Pro-bar letter was deceptive


This is in response to a letter that Joseph Morneau recently had deposited in our mailboxes, which fails miserably to make the people of Iqaluit fully aware of the truth of story surrounding the Uvagut Bar application and the players involved.

First, let me say that there is no “issue” when it comes to “racism” or “Inuit ownership” in relation to the liquor licence application as he would have people believe. The question of who owns or operates any new bar in Iqaluit has absolutely nothing to do with any opposition to this application.

The fact that JM was originally part of the ownership and subsequently withdrew from the application, the remaining publicly acknowledged ownership consists of Elisapee and Carmen as the 51 per cent Inuit ownership content and Ross Bennett as the 49 per cent non-Inuit ownership content.

JM’s connection purportedly would continue to be as their landlord and, I suppose, one could speculate whether or not also as a “silent” partner. Hence the basis for the “racist” theory expounded by JM.

His letter clearly demonstrates his lack of ethics by attempting to play the “race” card as the main reason behind any opposition to a new bar application. The fact is, any opposition towards this new liquor licence application by people in Iqaluit is the same as it was for the Navigator’s Lounge application and the Frobisher Inn’s Lounge applications over the past few years.

People in Iqaluit are genuinely concerned with the social impacts of additional outlets for alcohol and that, and that alone, is the main reason for any opposition against this application too. Although I personally don’t opposed the application in general, having lived here for the past 11 years, I can understand the historical context of the situation at hand and I assure you, this is where the truth of the matter really lies.

Any fool who would try to make this issue out to be “racist” is indeed someone who lacks any clear judgement and moral integrity. The only thing JM has accomplished here is to expose himself as one who has no capacity for valuing or respecting the opinions and social concerns of the residents of Iqaluit.

In regards to all the controversy surrounding JM’s booze can operation over the past couple of years, this was a clear demonstration that JM felt that he didn’t have to abide by the same rules as everyone else. His assertion that his operation was a private club, and, therefore, needed no licence, is proof enough of his self-delusion.

Why would similar private establishments such as the Elk’s, Legion and Racquet Club need licences, but not him? I would interpret his latest outburst as nothing more than his incompetent and feeble way of lashing back against the society which he purports himself to be a part of.

Seriously, what legitimate businessman and high school teacher would conduct himself in such a manner? His continued employment as a teacher (so much for role models) at the high school is a source of embarrassment to our community.

The last remaining issue surrounding this bar is its name, Uvagut. Why they would choose this name is beyond me, as it clearly shows a total lack of respect and consideration for an all-Inuit band that has been a household name for many years.

And despite the band’s objections, they have been basically told to shut up and get lost. So when Morneau goes around labeling any opposition to the liquor application as racist, I have to wonder if that isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black.

John Thomas

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