Nunavut election 2013: new rules, new constituencies
Facebook, Twitter, websites covered by strict broadcasting rules
Say good-bye to Nunavut’s third legislative assembly.
That body will dissolve this Sunday, Sept. 22. The next day, the campaign period begins for a territorial election that features 22 constituencies, many of them new, to be held Oct. 28.
That’s not all. The revised Nunavut Election Act contains new rules that affect candidates and voters alike, especially those who use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other types of social media.
Sandy Kusugak, Nunavut’s chief electoral officer, said this week that she and the other two staff members at Elections Nunavut are ready to go.
They’ve hired and trained returning officers and assistant returning officers for all 22 Nunavut constituencies and filled their website with information for voters and candidates. That includes guides, forms and maps.
“What I’d like to say is how proud I am of our staff, Hilary Makpah and Jocelyn Merritt. They’ve really done a tremendous amount of work,” Kusugak told Nunatsiaq News Sept. 17 while on a visit to Iqaluit.
Kusugak also pointed out some new rules that voters and candidates ought to be aware of:
• persons living outside Nunavut and corporations not located in Nunavut may not campaign for or against a candidate;
• the above rule makes an exception for general statements on public policy, “merely declaring support for a candidate” or displaying campaign material “if done in good faith and not for any purpose related to the manipulation or oppression of a voter;”
• a “broadcast” includes things said on the internet, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs and websites;
• no campaign messages may be broadcast on television, radio or posted on the internet, including Facebook, Twitter or websites, on election day or the day before the election;
• candidates must not say things about other candidates that involve lies, slander, libel and “insults:”
• an Election Act amendment provides that allegations of Election Act breaches be taken to the RCMP.
And here are some key dates:
• Sept. 23: election period starts, candidates may start filing declaration forms and voters may request mail-in ballots;
• Sept. 27, 2:00 p.m. local time: deadline for filing of candidate declarations;
• Oct. 8: the last day when you can register your name on the voters list, or if your name is already listed, make changes to the information;
• Oct. 14: the first day you can vote in advance at the returning officer’s office, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. local time;
Oct. 24: the last time you can vote in advance at the returning officer’s office, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. local time;
• Oct. 28: election day.
For detailed information for voters and candidates, including guides, manuals and forms, go to the Elections Nunavut website.
One big change that voters in all regions of Nunavut will see is a new electoral map dividing the territory’s population into 22 constituencies.
That affects many voters living in Iqaluit, Igloolik, Hall Beach, Arviat, Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour, Kugaaruk, Repulse Bay, and Gjoa Haven.
For detailed information on the constituencies and their boundaries, including downloadable maps, go to this section of the Elections Nunavut website to find the directory that holds Nunavut’s new constituency maps.
Here are the constituencies where the electoral map has changed:
• Iqaluit-Manirajak: This seat includes all of Lower Base below Queen Elizabeth Way, all the residential areas off each side of Federal Road and Airport Road, and the Plateau subdivision.
• Iqaluit-Sinaa: This seat takes in the 600s area above Queen Elizabeth Way, the Astro Hill area, Creekside Village, and all the residential neighbourhoods lying below Happy Valley between the ring road and the graveyard.
• Iqaluit-Tasiluk: This new seat includes the Road to Nowhere subdivision, part of the Lake subdivision, Happy Valley, and residences on each side of the Apex Road between the hospital intersection and the Northern convenience store on Apex Road. It includes all the 2200s, except for building 2226. It does not include the 2700s area behind Apex Road.
• Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu: As the same suggests, this seat includes Apex, as well as the Tundra Valley and Tundra Ridge subdivisons, including all 2700s, the 2600s, the 2500s, 2600s and building 2226.
(Note: the names for Iqaluit’s new constituencies, as submitted by Iqaluit City Council in July 2011, first appeared in Roman orthography as Niaqunnguuti, Sinaaa, Tasirluq and Manirajaaq. We have used the Roman spellings found on the Elections Nunavut map.)
Igloolik and Hall Beach
• Aggu: This new seat comprises a big area in the northerly end of Igloolik. It’s divided from the Amittuq constituency by a boundary line that starts in front of house 54, then runs in front of houses 226 and 227. Further along, the line curves west in front of house 212, then turns south and leads out to the end of the hamlet’s built-up area.
• Amittuq: this seat is made up of Hall Beach, plus the southern end of Igloolik that is not part of Aggu.
Arviat and Whale Cove
• Arviat South: This new seat comprises all of Arviat south of a line that runs down the middle of 6th Street for its entire length, and includes residences on the south side of 6th Street.
• Arviat North-Whale Cove: This seat takes in Whale Cove, plus all of Arviat north of 6th Street, including the north side of 6th Street.
• Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet: This includes all of Chesterfield Inlet plus the northern end of Rankin Inlet, above a boundary line that follows Inuulik Street, then Arvinggak Street until it takes a right turn at Sivulliq Avenue at the Sakku building. At the Arctic College campus building it turns again, then heads along Nappiq Street.
• Rankin Inlet South: This new seat takes in all of Rankin Inlet below the boundary dividing it from Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet.
Repulse Bay and Coral Harbour
• Aivilik: this new seat comprises all of Repulse Bay and all of Coral Harbour.
Kugaaruk and Taloyoak
• Netsilik: This new seat comprises all of Kugaaruk and Taloyoak.
• Gjoa Haven: The community is now a standalone constituency.