Seven new mayors elected across Nunavut
Arctic Bay chooses woman, 25, by one vote
Seven new mayors were elected in Nunavut this week during municipal elections, which featured a few close calls.
None were closer than in Arctic Bay, where 25-year-old Darlene Willie won a six-way race by one vote. She received 56 votes, narrowly defeating Andrew Taqtu, who had 55 votes.
“I was shaking, and asking if it’s right,” she said, recalling how she felt when she heard the news. With that close a call, a recount was performed, but the numbers held.
“It was very uplifting,” said the mother of three, who works during the day at the First Air ticket booth in Nanisivik. She credits the backing of standing mayor Niore Iqalukjuak for her success.
She said she plans to strengthen the recreation department and work towards opening the arena early in the year. She’d also like to see more community involvement with the diamond exploration in Jackson Inlet.
“They’ve been coming up for a few years now. I don’t want it to open up or start without Arctic Bay,” she said.
“I want to carve Arctic Bay in their hearts, and remember my name, because they’ll hear from me.”
Four other new mayors were elected in the Baffin region.
In Cape Dorset, Fred Shell won the election with 155 votes, beating five opponents, including incumbent Mathew Saveajuk-Jaw, who only had 37 votes.
Peter Peaneak is the new mayor of Clyde River. He took 110 votes, against David Iqarialu, with 94, and Noah Kautuq, with 47.
A former mayor of Pangnirtung, Manasie Evic, will return to office, replacing Jack Maniapik. He took 208 votes, beating his only rival, Bourassa Naimee-Kilabuk, who had 67.
Jarloo Kiguktak was acclaimed as the new mayor of Grise Fiord, along with five councillors who also faced no competition.
Resolute Bay re-elected Susan Salluviniq as their mayor with 47 votes. She beat two opponents, including former councillor Wayne Davidson, with 25.
Two Baffin mayors were re-elected by acclamation. They are incumbents Joe Arlooktoo from Kimmirut and Lootie Toomasie from Qikiqtarjuaq. Every councillor running in those communities was also acclaimed. Qikiqtarjuaq still has one empty seat council seat to be appointed.
Mayors in Pond Inlet, Igloolik, Hall Beach, and Sanikiluaq will continue to serve out their terms.
In the Kitikmeot, Cambridge Bay saw a tight race with four candidates for mayor. Twenty-eight-year-old Michelle Gillis won with 162 votes, defeating incumbent Terry McCallum, who had 155 votes, followed by Sharon Ehaloak with 143.
Canute Krejunark returns as mayor of Kugaaruk by acclamation. Three councilors were also acclaimed.
Mayors in Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven and Kugluktuk will continue to serve their terms.
And in the Kivalliq, only Coral Harbour elected a new mayor, Armand Angootealuk, who won more votes than his two opponents combined. He took 89 votes, against Noel Kaludjak, who had 35 votes, and Jake Netser, with 45.
The other communities in the region have one year remaining for their mayors’ terms in office.