Lori Idlout has been chosen as the NDP’s Nunavut candidate in the next federal election after incumbent NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq announced she won’t run again earlier this year.

On Aug. 9 the Nunavut NDP held a virtual meeting to question and hear out the two nominees – Idlout and Clyde River-born Aliqa Illauq – vying to be the party’s next candidate for the territorial riding in the next federal election.

Voting among party membership took place over the course of the following day, with Idlout announcing her victory later that evening.

“Congratulations to Lori Idlout who is the new Nunavut NDP candidate,” wrote Illauq on social media.

Senior party leadership also give their best wishes to Idlout.

“I offer my warmest congratulations to Lori Idlout the new NDP candidate for Nunavut. She will be a great presence in the House of Commons and I will help the campaign in any way,” wrote long-time NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay Charlie Angus.

Idlout has represented the Nuluujaat Land Guardians as their lawyer when Baffinland filed an injunction against their protests held at the Mary River mine site.

She was also elected to the Iqaluit District Education Authority board twice, having gotten more votes than the mayor at the time in her second run for that office.

“That level of success is encouraging. Voters are real people with ambitions and goals that they want us to pursue with them,” Idlout said at the nominee meeting.

During the nominee meeting, Qaqqaq spoke about her time in office and her success in the 2019 federal election.

“In that we saw a reality be brought into the federal institution that we haven’t seen before,” she said, having won a seat that has swung Liberal and Conservative since the 1980s when the riding was Nunatsiaq under the NWT.

Things Qaqqaq is proud of fighting for over her term, which does not end until the next federal election is called, include talking about “how Nutrition North doesn’t work and how systems like those don’t work in the North, to be able to talk about the suicide epidemic that Inuit in the North, in Nunavut have been facing for a very long time,” she said, also mentioning her work with the Nuluujaat Land Guardians and organizing a march for truth and justice for residential school victims.

With rumblings of a federal election coming from down south the NDP is the first party in Nunavut to have a candidate in place, though the Liberal Party in an email to Nunavut News said they will have one in place soon.

“We haven’t yet nominated a candidate,” said David Johnson, Liberal Party of Canada director of operations for prairies and North, “but we will have a candidate in place very shortly.”

Request for comment to the Nunavut Conservatives was made but they could not be reached as of press time.

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