Noah Papatsie wants a better informed Iqaluit
“Vote for change. Challenges are not barriers”
Iqaluit mayoral candidate Noah Ooloonie Papatsie’s platform is simple: he wants the community to be informed about the ins and outs of municipal affairs.
A more informed community means people can and will figure out what’s best for the community, he said.
“The best way to get together is to form a meeting, like all the companies or organizations… and talk about what needs to be done and what not,” Papatsie told Nunatsiaq News.
“They used to do that before and I’m not sure that they’re doing that anymore,” he said.
Informing and connecting to people is Papatsie’s specialty. He started working for the Inuit Broadcasting Corp. in 1989, and became an executive producer in 2001.
Before that, Papatsie was a hunter. His passion was feeding people and connecting to the community.
But his life changed in 2005 when Papatsie lost his eyesight in a work-related incident.
From then on, Papatsie served as a board member and treasurer at the Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society.
With Papatsie’s guidance, the society has made strides in creating a committee designed to make sure all new structures in Iqaluit are accessible.
He said being blind would not hinder him if he were to become the next mayor of Iqaluit. He said he’s adapted to being blind for seven years and doesn’t see it as a problem.
If Papatsie is elected, he said he would give the disabled a bigger voice, but that wouldn’t be his complete focus.
“Everything needs to be put on the table. Like development, the community, the roads, the housing, vandalism, criminals. All these need to be put forth to make a better community,” Papatsie said.
But Papatsie is on the fence about the aquatic centre.
“Now I’m in the middle. It’s a great idea, yes, but maybe if both sides in all areas [should] get together to get [the] solution for paying for it,” Papatsie said, adding that it shouldn’t just be ratepayers with a right to voting in the borrowing referendum, but all members of the community.
But if Papatsie is elected, he foresees an Iqaluit with “less stress” and “less violence.” Iqaluit would become safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly as well.
He says this will be the result of open communication with all residents.
And being able to communicate properly with the community is also a major concern to Papatsie. He is the only Inuk running in the municipal election, and the only candidate who speaks Inuktitut.
“It’s always important to know the languages to talk to the people, to understand the people, what the needs are. It’s important,” he said.
Papatsie’s message is: Vote for your local Inuk.
“Vote for change. Challenges are not barriers. This is your community, your place, everyone come out and have your say.”
Under a bylaw amendment passed earlier this year, the total pay package for the mayor of Iqaluit will rise from $70,000 to $109,010.22 after the Oct. 15 election.