House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was nunavut.

Last in Parliament October 2019, as Independent MP for Nunavut (Nunavut)

Won his last election, in 2015, with 47% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Northern Affairs June 17th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It was one of the proudest moments of my life when I was elected to the first Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. There was such hope and promise.

However, fast-forward 20 years, and life is not better for Nunavummiut. For many, it is worse. Nunavut only works if we can build a sustainable economy, and we can only do that with the support that was promised by the federal government. It will take massive investments in infrastructure, housing, roads, ports and connectivity.

Will the Prime Minister finally work with the Government of Nunavut and fulfill the commitment Canada made 20 years ago, or do we have to wait another 20?

Nutrition North June 12th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the minister brushed off my call for an inquiry into nutrition north Canada. It seems she does not understand the serious effect the failure of this program has on northern communities. In Nunavut, over 50% of the households are affected by food insecurity. In case she does not understand that, it means they do not have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.

In the eight years since its launch, successive governments have spent over half a billion dollars on nutrition north and all they have achieved in Nunavut is a 20% hike in the number of households affected by food insecurity. Yesterday, I was not joking when I said we should call it the “Phoenix” food program.

The government cannot continue to hide its head in the sand. Nunavummiut need help and they want answers. Why has this program failed so spectacularly? An inquiry would tell us that and help us find new ways forward to ensure food security for our communities. I call on the Government of Canada to immediately open an inquiry into nutrition north.

Indigenous Affairs June 11th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.

Since it launched in 2011, successive governments have spent over half a billion dollars on the nutrition north program. In that time, the number of households in Nunavut affected by food insecurity has risen from 33% to over 50%. With results that bad, we should call it the Phoenix food program.

Nunavummiut wants answers. Will you open an inquiry into nutrition north so we can understand why it has failed so spectacularly and find a way to ensure food security for our communities?

Criminal Records Act June 3rd, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I am always happy to agree to apply, and I will be voting no.

Indigenous Affairs May 31st, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indigenous Services. I have been proud to fight for the funding announced last fall for an addictions and trauma treatment centre for Nunavut. However, there are no youth-specific facilities in Nunavut. Our youth face long delays and often have to leave the territory for mental health treatment, if they are lucky.

“Our Minds Matter”, a report issued by Nunavut's children and youth representative, states that our youth have rightly judged the current system to be inadequate and failing to meet their needs.

Will the minister listen to the voices of our youth and give them access to the mental health services and supports they need and have a right to in their own territory?

Infrastructure May 16th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Yesterday in the House, the minister said that he would work with Quebec and the provinces to ensure that projects were approved in time for this construction season. Nunavut has a housing crisis that is contributing to high rates of poverty, suicide and tuberculosis. The territory does not have reliable access to the Internet. We need connectivity to educate our children and move our economy forward.

Will the minister extend the same courtesy to the Government of Nunavut and approve housing and connectivity projects in time for the summer construction season?

Indigenous Affairs May 10th, 2019

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indigenous Services.

When it comes to health care, Nunavummiut do not get the same level of support from the federal government as other Canadians. The national average for federal support is 20%. Nunavut receives less than 10%. As a consequence, the Government of Nunavut is forced to pick up the tab for programs for which the federal government is responsible. The GN spends in excess of $50 million a year above what it is funded to administer the non-insured health benefits program.

Does the Minister of Indigenous Services think this fair and will he work with the Government of Nunavut to fully fund the administration of this program?

Indigenous Languages Act May 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for committing to stand with me.

We have heard from the government how important this piece of legislation is, and members from the opposition are saying the same thing. If the legislation is so important, Canadians deserve to see how their representatives stand through a recorded vote, rather than just seeing it agreed to on division.

Indigenous Languages Act May 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to voting on this piece of legislation, would the member join me and maybe three other people to stand and force a recorded vote?

Indigenous Languages Act May 9th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out, the president of ITK and the president of NTI spoke publicly against the legislation because of that exclusion. As I mentioned at the onset of the development of Bill C-91, they were led to believe it would be a distinctions-based approach to developing the legislation. It seems that now that we have it, it is not.

One of the things I tried to bring forward with my amendment, which was a soft amendment and it would have been a very friendly, easy amendment to accept, would have allowed the minister to have the door open to work with Inuit, if he chose to do so. It was not a “shall”, it was not a “must”, it was a “may”.

I am kind of baffled as to why that amendment was defeated. It in no way committed a government, the current government or any government in the future, to any type of direction or commitment, which is something that cannot be done. I was very careful to put forward that amendment in a way that allowed the government to move forward and have the ability to recognize the wishes of Inuit in the legislation.