List of Nunavut general elections

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Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

The Canadian territory of Nunavut holds general elections to its unicameral legislative body, the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. There is no fixed schedule for elections, but they are typically held every four to five years.[1] Nunavut was created 1 April 1999 from part of the Northwest Territories, and its first election was held prior to division on 15 February 1999. The most recent was held on 27 October 2008.[2]

Nunavut is divided into nineteen constituencies, each electing one Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). The number of constituencies has remained unchanged since the first general election. Nunavut uses consensus government in which there are no political parties. The Premier of Nunavut (and the cabinet) is directly elected by the MLAs, unlike most other provincial or territorial premiers, who are officially appointed by a Lieutenant-Governor or Commissioner on account of their leadership of a majority bloc in the legislature.[3][4]

In the electoral district of Akulliq, the 2008 election was delayed because of a legal battle that was brought forth by the former Member of Parliament Jack Anawak. Anawak filed as a candidate in the 2008 election but his application was rejected by Elections Nunavut because he had not lived in the territory for twelve consecutive months prior to the election.[5][6] After Anawak's case was dismissed by the courts, a by-election was held on December 15, 2008.[5] During the 2008 election, only two votes separated incumbent MLA Steve Mapsalak and his main challenger, former Northwest Territories MLA John Ningark.[7] As a result, a judicial recount was conducted, however this resulted in Ningark and Mapsalak each receiving exactly 157 votes, meaning that the election resulted in a tie. A second election took place three months later on March 2, 2009.[8][9] During the second election, John Ningark beat out his opponent Steve Mapsalak 193 votes to 179.[10] The 2008 election was also unusual in that one electoral district, South Baffin, saw no candidates nominated in time for the general election. A by-election was scheduled for 3 November 2008, with four candidates.[11]

Two people have remained in office through the three general elections that have taken place in Nunavut, Hunter Tootoo of the Iqaluit Centre electoral district and Paul Okalik, who was also Nunavut's first Premier, in the Iqaluit West electoral district.[12][13][14]

Summary of results[edit]

The table below shows the winners of every riding for each election. Full details on any election are linked via the year of the election at the top of the column.

Paul Okalik, first Premier


District 1999 election[12] 2004 election[13] 2008 election[14]
Akulliq Ovide Alakannuark Steve Mapsalak John Ningark
Amittuq Enoki Irqittuq Louis Tapardjuk
Arviat Kevin O'Brien David Alagalak Daniel Shewchuk
Baker Lake Glenn McLean David Simailak Moses Aupaluktuq
Cambridge Bay Kelvin Ng Keith Peterson
Hudson Bay Peter Kattuk Allan Rumbolt
Iqaluit Centre Hunter Tootoo
Iqaluit East Ed Picco Eva Aariak
Iqaluit West Paul Okalik
Kugluktuk Donald Havioyak Joe Allen Evyagotailak[E] Peter Taptuna
Nanulik James Arvaluk[A] Patterk Netser Johnny Ningeongan
Nattilik Uriash Puqiqnak Leona Aglukkaq[F] Enuk Pauloosie[G]
Pangnirtung Peter Kilabuk Adamee Komoartok
Quttiktuq Levi Barnabas[B] Ron Elliott
Rankin Inlet North Jack Anawak Tagak Curley
Rankin Inlet South/Whale Cove Manitok Thompson Levinia Brown Lorne Kusugak
South Baffin Olayuk Akesuk Fred Schell
Tununiq Jobie Nutarak[C] James Arvaluk
Uqqummiut David Iqaqrialu James Arreak


District 2013 election 2017 election
Aggu Paul Quassa
Aivilik Steve Mapsalak Patterk Netser
Amittuq George Qulaut Joelie Kaernerk
Arviat North-Whale Cove George Kuksuk John Main
Arviat South Joe Savikataaq
Baker Lake Simeon Mikkungwak
Cambridge Bay Keith Peterson Jeannie Ehaloak
Gjoa Haven Tony Akoak
Hudson Bay Allan Rumbolt
Iqaluit-Manirajak Monica Ell-Kanayuk Adam Arreak-Lightstone
Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu Pat Angnakak
Iqaluit-Sinaa Paul Okalik Elisapee Sheutiapik
Iqaluit-Tasiluk George Hickes
Kugluktuk Peter Taptuna Mila Adjukak Kamingoak
Netsilik Jeannie Ugyuk Emilino Qirngnuq
Pangnirtung Johnny Mike Margaret Nakashuk
Quttiktuq Isaac Shooyook David Akeeagok
Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet Tom Sammurtok Cathy Towtongie
Rankin Inlet South Alexander Sammurtok Lorne Kusugak
South Baffin David Joanasie
Tununiq Joe Enook
Uqqummiut Samuel Nuqingaq


A James Arvaluk resigned his seat in June 2003 after being convicted of assault.[15] He was succeeded in a by-election later that year by Patterk Netser, who retained the seat in the 2004 election.[16]
B Levi Barnabas resigned his seat in August 2000 after being convicted of assault. He was succeeded in a by-election in December 2000 by Rebekah Williams, who lost the seat in the 2004 election to Barnabas.[17]
C Jobie Nutarak died on 23 April 2006.[18] The resulting by-election was held on 16 October 2006 and won by James Arvaluk.[19]
E On 20 August 2008, Evyagotailak stepped down as the MLA. He stated that he wanted to run for the presidency of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association. A by-election was not held.[20][21]
F On 10 September 2008, Aglukkaq stepped down to run in the 2008 Canadian federal election for the Conservative Party of Canada. A by-election was not held.[22]
G On 22 February 2010, Pauloosie stepped down as the MLA. Although in his resignation letter he did not give a reason, in a subsequent interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation he said that it was "for personal reasons, in part so he could spend more time with his family." A by-election was held 26 April 2010, with Jeannie Ugyuk winning the seat.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ "Guide to the Nunavut Election Act" (PDF). Elections Nunavut. 2008. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Welcome to Elections Nunavut". Elections Nunavut. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  4. ^ "The role of the Commissioner of Nunavut". Commissioner of Nunavut. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Anawak appeal nixes Akulliq election race". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  6. ^ Incumbents shut out of Kivalliq region - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  7. ^ "Recount underway after close Akulliq byelection",, December 16, 2008.
  8. ^ "Akulliq by-election recount leads to tie". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  9. ^ "Akulliq by-election recount leads to tie",, January 8, 2009.
  10. ^ "March 2, 2009 election results" (PDF). Elections Nunavut. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 20, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  11. ^ "News release" (PDF). Elections Nunavut. 3 October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  12. ^ a b "Thursday, April 1, 1999" (PDF). Legislative of Nunavut Hansard. Retrieved 28 October 2008.[dead link]
  13. ^ a b "Nunavut Votes 2004". CBC. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  14. ^ a b "Nunavut Votes 2008". CBC. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  15. ^ "Nanulik by-election could be held Sept. 2". Nunatsiaq News. 27 June 2003. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  16. ^ "Constituency Profiles: Nanulik". Nunavut Votes. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  17. ^ "Constituency Profiles: Quttiktuq". Nunavut Votes. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  18. ^ "Nunavut Speaker dies on snowmobile hunting trip". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  19. ^ "Constituency Profiles: Tunnuniq". Nunavut Votes. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  20. ^ "MLA for Kugluktuk resigns from the Legislative Assembly" (PDF). Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  21. ^ "Nunavut MLA Evyagotailak resigns to seek KIA leadership". CBC News. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  22. ^ "Nunavut health minister Aglukkaq running for Tories". CBC News. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  23. ^ "Enuk Pauloosie quits Nunavut assembly seat". Nunatsiaq Online. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  24. ^ "Pauloosie resigns as Nunavut MLA". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  25. ^ "Second woman joins Nunavut legislature". Nunatsiaq Online. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.

External links[edit]