Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut January 15, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Iqaluit councillor confirms resignation, effective Feb. 12

Morrissey to leave for new opportunity; Dobbin highlights another for the city

PETER VARGA
As expected, Mark Morrissey announced his resignation from Iqaluit City Council, effective Feb. 12, at a regular meeting Jan. 14. (PHOTO BY PETER VARGA)
As expected, Mark Morrissey announced his resignation from Iqaluit City Council, effective Feb. 12, at a regular meeting Jan. 14. (PHOTO BY PETER VARGA)

Iqaluit city council will have an empty seat to fill by the end of February, when Mark Morrissey leaves his spot for new opportunities outside the territory.

Morrissey told Nunatsiaq News about his resignation earlier this month.

And at council’s first regular meeting Jan. 14, he confirmed his decision in a brief announcement, saying he’s leaving council after Feb. 11, the date of his last council meeting.

“As I’ve already stated publicly, an opportunity has come up for me professionally that I can’t say no to,” said Morrissey, who has served as a city councillor since October of 2012.

Morrissey said, at the start of the new year, that he will move to Fort Saskatchewan, near Edmonton, to take a job as that city’s director of economic development.

The opportunity also marks his departure from his day job as executive director of the Nunavut Economic Developers Association.

“It’s an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” he said. “Unfortunately, opportunity rarely calls ahead to ask when is a good time to knock.

“I’m going to miss my time here with the council and I’m going to miss my colleagues around the table, but I have every confidence that this council can see a lot of work done in the next two years.”

Council has yet to decide how they will fill Morrissey’s seat.

Council’s most recent member, Noah Papatsie, earned his spot in a by-election this past Oct. 28, held in conjunction with the territorial election to save money.

Papatsie slipped past second-place finisher Stephen Mansell in that decision, by just 20 votes.

“Are we allowed to say that we don’t accept your resignation?” Mayor John Graham said, drawing laughs from the council room.

“You could, but you’re going to have an empty seat for a while,” Morrissey replied.

The mayor and fellow councillors thanked Morrissey for his work.

“A lot of people don’t appreciate how much time is spent here, with all the arguments back and forth,” said Coun. Kenny Bell. “I appreciate that you came here prepared for every single meeting. You’re definitely going to be leaving a hole at this table.”

As one member leaves for new opportunities, Coun. Terry Dobbin highlighted another opportunity that the territorial capital should grab hold of for 2014, as a federal election looms on the horizon.

Dobbin pointed out that the City of Iqaluit will send a delegation to the annual Northern Lights trade shown in Ottawa, Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, which showcases business opportunities in Canada’s eastern Arctic.

“I think it will be a prime opportunity to have a meeting with the MP for Nunavut, Leona Aglukkaq, and try to get some of that $400 million earmarked for Nunavut in the Building Canada Fund,” Dobbin said.

“Next year is an election year, so the timing might be right to have a meeting with the minister,” he added. “Anything is possible when a government changes hands.”

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