Baffin beneficiaries return Eegeesiak to office
Okalik Eegeesiak wins 36 per cent of vote in QIA president's race
(updated Dec. 13, 3:40 p.m.)
The incumbent president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Assocation Okalik Eegeesiak will serve another term in office after winning a tight race against two other candidates, George Qulaut and Paul Quassa.
On Dec. 12, eligible voters who are beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement living in Nunavut’s Baffin region, gave Eegeesiak 36 per cent, or 1,053 of the 2,908 votes cast throughout the region, according to unofficial results posted on the website of the organization.
Qulaut received 34 per cent, or 987 votes and Quassa received 30 per cent, or 868 votes.
Eegeesiak said Dec. 13 that she is pleased the turn-out in Monday’s election had increased to 32 per cent from the 28 per cent turnout recorded in QIA’s last election in 2009.
Eegeesiak ran strongly in Pond Inlet, Cape Dorset and Iqaluit (where she took 53 per cent of the vote.)
“Pond Inlet, Cape Dorset and Iqaluit came through for me,” Eeegeesiak said.
Voters in Igloolik, the home community of Qulaut and Quassa split their support between Quassa, who received 103 votes, and Qulaut, who received 201 votes.
During her new mandate, Eegeesiak said she will keep “hammering out what I have been doing for the last two years.”
That includes plans to move ahead with the recommendations for QIA actions suggested by the 2010 Qikiqtani Truth Commission report.
Eegeesiak also plans to sign an Inuit impact benefit agreement with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. on the Mary River iron mine early in 2012, a deal she said will put a focus on “Inuit training, Inuit employment and Inuit businesses.”
In Iqaluit, Simon Nattaq becomes the new community director, winning 41 per cent, or 242 votes. Nattaq beat Adamee Itorcheak, who received 37 per cent of the vote, or 222 votes, and Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern, who received 22 per cent, or 132 votes
The following candidates were also elected as community representatives:
• Jerry Natanine for Clyde River;
• Abraham Qammaniq for Hall Beach;
• Mikidjuk Lyta for Kimmirut;
• Philip Paneak for Pond Inlet;
• Peter Kattuk for Sanikiluaq,; and
• John Illupalik for Igloolik.