Four in 10 local voters opt for “Kinngait” as Cape Dorset’s legal name
Timoon Toonoo easily wins re-election as mayor
In a local plebiscite that drew a turnout of only 27 per cent, about four in 10 Cape Dorset voters have chosen the well-known word “Kinngait” as the new legal name for their community.
In a plebiscite, voters were given a choice of three options: Cape Dorset, Kinngait or Sikusiilaq.
The name Kinngait, which refers to mountains near the community, has been used informally for many years. The name Sikusiilaq, another word used for many years, refers to nearby waters that are often ice free.
After the local name-change plebiscite, returning officer Josephee Oqutaq used Facebook to report the following results. The rounded percentage calculations are ours.
• Kinngait 80 votes (41.7%)
• Cape Dorset 61 votes (31.8%)
• Sikusiilaq 51 votes (26.6%)
Under the Nunavut Hamlets Act, the minister of community government services, on the recommendation of cabinet, is allowed to order that the legal name of a municipal corporation be changed.
To do that, the minister requires a letter from the hamlet council asking him or her to do so.
Meanwhile, Timoon Toonoo was re-elected as mayor of Cape Dorset with 69.9 per cent of ballots cast.
Toonoo won 137 votes, giving him an easy win over the only other candidate, Eva Takiasuk, who took 57 votes, or about 29.1 per cent of ballots cast.
Two ballots were rejected. Turnout for the municipal vote was extremely low, at only 27 per cent.
The community’s hamlet council gained office last fall by acclamation, when only six candidates emerged to contest eight seats.
An earlier version of the story spelled the community’s Inuktitut name as “Kingait,” which is used frequently. However, we’ve opted for “Kinngait,” the spelling reported by the returning officer.