03/30/2016 16:58 EDT | Updated 03/31/2017 01:12 EDT

Search expands for missing Nunavut politician and companions

IQALUIT, Nunavut — The search is expanding for a Nunavut member of the legislature who has now been missing with his two companions for a week on the tundra of Baffin Island.

Pauloosie Keeyootak left the capital of Iqaluit eight days ago for an overnight snowmobile trip to Pangnirtung.

A search began several days ago and is now growing to include coastlines along the 300-kilometre route.

Ground crews have retraced the well-travelled trail and are revisiting some areas for a second search.

Several aircraft, including a Hercules plane and a Cormorant helicopter, are also being used.

A spokesman for the territorial government says this is 59th search that has been conducted so far this year.

The Canadian Press