A story published Aug. 20 in Nunatsiaq Online contained incorrect information.

The spokesperson representing Michel Gilbert and Martin Plante at an Aug. 17 meeting of Iqaluit City Council, lawyer Michael Chandler, did not say that the two men won two lots in the March 24 ballot draw for the purpose of building staff housing for a business.

Michel Gilbert and Martin Plante intended, and still intend, to use the lots to build residences for themselves.

Also, the two men did not buy two existing houses in May for use as staff housing. Acting together, they bought one existing house in May for use as staff housing.

However, we disagree that our use of the word “loophole” in the story, in a statement attributed to Michel Bertol, the city’s director of planning and lands, presents the two men in “a bad light.”

Bertol made the comment based on her interpretation of the spirit and intent of the first-time-home-builders regulation. While this may or may not be a legally correct interpretation, it is a reasonable opinion that a reasonable person could form.

At the same time, we acknowledge that Michel Gilbert and Martin Plante, and their lawyer, have valid grounds for disagreeing with Bertol’s interpretation of the regulation. We also acknowledge that city council may have had valid grounds also for their interpretation of the issue, as expressed in a vote.

In any case, Bertol’s use of the word “loophole” occurred at a public meeting called for a public purpose and our publication of the remark is justified by qualified privilege.

We do acknowledge that Michel Gilbert and Martin Plante are entitled to an accurate account of their situation and we apologize to them for the errors noted above. We also thank Michael Chandler for bringing those errors to our attention. Our only interest in this issue is to ensure that our readers receive an accurate account of the decision that Iqaluit City Council made on Aug. 17 regarding the two lots won by these men in the March 24 ballot draw.

We will post a corrected version of the story as soon as we are able to re-verify the salient facts.

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