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

Impact Assessment Act June 11th, 2018

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

Impact Assessment Act June 11th, 2018

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

Impact Assessment Act June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, I agree to apply the vote and I will be voting no.

Indigenous Affairs June 11th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, qujannamiik uqaqti . My question is for the Minister of Indigenous Services.

Last week, I asked the Prime Minister a question regarding the recent declaration of crisis by two communities in my riding, declarations that stem from a lack of mental health services and an increase in suicide attempts.

Although I appreciate the answer provided, the funding mentioned is not solely intended for mental health support. Like other existing funding, it fails to address the need. These crises demonstrate that.

Will the minister commit to funding the mental health service and support needed by Nunavummiut?

Health June 6th, 2018

[Member spoke in Inuktitut]


Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Two communities in my riding have recently declared that they are in crisis. These declarations stem from the fact that there are too few mental health supports and an increased number of suicide attempts. Of the recent $118 million announced for first nations and Inuit mental health, Nunavut receives only $500,000 annually, despite the fact that the suicide rate is 10 times the national average. The current government has sent additional support to first nations communities in crisis. Will the government do the same for Inuit communities?

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act May 29th, 2018

[Member spoke in Inuktitut]


Mr. Speaker, to preface, I do not plan to take up too much time. I want to speak briefly to the great importance of this bill for Canada and for its indigenous people.

I would like to start by thanking the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou for bringing the bill forward, and I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to speak to it.

As an indigenous member of the House and this Parliament, the bill is truly special to me.

I think we all know that indigenous people of the country have historically suffered far too many traumas and injustices as a direct result of colonization. Over the past 150 years, Canada's indigenous people have lost much of their identity and culture, a loss that has left many struggling to find their place within the country. As a result, we see a huge disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous people, in particular, poverty, incarceration, health care, housing, access to clean water, and in their overall quality of life. Sadly, this is just the start of a long list of others.

I believe that the adoption of the bill would be a strong first step in helping to right these wrongs, to close this gap going forward.

The bill would fulfill one of the very important calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It calls on the federal government to use the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation. In doing so, the federal government is required to exercise a more contemporary approach when engaging with indigenous people, an approach that is rooted in respect for indigenous rights and equality. This is exactly what indigenous people of the country need.

I have stated many times in the House that Nunavummiut experience third world living conditions in a first world country. Sadly, this is a fact, and the statistics to support this statement are there. Nunavut has the highest rate of food insecurity in the country, with nearly 70% of homes being food insecure. There is currently a housing crisis where nearly 40% of Nunavummiut are in need of suitable safe housing. This is not to mention the highest rate of suicide and the lowest graduation rates in the country. Something needs to change.

Therefore, yes, I agree that we do need a new approach on how the Government of Canada engages with indigenous people and this bill represents a good step toward reconciliation in addressing the current disparity.

Air Transportation May 28th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

The changes Transport Canada is proposing to flight crew work hours and rest periods threaten the very survival of small airlines that serve communities in my riding. For all of these communities, air is the only link. Given the unique reliance of these communities on air service, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work.

Will the minister engage in further consultations, as requested by the Coalition of Canadian Airlines, and work with them to achieve a mutually acceptable solution that works for everyone?

Nunavut's Interests May 28th, 2018

Madam Speaker, in the past, the Government of Canada has used a one-size-fits-all approach to decision-making, seemingly believing that what works in the south will work in the north. In fact, this is not the case. The north, in particular my riding, Nunavut, has its own unique challenges, which require a different approach.

Carbon pricing and flight duty time regulations are two examples where this uniqueness must be considered.

For carbon pricing, it is no secret that Nunavut already has the highest cost of living, unemployment, and poverty in the country. Without exemptions, the financial burden would only increase and the struggles continue.

The proposed changes to flight duty time regulations may not be a big issue for large airlines operating in the south. However, these changes, if implemented, would threaten the very survival of the small airlines that service the people of my riding.

The government has repeatedly indicated that Nunavut's unique nature would be taken into account when making decisions. Now is the time to act on this commitment.

Indigenous Affairs May 25th, 2018

[Member spoke in Inuktitut]


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

The Nunavut Planning Commission is audited annually, yet over the past three years it has been subjected to two additional audits at the direction of the implementation branch, all of which consumes valuable time and resources. It has been reported that the most recent audit again gave the commission a clean bill of health, and concluded that it was underfunded.

Given this conclusion, will the minister instruct her bureaucrats to stop wasting resources, increase the funding, and let the commission get on with its very important work?

Indigenous Affairs May 7th, 2018

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indigenous Services. Last year, an INAN committee report, titled “Breaking Point: The Suicide Crisis in Indigenous Communities”, made several recommendations. One recommendation was that the government increase infrastructure funding to address mental health and substance abuse issues.

Tragically, my riding has the highest suicide rate in Canada, yet there is not one federally funded addictions and mental health facility in the entire territory. Will the minister help alleviate this crisis and commit funding for mental health and addictions facilities in Nunavut?