Nunatsiaq Online
LETTERS: Nunavut July 08, 2014 - 3:45 pm

Is the City of Iqaluit leaderless and floundering?


Sadly, the City of Iqaluit, Canada’s newest capital city is leaderless. This vital community continues to flounder from crisis to crisis.

Vast sums of money are being spent on a super swimming pool that will cost more than $6,000 per day for another 22 years at five per cent interest, which does not include operating costs.

This massive structure currently under construction is situated on land that may not be able to withstand the weight of all that water. It could very well develop problems, like so the so-called Arctic Winter Games arena, requiring vast sums of money to maintain it after it began to sink into the tundra.

The Iqaluit dump, which has self-ignited, is now filling the air with foul-smelling smoke. The original plan that was put forth by Mr. Paul Crowley was an idea that met with approval by the local council at the time. However, the plan did not present an alternative.

Consequently, it is now a far worse hazard to the health of the people than it was before the change was made.

It is hard to understand why the fire department is using expensive treated water to try to extinguish the flames. Water that is produced in a very sophisticated treatment plant costs about three cents a gallon.

It should be noted that some years ago, the water lake ran dry. The lake suddenly dried up. Huge pumps were flown into town and they were used to move water about in the current lake.

Much of the loss was caused by the high number of leaks in the supply system. The dump is sitting within a few dozen feet of Frobisher Bay, which has an inexhaustible supply of water. A pump and a few feet of hose could pour millions of gallons of water onto the smoldering mess each day.

I had the misfortune the other day of driving to Apex. The road is a tragic mess of potholes and dangerous bumps, which cause severe damage to vehicles and in particular, the city’s own vehicles.

The solution is easy. Remove the surface. It is nothing more than a patchwork mess of cold patch holes and asphalt. Scrape the surface clean. The public works department of Iqaluit can do it themselves, after all they probably have more heavy equipment than the cities of Montreal and Toronto combined. The surface can then be graded daily.

There will be a need for dust control. We have a huge supply of salt water. In Apex, a daily soak will solve that problem until the city is able to resolve the issue in the future with a well-constructed road.

One alternative is to use the original plan, which was to build a road along the beach area where there is an old trail. It’s shorter and less hazardous. It would allow better use of the hillsides and afford construction of homes that will be able to enjoy a spectacular view of the bay.

Bryan Pearson

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(25) Comments:

#1. Posted by Mr. T on July 08, 2014

I love Bryan’s letters to the editor

#2. Posted by dang. on July 08, 2014

When I seen the title of this article, I couldn’t wait to read it. I was hoping it was going to be bashing the current administration publicly as it should be. My anxiousness for this suddenly turned to disappointment as sit here doing nothing but scrolling Facebook for the next arcticle. Patiently waiting.

#3. Posted by monty sling on July 08, 2014

come on people; there’s life other than iqaluit and city bashing. get a life, leaderless indeed; one man? road through the shore would be invisible to some houses on the existing road and less noise, but how much would that cost? more fleecing of the government(s)? I though your city was (or damn near to it) broke? narcissistic idea, it’s even comical to read.

#4. Posted by Steve L. on July 08, 2014

In the good old days The Terrified Government(TM) blocked lots of Council’s actions (remember the 70’s election called off because no Inuk ran) Now as Capital, money must be spent or wasted depending on your view.

Brian is right, apply Occam’s razor, gravel is easier to maintain during the times its visible through the snow.  And have a wind powered dump pump, there is lots of hot air available up the road.

#5. Posted by Ora on July 08, 2014

A seer/psychic told me, before moving to Iqaluit that there was something terribly wrong with the road system that they were to narrow, too dangerous and no proper guards at steep corners or cliffs.

She saw all that in her mind from Winnipeg.

I come up here and there it all is, just like she said - poor, thin, badly-constructed infrastructure that could not have handled the population traffic back in ‘99, never mind now as it has grown.

Question:  if a psychic can see this from Winnipeg, when will our city planners and councillors see it?

#6. Posted by jroberts on July 08, 2014

what do people expect? Look where we are. Look at the Territorial revenues. Look at municipal revenues. Look at the transient workforce. I really don’t get what people are complaining about. Yes, there is a dump fire. Do you think its the first one that’s ever occurred. Yes, there building a swimming pool. Don’t people think we need to have infrastructure to attract people to work here? Come on, this is sort of ridiculous.

#7. Posted by Romeyn on July 09, 2014

Bryan, I’m not sure what you mean. Though the former mayor Graham has resigned, there has been consistent and conscientious leadership from deputy mayor Wilman in his absence.  Currently I am the acting mayor, is there something I have not done that you would like to see?  I’m not sure why you have insinuated that the pool will sink, every single pile went into bedrock. Is the bedrock sinking too? Also, all discussions so far have been about NOT using drinking water to extinguish the landfill fire, are you claiming otherwise?  Your other suggestion, too remove the hard surface on the road to Apex has been discussed and is still considered a viable option,but are you really suggesting we ought to build a new road to Apex along the Apex Trail?  This seems unlikely.  If you would like to discuss City issues please feel free to contact me at and we could in a more in depth manner.

#8. Posted by Just Me on July 09, 2014

I call Bryan for mayor. You havemy vote.

#9. Posted by assu on July 09, 2014

The city of Iqaluit and it’s council seriously needs a lesson in public relations. An acting mayor, or someone purporting to be him (we really can’t be sure it’s him) responding in anonymous comments section it idiocy.

For the record, I’ve considered the council leaderless for many years now. It’s a gong show.

#10. Posted by Huh? on July 09, 2014

Oh wow the king has spoken - Romeyn what did your council do after the 2010 fire?

What have you done in your 6 years?

P.S Igalaaq is garbage now

#11. Posted by earth3rd on July 09, 2014

Get a pump and start pumping water on it, or get used to breathing it.

#12. Posted by alzheimer on July 09, 2014

Do you remenber the 1970 -1980 etc we had a garbage dump
at aprox same spot and it would burn continuously. Smoke was also coming to town but nobody was complaining about it. Just let it burn out.

#13. Posted by bob gabuna on July 09, 2014

I wonder if the idea of forming an advisory body comprised of living past chief magistrates of Iqaluit would be helpful in pooling past and present wisdom in city governance?

#14. Posted by The Savage Noble on July 09, 2014

Romeyn you should know better.

What’s wrong with a salt water pump by the way?

What is the issue? All the toxins flowing into the bay?

What about the toxins flowing in the air in town?

#15. Posted by armchair expert on July 10, 2014

For all the people posting their “armchair expert” opinions on here on how to put the dump fire out..

They’ve all been answered already

I don’t know how people here who probably have no educational or professional background in dealing with this sort of thing, think their opinions are somehow better than people who have 20+ years of experience.

#16. Posted by No Pleasing on July 10, 2014

There’s just no pleasing people in Iqaluit. People talk about preserving the land and afraid of oil spills, etc. But then a dump ignites and then throw away environmental safety for a dumb option in turning off the dump fire. If that option is taken then hope you like your fish and seal meat with bad chemicals in their meat.

#17. Posted by Long Term Resident on July 10, 2014

#7 Mr. Acting Mayor. If this is in fact your written submission to this comment section we have a problem. Your comment would certainly leave the residents of Iqaluit with a bad taste of smoke in there mouths. The work of city council including the work of the Mayor should be done as a team. If everyone like yourself, and Mr. Dobbin would stop grandstanding and focus and working on the issues rather than patting each other on the back things might advance. You have been Acting Mayor for how long and your comment suggest that you yourself are doing everything. There is no I in term Mr. Perfect, clean your own corner before trying to clean the city. Look at the sewer pit of a school you run. You should be ashamed to brag. If Pearson was Inuk like yourself he would be a respected Elder.

#18. Posted by all for the pool on July 10, 2014

Romyne is clearly a supporter of the forty million dollar pool. I will keep that in mind next time there is an election.

Like #8 said, Bryan Pearson for mayor.

Whether you support the pool or not, I think most of us can agree that the city is in a crisis situation. No mayor, a raging toxic dump fire, crumbling roads, crumbling utilidor, crumbling city hall, garbage everywhere, sinking arena, overcrowding leading to kids being run over on the streets…..

#19. Posted by Jean Chretien on July 10, 2014

@7 The comments section on this website is terribly behind in terms of technology.  I would not believe “anyone” is who they say they is when they post here. I could use the mayor’s, any elected Councillor’s, or any email address I want when posting here. There’s no verification done. I can even use a totally different email address and post as someone else.  Case in my point, my post here.

I think part of it has to do with the limited internet infrastructure in the North.  A verification process might chew up bandwidth that’s already pretty expensive to begin with.

If you believe everything you read in the comments section here…then I have a wonderful opportunity in Nigeria that I’d like to discuss with you sometime.

#20. Posted by eskimo joe on July 11, 2014

#18, why do you keep popping for the old dogs, this guys is washed up like the old leaders. with your though of electing this guy tells us clearly he still hates the though the buildings crouching on his homestead. the idea of changing the road for his own peace of mind is just selfish, too much and no damn care for anyone.

#21. Posted by Cute.. on July 11, 2014

I think Its funny that you are all so quick to bash one another. The real problem with the community we ALL call home is that we no longer know the meaning of working together. You all have these out standing thoughts but wouldnt dare say them out loud until you have a screen to hide behind. Give your thoughts to Mr.Stevenson Personaly if you think he is doing such a poor job, He is a human I know for a fact he will listen and give you feed back.

As for the dump and the road, The biggest concern about the dump is safety is it not ? Not only safety to the community but to our land.. How is ripping up a hill and creating a road on our biggest tourest attraction going to help our community at all? Its not and never will! At this point it sounds as if Brain just doesnt like cars driving by his house.

we lived off the land for how many years?? I think we can dodge a Few pot holes. Smarten up people.

#22. Posted by cute#2 ,,, Another thought on July 11, 2014

And for the fact of the swimming pool, With our high rates of children being killed and very close to death playing out on the roads and our EXTREMELY high suicuide rates we need something to get kids and youth involved in the commuinty and give them something to do. Gross that you would all rather spend money that keeps children off the streets and out of gangs on a stupid road GET REAL. Step back and look at the example your setting! Im 17 and I have a better head on my shoulders then half of you.

#23. Posted by concerned on July 17, 2014

FYI—Dioxins and furans can cause a number of
health effects. The most well known member
of the dioxins/furans family is 2,3,7,8 TCDD.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has said that it is likely to be a cancer
causing substance to humans. In addition,
people exposed to dioxins and furans have
experienced changes in hormone levels. High
doses of dioxin have caused a skin diseased
called chloracne. Animal studies show that
animals exposed to dioxins and furans
experienced changes in their hormone
systems, changes in the development of the
fetus, decreased ability to reproduce and
suppressed immune system.

Fr more information on dioxins and furans:

#24. Posted by LMAO on July 17, 2014

I agree with #22, too many kids getting hurt and getting in the middle of those thugs that hang out/walk around the streets are getting to our young ones and have a very bad influence on them, I am a mother of a teenager and that pool will help him get away from those guys that prey on young teenagers that get them into trouble. I can’t wait until the doors open to that dreamy facility next year and I know the preteens won’t be easy prey on those bums/thugs that take advantage of teenagers that have no where to go to have fun/that have abusive fathers etc…...and there are so many young kids out there. Nallina kids, precious and they are our future. Lets think about them. oh and dumpacano sick man. they even named it. and they said let the mutherf(@!er burn.

#25. Posted by Northerner on July 22, 2014

Just because you get a pool will not stop the thugs In bullying the younger ones…it will just happen at the pool..

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