Iqaluit city council will avoid call-out to find sixth new member since 2019

Newest vacancy created when Solomon Awa replaced former mayor Kenny Bell

City councillors voted Tuesday evening to ask the top three candidates from the last council call-out if they are interested in filling Coun. Solomon Awa’s seat. Awa vacated his council seat in October when he replaced Kenny Bell as mayor. Bell resigned last month. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit city councillors will avoid making a fourth call-out this year for a new member by asking the previous round of applicants if they are still interested in joining.

Council voted unanimously during its Tuesday meeting to ask the top three candidates from October’s call-out — when Coun. Sam Tilley replaced Joanasie Akumalik — to appear in front of council on Jan. 10 if they are still interested.

Akumalik resigned in June after he was charged with aggravated assault.

“I think we had viable candidates that presented themselves at the last call-out,” Coun. Kyle Sheppard said. “There’s no need to go to another call-out and have seven, eight people sit here and speak for an hour.”

Sheppard, who made the motion to go this route, said if only one of the top three applicants is still interested, then council could appoint that person.

The remaining candidates from October are Lili Weeman, Philip Otukol, Gabriel Ross, Swany Amarapala and Robert Bourassa.

A city spokesperson did not tell Nunatsiaq News which of these candidates will be asked back.

When council voted in October to select Tilley, it was done by secret ballot, so there was no public record of the order the other candidates finished in.

Nunavut’s chief electoral officer, Dustin Fredlund, attended Tuesday’s meeting virtually and said the option Sheppard suggested is allowed under the elections act.

“By all means, I think that’s an effective and efficient way of moving this forward,” Fredlund said.

The newest councillor will fill Solomon Awa’s seat.

Awa became mayor after Kenny Bell resigned on Oct. 18. Bell had taken a trip to Iceland to represent the city at a conference in Iceland. He was scheduled to speak on a panel Oct. 14, but didn’t show up.

Awa’s replacement will be the sixth person appointed to council since the 2019 election.

Former councillor Sheila Flaherty resigned in April to focus on her business; former councillor John Fawcett resigned late last year after announcing he and his family were leaving Iqaluit; and Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster resigned late last year after winning a seat at the Nunavut legislative assembly.

Only four original council members remain: Awa, Sheppard and councillors Romeyn Stevenson and Simon Nattaq.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Harold (Iqaluit) on

    your majestee as a long time rate payer i belive i am owed the privilige to nominate a fello name to the iqaluit counsell . in fact i was awardid in 1986 the title of best tax payer in the city and a small parade in my honair was ordered by the mayir at the time . no one had ever paid as many tax dollors than yours trulee . they called me harold paysalot due to my willingness to pay what i was told i owed and i did so without complaning !!.

    but the parade caused a bit of a stir as there was suppose to be another one to honir old saint nicolis on the same day and the childrin mistook me for santa closs due to my red jackit and bushee eyebrows . they and the parents were absolutelee furious with me as i had not providid the youngings with candy because i had eaten all the candy i had brought with me ! i ran away with scraps of my red jackit flying everywire !

    they do not award the prize of best tax payer anymore so the title has stayed with me for all the years ! imagine that !

    long storee short i would like to nominate my trustee dog toby as counseller as he is a fine gentleman and companion however i do not agree with his views on him doing his bisness on my favarite couch !

  2. Posted by Asking for a Council on

    Has Kenny paid for his vacation yet?

  3. Posted by BLM on

    You forgot to mention the fist vacancy created when Malaiya Netser Lucassie resigned because she broke the city’s code of conduct.

    “The city council for the municipality of Iqaluit does not abide with the comments that were made by councillor Lucassie. The council does not condone racism or gender violence and does not accept a world where such comments, or comments such as those made over the weekend, are let go without censure,” Stevenson said.

    • Posted by Scapegoat dies for our sins on

      Ah yes, the human sacrifice we once offered up to absolve the racism that abounds in our community. Let the hypocrites be appeased.


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