The Quebec Liberal party is betting on a new candidate to flip the Ungava riding back to red as voters are set to head to the polls this fall.
Former Kuujjuaq mayor Tunu Napartuk is the party’s new candidate.
“The CAQ has been extremely inadequate in response to the native needs, the questions, the challenges that we have, specifically in Nunavik, in my region and in our 14 communities,” he said. “There has been no contact, there has been no visits, there hasn’t been any opportunity given to show what our reality is and what our needs are.”
Napartuk will be one of nine Indigenous candidates running in the provincial election campaign.
On Monday, the CAQ introduced Kateri Champagne Jourdain, in the Duplessis riding. She is hoping to be the first indigenous woman to be elected to the national assembly.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, she acknowledged that racism exists in the province, but didn’t specifically call it systemic and added that the CAQ has been taking action to fight it.
Meanwhile, the PQ recently recruited Jacline Rouleau in Abitibi-Est. Quebec Solidaire has already introduced five Indigenous candidates, and according to La Presse, is expected to announce a sixth later this week.”
Former PQ MNA, Alexis Wawanoloath, who was elected into the National Assembly in 2007, says seeing the unprecedented number of Indigenous candidates this year is exciting and important.
“It’s a sign that the parties care to at least have some Indigenous candidates,” he said.
The former MNA, who is currently an Indigenous rights lawyer, says the presence of more First Nations people in the National Assembly can help advance certain issues, like tackling systemic racism.
He hopes this will be only the beginning of a movement in which younger people will be inspired to run in the future.
“[It’s important not] to see a limit, and to see that we can go out of the frame that we think we are in sometimes,” he added.
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