Quiet race on to replace Anawak
Senator's sister seeking nomination

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 21/97) - One Liberal has come forward to replace Jack Anawak as the Liberal candidate for Nunavut.

Anawak, MP for the riding formerly known as Nunatsiaq, has been appointed interim commissioner for Nunavut.

Eva Adams-Klassen, sister of Senator Willie Adams, will be seeking the nomination, according to Iqaluit MLA Ed Picco, a long-time member of the local Liberal riding association and once considered a possible successor to Anawak. Adams-Klassen works as an executive assistant to the secretary-treasurer of Nunavt Tunngavik Inc.

Picco added that he has been approached by two political parties to run for them, but he said he's not interested this time around. He said he's received lots of phone calls and e-mail urging him to run but he said he just entered politics last November and is "not going to jump ship" to run federally.

Picco helped organize a Liberal pre-nomination meeting last week at which Adams-Klassen said she would be seeking the nomination.

She was travelling late last week and not due to return to Iqaluit until today.

Anawak did not return calls requesting an interview, but his parliamentary assistant, Chris Lalande, said he had no idea when there would be a nomination meeting and had no idea who might be running.

Jerry Ell, Picco's campaign manager, said he hasn't been involved with politics at the federal level and has no intention of running.

In Cambridge Bay, Helen Klengenberg said she would not be running as a Liberal candidate. She had been a candidate for the interim commissioner's role and the subject of some speculation by political observers.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are showing little sign of interest in the riding. But at NDP party headquarters in Ottawa, assistant director of organizing Bruce Tate said a number of people have expressed an interest in running in Nunatsiaq riding.

"There is no question that we will have a candidate in the riding," Tate said.

There is no formal riding association but there are a number of party members, he said.

"As the election nears party members get in contact with each other and they encourage people to put there names forward," Tate said. "Next week or shortly after there will be one or more declared candidates."

At Progressive Conservative headquarters in Ottawa, director of organizing Elaine Collins said his party has "a couple of people" in mind, but no one has committed to running. But the director vowed the party will be running candidates in all 301 ridings.

Reform party headquarters in Calgary did not respond to queries about possible candidates in the riding.