Iqaluit-Sinaa — Nunavut Election 2017 candidate profiles

by Michele LeTourneau- October 20, 2017

Adamee Itorcheak, incumbent Paul Okalik, Cindy Rennie and Elisapee Sheutiapik will battle it out in Iqaluit-Sinaa for a seat in the territory’s Fifth Legislative Assembly. Itorcheak did not submit a survey.


Paul Okalik

Paul Okalik
Lawyer and Member of the Legislative Assembly
Age: 53
Family status: Blessed with a supporting partner.


Reason for running:


I really enjoy my work and applying my formal education in political science and the law for the benefit of my fellow Nunavut residents. I have the experience in making sure my constituents and fellow Nunavummiut have a firm voice in the assembly. I have a proven record of delivering on the promises made during the last campaign.

Some of the things I want to address in the next term if I have the good fortune of being re-elected are:

Education issues will always be central to my time in office. Accordingly, we need to focus our resources towards a stronger education system to produce the results we all want to see.

Training and hiring Inuit should be an everyday practice as it not only supports our economy but is the best way of containing the burdens we incur socially.

I have been a real advocate for homeowners and this will continue as I see it as a way to address some of the shortages we face in social housing. Let us make it more affordable to acquire and maintain a home, with more options like offering energy saving tools to our homeowners.

Qujjanamiiq and please come out and vote on October 30.


Cindy Rennie
Public relations officer for the legislative assembly
Age: 49
Family status: Single with two children

Cindy Rennie

 Reason for running:

I am a clean slate politically-speaking, without a personal agenda. My goal is to support the people in my voting district.

I am a team player. I listen with my heart and am good working through differences. My belief is Iqaluit needs politicians that can bring balance and harmony in what otherwise is a community affected by a great deal of differences and rapid change.

I believe I can offer a calm approach. An approach that brings people together, rather than dividing people. I focus on listening, I must contemplate what people say and not rush to judgment.

My constituency does have a high degree of Inuit living in public housing and I have witnessed a great deal of neglect and poor living conditions. I also have spoken with people unable over many years, with reasonable qualifications, to find work. The hardship is great, and there are other constituents that have less pressing issues that need to know their MLA will be there for them, too.

Like my personal friends, of whom I have a wide range, it is people that energize me. I promise I will not hide from you if elected. I will encourage you to visit with me, so that I can hear how well you are doing.

If you would like a friend in the legislative assembly, who is open, reasonable, and able to work well with others to get things done, then your vote will be well used if you were to vote for me. Most of you likely have already met with me, I am making it a point to sit with each of my constituents and their family in their living room and understand what is really important to them.


Elisapee Sheutiapik

Elisapee Sheutiapik
Accomplished business woman, owner of the Grind and Brew since 1998. The business has always employed a majority of Inuit staff. Committed to giving back to her community and was awarded in 2017 the Carrefour Nunavut award for community builder.
Age: 52, but some say I’m wiser than my years as I grew up with elders.
Family status: Common-law with Brian Twerdin for 19 years, each with a son. My most important job has been as a mother, which has driven me to be involved in our community.

Reason for running:


I am running for Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA because I care about my community, my territory, but most importantly our people. I am the first to say I don’t know everything and I may not have all the answers, but I have a great track record for being the bridge builder between different levels of government. I have been elected at the municipal level but also have lots of experience at the national level. We need leaders who will reach out of our territory for funding and partnership. We need allies to help us with important needs.

I would like to be involved in completing and paving our roads and the improvement of our breakwater. We need to talk about affordable housing, not just social housing.

Education at all levels is important, whether academic, vocational, or various occupational training. We need our government to focus more on mental health and provide more services at the local level for people who are experiencing and have experienced trauma.

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