A look at 2015 federal election results in Nunavut’s communities

In Nunavut, 15 of 25 communities chose the Liberals

By SARAH ROGERS

Voters in 15 of 25 Nunavut communities voted for the federal Liberal party in last year's national election, making Hunter Tootoo an MP for the governing party. For the time being, Tootoo is serving as an independent, at least until after he completes a treatment program in Ontario. (FILE PHOTO)


Voters in 15 of 25 Nunavut communities voted for the federal Liberal party in last year’s national election, making Hunter Tootoo an MP for the governing party. For the time being, Tootoo is serving as an independent, at least until after he completes a treatment program in Ontario. (FILE PHOTO)

Eight months have lapsed since the last federal election, Oct. 19, 2015, when Nunavummiut elected Liberal candidate Hunter Tootoo as Nunavut MP.

Voters in Nunavut, much like voters in the rest of Canada, rode a wave of support that helped elect a new majority Liberal government.

In the weeks that followed, Nunavut’s MP earned himself a high profile cabinet position, as minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Coast Guard — a major boon for a territory surrounded by the Arctic Ocean.

Less than a year into the government’s mandate, however, Nunavut finds itself without a ruling party MP, following Tootoo’s sudden resignation from cabinet and caucus May 31 to seek treatment for addiction issues.

Ottawa-based publication The Hill Times recently reported that Tootoo is enrolled in an in-patient treatment program at a rehabilitation centre north of Toronto.

Liberal leaders have yet to say if Tootoo will be welcomed back into the caucus upon his return.

Tootoo’s support in Nunavut was clear following 2015 election, where he took 46 per cent of votes cast.

Fifty-nine per cent of Nunavut’s 20,252 registered voters cast ballots in that election — the territory’s highest turnout to date.

The poll-by-poll results of the Oct. 19 election, released earlier this year by Elections Canada, offer a glimpse of Tootoo’s support by community.

The majority of votes in 15 of Nunavut’s 25 communities went to Tootoo, where support ran between 36 and 58 per cent for the Member of Parliament.

Communities where the Liberals polled the highest:

• Grise Fiord: 45 per cent

• Resolute Bay: 59 per cent

• Pond Inlet: 40 per cent

• Taloyoak: 43 per cent

• Clyde River: 51 per cent

• Kugluktuk: 48 per cent

• Cambridge Bay: 49 per cent

• Hall Beach: 44 per cent

• Cape Dorset: 47 per cent

• Baker Lake: 51 per cent

• Chesterfield: 53 per cent

• Rankin Inlet: 50 per cent

• Whale Cove: 36 per cent

• Arviat: 51 per cent

• Iqaluit: 58 per cent

The second place Nunavut candidate, New Democrat Jack Anawak, polled ahead in five communities — including his hometown Repulse Bay, now called Naujaat — while then-incumbent MP Leona Aglukkaq garnered highest support in another five communities.

Communities where NDP polled highest:

• Pangnirtung: 40 per cent

• Igloolik: 44 per cent

• Kugaaruk: 53 per cent

• Repulse Bay: 43 per cent

• Sanikiluaq: 40 per cent

Communities where the Conservatives polled highest:

• Coral Harbour: 54 per cent

• Kimmirut: 48 per cent

• Gjoa Haven: 56 per cent

• Qikiqtarjuaq: 51 per cent

• Arctic Bay: 39 per cent

Tootoo did well in advance polling in Nunavut, pulling in 62 per cent support in early polls. Nunavut’s MP also drew strong support — 56 per cent — from Nunavummiut outside the territory or country who voted by special ballot.

Green Party candidate Spencer Rocchi finished in fourth place with one per cent of the vote.

You can see the complete rundown of Nunavut’s election results here.

In neighbouring Nunavik, which makes up a part of Quebec’s Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou riding, 45 per cent of voters cast ballots last Oct. 19.

Nunavimmiut voted 41 per cent in favour of incumbent and re-elected New Democrat MP Romeo Saganash, and 39 per cent for Liberal candidate Pierre Dufour.

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