’s next mayor.

The current town councillor is running against Vince Sharpe, who has been a town councillor on and off for the past couple of decades.

If elected, Kulikowski plans to focus on supporting small business, diversifying the economy, and addressing the high cost of living.

Advertisement. Story continues below She works in finance at Inuvik’s hospital and dedicates much of her free time to volunteering in different capacities throughout her community.

Inuvik’s eight town council nominees will all be acclaimed , so residents will be marking just one “X” to select their mayor during the October 15 election.

Sarah Pruys: Why don’t you tell me me a little bit about yourself first?

Natasha Kulikowski: So I was born in Inuvik but raised in Edmonton and came back 17 years ago. I’ve been on council now for three-and-a-half years; I was appointed previous to the last election after a councillor had passed away and they needed to make sure they had quorum. I had the next most votes in the previous election so council made a decision to ask me to join council at that time.

I have been thinking about being mayor for about three years already, I kind of had it in my head that it’s something I’d like to do one day. And so now my opportunity is here and so that’s what I’m doing.

The number one thing you’re going to hear from me is economy, economy, economy. Inuvik’s really in kind of a downturn right now with no real industry going on. Thankfully, we’ve had some big government projects happening around us that have helped to keep people busy, but we’re still seeing a real downturn in what’s happening.

When I say ‘economy’ I don’t just mean one industry; I think we need to be diverse in what we’re doing, and I think we need to support small local business as well, as part of that plan.

I think the second part of my platform, or what people are really facing right now, is cost of our living. Right now, especially, our energy is what’s sucking up everyone’s money. The price of heating fuel and power are huge. I think there are solutions, although they’re not really simple, and I don’t think they’re really cheap. So I think we have to keep looking for ways to either combine with other levels of government, and also to find ways for homeowners themselves to save money on energy cost solutions outside of just big government grants that would then lower the big energy prices. Things like making it more affordable to bring conservation into your home, as well as actually touting conservation itself, turning lights off and that kind of thing.

I think that by diversifying our economy we’re able to create jobs in town and then retain the workforce we already have here. I think having a working community leads to healthier lives, healthier lifestyles, and a healthy community overall.

Also, I think our predecessors have done a great job building Inuvik and giving us what we do have, but I think it’s really important that we maintain the current infrastructures so we can continue to have this quality of life. Things like the rec centre are amazing buildings for a community of our size. We have great roads, we have a paved airstrip, and the Utilidor system itself was unique to the world – and as other systems have come on around the world similar to ours, […]

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