Ex-Iqaluit city councillor charged with aggravated assault

Joanasie Akumalik resigned from council Wednesday, no plans to replace him yet

Joanasie Akumalik, seen in this file photo, has been charged with aggravated assault according to the Nunavut RCMP. (Photo by David Venn)

By Nunatsiaq News

Former Iqaluit city councillor Joanasie Akumalik has been charged with aggravated assault.

He was charged June 13, said Sgt. Pauline Melanson, spokesperson for RCMP, in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

The charges were first reported by CBC North on Wednesday.

Akumalik resigned from council Wednesday after serving for close to 10 years.

His resignation letter did not provide a reason for his decision to leave council, according to City of Iqaluit spokesperson Aleksey Cameron.

Cameron also said a decision has not yet been made on how to fill Akumalik’s seat on council.

“This will be an agenda item for council to discuss and ultimately determine which of the options available under the Nunavut Elections Act will be selected,” she wrote.

There is no timeline to replace him.

There are also still three people running to fill a seat that became vacant in April when former councillor Sheila Flaherty resigned.

City council is expected to vote on who to appoint to that seat at the end of this month.

Before that, in March, council appointed Ookalik Curley and Paul Quassa to fill vacancies created when Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster and John Fawcett left council.

Akumalik works for Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. as the Nanilavut Project manager.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 11.


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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by 867 on

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    • Posted by aklak on

      Nothing happened to it. He resigned on his own, and the article says he was charged with aggravated assault. This is information that anyone can find on the public court docket, which is available online, to the general public. The article doesn’t state or imply that he is guilty of that charge. Aggravated assault is more than a slap or a punch. It is the most serious form of assault short of actually causing death. It is normal for the media to report on public figures and leaders who have been charged with such a serious crime.

      That said, I hope it is all somehow a misunderstanding and Mr. Akumalik didn’t actually commit the crime he has been charged with, and if he did do it, it sure seems out of character and I hope he gets some help. He has been very open about sharing with the public the struggles he and his family have had to deal with in the past. I genuinely wish him all the best.

    • Posted by innocence on

      Yes, innocent until proven guilty should apply to all people regardless of race, political affiliation, religious beliefs-

      • Posted by ooga on

        I must have missed the part where they said he was guilty. All I saw was a report about information that is available to the public. Anyone charged with a crime regardless of their race, political affiliation or religious beliefs has that information made available to the public. You can expect the media to report on serious charges whenever a public figure is involved, pretty much anywhere in the free world.

  2. Posted by Jumbo slice on

    Did this happen outside Northern?
    Asking for a friend,

  3. Posted by Anger management on

    Sounds like council needs some anger management training. First the mayor and now a councillor.

  4. Posted by Democracy? on

    Can we please finally have a byelection?
    There’s way too much of the Mayor and his friends getting to appoint councillors instead of councillors being elected by the residents.


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