Dent makes it three in a row
When Dent went for a political career, it was something of a family tradition

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 08/99) - As the penultimate poll numbers came in, Charles Dent supporters at his campaign headquarters gave a low-level groan. Challenger David Wind had won the third and largest poll.

Dent and his supporters would have to wait for the final poll.

Then those numbers came in and the two-time winner had captured his third race in a row.

Then came the congratulations -- first from campaign manager Rob Butler then from parents Ivor and Aileen Dent up from Edmonton for the election.

When Dent went for a political career, it was something of a family tradition. Ivor Dent was Edmonton mayor from 1968 to 1974. Dent's wife Eileen, a scrutineer, would soon make her way to the campaign office to join in the celebration.

The NWT's finance minister defeated David Wind 352 votes to 288 votes. Bill Schram, the constituency's third hopeful, would pick up 69 votes. Dent's scrutineers put the count at Dent (356), Wind (287) and Schram (67). Voter turnout in Frame Lake was only about 55 per cent.

"He (Wind) ran an aggressive campaign," Dent said. As for interpreting the numbers, Dent said it shows he will have to "keep in contact with constituents even more."

Asked about a possible premiership, Dent, 48, said "it's early days for that" but he hopes to have a position in cabinet.

"We'll see how it shakes out in January."

As well as the current finance portfolio, Dent is minister responsible for the Power Corp. and Status of Women. Prior to finance, he was minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

"Our biggest challenge in the North is the fiscal situation. We have to move on that relatively quickly," Dent adds.

Dent will have the opportunity to discuss the NWT's looming debt with Federal Finance Minister Paul Martin this week. That's when territorial and provincial finance ministers meet with Martin to discuss their position on what Ottawa should do with the surplus.