Community development activist Arlene Hache has announced her plans to run for MLA in Yellowknife Centre. Hache says her decision to run is focused on “bringing lived expertise” to the decision-making table when it comes to “addressing challenges both residents and the business community face on a daily basis in the downtown core.”

In a news release on Monday, Hache noted that responses to the escalating violence in the downtown core have been well-meaning but largely miss the mark.

“Downtown Yellowknife is my home, a place I have lived and worked in for more than 35 years. The sense of community I and others have known has been replaced by fear and dread as the downtown core struggles to survive increased levels of violence that have erupted in the absence of any measure of accountability.”

She added that equally as important as the safety of residents is the ever-present perception of risk and its negative impact on the downtown economy and on the entire tourism industry.

“One way or the other, everyone in Yellowknife Centre and in fact everyone in the North is impacted by these safety issues. Residents I talk to from all walks of life are concerned about safety – their own safety and the safety of their loved ones.”

Hache stated that for years now, territorial leaders have stopped talking about safety and their responsibility to assure residents are protected and instead have chosen to portray Yellowknife Centre’s issues as solely a matter of addictions and a lack of services.

“They have chosen to ignore the fact that we also have issues of violence, victimization, aggression and lack of safety. I have watched our territorial leaders put blinders on, and simply put Yellowknifers deserve better.“

Hache claims that helping people lift themselves out of poverty and regain their sense of self-worth cannot be achieved through a partial approach that ignores the context of the North.

“A balanced and informed perspective is necessary to revitalize our social and economic health. On that front, I have the education, experience and community relationships to lead those collaborative efforts. This is a world I know.”