Noah Papatsie wins vacant council seat in close by-election
Papatsie earns council position with 31 per cent of ballots cast
Iqaluit voters elected their eighth city councillor Oct. 28, choosing Noah Papatsie to fill a seat left vacant by the late Jimmy Kilabuk this past April.
Papatsie won in what proved to be a close race, edging second-place finisher Stephen Mansell by just 384 to 364 votes, Iqaluit’s returning officer Kirt Ejesiak reported.
The four-way race saw the other two candidates finish not far behind, with Lewis Falkiner MacKay getting 250 votes with 243 for Doug Cox.
“Wow, this is totally surprising to me,” Papatsie shouted with joy when Nunatsiaq News broke the news to him that he had won, shortly after results were announced at 8:30 p.m.
Friends and family could be heard cheering when he received the call.
“I’m pretty speechless, I’m pretty happy,” he said. “I had a lot of great help, and wow – it’s great to hear.”
Asked what his first step would be, Papatsie said “just to celebrate the moment, relax, and then go on with the plans I had.”
Paptasie, 44, ran for mayor in the last city election, October 2012, and admitted recently that probably overreached himself.
The lifelong Iqaluit resident lost his vision in a work-related accident almost 10 years ago while working for the Inuit Broadcasting Corp.
Papatsie has been treasurer of the Nunavut Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society as a volunteer for the past six years.
He previously told Nunatsiaq News that he looked forward to carrying on with the work of Kilabuk, as well as support greater rights for pedestrians, homeowners, disabled residents of the city and homeless people.
Second-place finisher Stephen Mansell, who served on council from 2010 to 2012, wished Papatsie congratulations on Facebook.
Iqaluit city elections also included selections for four school board members, two each for the Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut and the Iqaluit District Education Authority.
Catherine Hoyt and Jamessee Moulton won by solid margins of 720 and 711 votes each, respectively, for positions with the DEA.
Luc Brisebois and Michel Potvin earned positions with 41 and 35 votes respectively.