Leona Aglukkaq
Leona Aglukkaq, PC
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

, MP
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 (born June 28, 1967) is a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 politician, who was elected to the Canadian House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 as a Conservative
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

 in the 2008 Canadian federal election
Canadian federal election, 2008
The 2008 Canadian federal election was held on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 to elect members to the Canadian House of Commons of the 40th Canadian Parliament after the previous parliament had been dissolved by the Governor General on September 7, 2008...

 for the riding of Nunavut
Nunavut (electoral district)
Nunavut is a federal electoral district in Nunavut, Canada, that has been represented in the Canadian House of Commons since 1997. Nunatsiaq, its predecessor that covered the same area, was a federal electoral district in Northwest Territories, that was represented in the House of Commons from 1979...


Aglukkaq was named the Minister of Health
Minister of Health (Canada)
The Minister of Health is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's health department and the enforcing the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada Health Act, the law governing Medicare...

 on October 30, 2008, and is the first Inuk
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 in Canadian history to be appointed to the Cabinet of Canada
Cabinet of Canada
The Cabinet of Canada is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada...

. Jack Anawak
Jack Anawak
Jack Iyerak Anawak is a Canadian politician. He represented the electoral district of Nunatsiaq in the Canadian House of Commons from 1988 to 1997. He sat in the house as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada...

 and Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Nancy Karetak-Lindell is a former Canadian politician. Previously she was a financial comptroller and municipal councillor in Arviat, Karetak-Lindell ran for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal candidate in the 1997 federal election in the riding of Nunavut...

 previously held parliamentary secretary
Parliamentary Secretary
A Parliamentary Secretary is a member of a Parliament in the Westminster system who assists a more senior minister with his or her duties.In the parliamentary systems of several Commonwealth countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, it is customary for the prime minister to...

 positions, which are not part of the cabinet itself.

Life and career

Aglukkaq was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

 and raised in, Thom Bay, Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven (formerly in the NWT but all three are now in Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993...

). She is married to Robbie MacNeil and has a son, Cooper.

Prior to running as an MP she was an MLA in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
Legislative Assembly of Nunavut
The Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, Canada, is located in Iqaluit, and is the territory's parliament.The Legislative Assembly of Nunavut was opened by Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, on 7 October 2002, during her Golden Jubilee tour of Canada...

, representing the electoral district
Electoral district (Canada)
An electoral district in Canada, also known as a constituency or a riding, is a geographical constituency upon which Canada's representative democracy is based...

 of Nattilik
Nattilik is a territorial electoral district for the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, Canada.The riding consists of the communities of Gjoa Haven and Taloyoak....

. First elected in the 2004 Nunavut election
Nunavut general election, 2004
The Canadian territory of Nunavut conducted its second general election on February 16, 2004, to elect the 19 members of the Legislative Assembly.Premier Paul Okalik asked for the five-year-old territory's first parliament to be dissolved on January 16....

, she held the seat until stepping down on September 10, 2008 to run in the federal election. She was the Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in the Executive Council of Nunavut
Executive Council of Nunavut
The Executive Council of Nunavut or cabinet includes a Premier and seven Ministers and is elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly from among the Assembly members....

. Before becoming an MLA, Aglukkaq was a long time employee of the Government of Nunavut and served on the Hamlet Council of Cambridge Bay.

Swine flu outbreak controversy and media response

A lot of public attention was focused on Aglukkaq during the 2009 swine flu outbreak where hundreds of Canadians were infected with the mild H1N1 virus. The Liberal health critic, said that Aglukkaq was doing a "terrific job," and especially liked how the minister phoned all opposition critics to build consensus on the swine flu issue.

Health Canada officials sent two dozen body bags, that are normally sent to hospitals, to a Manitoba First Nation. The move was interpreted by some to mean the government was not being upfront with First Nations about the danger they face from H1N1, and to others it was seen as offensive. After Aglukkaq investigated the incident, she accepted an apology from the Health Canada official who sent the body bags, saying that is was an accident and that she found no wrong intention on their part.

Since the outbreak, Aglukkaq has appeared on various television shows, including CBC News Network's Power and Politics with Evan Solomon
Evan Solomon
Evan Solomon is a Canadian writer, magazine publisher and television journalist, who currently hosts the nightly series Power & Politics on CBC News Network. Beginning in September 2011, he will also host CBC Radio One's weekly political affairs series The House.Solomon graduated from McGill...

, underlining the government's immunization plan.

Vienna AIDS Conference controversy

Aglukkaq attracted criticism for repeatedly refusing to confirm a link between unclean injecting equipment and HIV transmission at the 2010 International AIDS Conference
International AIDS Conference
The International AIDS Society is the custodian of the International AIDS Conference, the largest regular conference on any health or development issue. These conferences provide a forum for the interaction of science, community and leadership, and are claimed to strengthen an evidence-based...

 in Vienna drawing accusations of denialism, and to comparisons with Thabo Mbeki
Thabo Mbeki
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served two terms as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. He is also the brother of Moeletsi Mbeki...

's denial of the link between HIV and AIDS at the Durban AIDS Conference
XIII International AIDS Conference, 2000
The XII International AIDS Conference was held in Durban, South Africa, during the week of July 9-14 2000. 12,000 people from all over the world attended, including scientists, clinicians, health care workers, public health agencies, people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS Non-Governmental...

 10 years previous.

External links

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