Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 02, 2012 - 7:43 am

Municipal candidates vow to clean up Iqaluit, build more infrastructure

Mayors, council candidates pitch ideas at Oct. 1 all candidates meeting

DAVID MURPHY
Three candidates running for the mayor in Iqaluit speak Oct. 1 at an all-candidates meeting in the Arctic Winter Games area, which drew about 50 voter. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)
Three candidates running for the mayor in Iqaluit speak Oct. 1 at an all-candidates meeting in the Arctic Winter Games area, which drew about 50 voter. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

(updated 12:25 p.m.)

About 50 Iqaluit voters came to hear Iqaluit’s three mayoral and 10 council candidates at an Oct. 1 at an all candidates meeting held inside the Arctic Winter Games arena.

Environmental topics such as Iqaluit’s stinky sewage lagoon, the overflowing landfill site, and metal scraps littered around town dominated much of the talk

“Let’s get back to basics. Iqaluit is not really a clean city. Scrap metal is everywhere, the landfill is a mess. And the government is cleaning up Cape Dyer, the DEW line site,” said Terry Dobbin, who’s vying for a spot on council, said in his opening remarks. “Why aren’t they pumping in dollars to clean up Iqaluit?”

“We do need infrastructure in a sense, and waste management proposals. Recycle the metals. And then whatever is left, that can be treated,” said Ranbir Hundal, another candidate for on of eight council spots.

“Let’s reinstate the [recycling] program. When it was around, it was reducing 30 per cent of waste in the landfill. Imagine if that garbage mountain were 30 per cent smaller. We need to reduce that now to prevent difficulties down the road,” said Lewis Falkiner Mackay, 20, the youngest candidate for an elected city position.

As for the potential mayors, infrastructure dominated the talks.

“Your new council and new mayor’s duty is to harness meeting basic infrastructure needs that we all deserve,” Alan Hayward said. “Strong councils, committees, elders, youth — all are founding partners to infrastructure. We are all up for challenge.”

“I have skills sets in the private and public sector, and feel I can lead the community in the next few years,” John Graham said. “We will make a decision on the garbage dump, we will decide on the cemetery. We will give tools to provide road management.”

“Roads have to be properly looked after and improved. We need to find solutions, not just band aid solutions,” Noah Papatsie said.

The issue of a pay raise for the mayor also sparked some interest, with the mayor’s salary set to jump from $70,000 to $109,010.22 after the election.

Hayward committed to donate the $39,000 in extra salary to the Nunavut food bank, unless he’s successful in changing the bylaw amendment that will see the mayor’s salary rise.

Graham followed up, saying he worked for $2.75 an hour at the Hudson’s Bay Co. and that money has never been a motivation for him to run. He is undecided where he would donate the extra cash.

“Finances are always very important,” Papatsie said. “We would have to find out what solutions there are.”

Other issues that arose during the public’s question period included the desire for a treatment centre in Iqaluit as opposed to more RCMP members, the aquatic centre on which Iqaluit ratepayers will vote on Oct. 15, the need for more streetlights, and barriers for businesses in Iqaluit.

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