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

Indigenous Languages Act February 20th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague. I will continue with what I was saying. Unfortunately during this current sitting of the Nunavut legislature, it is looking at repealing pieces of that legislation because it does not have the resources to provide bilingual education.

Legislation like this should look at providing the territorial government, which has the responsibility for delivering education, with resources and funding so it can develop and deliver a bilingual education. This could be looked at with this legislation.

As I said, I was very proud to pass those pieces of legislation in 2008. I have heard a number of times, and even the minister has said earlier, that the government is open to amendments. I look forward to working with him and with ITK to bring amendments forward. Hopefully in a different version at third reading, after committee, I will be able to support it.

Indigenous Languages Act February 20th, 2019

Madam Speaker, I thank everyone who spoke to this and I want to make it very clear that I support the concept and the idea behind the legislation. However, in its current form, I do not believe I can support it. I know the president of ITK, Natan Obed, said that the office of the commissioner of indigenous languages outlined under the legislation was little more than a new title for an existing aboriginal languages initiative program, a federal office that had largely failed so far to halt the decline of indigenous languages despite having a mission to improve it.

He said that unlike provincial and territorial languages commissioners, this national indigenous language commissioner would basically be a powerless advocacy group controlled by the federal government and that there was no obligation under the legislation on the part of the federal government to fund indigenous languages. He also said that in no way was the bill co-developed with Inuit.

I am an Inuk and I have lost my language. I have lost what I am very proud to see in Nunavut right now. People are showing an interest in learning and regaining their languages. In fact, in 2008, we passed our own Nunavut indigenous languages protection act and pieces of the education act that would force the government to offer bilingual education in Inuktitut. Sadly—

Regional Economic Development February 19th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.

It was recently announced that the long-awaited Arctic and northern policy framework may finally be ready for release in June. Past actions by the government affecting indigenous people, like the Indigenous Languages Act and the draft indigenous child welfare act, have been more showpiece than substance, more buzzwords than actual impact.

Will the minister assure the House that this new policy framework will actually have the teeth to effect meaningful change?

Northern Affairs February 5th, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade will know that the Kivalliq Inuit Association has been working very hard to advance clean energy solutions that will create economic development opportunities in the region. This work is fully supported by the Government of Nunavut.

Investments to support projects like the Kivalliq hydro fibre link are fundamental to creating a sustainable economy for Nunavut. Can the minister assure us that advancing critical projects like this to grow and modernize badly needed investments in Nunavut communities will be a priority in the coming budget?

Indigenous Affairs February 1st, 2019

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

There are $700 million missing. That is what was identified by a media analysis of the spending of the current government's infrastructure program. That reporting gap was directly attributed to an ongoing failure by your department and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs to report details of its spending.

Nunavut has a huge infrastructure gap, particularly social infrastructure. Therefore, where is the missing $700 million and why has it not been invested in these desperately needed projects?

Questions on the Order Paper January 28th, 2019

With regard to the financial reviews to which the Nunavut Planning Commission was subjected for the financial years ranging from 2012 to 2017: (a) what are the names and titles of the persons who determined that these reviews were necessary; (b) what was the rationale for determining that the audits were necessary; (c) how much did the KPMG review, which covered the years 2012-13 to 2014-15, cost; (d) how much did the Ernst and Young review, which covered the years 2015-16 and 2016-17, cost; and (e) what were the findings and observations of these reviews?

Northern Affairs December 11th, 2018

[Member spoke in Inuktitut]

ᖁᔭᓐᓇᒦᒃ ᐅᖃᖅᑎ

[Member provided the following translation of the Inuktitut:]

Mr. Speaker,


my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs.

Yesterday, Canada finally announced changes to the nutrition north program. The additional funding and other changes are welcome. However, the government has failed to fix the biggest problem with the program: its transparency and accountability. For example, the department has admitted the program subsidy received by some retailers is higher than the freight rate they are paying, which is why Nunavummiut believes some retailers are unjustly profiting from the subsidy.

Will the minister commit to finally fixing this problem before the spring budget?

Indigenous Affairs December 6th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I pointed out in my statement that last week the Prime Minister was wrong in his justification for barring the Government of Nunavut from becoming a party to the two Dene treaties. Every modern land claims agreement in Canada's northern territories has involved three parties: the indigenous group, Canada and the government of the territory where the agreement is to operate. For numerous legal and constitutional reasons, these treaties cannot be implemented without the consent of the Government of Nunavut. When will Canada stop playing the colonial master, do the right thing and invite it to the table as a party and signatory to these treaties?

Appropriation Act No. 3, 2018-19 December 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply and will be voting yes.

Appropriation Act No. 3, 2018-19 December 5th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I am always extremely pleased to apply and will be voting yes.