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Federal Minister Leona Aglukkaq Accepts EVE Award from Equal Voice

Apr 14, 2009

 

Ottawa: On April 14, 2009 federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq was awarded Equal Voice’s EVE Ottawa Award during a nearly sold-out lunch co-hosted by the Canadian Club and Equal Voice. Ms. Aglukkaq is the first sitting Minister and first Inuit woman to receive the award.

Ms. Aglukkaq represents the federal constituency of Nunavut. Prior to her election to federal politics in October of 2008, Ms. Aglukkaq served in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly as the MLA for the district of NATTILIK (communities of Gjoa Haven and Taloyoak). During this time, she was chosen to serve on Executive Council as Finance Minister and House Leader, before becoming the Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister for the Status of Women.

Ms. Aglukkaq’s political experience also extends to municipal politics as she served as councilor with the Cambridge Bay municipal government for six years. Before seeking elected office, Ms. Aglukkaq gained valuable experience working for the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, most notably as Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

Upon receiving her award, Ms. Aglukkaq underscored the powerful role Inuit women have played as informal leaders in their families and communities. She also acknowledged the impact of trainblazers like Nellie Courvoyea, the first female premier of any Canadian territory, as well as contemporary leaders such as Mary Simon, President of ITK.

Aglukkaq emphasized the value of education and outreach to women, particularly young women, so that they have the tools, information and encouragement necessary to make informed choices about their lives and to become politically active on the issues that matter to them. She noted that while there are now 11 women in federal cabinet, the under-representation of women in political life remains a real issue throughout the country.

”Despite the challenges of being from a remote region of the country and as a parent of a young child, Ms. Aglukkaq has demonstrated considerable determination and passion to make a meaningful contribution to public life on behalf of all Canadians,” said Donna Dasko, National Chair (Acting) of Equal Voice. “We applaud such initiative.”

Minister Aglukkaq attended the luncheon with her infant son, Cooper, and husband Robbie MacNeil. She dedicated her award to her late friend Sylvia lyall, her former executive secretary, who was killed by her common law husband.

The EVE award, established in 2002, is awarded by Equal Voice to recognize outstanding women in politics and those who have made exceptional contributions to promoting women in public life. Previous recipients of the EVE Award are Member of Parliament Carolyn Bennett, the Honourable Flora MacDonald, Her Worship Mayor Hazel McCallion, and former Ontario provincial cabinet minister Frances Lankin.

Equal Voice thanks Platinum sponsor Merck Frosst for making this event possible.

 

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