Nunavut election: Iqaluit-Sinaa candidate profiles
Iqaluit-Sinaa is a new constituency and it includes some of the city’s poorest sectors. The majority of the city’s public housing lies here, as well as a few homeowners and some renters in the 8-story and Creekside Village apartment buildings. The four candidates here all promise to be their champions. All of them have strong connections to the city, and all speak English and Inuktitut.
Awa says he’s running to “give a voice for the people.” His chief concern is improving social well-being through things like healing programs, addictions treatment, mental health and preventative health care. He also wants to improve education, and prepare people for mining jobs.
Awa, a hunter, carver and sewer himself, also wants to strengthen the traditional economy. “We need to develop more community-based solutions so that country food would be more easily available,” he says. And he says, we need to support hunters.
In Iqaluit, they’ve kept up the entrepreneurial spirit with TNG Automotive, among other businesses. Kango has served as an Iqaluit city councillor and as secretary/treasurer for Nunavut Tunngavik. She was also president of the Midwives Association of Nunavut from 2001 to 2007, and later a member of the council for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.
Kango says she running to help create a better relationship between the government and Iqalummiut; she’s worried that the city is growing too fast, and leaving many people behind.
Okalik resigned from the legislature in 2011 in order to run as a Liberal in the federal election (an election he lost to Conservative Leona Aglukkaq). He spent the last two years working as a facilitator with the Nunavut Planning Commission and doing legal work for the Nunavut Employees Union.
Now he says his work in politics is not finished, particularly when it comes to education, supporting post-secondary students, and mental health. “My experience and my education can help the next government make some progress.”
Papatsie grew up in Iqaluit-Sinaa, close to the graveyard. She studied Environmental Technology at Nunavut Arctic College, and later taught there. She says she’s running in this election because: “I want to help the people. I believe I could do it.”
If elected, Papatsie hopes to keep working on food security and related issues like income support, poverty reduction, education and health awareness. She also wants to help more people understand government and what it can do for them.