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Hold new hearing, Iqaluit asks electoral body

“No communication” with city, mayor says

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Madeleine Redfern, the mayor of Iqaluit, said this week in a letter that she wants the Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission to hold another public hearing in Iqaluit.

On Jan. 11, no Iqaluit residents showed up to a public hearing that the commission attempted to hold at Iqaluit’s francophone centre.

Iqaluit City Council, which had invited the commission to hold the hearing, held a meeting of its own at the same time that evening, and no city representatives were able to attend.

At the time, the commission’s chair, Ted Richard, told reporters that the commission told city officials about the meeting “some time ago” and he couldn’t explain why they didn’t attend.

But Redfern, in a Jan. 14 letter to the commission, said she disagrees with Richard’s account.

“First, the city received no communication or notification of any sort from the Commission in relation to the original request, nor were our repeated phone calls returned until the day before the community hearings,” Redfern said.

Because of that, the city could not inform the commission that their Jan. 11 hearing conflicted with a city council meeting and with at least two other previously scheduled events, she said.

Redfern also said the recent departure of Elisapie Sheutiapik and the subsequent by-election played no part in city council’s non-attendance at the meeting.

“The city letter that was sent to the commission requesting a hearing in Iqaluit was sent on behalf of council,” Redfern said.

To resolve the situation, Redfern said she wants the commission to set up another public hearing in Iqaluit.

And this time, she said she wants the commission “to communicate with the city in a timely manner” on the date for such a hearing.

“In our opinion, the boundary and electoral representation issues [are] important to our residents and for council,” Redfern said in her letter.

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