Qaqqaq back to work as Conservatives search for her challenger

MP returns after two-week health-related absence

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq announced her return to work following a two-weak leave of absence Tuesday. It came at the same time Conservatives announced their search for a candidate to run against her in the next election.

“Back at work today fighting for Nunavummiut in the (virtual) House of Commons for Question Period,” the NDP politician wrote on Twitter.

Qaqqaq thanked supporters for their well wishes overs the past two weeks. On April 27, she announced she was taking time off to tend to some undisclosed health issues.

The tweet included a picture of her sitting in front of a laptop computer and wearing a purple sweater.

“Proud to wear my @Pauktuutit sweater,” she wrote, referring to the national Inuit women’s organization.

Qaqqaq’s recent leave came about four months after she took off more than two months at the end of 2020 because she was suffering from what she described as “extreme burnout” and depression.

In January, she announced she would seek re-election and secured the Nunavut New Democrats’ nomination. Qaqqaq was elected in the 2019 federal election to represent Nunavut in the House of Commons.

On Tuesday, Conservatives in Nunavut announced their search for their next candidate.

“Now more than ever, Nunavut needs a strong member of Parliament, a person with proven leadership skills who has strong relations in the territory with Inuit organizations, non-profit and private sector organizations — a person who will build consensus and work with all Nunavummiut,” Conservative riding association president Paul Murphy wrote in an email.

Conservatives are looking for a candidate who is “highly motivated, personable [and] hard-working,” the party’s announcement states.

There has been no word from the Liberal party about who its next candidate will be.

The NDP, Liberals and Conservatives have all represented Nunavut over the past decade. Before Qaqqaq’s election, Liberal Hunter Tootoo was a cabinet minister in Justin Trudeau’s government, while Leona Aglukkaq was a minister in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government before him.

With Trudeau’s Liberals holding a minority government in Parliament, there has been widespread media speculation there will be an election within the next year.

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(72) Comments:

  1. Posted by blue blood on

    Leona for MP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Posted by ivan on

      ED PICCO for liberal MP

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      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        Ed would be a good choice. Experienced in politics and business, bilingual, well liked, honest, works very hard, knows how to make deals.
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        Sure he’s a bit fanatical about the Chicago Blackhawks but I hear that he is in therapy for it.
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        Who would be a better choice?

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        • Posted by Raven on

          Adam Arreak-Lightstone

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          • Posted by You are joking, right? on

            I honestly can’t think of a less accomplished, underachieving and sure to do nothing pick that Lightstone, you really can’t be serious?

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    • Posted by still here on

      in would be really nice for our inuit leaders to abide by inuit societal values, as there first thought, not an after thought, hopefully the vote does not go the ndp next time

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    • Posted by Uvanga on

      Yes! Leona was an incredible MP. Nunavut achieved so much with her representing us in Ottawa. Major infrastructure improvements (schools, hamlet buildings, rec centers, health centers, etc), CHARS, new mines, etc. These past two MPs have done nothing but embarrass Nunavut. Bring back Leona!

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      • Posted by Raven on

        First like! Leona was underrated by angry Inuit.

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      • Posted by Nunavutmiuta on

        yea, she was reading news paper while the rest were talking about the north.
        Not to mention, what did she agout people who had no choice but to go the the dump for meals.
        She is the worst at its best

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      • Posted by Booker T. Washer on

        Come on, this is our problem in Nunavut, old has beens…..this person and our good senator do not even resides in nunavut. come to think of it , we are the biggest fools up here always looking outside the box. is there no one who is qualified to run at the next federal election from the territory?

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    • Posted by Make it so! Peterson for MP! on

      Keith Peterson for MP. He led Nunavut for many years while making sure there was no deficit and did so without a scandle. Incredibly ethical and a solid choice who cares for Inuit.
      So many great things happen because of him. Including the child youth advocacy office.

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      • Posted by Rooting for Peterson on

        He is experienced and hard working. Anyone who ever worked around him knows that he reads and researches everthing. He asks lots of questions so he can fully understand the full picture. He is a crazy hard worker. Detailed orientatied and is willing to make the tough decisions. He is a perfect balance between keeping with traditions and leading us modern day Inuit.

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        • Posted by Cambaymiut on

          He’s also happily retired and couldn’t be pulled back kicking and screaming into electoral politics.

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          • Posted by Hush on

            True leaders step up to the call of duty while others back away.

            Come on Keith!

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      • Posted by eskimo joe on

        I would really like to talk to my MP in my own language, why are inuit no good? why are we always picking someone who will not resides in nunavut after his/her term? where is tood, Ig, peterson, o’brien, picko, and the old arv mla whom I can’t even remember his name, the old environmental guy…all somewhere where its hot, stress free environment? do you think they give a hoot of nunavut’s future?

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        • Posted by Peter on

          Keith resides in Cambridge Bay in his retirement as this is his home.

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  2. Posted by pc on

    Are hoodies included in the dress code for parlementarians during virtual Question Period sessions? Better than what some have (not) been wearing I guess 😉

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    • Posted by Donny on

      Jesus and Mary are both depicted with hoods.

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      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        And they are usually depicted as white as well which is historically inaccurate.
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        Other famous wearers of hoods; the Grim Reaper, the KKK, Sith Lords.

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        • Posted by Meesa a Jedi! on

          So did Luke Skywalker! Did you see him take out those robots in the Mandalorian? All the time while wearing his hood. Robin Hood also wore a hood. A lot of great wizards wear hoods too. Darth Sidious also wore a mean hood. Is Mumilaaq a Jedi or a Sith Lord? Can someone please ask her this?

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  3. Posted by Raven on

    Dear Paul, Okalik Eegeesiak would make a great choice.

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    • Posted by Nah on

      Hard disagree. Once you bomb territorial elections, its a huge red flag.

      I hope the tories do the right thing and get someone hard working and respectable, but at this rate i have my doubts. If they go for a “oWn tHe LiBuRaWlS” Qanon nut job, like thosr that infiltrated the legislature, then they can rot in hell.

      For the Liberals, I’m hoping they go for a heavy hitter this time, a George Hickes, Paul Okalik, or Mad Redfern would have won easily last election and probably the upcoming one.

      Qaqqaq will surely lose. She had some major hiccups and many people saw how ineffective an opposition MP is for Nunavut (especially one with little experience). No harm in trying again though. She’ll mature and the NDP will have a real presence in Nunavut for years to come, which is something this territory never had.

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      • Posted by My 2 Cents on

        Madeleine Redfern would be a good pick for the liberals.

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        • Posted by eskimo joe on

          REDFERN????? Come on this is real stuff, not do this do that sort of thing. You have to be able to figure out things for yourself… prepare your own papers and that sort of things.

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  4. Posted by Lucy on

    we will be saved now. with her at the head the virus will scurry away!

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  5. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    Well Ottawa should be out of Premier Dougie’s mockdown by June 2nd (don’t believe the May 20th lie), so Mummilaq should be able to get in a good summer before she is booted out in this fall’s election.
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    We’ve all seen how Leona can read the newspaper when important matters are being discussed in the House. Is there anyone saying, “I wish Leona was still the Minister of Health while we go through this global pandemic”.
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    Yeah, me neither.
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    Next!

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  6. Posted by Oscare on

    Nunavut doesn’t need recycled politicians. We require a fresh new start with someone that is mature and knows how to think outside the norm and not scared to get their hands dirty (pardon the pun). Recycled politicians go back to their old ways and don’t become effective, they get to cushy. No disrespect to them, but their time has come gone.

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    • Posted by Voter on

      I agree, fresh blood BUT not like what we have now.

      Perhaps a bit of politics is needed, as well as experience most of all. Fresh does not mean too young, it is such an important roll and tasks.
      MK would have done well in the future after time to build and add to her resume.

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      • Posted by speculation on

        We don’t know how she would have done with more experience and we likely never will. It’s possible it would never be much better than this.

  7. Posted by Northern Guy on

    Two leaves of absence because of burnout and stress and for some reason Ms. Qaqqag still thinks that she is still capable of doing this job and that the people of Nunavut are remotely interested in reelecting her.

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    • Posted by Eskimos Fan on

      Her audacity expecting to get re-elected is astounding.😮
      Just….”wow”….😱

  8. Posted by Artie on

    A name a political party should think about is former Finance Minister Peterson. He took a lot of beating for supporting beer & wine store when no other mlas would back him up. I used to sit in ledge gallery during that time and couldn’t believe how calm he was & everyone attacking him. Bootleggers were the problem and only way to solve problem was beer & wine store but no hard stuff. Made a lot of money for gn and hurt bootleggers bank acts. That is kind of MP Nunavut needs in Ottawa. No more inexperienced kids or old recycled washed-up politicians.

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    • Posted by anonymous on

      I agree with you Artie, Mr. Peterson hope you are reading this and consider running for Nunavutmiut!

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  9. Posted by No Moniker on

    Dear Conservatives, I know it is in your political DNA to look to the past, but if you want to win you need to move on from the Leona era, and I mean no offense.

    On the other hand I’m not optimistic about your party’s overall chances at the moment. O’Toole was probably not the optimal pick, but much worse the party’s refusal to acknowledge the reality of ‘climate change’ at its most recent convention really shows how out of touch it is with public sentiment. Consider that 2/3’s of Canadians think climate change is as serious an issue as coronavirus (frankly, it is more serious) yet a major national party refuses to even acknowledge the reality of it? Unbelievable. Why be so daft on such an obvious issue? Why alienate the majority of Canadians?

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    • Posted by No Moniker on

      I’d like to add, I presume, or hope, the conservatives are not just denying climate change to “oWn tHe LiBs’ as they say; though there is definitely a nasty kind of element present here, along with their embrace of anti-scientism, that harms them at the ballot box (and for what good reason?).

      To zoom out a little, part of our problem is that our Parliamentary system concentrates too much power in the hands of the winning party, which rarely gets even a majority of votes. It’s a zero-sum game where too many people, a majority in fact, feel unrepresented in the spaces where decisions are being made. This is where proportional representation has derived much of its appeal.

      In any case, a good part of the Conservative movement that formed in the West in the early 90s, and that foreshadowed the Harper years, was based on the notion that the system needed reform, that too little power was being distributed as evenly as it should be. They had a point, yet here we are decades later and practically nothing has changed.

      The tendency of the system to resist dramatic reform is one of its features, yet to remain durable change must still be possible. If it does not prove possible, we need to wonder about that durability as we go forward.

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      • Posted by No Moniker on

        One more addition because I can feel the conservatives are really enjoying this; when I say that too much power is concentrated in the hands of the winning party, also remember that too much power is also concentrated in the hands of the party leader. What we end up with is really a constitutional dictatorship of sorts. Which is to say the PM has an almost unlimited amount of power within the constraints of the Parliamentary system. Is this a healthy way to organize a large and increasingly diverse state? I had a political science professor once who predicted Canada would not exist by the end of the century, that it would Balkanize. I can see the early tremors forming out west, and we know it lurks not far beneath the surface in Quebec. How about you, Nunavut? Will you join the movement eventually? I suspect it is only a matter of time.

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        • Posted by Louis K on

          Wild story!

  10. Posted by Old Timer on

    WELCOME BACK NOW DO SOMETHING THIS TIME!!

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  11. Posted by CONSERVATIVE PLEASE on

    Nunavut needs good conservative leadership our territory is falling into a socialist mess like Cuba. Is this the nunavut we want for our children? A nunavut where we expect the government to do everything for us?

    While I feel at this point anyone would be a step up from our current MP, someone like Leona who understands politics would be great too.

    Screw it… Paul Murphy for MP!

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    • Posted by Yes on

      Yes Paul Murphy for the Conservatives. I’m in favour because if they choose him they’ll DEFINITELY finish a distant 3rd again. Conservatives have been so out of touch with how Canadians think (outside their tiny 5 million voter base) that they might actually pick someone like him and not someone who can energize their brand.

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    • Posted by boris pasternak on

      CONSERVATIVES PLEASE, this is the funniest joke of the year, Paul , we sure are desperate bunch for PPL on the Hill, this hurts my stomach from laughing, because I am not use to laughing. Murphy hahah funnee.

  12. Posted by Truestory on

    I nominate John Amagoalik. The father of Nunavut.

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  13. Posted by Lost in space on

    I wrote to her with a simple Question and issue in 2020. Will I ever get a reply? My question did not relate to Inuit or housing or political issues so maybe it goes to her junk folder.

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    • Posted by In the Dark on

      Don’t leave us guessing, what was the question?

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      • Posted by Jack Napier on

        Yes, perhaps one of your readers can answer the question

  14. Posted by articrick on

    Looks like she got some coaching on how to publicly appear. Big difference from her online rant where she looked tanked.

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    • Posted by Adults now driving the bus on

      I’ve been noticing this too. I am sure her social media posts are being written by her staff now, they will even say so in some cases.

      To me the give away was her Twitter rage against the Liberals when the recent 50 million was announced for housing… a classic Mumilaaq tantrum, but scroll up a bit and she is congratulating the organizations that got funding and saying it was a great start, LOL… these were clearly not written by the same person.

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      • Posted by articrick on

        Clearly she needs a “filter” someone to babysit her to avoid making more mistakes but permanent damage has been done. I predict she will move back to Nunavut to become woke about everything.

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        • Posted by Adults now driving the bus on

          haha… well, it’s possible. I’m going to predict a hot burst onto the activist podcast scene, where she is already a semi-star. This will be marked by all sorts of wokeness and blame for her demise (colonial systems brought her down!). That won’t last long though. After that maybe art school in Ottawa or some other non-empirical studies department that teaches doctrine not science.

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  15. Posted by aputi on

    JOHN MAIN FOR LIBERAL

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    • Posted by Jonny on

      John Main for Conservative.

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      • Posted by Jack Napier on

        Main for Igalaaq

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    • Posted by boris pasternak on

      John Main’s ridings would tell you to find another suitable candidate, we know him at Arviat North and WC…..He’s not a representative type for his riding, what was accomplished? Nada, big fat zero.

  16. Posted by Ian on

    I am not a liberal, but the political pundits are predicting a liberal majority in the next election, so if we want to be on the outside looking in ,vote for the pretty mp or the cons,we are good at shooting ourselves in the foot .and continue our begging for more money from Ottawa.

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    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      The NDP is missing a great opportunity to extract additional concessions and funding from the Liberals while they are supporting the minority government.
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      A smart MP would have already proposed “win/win” situations to their party leader and had votes introduced into the house to increase health care, housing, and all sorts of social service funding for the territory.
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      The Liberals are also missing an opportunity by not having possible candidates commenting on what needs to be done. If I was one of the possible Liberal candidates I would be getting my voice out there now with proposals to improve health care, housing, senior services, etc.
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      Sure many of the items are a territorial responsibility but nothing will happen without money, and the federal government can increase health transfers, and put more money into housing and other programs at any time – and there is no time like the present when the federal government is spending to support the economy.

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    • Posted by Frank on

      Though I’m a life-long Conservative, I’m (almost!) glad that re-election of the Liberals is forecast. For once, let’s see them clean up their own mess.

      Canadians love a government that will spend THEIR money with no thought for the future. I anticipate plenty of cuts to programs, across the board. Actually, “slash and burn” will be the order of the day once it is realized that this country is in deep doo-doo.

      Frankly, it matters little who we elect in Nunavut or how un-qualified they may be. There’s few votes in Nunavut and just one MP who, regardless of party, will not have much of a say in how things get done. And given the worsening fiscal situation the north can’t expect much from any party.

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    • Posted by temp on

      Many of those pundits come from a media that got a $600 million dollar bailout from said Liberals; that’s a lot of reasons to want to prop them up. Frankly, if the Conservatives had nominated Dr. Lewis I stead of Mr. O’Toole, this election wouldn’t even be close, but the incompetence of the Conservatives is astonishing. I don’t like any of the leaders, especially Mr. Trudeau. The only one I liked was Mr. Singh at last election, and wow, I will not vote NDP this time around. So who’s the Green candidate?

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  17. Posted by Toast on

    Really, who cares? Back at work or locked away at the health retreat, Nunavut is getting screwed by the lack of any meaningful and effective representation in Ottawa.
    Qaqqaq is toast come the next election, even people who like her are increasingly embarrassed by her.
    The real issue we have to deal with here is the tiny pool of capable people to run and represent us. Most of them have lots of lucrative and interesting opportunities to keep them busy elsewhere. We are then stuck recycling has-been or pushing the incapable or inept into the slot.

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  18. Posted by Raven on

    Joe Savikataaq or Jr if Sr is not willing to take the leap from capital suites to capital Hill rockin the conservative blue.

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  19. Posted by Eligible Voter on

    Either: Keith Petersen and/or Elisapii Siutiapik :D!!!!!!!

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    • Posted by Raven on

      Elisapee would be great for the conservatives. I don’t know her party affiliation but the liberals and conservatives should be calling her and if they have they need to call again.

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      • Posted by Annie on

        Maybe Adam L. or John M. be good also since younger & still have youthful energy & lots of new ideas. Need someone with experience in politics.

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        • Posted by Help me see on

          What is it about Adam that appeals to you? I can’t think of anything myself

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  20. Posted by Keyboard Warrior on

    If she can’t handle the fallout on social media then she should stop creating such controversy on it!! When people voted her in they had such great expectations of her, that she would not be another Hunter Tootoo. And so far she is heading down that same path. She is not capable of politics, she should resign before she makes a decision that she cannot recover from.

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    • Posted by Pork Pie the Pundit on

      Mumilaaq is undoubtedly the author of her own misery. I really look forward to the end of her tenure.

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  21. Posted by Eskimos Fan on

    Apologies Ms. Yvonne Jones.😥

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  22. Posted by iThink on

    Conservatives really need to get their heads out of their rear ends on climate change and ditch the social conservative non-sense. Until then they are effectively un-electable.

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  23. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    I can’t believe she would try to run again. I also can’t believe the NDP would support her nomination again. Is this a nightmare. Am I going to wake up?

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  24. Posted by Statue on

    What about a statue of MQ at Four Corners?

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    • Posted by articrick on

      Lol, she doesnt deserve a statue, you must be related to her.

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  25. Posted by Do not forget you are serving Inuit of Nunavut! No pin-pointing, don’t be the bad apple or bad example! on

    Focus on Nunavut, the Inuit of Nunavut, the politics itself, your health care, education, schooling, land claims, harvesting of country food, public security etc;

    No pin-pointing who is who, think about your Youth, Adults, Elders, what your Nunavut is in need, work as an adult, I see a lot of discriminatory of others, she is this, he is that, stop that nonsense, work as a team, team work as they call it.

    People are looking at you as role model, your job discription, your abilities to assist and coach from your knowledge.

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  26. Posted by YIP on

    Denis Patterson always works

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Comments are closed.