A Quebec election was held October 3, 2022. Premier François Legault was re-elected with a majority of 90 seats for the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) Party. The Liberals came second with 21 seats, Québec Solidaire third with 11 seats, and the Parti Québécois (PQ) with three seats.
In Ungava, Denis Lamothe was re-elected with 3,132 votes. Cree candidate Maïtée Labreque-Saganash was second with 2,092 votes (Quebec Solidaire). Tunu Napartuk, from Kuujjuaq, was third for the Liberals with 1,571 votes. Christine Moore had 1,084 votes for the PQ, and Nancy Lalancette had 756 votes for the Conservatives.
During the election, Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade visited Kuujjuaq to bolster Tunu Napartuk’s campaign. “I really enjoyed this experience. Getting involved in politics has always been very natural for me,” said Tunu. “I remember when Zebedee Nungak ran for the Liberals back in the early ‘70s. We need our voice in the National Assembly.”
The Ungava riding has a population of approximately 45,000 with 27,500 voters in the 2022 election. In terms of size, it is 855,100 square kilometers. By contrast, the riding for the Magdalen Islands has a population of 12,700 and 10,750 voters and is only 33,923 square kilometers. The next redistribution will be done for the 2026 election. Public hearings are expected to take place by the Quebec Electoral Commission starting in the fall of 2023.
Napartuk said, “Inuit and the Cree have our own reality, like the people of the Magdalen Islands, and a riding for Nunavik and the Eeyou region is warranted.”
Denis Lamothe said he is looking forward to helping the Nunavik region complete the fibre optic network, connecting the communities from Puvirnituq to Kangiqsualujjuaq, as well as the Kuujjuaq link to Kawawachikamach. He said, “the health system, the education system, and the justice system – everything can benefit from high-speed internet.”
Lamothe was a police officer for the Sûreté du Québec for 30 years. He has lived in Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak and Kuujjuaq, and travelled to all 14 Inuit communities, as well as six Cree communities. He says, “I was made to represent this riding.” He said he’s more familiar with the Nunavik and Cree communities than some in the southern part of the riding.