Cathy Q. Towtongie

Community: Rankin Inlet North/Chesterfield Inlet

Family status: Married

Career/board experience:

President of NTI; member of Inuit Circumpolar Council; 1970 sat as ITC (now ITK) as elected secretary treasurer

Why are you running for MLA?

There are issues that need more work. Mental health, especially more resources for trauma counselling for both adults/children. Housing and homeless need strategies! I can only promise to work hard. Be accountable and transparent, communicate. Be approachable.

How much influence should NTI have in territorial governance?

Nunavut has actually two process. One is Nunavut Government, which is a public government for all residents of Nunavut. NTI is the agreement with the federal government constitutionally. However, NTI represents Inuit only. The influence of NTI for public policy is clearly written out through the Nunavut Land Claims agreement. In areas of importance, there are always consultations. How much influence? On areas of public policy — housing — they should be putting financial resources to ensure that NTI influence is not just words.

How urgent is combating climate change in Nunavut?

Climate change is an ongoing process. Four years is too short. However, Nunavut Government has to have an influence nationally and internationally to make a dent.

How do you envision economic development in your riding?

Economic development has to diversify. Not just mining but perhaps hydro link to Manitoba, along with a road connecting to each community. We are already connecting in the winter by Ski-Doos. Summer by boats. More importantly, we need sustainable sports hunting, fishing. If we rely only on mines, they have a lifespan. Boom and bust. So now is the time to search and seek other areas.

Are you for or against mandatory vaccinations?

I am for mandatory vaccination. Nunavut does not have the health services resources if Covid gets into Nunavut communities. Due to overcrowding, it will hurt more if we start to lose our lives. Covid kills!

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