NDP in Nunavut: If you want people to listen, sometimes it helps to serve food
On Tuesday, September 29, 2915, the NDP's Thomas Mulcair spent time taking in the scenery of Nunavut on an ATV ride driving around Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park. (Omar Sachedina/CTV News)
Published Wednesday, September 30, 2015 8:18AM EDT
If you want people to listen to your pitch, sometimes it helps by serving food.
So Tuesday evening, the NDP organized a community feast to woo voters in Iqaluit, Nunavut. About an hour after it started, I received an email from a member of Leona Aglukkaq's team, with a statement from the Conservative candidate, who most recently served as Environment Minister in Stephen Harper's cabinet. In it, she accuses Mulcair of paying "lip service to important issues affecting us." "That's her problem," said Jack Anawak, the NDP candidate in the riding - who is also Inuk, "If she wants to go all negative that's her problem."
One of the Northern issues the NDP accuse the Conservatives of botching is a food subsidy program called Nutrition North. It is, in theory, supposed to help offset some of the high transport costs of flying-in nutritious food to this remote part of the country. But, a recent Auditor General's reports raised questions about whether those subsidies were being actually being passed on to consumers. CTVNews.ca did a story on the controversial program last month.
This week, Mulcair promised $32 million over four years to "fix" and "expand" Nutrition North: $5 million in year one; $7 million in year two; $10 million in year three; and another $10 million in year four. He also pledged to expand the program to include 50 isolated communities currently excluded from the program by the Conservatives.
Mulcair also spent time taking in the scenery of the region on an ATV ride around Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park with Jack Anawak.