Geographically, this is the smallest Iqaluit constituency and it consists almost entirely of downtown residential neighborhoods. Some are made up of staff and rental housing, like the six- and eight-story apartment buildings on Astro Hill and Creekside Village, but the majority of voters here live in public housing.
They range from single family units near the newly rebuilt St. Jude’s Cathedral (destroyed by arson in 2005) to the mix of decaying duplexes and brand new multi-story apartments closer to the beach. Outside of a fringe of single family homes along the shoreline (“sinaa” in Inuktitut), there are few homeowners in this district.
Both of Iqaluit’s original schools are here – Nakasuk Elementary and Inuksuk High School.
This constituency consists of parts of the former Iqaluit West and Iqaluit Centre constituencies.
This race is destined to be one of the most closely watched in all of Nunavut as former Premier Paul Okalik competes against Leesee Papatsie, founder of the Feeding my Family facebook page. Two other well-known locals could easily produce unexpected results.
Paul Okalik won his first two terms easily. The last general election was more difficult for him, when Iqaluit mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik nearly won this seat.
After the election, Okalik failed to win his bid for Premier. He later became the Speaker and then resigned from the legislature in April 2011 to challenge Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq as the Liberal candidate in the federal election. (Aglukkaq won with 49% of the vote; Okalik took 28%).
Leesee Papatsie works for Parks Canada and says if she wins, she’ll continue to fight against poverty and the high cost of food in the north.
Natsiq Kango won 13% of the vote in Iqaluit Centre in 2004, 14% of the vote in a Quttiktuq by-election in 2000, and 27% of the vote in Iqaluit East in 1999. This is Solomon Awa’s first foray into territorial politics.
2008 Iqaluit West
Paul Okalik 340 (53%)
Elisapee Sheutiapik 296 (46%)
2004 Iqaluit West
Paul Okalik 415 (77%)
Doug Workman 124 (23%)
1999 Iqaluit West
Paul Okalik 334 (51%)
Ben Ell 166 (25%)
Matthew Spence 160 (24%)
Edward Picco 695 (48%)
Mary Ekho-Wilman 644 (45%)
Gordon McIntosh 100 (7%)
Dennis Patterson 866 (60%)
Val Haas 405 (28%)
Bryan Pearson 169 (12%)