Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Around the Arctic August 22, 2014 - 3:41 pm

NDP leader Mulcair, MP Romeo Saganash, to visit Nunavut next month

Leader of official opposition to host town hall Sept. 2 in Iqaluit

Thomas Mulcair and Romeo Saganash at a public meeting they held June 26, 2013, during a visit to Kuujjuaq.
Thomas Mulcair and Romeo Saganash at a public meeting they held June 26, 2013, during a visit to Kuujjuaq.

Iqaluit residents will get a chance to talk to Thomas Mulcair, the leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons, and Romeo Saganash, the New Democratic Party member for Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou, at a public town hall meeting Sept. 2 at Iqaluit’s francophone centre.

Billed as a “lively discussion,” the town hall event starts at 6 p.m. and for Mulcair and Saganash, marks their first visit to Nunavut, which runs Sept. 2 to Sept. 4

On Sept. 3, Saganash and Mulcair will meet Inuit leaders, local politicians and members of local volunteer organizations, said Aaron Watson, vice president of the Nunavut NDP Riding Association.

That includes Clyde River Mayor Jerry Natanine, with whom they will likely discuss Clyde River’s opposition to seismic testing in Davis Strait and Baffin Bay.

They will also meet representatives from the Embrace Life Council and the Feeding My Family food security activist group.

The NDP visit coincides with the founding meeting of the Arctic Economic Council, a centrepiece of Canada’s Arctic Council chairmanship.

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq will preside over that gathering

This is the third time since the May 2, 2011 federal election that federal NDP members have visited Nunavut.

In March 2013, three MPs — Libby Davies, Jean Crowder and Chris Charlton — visited Nunavut to explore the social determinants of health and talk about food issues.

And this past July,  Hélène Leblanc, the NDP member for Lasalle-Émard, visited south Baffin to gather information about co-operatives.

Mulcair and Saganash together visited Nunavik, which Saganash represents, in June 2013.

The NDP haven’t won a federal election in Nunavut since 1980, when Peter Ittinuar took the seat for the party when it was still named “Nunatsiaq.”

In the May 2, 2011 federal election, Aglukkaq regained the seat for the Conservatives with a healthy plurality of 49.85 per cent, easily defeating Paul Okalik of the Liberals (29 per cent), Jack Hicks of the NDP (19 per cent) and Scott MacCallum of the Green Party (two per cent.)

Under the fixed-date amendment to the Canada Elections Act, Prime Minister Stephen Harper must call an election by Oct. 19, 2015.

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