Sheutiapik clinches third term as mayor
Little goes a long way, but falls short; five new faces on council
(Updated 7:30 a.m., Oct. 20)
(Updated 8:40 a.m., Oct. 20)
(Updated 11:04 a.m., Oct. 20)
Elisapee Sheutiapik won a third term as Iqaluit’s mayor Monday night, capturing 58 per cent of the vote against former city councillor Jim Little.
Sheutiapik took 885 votes to Little’s 649 in a contest that was closer than some expected.
“Thanks to the voters and supporters,” Sheutiapik said, as a handful of family and friends celebrated the results at the Grind ‘n Brew coffee shop.
“I know this is going to be a big term for me because obviously they’ve re-elected me and I’ve got to roll up my sleeves to ensure that I earn the votes that they’ve given me.”
It’s the first time in six years Sheutiapik faced a challenger for the mayor’s job. She was acclaimed in 2006.
Little ran on a platform of change at city hall, but fell just short of toppling Sheutiapik. In an interview Tuesday morning, he admitted the loss was a tough one to take, but accepted the will of the voters.
“I had to work my ass off to get what I got,” he said. “[But] what I was saying was ringing true with the electorate.”
Now out of politics, Little said he plans to spend more time working on the greenhouse and compost projects of the Bill MacKenzie Humanitarian Society. He said he hopes the new council takes action to fix the city’s solid waste problems.
“[Little] did a great job campaigning,” Sheutiapik said. “Hats off to him. It was clean, it was all about trying to send the message [of] whether you understand what the issues are and I think he did that quite well.”
Iqalummiut also elected five new councillors. Mary Ekho Wilman, David Ell, Mat Knicklebein, Mary Akpalialuk, and Natsiq Alainga-Kango all join council for the first time. Incumbents Simon Nattaq, Jimmy Kilabuk and David Alexander were re-elected.
All councillors and the mayor serve three-year terms.
Wilman captured 967 votes, nearly 260 more than any other council candidate.
Wilman said she campaigned on a platform of better communication and tackling the city’s garbage woes. She said she wants to find ways to get Iqalummiut better involved in city decision-making.
“There are quite a few people who are feeling left out,” Wilman said Tuesday. “We need to make them feel as though this is there community. It’s all of us. It’s not just Inuit, it’s not just qallunaat.”
The eighth and final council seat was hotly contested, with Alexander edging out political newcomer Romeyn Stevenson by a single vote. And incumbent Glenn Williams and challenger Tony Rose both finished within 30 votes of Alexander’s tally of 597.
Kirt Ejesiak, the chief returning officer, confirmed Tuesday morning Stevenson has asked for a recount. “I will be awaiting the full 72 hours to see if any other candidates will be requesting an administrative recount, [w]hich will likely put off the recount to early next week,” Ejesiak wrote in an email.
Any candidate can ask for a recount within 72 hours of election day.
Voters also selected new members of La Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut. Carolyn Mallory, Jacques Fortier, Seth Reinhart, Tineka Simmon and Louis Arki all won seats, with Jeff Barkley falling short by a single vote.
It’s not yet known if there will be recount for that election.
Voter turnout was strong Monday. There was a steady trickle of voters at the Cadet Hall just before noon, and the polls were said to be busy during the late afternoon.
Figures from the chief returning officer showed 1,712 of 2,949 eligible voters cast ballots in the mayor’s race, for a turnout of 58 per cent. For the council election, 1,814 ballots were cast, for a turnout of 61.5 per cent.
That figure is up sharply from 2006, when a council-only election drew just 33 per cent of eligible voters to the polls.
You can find detailed results at the City of Iqaluit’s 2009 election website.
Iqaluit City Council
The following eight people are unofficially elected to Iqaluit City Council, barring recounts.
Mary Ekho Wilman: 967
Simon Nattaq: 709
David Ell: 707
Jimmy Kilabuk: 706
Mary Akpalialuk: 643
Mat Knicklebein: 642
Natsiq Alainga-Kango: 641
David Alexander: 597
Not elected (barring recounts):
Romeyn Stevenson: 596
Glenn A. Williams: 578
Anthony (Tony) Rose: 568
Betty Brewster: 494
Nancy Gillis: 451
Caroline Anawak: 397
Brad Chambers: 327
Eddie Rideout: 322
David Eddie Devries: 288
Claude Martel: 269
Brian Willoughby: 154
Kathleen E. Marko: 132
Boazie Ootoova : 104
La Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut
The following five people are unofficially elected to la Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut, barring recounts.
Carolyn Mallory 32
Jacques Fortier 30
Seth Reinhart 26
Tineka Simmons 25
Louis Arki 23
Not elected (barring recounts)
Jeff Barkley 22
Iqaluit District Education Authority
Five of seven seats filled by acclamation: Jack Anawak, Janice Seto, Andrew Tagak Sr., Alan Eugene Weeks, Alden Clifford Williams. Two seats on the IDEA remain vacant. The acclaimed members will likely fill them by appointment.
Apex District Education Authority
Three of seven seats filled by acclamation: Anne Crawford, Amanda Ford, Jack Hicks. Four seats remain vacant. The acclaimed members will likely fill them by appointment.