2 more candidates put their name forward for Yellowknife election

·3 min read
Ben Hendriksen, left, and Dwayne Simmons have each put their name in to run for city council in the upcoming Yellowknife municipal election set for Oct. 17. (CBC - image credit)
Ben Hendriksen, left, and Dwayne Simmons have each put their name in to run for city council in the upcoming Yellowknife municipal election set for Oct. 17. (CBC - image credit)

Two more people will by vying for a spot on Yellowknife's city council in the upcoming municipal election.

On Wednesday, resident Ben Hendriksen submitted his nomination papers to become a candidate for council, according to a news release.

Hendriksen, originally from St. Catharines, Ont., has a background in public policy and moved to Yellowknife in 2011 for work as a policy analyst, the news release said. Since then, and up to January 2017, he held various public sector roles in Yellowknife specializing in policy development and governance.

Submitted by Ben Hendriksen
Submitted by Ben Hendriksen

He then lived in Dublin, Ireland, for three years to pursue further education and returned to Yellowknife in 2020.

Hendriksen said he's running in this election with the promise of helping Yellowknifers "have a voice" at city hall.

"I hear really often from a lot of friends that they really don't understand why decisions are being [made] at council. I mean, I'm often one of these people, too," he told CBC News.

Hendriksen thinks there needs to be more clarity from city council on the decisions they make.

"Some of the things that I think are missing right now, is some accountability perspective," he said, adding the goings-on at city hall "shouldn't be confusing to people."

He said he doesn't have one main issue for his platform, but said he'll be sharing more ideas throughout his campaign and on his Facebook page.

J. Sayong Photography
J. Sayong Photography

Dwayne Simmons, a Realtor and former director for the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, has also put his name in for city council.

Simmons, who moved to Yellowknife in 2008, said in a statement he's running because he hopes to "ensure that future generations have the same quality of life and economic opportunities that we enjoy today."

Simmons has worked in sales with Northern News Services, as a project manager in the construction industry, and since 2016 has been a small business owner and a Realtor with Century 21 Prospect Realty, according to his website.

On his website, he lists three main goals as part of his platform: improving tourism, "leveraging opportunities" at the Yellowknife airport, and improving Kam Lake Road and expanding the Kam Lake business district.

He told CBC he thinks the airport should "be brought into the 21st century a little bit," meaning some possible updates that could make the city a "hub of some sort."

"It'd be great to come up with a strategy of some sort and figure out what we want from our airport, whether it be northern sovereignty, or if we're going to be a cargo hub," he said as an example.


Simmons and Hendriksen join four other candidates who have put their names forward for a non-mayor seat: Stacie Smith, Stewart Pallard, Tom McLennan and Rob Warburton.

Eight councillor seats and the mayoral office are up for grabs in the Oct. 17 election. There is still no mayor challenger; Mayor Rebecca Alty announced on social media in July that she intends to seek re-election as the head of council.

Nominations for candidates closes on Sept. 19 at 3 p.m. The last day for candidates to withdraw is Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. Residents have until Sept. 22 to get on the voter list.