Lori Idlout holds onto Nunavut for NDP

‘I feel like I’ve received so much support and encouragement. I feel hopeful,’ says Iqaluit-based lawyer

Lori Idlout hugs her daughters after receiving the most votes in Nunavut’s federal election riding. (Photo by David Venn)

By Mélanie Ritchot, David Venn and David Lochead

The New Democratic Party’s Lori Idlout is being hailed as the next member of Parliament for Nunavut, following the concession of the Liberals’ Pat Angnakak.

“It still doesn’t feel real, I still feel like we need to see the rest of the polls first,” Idlout said with a laugh.

In terms of what Nunavummiut can expect from her, Idlout said “to be hard working [and] to make sure I’m heard.”

“I have so much faith in Nunavummiut and I only want to do my best to make sure that what they’ve shared with me becomes a reality.”

Angnakak conceded around midnight and called to Idlout to congratulate her.

Idlout watched the results roll in from the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre, where her party’s colour – orange – was everywhere: on the candidate’s floral shirt and pants, on cupcakes and on balloons that littered the floor. Her victory was celebrated with clapping, hugs and throat singing by her family and about 20 supporters.

Lori Idlout watches on as her two daughters, Crystal Mullin (left) and Mylena Idlout-Mullin (right) throat sing at her election viewing party. When they finished, Crystal wiped a tear from her eye and said they were both very proud of their mom. (Photo by David Venn)

Idlout held on a lead throughout the evening as ballots were counted.

As of 1 a.m., with about 87 per cent of polls reporting their results, Idlout had 2,971 votes, while Angnakak had 2,178 and Conservative Laura MacKenzie had 981, according to Elections Canada.

For Angnakak to surpass Idlout at that point she needed to secure nearly 800 votes.

Angnakak said that voters had spoken, “and I accept that.”

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the win, but I also know we had three strong women running,” she said. “[I know] Lori could be a strong candidate too.”

The Canadian Press has forecast a minority Liberal government as votes roll in across the country.

“It’s really too bad Nunavut won’t be represented by the [elected] government,” said Angnakak. “I think we would have had more say and more power.”

Angnakak said she wouldn’t do anything differently if she had the choice and has no regrets about her campaign.

“We had a strong campaign and did everything we could have possibly done,” Angnakak said, thanking her team and supporters.

Nunavut’s territorial elections also kicked off on Monday, but Angnakak confirmed she is not planning to run again.

“At this point [the answer] would be no.”

Archie Angnakak, Pat’s husband, congratulated Idlout in a tweet and wrote “you better be the voice and make a difference in the lives of Nunavummiut at [the] federal level as you promised!”

Laura MacKenzie, the Conservative candidate, did not respond to requests for an interview before polls closed or after votes were counted.

Kyle Sheppard, an Iqaluit city councillor, congratulated all three candidates in a tweet.

“[Thank you] for stepping up and running positive, meaningful federal election campaigns across Nunavut,” he wrote.

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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by Johnny on

    Getting exciting

  2. Posted by Lost in the barrens on

    “MacKenzie did not respond to a request to interview before results came in.”

    Is this the really best you could do, Conservatives?

    • Posted by Oh Ima on

      I am not surprised she didn’t concede or saying anything. oh well at least no conservatives or Liberals. This goes to show that people like NDP to speak about issues that really matter to Inuit!

  3. Posted by Ned Flanders on

    Congratulations Lori…correction…MP Lori Idlout.
    “May the force be with you.”

  4. Posted by Truestory on

    Sad day for us B.I.M. employees. Our days may be numbered as employees at B.I.M. all because N.D.P. won.

    • Posted by Zoom out on

      Nah, the Liberals won and they are the party that will ultimately decide on the fate of Baffinland, not the NDP.

  5. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    thank you to all who ran, congratulations on the win MP Lori Idlout, i hope to see great work for all of Nunavut.

  6. Posted by Umingmak on

    After the last MP’s “performance”, why on earth would anybody vote NDP again? What a trainwreck.

    • Posted by Paradigm Shift on

      I agree with the spirit of what you are saying. But let’s give Lori the benefit of the doubt, she isn’t Mumilaaq… (until proven otherwise)

    • Posted by Because on

      Why would anyone vote NDP? Because the other parties were lacking in just about everything.

  7. Posted by Eligible Voter! on

    CONGRATULATIONS LORI IDLOUT! You have our Full Support!!! I am Cheering On For Ya!

  8. Posted by “Has Been Hunter” on

    Respond to Umingmak. Because there is hope. There is the unfortunate history in Canada that we the original peoples of have suffered historic abuse. Yet we believe that this great country can be for us. Remember: Do what you can for your country, not what your country can do for you. Something like, for the people, by the people.

    • Posted by cry more on

      Oh yea

  9. Posted by Pain In The Groen on

    We move forward with a ballooning spirits that the best of the three was chosen. It is not to say any particular candidate was exceptionally appealing but the correct one was chosen by the voters of Nunavut. We are living in an extraordinary era.

    “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

    “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

  10. Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

    Federally, Nunavut elects the political party that best aligns with how it feels about itself and the image it projects to the rest of Canada.

    When Nunavut was created in 1999, it felt proud, confident and self reliant. As a result, it elected liberal and later conservative MPs.

    However, somewhere down the road, things changed. Nunavut started to feel differently about itself, and wanted to project a different image to the south. Instead of feeling proud, it now felt sad and overburdened. Instead of feeling confident, it started to feel poor and wanted the rest of Canada to sympathize with its suffering. Instead of feeling resilient, it now feels desperate, and wants the rest of Canada to know utterly dependent it is on Canada’s assistance.

    The NDP is the party of the poor, the despondent and the downtrodden. It is not the party of those who feel proud, confident and self reliant. As a result, it’s entirely predictable that Nunavut is now an NDP stronghold given how it feels about itself in this current era.

    • Posted by Snapshot Sharpshooter Inuk on

      Stay in your lane?

      Some people with their ideas go uncheck sometimes. Your metaphor of Nunavut being poor and stuck in the ditches is full of anaq. Ajungitiatugu!!

      • Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

        The point of my comment was not that Nunavut is stuck in the ditches. Not at all. In fact, the point was that sadly Nunavut sees itself as stuck in the ditches and that’s why aligns itself with the NDP. Think about it. What is the messaging that Nunavut sends out to the rest of Canada: We are poor. We are food insecure. We have no housing. We are crippled by addictions. We are ravaged by suicide. We are desperate. We are forgotten by our government.

        All of that messaging is best suited to the NDP. I actually think it’s too bad. I wish that Nunavut projected a more confident and optimistic picture to the rest of Canada. But I’m sure that many others would argue that doing so would be dishonest.

        • Posted by Horatio Hornblower on

          These kinds of sweeping meta-narratives that claim to speak for whole groups as if they have one mind should always be a little suspect, honestly. Not to say this kind of analysis is invalid or of no use, because it can be, but it seems to warrant special scrutiny to me.

  11. Posted by Colin on

    Congratulations to Lori Idlout. Please Lori reach out and ask for help from the party. I don’t know to what extent your predecessor failed to ask for it or the party failed to reach out. Either way she didn’t get the support the party should have given her.

    The Liberals never earned a single Indigenous vote in the past 6 years. To an extent the NDP better represent the conscience of the nation even as some their policies are hare-brained.

    • Posted by Bored Pundit on

      We’ll never know the amount of support our former MP received, but her failures should not make us assume she didn’t get any.

      We did a better job this time in electing an adult and someone seemingly mature and experienced. No amount of party support can fundamentally change someone who is completely ill prepared.


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