Opposed to river footbridge

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

I’m very disappointed with the recorded vote of our premier. I’ll tell you why. As one of our elected officials in Iqaluit, she should have at least abstained from the recorded vote.

Whether or not the original bridge was, a gazillion years ago, unfortunately planned as a foot bridge or not is irrelevant and with her as a local elected official representing all local interests of Iqalungmiut she should have at least abstained.

When Iqaluit West MLA Paul Okalik presented recent and relevant information that the local HTO is now asking for an all-purpose bridge, it should have been good enough to cause her hesitation in her decision-making. Just based on that alone, not even including the as-to or why-for, should have been irrelevant in my opinion.

Fact:

• the ice conditions of that river have never been predictable or stable to begin with because it is a fast-flowing river and the HTO knows and can confirm this;

• Inuit can hunt in the adjacent park;

• according to the HTO, Inuit hunters want access to that park with the use of an all-purpose bridge;

• in the summer not all Inuit can afford boats to cross that river to hunt

There are three MLAs that represent Iqalungmiut, not one! If one raises a valid concern, as far as I’m concerned, all three should stand in unison.

The HTOs are not in support of this proposed footbridge, which gives me, as a local citizen, enough hesitation to support my MLA to vote on a footbridge solely.

Consensus government is not happening in Iqaluit. Who really wins?

I trust and respect my local hunters. The premier should have abstained from this vote and supported the local hunters instead of voting no. I hope and pray that no hunters come to harm trying to cross the Sylvia Grinnell in efforts to feed their family in the near future.

(Name withheld by request)
Iqaluit


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