October 20, 2006

Iqaluit ratepayers say no to borrowing

Turnout about 33 per cent


Iqaluit’s main voting station, at the cadet hall, was a quiet place on Oct. 16, as most eligible voters stayed away. Turnout was about 33 per cent. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

In a muncipal voting exercise that featured low turnouts and low numbers of candidates, Iqaluit ratepayers said no on Oct. 16 to two City of Iqaluit borrowing proposals while all voters chose eight city councillors from a field of nine candidates.

It’s estimated that only about 33 per cent of eligible voters bothered to cast ballots.

As for the two parallel referendums among ratepayers, the turnout appears to have been equally low.

Simon Nattaq, a veteran city councillor, topped the polls with 530 votes. Two other incumbents, deputy mayor Glenn Williams (484 votes) and Claude Martel (365 votes) also gained seats on the new council.

For Martel, this is the first time that he has gained a seat on council via an election. In 2003, Martel ran for council but his 342 votes that year weren’t enough to win a seat. But in March 2005, city councilors appointed him to fill an empty spot created by the resignation of Stu Kennedy.

Jimmy Kilabuk, an ex-mayor and veteran councillor who lost a bid for the mayor’s job in 2000, was returned to city council with 517 votes, second overall.

The other four successful candidates - David Alexander (493), Jim Little (483), Mark Boudreau (408), and Alan Hayward (443)- are all new to council.

Grant Hipfner, an employee of the Nunavut government’s Department of Finance who was in Arizona getting married during the election campaign, finished last with 358 votes and did not win a seat.

In the only other public vote to be held on Oct. 15, five people were elected to the Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut: Carolyn Mallory, Jacinthe Giroux, Marco Dussault, Jacques Fortier and Rosemarie David. Only 61 people were listed as eligible to cast ballots in that vote.

At the same time, ratepayers rejected two proposals that would have given the city permission to borrow up to $18 million within the next five years to pay for a new city hall and a new recreation centre featuring a replacement swimming pool.

Elisapee Sheutiapik, the incumbent mayor, was acclaimed earlier this month after no other candidates were nominated for the position.

At the same time, five people were acclaimed to the Iqaluit District Education Authority and only one person was acclaimed to the Apex District Education Authority. It’s not clear when people will be appointed to fill the vacant spots on the Apex education body.

Here are the results of Monday’s voting:

Ratepayers votes

1. Do you approve of the city borrowing up to a maximum of six million dollars within a five year period for the construction of a new City Hall?

Yes: 90
No: 169

Total votes cast: 259

2. Do you approve of the City borrowing up to a maximum of twelve million dollars within a five year period for the construction of a multi-purpose recreational facility and swimming pool?

Yes: 125
No: 142

Total votes cast: 267

City council election

Simon Nattaq: 530
Jimmy Kilabuk: 517
David Alexander: 493
Glenn Williams: 484
Jim Little: 483
Alan Hayward: 443
Mark Boudreau: 408
Claude Martel: 365
Grant Hipfner: 358 (Not elected)

Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut

Carolyn Mallory: 18
Jacinthe Giroux: 14
Marco Dussault: 13
Jacques Fortier: 11
Rosemarie David: 10 (Elected by tie-breaker)
Jeffrey Barkley: 10 (Not elected)
Anthony Vieni: 7 (Not elected)
Jane Cooper: 6 (Not elected)