Iqaluit-Manirajak — Nunavut Election 2017 candidate profiles

by Michele LeTourneau- October 19, 2017

Voters Iqaluit-Manirajak riding need to parse through the platforms of four candidates who want the MLA seat in the 2017 territorial election: Okalik Eegeesiak, incumbent Monica Ell-Kanayuk, Jude lewis and Adam Arreak Lightstone.

Okalik Eegeesiak

J. Okalik Eegeesiak
On leave as chairperson of the Inuit Circumpolar Council

Reason for running:

The decision to vie for the Iqaluit-Manirajak riding is based on my connections within the community. My family and I have lived and worked with and for this diverse community all my life. My life experience has brought me to live in different parts of Canada for school and work focusing on human resources and community development.

I took part in the April 1, 1999, celebration of the creation of Nunavut here in Iqaluit as the president of what is now the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. I remember vividly feeling and experiencing the pride and anticipation of what the new territory would bring to the community. Now, almost at the 20th year mark, we need to reflect, renew and refocus, once again, for the next generation. I, as MLA, would work with you, the community organizations, businesses, and the different levels of governments to revitalize and rejuvenate the pride instilled in the people who call Iqaluit and Nunavut home.

I have worked with local, regional, Nunavut-wide, national and international agencies to represent the interests of Inuit for many years promoting partnerships across the Arctic. I have seen and experienced many changes in Iqaluit. I hope to use my experience to lead in the implementation of community-led program and policy development. In addition, I will use my platform and advocate for services that are flexible, adaptable and ensure services are inclusive and responsive to the needs of our growing community.

A part of my role will be to instil the hope and the focus we need to ensure continuous growth and development for Iqaluit and for the territory. As MLA, I would work proactively and constructively so everyone participates in the development of the community.

Inuuqatigiitta – For a Community.

Monica Ell-Kanayuk
Incumbent MLA
Iqaluit Manirajak for 30 years, grew up in Apex
Family status: Married with 5 children and several grandchildren

Monica Ell-Kanayuk

Reason for running:
I am running because I feel that I can still contribute and give back to Iqaluit Manirajak, as I have the experience for the past six years as an incumbent MLA.

I served the people of Nunavut successfully in several senior cabinet posts, including Minister of: Economic Development and Transportation, Health, Status of Women, Family Services, the Qulliq Energy Corporation, and the Utility Rates Review Council, culminating in the past four years as the territory’s Deputy Premier. With this experience I feel I can get right down to working hard for the constituents of Iqaluit-Manirajak.

I made a commitment in my previous campaign for developing marine facility for both a small craft and large marine vessels – I have successfully delivered in that promise.

I met several times with the previous board of Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society. As a person with a disability myself, which limits some ability to do things a normal person would, it has not stopped me from finding a way to do things everyone can do. I had to learn to cope with challenges, this is why I’m passionate about buildings and that’s why the design of the new airport was key in making sure people can comfortably get in and out of planes from arriving to departure. I also ensured that boarding ramps were put in place.

Finally, although there are many things to focus on and I can continue to work on, there is one key initiative I want to focus on and that is in building a transition home for the homeless. There should be professionals that can assist in finding the root causes that put them in that situation and with one-on-one support I feel we can find a way to start the process of entering social housing.

Jude Lewis

Jude Lewis
Dental therapist
Iqaluit
Age: 52
Family status: Married, one adult son

Reason for running:

I have lived in the city of Iqaluit for 18 years. I know all the issues affecting this city very well. I have been asked many times before to run for public office. I always declined because I was busy working, raising a family and providing dental care throughout the territory for Nunavummiut. However, this time when I was asked again, I decided to offer myself for MLA. I could have slipped away quietly into retirement, however, I decided to serve my fellow Nunavummiut and to collaborate with other like-minded MLAs to make this city, and Nunavut as a whole, a better place for all of us.

Adam Arreak Lightstone

Adam Arreak Lightstone
Senior fiscal advisor, Expenditure Management, Government of Nunavut
Iqaluit-Manirajak
Age: 30
Family status: Married to Hilary, son Aiden

Reason for running:

Originally from Rankin Inlet, I spent my youth between Iqaluit and Kingston, Ontario.

I’ve worked in several roles in the Department of Finance of the Government of Nunavut. I’m currently a senior fiscal advisor with the Expenditure Management Division and work to prepare the government’s budgets, monitor forecasts and provide recommendations on financial matters to the Financial Management Board (the financial decision-making arm of Cabinet).

After graduating from Inuksuk High School, I continued my education and received an advanced accounting diploma from St. Lawrence College and a bachelor degree in business administration from Laurentian University.

Outside of work, you may have seen me attending one of several local volunteer activities such as the soup kitchen, Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society or some of the Alianait functions.

I care very much about Nunavut, and I would like to make a better Nunavut for my family and for yours. I have intimate knowledge of government operations and finances, and I would like to contribute my knowledge to Nunavut’s legislature. Most importantly I would like to ensure the right questions are being asked, in order for the right decisions to be made.

I know that Nunavut has many pressing issues and most circle around mental health, but I believe if we focus on key areas that we can affect change to ensure future generations have a prosperous life in Nunavut. Those key areas are the environment, education, employment, housing and financial transparency. If these issues are addressed and Nunavummiut are educated, employed and housed, that will lead to an increased standard of living as well as happier lives and better overall mental health.

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