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MLA candidates on the issues: Janet Brewster, Iqaluit Sinaa

Brewster hopes to help implement Iqaluit mayor’s Task Force on Affordable House Task Force
Janet Brewster, candidate for the Iqaluit-Sinaa riding. Photo via Elections Nunavut ᔮᓇᑦ ᐳᕉᔅᑐᕐ, ᓂᕈᐊᒐᒃᓴᐅᔪᖅ ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ-ᓯᓈᓄᑦ ᓂᕈᐊᕐᕕᐅᕙᒃᑐᒧᑦ ᑭᒡᓕᖓᓄᑦ.

Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster

Community: Iqaluit

Age: 51

Family status: Decline to answer

Career: 35 years experience in Indigenous Organizations and Governance. The last 20 years with GN Health in Management, Manager of a number of Divisions; Health Protection, Promotion, Research & Special Projects, Patient Relations, as well as Executive Director of Population Health and currently Director of Travel Programs. Formerly Executive Director of NACA, Home and Community Care Coordinator and Youth Intervenor at ITK and Programs officer at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Volunteer or board experience: Founding Vice-Chair of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation; Secretary Treasurer of Inuit Non-Profit Housing Association; Chair, Uquutaq Society, Toonik Tyme and Alianait; Member, IBC Board of Directors; Worker Representative-WSCC NWT/NU; Member, National Circle of Families and Survivors of MMIWG; Member, Nunavut Black Lives Matter

Why are you running for MLA?

Nunavut needs more women in leadership. Only 14 of 58 territorial candidates are women and Iqaluit-Sinaa is our only chance to elect a woman in Iqaluit. I will use my 30 year career experience in policy and governance, 20 years in public service at the GN and volunteer leadership in our community to continue working to build safer, stronger communities.

As deputy mayor, I have served with integrity and have not missed any regularly scheduled meetings since being elected. You can count on me.

My Priorities

Safer Communities - poverty reduction, arts, trauma-informed education, community safety programs and education Iqaluit’s Water Crisis – improved water and sewage infrastructure

Affordable Housing – implementation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing

Restoring Education and Health Boards Trauma and Addictions Treatment Centre – ensuring programs at the new centre are trauma-informed and Inuit led.

Improved Daycare - lower costs and more spaces

How much influence should NTI have in territorial governance?

We must work together. As MLA, I am committed to seeing this relationship improve. The NLCA and 1992 Political Accord clearly outlines the GN role. There is a central importance to training Inuit to access employment. Together we must raise the bar on adequate housing, food security, safeguard traditional values, and be sustainable in development to protect our people and environment. Here’s an analogy. In a relationship you work out your differences no matter how complex, and you both put your children first. Essentially it means let’s work together, be respectful and make change that create better outcomes for our people.

How urgent is combating climate change in Nunavut?

No one is more concerned about climate change than Inuit. This is a global fight. Higher temperatures have already caused the ice and permafrost to change. We see fewer caribou and narwhal, changes in birds and fish populations, and changes to polar bear habitat. We need action not-lip service. Impacts of climate change need mitigation now because we do not want to reach the point where it’s irreversible. We must maintain our way of life and work in partnership with all MLAs, NTI, ITK, the Federal Government and other entities to push for actions that protect our land.

How do you envision economic development in your riding?

Economic development in Iqaluit-Sinaa is a community approach that must be supportive of arts, local tourism, country food programs, small to large business and investment and infrastructure needs. As an MLA, I will represent my community’s needs, and I will continue to listen to my constituents and shape policies and programs with their direct input. I will back actions that create meaningful employment, housing and health and wellness programs to support families and future generations.

Are you for or against mandatory vaccinations?

Covid-19 has forced us to change our normal daily lives. It’s vital we follow public health advice. Vaccinating people is one of the best defenses in this fight. Vaccines provide an extra level of protection along with other public health measures.

Yes, we need to consider policies on vaccines that make sense in our health care settings, public sectors and in our communities that are in-line with the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of health and scientists studying the effects of Covid-19.

We need to offset the risk to our most vulnerable populations and protect them best we can.