Past Iqaluit councils have not done their jobs

“Individuals who make huge personal investments are treated with contempt by city planners”


My recent comments about the City of Iqaluit being leaderless were a bit too harsh.

As a former mayor and councilor of Iqaluit when it was called Frobisher Bay, I know what it feels like to be attacked for trying to do your best.

One of the reasons so few people are willing to run for public office is the criticism they face from residents. I served as a member and mayor of the local council for more than 16 years. It was tough trying to keep everyone happy and at the same time trying to make the community a better place in which to live.

However, there comes a time when issues that affect the lives and livelihoods of some people who make huge investments in the community are not given the respect or consideration they are entitled to.

There is no doubt that individuals who make huge personal investments to provide useful and beneficial assets to the well-being of the community are treated with contempt by city planners.

There are now several recent examples of issues that do not contribute to a well-planned city.

A previous council allowed the Nunavut power corporation to build their head office on a lot that does not allow any parking spaces. This is in violation of the bylaw that spells out very clearly that for every so many square feet of office, there must be one parking space.

There are many major buildings that have bypassed this regulation. Now we see the negative results of the members of previous councils and administrations not doing their jobs.

To permit the construction of a major low income rental facility on the main road in the downtown core of the city was a tragic disaster. This huge three-storey building, which is rapidly becoming a slum, has no parking for its residents. It has no safety barrier to prevent children from running onto a major road. We have already seen one tragedy.

Currently, huge low income buildings are being built in an area occupied by private homeowners and a large bed and breakfast business, the owner of which invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide an attractive facility to benefit the tourism industry and the community as a whole.

They will now be faced with the possibility of police raids, drunken people wandering the neighbourhood, children playing most of the night, to say nothing of noisy snowmobiles.

These are just some examples of council members not doing their job, being complacent, not seeing the community as a whole.

A good example is the current crisis around the dump. Stopping the burning was the issue. Oh yes, they said, great idea.

But what was the alternative? No thought was given to decisions that have a profound effect on the lives of this entire community.

Being a member of a city government is great responsibility.

Bryan Pearson

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