David Kritterdluk is the only Whale Cove candidate running in this election, but three of the other candidates also have strong ties to Whale Cove, including Kritterdlik's younger brother, Joseph Kaviok.
Elizabeth Copland was born and raised in Arviat but spent 14 years in Whale Cove. Before deciding to run in this election, she was the chair of the Nunavut Impact Review Board.
In 2007, Copland was elected as Arviat’s first female mayor. Copland has spent over 20 years as a coroner. She’s also been a justice of the peace and economic development officer. In 2010, Copland was appointed chair of the Nutrition North Canada advisory board (she resigned two years later). She’s also served with the Nunavut Planning Commission.
Copland’s campaign slogan is “It’s our turn.” She says Arviat and Whale Cove have been ignored for too long. If elected, she’ll focus on education, jobs and health care. She’s also concerned about cancer prevention and the high cost of living.
Joseph Ivitaaruq Kaviok
Joseph Ivitaaruq Kaviok, 56, grew up in Whale Cove, Arviat and Winnipeg. Kaviok is currently Arviat’s fire chief, a job he’s done for the past four years, and from 1978 to 1996.
As a young man, Kaviok went to work at the short-lived Cullaton Lake Gold Mine about 200 km west of Arviat. In addition to fighting fires, he’s spent the past four years as a driver instructor, teaching people how to get their class 5 drivers’ license.
Kaviok says he’s running to give back to all the people of Whale Cove who babysat him while both his parents worked in the cannery there. He says housing is a big issue, “but most all, I’m pushing for education because the young people need it today.” Kaviok is running against his big brother, David Kritterdlik of Whale Cove.
David Kritterdlik, 62, has spent most of his life in Whale Cove. He worked with the former Northwest Territories department of social services before division, and with the hamlet of Whale Cove. He also runs his own business as a general contractor and acts as the local airline agent.
Kritterdlik has been a hamlet councillor and mayor. He worked with the Caribou Management Board and the Keewatin Wildlife Federation. He was a board member and acting chair of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. He’s spent the past six years with Sakku Investments, including three years as board chairman.
Kritterdlik says he’s running so he can speak for small communities. If elected, his main issue is the cost of living, which he links directly to the high cost of transportation. He’d like to see a railway from Manitoba to Arviat. He also wants to see funding for community groups, like housing associations or health centres, to hire young people and train them on the job. “They could learn the skills they need, and that would also help with unemployment.”
George Kuksuk, 59, is a former mayor and businessman in Arviat. Kuksuk also has a daughter and grandchildren in Whale Cove and says he visits regularly.
Kuksuk ran an expediting/shipping company in the hamlet, and later was the chair of Sakku Investments and the Keewatin Business Development Centre. He also served on the board of the Arviat Development Corporation.
He’s running in this election because he feels the smaller communities have been left out. “I see absolutely nothing in those smaller communities in terms of getting a piece of the pie from government funding.” He’s also concerned about the way the government issues contracts.
Amauyuk Netser, 65, grew up in Coral Harbour and moved to Arviat in 2002. He’s now retired after spending over 40 years as a heavy duty journeyman mechanic, but says he's "a hunter, first of all." He’s also served on the hamlet council in Rankin Inlet, on the district education authority in Coral Harbour and on the board of Nunasi Corporation.
He says there are many issues he’d tackle if elected, starting with the cost of living and housing. He worries about people who can’t afford their power bills, and the huge expense of owning a home.
Netser is also concerned about the new jail in Rankin Inlet, which he says is filling up with young people. According to him, the government should focus on education and jobs that keep young people out of trouble in the first place.