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Aggu – Nunavut Election 2017 candidate profile

Richard Amarualik, incumbent Paul Aarulaaq Quassa, Jerome Sheaves and Matt Teed are vying for the seat in the Aggu riding. 

Richard Amarualik

Reason for running:

Someone I respect suggested that I seek election. I have several years of experience in town office and have held several types of jobs. He also mentioned that I am not that young and not that old either. It takes huge responsibility and I would possibly be able to take on the challenge. I believe I'm capable of representing people of all ages.

I know I would concentrate more on our issues if I am just a regular MLA. I plan to remain living here, that way I will be easily available and able to attend local meetings to hear needs and concerns. Many of us expected to have more representation with our current issues, such as lack of housing. Health care has room for improvement. Unfortunately, we often experience shortage of nurses, lack of transportation for clients, and improvement of screening equipment.

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit through local elders committee: some traditional practices can be exercised to see if they still work today. We have a gravel road dust crisis and I would definitely look at alternative ways to improve it.

With economic development, I would really push to have more training that offers business opportunities for young and older people with dreams. Students should be more prepared to join the workforce or seek further education through colleges and universities. I'd work closely with the HTO with their fish plant, find ways to help the hunters who feed may people with their catch.

I also believe there should be a heritage centre or a museum. It would help protect, preserve, promote our culture and create various income-generating opportunities.

I would work closely with the hamlet and CGS to push projects for successful completion: the waste dump, old vehicle site and the improvement of the docking port are just a few.

Paul Aarulaaq Quassa

Reason for running:

I believe that our next government must overhaul more of our legislation, regulations and policies to be more receptive to our population, to be more Nunavummiut-friendly, and one that has more passion, more understanding, and more holistic in program services to its people and communities. I believe with that, issues such as shortage of housing, infrastructure needs and social programs can be changed to meet the needs of our population and communities.

The majority of our populations are Inuit, and the next government needs to make a priority in making our government "people-friendly" by making laws that are relevant, respecting Inuit values, with emphasis on the culture and language of the majority.

We need to meet the obligations of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and make Nunavut the distinct jurisdiction of Canada.

The next government needs to fully be working to meet the needs by partnering with Inuit organizations. We need to jointly enhance the abilities of our communities and their peoples.

We need to be more open in getting third parties involved in helping needs such as shortage of housing and infrastructure needs in our communities.

We need to accommodate and fully assist our elders, and make more programs in work readiness for our youth. We need to ensure our educational system is strong in both languages and that our youth get the best educational system.

We need to focus in preparing our youth, who will be leaders in the near future, by assisting those who want to enhance in educational needs, by working toward making a Nunavut university a reality.

And lastly, I feel Nunavummiut are ready to think outside of the box, and possibly looking at electing our premier, Nunavut-wide, who then would be fully accountable to the population of Nunavut.

Jerome Sheaves

Reason for running:

Our governments and bureaucracies are still lost in denial of the Nunavut reality. They continue to slow down the progress of the Inuit people, dragging out new policies and bills that would implement positive change. Officials at all levels are still ducking and weaving over the lack of housing, expensive food causing malnutrition, poverty and other poor Arctic services. They continue to hide behind numbers, research, and narrow arguments.

It is time for a shift in government – change is a healthy progression for an improved future. It is time that we are all witnesses to the remarkable comeback of the Inuit peoples. This will mean fundamental shifts in power, in financing and in how we all live together. They can pretend this is not happening; they can manoeuvre in order to delay it. But it is going to happen. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by embracing this comeback as living proof of the strength of the Inuit culture and people.

This reinvention begins with all of us, including our government. This comeback means righting the wrongs of the past, it means better education, it means improved standards of living and it means embracing the future of a culturally and economically strong community and territory.

It would be an honour to be your MLA for the riding of Aggu in Nunavut, and to fight to make this comeback and improvement a reality.

Matt Teed 

Reason for running:

I am running to bring a new voice and vision to people in the riding of Aggu in Iglulik. A new vision for the economy, for education, for housing, for infrastructure. I am running for more representation and consultation for young people and families. I am running to bring a voice for those ignored and marginalized by the government. I believe there is a better way to accomplish these things. With consultation and working together, we can accomplish great things. More recreational options for our youth, more jobs for hard-working people. A more complete education without social promotion. Working together, a new voice and vision can be brought to this riding.