Tunu Napartuk, a former mayor of Kuujjuaq, Que., will run in the riding of Ungava as a candidate for the Liberal Party of Quebec in the Oct. 3 provincial election.
Dominique Anglade, the Quebec Liberal leader, said as a member of the National Assembly, Napartuk would be the voice of isolated communities, youth, families, elders and all Indigenous communities.
“Honestly, I don’t think we could have a better candidate to represent the north of Quebec,” Anglade said at the launch of Napartuk’s candidacy in Montreal on Tuesday.
Napartuk, raised in Puvirnituq and Kuujjuaq, speaks Inuktitut, French and English fluently.
At the launch, speaking first in Inuktitut, then in French, Napartuk said he was delighted and honoured to be running for the Liberals.
On Twitter, he called his candidacy an “exciting adventure.”
I am starting an exciting adventure as the candidate for the Québec Liberal Party for the Oct. 3 elections!<a href=”https://twitter.com/LiberalQuebec?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@LiberalQuebec</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/quebecpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#quebecpoli</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/oct3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#oct3</a> <a href=”https://t.co/jd0crjg0fp”>pic.twitter.com/jd0crjg0fp</a>
Napartuk, 50, married to Lynn Lemire, is the father of six.
Until recently, he worked as director of compassionate services at Nunavik’s Kativik Ilisarniliriniq school board.
If elected, Napartuk said he would work to improve school success, lower the cost of living and tackle food security throughout the Ungava riding.
Ungava is the largest geographical riding in Quebec, at about 850,000 square kilometres, but has one of the smallest populations, with 28,314 registered voters for the 2018 election.
Ungava includes several First Nations communities, along with Nunavik.
Turnout for provincial elections has been relatively low for Ungava in the past, with only one in three eligible voters casting ballots in the 2018 election.
Two other candidates have been announced in Ungava — the incumbent member of the national assembly Denis Lamothe, a member of the governing Coalition Avenir Québec, and Quebec Solidaire’s Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash.