Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit January 09, 2013 - 10:37 am

Iqaluit city councillors want action against arson

“We need to tell these people to stop starting fires. I think we need to say it bluntly to our residents”

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Shortly after daybreak on the morning of Feb. 27, 2012, Iqaluit firefighters work to contain a fire that destroyed 22 housing units at Creekside Village. Investigators called the fire “suspicious,” but no one has been charged with arson in connection with it. (FILE PHOTO)
Shortly after daybreak on the morning of Feb. 27, 2012, Iqaluit firefighters work to contain a fire that destroyed 22 housing units at Creekside Village. Investigators called the fire “suspicious,” but no one has been charged with arson in connection with it. (FILE PHOTO)

Some city councillors are worried about arson in Iqaluit, city council heard at a meeting held at Abe Okpik Hall in Apex Jan. 8.

In a councillor’s statement, Mary Wilman suggested to Mayor John Graham that the city be made more aware of arson in the community.

“In Iqaluit, arson has been happening and it’s not good. We have a big shortage of housing in Iqaluit, but there are arsonists and we have to start getting concerned about this,” she said. 

The Iqaluit fire department works very hard during those emergencies, she said.

“We need to tell these people to stop starting fires, I think we need to say it bluntly to our residents that it’s a very serious issue,” Wilman said.

Coun. Terry Dobbin agreed that the latest rash of fires in Iqaluit needed attention in his statement to council.

He listed “the fire deemed suspicious at White Row, building 2245 which is Crosswinds, building 2455 in Tundra Valley this year, White Row last year that killed two residents, the Road to Nowhere fire that completely destroyed a 30 unit apartment building in March 2011.”

The recent Jan. 5 fire in a rowhouse unit at Creekside Village in Iqaluit is under investigation for being suspicious.

This comes after two early morning fires in late December that left some families homeless.

The city should initiate “some sort of a curfew,” for youth, Dobbin said.

Dobbin said he didn’t know if it was possible, but suggested the curfew be enforced by bylaw and the RCMP.

“Young kids should be home on a school night in the winter months, they should be home at around 11 o’ clock, they shouldn’t be around the streets, midnight, 1 o’ clock in the morning, these kids are 12, 13 years old, we’ve got to do something about that,” Dobbin said.

There are many communities in other parts of Canada that enforce such a curfew, he said.

“I don’t know if it’s possible for the City of Iqaluit to initiate that and how we would go about it, but I would like to see something to that effect,” Dobbin said.

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