Nunavut MLA for Baker Lake: “I will not seek another term in office”
Moses Aupaluktuq says "it is time for me to focus on my family”
Another Nunavut MLA has taken his name out of the running for October’s territorial election.
In an emotional member’s statement, Moses Aupaluktuq, MLA for Baker Lake, announced Sept. 16 in Nunavut’s legislative assembly that he does not plan to run in the Oct. 28 election.
“As we approach the end of this assembly, I want to take this opportunity to inform the people of Baker Lake that I will not seek another term in office,” Aupaluktuq said.
“It is time for me to focus on my family,” he said.
As he choked back his tears, Aupaluktuq said he is looking “very much forward to spending a great deal more time [with his two children].”
“I want to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt thanks to the residents of Baker Lake over the past five years. As I look back on what we’ve accomplished in our legislative assembly, I firmly believe we can take pride in a number of our accomplishments,” he said.
“The pace of economic development is outstanding. I’ve worked hard to support a balance in development. I believe the best way forward relies along a path that respects human and community needs as well as the need to protect our unique environment.”
Aupaluktuq also listed challenges for his successor, which included “attaining informed community consent on major projects, the challenge of addressing and defeating the scourge of suicide [and] the challenge of ensuring all our children have access to an education system that is second to none.”
Building on infrastructure and deepening economic gains are also challenges the next MLA from Baker Lake will face, Aupaluktuq said.
“I do not know whom the people of Baker Lake will chose to represent them in the next legislative assembly, but I can assure my successor he or she will have my full support on issues that are important to the community,” he said.
Aupaluktuq also gave advice to the incoming MLA: have a good relationship with the municipality.
“In order for progress to be made, it is essential for both levels of government to work closely together to contribute to a new spirit of cooperation,” he said.
Aupaluktuq ended his four-minute long speech after thanking his fellow MLA’s and saying that, “no matter where our paths ultimately take us, I know that we will not make the journey alone.”
Aupaluktuq was elected to the legislature in 2008 with 41 per cent of the popular vote.
But it was a rough start for the MLA. In November 2009 Aupaluktuq faced two drunk-driving charges, an incident that could have potentially put his political career in jeopardy.
Those charges, however, dropped a year later in December 2010.
Aupaluktuk’s decision not to run follows Nunavut Eva Aariak’s announcement that she is not seeking to renew her role as premier after the Oct. 28 election.
Aariak will, however, still run as an MLA.
Her justice minister, Daniel Shewchuk, also announced last week that he will not seek re-election in Arviat.
Family services minister Monica Ell, who now represents the riding of Iqaluit West, said Sept. 6 that she plans to run again, this time in the new riding of Iqaluit-Manirajak.
On Sept. 16, in the Nunavut legislature, she delivered an 11-minute “response to opening address,” as an unofficial launch to her candidacy.