Iqaluit deputy mayor to vie for a seat in the legislature

Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster receiving a leave of absence to run for MLA

Deputy Mayor Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster will receive a leave of absence from Iqaluit city council to pursue a seat in the legislative assembly this fall. (File photo by Dustin Patar)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit’s deputy mayor will receive a leave of absence to run for a seat in the legislative assembly this fall, city council unanimously voted Tuesday evening.

Deputy Mayor Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster was elected to city council in 2019. Beyond being deputy mayor, she is also chairperson of the city’s youth task force and vice-chairperson of the planning and development committee.

“I’m really looking forward to this,” she said during the meeting, referring to her plans to run in October’s territorial election. “I think that this is an important step forward, not just for me and my family, but for Iqaluit and for Nunavut.”

Some members of council spoke out in favour of her decision to run for MLA.

“I can tell you from my personal experience: I don’t think there’s a better candidate out there,” Mayor Kenny Bell said. “I’m going to be sad to see you go, but I 100 per cent support you and I will be behind you cheerleading with some pompoms as far as I can.”

“[I’m] wholeheartedly in support of this,” said Coun. John Fawcett. “I wish you all the best.”

The current legislature’s final sitting will be from Sept. 9 to 16. The election is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Brewster declined Nunatsiaq News’ request for an interview. She said that as an employee for the Government of Nunavut, she cannot begin campaigning until her leave of absence begins Sept. 7.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Not Very Impressed on

    She only just took up her council seat.
    Wouldn’t it be more respectful of the citizens and voters to actually finish something before jacking it in and going looking for the bigger better deal?

    • Posted by Sled Dog on

      She took a leave of absence. She didn’t quit.
      She’ll continue be an excellent representative for her constituents.
      Go Pitsiulaaq!

    • Posted by Politicking on

      She was one of the few councilors who actually attended meetings regularly. In Nunavut you get a promotion just by showing up all the time. Sure she changes job titles at the GN every few months but does show up every day to work. Wonder if she gets elected as MLA how long will she manage to hold out?

      • Posted by Potlicking on

        You’re right, she attended every single council meeting from the start of being elected and she created and took on the responsibility of two community level COVID working groups in addition to participating in the city’s COVID group.
        Not sure where you get the impression that she changes jobs every few months. She has worked for GN health for about 20 years and held her jobs in health for years at a time. I’ve worked with her a lot over the years. She is one of the nicest and most productive coworkers that can be. She shows up every day and stays late and she is a huge asset to health, the city and to the community members that she has served through her commitment to volunteerism. What have you done for the community in your ‘spare’ time??

    • Posted by Gn Employee on

      I mean sure, she is vocal and does work hard for the community, as long as you are, uh a real “local”. Let’s call a spade a spade, Iqaluit is the breeding ground of division.

      • Posted by Not so local on

        Hickes is from the Kivalliq, Lightstone spent many years in Ontario, and PJ who’s likely to win his riding is from North Baffin.

        And how many non local former city councillors still live here? It’s just a fun project for most of those guys. There are a few on the council right now.

  2. Posted by Pain In The Groen on

    Finally. A great candidate steps up to the plate. Too bad she wasn’t running for MP.

    Good luck to you, Janet! You will make a fantastic MLA, even Minister.

  3. Posted by Riding on

    Please run against Elisapee Sheutiapik. She has been very ineffective and absent as a minister and family services is a disaster.

    I don’t think you would have much of a chance against Lightstone, Hickes, and PJ, but you would complement them well and Iqaluit would finally be well served (assuming PJ would be a good member which I think he would be).

    • Posted by Panglossian on

      I’m fascinated at why Adam Lightstone is seen as a strong MLA. Anything I have ever heard him say has come off as staggering in its simplicity and lack of meaningful content.


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