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Outgoing mayor ties up loose ends

Kent Driscoll
Northern News Services

Arctic Bay (Jan 16/06) - Niore Iqalukjuak has something in common with fictional mob boss Michael Corleone of the movies The Godfather. Every time he tries to get out, they pull him back in.

Iqalukjuak was the mayor of Arctic Bay until the recent hamlet elections. He decided not to seek re-election because of the large commitment it takes to be a mayor in a small community.

Getting away wasn't that easy. "It's so new. I'm not really relaxing. I'm orientating our new mayor as to what the hamlet has been doing in the past," said Iqalukjuak.

He has also cut back on his time with volunteer boards. He was a volunteer with the local search and rescue committee and the Nunavut Quest.

"I sort of want to relax this year, and concentrate on photography. I'll probably (slow down) by spring. It's hard to get used to doing almost nothing," said Iqalukjuak.

While he wants to do "almost nothing," there is one project he won't give up: the planned airport expansion for Arctic Bay.

"Rather than have a southern company come in, we figured it would be better if locals were hired. Based on what we have been told, this is one of the first times the GN is trying this approach," said Iqalukjuak.

He is helping the territorial government gather information about the airport and the hamlet. He learned that there are 36 licences for air brakes in the hamlet, far more than he realised. With the information, it is hoped that as much of the work as possible can go to people in the community.

He wouldn't trade his time as mayor for anything. "I'm originally from Clyde River. I came here 13 or 14 years ago. I'm really appreciative that the residents had so much confidence in me. It was a good couple of years," said Iqalukjuak.