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Mayoral challenger Mapes wants Hay River restored as ‘hub’

Brad Mapes wants to restore Hay River’s status as the “hub of the North” if elected as mayor next month.

Mapes, who has experience as a town councillor and operates family business Wesclean Northern Sales, is set to stand against incumbent Andrew Cassidy in the forthcoming municipal election.

Nominations close on the afternoon of Monday, September 21.

“I’ve thought about it for about a year. I feel there are some changes needed,” Mapes told Moose FM.

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“We’ve been going in the right direction but we’ve got to get more leadership to move in a better direction, quicker. We’ve got to get back to our roots and figure out how we can build our economy back up.

“One of the key things is that we really need to work with our rail and barge partners to bring our community back to being the hub of the North. We’ve lost that connection.”

‘A huge issue’

Mapes wants to begin with a “solid financial plan” for the town, which he says has been missing.

However, he backed the town council’s stance during this year’s strike, saying Hay River must bring its wage bill under control in straitened economic times.

“There was a need to address our labour issue. Our wages are a huge part of our community and there was a need to figure out how we bring that back,” said Mapes.

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“The economy has dropped in our community, and our tax base has basically flatlined, but we kept our expenditures going up and we should have addressed it better.

“We need to figure out how to spend our money properly and wages was a huge part of our issue.”

Cassidy was elected mayor in October 2012, receiving 669 votes to Brian LeFebvre’s 575. Mapes, voted onto town council that year, topped polling for councillors with 961 votes.

Moose FM will hear more from Yellowknife and Hay River candidates after the September 21 deadline passes.

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