Iqaluit city council settles on pool project committee

Councillors decide to lead aquatic centre project


Iqaluit city councillors voted unanimously at their Feb. 27 council meeting to create an internal committee to deal with the city’s aquatic centre project.

That’s in addition to a working group — including city staff, the mayor, Coun. Romeyn Stevenson and the recreation committee chair — who will deal with the same project.

There was some debate over the issue in council chambers, Coun. Kenny Bell said.

“Some councillors say that council can’t lead the project but believe city staff with no expertise in the building field can?” he told Nunatsiaq News after the meeting.

The decision to strike a council committee follows a move during a previous city council meeting where the idea of a committee was shot down and the request for decision to create an aquatic centre building committee for the city was defeated.

“Some councillors feel like we should hurry the project up for some reason, I for one want to ensure we do it right. I don’t think it should be rushed,” he said. “There should only be a working group that reports to council.”

Bell said he’s opposed to the first suggestion for a working group, because city administrators wanted voting powers that would enable them to make recommendations to city council on the project.

“I don’t think that people with the mandate to build the aquatic center should have voting power on it,” he said. “Admin should have just brought forth a working group which I would have supported, but could not support a committee with a staff vote.”

Also on Feb. 26: city councillors approved sending Mayor John Graham and a city representative to a Paris air show with the goal of attracting aerospace industries and firms to choose Iqaluit as their cold weather testing location.

Cold weather testing could bring in about $500,000 to the economy from every visit to test – from food, accommodations, fuel, sales and ground service.

Graham did not immediately respond to a request for comment prior to the deadline for this story.

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