Iqaluit city council candidates discuss priorities at all-candidates forum
Out of 29 contenders, 13 were able to attend
Iqalungmiut vying for a seat on city council had the chance to pitch their platforms at an all-candidates forum held by the Iqaluit Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Oct. 10.
Both candidates for mayor, Kenneth Bell and Noah Papatsie, attended the forum. The event was moderated by Terry Dobbin and Catherine Martin.
Eleven out of 27 candidates competing for eight seats on city council attended the forum, which took place at Inuksuk High School.
Candidates presented their ideas to an audience that filled about half the seats in the high school’s auditorium.
The first question of the evening asked candidates to explain their top priorities for city council.
On this, most candidates seemed to agree the city’s water supply was most important.
Others cited quality of life, infrastructure and housing as the city’s top issues.
Candidates were also asked to explain how they would make sure the city is financially stable. Many cited the 2014 dump fire in Iqaluit and the debt the city took on for years to follow.
When asked about their plans for waste management in the city, candidates discussed the possibility of compost and recycling systems.
Candidates did not explain how they would implement such initiatives.
Read a quote from each candidate who attended the forum below.
Although the audience did not get a chance to ask questions during the forum itself, residents were invited to submit questions to the Chamber of Commerce before the event.
Karen Petkau, an Iqaluit resident of seven years, said the forum was helpful to see what each candidate had to say, but she would have liked to see more discussion about the role of city councillors.
“It was good to get an overview of all the candidates. My question to the potential councillors would have been, what do they see as their job?” Petkau said.
“What actually stood out for me is how few Inuit are on stage,” she added.
Thuliani Antoni, an Iqaluit resident of four years, said the forum helped him decide on at least three candidates he now plans to vote for.
“Everybody agreed there was a water problem. I can see a lot of collaboration among them once they’re elected,” Antoni said.
“It’s a really hard decision.”
Municipal elections will be held in Iqaluit and across the territory on Oct. 28.