Nomination Date: 01/04/2019
Leona’s dedication to public service is demonstrated in her 30 years of public life in both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. She held a number of senior position with the Government of Nunavut prior to entering Territorial politics in 2004. She serves as Finance Minister, House Leader, Minister of Health and Social Services and Status of Women during her time with the Territorial Government.
In 2008, she decided to put her name forward to run for the Conservative Party of Canada for the Nunavut Riding.
In 2008, Leona was elected and again in 2011. She was the first Inuk in Canadian History to be appointed to Cabinet, under Prime Minister Harper. In her firm term, she served as Minister of Health, which included Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institute of Health Research and Regional Minister for the North. In her Second term, she held the portfolio of Minister of Environment which included Parks Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and Minister of Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Arctic Council, and Regional Minister for the North.
She remains committed to supporting the development of Nunavummiut and the North and now volunteers her time representing Nunavut on the National Council. Leona was born and raised in the Arctic. She is married to Robbie MacNeil of Cape Breton and has a son, Cooper.