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A Nunavut Politician Found a Silent But Powerful Way To Protest Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq

He made a point of reading the newspaper when she spoke, just as she had done during a debate in the House of Commons.

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Last night in Iqaluit, CBC hosted a candidates forum to discuss issues facing Nunavut. The Conservatives were represented by Leona Aglukkaq, the minister of the environment.

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"The crowd was vocal at the forum, either applauding, cheering or laughing to show their support for a candidate, or groaning when they did not," CBC reported.

The most notable bit of crowd participation came in the form of a silent protest. Nunavut Health and Justice Minister Paul Okalik made a point of reading a newspaper when Aglukkaq spoke. People in the crowd knew the message he was sending.

Okalik was mimicking what Aglukkaq did in the House of Commons in late 2014. When opposition parties questioned the government about the urgent food security issues facing the North, she was seen reading the newspaper.

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Aglukkaq later apologized. She told CBC "it was a very bad idea to be reading the newspaper that day and I want to apologize to my constituents if that was portrayed as being that I don't care, because that is the complete opposite."

Another person following the forum made a reference to the incident when a photo taken last night showed Aglukkaq studying papers as other candidates spoke.

Is she reading the newspaper? Again 😡 #cdnpoli #CBCNuForum https://t.co/FLqKQZHc5R

Iqaluit resident Taha Tabish told BuzzFeed Canada he thought Okalik's newspaper gambit was effective.

@CraigSilverman I thought it was a great way to make a point without interrupting or interfering in the debate.

This audience member said it showed #balls.

Paul Okalik sits and reads a newspaper as @leonaaglukkaq speaks! #balls

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Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

Contact Craig Silverman at craig.silverman@buzzfeed.com.

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