Former Nunavut languages commissioner joins Iqaluit East race
Eva Aariak, who was most recently Nunavut's acting languages commissioner, announced this week she's entering the territorial election race for the Iqaluit East constituency.
Aariak joins a contest to succeed outgoing MLA Ed Picco, who said Monday he would not be seeking a third term in office.
Iqaluit Coun. Glen Williams is the only other person to have publicly announced a bid to run in Iqaluit East in the Oct. 27 election.
Aariak said her experiences as an educator, languages commissioner, private business owner and longtime civil servant make her a strong candidate.
As well, she said she wants to get involved in issues dealing with healthy living, such as mental health.
"We don't have a crisis management set up here, or a crisis intervention system and things like that," Aariak told CBC News on Tuesday.
Aariak said her priority issues will include youth, training, education and sustainable living.
Originally from Arctic Bay, Aariak has raised four children in Iqaluit over the past 22 years.
Able to speak in both English and Inuktitut, Aariak was Nunavut's languages commissioner from 1999 to 2004. She returned to the post in an acting capacity following the resignation of Johnny Kusugak in December 2007.
At the time of her re-appointment, Aariak said she would stay on as languages commissioner until the legislative assembly passed both of its proposed language bills.
MLAs passed both bills within the past three months, including the Inuit Language Protection Act, which was signed into law before the assembly dissolved on Thursday.