Qaqqaq to start gradual return to work

MP’s leave is ending after being extended into the new year

Nunavut’s member of Parliament, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, will begin returning to work gradually as of Jan. 4, after a 10-week leave. (File photo)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq has been cleared to return to work progressively as of Jan. 4 following a leave of absence of more than two months, said Mathieu Boisvert, a representative from the Nunavut MP’s office, in an email.

A statement with more details will be released “soon,” he said.

In late December, Qaqqaq’s office said the NDP politician was preparing for a return to work after the holidays.

“She will continue to consult with her medical team and party to determine a strategy that works for her progressive reintegration into full time work in the New Year,” an announcement released Dec. 21 states.

Boisvert confirmed on Dec. 23 that Qaqqaq was in Ottawa, which was the first public update on her whereabouts since Oct. 23.

It has not yet been confirmed whether the MP’s return to work means she will be returning to Nunavut or whether she already has.

Qaqqaq originally took an eight-week leave of absence for unspecified health reasons, which began Oct. 23, 2020.

At the eight-week mark, on Dec. 18, her leave was extended into the new year.

Before going on leave, Qaqqaq said in the House of Commons Oct. 2, that she would present a report on the “inhumane” conditions she saw during a housing tour across Nunavut “in the coming weeks.”

That was more than three months ago.

It is not yet known whether Qaqqaq will bring up the housing report when the House of Commons resumes sitting on Jan. 25.

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Consistency on

    Happy New Year

    I hope she is feeling better and has received what ever treatment she needed. and I am in support of her keeping quite about what the health issues was while she was getting better for her planed leave, However I think we deserve to know what has kept Nunavut from having a representative these past months. We went through having a non present MP in Hunter Tootoo and he should have been more vocal. I have hope for Qaqqaq.

    • Posted by Consistency on

      I saw the video she put out that the reason she was away was for her mental health and stress. I am happy she received the help she needed and it looks like she will continue to get help as it is needed in the future. mental health is important and when someone is struggling they should not feel ashamed and they should find help.

      Also in her video she tells us that a contributing factor to this mental health issue (for lack of better word) was the amount of hurt that Inuit are going through when she did here 3 week tour of housing in Nunavut. If only 3 weeks of that caused this pain to her heart imagine what those that live it everyday struggle through… often without help.

      I hope she continues to fight for us and i hope the right people hear her and change for the better happens.

      Stay well Qaqqaq. one more thing I felt at times in the message it was almost more of a NDP add then a direct message from our MP to us. just for future messaging. We know your NDP and but I think most people voted for you as a person and not so much for the NDP.

      • Posted by Pork Pie on

        “If only 3 weeks of that caused this pain to her heart imagine what those that live it everyday struggle through… often without help”

        She grew up in and has lived in Nunavut practically all her life, so you can’t believe this is a revelation to her or a surprise?

        Yet, as you alluded to, this is part of her messaging. As I see it her strategy from square one has been to provoke an emotional response to achieve her goals. This is why she felt burned out and is also why I expect this pattern to repeat.

        • Posted by Consistency on

          There are a majority of people that live in over crowed homes, not everyone though. My family (and possibly hers) was fortunate to have a house large enough for us and help others without it being a problem. but just living near it and knowing it is a problem and trying to help fix it is not always the same as seeing it up close and personal for an extended amount of time.

          • Posted by Pork Pie on

            Sorry, I just don’t buy it. She’s from Nunavut, she has seen this all her life. No doubt it is hard, but to pretend it was unexpected and the catalyst of her “extreme burnout and depression” is not believable and frankly political theatre.

  2. Posted by Umilik on

    She needs to resign. Her long term absence has left Nunavut without a voice.

  3. Posted by CB on

    She wasn’t there for Nunavut when it needed her the most. I hope she is okay – but we need a better explanation if she wants to continue representing us.

  4. Posted by Patternalia on

    Meh, it feels like we’ve been under-represented for a long time. I was not a supporter of the conservatives, but I will hand it to Leona in that she was present, mostly professional (not always) and had an actual voice in government. Hunter was a complete let down who grifted for 4 years, did nothing, then slinked away. The effects of which was to ruin the chances of our last Liberal candidate, which is too bad as I think she may have been the better pick.

    Anyway, here we are now. At least there is some chatter about an election soon. I hope it’s true

    • Posted by poverty? I don’t see any poverty on

      Leona’s secret to being “present” at Stephen Harper’s Cabinet table was that she never lost sleep worrying about the living conditions of her constituents…

      • Posted by Spouting Off on

        I don’t really buy this kind of flippant rhetoric honestly. It’s just too cheap and easy ya know…

  5. Posted by Not impressed on

    The Mumilaq one-woman-show is becoming a grind that is much better at exploiting anger than creating hope.
    I’m done. Bring on the election.

  6. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    Qaqaq has proven herself to be ill equipped to be an MP. I sincerely hope she gets well but in the meantime she needs to step down as obviously this job is too stressful for her, and Nunavut needs representation in Ottawa. We are now experiencing two MP duds (Tootoo and Qaqaq) and we deserve better. Her behaviour on social media has been bizarre and she is not representing Nunavut in a professional and dignified manner. It’s like having an in experienced high school drama queen representing us in Ottawa and it’s embarassinhg for our territory. Have some class and bow out.

  7. Posted by strawman on

    Armed to the teeth when it’s time to complain. Running on empty when it’s time to do something about it. Hopefully a lesson in humility and respect to the people who dedicate their professional lives to helping the territory.

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