Man allegedly punches Iqaluit mayor, mayor punches back

Kenny Bell describes incident on Facebook

Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell recounts a violent incident he found himself in Friday outside one of the city’s grocery stores. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Bell/Facebook)

By Nunatsiaq News

Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell took to his Facebook account Friday afternoon to recount a violent incident he says he found himself in while on his way to do some grocery shopping earlier that day.

In the post, he describes a man approaching him and saying, “I want to fight you.”

“[He] threw a punch that hit me in the chest,” Bell said in the post.

“I popped him in the jaw with a left, he did the stanky leg and then ran away. I went and did my shopping. End of story.”

Bell did not say whether he reported the incident to RCMP, whether he sustained any injuries in the attack, or whether he suspects the person he punched suffered any injuries.

He also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell did not immediately respond to a request for comment, although he did offer more details in the comments underneath his post.

The post, which appeared on Facebook around 1 p.m. ET, garnered dozens of comments from people expressing concern, discussing violent incidents in front of Iqaluit stores and making light of the situation.

Bell said the incident happened “super fast” and that he didn’t know who the attacker was.

In a post later in the evening, Bell said he had “recently” learned the man had just got out of Iqaluit’s Baffin Correctional Centre.

“Hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else and yes something has to be done about the people just hanging outside our stores causing these unprovoked and random attacks,” Bell stated in a comment underneath his post.

“Hopefully we can get them the help they need.”

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(55) Comments:

  1. Posted by Crazy man on

    What a crap a example of a leader. There was no possibility he could have walked away? Called the cops? And then he turns to Facebook and jokes about it? This guy is a lunatic and a joke.

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    • Posted by Reaction on

      If someone attacked me, I would fight back.
      People will crap on Kenny, no matter his response. Armchair comments from those that dream they could do better.

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      • Posted by ExAirportWorker on

        Same exact thing happen to me,about 4Years ago as I was just checking my mail and getting off my truck behind post office, the only thing was,I over Reacted,leading me to loose my job after getting a criminal record. never the less,such a Treatning violent behavior and words from complete unknow weirdos (you wanna fight) should not be tolerate in this town. It disturb the peace and harmony of the peacefull iqaluit Neighborhood, not to mention, can put you in a lot of trouble,like it did to me, loosing your my Airport job and be wrongly accuse to starts it all.

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    • Posted by Jay Arnakak on

      if I could I’d done the same; protect my family. how far you want to go I’d say!

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    • Posted by AntiBully on

      People who talk trash like that are the kinda people who starts rumours and ruin people life,I know,I live here.
      So wise up and better yourself by meditation,yoga or Religion

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  2. Posted by Sigh on

    Self defence is one thing but wouldn’t one then be shaken, or in some sort of shock or at least discomfort afterward? Then, wouldn’t one report it to the RCMP, especially if one is a Mayor? And certainly, boasting of one’s left hook in this case is unbecoming a leader. And the comment about people in front of the store bothers me too. I would believe that some individuals are up to mischief, and Ventures used to play “deterrent” classical and other music supposedly for that reason, but mostly the mayor’s comment seem classist. Not a very decent way to behave after the alleged self defence incident.

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    • Posted by Lefty , then old right hook on

      The mayor was a gentleman. He restricted his self defence to a left hook only. For me if I was in the same self defence situation, it’s automatically a left first to prep the right hand for the completion of the take down, and the right leg usually aims mid section like a gear attached to the swing.

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    • Posted by The non learnable on

      Just because someone is a leader, doesn’t make it more acceptable to tolerate an idiotic attack, without any defence reactions. Congratulations to the mayor for showing his human side against the inhuman acts we see all too often. I’m not meeting violence for violence here, just a human being reacting to a savage act,. If the culprit was in jail , and just got out, it means it was a wrongful release and lock him up again., if it’s found before it injures someone else. If it belongs in the mental hospital, put in behind lock doors too, in a psychiatric setting. Let’s make this bothersome people zero tolerance.

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    • Posted by Mike Tyson on

      Guess you haven’t lived in Iqaluit for very long.

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      • Posted by Nose Knock Equals Shock LOL on

        The commenter seems to think one punch is enough to send our Mayor to PTSD land. It’s a punch. Most men get closer to their friends after a punch or two.

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  3. Posted by High road on

    I’m sure there was certainly, 100%, definitely, without a doubt, for sure, absolutely, zero chance of de-escalation. A bruised ego hurts more than a bruised chest.

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    • Posted by More like High and Mighty on

      Allowing yourself to be assaulted is not a “high road” to anywhere. I get that it is easy and probably feels quite good for you to pontificate and moralize from the comfort of your couch though.

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  4. Posted by Name withheld on

    I guess it takes “picking on a Mayor to finally get those hangers outside the NortMart get notice?”

    It’s pretty sad though that the Mayor had to get all proud talking about his lefty. And to top it off posting it to get attention.

    What about to posting about the issue with water that we had? Where were the post when we needed an update or some answers? Go Figure Kenny!!!

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    • Posted by To be fair on

      To be fair, if he hasn’t posted about it, false allegations would spread online like wild fire. Facebook and nunavut are two things that often don’t go well together. I think we’ve all seen the disgusting factory of lies known as “iqaluit rant and rave” where anybody can say anything for “likes”.

      He did what he had to do: Stand his ground. Nobody should have to deal with that kind of crap and northmart has no reason to not have armed security guards patrolling their grounds. All this would have been avoided if they actually enforced their “no loitering” rule.

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      • Posted by Where the hell? on

        Where the heck are you going to get armed guards? They don’t even have cashiers!

        It’s not their job to remove or enforce loitering that’s the bylaw and cops who do nothing to help!

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        • Posted by Cham on

          No, it isn’t the job of the police or bylaw to patrol private businesses and manage their entrances. They respond to calls for help, or at least that is their job. The businesses have a responsibility to pay attention to what is going on outside their doors. If people don’t leave when they are told or if something illegal is going on, then they are supposed to call the police or bylaw to help. Northmart can certainly afford to hire qualified security to do this. And if there are no qualified security in town (there aren’t), they can and should hire professionals from down south to train security guards properly for all their stores. Same goes for ventures.

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      • Posted by That’s a Bad Idea for Sure on

        Security guards – yes, armed? Most definitely not. This the job for peace officers, not mere security guards.

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  5. Posted by Making himself a target on

    His jokes that he is a tough guy will ensure someone will go after him again

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    • Posted by Opportunity knocks for cowards on

      I bit , that he won’t be attacked again. Not too many cowards are willing to jeopardize their teeth. Just knowing that he is capable and willing to deliver keeps those types away.

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  6. Posted by Street Politics on

    I don’t see anything wrong with Mr. Bell’s actions. Good for him for defending himself.

    These pious criticisms pouring in from a choir of critics sipping their wine or beer on a Friday night should be taken lightly. These people aren’t seriously considering what a situation like that is actually like in the real world, but relishing their chance to grandstand and put on an exhibition of virtue.

    As for walking away, if someone is attacking you it only makes sense to stand your ground and lay one on their chin–or whatever you are able to do with your hands that causes them to run off.

    Well played…

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  7. Posted by 867 on

    Sounds like Mayor of Iqaluit should come with full security detail kind of like Justin Trudeau heh. Would make a pretty good reality TV series too

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    • Posted by Reminds me of Chrétien on

      Maybe it’s time to have more security for more people, in certain high risk positions, I don’t know. One thing for sure, lots of people out there that needs to be dealt with. And the scene of lunatics outside of stores in the north has always been annoying., drunks more so. You think the mayor needs security just like the prime minister, maybe, but I think the mayor is more like Jean Chrétien than Justin Trudeau. As much as I’m for peace, I can’t help to applaud the Iqaluit mayor, and some people , me too, think that many people that bother others deserve two smacks in the jaw. For those that are bothering others beware that it could happen to you too. And if the mayor do get security, get one that can throw a good left and right handed blow when needed.

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      • Posted by Again on

        Now that the mayor has set the tone, it most definitely will happen again.

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  8. Posted by Frodo’s Parka on

    Perhaps the municipal revenue collectors, I mean municipal enforcement officers, could spend less time chasing expired plates and more time enforcing tougher no-loitering laws that maybe our enlightened city council could pass, but I guess that would involve them having to get out of their vehicles, and could only be between the hours of 9 to 5.

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    • Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

      Of course we need people loitering to be cleared out. But I’m happy that bylaw is chasing expired plates and hope they keep doing so. Driving with an expired plate probably means you have no insurance. On any given day, I bet there are many uninsured motorists on our roads. And what happens when someone is seriously injured by a motorist who has no insurance? I think you get the picture.

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      • Posted by Be careful on

        Yes, drivers should be aware and drive carefully as to watch out for those running away after being defended off from attacking innocent people going about their business. Oh, yes that’s call karma , and be good to have insurance anyway, just in case.

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  9. Posted by Real world calling on

    There is no shame in using your hands and body to fend off an attacker.

    Those of you who are here to shame the Mayor for doing so don’t live in the real world.

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    • Posted by Joke on

      I think the bigger issue is the way the mayor, a ‘leader’, handled it after the fact by posting it on Facebook and joking about it.

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      • Posted by Don’t see the problem on

        What is wrong with that in your mind?

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        • Posted by We deserve better on

          As a leader , joking about a violent matter whether he was defending himself or not shows a lack of maturity and is extremely distasteful. Given all the social issues in this town due to residential schools and drugs and alcohol, you would think the mayor could be a little more careful in detailing the situation instead of joking about this serious matter and issue. It’s was gross and just further exemplifies the incompetence and immaturity. We deserve better than this. If you can’t see that for yourself, then maybe spend some time reflecting on why and how people end up hanging outside those stores in the first place while intoxicated and no where else to go. It a not funny.

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          • Posted by Kabuki Theatre on

            I see a lot of performative outrage in your comment.

            You don’t like the mayor. You are here to playing up your affectation in dramatic fits to ensure no one else see’s even the slightest redeeming quality in him. That is biggest concern among all the sanctimonious wails and fake grievance here.

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  10. Posted by Fake news on

    Ding Ding Ding. He really needed that to happen at this point in his career.

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  11. Posted by Northener on

    So now something needs to be done about the grocery stores being a hangout out front but the last 20 years of complaints fell on deaf ears.

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  12. Posted by wheezy on

    I have no doubt he heard what the guy said to him the first time. That would have been the appropriate time to keep walking, call the police for uttering a threat or find the store manager to deal with the person. But because of his ego, he engaged with a fool, and when you do that, you become a fool.

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    • Posted by Far too many fools on

      I think mr Bell engaged just doing what anyone would do. What’s wrong with not assuming that it’s a fool, and asking what was said, even though many would have ignored it as another fool, idiot, lunatic, all the above. It’s even generous of the mayor to inquire clarification of what a citizen is trying to say to him. Good call on the mayor’s defence, attempting his politeness, and enduring an attack, and using his right to defend. That’s a mayor to look up to.

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  13. Posted by Ring my Bell on

    Our Mayor will go bells to the wall to defend himself and community. Normally our mayor is a bit discrete, but this time he chose to kiss and bell. After the incident our mayor was given clean bell of health. He chose to post about the incident before someone else did on Iqaluit Buy and Bell. In the end, only time will bell if the assailant is live and bell.

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  14. Posted by Too late on

    More people giving props to the mayor then worried about the trauma people have experienced that cause them to be intoxicated and hanging around. Get your heads straight. This is a seriously issue and the mayor of all people shouldn’t be joking about it. Now wait for the saviouring this man is gonna try to do after he belittled this situation. Too late.

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  15. Posted by Ian on

    Our Mayor cannot even go shopping, without getting into a fistfight, people throwing rocks at Trudeau,Covid madness, war in Ukraine, Putin going to use nukes, I will be glad when spring fishing starts.

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  16. Posted by Not adding up on

    I’d be curious to know the other side of the story. Likely this man was intoxicated. Was the mayor in such danger and the threat so high that he couldn’t walk away? Was he so fearful for his safety yet able to continue on with his shopping without calling the cops? It’s not really adding up.

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    • Posted by Poor fella on

      I guess the poor guy was scared . No other reason to react like that.

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  17. Posted by Qikiqtaaummiu on

    our mayor is out of touch and not in service for the people it shows that the colonization very exist and showing off their stuff in public=discusting where do people find and vote for these people. the individuale should charge the public servent or better yet we need to hear both side os story to get the real issue.What next taxi fair raises and home owners footing bills ect.we need transparent and local people in the chambers we are runned by visitors=what a mess.

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    • Posted by iRoll on

      Wow, it only took 46 comments for “colonialism” to be the problem!

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  18. Posted by Shame on

    Well at least his after term book will have some action in it.

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  19. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    This is clearly a case of self-defense. They both got one punch in and then the instigator split. I don’t know why we should be made to feel sorry for a guy who just assaults someone out of the blue for no apparent reason. The only mistake Bell made was writing about it on social media and opening himself up to the usual bashing BS that social media is so good at. How many times have we seen public figures/politicians get attacked by disgruntled types? They usual get it back and dragged off by security. This guy is luck he got away with what he dished out and it was over. I guess he thought he was a a big man sucker punching someone just trying to go into the store to shop. Hardly a story worth writing about. Move on.

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  20. Posted by Duffman on

    At least we have a beer and wine store, now let’s open a weed store and everything will e
    Much better. Planning ahead sure makes things easier.

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