Iqaluit council sets deadline for former mayor to pay back $9,500

Kenny Bell given until Nov. 30 to pay back money for Iceland trip

Iqaluit city councillors unanimously passed a motion last week asking former mayor Kenny Bell, pictured here, to pay back money he owes the city by Nov. 30. (File photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Emma Tranter

Iqaluit city councillors want former mayor Kenny Bell to pay back the nearly $9,500 he owes the city for a trip to Iceland by Nov. 30.

Councillors unanimously passed a motion on the topic on Oct. 25, imposing the deadline.

That motion, made by Coun. Paul Quassa and seconded by Coun. Romeyn Stevenson asserts: “Council paid for former mayor Kenny Bell to go to Iceland on Oct. 13, 2022, to represent the City of Iqaluit.”

Bell, who was the city’s mayor at the time, flew to Reykjavik, Iceland, in October for the 2022 Arctic Circle Assembly where he was scheduled to speak on a panel. But he did not show up to that speaking engagement.

Bell resigned as mayor days later, saying he made that decision after discussions with family and friends.

Chief administrative officer Amy Elgersma told Nunatsiaq News last month that Bell offered to repay the city for the costs of the trip, which included $4691.20 for flights, $3938.18 for accommodations and $855.40 for registration fees.

Bell did not respond to an interview request about council’s motion.

It’s not clear whether what, if any, authority council has to enforce the deadline it set for Bell to repay the money. Nunatsiaq News asked Quassa for clarification on that issue. He forwarded the request to city administration. Neither has provided a response.

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(29) Comments:

    • Posted by 867 on

      Not just mayors, but hamlet and gn staff getting sent out for training, medical patients bailing on their flights back to nunavut, list goes on.

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        • Posted by ✈️ on

          I used to work for the airline and just about every flight had duty travel or medical travel “no-shows”. It’s easy to tell based on the booking codes. Each no-show costs the government thousands and costs the person who decided to get drunk and miss their flight zero cents.

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          • Posted by The Old Trapper on

            Unless things have changed the GN medical and duty travel fares were able to be changed without penalty, so a no-show just costs the airline revenue it could have otherwise made. One of the perks of being the airline’s biggest customer.

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            • Posted by 🛫 on

              A no-show results in a ticket being forfeited. Medical travel fares are fully refundable and exchangeable but only up until 2 hours prior the flight. I’m sure the Airline has some level of leniency for emergencies, but they have no need to refund or exchange a ticket if it is within the two hour window. So, no, it doesn’t just cost the airline, it costs everyone.

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    • Posted by Quick on

      Irrelevant. Someone else doing something bad doesn’t make it okay for him to do it. Also, this was calculated and brazen, so I find it particularly offensive.

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  1. Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

    Council felt it necessary to pass a motion setting a deadline for reimbursement. An honourable public figure would have made the arrangements to transfer the funds to the City immediately with no fuss, no muss. What a sad and pathetic postscript to the infamous tenure of Mayor Bell….

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    • Posted by Rich on

      Seriously, who has that kind of money to just pay back in just one shot. If you have 10 grand lying around in your bank, you’re fortunate.

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      • Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

        If you don’t have that kind of money, you don’t get on the plane, or you get on the plane and do your job. Common sense is pretty simple isn’t it? It looks like the Mayor’s account is bare when it comes to both funds and common sense….

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      • Posted by Pay Up, Kenny on

        A couple things…
        .
        1. The city should have an accounts receivable system in place already. Probably Net 30 days, so as soon as Kenny doesn’t fulfill his duties, an invoice is made, and is payable to the city within 30 days. If not, sent notices, and after 90 days overdue send to collections. Something like that. There shouldn’t have to be council involvement.
        .
        2. A working adult Kenny’s age should have $10k available to him to repay his trip. Maybe not $10k cash in his bank account, but in investments or home equity or something else. Even a line of credit if that’s what he needs to pay back money he owes. Seriously, anybody working full-time at his age should have it. If you save $100 per 2-week paycheque, that’s $10 per day worked, you would have over $10,000 in less than 4 years. Kenny’s been working much longer than that, and just resigned from a job that paid over $100k per year. He should have much more available to repay his personal vacation.

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        • Posted by Northern Guy on

          You’re talking about the same City that has had deadbeat tax evaders on its books for decades with millions in uncollected revenue and still no repercussions. I am sure that Mr. Bell will bide his time and wait for the invoice to show up, which is highly unlikely given the City’s skill at financial management.

  2. Posted by Arrowhead on

    The people will never see that money again, has there been a follow up to Mr. Anablak leaving KIA….???? From what I’ve read on fake news, he and other KIA employees have used up your other funds as well??
    Asking for a friend.

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    • Posted by Northern Inuit on

      Last month there was a delegation of at least a dozen Kitikmeot Inuit Association Staff in Edmonton for meetings.

      All staying, at THE RIVER CREE HOTEL!

      I am sure they didn’t pay for it themselves.

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        • Posted by Northern Inuit on

          In Nunavut.

          ‘Why are the whole KIA and Kitikmeot Corp on an all expense trip to Edmonton in the first place?

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    • Posted by Cold bear on

      Please provide a link to these “fake news” about inuit LOL

  3. Posted by really on

    does anyone remember the NTI delegation that went to France when everyone knew what the outcome was going to be? how much did that cost?

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    • Posted by The Difference Is…. on

      Yes, but they weren’t public employees accountable to the public.

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        • Posted by Yes, But on

          Indeed, but they aren’t funded by the Nunavut taxpayer’s dollar. It is purely a private matter of a private organization – not a government official, and that makes all of the difference.

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          • Posted by But… on

            What role does NTI play in Nunavut?
            NTI maintains and promotes the Inuit Firm Registry, asserts Inuit Economic Rights and Benefits, and supports Inuit in developing the Nunavut economy.

            Where does a trip to France fit into this statement? And their funding doesnt magically show up, its given to them by the federal government, so yes it is taxpayers money

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            • Posted by Indeed… on

              All perfectly true and correct statements, but NTI employees are still not representatives of the people, they are representatives a special interest group.

              The standards to which they are held are de facto different. Representatives of the people are, rightly, held to a higher standard. Is that the way it should be? Probably not, but for now when public officials misbehave it is of greater import than when private employees misbehave.

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              • Posted by But… on

                arent they elected to their positions? so i dont know how someone who is voted by people, not a representative of the people

          • Posted by Northern Guy on

            Where do you think NTI gets the bulk of its money? From Canadian tax payers like you and I. Don’t kid yourself, NTI may be a private organization but the vast majority of its funding comes from the tax payer.

            • Posted by agree on

              you meant to reply to the person disagreeing with all my statements correct?

  4. Posted by Postal Worker on

    Let him keep it! Great guy and glad he had a good trip to Iceland. Kenny always fights the good fight.

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    • Posted by Morally bankrupt on

      Rrrrrright great guy who breached his duty to fulfil his basic obligation to attend the conference to represent the city of the Iqaluit. Let’s not forget Kenny got VTAs while as Mayor for the past three years. If Postal Worker is okay with Kenny having a good trip to Iceland, then you can reimburse the City for his vacation.

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