Gjoa Haven – Nunavut Election 2017 candidate profiles

by Derek Neary- October 20, 2017

Gjoa Haven is being contested by four candidates: Joseph Aglukkaq, incumbent Tony Akoak, Paul Puqiqnak and James Taqaugaq Qitsualik. Aglukkaq didn’t submit a candidate profile. 

Name: Tony Akoak
Age: 59
Gjoa Haven
MLA for Gjoa Haven 2013 – 2017
Family Status: Married

Tony Akoak

Reason for running:

I still have work to do for Gjoa Haven. Four years is not long enough to get what’s needed for my community.

Housing is still an issue. more housing needed yet. Mental health is an issue that needs to be dealt with for all ages young and old.

Education also needs to be dealt with both for students, educators and the community.

 

 

 

Paul Puqiqnak
Recreation therapy worker at the Continuing Care Centre
Gjoa Haven resident all my life
Age: 38
Family status: Wife Abby, step-daughter Lindsey Rose Anavilok, 9, son Jaxon Pala, 4, newborn Allyanna Puqiqnak

Paul Puqiqnak

Reason for running:

I am running for MLA because I feel that I am ready to represent the community of Gjoa Haven at a territorial level. I have been involved with local politics, served as local DEA member for over nine years, privileged to serve as chairperson, vice-chairperson, DEA member and sat on numerous sub-committees of DEA. I’ve also served as deputy mayor and hamlet councillor for two years with the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven.

As MLA, we all know Nunavut is much in need of social housing. I will continue to push for more social housing, including renovations, and home ownership.

Lobby CGS for a much-needed youth centre in Gjoa Haven, lobby for a swimming pool, extend the Gideon Qitsualik Memorial Hall, would like to improve and update the arena.

As MLA, I would work with Culture and Heritage, help non-profit organizations find funding to support traditional and cultural activities to teach younger generation traditional skills and survival skills on the land. Help increase tourism. Find more funding for the Nattilik Heritage Centre.

As MLA, I will work with Department of Health. Work with mental health workers and nurses to live in a better and safer community. I would also like to work with people with disabilities, look for programs for people with disabilities. Talk to families, hear their stories to know what is needed and how to deal with it.

As MLA, we have to find programs and support mental illness. As MLA, I will support Embrace Life Council. We have to find ways to prevent suicide in a community and territory.

Support local artist to find funding to help support local artist. Look for funding to get soapstone from soapstone quarry for local carvers and make it an annual funding program.

James Taqaugaq Qitsualik
Electrician/hunter
Gjoa Haven
Age: 50
Family status: Three girls, two boys, common-law partner

Reason for running:

A lot of people have been telling me to run and I feel I can help my community in many ways. I’ve been involved with practically all the boards in town, same with the regional wildlife board, so I’m familiar with how things are run.

I want to be involved and speak for unilingual elders and people who can’t speak for themselves and make sure we’re equal to everybody.

I want to focus on food security. We could use the carbon tax to build greenhouses. In Gjoa Haven we’re trying to start commercial fisheries with our HTO. Any kind of job we can create in our community is a plus, whether it be a greenhouse, education programs, community dust control, tourism, and bridging the gap between elders and youth. The way I see it, there’s so much evil out there and I want to show that there’s a glimpse of hope. There’s still honest people, hard working out there, how our elders were.

Right now, the system’s not working too well and if we could somehow go back to how our parents used to be where they had one leader and everybody followed the leader. Everybody had their place and everybody kept busy working. Today there’s a lot of opposition and hardly any cooperation. I want to develop unity for my community for elders and youth.

Besides the housing crisis and need for healing centres, I’d like a multi-purpose building, a gathering site, because in our community we have next to no place for the kids to go. Get more of the elders back with the youth, have traditional events and build positive things in our community.

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