Karetak-Lindell faces four contenders

Crowded field includes Green Party, independent candidates



Three political neophytes and a political veteran are aiming to unseat Liberal MP Nancy Karetak-Lindell in the June 28 federal election.

Prime Minister Paul Martin called the election on May 23. Polls suggest his governing Liberals may not win a majority against a re-united Conservative party, a reinvigorated NDP, and a resurgent Bloc Québecois party in Quebec.

Karetak-Lindell, who is seeking victory for the third time, will stress her experience in this campaign.

Karetak-Lindell, who’s based in Arviat, says she plans to lobby the federal government to hand more powers over to Nuunavut, especially boosting the government of Nunavut’s ability to tax mining companies.

Duncan Cunningham, a former territorial government employee living in Pond Inlet, wants to oust Karetak-Lindell, citing Liberal pressure on its backbenchers to vote according to party guidelines as a reason to throw her out.

Cunningham, Nunavut’s first candidate for the newly merged Conservative Party, says his party allows more free votes, which he says will allow him to better represent Nunavut on issues like the gun registry.

Although a long-time politician, Manitok Thompson faces an uphill battle as Nunavut’s only independent candidate. Thompson, who bailed out of the Liberal Party nomination race earlier this year, is appealing to voters to elect her on the basis of her extensive experience in territorial politics.

Thompson, from Rankin Inlet, served as the MLA for Rankin Inlet South-Whale Cover in Nunavut’s first legislative assembly, and was the only woman in Nunavut’s first cabinet.

Bill Riddell, a long-time Iqaluit resident, became Nunavut’s New Democratic Party candidate the day after the writ was dropped.

Riddell will be taking time off from his duties as justice of the peace during the 34-day campaign. Riddell, who wants to see better financial support for the government of Nunavut from Ottawa, also serves as chair of the Illitiit Society, an organization devoted to helping the community’s poor.

Nedd Kenney, of Cambridge Bay, will be fighting to win a seat for the Green Party in Nunavut. His party highlights the need to focus more resources on protecting the environment, but Kenney also wants to make economic development across Nunavut a priority.

Nunavummiut seeking more information on the federal election can visit the Elections Canada web site at www.elections.ca or phone toll-free, 1-800-463-6868.

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