|7th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly|
May 31, 2011 – 2013
|Preceded by||Paul Okalik|
|Succeeded by||George Qulaut|
|MLA for Iqaluit Centre|
|Preceded by||first member|
|Succeeded by||riding dissolved|
August 18, 1963 |
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Hunter Tootoo (born August 18, 1963) is a politician in Nunavut, Canada. He is the former speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. He represented the riding of Iqaluit Centre from 1999 to 2013, and has also sought election to the Canadian House of Commons.
Tootoo was born to an Inuit family at Rankin Inlet, in what was then a part of the Northwest Territories (NWT). He is a businessman in northern Canada, and was the co-founder of the Iqaluit branch of Arctic Insurance Brokers Ltd. Tootoo is a former member of the Northwest Territories Co-op Business Development Board, the Sport North Board of Directors, and Arctic Co-operatives Ltd.
Tootoo also has extensive experience in government administration. He served as regional coordinator for the town of Arviat in 1993. He became the administration officer for the NWT Department of Recreation and Tourism in 1995, and was named as the corporate control officer of the NWT Department of Finance later in the same year. In 1997, he became assistant director of the NWT Housing Corporation in Iqaluit. Tootoo was a member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada in this period.
He began his political career as a member of the Hamlet Council of Rankin Inlet. In the federal election of 1997, he ran for the Canadian House of Commons as a candidate of the New Democratic Party in the riding of Nunavut. He finished third, behind Liberal Nancy Karetak-Lindell. Tootoo spoke out against the Liberal government's gun registration program during this campaign.
Nunavut became a separate jurisdiction in 1999, and Tootoo declared himself a candidate for the territory's first general election. He was easily elected in Iqaluit Centre, defeating three opponents. He was returned again in the 2004 election, although by a narrower margin, and again in the 2008 election. As of 2010, he is Minister Responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, Minister Responsible for Homelessness, Minister Responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corporation
The government of Nunavut is structured along non-partisan lines, and all members are elected and serve as independents. Tootoo remains a member of the New Democratic Party, and has often been described as the unofficial leader of the legislative opposition. In 2003, he successfully tabled a motion to remove Jack Anawak from the Nunavut cabinet.
Tootoo is the cousin of hockey player Jordin Tootoo and the nephew of Manitoba politician George Hickes. Tootoo is also an avid curler. He will be playing for the Nunavut team at the 2013 The Dominion Curling Club Championship.
- The Honourable Hunter Tootoo, archived from the original on May 25, 2012, retrieved September 22, 2013
- Hunter Tootoo, archived from the original on September 28, 2007, retrieved September 22, 2013
- The Honourable Hunter Tootoo MLA for Iqaluit Centre, archived from the original on October 3, 2010, retrieved September 22, 2013