This is a new seat that combines southern Igloolik with Hall Beach. The race will see one candidate from each community. Both candidates here speak English and Inuktitut, and both have good reasons for wanting a seat in the house.
Paul Haulli, 55, has been a politician “ever since I was a young lad,” he says. Right now, he’s the mayor of Hall Beach and president of the Nunavut Association of Municipalities. In the past, he’s been the mayor of Igloolik and Pond Inlet.
Haulli says he’s running in this election so he can fight for the smaller communities on a bigger stage. “The only thing we see is by the work of the mayor and the hamlet council. Not just Hall Beach, but a lot of other communities were expecting to see something else too.”
Haulli’s central concern is creating jobs, but he’s also worried about health care, particularly as it relates to cancer. He says he’s seen too many cases of patients turned away from the health centre, only to find out later that their cancer has spread too far. “Why don’t we send them out right away to where there’s a better health system?” Haulli asks.
George Qulaut, 59, grew up in Igloolik, and as a teenager, once spent 6 months on the land with an elder and a dog team.
From 1994 to 1999, Qulaut was part of the Nunavut Implementation Commission. He spent 14 years as operations manager for the Eastern Arctic Research Lab, dealing with researchers and scientists from all over the world. He also spent three terms as Igloolik director with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
Qulaut has also worked with the national historic sites and monuments board, and on the oral history project in Igloolik, and is very concerned about preserving Inuit language and culture.
Qulaut lost a daughter to suicide, and says he knows about hardship and struggle in Nunavut. According to him, new projects like Baffinland's Mary River mine will be crucial to turn things around.