Qaqqaq takes another leave of absence

Nunavut MP off for two weeks due to ‘personal health problems’

Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq is taking a two-week leave of absence to tend to “some personal health problems.” She made the sudden announcement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq is taking another leave of absence to tend to undisclosed health problems, less than four months after returning from a similar leave.

The NDP parliamentarian announced Tuesday afternoon on Twitter she will be taking a two-week sick leave.

“I continue to struggle with some personal health problems,” she wrote in a tweet.

Her doctor suggested she take “some time off to heal,” the message said, adding that the condition is not related to COVID-19.

Last October, Qaqqaq announced she was taking time off. She came back to work in early January.

When she left in October, she didn’t say why. But when she returned, she explained she had been suffering from “extreme burnout, depression and anxiety.”

In January, she said part of that was a result of what she had seen while taking a tour of the territory in 2020 to gather information for a report on what she called the “deplorable” state of housing in Nunavut.

Her departure comes less than a week after a public war of words with Labrador Liberal MP Yvonne Jones. Following an exchange in the House of Commons on April 16, Qaqqaq replied to a two-year-old tweet about Jones, saying “Jones is not an Inuk.”

Jones demanded an apology in the House of Commons on April 19. Instead, Qaqqaq posted a 33-minute Twitter video calling on Jones to “validate her Inuk-ness.” Jones is a member of the NunatuKavut group that represents about 6,000 Inuit in central and southern Labrador whose members are not part of the Nunatsiavut land claim in northern Labrador.

Qaqqaq later apologized for the video, which has been removed from her Twitter account.

Her absence from a public event on Monday was noticed by Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell, who said on Twitter he and other mayors had been expecting Qaqqaq to join them for a virtual meeting of the Nunavut Association of Municipalities.

“NAM executive was excited to talk with our MP [Monday] to share our on the ground needs, wants and general concerns but unfortunately our MP didn’t show up or send regrets,” Bell wrote in a tweet Monday.

“Hopefully she’s OK,” Bell wrote.

Qaqqaq also cancelled a Tuesday morning interview with Nunatsiaq News that had been scheduled a week ago.

Qaqqaq was elected in the 2019 federal election. In January, Nunavut’s NDP riding association picked her to represent the party again in the next election, which could be called within the next year, depending on whether Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government can hold onto power.

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(63) Comments:

  1. Posted by Again on

    I believe this quashes any hope of her reelection.

    • Posted by Learner on

      people forget and short memories. Also Covid is overshadowing this very sad ‘news’ story. those who voted for such an inexperienced person could use a lesson or two perhaps.
      despite it all, let us ask for a resignation and have representation.

  2. Posted by Unfit on

    She is unfit for office, she is unfit to lead. Whatever her problems are, our thoughts and prayers are with her, but the jig is up. The lateral racist Twitter stunt was the final nail in the coffin. Time to do your constituents a favor and let somebody who is fit for office to fill her shoes. The Mummillaq show is over.

    A leader is expected to provide results and represents her constituents. She has done neither. She has cost taxpayers several hundred thousands of dollars for nothing. Thank you for the report that some old neglected houses have mould in them and holes in the walls. We all knew that. We wish you well MQ, but we wish you would stop playing around and step down.

    • Posted by Name withheld on

      I suppose you are fit for the job? One will never know if they are unless they try. Instead of discouraging her, encouraging her or step up and go in the public eye and run

    • Posted by Bob on

      “Jig is up”
      “Final nail in the coffin”
      “Fill her shoes”
      “Playing around”
      The overlying point you make about Mumilaaq being unfit is made but the overuse if idioms and cliches is often a tactic used by people to appear smarter than they actually are. Good job.

  3. Posted by Fred on

    I wish her a speedy recovery and an even faster resignation!

    • Posted by Voter on

      I agree. I too wish wellness and happiness and a resignation. To do so is NOT to be unkind at all. It is the same when people need to walk away from any bad situation.

      Some say ‘support our youth’… fine to say that from your shoes. Best advice can be to stay well and be well and it can be wisest to walk away.

  4. Posted by Oscare on

    Time for NTI to write a letter to the NDP party and ask for her resignation. I wish her all the best with whatever demons she is trying to quash. But enough is enough, Nunavut requires REAL representation from a mature person who will flight for the entire territory of Nunavut.

    • Posted by Horatio Hornblower on

      What does NTI have to do with any of this?

      • Posted by josywales on

        The GN was formed under the NLCA, just in case you are not aware.

        • Posted by Horatio Hornblower on

          Dear josywales, that is not even close to an answer to the question. In fact it tells me absolutely nothing about why NTI should have any say on the status of our MP.

    • Posted by Not going to happen on

      A huge portion of the *new* NTI & friends are the ones that propped her up. And they continue to defend her even through the 30min video debacle because it helps their brands.
      Honestly, get better Mumilaaq. I think you were used as a pawn by powerful folks and now you’ll be used as their scapegoat. You’re very capable and talented, but it’s too much and too soon. You still have a long career ahead of you.

  5. Posted by Fit For The Pit on

    This trainwreck has become unwatchable.
    Whatever it is that ails her is going to take more than another two weeks to fix. She needs to call it quits and move on.
    Nunavut is in desperate need of effective and professional representation in Ottawa not immature and embarrassing tantrums.

  6. Posted by Reality on

    Hopefully the voters look for competence and experience the next time around, instead of virtue signalling and activist rhetoric. I wish her the best at sorting out her issues, but not everyone is meant to be a leader, and it’s just not true that youth is an asset, it’s not.

    • Posted by Johnny on

      Knowledge, experience and leadership is vital with this position. She should try again later in life but needs to get her health in order now. This shouldn’t even require a vote, the proper channels should step in and remover her and get her the help she requires. All the best to her

  7. Posted by Show up for work on

    Before you criticize Qaqqaq ask yourself are you showing up for work everyday? And not just punching a clock and going for a smoke but are engaged and productive.

    Qaqaq is symbolic of so many of the self inflicted problems facing our people. Lateral violence, blaming everybody for our problems rather than looking at we can do and barest minimum just showing up for work. Until we address this and demand more from OURSELVES and hold OURSELVES accountable then this is nothing more than an ACCURATE representative for our people. First mistake or sign of trouble…call in sick….hard job to do that day….call in sick….

    • Posted by snowbird on

      Don’t forget that she gets paid a LOT of money to show up (or in her case keep taking sick leave) and do the job she was elected to do. She needs to resign asap. Enough is enough.

      • Posted by iThink on

        I agree she should step aside, and she does get paid well… still the point of the original post is larger than that and an excellent one, regardless, and worth reflecting on.

        • Posted by Octagon on

          So you’re acknowledging a fundamental disconnect among Inuit with maintaining a reasonable work ethic?
          Nunavut’s primary industry is Government. Is it reasonable to expect more Inuit in senior (read: important) positions when there is an argument being made to understand that Inuit have issues with the basics of holding these types of positions?
          Qaqqaq is a clear example of incompetence that is unfortunately (for her) publicly advertised. However, given her arrogance and anger towards non Inuit, I have zero sympathy for her.
          This reality is that her work ethic is widely shared amongst her peers. You’re quite correct; it should be discussed and mitigated.

          • Posted by iThink on

            Since you appear to be addressing my comment this is he part that resonated most with me: “Qaqaq is symbolic of so many of the self inflicted problems facing our people. Lateral violence, blaming everybody for our problems rather than looking at we can do and barest minimum just showing up for work.”

            The focus on work ethic is not the key point in this, I know a lot of Inuit who work very hard so a blanket generalization is not useful, though it is true there are many people who simply punch the clock everyday, that is also true. At least part of that, especially within the GN, is attributable to the broader, soul destroying incompetence and inertia that we deal with in our organizations. It is very hard to move the needle when those above you have little interest, or worse, lack the competence, insight or creativity to see the importance in doing so.

            • Posted by Squiggly Line on

              So, you must for Justice?

            • Posted by Octagon on

              @iThink. I don’t disagree with you.
              There certainly is a fundamental disconnect here. In industries like Government, and quite frankly industry in general, success of the whole depends on dedication at the individual level. This includes doing your best even though nobody is watching.
              I also know a lot of hardworking Inuit. But this attitude that Qaqqaq has put front and center for all to see is tremendously damaging to Nunavut as a whole.
              Whether Nunavut wants to acknowledge it or not, the structure of Canadian Government and basis on which Nunavut is in receipt of a couple billion dollars a year is progressive and Canadian; built by Canadians with Canadian values.
              It’s time for Nunavut to stop hiding behind the guise of racism and trim the fat. If you think that doing the bare minimum is acceptable, you need to go. Criticizing southerners who push for diligent attendance and a track record of positive results in any position is like shooting yourselves in the feet. Well, look where it got you with Qaqqaq!
              It’s time to drain your swamp! Chop Chop!!

              • Posted by Mixed Race People (Kitikmeot) on

                This comment of our M.P. has had troublesome thoughts for people in our part of
                Nunavut. Why the trouble-making , M.Q. ?
                There are so many Qablunaruq people here that we would like to join the N.W.T.
                We are very proud of our Inuit heritage and our European heritage.
                We appreciate the financial help of the Canadian taxpayer and all that entails.
                Our last female M.P. was mixed race from the western Arctic, she came to Talayoak
                when a baby, and did a very good job for the people. Hope she comes back.

    • Posted by wow, a reaction on

      Helping build people up. Understanding the culture. Being empathetic. and knowing hidden– doesn’t only apply to homelessness.

      Now ask yourself, how many teachers, bosses, foremans, managers, SAOs, directors are about that? -Really about that, not just because they took a course or two of training–. And then ask yourself how many are about that in Nunavut?
      But try to remember, remember to blink; and count again how many are still in Nunavut after {that long winter, all that dust, those darn Qallunaat neighbors and yeah, don’t forget the foxes or most-friendly -bears and wolves– sometimes just the thought of those can be too much to handle}

      Maybe a few Inuit joke about that, -mild-mannered of course- but maybe a lot don’t. Maybe they live with that every day. Compounded. with hidden . Without getting the same kind of house, the same kind of opportunity at work. or a chance to show what they can offer, and not just how they can “get me this”, “do this” , “what do you think about this”, and field orders from those who are not kin. Not to mention, the leader-types who come up, with an agenda and ways to direct-/misdirect-, the local crowd.

      But, there’s no non-Inuit like that in Nunavut anymore… its’ 2021-ITK is on to talking about waste management-now the biggest problem plaguing Inuit.
      So apologies, unlike all these sympathetic commenters, always posting, wow, a reaction may not have fully grasped the severity of the waste management crisis when it comes to Nunavummiut. It must be why the outrage in the comments is always venomous…you just want to be able to recycle, amen to that.

      Relating, Some may defend attacking another individual on identity–as to the events of last week, not something wow, a reaction will endorse, nor be blind to the fact that as a public official–building a trust, then maintaining it, can be a delicate thing.

      But it hurts the eyes, and I’m sure if we were all in the same room, it’d hurt the ears too, to constantly hear the attacks over-and-over on Inuit; some passive, some not… always directed at the character of the people

      Not sure what that means, other than, maybe in 2021, there’s something else ITK and Nunatsiaq should be looking into…to see what’s really still, plaguing Inuit

      • Posted by Say What on

        This is a long rambling message that says nothing at all and it is hard to get any understanding of what you were trying to say.

      • Posted by Main Idea on

        I tried to parse main idea of this, I really did, but I couldn’t.

  8. Posted by Clattering Constituent on

    You certainly don’t have to share your issues with your constituents, but if and when you return please don’t politicize them like you did last time around.

    I have been hard on you as a representative, but on a personal level wish you a healthy recovery, look after yourself and consider making way for someone else to fill this roll, the expectations you’ve put on yourself are probably not realistic, and you appear to lack the emotional maturity at this point in your life. This doesn’t have to be your end in political life, but the road is a long one, take the journey and return in the future, grown and more mature.

  9. Posted by volunteer on

    Wait till you grow up. You have already proven you can’t do this job. Go home and take your old job. You need experience in this job. Try being a hamlet councillor first or DEA.
    You are just on a war path and it’s shows. You have proven to be too immature.

    • Posted by Get Real on

      Only in Nunavut can you make a complete disaster of yourself on the federal political stage and then have your people encourage you to “take your old job back”! This should never be encouraged. She needs to take some time to think about the basics; how to be nice, responsible and fair. You know, the things we were taught in kendergaarten.

  10. Posted by NDProblem on

    If she was a Liberal or a Conservative her party would’ve let her go a long time ago. This is the result of the Woke Left Army of Twitter Followers.

    • Posted by Pangloss on

      The NDP can’t afford to lose much ground in the house, especially as a party that advertises itself as being especially compassionate.

      That said, in supporting her unhinged antics her fawning twitter mob hasn’t done her any favors

  11. Posted by Eye roll on

    Surprise, surprise

  12. Posted by Unimpressed on

    Just resign, please.

  13. Posted by Eskimos Fan on

    Is it election time yet?

  14. Posted by My Constituents Remain My Priority on

    Interesting words, this MP has done nothing for her constituents and now is just embarrassing the territory in the eyes of the country.
    It is obvious that she is in way over her head. I am sure she is a nice person but not qualified for this position.
    It is okay to admin that you can’t do the job and step down. Your health and well-being is more important than continuing to fail at politics.
    Maybe it’s a case of too big too fast.
    It is difficult to represent Nunavut when you go head to head with the Liberal government while your party supports the Liberals in everything they do. Budget, confidence votes. The Liberal government it laughing at you and the party.

    • Posted by TakeCare on

      There is no shame is taking time off for one’s mental health. It is good to do that. It is a sign of maturity and strength. It is also possibly, like someone else said, because it was too much too fast that our MP got to this stage, but perhaps also because her party was naive and did not provide the mentoring and support she needed. I think I remember our ruling party being very proud of having a series of young MPs and the 3 larger parties were battling for youth votes with younger or younger looking leaders; youth in itself is not a problem; youth brings a different set of priorities and vigour. We need to hear youth and support them. They need our support, understanding, and sometimes pointing out behaviour issues that are not ideal or are unbecoming. I really really hope our MP will care for herself so she can in the future better support Inuit of Nunavut. I cannot imagine how hard an MP’s job is, with so much public and media attention, especially if you are vulnerable in some way; the world of politics is cruel; media is cruel; people generally can be so cruel; I would never want that job myself, but I suppose some people are able to prepare for it, grow into it, develop the strength to endure that tough job and do so in a constructive way that helps their constituents. We do not have enough women or Indigenous MPs, we need them to continue to run for office, they need support.

      • Posted by iThink on

        Part of the problem that has led us here is in upholding and prioritizing identity ‘prima facie’ as a political commodity. Being an indigenous woman in and of itself confers no special skills or abilities on a candidate, yet it is treated as if it these characteristics lend their possessor a kind of sociological magic.

        That said I agree that it is desirable that more indigenous people, and women, become involved and come to be our representatives, but let us hold the bar higher than just their identity alone, as we should be able to see by now that bar is not nearly high enough.

  15. Posted by Lucy on

    Many times I have written about a statue being erected in her honour at the 4 corners. She has been our MP throughout the pandemic. Yes, she sometimes had to retreat for a few months to gather her strength and wisdom to lead the good fight. She has been a real Joan of Arc for Nunavut and we need to remember her sacrifice.

    • Posted by articrick on

      I really hope you are joking, statue in her honour? That was a good laugh.

    • Posted by Johnny on

      No offence to your opion , obviously , she can not handle the stress.

    • Posted by Crystal Clarity on

      Again with the statue idea. It’s probably the stupidest thing I will hear today (again), but the day is young and I’m sure Qaqqaq will be tweeting more drivel as it progresses. She is unfit for office regardless her age, heritage, gender,or any other excuse anyone can come up with etc….. She is obviously not well mentally and has substance issues to deal with as well. Every time things heat up she falls apart indicating that she does not have the tough skin needed to be a politician. Resign and deal with all of those issues and get on the road to recovery. The 3 ring circus needs to end.

      • Posted by Lucy on

        Open your heart, Crystal, and then you will see true crystal clarity. Some say a haters gotta hate but if you met Mumilaaq in person you would be in awe. She has got so much love and care for everyone in nunavut even the people that don’t like her. We got to get her elected again because her great work is just beginning and she has got so much more to do. She cares about the people in overcrowded housing and this gives her all the stress she has. She is stressed because she cares so much.

        • Posted by Seriously Lucy on

          If she cared so much about the issues why has she not brought forward any solutions. It is her point of view that she is expressing and not supported by the NDP party who supports all of the Liberal governments moves. She is not capable of being in the position she is in.
          Nunavut needs an MP that can stand up and make a difference for the people of Nunavut, time to stop crying about everything and make a difference. No body has said she doesn’t care, she wouldn’t be human if she didn’t but does the territory deserve this? Does the territory wait until she gets her S@#t together? Time for change.

  16. Posted by Johnny on

    All the best in your recovery and please do try again later in life when you have yourself in order but a lot of people depend on someone able to fulfill even the basic requirements and responsibilities and who is mentally and physically fit to withstand those obligations. We need leadership, this isn’t it. Massive void

  17. Posted by Malachi Arreak on

    Mumilaaq only got voted in when the majority of voters heard the Nunavut Liberal nominee gloat loudly that “she would win” just because of Justin. I think that was the only reason why Inuit said NO.
    Mumilaaq had no background to LEAD, neither was there any preparation by the NDP because no one thought she even had a horse’s ass of a chance to win!
    It is time, we as Inuit took that clamour for change into something else, perhaps it was placed on a woman that had no ability or background to be the next Nancy Karetak-Lindell.
    I digress, but at least, it forced MR. SOCKS to wake up that INUIT do not like Mr. EMPEROR with NO CLOTHES. Takes a kid sometimes to tell the TRUTH. Thanks Ms. Qaqqaq for trying hard, but I think you shall be a 1 hit wonder. Thank you as well for taking on the hardest job in NONE-OF-IT.

  18. Posted by Weighing in on

    There has been a lot of negative criticism for this MP; some criticism is certainly fair if you are unhappy with her performance in the role – this is public politics. However, I think too much of the criticism has been aimed at her personally. She can only be who she is. I have not seen equal consideration or criticism for (1) the party for nominating someone with great potential but who is young and inexperienced, and (2) the majority of voters for choosing her. Framing this situation as a personal failure for Mumilaaq is unfair, disingenuous, and arguably another form of lateral violence.

    On top of that, knowing that she has struggled with mental health should elicit our compassion and understanding, even when voicing justifiable disagreements with her positions or views. Targeting and putting more personal pressure on someone who is struggling in this way only adds to the weight/burden and makes things worse. Most of us struggle to make the best decisions in these situations.

    I’d say that if you truly care about the representation of Nunavut and Nunavummiut (as well as just caring about other Nunavummiut), you should be focusing on telling the NDP that we are concerned for Mumilaaq and – if this is your opinion – that the territory needs a new representative with more experience in Parliament or your won’t support the party, rather than just calling on her to resign. Otherwise, you’re not really helping anyone.

  19. Posted by Shouldn’t have under estimated Labradorimiut MP on

    I hope she will decide to resign as MP, she should have never under estimate Labrador MP, we all are after all Inuit, yet some mixed, but at least serving our people is very important without looking of others.

    Good luck on your recovery mode

  20. Posted by Eligible Voter on

    We need a Rep to be there for us and voice out, this is the 2nd time for her leave so, how can we get her to resign asap?

  21. Posted by Umingmak on

    I sure wish that I could take this much paid vacation!

    Worst MP in Canada by a mile! She’s embarrassing!

  22. Posted by Trashcan Man on

    Mumilaaq, my life for you!

  23. Posted by You are my hero, Mumilaaq! on

    Stay strong, Mumilaaq and don’t let these negative naggers drag you down. Remember this quote form the Green Goblin (Spiderman):
    And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But the one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you’ve done for them, eventually they will hate you. Why bother?

    • Posted by Excuse me… on

      Hero??! All that she’s done? All she has done is draft up a report on housing. All of that info was already well known. What she is known for is being that MP who can’t even let people know she will be absent until after the fact. That MP who constantly picks fights with non-Inuits. I wish her all the best in fighting whatever demons ail her but a HERO she is not.

    • Posted by Helper on

      It isn’t negative or unsupportive to acknowledge something is very wrong. In fact, it is more damaging, unkind and unsupportive to blindly pretend everything is okay when it clearly isn’t. What you are doing isn’t supportive at all.
      Even if the things she was saying in her 30 minutes were on point, she sounded like and had the appearance of someone who was under the influence of alcohol. I don’t know that she was, but that’s how it seemed. If that’s the case and you refusing to acknowledge it, you are not a cheerleader for her, you are enabling her.

  24. Posted by Larry on

    NN we are all getting a little tired of this drama, can you please leave it alone.election may be 6 months away and then the people can speak at the ballot box

  25. Posted by Different planets on

    The difference between the Facebook comments and these ones is quite a thing to see.

    • Posted by Par for the course on

      They are mostly non-sense, as they typically are

  26. Posted by Tunngasuapigit, Qaqqaq on

    Don’t let anybody put you down.
    You hold your ground to what you believe in.
    There will be no pleasing everybody, so just be yourself and don’t listen to bullies.
    Most of them have anything else to do but look to belittle others.

    We go through the same things as councillors, committee members in all regions

    • Posted by Are you serious? on

      ‘Hold your ground to what you believe in’ – you are giving her permission to constantly berate and put others down. Her racist tendencies are deplorable. This is unacceptable. She has been the real bully here and there are too many sheep who pat her on the back saying, keep going. Pathetic.

    • Posted by Seriously Tunngasuapigit on

      Good point you know don’t let anybody put you down. However have the b@#$s to stand up and do the job you were elected to do and if you are not capable and can’t handle the criticism don’t do it.
      The territory is all about growth but if you are not willing to grow then we have a problem. When one needs two health breaks in less than a year the person needs to rethink what they are doing. One’s health is more important than trying to fake your way through.
      You are certainly correct to say you can’t please everybody however you need to be able to stand up for yourself and say I did my best. In this case the biggest accomplishment will be questioning whether or not Jones is Inuk.
      When this MP can show on record that she has done as much as Jones has done for her people, and how passionate Jones is about her riding she will have grown up. Jones brings answers to her people, she brings solutions rather than always complaining. Jones don’t waste time targeting people for who they are.
      Like you said, no pleasing everybody. Jones don’t please everybody but she was voted in, therefore she has the support to do her job. The NU MP was voted in but has failed to do anything.
      1. Housing Tour. Solution, cry until the cows come home or in this case we have no cows so cry until the caribou come home. Offered no solution to the problem.
      2. Actions against Baffinland. Solution, accuse Jones of not being Inuk because she is the parliamentary secretary for the Minister while sh@#ing on the Minister in the process on the twitter post.
      Time to grow up, there are many great Inuit leaders that can do this job and leaders who can bring forward the solutions needed to be successful. That’s the change we need. We need an MP who will show up to meetings and be productive rather than ignorant of what is happening. That’s the MP we need.

      • Posted by Yoda on

        So much fear in you, ‘Seriously’
        Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.

    • Posted by Deborah on

      God bless you for standing up to these bullies. All the time at home and they just want to bully you her and me. They hate our MP but dont look for the fault in themselves. Look for the log in your own eye!

      • Posted by Ok Karen on

        Please explain to me how people are bullying her. There are justifiable reasons to say she is not doing her job well. Reasonably anyone who does not do their job well get fired. I don’t believe I have ever heard the word ‘hate’ come out in any of these posts. So please don’t assume that is the intention of asking her to resign. If you read, the majority of people yes, are asking her to resign, but also wish her well with her health. Her health is the #1 priority, and Nunavumiut are entitled to an MP who is currently better equipped to make change. Think before you ‘speak’

  27. Posted by Jeff on

    It is abundantly clear that the MP is in way over her head. And this is not a slight against her but rather just stating the obvious. Being an MP is a BIG job with LOTS of pressure to deliver results for NU constituents. I wish her well during her current health break & hope she gains clarity going forward. 🙏❤


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