Kimberly Smith appointed to Iqaluit city council

Newcomer will replace former councillor Sheila Flaherty

Kimberly Smith is Iqaluit’s newest city councillor after she was appointed to the role on June 28. Smith spoke about the importance of youth and women being represented in the council chamber, as well as her background as a tradesperson and willingness to listen to others. (Photo by David Lochead)

By David Lochead

Iqaluit’s city council has a new member after Kimberly Smith was appointed to the role during Tuesday’s council meeting.

She told Nunatsiaq News she is excited and a little nervous.

“I know it’s going to be a learning curve for me but I’m excited to put the work in,” she said.

It was the second time Smith applied for a council appointment. She applied last winter, when two council seats opened after the departures of  Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster and John Fawcett. Paul Quassa and Ookalik Curley were appointed to fill those vacancies.

Smith will replace Sheila Flaherty, who stepped down from her council position in April.

Smith was up against Lili Weeman and Keith Baines for the role.

All three applicants were given five minutes to describe what they could contribute to council, as well as what they believe are important traits in a city councillor and why.

The council members who were present to vote were Mayor Kenny Bell, who attended virtually, and councillors Kyle Sheppard, Romeyn Stevenson and Paul Quassa. Smith is scheduled to be sworn in on July 12.

Smith, who said she was born and raised in Iqaluit, noted that she will represent the youth in Iqaluit, adding its population is one of the youngest in the country.

She also referred to her career as an electrician and how that will help her perform as a community leader.

“Tradespeople are problem solvers,” Smith said.

“We don’t see an obstacle and turn around. Instead we reroute, rethink, imagine, work together … and get the job done.”

She added that if she makes mistakes as a councillor, she will be willing to listen, learn and improve.

To show her effort, Smith also mentioned that she increased the list of signatures of Iqalummiut who support her, from 130 the last time she applied, to 203 this time.

Smith also talked about the need for more women on Iqaluit city council: Ookalik Curley is currently the only female city councillor.

“Let’s change that today and show our young women that a woman’s place is in city council or wherever else she wants to be,” Smith said.

Lili Weeman gave a speech noting the time and experience she had to devote to council, because she is retired. She also spoke about the need for improved infrastructure and the need for more women on council.

Keith Baines, the final applicant, spoke about knowing the city well because he has lived in Iqaluit since 1973. He also spoke about his willingness to work with others and be well researched on decisions.

There is one more vacant council seat left to fill, after Joanasie Akumalik resigned last week.

Council will discuss at an undetermined later date how it will fill that vacancy, according to City of Iqaluit spokesperson Aleksey Cameron.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by TTP on

    Congratulations Kim !!

  2. Posted by 867 on

    Didnt the City lift the mask mandate? Weird to wear a mask for the photo

    • Posted by chikly on

      Some people still make the choice to mask up. It’s still recommended, even if it isn’t required. She might have someone she’s close with who is sick or immunocompromised, or maybe she was just being thoughtful and wearing a mask and didn’t think to take it off for a picture. Maybe she has a cold, or someone in the room had a disgusting cough. Lots of possibilities, but she shouldn’t be criticized for following recommendations.

    • Posted by TTP on

      I find it weird that the first thing you noticed was the mask . GO KIM !!!!!!!!

    • Posted by S on

      You’re right, 867; it is extraordinarily weird to wear a mask without mandate and with distancing – kinda like wearing white socks in sandals

      No shortage of weirdness coming out of the woodwork in the past 2 years, past decade really. Helps give disclosure to the rest of us

      • Posted by wined on

        Wearing a mask is still required in municipal buildings. The last announcement about it from the City was on May 26, and it was a reminder that masks are still required. Even if she wasn’t required to wear a mask though, I wouldn’t find it “extraordinarily weird” if someone made the choice to wear one. You have no idea about their health or vaccination status, or that of ones she lives with. It’s sad that being careful for the sake of one’s health or the health of one’s neighbors is considered extraordinarily weird. Not everyone has a me-first attitude.

  3. Posted by Democracy on

    No more elections?

    • Posted by Lolz on

      Take that up with Elections Nunavut and the members of the Legislative Assembly who took by-elections for council out of the elections act.

      Hamlets can only appoint from the list of candidates that ran for election or call for public interest.

      Council is simply following the Nunavut laws.

    • Posted by Yes on

      Byelections are tremendously expensive to run which is exactly why Nunavut’s municipal elections legislation allows for alternate means of filling vacancies such as this one.

      Ms. Smith and all the rest of Nunavut’s councilors and mayors will have to run in the regularly scheduled municipal elections coming up in October of 2023 if they would like to continue to represent their communities.

    • Posted by Consistency on

      We have such low voter turn out and such high turnover rate for Hamlet councils that elections ever 4 years atleast makes it seem like something is happening.

      maybe for the 4 year general election all names over 19 should just be put in a hat and drawn… just as likely someone good will get picked (and if they arent good they will quite in a few months anyway and then re-draw a name and continue on), might also get some luck with forcing someone who would be good but is shy to step up.

      said with extrem sarcasm with a hint of truth. 🙂

  4. Posted by Will they last the term on

    Hopefully this councillor can last the remaining months left on the term….. Hopefully they also don’t punch anyway….

  5. Posted by My 2 cents on

    Obviously this 4 year term for Hamlet Council doesn’t work. Elections Nunavut should get their act together and bring back 2 year term for Hamlet Council.

  6. Posted by Great but on

    Great to have a young professional woman added to the council,but after a replacement is picked, presumably also without an election, how many councillors will we have that we elected?


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