Countdown to Nunavut
71 candidates from 19 ridings throw their hats into the ring for Nunavut's first election

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Jan 18/99) - NWT Chief Electoral Officer David Hamilton announced last Monday evening that a total of 71 candidates from 19 ridings had thrown their hats into the ring for Nunavut's first election.

While all of the competitors had until Monday night to withdraw their names from the MLA battle, Brian Armstrong, the co-ordinator of training and information for Elections NWT, said that nobody had decided to back out after entering the race.

The candidates will spend the next four weeks campaigning and visiting the communities in their ridings while Armstrong said he would be busy finishing the ballots for those electors voting by mail.

He added that he would also have to make the necessary changes to come up with an official voter's list once the revision period closed later today, Jan.18.

"Revision ends Monday and we're continually getting additions and deletions from the list. We'll have to input those into the system to get the official list," said Armstrong.

The names of the candidates running in the election are:


Ovide Alakannuark, Steve Mapsalak


Solomon Allurut, Mark Evaloarjuk, Cain Iqqaqsaq, Enoki Irqittuq, Joanna Oolateeta


Kevin O’Brien, Kono Tattuinee

Baker Lake

Glenn McLean, Patrick Tagoona, David Toolooktook Sr.

Cambridge Bay

Beatrice Bernhardt, Kelvin Ng, Mike O’Gorman, Wilfred Wilcox

Hudson Bay

Moses Appaqaq Jr., Peter Kattuk

Iqaluit Centre

Lynda Gunn, Johnny Nowdlak, Bill Strickland, Hunter Akat Tootoo

Iqaluit East

Natsiq Kango, Edward Picco

Iqaluit West

Ben S. Ell, Paul Okalik, Matthew Spence


Stanley K. Anablak, Ida Ayalik-McWilliam, Donald Havioyak, Kevin Bryce Niptanatiak


James Arvaluk, Anthyme Kadjuk, Noel Kaludjak, Amauyah Netser, Johnny Ningeongan


Joseph W. Aglukkaq, Steve Alookee, Anthony Anguttitauruq, Charlie Cahill, Wally Mimurana Porter, Uriash Puqiqnak


Thomasie Alikatuktuk, Seemieonie Keenainak, Meeka Kilabuk, Peter Kilabuk, Jaypetee Qappik, Sakiasie Sowdlooapik


Daniel Aola, Larry Audlaluk, Levi Barnabas, Leah Kalluk, Liza Ningiuk, Elizabeth A. Roberts

Rankin Inlet North

Jack Anawak, Lorne Quasa Kusugak, Louis Pilakapsi

Rankin Inlet South — Whale Cove

Levinia Brown, Manitok C. Thompson, Harry Towtongie

South Baffin

Olayuk Akesuk, Goo Mosa Arlooktoo, Mathew Saveakjuk


Elijah Erkloo, Leo Mucktar, Jobie Nutarak, Sam Omik, Caleb Sangoya


Tommy Enuaraq, David Iqaqrialu, Pauloosie Paniloo

Gender parity

The remaining hopes and dreams of the supporters of the gender parity issue were laid to rest last Monday evening when Elections NWT Chief Electoral Officer David Hamilton released the names of the candidates running in the first Nunavut election.

Of the 71 candidates vying for political office, only 11 of them are women. That's a far cry from the number that would have been in the race had the gender parity plebiscite garnered more support in 1997.

"It's too bad that there are not more female candidates. Eleven out of 71, that's too bad. It's a disappointment," said Simon Awa, the executive director of the Nunavut Implementation Commission.

Quite a passionate and explosive topic between the opposing sides, NIC and Pauktuutit were both strong supporters of the issue that called for the creation of only 11 or 12 electoral ridings with two members in each -- one female and one male. It was felt by some that it would ensure the equal representation of women and men in Nunavut's legislature.

But when Nunavut residents voted on the issue during a May, 1997, plebiscite, only 39 per cent of eligible voters turned out to the polls and the gender parity topic was defeated.

Hurt feelings prevailed following the vote and Pauktuutit's president at the time, Martha Flaherty, called for the resignation of Manitok Thompson, the minister responsible for the NWT Status of Women, because she publicly spoke out against gender parity.

Awa said he was sorry to see that more women weren't involved in the race but he hoped that the legislature would move beyond the status quo and set a new precedent for power dynamics between the sexes.

"I hope with the first Nunavut Legislative Assembly that we don't have what they call the old boy's club. We're hoping they're going to be unique and try some new things," said Awa.

The female candidates are Manitok Thompson, Joanna Oolateeta, Beatrice Bernhardt, Lynda Gunn, Natsiq Kango, Ida Ayalik-McWilliam, Meeka Kilabuk, Levinia Brown, Leah Kalluk, Liza Ningiuk and Elizabeth Roberts.

Construction update

Nunavut Construction Corporation president Tagak Curley said last week that the construction of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly was still on track.

He said that the targeted date of completion of March 15 was still a reality and that the different contractors were in the process of finishing up their tasks.

Curley also noted that the four shareholders of NCC -- Nunasi, the Qikiqtaaluk Corp., the Sakku Investments Corp. and the Kitikmeot Corp. --were still moving towards pushing the construction corporation into the competitive market.

"I think we will. I think the consensus is to go that route," said Curley.

"It was ready for a final decision in December but we didn't quite get a quorum but it's just a formality now."

Curley said that NCC employees had started to prepare the company to bid on upcoming projects but he declined to comment on what those projects were. He added that even though many of the tenders wouldn't be released until the spring, it was important to be ready to bid.

"Otherwise you're one year behind other competitors," said Curley.