Monica Ell takes Iqaluit West in decisive win
Joe Enook wins Tununiq; Hezekiah Oshutapik defeats Johnny Mike in Pangnirtung
(Updated 10:30 p.m., Sept. 12)
Monica Ell, the director of the Inuit Broadcast Corp. in Iqaluit, is the new member for Iqaluit West in the Nunavut legislative assembly.
Ell, who took 230 votes, defeated Kirt Ejesiak, who won 158 votes for second place, and Tuutalik Boychuk, who finished third with 38 votes.
“I’m ready to work 100 per cent to deliver better government,” Ell said by telephone. She thanked family, friends and voters alike for their support.
“I promised that I’d have an open door and my agenda will be the people.”
Ell replaces veteran MLA Paul Okalik, who resigned from the legislative assembly earlier this year to make an unsuccessful run as the Liberal candidate for Nunavut in the recent federal election.
Voter turnout for the Iqaluit West stood at 60.1 per cent, Elections Nunavut said.
Ell said she went door to door constantly throughout the campaign, and that was likely the difference in Monday’s vote.
“I tried to get into every house but of course there’s dogs and stuff,” she said, laughing.
Ejesiak, who finished a close second, said he was disappointed by the loss, but philosophical. He said it was tough to get his message out running against “good strong local candidates” and congratulated Ell on her win.
“I’m not taking this loss personally,” he said, adding he hasn’t ruled out a second attempt at the seat in the next general election, likely to be held next year.
Ell will serve as MLA until at least the the fall of 2012, when a territorial election is likely to be held.
Meanwhile, Joe Enook, Brandy Kanayuk, Sam Sr. Omik and David Qamaniq were contesting Tununiq, while Johnny Mike and Hezekiah Oshutapik contested the vacant seat in Pangnirtung.
Oshutapik, with 218 votes, defeated Mike, who took 178.
Oshutapik, a former mayor of Pangnirtung, said he tried to talk to as many people as possible at public events during the campaign. He said he’ll fight for better dust control and medical travel in Pang, as well as artificial ice for the hamlet’s arena. As he spoke by telephone, he was drowned out by the sound of well-wishers cheering his win.
“I’m all full of surprises now and I’m all excited,” he said, chuckling.
In Tununiq, Enook won in a landslide, capturing 285 votes and more than 60 per cent of the vote. Qamaniq took 109 votes, while Kanayuk took 34 and Omik 27. Enook wasn’t immediately available for comment.
(More to follow)