Ten candidates seek eight seats on Iqaluit City Council
Who's running for Iqaluit council on Oct. 15?
Ten candidates are contesting the Oct. 15 Iqaluit municipal election, when voters will be asked to choose eight city councillors and a mayor.
On the council ballot, Iqaluit electors may vote for as few as one or as many as eight council candidates, but not more than eight.
The 10 council candidates are:
A community liaison officer at Qikiqtani Inuit Association. Akumalik is a former mayor of Arctic Bay who is running for his second term on Iqaluit City Council. His concerns include the cemetery, the dump, and revitalizing the Iqaluit Chamber of Commerce. He said he’s a “good two-way communicator” who can work with Nunavut MLAs. Akumalik also understands Inuktitut and English. “In my term as councillor for the city I didn’t raise taxes. And I do support the aquatic centre.” He said $50 from each of his honorarium cheques from the city goes towards the aquatic centre fund.
Born in the Northwest Territories, Bell, 32, has lived in Iqaluit since the age of six. He went through the education system in Iqaluit and is currently working for the Nunavut Liquor Commission. Bell said he’s worried about stray and aggressive dogs in the city and also wants to see more transparency in city council. “I want council to be a little more open with the public, and just to work a bit better together and provide better services,” Bell said. “As a long term resident I truly believe that I care about Iqaluit and that I’m doing it for the betterment of Iqaluit.”
An Iqaluit resident since 1999, Dobbin, 51, branch manager at Nunavut News North, has seen many issues arise within the city. He thinks council is being pulled in too many directions in terms of infrastructure development. If elected, he would push to see more decisions made, for example, on issues like the cemetery and the landfill site. “It’s one issue after another that doesn’t get solved and we keep moving on to other issues,” Dobbin said. Among his ideas: to create an incubator mall in Iqaluit to “increase the tax base in Iqaluit, which would make the rent for small businesses a lot more affordable.”
Hundal said he’s committed to making Iqaluit “safe, beautiful and famous” in his publicly distributed leaflet. Iqaluit “can look as beautiful as any other capital of Canada,” Hundal said. But that means dealing with infrastructure issues like the roads, as well as garbage disposal, the water supply, and planned city subdivivisions. Hundal says he has a background in “science needed to deal with city issue[s] of yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Hundal could not be reached for an interview with Nunatsiaq News before this article was published.
Kilabuk, 70, a former mayor of Iqaluit, is running for his third term as councillor. Kilabuk has worked as a guard at Baffin Correctional Centre and as a firefighter. He said Iqaluit needs another water supply besides Lake Geraldine, a landfill, better road conditions, and a bridge across the Sylvia Grinnell River, which could be used in case of a disaster. He feels people should elect him because he’s the only councillor born and raised in Iqaluit. Also, he’s the oldest of the incumbent councillors, and wants Iqalungmiut to see him as a role model.
Lewis Falkiner MacKay:
MacKay, 20, works for the Government of Nunavut in economic development policy, “developing briefings and option papers to help inform territorial level decision-making.” MacKay volunteers his time at the Piviniit Thrift Store as a board member. MacKay wants to see more transparency at council and vows to “timely and proactively release information, to allow citizens to hold their council responsible.” He also wants a review of the business licensing process. And reinstating the beverage container recycling program and developing a city-run composting program is the “next step in developing a modern city is responsible waste management.”
Morrissey, the executive director of the Nunavut Economic Developers Association, is the self-proclaimed “new kid on the block,” having lived in Iqaluit for less than five years. But Morrissey is making Iqaluit home and he wants “to make Iqaluit a great place to live, work and play not only for me and my family, but for everyone’s family.” His goal as councillor would be to adopt an easier solution to business licensing, and to make the role of the city’s economic development officer more effective to “free up the EDO to focus on other things.”
A former deputy mayor who has been involved with city council off and on since 1994, Nattaq is a former janitor at Inuksuk High School. He received the third-highest vote count in the last municipal election in 2008 with 709 (tied with Jimmy Kilabuk). Nattaq is fluent in Inuktitut. Nattaq could not be reached for an interview with Nunatsiaq News before this article was published.
Mary Ekho Wilman:
Wilman, 63, who is running for her second term on city council, says she’s now “much more familiar with municipal issues and government.” Wilman had lived in Iqaluit since 1957 and has worked at the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut for more than 25 years. Issues that Wilman sees as a problem include aging infrastructure. She also wants to “improve our communications between council and the Iqaluit residents. I’m very aware of the needs and where we’re heading towards. I really value the community having a buy-in of the new development,” she said.
• Romeyn Stevenson:
Stevenson, 38, has lived in Iqaluit since 1999, where he has served as vice-principal at Inuksuk High School for the past five years. This is Stevenson’s second time running for council. One of the strongest voices behind the proposed $40-million aquatic centre, he says he’s dedicated to building Iqaluit’s reputation, and making the city a better place to live. “That covers everything in terms of new infrastructure, the pool, the waterfront, and beautification.” He said he would continue to make tangible changes, such as what he’s done with the waterfront development fund and the aquatic centre. “I have a vision for making Iqaluit a better place.”