Hon. Paul Okalik, Premier, Minister of Justice
Constituency Profile: This Constituency is essential Iqaluit (pop. 5,236): a jostling mixture of old and new, rich and poor, Inuit and non-Inuit. Government infrastructure is everywhere: the Nunavut assembly building, the new federal building, City Hall, the headquarters of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. The "West 40" area is the industrial heart of the city, the airport and the sealift beach are transportation hubs, and downtown -- around the so-called Four Corners intersection -- new shops and restaurants are springing up. Many voters in this Constituency live in the neighbourhood called Lower Base - a name that recalls Iqaluit's days as a U.S. military air station. Iqaluit's other roots are apparent in the neighbourhood centred around the Frobisher Bay waterfront, where hunting shacks and sealing boats bespeak residents' continued link to the land.
Political History: In 1999, only days after becoming Nunavut's first Inuk lawyer, political newcomer Paul Okalik easily won this seat over Iqaluit deputy mayor Ben Ell. Ell, at 64, was the oldest candidate in that year's election; Okalik was a fresh-faced 34. Weeks later, youth triumphed again, as Okalik was a surprise pick for premier. Prior to 1999, Iqaluit West was part of the N.W.T.'s Iqaluit electoral Constituency. Edward Picco, who is now Nunavut's health minister, reigned here from 1995-99. Lawyer Dennis Patterson held the riding prior to that.
|Paul Okalik||334 (50.61%)|
|Ben Ell||166 (25.15%)|
|Matthew Spence||160 (24.24%)|
|Edward Picco||695 (48.30%)|
|Mary Ekho-Wilman||644 (44.75%)|
|Gordon McIntosh||100 (6.95%)|
|Voter turnout||105.24% (highest in Nunavut)|
|Dennis Patterson||866 (60.14%)|
|Val Haas||405 (28.13%)|
|Bryan Pearson||169 (11.74%)|
|Voter turnout||90.20% (third highest in Nunavut)|
*Prior to 1999, Iqaluit Centre was part of the N.W.T.'s Iqaluit electoral Constituency.