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Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq stepping aside for at least 8 weeks

Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq says she is stepping aside for at least eight weeks for what she described as non-COVID-19 related personal health problems.

NDP MP made the surprise announcement Friday

In a Twitter post, the NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq says her office will remain open while she takes time off. (Sara Frizzell/CBC)

Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq says she is stepping aside for at least eight weeks for what she described as "personal health problems.

"I'd like to assure Nunavummiut that my condition is not COVID-19 related," she wrote on a statement posted to her Twitter account Friday afternoon.

"It has been a year since I was given the honour of being elected as the Member of Parliament for Nunavut," it began.

"I have been touched by how open people across the territory have been to me. They have welcomed me into their homes and let me share their stories. I started my campaign with a commitment to fight for basic human rights. There is no doubt that Nunavut would see a major drop in deaths by suicide if the federal government would just honour their
obligations and provide adequate housing. Basic human rights are where we start.

"It has been my duty and privilege to bring these stories to Ottawa and to fight for change. But recently I have been struggling with some personal health problems," she wrote.

Qaqqaq says a doctor suggested that she take least eight weeks off "to heal."

"Although it has been a hard decision to make, I feel it is important to follow this advice," Qaqqaq said.

She says her constituents remain her priority and that her office will remain open and able to help.

Qaqqaq, who had no previous political experience before winning Nunavut's lone seat in the House of Commons at just 25 years old, has been an outspoken advocate for housing and suicide prevention in the territory.

This summer, she toured the territory, meeting with people to hear first-hand experiences of Nunavut's housing crisis.

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