Three Iqaluit city councillors to run again in Oct. 15 election
Kilabuk, Stevenson and Akumalik want to stay on city council
Three current city councillors have opened up about their desire to serve another term on Iqaluit city council.
Long serving councillor and former Iqaluit mayor Jimmy Kilabuk, and two newer councillors, Romeyn Stevenson and Joanasie Akumalik, have thrown their hat into the ring for city council.
In an email interview with Nunatsiaq News Aug. 27, Stevenson said his job’s not done as a councillor.
“I have been very involved in the process of redesigning and upgrading the recreation facilities of the city and I want to see that through to the end,” Stevenson said, adding he enjoys doing municipal politics on top of his job as vice-principal at Inuksuk High School.
Stevenson was narrowly voted on to council in 2009 after a recount put him four votes ahead of David Alexander.
There are two more issues Stevenson said he wants to work on in the future.
“I firmly believe that the small watercraft infrastructure is lacking and that we need to improve it. Boat owners need to be able to put their boats in the water without breaking their trailers and trucks, and garbage needs to be removed from the beach area,” he said.
Stevenson also said waste management is an important issue, and that he’s working on improving the current system to a “modern system of waste management.”
Akumalik, one of the newest councillors, having been elected in the 2010 by-election, beat out Stephen Mansell and Ed Devries by gaining just over 60 per cent of the vote for council.
“I was elected on a by-election. So now I am more aware of what’s going on, I want to give it a shot again,” Akumalik said. His previous political experience includes serving as mayor of Arctic Bay.
And like Stevenson, he wants to see projects like the aquatic centre go ahead and progress on a new cemetery site.
Akumalik said he thinks the current council is a good fit, with many constructive arguments going on at city council.
There’s a good mix of Inuit and non-Inuit, but he stressed that he wants a bilingual mayor to take over from outgoing mayor Madeleine Redfern.
“I’d like to see more or as much communication from the individual to the council people, rather than just hearing it from the mayor. I’d like to see more and understand what’s going on,” he said.
Mayor Redfern said it’s a incredibly busy job, and that she works about eight hours a day, seven days a week.
“Every person has their own strength and their own priorities. My hope is that we do have a good successor who continues to have a good working relationship with the council,” Redfern said at a workshop for women who are looking at getting into politics on Sept. 6.
As for Jimmy Kilabuk, he said he just wants people to step up and run for mayor or council.
“Come on people, run for councillor. It can be anyone. If you [have] lived in Iqaluit the last three or four years, you [should] try.”
Nominations for council, mayor, and all school body positions close 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10.
Current councillor Stephen Mansell, and former councillors Glenn Williams, Grant Hipfner and David Alexander have said they do not wish to run this time around.