The federal election was called on August 2 by Prime Minster Stephen Harper. His Conservative Party had been ruling the country for ten years and was hoping to get reelected. The campaign would last 11 weeks, the longest in Canadian history. (Our American neighbours to the south mocked us for making "a big deal" about the length of the campaign because their presidential campaigns go on for two years).
The Liberal Party had been reduced to third-party status in the previous election and was hoping to reclaim its rightful place as Canada's "natural governing party". The New Democrats had been the Official Opposition for four years and were eager to become Canada's first federal New Democratic government. The Bloc Quebecois lost most of its seats in 2011 and was hoping to win them back and add more in the province of Quebec. The Green Party had succeeded in getting its leader elected in the last election and wanted to win more seats this time.
I periodically followed the highlights of the campaign on the Internet but I couldn't watch the debates because I would use up all my bandwidth. I notified Elections Canada of my change of address and had them move my name over to the Arctic Bay voting list. This would be my first time voting as a Nunavut citizen in a federal election.
Speaking of change, the federal Nunavut riding has a new MP - Hunter Tootoo. He campaigned as a Liberal and unseated Conservative MP Leona Aglukkaq. He previously visited Arctic Bay in 2013 when he was a Nunavut MLA. Spencer Rocchi, a former teacher at Inuujaq School, ended in last place behind the Conservatives & New Democrats. He ran for the Green Party.
|From a distance, the iceberg looks small,|
but it's really big up close.
|Arctic Bay: October 24, 2015|
|Arctic Bay: October 24, 2015|
Halloween decorations began to appear in the main hallway and on classroom doors during the last week of October. It was time for the annual Halloween door decorating contest. Classes were encouraged to come up with creative & scary ideas to decorate their classroom doors for a chance to win cash prizes. Some doors were scary while others were just colourful. The winners would be announced at the Halloween Assembly on October 30th. (More on that in a future post).
The administrative staff of 3045 Army Cadets received an anonymous tip that my birthday would be occurring around late October and that something special should be done. Two large birthday cakes were prepared behind-the-scenes. Everyone in the corps was sworn to secrecy. I didn't know of the plan until the night of the 28th when the cake was presented to me in full view of the cadets. While everyone sang Happy Birthday, I did my best to keep a straight face. I blew out most of the candles in one breath. Everyone posed for a memorable photograph after the cakes were consumed. Deep down, I was impressed by the amount of effort that everyone put in to "make my day". Thank you everyone. It was very touching.
|3045 Army Cadets|
The highlight of the bonfire was when Jean-Francois (JF), the high school science & math teacher set off the fireworks. The fireworks were bought at the Northern Store. Most of them ignited in the cold weather and exploded high in the night sky. We all agreed to buy two box sets next time because one wasn't enough. Come to think about it, you can never have enough fireworks.
We retreated to JF's house for an after bonfire party. I was presented with a large lit birthday cake made by JF. I blew out the crackling candles and did my best to cut the cake into equal pieces. The cake was delicious. Thanks JF!
|Sunrise. October 27, 2015.|
Happy Halloween Everyone!