Nunavut’s newest MLA talks about mining and infrastructure

As Nunavut’s legislature starts its fall sitting, David Qamaniq delivers his first members statement

David Qamaniq, the new MLA for Tununiq, sits between Iqaluit-Niaqunguu MLA Pat Angnakak and Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk on Thursday, Oct. 17, inside the Nunavut legislative chamber. (Photo by Elaine Anselmi)

By Elaine Anselmi

The opening of the Nunavut legislative assembly’s fall sitting saw the newly minted Tununiq MLA, David Qajaakuttuk Qamaniq, give his first member’s statement.

“I would not be here today without the hard work and success of many people,” he opened, thanking his family and friends, as well as the opponent he faced in last month’s byelection, Charlie Inuarak.

“I fully recognize that I have joined this house at the midway point in its term. It feels like joining the National Hockey League midway through the season,” Qamaniq said, prompting laughs all around.

“I very much look forward to using my time here to build on recent accomplishments of the community. I’ve heard clearly from residents that the infrastructure needs for the community remain great,” he said.

While his home community of Pond Inlet has seen progress on modern marine infrastructure, he said they must now focus on improving the airport and housing.

“Pond inlet continues to suffer from a shortage of housing and I will advocate for actions to address affordability in this area,” he said.

Having been a part of negotiations with mining companies to strike Inuit impact and benefit agreements, he noted the impacts of development such as Baffinland’s Mary River mine near Pond Inlet, and Agnico Eagle’s gold mine near Baker Lake.

“I’m very much aware of the importance of ensuring sustainability and a balanced approach to economic development in our territory,” said Qamaniq.

“There are many other issues that I will be raising in this house but time does not allow for me to address them all today.”

Share This Story

(0) Comments