Nunavut getting early start on election preparations

Nunavut's territorial election is six months away, but some people are already gearing up for Oct. 28 election.

Fall election will see three new ridings

After the fall election, there will be three more MLAs to represent Nunavummiut at the territorial legislature. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Nunavut's territorial election is six months away, but some people are already gearing up for Oct. 28 election.

Travis Cooper has already set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for his future campaign. He plans to run in the Iqaluit riding currently held by Premier Eva Aariak. 

Cooper said he hasn't actively campaigned, but his Facebook page is providing some basic information to potential voters.

"Building up some name recognition and ensuring people are aware of what my platforms and what my ideas are is somewhat necessary to go ahead and be known early on," he said.

It might seem too early to start a social media campaign — especially before the writ has even dropped. But according to Elections Nunavut, it's perfectly legal.

Sandy Kusugak, Nunavut's Chief Electoral Officer, said there are no rules around stating your intentions to run for public office with things like a Facebook page.

However, she said there is one rule potential candidates must follow.

"Potential candidates cannot collect money from anybody for a campaign until they have become declared candidates," she said.               

More candidates, new Question Period rules

Elections Nunavut is also getting ready for the election.

There will be three more MLAs after the fall election because of changes to the riding boundaries. Kusugak said they are doing a lot of work to adjust to the changes.

There will also be changes to Question Period when the House sits after the election.

Quttiktuq MLA Ron Elliott is on the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and Privileges. He said one recommendation from the committee is to reduce the number of questions.

"Statistics indicate that members, on average, use their full allotment of supplementary questions on less than half of the occasions that they pose oral questions. The standing committee is, therefore, recommending that Rule 39(4) of the Rules of the Legislative Assembly be amended to reduce the number of allotted supplementary questions from three to two."

A map of the new constituencies is below.