Emiliano Qirngnuq Netsilik MLA

Emiliano Qirngnuq of Kugaaruk is the new MLA for the Netsilik constituency after winning a byelection held in Taloyoak and Kugaaruk Monday. (submitted)

Emiliano Qirngnuq of Kugaaruk is the new MLA for the Netsilik constituency after winning a byelection held in Taloyoak and Kugaaruk Monday.

"I feel very humbled being elected as MLA," Qirngnuq told CBC News after his win.

Qirngnuq is a former manager of the Kugaaruk co-op. He now works there doing repairs and maintenance.

Qirngnuq said he will be the voice for Taloyoak and Kugaaruk in the legislative assembly and he will listen to their needs.

Language preservation is one of Qirngnuq's priorities. 

"What I hope to see happening is as Nunavummiut, that we speak our language in our businesses, our homes, our school," he said. 

One challenge Qirngnuq said he is facing is leaving his family from time to time. 

Election results

Qirngnuq received 137 votes.

Tars Angutingunirk came second, with 116 votes, followed by John Ningark with 65 votes.

All three are Kugaaruk residents.

Wesley Totalik Sr. of Taloyoak received 64 votes, while Taloyoak resident Joseph Quqqiaq picked up 57.

In all, 240 people voted in Kugaaruk and 206 in Taloyoak. Elections Nunavut calculated the voter turnout at 69 per cent in the former community and 51 per cent in the latter. 

Qirngnuq replaces former MLA Jeannie Ugyuk, who resigned during the last sitting of the Nunavut legislative assembly.