By Emily Haws, CBC News
Idlout confirmed as candidate at packed meeting of electoral district association
Lori Idlout has been confirmed as the next federal New Democratic Party candidate for Nunavut.
Idlout has been the Member of Parliament for the riding since 2021. Canadians elected a minority government in 2021, so technically an election can be called at any time. However, the NDP has signed a deal to keep the Liberals in power until 2025 in exchange for progress on key priorities such as dental care and pharma care.
The Nunavut NDP Electoral District Association held its re-nomination meeting in Iqaluit on Saturday, with federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok and several Iqaluit municipal election candidates in attendance.
‘Ready for next election’
Idlout’s candidacy was confirmed by a show of hands, which appeared to be unanimous.
She said she is grateful for the confirmation and “absolutely” ready to fight in the next election.
“I’m at a loss for words. I’m so thankful and so humbled by the support that I’ve received here tonight,” she said in an interview with CBC News.
Speaking to the crowd, Singh says he is lucky to have Idlout on his team.
“Lori never lets me forget about the North, never lets me forget about the people of Nunavut,” he said. “She is a fierce champion for you, always fighting every single day in Ottawa to make sure your voices are heard and to make sure you get the help and dignity and respect that you need.”
Cost of living issues in Nunavut
Singh also spoke about how his party will fight to address the high cost of housing and groceries in Nunavut.
The NDP is calling for an immediate $500 million transfer from the federal government to the territory to support Nunavut 3000, a Government of Nunavut initiative to build 3,000 housing units by 2030.
It wants to see the Nutrition North program overhauled, with the retail subsidy going directly to people instead of grocery retailers. Big grocery stores should also face an excess profit tax, Singh said Friday.
Idlout is the first Nunavut candidate for the next election to officially be announced.
In an email, Liberal Party of Canada communications director Parker Lund wrote that “many talented community leaders” have expressed interest in running for that party in the next election, but no one has yet been confirmed as the Liberal candidate.
CBC News has reached out to the federal Conservative party to ask if they have confirmed a candidate, and if not, when a meeting will be held to confirm one, but has not yet received a response.
Related stories from around the North:
Norway: Norway’s FM Anniken Huitfeldt demoted in government reshuffle, The Independent Barents Observer
United States: Indigenous leaders divided over ANWR court ruling, Eye on the Arctic