Lamothe rolls to election victory in Ungava; Coalition Avenir Quebec wins another majority

CAQ incumbent celebrates re-election with a beer

Incumbent Ungava CAQ MNA Denis Lamothe, left, is seen campaigning with party leader and Quebec Premier François Legault in Lebel-sur-Quévillon last week. (Photo by Emilie Nadeau via Denis Lamothe – Coalition Avenir Québec/Facebook)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Even as his lead in the polls continued to grow Monday night, Ungava riding’s incumbent Coalition Avenir Québec MNA Denis Lamothe hesitated at first to declare victory.

“For me, it’s official when it’s official,” Lamothe said in a phone interview at around 11 p.m. “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Fifteen minutes later — and with a thousand-plus vote lead over his nearest competitor, Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash of Québec solidaire — victory was clear, if still unofficial.

Lamothe’s campaign spokesperson Catherine Gibeau said they were declaring a win and calling it a night.

In winning a second term, Lamothe was part of a CAQ tide that swept across Quebec in Monday’s provincial election.

Results were still incomplete and unofficial, but as of 11:30 p.m. the party had won or was leading in 89 ridings, which would be a gain of 13 seats over what the government held at the time the election was called.

The Quebec Liberal party was a distant second, winning or leading in 23 ridings. Quebec solidaire had 10 and the Parti Quebecois had three.

In Ungava, of the 111 polling stations 104 were reporting results at the time of the Lamothe victory declaration, according to Elections Quebec.

At that point, Lamothe was leading with 2,619 total votes, or 37.25 per cent. Labrecque-Saganash trailed with 1,607 votes, or 22.86 per cent.

Quebec Liberal Party candidate and former Kuujjuaq mayor Tunu Napartuk was listed in third place, followed by Christine Moore of Parti Québécois in fourth and Nancy Lalancette of the Conservative Party of Quebec in fifth.

“I’m confident with the advance that I have right now that I will win, but it’s just a question of principle,” Lamothe said of his hesitancy to declare victory.

At this point, Lamothe’s margin of victory appears to be far more clear-cut than the one he had in 2018 when he was first elected.

That year, he won by just 46 votes, in an election so close it required a recount.

With Monday’s showing, Lamothe’s party, led by Premier François Legault, will form another majority government and hold office until 2026.

During his campaign, Lamothe — a former police officer in Nunavik — touted his party’s successes in regional development in Nunavik.

Part-way through the campaign, he stepped aside to spend time with his ailing mother, Lise Paquin, who died two weeks before the election.

In the short phone interview Monday, Lamothe didn’t express any sentiment of celebration; just that he had cracked open a beer and was calling it a night.

He expressed his respect for the other four candidates, and gratitude that he was able to be with his mother in her final days.

“I’m proud of what I did because I did it for her,” he said. “I’ll never forget the last weeks that I spent with her.”




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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Insulted on

    Denis Lamonthe…. He does not represent Nunavik, he hasn’t done anything for our communities. It’s time to fight once again to have our own electoral district. We will never be fairly represented with Nunavik being part of the present district in which so many Francophones are voters.

    • Posted by Low turnout on

      Dennis represents the 30% of people that showed up to vote in the Ungava district, the Quebec will never make Nunavik it’s own district, of course they want to keep voter turnout low! It’s to their advantage. Only once the young Inuit wake up and actually show up to vote is when we can actually see real change in the elections, even in Nunavut, no one shows up.

      Wikipedia shows
      Total valid votes 8,564
      Total rejected ballots 182
      Turnout 8,746
      Eligible voters 28,314

      • Posted by Indeed on

        Tunu could have been easily elected if people had voted in the first place.

        Lamothe 3132 votes
        Tunu 1569 votes

        There were more than enough eligible voters in Nunavik for Tunu to win the election if about half of them even bothered.

      • Posted by Lucy on

        I know some people tried to go vote but left discouraged when their names could not be found in their “voting system”. That is also one of the reasons why there was a low voting turn out

        • Posted by JOHNNY on

          I just didn t bother

  2. Posted by Nunavummiuq on

    Would have been good for Nunavik to have representation with the only Inuk candidate. Nunavik has the population to push this but you will need to figure out how to get the voters to come out to make this happen.

    It’s the only way to push your agenda to get representation at the top levels and advocating for Inuit.

    • Posted by Agree on

      I agree. And with the vote split in the South it would have been easy to elect Tunu and give a voice to Nunavik at the National Assembly. Victory would have been easy if people had voted. Lamothe only got a little over 3100 votes.

      At the 2018 election it was similar too. People just don’t vote and then complain.

  3. Posted by Umingmak on

    Unsurprising that the province who is implementing laws to force french on to Indigenous peoples has set up the riding to suppress indigenous voters. The same happens in the Cree & Anishinaabe communities.

    • Posted by Get out and vote on

      Stop blaming others. Nunavimmiut only need to get out and vote. There were enough eligible voter from Numavik to elect the first Inuk in a provincial election.

      Lamothe won with a total of only 3132 votes and Tunu received 1569 votes. Tunu could have been easily elected if not even half the eligible voters of Nunavik had bothered to stepped out of their houses and vote.

      • Posted by Get out and vote on

        Wanted to add that I hoped this time would be the good one and that Tunu would be able to bring out the Inuit vote and prove the pollsters wrong. To me the party was unimportant. Giving a voice to Nunavik was and it was within reach.

        Nunavik had a good candidate and a trilingual one too who would have been able to follow everything being said. But even that wasn’t sufficient and the sole cause of defeat in this election and the past one was that people didn’t vote.

        With the piss poor turn out that got Tunu only 1569 votes you can’t talk about voters’ suppression as there is nothing to suppress. If people vote in good numbers and the Inuit candidate remains defeated, then you can but not at the moment.

  4. Posted by CreeNuk on

    Tunu and the Liberals made a serious mistake.

    The idea that running two Indigenous candidates and that one might win was never going to work.

    If Tunu had not run for the Liberals, Maïtée Saganash clearly would have won the seat and Ungava would finally have an Indigenous representative, making history and making a difference when Nunavik and Eeyou Istchee needed it.

  5. Posted by 867 on

    The concept of electing a political leader is colonial, thats why many bands prefer having hereditary chiefs. Indian Act was set up to force people to vote for elected chiefs, same way political leaders are elected. I am not really surprised to see voter turnouts in the low 30%’s because it is not part of indigious culture and history.

    • Posted by Let’s play make believe on

      In the case you are even right, which I doubt, it goes to show that traditional is not always better and that colonial is not always worse. You comment is absurd.

    • Posted by What? on

      What do the Indian Act and hereditary chiefs have to see with Inuit?

      I don’t even know why you mention this.

      Inuit society works a lot by consensus with elders being respected.

      • Posted by In the Past on

        It used to, but the population is too big, consensus is no longer able to serve us.

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