Even in remote Nunavut, the Quttiktuq constituency can be said to be remote. Return flights from Iqaluit to Arctic Bay start at $1500, and to Resolute Bay at $1700. People going on to Grise Fiord then board a charter flight at additional cost. Perishable foods arrive in the hamlets by air — not always in the best condition and never cheap.
In 2008, Ron Elliot beat the incumbent here by just a handful of votes. This time round, he's let it be known he'd like to join cabinet, but first he'll have to beat his challenger, Isaac Shooyook.
A teacher and adult educator, Ron Elliott first came to Arctic Bay in 1991. He served on several local boards before winning his first term in the legislature by just a handful of votes. As a regular MLA the 43-year-old was vocal about issues in the High Arctic, from the high cost of food to exorbitant airline fares.
He says he’s running again to keep working on these issues, as well as “the need for government accountability, economic development, a progressive education system, strong environmental protection, and a caring social safety net for our society’s most vulnerable.”
Isaac Shooyook was born east of present-day Arctic Bay in 1939. At 74, he’s spent most of his life in the hamlet, as well as 4 years in a hospital in Quebec City and 13 years living on the land near Taloyoak. Shooyook also worked as a roustabout for Pan Arctic Oil Drilling and as a water truck driver for the local hamlet.
Shooyook says his time has come to serve the people, and if elected, he’ll do his best to make sure his constituents’ concerns are addressed. His priorities will be open communications with government, and working to make sure Inuit traditional knowledge plays a strong role in wildlife management in Nunavut.