Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell resigns

Resignation comes on heels of Arctic Circle conference he flew abroad for but did not attend

Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell has resigned, according to a statement he posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. (File photo)

By Emma Tranter

Updated on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022 at 5:15 p.m.

Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell has resigned, according to a statement he posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

“After discussing with my family and friends I have made the decision to resign my position of Mayor of [Iqaluit] as of today,” Bell wrote in a tweet at about 2:30 p.m.

Later in the afternoon, the city issued a news release announcing that Bell had officially tendered his resignation “effective immediately.”

Deputy Mayor Solomon Awa will serve as mayor and Coun. Kyle Sheppard has stepped into the deputy mayor’s spot until council determines how to fill Bell’s vacancy or until the 2023 municipal election, about a year away.

Iqaluit Deputy Mayor Solomon Awa, sits in the mayor’s chair in the city’s council chamber Tuesday, at the start of an emergency council meeting. Awa will replace Kenny Bell on an interim basis. Bell resigned as mayor “effective immediately,” according to a city news release issued Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

Bell, who grew up in Nunavut’s capital city and previously worked for the Government of Nunavut, was elected mayor in 2019 to serve a four-year term.

“I thank our deputy mayor/s and all of our councillors past and present for the work they put in to help make our term successful, we did a lot of work under unprecedented times and we should all be very proud,” Bell wrote.

His resignation comes after the City of Iqaluit paid to send him to a conference in Iceland that he did not attend, despite travelling there on the city’s dime.

Bell did not offer a reason for his resignation and did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Nunatsiaq News.

Bell flew to Reykjavik, Iceland, last week to attend the 2022 Arctic Circle Assembly, which took place from Oct. 13 to 16.

Bell was scheduled to speak on a panel on Oct. 14 titled, “Youth in the Arctic — Creating Attractive Living Conditions,” but did not show up, confirmed Matthildur María Rafnsdóttir, Arctic Circle’s media director.

Iqaluit’s chief administrative officer, Amy Elgersma, said the city paid for Bell to attend the Arctic Circle event.

She also said Bell informed city administration Tuesday morning that he did not attend the conference “where he was to represent the City of Iqaluit as a delegate and a speaker.”

“The trip was paid for using city funds. He has not provided an explanation but has offered to repay the city for the trip expenses,” Elgersma wrote in an email.

She did not respond to questions about the cost of Bell’s trip.

City council will review the matter, Elgersma said.

Reached by Nunatsiaq News before he announced his resignation, Bell refused to comment on his attendance at Arctic Circle Assembly and said he would explain “early next week.”

“Feel free to run what you want if you are in a big hurry for a breaking story and I won’t talk next week when there is a real story,” he said in a Twitter message Tuesday.

More than 100 Canadian delegates attended the Arctic Circle Assembly last week, the largest delegation the country has ever sent.

Councillors held an emergency closed-door meeting Tuesday evening — about three hours after Bell’s resignation.

A legal item was listed on the meeting’s agenda, issued by the city hall earlier in the afternoon.

Councillors are allowed to meet behind closed doors to discuss legal matters affecting the city but they are required to publicly report any decision they make during that meeting.

At the end of Tuesday’s 35-minute meeting, councillors moved right into a previously scheduled planning committee meeting without reporting anything from the private session, and without taking a reporter’s questions.

 

Share This Story

(57) Comments:

  1. Posted by Finally!! on

    (See my name)

    36
    5
    • Posted by andy baba on

      They Will Finaly Stop Bothering him and Rain on his parade,iqaluit the is One of the Nastyest place for that kinda missbehaviour,and you know what? to make it a better place it all starts at home on how we treat and teach our kids respect for elders and the way we treat other,in public at the bar,store,post etc Make iqaluit great again,be more social,loving and caring, bible says somewhere in some verse, Love Thy Neighboor, not fear your neighboor or harass your neighboor, we migt or might not end up thinking we miss that mayr at city hall,just like when the ex leave you,you dont know what you had since its gone,yeap,the one that got away. goodbye mister mair

      14
      43
      • Posted by Thomas Shelby on

        Exactly, hardest place in the world to be a mayor I’m sure.

  2. Posted by Thirsty on

    Bubba for mayor!

    8
    11
    • Posted by Bubba on

      bubba want big hat no dog road plz

      4
      4
  3. Posted by So, It Has Come to This on

    Resigning in disgrace…. sigh.

    43
    6
    • Posted by Horatio Hornblower on

      What is the disgrace? Going to Iceland? Meh… that’s it?

      13
      42
      • Posted by eskimo joe on

        Something at Iceland must have happened, not showing up at Internation Conference to speak? How did the Canadian delegation feel I wonder? A critic of itty bitty things in the city; what happened?

  4. Posted by The Downward spiral on

    So we lose our SAO and Mayor Kenny in the same month?! The capital is finally free of the Kenny clown-show but left pretty much leaderless and largely understaffed.

    56
    5
    • Posted by City Blues on

      The damage the both have done will take the city a decade to recover. Under Staffing, no pension, low salaries, all the while the 2 of them were making $200,000.

      Why the heck would anyone want to work at the city.

      The pool which is haemorrhaging 5 million a year, a water plant older than I am, a landfill that’s full and the new one years away from opening. Sewer system in tatters holding up new housing.

      What poor decisions the city has endured by the two of them, not just the mayor but also the CAO.

      So long, I’m sure you are both nice people but the damage has been done.

      Who ever is left at City Hall, good luck, the residents of Iqaluit are counting on you!

      74
      4
  5. Posted by Bye on

    Finally. This man has embarrassed Iqaluit enough. He couldn’t attend his session but was touring around Iceland and posting pictures. And in terms of his thank you’s to the GN and others , he has been blasting personal attacks for the last three years. It was not his job to do that. What a disgrace. Time to move on with a real leader who refreshed an from violence and nonsensical gibberish.

    92
    4
  6. Posted by Evie Thordarson on

    As a former resident of Nunavut Territory I have followed what happens in the territory and Mr. Bell couldn’t wait to take on the big job of Mayor of Iqaluit but to travel to Iceland on the city payroll and not attend this all important conference is a real slap in the face for Iqaluit residents .Your right , you need to step down, repay the city for this pleasure trip and let someone more responsible take the helm of the city because you have lost your way.

    57
    6
  7. Posted by shiat on

    It must be because thanks no thanks to the GN! Right!

    7
    4
  8. Posted by Shawn on

    He can go home instead of using up Nunavut housing for nothing.
    Everybody’s sick of him anyway.
    Locals should be hired to lead the generation.

    19
    63
    • Posted by Education Is Good on

      A little bit of education would help. He grew up in Iqaluit and he has his own house. So, not sure the point you trying to make since it’s false.

      63
      7
      • Posted by Can you please provide us with Ex-Mayors qualification then? on

        You are boosting the Ex-Mayor had education to qualify for the job and saying others may not have the qualifications? We may want to pursue the job and need to know and compare our education to the Ex-Mayor.

        8
        27
    • Posted by For Better or Worse on

      Bell is a ‘local’ by any definition.

      31
      15
    • Posted by Yeaok on

      He was born there and lived there all his life! Hahahhahaha,
      Where you from Shawn?

      28
      5
    • Posted by Facts on

      Go Home? Kenny was born in the Northwest Territories, which Nunavut was apart prior to 1999… He is home

      Using up Nunavut housing? Kenny owns his own house.

      Your statement is nothing more then misinformation.

      22
      5
    • Posted by Ned Flanders on

      Maybe his Great, Great, Great Grandmother was an “Inuit Snow Princess.”

  9. Posted by Bye! on

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

    38
    1
    • Posted by city maintnance guay on

      please no slaming door or verbaly abuse doors as we,at city maintnance allready work,oh soo hard you know lol

      16
      3
  10. Posted by Blame Game on

    Who is he going to blame this time?? Stay tuned, apparently. He’ll find someone to blame, it can’t be his fault. No. Learn to take responsibility for your actions, Kenny.

    57
    2
  11. Posted by Poor mayor on

    I think mayor bell might have realized that no one thinks mayor bell is as great as mayor bell thinks he is. Inflated ego with nothing to back it up. He did everything he critiqued other people for. Waste of iqaluits time and money. Couldn’t take the heat so he got out. Don’t run if you can’t take it

    54
    5
    • Posted by little trumpet smurff on

      seriously an offense to all of us citizen,our mair not attending some boring speach.great we have the water center,too bad he didnt have time to build a zoo i love monkeys and pingouins,people of the town,lets all pull together positive energy and focus on the future challengest this town is facing,the city is growing at a fast speed and its old infrastructure need to be exspanded and modernise,the cold north condition is a hard place for any infrastructure,both physicly and moneytaraly.some new very high investment in the form of green energy,high tech solution and ev vehicule should be consider,in 2025 the new winter cold ev battery will be mass produce and thus available for the north as well.the world is changing so is the technology and solution to old problem,this city have lots to over come,and can only suceed with possitivity and suport for all, JOB OPPENING: MAIR WANTED

      5
      27
  12. Posted by Sad guy on

    Turns out this guy really cares what people say even though he said he didn’t. Criticism got to him but he criticized everyone. Seems like he got his feelings hurt.

    38
    4
  13. Posted by Ninny Nick on

    May Iqaluit remember this great man with a statue at the 4 corners.

    25
    25
    • Posted by Mary on

      He guided us through many hard times – Covid and the water crisis. When Iqaluit was thirsty, he flew in bottled water for all of us. I hope the statue gets built so we can all remember and honor him.

      12
      16
  14. Posted by Thanks for Trying on

    Any politician’s job is a hate-magnet theses days. Regardless of anything that may or may not have happened in Iceland I appreciate the effort that Kenny put in. People who grew up with him know he’s a nice, well meaning guy.
    Any of the above trolls are welcome to step up, put your money where your mouth is.

    38
    45
    • Posted by Read the news on

      Recent news articles might tell you otherwise.

      35
      3
      • Posted by Did you? on

        But did you really grow up with this guy cause your words don’t match the experiences of many who did.?

        30
        8
        • Posted by Read the news on

          Yes, I’ve had conversations with him for almost 2 decades.

          5
          11
  15. Posted by Harris on

    Something happened to cause this and I hope the city is transparent . If something happened while he was in a work trip citizens deserve to know.

    45
    • Posted by Nothing happened on

      Nothing happened in Iceland. He has been telling people all over town that he has a new job offer.

      Accepting a trip to Iceland knowing he wasn’t going to the conference and was going to resign is extremely dishonest and speaks to this man’s character.

      72
      2
      • Posted by Runaway man on

        what use,to stay and remain at work at the mercy of ungry hounds and mob howlling and grinding their tooth in hanger and just waiting for your next move or words to ngatively comment or punch you outside the public store as you do your groceries,any other job anywhere else can only be better then here with such a diabolical audience, we will never get a new mayor, evil live here,be aware and welcome to iqaluit.

        5
        25
      • Posted by Slimy on

        I can’t think of a place that this guy hasn’t insulted that would offer him a job especially now knowing that he went to Iceland on the taxpayers dime knowing full well he was going to step down.

        44
      • Posted by Not a lawyer but on

        If he in fact knew that he was not going to present his speech and attend the conference this may be a legal issue that he could be charged with or sued over. So common we see others have taken public funds for their benefit . Even if he pays it back Nunavut has been tarnished by these actions at a world conference. hope they cancelled his hotel and tickets for return flights.

        40
  16. Posted by Qikiqtaaluk on

    Noah for Iqaluit Mayor!

    5
    44
    • Posted by Picky Mickey on

      he’s got a lot of wisdom

      3
      21
  17. Posted by Piitaqanngi on

    A lot of you might be thinking that being a mayor is a piece of cake. Kenny had enough gall in him to run for that thankless position. Probably had the right intentions to do so.
    But Iqaluit residents are very vindictive. No matter who the mayor is, you’ll figure out a way to trash the person. All the while not having any balls to run for council, let alone the Mayoral position.
    No wonder he quit. No one will remember the things he fought for on your behalf.
    As I said before, vote for the right person who you think will be able to fill the shoes of a great mayor. Otherwise, shit the hell up

    19
    35
  18. Posted by angry Iqaluimut on

    Good bye. Good Riddance! Kenny

    26
    3
  19. Posted by 975 on

    So long Kenny “Twitterfingers” Bell 🔔 Gonna find someway to Blame GN for quitting?

    39
    1
  20. Posted by Bob Lee on

    This 4-year term for municipal councillors doesn’t work. Somebody ought to challenge them in supreme court because according to Hamlets Act, only one third has to be appointed/ acclaimed to Hamlet Council. If 4 or more are appointed or acclaimed without being elected, Hamlets are breaking the Hamlet’s Act.

    22
    3
    • Posted by Rob Hedley on

      Status of appointees (5) A council member who is appointed under subsection (1) shall be deemed to be duly elected

      Acclaimed candidates are also considered duly elected

      I suggest you re-read the Hamlets Act again

      And if you have a Legislative concern I would suggest forwarding a complaint to a Municipal Inspector as that is their job to ensure oversight

  21. Posted by Fact check on

    They say Kenny was formerly emplyed by GN. My understanding he has been on leave this entire time and will return to work as liquor inspector soon enough. I hope they watch the amount of trips and travel he took for that job.

    26
    9
  22. Posted by lisp… on

    So long Mr. Tyson ~~(TYPO)~~ sorry about that! let me try again, So long Mr. Bell

    8
    3
  23. Posted by Ron Inuk on

    This is not the first time happening, remember Louis Tapardjuk and David Joanisee went to attend meetings on government expense but were too drunk to attend. At least he has not given any explanation yet

    35
    1
  24. Posted by Terry Dobbin on

    Kenny did a good job considering that Iqaluit is basically just one make work project! Everything and anything in Iqaluit is based on funding from the federal government. ( As high as 98% transfer payments). Absolutely nothing is done to help local businesses and create a local tax base and be self sustainable as a City. Building an economy and contributing to the rest of Canada is not part of the vocabulary for Iqaluit. Nunavut as a thriving mineral industry that could lead to economic wealth for generations but yet it seems everything is being done to squash it.
    Surprised you lasted this long, Kenny!

    27
    21
  25. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    Iqaluit has become such a screwed up place. Anyone in the mayor’s seat will get crucified no matter what. No wonder everyone keeps quiting SAO, councillors, mayor ,politicians, GN civil service etc…… The ideal job would be a quiet 9-5 out of the public sector where no one is going to be constantly holding your feet over a fire,.

    26
    5
    • Posted by Get what you give on

      The issue is that mayor bell has been very critical of many and has resorted to public and personal attacks both in his former role as councillor and currently as mayor. The compassion and understanding that he may need is not what he has provided to others. He was unrelenting in his public criticism of past mayors , the media, staff of organizations and some members of the public. He has set the stage for this mentality and unfortunately he is getting what he gave .

      31
  26. Posted by Ian on

    Thanks for your efforts Kenny, next up somebody to torture,no wonder our talent pool of people running is so thin

    13
    16
  27. Posted by John Doe on

    He should have been kicked to the curve after he allowed half the city to drink gas for months.

    24
    1
  28. Posted by Arnaq on

    I once had a male supervisor who was really incompetent. He was my supervisor for 5 years and I did his job for him because that’s what the system enabled and allowed. When I informed him that I had a job elsewhere and was leaving it took him all of one month to find another job and another well-meaning, hard-working, competent stooge to do his job for him. Instead of stooge I should say woman.

    13
    6
  29. Posted by YCO on

    he and former mayor gross are cut from the exact same cloth why did anyone vote for them in the first place???

    24
  30. Posted by Popcorn please! on

    Idk which are more interesting, NN comments section or FB Iqaluit R&R! 🙂

  31. Posted by Embarrassing on

    This guy thinks and speaks like a kid. Going all the way to Iceland representing the city of Iqaluit as the mayor and a speaker at the Arctic circle assembly but once he gets there never attends the conference, imagine what the organizers thought of this no show mayor and the other delegations, so embarrassing for Iqaluit and the city.
    How does this guy think? He will never be taken seriously maybe he never really was taken seriously but man even more now. His political career is done, no one will take him seriously anymore.
    I do hope the city will be paid back by this guy. Embarrassing!

    24
    1
  32. Posted by G-man Choi on

    Ok now that everyone has crucified Kenny, who will step up to run for Mayor. I hope all the negative commentors are lining up because they seem to know everything and in their minds, it must be an easy job, so come on people, sign up as soon as you can. Pffft there better be lots come election time.

    I’m not a Kenny fan by any means but everyone looking to lynch him should think twice as it would be one of the hardest jobs in Canada to fill, there are so many geniuses here in Iqaluit who know everything and blast off on anyone who doesn’t do what they think should be done.

    4
    4

Comments are closed.