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Bring on the election

Jillian Dickens
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 05/05) - Nunavummiut will be trudging through the snow Jan. 23 to vote for their favourite candidate in the federal election.

But despite the nasty weather that is common around the territory, most aren't bothered by the winter election.

Robbie Kakkee of Grise Fiord just turned 18. He wouldn't want to miss his first federal election for the world.

"We are all used to these conditions. I think it will be okay, and I will be voting," he said.

Jack Iqaqrialu of Clyde River voiced the same sentiments.

"I don't care about that - the bad weather," he said.

Alex Akikuluk lives in Arctic Bay. "It will be difficult to make it out, but we don't have a choice."

Tommy Pigalak of Kugluktuk thinks this is the best time of the year for an election because most people are home.

"Winter is better than summer because in summer people are travelling out on the land," said Pigalak.

Ideas range on what issues the federal election in Nunavut should focus on.

For Pigalak, global warming is the number one concern.

"The weather is getting different every year and it's because of global warming."

The need for more quality housing in the North is the second most important issue on Pigalak's mind.

"We need more housing in the communities of Nunavut and the NWT," he said. "We lack housing as is, and the population is growing, creating even more need."

Joanna Ikalukjuak of Pangnirtung agrees the issue of housing needs to be addressed.

For Linda Kabloona of Baker Lake, the biggest issue is integrity.

"People should live up to their word," she said. "If they promise something, they should live up to it."

Her second beef - lack of communication.

"The politicians should not keep their mouths shut. They should speak up about the issues."

In the last election, which was on June 28 of last year, 42.9 per cent of eligible Nunavut voters cast a ballot.

All the major parties - save for the NDP - have selected their candidates.

Liberal incumbent Nancy Karetak-Lindell will be running in her fourth consecutive campaign for the position of Nunavut's only MP.

Fellow Arviat native David Aglukark Sr. is slated as the Conservative candidate. The Marijuana Party candidate is Ed Devries and Green Party candidate is Nedd Kenney.

The NDP will chose its leader Dec. 5.