Iqaluit-Tasiluk — Nunavut Election 2017 candidate profiles — updated

by Michele LeTourneau- October 19, 2017

Incumbent George Hickes and challenger Jacopoosie Peter both want to represent Iqaluit-Tasiluk in Nunavut’s Fifth Legislative Assembly. 

George Hickes 

George Hickes
Incumbent – currently Minister of Health and Suicide Prevention
Iqaluit
Age: 48
Family status: Married, two children

Reason for running:

To provide residents with experienced representation in the Nunavut legislature. Since becoming the MLA for Iqaluit-Tasiluk in 2013, I’ve worked very hard as a regular member to research and ask questions that are important to residents and get information where it belongs – in the public’s hands.

As an MLA, my job has been to answer to the people of my riding and address their concerns; whether those are about getting housing, accessing services, or how government policies are applied. I’ve responded to every person who has contacted me, and getting those answers and assisting my constituents is something that I take very seriously.

As a regular member, I had a reputation in the legislature for asking tough questions to government. It’s that strong voice that led to me being elected into Cabinet in 2015, where I became Minister responsible for Qulliq Energy and the Nunavut Housing Corporation, and later, the Minister of Health and Minister responsible for Suicide Prevention. Now on the other side of the table, I’ve worked every day to ensure that I was knowledgeable about my files, and able to answer the tough questions in the Legislature that I was used to asking. Being a Cabinet minister allowed me to represent the interests of Nunavummiut on a territorial and national level. I’m proud that I played a part in attracting millions of dollars in new funding for affordable housing, health care and suicide prevention during my time as a minister.

As I’ve been knocking on doors this time, concerns continue to be brought up regarding affordable housing, education and health. While I know we have made some progress, there is much more work to do and, if re-elected, I’m looking forward to making more progress in these areas, and others.

 

Jacopoosie Peter

Freelance interpreter, graphic artist, carver and Inuit historian

Age: 54

 

Reason for running:

The gist of my campaign is to present an alternative to the status quo. Training and jobs, for example, must and should be the priority of our government for our youth. In view of increasing social problems and crime, our youth needs hope and stability to function as they should. The government should be there for all its citizens, irrespective of who they are, not alienate its citizens.

Governments should not and must not be a vehicle for administrative or bureaucratic favoritism or black-listing of people. All Nunavummiut residents must be involved and listened to in paving the way towards this end. Personally, I don’t think that any government is focused enough or adequately in a position to achieve this.

Today, for example, our government has controlled the delivery of education since 1999. Since then, the academic standards have dropped.

There are other issues, naturally. In synopsis: jobs and training; standards of education; caribou management; territorial powers; crime reduction; health, or good health; support for Iqaluit municipal infrastructure amid rapid population growth.

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