NDP’s Lori Idlout sees resource management as a priority

Iqaluit lawyer says securing benefits for royalties is key to Nunavut’s growth

NDP candidate Lori Idlout says she has a good balance of personal and professional experience that will make her an ideal MP for Nunavut. (Photo courtesy of Lori Idlout/Twitter)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

This week, Nunatsiaq News is publishing profiles of the candidates in the Sept. 20 federal election. There are three women running to represent Nunavut in Parliament: Liberal Pat Angnakak, the NDP’s Lori Idlout and Conservative Laura MacKenzie.

If the federal government wants revenue from Nunavut’s natural resources, then the territory should benefit more from exploration and mining activity, says Lori Idlout, the New Democratic Party’s federal election candidate.

To that end, Idlout says her first priority, if elected, will be to “shift” the working relationship the territory has with the federal government to get more services and resources for Nunavummiut.

“We have to realize that the federal government wants resources from us,” she said. “And knowing that … we have some negotiating power.”

Idlout, 47, says she also wants to improve housing and infrastructure, such as airports and internet connectivity.

The lawyer, who is from Igloolik, won the NDP candidacy in August by a coin toss and was the first person in the territory to announce her intention to run in the Sept. 20 federal election.

Idlout has worked as technical adviser to the Ikajutit Hunters and Trappers Organization during a public hearing into a proposed expansion of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s mine near Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay. She has also represented a group of hunters who blockaded access to the mine to protest the proposal earlier this year.

Idlout has also worked for the Department of Health and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. as a policy analyst, finishing her time with the department as the director of policy and planning.

While serving as director of the Iqaluit District Education Authority, Idlout founded the Coalition of Nunavut DEAs, an education advocacy group. She was also the founding executive director for the Embrace Life Council, and served as that organization’s director for about six years.

Idlout said the Embrace Life Council began with no budget, and by the time she left, the organization had $1 million per year to work with, and six staff members.

“[My career] shows my commitment to improving well-being. … [It’s] all about making sure that we could have more success stories in Nunavut so that Nunavummiut can feel like they have been heard [and] have the ability to make decisions that impact their lives,” she said.

That, in addition to her Inuit identity, the knowledge she has gained from elders and the skills she learned through studying in a southern law program, are what she says have prepared her to be Nunavut’s next MP.

“I’ve proven my integrity and my willingness to work hard for Nunavummiut,” she said. “I feel like I have both worlds.”

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Paint the world orange, NN on

    Cool, another story about the NDP Candidate. This is what, the 3rd or 4th one? I lost track.

    You have to wonder if this paper ever plans to say a word about the Conservative candidate though?

    • Posted by Amitturmiut on

      btw who is running for PC anyways? lol

  2. Posted by CrazyEskimo on

    Lori you’ve earned my vote. I think you will make an excellent MP.

  3. Posted by Pain In The Groen on

    What are the candidate’s thoughts on CARFAC and artist resale rights? When visiting Carvings Nunavut one gets the feeling that they don’t wish to promote this. I would hope, if elected, Lori will fight hard for Inuit artists and work to enact government support of CARFAC and the implementation of law regarding the resale rights of artists.

    • Posted by Duh on

      That’s her store…

      • Posted by Pain In The Groen on

        Precisely. Duh.

        • Posted by Stay in your lane? on

          Stop looking for any little speck of dirt. Ive never heard of any federal election campaigning about CARFAC being the main topic.

          Like anybody else in the world she has chosen a career in something to make money.
          It’s not her fault whatever CARFAC is doing or not doing.
          It’s also not like Canada put the whole weight of CARFAC on her shoulders.

          I think the other agendas are more important right now than CARFAC.

          • Posted by Pain In The Groen on

            Being that she is or was in charge of the Igloo Tag Foundation, I think it’s fair game to ask the candidate if they support Inuit artist resale rights. Word is they don’t (the candidate and her business partners).

  4. Posted by NTA Rep on

    As the Nunavut Teachers’ Association’s first representative on the Embrace Life Council, in the early 2000s, as well as a board member of one of the council’s leading founding organizations – Kamatsiaqtut Help Line, I am clarifying that Lori was the first executive director in the role, hired by the newly established council made up of representatives of the 13 member organizations that founded the council and worked to grow it – in fact, continue to work to grow it. Integrity in our representative service leaders must be monitored, evaluated and corrected.

  5. Posted by Concerned on

    So the NDP plan to pay for their platform buy taxing the richest people in Canada.
    So if the rich move, then who pays for their platform? Us working class? Europe did something similar and 10 of the top richest people moved to another country. It will be cheaper for the richest to move than to stay and fund the NDP! No thanks

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