Iqaluit city councillor announces resignation

John Fawcett says he’s leaving Iqaluit to be closer to extended family

Coun. John Fawcett, seen here in a file photo from 2019, announced on Tuesday that he will resign from city council at the end of the year. (File photo)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Coun. John Fawcett will resign from Iqaluit city council by the end of the year due to personal reasons, he said Tuesday evening.

Fawcett and his family are moving from Iqaluit to be closer to extended family.

“One of the main reasons — it’s a good thing — we are actually having a baby. But that causes us to re-evaluate certain things and we will be leaving,” he said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Fawcett ran for council in October 2019 but lost by 56 votes. He joined city council in November 2020 after then-councillor Malaiya Lucassie resigned for breaching the city’s code of conduct.

Fawcett will be moving to Georges Lake, NL, he said in an interview.

He said that during his time as a councillor, he experienced how hard city council and staff work to run the municipality, and that he was especially proud of the work done to ban single-use plastic bags, a bylaw that was passed Tuesday.

“It’s tough to be a councillor,” he said. “You’re making decisions that directly affect other people around you and that’s a huge weight to bear, but it’s also very fulfilling.

His parting words were to ask residents to be more understanding and ask for more information on the decisions being made in the city.

“There’s a lot of accusations and there’s a lot of anger in the public towards municipal decisions and I feel like the public doesn’t have the full story all the time, and the information is available,” Fawcett said.

His departure leaves two spots open on council. The other vacancy was created when former deputy mayor Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster became Iqaluit-Sinaa’s member of the legislative assembly in last month’s territorial elections.

Under the territorial law on municipal and district education authority elections, councils can choose to appoint a runner-up from the election, or put a call out for, and appoint, applicants.

Fawcett said he is planning his resignation for the final council meeting of the year so that the city can put out applications in the new year for his and Brewster’s seats.

Mayor Kenny Bell congratulated Fawcett on the personal news about having another child.

“Enjoy the ride, sir,” he said.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by So long i guess on

    Well that was fast. Hope the next one in line can stay in their seat for at least a year.

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  2. Posted by Dwayne B on

    Good guy, had a good head on his shoulders. A loss for not just Iqaluit but the Inuit organizations he worked for over the years. Good luck with everything John

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  3. Posted by jone on

    “There’s a lot of accusations and there’s a lot of anger in the public towards municipal decisions and I feel like the public doesn’t have the full story all the time, and the information is available,” Fawcett said.

    The information is available to whom? Not the public. Where are the full results of the water tests? And I don’t mean the weird chart from the meeting.

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  4. Posted by Peter on

    “I feel like the public doesn’t have the full story all the time” this is a huge problem, the city does a terrible job at getting the information out and this needs to be improved. All the best John.

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  5. Posted by life long resident on

    the same story over and over

    those who were born here know it well

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    • Posted by Jess on

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Mr Fawcett has lived in the North since he was a youth. Like, Almost 20 years. He has never been a fly in and fly out person, Iqaluit has been his only home and he had been vocal about that in the past.

      Those people you speak of exist, but Mr Fawcett is not one of them.

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      • Posted by Sjmcc13 on

        I moved up here a decade ago, Iqaluit has been his home the entire time I have been up here.

        Never asked when he moved up though.

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        • Posted by Josh on

          Too bad he is moving away from his “home”

          It does say a lot of what is lacking up here and what is badly needed when you have to move away to get that. I hope things will improve sooner rather than later and we don’t have to move away to get the standard of living we seek.

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  6. Posted by Maq-Pat on

    There is an argument to be made that councils no longer have the authority to appoint any person to fill vacancies (and really shouldn’t except maybe in the smallest communities).

    CTVA: Section 11: “(1) Every municipal corporation has a council composed of ELECTED council members. (2) Part VIII.1 of the Nunavut Elections Act applies to all matters respecting the ELECTION of council members”
    While the NU Elections Act includes a mechanism to appoint into vacancies, it is hard to argue that appointments is “respecting the ELECTION of council members”.

    In any case, larger municipalities should adopt standard rules, because too often councils are appointing their friends and calling by-elections when the runner up isn’t expected to be an ally to them personally. It would be interesting to see which long-time councilors have flipped back and forth on if they should respect the last election or not.

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  7. Posted by SimCity 2021 on

    Is Nunavut a real canadian territory or is it just a simulator for southerners to play politician and manager?

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    • Posted by Nunavut on

      No, Nunavut is a place where people from the South come in to work the jobs Inuit cannot do because of the lack of education or the lack of showing up to work. Once the people from the South have trained someone to do the job (decently), they are leaving. If you want to work and do politics, why don’t you run for it????

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      • Posted by Alex on

        “Nunavut is a place where people from the South come in to work the jobs Inuit cannot do because of the lack of education or the lack of showing up to work”….and by this you mean the jobs that were forced upon them and the society forced upon them…..I think the Inuit survived just fine until they were colonized….and are still to this day. The lack of education you mention is through the lenses of different society…..one that is about controlling…….such a dumb comment.

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        • Posted by The Pre-Contact Utopia Legend on

          Surviving “just fine” is very relative. Inuit were surviving “much less”.

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        • Posted by Smag man on

          I dunno this colonized lifestyle with homes, heat, and grocery stores vs following the caribou around and freezing to death, it’s working out alright for me. Inuit just need to show up to work, don’t use colonization as an excuse to be lazy

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  8. Posted by Umingmak on

    So Malaiya got screwed over for doing absolutely nothing wrong, only for this guy to quit after a year? What a joke.

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  9. Posted by never ending on

    so tired of socalled leaders leaving our territory when they get tired of there duties. im done with these people who say nice things to your face and then leave when times get hard and leave us in the dust. enjoy newfoudland with all your friends well still be here if ever you decide to come back…

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  10. Posted by Jenny on

    You will be missed, John. Thank you for your dedication and hard work this year on council as well as the work you have done with other organizations. Gonna miss hearing you play your guitar. You have been a great example in the community of a southerner who fully embraces life in the North, it was great to see you grow up here. Best of luck on your new endeavours!

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  11. Posted by just my take on

    Just my take on it but… unless the Inuit regions fight for an ethnic government, these colonial government structures are a continued form of colonization. Wana govern lands where Inuit were nomadic? You must speak, read and write (type) in Inuttitut.

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