The former mayor of Kuujjuaq, Tunu Napartuk, Quebec Liberal candidate in Ungava
Tunu Napartuk, former mayor of Kuujjuaq, is running in the October 3 provincial election as the Quebec Liberal Party candidate in Ungava, the vast riding that includes Nunavik. (Photo courtesy of the Quebec Liberal Party)
The former mayor of Kuujjuaq, Tunu Napartuk, wants to be the next provincial representative for the Quebec riding of Ungava.
The provincial Liberal Party announced him as its candidate for the October 3 election in the vast riding that includes all of Nunavik at a press conference in Montreal on Tuesday morning.
Napartuk is the third candidate to join the race for Ungava. Currently, he faces incumbent Denis Lamothe, who is part of the Coalition Avenir Québec, and the newcomer of Québec solidaire Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash.
Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade introduced Napartuk, who was accompanied by his wife, Lynn Lemire, to reporters.
“I kinda hope I’ll have the power of attraction too,” Napartuk said of why he chose to run for a Liberal Party that has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to defeat the Coalition Avenir Québec of Prime Minister François Legault. majority.
Napartuk served as mayor of Kuujjuaq from 2012 to 2018 before assuming the role of Director of Compassionate and Complementary Services at the Kativik Ilisarniliriniq School Board in Nunavik.
Some of the main issues on his platform include tackling the high cost of living in the North, food security and care for the elderly.
Asked about issues of racism and language laws, Napartuk was quick to say he believed systemic racism existed in the province. He also spoke out against Bill 96, a controversial French language protection bill that the CAQ passed earlier this year.
“In our region of Nunavik, it’s already a challenge to be Inuk, to have Inuktitut as a mother tongue, to have to learn English and French from another group of people,” said Napartuk.
“But to be imposed on her by a government that doesn’t consult, that doesn’t seek opinions on what our reality is, that makes her extremely difficult on so many levels.”
Napartuk, who speaks English, French and Inuktitut, spoke mainly in English and French during the press conference.
At the close of the press conference, Anglade responded to a question from Nunatsiaq News asking if she would visit Nunavik during the campaign. She said she would.
“I think it’s important to demonstrate that it’s not just about words, it’s about actions, it’s about taking this seriously, it’s about having candidates who can really represent region,” Anglade said.