Iqaluit city council appoints newest member at final meeting of the year

Swany Amarapala will fill Mayor Solomon Awa’s seat, made vacant when he was appointed part-time mayor

Swany Amarapala, shown with Mayor Solomon Awa, is the newest member of Iqaluit city council. She was appointed Tuesday night. (Photo by Meral Jamal)

By Meral Jamal

Swany Amarapala is the newest member of Iqaluit city council, after being appointed to the position at a meeting Tuesday.

She will take over Mayor Solomon Awa’s council seat, left vacant since Nov. 8 when Awa was appointed part-time mayor after Kenny Bell resigned as mayor.

Amarapala said she’s excited to join council and put her volunteer experience from local organizations such as the Piviniit Thrift Store and Kamatsiaqtut Nunavut Helpline to further use.

“It’s just another way to be involved and put forth the positive impact on a town that I love,” she said.

Amarapala will be on council for less than a year before the next municipal election, in October 2023. She said in that time she wants to use her position to advocate for better water infrastructure, something the city is already looking into.

“I want to help out as best I can and see how my fresh look on council can help with any of their current initiatives,” she said in an interview.

She previously applied for the position in the last councillor call-out in October, which saw Coun. Sam Tilley appointed after Joanasie Akumalik  resigned.

Amarapala was contacted again after council directed city staff to invite the top three unsuccessful candidates from that time to make a presentation in January to fill Awa’s vacant seat.

However, Iqaluit’s economic development officer Geoffrey Byrne said Amarapala was the only candidate still interested in applying, which is why council appointed her Tuesday.

“The appointment and the swearing-in was on Dec. 13 to fill the seat in a reasonable time as per the Nunavut Elections Act,” Byrne said in an email.

“Because of the lack of interest from the other two candidates, there was no reason to wait until January 2023 for the selection and appointment.”


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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Democracy Lost on

    Is there anyone left on council who was actually voted in by the electorate instead of being appointed?

    This is getting weird and not very democratic.

    • Posted by Nelson Muntz on

      Weird is an understatement. Like watching a dog and pony show that never ends.?

    • Posted by MARS on

      We are seeing an increasing number of younger councillors who can offer fresh ideas and possibly remain on the board for years to come. These people all have a love for the city, which is both admirable and welcomed.

      Personally, I am okay with the appointments. I hope they all get voted back in during the next city council election.

  2. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    unfortunately, with the Government of Nunavut mandating the term of Hamlet Council to 4 years instead of 2, we have seen a vast number of Council Members choose to resign. sure, it saves money with elections but look at the sheer number of resignations and appointed council members across the territory.

    • Posted by Umingmak on

      Everywhere else in the country has four-year terms, and does not have this problem. Why should Nunavut be any different? Holding elections is extremely expensive, and doing twice as many elections as the rest of the country in a jurisdiction that is already cash-strapped is a terrible idea.

  3. Posted by 180 on

    I’m pretty sure she works for Family Services and she will be a breathe of fresh air to the City Council. Why not have some young people with new ideas and experiences on the Council, it can’t hurt.

  4. Posted by Skunk works EDUCATION & TRAINING on

    You’ll notice Nunavut Municipal Councillors Handbook 2020 not listed on CG&S website… kind of makes you wonder with this current government!?!

    What’s their to hide? Embarrassment!?!

    • Posted by Skunk works EDUCATION & TRAINING on

      Don’t think external training is provided with newly elected councillors or mayors through CG&S program. No accountability on roles and responsibility with elected members. This is known as neglected programs and services or club rehab.

      • Posted by Skunk works EDUCATION & TRAINING on

        This step-back ideology four yr. term for councillors and mayor appear to pro-found delusion due to staggering F minus exam on electro-act i.e. conflict of interest, couples in house-hold (councillor member), no-voice, lack of interests, lack infrastructure program, personal agenda, micro-management (councillors), agenda (personal affairs), hiring process (conflict of interests), or ideology (stone-age) etc.

        In conclusion socio-anthropology could lecture open-house regardless and stagger words repeated but only the wise may sit back and voice with finger !?!# – !

  5. Posted by 867 on

    Let’s just be like north korea and “elect” eternal leaders

  6. Posted by Jackson Lester on

    I look forward to the day when the old boys club of Shepard and Stevenson move on to more illustrious careers where homeowners no longer suffer the costs of their terrible decisions


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