Cambridge Bay appoints new mayor

Angulalik Pedersen replaces Pamela Gross, who will represent riding in legislature

Angulilak Pedersen was appointed Cambridge Bay’s new mayor on Nov. 4. (Photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Angulalik Pedersen has been appointed Cambridge Bay’s new mayor, following his predecessor’s election as the community’s next member of the legislative assembly. Former mayor Pamela Gross was elected MLA on Oct. 25.

“I want to continue a lot of the work Pam did. She’s done a lot of amazing work for the youth, for the elders and for the whole community,” Pedersen said.

Less than a week into the job, he’s now in Iqaluit for the Nunavut Association of Municipalities’ annual general meeting.

On Monday, Pedersen spoke about the community’s air travel issues at the meeting, with Chris Avery, the president of Canadian North in the room.

“It affects our food security, it affects everyone’s lives,” Pedersen said about flight services in an interview.

“Our grocery stores were empty for days last week.”

Many community members have also been stuck in Yellowknife for over a week now, with weather and mechanical issues to blame for cancelled flights, he said.

Pedersen explained the same weather pattern typically rolls around this time of year, with fog or other unsafe weather showing up mid-day. He suggested flights be scheduled at different times according to the seasons to counter this.

The new mayor was appointed on Nov. 4. At the same meeting, Derek Elias was appointed deputy mayor.

Pedersen was the deputy mayor from 2019 until last Thursday, and before that, he was a city councillor for two years.

Aside from his new political duties, Pedersen holds multiple positions with the Canadian Coast Guard,  including exercising officer for the coast guard and an Arctic instructor for the coast guard’s auxiliary.

He also serves as the co-chair of the Ekalukktiak hunters and trappers organization, is on the Victoria Island Waterway safety council, is a member of the fire department and the lieutenant of the hamlet’s medical and ambulance service.

With about two years left in the term, Pedersen will serve as the community’s mayor until the next general election in 2023.

Gross, the former mayor, was elected in 2017 again in 2019.

If the mayor’s position is vacated more than six months before the end of a term, the municipality’s council needs to fill the position as soon as possible, either through appointing a councillor or holding a byelection, according to Elections Nunavut.

Gross was confirmed as the community’s MLA-elect on Tuesday after a close three-way vote prompted a recount.

She was elected with 224 votes, beating out incumbent Jeannie Ehaloak — also a former Cambridge Bay mayor — and Peter Ohokak.

Iqaluit’s city council also lost a member with former deputy mayor Janet Brewster also having been elected to the legislative assembly in October.

Former councillor Solomon Awa has since been listed as Iqaluit’s alternate deputy mayor.

The fifth legislative assembly will sit for the first time in Iqaluit on Nov. 19 after new MLAs from across the territory go through an orientation.

MLAs will also vote on who the premier and ministers will be.

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(25) Comments:

  1. Posted by Concerned Community Member on

    If our newly appointed Mayor was so concerned about this Hamlet, he would have ensured that a byelection was held. He was not voted into this position by the residents of the community, he is merely a puppet for the current administration. Now, with this move, the administration has appointed half the council members and only those who have similar opinions to those of the Senior Administration Officer. Current council has no vision for this community and the Elections Act should be amended to deal with this issue – bring back byelections to replace mayors and council members – period.

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    • Posted by u r misinformed on

      The administration has no such power. Sounds like sour grapes !!!!!

      Read the elections act that was put in place and voted on by MLAs.

      never seen so few lines have so many errors lol

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      • Posted by We want to Vote! on

        Actually, YOU are misinformed. Have you even read the Elections Act? I have. And I agree with Concerned Community Member as I am very concerned as well.

        Only recently the Mayor term was changed to be 4 years. We used to have 2 year terms. Mr.Pedersen has now been appointed for a full 2 year term! This is insanity! How can the Hamlet council think that the community doesn’t want to choose who leads them for the next TWO years?

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        • Posted by People on

          Actually, under the Hamlets Act of Nunavut, each Municipality has the authority and jurisdiction to either: 1/ Appoint a Mayor/Deputy Mayor within or, 2/ Hold a by-election to select a Mayor. And in this particular case, the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay appointed the new Mayor/Deputy Mayor within via vote from the Municipal Councillors with a majority.

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        • Posted by Red on

          Concerned community member and We Want to Vote sound like the same person. Someone sour about losing.

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          • Posted by Perplexed on

            How can you lose if there is no vote?

            This is about legitimacy, which is foundational in a democracy.

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          • Posted by Hmmmmm on

            And you Red sound like u r misinformed. Sharing common concerns does not make you the same person, unless you are and then good for you for having such a lively conversation with yourself. I am none of those people, but the issue is real and a concern. Step down Angut, we need to vote.

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  2. Posted by Arctic inhabitant on

    I am happy , no mayor has brought up the high cost of living , especially the flights. Gone are the Northwest Territorial airways with the best service the north has seen.
    We as northern people need more than just one airline , maybe things would be a little caught up and it would be better if “ the airline of the north” had some competition other than just charter companies that are being chartered by the very airlines that supply the north This way they gouge money more than ever making it impossible for regular trips people of the Arctic benefited on. Many airlines with many many more planes like westjet, air canada….etc.

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  3. Posted by Hmmmmm on

    I appreciate the decision made by council as being expedient for the them and filled with a candidate who has the time available to focus on the position, but he should have declined the honour and called for a by election. This would have been the ethically correct position to take. The people need to have the right to decide who their mayor is and the flawed changes in the municipal elections act potentially can produce an entire council of hand picked officials.
    Angut, we did not vote for you, maybe we will given a choice, but we need to have the choice.
    You also did not represent us well at the meetings. Who from the north chirps at the airline complaining about the weather? Unless it was to present yourself as a politically competent leader? But that is the post for another day.

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  4. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    I could eat an entire apple pie for supper. I probably shouldn’t, but that’s a choice.

    We as a Community did not choose Angut as a Mayor. Listen to your Community, do the right thing and call an Election. Yes, the Nunavut Government changed the rules to have a term of four (4) years for Hamlet Council and Mayors. But since the seat was vacated, do the right thing.

    There is two years remaining, if you think you are worthy of representing our Community, have a cahones to call an Election and see what the People of Cambridge Bay have to say. (well, given our voter turnout, not all but a fair portion of the Community).

    it’s the fair and democratic choice to make.

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  5. Posted by Northerner on

    Angut. Do a great job and show all these criticisms are wrong and prove them They are nothing but a lesser worders
    You will do awesome. Never mind all these people who think they can do a better job.

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    • Posted by Bricked up on

      I do not think the issue is whether or not he can do a good job, he obviously thinks so. The issue is that he alone with a handful of people should not be the ones to decide if he can do a good job. This is a huge error within the municipal elections act and the mlas need to have a look at this carefully. If you want us to vote, if you want us to encourage others to vote, then the process has to be meaningful and connected to actual possible good governance. Otherwise, what is the point?

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  6. Posted by Democracy? on

    A side issue, organizations hold the money purse so if you have a differing view, however right, they will not invite you to join their meetings.
    Elections Act needs better direction.

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  7. Posted by Friend on

    Hello Angus. Do the right thing and let the community vote. It’s not a matter who can do better job. Matter of the Community having their choice or opportunity to vote. This was not given. Thanks.

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  8. Posted by Friend on

    Sorry, Angut. Let the Community vote. Return to option B. Hold a by-election to select a Mayor. Let the Community vote . It’s only fair to them. Have great day Angut.

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  9. Posted by Watcher on

    Yes I agree with holding a by-election. Angut, sounds exciting for you but not exciting to the Community. They need to express how they feel and the right to vote who they wish for. There is few who wish to run for Mayor. Always your friend. Don’t let me down.

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  10. Posted by Trapper on

    Community needs to vote. Time for community meeting or private special meeting. Hi Pam. Congratulations. Close MLA election. We need you Pam to step in and correct this as our new elected MLA. Let the community and elders have their choice to vote.

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  11. Posted by Blame Council Not the Appointee on

    Everyone here asking Angut, but should be made at the council and the former Mayor who resigned to run. The Mayor made the decision not honour the 4 year commitment to go for a higher office. The current council voted to not have a by-election and voted to appoint from within. Angut was appointed Deputy Mayor so it makes the most sense that of those on the current council he would be appointed to the role. The community also needs to remember the Mayor does not have a vote at council They set the Agenda, moderate debate, and break a tie. The Mayor has less power if council works together.

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    • Posted by Hmmmmm on

      Unfortunately angut was likely part of the vote to bypass a byelection, but you are right the council is responsible for this. We cannot access the records as they have not been posted since March so we cannot see who voted or even attended. This is lazy governance. Step down Angut. Your first shot at being a mayor was embarrassing anyway.

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  12. Posted by Member on

    Very true blame the council members. As elders, we are not happy. We need our new elected MLA of Cambridge Bay to step in and correct this. This is not fair for us and the community. Apparently a private meeting took place without the community concern. Please correct this our new elected MLA Pam. Thank you Pam.

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  13. Posted by Joe on

    Private meeting took place. This meeting should of included the residents. This is not fair for community residents not being able to vote. We need our new MLA to step in or be held accountable.

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  14. Posted by Umingmak on

    I like Angut. He’s a nice guy, and he cares deeply about the community.

    However, I’m in agreement with the others in these comments. A private vote by council to pick their own mayor should never be allowed to fly, unless it were something very short term (ie. 6-8 months at most).

    Angut should refuse the appointment and call for a by-election.

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  15. Posted by Anguttialook on

    Typical of the autocrates to choose behind closed door…people of cambay…deserve better than the chosen few..control freaks that think they are above the rest of the community …power corrupts…absolute power corrupts absolutely…derek ellias as deputy mayor….lol…cambay is in trouble….this is the autocrate’s version of democracy…is this reality TV in hooterville……you people(cambay) have been had..give the people the right to choose…ya hear puppet masters on council….pathetic
    ..

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  16. Posted by Here we go again on

    There’s more to this than people pissed at the process that got Angus the Mayor’s position. My guess is Jeannie will be gunning for Mayor now that she lost her MLA seat.

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  17. Posted by Jeannie on

    To “Here We Go Again”

    I will not be running for Mayor.

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