Former Iqaluit mayor owes city $9,500 for Iceland trip
Bell promised to pay amount back, mayoral vacancy to be discussed at council next week
The former Iqaluit mayor owes the city more than $9,000 for a conference he flew to Iceland for but did not attend.
Kenny Bell flew to Reykjavik, Iceland, last week for the 2022 Arctic Circle Assembly where he was scheduled to speak on a panel.
Conference organizers and City of Iqaluit staff both confirmed Bell did not show up to those speaking engagements.
Bell did share photos of Iceland on his social media pages last week.
Chief administrative officer Amy Elgersma told Nunatsiaq News earlier this week that Bell offered to repay the city for the costs of the trip.
As of Thursday, he had not reimbursed the city, spokesperson Geoffrey Byrne said in an email.
“The amount owed to the city for the trip was $9,484.78,” Byrne said.
Byrne provided Nunatsiaq News with a breakdown of those costs: $4691.20 for flights, $3938.18 for accommodations and $855.40 for registration fees.
Bell announced his resignation in a Twitter thread posted Tuesday. He was elected mayor in the fall of 2019 for a four-year term.
He has declined interview requests from Nunatsiaq News.
Meanwhile, Iqaluit council is expected to determine who will fill in as the capital city’s mayor at its next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 25.
Under the Nunavut Elections Act, city council can either appoint a councillor as mayor for the remainder of the term or hold a byelection to elect a new mayor.
“A decision on moving forward is expected at the upcoming council meeting,” Byrne said.
For now, deputy mayor Solomon Awa has assumed the role of mayor.
The Nunavut Elections Act also states that a byelection can’t be held if there is less than six months before the next municipal election date.
The next municipal election will take place on Oct. 23, 2023.