Our top 10 online stories of the past decade, 2010-20

Landing of a massive Antonov aircraft in Iqaluit in 2017 remains our most-read story

The huge Antonov 124 aircraft comes in to land at the Iqaluit airport on Feb. 4, 2017. The moment was caught by Miali Buscemi, who, along with other plane-watchers, was at the runway to catch the plane’s descent. The story of its landing remains our top-read article from 2010 to 2020. (Photo by Miali Buscemi)

By Jane George

The most-read stories on the Nunatsiaq News website over the past decade range from the amazing to the tragic.

Thanks to Google Analytics, we can see that, among the more than 48 million page views registered since the start of 2010, 10 stories attracted the most readers.

• Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. lays off 586 contracted employees working at its Mary River mine. The move, which initially affected 96 Inuit, came shortly after the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s decision on Nov. 6 to abruptly adjourn its public hearing on the mining company’s expansion plans. The company later said it would retain some of the laid-off Inuit workers, leaving 48 laid off. This story was also the top story of 2019.

A huge Antonov aircraft flies an engine to Nunavut for a stranded Swiss jet in 2017: it was a sight you don’t see often at the Iqaluit airport: one of the biggest heavy-lift aircraft ever built.

That’s what many Iqaluit plane-spotters wanted to see on Feb. 4, 2017, when they gathered at the end of the airport’s runway at 3:30 p.m., just before sunset turned the snow pink and deep purple—and despite a wind chill of -46 C.

The Antonov 124 travelled from Zurich, a trip of more than 4,000 kilometres, with a new engine for a Swiss International Airlines Boeing 777-300 that had made an emergency landing in Iqaluit on Feb. 1.

The repair job put Iqaluit’s airport on the map, as a team of engineers worked 24-7 in frigid temperatures to take off the faulty engine and put on the new one.

The Swiss International Airlines flight left on Feb. 8 for Zurich—followed by the departure of the Antonov late in the evening for the U.K.

A book on the altar of the Holy Trinity Church in Kangirsuk contains messages from people in that Ungava Bay community for the family of Steve Dery, a constable with Nunavik’s police force who was killed on March 2, 2012, in Kuujjuaq when he responded to a domestic violence call. Dery served in Kangirsuk in 2009. (Submitted photo)


A Kativik Regional Police Force officer is killed in Kuujjuaq in 2013: A member of the KRPF, Steve Dery, 27, died on March 2, 2013, in Kuujjuaq after he and Joshua Boreland, his partner in Nunavik’s police force, were shot at when they responded to a call involving domestic violence.

The armed standoff that followed ended just before 3 p.m. on March 3, when members of the special tactical squad from the Sûreté du Québec provincial police entered a residence and found the dead body of young man, Jodie Saunders, who appeared to have died by suicide inside the same residence.

Pilots report the sighting of an unidentified flying object in 2018 between Iqaluit and the Mary River mine: The pilots, flying a Nolinor Aviation Boeing 737-200 jet, reported that the sighting took place at about 8:30 p.m. local time on Nov. 24, 2018. Their incident report to Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System, or CADORS, gave few details about what they saw, but it suggested the sighting could have involved a weather balloon, meteor, rocket or another unidentified flying object.

The CADORS report says that the North American Aerospace Defence Command, NORAD, was advised. The flight experienced “no impact to operations.”

A video of a Nunavik woman plucking a bird goes viral in 2014:A young woman from Nunavik grabbed the public’s attention after she reportedly plucked and ate a bird on a busy metro train in Montreal in July 2014. The video, shot from a distance, showed a woman hunched over, apparently plucking feathers from a bird while nearby passengers get up and move away. The bird plucker identified herself on social media as Christina David, a young woman from Kangiqsujuaq who was living in Montreal.

“It’s not like we get to eat our country food every day,” she said on social media. “I was so happy that I didn’t care where I was at the moment but all I have to say is that I ain’t crazy.”

A Nunavut RCMP member dies in an off-duty snowmobile mishap in 2018: Graham Thomas Holmes, 30, of Shawnigan Lake, B.C, died after he drove his machine over a 30-metre cliff, in an area called Bloody Falls, in Kugluk Territorial Park, about 13 kilometres southwest of Kugluktuk. Holmes had lived in Kugluktuk for about a year and a half.

Here’s the way the barricades looked in Happy Valley in April 2015, when an armed standoff kept the Iqaluit neighbourhood under a lockdown. (File photo)

Iqaluit’s Happy Valley neighbourhood endures a three-day standoff in April 2015: The area was under a 41-hour lockdown as police dealt with an armed shooter. Nunavut Justice Paul Bychok later sentenced Jamie Mikijuk, 28, to less than the four-year mandatory minimum sentence due to his early guilty plea for recklessly discharging a firearm during the standoff. Crown lawyers later challenged the amount of jail time imposed, saying it fell below the mandatory minimum sentence for the crimes he committed. The Crown lawyers’ challenge was successful, so the accused’s jail time reverted to four years

A child dies in a Coral Harbour knife attack in May 2016: Shepa Jar was later charged with one count of second-degree murder of her eight-year old daughter, along with two counts of attempted murder of her two young sons.

A man in Cambridge Bay loses a fight to save his hands in 2016: Romeo Tucci, 37, suffered severe frostbite on his hands after remaining outside for too long. There was an effort to raise money to provide robotic hands to Tucci but the trained chef now has a feed on YouTube called the Hands Free Chef.

Do feed the bears, Arctic researchers suggest in 2013: Nunavut polar bears might one day make the move away from their preferred diet of seal to store-bought foods such as “commercially-formulated bear chow,” a group of southern scientists suggested in a paper, “Rapid Ecosystem Change and Polar Bear Conservation” in the journal Conservation Letters. While feeding polar bears is a “radical” solution, they said, “future conditions may be well outside the range of past circumstances and necessitate very different actions than today.”

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