Qaqqaq Out: Nunavut MP takes second leave of absence

‘I am deeply grateful for the support and understanding of my family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else.’

Qaqqaq out

Qaqqaq took two months off after seeing poor housing conditions up close in Nunavut. Photo: APTN


Canada’s largest geographic federal riding is again without an MP; with Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq announcing that she will be taking two weeks leave on the recommendation of her doctor.

Qaqqaq announced the decision to take time off via her Twitter account on Tuesday, writing, “I continue to struggle with some personal health problems. Recently, the doctor has suggested I take some time off to heal.”

She says she’ll need around two weeks.

This is the second time Qaqqaq has taken time off for her health. She took leave in October 2020 and didn’t return to work until January 2021. She cited a tour she had taken of Nunavut’s housing conditions as the spark for her pervious exit from work, and that it led to “extreme burnout, pressure and anxiety.”

Qaqqaq has been garnering attention lately for statements made about Labrador Liberal MP Yvonne Jones. Qaqqaq and Jones sparred in the House of Commons on April 16.

Qaqqaq took to Twitter to write that Jones, “Is not Inuk.”

Jones is a member of the NunataKavut Land Claim, a group in southern Labrador that is not covered under the Nunatsiavut Land Claim. She took offence to Qaqqaq claiming that she was not Inuk.

Qaqqaq didn’t immediately apologize, she doubled down.


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In a 30 minute video posted to her Twitter account, Qaqqaq demanded that Jones, “Validate her Inukness.

“I’m not going to apologize. I know, until I am proven otherwise, Yvonne Jones is not Inuk. Until you can tell me who your family is and where you come from, and where you come from, and how you’re Inuk, and validate your Inukness, you have no space to say you’re Inuk. Stop saying you’re Inuk.”

That statement of refusing to apologize was quickly followed by an apology from Qaqqaq.

She wrote that she was sorry for her “aggressive and disrespectful comments.” Soon after that, Qaqqaq took her leave.

In her note Qaqqaq says that her offices remain open to help constituents,

“I am deeply grateful for the support and understanding of my family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else,” she says.

Video Journalist / Iqaluit

Kent has been APTN’s Nunavut correspondent since 2007. In that time he has closely covered Inuit issues, including devolution and the controversial Nutrition North food subsidy. He has also worked for CKIQ-FM in Iqaluit and as a reporter for Nunavut News North.