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On Oct. 15, people in Inuvik, N.W.T., will elect a new mayor and council. Vince Sharpe, left, and Natasha Kulikowski, right, are both vying for the top spot. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC) Either Natasha Kulikowski or Vince Sharpe will be elected as the new mayor of Inuvik, N.W.T., come election day on Oct. 15.

After serving 12 years on council including one term as mayor, Jim McDonald will not be seeking re-election.

Both mayoral candidates come with prior council experience, and both say they believe they could make a difference. Natasha Kulikowski

Kulikowski has lived in the community for 17 years, and is currently serving her first term as town councillor. Mayor Jim McDonald says he won’t be seeking re-election. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC) She works in finance at the Inuvik Regional Hospital and said she is heavily involved in sports and volunteering.

She said it’s been her longtime goal to become mayor one day.

I bring youth, I’m energetic, I’m hardworking.- Natasha Kulikowski, mayoral candidate in Inuvik

Kulikowski said she wants to bring more attention to the town’s economy, "or lack thereof," and the cost of living.

She said she wants to find ways to diversity it, support small businesses and create jobs.

The town could provide more restaurants and activities for locals and tourists — and a laundromat, said Kulikowski.

"That’s small-town economy but [it] creates jobs for people here already, and creates a function in town for people that’s missing."

She said she would like to continue to foster the relationship that the town currently has with government officials, and finding a solution to the gas issue is also top of mind for her.

Kulikowski said the town needs to continue to repair and maintain its existing infrastructure such as the Midnight Sun Complex.

With tourism increasing from the completed Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, Kulikowski wants to continue to see the town take advantage of that and hope to help lead the town in several issues.

"I bring youth, I’m energetic, I’m hardworking," said Kulikowski.

"I like to see projects finished. That’s a big thing for me. We have a lot of ideas around … but I’d like to see completion." Vince Sharpe

Sharpe has lived in Inuvik for about 50 years, and in that time has served seven terms on council.He was serving as town councillor this term up until he was removed from the position due to unpaid dumping fees at the local landfill — which he said was due to him not checking his mail.Sharpe, who’s a contractor, said that he wants to serve as mayor and contribute to the town that’s given him so much."When I came here, I had nothing," he said. "From that time I’ve built my business up and I’ve made some money, and now that I can, I feel like I can give back."Sharpe said his knowledge of the town and his contacts with other politicians in the N.W.T., would be a benefit to the role.He said he wants to bring more affordable housing to town and install solar panels on the Midnight Sun Complex.There are several housing units that have been lost to fire or torn down in the last couple of years, and more needs to be done to replace those units, said Sharpe."I think we need to lobby Ottawa and Yellowknife to get more housing for Inuvik," he said. "We have a housing list that is 200 people long… so we are in dire need."Issues that he would like to continue to focus on is helping the homeless population in town and getting a new gas source."We need to support the IRC [Inuvialuit Regional Corporation] in their endeavours in getting gas into town. […]

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