|Minister of the Environment|
July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Peter Kent|
|Succeeded by||Catherine McKenna|
|Minister of Health|
October 30, 2008 – July 15, 2013
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Tony Clement|
|Succeeded by||Rona Ambrose|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
October 14, 2008 – October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Nancy Karetak-Lindell|
|Succeeded by||Hunter Tootoo|
|Member of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly|
February 16, 2004 – September 10, 2008
|Preceded by||Uriash Puqiqnak|
|Succeeded by||Enuk Pauloosie|
|Born||June 28, 1967|
Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada
Leona Aglukkaq Inuktitut syllabics: ᓕᐅᓇ ᐊᒡᓘᒃᑲᖅ; born June 28, 1967) is a Canadian politician. She was a member of the non-partisan Legislative Assembly of Nunavut representing the riding of Nattilik from 2004 until stepping down in 2008; then was a Conservative Member of Parliament representing the riding of Nunavut after winning the seat in the 2008 federal election. She was the first Conservative to win the seat, and only the second centre-right candidate ever to win it. Leona Aglukkaq is the first Inuk woman to serve in cabinet. She remained an MP until she was defeated in the 2015 federal election by Liberal candidate Hunter Tootoo. Aglukkaq unsuccessfully contested the 2019 federal election.(
Aglukkaq was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and raised in Thom Bay, Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven (formerly in the Northwest Territories, the latter two are now in Nunavut). She is married to Robbie MacNeil and has a son, Cooper.
Prior to running as an MP, Aglukkaq served on the Hamlet Council of Cambridge Bay. She was also a Government of Nunavut public servant, working for the Office of the Clerk of the Nunavut Legislature, and as the Deputy Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth. Information regarding Aglukkaq's post-secondary education has never been made public.
First elected to the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut representing the electoral district of Nattilik in the 2004 Nunavut election, she held the seat until stepping down on September 10, 2008 to run in the federal election. She was the Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in the Executive Council of Nunavut.
Minister of Health
Aglukkaq was named the Minister of Health on October 30, 2008, and is the first Inuk in Canadian history to be appointed to the Cabinet of Canada. Jack Anawak and Nancy Karetak-Lindell previously held parliamentary secretary positions, which are not part of the cabinet itself.
Considerable public attention was focused on Aglukkaq during the 2009 swine flu pandemic where hundreds of Canadians were infected with the H1N1 virus. The Liberal health critic said that Aglukkaq was doing a "terrific job," and especially liked how the minister phoned all opposition critics to build consensus on the swine flu issue.
Health Canada officials sent two dozen body bags, normally sent to hospitals, to a Manitoba First Nation. The move was criticized by Aglukkaq, the Liberal and New Democratic opposition parties in Parliament, and First Nations leaders. An investigation ordered by Aglukkaq found "no evidence of ill will or deliberate calculation," though First Nations representatives in Manitoba criticized the inquiry's report for downplaying the incident.
In 2009, the World Health Organization called for the elimination of artificial trans fats from the world food supply. Surveys at the time indicated that 90% of Canadian adults and children still exceeded the recommended daily limits on trans fats. A Health Canada analysis suggested a ban could prevent 12,000 heart attacks over 20 years, saving the health care system $9 billion. Internal documents showed Health Canada prepared to finally announce a full ban on trans fats, drafting the regulations and a press release, until the office of health minister Aglukkaq scrapped those plans. She later acknowledged the rules would be a burden on the food industry.
Aglukkaq was criticised by public health officials for refusing to sign the Vienna Declaration on drug policy reform, which deemed "the evidence that law enforcement has failed to prevent the availability of illegal drugs [...] unambiguous," and called for a "science-based approach" based on harm reduction strategies such as needle exchange programs and supervised injection sites, because the Declaration was in conflict with the Conservative government's long-established prohibition-centered approach.
Re-election and continued incumbency
Aglukkaq was reelected in 2011 with nearly 50 percent of the vote, defeating a field of challengers which included former Premier of Nunavut Paul Okalik, who ran as the Liberal nominee. She was the first centre-right MP in the history of the riding to win a second term.
Aglukkaq gave no indication of support for the nationwide Idle No More protests in 2012/13, and called on Chief Theresa Spence to give up her hunger strike, abandon her request to meet with the Prime Minister and the Governor General of Canada, and instead speak to Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan.
Minister of Environment
In December 2014, Aglukkaq apologized for reading a newspaper while opposition parties asked the government about high food prices in the North during Question Period. During the 2015 Canadian federal election, Paul Okalik, Nunavut's Health and Justice Minister expressed his discontent with Aglukkaq's actions by reading a newspaper whenever Aglukkaq spoke at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation election forum in Iqaluit.
In the election, Aglukkaq lost almost half of her vote share from 2011 (even allowing for a turnout nearly double that of the previous election) and was pushed into third place behind Liberal candidate and former Legislative Assembly speaker Hunter Tootoo and NDP candidate and former MP Jack Anawak. It was one of the larger defeats suffered by a member of Harper's cabinet.
|2019 Canadian federal election: Nunavut|
|New Democratic||Mumilaaq Qaqqaq||3,861||40.8||+14.2||$5,618.37|
|Liberal||Megan Pizzo Lyall||2,918||30.9||-16.2||$41,679.84|
|Conservative||Leona Aglukkaq||2,469||26.1||+1.3||none listed|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||9,454||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots||88|
|New Democratic gain from Liberal||Swing||+15.35|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2015 Canadian federal election: Nunavut|
|New Democratic||Jack Iyerak Anawak||3,171||26.58||+7.22||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||11,928||100.00||$203,887.65|
|Total rejected ballots||95||0.79||–|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+21.77|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2011 Canadian federal election: Nunavut|
|New Democratic||Jack Hicks||1,525||19.44||−8.18|
|Total valid votes||7,875||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots||56||0.71|
|2008 Canadian federal election: Nunavut|
|New Democratic||Paul Irngaut||2,228||27.62||+10.47||$20,095|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||8,068||100.0||$80,098|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+8.23|
|2004 Nunavut general election: Nattilik|
|Ruediger H. J. Rasch||28||3.93%|
|Total Valid Ballots||712||100%|
|Voter Turnout 107.04%||Rejected Ballots 3|
- "Rookie Health Minister fulfils her dream – and then some". The Globe and Mail. October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "Canada Votes 2008: Electoral results for Nunavut". CBC News. October 14, 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "'Change is long overdue': Aglukkaq paints Nunavut Tory blue". CBC News. October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- Aglukkaq, Leona. "The Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, P.C., M.P." Parliament of Canada. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
- Algukkaq, Leona. "As an Inuk woman, this is hurtful and perpetuates stereotypes that Indigenous women spend our whole lives fighting. @JustinTrudeau - this candidate should have no place in a party that is truly feminist or claims to hold the relationship with Indigenous people above all else". Twitter. @leonaaglukkaq. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
- Zerehi, Sima S. (17 October 2015). "Hunter Tootoo celebrates Liberal win in Nunavut". CBC News North. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- "Nunavut's former Conservative MP to run in fall election". Nunatsiaq News. Iqaluit, NU: Nortext Publishing Corporation. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
- Kilian, Crawford (December 13, 2012). "Can't Call Canada's Conservatives Overeducated". The Tyee. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "Harper shuffles cabinet to create 'right team for these times'". CBC News. October 30, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- "Nunavut's Aglukkaq named federal health minister". CBC News North. October 30, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- "Rookie health minister stays cool in swine flu spotlight". CTV News. April 27, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- "The week everyone loved Leona". Macleans. May 1, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- "Health minister orders probe over flu body bags". CBC News. September 17, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- "Body bag probe found no 'ill will': Aglukkaq". CBC News. October 7, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- Galloway, Gloria; Picard, Andre (July 23, 2010). "Harper, Aglukkaq singled out for stinging rebuke at AIDS conference". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- "Ottawa's HIV/AIDS funding disappoints some". CBC News. July 20, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- "History of Federal Ridings since 1867 (Nunavut)". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "Aglukkaq re-elected in Nunavut as Tories sweep to majority government". Nunatsiaq Online. May 2, 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "PM Harper: Nunavut MP Aglukkaq will chair the Arctic Council". Nunatsiaq Online. August 23, 2012. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- Levitz, Stephanie (December 28, 2012). "Chief on hunger strike should give up and meet Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Aglukkaq says". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "Leona Aglukkaq named new environment minister". CBC News. July 15, 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- "Aglukkaq takes environment post as Ottawa seeks to win over First Nations, U.S." The Globe and Mail. July 15, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- "Portfolio and mandate of the Minister of the Environment". Government of Canada. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- "Leona Aglukkaq admits reading newspaper was a 'bad idea' during question period". CBC News. December 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
- Sponagle, Jane (October 14, 2015). "Audience steals the show at CBC's federal election forum in Iqaluit". CBC News. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Nunavut, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Final Candidates Election Expenses Limits
- "2004 General Election Official Results" (PDF). Elections Nunavut. p. 4. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Leona Aglukkaq, MP
- Profile at Parliament of Canada
- Leona Aglukkaq – Parliament of Canada biography
- Speeches, votes and activity at OpenParliament.ca
|28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper|
|Cabinet posts (3)|
|Peter Kent||Minister of the Environment
|Tony Clement||Minister of Health
|John Duncan||Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency