Deputy mayor to ‘hold down the fort’ until more women arrive
Coun. Kim Smith was top vote-getter in Oct. 23 election
Iqaluit’s new deputy mayor says it’s hard not to be disappointed being the only woman on the city’s eight-member council.
“I’d like to think one day that half of these chairs will be filled by women,” Coun. Kim Smith said Tuesday in an interview after being appointed deputy mayor during council’s first meeting since the Oct. 23 election.
“But I will hold down the fort for the ladies until then.”
Smith was the top vote-getter last month. She said it was an honour to be named deputy mayor, a position that will see her fill for Mayor Solomon Awa when he is not present at council meetings.
“I know it will be a lot of work and I’m not expecting it to be an easy role by any means,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to it and I really appreciate the community and council’s trust in me for the role.”
Councillors did not use their first meeting to address the vacancy created when Jack Anawak, a former MP and former MLA, resigned last week, just days after being sworn in.
“We’ll have to wait until it’s on the agenda and see what council decides,” Smith said.
There are two options for filling a vacancy under the Nunavut Elections Act. Council can choose to return to the list of candidates from the last election or do a public callout and pick an applicant.
Anawak resigned on Nov. 6, citing his involvement in a vehicle crash the previous weekend. On Nov. 7, police charged him with impaired driving. Council accepted his resignation letter during Tuesday’s meeting.
Awa said during opening remarks that he will be in the position full time. For the last year of the previous term, Awa was a part-time mayor, after replacing former mayor Kenny Bell, who resigned abruptly in October 2022.
Tuesday was also the first meeting for two new council members, Harry Flaherty and Methusalah Kunuk. Council named Flaherty, the president of Qikiqtaaluk Corp., as its alternative deputy mayor.
Appointments for chairperson and vice-chairperson of committees took up most of Tuesday’s meeting. They are:
- Finance Committee of the Whole — chair, Kyle Sheppard; vice-chair, Harry Flaherty.
- Public Works and Engineering Committee of the Whole — chair, Harry Flaherty; vice-chair: Methusalah Kunuk.
- Planning and Development Committee of the Whole — chair, Kim Smith; vice-chair, Harry Flaherty.
- Recreation Committee — chair, Samuel Tilley; vice-chair- Kim Smith; ex officio: Solomon Awa.
- Grievance Committee — chair, Harry Flaherty; vice-chair, Kim Smith.
- Cemetery Committee — chair, Methusalah Kunuk; vice-chair, Simon Nattaq.
- Taxi Review Committee — chair, Kyle Sheppard; vice-chair, Methusalah Kunuk.
- Public Safety Committee — chair, Solomon Awa; vice-chair, Samuel Tilley; council member, Kim Smith.
- Community Economic Development Committee —chair, Methusalah Kunuk; vice-Chair, Kim Smith; council member, Kyle Sheppard.
- Board of Revision — chair, Romeyn Stevenson.
- Development Appeal Board — chair, Romeyn Stevenson.
In addition to committee work, Coun. Simon Nattaq will be the representative to search and rescue as well as the city’s representative to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s community land and resource committee.