CAMBRIDGE BAY—The Kitikmeot Inuit Association wants to make sure the Grays Bay Road and Port project remains a top government priority, because the Oct. 30 territorial election could see western Nunavut left out of the territory’s leadership circle.
That’s because two of the Grays Bay project’s biggest champions, Peter Taptuna and Keith Peterson, are not seeking re-election.
The upcoming election could result in “a cabinet that may have quite different priorities than the ones which we have enjoyed under [outgoing] Premier Peter Taptuna,” KIA President Stanley Anablak said Oct. 16 in his president’s report to the annual general meeting of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association in Cambridge Bay.
Taptuna, who comes from Kugluktuk in western Nunavut, did not seek re-election. He will hold the premier’s position until the new legislative assembly chooses a new premier and cabinet this November.
After 13 years in the legislature, Cambridge Bay MLA Peterson, who served in the cabinet most recently as minister of justice and finance, also decided not to run again.
“Going forward, it is very important that the leaders of the 5th Legislative Assembly hear from Kitikmeot residents about just how crucial this project is for our region’s economic future. It has to continue to be a territorial priority,” Anablak said.
The $500-million Grays Bay Port and Road project will help remedy the Kitikmeot’s “high levels of poverty, high unemployment, a lack of affordable housing and a cost of living much higher than that found in southern Canada,” Anablak told AGM delegates.
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