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Community wants to see more of Roger Allen

Jason Unrau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 23/04) - The chances of bumping into Twin Lakes MLA Roger Allen since he won a second term in the legislative assembly are not very likely these days.

The official word from his constituency office at Ingamo Hall is that he is on holidays. Last week, News/North tracked Allen down at his Grimshaw, Alta., residence.

Seldom seen in Inuvik since his re-election, Allen said the date of his most recent visit to the community, "is my personal business."

"I'm entitled to a vacation," he told News/North.

Clarence Wood, who was runner-up to Allen in the last election, says he has seen the former territorial justice minister only briefly since then.

The last time the Drum spoke with Allen in his riding was in April.

Inuvik Mayor Peter Clarkson says several of Allen's constituents have been coming to the town office to raise their concerns.

"People are asking me where he is and how to get a hold of him," he says.

Clarkson says he received no response from the MLA following an invitation to attend the recent petroleum show.

"I think this is very important that Inuvik has two strong MLAs working at the territorial level; and right now, we've got one, while the second one is not accessible to the community."

Boot Lake MLA Floyd Roland, whose responsibilities as Minister of Finance keeps him in Yellowknife and on the road more than in Inuvik, says when he does return to town he often is visited by Twin Lakes constituents.

"They say 'I know I've got a member, but I don't know where he is so I'm coming to you,'" says Roland. "Inuvik is Inuvik. I was a member when there was only one MLA (for this region) so I'm used to it. You just balance the workload."

However, Roland admits that with managing a cabinet portfolio it takes a bit more time to address people's concerns.

"As a regular member it was a bit easier, but as a minister it makes it difficult to respond," he said. "But I take the concerns and try to deal with it locally or take it to the proper minister."

-- with files from Jack Danylchuk