John Graham sweeps to victory in Iqaluit

“I’m just having a hard time grasping those very impressive numbers.”


John Graham, the former manager of the Iqaluit airport, won big Oct. 15 after an overwhelming majority of voters chose to put him into the Iqaluit mayor’s job.

Preliminary results released by the Iqaluit returning officer showed Graham, 56, had taken 953 votes, as of 10:50 p.m.

By then, 1,341 votes had been cast in the Iqaluit mayoral election. Of those, Graham took a whopping 71 per cent.

“I’m humbled by these results, I really am. I haven’t really got my head around it,” Graham said.

“I’m just having a hard time grasping those very impressive numbers. I kind of thought I was the underdog, I didn’t have the full one month to campaign, only a couple weeks. But I got out there on the first of October and got out there, met hundreds of people with all their issues and concerns.”

Saying he commits himself to “give this 110 per cent,” Graham said he recognizes that voters gave him a “really good mandate.”

“When I was first interviewed by Nunatsiaq News, I talked about very basic issues in the community, obviously that sends a message. That’s what people want taken care of. And obviously meeting hundreds of people in the last couple of weeks, the three issues I’m moved forward with, the dump, the cemetery, and the roads, and that’s what people want to see done,” he said.

Former city council Al Hayward sat well back in second place with 204 votes, or 15.2 per cent of votes cast and Noah Ooloonie Papatsie brought up the rear with 184 votes, or 13.7 per cent.

About 42 per cent of eligible voters turned out to vote in the municipal election. Despite the blustery weather that hit Iqaluit Oct. 15, that’s a little higher than the 41 per cent of eligible voters who turned out for the October 2009 municipal vote.

In a referendum, ratepayers approved the borrowing of up to $40 million for an aquatic centre by a margin of 57 per cent to 43 per cent: 227 ratepayers said yes and 172 said no. About 49 per cent of eligible ratepayers, 399 voters, turned out to cast ballots.

In the council race, the following people were elected, as of about 9:40 p.m. Oct. 15.

• Mary Wilman (1070)

• Romeyn Stevenson (1,000)

• Joanasie Akumalik (924)

• Kenneth Bell (921)

• Jimmy Kilabuk (918)

• Simon Nattaq (880)

• Terry Dobbin (808)

• Mark Morrissey (669)

Not elected:

• Lewis MacKay (595)

• Ranbir Hundal (491)

These numbers are subject to change.

Wilman, Stevenson, Akumalik, Kilabuk and Nattaq are incumbents. Bell, Dobbin and Morrissey are newcomers to city council.

In the election for the Iqaluit District Education Council, the following five candidates won seats:

• Gwen Healey (886)

• Lori Idlout (803)

• Andrew Tagak (786)

• Alden Williams (693)

• John Maurice (683)

Not elected:

• Joanne Ashley (602)

• Alan Weeks (335)

These unofficial numbers are subject to change.

With files from David Murphy.

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